The Tales of Asedith- Loyalty to the Crown, page 1part #1 of The Ezera Series
The Tales of Asedith: Loyalty to the Crown
Information on the Five Kingdoms of Ezera and Asedith’s Most Popular Cities
● Ezera- The continent in which the five kingdoms are located on.
1) Asedith- One of the five kingdoms on the continent of Ezera. Usually known to be calm compared to the rest of the kingdoms. It contains beautiful scenery in places such as Roseshire and Yordenfall. Its capital is located in Roseshire.
● Roseshire- The capital of the kingdom of Asedith. It is known for beautiful scenery and its tall castle. Roseshire is the second-largest city in Asedith. Roseshire (and Asedith) is ruled by house Bracken and has been for over a hundred years. Asedith and Roseshire handle succession to the crown differently from most kingdoms. In Roseshire, the new king is democratically elected instead of succession through the royal family alone. However, the one who is next in line for the crown usually wins the election anyway.
● Treadrock- One of the biggest cities in Asedith (though not quite as large as Roseshire). Treadrock is known for having a slightly rough look to it compared to Roseshire and most other cities, with its rugged mountain ranges and dry soil. The city is also known to breed hardy warriors. The great Blaire Sulvaine, also known as the Bull of Asedith, rules here. When Blaire stepped up to start an open rebellion against the crown, he came back to his birthplace of Treadrock to call upon his council to prepare for the war to come.
● Yordenfall- Yordenfall is the largest city in all of Asedith. It is home to house Braith, the rulers of Yordenfall. While the Braiths have only been ruling for the past seven years, they have done a good job of being obedient to the crown and helping whenever the crown calls upon them. House Braith had even sent a thousand soldiers to aid Roseshire in the Sulvaine rebellion. Yordenfall used to be the prime candidate to be the capital of Asedith, but until the Braiths came to power, Yordenfall was ruled by traitors and other evil houses that turned against Asedith from the inside by helping the foreign invaders in the invasion of Ezera (the continent of the five kingdoms) ten years ago. After the invasion was fought off, the traitors were dethroned and executed. After several months of trying to find a house worthy to rule, the Braiths were chosen and put into power seven years ago. Yordenfall and its people have been slowly earning trust back, due to house Braith.
● Grimedrift- Grimedrift is an average-sized town within Asedith. The town itself is gloomy and dark. Roughly two and a half centuries ago, most of the town was burned down, destroying what it was at the time and killing all of its inhabitants. Ever since then, the ground surrounding the entire town is black, as if to remember the tragedy that happened before. Grimedrift has been said to be cursed ever since. It is rumored that the town now contains mysterious creatures that turn violent if anyone comes near. Nobody knows for sure, and nobody ever goes to Grimedrift to find out.
2) Joatlan- One of the five kingdoms. Joatlan is known for having friendly citizens throughout most of the kingdom. Joatlan contains the busiest trading port of all the five kingdoms. It is also worthy to note that half of the kingdom is made up of islands. While it isn’t known for having powerful armies, it is a fairly rich kingdom due to its trading post which interacts and handles the transportation of goods by either wagon or ship throughout the five kingdoms. It has the most ships by far. In fact, Joatlan has a number of ships (including merchant ships as well as military ships) equal to all the other four kingdoms combined. While Joatlan doesn’t have powerful armies, they do control the most powerful naval fleet of all the kingdoms.
3) Wiralith- One of the five kingdoms. Wiralith is the oddest kingdom of them all. Wiralith and its culture are usually looked upon as different, considering one-fourth of the kingdom tries to practice magic and learn the arts of sorcery. Though most of the citizens are usually harmless and keep to themselves, it is seen as weird from the perspective of the other kingdoms. The other four kingdoms don’t usually mind, however. As long as the people of Wiralith keep the magic to themselves, they will be left alone and are allowed to trade goods with the other kingdoms.
4) Coima- One of the five kingdoms. Coima is the kingdom that the other kingdoms are skeptical of. Usually seen as a dark and quiet kingdom, Coima is usually left alone. In fact, Joatlan has trading agreements with all kingdoms except Coima. One of the main reasons why Coima is excluded from most trading agreements is due to several rumors that claim that it is home to secret guilds and possibly even a group of assassins.
5) Maremwen- One of the five kingdoms. It is said that Maremwen is the most beautiful of the five kingdoms. Nature there is always lush and vibrant. With many hills, forests, and rivers, it is lively with nature as well as its citizens. The citizens of Maremwen aren’t as hardy as some of the warriors that come from Coima or Asedith, but they have another strength. For centuries, Maremwen has always had the best archers of any of the five kingdoms. They also have warriors just like all the other kingdoms, but the archers from Maremwen always seem to be superior. Maremwen is similar to Asedith and Joatlan, as it is on good terms with all of the kingdoms. Maremwen is also the only kingdom that will do business and trade with the people of Coima.
Left and right, the rebels of house Sulvaine surrounded the town of Keridion. There were all sorts of sounds that filled the air on that dark night. The shouting of men on both sides of the town walls, the downpour of rain, even the subtle sounds of men cursing under their breath.
Among the soldiers watching over the town walls was Joshua Bracken, young man who had at this point seen twenty years of his life, and spent his whole life looking up to his father, Tedric Bracken. His father was the ruler of the Kingdom of Asedith, so naturally, Joshua had been learning from his father how to be a proper ruler when need be.
It was times such as this when the loyalty of men was truly tested. Inside the walls of the town of Keridion, there were the forces of the Brackens. The Brackens had ruled Asedith for close to a century now. On the outside of the walls, there were the Sulvaines. The Sulvaines were allied to the Brackens long ago. It wasn’t until one year ago when the bad blood started between the two houses.
The houses started having disagreements on how the kingdom should be run. It started as something as mundane as the Brackens wanting to raise taxes of the land and the earned wages and crops of those who worked within the kingdom. King Tedric Bracken decided that a fifth of what each family and house earns should be sent to the capital of the kingdom. “To maintain protection and order throughout the realm, the kingdom’s capital should be well maintained and provided for,” he said.
The Sulvaines didn’t see it the same way as the Brackens did. They figured that the usual tenth of their profits was enough as it is. They were angered that Tedric would demand such a thing to them, especially since the two houses had been close for generations. The two lords decided to have a meeting to talk things over. Tedric tried convincing Lord Blaire Sulvaine that the tax raise was justified and that it was for the good of the kingdom, that the extra taxes would be put to good use and would benefit the kingdom as a whole. Blaire tried talking Tedric into reconsidering, but Tedric would not back down. Blaire was outraged by this. He claimed that Tedric had grown greedy and was demanding too much from the common folk of the kingdom. Blaire had even accused Tedric to be a dictator. The two of them never came to an agreement. The room had fallen silent for a few moments. This was when Blaire Sulvaine stood up to declare war on house Bracken, claiming that they would have a rebellion to deal with.
The Sulvaines had gathered more men and houses than the Brackens would have imagined. They had almost as many men as the Brackens had, and they were the ones
While the sizes of these two armies were almost the same, another matter of importance was the fact that both leaders of the houses were there. Tedric Bracken, the king of Asedith and Joshua’s father, had been known to be a good ruler throughout most of the kingdom. He was definitely bigger than the average man and looked the part of a leader. Joshua had always looked up to him and was just hoping that one day that he could be as good of a leader as he was. Tall and strong, even though he recently reached his fiftieth year. Joshua was strong as well, but not quite as strong as his father. However, he trained every day to be a good combatant and a good leader for the people of Asedith.
On the outside of the wall, there was Blaire Sulvaine, who was a huge man. Joshua’s father was large, but looked average next to Blaire. Standing next to each other, Blaire still would’ve been half a foot taller than Tedric. Blaire Sulvaine was also a famous warrior throughout all five kingdoms. Blaire served in the Asedith army ten years ago when the five kingdoms of Ezera were being invaded by a foreign army. Blaire had become known as “The Bull of Asedith” due to his size and prowess in battle. Thinking about the past year and what had led up to this moment, Joshua Bracken stood there looking over the wall at the Sulvaine forces, contemplating what would come next. This would be no easy battle. This is it, he thought to himself. It all comes down to this. Whether we win or lose, the war ends here. Tonight.
Chapter 1: The Battle of Keridion
3rd Era: Year 10
“Hold the gate! Hold the gate!!!” Tedric Bracken shouted. The Sulvaine army had just driven the Bracken forces back, so they had decided to fall back into the town of Keridion. The Bracken army finished retreating into the town walls, and quickly slammed the gate shut. Almost immediately, there were Sulvaine men pushing at the gate trying to get in. Several of the Bracken men stood up holding the gate shut; meanwhile, other men gathered long wooden boards to hold the gate closed.
Joshua Bracken ran up to his father on top of the town wall. “Father, they’re surrounding us!” As the words came out of his mouth, Tedric had already seen it for himself. He looked through the pouring rain and saw the Sulvaine forces surrounding the front half of the town. It seemed as though they had prepared to siege the town walls. There were some forces set up at the very front where they would charge the main gate. There were also two separate units that appeared that they would charge the walls, attempting to overtake the Brackens.
This was their plan all along. Word had gotten to Tedric the previous day about Blaire Sulvaine and how he had been spotted traveling not far from the capital of Roseshire, planning to assault the city with fifteen hundred men. Tedric tried thinking ahead and wanted to surprise Blaire in the field rather than chancing a mass attack on the city of Roseshire where several innocent lives would surely be ruined. Just in case there were more men than the reported number, Tedric went ahead and set out with a three-thousand-man army. He had hoped to outnumber the Sulvaine forces two to one.
However, when Tedric thought that he was about to ambush the Sulvaine forces, they were the ones that got ambushed. The fifteen hundred men were there in front of them, but another thousand had run from the trees, ready to strike at the Brackens. Being ambushed from two different directions resulted in the Bracken forces losing a few hundred men before they even managed to retreat to Keridion.
Looking out over the walls, Tedric realized the same thing that his son had. One way or another, the war ends tonight. Tedric stopped for a moment and put his hand on Joshua’s shoulder. “Son, I just want to let you know that no matter what happens tonight, I’m proud of you and the leader that you have grown up to be. If something happens to me, you have my full blessing to receive the crown and rule Asedith when I’m gone. You would make an incredible king.”
Joshua looked up at his father. “Father, you’ve won against greater odds than this. We will win this fight.” Tedric looked back at his son. “Maybe so, but for this war to end, it’s going to take either me or Blaire Sulvaine to fall before the night is through.”
Joshua looked his father dead in the eyes, “Father. We are going to win this fight. And when the morning comes, we’ll triumph over the Sulvaines and the rebellion will be put down. We’ll be back home in a matter of days and this will all be over with.”
Tedric looked back towards the Sulvaine forces with his plain, emotionless face as usual. The men down in the courtyard of the town had finally boarded up the gate to the city. Once they had boarded the gate, Tedric shouted out for the Bracken men to gather around. All nearby men gathered below Joshua and Tedric to hear what was to be said.
Tedric looked down at his soldiers. “Men, this is what the past year has led up to. The Sulvaines label us dictators and claim that we are unjust. The past year they have been spreading lies about us and the Bracken name. If you ask me, these are all just excuses for them to try to rally and take the crown away from house Bracken. We are the righteous ones. We are fighting for the good of the kingdom. Tonight, we will lose men. But their sacrifices will not be in vain. We will win this fight tonight. And when the sun rises in the morning, house Bracken will be standing. Blaire Sulvaine may seem like a fearful opponent, but against our forces, he will not prevail. For those that may come across Blaire on the battlefield, rally together with your brothers and take him down. Once the head of the bull is cut off, the body will crash and burn.”
As king Tedric addressed his men, the Sulvaines had started ramming the gate. Meanwhile, the other men in the army were starting to move forward towards the gate. Tedric looked back at his men and raised his sword. “This is for the honorable. Tonight, we will triumph.” The Bracken archers on top of the walls started prepping arrows as the Sulvaine men were getting closer to the wall. There was one specific point on the wall that made it easy for men to drop off the top of the wall without getting injured, for the wall was only a 10 foot tall wooden wall, since Keridion was such a small town. This could be used to flank any soldiers that tried breaching the gate. All of the Bracken men unsheathed their swords and raised them up high. Tedric shouted one more time, “For the kingdom of Asedith! For house Bracken!!” All of the men shouted, “For house Bracken!” Tedric motioned toward the opening atop of the wall and towards the archers. “Men, charge! Archers, loose!”
At that moment, it seemed as if the gates of hell themselves had opened up. So many things happened at once. Hundreds of Bracken soldiers dashed up the wooden stairs and vaulted over the opening, hoping to start flanking the Sulvaine men that were at the gates. Meanwhile, the archers that were atop the wall loosed their arrows at the men who were charging towards the side walls. Arrows flew, some missing, while some would hit their targets. Each time an arrow would hit its target, a torch would drop on the battlefield, marking that a soldier had fallen. Ken “the swift” was easily the best archer within the Bracken army. He was steadily launching arrows at a solid pace, each time hitting his mark. He stopped, focused, then launched the arrow. The arrow sailed gracefully into the air, soaring above until it crashed down into a Sulvaine soldier’s eye. Boom, another torch dropped to the ground.
The archers did a fair job of picking off soldiers as they approached, but there were just too many. The soldiers were getting closer and closer. While Ken and the other archers launched arrows, Bracken men had dropped down from the wall opening up top and started towards the Sulvaine men who were ramming the gate. The men shouted as they approached. Luckily the Sulvaines had not seen the opening above, so they were caught off guard once the Brackens started overrunning them. Joshua
It didn’t take long however, for the other Sulvaine men to start getting close to the town, quicker than expected. The Brackens had overrun the men at the gate, but just as they did, they were then overtaken by the rest of the Sulvaine forces. Back to square one, the brunt of the Sulvaine army was now at the gate and proceeded ramming. The archers did the best they could, taking out a total of around two hundred men between the earlier fight and now. But the Sulvaines finally broke down the gate and rushed into the courtyard of Keridion. Which to their surprise, was empty. They started to look around, but there were no men in sight, other than the archers atop the wall. During all of this, Tedric and Joshua Bracken had led their forces through a hidden passageway within the town stables that allowed them to exit the town and circle back. As soon as the Sulvaines had gotten into the town, the Brackens were able to strike from behind. The positions had switched, the Sulvaines were trapped in the town and the Brackens had them trapped within the walls.
Keridion was a smaller town, but the courtyard was enormous. Most of the Sulvaine forces were now backed into the courtyard, with the Brackens holding the main entrance to the town. Everyone seemed to have stopped for a brief moment. Both forces staring at each other. This was when Tedric Bracken stepped forward. He looked at the army side to side and finally spotted Blaire Sulvaine, standing tall amongst his men. Tedric gritted his teeth and lifted his sword, “Charge!!!” All the men shouted and charged. The true battle had begun in earnest. The Brackens and Sulvaines fought and fought while the rain poured down on them. It was a long night.