Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Foot Soldier (Reloaded)

When Qatar was young he wanted to be a soldier in King Urias' royal army. Those regal soldiers with their erect and firm bearing marching in their glistening shining armour and long swords in their intricately designed though much scarred scabbards he saw when he was four years old left a deep and smouldering passion for the military. Qatar, however, did not want to be just any ordinary foot soldier. And no, he did not want to be a specialist soldier either.
He felt his destiny when he was five. He knew that he wanted to be one of those robed and hooded men that had a soft, blue or green, gentle throbbing glow - a spellcaster. To Qatar, they did not just walk, they glided on a . Though they appeared frail or harmless, they wielded great power through their spellcasting and conjuring abilities. Often they made up the bulk of the King's personal platoon of elite combat troops.
But the army recruits spellcasters young, at the age of twelve. Natural spellcasters usually stumble upon their abilities earlier, as early as seven. If the army decides you are worthy and if you wish to pursue a career then you immediately join them. The most important requirement that the potential spellcaster should possess is magick intuition.
From that day he decided he would study spellcasters and learn as much as he could about magick. And so he did until his twelfth birthday when he presented himself at the Royal Academy of Magick Studies only to be turned away. He did not possess sufficient magick intuition. He was a good guesser and successful more often than not, but real spellcasters did not guess. Their intuition guided them through the intricacies of casting a spell with unerring accuracy. This was a necessary ingredient to powerful and higher plane spells. Those without intution would often lose their way amidst their casting. In more complicated spells, the consequences of failure was death or ending up a slave of demons. Qatar could cast a few spells because the less powerful the spell, the less precision was required.
Though he was bitterly disappointed, this did not put him off the army. When he was eighteen, Qatar enlisted in the army as a foot soldier. He had just completed his twelve month training when he heard that war had broken out between King Urias and some warrior king from a distant land. Apparently King Urias refused to have his little flat plained kingdom surrender to the unknown warrior. The battle was to take place at the southern plains of Whoonfey where he and other neighbouring kingdoms supplied their respective armies to fight off or defeat Tanoth there before he invaded their own kingdoms. The unit Qatar was in was one of the first sent out into the battlefield despite their lack of experience.
In the early morning on the day of battle before the sun had peeked over the horizon, Qatar was dressed in his full armour standing in line waiting for his turn to be blessed with physical ability enhancements and protective magical spells by the spellcasters in the highly raised platform before them. A crowd of murmurring spellcasters shimmered in their electric glow stood in a semi-circle, each within their own glowing glassy cocoon as different coloured bolts of lightning leaped from their hands and glow and into the soldiers below and cause the crowd to glow.
At the break of dawn, Qatar's unit marched on to the top of a gentle sloping ridge. On their march there they met many armies that joined them. It was a bright and early morning when the twelve regiment strong of the kingdoms' armies met Tanoth and his eight regiments at the Fields of Narah.
Qatar was at the head of his regiment so he had a view of the front. He could feel the adrenaline coursing through his veins. He knew the horn would go soon because Tanoth's troops had already begun their charge up the gentle slope.
Then he heard it.
Right after that he heard the loud whisper of arrows whipped into the air. He saw some soldiers fall in the distance. Then suddenly he saw this fast moving abnormally large shape rushing through the army. Another whisper of arrows. More men fell, but the shape grew larger and larger in its relentless approach, ignoring the arrows as he easily deflected them.
Qatar heard the order to charge.
This was it. This was what he wanted was it not? His hands trembled as his legs did. Everybody around him shouted charge so he did too. But his skin began to crawl. His hair was on edge. This was death, he thought to himself. He blinked his eyes hard.
Everybody whipped out their swords. Automatically, he did too. Then they charged. The large shape now grew larger and larger as Qatar ran towards it and finally saw that it was a large man - more than eight feel tall on a huge powerful black horse that looked his equal.
He heard somebody cry, oh Lord Mala help us. It's Tanoth.
In his right outstretched arm was a large and long serrated sword. He glowed a deep maroon as he galloped towards them, the ground seemingly trembling at its hoof falls.
Tanoth quickly drew close to Qatar's unit. He raised his sword to strike.
Everybody around him were shouting and screaming. Qatar could not hear them. He was completely focused on Tanoth. This was it. He wanted so much to kill him. He wanted so much to unleash all the hurt, the shame and hatred he suffered as a result of his early disappointment on him. Maybe this time, for once he would be a a hero. For once he would be appreciated. People would look up to him for a change. Maybe then Yuna would think more favourably of him. Allow him to call on her at least. If only.
But the last thing Qatar ever saw were Tanoth's eyes; his pupils - which were a deep, dark, burning red, as was the colour of the white of his eyes.
Eyes which burned with rage and hatred.
And then his world fell into darkness.

(This story is related to the Final Battle.)

1 comment:

art harun said...

Dang! Died just like that...heesh...this Tanoth. Greshen should whup him soon man.