We were once a powerful empire, a people born of the steppe and the saddle only to rise and take what was rightfully ours
So much toil, an empire fragmented, a mad-queen laughs and we are left beneath the oppression of her will
Part the Fourth: Mongolia
Fires burn day upon night, a black ash in breath and scream in air.
Villages, towns, cities
People, women, children and men
All are culled, none but spared
And they claim we are the demons? We are the heretics that curse their way of life? For at least we would spare those not of fighting prowess and certainly let the women and children to their lives, not culled for being born of a certain people.
I ride alone, a warrior born in the saddle yet fractured to see my home in ashes and blood.
I kill all I can manage, yet the grey-furs be everywhere!
I spit the name every time I find being forced to use such a profanity.
Turning on my far-speaker, I hear nothing but white noise and static, all frequencies are dead aside for the coded signals used by these monsters. My mount groans, nudging the half-scored body of a young girl, she knows the sadness as all sentient beings yet a silent rage rises in her throat, controlled with the lash of her reins.
I was once a soldier in service to our late Khan, the descendant of the great Khan Genghis himself, their family line now nothing but ash as such as my ride trudges through underclaw. My head turns sharp, a rumble to my left as the roof of a once-modest house gives way to the flames, I am forced to cover my face with thick cloth as the air abound is near-volcanic.
It is late beyond noon, though the sky be black as the eyes of a drake, clouds of soot and smog upturned by the ravage of the fires as they destroy all that this village once held dear. Mere moments before I discovered the piles of dead heaped into no graves but seeming altars of hideous marking; the marking of war.
A scream, a womans scream echoes over the din and crack of the flames, a young Mogol-maid comes running out into the street, several of those Iyolishmen came bounding after her, the look in their eyes told a clear story as to what they intended.
With a kick I rouse my mount and signal for her to break our silence and catapult from out the alleyway, taking them in glorious surprise as the first of their ilk was caught in the chest by the armored skull of my mount, a resounding crack signals that bones have been broken under the tremendous force.
They know no courage and break away, the shock and growl of my appearance in territory presumed devoid of such warriors I take much pride in running them down, with one laying broken the other three battered effortlessly aside with a swipe of her head.
They lay moaning on the ground, my mount taunts them by trudging slowly up to the first and giving the pathetic man a sound snort in his face, rearing a moment before singing her tusken-teeth deep into his flesh, crushing him in a most agonizing manner that ends bumps under my fur.
IT takes little time until they are all dead, the maiden clung to a charred doorway nearby, looking on with fearful eyes as to my intention.
I walk up and offer my hand, she was so pretty and young, though her face was marred by the beatings administered by those jackals.
I no longer ride alone, leaving this village to continue my report
<<< = = = = >>>
A sharp salute, the sweat and soot on his face was clear
This was a fiery winter indeed, the snow long have melted fore touching ground thus leaving us in the dry heat of our invasion. The man had approached me with his veil replaced by heavyset bandages to block out the toxins, my command had been coughing and spluttering the deathly ash for the last week since the culling began.
We had come and defeated their main armies, though the civilian population went up in revolt, many of my soldiers died as they used their accursed sciences to create unnatural explosions.
my once-womanly voice clouded as all in this black mire.
Mine lady general, word has reached mine ears of a remnant force gathering to repel us, riders of the Mongols have been spotted crossing the burning plains!
How many must we kill before they accept defeat! I scream, swinging mine fist in an arc, three of mine officers duck though a fourth is struck in the jaw, he collapses under my strength.
Is there any good news, Captian? I rub black from mine eyes, at the same time holding my hand high as it throbs from the impact.
Word over the farspeaker dictates that General Melleshe is close to apprehending the child, she sounded confident in her wording!
Least something become good of this
I wave him away, the fallen officer crawls away lest he be struck again in mine foul mood.
<<< = = = = >>>
The saddle is no place for a woman, the strong sway of my mounts back had thrown her head into the square of my armored back, knocking her into a daze. One hand keeps the reins, the other holds her wrists to my chest lest she fall to the rushing earth beneath us.
The air is clearer the higher we go, above the carpet of fire and toil it is an awful sight to see ones homeland so-covered by the fires of burning innocents and wicked tyrants.
Over the rise I pull her to a halt by sharp; in the valley beyond I am given witness to another entire battalions worth of those hated grey-furs, all drabbed-proud in their colors of Evergreen and black finery and machine-polish maille.
At their flank I spot more of those unholy beasts they call steam tanks, thrice the tallness of an Anglishman and five that-long, driven by their steam technology and billowing white columns of evaporated water into the air.
They march in precise unison, I understand that their victories come from rank and file, though if I were to be the one cursed to lead them I would never order the atrocities for which they commit and stand by.
A squeal of static breaks my silence, the farspeakers tracking picking up a loose frequency and giving away my location, I see a group of riders breaking away to give chase
Twelve in all, light drakemen and women though novices compared to my skill of the ride.
I use the time I have to tie the girls wrists about my waist with a soft cord, allowing me use of both my hands as I kick my ride into full speed.
Riding high on the stirrups, slightly lifting the girl along so I line a shot to my bow and twist with precise movements
The shot is caught by the wind as intended, the wind carries it long and fast, hitting the leadsmans mount square in the exposed tendon above its claw, tripping it and crushing the rider in the resulting tumble; those fools know not to girt their mounts weaknesses.
In order to fire the shot I was forced to slow a might, allowing two of the others to bear down with wild tongues and shining swords.
There is no control in their actions, brace amateurs fresh from training in thought that they are a challenge for a clansman rider of the steppe.
Two quick strikes bear down from either side, they aim for me, not my reins nor my saddles bindings as would a fellow Mongolian. My armor deflects the first weak blow while I tend to the other with a quick thrust in the direction first mentioned, severing the thin strap and freeing the mount from its rider in a single sweep.
I take no pride as I use my gathering momentum to bring the edge around, right through the middle of her defense and landing an upwards-strike under her exposed arm, slicing into the artery and causing her too to dismount at full velocity.
The others back away, their courage broken to see such mastery compared to their child-like abilities; we are safe for now as they begin to drop pace