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The Legend Of Xian Bei

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#1 Offline Harlequin

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Posted Jan 28 2014 - 05:58 PM

This is my first fantasy epic so I apologize for the slow future updates as I am trying my best to make it work :P

 

The Legend of Xian Bei

Call to Dragon’s Roost

  Xian Bei

The Stench of burning flesh, hundreds upon thousands of corpses,rats and other scavengers gathering for a feast. Many times throughout this march across this battlefield had I stepped on a carcass for my foot to break through its charred flesh and be consumed by its  rotten innards. Despite the many bodies there appeared to be only one crest; the Gold Dragon on a field of green, the crest of the Rensford Family.

“What the ###### happened here? there isn’t a single Tarly banner insight”, whispered Cheng,

“It seems that the Tarlys have access to a new weapon”, I whispered back,

“What kind of weapon could do this kind of damage?”,

“I don’t know; but we shouldn’t stay here any longer, there could men of Tarly still lingering”,

“You’re right let’s head back”.

Cheng stood up and gave a quick glance around then suddenly dropped onto his chest, he pointed directly in front of us, right at three riders donned in black robes decorated with a strange crest; a red three headed snake on a black field.

“Don’t move”, I whispered.

I strained my ears to hear their faint voices but to no avail; they were too far from us. The lead horseman scanned the area, his eyes hidden by his large plate helmet. Satisfied by what he had observed he turned abruptly and rode back into the fog as fast and silent as they came.

“Who do you reckon they were?”, asked Cheng,

“Perhaps the owners of this new weapon, come on let’s head back”, I replied.

Rising in unison we moved slowly back across the field we had came avoiding bodies and scavengers alike, slowly the land began to incline as we entered the hilly terrain in which our camp was hidden.

“Only half a league north from here then we’re home”, I said,

“Good! after seeing that massacre I could do with some wine”, said Cheng,

“You drink too much”,

“And you don’t drink enough my friend”.

Cheng began to laugh to himself as he walked ahead of me,

“Remember Nene? From Xia?”, he asked,

“Yea, the one with the green eyes?”, I replied,

“She’s the one”,

“What about her?”,

“When we get home I’m gonna marry her”, Cheng proclaimed.

Cheng pressed out his chest and stretched up to his full height, if I had not known him for the past ten years I might have mistaken him for a great warrior.

“Didn’t her father kick you off her balcony?”, I asked,

“Ah yes there is the matter of her father”, He replied.

Cheng laughed to himself again, he really was carefree.

I had no such luxury.

 

Several days later…

“Curse you Bei! You mercenary, may you dwell in the Circle of ###### Fire for all eternity”, yelled the young noble.

“Now, now my young lord Regis, you are making quite a show of yourself”, I replied, mocking the dark haired youth.

“There is no other way to talk to those who use trickery to attack an unwary foe!”,

“Ah! That! Yes I would be inclined to agree with you, but you see we had no time to waste on a foolish little boy like you”,

“Hah! So it’s true? The Hi Band was crushed? I thought they were just rumours, tales spun by the women on the street, but it’s true! The mighty band of eastern mercenaries reduced to nothing in a single night!”,

Bloody kid, He was well informed.

“What happened to that fool Mou? Did he die? He DID?! The mighty Bird of The East fell in a RAID! Hahaha!”,

Shut it kid.

“And what of the woman? Aoki? I bet her attackers had fun that ni…”.

My glaive glided through the air and when it reached the noble’s neck it reacted as if nothing was there and passed straight through and continued on its flight. The noble’s head rolled forwards off his neck, contorted into a grim smile with the body slumping soon after.

Bloody kid.

“KIMURA!!!”, I bellowed, summoning the young squad leader.

Kimura came running through the thickets and panting a little, straight to me.

“Yes sir?”, He asked struggling to hold his posture.

“What are losses and kills?”, I asked in turn.

We lost thirty-two from the first unit, twenty-four in the second, thirty-seven in the third and one from your guard, ninety-five in total. Our kills are around three hundred, we were lucky they were militia”, Kimura relayed perfectly.

“Who was it? The one from my guard?”,

“Sir...It was Cheng”,

CHENG?!

“Are you sure?”

“He’s nowhere to be found, We think he fell in the forest”,

“Don’t count me dead just yet you cool dudes!”, Came a voice from behind.

I turn instinctively to face the familiar figure and face of Cheng, bloodied and with two arrows sticking from his chest and countless more in his back. The shaking man came forward perhaps two, no three steps before collapsing to his knees and doubling over to cough out an inhuman amount of blood.

“Go get a medic!”, I ordered KImura, who give his full compliance and ran off at top speed.

I turned Cheng onto his side and gave him a hard slap in the face.

“The ###### Bei? I’m dying here”, He cried.

“Shut up or I’ll kill you myself”, I replied.

“With your glaive it would be a lot less painful, heh?”,

“Quit joking! What happened?”,

“My bloody horse stepped in a rabbit hole and flung me into a tree, when I came around the enemy was all around me in a full a retreat. I was about to get out of there when two crossbow men spotted me, they had that weird crest y’know the red serpent? Well their first two arrows hit me in the chest, they weren’t that powerful and my armour slowed them and I could still stand but when I turned to run…”

Cheng paused to cough up even more blood.

“Then?”, I pressed on.

“They shot again and again and again! ###### it they didn’t even reload they just kept firing! It was impossible !”, Cheng finished.

Impossible eh? A lot of impossible things had happened recently.

“The Medic’s here! An outrider too!”,

Kimura came running up the road with a the medic and an old man garbed in a green coat and black trousers, the uniform of the Imperial Rangers. The three men halted almost at the same time and set about their purpose, Kimura left after a quick salute, the right fist on the heart and a short bow. The medic opened his large leather satchel to reveal an array of blades, needles, vial containing concoctions that I could only imagine their purpose. However the old man remained standing, I took this time to get a good look at him, he was a few inches shorter than me and shoulders were not as wide but his face was covered in brutal scars half covered by the short beard he had.

“Are you Captain of this Band?”, The old man suddenly asked, his eyes fixed on mine.

“Yes, I am Xian Bei”, I answered, Straightening up to my full height and looking down on the old man.

“I am 300-man Commander; Garth Woods of his majesty’s rangers, that is the Imperial Rangers”,

“Greetings Commander Woods”,

“Likewise- I apologise Sir but we have no time for formalities, I bring orders from General Rensford, He requests you join his force south of Dragon’s Roost”, The old man called out.

“South of Dragon’s Roost? Why not at the city?”, I asked.

“The city Sir, it’s outer level is over run by the Tarly’s, only the keep remains free as of when I was dispatched”,

“And what of the Lord and Lady?”,

“Trapped, in the keep”.

I looked up and down the road at my men resting on it’s sides, at best I had eight-hundred men, one-hundred mounted and seven-hundred foot. We were in no state for a large battle especially Cheng. But I might just find one of those red serpent guys.

“We’ll gladly respond to his General’s request, Commander”, I said.

“Thank you Sir, here are your orders”, He replied.

Garth fumbled around in the small leather bag on his belt before finally pulling out a scroll. I took the scroll from his out stretched hand, broke the the red wax seal and unravelled it. The fine yet rough handwriting read:

 

To the Captain of the Hi Unit

I request your aid in taking command of

the right army now gathering east of the

main camp, which I command.

If you choose to accept my call your orders

are as follows:

To follow the river north,

To engage the force guarding the North bridge,

To take position north of the city,

To prevent any enemy forces from escaping.

All recon reports were collected by Commander

Woods and he shall serve as you require.

Regards,

             Gerard Rensford.

 

“I see…”, I whispered to myself.

By this time old man Woods had fallen down against a tree and pulled his cloak over himself for warmth, a few other soldiers had down the same at other trees an array of black cloaks, long beards and ever longer hair of all shades, some slept, some were enjoying the delights of stale bread and water and finally there were those who were relieving themselves of nature’s call. A lovely bunch; all in all.

 

Meanwhile at Rensford main camp.

 

Gerard Rensford

“Sir Do you think it wise to hand over an army to an eastern brigand?”, Asked the Steward.

“You know of the Sleeper Fish Rebellion, don’t you?”, Returned the General.

“Yes Sir, from three years ago? It was a total failure for the rebels”,

“Correct! But what I’m talking about is the legend of the Black Cloaks”,

“Sir?”,

“The legendary fifty-two men that defended the bridge to allow the rebels to escape, horde after horde of enemies came at them but the stood firm, that was until they’re leader Mou, was struck by an arrow in the neck and falling into the river”,

“Sir what does this have to do with Bei?”,

“Well- After the soldiers saw Mou fall they broke and ran, but he stayed. Bei then fought for three hours straight as story tells before he was finally cut down and left for dead”,

“Left for dead?”,

“Yes! Of course he survived, he was found by his sister who brought him to the city of Xia”,

“You gave him command because he is hard to kill?”,

“No, Did you ever wonder how the rebels were able to get that close to the city undetected and then escape when the time called for it?”,

“N-no Sir?”,

“I’m not giving him command ‘cause he’s hard to kill, I’m giving him command because he is a genius at war”.



 


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#2 Offline Harlequin

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Posted Feb 06 2014 - 05:37 PM

The Legend of Xian Bei

Demon’s on Horseback

  Xian Bei

I ducked my head slightly as I entered the command tent. Two officers stood silently staring at the map of the wooden table in the middle of the tent. One man was wearing a cavalry helm and the other had large amounts of sweat on his foreheads of which he wiped as I entered.


“And who are you?”, One of the officers asked as both turned to face me.


“I am Xian Bei, I’ve come to take command of this army”, I replied, looking him in the eye.


“Now listen here mercenary, I am Christoffen Landhelm lord of Fort Sera and I will not just hand over command of this army to some vagabond who just blows in with the wind”, Christoffen said.


“Oh really?”,


I stood up to my full height and looked down at the considerably smaller man that even with his heeled boots could not ever put his head to my chin.


“U-um yes! I refus…”, Christoffen’s voice trailed off.


I lifted my glaive and brought it down hard on the ground and despite the fact it was only grass below us it made a loud enough bang to make both officers jump in shock.


“Listen here fool, I did not come here to be pestered by underlings, I came here to kill some guys and drink some wine and we ran out of wine three days ago”, I said


“Okay sir but…”, Tried Christoffen before I cut him off.


“No buts, just go”,


“Where sir?”, asked a confused Christoffen.


“Where else? Go get me wine, FOOL!”, I ordered harshly.


“Y-yes sir!”,


Christoffen ran out of the tent as Kimura closely followed by the Ranger Garth Woods entered. Kimura was only a few inches shorter than me but none the less intimidating clad in his plate armour and traditional black cloak of the Hi band. Perhaps the most eye catching of his attire was the large curved blade that hung down by his side, its matt grey blade decorated with countless nicks and scrapes from even more countless battles.

Garth was much less impressive, his was age was shown by the grey hairs that littered his thick mane of hair and fuzzy beard. He was dressed in the traditional uniform of the Rangers, it’s thick green cloak hug tightly to him while his trousers were baggy but tightly wrapped at the shins. Unlike Kimura, Garth sported two straight swords that both hung from his waist on his right side.


“Do you even like wine, Bei?” Kimura asked as he sat down on a wooden stool.


“No, but I hate his type”, I replied.


“His type?”,


“Yea, the ones that act as if everything is their birthright”,


“Please don’t think ill of my husband, sir”, A voice interrupted.


“Husband?!”, I yelped as I turned the face the new voice.


“Yes, I am Rose Landhelm”,


The voice belonged to the other officer, who had by now took of her helm and held it under arm.


“A WOMAN?!”, I, Kimura and Garth exclaimed together.


“Yes sir”, Rose replied.


Rose did have a slim figure but her armour covered it well and it was hard to tell she was a woman. Her hair was a shade brown, the same colour as a chestnut and her eyes well a dull blue.


“Well…”, I stalled regaining my composure.


“Yes?”, She pressured.


“Why are you here?”, I inquired.


“Despite what husband my say and how he may act, he is a lackwit and could not be trusted to cut the bread, this army is mine in all but name”,


It wasn’t uncommon to find female officers in the east, some were even captains of their own mercenary bands, but here in the west women could not even enter the military not to mention  lead troops.


“If this is your army then give me the details, troop numbers and supplies”, I requested.


“Fine”, She took a step towards the table, “ In total we have five-thousand men broken down into three-thousand six-hundred foot, one-thousand crossbows, two-hundred long bows and two-hundred cavalry not including my husbands fifty knights as personal guards”,


Rose paused for a few seconds to catch her breath before starting again.


“We have enough supplies to last two-weeks however only enough feed for six or seven days. There is enough weapons for the soldiers but sleeping places have been cramped”, She finished.


“Thank you, now Garth give me details on the enemy forces and the surrounding land”,


“Yes sir!”, Garth said as he stepped up to the table.


“Here is the Horseshoe river”, He pointed to a line on the map, “-and here is the road through the forest”, He pointed to another line.


“Beside the road is a group of large hills”, He continued, “And between the road and the river is a forest”.


“Tell me more about the forest”, I requested


“Alright, the forest is thin on our side but on the other side it is thicker and would be very hard to see into from the enemy’s position. Once outside the forest it is a flat plain to the Horseback bridge were the enemy is positioned”.


“Thank you and their troop number?”, I asked.


“At last count they were eight-thousand strong made up of seven-thousand foot and one-thousand crossbowmen”.


“Hmmm”


I looked over the map and noted the features that Garth had mentioned.


“Okay, here’s the plan. First Kimura will take the foot and crossbowmen including Christoffen’s personal guard and lead them up the road and take positions against the enemy from where you shall engage them in attrition warfare. I and Garth will take the cavalry including the one-hundred men from the Hi band along with the longbow men, through the forest and launch an attack on the enemies flank”, I explained.


“A sound plan, but we can not hope to win an attrition battle with a larger force”, Said Rose.


“I don’t expect you to”, I replied.


“What? Then why send us?”,


“You are just a distraction”,


“A distraction?”,


“Yes, a distraction, under the cover of the longbow men's volley we will break through the enemy lines and kill their general”,


“Kill the general? but that’s unheard of”,


“Yes you westerners never learned the best way to kill a dragon is to cut off the head”.


Rose sat down and contemplated the sins of this plan.


“Kimura, go get the men ready we move in an hour”, I ordered.


“Yes sir”, He replied as he headed out.


Garth got up to leave as well, but i wave him down.


“Not yet Garth, I have special job for you”,


Garth sat down wearily, obviously wary of the sly grin my face now bore.


“Go to cooking tent and get a bucket of grease, then go down to the river and add in a bit of water and knead it through”,


“Knead it?”,


“Yes, with your hands”,


“But thats disgust…”,


“Just do it”,


My sly smile transformed into a fierce stare with these words.


“Yes sir!”, he said as he rushed out of the tent.


He was fun to mess with that Garth.

I could get used to being in charge.


“That was mean”, Rose said.


“Oh? you’re still here?”, I replied.


“Yes”,


“Not very talkative are you?”,


“No”,


“Want a job?”,


“Yes”,


“Okay, go tell your husband to get his finest armour on, tonight he’s gonna be our bait”,


“Yes sir”, she said as she too left.


Not a single ounce of love eh?



Later that night

Off in the distance you could make out the two forces clashing, arrows flying over head and the deathly screams of men who were cut down were only a fraction of the things that caused the now greased hair on the back of my neck stand up.

The other members of the Hi band had also greased their hair and beards, those with long hair greased it back and those with short had twisted it into spikes. My own beard was pulled down into three spikes and my upper face was covered by my dragon mask.

The masks the cavalry wore were to damage the moral of the enemy, with our hair and beards in unnatural shapes we looked like demons on horseback.


“Is it time to move yet?”, whispered Garth who had opted out of greasing his hair.


“Yes”, I whispered back.


I gave the signal to the flag bearer who raised the flag in response. Immediately the longbow men rose from the thicket awaited my order.


“TO ALL UNITS, CHARGE!!!”, I bellowed.


With a huge thump the cavalry broke out of the forest and bolted towards the enemy.


“FORM THE WEDGE”, I yelled.


The cavalry formed in behind me, in to it’s triangular formation. We charged for no more than 20 seconds before we were with in 20ft of them.


“DO NOT STOP FOR ANYTHING”, I yelled as I raised my galive above my head.


15ft...10ft...5ft…


“URAAAH!”,


I let out a huge bellow as I swung down my glaive towards the troops below. It cut through three...no four men before flying into the air on the other side. I wasted no time in bringing down the glaive again to deal more death. We were progressing well, much to the help of Garth who had unleashed his deadly spinning twin swords style that dealt death wherever it touched. He was good, really good.


“###### IT I WON’T LOSE!!!”, I yelled at Garth.


“WHAT?”, he yelled back.


I swung my glaive in a fatal arc that sent arms, heads and blood flying across the surrounding troops. Panic spread, most yelled about demons and ran causing others to run for reasons unknown to themselves. With this a path had opened, a fire ignited, I could see the enemy general.


“FORWARD!”,


With a final burst of power we broke through the enemy’s line and head towards the general.

A young knight rushed out in front of the general and raised his shield and spear.


“Watch out my lord”, Were his final words.


I swung glaive with all the force my body gave me and more. The shaft of the glaive made contact with the knights shield and shattered it. My glaive continued to both crush the young knight in his armour and to cut the enemy general from shoulder to hip, spraying his retainers with the blood of their lord.


“Run!”, yelled one.


“They’re demons”, yelled another.


The retainers ran off on horseback and were soon followed by the now breaking foot soldiers.


“GARTH! Where are you?”, I yelled,


“Here sir”, He replied.


He had a few cuts on his arms legs and one right above his eye, but he was still upright which was good.


“Take the Rensford cavalry and smash through and meet up with Kimura and Rose and tell them to hold this bridge at all costs, I’ll take the Hi band cavalry with me”,


“Where are you going?”,


“To the city”.






 

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#3 Offline Harlequin

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Posted Jun 27 2014 - 12:04 PM

The Legend of Xian Bei

The City of Sorrow

  Xian Bei

The corpses of civilians littered the streets accompanied by burnt out windows and broken doors, the sound of the storming hooves masked by the sound of screams of torture happening in streets just seconds away, but we could not deter from our path. The heavy horses found difficulty maneuvering in the tight streets, they were forced to compact their formations slowing their advancement. The screams became louder as we got closer and closer to the keep and

when we were close enough to see the details of the banners being flown it happened.

We exploded onto a wide street filled with men wearing the colours of the Tarly’s. The soldiers were dragging people from their homes and burning the buildings with torches, the common folk screamed as they watched their lives burn in from of them, consumed by the devilish flame.

An unnatural anger welled up from inside of me, an anger that did that feel like my own.

 

“KILL THEM ALL!”, I yelled.

 

The violent blades of the Hi unit fell on the unsuspecting footmen, blood and gore filled the air, arms, legs, hands and heads separated from their bodies. The screams of women changed to the screams of men, with in moments the small force was destroyed and the common folk freed.

 

“Thank you kind sir”, said one woman.

 

“May The Circle bless you”, added another.

 

I eyed around the streets, the Tarly soldiers had done a fair amount of damage before we arrived.

 

“No resting! We move straight to the keep”, I ordered.

 

The horsemen ignored the thanks of the women and began to again ride at a fast pace towards the keep. As we came closer to the keep new noises came, the noises of swords clashing and shields cracking, the sounds of battle. After just a few turns we came upon the gates of the keep.The gate was destroyed and soldiers were fighting in the courtyard behind, a blend of the colours of Tarly and Rensford.

 

“Soldiers of the Hi unit! You know what to do!”, I yelled.

 

The black coats of the Hi unit spread through the footmen but despite the suddenness of our attack the tide of the battle did not change, the horsemen could not move in dense compact battle.

 

“Bei! Over here!”, A voice yelled.

 

I searched the battle for the one who yelled my name, it was Gerard Rensford. His lower left arm was missing, the stub spewing blood and his face was covered in fresh wounds and even more blood that could’ve been someone elses. He pointed to a door with his sword in his right hand.

 

“The enemy general went into the keep! My Brother and his family are still there! Help them!”, He yelled.

 

Without thinking I jumped off my horse placing my glaive on my shoulder and began running towards the door, like the main gate it was destroyed; torn straight off it’s hinges. The corridor was narrow, my glaive’s blade knocked and scraped the walls as I ran. Every now and then I would come across a pool of blood with a body in it’s middle, their chests were ripped open as if if devoured from the inside out. Finally I came to a large door, it was almost closed but lay a ajar.

 

“No!”, A woman cried out.

 

I shoved my shoulder against the door forcing the large oak panels apart. A man lay on the floor, his sword in hand and his chest opened like the bodies before, he tried to speak but instead he spat up his own blood. A woman and a child knelt beside him, the woman weeped. The final person in the room was a man, thin in stature endorned in a golden armour, he held a spear with both hands and on his chest was a three headed serpant.

 

“You must be Bei, the one they spoke of”, He said, his voice was sly and whispy.

 

“And you are?”, I replied,

 

“Oh me? I’m the three of us and the one of me”,

 

“Well that explains nothing”,

 

“I am the Hydra and he is me!”

 

The man spread his arms, a shadow appeared on the wall behind him, it was a three headed serpent but it was not his shadow it was cast by his spear.

 

“Forget it!”, I yelled.

 

I lunged forward bringing my galive down towards his head.

“Foolish!”, He yelled.

 

His spear sprung out towards my chest, my glaive connected with the shaft and forced the point downwards but suddenly there was not one spear but three. The two new spear tips dug into my flesh, one in my stomach the other in my shoulder, the moment the tips withdrew the cuts began to burn. I coughed up blood as I fell to one knee.

 

“I-impossible…”, I spluttered.

 

“Have you tasted our venom yet? It burns doesn’t it? It burns!”, The man cackled.

 

The woman and child ran from the room they were carrying something but I couldn’t see what it was. I forced myself back to my feet and took my fighting stance again. The man smiled with glee, he darted forward and within a glimpse his spear was at my throat. I knocked the spear tip away but almost instantly a new one was attacking me, I held my glaive like a staff and parried most of his attacks but those that got by left deep gashes in my skin and delivered more poison. My eyes began to cloud over and my movements started to lag; I was at my limit, my left army fell lapse beside me and I could barely hold my glaive with my right.

 

“I...won’t...die…”, I muttered defiantly.

 

With a last burst of energy I lifted my glaive about my head and brought it down towards his shoulder, it was his turn to defend but his guard was down with the strike, the blade and reached his shoulder and had broken through the armour. he tried to force the blade back up but I kept the pressure making the blade go deeper. My arm failed. I fell to the ground, my glaive falling beside me. The man stood above, clutching his wound.

 

“We were planning to give you a quick death but now we have decided to let the poison take you”, His voice had changed, it was more cruel than sly.

 

“Goodbye dragon” ,He finished

 

My vision was failing but  I could see him search for something then look towards the door.

 

“W-wait!”, I coughed, “How d-do you know about Ascalon?”,

My eyes fell black.


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