Eptian LXXVIII [78]

Soon after it happened Eptih learned the fate of the Pan Mortal Army and was saddened to know that the army he created and led to total victory over the Velidians was now gone and that one of his top generals, Atpref, was dead. He also knew that what he had feared Existence would become had finally come to pass only much sooner then he expected. Eptih now decided to move up his plans knowing that although he was far from the frontier that the traitor Mortals were attacking the onslaught might push people from that region to his and if not prepared he might be overwhelmed and lose what he had built in a swarm of fleeing refugees.

All the cities that had to this point been solely focused on gaining more territory and squabbling with each other now had to shift their concern to their own continued existence. Optimism for the future quickly turned into pessimism as the threat of the coming Traitor Mortals caused great anxiety and everywhere that anxiety turned to panic. With so little time to prepare and so little martial knowledge there was much confusion. Anyone that had served with the Pan Mortal Army from General to cook was looked to for advice and in fact salvation. This gave these ex-soldiers great power and some of these men knew that if they could withstand the coming barrage they would be in position to profit from their newfound power. With all this in mind some of these ex-soldiers jockeyed for position hoping to be in the right place when all was settled, looking out more for their own interest than the communities who had placed trust in them. Many however were concerned with saving their respective communities but the ones who were looking out for themselves were in place to cause much unnecessary damage.

Eptih was far away from the front lines but nonetheless he began setting up a bulwark system to defend the city of Reyam. Using the news that was coming to further justify his plans and creating an environment were he was able to take drastic steps in a short amount of time due to the prevailing fear. He gathering recruits for training from those that had come to him with their eyes on prosperity and they now found themselves in service to Eptih more than to their own welfare although many of them saw them as both one in the same.

While this was going on the traitor Mortals continued forward and attacked many of the towns on the frontier, looting what they were able and laying waste to everything else. Once the news of this spread the panic turned to pandemonium as it seemed all the worst fears were being realized. However as quickly as it had begun the Traitor Mortals stopped their advance, they occupied a large portion of the frontier and systematically looted these areas sending the spoils back to their own lands. The traitor Mortals were not stupid, they knew they did not have the resources to continue their attack very far into the interior, their main objective was to permanently burn fear into the soul of the Mortal populace hoping this would be enough to keep them from entering their lands ever again with the intention of retribution. The point had been made now the only question was when to leave, they could sense the weakness of the Mortals and felt no need to rush their decision. The Mortals were astonished that the attacked had seemed to stall but the horror stories continued forward even if the enemy did not.

Eptih was surprised like most were that the Traitor Mortals seemed so ruthless, their time spent serving the Velidians had truly turned them into something other then Mortal men. There were numerous stories of their barbarity, needless destruction and penchant for sending their heroes out to challenge and take out any heroes from the other side. How true these stories were Eptih could not determine but he had to assume the worst and as such he reestablished those that had served with him in the Hetharcyp as a command core for his personal army. All the former Hetharcyp were willing to take up arms again. He also enacted conscription and militarized a large part of his male populace. Additionally, he sent out notices among the Mortal world that he would accept any former Hetharcyp and solider of the pan Mortal Army. This was an indication to the people of various other towns that Eptih was creating a militarized self-contained state and many wondered what his purpose truly was.

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