The Further (Mis)Adventures of Princess Thumperhead started as a "post by email" that I wrote in college. When I moved away from school, the story widened and took on a different role for me, hence the Jester's Chronicles. Quite some time has past now and I find that I am returning to telling this weird little story, or The Trials. I suggest starting from the beginning. Some characters have been around that long...In April 2012, this story will turn 15. ....and Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Trials III: These Men

The loud clamor of gears grinding, soldiers marching, and the land burning was like music to the General’s ears.  As he sat astride a mammoth war machine in his command tent, Di’Rand looked over the maps of the lands he had concurred.  His mandate had been simple.  Increase the borders by four hundred fold.  He had almost doubled that.  The Empire of Gothex now stretched from the mountains in the East to the mighty river in the west and as far north and south as was inhabitable.  He had been at war for almost a decade, when the most curious thing happened.

A black pigeon alighted on the corner of his table.  Di’Rand studied the creature and soon saw a death’s head pattern had been painted onto the wing of the pigeon.  “Saing.  No one else would be so arrogant.  Ten years at war for him and he sends me a bird.”  The warmonger notices the note tied to the bird's leg.

Unrolling the tiny manuscript, Di’Rand reads Saing’s tight script. 

“Return.  Generals Counsel.  The Fool Lives.”

The army’s general calls out to his aide-de-camp to get his horse.  The army proceeds south as its leadership mounts fierce looking horses bred for speed.  Di’Rand and his top three commanders head for home.  “Lord General…why the haste?  Has Gothex fallen?”  Commander Goettch inquires.

The burly general responds with “That damned Fool will get us all killed.”  But the message is lost in the din of horses galloping toward their home fields.

After a day’s hard ride the four men, stop their horses at the top of a hill overlooking a valley.  In the center of the devastation, is a large blasted and broken stone edifice.

“The power well.  So many good men lost to that contraption.  So much blood split to defeat those wizards.” reminisces Goettch.

“True commander, but a hard fought victory brought us many spoils of war.”

“Yes, Lord General.” Geottch responds shifting in his saddle “Sir, how do you plan to arrive in time?  We are still some eight days ride away and we left the war machines to continue the campaign.”

“Ah…Goettch, your loyalty and your skill in battle are your greatest gifts.  But Cristos was made provisions for our timely arrival the will give the horses time to rest.” the tactical genius replied.

A huge shadow moved across the men and their horses, as though a cloud was blocking the sun.  A growling hum burned the air.  The four men turned at once to see a huge air ship slip down from the clouds.  It bristled with guns and cannon decks.  Like a giant dragon floating down to earth, the monstrous contraption settled into a hover just off the hillside.

“General, your chariot awaits!” Sir Cristos calls from the gun rail.  A boarding ramp extends from the main deck to come to rest on the hill top.  The General’s contingent wheel their horses and ride up the ramp onto the main deck of the war ship.  “Make best speed for Gothex, captain!  The General’s aboard.”  The air ship slowly turns and disappears into the clouds.

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