Rebellion – Death, obviously, was the greatest equaliser of them all. (Genre – General, Genre – Fantasy, Genre – Horror, Rating – 15, Warnings – Graphic Violence, Death)
Tarque smiled as the smell of burning flesh begun to taint the once clean wind. There was something special about the smell, the way it brought down all those who once thought themselves high and mighty, making them nothing more than cooked meat.
Death, obviously, was the greatest equaliser of them all. Death by fire cleansed the world of evil, and the rebellion would be quashed.
Tarque’s horse, Itero, danced underneath him. The animal was sensitive to the acidic smell of smoke that wafted down the valley towards them. He was a new horse, but one Taque had great hopes for the future. One day, this would be the steed who took him into the final charge for glory.
Tarque nudged Itero forward slowly, looking over the ashen faces of the defeated rebels. They had been herded up by his men, now shuffling towards the carts which were on the outskirts of the town. From there, they would be taken back to Yeval where they would be sold into the slave workforce.
They deserve it, Tarque thinned his lips as the scraps of humanity looked up at him with distain. They considered him a monster, this uprising had been to try and overthrow his forces in the South. It was futile, they knew just as well as Tarque that he was their only hope for stability.
If only they listened to him. If only they followed what he told them.
Everyone had a place in the world, Tarque figured, and everyone would do their best if they stayed in that place. Some people were born to lead, others born to work the fields as peasants. There was nothing that Tarque could do about that, it wasn’t up to him to change the way the universe worked.
Tarque directed Itero towards where Captain Merk was standing, directing his men to control the peasants towards their new future. His uniform was muddied and stained, the once royal blue now a dull brown colour. Even then, it looked smarter than the rags and tatters which the peasants called ‘clothing’.
“Captain,” Tarque said, catching Merk’s attention, “how are you getting on?”
Merk snapped to attention, fist raised to the side of his head.
“It’s slow going, Sir,” Merk replied, letting his arm fall back to his side, “we’ve had a few who have tried to resist but we’ve dealt with them in the usual manner.”
He nodded towards the decapitated bodies at the side of the street, neatly lined up to be dragged away and burnt once the slaves had been caged up.
“Good,” Tarque nodded. He didn’t give praise regularly, and Merk’s chest puffed out in pride.
I’ll need him for the later rebellion, Tarque thought, he has the loyalty of his men and I need those men.
Other nobles would be worried that their soldiers were more loyal to their captains than themselves, but Tarque was not worried at all. He paid his men better than others, and any soldier who wanted to advance in the forces knew that Tarque’s army was the place to do it. They won far more than they lost, and Tarque was careful to ensure that any talent that did try and leave didn’t make it very far.
“What are the orders now, Sir?” Merk asked, breaking Tarque from his thoughts. Tarque paused, a small smile appearing on his face.
“We will finish here,” Tarque said, “and then we’re headed for Gero.”
“The final assault?” Merk asked, barely keeping the excitement out of his voice. Any other time, Tarque would have reprimeanded him. Now, he couldn’t blame the Captain, after all this was the assault they had been building towards for months.
“Yes, Captain,” Tarque said, “this is the final assult.”
If Tarque won Gero, the last outpost which was holding out against him, he would with enough support to make a claim for the crown.
King Tarque, he thought to himself, that has a nice ring to it.