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Thread: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 17]

  1. #41

    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 13]

    This really is epic finally got around to reading it, and you're right, it's about much more than just the Nationstates element of it, you've got a fleshed out world here and very enjoyable
    ~

    RESTORING ROME - CHAPTER II: TRAGEDY OF THE KOMNENOI
    bitte sehr
    SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT - A VERY SPECIAL FELINE


  2. #42
    Marvzilla's Avatar Ducenarius
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 13]

    Chapter 14: When the Sky crumbles



    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Characters of Note:

    The Companions:

    Preamu - A young, charismatic and dynamic man. Highly intelligent and physical strong.
    Excellent in the art of Bow, Lance and Sword. Excellent rider, too. But his most impressive
    and most important talent is his strategic and tactical understanding, making him a notorious commander,
    who also has the heart and loyality of his men, by riding into battle at their side and always
    caring for them. Above average height, athletic built, dark, shoulder long hair. Dark eyes, smooth
    facial contures, unusually looking for a man of the steppes. Son of Khagan Bramu and a unknown mother.

    Numu - The most faithful companion of Preamu and his closest friend. Intelligent and strong. Impressive
    Warrior and Rider. His loyality to Preamu is legendary, never leaving his side, even in the thickest battle.
    Preamus Commander of the Cavalry. As tall as Preamu, athletic built, dark hair that reaches the shoulders.
    Blue eyes, a rariety under Liu. Known as a beautiful man under the women of the Liu, but his only attention is
    on Preamu, and some say his love is more than just brotherly.

    Zarwu - Young, highly intelligent man, very close friend to Preamu. His intelligence is unparalleled, as is his
    understanding of long time strategic decisions, both regarding battle and logistics. Great Warrior, adept in
    the typical arts of a Liu Warrior. Of average height, brown, short and curly hair. Dark, sharp eyes. Rumours
    have it that his different facial features are a result of him being the bastard of his Liu father and a woman
    from Kashgar.

    Cammuru - Strong and loyal friend of Preamu, known for his martial skills. He is clever and intelligent, having
    an affinity for the commandment of Infantry, usually a strange aspect of warfare to the Liu. Great Wrestler,
    his strenght is unparalleled under his friends and he is said to be a man of public, enjoying a drink or two
    with his men. Short, burly and strong built, with short, dark hair. A wide face fitting to his body.

    Utruru - A wild, but loyal friend of Preamu. Many would say he´s malicious and ambidextrous, his brilliant tactics
    often involving night fighting and ambushes. A great Rider, he is said to be one of the best riders of the Liu.
    Also very adept in combat. Tall, thinner built, long dark hair, dark eyes and a sharp face.

    Rudur - Companion of Liu, noted for his intelligence. He is very literate and has a good knowledge of the world, open
    minded and multilingual. A decent rider and fighter, but is far less energetic and physical imposing like the other companions
    of Preamus retinue. His skills in foreign languages and script are a essential tool for Preamu nonetheless. Of average height,
    long hair, often binded in a typical knot of the Liu. Dark eyes, athletic built.

    The old Royality:

    Bramu - The old Khagan of the Liu, strong and innovativ, but still concious of the traditions and
    people of the Liu. Still a great Warrior, who made the use of Lances more widespread under Liu
    aristocracy. Dangerous tactician. Wants to form the Liu into sedentary people, with him as
    Khagan, creating an long lasting dynasty. His men are loyal and he is caring for them, having shared
    a lot of bloodshed with them. Relatively tall, sturdy, strong built. Dark Hair, unusually thick full
    beard for a Liu. Short hair. A hard looking man, with many scars.

    Gazu - Old Veteran and companion of Bramu. Friend of his since they were children. Wise and witnessed
    many battles. Great tactician and strategist. In his day a great Warrior, too. He has a son of Preamus
    age, Zharu. Very loyal to Bramu, sharing his ideals and ideas. Of average height, grown old. Sports thin
    facial hair, typical for Central Asian people.

    Other Liu:

    Zharu - Young Warrior. Son of Gazu, closest advisor and general of the Khagan. Decent warrior. Is loyal
    and trustworthy. Of average height, fair hair, curly. He is said to be a bastard child of his father with
    a woman of a different nomad people.

    Aynuru - Mature Warrior, at his physical peak. Tall, strong, a bear of a man, but ever caring for his fellow Warriors.
    He is one of the highest Generals of Preamu, having distinguished himself as leader and warrior against the Wei.
    Tall, very strong, athletic built. Dark eyes, short hair and full beard.

    Varu - A warrior, about to enter his prime years. Close friend of Bramu and captain of his bodyguard.
    Excellent fighter and rider, a cheeky and sometimes even brash and self-loving person, he enjoys the wine and women
    a tad too much. But nonetheless very loyal. Of average height, dark, shoulder-long hair. Sports facial hair.

    Foreigners:

    Princess Si - Young Woman, just came off age. Intelligent and educated in every aspect a Princess of the
    once turkic Wei. Said to be a very beautiful woman. Daughter of Emperor Yuan Hong and a Concubine named
    Feng Si. Was sent as tribute to the Tangut court. Short, with long black hair, green eyes. She has found
    a liking in Rudu, one of Preamus companions.


    "A cloudy day."

    Gazu nodded. They rode through a small valley, along a glistering stream. It led to the wide pastures of open plain before them. Bramu decided to go hunting, taking with him a small entourage, compromised of his closest advisors and militaric leaders. They had their composite bows at their side, some lances, wearing rich clothing. The chieftain of one of the smaller tribes, Hru Shun, has told him of these rich plains were one could hunt deer and other beast. Hru Shun was defeated in battle once by Bramu as he corporated with the Liang, but he won the Khagans favour back through presents and his aid in the subjugation of the Wei, riding and fighting at the fore-
    most front. Bramu has long forgotten their battle and his victory, but unknown to many, Hru Shun still was in furor about it, never unveiling it to anyone. They finally reached the lush plain, were the small stream widened into a respectable river and deer was grazing in herds. Their sight was limited, as a layer of fog emerged on the plain. Bramu preyed upon the animals, then decided.

    "You four ride from the right flank on to the deer, driving them to the river and trapping them there. My friend Gazu, Me and the glorious Hru Shun will emerge from this position and together we will shoot them down. This night we will gather for a glorious feast men." Bramu smiled like a jackal. What he did not see was that Hru Shun was smiling too, but his intend was a different one. Bramu nodded to the men, and they set off eastwards. When the other men were out of sight, Gazu started to talk about a personal matter, a most important one to his friend.

    "My dear friend, what have you planned with your son ?" Gazu asked.

    "What should it be ?" Bramu looked at his friend, who gazed into the far distance, deep in thoughts. They never noticed Hru Shun slowly but steady slipping behind. Nor did they noticed the men emerging from the valley.

    "It should depend on how he comes home."

    "With his head high or on a plate, served by the Tanguts ?" Bramu asked joking. Gazu smiled weak.

    "No. We both know how much trust you place into him. We both know that he is more than capable to be a successful Khagan...." Suddenly Bramu interrupted him, his hand struck forward in a delaying manner.

    "I see much more in him, old friend."

    "I see a young man capable of pursuing his dreams, after a life of dismissal and pain, reaching and archieving much more than anybody would have thought, his father included." Bramus head was high, his chest up, visibly proud.

    "I denied my son for much too long." His voice was filled with sorrow.

    Suddenly, yells were to be heard.

    "They are chasing the deer. Let us show those damned bastards what we are still capable of." He patted his friend on the shoulder, and they both immediately spurred their horses into a fast gallop. As they went off, Hru Shun and the men who hid in the shadows of the valley set off themselves, directly behind the Khagan and his highest general. They reached the grounds where the deer were about to be chased at the shores of the river. Hru Shun still followed Bramu in a direct line, while the other men maneuvered towards the group chasing the deer from the right. They immediately cut them off, instantly apologizing for this accident, but not moving out of the way.

    "What are they doing ? Who are these men ?" Bramu shouted in full gallop. Gazu was visibly irritated when a deer crashed into his horses flank. He had to stop his horse to not be thrown off, as it lifted it´s front legs and kicked after everything which could hit it again. In all this chaos, it was Bramu who held a cool head, still keen on getting a deer as trophy, aiming his shot at a big buck running right before him. How majestic this animal was: Long, big horns. An almost black coat of fur placed over well developed, strong muscles, working at a maximum as the animal was running for it´s live. Never was there a moment more perfect for a well placed shot.Bramu let loose of the arrow, drawn on his tense bow, with a mighty swoosh it made it´s way through the fog, and the raindrops which began to fall.

    A perfect shot for a perfect moment. The arrow pushed the way through skin, senews and muscle, blood extracting and flowing freely, the might of the shot hindering any continued movement.

    But it was not the prey that was hit.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "I wish you the best, friend." Preamu laid his hand on Rudurs shoulder.

    "I can´t thank you enough, gracious Yabgu. Please, I am not worth of such gifts." Rudur sounded joyful but laden with grief at the same time.

    "You take it because I want to. There is no need to thank for anything. We were friends since our days as children, it´s the most natural thing to do. Otherwise, I would be a horrible friend," Preamu smiled, " and stop pleading to me like a slave." Now Rudur smiled too. He, Preamu, the other companions and Princess Li had gathered for the farewell. They did as Preamu planned, feigning the capture of Princess Li by Tanguts and how the noble Rudur followed them to rescue her, both never to be seen again. Atleast, thats what they would tell the Khagan.

    "I only have one plead to you."

    "What is it ?"

    "Be joyful and embrace every moment. Have many children and spent your life with your family and wonderful wife."

    Rudur had tears in his eyes.

    "Yes, Preamu." They embraced each other for a last time. Then, Rudur turned to his wife, who was touched by the graciousness of the young Yabgu. Tears of gratefulness rolled down her cheeks, her green eyes looking like the deep lakes of Quinghai. Everyone, all of the Companions, bid his farewell by shouting and firing one arrow in the air, which were adorned by colourful girdles. They watched as Rudur and his princess rode south, away from the steppes, to lands where no one would see them as nobility, or warrior. Where they could lead a life as a family. Together.

    "And now ?" Numu had put his strong bow back into his quiver.

    "Now, we ride back home. My father will be suprised by my great victory. I will show him that I am more than worthy of his legacy." They walked towards their horses, as the whole army broke camp and was already on the way back north, where Preamu would come to the aid of his father against the Tuyuhun. He would show his father his qualities as warrior and leader and his father would have no other choice than to respect him. This was the plan, atleast. They mounted their horses, spurring them to a modest trott. Preamu had a special present for his father. He readied it on the side of his saddle, where it hung and dangled.

    "Do you think your father will accept this present ?"

    "He has to. The tradition demands it. He will take it, cut it in half and drink out of it. As our forefathers did, as our children will do."

    Numu looked down on the present and made a grimasse resembling it. His tongue sticking out to the left, his eyes rolled up so one could only see the white of his eyes, his whole face flexing to the left. Preamu chuckled.

    "Stop it, you´re killing me."

    "Literally ?" Now they both laughed hearty. The steep passes of the of the southeastern fringes of the Tibetan mountains were a challenge for the horses of the Liu, but one they could master. More dangerous were the heavy rainfalls, changing dirt and stones into dangerous landslides, so typical for this region in spring. Many men lost their lifes due to them. Preamu and his men were extra cautious, but a few losses of life couldn´t be prevented. They spent their nights camping on the plateaus as sleeping while riding, a custom usual for the Liu, was to dangerous under such grave conditions. Rain poured down often, and fog laid like a white layer on the majestic mountains, resticting ones view to a few metres. The Liu rode on, accostumed to such conditions and weather, coming nearer to their destination every day. Soon, they reached the plateaus of the Quinghai Mountains and the Qilian Mountains and the land of the rivaling Tuyuhun were close. Preamu was anxious to meet his father.

    But his mood should change soon.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Preamu sat on his saddle, in the middle of the big camp. They rested for a while as dawn was approaching. He expected to join forces with his father the next day, and his men should be ready to fight. Buttertea was given around as was small game. The men ate enough to have full energy the next day. Preamu shared his portion with his men, though he was surrounded by the companions.

    "How do you plan to approach your father," Zarwu asked with a mouth full of muffoun.

    "Direct and without any formalities. I will show him that his unworthy little son has become a warrior. Then I hand over the head as present." The men around him nodded silently.

    "But...." Zarwu was interrupted as a rider rode through the Yurts and men, towards Preamus direction. He was in full gallop and men sprang to the side so they wouldn´t get trampled. On sight, Cammuru reacted immediately and drew his sword and hurled himself before Preamu, protecting him from whatever was approaching there. The other companions reacted too, readying their weapons. Just short in front of Cammuru, the rider came to an halt.

    "Some able men you have there, youngster," the rider said while promptly dismounting. He was athletically built, with shoulder long hair. A small beard decorated his face. His armour was usual for one of Bramus bodyguards. Still unsure what to do, Cammuru held the intruder at bay with his sword. The men laughed while putting his hands up in a reflecting way.

    "Whoa broad one, I won´t bite." He came nearer, suddenly bowing down and snatching up a cup filled with wine. He took a sip, then looked at Preamu.

    "It is true."

    "What ?" Preamu came forward, shoving Cammuru to the side gently.

    "You do look like a sharp young man, but you look nothing like your father. Very fortunate for you," the stranger said with a smile, taking another sip out of the cup. He visibly enjoyed the drink and sat the cup down.

    "Who are you ?" Preamu said, cautious of every movement of the stranger. The companions still were tense, ready to strike at every moment. The intruder turned, laughing. He looked around while openening his arms.

    "Really men, that´s how you greet a messenger, one of the closest friends of your Khagan ? I would have excepted something more....welcoming."

    "Who are you," Preamu said, with force. The intruder turned around once more, a benevolent look on his face.

    "Varu, personal bodyguard of the Khagan and one of his closest friends. He sees me as, how should I name it, a lost son." He smiled widely. The men loosed up.

    "Then what are you doing here, in my camp, away from your Khagans side ?"

    "Apologies for my unformal approach." He bowed down playfully.

    "Preamu..."

    "Yabgu," Preamu interrupted him.

    "Ah, of course." He cleared his throat.

    "My most benelovent and gracious Yabgu Preamu, I am here to bring you most important news." He smiled like a jackal.

    "If your news are really that important, we should go for a walk, shouldn´t ?" Varu nodded, slinging his arm around Preamus shoulders as they went on. When they were out of sight, Preamu struck the mans arm away and grabbed him by the throat.

    "What is your true mission, jackal." The man smiled, his hands up in a reflective and defensive manner.

    "If you would let go of my throat I could explain." Preamu let loose of the mans throat. Varu smiled.

    "I would kill you in an instant if you weren´t the son of my Khagan." Preamu was confused.

    "Never attack a true warrior, youngster."

    "Your mission," Preamu said fed up with this annoying man. Varus expression went from arrogant to thoughtful, almost grieving in a second.

    "Your father."

    "What is it with him." Varu got Preamus attention in a second.

    "He...."

    "Speak !"

    "He died."

    Preamu was shocked. He felt a chilling cold creeping up his spine, paralyzing him. He couldn´t form a word in his mouth.

    "He was shot by an arrow. It was an accident, they say." The last words were spoken in a disgusted way.

    "These dogs. I knew they would kill him. I warned him. But he wouldn´t listen. He still went on the hunt with them." He spat on the ground. Preamu never knew much about his fathers surroundings, as he was mostly seperated from him early on. He had no idea who this man was and who possibly has killed his father.

    "Trust me, young Yabgu. This was not an accident. It was an intrigue. A change of power, which would benefit certain members of Liu nobility. I assume it was founded and encouraged by Hephtalite gold." Preamu got his senses together.

    "He died ?" Varu nodded, looking on the ground.

    "Wha... whe." He still was in shock.

    "Listen. I don´t know you. But I know that you are the legitimate Yabgu. Your father has talked a lot about you. He said you would be the one to lead the Liu to glory. And if your father says that, I am more than inclined to believe those words."

    "What will we do ?"

    "That is now on you. Your presence is awaited at your fathers funeral. Gather your men, and I will lead you to the royal camp." Preamu just nodded.

    "It´s hard to fathom, but we can´t mourn now. Your whole concentration and skills as a leader are needed. I have heard of your victory against the Tangut already. I just felt your grip and your willingness to fight. Now show these qualities to your people." Preamu was now fully aware of the situation he was in.

    "I will gather the men, follow me." Varu nodded and had to go at a fast pace to hold up with the Yabgu.

    "Cammuru, Utruru. Order the men to gather. We ride out."

    "Now ?"

    "Now !" They both set off immediately.

    "Zarwu, Numu." He looked at each of them.

    "Mount your horses and tell the rest of the bodyguard to do the same." They nodded and walked away. Preamu knew they had to be swift. Show no weaknesses, his father once told him. And he was keen to follow this advice.

    They set off at midnight. Their destination was some miles ahead. One would have mistaken the sounds of thousands of hooves trampling the ground for thunder. And as fast as thunder they were.

    It was dawn when they reached the royal camp. Preamu ordered his men to wait before the camp itself, only him and his companions entering, at their side Vanu, who was cautiously looking from side to side. A large mass of people greeted them. In silent grief, they starred at them, as Preamu dismounted. The people, clad in black, made place for their Yabgu. Preamu could only see what was before him, the people around him melting into a large, dark mass of nothing.Freezing raindrops started to fall, soaking up his clothes. Every stride forward seemed to bite a part out of his soul, and when he reached the wooden altar, with dozens of stones surrounding it, he felt empty. There he laid, the mightiest man the Liu have seen thus far. The Khagan. The Tiger of Gansu.

    His father.

    He sank to his knees. Emptiness. He was full of it. It surrounded him. Never had he felt as alone. Never. There was no grief. There was no time.

    Emptiness.

    The people surrounded the altar, waiting on what Preamu would do. And it seemed like hours, until he removed his hands from his face, reveiling neither tears nor emotion. He turned, towards his friend Numu, who was patiently holding the severed head of the Tangut King. Preamu took it, placed it infront of the altar and drew his sword, holding it up into the air. The people suddenly started to cheer, while they were crying and mourning at the same time. They took out their daggers and knifes and started to cut deep gashes under their eyes, so that their blood mixed with their tears. And it was this surreal event, that announced Preamus reign as Khagan. But it did not matter to him.

    He stood in the mass of the people, his people. No emotion, no grief, no time. Emptiness. Khagan. Father !

    He looked to the skies, which were clouded and from were the rain fell freely. Until some of the clouds were seemingly shoved away, and a small array of light made it through the clouds, reveiling the sun. And it was as if the sun and the sky rejoined.
    Last edited by Marvzilla; March 01, 2013 at 08:42 PM.

  3. #43
    Marvzilla's Avatar Ducenarius
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 13]

    Quote Originally Posted by Shankbot de Bodemloze View Post
    Marvzilla I am so sorry for my absence mate, I didn't realise how many updates you'd done.

    It is coming along nicely, and the battle was very well wrote. I'm looking forward to more and will hopefully be able to keep on track from now on.
    Thanks mate. And no worries, as long as you read constantly from now on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schrödinger View Post
    This really is epic finally got around to reading it, and you're right, it's about much more than just the Nationstates element of it, you've got a fleshed out world here and very enjoyable
    Yup, Nationstates hasn´t much to do with it apart from giving a bit of context. I had this idea and desire for quite some time, as I always wanted to write a truly long and major scale story, one of a conqueror. And thanks for the compliments, I hope you will be as satisfied with future chapters.

  4. #44
    Shankbot de Bodemloze's Avatar From the Writers Study!
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 14]

    Well so far so good... I read it earlier today

    Good job with all the dialogue, you got it across quite well.
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 14]

    Rather a nasty turn of events for Preamu, still now he has the chance to lead his people onto glory, unless other contenders to the throne arise!

    Rep+

  6. #46
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 14]

    Chapter 15: To hunt a Jackal



    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Characters of Note:

    The Companions:

    Preamu - A young, charismatic and dynamic man. Highly intelligent and physical strong.
    Excellent in the art of Bow, Lance and Sword. Excellent rider, too. But his most impressive
    and most important talent is his strategic and tactical understanding, making him a notorious commander,
    who also has the heart and loyality of his men, by riding into battle at their side and always
    caring for them. Above average height, athletic built, dark, shoulder long hair. Dark eyes, smooth
    facial contures, unusually looking for a man of the steppes. Son of Khagan Bramu and a unknown mother.

    Numu - The most faithful companion of Preamu and his closest friend. Intelligent and strong. Impressive
    Warrior and Rider. His loyality to Preamu is legendary, never leaving his side, even in the thickest battle.
    Preamus Commander of the Cavalry. As tall as Preamu, athletic built, dark hair that reaches the shoulders.
    Blue eyes, a rariety under Liu. Known as a beautiful man under the women of the Liu, but his only attention is
    on Preamu, and some say his love is more than just brotherly.

    Zarwu - Young, highly intelligent man, very close friend to Preamu. His intelligence is unparalleled, as is his
    understanding of long time strategic decisions, both regarding battle and logistics. Great Warrior, adept in
    the typical arts of a Liu Warrior. Of average height, brown, short and curly hair. Dark, sharp eyes. Rumours
    have it that his different facial features are a result of him being the bastard of his Liu father and a woman
    from Kashgar.

    Cammuru - Strong and loyal friend of Preamu, known for his martial skills. He is clever and intelligent, having
    an affinity for the commandment of Infantry, usually a strange aspect of warfare to the Liu. Great Wrestler,
    his strenght is unparalleled under his friends and he is said to be a man of public, enjoying a drink or two
    with his men. Short, burly and strong built, with short, dark hair. A wide face fitting to his body.

    Utruru - A wild, but loyal friend of Preamu. Many would say he´s malicious and ambidextrous, his brilliant tactics
    often involving night fighting and ambushes. A great Rider, he is said to be one of the best riders of the Liu.
    Also very adept in combat. Tall, thinner built, long dark hair, dark eyes and a sharp face.

    Rudur - Companion of Liu, noted for his intelligence. He is very literate and has a good knowledge of the world, open
    minded and multilingual. A decent rider and fighter, but is far less energetic and physical imposing like the other companions
    of Preamus retinue. His skills in foreign languages and script are a essential tool for Preamu nonetheless. Of average height,
    long hair, often binded in a typical knot of the Liu. Dark eyes, athletic built.

    The old Royality:

    Bramu - The old Khagan of the Liu, strong and innovativ, but still concious of the traditions and
    people of the Liu. Still a great Warrior, who made the use of Lances more widespread under Liu
    aristocracy. Dangerous tactician. Wants to form the Liu into sedentary people, with him as
    Khagan, creating an long lasting dynasty. His men are loyal and he is caring for them, having shared
    a lot of bloodshed with them. Relatively tall, sturdy, strong built. Dark Hair, unusually thick full
    beard for a Liu. Short hair. A hard looking man, with many scars.

    Gazu - Old Veteran and companion of Bramu. Friend of his since they were children. Wise and witnessed
    many battles. Great tactician and strategist. In his day a great Warrior, too. He has a son of Preamus
    age, Zharu. Very loyal to Bramu, sharing his ideals and ideas. Of average height, grown old. Sports thin
    facial hair, typical for Central Asian people.

    Other Liu:

    Zharu - Young Warrior. Son of Gazu, closest advisor and general of the Khagan. Decent warrior. Is loyal
    and trustworthy. Of average height, fair hair, curly. He is said to be a bastard child of his father with
    a woman of a different nomad people.

    Aynuru - Mature Warrior, at his physical peak. Tall, strong, a bear of a man, but ever caring for his fellow Warriors.
    He is one of the highest Generals of Preamu, having distinguished himself as leader and warrior against the Wei.
    Tall, very strong, athletic built. Dark eyes, short hair and full beard.

    Varu - A warrior, about to enter his prime years. Close friend of Bramu and captain of his bodyguard.
    Excellent fighter and rider, a cheeky and sometimes even brash and self-loving person, he enjoys the wine and women
    a tad too much. But nonetheless very loyal. Of average height, dark, shoulder-long hair. Sports facial hair.

    Foreigners:

    Princess Si - Young Woman, just came off age. Intelligent and educated in every aspect a Princess of the
    once turkic Wei. Said to be a very beautiful woman. Daughter of Emperor Yuan Hong and a Concubine named
    Feng Si. Was sent as tribute to the Tangut court. Short, with long black hair, green eyes. She has found
    a liking in Rudu, one of Preamus companions.


    After the death of the great Khagan Bramu, the Tiger of Gansu, Preamu was crowned Khagan. The process was hastened, Preamu didn´t wait the four days until the coronation, which was tradition. Hru Shun heard rumours, unsettling rumours. And he fled. The night before Preamu would have avenged his father, Hru Shun fled. But Preamu was restless. He quickly ordered his fastest riders to gather, immediately riding out after the traitor. No one could have foreseen which consequences came out of this.

    Three days they had chased Hru Shun. He even came in line of sight, once. They chased him through rough terrain, to which the Liu were already used. Without a problem they hastened their horses over hard stone and beneath deep gorges. Thunder and rain couldn´t stop Preamu and he drove his men to their best. Preamu knew were Hru Shun was heading. He already noticed the fringes of the great Taklamakan. Into the desert, towards the cities of the oasis. Were he would find protection by his benefactors, the Hephtalite Khagans and their allies. There would be war, between the those "White Huns" and the Liu. If he did catch Hru Shun in the desert, or if he besieged the cities, it didn´t matter.

    Preamu and his close following only rested once a day, at the little sinkholes they could find. The great heat made horse and man thirsty alike. But the same would be true for Hru Shun. When he rested, Preamu got dangerously close, and the traitor would immediately set off again. After the fourth day, Preamu felt completely depleted, but the burning hunger for Hru Shuns death drove him on. They passed the Lop Nur, the great lake some days ago already, time was gone, no one knew how long they were out in this desert. No sign of life around them, except for the cloud some miles ahead, showing where Hru Shun was heading.

    Then, Hru Shun was gone. Into the depths of Loulan, one of the many oasis cities in Tarim Basin. Preamu was relieved. Now he had Hru Shun trapped. He wouldn´t get out of this city anymore. Preamu and his men led their horses to a small oasis, sitting down and tending to their swollen legs. After some hours, he sent one of his men inside the city, where he should ask for an official envoy. He came back with said man, who was adorned in long, silken clothes, clearly influenced by Sino traditions. He came up to Preamu and bowed before him.

    "Yabgu Preamu...."

    "Khagan." Preamu interrupted him.

    "Khagan." A slight, deceiving smile formed on the mans face.

    "As I heard you are chasing after a man who is officially protected by my Lord, and we see no way to hand him out."

    "This is unfortunate." Preamu said, arms folded.

    "You have to understand, this is a delicate situation...."

    "And you have to understand if I cut into pieces and sent you one by one back to your master. Hru Shun is handed out, or Loulan burns."

    "Then we have nothing to talk about anymore. Have a good day, my lord."

    Preamu gave him no answer.

    Preamu send one of his men with orders back to Gansu, while he and the rest slowly trotted away from the city, under the eyes of Hru Shun. They followed a small stream, until it dried out and positioned themselves on top of a hill. He issued every man his orders, as he expected that Hru Shun would try to ambush their camp. Darkness came fast and so came Hru Shun. Preamu counted eight, Hru Shun included. Preamu himself had four men him included. Hru Shun was already very suspicious when he came up to the dried out riverbed, and Preamu seized the short window of suprise immediately. With a "Chaka !" he fired one of his arrows, hitting the only marksman of the group. The other Liu, all positioned spread out around the hills, shot their arrows with deadly accuracy. They then stormed down the hills, cutting down the last of the remaining guards. Preamu approached the shivering and scared Hru Shun, blood spilled on his clothes, dead men lying around him. He attacked Preamu with a very obvious slash, which was parried by Preamu who disarmed Hru Shun and sent him to the ground with a kick.

    "Traitor." He hissed.

    "No, you have to understand."

    Preamu pressed his blade against the mans chest.

    "No words are to be spoken by a snake like you."

    And with that, the last sunbeams disappeared in the desert.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Four days later, a Liu army of fourthousand man arrived, a train of supplies secured behind them. They set camp before the city of Loulan, securing the most of the oasis for themselves. Preamu greeted his companions heartly. Many words were spoken. Plans were made. A ultimatum was sent to King Shan Hu, ordering him to subjugate or to be massacred. The King hoped for help from his lords, the Khagans of the Hephtalites, but those were too late.

    The next day, Preamu begun the siege. Loulan was not protected by tall walls, but rather mud and loam put together to a wall. The Liu easily stormed the city, slaughtering any kind of resistance. Quickly they advanced towards the small palace of the King, breaching the ornamented gates. Everything of worth was plundered, many people taken by the Liu. Preamu himself captured the King, who was in company of his wife. He was an old man, and obliged when told to follow. The entire populace of Loulan was amassed before the city.

    "Residents of Loulan, see your King. See your King, and what happened when he denied my orders." Preamu unsheated his sword as the man kneeled before him, secured by one of Preamus guards. Preamu lifted his sword and cut off the mans head with one swipe. A load groaning went through the masses. The head and body of the King were taken away, blood trailing behind both. Then, Hru Shun was brought before Preamu. He was well fed and seemed to be in a good condition, on order from Preamu. Hru Shun kneeled before Preamu.

    "This man." He turned to his men.

    "Has killed our Khagan, Bramu, my father." Preamu roared.

    He took his sword, lifted it and avenged his father. Blood adorned the ground. The blood of a Jackal.

    After this strange ceremony he ordered the whole male population to be slaughtered, their heads to be stapled before the city. The women and children were sold. This was done as an example. Anyone who disputed his rule now knew what destiny would await them. In the evening of the fourth day, after every male resident was slaughtered and the children and women sold, he and his men feasted.

    "For Preamu !"

    "For Preamu !" The whole round laughed and cheered. Preamu had amassed a huge circle around him, where everyone was getting drunk and merry. Beneath him sat his companions.

    The next day, grave news reached him. The Wei had disputed his rule as Khagan and cut every ties, obligations and tributes. This was more or less a open declaration of war. Preamu quickly ordered mobilization, leaving the city of Loulan in ruins. The army rode in a fast manner, as fast as possible for a big army and after the duration of a week they reached the Hwang Ho. The natural border to mainland China. The Wei were about to learn of the iron heart of Preamu. War had begun.
    Last edited by Marvzilla; May 30, 2013 at 01:11 PM.

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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 14]

    Please delete.

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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 15]

    This is an excellent story I've only read the first three chapters, but I've enjoyed them immensely so far. I've studied China in this era quite a lot, so I can really relate to the story. I'm excited to read the rest over the weekend (I don't have time right now unfortunately). Keep it up, this is great +rep

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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 15]

    Yeah great work mate, the last chapter was excellent.

    +rep and I am looking forward to more.
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 15]

    @ f0ma:

    I am glad you like it and hopefully I don´t make to many historical mistakes, as I try to incorporate the actual history of the region as close as possible.

    @ Shankbot:

    Thanks mate, your kind and encouraging words are a motivation for me.

    The next chapter will be up in a few minutes. Sorry for the long wait but RL and how wonky TWC is acting at the moment restricted me from posting. I hope I will be able do to weekly updates (I can´t even quote at the moment).

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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 15]

    Chapter 16: A scent of Jasmine



    Spoiler for Characters of Note
    Characters of Note:

    The Companions:

    Preamu - A young, charismatic and dynamic man. Highly intelligent and physical strong.
    Excellent in the art of Bow, Lance and Sword. Excellent rider, too. But his most impressive
    and most important talent is his strategic and tactical understanding, making him a notorious commander,
    who also has the heart and loyality of his men, by riding into battle at their side and always
    caring for them. Above average height, athletic built, dark, shoulder long hair. Dark eyes, smooth
    facial contures, unusually looking for a man of the steppes. Son of Khagan Bramu and a unknown mother.

    Numu - The most faithful companion of Preamu and his closest friend. Intelligent and strong. Impressive
    Warrior and Rider. His loyality to Preamu is legendary, never leaving his side, even in the thickest battle.
    Preamus Commander of the Cavalry. As tall as Preamu, athletic built, dark hair that reaches the shoulders.
    Blue eyes, a rariety under Liu. Known as a beautiful man under the women of the Liu, but his only attention is
    on Preamu, and some say his love is more than just brotherly.

    Zarwu - Young, highly intelligent man, very close friend to Preamu. His intelligence is unparalleled, as is his
    understanding of long time strategic decisions, both regarding battle and logistics. Great Warrior, adept in
    the typical arts of a Liu Warrior. Of average height, brown, short and curly hair. Dark, sharp eyes. Rumours
    have it that his different facial features are a result of him being the bastard of his Liu father and a woman
    from Kashgar.

    Cammuru - Strong and loyal friend of Preamu, known for his martial skills. He is clever and intelligent, having
    an affinity for the commandment of Infantry, usually a strange aspect of warfare to the Liu. Great Wrestler,
    his strenght is unparalleled under his friends and he is said to be a man of public, enjoying a drink or two
    with his men. Short, burly and strong built, with short, dark hair. A wide face fitting to his body.

    Utruru - A wild, but loyal friend of Preamu. Many would say he´s malicious and ambidextrous, his brilliant tactics
    often involving night fighting and ambushes. A great Rider, he is said to be one of the best riders of the Liu.
    Also very adept in combat. Tall, thinner built, long dark hair, dark eyes and a sharp face.

    Rudur - Companion of Liu, noted for his intelligence. He is very literate and has a good knowledge of the world, open
    minded and multilingual. A decent rider and fighter, but is far less energetic and physical imposing like the other companions
    of Preamus retinue. His skills in foreign languages and script are a essential tool for Preamu nonetheless. Of average height,
    long hair, often binded in a typical knot of the Liu. Dark eyes, athletic built.

    The old Royality:

    Bramu - The old Khagan of the Liu, strong and innovativ, but still concious of the traditions and
    people of the Liu. Still a great Warrior, who made the use of Lances more widespread under Liu
    aristocracy. Dangerous tactician. Wants to form the Liu into sedentary people, with him as
    Khagan, creating an long lasting dynasty. His men are loyal and he is caring for them, having shared
    a lot of bloodshed with them. Relatively tall, sturdy, strong built. Dark Hair, unusually thick full
    beard for a Liu. Short hair. A hard looking man, with many scars.

    Gazu - Old Veteran and companion of Bramu. Friend of his since they were children. Wise and witnessed
    many battles. Great tactician and strategist. In his day a great Warrior, too. He has a son of Preamus
    age, Zharu. Very loyal to Bramu, sharing his ideals and ideas. Of average height, grown old. Sports thin
    facial hair, typical for Central Asian people.

    Other Liu:

    Zharu - Young Warrior. Son of Gazu, closest advisor and general of the Khagan. Decent warrior. Is loyal
    and trustworthy. Of average height, fair hair, curly. He is said to be a bastard child of his father with
    a woman of a different nomad people.

    Foreigners:

    Princess Si - Young Woman, just came off age. Intelligent and educated in every aspect a Princess of the
    once turkic Wei. Said to be a very beautiful woman. Daughter of Emperor Yuan Hong and a Concubine named
    Feng Si. Was sent as tribute to the Tangut court. Short, with long black hair, green eyes. She has found
    a liking in Rudu, one of Preamus companions.


    Months had passed since Rudur was brought to this god forsaken place somewhere near Luoyang. He gave up on counting the days he was rotting here, between horse thiefes and murderers. Disease and darkness where hanging in the air, every cough could mean ones death. Every now and then he catched a glimpse of the guards patrolling infront of the building, a glare of the sun, the lovely scent of his wife. Though, the latter may have been a illusion. Never did he thought they would have been catched but it happened. He, Rudur and his wife Li were imprisoned by the Liang. She was recognized by an old courtier when they took refuge in Jiankang because of a small scale rebellion. Rudur was immediately thrown into the darkest hole they could find, while Li was taken as "guest" by the Emperor Wu Di. Finally, they were "escorted" to the Wei for a considerable sum. Rudur was sure they would behead him and throw the former princess, whose honour was tainted, in the Hwang Ho, the Yellow River which got it´s name of the colour it had. He didn´t care for his live, but to imagine what they would do to Li was too much for him.

    Months went since this. And not a single day was spent without thinking of Li, her lovely face. Nor did it help that the guards found a liking to torture the inmates, branding them and hitting them with the whip until the flesh fell off. Sometimes prisoners vanished over the night, their horrifying cries and curses just an echoe in the ears of the other broken souls. Everyone was malnutrished, as food and water was given rarely. Rudur had to share his cell with seven other men, of which many died and where simply replaced by new entries. The scent of rotten flesh hung in the air, vermin crawling in the corners, nagging away on the dead, which were removed once in a while. Rudur knew he would die soon, whether he caught a disease or was tortured to death by the guards. He didn´t care. A world without Li was one not worth living.

    "Hey, hey." The guard seemingly didn´t take notice.

    "One of the elder died last night. Get him out of here." The strawny man pleaded.

    "He already smells. Come on, do something. We all are going to die."

    "Rightfully." Rudur said from a corner in the back of the cell.

    "I don´t care what you have done or intend to do, barbarian. But I am not going to end up as a stinking corpse in this hole." The man hissed.

    "Then plead some more. It falls on deaf ears. Your blemish will be known either way, if you die now or later."

    The man was about to speak, when heavy steps came down the hallway. The guard readied his weapon, only to see his captain. He stood up and greeted his captain, only to be shoved to the side. With a clang the old, rusty door opened. The captain, clad in lamellar armour, opened a script role.

    "On command of Emperor Shenghui, the population of Luoyang and the surrounding tang will be evacuated. All prisoners, whether of foreign or local descend, will be executed." With those words he rolled the script in and ordered the prisoners to be taken out with a wave. A dozen guardsmen stepped in and escorted the inmates out. They were brought to the dusty plaza infront of the prison, a rather small building. Walls surrounded the structure, allowing no one to have a view to or out the prison. The prisoners were lined up and a simple wooden block was brought before the captain and the guards. One of the prisoners drew his sword, while two others brought the first prisoner to the block. He was forced to kneel, his head just barerly above the block. With a nod from the captain the shivering man was seperated from his head, which fell on the dusty ground. His body was thrown to the side. In a haste they brought the next man to the block. The foreign looking stranger was first resisting, but finally kneeled down when a guardsmen kicked the back of his knee. Shouts were to be heard in the distance. Distant "chakas" and trampeling hooves overshadowed the pleads and prayers of the prisoners. The city was overrun.

    "Wait." The man said. The guardsman hesistated.

    "No time for last wishes or grand speeches, barbarian."

    "I am Rudur of the Vhangwu tribe. The Liu are my people and I was a fool to leave them. May they burn down your towns and people." Rudur said with pride in his voice and anger in his eyes.

    The shouts became louder and louder.

    He was forced to lay his head down. As he did his last breaths, everything went slower. It was a hot day, the sun glaring down on the small plaza. Sweat dripped down his head, moist and warm. A slow breeze went over his back, carrying a strong scent.

    "May my life end so that she can live forever."

    Suddenly, the main gate was pushed open.

    "Chaka."

    Blood sprinkled down on Rudur, as the guardsman was shot by an arrow. The captain and the remaining Wei tried to form a circle, to no avail. As the Liu approached, they were shot down and beheaded by their sturdy swords. Many of the prisoners fled, some were slaughtered, others taken as bounty. Rudur sprang up to his feet, hoping that his brothers would recognize their own kin.

    "Chaka !" He shouted. Clouds of dust and blood surrounded him. A rider came up close to him. He dismounted, drew his sword and cut his ties open. As the man placed his hand on the shoulder, Rudur recognized his companion.

    "We thought you were dead." Utruru said with a grim smile.

    "Even then I would look better than you my friend." They both laughed but quickly changed the subject.

    "Preamu has beaten the Wei. He ravaged their countryside and slaughtered their lone army. The six northern border cities quickly rebelled and joined us. These Xianbei nomads prove worthy allies."

    Rudur suddenly noticed movement in the corner of his eye. He ripped Utrurus sword out of his scabbard and attacked one of the guardsman who was about to flee. He easily identified the him, as he was one of the men who tortured him. He slashed at the mans middle section, cutting through his cloth. With a groan the man fell to the ground. Rudur then stabbed him with all his anger in the chest, piercing the man who drowned in his own blood. Rudurs eyes were red, his muscles tense as he ended this live.

    "Rudur." Utruru laid a hand on his friend back. Rudur turned his head, madness in his eyes.

    "Let it go." Rudur stumbled backwards. Utruru pulled his sword out of the dead body. He turned to his friend, who had gathered his senses.

    "Come, Preamu and the others will be happy to see you alive."

    "Li." Rudur interrupted him.

    "I have to find Li."

    Utruru nodded.

    "Bhahanu." He yelled and a soldier appeared with a spare horse.

    "We will find her," they both mounted their horses,"together."

    They finally left this place of horror. And a scent of jasmine hung in the air.

  12. #52

    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 16]

    Intense scene. Some swift justice enacted, indeed!

    Great job! +Rep

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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 16]

    Chapter 17: Snakes and Lost Ones

    Dawn set over the city of Louyang. Smoke rose above the horizon, set from the flames ablaze in the many houses of the once great city, now reduced to mere rubble. Civilians scattered around the empty streets, ever cautious of the victors. Dust and blood became one and painted the walls in dark red.

    Towards the centre of the city, where the grand palace stood firm, as if it was not even acknowledging the defeat of the city, Preamu had assembled his companions, about to enter the palace. The whole day he had ordered troops to scavenge the streets and secure the countryside, so that any thought of sudden rebellion or reformation of the enemy was supressed. He sat on the steps towards the palace, tending to his sword, cleaning it of the blood and dust. In the distance the cries of women lamenting for mercy where to be heard, only to turn mute from one moment to the other.

    "Our victory was great, Preamu," declared Gazu, the aging companion and friend of Preamus father.

    "Indeed it was. The Wei now know that they have to tremble when the Liu approach."

    "And trembled they did," added Cammuru laughing. Preamu grinned slightly.

    "News from Utruru ?" He asked Varu.

    "Nothing of note, he still screens the fringes of the city and...."

    "And he found something," Utruru interrupted him. Everyone looked towards him, as he was slowly coming near, another ride following him.

    "Who is it that accompanies you ?"

    "Don´t you recognize your old companion," Rudur said to Zarwu suddenly. Every man made big eyes, before jumping up and greeting their old friend with great enthusiasm. Especially Cammuru, who felt the need to bearhug Rudur and lift him from the ground.

    "I missed you too, my dear bear." Rudur said half laughing, half coughing.

    "Where have you been ? I thought you and Li thought refugee in the south ?"

    "We tried. But, this is a story for another time. My friends, I have to plead for your help." Rudur told them vividly.

    "I have to find Li. We were seperated when I was thrown in that mudhole here in Louyang. I fear for her life, she might have been killed already, or worse." A certain bitterness filled his voice as he spoke these sentences.

    "The Wei most probably took her as prisoner. As a prisoner in a golden cage, so to say." Zaru explained. Meanwhile, a man clad in silken robes, a usual dress at the Wei court, came out of the palace. With a fast step he came forward towards Preamu. He stopped some metres before him, bowing slightly. At his side two Liu soldiers readied their weapons.

    "Most glorious Preamu, Khagan of the Liu and victor over the great Emperor Xiping, rightful, divine son of heaven and sovereign over China, grants you entrance to the heavenly palace and the right of speaking with him." The messenger finished, his head still bowed before
    the companions and their small unit of soldiers. Suddenly, Preamu started to chuckle. And the chuckle became laughing. He looked to Numu, who also couldn´t hold back any longer, and soon enough everyone except the messanger was laughing heartly. Preamu then bowed exaggerated and made his way up to the palace, past the confused messenger. He pushed open the great gates of the palace, ornamented with colorful depictions of heroes and dragons. As he entered the great hall, his laughing slowly ceased. Infront of him, at the end of the great hall, a throne
    stood elevated. Curtains infront of it veiled any the emperor from every visitor. No guard apart from a lone, old man who stood next to the throne was present and Preamu strided quickly towards the man who defied his rule.

    "My most divine emperor Xiping, I introduce you, Preamu, Khagan of the Liu." The old man suddenly declared with his loud voice.

    "Show yourself." Preamu demanded forcefully.

    "I want to see the man who does not acknowlegde my right to rule. Show yourself." He hissed, the last words in a threatening tone. A wave behind the curtain and the old man lifted the curtain to the side, unveiling a child. A sudden silence overcame the hall.

    "A child ? A child is defying our great Khagan," Varu suddenly yelled from the back, instantly enrupting into laughter as the other Liu had to laugh too. Preamu remained silent, then objected them to stop. The laughter immediately ended.

    "Only a great man has the might to silence others in a heartbeat," a voice from beneath the throne explained. A woman came out behind the throne, wearing rich cloth and jewelry, graceful and elegant like a winding snake.

    "Allow me to introduce myself," she continued,"Empress Dowager Hu, mother of the beloved Xiping and wife of the former Xuan Wu Di." She made her way towards Preamu, her glistering eyes never letting him out of sight. "So you are Preamu, son of Bramu." She said with a slight smile, her aging face still showing the typical signs of beauty.

    "Indeed I am. I guess it is you with whom I discuss matters of the state, Empress Dowager ?"

    "Oh, no." She laughed slightly. "I am just a mere woman, of no importance or political matter. My son may be young, but he is a keen student of politics and law. His council of close advisors has more talent and knowledge of political matters than I could ever grasp," she declared playfully, aware that she is the mind behind all the decisions which are made in the old empire.

    "So what should stop me from throwing you all in the Hwang Ho and declaring myself emperor ?" Preamu knew exactly that he had to be cautious around a woman as cunning as the empress dowager. She came up to him, close to his side and whispered in his ears.

    "Power." She then got off him and turned around gracefully.

    "Don´t you think, my most glorious Khagan, that it would be a far more impressive show of power to let us live as your subjects ? The grand Khagan of the Gansu, Preamu, ruler over the mighty dynasty of the Wei." She smiled and walked towards her son.

    "So I assume we come to an agreement, Khagans of Khagans ?" She said as she was tending to her sons robes.

    "We do." Preamu said, a contemplating look on his face. Suddenly, Rudur entered the discussion.

    "Where is Princess Li ? Where have you brought her ?!" Rudur yelled.

    "Li ?" The Dowager said, still tending to her son, paying no attention to the furious Liu.

    "You know who she is. Where is she, tell me or I will cut your tongue out !"

    "Ah, the youth. So unexperienced and acting without a thought. Well, Li was a burden we were not able to carry. So we got rid of her." Rudur drew his sword and if it was not for Preamu he would have struck the empress dowager.

    "Manners are not of concern with the Liu it seems. Li was given as present of good will to the commander of the Xianbei. He certainly was content with our little gift." Preamu and the other companions had to carry Rudur out or he would have killed the empress dowager and her son on the spot. As the gates closed, they tried to calm Rudur down. He was assured that they would find and bring her back. This was a complicated situation, as the Xianbei of the northern towns were helpful allies for the Liu in their conquest of the Wei.

    But this did not held Rudur back.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "And when the Liu return to their lands, we will be the legitimate rulers of these possessions." In the sparely lighted room two men were talking. The air smelled of alcohol.

    "But Hue Whang, how do we know that we wont be conquered by the Rouran ?"


    "Thats the great thing. The Liu protect us, and we live freely and with all the might we want. Our time has come. And when we have gathered enough strength, even the Liu wont contest our claim as rightful rulers." As he finished, both men raised their cups and took a few sips. The older looking of the two, clad in the attire of a nomad and a Wei finally stood up.

    "And now leave. I have some, unfinished business with my wonderful gift from the Wei." He said grunting and laughing. When the door closed, he went towards the chambers in the back of his small hut. Here, in the small, clay built room, cowered his little captive.

    "Look what we have here," he said in a malicious tone. He grabbed Li by her wrists and lifted her towards him. She tried to get free wildly, but to no avail.

    "Come here," the maturing man got closer to her face. He smelled of dirt and alcohol. Li still was struggling, when a sound from outside catched the attention of the Xianbei. He threw her to the ground and she landed hard. She had problems to breath, but watched as he walked towards the simple door of this muddy hut. Suddenly the door sprang open and a man struck with an arrow in his chest fell before the man. Shocked, he turned and grabbed his sword when a bulky man stormed in and ran into him. The intruder clasped his hands around him, threw him to the ground and left him there, struggling for air. Then, he came up to Li. She panicked and kicked after the big man, fighting for her life.

    "Li," she heard from a familiar voice."Li stop !"

    "Cammuru ?" She finally could see."Cammuru." She started to sob silently as he embraced her.

    "By Tengrii Li, what did they do to you."
    Last edited by Marvzilla; June 22, 2013 at 12:48 PM.

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