The priests of Jupiter and their leader Vasivius, stayed in the mountains and when the time came to offer prayers to the gods they would make a journey to Octagurion. Bazoc and the remnant of his men traveled through the thick forest to get to the mountain.Bazoc apprehension became obvious on seeing the weary looks on the face of his men, especially those carrying Umaga. The temple was still far ahead, but the men needed to rest. Bazoc ordered the men to make a camp and rest while he moved ahead of them. On reaching the mountain, he noticed vultures scouring the area. Something was wrong. Bazoc pulled out his sword and proceeded with caution. He took a secure position behind an old tree so he could get a visual on what was happening. From where he watched, there was an execution going on. Azocs men where already at the temple killing the defenseless priests. It looked like they knew he was coming to the temple. So before the executed any priest they would ask after the where about of Bazoc.
Finally, Vasivius was dragged out and forced to his kneels with a sword to his back. The man leading the execution stood beforeVasivius and wipe the blood of his sword. Bazoc knew that he would have to save Vasivius, but he was out numbered. So he decided to create a distraction, so he could pull some of the men away from the temple. Bazoc then startled the men by throwing a rock to a rear location. The commander in charge, then ordered the men to go and find out what made that noise. All the men except the commander ran to the thick bushy area in search of the suspicious sound. Bazoc then immediately snuck behind the commander and grabbing his mouth, he slit his throat. Bazoc gradually lay the almost lifeless commander to the ground. Blood smeared all over Bazoc’s body. He quickly cut Vasivius loose and just before they could run out of sight, one of the men spotted them and called for backup. What turned out to be clever rescue almost became a hot pursuit but Bazoc was able to get to his horse on time with Vasivius behind him, they rode hastily back to there camp.After a few minutes of intense riding, they were able to lose their chasers.Bazoc gradually pulled the reins of the horse to slow it down.
‘you are indeed the hand of the gods’ lord Bazoc’ vasivius said.
‘Do you know who I am?’bazoc asked. He had never met the Vasivius.
‘no one and nothing can be hidden from the gods’ he replied ‘you have been chosen by the god and I have been expecting you’
‘why were your priest being slaughtered. What do those men want from the temple’ Bazoc asked
‘it appear that what they want is in your possession ’Vasivius replied ‘so where are we going to ?’ he asked
‘back to my camp where my men are’ Bazoc replied.
‘there will be no need for that, you don’t have a camp’ vasivius said. Bazoc ignored what he said and rode towards the camp.
The smell of burnt skin filled the atmosphere. Bazoc and Vasivius dismounted from there horse as they slowly walked through the camp. Blood stained the sands and the lifeless bodies of his men were littered everywhere. Bazoc’s camps were was attacked. No one was left alive in the camp.
‘how did this happen?’Bazoc asked while he stared at the badly mutilated bodies of one of the men. Vasivius was suspiciously silent. Bazoc picked up a battle axe on the ground which was covered in sand and blood. He turned to Vasivius and with a glare on his face he said
‘I asked you a question. WHAT HAPPENED HERE!!!’ bazoc screamed out loud with heavy breath. But Vasivius maintained the countenance of dove, even upon seeing the rage on Bazocs eyes he was still calm.
‘if the two edges of a sword could cut through your skin, how would you use the sword.Vasivius asked ‘you need to grasp the sword from somewhere to be able to use it.’
‘old man’ Bazoc said walking toward him ‘I do not have time for fable talk. You knew this was going to happen, that Was why you tried to lure me from coming back to this camp. So tell me what happened or you wish the barbarians slaughtered you back at the temple.’Vasivius gave a sigh of relief and walked past Bazoc saying
‘even if I told you what would you do, which I believe is not far from vengeance.’vasivius strolled round bazoc. ‘even if you where to avenge your men, you are but a man and you have no army standing behind you. And speaking of army, the barbarians want your head and the Romans attacked you camp in search of you.’
‘the Romans did this?’ bazoc asked.
‘ yes under the orders of Mallius Maximus. The one you let escape. So with the two armies against you, you have two edges of a sword. All sharpened against you. But u need a grasp and one edge can be that grasp. All you need to do is pick a side.’ In the silence of his heart, Bazoc remembered the last words Vinictus said to him “ save the eternal city ”.
‘how do I save the eternal city?’bazoc asked.
Vinictus smiled and replied. ‘Follow me’. They both rod out of the woods and headed straight for octagurion.
Bazoc rode through the streets of Octagurion and saw the immenseand abject poverty that had befallen this once great city. The war hadn’t even started, yet women and children were already lying helplessly on the street begging for food . The city was already in turmoil because of the food shortage. The romans in the city had begun rationing the food, keeping larger portions for themselves. Bazoc was already a wanted man in the city so Vasiviusmade Bazoc put on a disguise as one of his priest.
‘the war hasn’t even started but the city seems lost’ Bazoc said ‘where are we going’ he asked
‘to find Cassia’ vasivius replied.
‘and you think she will be alive right now?’ bazoc asked rhetorically ‘Mallius have would ordered her execution following my escape.’
‘relax may friend. You worry too much’ Vasivius said. They both stopped at a cottage belonging to a local farmer. It obviously appeared empty but upon dismounting their horses, a fairly huge and muscular looking man walked out of the cottage. His eyes were fierce; his stature was well built with huge biceps. Coupled with his long dark hair, he had copious facial hair all over his face. With the scary looks on his face and an almost monstrous stature, he still had a battle axe hung behind him and a sword which was quit longer than a normal roman sword. He walked towards them with so much grandiosity and with every step came the aura of intimidation.
‘state your business’ he said with a coarse voice. Vasivius turned to bazoc and said
‘give it to him’. Bazoc stared at vasivius in confusion. He leaned closed to vasivius and whispered.
‘what exactly should I be giving the him’ he asked
‘the signet ring’ vasivius answered cheaply. Bazoc put his hand inside a pouch which was embedded in the horse saddle. He brought out the box, removed the ring and handed it to the huge man. The huge man collected it and stared at it for a while.
‘wait here’ he walked back into the cottage and after about a few minutes, a radiantly beautiful young maiden walked out. The huge man walked behind like a body guard.
‘lady cassia’ vasivius hailed and genuflected before her.
‘did he suffer before he died?’ she stared at bazoc with lumps of tears in her eyes. ButBazoc was silent. ‘did he suffer?’ she asked again.
‘my lady’ vasivius intruded ‘your father was a great man and will be missed and mourned. But there will be a time to for all that. If he were here, he would want you to be strong. War is upon and you have but one role to play. Which is…’
‘… I know what am supposed to do’ cassia said cutting vasivius short ‘but with Mallius in control of the city it is impossible.’
‘can you both start telling me what is going on here. what impossibility are you talking about’ Bazocasked. They were both silent for a while before cassia decided to break the silence.
‘when mallius came back to the city’ she said ‘he was badly wounded. My trusted bodyguard informed me that my father was being accused of treason. So I had to go into hiding. Mallius ordered every member of my fathers household be executed.’ She paused for a while to wipe the tears off her eyes. ‘so you see vasivius’ she said ‘the army you seek have fallen to the wrong hands’
‘lady cassia’ vasivius said ‘the are some commanders who still remain loyal to your father. We need to get to them quickly’
‘even if we can get some commanders loyal to vinictus’ bazoc said ‘we need more men not just to oppose Mallius but to defend Octagurion.’. Vasivius and Cassia stared at Bazoc like he said something wrong.
‘he still doesn’t get it’ cassia said still staring at bazoc. ‘we have no intention of defending this city. Your brother’s plan was not just to take his lands back, but to invade the eternal city. He made the deal with Vinictus and Mallius to have you executed. Once you were out of the way, he would end the rebellion for the time being, only to create a false sense of security. Once his armies were complete, he would lunch a full scale attack.’
‘as it is’. Vasivius said ‘his armies are almost ready. Just before my priests were murdered, I heard them brag about the Turian fleets’
‘WHAT!!!’ bazoc was startled ‘those godless monsters in the form of humans. Pirates from the underworld.’ he said with disgust ‘I fought alongside Vinictus and forced them out of our lands across the Rubican.’
‘you only pushed them. Well it’s for them to push back ’Visivius said ‘they have formed an alliance with Azoc.’Vasivius placed his hands on bazoc’s shoulders ‘so you see, we need the loyalty of more commanders on our side.’
‘and when we have their loyalty’ cassia said ‘we will go to Rome and warn them.’
‘wait’ bazoc said ‘I don’t see my role in all this. Why do you need me? And what happens to octagurion’ he asked staring at the both of them. They both stared away and walked into the cottage. Bazoc now understood the plan. There was salvation for octagurion and Mallius would rather have their heads than listen to a warning coming from them. So the barbarians where going to lunch a full scale attack on Octagurion and with little army Mallius has, the city was bound to fall to the barbarians. Just like Arkim ,Octagurion was going to soon fall.