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The Soldier's Tale
Core War
Date Set
Over 100,000 years ago

The Soldier's Tale, is a short story focusing a Flardrek's life and role during the final battles of the Core War.

A feeble sun rose over a valley on Spherus Magna. Its golden beams shimmered on the cool surface of a small stream, and reflected off the armour of strange, aquatic fish. The morning light was warm and comforting, and even the most hardened warrior couldn’t avoid feeling relaxed by its soothing charm.

Deeper in the valley, a lone soldier stood atop a hill, watching as the sun rose in the morning dawn. The sun of Solis Magna was distant and mysterious, though despite that, it still provided heat and light to not only Spherus Magna, but the uncounted number of planets beyond it. How I wish I could stand on one of those worlds, thought the warrior. Because at least there, I would be on a world free of battle. Free of war, unlike here.

The warrior shuddered as his thoughts returned to the present day. It had indeed been a long war. The Core War had been raging for hundreds of years in a long, draining struggle. This soldier was now tired. Tired of fighting. Tired of watching everything perish before him. Tired of losing everything that ever mattered to him.

“A necessary sacrifice,” the Element Lord of Fire had declared to his warriors during their recruitment. “You will all be called upon to make sacrifices during the battles to come, though they will be worth more than anything else if they advance our great cause.”

Yeah, thought the soldier, bitterly. The sacrifice of everything that we warriors once stood for is necessary to fuel the greedy, self-serving ambitions of our power-hungry rulers.

He could not completely blame the Element Lords, however. The mysterious Great Beings were, in a way, responsible for the war too. The enigmatic creators had themselves been the rulers of the planet prior to the Element Lords, though they had cowered away from their duties in order to attend to their own desires. To rule in their place, the Great Beings selected six warriors of the six main tribes of the world, and endowed them with the powers that essentially transformed them into the Element Lords; beings with complete control over their given elemental force.

After a golden age of peace and prosperity had gone by, a mysterious silvery liquid was discovered in the land of the Element Lord of Ice. When examined properly, it was discovered that this substance had the power to transform or destroy any object it touched. Seeing potential in the substance, the Ice Lord claimed it as his own. Soon, however, the other Element Lords requested a claim to the substance, prompting the Lord of Ice to blockade the spring the liquid was found in; sparking a massive, six-way war in the process.

The soldier’s thoughts were shattered when another warrior of his tribe strode towards him, sword in hand.

“Commander Flardrek, our forces have been assembled. We have just received a fresh contingent of warriors sent by Ackar, and we are supplies have been replenished. We are ready for a siege of any kind, Sir!”

Flardrek turned to face his soldier, eying him for a few seconds. He was a young soldier, suggesting he had only recently been enlisted to fight. He fiddled with his weapon eagerly, also implying he held a strong belief in the Fire Lord’s campaign, and was ready to die for it too. Flardrek sighed sadly before giving his command.

“Gather them together, young one, and ensure we have all necessary materials. It will be a long journey, and it would be best if we were prepared for the challenges ahead. I will be with you momentarily.”

“Yes Sir.”

Flardrek let a weak smile decorate his face. “Good. You are dismissed.”

The scout nodded and departed without another word.

Flardrek watched him walk back to the campsite. How could things have come to this? he thought. Where every death is celebrated as a victory, and where everyone's future will be built on conquest and domination.

An Ice Tribe soldier strode carefully down a thin, narrow ledge on the side of a snow-capped mountain being plagued by a bone-chilling blizzard. He groaned in annoyance as he continued to walk, though his expression on came out as a muttered jitter. His mission was both dangerous and risky, though if it succeeded, the results would be outstanding for his superiors. As night fell over the mountain-scape, He soon arrived at the base of the mountain, and observed the clearing below him. A ghost of a smile appeared on his face for a second before he began studying his surroundings.

Yes! he thought.

Everything had been predicted perfectly, and soon, everything would be prepared for the final strike, that would not only devastate the armies of his master’s enemies, but ensure the mysterious liquid they all so craved would wind up in the hands of the Element Lord of Ice. Without a word, the soldier set about the creation of his deadly trap.

A Scarabax Beetle scurried across the ground. The insect had been part of a colony that had only recently left its habitat, though had been left behind in the madness of the migration. Now, it was trying to catch up with its brethren before some greater menace caught it first. Suddenly a shadow was cast over the creature, and the Scarabax looked up too late to see the form of a bird-like Cave Shrike dive towards it.

In seconds the Scarabax was the bird’s prey, and the Shrike plunged back into the air to resume its hunt with the insect crushed in its mouth.

Flardrek watched the Cave Shrike glide on the wind in its unusual and obscure manner. To the common eye, this would just seem like another animal on the hunt; but in the eyes of Flardrek this would prove something most interesting.

For the last three days, Flardrek had watched numerous creatures pass by his camp, many of them being of different kinds and species, but all with one goal in common: Migration.

Of course this was not something considered unusual. The devastation the Core War had wrought on the lands of Spherus Magna would have no doubt caused many beasts to leave their habitats in order to find safer shelter. Though this time, Flardrek knew something was wrong.

It was not uncommon for a soldier to witness the occasional wildlife pass by a campsite in order to seek new territory, but to see large contingents of such beasts migrate in merely three days was not normal.

Under these circumstances, only one thing could cause on these creatures to move: The enemy. Or in this case the Ice Tribe. Flardrek snarled silently in annoyance. He had hoped no opposition would cross his path during the mission assigned to his battalion, though now that seemed unlikely. However, he knew he couldn’t turn back now. This mission was too important to jeopardize.

With a heavy heart, Flardrek turned and returned to his soldiers’ campsite in the gleam of the afternoon sun.

Far away in the Northern Frost, a mighty figure stood before a small pool of liquid. It was a natural formation in the ground, though that was not what made it interesting. What made it fascinating was the mysterious silvery substance that lay within it, which had the power to transform or destroy with a touch.

The icy eyes of the being gleamed greedily as he considered the things he could do with the liquid. He could turn it into a weapon, which he could use to force the Element Lords and even the Great Beings themselves to bow before him. He could use it as a power source, and use it to advance all of civilisation. He could use it for scientific purposes, and use it to transform or destroy thousands of beings and objects just for his own amusement.

As he continued to consider the possibilities, a soldier entered the area, and after being admitted entrance by the guards, strode up to his superior, and spoke.

“Your greatness, I have received word for Strakk, he is establishing your trap as I speak. He should be done by sunrise; you need only to wait until then”

The chilling eyes of the being, gestured towards his soldier. “Ice does not wait, warrior. It acts quickly, efficiently, and ruthlessly. I wish not to wait any longer. This strategy has taken months to prepare, and even longer to seed the information to the Fire Tribe without detection, and I am eager to see the plan’s execution.”

“With all due respect, Sir, time is not always on our side; especially during these times of warfare.”

The cold eyes glared in anger; sending a chill down the soldier’s spine that felt like a blizzard.

“I am the Lord of Ice, fool. If I demand an army to crumble, then I expect to see it crumble. If I request a weapon, I expect it delivered to me. And if I request a plot to humble my fellow Element Lords, then I expect it be carried out!”

The Ice Lord drew in closer to his soldier, until their faces were almost touching. “So don’t give me excuses to delay my vendettas, little warrior. Otherwise you will find yourself preserved in… a remarkably cold block of ice.”

“Y-yes Sir,” stuttered the soldier in fear.

“Good,” whispered the Element Lord as he withdrew to observe his spring.

“Send an emissary to Strakk.” he said without retracting his stare from the pool before him.

“Tell him to quicken his work, so he can avoid a… painful demotion. Once that is done, have a battalion of Ice Tribe warriors sent down to his location to prepare the trap. I will have the power of this liquid, and I ‘’will’’ rule.”

“Yes, Sir” said the soldier, as he turned and departed; leaving the Element Lord of Ice to stare at the well of power before him whilst his dark ambitions rolled through his mind.

A warrior clad in scarlet armour strode through the snow. Around him stood his comrades, each chilled to their very core. It had been a long time since a campaign had led them into the icy regions of Spherus Magna. In the lead of the platoon was Flardrek. Beside him stood an Agori of the Fire Tribe. He had been employed to navigate Flardrek and his soldiers through the Northern Frost.

Their mission had been a simple one. During an earlier expedition through the borderline of the Great Jungle and the Great Jungle, a Fire Tribe warrior named Malum had stumbled across a small Ice Tribe outpost during his journey. Although he had been able to judge the strategic position of the village, Malum was unable to investigate its true worth due to being caught up in a conflict with the forces of Tarix and Certavus.

Now, several weeks later, the Element Lord of Fire had instructed Flardrek and his battalion to capture the town, so as to use it as a strategic position to allow the Fire Tribe to gain an edge in the war that would potentially allow them to capture the spring.

However, things had not gone to plan. The fire warriors were now facing blistering storms, numbing temperatures, and slippery slopes. None of those prospects had been particularly appealing to the troops, and it was no more enjoyable for Flardrek.

“How much further must we travel?” he asked to the Agori navigator.

“At this rate, possibly a day. Though if these weather conditions don’t improve fatigue and exhaustion may take their toll on your soldiers, and add on time to our journey.”

Flardrek sighed bitterly in frustration; a sound that emerged as both a gurgled breath and a jitter.

“Very well, then. We’ll push through this ice quick and hard, ambush the village, assume control of it, and then send word out to our forces. But for now, we have to keep going.”

Flardrek knew this wouldn’t be easy, if anything, quite the opposite. They would have to bear not only the chills of the land, but also the beasts that stalked them and the foes that wondered these frozen wastes. Is it really worth it? thought Flardrek. All this suffering and misery over a liquid whose ownership could have been decided in a conference room?

Moonlight shimmered on the armour of an Agori as he dashed through the rocky landscape of a mysterious realm. Again and again, he nearly stumbled over a rock or stone in his path, and cursed under his breath every time. He knew he could not fail to reach his allies. He must not fail. Suddenly, frozen mountains appeared on the horizon line, dim light reflecting of their crystal-like surfaces.

Then a smile flickered across the Agori’s face for the fraction of a second. His destination was near, and the shocking knowledge he had learned would be shared at last.

He sprinted for several more minutes, and soon the snow-capped mountains were all the Agori could see in front of him. He was just about to reach the borderline of the mountains, when a black-armoured figure emerged from behind a boulder, and delivered a punch to the face that sent the Agori spiralling into the ground.

The Agori wearily raised himself to look at his unexpected attacker, and when his dizzied gaze met his foe’s, the traveller felt a wave of defeat, fear, and dread wash over him.

“No,” he whispered in a tone no louder than a dying breath. “Not now. Please not now.”

“Oh, but ‘now’ it is indeed happening, my friend.” said the warrior. “And you know I cannot let you live to warn your friends of what is to come.”

“Please, what you plan doesn’t have to happen,” said the Agori.

“Oh, but it does. My master wants the power that bubbles in your territory. And he will go to any length to get it, which will start with your death.”

Even as the attacker raised his sword, the Agori felt surprisingly calm. He knew there was no point in running because he couldn’t outrun his enemy. He knew there was no point in screaming, because no one would here his cries. And finally, he knew there was no point in worrying, because he would be dead soon.

As the enemy’s blade dealt the killing blow, the Agori’s vision blurred as he fell into darkness, though his mood was peaceful, and his mind content, having accepted that the end had come.

The Skrall soldier stared at the dead ice villager with a mock smile forming on his face. The body would be found soon enough, but that did not matter. As long as the Skrall’s plans remained unknown, then its crushing finishing strike would deliver a wound that would cripple all the Rock Tribe’s enemies.

Flardrek looked around his surroundings and smiled faintly. It had been roughly two hours since his forces had reached the village outpost nearly twelve hours ahead of schedule. The Agori villagers had almost eagerly surrendered to Flardrek’s army, and the guards assigned to the village had not even raised their blades to attack them. Perhaps it was because they knew they couldn’t overwhelm Flardrek’s forces, and gave up in order to avoid causalities and loss of life; though that wasn’t the Ice Tribe’s spirit.

Having been defending the spring for most of the war, the Ice Tribe had gained a reputation for using aggressive power when it came to forcing back attackers in order to retain their ground.

The lack of a fighting spirit had made Flardrek uneasy. His troops, however, had never felt more relaxed. In the little time they had spent here, the soldiers had been socializing with the locals and enjoying the feeling of reaping the supplies of food and water from the villager’s storerooms.

It all seemed so pleasant to them, but to Flardrek, it had put all his senses on full alert. His battalion had been noticeably softened by their almost friendly welcome, and now that their guard was down, they were vulnerable to attack.

Flardrek took the time to look at the village. It had been perched halfway up a mountain beneath a number of huge ledges, with roads and pathways that connected directly to heart of the Lord of Ice’s territory. It possessed the perfect route to attack the spring that contained the liquid, and if they captured it, the war would be at an end at last.

Suddenly, Flardrek heard something, the sound of a foot crushing the snowy ground. He looked around curiously, intent on finding the source of the noise, when his gaze fell upon a small, disguising bush. He approached it, and removed his sword from his scabbard. He was a mere feet away from the bush when a white-armoured warrior leapt up from behind it, and let a chilling battle cry escape his lips.

As Flardrek parried his sword with that of his enemies’, the fire commander sacrificed a fraction of his attention to look at the village. What he saw in that microsecond was astonishing. After all, who wouldn’t be surprised at the sight of a large army of Ice Tribe warriors emerging from the most unthinkable hiding spots to attack Flardrek’s troops. The outpost was in chaos.

The village guards, who had been harmonious throughout the Fire Tribe’s occupation, leapt into action, and wrestled their weapons from their foes’ hands, joining their comrades in battle in the process.

Flardrek, blocked another blow, and another, and upon seeing an opening in the Ice commander’s defences, elegantly thrust his blade down into the soldier’s right leg.

The warrior wailed in pain, and fell to the ground, and Flardrek dashed back into the village to aid his forces. After cutting deep wounds through the sides of two ice soldiers, Flardrek called out to warriors.

“Fan out. Retreat! We’ll take a route through to the spring, and claim the liquid it possesses.”

Just as Flardrek and his allies had regrouped to charge at the path, the ice commander Flardrek had crippled earlier limped to his feet and barked out a single command.

“Strakk, NOW!”

As soon as the order escaped the commander’s lips, Flardrek turned at the sound of rock brushing against rock and tiresome groaning. When he located the source, his heart leapt when he saw the form of the ice warrior Strakk on top of a mountain ledge attempting to push a number of large boulders off its edge.

Upon realizing the opponent’s stratagem, Flardrek opened his eyes in shock.

“Quickly, charge for the pathway!” he ordered.

However, his instruction came too late, and Flardrek watched in despair as Strakk forced the last of the massive boulders off the ledge, which rolled down the slope of the mountain to find their mark at the base of it as they piled up on top of each other to effectively block off the pathway.

Flardrek cursed under his breath. He had been foolish to not realize this plan. The Ice Tribe had obviously leaked information of this outpost’s position to the Fire Tribe, and devised a plan to trick them into sending their forces here whilst they prepared to ambush them. Then, they would cut off all available escape routes, and decimate the enemy forces.

Flardrek turned to face the Ice warriors, who had now regrouped with the rest of their number, and joined together into a single group. They now easily outmatched the Fire Tribe battalion. On one swift order issued by the commander, the soldiers charged at Flardrek and his troops, eerie battle cries escaping their mouths.

As the devastating wave of warriors drew closer, Flardrek turned to face his men, a dull expression decorating his face. He nodded to them, a sign that the end was now. He then turned to face his opposition.

All logical battle tactics pointed to self-preservation and abandoning his friends, but Flardrek knew that was not an option. He was a warrior, and he knew that if he wished to prove it, he would have to die like one. Slowly, he raised his sword high into the air.

“CHARGE!” he cried.

As the command sank in, his fellow warriors roared in approval, and ran forward to meet their icy foes. Flardrek led the challenge, pure determination echoing in his mind. He knew he could not defeat the Ice Tribe army, but that didn’t matter. At least he would die the way he lived; a true and honourable soldier.

The two forces were mere feet away from each other when a pair of Thornax explosives made an impact in front of the ground between them, causing an explosion and an uprising of smoke that blurred their vision. When it cleared, both armies had stopped still, having acknowledged that neither side had fired the Thornax.

Flardrek followed the trail of smoke, until his gaze settled on a high mountain ledge. Soldiers of both armies tightened their grips on their tools upon seeing their new enemies. After all, Skrall were hated by soldiers of all tribes for the ruthless nature in battle.

Without a word, a Skrall warrior, whom Flardrek assumed to be the leader of the group, gave an unrecognized hand gesture that prompted the Skrall to take several paces back away from the ledge. Once at a distance, the black and crimson-armoured warriors aimed their launchers at the ledge, and fired, causing the rock in front of them to break off from the ledge, and tumble down the mountain slope in a massive rockslide. Knocking into other, weak rock formations, the rockslide grew in size until its impact could grind the entire village into the ground.

Knowing they would be crushed by the oncoming cataclysm, Ice and Fire Tribe warriors alike scattered in an effort to escape. Flardrek joined them, and sprinted towards a small hut near the village’s outskirts, feeling he could find safe shelter there. Sprinting through the soft snow, Flardrek sprinted past warriors of both sides as he approached the hut.

Yes! Safety! he thought to himself.

As he neared the shack, Flardrek’s desperation clouded his awareness, and failed to notice a globe-sized rock darting straight towards him.

With a hollow clang, the stone collided with his head, sending Flardrek spiralling into the snow and into a state of semi-consciousness. The world was blurring. All around him, Flardrek could see his soldiers, as well as Ice Tribe troops and Agori, dashing everywhere to find safety. Most of them had already escaped the village and retreated into the lands beyond it.

Flardrek tried to stand up, but a mind-stabbing pain stopped him as he attempted to. Eventually, the pain proved too much for him, and he stumbled back into the snow and watched as the rockslide drew closer to him. Flardrek could faintly hear the sounds of his friends and comrades call out to him as they hid from the disaster.

Flardrek struggled to acknowledge their cries. Every ounce of strength in his body had abandoned him, and had now been replaced with an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion. The rockslide was now mere feet away from him, and had already collided with some houses.

Flardrek closed his eyes. If he was going to be pounded into the ground by boulders, he didn’t want to be watching it. As the sound of stone scraping against stone grew closer, Flardrek took the chance to reflect.

Has this really been worth it? he asked himself. Has my death been necessary in aiding the ambitions and greed of the Lord of Fire to continue this war? Why couldn’t things have gone different? Why couldn’t the power of this strange substance been shared between the tribes? Why--

Flardrek stopped his trail of thought.

Logic and rationality told him he should be dead by now; buried uncomfortably at the bottom of a pile of rocks. That failed to explain why was he still thinking?

Using what little strength he had left, Flardrek opened his eyes. The world around him was a swirl of dark colours. He realised that the impact of the rocks that hit him had not happened. As he struggled to keep his grip on reality, Flardrek aimed his head in the direction where the rockslide should have come.

What he saw would have made him drop his jaw in shock. Although he could not see the world properly, Flardrek could definitely make out the rough form of a strange blue and grey armoured warrior focusing a stream of golden energy out of a large scythe. The power was colliding with the boulders, eroding and disintegrating them in mere seconds, and reducing them to dust.

As soon as the last boulder had been dissipated; the being turned to face Flardrek, a sad expression decorating his face. Suddenly, in a faint flash of light, the being was gone. Flardrek’s mind was raging with questions he knew he couldn’t get answers for. Whoever that being was, Flardrek owed him his life. That is, if he would survive long enough to owe him his life.

Suddenly, an unexpected pain erupted in his head. Flardrek felt his mind churn, as he began losing his grip on consciousness.

As they world started to darken, he could see two of his troops rushing towards.

“Hold on, Sir, we’re coming!” cried one.

“You’re going to be fine, commander.” said another as they knelt by Flardrek’s side. The rest of their words died out. Flardrek couldn’t hold on any longer; and after one final, vain attempt to keep going, plunged into a world darkness with a strange feeling of emptiness echoing inside him.

“You want to what?!” cried the Element Lord of Fire as he slammed his fist down on the arm of his throne.

Flardrek flinched slightly.

It had been nearly a week since the incident in the Northern Frost, and following Flardrek’s failure to capture the village, the concept of using it to claim the spring had been declared too risky. Flardrek had only barely managed to survive the battle with his life. It had been discovered soon after that the Skrall had caught whiff of the Ice Tribe’s plan after capturing one of the local Agori villagers aware of the scheme, and devised their own to weaken the force of both the Fire and Ice Tribes.

As soon as he had returned to the Fire Lord’s territory, Flardrek had been sent straight to the healers. His body had recovered well, though not his mind. In those last few days of resting, Flardrek had been given time to think over his role in the war, and had decided he wanted no more involvement with it. That decision now brought him to his current situation.

“What do you mean, you want a discharge?” barked the Element Lord of Fire in a sinister voice. “Do you know how desperately I need warriors like you to fight for my cause?”

“Most certainly, Sir,” began Flardrek.

“Though I’m not sure I’m the kind of soldier you need on the front line. I’ve been suffering symptoms of doubt and self-guilt over what has happened lately, which has made me ill-suited for battle. That is why I am requesting a discharge from service in your army.”

There was a pause before the Lord of Fire spoke again.

“Do you realize how close I am to claiming the substance that this war is about? Do you realize how close I am victory? No, I didn’t think so. You have no idea how great an opportunity I have at concluding this conflict; and yet that opportunity can so easily be claimed by one of the other Element Lords.”

“What do you mean?” asked Flardrek curiously.

“Recently, a Rock Tribe legion routed the Ice Tribe’s forces from the Black Spike Mountains, leaving the Ice army’s northern flank vulnerable, exposed, and open to attack. They will not remain in this state for long, however, and I expect they will rebuild their defences swiftly enough to prevent any attackers from breaking past them.”

“I see,” began Flardrek. “Though what does this have to do with my departure from the legions?”

The Fire Lord laughed in a chilling tone. “In the days since you returned to my lands, I have been preparing a squadron of warriors to take advantage of the Ice Tribe’s weakness and claim the substance. I am issuing you with the task of being part of this battle unit.”

Flardrek nodded bitterly.

“The plan is simple: You break through their defences, and claim the substance they protect. Failure is not an option this time, as this is may prove to be our only opportunity at winning the war. As such, I am denying your discharge.”

Flardrek felt as if his strength had been drained from his body. His limbs felt weak and tender. The idea of fighting a war again was particularly unappealing to him.

“However, once you have claimed the spring, and established me as its owner, then I will have no issues with you leaving the army and going your separate way. However, that will happen only if you accept this one final mission.”

“Very well,” said Flardrek, wearily.

“Good,” murmured the Element Lord as he leaned back in his chair.

Another pause passed by.

“Well what are you waiting for?” demanded the fire leader. “You’ve got a substance to claim, and a war to end.”


  • Flardrek
  • Element Lord of Fire
  • Several Fire Tribe warriors
  • Unnamed Fire Agori navigator
  • Unnamed Ice Agori
  • Strakk
  • Element Lord of Ice
  • Unnamed Ice Tribe commander
  • Unnamed Ice Tribe warriors
  • Unnamed Skrall
    • Unnamed Skrall soldier
  • Parikon
  • Phyrrus - (Not Mentioned by Name)