They waited. The nights air creeping in, chilling their bones. Yet still they waited. Their armour heavy, like stone. The stench off blood and sweat filled the valley. Yet still they waited. The beat off footsteps, marching towards them, warning of their impending doom yet still they waited. They stood on the damp river bank. The huge Topal Bay stretched out before them then they saw it. The heads appeared from the bay. They had come. Slowly at first only a few. But then hundreds appeared. Then they stood. No formation was present, just an disorganized mass of soldiers. The lizard folk of the marshes. Teeth bard, claws sharpened.
No one believed it was true. They were to scared. But the declaration came.
As the Emperor sat on the ruby throne addressing the Elder council and greeting the newly appointed High-Queen Elisif the Fair and her new husband, Brave Legate and Hero Darius Admanium III, The last Dragonborn and descendent of the Hero of Kvatch, Scipio Admanium. He had recently taken Tulius' place after he got recalled to Cyridil. The messenger burst in carrying grave news. The first message from blackmarsh since they seceded from the Empire. The messenger ran to the Emperor and knelt before him presenting the document. The Emporer took it and read. He turned to the messenger, thanked him, and told him to rest. He looked discomforted. But he turned to Elisif.
-Is Skyrim ready for war?- She looked to her husband, who thought for a moment and then nodded.
-It will take time, a week at least but the veteran Second and Third legions of the civil war should prove invaluable- He spoke, and after a pausing he began again -And with another few weeks we should be able to raise two maybe three legions, so five in total- The Emperor nodded approvingly and thenstood to adress his council.
-We know not of the foe we face, much like the Dominion. But we will face them and prevail none-the-less- He looked around -We have three legions ready, The Fifth, Eight and Tenth that will meet them in battle-
-The Argonians jest- laughed the Dunmer (dark elf) Dronus, the Imperial Battlemage.
-I hope you right- However, the Emperor did not sound convinced.
The dragonborn spoke up If you will it, I will lead the defence
-No- He shook his head -No offence to our High-Queen but you command much more respect with the army, and the populace of Skyrim as a whole-
-With all do respect, Elisif...- But he was cut off by his wife.
-He is right- Her voice was shy and timid but still respectable and authoritative. -Half off them consider me an Imperial 'milk-drinker', but your a hero, they respect... love you- He almost argued but just nodded putting a re-affirming and supportive hand on her shoulder. She took it, smiling.
-It's settled you will lead Skyrim's leagions to support us, in the meantime, I will lead the Imperial leagions- A gasp came from the room and the coucil looked worried. All but the dragonborn, who smiled.
-But what if you fall- The Count of Skingrd spoke worried but was cut off by the dragonborn.
-Good- He said supporting the young Emperor. -You will be able to put my gift to use then- The Emperor looked at him puzzled. The Dragonborn clapped and two men entered carrying a large chest. The placed it on the table in front of the Emperor who opened it. He gasped and looked at the Dragonborn with glee. The coucilors looked to one another trying to figure out what the gift was and finally the Dragonborn spoke.
-Dragonbone armour, toughest you'll find in the world, forged by may hand- He spoke smugly. He was well known to be one of the best smiths alive. -As well as on the Skyforge, a great honour I must say-
The Emperor puled out the Dragonbone sword, a faint red flame ran across it. The Emperor spoke in awe -A flame enchantment?- but as he spoke sparks ran across the blade intertwining with the flames.
-Both flame and Shock for that extra umph, enchanted by my hand, of course- The was also an indistinguishable markings on the blade the Emperor finally turned to enquire.
-What are te markings-
-Dragon tongue my liege, 'Long live the emperor' on one side and 'Long live the empire' on the other-
-Well with these I should be well protected, it is a great gift- He clasped hands with the Dragonborn to show his respect and appreciation of the gift.
The Emperor stood defiant raising his blade. His Dragonbone inspiring all. Red cloak fluttering in the wind. The men cheered. Their Emperor would shed blood with them tonight. Bleed with them. Sweat with them. He would prove himself, or die trying. He looked to his enemy. From the masses a single Argonian walked out. Bigger, buffer. He carried two axes. Steel. The Imperials new not his name so they simply refer to him as Swings-Many-Axes. Butcherer of the South. He led the sack of Leyawiin. Their battle roar as they charged was ferocious, but the Legions stood defiant. The Emperor gave the order and Shield wall formed. Ready to take the brute of the impact. The clawed, hacked away, trying to break the formation but to no avail. Unti finally. Now!!!' The formation broke. The legionnaires came flooding out from behind shields of steel. Hacking, Stabbing and Slashing their way through disorganized beast's. But the beast kept coming ripping the flesh of their foes. Swing-Many-Axes killed legionnaire after legionnaire. Chopping his way through the ranks. He had to be stopped. The new Emporer saw an opportunity to prove himself. He charged from the ranks of his Bodyguards, the loyal Penitus Oculatus agents. The creature swung but the Emperor raised his shield. The steel blade bounced of the hard Dragonbone. The creature recoiled but bounced back quickly swinging a second time. The Emperor raised the shield again and as the axe bounced off it he moved to the side and swung his blade cutting the Argonian under his right arm. Cutting deep, the wound burned as the enchantments fried flesh. The Argonian angered dropped his axe and grabbed the boy by the throat. The boy dropped his shield and grabbed the Argonian's arm as he was lifted from the ground. The axe was lifted above his head and it began to come down. but he brought his sword just in time but as the axe hit the blade he dropped it. The Argonain went for a second go, but the prince drew a bagger he had strapped to the back of his waist. In a last ditch attempt to save his lift, he lifted the blade and plunged it into the creatures throat. Warm, red blood coated his hands and the hilt. He looked into his opponents eye and watched as the life drained from them. He fell to his knees releasing the Emperor. Coughing, chocking. He was vulnerable. His agents surrounded him. Blades drawn. The chaos intensified. The Argonians began to panic. But the legionaries stood strong cutting there way through wave after wave. Finally the beast gave. Running for the river. Cheers roared. Victory at last. But for how long? The Emperor stood. Solemn. He otrderd for them to march to Leyawiin. He wanted to see the destruction himself. It was his duty to protect those he ruled. And he failed.