War is a primal and pure expression of man, yet it is waged as a quest for justice, logic and truth. In a distant time a war is being waged. It is a war for which the prize is the greatest of them all: one of hope. The citadel of Stevenage is rampaging towards the remote trading post of Ebbsfleet, while the clansmen of Oxford are engaged in a battle of attrition with a stubborn foe in Crawley.
These two battles, though miles apart, are crafting the destiny of the war. it seems that Oxford are conceding territory, decisively and fatally so. In an encampment adjacent to the Broadfield battleground; two generals sit considering the brutal carnage before them.
“But he is just a man” said Lewisius as he surveyed the struggle before him.
“Mad Dog” replied Wilderius resting an arm on his lieutenant’s shoulder “Do you remember when we were both young trainees at the academy? Do you remember the cedar tree?”
“Ha” replied his old friend, his tired eyes lighting up at the thought of less troubled times “you would spend hours shying stones to hit it”.
“And what did I say?” continued Wilderius
Lewisius laughed looking at his feet; the brothers smiled together, a moment of solace from the tribulations of the war. “You said, if I hit this tree three times, then it proves that Toutatis is with me today.”
“And what happened?” encouraged the general
“You hit it. Every time.”
“Then, my old friend, let us hand our future to the Gods once more.” Wilderius extended his arm around the shoulders of Lewisius and together they strode to the crucible of the battle.
Wilderius beckoned over his physician, “How is his back?” he asked.
“I have treated it with a balm of ferns and monkjack tail” said the Soothsayer. Wilderius glanced up to the starving souls watching on the sidelines. He saw the hunger in their eyes.
“CONSTABILIUS” cried Lewisius raising his fist in defiance.
Constabilius twitched and growled, straining and pulling until they could hold him no more. “Let us see what the Gods have for us now” pondered Wilderius.
From over the brow of the tor came a messenger; “What news of the outpost, rider?” said Wilderius.
Catching his breath the envoy spoke; “Ebbsfleet is holding; the ramparts were breached, but they are refortified.”
Wilderius turned to the battle in front of him; “Where are you?” he wondered out loud.
Then, Champanius smited the foe and the lost ground was regained. Constabilius ran amok, breaching the defences once, but was pushed back, dropping his weapon. Enraged and indignant, he regrouped and came again unarmed. Blows that would floor lesser men left no mark. As the battle reached its peak, Champanius picked up Constablius’s sword and threw it; the warrior caught it, and with a single movement beheaded the Crawlian Chief. From defeat, victory, perhaps delicious decisive victory, was theirs. Wilderius turned from the celebration…
“Raise the standard Lewisius, Toutatis was with us tonight.”