A Warrior's Pass

"We dream of an end when we feel we have achieved greatness. But we forget that the life we lived was a life worth remembering even when we look forward to death." ~Emperor Kalahar the first

Old, withered and weak; that is how many saw poor Jjour. Tetran by trade, warrior by right, but many saw him as a relic. For a hundred and thirty years he had fought, and for a hundred and thirty years years he had passed the tales of his exploits to his fellow men of arms. But it seemed simpler back then, back when he was seven foot tall; he was young, full of power and energy! The light in his eyes shine each time he raised his blade or his gun against his foes. To be a proud Tetran serving the Mestroph Imperium is a great virtue; to be a proud warrior is the highest point of one who has chosen to live such a life. For such life would lead him to the path of Alangard. Even if he had not fought, his virtues and his passion would still reach the heavenly afterlife.

Yet who could honor such an old withered warrior such as him? Jjour lived well past his prime, he faced certain death and glorious battles that would certainly been his death. Was it luck? Or was it the gods planning something greater for him? Maybe it was the will and experience he endured when he chose to become a warrior at the age of eight. For many warriors who were raised to fight, they often survive the greatest ordeals. But to go on for over a hundred long years without a glorious end; where was the closure in that? Where does the tale of ol' Jjour end? How will it end? Why wouldn't it end?

Maybe the gods did favor him for a higher purpose, but death isn't his path yet. Here he lays on a heap of bodies still fresh from the fight lingers; the blood and the scars present on his wrinkled body are evidence of that. He should be proud of this… but no. He envied the enemies he slew, for they too ascend to Alangard. They get to see their friends and their enemies, battle endlessly in the Eternal Arena, eat and drink and talk amongst another of their exploits and grandeurs even if they only experienced one fight before their death. He wanted to see their faces again. He stared into their dead pale eyes and wished to see them again. He also wished to see his friends again, his parents and his comrades in arms. Tetrans can only live for so long… and hardly any Tetran lived past two hundred. Jjour was one hundred and sixty years old and all that was left of his life were memories.

Aegis, one of the youngest and hardy warriors, saw the dark and emptiness of the old man's eyes. From the fields he approaches, treading the bodies of Jjour's enemies as he made his way towards him. When he arrived he sat beside the old man, he smiled and spoke.

"They fought honorably, wouldn't you say?"

It is true they fought honorably, but they didn't fight long enough. Jjour wished one of them had struck the blade through his heart, or fired their gun at his head. But no; his warrior instincts edged him to fight on, for the only way to really ascend to Alangard is to fight and die on your own two feet.

"They died standing, they died fighting. Even if their fight was cut short they fought regardless. Which is enough I could say for me."

"Then tell me why you are sitting on their corpses? Do you mock them or dishonor them?"

"Why are you sitting on the heap then if it is dishonorable?"

"Why should one old veteran shame himself alone?"

The young man seem to respect the veteran… which was more than what he could say for the others. He was… alright. A bit queer but more open to him, and bolder to attempt taboos for the sake of sharing a burden.

"I sit on them because I show my anger and my envy. Twenty men… it took twenty men to fight me and every one of them died. I got scars to prove this fight, and half of the blood on me isn't even theirs. In my condition I should be dead. My hands tremble, my body aches, the scars bleed and here I live. I sit so I could bear shame to my already overdue existence."

The young warrior's face grew sour. The look in his eyes reminded him of his father; how could one so young look so fierce? Even his words prove him to be more than just a simple young fighter.

"Are you even thinking straight? What do you have to prove by shaming yourself and dishonoring your enemies? So everyone will pay attention to your disdain? So the gods would curse you and condemn you as a Dredge? Your existence in every way is meaningful. To earn yourself a death in such a souring and ugly way is a foolish choice for any Tetran as old and experienced as yourself. You dak'un! You are like a child expecting fortune to fall upon your lap! Do not forsake your life or the lives of these men because you endure. Gods willing you will respect that."

He sounded just like his father who was a warrior before him. Long has it been since he heard a harsh enduring lecture from another, and from one so young no less! It shamed him even more that he decided to rise above the corpses with Aegis beside him.

"Tell me Jjour; why would you seek death?" he finally asked.

The old man bit into his lower lip and gripped the handle of his holstered gun. Aegis saw but knew by his face it wasn't by threatening intent he gripped his gun. The way a Tetran would grip depends on the emotion of one. Anytime a Tetran would feel grief or anger, they curl their fists tight around anything they can find to sustain their emotions. Sometimes they break whatever they hold, like the handles of their blades, the wooden arms of a chair, or the bones of an enemy who accidentally got caught in one of their fitful rages. Warriors are often taught to control their emotions. Through rigorous mental and physical training they were able to do just that. Of course, sometimes situations are so great that their emotions practically leak through their fingers, their knuckles turning bright white with the intensity of their expression. The way they tremble or grip often shows such emotions unable to be controlled. But rare is it for one to express sorrow or grief on a battlefield. If so, then those who do are experiencing personal dilemmas concerning themselves, relatives or friends and sometimes even personal belief. Jjour was a rare example as he was a hundred sixty year old vet.

"I'm old dammit! Isn't that enough?"

But Jjour knew Aegis wouldn't take that as an answer.

"It pains me… to see everyone I love die as I wither. I am alone alive Aegis… My father is dead, my brother is dead, my mother and my sisters… my nieces and nephews I almost never see are far away living their lives till they too come to their end. Many of my relatives perish through old age or disease, or even the fires of war. My friends, my comrades, my lovers, men and women who fought on the battlefield also died… each one of them lived a great end but what about me? What about my end? Do I not get the satisfaction of a glorious end that the halls of Alangard will echo when I pass through the gates, awaiting for the many tales I have from the realm of mortals? Do I not get to reunite with my family, friends and my enemies? Tell me why I shouldn't seek death Aegis!"

His voice grew hoarse as he finished. Pained and riddled with anger and sorrow. Gods know how long it must had affected him like this. No Tetran ever thought about death the way he does. The belief they shared was one never died alone, so long as memories of the living and the dead are passed on. And Tetrans never forget.

"In risk of sounding queer… I would say you should respect the life you had and the life others had. Granted we chose to be warriors to fight, to kill and to die but we respect everything this world offers. Hence why we Mestrophians follow this sacred tradition like those of the old faith that is still growing strong today: 'Hate not your enemies, respect them. Fear not death, embrace it. Think life as choice, not fate. Think will as right, and live according.' You remember them don't you Jjour? It is not your death you should embrace but others as well for when their times come. Sure someone will die sooner than others… but a Tetran never forgets. They are alive in our memories just as they are alive in the eternal realm of Alangard. Treasure every moment of your life you had with your family and friends, and your warrior at arms… for when the end comes, even the most simplest and peaceful details tell a fine story around the halls of the afterlife. Not just fighting."

Jjour felt hypocritical about it though. So too are some Tetrans who forsake the traditions. Either for the good reason or the bad… but Jjour felt he was more to blame. His self-value diminishes each year as he lives from the last war. But the truth of Aegis' words compels him to push on. Jjour was silent for a few minutes, looking over the landscape of the battlefield, the corpses of his enemies, and the nearby hamlet all but abandoned. Then slowly he turned to Aegis.

"Shall we bury these men then and honor their strength?" he asked.

"Nah…don't worry about it. Once the fights over the Basterion guardsmen will retrieve their dead as we do with our own. They have the right more than we."

Jjour slowly nods and huffs in affirmation.

"But you redeemed yourself… to take the burden of burying your enemies in graceful memory after committing a borderline sacrilege like that. But if one of these men decide to hit you in the afterlife, take it. A real Tetran can handle a simple punch. And that's not because of our membrane. These shields of bones protect more than our blood and muscles you know."

He slammed his fist against his chest and smiled. Aegis was proud as he was respectful. To lift this old vet off his feet was one memory he will never forget. Then again, what Tetran would forget?

Hours passed and the troops returned. Men drank in the mead camps and roared in triumphant, while tending to wounded prisoners of war caught behind the enemy lines. Jjour watched from the corner as each Mestorphian shared a beer with a Basterion. Some lighting up a smoke for another, others sharing tales of their life at home or their previous fights. In wars, the battles were often grandiose. In simple duals, skirmishes and simple fights in the fields were often short and sweet. But a war was something to remember. Not all wars though were fought for good causes, or for honor, or glory. But Basterions and Mestrophians knew honor and glory longer than any nation on Tetra. After all, they were old friends, and old enemies. Sometimes Jjour found it odd to be drinking with an enemy from the lines of war, but they didn't seem bothered. In fact, neither did he nor the other Mestrophians seem bothered. They laughed, they cried, they drank until there was a brawl and one of them either passes out or coughs up their appetite from intoxication. Jjour forgot what they were fighting for. The war went on for four years and something as simple as a cause was absent from his mind. Was it a challenge of supremacy? Was it to gain a higher recognition of power? Or was it to assume the Mestrophian Imperium's role as a Trimitive faction member? Either way, the Basterions fought traditionally simple and honorable like they do. Maybe one of these reasons was enough. But there is always the fear of sin that can cause great nations to fall. Ambition being the greatest sin if one relishes in it. Ambition alone doesn't seem as frightening as it would appear to be. Course, when asked this, Jjour would reply "A hundred years ago, I would agree with you. Fifty years ago I would ask in return 'remember Agrair?'"

No one ever had another incident like the kingdom of Agrair fifty years ago. It was a time of struggle and pain. Ambition and corruption seeps into the hearts of man: from the highest of powers to the lowest of beggars. Agrair's lord was no different. He didn't even have to try and accumulate followers. The king declared their nation to be the home of superior beings, and they were the Agrairians. The soldiers lined right up, easily given into their ego, drinking on the king's maddening speech of a supreme race. What was once a small kingdom, turned into a nation where men thought themselves to be colossal, expanding the boarders of their region. Such is the life of every Kazzi.

But now wasn't the time of dwelling on past events, or sin or ego. Now was a time of merriment. Jjour listened and learned of each tale each warrior told, every song and every story of family and friends on and off the field. In battle where all is fair among men, a tavern or mead camp is where the fairest of men share their humanity, like in an old verse he read long ago.

"On the battlefield where all is fair, enemies see only glory.
In the halls where all is mead, enemies see only friends."

Before his path to a warrior, his brother used to tell Jjour verses, tales and poetry of the warriors way. It's not so different than they make it out. Course the brutal training regimen was something that wasn't so pleasant. Neither was being stripped naked and sent off into the deadly barren mesas and deserts to survive for a week. One time they got sent out in the desert for a month for stealing the Drill Sergeant's room. But looking back on it now, Jjour found it all pretty funny. It was practically a daytrip to hell.

Aegis walked over with a flask of mead and shoved it in the daydreaming old veteran's arms.

"And here I figured I'd see you talk everyone's ear off. The eldest of the halls always have a tale to tell." He said.

"So Jjour, care to share? These men will gladly oblige."

Jjour felt like he didn't want to bother the young blood. Aside from their snide and terse brash remarks of his age, he felt he would overshadow them all. It would had been pleasing to have them actually respect the man for once. It's not every day one would listen to an elder vet of the tales of valor, glory and war, even for the greater good.

"Bah, let their importance be their own. I wish not to diminish their greatness. Prideful as I may be, I can't make them feel low. I'd be a Klak'van, stewing in my own vanity." Jjour replied.

"Modesty from a vet. And here I thought the young shy way of such compliments."

"I'm a man who fought against the fascist Agrairian armada and their Kazzi idealism."

"Every Tetran would hear a tale of how you fought the Kazzi bastard Agrairians."

Everyone wanted to hear a tale of a war against Agrair. Jjour would have tales as he fought in the bloody war fifty years ago. There was no glory in killing an ambitious savage, even if history says differently.

"Your proposition is for me to tell a tale of a fight against vanity. You can't fight a living noun."

"But you did. The evidence was fifty years ago."

Mestrophians are known for their bold or concise terse statements. Sometimes they are used in figure of speeches or verses to express themselves or their ideas. Sometimes they are used to turn an argument around.

Jjour didn't win his and it was a very short argument.

"… Well… there weren't that many. But there is one in particular." Jjour started.

Slowly the old man arose from his seat, strolled towards the tables. With the flask of mead in hand, he downed his drink till there was nothing left. Many of the young warriors stopped to see him, surprised giving his age. One wouldn't drink as much in his lifespan. A few chuckles and cheers came from the crowd as he lifted his flask overhead. Then he brought it down to the table hard, bringing a moment of silence.

"Has any warrior of this hall heard of the war of Agrair?" he spoke.

Several hands were raised. All attention was focused on the old vet, who gleefully looks about to see their interests.

"I have no interesting tale to tell you of that war… yet I will tell you a tale nonetheless. A simple tale if it pleases you all."

They all looked at each other, mumbled and whispered before a nod. A story's a story no matter how big.

"Thousands of lunar cycles ago, on a night like this; Mestroph was given this statement: 'Bend your knees or Mestra will burn next.' Foolish was Agrair, they threaten our capital with words rather than action. Our response was simple: 'Cut them if you want us to kneel.' And an hour later, they launched their attack. We were spread thin, handling the Agrairians from different borders. A mere five thousand against twenty thousand, it surely seemed like we'd fall, but not with silence. We dug deep, trenches in the front, walls in the rear. We dug deep and fought against the mighty armada. Fighters at the front, tanks at the back; from above they rained fire as the planes sweep across the trenches, burning any foolish enough to stand in the open. There I went toe to toe against the mighty force with my brothers. From gun to blade we fought close and far, even when one by one we fell. Twelve hours did the fight last, twelve hours did I cut and gun down fifty in the trenches. Brothers from our position reared back to cover and regroup. Fifty before a gash broke the bone membrane of my chest. It is healed, but the scar is there. And truth be told, I've gotten more scars from Agrairians than I did in any recent war. Our line was broken, two thousand and three hundred men died. There I lay, wounded in the trench, watching the enemy advance. Their tanks tour through our barricades, and surely did I believe they would crush me. But a cry came from afar, and all of them stopped in their tracks. From behind I looked to see our reinforcements arrived. Like locusts they swarmed our enemies. They were already at a loss, having lost twelve thousand in the ensuring battle. To face the bulk of our forces was a clear sign they have lost. I was herald a hero, but the scar still exists. Weak was my chest, for it didn't heal correctly as I hoped it did. But strong was my pride to have fought for the defense of the capital of our empire. 'Not once did they reach Mestra's walls.' Those were the words repeated throughout history by our previous emperor, in memory of the so-called 'siege of Mestra' that our enemies attempted. We would not kneel. Even in death we will prevail."

It ended with a sigh. Then a smile. Jjour had his eyes closed the whole time he told his tale, one he never really told to anyone before. Few bards and storytellers repeat this tale, despite its historical influence. Everyone seemed motivated enough. They applauded and clapped, called for an encore or a new tale! Jjour relaxed and revved up for the next tale.

A year later, Jjour was brought into another war like the one he fought with Agrair. With the end of the Basterions conquest, a beginning for domination arose from the far north, past the Trimitive city. Men cladded in black, cold metal armor marched by the thousands and made their way southward into our region. Their goal was unknown, but they marched the path towards the city of Alaxia, known as the Trimitive city. It was a nation of itself in the guise of a city, the largest in every known capital of the North West. Mestroph was a part of the three factions that lead the only nation employed under a democratic system. Who knows what they sought, but the foreign army did not stop their mission, even as they conquered settlement after settlement that stood in their way. Anyone who resisted were instantly cut down.

Mestroph called to arms several nations to lend their arms. Many joined, even the Basterions. They waited by the city of Coroth, the last inhabited settlement before Alaxia. They waited till the night when the foreigner's leader sent their message in person. For such a rather unforgiving ambitious man, he showed a rather astute behavior common to most Tetran traditions, and bravery to even honor his enemies of his presence.

The Mestrophian's own emperor, Mestroph the seventh, graced his own men with his presence. It was a bit uncommon for a nation's supreme leader to put himself on the front lines in the battlefield. Jjour himself was surprised to see his emperor. Young, courageous, and frightfully calm; Jjour could see a younger version of himself in his eyes. He was reminded that all great leaders start off as warriors too. Beside him were several other leaders of the nations who accepted his call. Lord Basterion included, who stuck close to the side of his rival, facing the new enemy together.

The enemy's demand was simple "I am Mjol of Macania! And If I cross this city, Alaxia will burn." He spoke in a surprisingly clear Alaxian accent.

Emperor Mestroph only made one terse reply. "If."

The morning came, and the first wave hit. The black cladded soldiers stormed through the vacant city, clashing blade to blade with the front lines of the Basterion guardsmen. They excelled more in melee than gunnery, though it seems their enemies did too. Tanks rolled in from behind to tear down the structures of Coroth, where many gunners were stationed to hold the next line. Jjour was down by the east side of the city, helping Aegis and several men fend off the flanking numbers of the foreigners. The main force was focused on the front, hoping to get an upper hand with help from the sides. Each flank was holed up by the Mestrophians own tanks, determined to hold the line. Fires raged as buildings collapse and gasses ignite. Brick and dust crumbled, bringing down several of the defenders. Jjour was able to fall behind the tank to avoid an irritating punishment of dying by building collapse. The same couldn't be said for his brothers in arms.

Aegis was also lucky, hunkering down in the alley aside the ruined building where the debris did not fall. From the gap through the broken window, through the heaps of rubble, he lifts his gun and fires at the advancing force. A break for some of the regrouping defenders when their gunneries fell in the battle. He was able to provide the defense needed. Jjour charged towards the alley to provide assistance, gunning down several heavy infantry.

"Well were off to a great start! Too bad about our vantage point though." Said Jjour.

"Indeed. Glad you were able to escape when the debris start falling. Keep on the suppression! They won't give up that easily. You watch the alley, I'll hold off any who comes through the pass." He replied his young friend.

With all the rubble, it wasn't that easy to get a clear shot and avoid a counter attack. From the other end of the alley, the invaders had the idea of taking the advantage for themselves, all the while countering the two. Jjour dived head first, firing at the invaders before they could raise their weapons. Soon others started to crowd the alley, climbing over their brethren as they fired. Their aims were off due to such a clustered alley. It was his advantage though, as he was already in and free of obstructions. The main idea was to guard his comrade in arms yet Aegis paid no mind to the others in the alley, letting the old vet have his fervor.

Jjour felt like a young man again. The spark in his eyes, the smile on his face, filled with adrenaline and excitement. Swiftly and precisely, he tosses an old clip and slips in a new one for his rifle, firing away as the pile grew larger and larger. But it all came down, literally, when another blast took down what was left of the building.

It felt as though it came from their allies, yet when they look to see that their tank was out of commission, the answer was clear. Quickly their defensive flank was falling, the others desperately held off the best they could. Some were scattered, taking cover inside structures still intact. The foreign invaders stormed in, blade in hand, and proceeded to fight against their enemies in close armed combat.

Jjour emerged with Aegis, both having their weapons destroyed by the falling building. From the top of the pile of corpses was a single man, wielding a rocket launcher. He had no helmet on, unlike the others. He was no older than Jjour was, and he looked experienced as he.

Jjour watched as the man tosses away the rocket, then his gun, and slowly he pulls out his blade. Getting the idea, Jjour pulls out his own. There was enough room now to maneuver; with the condition of his weapon, and the condition of the environment, only a swordfight would be most appropriate.

"Aegis, double back and get as many survivors as you can. We'll fall back to the second line in the flank and take it from there."

"What about you?"

"I'm going to have a bit of fun."

Jjour stepped forward, climbing the rubble to meet the old man face to face. Aegis was hesitant at first, but retreated back like he was told. He left the two alone who readied their blades. They both looked rather pleased. Invaders passed by to leave the men to their dual. Crossing blades one on one is often held in high regard.

Seconds turned into minutes. Each one of them was reading their entire history through their eyes. Figuratively of course. They read the years of battle, the hours of glory in each fight they experienced, and the loss they also suffered. Then there was that longing, that longing to finally ascend to Alangard. But only one will get to go.

Both took one step forward. Another second later, the two dashed, clashing their blades together in a broad vertical slice. Sparks flew from the edges of their sharpened weapons, grinding against one another as they pushed to gain an advantage over the other. Each was bending one way, as if about to lose their grip and their stance before pushing back. Then they jumped away, circling around slowly before they made another dash. The invader tried a horizontal this time, but Jjour quickly blocked it downward with a vertical parry. Swiftly he dashed the blade aside to get an opening, revving up for a stab before the invader side stepped away. He struck again with an angled broad stroke, gashing his arm slightly. Jjour lets out a yell, jumping back to clutch his arm.

"Usually my enemies bleed first. Already you honor me." He said.

The invader smiled, taking a few breaths before he laughed.

"This is what comes when two veterans like us fight. It only takes one to impress the other, but who's to say you can't impress me either?"

Jjour happily obliged to do just that. He charges again, striking for an uppercut strike, but when the invader readied his sword to defend and parry his attack, he spins the opposite direction, taking his blade and strikes from the other side against his thighs. The invader reacted a bit too slow, at first trying to stop his attack but caught himself off guard as he swiftly gashes him. Now he too was bleeding. Both were clutching their wounds.

"There you go. Impressed?" said Jjour.

They both laughed and charged again, and for an hour they went on. The flank fell, but the men stayed behind to watch the dual. Even a few Mestrophians, like Aegis watched on. Then they stopped, only to take off their armor. The metal from the invader struck the ground hard, as did Jjour's weighted fiber armor. Only their shirts remained. Any blow would be an inevitably fatal one.

The two had numerous scars, excellent build and fit forms. Warriors such as Tetrans keep their fitness for continuously serving in the armies. Old Tetrans and their bodies are not greatly affected by age; laboring, fighting and exercise keeps even the oldest Tetrans fit and healthy in long strenuous battles. =

Once more they charged. Their strikes were faster, harder, the sound of steel hitting so hard that it echoed throughout the ruins. Each man pushed against the other till they were face to face. Sweat dripped from their heads, their hairs unkempt and flaying in the wind from the exhausting dual; blood continued to seep from their wounds from the two pushing the extent of their physical capabilities.

Yet as the invader made one hard final push, Jjour got caught on a gap, losing his balance and falling back. He didn't have time to defend himself as the invader made one swift stroke and slashed downward against his chest. The wound was deep and brutal, striking at his old scar he received from the war. Jjour lets out a scream as he fell, landing on the edge of the rubble with blood spurting from his body. The blade cut deep enough to damage the chest cavity, breaking through the bone membrane. The adrenaline was pumping through him relentlessly and seemingly helped pace Jjour's imminent demise. As he lay, slowly keeping himself alive, his screams turn into weak laughter. Forced, but legitimate. It was a glorious fight, and one slip up surely cost him his life. Then again, wasn't this what he wanted? What happened to the day when he felt his existence continuously effortless? That feeling was gone, long long gone now.

Aegis watched in horror as his friend collapsed, slowly dying from the deadly gash that he was tempted to run up and kill the invader. But the laugh held him back, and he was silent. He watched, his hand clutching his blade, wondering what the inevitable outcome is.

"Glorious fight… wasn't it?" said Jjour.

The invader huffs, sheathing his blade as he responded. "Yeah… it was. My emperor was wrong about you it seems." He said.

"Oh… oh yeah? Pray tell, what did your emperor think about us? Why…" he coughs and gags before continuing. "Why did your emperor decide… to pick a fight… with us?"

"Alaxia. A young and broken system that exists like this will not stand for long. And any who acts as pillars of the system are weak. You taught me wrong warrior. Alaxia never paid us any mind, which was their first mistake. We had hoped it would catch you off your guard. Guess you are more resilient than we thought.

The two were silent for a bit. And Jjour laughed again. Then he coughed and groans in pain.

"Agh… fuck. Guess… hah… guess… even in death… we defy you."

He took a deep breath and sighs. Jjour looked up at the man; his eyes peered through his.

"You're eyes told me a lot of things. And it seems what you saw now brought an end to whatever burdens you."

"It did… … funny. Here I always… contemplate that I should meet a glorious end… and get into Alangard. I was acting… and thinking irrationally at first… trying to shame myself in the gods' eyes so they could… disfavor me… but now I see what it is the gods kept me alive for…"

He smiles to the invader. "They… kept me alive so I can treasure… so I can treasure my past… savor the present, and look forward to tomorrow. Only then… do I realize when my end comes…"

He took a deep breath before continuing.

"When we fought, I remembered all the times where I was happy, sad, afraid, angry and even alone... I… remembered my friends, family and my life; I realized… how much… I would had lost it if I died a broken self-doubting man. When I looked into your eyes… I saw… how you lived with no regret… and I guess I saw the beauty… of the past you treasured… you opened my eyes sir… And I thank you."

Jjour stopped moving. His eyes gazing into the sky with a smile on his face. The invader looked at him with great admiration and took a deep breath. When he exhaled, he slowly removed his scabbard with his blade still in it and placed it on the old man.

"Go to your Alangard… maybe where I go, I will get a chance to see you." He said as he bows his head.

Aegis watched as the invader slowly walks off towards the exit of the city. He called out for the man. When he turned, Aegis asked.

"What are you called?"

The man turned and smiled. "I am Thorrah the Erbonian. Why do you ask?"

Aegis raised his sword and pointed it at him.

"My name is Aegis. I will live and tell the tale of Jjour and the Erbonian. And the glorious end you gave him, and the glorious life you showed him."

Tetran vocabulary and dialect

Alaxian- Common Trade Language, or English.

Alangard- Father's Throne; Alan is translated as father. It is close to the god king Alanar who is the father of all gods. Gard is translated as throne, which is named after the cosmic hall in which the Tetran gods reside.

Dak'un- Wallowing slug; a profanity slang term used as an insult for one who self-loathes.

Kazzi- Aryan; also a term to describe a Nazi in Tetran language.

Klak'van- Pride sucker, an insult used to describe a vanity seeking Tetran.