"We were Victorious"
Wilderness, northeastern Guultryk
They’d been walking for five days now. Through sand, snow, mud. Tiredness was all left to feel. A free Guultryk, that was the thing their local ‘Lord’ had sacrificed their lives for. With what right? He was not even a real lord, just a fat wealthy trader whom had bought himself the leadership over their settler community. Atnov had been so happy the past few months, building on his house which was bigger than he could have ever hoped for while plowing more land than he’d ever owned before. His family had never prospered as much as they’d done the last few months. All trouble they’d went through before the past few months had been behind them. Until that night. It had started normally enough. They’d all gathered in the great community hall, the children with their parents, all of them sipping from their hot chocolate, the fathers with blue-coloured beers in their hands and the mothers with glasses of golden wine. Josor the singer had sung some songs, accompanied by Sweet Drechen and her guitar. Only then had the one who called himself Lord stepped forward. Kwad Zkelkren, for he went by that name, had talked for almost an hour. First he’d told them the news of the just started rebellion. Then he’d stated that their village had to commit itself to the rebel cause for that would give them more freedom and more land. Atnov had been wondering why their isolated community would need more freedom or more land, of which they already had plenty. Some of the more hot-blooded, however, had shouted their approval, further boldening their ‘lord’. All others had remained silent, either because they did not understand, did not understand or simply feared the lord’s thugs. Only one old man, also called Atnov, had dared to speak against the ‘lord’ and the boilbloods yet he was simply ignored.
And so they had went to war, for a week. The lord had given them weapons and send them to attack a village of locals nearby. They had obeyed, Atnov as well, what was he suppose to do otherwise?They were at war, they had to strike first. They had outnumbered the local warriors by far. Six warriors of them against fifty better armed settlers. The battle had lasted about a quarter yet the worse part went on much longer. The ‘lord’s’ thugs had then turned themselves cruelly on the locals, raping, killing and burning as they went from one house to another. Atnov and the other ‘normal’ villagers stood by and watched. They did nothing yet felt soiled anyway. Or maybe they felt soiled because of that. One village was not enough for Kwad Zkelkren, however, and so they continued. Four more villages burnt and each time the settlers felt more soiled, and each time the thugs went further, and each time they were joined by a few of the settlers in their misdeeds. Not Atnov though, he just stood. He just watched. Worst of all raiders had been Gajud Zkelkren, the lord’s son. The young man was less fat than his father although he was by no means slender. He shared his father’s low cunning and cowardice yet differed on other points. Unlike his sire he was reasonably good-looking, yet inside he was more vile. Gajud was a drunkard, a rapist, a racist, a murderer, a robber and he was more cruel than any of the thugs. During every assault he remained behind to command and only once the battle was over he would come close to claim his spoils. This included valuables, women and captives. He would spend all night fucking and drinking while beating his captives and counting his new riches. Despite all their victories nor Atnov nor the other normal men felt happy or victorious. They felt soiled and damned for their deeds instead.
Their greatest victory was when they ambushed a small royal military convoy, slaughtering ‘the oppressors. It was only when they had occupied the now weakened outpost and when Gajud turned his violence against trueborn Zwallerkaddians, the wives of the soldiers as well as the captives and wounded, that Atnov and his comrades had had enough. They’d demanded Gajud stop his atrocities. When the drunk youth had refused they’d rose their weapons, making the beast in man’s skin nearly shit himself before his thugs blew off the head of Big Berren, which broke Atnov and his comrades, cowards as they were. They ran instead of fighting. They ran to their home’s where half of them decided to leave rather than to risk the wrath of their benevolent lord and his merciful son.
Although armed Atnov had felt so very vulnerable as he traversed the roads with his family. By now all their feet hurt and little Njenja would not stop crying. Still they walked, almost everything left behind, out of fear of their leaders, the glorious freedom fighters. This was war and they were victorious.