A/N: This is a random story that I came up with. It's probably just a one shot, and I doubt I'll do anything with it. I like the story, though I'm sure it could use improvement, and maybe even a better title. Any ideas are welcome. I hope you enjoy it; it's meant for entertainment, after all. Read. Review. Enjoy.
Without The Sun
"Keep moving! I don't want to see a damn one of you stop!" the commander bellowed as he grabbed the arm of a soldier and shoved him forward. He didn't need to tell us; we were already moving onward. Thousands of soldiers, some familiar with war, others new and wide-eyed with anxiety, marched towards the valley where the battle was about to be fought. If all went well, it would be the last battle and we could win this accursed war. If not, well, there would be other battlegrounds and plenty of soldiers to keep marching on. We outnumbered the opponent, even if they were more powerful. Many soldiers cursed the other side for their elemental affinity, whereas we had only spell-magic at best. Powerful in its own right, but not as strong as the natural magic those demons had. Still, we had more people. We would win. We were better, we felt, for we were children to the sun. And they, those demons, were children to the weaker moon. And better still, we had that spell...
We finally stopped at the edge of the valley, and the officers gathered to discuss our plans. We stared down at the valley below. A town of demons, mostly the women and children and elderly. The bait. Our opponents were notorious for being protective, and to draw them out of hiding, we were to slaughter those people down below. It would be swift. It would be merciless. It would be wrong in so many ways, especially with what would happen afterwards. We the soldiers knew the plans. We knew just what was going to happen, but to get rid of this threat, of those strange demons, we would commit any act necessary.
We waited in silence as the Prince road confidentally towards us, the soldiers parting for him. Many people said he was handsome and proud, intelligent and efficient. I thought he was cold and harsh when you looked at him, but he was a soldier as well, so perhaps he merely steeled himself over like the rest of us during war. Even if he had caused this war. People would say the demons did, by refusing the Prince's orders and defying him, but everyone knew the truth; the Prince was responsible for this war. His pride was responsible for everything that happened.
He stared down at the town, where children played and women worked and the elderly told stories to small demon babes. It was a town like ours, but they were our enemy for defying our Prince. He raised his hand... and then let it fall. Instantly, thousands of soldiers swarmed down towards the town. Demons looked up in terror as a swarm of men and horses and steel fell upon them. Screams filled the air, mixed with the crying of children and the war cries of soldiers and demon alike. Blood filled the streets of the town as our swords slashed through the flesh of demons. Mothers ran to protect their children, and old men stood ready to fight one last time, pain and arthritis slowing their movements as they were cut down. Mothers pleaded for their childrens lives even as they were beheaded, and older children held knives and tools to protect the young babes. I found myself staring into the eyes of a child, no more than 10, and for a second wondered just why it was that these innocents had to die. Then I remembered my orders, and my sword went through his head, moving on to the next demon in my path.
It didn't take long before the air was finally quiet. Everyone from the town was dead, their bodies bleeding onto the streets and their spirits lingering. Our mages and priests made their way towards us. They would have to work fast, before the screams reached the ears of the demons and they were able to travel here, some riding on the wind itself. Soon, very soon... The mages and priests began gathering parts from the bodies, organs and the like, and their spells began to be chanted. Many soldiers shuddered at the eerie sound; rarely did a mage and a priest work together in such an inhuman ritual, but if we wanted to win this war, it must be done.
As the chanting finished, the wind whispered hauntingly around us and the demons arrived. We saw them at the edges of the town as we stood at it's center. We could almost feel the anger and grief coursing through them, the shock at what had happened to their loved ones and the seething hatred it caused. Some broke down, screaming demonic words to the heavens. We could not understand their words, but I could feel the immense sorrow and mourning in them as one stood near the corpse of what was likely his wife. Several others began howling curses at us and we could see the fire building around the fire affinitives, and a few soldiers backed up. We knew how painful the fire could be when a demon threw it at you.
The soldiers parted as our High Priest walked towards the threat and raised his hands. The demons were growling, but they fell silent and glared. Their eyes were eerie and glowing now, and we could see their magic coursing through them. If the ritual had failed, many soldiers would die today painfully, it was plain to see. The High Priest looked towards the valley's edge, to the Prince who sat upon his horse and watched. He nodded, and the Priest shouted a word of magic at the demons as we rushed forward into battle. The demons followed suit, rushing to tear us apart with claws and elemental magic. Except that they couldn't. At the Priest's word, a glow centered on the demons and as they attacked, their magic failed them. We saw them stop to stare at their suddenly weak bodies even as we began to cut them down. No longer did they have magic. No longer could they use flame or wind or earth against us, and we were the stronger ones.
They regained themselves and fought back, but without their magic to help them, we overwhelmed them. They were helpless to the magic our mages were now throwing at them, and to the blessings our priests gave us. Thousands of soldiers cut down our enemies, who we finally defeated by using the corpses and spirits of their kind against them. By the time the battle and the war was over, and not a single demon was left standing, the sun was setting. I stood surrounded by corpses and blood, and we looked to our Prince. The sun was setting behind him, bathing him in a red light that resembled blood. He was gazing down at us with that cold, hard look on his face... and a satisfied smirk that startled me. We had just decimated the enemy, and he was smirking at it.
The battle finished, we went about cleaning the bodies and setting up camp a distance away from the battleground. It wasn't until we had settled down that we realized that something was wrong. It was dark, the sun set, of course, but the stars and moon weren't out. The only light came from the mage-lights and the divine lights from the mages and priests. We could see the officers speaking, and the priests looking worried. However, nearly all the soldiers were worn out from the days events to care about the darkness. Perhaps the mountains had made the sun set early, and night wasn't quite upon us yet, some thought. We fell asleep, exhaustion pulling us into sleep immediately and into the realm of dreams... Children screamng and women pleading filled my dreams and had me tossing. Yet everytime I woke to escape, it was dark. The stars and moon were out finally, but very, very dim. Back into restless sleep of the sins I had committed, several times hoping for peace. Finally a priest came over to give me a dreamless sleep.
When we finally woke... everything was still dark. Confusion was among the soldiers, for we were sure it was morning. Hours went by, with the moon and stars vanishing. Yet the sun never rose. Rather, the gray sky of dawn was all we would get. The priests and mages looked worried, and the officers were again talking amonst themselves. We packed up and marched home, towards the castle and our towns. And still, the sun did not rise. In our homes, the castle, our country, we returned, and did our best to comfort the civilians and our women and children. Why was there no sun, they asked. We do not know, we replied.
It wasn't until 3 sunless days passed from when we had slaughtered that town and destroyed the demon's elemental magic that we learned what happened. It was sudden, a storm that drenched everything and destroyed several fields and homes. At the peak of the storm, lightning flashed and struck the gardens in the castle, several times in a single spot. And suddenly, the storm was over. In it's wake, left behind by the lightning, was a large stone with writing on it. The priests and mages examined it, and finally told us what had happened.
For our great sin of destroying a magic, of slaughtering those innocents, the sun refused to rise anymore. It refused to shine down upon our world and look at what we, it's children, had done. It was ashamed of us. The moon continued to shine, but dim in her great sorrow for what we had done to her children. And she cried now, every night silver rain of stars would fall to remind us of her sorrow. As punishment for what we had done, a change came over us. We no longer aged. The children remained children, the eldery remained old. And we no longer reproduced. The sun felt that we no longer deserved to have children of our own, no more to be born, with what we had done to the moon's children.
Years have gone by, hundreds of cold, sunless years, and we have stayed the same. We were cut off from other lands, where the races refused to have anything to do with us. They knew it was our fault for what had happened to the world, and they were wary of us now. For with our new curse, we changed. No longer aging or growing, no more births, without our beloved sun, we grew cold and dull. The castle shut itself to the towns, it's gates locked, the High Priest, the Archmage, and the Prince no longer seen. The few of us that have hope for release from this curse believe that they work for a cure, but the rest of us, the soldiers, know better. They are hiding themselves from the sunless sky. Especially the Prince. He was the one responsible for all of this, for the sun's absence... and for the nightmares of our sins that plagued us all during the night.