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  1. #16
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    Chapter 15: Western Supremacy

    Chapter 15: Western Supremacy
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    Since their last meeting, the fortunes of the Legion of SpiralHorns and the Raptors of the Nortwest Sea had diverged greatly. In recent days, the Norsemen, who had been soundly routed by the SpiralHorn forces, had dealt a severe blow to the brash Raptors. Meanwhile, the Legion triumphed over the umber clad army that sought to impede the SpiralHorn's march to supremacy.

    And so, the final battle for the Western Kingdoms would be fought on the battlefields of the Legion's Homeland. The SpiralHorn warriors stood poised to end the threat of their upstart rivals.

    As they waited for their foe, the Council continued to debate the path to victory. Some still whispered the name of the Great Captain, though even his most ardent supporters started to accept that the Legion's future would be decided by his young successor. Others lamented the SpiralHorn's failure to crush their opponents, as they had in times past. The prevailing thoughts of the Council, though, was of the task at hand. Soon the Western conquest would be complete.

    In this time, AvengerRam stood apart from the debates. His mood was one of pride in the accomplishments of this headstrong Clan of SpiralHorns, but at the same time a distant echo haunted him. A power was rising in the North, and the name that none cared to utter... a word that harkened back to the greatest defeat of the Golden Age, loomed like a vanguard to the ultimate prize.

    The Northern Militia was also on the rise.

    But for now, victory in the West was at hand.



  2. #17
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    Chapter 16: Emerald Defiance

    Chapter 16: Emerald Defiance
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    The battle for the West was won, but the Legion's celebration was short-lived. All among the SpiralHorns knew that the tasks set before them many months before in the heat of the Summer's end were not yet completed.

    The Legion again prepared for battle. A new power had risen, Tigris Warriors brash and unrelenting, and this upstart force commenced its march upon the Legion's Homeland.

    As the SpiralHorns again prepared for battle, a parallel campaign was being waged to the East. The Emerald Raptors, the fierce enemy of the Legion, sought supremacy in their region.

    Prevailing through the Legion's Council was the premonition that, as had been the case in the past, the doorway to the ultimate prize would be guarded by this foe. Most believed that such a battle could be won within the Homeland. Many, though, feared that the SpiralHorns might meet their end if forced to lay siege upon the Emerald Raptor's stronghold to the East.

    AvengerRam addressed the Legion, and said:

    "The thoughts of many are upon our rival to the East, but that is a battle for another day. Today, we must defend the Homeland, as a Tigris assault is imminent. The Emerald Raptors must fight their own foes as..."

    "Fools!!!!!!" ..... a voice from the hills interrupted the Bard's words. "Your meager triumphs in the West will not place you upon any path but the one toward ultimate demise!!! The Raptors of the East have no fear of your Legion, and we wait for your fatal visit to our lands!"

    The Legion waited for a response from AvengerRam to this voice calling from the hills. But, to their surprise, AvengerRam was silent.

    The Council sent sentries to find the source of this defiant voice, but the speaker disappeared into the night.

    As the shroud of darkness descended upon the Homeland, TexRamaes and Dez Urbanos called upon AvengerRam.

    "Why, my friend, did you offer no response to the challenge of this scout of the Raptors?" Dez inquired.

    "It is difficult to explain." AvengerRam replied.

    "But explain, you must." Texramaes interjected. "For in these days none can waiver as we move forward toward battle. Who could this defiant one be that he would stay your tongue?"

    "His name is AvengerEagle." AvengerRam answered. "He is my brother."


  3. #18
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    Chapter 17: A Task Before Fortification

    Chapter 17: A Task Before Fortification
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    The Tigris Warriors, like many before them, entered the Homeland with pride and fire, and left in defeat. The majority of the armies of the lands had met their final defeat, and as the days grew colder, the thoughts of the Legion turned to the final battles that stood before the SpiralHorns and the ultimate prize.

    On this day of triumph and anticipation, Dez Urbanos, the Chief of the Clan, addressed the masses and declared:

    "The seasons have changed twice, and twice again, since this great Homeland faced defeat. The task before us now lies to the North, where a lionhearted battalion in silver seeks our wrath. And they shall have it. Then, we must turn our focus to the greater challenge ahead. Steady your hearts, my brave SpiralHorns... and prepare for the fortification of the Homeland."

    A great cheer arose, so loud that it was heard accross the lands into the camps of the few armies still poised to do battle in the cold of the Winter months.


  4. #19
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    Chapter 18: Rage of the Unearned Respite

    Chapter 18: Rage of the Unearned Respite
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    Throughout the lands word spread quickly. The Legion had met defeat in the den of an opponent that none thought could challenge the mighty SpiralHorns. On this day, the Young Captain faltered and departed the field of battle wounded. The Great Captain took the lead of the charge, to no avail. Perhaps, he joined the battle to close to its dusk. Perhaps, no leader could prevail on this day. None knew for certain.

    So it came to pass that the Legion had buffered its borders from all challengers, and no army was less than a fortnight's ride from the Homeland. Yet, on this day, none felt secure.

    Shame is the first stone borne upon the backs of the defeated. But soon, this turns to anger. On this day, the transformation came to pass in little more than an instant.

    The followers of the traditions of the Great Captain were vocal in their pronouncements of fear, doom and vindication. They saw this day as paradoxical new dawn rising as the final battles approached.

    The loyalists, though not able to champion their Young Captain for his leadership in this battle... they would not cast the blame of this defeat at his feet alone. But, alas, these thoughts brought no comfort.

    And so the Legion prepared to bear a new stone. The stone of anticipation. Waiting for the attack... knowing it would not come soon, but would come surely, and from what direction, none knew.

    The fires of the camp of the Clan of SpiralHorns were lit. And in the days to come their flames would burn, but not with the heat of the rage building within the Legion. Pride would be restored on the field of battle. The Homeland would be fortified and defended. The quest for the ultimate prize had not ended.

    Indeed, it had only begun.


  5. #20
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    Chapter 19: Bracing for Battle

    Chapter 19: Bracing for Battle
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    The days grow short. Throughout the land, armies rise and fall.

    In the Homeland, the Legion waits. The sting of recent defeat burns the hearts of the SpiralHorns. All gaze toward the horizon, anticipating the attack.

    To the South, a battle is waged. The Pantheris are victorious, and march toward the fortified ramparts of the Legion. The clash draws near, and only one will walk on at its conclusion.

    AvengerRam grows restless. His mind wanders back through the days that have passed. From the day he wandered cloaked into the realm of the Clan, his vision renewed along with his resolve. Through the turmoil of the early days of combat, when a hero fell from grace and was replaced by an upstart. Through the triumphs of Autumn, when a new leader emerged, then faltered. And now, behind the walls of the Homeland stronghold, waiting for the final battles to commence.

    And so, AvengerRam joins his compatriots upon the walls. Along side the brave leaders, TexRamaes and Dez Urbanos, and the many fine SpiralHorn warriors that have walked with him on this path.

    "Let them come," he thinks. The SpiralHorns are ready.


  6. #21
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    Chapter 20: Glory and Defeat; Questions and Resolve

    Chapter 20: Glory and Defeat; Questions and Resolve
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    AvengerRam awakens and runs his hand through his hair. A sticky wetness is present... a wound...? Yes, but not fatal. The sky above him is dark now, a dim cloud rising from the smoldering embers nearby obscures the stars above.

    It is over.

    A battle, great in terrible, had ended with the Pantheris walking on victorious. The Homeland in ruins.

    The Legion's greatest warriors fought bravely on this day. The Great Champion gave his all, and nearly paved a road to triumph. Brucos Isacs, among the oldest of SpiralHorn warriors, likewise added to his legend.

    AvengerRam wanders toward the glowing fires along the ramparts. Has all truly been lost?

    The young Captain failed the Legion on this day, leading charge after charge, piercing the lines of the enemy, only to err and falter when victory neared the Spiralhorns grasp. Meanwhile, the great Captain of past days of glory sat idle, his hands stayed by the decisions of the General.

    Other survivors of the clash come into view. AvengerRam finds Troutan the Obsidian, DiJoram, and Yoduden. In their eyes, he sees the validation of their fears. But he finds no joy therein.

    The Great General faltered also on this day. Indecision... some would say. Fear... others would chastise. Lack of trust... still others would postulate. How would these unspoken opinions impact his ability to lead in the days to come? A troubling thought for all among the Legion.

    And so, AvengerRam reached the walls of the Homeland. There, he would find the leader of the Clan, Dez Urbanos and TexRameas, Ramtimeas and Ferteros, and many others ... compatriots still standing, though defeated. The Clan

    Plans would be made for future quests and battles... for the struggle for the ultimate prize never ends. It calls to those who seek it even when it exceeds their grasp.

    AvengerRam, wearing the cloak he wore when he first found the Clan, would ride off and seek out his brother... hoping to find peace.

    But soon, he will return...

    Destiny denied, must be redeemed.

    Perhaps not a prophesy... but rather an expression of the Legion's heart's desire.

    The Clan will gather again and seek the ultimate prize.

    The Legion of SpiralHorns will go on.

    The End... for now.


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