This is an excerpt from an upcoming Splintered Lands story titled Kingdoms in Conflict.
Iudas grumbled when he looked out at the scene before him. It was all just taking too long. Too damn long.
“Gather up those bloody peasants!”
Hearing his voice becoming annoyed, his men moved faster. They had long ago learned what Iudas’s annoyance could do to a person. Soon enough, the villagers had been gathered in from all the little farms that surrounded the hamlet, and tucked into a small mass in front of Iudas. He sighed at the pitiful looks and thin bodies. What a worthless lot of cretins he ruled.
“You have been selected to join me, to fight for me, as we wage war on the horrid beast Inswán! He has invaded our lands, burned down our villages, slain our people! He sends spies to take what little we have, to steal from us! Now we bring him retribution. And you shall be the agents of our retribution!”
One of the peasants looked around, raised a hand, and spoke. “Begging your pardon, lord, but we aren’t much of a retribution. We’re just poor farmers.”
Iudas gestured. A soldier rammed a dagger into the peasant’s gut, then ripped it sideways.
“Anyone else want to interrupt me?”
The peasants cowered in fear.
“You’re learning. Good. That puts you above the village of idiots I burned down.…
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