The blue and green checkered banners of Lord Sivik hung dominantly over the fortified gates of Vespar. On them the black silhouette of an eagle fluttered madly in the autumn breeze. To the south a storm encroached from the ocean, it's massive clouds shadowing the horizon in grim darkness. The sky was a dull grey and still dark with the lingering minutes till daybreak. Waves stirred by the storm crashed violently against the city docks, the ships therein detained with ropes and lines in anticipation of the coming gale. The city streets themselves were nearly void of people except for the occasional drunkard or sleeping beggar. From the keep, atop a hill at the center of the city, a horsed figure rode out and was followed by a procession of soldiers.
They donned the mismatched armor of the city guard. Wearing an assortment of chain mail and leather only their tabards likened them with one another. The clamor of hoof beats and footsteps reverberated off the cobble-stoned roads as the soldiers formed a loose circle around the keep, their armor rattling as they hastily moved. Then when they had encircled the keep they pushed out, stopping at each home as they went. The soldiers slammed their fists against the doors and pushed their way in when someone answered. If no one answered the soldiers would enter anyway. To the dismay of the residents they overturned furniture and scattered belongings as they thoroughly searched the homes. If they found nothing they moved to the next house, methodically expanding their circle from the keep. The man conducting the hunt examined the scene from atop his horse. He raised his voice in reply to the protests of disgruntled residents, justifying what was taking place, "If you are hiding weapons or other instruments of rebellion you are advised to turn them over. You will be given amnesty if you come forth, if not... well you don't want to find yourselves in that situation. To the Lord King Sivik's loyal citizens: we apologize for this crude necessity."
Weeks prior Lord Sivik had marched forth from the city to engage a Valean army crossing the border. Ser Elric Grey, a rebel leader of a separate faction: The People's Army they called themselves, was also en route for the city. Because of these dual threats to Vespar, the gem of his little kingdom, Sivik had divided his force. The larger host continued their march to intercept the Valean's while the smaller detachment diverted to eliminate the ragtag assembly of peasants at arms. He assumed it was an assured victory yet the unthinkable happened: the People's Army had won. Lord Sivik was forced to withdraw from his campaign and now the two armies were in a mad race with one another to reach the undefended walls of Vespar first. Now the whole of the city was holding its breath to see which banner would break the horizon first. Preparations had been made for a siege but the city guard were not taking any chances; If Ser Elric arrived first they could not risk armed sympathizers within the walls.
"We found something!" a guard called out, exiting to the street carrying a bundle of weapons tightly wrapped in cloth. He threw the bundle down and unraveled it to reveal an assortment of crudely crafted spears. The home owner and his wife were brought to their knees as the Captain strode before them. His horse did not break stride and he merely gave the apprehended criminals a passing glance, "Take them away!" he declared with a dismissive wave. The detained couple were promptly tied by the wrists, brought to their feet, and led under armed escort back towards the keep for questioning. The day had yet to begin and there was much work to be done.
Drawn by the commotion a young boy watched from the dark recess of an ally. Wide eyed he looked upon the scene in horror before turning away in a dead sprint. Racing through the barren streets his feet slid across stone as he sharply turned each corner. He arrived at a home in a row of houses decrepit, unremarkable, and indistinct from the others. He beat the door a few quick times and looked around himself, panting and sweating from exhaustion and fear. When no answer came he beat the door more desperately than before. The muffled sound of rummaging bleed through the door then a man answered, "Ma-"
"The guards are searching houses, they're going to search the warehouse," the boy immediately interrupted, nearly tripping over his words. The man at the door was stupefied for a moment before cursing and withdrawing into the home. A drawer opened and things were thrown to the floor in a loud clatter. He returned and pulled his shirt over a dagger tucked away under his belt then bolted into the street nearly forgetting to close the door behind him. He issued an order to the boy following close behind, "Get the others!"
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