The ragged remains of King Darius’ army stretched for miles along the foothills of the Thurid Mountains, baking in the brutal heat of the desert sun. What had marched west a disciplined and confident force returned a broken and dispirited rabble.
The defeat of the Cyonian army at the Battle of the Lion had been nearly complete. King Darius who had led them to their fate was now a pale corpse riding in a wagon, his body bloating and stinking in the oppressive heat. His eldest son, Prince Dallatus, the former heir to the throne, lay bloody and cleaved next to his father. Darius’ second son, Prince Godfry had fallen as well, his body captured by the Myvar and taken to Coronet as a trophy.
Thousands of lords, knights and common soldiers from the crusader kingdom had been killed in the vicious fighting. Their corpses now littered the stony fields around the base of the mighty rock formation called ‘The Lion’. Many hundreds more were now captives of Sultan Fareez ali Husseini ibn Kadar, the Red Pirate of Coronet, who had led the victorious Myvar forces. The lucky ones would be ransomed back. Those who could not fetch a good price, however, would be sold into slavery.
For those who had escaped during the route, the way home was hard. For days they marched through the parched desert that skirted the mountains. The hardships of the road claimed more victims and behind the long train of men and horses a scattering of fresh corpses were buried in hastily made graves…