Life has been a bit hectic at the moment so I haven’t had time to put pen to paper let alone sit down in front of my laptop. So what better way to dive back in than with the tale of a man who quite simply didn’t have enough time?
Without further introduction I give you Raktacolas a soldier in the Aticulan army. Of course he wasn’t just any soldier, he was a well-known lord. Famed in fact for his skill with a sword, it wasn’t just him but whole company he led that was renowned. A group of ten heavy armed knights all of whom sat atop great horses with gleaming coats and would go anywhere, do anything, in the name of duty.
However on this particular day all Lord Raktacolas wanted to do was take a long solitary hunt in the forest they were camped near. Events though seemed to be conspiring against him in a determined effort to keep him from the forest and the cool spring he found himself longing for.
Raktacolas had just risen for the day and was breaking his fast on a small meal of bread and water. He was dressed in hunting gear and just beginning to think of the game to be found amongst the trees when the messenger was announced. Thinking it to be from one of his comrades and wondering why they hadn’t come himself he went to see what it was about.
The runner was panting heavily and obviously winded by he straightened up to salute when he saw Raktacolas. “My Lord, Trackon requests your presence in the west camp. A fight has broken out and he wants you to deal with it.”
“Get the message to my company,” Raktacolas said with a sigh, his hunt would have to wait for later. Without waiting for the messenger to leave he headed back to change into his armour pausing for a moment before he grabbed his cloak. It was made of a heavy material that he dreaded wearing in the heat but they needed to look impressive if they wanted to stop this quickly. The west camp was where the mercenaries were housed and they had been having trouble keeping the separate bands from attacking each other.
He swept out of his tent, the cloak now fastened with an intricate clasp, and headed towards the trouble. As he walked his company emerged from the surrounding tents to fall into formation around him. Each was decked in gleaming armour with weapons hung from their hips. The mass of soldiers parted before them, giving way to the men who were the pride of the Aticulan army. It was well known that if Raktacolas’s company was out they were busy and they wouldn’t let anyone get in their way.
It was a reasonable walk to the west camp as they had to cross the open stretch of land that separated the two camps. A third lay further to the south and had that been their destination they would have ridden but the west camp was close enough and the slower pace gave the mercenaries time to resolve their dispute before they needed to intercede. Unfortunately it seemed to have gone past that point because by the time they arrived the fight was still going strong with two warring factions engaged with drawn blades. With a nod to his men Raktacolas strode forward drawing his weapon as he did so his company holding formation around him and brandishing their own weapons in threat.
“Enough,” Raktacolas shouted above the din “Are we not a united army?” Around him the fight slowed as the men became aware of just who was among them. Eventually it came to a halt and he spoke again, “Why do you fight so?”
“We are not their subordinates and yet they have the better pick of everything,” one man called out. “Aye, they’ve the best ground to camp,” another voice. “The best food,” a third called. “They seek to take what’s ours because they don’t care for theirs,” a man from the other faction shouted to the cheers of his comrades.
Raktacolas shook his head half despairingly before he turned to one of his men. “See that our tents are relocated to the centre of this camp.” He ordered and the man headed off immediately to do so no question as to why the pride of the army was relocating to the mercenary camp. “I will speak with your leaders on the open ground and we will come to a solution for this squabbling,” he called out to the still frozen mercenaries. With that said he turned on his heal with his remaining men following until he stood in the middle of the empty stretch of ground between the mercenary camp and the main camp.