General

The fortress of Galley is a fine castle, built with a panorama of the surrounding land. From the towers once stood medieval watchers, quiver and arrow ready to fly. Steadfast walls were built for defence in an age that was defined by jealousy, greed and the love of power as much as honour, nobility and loyalty to the crown. Past the iron gates that trapped would-be intruders, lives of servitude were eked, safe from battle-axe and ballista alike. This castle stood to inspire awe in a realm run on deference to royalty, to title and social status. From cloistered rooms land parcels were given to lords for promised service. In times when "technology" meant wood, string and metal armoury, the expectation of comfort was reserved for just a few. It was a world of subsistence living for all but the mighty who guarded their kingdoms of tax payers. So long as they sang the right songs of protection, of greatness, of manifest destiny - they would grow rich for generations to come. So when my eyes befall the grandeur of the weather-beaten stone and hear the wind in the trees, it is an ode to the selfishness of genes I hear. Whispering in the grasses are tales of peoples set against one another in war by an aristocratic class perpetually enriched by the conflict.

General

He saw an army, five-thousand men at least, in line formation, as still as the dead men they killed, eyes unblinking as they awaited their liege lord at his behest. These were bannermen, each and every one of them. They wore the armour of chainmail, top to bottom and bloodstained from their killings. These were the victors of the war, their enemies were slaughtered like pigs. These were foes, not friends.

By syr011, November 12, 2017.