Elyria at War Part 1: The Kypiq

Welcome to Part 1 of my hopefully 8 if not 12 part series titled Elyria at War. In it I'll be writing a few vignettes about how I imagine the tribes will fight off invaders on their home soil. Hope you enjoy.

Elyria at War: The Kypiq

“Bigs” Lumi whispered pointing down at the light below, her small, slight frame almost imperceptible in the dark forest.

Drusu nodded. Bigs. The scout’s report confirmed his fears. Every so often they came into the Forest, looking for plunder, for a safe spot to hide, to raid, rob and rape. Rarely did they ever come back. The elder Mokshin peered down to the forest floor but the light of the campfire was all he could see in the forest twilight.

How dare they bring fire into the Forest? How dare they defile sacred ground with their profane tools of destruction?

“How many?” He whispered back.

Lumi held up her hand, opening and closing her fist five times, fingers spread on every opening. Twenty five. Bandits or mercenaries most likely, come down from the plains. Not an easy proposition to say the least. Drusu only had fifteen menn, Mokshin, worth a Big or two but it would still be a risk.

Ten years he’d been patrolling the Forest’s perimeter, fighting off various types of Bigs, hairy smelly ones, pale dead ones, the small Bigs and the larger pink Bigs, striped ones and knobbly warty ones. Drusu sighed, rubbing his temples in thought, a decision to be made. To fight them now and risk death or to let them venture deeper into the Forest. True, sooner or later the Forest would have its due, it always did, but before that much purity and much spirit could be lost to the Bigs.

He made a decision. Spirits forgive him.

Drusu made a sound with the back of his throat, a grouse-like call. Wait. The cry said. Spirit forgive him, but Drusu wasn’t willing to risk it. Not yet. There was still time, time for the Bigs to decide to withdraw or for the Forest to respond. Time for wisdom to prevail. Lumi looked disappointed. The scout was still too young, too fiery. Although she was skilled and capable, she was still lacking in the most crucial of skills that a full Mokshin must possess. Prudence. All his kin had a love for the jocular and the jovial, the mischievous and the mockery but with it came a certain impatience. The one skill a Mokshin must possess above all others, the knowledge of knowing when to strike, not just how.

“Peace, Lumi.” Drusu soothed. “The Forest will prevail.” His voice was barely above a whisper but he knew she’d heard him. The fire was still there, but her hand had moved from her knife.

A good sign.

Drusu got up from his perch at the end of the branch overlooking the clearing, and walked the branch with a surefooted grace that seemed almost preternatural but came from decades of practice. He settled himself against the trunk, settled his silken cloak around him and drew up his legs close to his body. Lumi followed suit, settling on the lower branch.

This was going to be a long night.

Three days. Three day they’d followed the Bigs and with every moment that passed Drusu’s hope of a bloodless ending shrank. Every night they tried to dissuade the Bigs with the cries of dark and dangerous creatures that haunted the Forest floor, every night the stealthiest of the Mokshin crept down to the ground and laid prints, scratched at the bark and made the Forest seem hungry and on the prowl. Yet the Bigs ignored them.

The first time they took a hatchet to a tree, Drusu had been hard kept to stop his patrol. The second time, only their respect for his leadership kept them from frenzy. The spirits might reside in all things but those who harmed the Forest deserved only death.

As always the Bigs underestimated them. Drusu had seen it many times in the Outlands, where the Bigs viewed the Kypiq with amusement and laughter, at least up until the wheels of their wagons fell off and crushed them or half a company awoke to find their companions killed in the night. Not all Bigs of course, some viewed the people of the Forest with respect, but they were scant few in comparison to those that mocked.

Drusu looked to spiderweb of silk lines crisscrossing branches. His people were getting ready. Ready to attack.

“Almost time?” Lumi asked from behind him. The young scout had kept following them, even though Drusu had told her to stay at her post. She’d ignored him. Respected he might be, but he didn’t command the People, only his own warriors. There was such eagerness in the young Kypiq’s black eyes that it made him fearful.

“Almost.” Drusu whispered. “Almost.”

He was still undecided. There was heaviness to his movements as he stood up on the branch he was kneeling on. A slow deliberate calculated quality. He knew what it was.

He just didn’t want to kill.

All things had spirit and to take a life was to rob that spirit of its home. His duty was clear though and the heaviness that he felt before every battle had never stopped him before.
“Are the others ready?” He asked Lumi. The young scout nodded. “The traps are in place. The lines drawn.” Fifteen Mokshin against twenty five. Steep odds, or at least they would be if they were in the open field. Here, in the Forest, there was only one obvious outcome. This was their home after all. “Hand me that rope.” Drusu said, motioning to the pack. While Lumi scampered to obey he checked his gear. The knives at his hip had been taken from the Bigs and were almost swords in his hands. He checked the pouch at his hip as well, feeling the smooth rounded stones with his deft fingers. He was ready.

Lumi handed him the silk rope wordlessly, the question in her eyes fading as she saw the grim determination on his face. Drusu coiled the rope around the branch, three times, tying a knot easily. The climbing gloves came next, reinforced, roughened pads on the hand to allow for climbing the Trees.

He tugged at the rope and finding it secure he wrapped a length around his body and let the rest fall down to the forest floor. He knew his men would be watching, waiting for his signal.

“Lumi,” Drusu said. “You’re not fighting.”

Before she could protest he stepped off the branch, rope in hand. Silk rubbed against silk as he descended through the branches, a tiny figure against a forest backdrop.

The forest floor was covered in a thick carpet of old leaves and Drusu’s shoes crunched underfoot. He didn’t care. The time for quiet, for caution had long since faded.

Up ahead he could see the Bigs, marching single file between the trees. He took out a stone and his sling, loading it, yet letting the length of leather hang limply in his hand. He started walking, picking his path carefully through the ocean of leaves.

The Bigs were stupid not to see him, he made no moves to hide his presence, just kept walking towards them. Then again their kind was always deaf to the things in front of them. Only when he was almost thirty feet in front of the column did they notice him, when the first one called a halt with his fist. “Leave.” Drusu said. His voice as low and threatening as he could make it, which frankly wasn’t very. It was more a squeak than a roar. “You get one warning. Turn around and leave, Bigs! The Forest is not for you, the Kindome is not for you!”

The leading Big gave a laugh. “Hand over your wealth and we’ll gladly leave you alone.”

Drusu shook his head sadly. Of course that was the response. These Bigs never learned. It was not knowledge or wisdom that motivated them, nor even adventure or exploration or curiosity. All of these Drusu could understand. Greed he could not. Greed was boring.

“Let’s just grab him Boss! Put his feet to the fire and he’ll tell us where to find loot.” One of the Bigs shouted. All the others laughed. They kept laughing when Drusu started swinging the sling. Kept laughing as it built up speed.

The laughter stopped when Drusu’s stone hit the leader’s left eye with a sickening crunch. Too fast for them to register how, the leader dropped.

Dead, Drusu was certain.

Strong he might not be, but he and his menn were master marksmen of the highest order. All it took was a single stone to kill a Big, that much life had taught him. It was just a matter of where.

For a few seconds confusion reigned. Then the Bigs drew weapons and started charging and Drusu ran, knowing they would follow him.

“Catch the little bastard!” One of them shouted. “Skin him alive!” A roar of rage followed him as his small legs pumped away.

The cries of fury changed to howls of pain as one by one the Bigs stepped into the traps his men had prepared. They’d dug pits all night. Not deep mind, but deep enough to break ankles or at least trip them. Bigs tumpled to the ground.

Thumb and forefinger to his lips, Drusu whistled, a sharp sound that pierced the Forest.

That was the signal for his menn to move. Volley after volley they launched, stone after stone flew down from above, breaking bones and teeth, clanging against armor and bruising flesh.

It was over within moments as the Mokshin let fly. They weren’t all dead, but all lying on the ground prone, groaning and bleeding. Now came the truly challenging part and the reason why Drusu had descended alone. He drew his knives and walked amongst the wounded, opening throat after throat with precision and speed. They died quickly, gurgling blood, fear and pain so obvious in their eyes.

He knew he would not forget the sight soon; such was the way of the Mokshin, to sully one’s spirit in defense of the whole.

The rest of his troop descended from the canopy to claim the spoils but they knew well enough to leave him alone. His path took him to the leader. An ugly mann in life, death hadn’t made him any prettier.

“Fool.” He said to the dead mann. “If you’d just turned around, just gone home and left us to ours.” There was regret there but also certainty. He didn’t question the need for such actions.

He turned to find Lumi staring at him her wide eyes focused on the dried blood on his knives.

“The Forest has drunk its fill of blood for the day, Lumi.” Drusu said.

“Let’s go home.”

He walked past her, wiping the knives against his pant legs.

“Teach me.” Lumi cried after him.

“No.” Drusu replied, feeling the urge to retch.

Part 2: The Bruvir

Part 3: The Janoa

Part 4: The Neran

Part 5: The Waerd

Part 6: The To'Resk

Part7: The Hrothi

6/25/2017 2:24:08 PM #1

Loved it ! Want more !

6/25/2017 2:33:04 PM #2

Death to Kypiqs, bring out the Janoa to hunt them down.

6/25/2017 2:35:51 PM #3

Posted By Maulvorn at 4:33 PM - Sun Jun 25 2017

Death to Kypiqs, bring out the Janoa to hunt them down.

That's probably the next one or the one after that. Haven't decided yet ;)

6/25/2017 2:38:02 PM #4

Posted By Scylurus at 3:35 PM - Sun Jun 25 2017

Posted By Maulvorn at 4:33 PM - Sun Jun 25 2017

Death to Kypiqs, bring out the Janoa to hunt them down.

That's probably the next one or the one after that. Haven't decided yet ;)

I legit seeing the janoa being the hard counter to the Kypiq, they live in wooded areas as well and hunt in them so the defensive bonus the Kypiq has is minimised.

6/25/2017 2:58:26 PM #5

This was a great read. Just what I need on a relaxing Sunday morning

6/25/2017 3:24:11 PM #6

Excellent read, it brought me a whole new perspective to the possibilities of the Kypiq!!!!

6/25/2017 3:26:05 PM #7

Very good, actually working on my own little fanfic that starts with strangers in the Forest as well!

6/25/2017 3:33:32 PM #8

Fantastic read! The kypiq must kill if and only when it is absolutely necessary! You are giving me inspiration. :)

Yours Sincerely, Verde the Zealous Kypiq

6/25/2017 5:35:44 PM #9

wall of text no thx. video or voice yes plz.

Born in sin come on in Born in lust turn to dust

6/25/2017 6:44:33 PM #10

Wow, I bet that took some time. Good job :).

6/25/2017 9:43:26 PM #11

I really enjoy your voice. It flows through so easily. Great work, Scy.

6/26/2017 5:04:54 AM #12

Truly enjoyable read. Would gladly read thousands of pages written with the same style.

6/26/2017 5:16:34 AM #13

6/26/2017 12:56:15 PM #14

I loved reading it and I'm certainly going to read the others as well. What's funny and a little odd, I have a completely different vision on how they would act, so that's very interesting to me! Would you be willing to discuss here/via PM?

Sage willing to help with Purity (if you spot me on Discord and have some Plague on your account that could be nullified with a trade, drop me a message on Discord)

6/26/2017 9:05:50 PM #15

Great work! Looking forward to more.