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Thread: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 17]

  1. #21
    Marvzilla's Avatar Ducenarius
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 7]

    Quote Originally Posted by Shankbot de Bodemloze View Post
    Ah I see, no worries - although you could always type it up on TWC?
    Done that in the beginning, then it started to act weird, changing formating after some
    while, different colors etc.

    Very weird.

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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 7]

    Fear not, I shall not let it stand in my way.

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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 7]

    Quote Originally Posted by Shankbot de Bodemloze View Post
    Fear not, I shall not let it stand in my way.

    Good to hear and have fun reading.

    Also I changed the italics, so this should be no concern anymore.

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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 7]

    It is easier to read, although it did look pretty nice in italics.

    Good job.
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 7]

    A very nice last chapter, I like the switch to the different font too, makes it easier to read

    Rep+

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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 7]

    Chapter 8: A Jewel of the East



    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 heīs 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.


    Two days have gone since the assault of the Wei convoy. Preamu and his compagnions gathered what they
    could carry, loaded it onto the backs of their horses and searched for even more. Apart from this materiel
    loot they also took with them something that may could prove more useful: The young lady who they found
    scared and shivering in the corner of one of those small, poor tents. Utruru was eager to find out how
    good a girl of Wei stock would do in his bed, but Preamu immediately restrained such thoughts. They could
    not be sure if she was of royality, and what objects where the target of her journey. So he let her rest
    the day after, under the sharp eyes of Zarwu, so that she wouldnīt try to flee. Eventhough such an attempt
    would have been foolish anyway: They were in the middle of the Qilian Mountains, were wild beasts frolicked
    freely and the approaching winter made matters worse. She wouldnīt have survived for two days.

    Now, they were on their way back home. It were two months gone since their exile deemed upon them by Bramu,
    and they would rather die fighting against their own folk than live beshamed outside of their own tribe and
    people. Maybe the loot and the girl would milder Bramus temperament.

    It was a mild day, a slow breeze was in the air. All of them sat on their horses, trotting down a wildpass
    in a wooded area which was pretty steep. They rode in a line, Numu first, behind him Preamu. Should they
    get ambushed by any hostile tribe or bandits Preamu wouldnīt been attacked first. Cammuru had the young women
    behind him, only involuntarily holding on to him. Last was Utruru, who played on his Dongbula, playing a popular
    traditional song of the Liu, singing loudly to it. It was about the heros of the Liu and how they have killed the
    many beasts and monsters of turkic mythology. How they looted and murdered many chinese of the Han Dynasty.
    Essentialy, it was a tale about the Liu themselves.

    Everyone was in a good mood, though anxious. How would Bramu and his court react to their return ? Hostile ?
    Forgiving ? Either way, they were prepared to take up weapons, as none of them wanted to retreat into the wilderness
    again. They still had some distance to cover, as the summercamp of the royal Liu was at the banks of the Hwang Ho.
    They feared that they would come to late, and the whole camp was already traveling to the winterquarters.

    Preamu was in sympathy with their captive. She was quiet, but clearly afraid of the young men, who so ruthless killed
    their entourage like animals. She seemed to be especially cautious of Utruru, as he was interested in her, and made no
    attempt to hide his lust. Though only when Preamu wasnīt looking.

    "Preamu, it getīs darker, should we set up camp ?"

    "Yes, yes. I donīt think our guest will make it through another nightly ride." Liu are able to sleep while riding, a
    skill deeming extremly useful.

    When they reached the valley below they set up camp in the woods, not catching anyones sight. Quickly was the round tent
    erected, with the small hole in the center, so that any smoke, created by the pitfire, could evade through it. Zarwu hunted
    down some small game earlier, birds in particular, so they could strenghten themselves, and their guest as Preamu liked to
    call the woman, to continue their exhausting journey.

    "She is pretty." Cammuru was also fascinated with the young lady, but without such ill intentions like Utruru.

    "She is indeed, but no one will harm her, in any way."

    Cammuru just nodded, looking down on his mare milk. Utruru wrinkled up.

    "She is certainly of noble heritage. Look at the way she is dressed, and how her hair smells. This is no commoner.
    Anyway, why should a common woman have an entourage to protect her ," Zarwu noted.

    "Maybe she is just part of the entourage ? Have some fun my friends ! Since when have we seen a woman ? To me it
    seems like years !" Utruru said half laughing, half enthusiastic. A sharp gaze from Preamu crushed any of his pleas.

    "That makes no sense at all, the loot was barerly enough to be actually of note. She is no maid, no simple woman. No,
    we have caputured someone important," Zarwu argued.

    "Rudur, you do speak Han fluently, do you ?" Preamu had an idea.

    "Yes. Do you want me to ask her out ?"

    "No, that way you wonīt get any information from her. Aproach her slowly, show her that we are not of danger.
    Than ask her things, subtle."

    "Good idea." Rudur took some of the bread they gathered from the Wei, and approached the young lady, who sat in
    the back part of the Yurt, as distant as possible from those unwashed brutes.

    "Why havenīt we done this as soon as we found her ?" Numu was confused.

    "She was agitated, my dear friend. She is still scared, but far more approachable now, I just hope Rudur is cautious
    with how he acts."

    The other men gazed curious at Rudur and their guest, and if he was actually able to get closer to her. Rudur turned around,
    feeling his compagnions gazes on him. With a swinging gesture he commanded them to not observe them so obviously.

    "Are you hungry ?" Rudur slowly came towards the woman. She looked up to him, the fear written in her eyes. He broke the bread
    in two, reaching out to her. Quickly she grabbed the bread out of his hand and started to eat it, never letting Rudur out of
    her sight. She sat partially on her knees, her long dress which was richly ornated battered and dirty. Her face was truly beautiful,
    oval with two eyes like almonds, dark as the night. Her black hair was still loosely in form, styled in a bun. He gave her the rest
    of the bread, and his drinking bag, filled with fermented mare milk. She drank some of it, then quickly spitted it out. A woman of
    her heritage wasnīt used to such strong alcoholic drinks. Preamu and his compagnions turned to her, but redirected their attention
    back to their own food soon.

    "Too strong ?" He did speak fluent Han, but with a strong accent. She just nodded. He then got out. On his way out he grabbed a golden
    cup, part of the loot, out of one of the big bags. After a short while he was back, handing the cup over to her.

    "Water," he said with a slight smile. She drank and in turn gave him a little smile, too. She looked on the ground, then back to him.

    "What are you going to do with me ?" Rudurs eyes widened. He didnīt expect her to speak. He turned around, looking at Preamu, who also
    looked at him. With a motion of his hand he ordered him to continue on.

    "Ahem, we, we.."

    "Are you going to kill me ?" She had tears in the eyes.

    "No, no !" Rudur said fast, fawning with his hands.

    "What intention do you have then ?"

    "Well, to be true, we donīt know either. We are on our way back to our people, but we donīt know how we will be welcomed."

    "So you arenīt desired at home ?"

    "More or less, yes." Rudur said with a saddened tone.

    "I can understand that." Rudur listened carefully now.

    "I wasnīt officially exiled, but my reason to be so far away from home comes close. My father sold me to those barbarians, with all this gold
    as part of the tribute." She pointed on one of the large bags where they stored the loot.

    "I hate him for that." She said, tears now flowing, turning her head sideways. Rudur didnīt know what to say.

    "My lady," Rudur cleared his throat.

    "Could you please give me your name ?"

    She now looked back to him, astonished by the respect he showed. She wiped her face, looking down on the ground.

    Rudur was still waiting. The other men now turned all their attention on the conversation between the literate Rudur and the beautiful
    young woman.

    "My name is Li, daughter of Concubine Feng Si and Emperor Yuan Hong, Ruler of the Northern Wei."
    Last edited by Marvzilla; February 10, 2013 at 07:35 PM.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 8]

    Quote Originally Posted by Shankbot de Bodemloze View Post
    It is easier to read, although it did look pretty nice in italics.

    Good job.
    It did, but I can understand why it could be hard to read sometimes.

    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Anglorvm View Post
    A very nice last chapter, I like the switch to the different font too, makes it easier to read

    Rep+
    As I just said.

    I think readability is more important than better looking script.

    Thank you very much.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 8]

    Chapter 9: Way Back Home



    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 heīs 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.


    The following days were spent riding, some nights riden through, others the Yurt was erected.
    The group was at the fringes of the Qilian Mountains, near the Gansu and the Hwang Ho. The air
    was not so thin anymore and the winds were less cold. Soon, the mighty steppes of the Gansu were
    in eyesight.

    Rudur and Princess Si spent a lot of time together, as she seemed to find him less barbarous than the
    others. Cammuru and Utruru were filled with envy, while Numu and Zarwu were amused by this situation.
    Only Preamu didnīt gave any attention to this quarreling. His thoughts were home, and how it would
    have changed. Would they be welcome, or would even hostile actions be their greeting ? Preamu was worried.
    It didnīt helped that he had an Wei Princess, which was offered as tribute to the Tangut, in his retinue.
    Regardless of what would follow, war was emminent, either from his father or the Tangut, it didnīt matter.

    It was early noon when they finally reached the plains of Gansu. The sun stood high in the sky, but it was
    still cold. Rudur had lent some of his coats to the Princess, so that the cold winds and rain couldnīt harm
    her. They talked a lot, and both learned a lot from each other, their upbringings, families, ideas and dreams.

    To the others this was just random mumbling, but Utruru was angered. He was denied to interact with the Princess
    in any way, and her interest in Rudur only heightened his aggression. This man ? One who only reads and speaks
    in foreign tongues ? Utruru was offended. He was the better rider of the two, the greater man. The girl should be
    his ! And he already had plans regarding this.

    "You see, my dear Numu," Preamu pointed in a eastwards direction.

    "The mighty Hwang Ho, the Yellow River. Weīre nearly there."

    Numu smiled and grabbed him by the back of his head, while Preamu laid his hand on Numus shoulder. They were both
    anxious, worried but still filled with enthusiasm.

    "We have to rest again," Numu noted.

    "The horses can only go so far without a pause. The loot is wearing them down."

    "I agree." Preamu turned, signaling with his open hand to halt. He got of his horse, and the others did too.

    "Let them graze. Meanwhile, rest a bit, move. Or your legs will be useless."

    "Preamu !" Zarwu came towards Preamu in a fast stride.

    "We have to talk. Alone." Preamu just nodded.

    They walked away from the others, to a small mound in the flat plain. The wind was getting stronger, and Preamus
    shoulder long hairs flailed behind. Behind them were the majestic mountains, before them the endless steppe.
    It was a sight to behold. Zarwu looked to the ground, sorting his words. Preamu grabbed him by the shoulder, with
    a firm look in his eyes, encouraging his friend to talk.

    "Preamu, we have to talk about our homecoming." He gazed into the steppes.

    "I donīt think your father will agree with your presence. Well, if come into his camp, atleast unheralded."

    "What have you planned." Preamu slightly smiled, as he knew Zarwu already had a idea.

    "Let me go first, with some of the looted riches. I will explain your position and your willingness to be more loyal.
    Let me argue for you." Zarwu looked at Preamu, an almost desperate look in his face.

    Preamu just laughed.

    "Why are you laughing ?"

    "My dear Zarwu, cautious as ever."

    "Naturally. Think about it Preamu, if theyīre hostile, its just me. There is no need to endanger you, and us all."

    Preamu stopped to laugh, regaining a more serious tone and look.

    "No, my dear friend," he said with an sympathetic smile.

    "My intention is not to come, heralded as an dog to his owner. I will come, to show my father that I am loyal,
    but also strong. He will see his son, followed by his glorious compagnions and mighty loot. He might not agree with
    me, but the simple folk will see us in a different way. They will see able men, and my father has no other choice
    to recognize me. As you said earlier, he is already in an uncomfortable situation, not only banning his own son but
    also the sons of mighty men, partly his friends. No, he will greet me as an victor, even if he is still upset with me.
    He has no other choice."

    Then Preamu tightened his grip on Zarwus shoulder and turned to him, looking him deeply into the eyes.

    "We are heros, the exiled son of the Liu that came back with plunder and stories to tell!" He erupted into laughter
    and kissed a confused Zarwu on the forehead. He is right, thought Zarwu. Bramu couldnīt open hostilities, or he would
    lose all of his prestige.

    "And the Princess."

    "Rudur has found a liking to her, but I will give her as a present to my father. We all have to make sacrifices."

    "But Preamu, this will mean open war with the Tangut people of the South !"

    "It will, but that is what my father wanted either way. If he hasnīt already opened hostilities." Preamu said with a dark
    tone.

    Meanwhile, Cammuru and Utruru tended to their weapons, polishing them with simple hides. Rudur was sitting on the groundwith Princess Li, laughing and talking.

    "Ugh, look at them. And he calls himself a man, chattering like a woman." Utruru spat out. He had an sinister look in his
    eyes.

    "Yeah." Cammuru had a strong grip on one of his arrows, suddenly breaking it.

    "I have an plan." Utruru leaned over to Cammuru.

    "Tonight is the last night before we will reach the camp and our people. We donīt what will happen. The princess might be
    an present to Bramu, to sooth his anger. Rudur might become her. I donīt want either thing to happen."

    "What have you planned." Cammuru had not a good feeling about this. He was angered, sure, but he had no ill intentions.

    Preamu got back to them, closely followed by Zarwu. He whistled, the sign that they would continue on. Everybody got on hishorse and they rode on in a higher tempo. Preamu wanted to reach the camp as soon as possible.

    It was already dark when they finally decided to set up camp. As always, they ericted the Yurt on dry ground. It was a very simpleyurt, not very big, more similar to a simple tent. But it was still big enough for muliple people, and itīs rich decorations made ita beautiful sight. The young Liu and the Princess got to sleep early, as an exciting day stood before them. Preamu was more than anxious,but he still found his sleep, because his teachers always told him that only a rested man is an able man. Near him laid Numu, it was as hewas guarding Preamu, even when both slept.

    Only one man didnīt slept that night.

    Preamu suddenly waked up. He sat up, hearing something. The night was silent, not a single wind. It was cold and his breath crystalized beforehim. He checked the whole Yurt, trying to spot something not in place, moving, just something suspicious. His heart raced, and his eyes were unsteady.

    "Pshh."

    He looked to his left. Numu laid motionless but with open eyes. Preamu could read from his face that he too felt something. Suddenly, a shadowmoved, just infront of the Yurt. Preamu instantly grabbed for his dagger, beneath his bedroll. He looked at Numu, who just slightly nodded.Preamu got to his feet, slowly, ready to spring forward to anything that would enter the Yurt.

    "AYYYY !"

    Preamu sprang forward, but before he could reach the intruder someone came before him. Behind the mysterious attacker a bigger figure clenchedhis arms around his waist, throwing him backwards, out of the Yurt. A metallic sound revealed that a weapon got dropped, and the muffled fightingsounds became louder. Now the whole Yurt was awaken, Rudur positioning before Princess Si, protecting her. Meanwhile, Numu and Preamu stormed out,Zarwu on their heels. What they saw thoroughly shocked them.

    Cammuru pinned Utruru on the ground, slamming an elbow in his face. Cammuru was stronger, and it showed. But Utruru didnīt gave up. He reached forthe small dagger, but his attempt got hindered by Preamu who stepped on his arm. Utruru let out a painful shout.

    "What is going on ?" Preamu was visibly angered.

    "He was trying to murder Rudur !" Cammuru said while holding Utruru down.

    "Stand up !" Preamu ordered them in a loud manner.

    Cammuru sprang up, ready to attack Utruru again. But he just layed down, holding his face with the right.

    "Explain yourself !"

    Utruru slowly regained his breath, still pumped with adrenaline. Preamu let him go, and he got up on his feet.

    "He doesnīt deserve her !" Utruru shouted, still aggressive.

    "You dumb idiot, and why do you deserve her !" Cammuru asked threatening.

    "I am a man, a rider, a real warrior. Rudur is no man, spending his life with books. Why he didnīt defect to the Wei is suprising !"

    "Choose your next words wisely !" Preamu said.

    Utruru started to growl, turning around, stomping on the ground.

    "Why did you wanted to murder him ?" Cammuru shouted.

    "How could you, you swine. I thought we were brothers !" Cammuru was pounding his chest while saying this, tears filling his eyes.

    Utruru turned, his anger suddenly turning into despair. He sunk to his knees and hung his head in shame. Preamu took a deep breath. The situation
    was in control now, but he didnīt know what to do with Utruru. He rubbed his head.

    "You brought misery on us. Tell me, what should I do with you ?" Preamus eyes filled with tears now, too. Cammuru stood beside him, fists clenched,teeth grinding, tears flowing. Every single word shouted by them was still heard in the distance, it was only them, in the wide plains.

    "Preamu." Numu stood behind Preamu, laying his hand on his shoulder. Preamu turned his head. He looked Numu in the eyes, those dark eyes, who alwaysgave him vitality and joy. He sighed, looking down. Then he walked towards his old friend.

    "Everyone, remember this day. It is the day I showed great mercy, as I forgave my friend in the most dire situation. He looked behind him. Everyonewas outside now, and shocked. Preamu would forgive him ? A man who attempted murder, cowardly murder even, on his closest friend. Preamu turned, his hands on the sides of the still kneeling Utruru, who cryed silent, but steady.

    "Stand up." Preamu guided Utruru to his feet.

    He looked him in the eyes, and his maddened and angered expression went for an expression of sympathy. A slight smile decorated his face.

    "Remember this day. Your life was spared. Remember my mercy, repay it in loyality."

    Utruru was without words. His mouth wide open, motionless and just in awe.

    "You all, remember this day. Remember my mercy. There is only one thing I demand: Loyality."

    Preamu turned again to Utruru, his hand on the side of his friends face.

    "Remember it."

    Utruru was still motionless, as was everybody else. Every other ruler would have beheaded Utruru, but not Preamu. With this action, he gained lifelongloyality, and far more important, love.

    But soon enough, people should see the other side of this coin, reserved for people who betrayed him.

    The next day was quiet, not many words were spoken. The situation was still tense, no one trusted Utruru anymore, whorode always at the side of Preamu, who wanted it this way. It was a symbolic way of showing his loyality.

    Finally, the Yurts and fires of the royal camp were at the horizon. A long way home was finally finished, and no one knew what would await them.
    Last edited by Marvzilla; January 11, 2013 at 08:16 PM.

  9. #29
    Rex Anglorvm's Avatar Wrinkly Wordsmith
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 9]

    2 nice updates, and lets hope the introduction of the Princess causes some further complications

  10. #30
    Marvzilla's Avatar Ducenarius
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 9]

    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 heīs 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 Li - 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.

    I will place this at the beginning of every chapter, so that you guys have a good image of the different
    characters. Also be sure to check the list once in a while, as you can be certain that I will update it
    when I introduce new characters.
    Last edited by Marvzilla; January 13, 2013 at 02:26 PM.

  11. #31
    Shankbot de Bodemloze's Avatar From the Writers Study!
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 9]

    The story is developing nicely... I wonder what will await them.

    The Character section is a nice addition and little refresher as well.
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  12. #32
    Marvzilla's Avatar Ducenarius
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 9]

    Quote Originally Posted by Shankbot de Bodemloze View Post
    The story is developing nicely... I wonder what will await them.

    The Character section is a nice addition and little refresher as well.
    Thanks, I really needed that comment as I have the feeling my story is progressing too slow.

    Yeah, as I missed to write up the physical details and quirks of the characters in the story itself,
    the character notes were needed and I hope more people like them.

  13. #33
    Marvzilla's Avatar Ducenarius
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 9]

    Chapter 10: Father and Son, Tiger and Eagle



    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 heīs 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 Li - 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.

    I will place this at the beginning of every chapter, so that you guys have a good image of the different
    characters. Also be sure to check the list once in a while, as you can be certain that I will update it
    when I introduce new characters.


    It was windy and the sun stood high, his march fast and steady. His eyes stern, his hands clenched.
    He walked through everyone, not even recognizing them. The curtains of silk behind him, the dimmed
    light surrounding him, he did his last steps. He looked upwards, through the hole in the center,
    an eagle, majestic creature, born by the sky itself, circling above him. His gaze back on his destiny,
    he bowed.

    "Father, I come back to show you my loyality. Honor to you, and all the people of the Liu. I will conquer
    my enemies and heavy will be the burden of duty. But I will carry it, wherever we go."

    His hair hung down, as his head was lowered, but his eyes still locked on his father. Bramu sat on his
    throne, higher than everybody else in the crowded room. The silence was deafening, all eyes were on father
    and son, the Tiger and the Eagle.

    Slowly, he got up, step by step walking towards his son. His generals and friends behind him, his Shads and
    shamans at his side. They all formed a circle around them. The air filled with strange odors. Every step seemed
    to shaken the Yurt.

    Preamu arose. The atmosphere was tense. For what seemed like years father and son looked into each others eyes,
    nobody looking away, or breaking the gaze. Motionless, only their chests moving up and down. Suddenly, the Khagan
    opened his arms, and embraced his son.

    Cheers and clapping erupted, the room suddenly exloding of joy.

    "Betray me ever again, and I will kill you with my own hands."

    Bramu still held his son in his arms, his face stonern. Then, he smiled.

    "I missed you son."

    "So did I, father."

    "Come." Bramu led his son towards his throne, his arm around him. Preamu felt dizzy by this moment, his father finally
    accepting him.

    "My dear friends," Bramu opened loudly. The whole Yurt got silent again.

    "I stay here, with you, celebrating my marriage," he pointed towards the young woman, clad in costly silken and jewelry.

    "And then, to your and my suprise, my heir, my son comes back." He paused, smiling. He knew how to hold a speech.

    "And I, Khagan Bramu, Lord of the Liu, welcome him back. As my Yabgu, second ruler of the Liu !"

    The whole Yurt erupted into yelling and whistles, people starting to embrace each other, raising their hands. Bramu
    looked at his son, who was completly stunned by the situation. Preamus friends were as stunned, but then started to
    cheer, too. Quickly, the whole camp knew of the declaration, and soon every Liu should know it.

    Preamu looked on the ground, mouth wide open. Then he looked his smiling father in the eyes.

    "I will never dishonor you, father." Bramus smile disappeared, an understanding expression on his face. He just nodded.

    "What do you think of this ?" Numu was concerned. He never thought they would be greeted in a most welcome way.


    "The pressure got to big on Bramu." Zarwu was in his typical stance, one arm leaning on the other, his hand at his chin,
    in deep thoughts.

    "But he will be cautious. Preamu will be under watchful eyes, every mistake of his will be noted and punished hard. Any signof disloyality, treachery or uproar will be surpressed and smashed by the feet of the mighty Khagan. The same is true for us.Be cautious of every single action you do."

    Numu nodded in agreement.

    The news made the round quickly, and soon the whole royal camp was in upheaval. They danced and sung for two days, the alcohol,whether fermented maremilk or wine, flowed like water. Young ladies were chased and captured by the men and thrown into theirbeds, some unwillingly. It was a time of happiness, as a new Yabgu meant security if the current Khagan would die. And despitehis exilation, or maybe because of it, Preamu was popular.

    On the third day, the mood changed. Bramu was in full fledged war preparations, ordering the other tribes of the Liu to every able bodied man. Arrows were made, bows were polished, swords sharpened. Bramu now spent every minute with his closest retinue,discussing their way into the western Quinghai ranges, against the Tuyuhun. The plan was to hit them hard and fast, with Bramuand his army taking the Tuyuhun Shanyu into captivity or killing him as soon as possible, making it harder for the Tuyuhun toact. Then they would just eradicate every Tuyuhun, whether they would join the Liu or be banished from this earth.

    Preamu soon offered Princess Li as a tribute to his father. The last days she was disguised, clad in Liu cloth and protected byRudur, always on her side. Now, he had to split from her. He didnīt said anything when Preamu led her to his father, but he knewthat Rudur was vengeful because of this. He went to his Yurt in grief. Regardless, Preamu presented her to his father, who rejectedhis offer. It complicated things, that was for sure. He know had to fear that the Wei, the still mighty neighbours to the east, wouldintercept his plans of conquest to the west by attacking him at the Yellow River. The Wei were struggling internally and externally butstill had enough forces and political power to demand their princess back, which would mean a loss of prestige for the Khagan. To avoidthis, he developed a plan, which would fit perfectly into his plans of expansion. But for this to happen, he needed his son.

    "Listen my dear son, I am honored that you offered me this most delightful woman as a tribute, but you know aswell as I that she willcause a lot of problems."

    Preamu nodded barerly.

    "But fear not, I have a plan. Those petty Tangut tribes of the south were always a annoyance we Liu had to deal with, raiding into ourplains just to get beaten back and harassed by our riders. Now we have a chance to totally annihillate them, just like their Tuyuhunbrethren and make us sole lord of the Quinghai, Qilian and Tibetic ranges. You, with the help of your companions and fivethousand ofour warriors, will delve into Tangutic territory and smash them. They just established themselves, now make them subjects of our nationor let them burn in hell ! Take this pesky woman with you and let her be killed, without any witnesses. Then we will sent our condolencesand soothening words to those soft Wei, while mourn over the loss of such a jewel." He said the last words in a sarcastic way, rolling his eyes.Bramu had his hand on Preamus shoulder, leaning over to him.

    "I will do as you say, father !" His voice was saddened, almost numb. He planned to ride into battle at the side of his father, shedingblood with him and conquer the Tarim. Not on his own, with the mission of slaughtering an innocent woman, the woman his friend has founda liking to !

    Bramu was happy with the answer he got. With an enthusiastic smile on his lips he turned and opened his arms.

    "We will conquer the Tarim, the Tibetan range. We will kill, murder, enslave and subjugate, and nobody will stand in our way !"

    He laughed loudly, turning, walking towards the entrance of the royal Yurt. He patted Preamu on his shoulder while smiling and went out.From outside the Yurt, he yelled back at Preamu.

    "Saddle your horse and mount a woman my son, as this is the last time you have a chance to do so !" He said while laughing loud and thunderous.

    But Preamu just stood there, alone, shoulders hanging low. He would get split from his father again, warring against the petty Tanguts whilehis father went west. It was as he didnīt wanted him nearby. It was as Preamu was just a burden, something not wanted, maybe even something, threatening ? He thought he was accepted by his father, but he now was just used as another arm of the great Khagan to smash his foes. Not onlythat, he demanded from him to play traitor, ripping out the woman and the heart from one of his companions. He just a tool, nothing more.

    This was the course of things between Father and Son, between the Tiger and the Eagle.

    But soon, the sun should only shine on the Eagle anymore.
    Last edited by Marvzilla; January 12, 2013 at 02:44 PM.

  14. #34
    Marvzilla's Avatar Ducenarius
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 10]

    Chapter 11: The Calm before the Storm


    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 heīs 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 Li - 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.


    It was a wonderful view. The endless plains of Gansu, laid out before him. Herdes of Horses frolicking,
    young men and boys riding them, chasing each other, hunting. Herds of Yaks and goats and other cattle
    grazing. A clear, blue sky. The sounds of the Bard singing his tales of the Dragons, and above all, in
    majestic heights, a golden eagle, seemingly making his rounds above Preamu.

    It was cold and the autumn was clearly coming. But this was not of concern now. Nothing was. Preamu sat
    on the large stone, just enjoying the environment, everything was perfect. Nothing disturbed his view or
    hurt in his ears. Then, Numu got up to him and sat down. He couldnīt have liked it better.

    "Do you think we will see all of this again," Numu said while looking into the distance, seemingly dreaming.

    Preamu took a deep breath through his nose, a harmonic expression on his face.

    "Yes, because there is nothing more beautiful." He smiled.

    "Hm." Numu laid back, the sunbeams shining in his eyes. Preamu did the same. The sunbeams seemed like small diamonds,
    glittering in his eyes.

    "I will hold true to my word," Numu set himself up on his arm,"If you die, my dear Preamu, I will immediately follow.
    Nothing will part us, nothing."

    Preamu got up too, locking his eyes with Numus.

    "And I will do the same," he made a wide smile, his hand around Numus back of the head. Then, they just laid back.

    "What will you do with our Princess, and Rudur ?"

    "My father rejected her as my kind tribute to him. So as long as nobody demands her back, he can spent as much time
    with her as he wants." Preamu could barerly hold himself back. He needed someone to tell of his fathers plans, and Numu
    was the perfect person for his. He couldnīt keep secrets of Numu. His father wanted strict discretion, but it was Numu!

    "I am happy for them," Preamu was relieved that Numu broke the silence,"Having something like they have, I want it to.
    True, honest love." Numu sighed.

    "What have you said ?" Preamu suddenly pulled his upperbody up again.

    "Havenīt you heard, they secretly plan to marry after Liu custom, so that she could be at his side, without any consequencesor problems, so that she couldnīt be sent as tribute to some Tanguts anymore." Numu was shocked by Preamus reaction.

    Preamu suddenly looked like someone pierced him with a lance. This makes things much worse, he thought. Now he not only hadto part his friend from his love interest, he had to part him from his wife. How could this be happening ?

    Suddenly, a hand touched his.

    "Is everything alright, my dear Preamu ?" Numu looked concerned. Again it showed just how much he cared for him.

    Preamu gathered his senses.

    "Oh, yes, yes. Forgive me my sudden absence, I have to go." Preamu sprang to his feet, seemingly running away.

    "Preamu..." Numu looked behind him, after Preamu. He turned, his head slightly sunk, sighing again.

    "How could I ever tell him ?" Numu was alone, again.

    Preamu walked at a higher speed towards the center of the royal camp. The Bard was still singing, now about the mighty Yellow River. Small children ran around, chasing each other. A man tended to his falcon, feeding it with a dead mouse. In one the cauldronsthe women cooked mutton meat, and buttertea, a drink traditional to the Tibetan and the Liu Tribes. But Preamus object of interest wasright before him, ignoring all the alluring sounds and odors around him. He walked towards the Yurt, lifting the curtains, and enteredit.

    "Preamu !" Rudur was very happy to see his companion again. He rushed towards him, almost falling over the kettle, in which Princess Li made Tea. But before he could embrace the Yabgu, he stopped him in his tracks.

    "What are you doing ?!" Preamu sounded aggressive, a fitting expression on his face.

    "I...donīt what you mean, ahem, we, prepare tea and..." Preamu cut off his word and walked him down, towards one of the Yurts walls.

    "What in your mind made you think that it would be a good idea to marry this woman, without even asking your Khagan, not even me !"

    "But, but, Preamu...."

    "What !"

    "Now that your father has rejected her, I can have her, right ? You said that !"

    Preamu clasped his hands around Rudurs face, a desperate smile on his face, cheeks tense.

    "Now I have to... I have to.." He laid his arms around his friend, burying his face in Rudurs chest. He cryed.

    "Preamu ?" Rudur was confused, as was Princess Li, who has cautiously took a step backwards. She now was clad in one of the beautiful Liudresses, the wind and simple life having made her even more beautiful. Her green eyes were seemingly shining in ones soul.

    Preamu looked up, still embracing Rudur. Tears and Saliva dripped from his face. He suddenly embraced Rudur even stronger, like he wantedto never let him go again, his hand at the back of Rudurs head. Finally, he got off him, not sheding tears anymore. He patted his old friend on the shoulder. He had the gracious look of a ruler again, regardless of the dryed tears on his face. He nodded, takingsome steps back tothe entrance of the Yurt. He looked at Li, and started to smile.

    "Look at you, my highness. Like a diamond lost in a sea of stones." Princess Li was irritated, but bowed slightly nonetheless.

    "You both have my blessing. I promise you both, here and now: I will care for you two, and whatever happens, no one, not even the god themselves,will be able to part you, as long as I live." With those words, he took a deep breath and laughed a little. Not a sarcastic laugh, a genuine and honest laugh. He knew they wouldnīt let off each other and if he killed one of them, the other would soon follow. He would protect them as longas he lives, and would care from them out of the afterworld, when he was no more. He couldnīt execute Princess Li, as this would have made him themost shameful traitor in his own eyes. He would rather withstand his father and be exiled again than to part these two, he said himself. This was for sure.

    He walked out, feeling refreshed, as if a burden fell from his shoulders. A heavy burden. He walked towards the center of the camp and took a cup of buttertea.

    Two days later, at a hidden clearance, Preamu, Numu, Zarwu, Cammuru, and Utruru gathered for the secret marriage of
    Rudur and Princess Li, making them boundtogether, for this life, and the life after. She would be his and he would be hers. Even the envious and dangerous Utruruwas happy for his companion he knewsince they were children. Any bad blood between them was forgotten. Preamu as Yabgu was allowed to marry, if atleast oneof the partners was Liu. The ceremonyitself was simple, but delightful for everyone involved. Princess Li was dressed in one of the most beautiful kaftans the tribe had to offer, "borrowed" fromthe new wife of Bramu. They also had to wear the traditional felt hats of the Liu, adorned with feathers, which were takenfrom an bird the owner had to shoothimself. They made an exception with Princess Li. Then, the ceremony began. First, Preamu had them swear loyality and honesty to each other, and that if Rudurwould die, Princess Li would commit suicide at his grave, typical tradtiton for Liu and other Steppe People. Supringly, shesaid the oath without any hesitation.Then, they had to drink out of a cup filled with maremilk, and blood of a mare and a mustang. At the end, they had to free a falcon, as sign for their endlesslove. Cammuru even shed a tear, secretly, which didnīt pass the attention of Utruru, who should have his fun at this for the next few weeks.

    Afterwards, they left the young couple alone. Princess Li now was a full fledged Liu, according to the tradititon, and couldnīt marry any other man, especially of a different tribe. This didnīt matter much, as she was still regarded as just a political captive. But Preamu already had plans.

    A week later, preparations were finalized. The men were ready, the shads of the different tribes and their men were gathered. This was not a usual raid, or evencampaign. This was conquest, the annexiation of land, such a strange concept for nomads. But things had changed. Bramu now instructed Preamu in which path heshould take to reach Tangut territory. Preamu almost protested, but was put in place quick by his fathers sharp eyes. While in exile he gathered an excellentknowledge of the terrain belonging to the Tanguts. It was not unlike that of the Qilian Mountains, and he raided already into their possessions, so he knew which path would be shorter. It was a more difficult way, but it was faster and the Tangut wouldnīt expect him to take this path.

    Preamu was given the commandment of fivethousand Warriors. Fivethousand ! The biggest army Preamu ever had to command was twohundred men strong, and it was not a campaign into enemy territory. It was a difficult task but one he loved to take. He finally could prove his worth as commander.

    Princess Li and the rest of his companions got secretly instructed in the plan his father had by Preamu. He ensured them that he will never act in such a way,and that he had an idea how to solve this. With that burden of his shoulders, they finally set out, at a grey morning in autumn.

    "My son !" Bramu came towards Preamu. He had a serious look on his face. Preamu was just about to mount his horse, in the middle of the camp that slowly wasdeconstructed, ready for the journey into the mountains. It snowed slightly.

    "My son." Bramu laughed, clasping his hands around Preamus shoulders. Preamu smiled slightly.

    "Listen, ahem," Bramu sorted his words.

    "Look at you ! A man of seventeen years, going into battle for the first time. Ha Ha !" His father had something to say, just didnīt found the right words forit. Preamu sensed it.

    Bramus smile slightly disappeared, making face for a more serious expression, nodding.

    "Yes, my son," he whispered.

    "Listen, I know I have given you a heavy burden, ordering you to execute the wife of one of your closest friends, but grief not." He slung his arm around hissons shoulders, walking towards a cliff.

    "Grief not, as it is the duty and destiny for a ruler to be hated. Anything you do, you canīt please everyone." They stood at the cliff, which went fifty meters deep.

    "You make one decision benefiting one person, you hurt another. That is the way it is, it is unforgiving. You have to be unforgiving." He looked Preamu deep intothe eyes, pointing his finger at him.

    "If they ever betray you, kill them." He made a slashing motion with his hand. His face became more serious.

    "Then, they have to fear you. Only your closest friends you can trust, and even then, be suspicious. I know this sounds contradicting, but it is not.Donīt even trust yourself. Have I ever told you the story of Jadupha ?"

    Preamu shook his head.

    "He was a commander of mine, a shad, a beloved man. Notorious commander, most impressive warrior." Bramu nodded, staring into the sky.

    "Then, he questioned me. He questioned my decision. But I, young as I was, said agreed with his standpoint. It was completly unlogical. But what did I know ?I didnīt had as many battles as he had, so I fully trusted him. He defected. And slaughtered my man. You see this my son." Bramu pointed on a scar runningover his left eye.

    "This, he made it himself, told me it was a lection in commandment, while laughing. This dog !" Bramu seemed enraged.

    "Do you know what I did to him ? I recovered, gathered new men and beat him in battle. I let him live, but only so that his men who had survived the battle,could watch how I ripped out his eyes. He screamed and blood flew like a river, but I felt no mercy and beheaded him. His eyes, I sent to the Wei, who he defected to. His head, I still have in my possession, as a reminder to my enemies, but also to my friends."

    Preamu listened closely. This was a lecture as helpful as the one he got as a little boy at the stream.

    "Do you understand. There is no clear definition between friend and foe." Preamu just nodded. He had a sympathic look on his face. He embraced him, which suprisedBramu.

    "Fear not father, I will never fail you." He got off him, looking him into the eyes.

    "Lavish at life, be gracious for what you have. Even when they all turn away, I am still there for you." Bramu was confused, but he seemed to appreciate it.

    Preamu turned, mounting his horse. He lifted his hand, to farewell. His father lifted his hand too. Never felt Preamu so accepted by his father.

    He rode away slowly, beside the stream of people, warriors on their way. His father became smaller and smaller, until he couldnīt see him anymore. Numu laidhis hand on Preamus shoulder as they rode on.

    Never should he guess that this was the last time he saw his father alive.
    Last edited by Marvzilla; January 12, 2013 at 10:54 PM.

  15. #35
    Marvzilla's Avatar Ducenarius
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 10]

    Chapter 12: Leader of Men



    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 heīs 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 Li - 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.


    "This way is far more rockier and steeper than the other." Utruru pointed on the little map.

    "Yes, but if we take this way, around the mountains, they will await us. They are more than
    capable to ambush us in this valley." Zarwu pointed on a small line, drawn by some scholar of
    the royal court, brought to the Liu as scriptor.

    "We wonīt have any men left over to be ambushed if we take the route over the mountains." Cammuru
    noted.

    "Why ?"

    "This cliffs are steep, and we canīt afford that our supply wagons get lost by falling several hundred
    meters deep. No, we may be expected to go this way, but I rather have to fight through prepared enemies
    than have to climb this ranges." Cammuru said, folding his arms.

    "We wonīt do it in either way you have explained, my dear friends." Preamu suddenly came back, previously
    deep in thoughts.

    "Here," he pointed on the valley,"we will send the fearless Utruru and the mighty Cammuru," both men looked
    at each other, than at Preamu, concern in their eyes,"while the rest of us will take this way," he pointed
    to the rocks which were drawn in a stylized way,"and will only take with us few supply wagons, while you
    will take the majority of them with you." He again pointed at Utruru and Cammuru.

    He had ordered them to assemble in his Yurt, to plan their strategy for the upcoming campaign. They were on
    the march for approxemately two days now, and just entered Tangut territory. The question was, should they take
    the way Bramu proposed, or would they follow Preamus strategy, splitting his army in two.

    "You want to bait them," Zarwu was in his typical pose, so similar to that of the philosophers of the west.
    Preamu smiled like a fox. He took his mace, a decorated and deadly weapon, a present from one of the Liu Shads
    when he just was ten years old. He turned it, pointing with the handle on the map.

    "This is the plan. They wonīt let their eyes of the rather small army approaching them, through comfortable territory,
    laden with arms and proviant. My dear Utruru and Cammuru will slaughter countless Tanguts, and hold their ground.
    Then, with the assistance of the deadly Zarwu, the fierce Rudur and the glorious Numu,I will strike them in the rear,
    delivering the deadly strike." He was surrounded by an aura of confidence. He looked in the round, in the eyes of every single one of his companions. They all nodded in agreement. Some prayed to Tengri, the Sky God.

    "We will ride out at dawn. Prepare yourself men, as tomorrow will be the beginning of our glory." He said with a fierce
    smile. Then he turned around and left the Yurt. Zarwu sat down, looking on the map.

    "Clever as a fox."

    The sun slowly set down, red beams enlightening the mountains. It was freezingly cold. Preamu walked through his armys camp. Five thousand men. Warriors, Bards, Blacksmiths, Sons, Fathers. They all were under his commando, ready to die for him. This thought frightened him the most. As he walked through the assembled Yurts, he greeted his men, most of whom he knew personally. At night, he shared the same pitfire with them, ate with them, rode with them. He didnīt frowned upon living next to his soldiers. As a result, most saw him as one of them. They trusted in him and his capabilites, that he would lead them to bounty and glory. Never would have anyone guessed how frightened he was. He wasnīt scared for his life, but for that of his men, that he would make a mistake and they would die a unneeded death. It haunted his dreams.

    "Beautiful." Numu stood next to him, at the edge of a cliff, watching the sunset. An eagle, golden and majestic, made itīs rounds.

    "A good omen." Numu said. He and Preamu wore long coats, made out of fur, to protect themselves against the bitter cold.

    "As much for them as for us." Preamu sounded worried.

    "You donīt have to worry, my dear Preamu. As long as I am at your side."

    Preamu nodded, his eyes locked with Numu.

    "Come." Preamu walked back to the camp. They walked towards a pitfire, where some Warriors sat in a circle, eating the meat of a Mutton. Behind them was a larger man, clad in heavy lamellar, lifted heavy logs on a cart. He had a beard, and was as tall as a tree, or so it seemed. As Preamu approached the men, they immediately stood up, ready to greet their Yabgu. The man even let loose of the logs. But Preamu just nodded and pointed them with his hand to sit, as he wanted that no formalities stood between him and his men. They slowly sat down again, their attention still on the smiling Preamu.

    "Are you ready, Warriors ?" He asked.

    "Yes my lord," one said.

    Preamu patted the man on the shoulder.

    "We will kill many Tanguts," another one claimed.

    "We will see," Preamu ensured him.

    "The men are as anxious as foals, they have to fight soon, my Yabgu," the tall man explained. He was Aynuru, one of the highest commanders Preamu had, who was not of noble birth. He distinguished himself as Warrior and leader in the War against the Wei, when he was a man of Preamus age. He now was matured, but still at his physical peak.

    "You are right, and you all will have the chance to earn honor and glory tomorrow," Preamu said in a proud tone. The men laughed, enthusiastic and eager to fight. Preamu sat down, sharing some fermented maremilk with them and listened to their prior experiences. Some were Veterans already, but most of them have never seen a proper battle before. That should change soon. Then, Preamu wished them well, instructed Aynuru in his plan of splitting his forces. He already had set the army in two: one thousand men would follow Utruru and Cammuru, and most of the supply wagons, while Preamu took the rest of the companions, a few supply wagons and the remaining three thousand men, mostly the more unexperienced ones, as Cammuru and Utruru would have to endure gruel battles. He planned to reach the rear of the Tangut as soon as possible, marching over the mountains in a haste. He calculated that it shouldnīt take more than a day, at the most two. It became darker, and he advised his men to sleep, because only a well rested man is one who can fight properly. Preamu went to his personal Yurt, too. Numu followed him. They stood in front of the entrance, not saying a word.

    "The night before battle," Preamu sighed deeply, "one can feel alone." He looked around, seemingly saddened.

    "Then, you might need someone at your side," Numu said. He watched behind, as some Warriors walked by.

    "Yes, that might be," Preamu said, a sympathic expression on his face. Suddenly, Numu embraced him, in a wild way.

    "Nothing bad is going to happen, my dear Yabgu," he whispered into Preamus ear. Both had tears in their eyes. Numu then let off, looked on the ground,back to Preamu, and meagerly smiled. Preamu nodded barerly. He sighed, never letting Numu out of his gaze and finally was about to enter his Yurt.

    "Sleep well, my dear Numu." Numu nodded. Then, Preamu disappeared into his Yurt. Numu took a deep breath. Never was he so close to Preamu. He turned, making his way to his Yurt. He knew the next days would be hard, would demand all his attention. Still, the piercing pain in his heart never went away, and it should stay as long as Preamu was in his life.
    Last edited by Marvzilla; January 13, 2013 at 03:14 PM.

  16. #36
    Rex Anglorvm's Avatar Wrinkly Wordsmith
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 12]

    3 very good chapters, I especially enjoyed chapters 10 and 11 and the cast of characters is a good idea.

    rep+

  17. #37
    Marvzilla's Avatar Ducenarius
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 12]

    Chapter 13: Preamu, Warrior



    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 heīs 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 Li - 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.


    "AYYY !"

    Utruru let loose of the arrow. With a whistling sound it found the way into a Tangut chest, blood splattered and the man fell down limp. Utruru spurred his horse, inreasing his speed. He took another arrow, shot it, another hit ! He was ecstatic, yelling at every shot, flames in his eyes.

    Utruru, Cammuru and their small army met the main Tangut army very fast after they broke camp. They descended down the mountains and hurled themselves upon the Liu. A standstill has been reached since. The Liu effectively reduced the numbers of the Tangut, but their small numbers meant that they often had to retreat, leading the Tangut into ambushes. This was going on for several hours now and the men and the horses became increasingly tired. They battled in a wide valley, mountains in the south, in the back of the Tanguts army, and the west, where the Liu came from. It was dry but cold. Cammuru and Utruru had positioned their supply wagons some two miles away. The plan of Preamu did work like a charm, as the Tangut never gave a second thought before attacking the small Liu force. Now the Liu were circling before the Tangut, shooting their arrows, sometimes breaking off the formation and shooting their arrows at an arms length into the mass of Tangut.

    The main part of the Tangut army consisted of infantry, clad in lamellar. Their numbered riders were not as proficient in the art of mounted archery as the Liu, who often flanked the slower, bigger force. But they could keep this battle up for only so long, Preamu had to come soon or it was lost. Many Liu were caught in the formations of the Tangut and were thrown off their horses, then killed by the thrusts of their spears.

    Just as Utruru was about to turn his horse around, he saw how one of his fellow Liu was stricken down by a Tangut Lancer. With a gruesome yell he spurred his horse once more, riding towards the enemy at a lightning speed. He drew another arrow, aimed but waited. The other man spotted him by now, charging at him. A length of a hand and he would pierce the Liu with his long spear. At this moment Utruru released the arrow, hitting the warrior in the shoulder, between shoulder guard and cuirass. He let out a cry of pain, the arrow going through his flesh. Utruru smiled satisfied, turned the horse around once more and charged again. This time he drew his sword and decapitated the man in full gallop. He quickly rode by, picking of the head from the ground skillfully. He came near the first ranks of the Tangut, where infantry held their big, oval shields firm, anticipating the sudden attack of the Liu.

    "You bastards !" He yelled and threw the head at them, which deflected of a shield belonging to a horrified warrior. Maliciously laughing, he rode away.


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


    Meanwhile, in the mountains south of the battle, the big army of Preamu rode at a fast pace.

    "Ride, men, ride ! Do you want to live on as titans ?" Preamu encouraged his men, while riding forward. A day of gruesome climbing, for man and horse, was behind them. Now, on a plateau, they made up for the lost time. He and his army rode as fast as a pack of falcons. The valley were the battle going onin full rage couldnīt be far away, the runners told him. At his side were Zarwu and Numu, spurring their horses, getting out the best of them. The relatively small, sturdy horses were able to gallop over long distances. Their abilities were used to the best. Men were shouting and whistling, anticipating battle and the bounty they were so keen on. Everyone was armed with a composite bow, but Preamu wanted to use his advantage of surpise to full effect, so he ordered his warriors to equip spears, lances or anything which had a sharp end and was of considerable length. Some men even used simple sticks, due to the lack of spears and lances. Preamu wanted to ride down the Tanguts, not pepper them with arrows and then retreat. He wanted to use this one chance.

    Then, in a distance, he could hear the sounds of fighting, through the adrenaline and the wind swooshing in his ears. Battle ! His thoughts were now fully concentrated on the perfect execution of his tactic. He increased the speed of Shanyu, his majestic steed, even more. The rest of the army did the same. With a sign of his hand the ranks behind him positioned in a different formation. A spearhead, consisting of Preamu, his retinue and the other noble and veteran warriors was followed by a wide line of less experienced riders. He wanted to push through the enemies until he would reach the King, the rest of his army crushing into the back of the Tanguts as a solid rim. He didnīt have much experience, but his courage and will drove him forward. The grass flew behind, the wind went through his hair, the lance in his hand became lighter. A sudden rush of adrenaline shot through his body. He closed his eyes for a moment, looking to the sky, envisioning how proud his father would be right now. When he opened his eyes, a golden eagle flew above. This was his destiny.

    The sounds of battle became louder and louder, until they reached a steep slope. Beneath, ones eyes saw how a small force of Liu held the numerous Tanguts at bay. Preamus army stopped. Numu was suprised to see his lifelong friend smiling, encouraged and enthusiastic, his eyes glistering, his body steady. Upon seeing this, Numu became encouraged himself, inspired by the fire of Preamu. Preamu locked his eyes with Numus, breathing heavy, his expression revealing anticipation and readiness. Numu returned the smile, nodding lively. Preamu took a deep breath and turned Shanyu around, addressing his warriors.

    "Follow me men ! Follow destiny !" He shouted, turning and spurring Shanyu to full gallop. The army followed immediately, rushing down the earthern slope.It was a glorious sight. Three thousand men, their armour glistering in the sun, following one single man. Numu and the rest of the retinue had a hard time trying to hold up with the Yabgu. A army of three thousand men, clad in fur, lamellar and scale, charging towards the Tibetan Tangut. Every senew of Preamu was working, every muscle was ready, blood and adrenaline pumping through his very veins, fire in his heart.

    "To destiny !" He shouted again. His compassionate voice fired the men up even more.

    They were galloping down the slope at an insane speed, lances couched and ready to wreck havoc among the Tangut. Utruru and Cammuru cheered like their warriors when they saw the charging army of Preamu, their beloved Yabgu at front. They raised their bows and voices alike and the Tangut became increasingly scared. The lines of the Tangut turned, but too late. Preamu crushed through the first ranks, his lance impaling bodies and limbs alike. Blood splattered, his face drenched in the elixir of life. He was in an insane state, everything around him in a rush. Blurred shadows surrounded him, he could not tell whether they were his or the enemys men. He felt little impact when his lance found another victim, when Shanyu trampeled down everything in his way. He only felt the blood simmerin his body and the sound of the eagle as he made his majestic cry.

    The Liu troops rushed upon the Tanguts like a whirlwind. The lines of tribesmen, mercenaries and professional soldiers were chopped down like wheat. Impaled bodies, hacked off limbs, grimasses of death litered the hard, earthy ground. Utruru and Cammuru led their man to charge from the front, effectively trapping the Tangut army. They shot their arrows with deadly precision. Their swords fell upon the Tanguts in rapid fashion. Blood flew in gallons, and it was Tangut blood. Preamu was closely followed by Numu, who lost his lance in a Tangut warriors body, slashing heads and arms with his sturdy sword, a present from his father. Whenever a hostile warrior came too close to the enraged Preamu, who still made his way towards the Tanguts King, he was there and defended his Yabgu. In the mean time, Zarwu defended Preamus left flank, stabbing and thrusting with his lance. Other nobles and warriors of the Liu tried to hold up with Preamu, defending and following him. Suddenly, Preamu spotted the Tangut King, sitting on his horse, surrounded by his most able warriors. Preamu pointed his lance towards him, letting out a fearsome battle cry.

    "There he is. You dog !" He yelled, spurring Shanyu into a gallop. Numu and the other men immediately followed, riding at his side while killing many men. With a loud "Chaka !" Preamu made the last few metres towards the King, then thrusting his lance deep into the mans abdomen. Blood came out of his mouth, his eyes starring unbelieving at Preamu. The men around the King immediately started to rout in panic, some even dropping their weapons. Preamu pulled his lance out, dripping of blood. The Tangut King tumbled from his horse, landing face first in the mud. Suddenly, a Tangut warrior swung his sword towards the suprised Preamu, who was completely caught off guard by this. A tall man parried the attack with his own sword in the last moment, disarming the Tangut in the same motion and then killing him.

    "You have to be more cautious, my most brave Yabgu," Aynuru said with a broad smile. Preamu laughed, out of shock and joy, locking arms with the man. Aynuru was clad in blood and apparently has lost his horse in battle.

    "Ensure that we wonīt get encircled by the surviving Tangut and order the immediate pursuit of the enemy," Preamu said in a enthusiastic way. The tall Liu nodded, mounted a nearby horse and rode out to bring the orders to the men. The Tangut were defeated. Many fled in every direction and those who were still resisting were slain in a heartbeat. A flawless victory, one which should mark the beginning of many succeding battles, with a similar result. Now, no one could argue Preamus worth as a commander and warrior. Soon, the last Tangut were caught and killed, unable to outrun the speedy horses of the Liu and their deadly arrows. Preamu ordered his companions and generals to order their men to keep away from the corpses after the looting, as he knew of the deadly diseases and pest they attract. But there was one last thing Preamu had to do.

    "The honour of every victorious warrior," Preamu stood on a mound, surrounded by his men. Companions, generals, nobles, tribesmen, warriors. All of them had gathered around him. In one hand, he had his sword, drawn in blood. Mud and dried blood was covering him, from head to feet. The other hand hold something else, barerly visible.

    "The honour of every victorious warrior," he said louder, an angry expression on his face. He lifted his arm, revealing the cut off head of the Tangut King, whose face was a horrible grimasse. The men erupted into loud elation, cheering for their Yabgu. They whistled and yelled "Chaka !", some starting to dance. Fermented milk was given out, and the men held their feast, a feast stemming from bloodshed, but it also brought honour, bounty and loot for the warriors. It was a good night. They didnīt even bothered to put up tents or to deploy guards, but after some words of advise from Aynuru Preamu chose some men to guard the large gathering, as he wanted to avoid any unwelcomed suprises in form of Tangut ambushes. He too enjoyed the night, under the open, cold sky, and it was as if the stars themselves were smiling to him. He shared alcohol and chant with his men, joined them in their little dances and wasnīt afraid to part his drinks with even the poorest of his army. He also spent much time with his companions and the heavy drinking was source for much laughter. Only few had no drinks this night, and Zarwu was one of them. His eyes were always open for possible dangers. Also he had an general dislike for alcohol.

    "My men ! My men," Preamu arose from his mound, where he sat with his companions. The men became silent, and some shouted in their drunken, joyful state.

    "I love you, my Yabgu. Come and take me !" Shouted one, which led to hearty laughter, and Preamu nodding in a playful manner. He waited for the laughing and clapping to die down a bit.

    "I am honoured, to call myself Yabgu. Not only because I am Yabgu of the Liu, but also Yabgu of such great men as you !" Cheering erupted.

    "I am honoured, to have stand and ride with you today. Many enemies were slain, and every single one of you can call himself a heroe !" Again, the men cheered. It was this behaviour, his willingness to share his sleeping place and drinks with the commoner, the simple warrior, that ensured him the hearts and souls of his men. And he was truly gracious for this, as he could not imagine a better way to live, with his men, his warriors. He sat down again, and festivities started again. He sat next to Numu, who enjoyed himself, andenjoyed the presence of Preamu. They patted on each others shoulder and laughed, taking a sip out of their cups. Cammuru was releasing himself of some liquids in the back and shouted loudly.

    "I can barerly hold this, itīs just too big. I need help !" He said, erupting in laughter. This night, no one slept. And the alcohol should flow like water,and many dirty jokes and laughs had to be had.

    It was the morning that should bring the bad news.
    Last edited by Marvzilla; February 10, 2013 at 07:29 PM.

  18. #38
    Rex Anglorvm's Avatar Wrinkly Wordsmith
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 13]

    A nice bloody battle, with more to come I hope!

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  19. #39
    Marvzilla's Avatar Ducenarius
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 13]

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Anglorvm View Post
    A nice bloody battle, with more to come I hope!

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    That you can be sure of.

  20. #40
    Shankbot de Bodemloze's Avatar From the Writers Study!
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    Default Re: The Epic of Preamu [Chapter 13]

    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.
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