The last holdings to submit to Overlord Kyros’ reign were the Tiers, a small peninsula on the continent’s Western coast. Two great armies, the Disfavored and the Scarlet Chorus, were ordered to crush any resistance found therein, bringing and end to a 400-year campaign of conquest and unification. I was chosen as a hand of Tunon the Adjudicator, the Archon of Justice. It was by his design that the Fatebinder order was formed, bringing the rule of law to all who served under Kyros’ banners.
Born in the Northern Empire, I turned away from the path of my father and lived a life of crime, stealing what I needed to survive, taking by force anything that struck my fancy. Eventually I was caught, brought before the Archon himself for judgment. I argued my case well, filled with confidence and reason, explaining my circumstance. Impressed with my eloquence but seeing clearly through my defense, in his wisdom he proclaimed me guilty anyway. Offering me a choice of punishments, I could either languish in a prison cell for the rest of my days or join his Fatebinders, serving him for life. It was an easy choice, and I was soon trained in numbers, letters, magic, and war. The laws I once broke had become my responsibility to interpret and enforce.
The year 428 brought Kyros’ armies to the Bastard City, a trading post standing at the border between the Tiers and the rest of the world. To locals, it was the center of all wealth. To us it was little more than a backwater town. The Tiers hadn’t been able to organize any suitable defense of their lands; it became apparent it was time to show them that Kyros’ will was insurmountable.
The Disfavored were an elite, highly-regimented group, steeped in tradition and ritual. The Scarlet Chorus were their spiritual opposite, formed from the captured survivors of fallen lands, raiding and pillaging as they saw fit. The two armies were both bent to Kyros’ will, but saw different means to achieve the same ends. I knew I would have to walk carefully the line between them both, as both would be required to take these lands. As we approached the Bastard City and its so-called “Gates of Judgment,” I joined ranks with the Disfavored, wanting to see their discipline for myself.
So poor were the city’s defenses that our armies quickly outpaced our planned supply caravans. It is said than an army marches on its stomach as much as its feet, and the wisdom of that adage became quickly apparent. Disagreements and dissension in the ranks grew as larders ran empty, and the leadership of both armies approached me with unique ideas. The Disfavored wanted to pillage the merchant caravans that had for too long made themselves rich and fat, profiting from the war our soldiers fought and died in. The Scarlet Chorus wanted to raid nearby farms and villages, spreading the infamy of Kyros’ mighty will.
In the end I decided to loose the Scarlet Chorus on the farmers, with strict instructions to ensure survivors knew that it was their own leaders’ weakness that lead to this wanton destruction. It was my hope also that the Chorus would replenish some of the forces it had lost in recent campaigns, taking from the locals those who could use a sword and had a head for survival.
The day was won, the city subjugated, and the first step of spreading Kyros’ will had been taken. I did not expect larger cities to pose any more of a hindrance to progress than this meager town – our armies grew ever stronger with each victory.