Thursday, August 20, 2020

Microstory 1434: Fort Salient

Now that Durus had a decent number of mages, it was so much easier to get things done. Construction was easier than it would probably ever be on Earth, and the monsters had become more of a common nuisance than a real enemy. A monster came in, a town mage was assigned to dispense with it, and they did. No one had died from an attack in decades, and no one had been seriously injured in several years. The Durune humans knew what they were doing, and their population continued to rise at a predictable rate. They stopped planning for new towns ahead of time, because each one would only take a matter of weeks, depending on which mages they had access to for a given development, and how complex they wanted that town to be. People did still want to move to new places though; that was a value that wasn’t going to change anytime soon, so whenever the need arose, someone would be there to make it happen. They would keep planning to build them until something changed about their situation, which it did. Fort Frontline proved to be one of the best ideas that the mages had ever come up with, but it was beginning to be less effective. The monsters were seeking out people, and to get to most of these people, they would usually end up going through Frontline first. That stopped being such a reliable outcome, though. For reasons no one could tell from this end of the broken portal, starting around 2077, monsters were coming in faster, and more abundantly. Experts still weren’t sure exactly what was on the other side or even what these things were—and no one was brave enough to investigate—so there was really no way to know what was causing the influx, but it could prove to be a problem.

The Fort Frontline method was no longer good enough on its own. The monsters were simply going around the fort, and not because they were becoming smart enough to avoid it, but because there were too many of them now, and they didn’t exactly travel in a single file line. Fortunately, there was a simple solution to this. All they would need to do was build a second military outpost. The tenth town, insomuch as it was a town, would be called Fort Salient. It was built closest to the portal ring than anyone ever thought it was possible to survive. While it was a crapshoot where on that ring a monster appeared, they did seem to come through more often on the Southwest side. So that was where Fort Salient sat, within clear view of the ring. It was the first thing these monsters saw, so they always went right for it. The strongest fighters in Fort Frontline, and elsewhere, were assigned there. If you were posted at Salient, it meant that the source mages saw potential in you. They wanted you to fight in the war until its bitter end, and there wasn’t a question whether that would happen, only when. Seers were predicting the end of the war, but seers are always purposefully vague. They’ll only give you enough information to make it to your destiny. If they just laid it all out on a roadmap, you would probably try to change it, and screw everything up. Some people interpreted this omen to mean they needed to go on the offensive, instead of just defending themselves, and Fort Salient became the first staging ground for these battles. This was when it turned back into a true war, complete with damage to infrastructure, and casualties. Some called this year the beginning of the end of the Protectorate, but most agree that it would have fallen much sooner if not for the brave men and women who fought here.

No comments :

Post a Comment