By Amanda Pizzolatto
Note: See the bottom of the page for an explanation of the various species.
Jeanne di Arch was the daughter of the mayor of Turs and was called on to do many things, but what King Yeshua asked her to do was the strangest request by far. It technically all started when a horde of trolls led by Eglesh attacked their village. Mayor di Arch sent messengers to find aid, but of the ten sent, only one returned, and with a messenger of King Yeshua. However, they found out quite quickly that this lar was no ordinary messenger; he was also the general of King Yeshua’s forces. Michael jumped headfirst into battle preparations and fortifications upon his arrival, leaving no room for idle gossip. Despite that, he did voice a hope that spread like wildfire, the hope that a force of lares would be at Turs soon to help fend off the trolls. With this in mind, the people did everything as Michael asked of them, except for one incident. The Mayor insisted upon continuing his castle patrol, all decked out in mayoral finery. A troll archer saw its chance to take out the mayor and sent an arrow flying. Thankfully, the arrow missed vital organs, but the mayor was confined to bed, leaving his duties to Jeanne. It was then that Michael approached her with a strange request.
“Jeanne, King Yeshua wishes for you to lead the men into battle.”
Jeanne glanced up sharply at him, “W-what? Me? He wants me to lead them into battle? But I’m a girl!”
Michael nodded, “We know, but King Yeshua knows what he’s doing, and he is never wrong. Will you lead us into battle?”
Jeanne pondered over the matter for a minute before replying with, “Very well, I shall lead you into battle if that is King Yeshua’s wish.”
“Thank you, it is. Come, you should be properly attired. I have no desire to lose you any more than your father.”
“Thank you Michael, for everything.”
“Thank King Yeshua, I am only following his commands.” No more was said as Jeanne went to get fitted in a suit of armour. A couple of hours later, Jeanne found herself suited up and seated on a horse in front of a squadron of men, all armed and ready for battle. Michael rode up next to her, dressed in the battle armour of the King which shone like gold in the morning sun. His sash bore the colors of the King, white with a blue star above a red heart.
“Jeanne, are you ready?”
“I look like I am, but I am definitely not.”
Michael chuckled. “None of us really are, but we must do what we can.”
Jeanne sighed. “I know.”
“And Jeanne, you are going to have to face Eglesh by yourself. No matter what happens, no matter what he says, you must kill him.”
Jeanne nodded grimly. “I understand.”
“I hope so, because this whole battle depends on it.” Jeanne glanced at him as the war horn trumpeted, signaling the charge. Jeanne glanced back at her men; the war fervor was filling their blood, terror filling their minds, but they were poised and ready to defend their own. Jeanne turned back to face the advancing trolls, raised her sword, and led her men into battle. There were noises everywhere as the two armies clashed, the ringing of sword fights, the cries of the fallen, the yells of the survivors to avenge them, and the blasts of horns to direct the soldiers. Jeanne had to go through several trolls before she faced her nemesis.
“What’s this? They send a girl to fight me?” He laughed. “What kind of a joke is this?”
“This is no joke, I am Jeanne di Arch, the daughter of the mayor, and I will not let you destroy my village or my people!”
Eglesh laughed again, “Bold words to die by, Princess!” With a sneer, he lunged at her, only to be surprised by her skill with a blade. “Well, someone’s been taught how to fence! How quaint. Did the handsome general teach you?” He indicated Michael, who was inching closer with every troll that fell to his blade.
“Well it certainly wasn’t you,” she spat out as she engaged him.
“Come now, enough of this. This isn’t what you want now, is it? You would much rather get married and have children, I’m sure. With enough money so that you and your family may live comfortably. I can give that to you, Jeanne, if you truly want it.” He watched her face. He had hit the mark; that’s what she wanted. Jeanne had taken a step back, her eyes and her sword downcast as she thought over it. But Eglesh’s next words decided it for her. “All you have to do is to give me Turs so that we can expand it.” The sword came back up, her eyes on fire.
“No! You will do to it what you’ve been wanting to do all along: ransack and burn! This is my home, my family, my friends, and you will not touch them!” With a yell, she charged him, and in almost no time at all, she had defeated him. She made sure he was dead before turning her attention to Michael. A new horn sounded over the chaos of battle. Jeanne saw a whole squadron of horse riders charge into the fray.
“The lares! The lares are here! Aah!”
“Jeanne!” Michael caught her as she fell, the ugly shaft of the arrow sticking out of her back.
The next few months were a flurry of activity: the wounded were tended to, the dead were buried, and the village was rebuilt. When Chrestam came around, the village was finished and most of the wounded were back on their feet. A feast was prepared in celebration of the holiday and their victory over the trolls. Only the best and largest lavima were roasted, the tastiest dishes were prepared, and the finest desserts were baked. But in the midst of all the celebrations came a bittersweet announcement, the lares would be leaving, and Jeanne with them. King Yeshua had asked that Jeanne join his army, and she accepted. It wasn’t long before the squadron left, led by Michael and Jeanne, ready to follow the King’s orders and to defend his people.
Humans – primarily European, they take up the majority of the population of Camulic
Lares (singular – Lar) – A pale-green-skinned race that are slightly taller than humans, yet much more stronger and faster. Hair and eyes come in the same varying colors and styles as humans, though the top of their ears have a finger-length point that is slightly curved back. They also have six digits on each hand and foot, their pupils are actually more of a dark grey-green color, and they live for a good two hundred years longer than humans.
Trolls – They are similar to the lares in strength, speed, and height, but they have mold-green, warty skin, their ears have sharp ridges instead of a point, their eyeballs are yellow with black irises and white pupils, and they have sharp, jagged teeth.
Lavima – Sheep with four dove wings, raised for their meat and silky wool, the curly ram horns are used as trumpets.