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Nothing here yet :/
All about Periphreal
Name: Periphreal of the Magnificent
Weapons: Short Sword, Javelin
Periphreal is a warrior korbat like any other. Except for maybe the fact he is only 47cm tall, which is why his short sword looks huge on him. It's really more like a dagger. But don't tell him that.
Unlike many warriors of his time, he despises traditional uniform. Because really. Which self-respecting korbat would wear a skirt!?
- altadorian grapes
Long ago, in the lands of Talador, there was a band of five warriors known as the Magnificents. They fought many a battle, devastated the armies of their foes with their cunning strategies and were celebrated heroicly. However, it came to be that one of them, Periphreal, perished after their stunning victory against the desert lands. This is how it happened.
»What is it?« Periphreal asked softly.
»Master, there is a message from Magnus requesting your presence in the war room.« Distel, Periphreals servant, replied shyly. No matter how long they had known each other, Distel was, and always would be a gentle but also extremely timid soul. The Purple Aisha did not open up to just anyone.
Sighing, Periphreal got up and dismissed her. He'd hoped they wouldn't be sent away again so soon. He and the others had just gotten back five days ago from their last venture to ensure the safety of a village three days ride away. It had taken over three weeks. It was great to finally be back home, not that there was anything to do here, but Periphreal liked sleeping in his own bed. And the food was much better. As he made his way to meet with his comrades, he mentally prepared himself for bad news. Braxton, a humungous Stone Cybunny, was already there, lounging on a bench in the courtyard. He really was a giant, not just compared to Periphreal, who looked like a baby beside him. Brax had literally craddled him in his arms before. Periphreal was still mortified whenever it came up in conversation.
»Hey Pear, he shouted over, you know what's going on?«
Approaching Brax, Periphreal internally grimaced at his nickname – he hated it. He hated it even more when he recalled the reasoning. Both he and pears were small and – apparently – tasty. Though how they decided he was tasty he never understood – maybe Harken had licked him in his sleep. Plus, he didn't think pears tasted good, he was more of a grape Korbat. On the other hand he was happy to have a nickname. It meant they has gotten close and more comfortable with each other. It really wasn't like that in the beginning. Or maybe they were still just mocking him. He never could tell, his social skills were shot.
»Good morning Brax, and no.«
Brax snorted, »Pfft. Morning. I hadn't even gone to bed yet.«
Just as Vala, a deadly Draik of Tyrannian heritage and the only woman in their entourage, though she wasn't very womanly, landed beside them, Periphreal felt a chill along his neck.
»Please stop sniffing me Hark. It makes me uncomfortable.« Periphreal tried to keep the shivers out of his voice. The Ice Lupe was positively glacial.
»But you are such a treat,« Harken joked, »I could just eat you up. Well, lets go in then,« he said as he passed by to enter the strategic center of the taladorian army.
The room was empty, at least to Pears eyes, but Hark sniffed out Magnus in one of the corners. The Shadow Grarrl who was more or less their commander liked disappearing into wherever the shades hit.
»What happen, why we meeting?« Vala asked. She spoke with a heavy accent and Pear had come to the conclusion she was doing it on purpose. They had all spent years together, and by now she had to have mastered their language flawlessly, even if she still looked her barbaric self. He was sure that if you stuck her in a dress and a posh situation, she would be the epitome of a lady. She could be a cameleon like that. He'd seen in often enough in dangerous situations. Vala could be anyone she needed to be. And Pear had once seen her enjoyment at the cringing of the King when he heard her speak.
»Yea, I just wanted to crash!« Brax added. He on the other hand was a total crude. More brawn than brain. Much more brawn. Not that he was stupid, more like a little slow. Brax came from the lands between Talador and the shenkuuvian mountains, much like Periphreal. But unlike Pear, who had an upbringing in nobility, Braxton grew up in poverty and had little to no education until being recruited into the army.
»There have been news that the desert people are encroaching on taladorian land.« Magnus said. He always spoke with a sense of authority. His whole being commanded respect, but in a subtle way, not in a fall-on-your-back-expose-your-belly-and-whine kind of way, as Harken liked to describe it. Magnus was someone who one could always count on, as long as the cause was riteous. »And the king wants us to be ready should it come to an altercation. I sent some camouflage specialists a few days ago to get more information, they should be back in a couple days time.«
»And why did we have to come here so early? This could have waited, couldn't it?« Hark groaned.
»I just wanted to keep you informed, it's not like any of you were really sleeping –«
»I was sleeping.« Hark grumbled.
»– and as a warning that we might not be here much longer.« Magnus continued, »Be ready to move out. Word is it's quite a lot of people, so the army is also mobilising, just in case. But you all know how slow they are as a whole, so we need to be ready to take the lead.«
Brax grinned, he liked war. Any fighting in general.
»Be on your ways.« Magnus dismissed them.
Once they were outside, Hark started complaining.
»I hate the desertlands, it's so hot there!«
Brax snorted, »Whenever I get sent to the desert I come back with my skin all smooth, like some baby, it's unmanly!« It was true, the sand worked like a kind of peeling to his rough, stony hide.
»At least you don't melt all over the place!« Hark interjected and stomped off.
»Desert hard to hide in, better get claws strong, dig tunnel underground.« Vala said and took flight.
Braxton and Periphreal just stared after her.
»Was she serious?« Brax asked.
»I fear so, but I'm pretty sure she meant a tunnel for herself in case she needs to hide – like a scamander. Not dig our way all the way there.« Pear answered.
Brax looked at him, unsure.
»She's not that crazy.« Pear added.
»If you say so.« Brax conceded. »Whatcha plannin' to do now?«
»Train. What else is there to do?«
»You up for a bout?«
»Sure, but only if you promise not to crush my ribs like last time. It took ages for me to breathe painlessly again.«
»Sure thing. And better keep yer little tail close, I don't wantcha to complain if I stomp on it again.«
They entered the training grounds together, the army quarters were a series of neighboring courtyards with armories, blacksmiths and baracks surrounding them, and drew their weapons. Braxton was more of a brawler, he had a hammer, but often lost it in a fight, relying more on his fists. He was big and powerful, but due to his size he was slow compared to Periphreal, who was a whirlwind when he bothered to use his wings. Periphreal prefered the javelin, which unfortunately was more of a one-use weapon in an all out war, unless he kept it and poked people with it instead of throwing it. So he also carried a short sword with him. Only when he was in a good mood would he admit that it was barely the size of a dagger – it looked more like a butter knife in Brax' hands though. Usually he would also make use of his tail, even had a tailguard with sharpened edges, but against Brax it was useless and an impairment, because all he would have to do is catch it and the fight would be over.
Whenever they sparred, Brax got away with barely any wounds at all. Pear couldn't penetrade his skin and only gave him a few nicks in his armor – which Brax really didn't need – from time to time. In a serious fight, Pear would go for the eyes, but he didn't plan on blinding his friend and held back. Brax however had no such qualms. Sure, he didn't crush Pear, which he would in real battle, but he still went after him with all he had.
All that could be heard from the flurry of bodies was the occasional slapping of metal on stone, Brax grunting in annoyance and Periphreal panting from exertion.
Like every fight they had, it ended with Brax the winner. It was more of a game of tag to him, because all he had to do was catch Pear who was flitting around him, anything more and Pear would probably not be able to walk for the rest of his life. Still, Peripheal was getting faster and able to read Brax more easily with every fight they had, so their bouts took a little longer each time.
»Darn it, now I have to take a stone bath again to fill the nicks.« Brax complained as he held Pear upside down by his right foot.
»Would you let me down please?« Pear said as he was hanging there like an overripe turnip.
Oomp! came the sound as Brax dropped him and Pear fell a distance tripple his size.
»Sorry,« Brax said sheepishly, »anyway, I'm gonna take a nap. Wake me for lunch,« and trotted off to sleep beneath one of the nearby trees.
Periphreal spent the next few hours strengthening his arms, swishing his sword around and handling his javelin, humming the occasional tune. Every so often a soldier would come by and ask for advice on this or that, some spent a few minutes sparring with him and he advised them on what they should work on, until they went on their way again. Just when he was about to wake Brax from his nap, there was a commotion in the neighboring courtyard that also hosted the war room. Periphreal nudged – more like kicked – Brax awake with his foot, nearly breaking one of his toes – he really had to stop doing that –, and they made their way over. Brax was moody from being hungry and grumbled when they went in the opposite direction of the mess hall.
They entered the war room to find Magnus questioning a young, exhausted Zafara. Servants bearing food and drink, and medical staff flitting around them.
As Magnus told the boy to rest, he promptly collapsed like jelly into a heap on the floor.
»What's going on?« Periphreal asked.
Magnus called to a messenger, »Send word to the King«, before turning to Periphreal and Brax, »Get the others, apparently there is an army marching on us. I sent three spies, only one made it back alive.«
Pear frowned. »I'll send word to Vala and Hark. When do we move out?«
»In two hours.«
»I thought there'd be more time.« Brax sighed as he made to go.
»How come he was back so early? I though it would take a few days?« Pear inquired.
»They are much nearer than originally thought, only two days into the desert. By now they are probably even closer. Also, he hurried back after they were spotted and the other two hit by archers. I'll tell you more when the others are here. Get ready.«
When they all met again two hours later, Magnus briefed them.
»Word is there are more than 2000 waiting for us out there. Our forces will follow behind, but they will be much slower. Since they are also so many, I hope we can still catch them in the desert. It will make fighting harder, but that could be to our advantage.« Magnus explained as he mounted his Uni.
They all rode battle Unis, except for Pear. A Uni was just too big for him but his Alabriss, Arion, who was bigger than most, kept up with the others just fine.
»Lets go.« Magnus said, as the others all mounted and they rode off to war.
»That's definitely more than 2000,« Periphreal added as they surveyed the enemy army pitching their tents with their yellow and blue banners for the night from their vantage point on a nearby dune.
»Magnus is back,« Hark whispered, just as Magnus rejoined them from his foray through enemy lines.
»It's at least 2200 soldiers out there, both sakhmetian and qasalan,« Magnus explained as he hunkered down next to Brax and watched the first fires being lighted in the distance.
»Qasala?« Brax muttered, »What'd we ever do to them?«
»Was there any indication as to what they want?« Periphreal asked.
»I didn't get a lot of time alone in the tent, and they weren't talking about anything that could give me a definite reason, but they did have a map of our provinces visible, with infiltration strategies marked on it.«
»Any ideas how to stop them?« Hark asked into the silence.
»Set them on fire,« came Vala quick reply. The others stared mutely at her, judging her sanity.
»How long until our reinforcements get here?« Pear inquired.
»They should be here by morning,« Magnus said.
»Then I agree with Vala,« Pear continued. Now they stared at him funny – except Vala, who smiled like draiks did when they were basking in the sun. »Not to set them on fire, but a tent or two, in a few hours, when most are asleep. Make it seem like an accident. And while they're not paying attention, incapacite as many as possible.«
»That's so crazy it might actually work,« Brax snorted.
»We'd have to do that shortly before dawn then, when the others aren't too far out. Plots like that usually turn on you real fast,« Hark remarked.
»We have a plan then,« Magnus agreed, »Lets just hope it works.«
An hour before dawn, Periphreal, Hark, Brax and Vala found themselves spread out across the eastern outskirts of the desert camp, waiting for Magnus to set one of the food tents on fire. Hopefully, by the time the sakhmetian and qasalan soldiers discovered they were being picked off one by one, the taladorian forces will have arrived and they could bottle them in from east and west.
Just then the first calls cut through the night and Pear could see flames licking up a tent in the distance. More shouts filled the air when the flames jumped to another tent. Anubi started yipping and barking from the commotion they didn't understand, creating a frantic atmosphere that was turning into mayhem.
Shortly after, the first silhouette disappeared. Vala had obviously had had time for that manicure and dispatched of soldiers in her underground tunnels, leaving them there. Periphreal took care of those still slumbering, while Brax and Hark didn't join in yet. Their size and weapons would alert the soldiers sooner than they needed them to. Magnus took care of those near the tents where the smoke would conceal them for a while from discovery.
Their ruse was unveiled however, when a young aisha tried to wake his lutari friend, and he shouted a warning to the others before Pear could get to him. That is when Hark and Brax joined the fray. A gruesome fight ensued, with Vala still picking off the enemy in secret.
The fires were eventually put out and the fighting to the east garnered more attention.
Just when Pear feared they were being overpowered they heard a horn signaling their reinforcement had arrived. He spotted Aurelius on a nearby dune, a captain of the taladorian army, leading five hundred soldiers into battle, with their swaying red and gold banners, catching quite a few sakhmetians in the western premises of the camp unprepared.
Only hours later did it become clear that Talador would emerge the victor. A few deserted their losing army, running back into the desert, but many fought until the end. The battle finally came to a stop when the last commander was subdued, all those in charge tied up and ready to be carted back to Talador for later questioning, cursing the taladorian army with every breath they took.
A few hours later, dusk was just creeping over the horizon, the Taladorian forces erected their camp by a small creek. They were still over a day out of the capital, moving was slow with their prisoners in tow.
As they sat around a fire, Hark went to sharpening his weapons. Magnus was off preparing the captives for questioning in a nearby tent. Vala had put a serious dent in their supplies in the last few hours, eating almost everything she could get her hands on, and was turning yet another Ratraphant leg in the spit. Periphreal was on his side, gazing in the flames with Brax was slowly dozing off beside him. The other soldiers sat around their own fires, though most had already settled down for an early night.
Just when Brax decided to abuse Pear as a pillow, Magnus came out of the tent frowning.
»What's going on?« Hark called over, »What did they say?«
Brax rubbed at his eyes to get wake up and Pear straightened his clothing where Brax had just made a grab for him.
Magnus just scowled and motioned for Pear to join him.
»What's wrong?« Pear asked as he arrived by the tent.
»I don't know,« Magnus' brows furrowed further, »they say trade with Talador stopped. One of them is an emissary, but I don't understand much of what he is talking about. You know I try not to get involved in that politic stuff. Can you talk to him?«
»Sure« Pear said and went past two guards into the tent where the prisoners were kept. A well dressed qasalan Poogle was kneeling in front of the others. Pear made his way over to him, noting another four guards keeping watch in the captives. »You can tell me what has been going on?« Pear inquired.
»I already told the other one.« The qasalan replied.
»He doesn't really concern himself with all the politics, so you're going to have to tell me.«
The emissary scowled, »We have a trade agreement as part of the treaty signed a few years ago. We trade silks, cloth, pottery and desert foods for leather and foods from your provinces. We have kept up our end of the deal, sending over our stock, and even coins when something is not covered. But we have been getting no goods in return for nearly four months now.«
»None at all?«
»Every now and then book vendors come through, or medicine men, but no food! We have written to your kings nearly every week for the last three months, but we've had enough! We sent an emissary a few weeks ago, but he obviously never arrived, we haven't gotten any word from him!«
»I'm not aware of anyone arriving from the desert lands.« Periphreal told him.
»In the latest letter we warned your king it would come to war if he doesn't keep up his end of the deal!« The poogle sputtered at Pear outraged.
Pear scowled, »He knew you were coming?«
»Of course, we don't want a war if we can prevent it. He probably laughed at our letter, thinking what can we do? So we asked Sakhmet for help.«
»They are certainly always up for war with Talador.« Pear said. »I will see to it that you get a meeting with the king and his advisors,« he promised.
»It's bad,« Pear said as he rejoined his comrades by the fire, »apparently Talador has been ripping off Qasala.«
»What you mean?« Vala asked, picking at her teeth with a bone.
»They haven't gotten any trades from Talador in four months, and when they sent an emissary, he never returned. Any of your hear anything about a qasalan?« When they shook their heads he added, »Then he probably got killed.«
»The king knew about this?« Magnus asked.
»I don't see how not, unless one of his advisors is responsible. But they are wise men tired of war, I don't think they would do this.« Pear said quietly.
And they stared into the fire, conversation dead, until the first went to sleep, and then the next, until only Pear was left with Brax snoring beside him, who feel asleep sitting up. None of them wanted to believe their king had anything to do with it, he was a celebrated war hero, the taladorians loved him greatly and held him in high esteem.
If Pear hadn't heard about the events from the qasalan himself, he wouldn't believe a word of it.
Weapon of Choice: Spear
Origin: between Talador and Shenkuu
Weapon of Choice: Hammer, Knuckles
Origin: Ice Plains
Weapon of Choice: Sword
Weapon of Choice: Anything within reach