Preface. [Regional - Mandarazi] (1 Viewer)


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Phase One


Within the Mandarazi city of Mutajara, much is quiet, save for the frequent hustle of traders and citizens rushing to get home. It is night time; children are finally done playing as mothers call them in for dinner, and men come home from work. Little more could happen in the city, it seems. Right?

Busting through the entrance to Mutajara comes a pair of native guards, hooping and hollering to get to the council--specifically Kyros, in fact. They're dressed in their country's colors, but the armor isn't in the best shape it could be. Gambeson is torn, nearly to breaking, on one, while the other only has bare patches along the extremities--how lucky. Coming with the duo is a body dragged along in the sand. He bears no armor and the clothing is ripped and tattered. Bite marks litter the scout's body--on his arms, neck, chest... name the appendage, and it's likely there.

The guards wake Kyros and Garai, showing them the body of the paralyzed guard. He's clearly still alive, but his breathing is slow. His skin is bruised, and the man has a black eye. Clearly, the scout was beaten, and it was an attempt on his life.

"Prince Kyros, Emir Dahan! We have something to show you," cries one. "Look! Look at what they did to this poor man..." murmurs the other. The pair of guards lay out the body in front of the two leaders. Clearly sickened, they take a quick glance at the body, to each other, and back at Garai and Kyros. In silence, the two await an answer, before another trio of guards decide to wander into the group--wander, an understatement.

"Emir Dahan, Prince Kyros!" calls the group, each their own variation. A couple apologize for the disruption, but they're clearly disgruntled with what they carry: the body of a white-scale Rahktari; even for well-trained and fit soldiers, it's clearly a heavy thing. The guards did great work with it, it seems--there are slashes along the thing's torso, with a few guts spilling out here and there. A fresh body as well, as blood spills out onto carpet and stone. Its neck is barely hanging on, with reptilian eyes offering a thousand-yard stare to the Emir.

"This is what we have found, Prince Kyros and Emir Dahan," speaks the apparent leading soldier. "I think this is what paralyzed the soldiers."
"I saw more in the distance, sir!" comes another, subordinate soldier. The third agrees, nodding rapidly.

"What do we do?"


Deeper in the desert, a Rahktari leader with scales black as night looks over his group of.. soldiers, if you could call them that. They're armed with stolen weapons and armor: steel spears, lances, iron-soul shields... gambesons, even, over their chain-like scales. The numbers are much less than his small civilization before, and on his mind, he had only one goal: survival. In order to do that, they needed new habitat, and new land, in order to thrive. The being nods to himself, ready to proceed with whatever foul plan he had in mind.


@AMOH @Vadokim
Feel free to respond! This is the start of a small story I'll be handling.




"Just when I thought I'd seen everything in our glorified litter-box, you bring me this."
He prods at the Rahktari carcass, using his knife to pry open its mouth. Garai examines the teeth for a while and glances at the guard's wounds. The animal-handler seems confident in his analysis. "Snakebites. And it seems you found our snake. Good work."

The Desert Elf nodded towards the skeletal walls that surrounded the town square, a work in progress. This was but one of many construction projects halted by the onset of the storm.
"Get the injured Warden to the clinic. Shepset, I need you to tighten your patrols on the edges of town. Namu, bolster the defenses. I don't want any Wardens straying into the sandstorm. These creatures might take you by surprise."


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Informed of yet another problem plaguing the sands, the huntress watches out into the edge of the sandstorm from her camp at the ruins by Leptis Kinaz. Straddling the end of Mutajara and the beginning of the abandoned city, with the large hound at her side, Quince will spend her hours vigilant, watching the eastern edge of Mutajara for any presence of these snakes she has heard whispers of. Bow in hand, often up on the roof of the old temple for vantage over the sands in case anything might try to slink by to surprise the populace down in the oasis valley below.

As night claims another sun and dusky light falls over the desert, Quince sits atop the temple once again, staring out into the storm with a pipe tucked between her lips. Peak roves back and forth along the ridge. "... Is it too much for an old woman to ask for peace and quiet." She sighs, and maintains her vigil.

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Act II

- - - - - - -

"Has the ruse worked, Captain?"
"Yes, my Lord--we think so. They did not see us within the sandstorm. Your project has worked, for this time, yet they could still use an upgrade defensively."
"Good.. good. Rally the masses. We will launch at dawn."
"Yes, my Lord." And so, the Rhaktari captain slithers off to prepare for the siege.


In the distance of Tikhameru, hundreds of Rhaktari gather, kicking up dust perhaps matching that of the sandstorm. Each.. soldier, is armed with spears, falchions, hammers, whatever could be salvaged from the innocent townsfolk that were mercilessly slaughtered by the hostile creatures. Only describable as heathens, with them are poorly constructed battering rams, siege towers, ladders... anything they could use to their advantage in order to occupy the mines. They needed it. They needed to survive.

The wardens, tasked with guarding the small port town, spot the band of menacing soldiers. Each range from seven-foot to ten-foot tall. Their scales are strong as chainmail, and some are reinforced by gambeson as well. They slither at a near-running pace, which is little issue. The Rhaktari are ready for a fight, it seems--and the defenders can only hope to hold their homeland from the ravaging, savage beasts that these snakemen are.

The officer in charge of protecting Tikhameru orders all soldiers to prepare for defense. The world is watching... would these hardy men and women be able to fend against these seasoned Rhaktari?

Only time can tell. They could only hope.



As the horde of Rahktari assembles outside Tikhameru, a swift vessel prowls the waters between Azaharr and the Spirit Isle. It is bound for the port, carrying travelers from afar, strange goods, and above all, a special passenger: Emir Dahan is homebound after a trip to the Spirit Hospital, filled with anger that his daughter obscured things from him. Did she trust him? He was her father, was he not? But had he earned her trust? That was a different question.

He stood near the stern of the ship, watching the silhouette of the Isle disappear in the haze. The sandstorms, meanwhile, rose up like earthen pillars, holding up the heavens. They marked where desert gave way to coast, and coast to ocean. With every passing minute, the sandy clouds seemed taller.

"Garai?!" calls the helmsman.
The man turns, seeming surprised. "Do you need something, Eures?"
"The lighthouse- the fires burn blue. Necrite from the South, I wager. It must be-"
"A warning,"
Garai says.

There is the resounding call of a signaling horn, emanating from the stronghold outside of the mine. Garai's expression darkens. The helmsman grips the wheel tightly. The ship hastens towards the port of Tikhameru, where travelers and traders have already fled, either to the safety of the wall or the open ocean. As Garai's vessel nears the dock, passing ships yell at them to turn around. But they press onward. The Emir must investigate.

"Drop me off, then sail out again. Stay close to the coastline, but don't endanger the ship."
"Where are you going?"
asks the helmsman.
"The mine."

Later, Garai stands along in the empty port, surveying the scene of abandoned stalls, upturned wagons, and fallen baskets. Fish have spilled over the floorboards. The ground is littered with scattered fruit. He eyes the murky fortification before him, his eyes darkening.

"It is Emir Dahan. I have answered your call. Where are the Wardens of Mutajara?!"

@llmited @Retired


Complete Idiot
The Aestatian poked the bite wound on his cheek, flinching a bit at the slight sting.

"My luck, I get kissed by a snake woman and she does not even send a letter back."

He mutters to himself. His one-eyed gaze moving over to his shifting tankard, a nice layer of sand sat in the froth of his ale. A hand takes hold of the tankard and raises it up to his lips as he watches the blurred horizon. The Kataphraktos nearly spits his drink out upon seeing the lighthouse. Klaus runs to the bow, eyeing the blurred horizon and hearing the signaling horn. A soft sigh escapes his lips as the vessel nears the shore. Once the Emir had hopped off, the Aestatian followed. Wading through the water and seeing the vessel turn away steeled his resolve. He and him were stuck here until whatever was going was solved. The Behemoth of Mutajara silently took note of the once bustling port. He blinks, the sandstorm was getting fierce. Continuing on, he finally stops near the fortifications. Something did not sit right with this entire situation. Klaus' mind raced, the Rahktari, Avaltan mercenaries, Sandborn Dragons, none of this was good news for these humble people. These people who have gone through much in their existence as a nation. The Cataphract, having walked past the Emir, halted and stared up at the walls and waited to be let in.


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The wardens are silent inside the defenses of the little port city. Officers had done well to help evacuate the civilians, sent further into the sands where a temporary camp could be made, or left through ship to the safety of the nearest allied town. They couldn’t contain all the panic, though; indeed, some trade wagons lay upturned, once-fresh food litter the streets, waiting to be picked by a plundering rodent or curious bird.

While the city is quiet, the mine, and its walls, are not. Wardens from Mutajara gather to hear their commanders—surely, they needed a battle plan. The Rhaktari were only a couple days away, if not less. Their bright Mandarazi garbs nearly fly away in the wind, and sand is kicking up. It’d be a rough battle, for sure.

“Wardens!” calls a man, presumably a commander. He slams a lance into the ground, sending a reverberating shock through the calm, yellow sand. “Ease yourselves. My scouts have reported Rhaktari only some days away, and we hundreds strong. We’ve pledged our lives to defending these sacred lands. We shall not let some squabbling garden snakes take our home!” Cheers roar from the crowd; once-demoralized men seem more ready to fight.

“Saleem, prepare the defenses. I want har-“ and then he stops. The call of the Marshal had caught the attention of the commander. “Someone open those gates!” he cries, and near-instantly, a small group of wardens opens the entrance to the mine. As the Marshal of the Sands enters, many begin to whisper among the themselves. In some, it sparks pride and joy; others are reinvigorated.

The commander stops his speech and bows before Garai. Many others do the same, some taking off their helmets and laying down their weapons.

“Emir Dahan,” starts the captain. “My name is Jaheed Mohimef. What shall you have us do?”

The soldiers gaze at Garai expectantly. They are ready to serve under him, it seems—and serve him well.

(sorry for bad formatting, on mobile. will fix and make pretty when i’m back on my laptop @Vadokim @AMOH @Retired)


Complete Idiot

Klaus walks through the gate, allowing Garai to speak with Jaheed. The man's one-eyed gaze slowly shifting about the gathered few hundred Wardens. He nods to himself, making his way up to the walls of the fortifications. The Aestatian looks to the brown blur that is the horizon. Thoughts of the invading force, their numbers, equipment, and logistics raced through his mind. Finalizing his own plans, he turns to the men below. He places two fingers between his lips, his whistling piercing and reverberating off the walls of the fortification.

"This is your station, your posts, and your homes. Tikhameru. A few of you remember the glory days of Al'Azhra, the Wuxine, and the days when your people, our people, were most happy. Most of you, however, are about to begin the greatest moment of your life. These invading snakes will have lost hundreds of their own soldiers and people. These brutalized hordes are now advancing towards Tikhameru over mountains of their own dead bodies. Our people, our nation, our great country, have given us the task to not let the enemy reach the mines and to defend the city of Tikhameru! Rise, against the enemy! Up into the unremitting battle, comrades, for Tikhameru, for our great country! Not one step backwards! Do not count hours, do not count days, count only the number of Rahktari you have killed.
Kill the Rahktari! - this is your mother's prayer. Kill the Rahktari - this is the cry of the Mandaraz. Do not waver! Do not let up! Kill! Death to the Rahktari invader!"

After giving his own impassioned speech, the Warden Captain begins to set up double sentries along the walls. He can only hope that these men were willing to do anything to put an end to these invasive snakes.
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"You're out of jam."

Spinner looked up at the teenager sitting in the loft of her caravan, cross-legged with a dog sleeping beside him and an empty jam jar.
"Were you just eating it from the jar? You're a gremlin. Maybe that's why I left."

"Too soon." He peered into the jar, then set it aside. "Why didn't you leave with the others?"

She raised an eyebrow, raising what remained of her left shoulder.
"Why do you think?"

"Touche. Dumbass."


He ignored her.
"So what, they left you to hold down the fort? Metaphorically speaking."

"Literally speaking, bumblebee, we have an actual fort." She pushed herself up onto the counter, pulling her legs up to hook her heels on the edge. "I've been left with whatever wardens weren't drafted to go fight snakes in Tikhameru."

"And you agree with this?"
His tone was something between incredulous and doubtful.

"Doesn't really matter. They're the...." She waved her hand vaguely. "Military-fighting-tactical ones. And I'm to concentrate on Marov, anyway."

"Has anyone died yet?"

"Not that I heard."

Credence hesitated, one arm over his legs as his feet dangled off the loft.
"I thought that know. Your thing. I remember, I think. On the island."

"I suppose."
She shrugged.

"Don't suppose nothing, that means you were like that. Diplomacy and politeness and all that social crap. No one's dead yet, why don't you ask them to talk to the snakes?"

"Because it's not like they would listen, and even if they did, it's not like it would help."

"....let me say, you were not at all what I was expecting."
He leaned back slightly, braced against the heel of his palm as he looked down at his mother.

"What were you expecting?"

"I dunno. Someone who'd....stop this, I guess. Or at least make an effort."

She huffed a laugh.
"Nah. Not this time. Not here."

"You'd have a chance, you know."

"You know, I used to think that too."
She looked away. "There's more jam in the top cabinets. Let Garai and Klaus handle it, bumblebee. This isn't my job."



Even as Klaus gives his rousing speech, Garai is characteristically apathetic. The gears and cogs of his mind are turning rapidly, processing the information at hand. He stands before the gates of the mine, which is a citadel in its own right, surrounded by high walls and colossal pillars. The carts of ore and pallets of stone have already been moved inside, making room for the citizens and soldiers taking refuge in the courtyard. The Desert Elf pulls off his helmet, revealing a weathered face.

[RED] "I want Captain Cipianos on the front battlements. He and his Sentries will watch the gate and repel any attacks from town.

[ORANGE] "Captain Mohimef, you have the rear. The mine has two iron gates. The front is here in the courtyard. The other leads to the quarries. We have to watch that one. Post your archers on the roof, and ready the cranes. Granite blocks have many uses.

"I refuse to send any of you out into the storm. It would serve no purpose."

[BLUE] As Garai dictates to the garrison of Tikhameru, the five warships of Mandaraz patrol up and down the coastline. Their decks are lined with archers, but the men do not shoot. Simply put, they have no target. The sandstorm that rages on land is too intense.

"Eures, what shall we do? Who is attacking Tikhameru?"
"Bide our time,"
replied the helmsman, faithful to his Commander's orders. "I think the Rahktari are mounting for an attack. It's a good thing the Emir was on his way home from the Isle."

@llmited @Retired


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"To endeavor to domineer over conscience, is to invade the citadel of heaven."

The Rhaktari's movements were rather quick. Within just a day, the vermin had nearly reached the high walls of Tikhameru. The sentries and scouts of the Mandarazi Confedereacy could more clearly see the invaders now. Many of them ranged from seven-foot tall to ten-foot. Some adorn gambeson of various colors and nationalities--ones they had stolen or even created themselves. Others are simply naked, knowing that their strong scales could protect them just fine. Infantry in the front have rather large weapons. They bear tridents, spears, hammers, all made of steel or iron. Behind them are troops with javelins, archers, and more ranged troops. Even further behind comes the siege group of the Rhaktari. They had two siege towers with them, which seem rather weak; they are made of iron-soul wood, with iron supports in various joints along them. It seems they also have the tools to help repair them, if needed. Many other machines or tools could not be seen.

In the oceans of Tikhameru, enemy ships could be seen as well. They were galleys, judging by the shape of the ships and the rows. Rhaktari line the edges, some as archers and others as infantry to board, if needed. What might be most surprising, however, are the cannoneers lining the ships. They're smaller cannons, yet they have a high velocity to deal as much damage as possible to its enemies. There are four galleys in total, two for either side that they wished to attack. If one were to glance at the soldiers, they'd appear nervous: how were they meant to combat the Mandarazi navy here, when they are outnumbered?

The land troops, however, seemed a bit more confident. They slither along with relative ease, empowered by the presence of their siege. Their commanders speak to them, lifting moral and spirits. They are prepared for war.

The Infantry begin to guard the siege groups, them preparing siege towers and ballistae. They approach from the west, where there may be no entrance. A mistake, it seems.. so they have no other option but to blow through the wall. The Rhaktari begin to set up their ballistae and other equipment. Others are equipped with picks to help mine through the walls. The Rhaktari were truly determined to take the city.

The naval forces begin to prep their assault near immediately. The cannons are loaded, and flaming javelins are ready to be tossed on the board. The four ships wait to see what the enemy might do--the five against four. Surely, it would be an easy naval victory for the Mandarazi wardens.

Rhaktari numbers:
- Five hundred and fifty infantry soldiers wait to attack the fort.
- Around seventy five siege engineers begin to prepare for bombardment.
- Four warships, armed with cannons and a couple ballistae, prepare themselves for battle.

@Retired @Vadokim @AMOH




As reports drift in, telling the Rahktari horde to the West and the galleys on the East, Garai meets with his Lieutenants to set everything in motion.
[RED] "The terrain will force the towers to approach the building's west wall. We'll try to divert their infantry towards the northwest entrance and the quarry.

[ORANGE] Klaus and others begin digging tunnels. They intend to collapse the supports and halt the towers' advance at a later time.
"Captain Cipianos- use the mining equipment to dig tunnels underneath the western approach. The miners are at your disposal. When the towers close in, we'll destroy the supports- and bring the towers down.

[GREEN] Garai and Mohimef open the back gate. Infantrymen begin to form a shield wall, while archers utilize the natural cover of the area.
"Captain Mohimef, you're with me. We're going to take infantry and archers into the quarries outside- among the brick pallets, and the stones. Natural cover. We'll try to lure the hordes toward the back entrance, keep them from digging at the wall.

[BLUE] The Mandarazi Fleet splits up, trying to entrap the Rahktari vessels. As they approach, the archers and scorpiae unleash volleys of flaming arrows and heavy bolts at the enemy.
The five ships that compose the fleet are swift and narrow, adapted from merchant vessels. Although their hulls have been reinforced, they are not heavily-armored. For this reason, they are not likely to withstand a broadside from the enemy's cannons. Causing as much damage as possible, before making the pass, becomes a priority. There's no telling if the lead ships will survive a cannon volley.
"Eures, what shall we do?"
"Unleash as much fire and punishment as possible. Don't wait until they can broadside our comrades up ahead."

If the maneuver goes according to plan, the two galleys will be entrapped in a storm of arrows, bolts, and god-awful sea shanties.

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Attack of Tikhameru: Mandarazi Navy
Written by Sergeant Haitan
This night sure was a tough one. At least, that's what my sailors have been telling me. I'm pretty lucky to have survived the attempt on our lives by those damned yellow garden snakes. I guess something good that came out from it was being able to speak with Garai--the Emir, the leader, of our great country! Many sailors complimented me on my approach in fighting those Rhaktari. I'm glad it all happened. Perhaps I can spell it out, though, for anyone else deciding to read this little journal.

It started out well at first. There were five of us against four of their galleys, and we were little merchant ships barely upgraded to help defend against the snakes. In the beginning, I honestly didn't think I'd make it. There were two galleys coming from either side of the great little sea, and we decided to entrap two of them with our five. Our hope was to take them out and then once the other two galleys made it in range, destroy them. After that, we could support the men on land, with minimal casualties on our side. Boy, were we wrong.

We ended up spotting the Rhaktari pretty instantly. Damn, those things are huge--what, like, seven feet tall? Something like that. Anyway, they had these large, huge galleys. How did they even get them? No one knows, but we fought pretty damn hard. My ship was in the lead, and we were firing ballistae bolts down at the helm, and shootin' up them damn garden snakes with flaming and poisoned arrows. It sure was fun. We even made games to see who could pick off the most Rhaktari.

That is, until they finally started using their cannons. It's like a single broadside from the cannons nearly destroyed some of our coursers. I don't know how they survived, or how the men still had the will to keep fighting after their ships were nearly sunk. But we kept going, and going, and going, until our ships gave out and sunk.

I know that Garai had some fun with it. He was on the ship behind us, and damn, he sure is an admirable man. With his ballistae bolts, he ended up finding their blackpowder kegs, and with a flaming arrow, shot up the kegs and made nearly half of the galley explode. It was a great sight to see--it was like free admission to a play, but with better effects than you could ever imagine. I loved seeing those Rhaktari flee and freak out. Some even jumped ship.

After that, though, I thought it was going to get a little ugly. Rhaktari started boarding the ship that Garai was on, and Captain Eures did well in defending them. They sent too many to board, though, and you know what Garai did? This man cut the rope of one of the sails and swung like a monkey onto the enemy ship. There were barely any Rhaktari left on board, so he ended up stealing the galley! I'd bet that if he hadn't done that, we likely would have lost.. actually, nay, now that I think about it, we would have lost.

Engineers and crewmen started boarding, and with the galley and the rest of our coursers, we ended up fighting them in a pretty tight battle. Cannonballs were going everywhere, ballistae were flying over our heads--man, it was like a dream come true, being a real sailor. I sure do wish we could do more stuff like that. That was the most exciting battle I've ever seen.

Although, they stopped focusing on us for a split second. The saddest thing there, I think, is when the cannonballs ripped apart Captain Eures' ship. After all he had done.. it's like the Rhaktari knew they weren't going to be able to win, so they decided to wage some sort of mind warfare. That halted Garai for a split second. We eventually ended up getting the rest of the two enemy galleys down, but not without losses. We only had our one galley left and a little courser. That should teach Garai to give us a proper navy next time.

I don't know how, but Garai managed to save Eures from drowning. The Captain is like a brother to the Emir, I think. He put him up on a piece of driftwood and brought him back to life. Had to pound his chest a little--probably got some bruising. It looked like he wasn't coming back to life, but as soon as the rain started pouring, Eures was up and moving again. I like to think of it as a sign from my Goddess. Bahari was watching over me that day.

Garai and I looked over the damage afterwards. I tried to save as many people as I could, but it was heartbreaking watching the sailors drown and looking over all the dead bodies in the sea. We had to sail back to Mutajara. Gods, I hope they won that land battle. I don't want to have to blow up my own land with those cannons we got.


Sergeant Haitan rides up on a horse with Garai, both having been healed by the gracious doctors of the Spirit Hospital. They look over the town from high on a mountain. The destruction is clearly seen. Bodies of both Wardens and Rhaktari are scattered about, with Rhaktari having taken the fort. Klaus, after having a battle with the leader, could even be seen in a glimpse, being taken down to the mines of Tikhameru.

"What do we do now, Emir Dahan? What do you make of all this mess?"

You're free to type out a recount of the infantry battle, if you'd like! Or simply respond with whatever flavor stuff might be interesting. Thanks for participating in the event today, hope you enjoyed. @Vadokim @Retired @Marcus


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Make ready!
For the Greatest Trial Awaits us
And we are without Guidance.
Life birthed us with no Path to direct.

So we must March onward, blind.
To the greatest of Man... May you Fall from Grace
With a Strength unseen.

It is clear now to the denizens of Mandaraz: war has come to these Sands. For all the trials and tribulations faced outside of the Orange Sea have been foreign, merely fleeting thoughts. And yet now, the Wardens make make preparations for War. The words of the Marshal's daughter rang true within the Urban District of Mutajara to this reality. Grim. True. Already the wails of mothers and wives could be heard echoing through the Oasis Valley, wailing against this disturbance of their families and the uprooting of their beloved sons, husbands, and fathers. The wizened old merely shook their heads, expectant of the call once more in their lifetime. Protests rang upon the deaf ears of the dedicated Wardens who understood that the shofars would ring in this World at some point. Hastily, a few Wardens positioned at the customs checkpoint of the Urban District would attempt to keep the peace while their brothers and sisters of the blade and shield made way to the fort Sanuharr. It could be noted that a few, mostly recruits, seemed to disobey Safiyya's word, instead becoming among the citizenry and sowing in seeds of doubt, cowardice, and dissent. Nevertheless, the more dedicated and steeled assembled, preparations to be made for the upcoming campaign. A shade of a figure brisked pass the riled-up citizenry...

Three days had gone by to effectively prepare for the delve into the Mines of Tikhameru. A full Cohort was assembled and camped in the outskirts of the Rural District: three companies of spearmen, with a company of archers and light cavalry apiece. 3 units of heavy cataphracts would be in the reserve for the leading commander.
Captains shouted orders to their subordinates, naming them by lineage, family, and tribe, as is the tradition. Unity marched towards Tikhameru. Cohesion marched towards Tikhameru. A firm resolved marched towards Tikhameru. However...

"Where is the Prince?" The inquiry came from a unit within a company of Yusati situated near the
Oasis and its farms. "Shall he accompany us in the campaign?" Murmurs began to erupt from the company.
"You would have a child join us? Unproven? Spoiled? Unneeded?" Even more murmurs now emerged, a few yelps to accompany them.

"You heard the Marshal's daughter. We march upon his word."

"You are daft. He has no place in this. Let him continue his frivolities in Sanuharr." Mad laughter erupted within the camp. The Captains now took notice and all other topics among the various companies now hushed to hear the commotion.
"He is not just-"
"He is just a puppet! Who cares! It is Garai who is the real leader of men. Goes to show you who should really be a leader. The damned Mustafis..."

"What did you say...?" Various soldiers of the more conventional thought would rise now. They are angered. The opposing side would also muster some support. It seems that all will come to blows until a firm hardened Darthian captain let fly upon the two instigators with his captain's horsehair whip. Juhan, a survivor of the Deathmarch and personal appointed guard of Garai to Kyros. Immediately, it was clear. The Prince would come. No command would be given to him, explained Juhan, lest the Marshal decree it. Yes, it has been decided: the Marshal gives the word. The Prince follows.... onward to Tikhameru.

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