A day later, the events of the round ups have unfolded in Malu, at its city, a regional sized distance west from Raynor lands, and its own region outright. Malu, the highest populated region in Nua and neighbour to Raynor is where the Battalion of the Saints were founded. During the warlord era, the Saints ruled over this realm.
On this day of reckoning Malu City is empty. A man reasonably tall, with a short green cloak enters through the southern entrance. He is a bizarre looking fella wearing a mouth covering. What also shows this is his silly spiky light brown hair, mostly left bald, but not at the centre. He walked through the barren city with no one to spot in sight.
“Eigh?”said the green cloaked man. He had wondered if he had missed something important that he should know about as the streets in Malu were just about empty.
Then the green cloaked man looked the full 360 degrees around after walking a reasonable distance into the city. It was certified, no one was lingering around that could be spotted. This worried the man.
“Just where did everyone run off to” the green cloaked man uttered.
He explored the empty city streets some more traversing through different districts.
“Why is the city so empty today. Did I miss something important” the green cloaked man wondered.
On a cross in point, the man comes across a turning into a street that had a close. Ahead is an old man at the far edge of the street’s close sat on a bench minding his own business. The cloaked man entered this street and approached the elder.
“Phew. Someone is here besides me” said the green cloaked man.
The old man that was spotted is sat on the bench without a concern for the emptiness in the city. Seeing this bizarre mien, the green cloaked man appeared before him.
“Good day sir” the green cloaked man said.
“What can I help you with, young man” the old man replied.
“I know this sounds funny but where have the people of Malu disappeared off to? No one appears to be in the city” the green cloaked man questioned.
Just before the elder was about to reply, he spotted the cloaked man’s hair, cloak and mouth covering. He was sure that the man standing before him was a crook of some sort.
“That ridiculous hair. Aren’t you that thief, the one going by the name Riz?” the elder questioned.
“I get that a lot but you ignored the question that was asked of you. I’ve been wandering through the city and there’s pretty much no one around.” said the green cloaked man.
He had been identified as the identity ‘Riz’.
“Oh I take it you haven’t heard then…” the elder mentioned.
Riz cut in before he could finish speaking.
“Heard about what?” Riz interrupted.
“The King has set an order that all magnicks, every single one must be seized and captured. But that’s not the worst part. He plans to eventually execute them by example” the elder explained.
“What?” Riz stammered.
He couldn’t believe what he had just heard.
“It’s crazy right. It’s got something to do with them being not chosen by God Almighty. Something to do with an agenda the ruling parties have. I’m just glad I’m not one and honestly relieved I have no close ties to one either.” the elder explained.
“Hang on a second, all magnicks executed…this is madness!” Riz groaned.
“That’s right. The King wants them purged. He claims that their powers ungoverned by superior authority threaten Nua’s stability. That only a chosen few are supposed to bare such a blessing, if not a curse.” the elder explained furthermore.
“This day just went from normal to downright terrible…” Riz complained.
Malu being a neighbour to Raynor was hit early, largely because of the intense population that dwells in the region’s city. On a national scale, Nua’s system that was restored to perfection has been disorganised as magnick after magnick were rounded up. The Imperial squads began to gather all they could to prepare them for imprisonment. Main cities throughout all of Nua were the first places the Imperial squads were ordered to go. An order that would have the cities closed off at their main entrances.
During the national round up, Hyperion Shadowbreaker secretly arrives at Malu’s greenbelt where only few houses are built in these outskirts. He is in a rush to get his love interest to safety. He is fortunate that Esterel lives in this edge on the outskirts of the main city. It would have been a serious problem for Hyperion to get to her in time and safely had she lived deeper within the region. Things were falling into place.
Malu City Outskirts,
“I have to hurry” said Hyperion as he dashed through Malu grounds.
Hyperion ran through the Greenland edge quickly to spot Unis home, Unis being Esterel’s family name. He arrived by the front gate leading to Unis household. Hyperion gets a sudden burst of uneasiness in his stomach when he sees the front door open. He hadn’t visited Esterel as much as he would have liked to since they started to get close, so he wasn’t sure whether it was normal on such a day for it to be open.
“The door is open. That is not a good sign” Hyperion mused.
Hyperion scanned the area for anything out of the ordinary then opened the gates entering the garden. Just as he is about to arrive at the door, his hand tingles. It’s a common sensation for a warrior as skilled as himself, as fighting in the restoration era was common, many soldiers like Hyperion would feel this as they kept their hand by their sword strap ready to quickly draw their blades.
“I better be on guard. Just in case” Hyperion mused again.
Then Hyperion entered Esterel’s home. He is now on the first floor corridor by the front door. On guard, no enemies have ambushed him yet to his relief. He walked slightly forward to look through an opened door to his left leading to the living room. Hyperion’s mouth is agape. Comfortably sat down on a large sofa, dressed in an elegant white garment with a paper fan in hand, the young and attractive Esterel blows continuous wind on her face in this ever so hot day. Her reasonably long hair is a remarkable and rare blondish green. Hyperion walks in waiting for her to notice his arrival; it seems that she’d been in a safe zone all along.
“Hyperion?” Esterel stuttered.
She was surprised to see the General at this hour.
Hyperion replied “That’s right,” he was glad to see her safe and chuckled.
“My General, I wasn’t expecting a visit from you today.” Esterel responded. She sat up just about to get up from her seat.
Esterel gets up immediately stuttering as she tries to present herself respectfully to her noble partner. They slowly walk towards each other. Just before Esterel can take a slight bow which is a cultural way of paying respects to the ruling class, Hyperion leans in and wraps his arms around her body hugging her. Esterel didn’t expect him to lean in so suddenly, she embraced him despite the fact that his armour almost bruised her sensitive body.
“Ester, I’m so glad you’re ok. I was so worried” said Hyperion.
“Why? What’s the matter?” Esterel asked.
Hyperion pulled back from her embrace but still had both hands held onto the centre of both her arms. He doesn’t waste time getting to the point.
“There’s really no time to explain but all you got to know is that right now you are in serious danger.” Hyperion replied.
“What’s going on? Could this be to do with why the city is so empty?” Esterel wondered.
“You went to the city?” A surprised Hyperion questioned.
“No, I just looked in as I went for my usual stroll. I take it whatever is going on, it’s really bad.” said Esterel.
“It’s worse than you think and we’ve got to get out of here, immediately!” Hyperion instructed.
Then Hyperion grabbed onto Esterel’s hand, he’s ready to leave Unis household as soon as possible.
Two hours later, Hyperion fails to rendezvous with Artemus, his brother that is currently lingering within the alleyways of the main city in the region of Abadar, the eastern city in Nua. Artemus is disguised in a large light brown hooded robe. Just round the corner of the alleyway there is an Imperial Squad escorting captured magnicks through the city. Artemus looks at his Crome Device to check for any messages. There are none.
“Still no sign of Hyperion” Artemus whispered to himself.
Then he leaned back on the wall side of the alleyway right by its outer edge.
“And the situation in Abadar has gotten really bad” Artemus mused. He found himself looking just round the corner to witness soldiers escorting magnicks out of the city. As he takes a look, he feels guilty for not being able to do anything about their situation. The magnicks following the Imperial Squad by force are all enchained in their arms to prevent them from running. Artemus realises that the chains are probably enchanted with a way to restrict the casting of magica with most likely some sort of alchemic seal. One of the Imperial Officers gets slightly too unpleasant with a female magnick. He grabbed her arm tightly to bring her closer to the crowd of the magnicks as she slightly drifts unable to walk straight, dazed due to dehydration.
“Hurry up and get in line, magnick scum” the Imperial officer shouted at her.
Disgusted by the soldiers demeanour, Hyperion could see that the Imperial Soldier specifically must have developed an ‘us and them’ mentality towards magnicks. Artemus can’t bear to watch such mistreatment. He looks away and thinks about what he can do on a wider scale rather than make a wrong move. Artemus drifts into thought.
“How could the soldiers be so stupid. Ten percent of the Nuan population are magnicks. With things breaking down like they are then this must mean they must have arrested their own military comrades early” Artemus groaned.
The thought of Artemus’s brother, Hyperion comes to mind. Artemus hopes his brother was smart and made all the right moves avoiding such a fate.
“Hyperion better be ok. It’s clear that whatever kept him, he obviously isn’t coming which means I’ll have to move on to a Plan B. But I wonder, how I’m going to pull that off…” Artemus wondered.
At the escorted crowd of magnicks just round the corner, slightly behind the dehydrated woman, another magnick breaks the rules. He suddenly stops annoyed with how they are treating the woman ahead, an action that slows down the movement of the crowd. The Imperial Officer turns to take notice of his hostility and obvious challenge to authority. This chained man dressed in a black trench coat, wearing mostly dark cloth is an elf with blood red hair. He looks coldly at the bully in front of him as he is being approached. Magnicks around start to notice the elf before them, a man of beauty, a man fair and unafraid.
“Oh a tough guy, huh?” An Imperial Officer groaned.
The Imperial Officer gets right up in the elf’s face who doesn’t flinch. As the bully attempts to grab him to get him in line, suddenly out of nowhere, the elf head-butts him directly in the nose. The officer is brought down instantly and floored by the impact despite being the same size and having a slightly bigger build.
“Argh!” shouted the Imperial officer in pain.
Other Imperial Soldiers on duty catch on that one of their fellow men is down. They continue to maintain the organisation of the crowd of magnicks they are escorting. One soldier moves out of position to see to his downed mate. A hidden Artemus peeks at the aftermath of the event that had just taken place.
“He broke my nose” the Imperial officer cried out in pain.
Another Imperial officer arrived just behind him to see the event break down. He didn’t seem surprised and the situation with the trouble maker frustrated him.
“Not this elf again, he’s always stirring up trouble” said the arrived officer.
“Curse him, curse that fool!” said the downed officer.
Another Imperial officer also taking notice also arrives. He takes one look at the elf and has a lot to say about him. The two ahead of him are ready to seize the elf if more trouble is made. He joins them as the elf stands still on his feet.
“That’s the magnick we were talking about who you have to watch out for. You know, the one who took out scores of men. It actually took ten of General Dhyules Imperial Elites surrounding him all in a pit to tire him out before securing his capture. He’s fortunate that after he began to tire, he was disarmed otherwise he’d be dead.” he said.
Getting up from his fallen state, the downed Imperial officer complained. “Why didn’t you be more specific and tell me that the cretin was an elf, then I would have been on guard!” he shouted.
Listening in to the description of the prowess of the fair faced man, Artemus is in awe. He knows the formidability of the Imperial Elites and to be able to withstand ten of them means the elf is a force to be reckoned with.
“Impressive, to require 10 Imperial Elites to subdue him. Just who is this powerful magnick?” Artemus mused.
Peeking round the corner again, Artemus takes a closer look at the fair faced man who is now the centre of attention on the street. He has noticed the colour of his hair and his sharp long ears that could reach towards the back of his skull.
“Wait a minute, he’s an elf and that hair is red like blood. That can only mean one thing…” Artemus deduced.
It hit Artemus, he knew who the man is and of his ancestry.
“That man is a Stormwind, one who must be the offspring of the elf warrior known for having a book in his hand, the loner servant of the military in the Saints, and that would make this elf who stands before us a descendent of the banished elf of old.” Artemus pondered.
Many thoughts race in Artemus’s mind. He can’t help but speak out loud but regardless of doing so he covers his mouth to prevent himself from being heard. It all comes to him, an alternative plan that might just restore the kingdom.
“If I’m right, then with his nobility, he could be key to finding Nua’s true heir. Well that is if the rumours are true and the born son of Nua’s true successor truly dwells in Casia. Not only that but thinking about it, Stormwind’s vigour could be useful against Tharal as well.” Artemus mused.