Satisfied with the answers to his racing thoughts, Artemus took his hands off his mouth.
“Looks like we do have a Plan B after all...” said Artemus. A crude grin fell on his face.
Artemus takes a look round the corner again at the elf being dragged back in line, back into the queue of escorted magnicks. Then, he looked at the amount of soldiers in the area. It would be unwise to break him free in the city where currently there are soldiers everywhere on the hunt for the magnicks.
“I don’t know how I’m going to do it elf. But somehow I’m going to have to break you free…” Artemus thought to himself.
Currently as the preparations taking place in Abadar for escorting magnicks out of the main city, things that would occur parallel to the Eastern Nuan region occur slightly differently in the west. Malu City was hit earlier than most of the megacities in the Nuan regions. Mostly because of its origins tied to the Battalion of the Saints being the home town of many houses loyal to the only force capable of challenging Imperial authority. Although the citizens didn’t put much of a resistance in Abadar, things take a slightly different turn in Malu at its city especially after most of the magnicks had now been taken by some of the Imperial Squads. General Hyperion Shadowbreaker, the young Saint leader had already departed from the region in secret. Moments after he had left, crowds of angry and rebellious citizens gather at Malu’s city centre to confront a small group of Imperial Soldiers. The soldiers are initially intimidated by the large crowd as there are only 4 of them on duty in this section of the city. The mob, aggressive and frustrated seem to be looking for any excuse to challenge the Imperials. Reacting diligently, the most confident soldier of the Imperial Squad draws his steel blade and points it at the centre of the crowd. A crowd he and his men would talk to and be challenged by charismatic individuals.
Strong with his sword in hand, the most confident Imperial officer speaks up to the Nuan people, the mob who have assembled in Malu.
“Where are the remaining magnicks of Malu? Once we have them, everyone can get back to their lives without all this disruption,” he shouted.
A hostile man in the crowd would sooner have him interrupted than speak so boldly. He replied “Why should we tell you! Return the one’s you have taken!”
Joining the man in confidence is a supporting citizen in the crowd who also said back to the Imperials, “Yeah, return them back to us!”
But their push for fairness would be wrought asunder. An assisting Imperial officer would join in converse. Join to set the order.
“All magnicks must come with us to be temporarily imprisoned then executed by example,” said the assisting Imperial Officer.
He is joined by another Imperial officer who has his support. “It is a critical order of the King of Nua” the supporting officer claimed.
Having no intention of being swayed by the soldiers, a furious man in the crowd shouted out in blasphemy to all the Nuan’s believed in. “That King is no King of mine. He isn’t even of the bloodline, he has no right” he said.
Supporting the current authority in the land, the confident Imperial officer would have no choice but to respond to what was uttered. “He may not be of the original bloodline but he is your elected King by the highest authorities in all the land” he claimed.
Then the assisting Imperial officer stepped forward and shouted, “If you choose to resist and don’t provide us with the location of the remaining magnicks in this region then we will have no choice but to obtain the information by force.”
This scattered some of the assembling crowd who started to cower at the words of the man of confidence. The scattering would move many but the hostile man in the crowd and a few others who would set the example of true rebels to the core.
“You would harm the citizens you swore an oath to protect. I knew it; the restoration of the kingdom was a ploy!” the hostile man shouted.
Supporting the man of hostility, a more intellectually presentable man spoke up quickly to ease the tension that was building between the Imperials and the assembled crowd.
“It’s funny because before the restoration, during the preservation era, Kodius Tharal who was our previous King died under peculiar circumstances.” the intellectual revealed.
“You know, you’re actually right, it really must be a ploy!” Another man in the crowd agreed.
“Can’t you see that there’s something not right about King Yomato’s agenda!” the hostile man shouted.
Hearing the blasphemous comments, the assisting Imperial officer beside the confident officer would have no more squabbling. “You would talk about your sovereign with such disrespect…” he said.
To end the build up of tensions, the confident Imperial officer points his swords in the air and begins speaking aloud. Loud enough for the whole crowd to hear his words of importance.
“Citizens of Malu, remember Nua’s laws. The King is God’s hand on Treter” the confident Imperial officer declared.
The citizens in the crowd know of the higher calling and duty of the King of the land. They turn to face each other whispering, bantering and muttering at thoughts in relation to their religion and faith.
“He’s right about one thing; the King is God’s hand.” a man in the crowd whispered.
“But he’s not even Nua’s true heir, a descendent of the great conqueror, Egnius the invincible.” the hostile man whispered.
“Even so, Yomato Tharal is the elected King and we have to follow the laws of the land.” said another citizen.
“Or otherwise suffer the consequences of challenging the Almighty” replied the confident Imperial officer.
One man in the crowd looks among his fellow citizens to see the thoughts about the justified ruler ship stirring up their minds. He won’t allow the Imperials to blind the masses with simple explanations. A key part of Nuan religion was the justification of righteousness. Waking up from the unjust actions the Imperials had taken, he shouted loudly with a question.
“But Imperials tell me this. It’s a fact you cannot deny. Wasn’t the first true King who ruled Nua during the Golden Era a magnick himself blessed with holy magica?” a charismatic man in the crowd shouted.
“He’s right! Egnius Tharum, he himself was a magnick!” the hostile man shouted.
As soon as the charismatic man in the crowd speaks up loudly and receives support from another fellow, the citizens start to talk, much of the talk challenges the Imperials.
Stepping up to the challenge, the confident Imperial officer answers the whispering crowd as pretentiously graciously as possible.
“We are aware of this and the justification of their extinction is simple, that power only belongs to a chosen few and the King is the only one granted to select who that is.” said the confident Imperial officer.
“What madness is this!” the charismatic man in the crowd shouted.
In response to the build up of tension, the confident Imperial Officer pointed his sword at the middle of the crowd again. His three other comrades draw their steel swords as well.
“Enough! You’ll hand over the remaining magnicks to us” the confident Imperial officer instructed.
“Otherwise we’ll have to start dishing out sanctions” an assisting officer supported.
“Imperials, you do realise that we aren’t afraid to defend ourselves.” shouted the hostile man in the crowd.
“And we’ll do so if you come at us with force. You do realise the grounds you stand on. We’ll see what the Saint’s say about this…” said the charismatic man in the crowd.
Unbeknownst to the citizens in conflict with the Imperial soldiers in the city centre, a bizarre looking man gazes at the escalation from the rooftops nearby. This man is the very same man who entered the city’s grounds to find the streets empty. A man practically almost bald from clear shaving, who has silly spiky hair at the middle of his head, wearing a short green cloak going by the pseudo name Riz. Ironically enough, the old man he was conversing with a short period prior about the situation in Nua is standing nearby on ground level, watching him on the roof, aware that he is observing the escalation between the citizens and the Imperials. The wind rustled Riz’s cloak sideways. The old man who had grown attached to the young trouble making braver had gotten worried about his well being.
“Whoa, it’s about to kick off down there” Riz uttered.
Riz clenched his fists. He had to do something about the conflict that was brewing. That had always been the type of person he was, a man who stopped fights before they got too bad.
“Well I can’t stay here and do nothing when they’re getting heavy with fellow Malu citizens.” Riz groaned.
Riz jumps down to ground level. Instead of going in the opposite direction he begins to head towards the direction of the city centre. The old man fearing the outcome of the challenge to Imperial rule, can see what Riz’s intentions are. An intent that would most likely get him in serious trouble.
“Don’t be a fool. What can one magnick achieve against the might of the Imperial Army...” the elder said.
“I have to at least try something. And I won’t let other citizens get harmed because they want me and others like me executed. If someone doesn’t show face, how can we prove our innocence.” Riz argued.
Riz proceeds to walk onwards, the old man knows he can’t stop him and retains his position.
“You’re brave Riz, maybe too brave. It’s the sort of bravery that gets a man killed young” the old man uttered.
“I’d gladly give up my life for a good cause. If that’s what it takes to make these soldiers see sense then I must intervene.” Riz replied.
The old man anticipating the outcome of what’s to come can only watch as Riz disappeared from view on his way to the centre. Some time passes, more events transpire as a few hours pass by.
Not too far away from Abadar’s main city, magnicks that were unable to avoid the Imperial Squads sent for their gathering are being escorted through Abadar’s outskirts across a forest to the North West of the region. Among these chained magnicks, is the elf with blood red hair. He had suddenly become the subject of talk. Other magnicks spoke of his honour, a feat he proved when he showed his disrespect at the mistreatment of a lady. Seeing him as a threat, the Imperial Squad had organised themselves to make sure he was surrounded while they were escorting the rest of the citizens, or the citizens that once were. Behind the fair faced one, a conversation between two Imperial Officers is overheard.
“That troublesome elf magnick was asking some rather peculiar questions about a high ranking officer in the Battalion of the Saints.” said a talkative Imperial officer.
“Oh really, and who might that be?” said another Imperial officer.
“Sigmund Ben, the Admiral” the talkative Imperial officer responded.
“What would he want with one of Nua’s four elite warriors?” the other Imperial officer wondered.
“I’m not sure but apparently he was rambling on about something regarding his mother’s death.” The talkative Imperial officer replied.
“I see, then it might be best if we let the Admiral know” the other Imperial officer suggested.
Interested in the elf who was the subject of talk of the two officers directly some feet behind him, another Imperial Officer who wants to be part of the social on goings in a bid to pass the time moves towards the subject of talk. The Imperial Officer initially standing some feet away to the elf’s right approaches him with a friendly gesture. The elf can see him at the corner of his eyes coming in his direction but continues to move onwards. The officer placed his left hand on the elf’s shoulder smiling deviously.
“Hey elf, you should take a look over there.” the devious Imperial officer points out. Then, the devious officer pointed to the elf’s left who turns to spot an opening in the forest. A few steps later the elf can see an execution platform in the distance designed for beheading the highest profile criminals in the land. “You see over there, this is where they are going to be executing people like you” the officer added.
The elf looked at the murder platform. It looked fresh and ready in check for usage.
“So that’s what this execute by example nonsense is about” the elf muttered.
“The King wants his people to spectate, hence the fact you will be executed by example.” the devious Imperial officer explained.
As the elf passed the opening of the forest entirely, other magnicks in the crowd take a look at the location, some aware of what’s to come. Once past the ill-fated crossing, the escorted magnicks continue on their road to perdition.
Well into the evening, night is about to dawn in Abadar. As the transition becomes obvious, the Imperial Squad escorting the magnicks arrive just outside Abadar Station. Abadar Station is a Prison and Institute for criminals. It is one of the three key prisons in Nua and the largest one supposed to be designed to hold a staggering 300 criminal inmates. Battalion of the Saint Guardsmen are on duty guarding the institution, one of their main duties in the land and the original purpose of the retaining of their army. A purpose instructed to his commanders by the first Nuan King.
The elf noticed that the Imperial Troop had escorted them through the main roads initially taking them the long way round to Abadar Station. They had literally gone round almost in a complete circle to arrive at their destination. He had come to conclude that the Imperials being the intelligent and organised force they were said to be, most likely had to follow protocols in case of an ambush, so they avoided going through short cuts. Actions that could likely occur in paths generally unused with the rise of a rebel group. The elf stares ahead, he is at the end of perditions path.
Arriving at the vicinity, the Imperials are greeted by the Saints. Captains speak and the magnicks are taken through the entrance gates into the station. Hidden in the forest by the institute, a lingering Artemus watched all that unfolded.
“I don’t know how I’m going to do it. Abadar Station is the most guarded prison throughout the continent, but I’m going to have to break you free somehow, Stormwind...” Artemus lingered in thought.