The world is ever changing. The world never stops for a single person. No matter how powerful someone gets; there is always someone more powerful. The powerful laud over those without power. While some try to hide this fact, it is just that, an undisputed fact of the world. And the most powerful in the world, is the world itself. Or so it seems at least. Whenever a country grows too powerful, something always seems to happen. The Ool incident, the Protectorate breakaway, the extinction of the dragons. Something disrupts and changes the balance of power so that it returns to equality. This strange balance seems to be kept out of nowhere, but it's absolute, or at least so far.
The biggest changes in recent memory are quite numerous and had big consequences to the world. Or at least in their part of the world. The Protectorate declaring independence with the assistance of Kron-Nesis' rivals. While Kron-Nesis refuses to acknowledge their independence and still call them rebels in their correspondence; it is a pretty established fact that the Protectorate acts and works like it's own country. The various guilds have been...reluctant to proclaim the Protectorate due to a lot of the guilds having their headquarters in Tarantis. However they don't denounce it either. The guilds have taken a neutral stance, officially, towards it all. But they've started to build establishments in the Protectorate just like any other country.
The Southern Jewel Palace Hallways
"Indeed." a male voice sounded in the hallway. A pair of boots clacking against the floor accompanied the voice. It was a slow stride with heavy footfalls echoing throughout the marble hallway. The sound of the footfall could tell you that it was a large figure, an imposing figure to behold. The voice itself carries the air of authority. A deep rumbling like thunder despite it's low tone. "Eamonvale has been...persuaded to grant our forces passage. As much as it loathes me to admit, we can't break through by force or ferry our troops with the navy. Not without crushing losses at least." The person almost spat out the last few words.
A second pair of footsteps, these armoured and clanking against the marble floor. "While I trust in your wisdom, my King, is it wise to send our forces through those lands?" This voice sounded older, but no less powerful. "When we have sent scouts through before they've been met with open hostility, as you're fully aware, my King. Why would that change now?" The first person, stopped and was quickly followed by the second.
"Because I made them an offer which they could hardly refuse. After we're done with the rebels; we are to provide them with assistance in their own issues with the Crow King." He chuckled. "Not like we're actually going to do that. After we're done with the rebels; it'll be your task to subjugate Eamonvale under the pretence of allies and then proceed to Nyrae and bring them to heel too."
He turned towards his companion and handed him a sealed scroll. "These are your orders Grand Marshal. Do not fail me in this." He turned around again and started walking towards his chambers. "Oh..also...bring that daughter of your with you. A Knight of her...prowess needs to gain some experience on the front lines. The same goes for my dearest Azymn. She needs to experience the real world." And hopefully they both die there too.
he thought to himself with a smirk. His daughter was too soft, and that blasted knight of her's was not making it any better. Luckily enough another heir was to be born soon. One he could groom from birth to become what the Grand Kingdom needed.
The Grand Marshal bowed gracefully before taking his leave. He had been given his orders and were going to follow them to the letter, the King knew that much. He shook his head and started walking once again. "Always been a good and honourable man that one." The King said to no one in particular.
"It's a shame then what might happen if we have to go with plan C" a voice replied out from a corridor. "It would be so sad to see him fall after all of his hard work." The voice, distinctly female, continued.
"Indeed. Which is why I hope plan B works if she doesn't die like a good little girl, like she is supposed to." The King turned towards the voice. "I do hope that mercy will come if she suffers? It would be quite crude of me to want my dear daughter to suffer after all."
"Don't worry my dear, the sisters are up for the task. Mercy shall be granted to the princess, and Gia will clean up the mess after all is said and done. Just like we agreed on."
"You better not fail me, Matron."
"I never have, Ezekiel dearest."
Rumours had been circulating the streets of the capital for weeks now. The army was gearing up for something. Everyone could tell. They conducted more exercises than normal. More and more troops flooded into the surroundings. Their prized knights were summoned and infantry followed. The army itself and its commanders had been kept out of the loop so far. They didn't even know that their sister legions had also been summoned until they saw the mass of tents, with accompanying banners, that littered the plains. No one knew the extent of the operation. Even the Grand Marshal himself, as he surveyed the armies gathering before him, had been kept out of the loop until earlier this morning.
He had to commend the King for being able to keep it so hush-hush until now. He once again looked over the scroll he had been given, sighing. This plan would lead to casualties, he knew that much. But unless the Protectorate got word of it or Eamonvale went back on their words, he also knew that the days of the Protectorate were numbered. What he didn't like though was that the order he had been given included verbal commands for his daughter to partake, along with the Princess in the campaign. If they survived, they would come out of it stronger than ever. But that was if..
"Adjutant...summon my daughter along with her Royal Princess. I'm sure our Highness has already sent word to them to report here, but just in case. Also, recruit willing hunters, builders, miners, and 'extra personnel' as per standard protocol." He said and threw the scroll into the fire. As per the customs he had to commit everything to heart then burn the orders lest they get stolen.
The order went out in quick haste. Orders were posted in the guilds that the army was recruiting their services. Even the unofficial guilds were sent letters. It was a stupid commander that didn't utilize every mean available to secure victory. As long as it didn't hurt the civilians Lenius wasn't above using the services of the guilds of ill repute. Most of the time though, he didn't even need to give them tasks because they'd win without them anyway.
Life in the small town was as peaceful as life could be in a bordertown between two countries which one was at war. Most had gotten used to how life was. They were mostly ignored. Neither side of the conflict saw great strategic value in the town itself and due to the location there were people from both sides meeting daily. No one really cared that one was from one side and one from the other. They were not soldiers. They were simple farmers and fishermen. Who cares what the countries did? Sure, they were a lot happier under the rulership of Eamonvale as their country was now called. The Crow King had a few screws loose and they all knew it. Neither did it bother their neighbouring neutral country.
Until the ruling bodies decided that their small town was worth the effort; they'd stay out of the war. With the exception of the drafted, no one really cared or were effected. They were far away from the main battlefields.
But even here the rumors of the movements in Kron-Nesis were starting to take ahold. Large convoys of grain and produce were heading south-west towards the Grand Kingdom. Everyone with some brain power could figure out that they were about to do something big. Even here in this small town barrels of salted fish were being shipped out.
Sure, all the shipments of grain, produce, fish and more had been sent out little by little and in unmarked trader wagons. But since most of it seemed to be heading towards the Grand Kingdom, it was not the hardest to deduce. It looked like the Grand Kingdom was going to try another push against the Protectorate. Which by itself wasn't that big of a surprise. What they didn't know though was that the shipment of supplies had been going on for months already. But with the coming storm soon approaching, secrecy wasn't as big of a factor any longer. Less so now that more and more carriages started stopping in the small border town, building up a storage of supplies.