The Return of the King – September 468AV

Trumpets rang out and drums beat a steady rhythm as the great gates of Ilac City swung open. People strained to see the Legion entering the city, children climbed onto roofs and adults pushed forwards to catch a glimpse of the king returning. He strode in, flanked by the 13th Legion, resplendent in their silver armour and blue livery. The king waved at the crowds as he passed, stopping to shake hands with some, praise the soldiers keeping the crowds at bay and listen to what some of the people had to say. It took several hours for the procession to reach the castle at the centre of the city. The drawbridge was down and on it were around thirty legionnaires of the 4th Legion. One of them stepped forward, “The military council requests you leave your entourage here and proceed with only what is necessary.”
“The military council can request what they like,” said the king in a dangerous tone, “But I am the rightful king of Ilac and I choose to bring the 13th with me.”
The 4th Legionnaire looked unsurprised as his face set in a grimace, “General Lucius thought you might say that. We cannot allow you to proceed with an army into the chamber ahead, agree to let us escort you and…”
The man’s words cut off as the spear of one of the 13th drove through his chest and clean out his back. 
“I am the king of Ilac, if you are not with me, you are against me.”
Fighting exploded on the drawbridge as the 13th clashed with the 4th Legion. The king did not shirk from combat, entering the fray with his sword and calling upon the power of Mars to guide his blows. The Priscus called down the wrath of Mars, enraging and empowering those that fought for the king. The fighting lasted several minutes but the 13th were prepared for this and with the power of Mars on their side they were quickly triumphant. They reformed and marched into the council chamber.

Two of the generals stood ready, with one knelt at sword point before them, as the procession entered the chamber. The king strode forwards with the Priscus and Quintus, Primagania of the 13th Legion. The rest of the 13th circled the room.
“A glorious day marred by treachery,” stated the king as he set his shield aside and took off his gloves, “I had hoped that all would be celebration but it is fitting that blood is given to Mars upon my return.”
General Germanus kicked General Lucius forwards, “This is your traitor my liege.”
The king looked him over once and beckoned for two of the 13th to come forward, “Take him away and prepare him for display.”
The 13th took Lucius by each arm and marched him from the room as he remained stoicly silent. 
“Priscus, go with them and see the preparations are complete.”
The Priscus bowed and marched swiftly after the departing trio.
“I have been in exile for some time but now is the moment of my return. You two have done well,” he stated, gesturing to General Germanus and General Cassia, “And I ask that you maintain your roles and positions to support me in returning Ilac to rightful glory.”
The two generals knelt and pledged their service to Gaius Aquilanus Varrus, the king of Ilac. The king clapped his hands and dismissed the 13th, leaving only a few as guards in the chamber. 
“I do not intend to tarry, the preparations begin now. Here are my orders. Recall all Legions to Ilac, I want to meet them, redistribute supplies and assign them to new stations.”
He paused to let General Cassia speak, “My Liege, the 2nd Legion are currently positioned at the demon portal, aiding Clymenia to stop them entering this plane. May I request a number of them be left there to continue this work?”
The king nodded, “Very well, leave five hundred and bring the rest back. I want someone tasked with finding out how to close that breach, Ilac needs those Legionnaires back. We also need to begin preparing supplies for the deployments I have in mind. Start gathering engineers and craftspeople as well as supplies of lumber and stone. I want a new fortress built at the remains of Dukada and one at Toku. I want runners to begin reaching out to the Accord, I intend to liberate Paravel from the Escari but we will need numbers to do it. Is there anything pertinent you can tell me about the situation here in the city?”
“Yes sire,” said Germanus, “We have had reports that many of the mindless dead have dropped down dead.”
“What? How? Do we know what caused it?”
“Not yet sir, but we estimate around a quarter of those that have not yet been given back their minds are once again deceased.”
The king looked troubled for a moment, “All the more reason to get my domestic affairs in order. I have some priests working on finding the bowl of Mars. I am told it is essential in producing the quantities of blood we need to bring everyone back.”
The generals nodded and followed the king as he began to walk out to the battlements. They discussed plans and distributions of troops and supplies until well into the night. Ilac has new purpose and a king who is determined to act and drive forward. With renewed determination, rubble is cleared from streets, buildings are fixed and forges spring to life. Ilac begins gearing up for some major world affecting action.

The morning dawns on a bloody and terrible sight. General Lucius hangs on a board at the front of the castle, killed and displayed as a blood eagle. The words “Ilac Stands Together” are painted in his blood on the board. A piece of paper reads “Ilac stands together. By orders of King Gaius Aquilanus Varrus, martial law is disbanded. The rightful king sits the throne. We must stand together in these dire times. Any and all who compromise Ilac’s strength will be punished. We must be united and stride forth, bearing the torch for the Accord of Nations. A new age dawns. The shackles are cast off. Ilac stands together”

World notes:

  • Ilac is no longer under martial law, there is now a king on the throne.
  • Most of Ilac’s troops are being recalled to the city, with the exception of 500 at the demon portal in Castann
  • A large swathe of mindless dead have dropped down properly dead, people are unsure why