The Arrival of the Naugiri
The Grinding, as we called it, began on a solitary Winter's day. The creatures of the Warden's Forest were either sleeping the deep sleep of the colder months, or were deep within the woods, their normal lives slowed in the frigid air and sporadic snows. A loud noise exploded from the sea on the Thirteenth Dark, gathering pace and volume, as the sea ebbed, disappearing from the shores, flooding back in on itself. Eerie calls sounded, and the ice on the trees cracked ans splintered. The Wardens set many small groups along the coast, to watch fro whatever hell awaited them. None imagined what would occur, for nothing could have managed that, in anyone's deepest imagination.
The vast shadows could be seen from miles in distance, and they grew closer; not swiftly, but slowly and relentlessly. A massive tide struck the eastern coast four hours into the morning, and with it came the broken hulls of ships, for the Imperial fleets had forged ahead to view the awaiting doom; none survived this flow, and the waves, vast as they were, crashed into the forest, some sweeping hundreds of yards inland, to drag anyone they grasped back into the icy waters - survivors talked of the waters being hot, almost to the point of burning.
The shadow of something vast grew, until we pulled back everything and everyone; hundreds of Wardens fled, animals running with them, as they called on their horns. Some of the sleeping beasts awoke, but most slept to their doom. As the mass neared, the snows melted before it, and trees burned when it was only hundreds of yards away, but we saw the light and smelled the smoke, even as we fled further and further - for many, this would not be enough.
The Grinding, in it's initial minutes killed countless creatures and men; three of the larger villages disappeared entirely, as did all hamlets and fishing stations. The mass of earth and rock continued to smash through our lands, throwing up small mountains in it's massive impact. Where there had been trees, old and dark forests, there was fire, smoke and ruin. The sound of the impact could be felt ten miles or more deeper into the land, and huge boulders flew through the air, violently crashing into our homes.
Terrifying as this was, it ceased suddenly, the grinding and smashing noises slowly receding; all of us could see the towering mass of mountains and crumpled forest grow still, and we gathered in groups; more for comfort than any other reason, and Wardens began to move towards the land mass, their immediate thought one of protection - it is said to catch a Warden unprepared is an impossibility, and the reaction was swift. However, we were caught unaware by what followed.
It seemed like minutes before we heard the cries; wailing and screaming - a cacophony of ragged voices crackling through the fog of dust. Our Wardens began to force the people back, finally shouting to send them running to the deeper forests. The smoke was still rampant as trees burned and vision was reduced to almost nothing, yet we saw the figures as they flooded from the mountains into our lands. Some were huge, some smaller, and there were things in the air, screeching and howling. However, the Wardens are not without heart, and gathered into groups, ranks filling swiftly as the Great Wardens shouted their panic into wrath.
Arrows hissed from bows, scything into the figures that hurtled through the fog. Creatures fell from the sky, to land unmoving on the earth or twisted in tree branches, and pain roared from the half light. Volley after volley cut the air, and were rewarded by screams, until the bowmen stepped away and spearmen moved to the fore. Seconds after, when spears were braced, the enemy erupted from the fog, crashing headlong onto the Warden spears. The impact buckled their lines, and pushed them backwards, as hundreds of the creatures of the Naugiri impaled themselves on spear tips. Swiftly cutting the dead free with their daggers, the Wardens tried to hold, but it was futile.
The Great Wardens shouted, and the bowmen drew back, melting into the forest, leaving their brothers to die. Reluctant, of course, but sensible. Waves of blackened nightmares hit the spear lines, and the Wardens did their best. Rank by rank, they began to fold, and lines buckled then finally gave. The Naugir swept through them, and minutes of utter slaughter began. Winged creatures swept from the sky, to savage men as Uthgaat Urune, similar to the Trolls of the Khezdruli, simply battered men to the earth. The armoured warriors at the fore were cutting men to pieces. Blood and death were everywhere, but the Wardens died well, and their deaths allowed many to find hiding places, or retreat to the more defensible Weirden Tree fortresses.
In the next few days, much of the front-line villages lay abandoned, and the forts filled. Some were sent further back, and refugees entered Dalthrasia by the hundreds. Tales filtered through of attacks on the Haladin, the Blood-Fed, and they gave strange satisfaction. Abhorrent as they were, it was said they bloodied the Naugiri terribly, despite their valleys collapsing on the borders. When evil was unleashed on evil, the Haladin beat them back, winning all of their lands back save for a few miles of valley and broken scree.
There is not much to tell of what followed, save that the Empire responded well and swiftly. The fortresses were reinforced and the dependants were funnelled through to safety, but the Naugiri were simply gathering for an assault more determined and savage than anyone could possibly have foreseen. This was a beast of the unknown, a terrible enemy that had come from nothing. It was of our luck that the Naugiri also misjudged humanity, else the war they unleashed may have been the end of the entire East, Empire or not.
The Eastern Federation
The Federation has always exploited any weakness in the Empire. The West was sold to the Council of Nine when the Boy-Emperor was on the throne, sold to pay crippling debts, to line the pockets of corrupt Imperial Regents and to provide a way of silencing undesirables and political enemies of that regime, by shipping them to the Federation to be 'dispersed'. The West, however, is a wholly different story compared to the Eastern Federation. Where warfare in the West has been internecine and static (prior to Descati and Ilien), the East was taken by force.
The Federation saw an opportunity in the East and took it mercilessly. The south of the East Empire was a swathe of territory known as the Carapathe. Here, the rights of the Lindiri were held in high regard, and the Empire kept it's lands closely to the Lindiri ways, allowing them occupation of some of that land to act as a buffer for the Lindiri, in actuality to claim ownership to prevent another, less desirable occupier from damaging Lindiri Elves' lives and homes. That accounted for the southern and western side. More of the Carpathe was occupied by independent clans and tribes, with a strong Imperial military presence along the coast and in a channel up to Saladir and the Myr Addat. The Sun Province provided a strong support to the eastern quarters. The land was held in a loose fashion, save for the coastal military where the Danegelde built their grand keeps. These were the kin of the people that travelled to become the Wolfborn, and they hated them. Imperial control was nominal, and this is what allowed the Federation to invade.
The Danegelde were a fortress of hate towards the Wolfborn, and had been a major buttress, sinking their fleets and preventing much of their southerly raiding in their lands. Thus the Wolves raided the Sun Province and the loose clans near the Lindiri in the main. This was to change with the coming of the Federation. Only the Federation truly know the means by which they gained 'just right' to seize the lower East, as the Imperials burned the lengthy declaration of such things, but they engineered an invasion by Ashapur, supported by the Wolfborn, into these lands, and arrived to protect them denouncing the Empire as incapable of defending them properly. As it stood, the Empire was in the throes of strife, centred around the revolt of the Palatine Legions, and their forces in the area fought the Ashapuri and, with their Danegelde allies, stunted much of the Wolfborn, but they could not cope with the appearance of thirty thousand Federal troops, who obliterated the defenders on the coast, allowing the Wolfborn full access. Ashapur withdrew in feigned retreat, allowing the Federation to seize much of the rest. In months, the Carpathe fell, and the Imperial forces arrived too late, but in time to baulk an ill-fortuned Federation attack beyond the Carpathe, crushing it.
Since then there has been a sporadic war, which has been brutal and unforgiving. Often the Wolfborn will fight alongside the Federation, and any time the balance has been tipping, the Ashpuri have evened the odds, using threats, bribes or military. Once, they drew elements of the Bandit kingdom in with them, and they have been close to bringing the East to it's knees. With the advent of the Naugiri and the loss of the Sun province, the Empire should be weaker, but this is not the case; it is actually strong, with no garrisons in unfriendly or overly large or distant realms, but they are more suited to a stubborn defence at this time. This may well have to change, and the Empire has ever reacted well to huge pressures.
The Secession of the Sun Provinces
The Rebels have their own stories of their secession from the Empire. Some is true, certainly true to them, but there was less and far more to that event.
When the Naugiri burst from the huge cracks in the surface world, the Empire bore the brunt of their assault. Duinir had virtually been cut off, and Setantair couldn't ascertain whether they still existed at all. He was faced with three assaults by the Naugiri. The first passed north of the Sea of Grass, and he had no chance to react to this attack; it was halted by the Dalthrasians at first, and the Clans of the Sea of Grass flooded to them, as did Telmior and the Legions of much of the north, and Wardens from Duinir. He faced two attacks; the first broke to the south of his forces, and thankfully struck the Federation, but it's supply lines were broken as they had little idea that they could not live as humans did. The Federation and Ashapur dealt with this as it floundered.
The attack that Setantair met with was one of the strongest, and it's supply lines were uninterrupted, as were reinforcements at first. He was faced with an impossible position. Atakash came to him in fullness, as did riders of Saladir and some of Kai Losson, alongside the Legions of Saladir and Atakash. The borders with Ashapur had to remain as strong as possible, and the Sun Provinces were of great concern. Setantair made the decision he thought best, and withdrew the garrisons of the Sun Province in the main, alongside enough Young Sons as he was able. He knew that the possibility of a revolt was high, as the people of the Sun Province were mostly unaware of the Naugiri threat. He reasoned that the Sun Provinces would be independent, yet still be a deterrent to the Federation even if free from Imperial occupation, at worst.
With the largest force he could muster, he held the Naugiri, outnumbered yet strong. The Wardens of Duinir soon cut the lines of this third force, and, when they did, Setantair faced them in open battle. As he watched his men die, watched the Naugiri beaten, he learned of the revolt, of the return of the Sun King. He was also told of the garrisons he had there being released from their fortresses, allowed to leave rather than face extermination, and that gave him hope, made his gamble worthwhile. At worst, he had beaten the Naugiri and had regained the forces he felt he had abandoned within the Sun Kingdom, as it was now.
There is a story of a meeting between him and the new Sun King. It is said they met on the borders of their lands, and an accord reached. He gave his recognition of the Sun King's right to rule, and the return of any Young Sons he had in his forces, and the return gesture of the Sun King was one of recognition that the Sun King was in as much danger from the Haladin as all humanity. They became allied in the containment of this threat. The Young Sons that returned were quick to relay the danger of the Naugiri and again, there was a form of accord. Both realised and admitted they had no other allies to call upon, and distance was closed, yet appearances of such a thing would remain hidden, for the benefit of both nations' populations.
It may be a complete fabrication, or simply may not have been quite so successful, and few believe the tale when told.
The Void Temple in the East
The Void Temple itself is in the Western Empire, amongst the Daikini people, but it's reach is much wider. The Temple is a friend of the Empire, as they see it as the single most stabilising factor in the world. They view the Bandit Kings as the greatest hope, but it is not strong enough to make a real difference at this time.
There are Void Cells far across the world, each of six men and women, operating in quiet, seeking to help the world resist evil; much of that threat is seen in a few places: the Ward of Descati, as they know his origins, and of the Ghaurchlai that lurk behind his plans; the Haladin Blood-Fed, as they fear the encroachment of the Abyss and everything the Haladin stand for, and now the Naugiri have become a threat of unknown proportions that can only be guessed at. There are others; perhaps the Only Church would number amongst them; certainly Sythys is worrisome. Their methods are to support those that stand against these aberrations and the possibilities they bring. The Temple is too few in number to fight pitched battles, but they have skills no other human has, and they use them as much as they can, and as much as they dare - for, spread thin, they are extremely vulnerable.
In the East, they have several Cells within the Empire. These are to wards against the Sythys Cult, the Haladin Blood-Fed (for there are others in that land that oppose the magics of the Abyss) and the Naugiri; possibly more than this. These Cells are at the disposal of Setantair, as advisers, but they will take to the battlefield for him if needed. There was mention of a second Void Temple, but this would possibly violate their edicts. So, it is likely that Void Knights will take to the field of battle for the Imperial East, especially as events worsen. As the dangers increase so likely will the number of Void Cells, and far more likely in open war, upon the field of battle.
East Empire and the Iryn Thaan
After the Naugiri were broken and their three-pronged assault on the lands of men in the East scattered or slaughtered, The Wardens of Duinir came to Setantair in his campaign tent one night. There were three Wardens, and they brought several hooded figures. In their path, horses had reared and whinnied or flattened their ears as the figures edged past, for there was a fell air about them. Within the tent, guided by sentries of the Kadapayan Free Crops, the Wardens revealed themselves, their written word gaining them access upon the Seal of the Great Warden, and the markings of the Void Temple itself. Setantair stood, awaiting explanation.
The first Warden stood and spoke. 'We bring news of Duinir, and within it, the advent of a possibility. Your wisdom is needed more than any other man available, but do not take this for a foe of yours, but of a chance of an ally against the Naugiri. As he spoke, three of the figures removes their hoods. Setantair inwardly gasped, and his soul felt the shiver of something that should not be within this world. The first figure was dressed in a soft white surcoat, bearing arms that had not been seen before in Setantair's world. It was a man in full mail, who removed his helm, to show a man of later age, his face worn and taught, the scar-crossed beard white, eyes of flint making his nobility apparent. It was not this figure that was the strangest, nor the most disturbing. With him was a large man-like figure, save it was covered with leopard-fur, in ermine colours, the head that of a Snow Leopard. This was a surprise, but he had seen the Ferakine of Rhuagh. Rather it was the third figure that chilled his soul; this was a man-like mound of tattered cloth, with a spiked helm much like the Ashapuri wore, save in age, as it seemed ancient, cut by strange means. Here, any semblance of normality ceased, for the spaces that could be seen, where flesh should have been, there was a grey shadow, which moved and pulsed. His eyes, if it had a sex, were glowing silver coals, shining softly, but with no true shape , without pupils, their stare deep and penetrating, where one would imagine it to be vacant.
He knew without doubt what he was looking into; death was the name of this figure, or, at the least, he walked under the mantle of death itself. It bowed slightly, and the air grew colder. The Leopard, too, bowed, but the man exuded royalty, and he simply nodded grimly. The Warden spoke, his voice form and fearless, and carried no hint of threat or concern, rather simply an uncertainty. 'These are the Iryn Thaan, called Wakers of the Wind, as it howls in their lands, to the north of the Naugiri, bound in silence and ice.'
'The man here is Kalial Thane, a Lord of these people, exiled from his ancient lands by the Naugiri, who hunted his people, destroyed a valiant kingdom, to the ice that embraced them. There, the Naugiri were stopped, as the men of Thane's command were found by the Ice Kith; the Leopard-folk of the north. They fought the Naugiri to a standstill, as they do not tolerate ice or the cold as others can. They tell me that the dead themselves came to them upon their discovery of their new home; amongst the city they found in the ice, there were graves of thousands, and that Blade himself manifested, to send them these warriors; the Yaga Dai, bargained for in the World of the Dead, at great cost to these gods. These Yaga Dai are with the Iryn Thaan, and they desire the death of all Naugiri, a vengeance upon them.'
He continued; 'They tell of the Naugiri, of the extermination of their people, and of the movement of a vast land-mass, a continent, sent to strike Duinir, to bring war to us, humans, they call 'Parasite'. These creatures desire nothing less than our utter extirpation. We stand against a foe we hardly know, let alone understand, and these people have been destroyed. The kingdom this man hails from was more powerful than the East, and yet it fell in a few years. We are fortunate to not have the same numbers of foes arrayed against us, but we need more than we have to beat them and root out their deeps, enough to cripple them. If we do not do this, they will never cease to hate us. I have seen memories of this war, and the foes we face, and we have not seen their true strength, or their best or strongest weapons. What crushed this man's home is there, in the borders of this hellish race, and it has begun to gather it's strength. When it comes, we must be ready; even then it is not a good chance we have. The Iryn Thaan wish to alter this. They will stand against the Naugir, give them something to fear or distract whilst we gather our strength.'
Setantair nodded, not trusting his voice at first. 'Then we had best know all of it, the worst, and we must match it with our own ferocity. You are welcome here, my lords. We can discuss everything and you can know my thoughts.'
The man in ermine stood, shaking from some unvoiced emotion. 'Whatever you do, it will not be enough. We were caught unprepared, and much was lost before we could gather anything of note. You have this army, but how many others? Unless you can gather ten times this, it will not be enough.'
Setantair paled. 'Then we will all be ghosts soon enough. Let us hope we each have found the right gods'.
The Eastern Empire and the Haladin
When the Haladin began to fall under the Iudruul, as they began to look into the rites of the Blood-fed, their own people were harvested. The lowland Clans are white of skin, almost alabaster, and their hair is blood red. They have always used Malech as a practical metal for weapons and armour, but the Iudruul discovered it's use from their darkening dreams and turned it on their own people. When the Kanaan resisted, the Iudruul had progressed to a stage where they were ready to force it on their kin, and war began. The Kanaan Clan are immactulate warriors, perfect and dangerous, and this began to tell in the war.
The Empire was warned by the Void Temple, who themselves moved against the Haladin. The events that followed are noted briefly in the Imperial libraries, as they marked a brutal failure. Legions were sent against the Haladin, whilst Void Knights struck the strangely angled castles of the ruling caste. In the valleys, the Legions were drawn inwards, winning several small battles, whilst the Void knights determined the Iudruul as the core of 'evil'. The Imperial forces were drawn in far enough, finally, and they stood in a place that four valleys met; here they were hit by Haladin forces. The Cimrai low-clans were joined by many of the Haladin Nobles, using Blood-fed magic, and the Imperial forces were smashed apart. Their commander had eight legions; one of Lancers, three of archers and four pike. When the battle was obviously lost, he led the Lancers in a charge that scattered the Haladin flank, turning it. His orders came to the foot units, to retreat swiftly in smaller groups. As they fled, he used the Lancers to punish and dissuade the Haladin from pursuit. He was slain some five miles from the edge of the Earthspine mountains, along with his entire command, finally trapped by Iudruul warriors with metal wings; wings that beat like a bats, flexing and unflexing like something living.
His death allowed just under two thousand men to escape. The Void Knights brought terrifying news; they feared that the Haladins' practices were linked to the Abyss, that their dreams were of the conscious of CThuguar and Kalacris. More, they had seen evidence that Cthonae were being summoned, but were vanishing upon the summons. They were unaware at that point that the power within Haladin artefacts were the trapped Cthonae inside Malech metal; this remained hidden until recent attacks on the Iudruul Bloodwells.
The Imperial Navy
The Navy of the Empire is fairly consistent across the factions. They possess a massive naval force, but it is stretched along huge coastlines. The East fares better now they don't have the Sun Provinces to patrol, but much of that fleet stands near the shores of the Haladin and the Naugiri. Over a third was destroyed by the Naugiri lands' arrival, sunk by impact or shockwaves. What remains is somewhat stuck, as they would need to pass through Wolfborn waters, then Federation and Ashapuri waters. Setantair has postulated that they may be best served by being sold to the Sun King.
The Imperial Navy is a heavy force. They use Siege Ships to pound land targets, supplemented by Spurhawk Carriers and Heavy Cruisers, all supported by swift flotillas of Caesium-armed ships, War Shark riders, Spurhawk Riders and can be given Dragonships, bearing the lesser Dragons of Kadasandra and the West. They have the greatest variety of warships, armed with sky cutters, deck and sail cutters, catapults and Caesium charges. Other fleets can outfight them, skill-wise, as the Navy is not seen in the same way as their land forces, but they are strong.
The East has two main fleets; one to the north of Duinir, the other to the west of Telmior. The are feared by Ashapur, but their leadership is not as good as the ship-lords of Ashapur or the Pirate-lords of Hanghaven. The investment in terms of money is higher, but few nobles see the sea as an honourable and glorious pursuit. Now, however, the Ildiri Swan Kingdom has offered firm alliance after an attack on their fleet by Ashapur; an attempt thwarted by Imperial help.
The Mournguard and the Ice of Capa Hara
The Mournguard were formed of the personal Household of Mournweaver, the first Warden of the East and the greatest human friend of Valerian. Upon the death of his Emperor and the victory at Saden Fields, the Ghaurchlai were placed under the ice, entombed 'forever'. A force was sought to patrol the Ice Cap, and there were several voluntary forces. The 'Kadapayan Free Corps' were one, the 'Constant Watch' another, both small, mobile forces, but Mournweaver was virtually broken by his friend's death. Until he realised that he was so desperately needed to stabilise the fragmenting EMpire, he went to the Ice with the best of the men of his personal command, known as the Mournguard - a name given by others in the Empire to undermine Mournweaver's position.
When the desperate summons came to bring him to a swiftly fragmenting Court, he left the Mournguard behind, a legacy to his friend's memory. Between them, the Kadapayans and the Constant Watch, nearly seven thousand men watched the Ice. When the Federation launched their first exploration, they were caught on their return by soldiers of the COnstant Watch, who attacked them, driving them back to the sea, killing over half their number, but they had gathered the information they needed. The second expedition was an attack on the Constant Watch, catching them in their fort, wiping them out as a force of any means. Their survivors retreated to the Kadapayans, in time to warn them of the Federal presence. The Kadapayans met the Federal forces on the ice, defeating a good amount of their men. However, their base was captured by a large force whilst they were away. They were cut off from the sea or any supplies, but fled to the Mournguards' base. The Mournguard numbered four thousand in their main holdfast, and five hundreds guarded a hidden naval base.
A series of battles occurred over the next week, holding actions in the main, as the Federation had unloaded a second force to take the Mournwatch out. They almost succeeded, and the Mournwatch fought their way back to the small Naval base they still held. Over a thousand dead littered their path, but they reached their fleet, where they had gathered all available boats, even raiding the Federal fleet that invested the Mournguard's base. Here, they sank three warships and captured four transports. The host of survivors boarded their fleet and struck north. A small voluntary unit stayed to hold up the Federal forces in an effort to veil their escape. Four hundred of the Mournguard stayed, fighting for seventeen days before they were wiped out. More than four thousand of the Free Corps, Constant Watch and Mournguard made it away from Cara Hapa. They sailed to the coast of the Lindiri, warning them of the Federal forces on the ice. They stayed in the borders of that kingdom for several months before departing. The Lindiri sent Weirden Ships, made of living wood, to aid their escape, and the fleet made it to the Bandit Kings' shores after weeks of avoiding enemy vessels. At the borders of the Bandit Kings, they were driven ashore, their fleet mostly crippled by storms. What remained possessed no strength in war, and they were forced to camp on the shores of the Bandit Kingdom.
The Bandit King's forces allowed them entry, to send them to Sentantair, after seeing to their needs. They arrived at his side eleven months after their departure, battered and worn, little use for anything, their morale broken. Setantair began the rebuilding of these men, in spirit and mind, and he formed new units of them, sent to the Sea of Grass to train for use against the Federation, whom they hated with a bitter fire. They remain untested.
SEVENTH LEGION AND THE BANDIT KINGS
Imperial records do not show this as the record of the time. Beline was recorded as having fallen in battle with the Seventh Legion and it's followers; a battle during which the Seventh were destroyed, alongside nearly all of their allies. Despite this, he is marked as a poor Emperor, but it is said he fell valiantly whilst attempting to rectify his mistakes. The Seventh are marked as disloyal and their banners were burned in Kadasandra. The Palatine Legions still exist, but their duties are mostly within the five islands of the capital city. However, their training is superlative, and they are still regarded with awe by much of the human-world's military.
"The Seventh Legion, best amongst the Palatine, having fought several skirmishes with Imperial Guard Legions, fell back into the Bandit Kingdom, aware that to be trapped was to be ended. With them came some of the Karesi they had rescued from Lion’s Gate with Imperial troops from that garrison; they numbered in the thousands but still were hard pressed. A mile or so into the Broken Pass, the Imperial forces landed men behind them, to sever their escape, whilst the Emperor Beline gathered enough men to destroy them.
The attack was simply an attempt to overwhelm them, but it ended badly for the Emperor. As he pressed forwards, the hidden men of the Bandit Kingdom, having suffered three times from Imperial aggression, acted. Their network of beggars and thieves had kept them well informed of events beyond their borders, and they could not leave the refugees to die.They fell upon the grounded Spurhawks, their riders and the Legion they had transported.
In a swift battle, they destroyed the Imperial forces, and marched to aid the Seventh Legion, who were engaged in the pass.
The addition of several hundred Khuzurudhul Dwarves and a thousand or more Bandit Kingdom soldiers was enough for the Imperials attacking. Nervous of being caught inside the mountains, their commanders forced a hurried withdrawal. The Emperor railed against this decision, ordering the deaths of two commanders once inside Imperial lands, and this was his final undoing.
The commanders of the Legions acted. None stood against them, including most of the Ancillian Guard, who simply stood aside, turning their backs on the Ill Emperor. Surrounded by his few loyal men, the Emperor was arrested and taken to the towns his men had savaged. Here, he stood trial for his orders against his own people, and was executed by the Lord Warden of the Karesi, Jeame Keel.
The Seventh Legion were invited to sit upon his trial, but they had made their home; upon the involvement of the Forlorn and other soldiers of the Fox King, their non-combatants had been moved to safety, and the Legion swore fealty to the Fox King himself. Beline was finally executed in the fields of a village that had been entirely massacred."
The reason for the revolt of the Seventh are recorded in their own annals as an unwillingness to carry out the Emperor's orders, which had already resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians and seemed without end, due to his madness and paranoia.