Eptian LXXVII [77]

The Pan Mortal army, unable to draw conscripts from virtually any of the Mortal towns, began to break down and all of Atpref’s efforts (to recruit) were now totally ignored and as a result all of his gains in Traitor Mortal territory began to wither away under the stress of the Traitor Mortals counteroffensive.

Eventually, pressured by attacks and seeing the forces of the traitor Mortals building up in strength, Atpref had no choice but to retreat from enemy territory. At this point however a retreat would not be easily achievable and he strongly believed that by waiting for support from the various towns and not receiving it he had missed his window of opportunity. He realized that if he were able to get the army safely out of harm’s way it would be nothing less then a miracle. As he moved along in his retreat he sent messengers to many different towns to warn them how dire the situation was and that he would be followed by the traitor Mortals into their lands and was no longer able to provide any kind of real defense. He made one last request for support figuring they would have no choice but to assist him if for no other reason then to save themselves.

Having received the various messengers many were completely indifferent, those closest to the border who would be first to receive the angry traitor Mortals were somewhat more concerned but even these felt they could not drag themselves from their present rush to attainment without losing out to its neighbors, something they felt was a more pressing issue for their future. Additionally, they had no real fear of the traitor Mortals, not realizing the gravity of the situation and knowing virtually nothing about them other than their former support for the Velidian rule. This attitude was completely senseless but it’s possible they felt the traitor Mortals only wanted to drive the Pan Mortal Army out of their lands and would then return home to pursue the same sorts of objectives they themselves were engaged in, that being the pursuit of prosperity. However confident they were in the fantasy they had concocted for themselves many of the frontier towns assembled very small forces that in actuality were assembled more to keep the Pan Mortal army from looting their property than defending against the advancing traitor Mortals. They really had no idea how angry the traitor Mortals were and what scores they were looking to settle, they had after all experienced first hand the extremes of Velidian rule even though they were not enslaved by it.

As the Pan Mortal army withdrew the Traitor Mortals attacked from behind killing as many as possible and doing it in a way that would certainly leave an impression on those who survived or who came upon the remains of the battle at some later point. They had the ability to destroy the Pan Mortal Army at any time but that wasn’t what they wanted, they wanted to slowly take it apart, to cause as much suffering as possible by forcing the army to run for its life, to basically torture the army as a whole and then once the punishment had been meted out to end the game and annihilate it. The intent was to use psychological warfare, they wanted the Mortals to fear them so that no attempt would ever be made in the future to pay them back from their support of the Velidians. (they wanted to cause the Mortals absolute terror to prevent any further reciprocation.)

When, at last, the Mortal frontier towns saw first hand the fleeing Pan Mortal Army, the horrors that were being committed and the fear in the eyes of every individual solider they were absolutely shocked and horrified, but it was now too late to do anything, they could only absorb whatever punishment was coming, there would be no defense at least not for the towns closest to the frontier. The traitor Mortals would destroy everything they wanted, to whatever point on the map they wanted or until they met any real resistance.

An attempt was made by the frontier towns to force the Pan Mortal Army to turn and provide some kind of a defense. Their demands had little effect on the disorganization but when Atpref arrived at the tail end of the army and after consulting with the leaders that had assembled with their pitiful little policing forces he sent out messengers again and tried to organizes whatever forces he could and only by his sheer determination did he somehow manage to turn the army around and provide the town and those beyond time to mobilize. It was all for nothing however, when he managed to line up his frightened miniscule force it was the same moment that traitor Mortals decided, finally, to end the chase and annihilate the army completely.

The traitor Mortals were coming on strong, nearly their entire male population participating in the effort and there was just no hope for what remained of the pan Mortal Army. The army under Atpref’s command was now far too small for the job and as such it was immediately destroyed, the Traitor Army rolling over the top like a the water of a stream over a small pebble. In the onslaught Atpref was killed because his honor would not permit him to run. The moment he fell the Pan Mortal Army ceased to exist. Whatever remained was scattered as the soldiers that managed to survive ran off to their homes hoping to protect their families from the coming carnage. The army that had liberated the Mortals and allowed them to pursue their own destines had been left out to dry by those very people it freed and now it was gone.

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