Story Teller’s Series

2 Queens – Angaria (Dream Shade)

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The early morning field was smoky.  Light filtered down through the hills and trees from the east side of the canyon.  The sun covered the valley in a red tint almost the color of blood.

Angaria lay on her side.  Her vision dimmed and seeing everything through a haze.  A man lay nearby with his back to her.  She was confused.  Why did he sleep with his armor?  And who was this man who dared to sleep so close to her?

She thought she should be angry, but her emotions were muted as if she were watching an actor in a play.

She tried to roll to her back but she couldn’t move.  Something tugged at her chest and she made to throw her blankets from her, but there was no blanket holding her down.

She looked down and stared into the eyes of her page.  He was a young lad of 9.  He was ever proud of serving her and helping to make the journey easier.  Now he lay on top of her waist in a most unseemly position.

She made to push him away, but when her hand pushed against his chest it came away dark and wet.  He still didn’t move.  his eyes open and staring right at her.  It was another moment before she saw it.  A single tear streamed down his face to drip on the ground below them.

“You led them into a trap,” a calm voice nearby said.  She looked around too confused to respond.

“You led them into a trap,” he said again.

The man beside her lay on his side with his back to her, and yet she realized that it was he that spoke.

“Your generals tried to reason with you, but you led your men into this canyon.  Now your forces are being slaughtered and your army is in a rout.”

“You should know better.  Didn’t your father teach you that you can’t maneuver in tight quarters?”  “Even now Moira’s heavy armor sweeps down from the hills both east and west,” he said.  “You have led 20,000 troops to their doom.”  And your page lies dead at your feet.”

She tried to feel pain but her emotions were still closed.

For a moment, the smoke obscured the battlefield.  When it cleared, she could see her riding towards her.  The white witch.  Moira.  The horse Moira rode was the blackest of blacks.  It’s nose broke steam in the early morning cold.  In her left had, Moira carried a sword.  It dripped the blood of Angaria’s men.

As Moira rode toward the fallen queen, a young boy ran towards her.  In confusion Angaria saw it was her page.  He tried to scare Moira’s horse.  But the well trained roan merely skipped to the right and Moira’s sword flashed in the early morning light.  James spun like a thrown rag away from the queen and he fell facing his queen.  His accusing eyes focused on her and then they glazed over.  A single tear fell to the ground.  Angaria closed her eyes in pain.

DSC_6842-EditAngaria rode at the center of her army.  Her generals were drawn around her and in deep counsel even on the move.  Several scouts hadn’t reported back and some of the generals wanted to stop the march.  Angaria refused to stop.  She knew that the enemy was still 2 weeks away so she pushed her generals on.  Her page James brought her a map of the region and she directed her generals to turn the men into the valley ahead.  It would bring them out of the mountains and into the lowlands quicker than trying to use one of the other paths out of the mountains.  Some of her generals offered counsel that they should use another and safer rout 6 days away, but she barely heard them.  Her mind was confused and everything was a haze.

They had been traveling down the valley for 2 days .  It was early morning and there was fog around them.  To the east a large group of crows suddenly stirred and took fight.  Her eyes followed them and something in her mind stirred.

2 scouts came to meet them from ahead.  One of them had an arrow in his back and he barely kept his saddle.  The other carried a wicked war hammer and he looked angry.  He rode straight through to her generals and shortly her page came running to summon her to an emergency meeting.

Another covey of birds stirred behind her and to the West.

The scouts reported that Trolls and goblins were approaching down the valley at a run.  They would be upon them in 15 minutes.  Somewhere to the east nearby a horn called out.  It was answered immediately by a similar horn to the west and shortly to the front.

The men in her army prepared to meet the threat.  She considered ordering a perimeter of pikes to the 3 sides but her pikemen would be spread too thin so she consolidated them to the flanks.  Her infantry, she ordered to the front to be followed by her archers.  They at least would be fighting on level ground.

She pulled her horsemen to a supporting role.  She knew that she may have to order the light cavalry to fight as infantry.  She decided to hold her heavy armor in reserve in case she needed them to break out of the valley.  She ordered her army to halt on a down slope area of the valley.  This last move would force the trolls to attack uphill.

She was trying to use every trick her father had taught her but she feared it wouldn’t be enough.

In the next few moments, her army settled into position.  Then the enemy trolls came into view ahead.  There was no halting them.  No customary challenge.  No waiting for a signal.  They just feel upon her troops.

Her archers opened fire as soon as the creatures came into range, but it barely slowed them down as they crashed into the infantry in front of them.

A scream to the east found the enemy troops already down the hill an engaging her men.  She remembered a trip she once took with her father to Maltasha.  It was a desert country.  There was a plague of ants there and she remembered seeing millions and millions of ants kill a goat that didn’t run away fast enough.  The insects had climbed the panicked beast and struck it down swarming it before it could flee.

Her men were being swarmed here.  There seemed to be millions of enemy troops and they quickly overran her lines and broke through in several places.

Behind her, she heard a horn and the horns to the front, and the east and the west sounded in answer.  She looked behind at her reserves seeing that her heavy armor troops were already engaged.  They were boxed in.

Angaria closed her eyes against the smoke and screams of her men and her heart knew despair.

DSC_6859-EditThe early morning field was smoky.  Light filtered down through the hills and trees from the east side of the canyon.  The sun covered the valley in a red tint almost the color of blood.

Angaria lay on her side.  Her vision dimmed and everything was hazy.  A man lay nearby with his back to her.  She was confused.  She thought that she should be angry, but her emotions were muted as if she were watching an actor in a play that she had seen many times before.

She tried to roll to her back but she couldn’t move.  Something tugged at her chest and she made to throw her blankets from her, but there was no blanket holding her down.  She looked down and stared into the eyes of her page.  He was a young lad of 9.  He was ever proud of serving her and helping to make the journey easier.  Now he lay on top of her waist in a most unseemly position.

“You led them into a trap,” a calm voice nearby said.  She looked around too confused to respond for a moment.

“You led them into a trap,” he said again.

The man next to her rolled over onto his back staring at the sky and smoke with her fathers eyes.

“Your generals tried to reason with you, but you led your men into this canyon.  Now your forces are being slaughtered and your army is in a rout.”  Her father said.

“I thought I taught you better than that,” he said.

Angaria closed her eyes against the smoke, shutting out the tears of her page and her fathers voice, and her heart knew despair.

Angaria rode at the center of her army.  In the van of the army, General Simmons ordered a turn to the east.  They were approaching a valley that would have reduced their trip by 8 days.  Some of the generals wanted to use the valley to steal the march on the enemy, but the queen had overrode them and so they were turning at the head of the trail.

 At the center of her army, Angaria rode in her saddle with her head bowed and her eyes closed.  She dozed in her saddle, tired from the forced march and too little sleep on the trail.  At her side, her page rode on his pony always attentive.  He thought to awaken her when he saw a single tear fall from her eyes, but the tear seemed to disappear almost as soon as they turned east and a small smile came to her lips.

Angaria rode with her eyes closed dozing in her saddle as her troops turned to the east for 6 more days before they could again turn south.  In her sleep, she saw a queen dressed in white riding a black horse and carrying a sword covered in blood.  It was the blood of her father and many others.  But in her dream she sat her own horse with her sword at her side and for the first time in days, her heart felt something other than despair.  She felt hope.

Cast
Angaria – Katie Rycraft
Moria – Carmen Peruzzini
Makeup Artists & Wardrobe Accessories
Rachael Kersey
Cassandra Ramsden
Hair Stylist & Wardrobe Accessories
Donna Latino
Art Direction
Lexy Page
Based on a Concept by
Lexy Page
Photographer
Bob Jones
http://bobjonesphoto.net

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Two Queens – Part 2 – Moira

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MOIRA DOZED in her saddle at the head of her army.  All around her, the host marched in the haze of the early summer months.  The human elements walked as far from the Fie creatures as possible.

When the humans came down out of the southern mountains early in the spring, they came upon the camps of the Goblins, trolls and other creatures waiting for them.  Everyone kept to their-own species camp as much as possible.  None-the-less, when the 2 armies came together as allies, there were a few “incidents’ until the queen spoke her mind.  At first it was a few men disappearing.  Then in retaliation, a few hunting parties went troll hunting.

The queen’s advisers soon came to her and requested that she step in.  She chose to do so only to keep the simpering and whining down.  But as she spoke with the leaders about not fighting the allies, she wore a small smile – well more of a smirk really.

In truth, she hated the men in her army almost as much as she hated her enemy.  She held no love for the Fie creatures either.  However, the beasts served a vital purpose in reaching her goals as did the humans in her army.

They were moving at a forced march through forested lands, and it forced them to not pillage small towns or villages.  There were no small towns or villages around here.

Queen Angaria’s southern armies had broken down to small units and were waging a guerrilla war against her troops.  They would appear from the woods on either side and harry her troops peeling off small slices of men.

 

The men of her army marched close together keeping a fearful eye on their flanks.  From time to time there were shouts as arrows found their mark.  Her troops would immediately respond in force that the enemy was invariably found.  It was a suicide mission, but the fools kept coming.

At night, she set the trolls to watch the perimeter.  No one left the camps but the trolls with their superior night vision kept Angaria’s men away.

Finally they crested a hill and found open lands to the north.  The forest had ended and her host spread out.

She smiled in triumph because the enemy couldn’t come at her men from the woods.  Instead they would be in the open and easy to spot.

As they marched north, she thought about her enemy.  She felt good about sending her assassin after the king.  His daughter was a weak fool and she would easily defeat her.

A commotion to her rear caught her attention and she drew her horse to a stop at the military crest of the hill and turned to see what the issue was now.

She saw several companies of mounted soldiers riding toward her troops.  When they came in bow range, the turned parallel to her troops and rode firing arrows at her soldiers.

Company commanders on her flanks rallied her troops and men with shields and other troops with bows rushed to respond but they were too slow.  The mounted troops peeled off a number of troops before they turned and galloped away.

Her army commander rode up and provided a dispassionate commentary about what they were seeing.

“Light cavalry my lady.  They are perfect to fight an army on the move.  They attack the flanks, peeling off troops like an apple.  They are lightly armored and ride fast ponies that are excellent at short bursts of speed.”

Even as she watched, other groups or riders came out to attack her troops.

An odd group of heavily armored troops suddenly crested a hill to the east.  Coming down the hill, the enemy troops crashed into a disorganized company of her mercenaries.  The knights used their lances and large war horses to push through the company center.  For a moment they broke past the company and in the next moment they were among the company supply trains.  They quickly set them afire and turned towards the flank again.

Her expression turned to triumph as the advantage turned to her men.  They are able to slow and harry the mounted troops.  Her smile didn’t last however as another company of cavalry forced the company to turn and the knights broke free.  Arrows raked her troops again and then both enemy groups turned and galloped over the hill.

Again her commander warranted another opinion commenting on the professional combined tactics.

She turned on him and she looked like she would order his death.  She turned back and watched the last of the troops gallop over the hill.  On rider paused at the crest, he turned and raked the reins of his mount.  The horse reared and he doffed his hat in a parting salute.  Then he turned and rode out of sight.

For a moment, she held nothing but anger.  Then she took control and she nudged her mount back into the march.  Maybe the little witch wasn’t so weak after all.

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Cast
Angaria – Katie Rycraft
Moria – Carmen Peruzzini

Makeup Artists & Wardrobe Accessories
Rachael Kersey
Cassandra Ramsden

Hair Stylist & Wardrobe Accessories
Donna Latino

Art Direction
Lexy Page

Based on a Concept by
Lexy Page

Photographer
Bob Jones
http://bobjonesphoto.net

 

 

 

 

 

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Two Queens

Angaria was a young girl born of a father who ruled a cold and northern land.  In the winter of the third year of her life, her mother came sick and was struck down.  Her father was never quite the same after that.  Losing the 1 true love in his life caused him great pain, but he tried to fill the hole in his heart with his daughter and she became his world.

Angaria grew to a beautiful young woman.  Although she was proud of her royal heritage she never treated people as if they were beneath her.  Her father taught her to treat the people well and she always understood that her primary duty lay in the welfare of her people.

The 17th year of her life brought a change to the kingdom.  Rumors of southern unrest brought stories of a civil war.  The king sent riders into the southern marshes and most were not heard from again.  Still, a few men did return with information about what was happening.

An unknown queen was annexing the various kingdoms and duchies to the south.  She led a vast host of warriors against the southern kingdoms and where her army went, none could stop her.  In the van of her army marched all manor of dark forces.  Trolls and goblins and other fie creatures led her armies and where they walked none could prevail.

Angaria’s father, King Nathon levied his northern duchies and the barons of Northern Tearia marched in the spring of 3167.  He sent riders to the land of the Elves and for the first time in over 1000 years, the white Faerie gathered their archers to join the host of man.

Summer 3167 saw the elves and northern armies approaching the capital city of Lifteria to join the king when tragedy struck.  The king was leading his local troops in horsemanship and archery practice when a Yalta Troll charged the warriors.  The troll was swift and he went right for the king.  The kings guard were struck aside with vicious blows of the troll’s club as he bore down on the king’s horse.

Nathon shrugged his shoulders to set his armor and pulled his lance to a ready position.  Then he spurred his mount and charged the fie creature.  Although it was a short charge, the experienced knight stood and crouched in his stirrups at thew last minute in order to gain power as he approached the animal.

His aim was true and his lance was buried deep and broke in the troll’s side.  However, as the king came even with the troll, it struck out with it’s club and managed to hook the king out of his saddle.  Nathon was thrown to his back on the ground and he lay stunned for a brief moment.  Then he scrambled to his feet and drew his sword.  As he turned to face his opponent it was almost too late as the maddened beast charged him.  It seemed that the lance only served to further anger the creature as he met the king.

The fight was brief and one sided.  As everyone knows, you can’t fight a troll on even footing.  When it was over, the King lay in a broken heap mortally wounded.  As the light faded from his eyes, tears fell unnoticed.  When he drew his last breath, his daughter’s name on his lips and a vision of his long lost wife before his eyes, he couldn’t hear his men as they arrived to fight the troll.

The new queen barely had time to mourn her loss as her northern army and the elves arrived.  She was forced to horse in order to meet the enemy who had killed her father and destroyed her world.

As she began her march, Angaria wiped away her tears and a cold abiding hatred filled her heart as she rode out at the head of her forces determined to destroy the armies of the white queen.

Cast
Angaria – Katie Rycraft
Moria – Carmen Peruzzini

Makeup Artists & Wardrobe Accessories
Rachael Kersey
Cassandra Ramsden

Hair Stylist & Wardrobe Accessories
Donna Latino

Art Direction
Lexy Page

Based on a Concept by
Lexy Page

Photographer
Bob Jones
http://bobjonesphoto.netDSC_6705 Edit1

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