Chapter 44: The Great War


So it was that time was given to Fandor and his position was secure, for the fleet of Amman was sunk and the south were isolated from reprisals. And to Fandor came many men that would fight for him, for his name now spread across the lands and they knew him. And so a fleet was built in the City of Karnish and it sailed to Amman and came to Am-mun and that city fell without battle and the news of Fandor's coming spread and there was great fear and a great exodus of people began for they feared the army of the south.

So Fandor made north, for there lay his true enemy, Xavir IX, Emperor of Amman, and in Am-Gazim did they meet with the army of Amman and there was fought the Battle of Am-Gazim, which was naught but a village, and it were like no other battle yet fought, for great forces were unleashed on either side and the power of the Aslah were with them. For Hakkan had sent to Arrasia his greatest servants and some now faced Fandor, though most yet were far north, where an even greater army was being prepared.

And both sides stood on the flat land and charged in simultaneous fashion and there was a great clash of steel and the earth were shook and there was carnage. And the archers on both sides did bring mayhem with their art and the great knights of Fandor smote their enemy and the horsed warriors of Amman showed no fear and were a writhing mass of hate that would kill their enemies. And also were there mighty wizards who scorched the land with their great power and devils who sent many running with fear and madness.

Thus was it that the battle raged for four nights and five days and that countless lives were lost. And the lands themselves were burnt and turned to sand and those that fought there were scorched and Am-Gazim was destroyed and not a single wooden post remained and all across the land were the bodies of the dead scattered high, friend and foe alike. And Fandor and his allies were victorious and the armies of Amman defeated and they did retreat in disarray. Yet though they were here beaten, Fandor knew this was but a taste of things to come and the great battle yet to be fought and that this were but a foretaste of the destruction that would be wrought in that final battle.

And as his men were rested from their exertions, so more men came from the south, and with them came the elves of Greenwood and Yander Hothinbelim and also a great army of dwarves from Ilken. And from all around Amman, after so long hid in their dark holes, came men and dwarves and halflings and also a host of gnomes and thus was it that a great army now stood with Fandor and they were ready for war again.

And in Hir'vassäl Eduth did the elves hear of the coming of Fandor and they redoubled their efforts against their old enemy. But the forces of Amman were greatly weakened, for in Aym-J'zeer was an army being assembled, so the elves now found success where once they had met with failure and the men of Amman were set in retreat and the elves now mustered themselves and came out of the trees and would fight and were a glorious sight and those that stood against them were brushed aside and Emperor Xavir IX was forced to send men north against the elves, or else his lands there would fall to them.

And in the east did the people of Syrámä rise up against their oppressors and there was great bloodshed there once again and though the uprisings were easily quelled, they would spring up anew elsewhere, until it seemed that all of Syrámä were in uproar. So did news of it spread through the east and the people long oppressed did likewise and it seemed all the lands were now set against the evil empire and the world were in turmoil. And the masters of these lands were hard put to quell those that rose against them and many were murdered and some cities cleansed of their evil culture, while in others their evil way continued, as did the struggle against them.

So Fandor marched north and the ancient lands of Amman fell before him and were conquered and slaves were released from their bondage and many joined with Fandor and they were armed and trained as they marched. And so six months went by and much of Amman fell to Fandor and his men and news of their victories spread throughout the world and Amman was now but a ghost of its once former glories, for its empire was all but gone and that which remained were in constant turmoil. And during this time Syrámä emerged from its shackles and declared themselves free and further east many nations emerged, some as they were before their fall and others fledgling nations, born new into this world of change. And in the north did the men of Amman retreat and where once the elves had fallen to their might, so now they fell and it were like they were encircled.

And so, in Aym-J'zeer, did Xavir IX, under orders from Hakkan, send out all his might and the might of Hakkan against Fandor. And should they win, then Fandor would be destroyed and their empire rebuilt. And should they lose, then they would fall and it would be over for them. Thus did these great armies converge and meet and there were a half million on the battlefield and the air was filled with the stench of them and they stood now opposed and all knew that the fate of the world would here be decided and that history was in the making.

And as the two sides stood so opposed, so Fandor called to him Mynax, who was the greatest of his generals, and he did order him to leave Arrasia and to come to Cerador in Damarkan and there call Uther to their aid, for they would surely need it in the days ahead. And so Mynax went and he took with him some that would follow and they came to Gorodin, which were the lowest of the hells of Herophet, for this were the only way they knew to Damarkan. So Mynax underwent many great trials in his journey through the hells of Herophet and many of his number were lost there and as a great battle raged on Arrasia, he thought he would play no part in it and would arrive too late and Fandor be defeated.

So Mynax came to the fires of Tuska and was in despair, for all of Herophet seemed set against him and he knew not how many days or months or years had passed, only that a great torture were upon him and that he would lay down and let the fires consume him. So it was that a dream came upon him of Onnus, who were so like Fandor that he at first thought it was he, and roused himself and those of his men that remained and followed the figure of Onnus, who Mynax thought was Fandor.

And thus was it they came upon a fountain and they were greatly surprised, for it were a thing of great beauty in a place filled with such pain and hatred. And so did Mynax cup his hands and drink the clear water and it were cool on his parched lips and fresh and he was consumed by it and he was shrouded in a great light that none could look upon. For that which he drank had been touched by Onnus and in it were a part of him and now Mynax were consumed by it and thus was he given life immortal and made Aslah. Others drank also from the fountain, but their minds were consumed with pain and madness and they ran screaming into the fires of Tuska and others did fall to their knees and die. So no more drank from it and they turned to Mynax and were filled with hope and their strength was rekindled and they marched onwards, hopeful once again that they might come to Cerador and find Uther.

In Arrasia, Fandor and the forces of Emperor Xavir IX stood opposed and while there was still quiet, their forces yet grew in number and there were but brief skirmishes between them. And to Arrasia had Hakkan sent Yerat and Yerraz to marshal the troops, for he considered Emperor Xavir IX not highly in this regard, and also his greatest minions were mustered, including devils and dragons and it seemed that Herophet were emptied and now stood together with the men of Amman and the orcs and other evil creatures that would serve them.

So it was that Fandor awoke upon the morning and saw the sun upon the cold land, for winter would soon give way to spring, and he knew that he could wait for Mynax no more and that he would fight with his enemy that day. And so he roused his troops and set a fire in their hearts and readied them for the battle ahead and he set his formation and before his lumbering enemy could respond, he struck and the elves poured their arrows into the sky and rained them down upon their enemy and he advanced and thus was the battle begun.

Thus began the Great Battle of Amman that was to rage for eighteen days and the land would be covered in the dead and turned red and the gods themselves would clash in a violent struggle and the land scarred and turned to waste and the outcome would not be known until its climax. The land was covered in a writhing mass of flesh which moved like the tides of the ocean, first one way and then another, as the two sides fought for dominion over the other. Fire filled the air and fell upon those in the field and the skies were filled with all manner of beast, fair and foul.

And as one side gained an advantage, so it would be snatched from them as another part of the field went against them. And the fields were filled with horsemen who drove into the flanks of their enemies and spearmen and archers and swordsman and the ringing of steal rang out and was only drowned by the screams of those who fell from the sharp and wicked tools that hacked them down. And so great were the numbers that it seemed the battle would take a path of its own choosing and that none could control it and ranks would fall back and then surge forward and always at the rear did the masters urge them forward.

And in this maelstrom did Fandor and Omuz come to battle with Yerat and Yerraz and the power of their blows shook the ground and great mountains appeared where there were none before and the very land itself was destroyed and turned into ash and made useless. And all around did mages of both sides wreak havoc with their arcane skills and the air crackled with their power and their victims were struck down dead and their bodies burnt and it seemed the skies turned black and the days turned to night. And did many of the dead rise up and the battle was full of them and dead fought dead and dead fought living and living fought living and there was a chaos and madness that was terror unimaginable.

And so the battle raged, with thrusts and retreats and counter attacks, and all the while did the dead fall and the land were littered with them. And on the tenth day did the forces of Amman make a mighty surge forward and broke the flank of their enemy and poured against the massed ranks of the center and slowly did the ranks begin to break and great pockets of men were thus isolated and many massacred and it looked ill to Fandor as he stood watching the scene before him. So he took the greatest of those that followed him and he made for the center and rallied them and made them stand firm and the great devils that struck at his men were cast aside, but still the hordes fell upon them and Fandor knew they would soon fold.

Thus was it that, as the knees of his troops did buckle from the weight of their enemy, a great army swept into the battlefield and came unawares against the frenzied warriors and allies of Amman. For a great army from Syrámä had come, as news of Fandor had reached them, and they looked to make certain of their old enemy's defeat and now came unlooked for. And they swept into the field and smashed against their enemy, who were scattered, and Fandor's army held its ground and gained new resolve from this fresh assault and so it was that the tide was turned and that Fandor might now command the field and for two days was the field consumed with uncertainty and chaos and the soldiers filled with exhaustion, but neither side could find an advantage.

And so, as the battle raged endlessly and those that fought felt the bones of their friends and allies crushing beneath their feet, and it seemed that none would yield, did Mynax return from Cerador and with him was Uther. And they had brought with them a great army of warriors, who were the servants of Uther and who dwelt with him in Cerador, and they drove into the enemy, whose bodies ached and were wracked with pain, and they were driven back by this fresh assault. Yet still they would not be broken, though their ranks wavered, even though the fight had now turned and it seemed that Fandor might prevail and Amman would then be no more.

And in the great melee did Fandor hurl himself and came once more against Yerat and Yerraz and again the land did break under their blows. But also came Mynax and Omuz and Uther to his side and a mighty battle raged between them and the battlefield was filled with great fear and fire fell from the skies and the land burnt once more. And so Yerat was cast aside by Mynax and was no more and Yerraz turned and fled, for fear that he too would be cast aside. And those that followed them saw this and felt a great terror take them and their ranks broke and a great panic took them and not even the most wicked of the servants of Hakkan could command them.

And so it was that the Great Battle of Amman found its end and the armies of Amman were scattered and destroyed and the host of Hakkan's servants cast aside or made to flee to Herophet. And a decisive victory had been fashioned by Fandor and his allies and Amman were beaten and their empire was no more. Yet the skies were filled with night and the land was now a desert, where before it had been green, and the earth was wracked and scolded and though he was glad for this victory, there was a sadness in his heart, for the land were scattered with those that had fought with him and he knew that all Arrasia would be filled with mourning.

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