[RP Episode] The War of Eight Princes


#1

The Imperial Capital of Shiyiang, the year is 463 of the Celestial Calendar of Xia, and the Niirai gasp for air in shock.

Empress Yiang had discovered that her husband and general was orchestrating a plot to have her firstborn child and second born heir assassinated so that he could take the throne as Regent when he would have finally dealt with her. Outraged, she summoned her husband to court to face judgement. Arriving unknowing what to expect, her husband came to court with two of his best soldiers as bodyguards to demonstrate he is an elf of importance that commands respect. It changed nothing. Her judgement was passed, and her husband was sentenced to death, to be publicly executed. Startled by her discovery of his plan, and refusing to face such a humiliating death, he pulled out his blade, and charged at her, ultimately committing suicide by Imperial Guard.

The general’s two loyalist bodyguards left the encounter unharmed, and were to return to their previous assignments until a new general is assigned to their command. But they did more than that. They spread a twisted version of the truth among the soldiers, along with a handful of ignorant imperial servants who only caught a glimpse of what was happening while they tended the grounds, saying how the Empress Regent brutally butchered her husband in the middle of court in a ruthless display of cruelty, and that it is she who had sent out assassins to eliminate her children she had with him now that her heir has come of age, so he would take the throne safely.

They were not completely wrong however, as the Empress Regent knew how her children would react to her seemingly murdering their father. She really did send out assassins to eliminate her threatening princes which would want to avenge their father, but when two of these attempts failed, the news and the conspiracy of Empress Yiang the Cruel spread like wildfire.

Within days, Shiyiang was under siege…

On a rainy morning at Siyiang when the city was asleep and the gates were shut closed for the night, a warhorn echoed through the calm, and a boulder flung overhead reached the city wall’s battlements, shattering the wooden roofs and framework on top, and killing a handful of guardsmen inside. From the woods beyond the fields in Shiyiang, an entire army emerged, holding shields, spears, and torches, some riding on horseback, while the red and black banner of Lun-Yiang flapped in the rainy winds of dawn.

Charachter - Lun-Yiang

Promising the warlords great fame and fortune if they aid him in his cause, two have adorned his banner, and have set to follow him in his quest to avenge his father’s death, put the Tyrant Regent to justice, and take his rightful throne as the first born of his father to become Emperor of Xia.

After a full week under siege, Shiyiang finally fell, not due to the outside forces exploiting a weak point in the city’s defence and breaching its walls, but due to an internal rebellion against the Tyrant. The city was engulfed in flames as the besieging army only watched. Soon enough, the city gates were raised and they flung open by themselves, civilians in mass fleeing the scene as Lun-Yiang marched his army in to the inferno. His first act was to restore order to the burning city, to put out the fires, and to put down the rebels that had caused it, even if it was in his favour. But when he marched on the palace and burst in through the large double doors of the throne room, he had found his mother was there, dead already. She was sat on the throne, a phial in hand, lifeless. he had committed suicide by poison rather than face false accusations, and be executed for them.

The remaining imperial court was summoned, and as Lun-Yiang sat himself on the throne and proclaimed himself the new Emperor, the court denied him that right, saying it is not he who is the heir. Enraged, he had the entire court executed in his own display of ruthless cruelty, and placed his own loyalists in court positions, successfully proclaiming himself Emperor, with the full support of the court.

Obviously, everyone was unhappy…

Another rebellion in Shiyiang soon followed that left the city nearly a ruin. Most of the city’s people have fled as in time it became the symbolic target for any and every power hungry prince or warlord who wished to claim the title of divine emperor. The eight princes scrambled for allies, some marched on the capital in either support or opposition of Lun-Yiang, some prioritised fighting for the country side and resources, realising the capital itself is worthless, as yet another fled abroad to seek foreign help with his entire wealth in tow.

While at sea, the many multitudes of pirates which were under Xia’s payroll have stopped receiving payments, and have begun praying on the Xia homeland, forming their own pirate confederation, electing a pirate King, and sowing dissent among the people along Xia’s coastal regions, fanning the flames of a second Yellow Turban rebellion.

Xia was fractured in to many warring factions once more, and everyone within trading distance of it would feel the effects of the southern giant quaking violently with internal conflict.


#2

Meanwhile, far to the north of Shiyiang and all the commotion within the heartlands…

Halatir struggled up the snowy mountain side, fleeing from any would be pursuer, no horizon in sight. The heavy snow and darkness made seeing anything impossible, but as he pushed on, a glimpse of light appeared in the distance. As hours passed, the subtle glimpse rose in intensity, the skies brightened up, and the snows waned as the day had finally dawned. The mountains were covered in white, and a dense mist covered much of everything. None the less, Halatir managed to find his way soon enough, and had located what looked like a mountain path leading deeper in to the mountains. Footsteps were leading in the same direction.

Snowy Trail 01


#3

Weary, he turned his feet to follow, doggedly pushing on over the snow. Considering that Ren, Liang, and the rest had a very small head start on him, Halatir figured he might be able to reach them before they made it to the monastery.


#4

He journeyed along the path for a few minutes more, and a silhouette of an elf came in to view within the mist. The unknown figure was alone, and they looked like they were looking for something, or someone. They turned around, and noticed Halatir closing in.


#5

”Greetings.” Halatir called out, struggling up the slope. ”Have you seen a group of elves pass by recently? I am searching for them.”


#6

The stranger pulled out a sword and stepped forth, ‘‘As am i…’’ He told him, and viciously swung his blade at the tired snow elf.


#7

Startled into motion, Halatir swayed to one side. The sword flashed by him, sending a spurt of snow flying across the ground. Halatir disregarded his own weapon, and jumped at his attacker, tackling him to the ground.


#8

With a thump, they both hit the cold snowy ground. Staggered, the attacker lost grip of his sword. He grabbed his secondary weapon, a knife at his belt, and in a single motion of pulling it outwards, the blade cut Halatir, which would have resulted in a following stab if he hadn’t reacted.


#9

Instead of flinching away, he slammed the elf in th throat with his elbow, yanked his own dagger from his boot, and slashed a backhand. It caught the elf high in his upraised arm, red ribbons of blood suddenly streaming down his limb. He screeched, just as Halatir stroke again, and slammed his dagger into the elf’s chest.

Halatir toppled off the body, and lay gasping in the snow. Blood was spattered all over the white, and his arm was bleeding again. After a few minutes of recovery, he cut a strip from the elf’s tunic, and bound it around the wound. He began to search the corpse.


#10

He found that his attacker had a satchel with supplies, which included some food, a small flask of drinking water, some notes he could not understand to read, a bag of charcoal, some flint, a bottle of unknown liquid, and a pouch of Xia coinage.


#11

Relieving the body of the possessions which it would no longer require, Halatir began to toil up the mountain side once more. His breaths came in labored gasps, and his wounds were sharp stabs of fire. Drinking some of the water helped a little bit, but it was only water and he had multiple injuries. With the wind blowing steadily, Halatir pushed on, the tatters of his cloak and armor clinging to him.


#12

It didn’t take too long until he reached a familiar mountain pass, and once he had passed it, came in to full view of the Guayong temple complex once more. As soon as he showed his face around the corner, a multitude of warrior monks wielding staffs ambushed him from seemingly every direction.

‘‘Identify yourself!’’ one demanded as the lot of them had Halatir encircled.


#13

”Halatir, private of the 4th Guayong Militia. Is Lieutenant Ren here?” gasped Halatir, swaying on his tired feet.


#14

‘‘Lieutenant Ren?’’ the monks exchanged looks of confusion, ‘‘You’re from the… oh! I know who you mean. Yes, he’s here.’’ the same one as before told him. ‘‘Are there any more survivors?’’ he asked.


#15

”None.” Halatir shook his head. ”May I see him?”


#16

The monk too shook his head, ‘‘You may enter the temple, but you will not be allowed to see him.’’


#17

”He is my commanding officer, and I strongly request permission to speak with him.” said Halatir through gritted teeth. ”And if not him, Combat Medic Liang.”


#18

The monk frowned, ‘‘It is not I who will bar you from seeing him, angry militiaman. Your unit as you knew it has been disbanded. You may or may not find Liang roaming the temple grounds below. Now leave us, we have a watch to keep.’’


#19

Now confused and shocked at the revelation that his unit was completely destroyed, Halatir shuffled past, wincing at every step. He once again found himself in the midst of the courtyard that led towards the monastery buildings, looking about for any sign of his fellow survivors.


#20

As he wandered about, he passed many monks and toiling peasants in their day to day. Nearing the main temple building that hugged a mountain cliff, he spotted Liang outside, conversing with none other than Ayro himself.