[align=center]//OOC: So during the time, were I stopped playing ark, for a small amount of time. I decided that I should at least give a reason on why Red wasn't around, and I started to develop the story of him returning home to fight in the everlasting war. So here is part one of that story. I am proud to present, The War on [/align]
[align=center]The War on Primlum[/align]
[align=center]Part I [/align]
The rain hailed down upon the men standing below its wrath. It hammered down upon them like a wave crashing against a rock on the southern shoreline. It could be heard from all across the Isle as it slammed upon the soft soil that sat under the men’s metal boots. The sky was as dark as the pits of hell itself. After every few thuds of thunder that rang through the clouds like war drums being strummed to the march of a legion, a strike of lightning would dance between the darkness in the sky, providing a bit of light to the men below. The light that would flash for only a few seconds giving the men a enough time to map out their surroundings.
Even though they were gifted with a small amount of light with each flash, it still proved to be difficult with the hail of rain slamming against them. As each drop slammed against the men’s armor, it would ring throughout the lands as if someone was screeching to the gods for forgiveness. The men stood about ten yards from the wood behind them. What faced in front of them was a vast open field, that was covered in brush. For they were only farmers, traders, butchers, cooks, some were even painters, but only a few carried the title of soldier.
For these men, were none other than fighters for a cause. Now every cause has a purpose, and with every purpose there is a motive. Even though there was a purpose to all of this there was no motive. For what they were doing was what they felt was right. They abandoned all beliefs of motives towards this war. For this war had no purpose, it had no motive, it had no right, the only thing it truly had was a man and a cause. Now, that cause was to do something that he believed was right. Now, you may argue that if he had a cause, then he had a purpose, but no he had no purpose. For this man’s purpose was stripped away from him years ago. For his rights, they were taken away the day he was born.
So, that means his motives, that drive a human to do an action, were gone. Now, you may question how his motives are gone, but just think. If you are stripped of every basic human emotion that makes you a living human being. What are you exactly? A man, a woman, a god, an animal, or are you just you? To him, to this man, he was nothing. All he was, was a drone that knew how to hold a sword, how to give orders, and how to take a life. Even though he held a title, a title that was recognized by all, to him, he was still nothing. For he was only a pawn, in the big game they called war.
For in this game, you can lose everything just by saying the wrong thing. For that is why he was a pawn. For he lost everything in this War. He truly lost himself, on this day. Now don’t you think I have forgotten about this storm filled night. For this, is where I start the story on how the Lone Knight became what he is today. Now, what he is in the present is for you to judge, but to him, he is a new man, a new person, a new being, a new soul, because he is no longer the Lone Knight. For he is the Commander.
Now as the drops of the heavy rain fell upon the men, they looked to the clouds above and gave their final prayer. For they knew that not all of them were going to leave the same. Some were going to walk out of this battle, with a new look plastered across their face. Others were going to walk home with the horrors of war forever embedded in their eyes. And the rest, were going to be joining the Angels in the White City, that sat above beyond the great storm clouds that plagued their home.
The men began to look forward, trying to examine the great field that stood before them. For it was so vast, not even the great Hawk of the West could not look beyond its valley to see the wood that laid its roots on the other side. The rain began to speed up its ancient dance with the soil that rested under the men’s feet. Panic began to infect its way into the men's minds. Questions began to run through their conscious as if the devil himself was feeding them his sinful lies to worry them. What if mud slows us down? What if the enemy hears us? What if.. Those were the two key words in those questions, “What if.” For it was those two words that caused panic among men.
The men began stomp, fidget, and twitch. For they had become nervous, anxious, and of course, afraid. Some would begin to grip their sword that was laced to their side. Others would continue to move their shield back and forth, and on occasion, they would hit the person next to them, causing a bit of irritation among the men. Their armor began to grind against the leather that sat under their makeshift metal armor. The noise sounded of the screeches of the dogs on a later summer night. For these “soldiers”, were only men who were fighting for the losing side. Well, that is what their mindset was, for they had been fighting this endless war for years now. Not once did they prove to be victorious in any single aspect of this war, but now it seemed that their luck had flipped.
For about two years now they have been waiting for someone to return to their home. The man who would be able to fix what was broken so many moons ago, and to their luck, he had returned. In his armor that was as black as night, and as red as blood, he stood in front of these men, the rain pouring down upon his armor. He looked upon the field that lied ahead of him in silence. Waiting patiently, waiting for the right moment. The only catch to all of this, is that he wasn’t alone. For this man, had brought a friend along, a friend that would prove to be a vital asset to this war.
“Ehm Re-erm..Commander, the men are getting anxious now. They seem to be worried.” The man spoke with a calm tone. It had a southern feel to it, but it felt relaxing at times.
“They have every right to be worried. You know that, Archer. I am worried myself. Frankly, I am shaking a bit from the paranoia that is running through my mind right now. There is always a possibility of failure, and as of right now, it's higher than ever.” replied the man.
“Hell man I didn’t follow you here just to fail and die.” The man said as he looked upon his friend and commander with concern and an attempt at guidance. “What are your orders..sir?” He gripped his longneck tightly.
“We wait, that is the order.” The commander would continue to look forward, not moving an inch of his body.
Archer looked around at the men’s faces and rubbed his beard, it had grown longer, he had not had time to trim it ever since he arrived. He saw the fear and anxieties that were palpable even in these rough conditions. Turning his head, he walked towards Red’s side and mumbled only so his friend could hear, “When do you expect these orders, bud?”
“Whenever I feel they are close. I am not sure exactly when, it's just about timing now. All of this is about timing.” replied Red with a calm, solemn voice. Red would then for a slight moment, turning his gaze towards Archer with a grin. “You are worried yourself, I can see it. What is bothering you?” asked Red with the same solemn voice.
Archer’s blue eyes fell upon Red and for a moment, unsure of what to say. He then found himself smirking, crossing his arms, and looking out beyond, through the blinding rain that fell upon them, “Me? Worried? Na.” Archer stifled a snicker. His smirk soon faded as he looked back to Red, “I worry about you and the people behind us more than myself.” Jack looked down at the mud.
Red would look over Archer, almost as if he was testing him with his eyes. After a few moments, he would smile and shake his head. “You don’t have to worry about me. I would worry about the boys behind us. Most of them have never fought a day in their life, Archer. They are worried, afraid, no not even afraid, they are terrified. They need a leader, my friend. Not just me. We are here to show them that the Guardians have not abandoned them. That is what they feel, that we have thrown them the wolves. Out of all things, they need more than just a Commander. They need a Warden, not just them Archer. I need my Wardens back, and I believe you are the only man that is able to return them to my hand. Jack, I am gonna ask a lot of you in the coming days. I am asking you now, Jack Archer, will you take the mantle of the Guardian’s High Warden?”
Red would look at him with his deep green eyes patiently waiting for an answer. Hoping that he would get the yes he wanted from him. For Red had grown to trust Archer. He had seen this man go from a man of adventure to a man of respect. The only thing he could hope for now was the yes that he believed would change this war entirely.
Jack stood there a moment, listening, the rain making a faint klinking sound upon their armor, “You must be desperate, huh? Scraping the barrel?” he smirked again and lowered his head, trying to take in the offer his friend, the man he considered family, a brother, offered to him. He shook his head, unsure of what to say or think, “You’re pullin’ my leg Red..when we first met I was just a simple farmer on a strange island in the middle of bum fuck no where, and you brought me up to be something I never thought I could be.” Jack rubbed the back of his neck, his eyes still averted from the man before he managed to raise his head, take a breath, and look to the man, “You trust me enough to do the job..who am I to deny the commander of the Guardians?” a faint smile forming back to his face.
Red would then place his hand on Archer’s shoulder and squeeze. He would smile, at his friend and let out a sigh of relief. Almost as if a thousand pound weight was lifted from his shoulders. “You made a wise choice, my dear friend.” Red would chuckle for a moment before returning to his usual tone. “You still have a lot to learn. Once we retake the Vaiken, I will take you through the grand library and we can go through a few history lessons, but for now, you will need this.” Red would then hand Archer a small pendant. “It's the symbol of the Angel of Vengeance, each High Warden was given this pendant on the day they took power. I hope it serves you well my friend.”
Jack took it in his hand and examined it, water spots forming on it as the sky wept its tears upon them, “Angel of Vengeance..” he mumbled as he stroked a thumb across it to clear the water to see it better, “I for one, hope I live up to the title you bestow upon me, my friend..my brother.” he slapped Red on the back.
“I know you will, just don’t get too full of yourself, that’s how men die on the field.” Red would then shake his head and turn his head to the open field again. Looking forward as if he was searching for the answer to life itself. “They will be here soon, I know it. I can feel it in my blood. Archer, before we go into this battle. I need to tell you something. The men we are going against, they are the ones who attacked my home so long ago. The ones that took my mother from me….” Red would go silent for a moment, anger would begin to riddle his body. “I ask in this battle to not show mercy to these men. For these men strive on innocent slaughter. I want you to show them that the Guardians have returned. For they feared us for centuries, and I want them to fear us again.”
Archer lowered his head and thought on what Red had said, he never had killed anyone. Hurt maybe in fits of anger or rage but not kill a person. He looked up though and knew that it would have to happen if he were to survive this day..this month..this year. How ever long they were going to be far from the island he now called home, “If they hurt good people man..they don’t deserve to draw breath. You know I have your back and I’ll follow your lead man.” Jack didn’t know much of these people that they faced, only small stories his new brother had told him. They reminded him of the enemy his own people fought, the oppression brought upon his people before the time he was even thought of and born. The innocent, Jack thought, would no longer have to suffer. Reaching out again, he pat Red on the shoulder.
“One more thing before we rush into this hell. Slow breaths, keep your posture, and watch your sides. They swing for the hips, so they can get you to your knees. If you drop to your knees, then they have a killing blow on you. I beg you to keep to your feet no matter what hits you. Do not drop no matter what happens. I will try to stay as close to you as I can. Do not fear your sword either. I know your rifle is your lifeblood, but do not fear going hand to hand with them. These men, long ago had a deep fear for what you are. The name Warden, made them cower in fear. Use that against them at all costs. Show them that the Wardens never died on the battlefield, show them that every single soul of the Wardens are in you. If you do that, if you do what I just told you, then you will walk out of here with as little to a scratch on your plate.”
Archer nodded simply, what could he say in that moment? He lowered his head again and closed his eyes, taking a deep slow breath, he tried to focus, trying his best to maybe commune with spirits his brother spoke of, “You know I am not much of a swordsman. Got my rifle, and my pistol, and a long sharp stick of metal by my side..but hell I’ll uh..I’ll try my best to hold my feet firmly, like a tree.” He looked up and smiled, a smile that showed Red confidence and pride. Inside though, he was unsure and nervous, hoping his commander could not see into him.
Red would nod at Archer’s words. He knew that he was nervous about what lied ahead, but in all honesty, Red was himself. Anyone would be, for in a matter of moments he would be rushing into battle, and no one knew the outcome of what was to come. “If you start to get overrun, then just call out to me. I will rush to your side, and help you fend off whatever lies in front of you off. But, for now, it's time to at least give these men a reason to fight.” Red would once again nod at Archer, and turn himself around until he was in front of the legion of men that stood behind him. He would face the men with a strong, tall posture. For, he knew he had to show these men that he had pride for his craft. If he was to show them even the smallest amount of fear or nervousness for this battle, then he knew that they would crumble under the pressure of it all.
“Men, on this day we face an enemy that we have known for ages. For those men, they are not something to fear! They are not something to cower about any longer. For they are only a wall in our way, a wall that can be knocked down. For they are only a small hill that we can climb over! For we are warriors, we are not men who can just be pushed over, to just be told that we are nothing, to just be told that we have to listen to the man above. No, we are none of that, for we are warriors that do not stop fighting, that do not just roll over for the bigger man. For we are the men who will make them roll over for us! So, on this day I only ask you to not bow down to these men. To not just lay down your weapons to them. For we will no longer just bow down to these men. For we will fight until our breath is gone from our bodies.” Red would take a moment and look over his men. He could see their fear washing away with each word spoken. For they were becoming what he wanted, warriors. They were becoming soldiers, they were becoming Guardians. So with his head held high, Red would begin to pace up and down his men, speaking with ease as he spat out his words of courage.
“So my brothers, my sisters, everyone who stands here before me, I will say this. For what lies ahead of us is not our death. No, for it is our rebirth. After this day we will return to our homes as a new being. For this is the day we are reborn! So, my brotherhood, my sisterhood I ask only one thing of you. For all of you to storm against them as if you were an unstoppable that was given the powers of the Angels themselves. So today, forget what you were in the past, that no longer matters as of right now. On this day you are no longer a farmer, a butcher, a merchant, or a bloody fucking fisherman. For you’re all Guardians. So I shall beg you, make noise to overpower the rain that hails down upon us. Make noise to overpower the thunder that wishes to drown out our cries. Make noise to overpower the White City itself! Show the Angels that we have returned to our home! Show all of Primlum that the Guardians have returned! Show them all!”
A grin would begin to form across Red’s face. He had changed boys to men. He turned men to soldiers. Then he did the unthinkable, he turned soldiers into Guardians. For he broke the ancient taboo, that Guardians were not made, for that they were chosen. He proved them wrong, for they were not chosen, for they were made. With a grin looming across Red’s face, he would slip his helm on and draw his sword. “So now, my brothers, I command you to do one last thing. Give those men hell! Charge!”. With those words spoken, the hundreds of men that stood behind Red charged forward in unison. With a grin, Red would follow his brothers into the hell that lied ahead of them. This marked the first battle of the War of Rebirth. For this was just the beginning of the War on Primlum.