Crusades

The Athanasian Realm Book Four

  
The time of preparation for war was past. It had been a year since Adicia, Gara, and Tavis had stumbled into the sleepy village of Brieton and found the highly innately magical youths of the Brieton area. Then they had found the memory charmer Dolak, the youths with the old magic and started to unravel the truth of the history of the Isle of Wisdom. With the help of the elves and a mission to find Garnrin it became apparent that the Isle of Wisdom was missing knowledge and magic that it once had. Over the course of several moons darker secrets came to light, and a treasonous plot was uncovered.
Discovering that the beloved Mahatma was actually the daughter of the Tsar of Tenebrosity and a spy sent to undermine the sanctity of the Isle of Wisdom was a devastating blow. Especially to the Isle leaders who had been appointed to their positions by the aforementioned Mahatma, presumably because they were considered too young and naïve to be a threat to her plans. That assumption on her part ultimately became her undoing, when they uncovered her plans. With the assistance of the ancients who were in secret retirement they placed her on a public trial assisted by Dolak the memory charmer and convicted her and her co-conspirators, sentencing them to death. She and her assistant Ela were rescued by an unseen force, presumably by their demon, though the rest of the traitors were killed. The traitors who were not at the Isle at the time of the trial are wanted for questioning and trial and are presumed to have fled back to Tenebrosity.
Treaties were signed between the human kingdoms, the elf kingdoms, the dwarf kingdoms and the Isle of Wisdom to ensure that neither the Isle nor the kingdoms would ever be infiltrated by traitors again. Or if they were to be infiltrated, the damage would never be able to put the Realm in such a precarious position again. Each of the kingdoms would be responsible for maintaining communication with each other and monitoring for unusual behavior, especially with the Isle of Wisdom. All of the kingdoms would remain sovereign and maintain their own culture and laws, but they would remain faithful to the gods of light and defend against the dark gods as a realm.  
After the execution, flawed as it may have been, the tower leaders have spent moons training the tower members, accepted and adepts as quickly and efficiently as possible to prepare for the impending invasion by Tenebrosity. Although they knew that Tenebrosity was planning an attack they didn’t know when exactly they would arrive. The gods of light provided for their worshipers, and Desrod from the Refulgent Holdout in the southern tip of Tenebrosity arrived through a spell that was previously thought impossible. Nothing is impossible with a skillful wizard and the proper worship of the gods of light. Once in Athanasia, Desrod and his closest friends explained to the tower leaders Adicia, Gara and Tavis about the plans of the Tsar and his army to invade. Their intelligence was so good that they had the dates that the soldiers would arrive and even how many soldiers should be coming.

  

The size of the army was intimidating and the realization that they were on their way was a bit overwhelming. Especially as the Athanasian Realm army was less than a quarter of the estimated size of the Tenebrosity army. And the Tenebrosity army consisted of all innately magical soldiers, highly skilled in complex magic and lacking in any moral character. Between the size of the army and the lack of any moral character or empathy of any kind, the concept of them conquering Athanasia was enough to make anyone quake in fear.
The arrival of the first group of soldiers was met with fierce resistance from the Athanasians. The 4,000 soldiers were decimated by the group of Athanasian fighters, at least most of them were. A contingent of fighters, led by the prince of Tenebrosity, Asurr and his wife Vessay were still in Civraai regrouping and preparing to attack the Athanasians when they least expect it. The timing of the prince and his soldiers attacking would be paramount for a successful redemption of their loss at Vicsburg. In order to make up for the loss of nearly 4,000 troops it would take a massive victory to ensure his father the Tsar didn’t simply have him killed in the field.
What the prince, and the army in general was ignorant of at the moment, was that the Tsar had been killed by a successful assassin attack the night before the Springtime Celebration. Along with the assassination of the Tsar, his wife, the heirs in Tenebrosity, the children of the prince Asurr, and the courtiers, not all of which were completely successful, the harbors and ships left in Tenebrosity were all destroyed that night as well. Prince Asurr’s youngest daughter Anne along with several of the dukes and duchesses survived, although everyone else was assassinated. It would take time for Tenebrosity to determine what would happen next, owls to be sent out to the generals and to determine who would take the place of the Tsar now that he and the Tsarina were dead and prince heir was gone to war. Next in line was a young girl Anne, and she was only eight years old. How could she rule an entire realm?