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The Royal Axis: Pushing Back The Dark


by iamnotaaron

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Marak and Torakor were in the battle headquarters when several footmen from different stations burst into the room. Some were crying of the fiery stones that pelted the castle, while two others reported that a bright sparking portal had opened up in the castle’s courtyard.

     Torakor listened intently to the pair of soldiers bearing a report of fiery hailstone, whilst Marak had acted on the latter report of a portal and headed to the courtyard with a battalion of men to inspect. Fortunately for Marak, out of the portal came King Hagan and Queen Fyora and their respective infantries marching out with pride.

     Both warriors sought to inform King Altador at once, racing breathlessly up the winding marble stairways to meet him at his breakfast balcony. Upon listening to each warrior explain their findngs, King Altador had given the order for all of Altador’s armies to ready for battle.

     Just before he made his way down to the armour room, where his valets helped him into his own armour, he asked for Siyana to meet him. Then, he went off to meet Hagan and Fyora.

      +++++

     Along the Altadorian coast, armies from Brightvale and Faerieland numbered like the sand on the beach. The Faeries were clad in intricately-etched armour plates, each Faerie warrior glowing as if the sun had poured its brilliant light on them. The Brightvale camp had set up a makeshift tent in the refuge of a nearby cave, with twenty of King Hagan’s brightest strategists running around debating and trying to formulate the best battle plan.

     As he eyed his own troops being marched out of the castle and down to the beach, King Altador greeted the royal Faerie queen and the Skeith king.

     “What do we know so far?” He asks, setting his golden helmet on a nearby wood table. One of King Hagan’s advisors – a Vandagyre – bowed deeply at King Altador, and began to address the situation.

     “From our Korbat scouts, early reports suggest that Lady Frostbite and Eyes of Dark are riding on that great cloud wave, next to Lord Kass and the Darkest Faerie.” The Vandagyre paused, thumbing through his notebook. “Another preliminary report coming from the outskirts of Altador say that a space vehicle bearing Dr. Sloth’s banner has landed. Two Altadorian children have now been reported as missing, near a pile of Kreludor-made armour, and we have reason to believe their disappearances are linked to the space ship.”

     King Altador felt the colour in his face drain for a second. Barely a second into the battle, and already two young Altadorians had been captured by Dr. Sloth. He felt his rage build rapidly inside of him, and banged his fist against the war table. The loud “bang!” sent a few paper scrolls and a telescope crashing to the floor, and the room halted in an abrupt, stunned silence. All eyes turned to King Altador.

     Sensing his utter disappointment and frustration, Fyora paced over and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. “We will get them back,” she said reassuringly. King Altador didn’t reply, but his eyes were filled with determination to win the war against evil now.

     Together with King Hagan and Fyora, King Altador led the pack back out onto the battlefield. The regiment brought their feet together, standing with strict posture in anticipation of receiving their battle orders.

     King Altador saw the cloud fast approaching. In less than 15 minutes, it would make landfall.

     He turned to the infantry, and in the loudest, deepest voice he could muster up, he began to address the brave soldiers.

     “My fellow warriors! My loyal bearers of strength! Today is not the day that we say goodbye to peace; it is the day that we stare chaos in the eye and drive it back. Today is not the day that we bid farewell to friends; it is the day we greet our comrades of steel and courage. We meet our enemy on this very coastline, not just out of duty, but out of love for the ones we fight for at home. My fellow fighters, today we meet not as monarch and subjects, but as brothers and sisters who are fighting for a good and fair world. Love and war favour the brave, and today, you will be favoured!”

     A thunderous cry erupted amongst the brave soldiers, sweeping across the platoons like a wave. They banged their chest plates, stomped their boots and aimed their weapons at the skies.

     The Darkest Faerie’s cloud was barely a mile out now, and as it raced towards the frontlines, numerous tiny space crafts that were once hidden in the shrouds of the cloud now lowered themselves. Each out carried dozens of mutated Grundo soldiers, who jumped out of the ships and landing into the shallow of the sea. Dr. Sloth’s intergalactic ship trailed behind, and the nefarious Chia could be seen cackling at the frontline soldiers.

     King Altador steadied his balance on the sand, behind the spiky wooden barriers.

     “For family! For Altador! For Neopia! Charge!” As he yelled, he drew his gleaming sword and sprinted ahead of his brave infantrymen. From his peripheral, he could see Torako leading the left flank of soldiers, and Marak following with the right flank. One by one, the heroes tackled Grundo after Grundo ceaselessly.

     From the dark cloud, Eyes of Darkness descended with Lord Kass and Lady Frostbite. The icy Krawk turned towards the sea, placing her cold hands into the water and raising an army of ice soldiers to the coast, meeting Queen Fyora in a struggle that saw ice spears meet with bursts of faerie power. Meanwhile, faerie soldiers began fighting Eyes of Darkness and Lord Kass, both of whom proved stronger than the Faeries had accounted for. King Hagan joined the chaotic fray, with his strongest fighters by his side as they battled Eyes of Darkness.

     The Darkest Faerie, meanwhile, sat from her fortress-sized cloud, watching the battle rage on beneath her. Both sides fought furiously, meeting each other equally in damage and strength. For every time one part of the beach’s defence ebbed, another part swelled forward against her infantry. Growing impatient, she looked towards the clouds, and pulled together layers and layers of dark clouds that completely blocked out the light.

     Once an idyllic place for families and friends to gather, the beachfront was now a tumultuous battlefield.

     Beginning from the water, a pitch-black shadow engulfed the coast. For a moment, an eerie silence fell upon the Altadorian coastline. The absence of light made it hard on both sides to fight. The Darkest Faerie then cast a spell on her soldiers, allowing them to see in the dark temporarily. This left the forces of good at a disadvantage, as they struggled to fight in the dark.

     Then, as if an explosion, a blinding light cut through the dark. All eyes turned towards its source, squinting from the light but curious nonetheless at the provider. Siyana stood tall, holding what looked like a gemstone on a small beachside cliff, and King Altador recognised it as the gemstone that Coltzan had given them months earlier. Rapturous cheers were soon followed by the sound of clashing steel swords as the battle resumed once again.

     Unhappy with Siyana’s interference, The Darkest Faerie shot a jet of dark energy at the gem, bursting it into a million tiny glittering smithereens. She smirked at the fragility of this light-giving gem, and watched as the battle tried to progress on in the dark to the advantage of her villainous fighters. So enraptured by the battle she was, that the Darkest Faerie didn’t realise how each shard from Coltzan’s broken gem began to swirl the sand underneath and around it. Soon, sand soldiers arose from the soft sandy beach, multiplying by the second. They glowed bright blue, thereby filling the beach with light once again.

     The arrival of the sand soldiers proved a pivotal point for the heroes. Due to their strength and the expandability of their numbers, they pushed the villains back towards the water’s edge. Hope prevailed, and the hero factions were energised by this turn of events.

     But this is a battlefield, and in a war between good and evil, hope can only last for so long.

     Just as quickly as the sand soldiers arrived, the Altadorian sea began to bubble furiously. Three mermaid-like figures emerged from the water, riding on water chariots pulled by long lines of mutant Delfins. Alongside them, an army of sailors entranced by the magic of The Drenched came marching out.

     The Drenched rode their water chariot across the shore, sweeping their monstrous tails at the sand armies. Each time a sand soldier touched the water, it melted into a mound of mud. Slowly and steadily, the numbers began to dwindle.

     King Altador was deep in battle when he witnessed the late participation of The Drenched. He watched as the zombie-like sailors pummelled through his and his allies’ troops, as if they were bowling pins waiting to be knocked down.

     In the distance, he observed the Fire Faeries fighting against the icy platoons of Lady Frostbite, meeting her spindly icicle arrows with bursts of magic flames. He saw the chaos that enveloped the once-beautiful shoreline that had been his pride and joy. Covered in filth and a tinge of fear, the king could also hear the desperate grunts of his soldiers, who were swinging their sabres as hard as they could, trying to push the enemy back.

     King Altador needed a desperate measure of hope, but hope had long abandoned the battlefield. Only steel, sweat and luck remained.

     To be continued…

 
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