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Harlequin's short stories and one shots


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#1 Offline Harlequin

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Posted May 28 2014 - 12:13 PM

A short story a wrote a while ago, the precursor to The Legend of Xian Bei.

 

 

 

The Two Kings

 

Romulus was once a peaceful realm ruled by an old and wise king. He ruled with a firm grip, under his rule there were few bandits in the hills and the peasants pockets were filled with coppers and silvers, their harvests healthy and their children strong. One fateful day nineteen years ago the king’s wife gave birth to twins, two heirs to the throne.

The king once declared war on the mighty southern kingdom of Alamur, he raised his banners and marched south from his capital; Barrowmarch, through the Old Wood and across the river Castamere towards the barren desert. By this time he was fifty-two years of age and his son’s seventeen. The King although his body was old and dull, his mind was sharp. The Alamurites were defeated and driven across the desert from where they came. However the King’s frail body betrayed him, he fell from his horse and struck his head on a road stone. The once great king died on a road side.

By now the princes had become very different men, Davos had followed the way of the sword and spear, he fought from horseback on the frontline leading his men by example. He commanded the respect of the warrior families and the northern tribes men. Gendry followed the way of scribe and scroll, he lead troops with great strategies and cunning plots. Gendry had the support of the noble families and the western tradesmen and their mercenaries.

There was a shaky peace between the two brothers for a year during which they divided the kingdom between each other. The north and east went to Davos and the west and south went to Gendry. However the peace talks fell apart when the topic of the capital and the surroundings lands came up.

The first battle took place outside Barrowmarch, Gendry had 20,000 foot and 4,000 horsemen, he took the high ground by the walls and lined up his horsemen on his right flank. Davos had 18,000 foot and 3,000 horsemen, he put the river to his back and put his horsemen on the frontline. The flow of the battle initially lent towards Gendry, Davos’ horsemen forced his brother’s infantry up the hill but once they lost momentum they were forced back down with heavy losses. The battle creeped on and soon night fell. Both armies withdrew for the day, Gendry lost 3,000 foot and 1,000 horsemen and Davos lost 3,000 foot and 1,500 horsemen.

The second day began the same way as the first, Davos’ men forced Gendry’s up the hill and they were forced back down, however Davos suddenly appeared on the field, on the frontline no less. His men’s morale rose and with their high spirits they broke the enemy lines and poured through. Gendry was forced to retreat taking only his reserves with him. By the time the battle had ended Gendry had lost another 12,000 foot and 2,500 horsemen, Davos had lost 8,000 foot and 1,000 horsemen. Genry had escaped with only 5,000 foot and 500 horsemen.

Gendry retreated south through the forest towards his holding Dry Rock, however Davos was hot on his tail and would soon catch up. In his haste to battle at Barrowmarch Davos had not brought enough supplies for a long campaign and his men began to grow weary of marching.

Realising his brother’s troops morale was failing along with their health, Gendry turned his forces around and smashed his brother’s army. The casualties of Davos’ army are unknown it is only known that the survivors were less than a thousand.

Minor skirmishes filled out the rest of the year as both sides built up their forces in anticipation of the final battle. It was the summer of the second year of the war when the two forces met again. The battle took place on a huge open plain, Gendry was able to raise 85,000 foot and 25,000 horsemen and Davos brought 100,000 foot and 10,000 horsemen. Davos lined his foot against Gendry’s and his horsemen faced the enemy horsemen.

The huge armies clashed in a moment, within minutes thousands died. The line moved back and forth but suddenly Gendry’s centre once again collapsed, his infantry retreated leaving a huge gap. Davos took most of his horsemen and charged into the gap, his men followed but Davos soon realised his mistake. Gendry’s foot held the centre as the flanks surrounded Davos’ army, Davos was about to turn his horsemen around and break out the rear when Gendry’s unoccupied horsemen plugged the gap. Davos’ men were now fully encircled.

Gendry was sure of his victory but he underestimated Davos, Davos and his men launched a last ditch assault towards Gendry’s position. His men broke through but Davo’s banners fell and both sides believed Davos dead. Gendry believing the threat of Davos gone sent his personal guards to drive back the breach. To everyone’s surprise Davos appeared behind Gendry’s headquarters, he rode up behind his brother and cut him down where he stood and scattered his officers. Seeing Gendry’s banners fall his men lost heart and retreated to the hills. Davos had snatched victory, but the cost was high over 60,000 of his men died.

Davos ascended to the throne, he crushed the rest of his brother’s supporters and united the remaining lords. Davos spent most of his reign waging war on the surrounding kingdoms, He made Romulus the most powerful state in the midlands for many generations however several decades after his death the Rose Republic would destroy the once mighty kingdom.


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#2 Offline Harlequin

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Posted Jun 14 2014 - 11:00 PM

Street War

 

The city of Eastgate has always been at war with itself. To the north was the Old Wall, a huge wall that was built hundreds of years before and The Highway, a long road that ran to the town of Newport. The north and south districts are separated by the river that ran through the city. In the middle where the river split was an island called The Keep, a residential area. The river came from the west past the forest from the hills by Oldtown. The south was largest part of Eastgate, it held the slums in the south-west and the docks to the south east. To the east was the sea.

The North was ruled by three gangs that made up the Triad, The Fontanas lead by Freddy, The Rei lead by Taka and The O’Neills lead by Patrick. In The Keep there was The Levies lead by the Levi family. In the south was The Decree, a huge gang that was lead by five men known as Pillars. The Pillars were the five strongest district leaders and the only way to become one was to kill one.

Our story will follow Johnny, a self-proclaimed ganglord, Johnny grew up in the docks and in his youth had been part of a gang called The Yeomen. He took part in petty crimes and even went as far as to rob stores at knife point. When he was 18 The Yeomen had elected him the new leader, he had 40 men at his command. Only months later The Yeomen caught the attention of the The Degree, Takiya; a Pillar, offered Johnny his protection in return for him becoming one of his men. Johnny refused and Takiya declared The Yeomen enemies of The Decree. The Yeomen did not even survive a fortnight half their men were in hospital and on the 12th day Johnny disbanded The Yeomen and went into hiding.

A year later Johnny reappeared as the leader of a new gang called The Crosses, He set about attacking Takiya’s men and destroying his businesses. Another Pillar, Harry offered Johnny a chance to take over Takiya’s territory and position as a Pillar as long as he promised to give him a third of Takiya’s territory, Johnny agreed and Harry began to send him weapons. The war took a brutal turn, Takiya’s lieutenants were hunted down and eliminated and most of his men died in open combat with the now heavily armed Crosses. Without a command structure Takiya’s gang collapsed and Takiya himself was killed when The Crosses stormed his hideout.

With Takiya dead Johnny took over his territory and had taken his position as a pillar however when Harry moved to take his payment Johnny refused and shot the messengers. Harry was furious but he could not retaliate as he had sent most of his guns to Johnny. Johnny set about organising his territory and preparing for war with Harry, after pulling together all the small gangs and dealers that were under Takiya he estimated he had 250 men but only 100 guns. Johnny ordered The Crosses to rob stores for money and gun shops for weapon, when he had enough money he began to buy weapons from a Russian dealer called Ivan. It took almost a year but Johhny and The Crosses were ready for war.

Harry had also been preparing for war but he was unable to get as much weapons as Johnny and so most of his 400 men were armed with bats, rocks and molotov cocktails. Similar to the war with Takiya The Crosses launched a lightning campaign destroying most of Harry’s hideouts and command structure. Harry’s forces put up desperate defenses all over the district however they were all overwhelmed by The Crosses, finally Harry was killed in a firefight and his gang surrendered. Unlike before Johnny did not waste time he immediately declared war on the next Pillar; Conor.

The battle against Conor never happened, with in hours of the war’s beginning Conor surrendered to Johnny and even offered to join him in war against the other two pillars.

Johnny could not let this chance slip by, He accepted and prepared for his defensive battle. The remaining two Pillars Chen and Declan had formed an alliance and began to raid Johnny’s territories, the alliance grew confident because of its victories and it finally launched a full scale invasion. The war ended in one night, the alliance was caught in several ambushes and by the sunrise Chen was dead and Declan missing.

Johnny and the Crosses had finally conquered the south and now were close to 800 men strong, Johnny planned to take The Keep then invade the north but he had run out of bullets and his economy was shattered. It would be almost 2 years until Johnny would attack The Keep. During the events of the south, the north had come under attack by a biker gang call The Furies from Newport. The Furies were defeated but the war put so much pressure on The Triad that in collapsed after the war ended and a civil war broke out.

The Levies held out against The Crosses for four months despite only having 200 men. The war with the Levies did not end with the death of Gerard Levi or even with death of Harold Levi it only ended after the Levies were completely forced from the island. Johnny had once again exhausted his forces however not wanting to miss out on the opportunity the Triad Civil war presented he ordered the invasion of the O’Neill’s territory. Within a day of the invasion the Triad civil war stopped and all three gangs focused on The Crosses. Johnny had pushed deep into the north overnight and by morning he was surrounded. The battle raged throughout the day and only ended at night when Johnny and a few men escaped in the darkness.

Upon his return to the south Johnny learnt that many of the district leader’s had family in the group he had abandoned and now were using it to rebel against him. The rebel threw the entire south into chaos as multiple factions attempted to kill Johnny and seize control, Johnny however had escaped to The Keep and was raising an army to restore order to his territory but one night while walking to a meeting with an arms dealer Johnny was shot in the back and left to die. So ends the tale of Johnny, the self-proclaimed ganglord.

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