A massive and impenetrable wall guarded this majestic citadel of Toko, and I was a soldier in the swords guard. Every day I walked along that wall guarding my post, and took to the city in another patrol. I had served in 2 great wars over the years with the city of magic Journagen. A veteran in my own right and a skilled swordsman. My name is Finnegan and this is my story. I grew up in the countryside of Toko and as a child I was in awe of those walls. They withstood 100 years of attacks and invaders and protected the people. I wanted to protect when I grew older and I enlisted in the swords guard. We trained for months honing and sharpening our sword techniques. I won tournaments with my unique skill I called Viper. I let my opponent get in close and bared my fangs for the kill. In an instant my sword was at their throats and I was victorious. Along with the prize money came prestige and I was quickly promoted through the ranks to that of a Seargent. I was tasked with the charge of maintaining a platoon and training them.
When the news of war spread the first time, we were unprepared. Journagen had led a surprise attack on an envoy of emissaries heading to an ally’s kingdom; the kingdom of Delsia. We would not let them get away with the attack. Our king Quentinius, first of his name, called us to war. We marched out to fight them on the battlefield and it was a massacre on both sides. I led my platoon the best I could and they fight and died with bravery. We were routed by their demonic beasts and held a shield wall formation as long as we could until reinforcements arrived. Three of us survived, fighting to the last man, with our dead brothers at our feet. When we heard the trumpet signaling victory we cried, and fell to our knees exhausted, and bloodied.
We lived to see another day and I was grateful that Jonah and Minerva survived, but I felt the burden of leadership that day. My unit personally received accolades and honor for our battle from the king himself. We had fought the worst enemy possible and lived to tell the tale. No one expected us to survive the onslaught of the beasts but we did. I received another promotion to master-at-arms along with a medal of bravery. Jonah and Minerva received promotions to sergeant and were now leaders of their own swords guard platoons.
We buried our dead with honor and I felt the responsibility of their deaths upon my shoulders. We returned home hardened veterans and were praised as heroes by the people. My skill with the sword continued to receive praise and commendations as I trained. However, it didn’t matter because I wasn’t prepared for what happened next. We thought we had won and seen the last of Journagen, but they conjured up dark magics in revenge. When nightfall came the city was on fire, and in chaos. I had just ended my patrol for the day and in an instant hellfire rained down upon us.
The ground shook with such power and ferocity and I watched in horror as our mighty wall fell to the ground. Fiery boulders catapulted into buildings around me, leaving a pile of burning dead in their wake. I remember smelling the burnt flesh, hearing the screams on the wounded and my ears rang from the explosions. We were under attack; how could our wall have fallen so easily. The enemy had planted explosive demons under the wall and destroyed it from below. Ogres, goblins and demons descended into the city killing anyone in sight. I managed to mobilize my platoon, but it didn’t matter. Firebolts were being cast into the city, razing everything around us to the ground. We fought back-to-back making our way through the city streets hoping to make it to the inner walls. Our boots stomping over the dead littering the street, and covered in guts, blood and God knows what else.
The enemy came out of nowhere, they were like shadows in the streets and one by one my men died. When I could see the walls ahead, I told those still alive to run. I would hold the line, until they got the civilians to safety. I cut down any foe that dared approach me, my blade sharp and quick. My speed was unmatched and I began to enjoy myself. I felt an aura of bloodlust come over me, whether it was the endorphins rushing through me or the hatred I don’t know. Then I heard it, the footsteps of an ogre and he was enormous. I could feel his bloodlust staring at me, and I thought to myself what a wonderful opponent.
Sparks flew from our swords as we clashed, my parry's dancing along the edge of his blade then finding their mark. A pierce to the lungs first, followed by a slash to his Achilles tendons till he fell to the ground. With a finishing blow of the Viper, blood spattered the ground when I pulled out my blade from his throat. An unworthy opponent after all, and my bloodlust only grew darker. I held my ground until dawn when I heard the trumpets of our allies. We had managed to hold the city, but the damage to the citadel was overwhelming. Houses were burned to the ground; the wounded lay helpless in the streets and our great wall was broken. That wall was our pride, but it didn’t break my spirit. I found a nearby house that was in ruins and I laid against the wall. I was covered in blood and unrecognizable. I was exhausted, but I felt one emotion, lust for revenge. I was going to bring Journagen to their knees.