(An Epic Tale of the Fall of Man.)
“Rhaemus whose head was gray with age took Teides’ post and ordered us to charge.
The order fell upon my ear and stung my soul with all my mother’s might.
The army needed badly to regroup and Rhaemus wouldn’t heed.
Collumnus had left Rhaemus’ side, left him void of reason,
and down he spiraled into the mouth of Hell.
He charged into the mass, slashing as he went,
but was dismounted by the fearsome six-horned beasts they call the Clypmeons.
The creatures fought amongst themselves to feast upon his corpse,
tearing off each limb in a spray of dark red blood.
My honorable contingent followed through the charge to avenge our leaders’ death,even the soul of Teides,
and down we charged to the mouth of Hell.
“The thundering of ten thousand beasts
and the shouts of as many men washed the plain with fright.
A sea of black fear washed across the faces of Tor’s men and sent them scurrying the other way.
We were nipping at their heels like wolves and pressing back the front.
Vaulting the bodies–rotten, slaughtered corpses whose souls were whisked away from behind their eyes–of both men and beast,
my contingent charged forth into the piercing steel.
“But at that moment Tor noticed our charge and sent a prayer winging up to Sarvus whose name is Chaos.
The night grew darker as the jackal of souls fell from high atop his post,
sweeping up the stars along his path.
He took the form of a giant, scythe in hand,
and burst through our ranks like the prow of a mighty ship tearing apart the waves.
Each swipe of his sharp and deadly blade cut down a hundred of my men.
I ordered half the remaining contingent,
five thousand strong at arms,
to split themselves in two and flank the god from both his sides.
But Sarvus was much too quick and swept their bodies under the rug of death,
drawing the blanket of darkness up over their eyes.
“I dismounted my horse and raced around the god’s heels,
sending the winds of chaos back to their rightful master!
I lifted high my sword and sent it plunging into his right heel,
cutting loose a stream of black blood to spill upon the earth.
Sarvus wrenched his heel from my cold and deadly blade in a fit of pain.
He flailed wildly with his scythe,
desperate to sink the bitter stake into my flesh.
I lashed outward with my sword and split the pole of ash in two.
Defeated, Sarvus winged his way from the battle to cower behind the godly realm of Termidus,
deep within the heart of Taemnos’ forbidden range.
“As the brother of Chaos whose name is Sarsus rose up from his nightly slumber,
my eyes gazed in horror at the sight before me.
The hundred thousand men were reduced to but a handful:
Thirty strong at arms, with half that number wounded,
tended to Teides’ wrecked encampment;
not one survived Rhaemus’ fatal charge;
Jaerides’ men were reduced to five;
the noble soldiers of Aramides’ ranks were cut to only twelve, half of whom were wounded;
Klomides’ men, nine in total, each were lame;
and those of the Trides, the largest remaining number, had been hacked to nearly fifty.
I was left with the third largest contingent:
Twenty strong at arms and twice as many wounded.
I opted to stay and fight when all the other remnants had retreated,
but Nasseus who was given the gift of prophecy by Klemnos himself had told us to take to flight.
He had been delivered a mortal blow to the belly and as his last words begged me:
‘Korvas, O king of arms and war,
you have lead your contingent bravely through the angry months that preceded this very day.
You lead your men through the soft green forests and down the shallow passes
to meet head-on with Tor’s great and evil army.
You battled Sarvus himself,
breaking the ash pole of his bitter scythe against your cold and deadly blade.
You saved what men you could–
those who were fated to live, at least–
and risked your immortal flesh.
Even the Scythmenides fear your very name!
But beware, for should you stand your ground upon the killing fields,
you will be cut down much as I.
Sarvus will return with his bitter stake and bury its pointed steel deep within your breast.
Not even Klemnos can save you from this should you choose to stay.
Hear me now, Pleonides, take to your feet–
your men, too–
and make your way to the heart of Taemnos’ forbidden range.
Sarvus will not halt his torment of man and will push the wild heart of Tor forward.
Hell will consume the lands,
cities will fall,
and the men who razed the cities, too, will be taken by the hands of death.
You must speak to Thaemnius who dwells in the darkest night;
the journey will be long and the path shall be drenched with strife.
You will be grief stricken,
a heart broken by the plague of sadness that will ensue,
and your heart will bear the burden of the fall of man.
Go, now, quickly! The fate is not yours to die on these killing fields!’