Realms Slice of Life: Dadič

Just a bit of stuff I wrote whilst in the hospital to practice taking the geography of a Realm into account when writing and to distract myself.

Posting it before I forget all about it.

Realm was chosen at random.

# Dadič

Atlas Render


Boulders that took several men to load were swiftly whipped into the air, the larger ones doused with tar pitch and tree resin in advance for this moment.

Marsigt’s coarse voice commanded the mangonels at his disposal to pepper the direction of the incoming fleet’s ships with the malicious payload. His vocal cords had been worn down over decades of shouting amidst the din of war, gravelly as the stones hurtling through the night sky.

A hit at the current range was unlikely, but neither was that the purpose of his ranging shots. The sea surrounding the harbor was known for its shallow reefs and made swift changes in navigation a risky proposition for a deep-keeled ship.

Islands dotted the bay and a combination of low water and the ever-shifting, unpredictable tides of a planet with two moons made an accurate topographical seafloor map a necessity for any sailor that wished to avoid a lungful of water.

The duress of rock by the tonnage, hurtling from above against an unskilled force could cause any slight misstep to render those maps useless; until a Captain or Second mate could re-confirm their actual position. The village towns surrounding the ports knew to keep shutters closed and reduce light to minimize accurate rangefinding during a raid.

All and any advantage was to be pressed into service of war.

Shipwrecks littered the sea floor around the bay, adding to the chaos of attacking the ports of Dadič. A giant ship’s rotting mast could still easily puncture a lower-class vessel. The corpse-fertilized sea garden stretched over a steep drop from shallow water to ocean deep, attracting marine predators of all sizes to feast on the remnants of a failed attack, or heavens forbid, the soon-to-be slaughtered villagers upon success.

Each minute spent holding the fleet from disembarking their armies bought the defenders a greater chance of at least minimizing the damage the latest raid could do. For these ships were only scouts, the lights further out to sea told of a more significant number awaiting dawn to sail coastward.

Although many soldiers might grumble at heaving the boulders up the mountain, the altitude further boosted the deadly payload of the artillery division and gave them a distinct range advantage. As his mentor taught him, anything and everything was a weapon, if utilized correctly.

Captain Marsigt

Gravity was no exception - Marsigt made a point of specialized training for any who wished to improve its proper application with the assorted defensive ballistae and mangonels. His skill in raising new regiments up to battle hardened soldiers was why he had been sent here after all. The last raid had lost them three villages harvest and a good number of decent men and women some of whom might be the unfortunate lot on the same ships he was now systematically pushing towards doom, be it by the oceans depths or their commanders sword for cowardice.

As a Knight-Captain of the Order of Brilliance, it was unbecoming to have those under his command waste ammunition on shots of no purpose. He would keep the barrage to a minimum until the probability of a hit became a near certainty,

Knowledge was a currency unto its own in the Realms. This attitude exemplified the Order’s comparatively specialized and formally educated soldiers. The invader’s scouts were sent forth to reduce Marsigt’s ammunition, and he held no doubt that the bulk of the force further out to sea would calculate any sunk vessels’ location to improve their own chances of navigating the treacherous waters.


His following command was directed towards the division of archers, not to fire pointlessly at the incoming ships, but to alight the most immense boulders sailing through the air and let fire wreak havoc amongst the smaller ships’ timber planking.

Trained from when they could draw back a modified short bow, the archers under his command could often ricochet their flaming arrows to hit up to three of the boulders in a single shot. How they managed such a feat was a bet he had painfully learned; losing enough coin at the start of his watch to never doubt their skills again.

Poor bastards, Marsigt mused as the pitch tar caught alight forming streaking stars in the moonlight, Titans. Again. An assortment of their conscript crews and officers found to have erred too often by the looks.

Years of naval duty in his youth had enabled him to assess the quality of a Captain by the state of their sails.

No Admiral worth his salt would commit a Hartwood ship to a probing attack, let alone the dreaded Ironwoods. One good hit would assist his artillery division to better calculate their next shots. They were not overly short on ammunition, but his men’s strength was not endless, nor did they have a mage to assist their efforts.

Raising his eye to the scope, he saw that he had again put too little faith in his mangonel division, for they had struck one galleon and three corvettes. Assuming that reinforcements arrived in time, he would be delighted to buy those men a few brandy casks for that small victory.

A galleon’s sails had alighted and the flames allowed him to spot rowboats steadily weaving their way further toward shore. Before his night vision was ruined, he swiftly withdrew his eye and stowed his telescope.

Although it was not enchanted, the Ethereal Silica optics made it a prized heirloom passed down to him from father to son. Records kept by his House, the esteemed Owl, Catapult, and Crown proved its provenance before even the Great Cataclysm.

His extended family had commanded artillery divisions from the Arctic Mirror to the Dread Sea over the eons. As brothers and sisters in arms, and unfortunately, often as much against them.

His conscience could rest easy tonight, for his was not a seafaring House. He held little malice for the rowboats, but knowing they were coming forth was enough to start his secondary preparations. The forty pairs of soldiers manning the ballistae were eager to add to the mayhem, and with a stream of targets coming their way, the cranking of handles clinked as the mighty strings were wrenched back.

War raged eternal in the Realms, and a blood bond did not outrank a Lord’s command. Not if one wished to survive a successful battle; although it counted enough to sometimes stay the victors’ sword in the aftermath.

Rare was a House that refused to inflict violence on its own, but among some of the more ancient Houses, it was known to have happened over the annals of recorded history.

He held no strong hate towards the Order of Titans, indeed his sister was betrothed to a lower Lord of their Order, but this was the third raid in as many weeks. Whether they were desperate to secure a beachhead for a further assault, or simply had a poor harvest and were hoping to pillage a few granaries, it mattered not.

His Lord’s command was clear, no military vessel was to make landfall. Many a Lord’s logistics relied upon the harbors of Dadič to supply their relatively meager Realms. To that end, he stepped down from the high walls and began preparations to repel any other surprises that the fleet may have in store.

Dadič’s ports served as a hub for trade for decades among the few Order of Brilliance Realms from where the Southern end of the Needle Pass met the Divine Sea. It was a vital stronghold to the region, as their mercurial neighboring Order of Titans had long sought to take back the peninsula.

The Pact of Light demanded that they band together if their lands were under threat by an alliance of the forces of Darkness, minor raids and incursions, such as the one Marsigt found himself facing, were allowed, even encouraged by Nobles. Although each side would seek to minimize loss of life and treat prisoners with dignity, death was a certainty of any battle.

Marsigt was no monk, content to lay down his life for some higher ideal. He strived to serve the Order to the best of his ability, hoping that he might attain enough favor to pay for the decades of training to reach the lofty status of Paladin.

As to whom it truly belonged, the history books gave no clear answer, each Order’s historians would often trot forth evidence of a prior claim, only to be rebuffed by the finds of an even older story from the other side.

Although neither would admit to the many archaeological finds that pointed toward far more ancient claims by the fourteen other Orders, or the civilizations that existed beyond recorded histories.

No wonder the soil is so fertile in the area, Marsigt thought grimly, who knows how much blood has been spilled over these lands?

Marsigt’s scout detachment had been dispatched hours ago, at the first sight of the approaching ships’ navigational lights upon the inky black horizon. Their trip was not far, as the crow flew, but an endurance-testing climb to the upper signal post.

They had made good time it seemed, for the neighboring outpost signals had already begun to burn, fire after fire alighting in short order, separated as far as one could sight with the naked eye.

Ever vigilant of an invasion, Marsigt anxiously awaited the return signal. The many lights further out to sea from the few ships that had made their way coastward were typical, for the Order of Titan’s fleet was quick to press any weakness had their defense been slower to react. A lazy guard was a dead guard, the fires of war amidst the Realms left little margin for a man to rest easy.

The signal fire would make its way across the many mountain-top outposts between the defensive fort and the contested, everpresent battlefield between the two Orders. Every beat of Marsigt’s heart would reverberate through his breastplate until a return signal was received.

Finally, he had confirmation that this was merely a naval probe of their defenses, as only the green smoke of acknowledgment from the neighboring relay station lit up his scope.

The dreaded red smoke, signifying a concurrent army making its way through the mountain border was yet to pass on his watch. For now, he could rely on reinforcements already stirring from town Barracks and arming up for the march to forts and defensive positions at the beaches hundreds of meters below his feet.

Although the fleet to his front held the numerical advantage, at least a ship to every soldier he commanded up high on the mountain, numbers were only an advantage when able to make landfall, until then, they were merely targets.

His Grandfather had served on the very same stone walls upon which he had stood, and drilled patience and fortitude in the face of adversary into his bones.

As the rowboats inched closer with each pull, he took the time to address his men. Unlike the archers, who had trained under a different command and needed no further instruction, the soldiers manning the ballistae had a single fight under the belt, if you could call the last raid that.

Marsigt could not be entirely confident it was the Titans, but seeing the tactic afoot, and having read the battle report before being dispatched, he felt it unlikely to have been a coincidence.

Rhythm and rhyme made metal in a soldier’s mind, as his Grandfather taught him from knee high and it was time for a concrete lesson.

“If I see one bolt loosed before I command, that pair is on latrine duty for the next three moons. Steady your heart and remember your training. A shaky hand wastes more iron than your day’s wage.

You all have seen the price of failure, hard times and bitter flavour, let your ancestors stand proud as you answer dutys call and rise to battle yet once more.

Let loose death upon my command, charge the full price of attacking our Realm, our land."

Slice of life one shot.