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The Fall of Canamar

The Battle of Canamar was bloody. The Enolians fiercely defended their capital to the level of fervor that Kassus had assumed as he put together his strategy. Enolians died left and right as the Zelvorian Kepeszuks smashed straight into the middle of the city, caring little for their own safety -- focused on the singular goal of cleaving a large wedge down the main thoroughfares. Obisek yelling at his men to keep up the momentum, driving them to move faster, to reach the goal, and getting one step closer to that one opportunity the general had hinted at. Their ferocity was on equal footing as their locked warrior spirit reemerged in the rage. The Zelvorians had been slaves for generations and those twenty-thousand under Morror Kassus were being given an opportunity to improve their lives, in time. Rihannsu soldiers on the flanks had surprised their opponents and caught them off-guard. At first, this played well until they got deeper into the city and the Enolians fled to the alleyways and sewers, forcing the regiments to fight for every nook and cranny, large or small.

Enolian Guardsman fought as best as they could but when the Kepeszuks had breached several positions of their inner defensive ring, the defense turned into a rout. They dropped their weapons and fled. Their commanding officers attempted to keep them in the fight but could do nothing about it as their own situation had become untenable. Kepeszuks in their vanguard offensive had secured the main communications nexus and others had taken control of the utility grid. The Tenth Legion's First Regiment moved in behind the Zelvorians and fanned out, taking many of the fleeing Enolians into custody. Varak's most senior squadrons used the Kepeszuk wave to seize the capitol building itself.

As the sun began to set, a white flag waved from the top of the capitol. The Enolians had surrendered. The war was over, not without major casualties on both sides. The Enolians who had been captured in the battle where taken to temporary camps for processing until formal hostilities had concluded where they would be discharged and released. Kassus was driven into the city, buildings burning brightly with heavy smoke in the air.

He was greeted by cheering soldiers and the dour expression of those Enolian civilians who hidden in their homes or in shelters. The Enolians were now, and forever, a conquered people. The Kepeszuks under Obisek and Kalenna's First Regiment were both standing at attention in the city center. Logistics personnel had hastily erected a stage out of rubble and plugged a microphone and camera into the main telecommunications system. Morror stepped out of his car and onto the makeshift platform, faced his soldiers that had gathered and said:

Enolia ahr'seiyya. Enolia is Destroyed.

Two days following the battle, government bureaucrats and officers of the Phi'Tlaru had begun arriving from Dartha to begin pouring through every single document, report, and secured database to get a full picture of the land, her people, and to lay the foundations for Rihannsu rule over the land. As this was going on, back at Kassus' command tent, Varak, Relek, and Nerik were meeting.

"You did it," said Varak, "it's over."

"This is a great day for us," responded Kassus.

"It is a great day for the Republic," said Relek.

"Yes, yes it is," paused Morror. "But this is only the beginning." He eyed Varak, "rally the soldiers. I wish to speak before them this evening," he said.

That night, Kassus, flanked by Antor and Kalenna, stood before his Legion and the Kepeszuks.

"You have fought and you have bled. And you have died for the Republic. For you have brought Enolia to heel and brought peace to this land."

"But the Republic is sick," he continued, "there is corruption, deception, and ineptitude seeping from the Senate, who claim to rule in your name. The Praetor is the highest vision of our People, but he has become nothing more than a coward, kowtowing to a few wealthy landowners, to govern. Rihan is ours, not theirs. He is no longer worthy of the position."

Antor gazed his general. "Terix may say he loves you, the soldiers, but he does not -- he refused to provide aid and manpower in our offensive from the very first day we were called upon to serve. He is to blame for how poorly the initial stages of this war was fought. He has insulted each and everyone's very honor with his incompetence. He is not a leader. Rihan needs a leader to treat the sickness and move it forward."

He paused for a second, "I want to save the Republic from itself, but I cannot do it alone," he turned to both Antor and Kalenna, both nodded in acknowledgment, they were onboard. "I am asking you, brothers and sisters, to stand with me," before he could finish his sentence, the soldiers were chanting his name, "KASSUS! KASSUS! KASSUS!" Each man within sight of Morror took out their combat knives and rose them in the air shouting, "D'ARTAT!" He had the full loyalty of his men. This was treason. Kassus had already sent a messenger with a sealed letter outlining the action he and his men would be taking.

The following morning, the letter had reached the Praetor who furiously read it aloud to Major-General Rendak, his Praetorian Prefect, and the assembled Continuing Committee.

"This will not be tolerated General," he said, "order the 1st and 2nd Legions to bring General Kassus into custody and to strip his men of their weapons. Now."

~End of Act 2~

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~Interlude~

"In the Shadows" is currently between segments. Please read the Republic's news for developments concerning the initial aftermath of the war and the lead-up to Act 3. I hope you have enjoyed the story thus far, and there is still much to share.

 

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~Act 3~

The Bridge

"This weather is misrable," said Kassus from the back seat of his armored transport. He and his men had raced across Ralatak and Nelvek to the banks of the Vrekess. It had been raining for two days straight and it was astonishing that his lengthy convoy of men and material had not gotten bogged down in the mud. He would have to thank the Kirvinska for that when he next had the opportunity to visit, and if he was fortunate, as Praetor. His allies within the Phi'Tlaru had been working hard to concel his tracks but eventually the Praetor would find out and by then, it would be too late. Varak, his second-in-command responded, "it sould be subsiding tomorrow morning, then we can march across the Vrekess."

"Not so fast, there is no rush."

"What do you mean? We were the ones to initiate the offensive against Terix. If we linger too long, he'll surely react."

"He already has, two legions are on their way," he said, "they are raw conscripts. They'll turn and flee -- not to mention that they are lead by two incompetent generals who got their ranks because they bribed their own superiors and the senators who backed their promotion. They are not a threat."

"Then what do you propose?"

"We'll set up camp along the river and wait."

"For what?" she questioned though she suspected Kassus, the general she had served for years under, already had a intended sequence of events.

"Dovos and Vabon are on their way to deliver messages to Generals Ayel Nevet and Enellis Vellon."

"You want them to join us."

"Yes," he remarked. "I do not doubt in the abilities of our own men in achieving our goals but I can promise something to both men that Mathon cannot."

She remained quiet while he continued, "Ayel is a loyal soldier of the Republic but my contacts in the Phi'Tlaru tell me that the Praetor has grown tired of him, despite the fact that without him we'd still be tangling with the Enolians. I would offer him the leadership of a veteran legion." Kalenna looked him, "do you mean our forces?"

"Certainly not," he retorted. "Our men would form the new Praetorian Guard while those currently in the unit along with other veteran would become the new Tenth."

"As for Vellon?" she asked.

"He's served the Republic with honor and distinction but he wants a new opportunity to serve our country," he began. Morror glanced out of the window. They were nearly the Vrekess. "I would offer Enellis the chance to administer and build up a completely new province, Parak. Not to mention that he has said more than once that he would love a great farm to call his own."

The car was coming to a halt when the secure telephone in the back seat went off. It was Tovik, a high-ranking spy within the Phi'Tlaru.

"I have picked up a number of weakly encrypted transmissions between senators who are beginning to conspire about ousting Terix. I will keep you posted of developments as events continue to transpire."

"Do you know who's leading that effort?"

"Not yet but Gathan Darok's name appears frequently."

"Thank you," and hung up. Antor, who had been riding in the vehicle behind the general, came up alongside Morror's side. "Tenth Regiment has already begun to set up initial fortfications and the Seventh are lining up artillery on our side of the river."

"Antor," instructed Kassus, "can you please instruct a squad to immediately undertake scouting efforts on the western bank. I want an idea of where the two approaching legions are."

"Yes sir," he responded and turned around to spotted Jeto."

"Take your ten men across the river," he said. Jeto silently responded, putting his hand into a fist and hitting it against his chest. He proceeded to gather his men.

Kassus' attendants and support staff had begun setting up his command tent. Both he and Kalenna, flanked by his bodyguard, walked through the rising encampment to a bridge.

It was a mundane bridge, but it demarcated the border between Rihan proper and the new Provinces.

Though they were quite far from the capital, Kassus remarked, "I can see the dome of the Hall of State from here."

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