History of the Forums, Part 3
Things were looking bleak for the army of THE_HAND** as the weary soldier awaited the removal of his sword. Suddenly, something wholly unexpected happened: the very people who had attacked him came up to him and said "Please, don't go. We need you. We're sorry."
His faith restored, and his strength returning, the soldier reached out and grabbed his sword, holding it out in front of him. As the fire once again began to blaze in his eyes, he turned to the townsfolk and said "Your apology is accepted. I now return to my post."
And then there was silence. The hired workers and indentured servants were told there would be no more castles for now, that the time for building would have to wait. The peasants looked to each other in confusion, unable to understand what would cause such a lull in productivity. Castles had always gone up on a fairly regular basis, why now was construction halted?
Confusion turned to anger as more and more people gathered outside the gates of the great and majestic castle, waiting to discover the location of the next one. The powers that be knew they would have to do something to stem the growing frustration of the populace, and commissioned two smaller structures to be built.
The new buildings were almost immediately accessible to everyone, ranking peasant or otherwise. All were admitted inside their halls, to partake in the festivities within. Even so, nobody missed Church.
It wasn't long until THE_HAND** bolstered the forces of light even further, adding another new soldier to the ranks. It happened quietly, behind the scenes. Someone had been chosen to serve THE_HAND** from the commoners, someone of mighty fortitude and judgment. The army of good was gaining strength.
And so with renewed vigor, the soldiers of THE_HAND** returned to battle. They ventured out to the lone castles, they dragged the reefs, they shoveled the rabble from the side of the road, all in the name of justice. But alas, things were not as peaceful as they could have been.
More castles were ordered, and one by one they began to go up. Even as they were constructed, freeloading rabble were already gathering, eager for the time they'd be allowed to enter and sit at the long table hidden within the sturdy walls. Once again, the ranking peasants strolled in and tossed the occasional grape over the walls, almost taunting the force of darkness to return.
And return it did. The forces of darkness descended once again on the new castles, flooding the land with bile and excrement, making it unsafe for even the most sure-footed creature to cross the plain. The land was befouled once again by vileness and stench. This time, though, the army of light was ready.
The soldiers entered the battlefield, with swords drawn and at the ready. Blades clashed with the vile ranks of evil. Harsh words were exchanged, and there was a lens flare and motion blur. Bodies were tossed in to the ocean like soiled dishrags, but when the dust had settled, the ground outside the castle was a desolate swamp.
The soldiers of good sheathed their swords and returned to the village for much drinking, and things began to return to normal. Then people started to notice some of the ranking peasants wearing strange new red capes.
"What is this new devilry?" some of them asked. Confusion abounded as more and more wore their capes out in public, making the streets seem to be a sea of red. This new event distracted many from the newly raised castle entirely, drawing attention instead to the streets and alleys of the village.
All was going well with this new game, until some of the players started getting flippant. Rather than simply ignore the question, they would reply with "What cape?" Some of the regular every-day villagers started to become agitated, and they turned to places they might not normally look for the answer. Then someone stumbled upon a ranking peasant's memoirs.
In these memoirs, the entire scheme was outlined. Wear the cape for 24 hours, then deny its existence. Ranking peasants only. The whole day's plan was laid out in black and white for the world to see. And the other ranking peasants started to take offense.
The in-fighting began almost instantly, and it was harsh. Bodies were thrown out of the way, wounds were opened, salt and lemon juice were poured in them... it was not a happy sight. For hours the fight raged, neither side giving an inch. Then some of them looked out the window at the streets below.
The village was a mess. Citizens and ranking peasants alike were fighting in the streets. Just when a soldier of light would break up one fight, two more would start. The scene was chaos, and there were still five hours left until the capes would be lifted.
Then, suddenly a break in the bleak situation appeared, as some of the sponsors fighting in favour of the capes switched sides. The original purpose of them was to be mildly amusing, but from the shouting in the streets it could be heard that things had gotten out of hand. Recognizing this, some of the ranking peasants removed their capes.
"It is getting too tight around the neck," they would say as they left the room, discarding the fabric at the door. The population of capes slowly waned as the fighting subsided, and eventually ceased. Then, just as suddenly as it had begun, the capes vanished in to thin air.
Ranking peasants seemed to have snapped their fingers, and all trace of the event was gone. The soldiers of THE_HAND** swooped in to clear the remnants from the streets, leaving them clean and unspoiled for the following day. It was as if nothing had even happened.
Attention returned to the new castle, erected that very day. A single, straggling minion of darkness was squatting, but quickly found himself looking down at the ocean from a great height. Once again, things seemed to be back to normal.
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Well, that was different.
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