These are a collection of stories from the prospective of someone on the other side of the Legions, and are primarily to get me back into writing. I haven't written out a short story in a good few years now. But, with that out of the way. These stories are on the side from someone from the Flame Legion. Some harder themes will be included here.
I'm interested in feedback, or questions for the character as well!
"I have always hated the Iron Legion, more so than any of the other three."
"And, why is that?" The woman asked as she leaned back in her chair, crossing a leg over the other as she awaited her answer.
"Blood Legion will maim you, Ash will stick a dagger in your back. There is something to fear about a dagger in the dark, or having your head split open with an axe. You can watch out for these things. You can train, you can do something to prevent them. You cannot prevent an artillery shell from hitting you. You can hide in a building, or a tunnel. But you run the chance of it collapsing and killing you."
"You cannot look that in the eye and face it."
1324 AE, Late Autumn.
Date, Unknown. Time 17:32.
'Crack!' Rifle shots rang out through the rain. Shot after shot, the barrage landing across the pass where the Flame warband had taken cover. Bullets whizzing overhead, clashing with the rocks and embedding into the trees that they hid behind. Between shots, a furred head would poke up above the rocks. Only to be met with another loud crack of a rifle being fired off, and another chunk of block being blown out from the stone.
The gray furred Charr yanked his head down as the shot rang out, hearing it ricochet from the stone. Flipping around, he sat. Resting his back against the stone. Using clawed fingers, his hand came up to his brow, as if to shield the sun from his eyes. Although, that gesture was quickly broken. Hand coming down, and thumb tucking into his hand as he raised four fingers. From the second signal, it flowed into the third. Arm moving down, hand flat out. He waved it above the ground over his legs.
Vitus had received the signals from Appius. He had been sitting up in this damned tree long before the firefight had even began. His orange and chocolate fur blended in nicely with the autumn trees. Waiting quietly for the others to come into position, across the ridge to expose themselves. Fortunately, he was one of the lucky few to be equipped with a weapon with any sort of ranged capabilities. Index finger had came from the trigger guard as he readied himself. Finger slipped from the side of the trigger guard, hooking down into it. Carefully wrapping it around the trigger as he took aim. He took his time, lining up his shot. Finger softly squeezing down onto the trigger. He fired.
That single shot rang out across the pass. The Iron warband at the other end of the canyon, didn't flinch at the sound of the shot. Flame Legion soldiers being equipped with rifles was an incredibly rare thing. But, as that shot landed, They flinched. That shot had landed just left of the poor bastard's left eye. Bullet expanding as it entered the Charr's skull. That shot had blown out his eye socket, along the side of his cheekbone, taking out his horn and one of his ears. The figured dropped, hitting the ground with a rough thud as what left of his eye hung from his socket, blood pulling out on the ground from the fist sized hole in the side of his face.
"Go now! You little runts." Pullus shouted.
Vitus gave a quiet grunt to himself as he heard Pullus shout. He was their resident Shaman. While, he was their leader. He wasn't the smartest person in the warband, or the next one over. Always into the fight without a thought with him, Vitus waited for the day that the Shaman would become the poor sod that he had just shot. But fate had been kind to him, for now. Orders where orders, but being killed in a stupid charge was better than being beaten with molten chains when they returned to the Castrum if they refused to follow. It was not a luxury that Vitus had. Being hooked up into the tree meant as soon as he was spotted. He was a dead man.
With another squeeze of the trigger, another shot rang out. It wasn't a clean kill, from what he could see. He had hit the man in his shoulder, or perhaps his chest. He saw the splatter of red mist as it entered the man down range, but he fell down into the brush. It'd be something to keep an eye on. A wounded man could still be trouble, but also a boon. Others would come to his aid. If he did not die by the time the fight was over, he could be prodded before information and hopefully killed. He may have been a killer, but he was not cruel enough to subject another man to the perverse tortures that some would seek to inflict upon him, or worse, her.
As another shot from the marksman above them rang out. The Flare warband advanced out from their cover behind the rocks and trees that provided them with cover. Moving from cover to cover with a jog as the cracks of rifle-fire wizzed down from the embankments of the Iron fortifications. Taunts yelled through the frigid air. The cluster of grunts and snarls as the warband charged through the fog and rain. They where moving fast even with the concealing weather, it was dangerous.
With an eye down his sights, Vitus spied at the Iron Soldiers taking cover behind their barricades. Occasionally raising up to take shots at the charging warband through the light fog. Some of the shots had connected, even wounded, the Flare warband still charged through the hail of fire. While Vitus was fortunate enough to have a rifle, he was not lucky enough to have a scope. Scanning the encampment for a quick moment, he could see the faint silhouettes moving through the fog further in the encampment. But they where to be ignored until he could get a clear shot. There was risk in giving his position away for a shot that may not connect. Turning his attention back to his warband. He could see one of the Charr seize up as he was shot. He had gone stiff for a moment, and then within second. He went limp and fell face first into the mud lifeless.
It was the reality of Legion life. Iron. Blood. Flame, or Ash. It could be ended within the blink of an eye. As one of the Iron Legion troops peeked over the barricade to place another shot. He aimed in, his sight being broken by the furred back of one of his warband mates crawling of the barricade and beginning to squeeze the life out of the Charr. Charging the few soldiers holding the line and tearing apart the Iron Grunts that had taken shelter behind it. Shifting his gaze up, he peered back through the sights further up into the camp. The silhouettes where together now. He could faintly make out two people, both kneeling behind a crate with a rifle of some sort rested on top of it. Taking the initiative, he let off another shot at the figures behind the crate. He missed. Bullet striking off the metal crate with a spark.
He tried not to break his sight from the figures behind the crate. Hand drifting down to his side to open up the leather, Iron legion marked satchel and withdrew out another strip of cartridges. His gaze only broke for a moment to look down at the open bolt of the receiver as he pushed the cartridges in. His attention was broken by the sound of gun fire. It sounded like a volley, a full strength warband, perhaps even two. Snapping the bolt closed. He gazed into the haze to see what had caused the noise with a fright.
There was carnage. One.. Three. Five.. Six.. Nine. Nine corpses where piled up around the barricade. Four Iron, Five Flame. With the one in mud outside the camp, that left six dead. They where at half strength within but a moment. His eyes frantically darted around the camp. Looking for the source of the gunfire. There where no reinforcements as far as he could see. No other Charr. Where could it have come from? Swiveling back to eye his dead and dying comrades. He could only see distress. Three ascended towards the figures ducking behind the crates, the shaman stood in the open yelling at two who had found the option to flee through the field back to the canyon.
This time he saw it, it was the two figures behind the crate. Another burst erupted, fire spitting out of the barrel of their weapon and illuminating the fog. Within a few seconds, it had shot off more than a rifle equipped warband could have. Pullus, and the three that had decided to charge instead of flee had been cut down within the blink of an eye. A hail of bullets tearing through their bodies. Soon, their blood with join the others that laid upon the earth.
That had been more than enough for him. Whatever they had did, he was not going to stick around and find the cause of it. One more glance was cast over to those retreating. One was making his way off into the trees, and the other was moving to take cover behind one of the bullet ridden trees. He couldn't see the other that had decided to flee into the woods was, but he could see the one closest to him.
"Appius." Vitus hissed through his teeth at first. Trying not to alert anyone else than his brother. "Appius!"
He lurched forward, and threw his rifle out of the tree. The Rifle hitting into the mud as he desperately began to undo the harness that had hooked him into the tree the night before and provided security from falling out by accident. With it loose, he jumped out from the tree. He hit feet first, ducking down into a roll and landing in his side in the mud. It was not a graceful landing but he didn't think he had been seen yet. Vitus was wrong. He had made a terrible mistake. He had sounded out, and that voice was located by the others still in the encampment.
Bullets ripped through the air. He could hear them whizzing overhead. Striking the tree he had just been in. He could have sworn he could feel them overhead. He stuck his hands into the air, there was no fighting this. He heard the sound again, and just as quickly as they had went up. They came down to grab at his sides. Trying to make himself a smaller target from the hail of gunfire. Hitting rocks, trees, and.. Him. Normally, the adrenaline in ones body would have negated the pain at least for a moment. But this was not the case. He could feel the sting as the bullet had hit his leg. Reaching down, his hands grasped at his leg to help staunch the bleeding.
He didn't know how bad he had been hurt. He wasn't going to move until the gunfire stopped. Once the sound died down into the cool wisp of wind. Breaking free from his huddle to look at his leg. There was blood coming through the gaps of his finger. Pulling them back, he could see the broken armor. A large chunk of fur was now missing, as well as skin. The flesh had been grazed. It hurt but it was not life threatening yet. It was the least of his worries. His gloved hand brushed at the wound. Sending away some of the blood but leaving mud in its wake. But Appius health was what was on his mind. Vitus rolled onto his belly, planting his hands down into the mud as he scanned for the signs of his brother.
Appius was still there, but he was in worse for wear. The Charr's body was slumped back against the stone. Vitus could see the smear of blood slowly being washed down and away by the rain. He could not see his brother's chest rise or fall. There was no movement, it was tough. But there was no other choice to make. Rolling onto his side, the Charr got ready to spring to his feet to run. Until he heard a cough echo out through the rain. He was alive.
"Fuck." Vitus cursed out under his breath.
He wanted to call out to the other. But he had enough of whatever the Iron Legion had at the end of the pass. He wasn't aiming to risk it once more. With a quick glance around, he carefully went to crawl out. Keeping low to the ground and dragging himself through the mud. It was all quiet, he could only hear the sounds of the rain pounding away at the ground, and the occasional grunt of pain from Appius.
Reaching his brother, he turned to look down the ridge. He could see figures through the fog moving around the barricade, inspecting those who they had killed. It gave him time to get to his comrade, and hide behind the rocks with him. Grasping his shoulders, he adjusted him against the rock face and gave him a good look over. He had been hit once in the leg, and another shot went through his lower back. From what Vitus could tell. He would live if they weren't killed. Although, Appius would never likely be walking properly again.
Appius groaned out, before he could finish. He was interrupted by Vitus' gloved hand covering his mouth.
"Be quiet." Vitus snapped. "You make a sound, they'll come over here."
He debated about dragging his comrade over to a nearby stump to at least get him out of the way. Those that remained in the encampment had to know that someone where there. He was no medic or healer. But he knew that dragging him across the ground in such a state would do more harm than good, or get them both killed. Grabbing at his satchel and turning it over. Spilling out ammunition, rations, before finally what little medical supplies he carried with him. He grabbed small tincture of alcohol and the rags from the satchel. Dumping the alcohol onto the rags, he would go to tie them tight around Appius' leg. As quick as he could bandage the other, it was not quick enough. He could hear the sounds of footsteps and voices approaching through the rain. They where looking for them.
Vitus brought both of his hands up, he gripped the side of Appius' face. Looking over the other Charr's features. Searching to see if he was still conscious. Appius could only look back through half lidded eyes, drool dribbling from the corner of his mouth. Vitus' gut churned as he looked at his brother.
"Appius, you need to listen to me." He hesitated.
The Charr glanced away from his bandmate, looking over his shoulder with his bright orange eyes before turning towards the other to speak.
"I'm going to leave you. Do as they say, understood? They have actual medics who can tend to you. I'm going back to camp. I shall be back soon with reinforcements and we will get you back." Vitus stated.
Appius could only nod, the gray furred charr slumping back against the stone face.
The proper thing to do was to take the blade from his belt, and put it into his brothers throat to prevent him from speaking. That was simply something Vitus could not bring himself to do. In the back of his mind, he knew he it was a shot in the dark that he could return and free his brother. Vitus had his own doubts about living once he made it back to the Castrum. But, leaving him here with Iron was better than returning back to base with a wounded Charr and nothing to speak of.
Having lost himself in thought, Vitus was broken out of it as he heard twigs snap under foot. His head swiveled to look for the source of the sound. They where only getting closer. Vitus turned his head down to Appius, looking at the resting Charr for a moment. He gave the side of his face a light pat before he would stand without a word. Hand gripping at the wound on his leg. He moved to run at the best of his abilities through the forest. Disappearing off into the fog and rain to find the other that had fled into them earlier.