- "I understand little outside that of Epistema, but I cannot abide the deceit of a nation to further own's own gain. For children to be beaten, abducted, or ravaged by women and men who yearn for warm on a cold night only with blade in hand to part him from that which make him a man or by what sanctity it is to be a woman of purity. Dalkia is as it claims to be however... murderers and rapists. I'll not rest until I lay dying nor shall Dalkia know rest for I will hunt them all and none will know mercy! "
- — Aliyah
Aliyah Ruel Halteese (Ruel being the combination of the word “Rue” and the name “Noel”—meaning to fear or regret her birth) was born into servitude. Her routine was to rise from her bed before the sun, tend to her cleaning and then prepare breakfast for Halphas Halteese; one of the three brothers whom were royalty and also attempting to become the king of the land that the Halteese Republic controlled. As a young servant, she followed every order issued to her by Halphas Halteese and she was his favored servant of the lot. She never knew why nor did she question. The other servants speculated that Aliyah and Halphas were intimate but that was not the case. She did whatever he ordered and she made sure not to make any mistakes unlike the other servants of the Royal Halteese Family. Her clothing was of a fine appearance; pleasing to many eyes while the other servants wore either rags or common attire such as a faded brown skirt or a less than appealing dress.
A few of the other servants grew jealous of Aliyah and had even made attemps on her life, however; she was no ordinary servant. Aliyah had spent most of her time beside Halphas Halteese as he taught soldiers of the Republic basic and advanced combat techniques—especially guerrilla combat which she favored most. As she observed, Halphas even took his own personal time to teach Aliyah a plethora of skills which he himself had used on the field of battle. Through him, she learned that a mere Rod can bear the same cutting power as a sword and that an arming axe were as light as a feather. All she needed to do was control her breathing, how she distributed her body weight, and lastly, her posture with the weapon. The other servants dared not touch her after she had nearly beaten her offender to death and it took two strong men to ensure Aliyah would not break free and finish what she had started. Halphas himself, did not scold her as the other members of the Halteese Royal Family wished for him to do. Instead, he congratulated her. Aliyah was expecting to be lashed upon her back by a whip or even worse—branded for her incompetent recklessness and disregard for the Code of the Halteese Republic.
To her surprise, Halphas presented her with a sword and shield—forged by an elusive bladesmith of Japan. He told her that it was one of the last works in which the bladesmith performed before she had been killed and what makes the set such a rarity was that the bladesmith rarely crafted sword and shields—she mainly focused on ranged weapons such as rifles and cannons.
Despite that history, she was amazed that a woman was capable of such a thing as metalwork. Reason be was that aside from servitude, a housewife, or being wealthy, she knew not much else of what women could/were doing outside of her country.
He had told Aliyah that the sword and shield set were exceptionally powerful and durable and it was something which caught his eye years ago due to its water-esque pattern about the shield and sword both. These weapons are the very same weapons she uses against the Grandallian forces which infiltrated the Eastern Defensive Wall of Halteese.
The day that Halteese’s Great Wall was breeched, Aliyah knew it was a matter of time before they had reached the capital of her country, Epistema; her home, the very placed which she learned the ways of the common servant and the ways of the sword. She had nightmares of Halphas being skewered by the Monstrous of a Man which was none other than General Girardot; Bringing of Death as a few of the soldiers had deemed him. It was said that he often attacked by night and when he did, none of his opposition would see the end of that night. Despite his old age, he was too much for Aliyah to ever begin to hope to survive in combat against him and with the very knowledge of this, she feared for Halphas Halteese’s safety as well as her wanting him to not fight on the front lines. He denied her wishes and vowed to protect his country with his very life and with the intruding forces penetrating the Defensive Wall, the final orders he gave to Aliyah were to run, survive, and that she was free from the Halteese Servitude she knew oh so well. Despite wishing against his commands, Aliyah dutifully obeyed and left Halphas Halteese to his fate.
Of course, she knew not that it had been one whom were defying against Halteese long before Grandall who put an end to Halphas’ life. The young child, with her sword and shield in hand, ventured about her war-torn country with her mind just as devastated as the frozen land around her. Aliyah wanted to stay and fight alongside her master and even if she died, it would be out of an honor to give her life to the man who had taught her so much. Even though her mind was so full that she thought it would burst, she was aware of her current situation. Aliyah had visited the armory amongst the Eastern Defensive Wall before she had ventured into the capital of her country and retrieved armor and a helm. Aliyah wore a skirt, despite the cold weather she pressed on; her gauntlets and chest armor and helm were of the finest quality that the Halteese Military could purchase and the armor was now hers.
Along the path to the Council, where the head of the country, the king, resided, Aliyah was ambushed by those who were originally of Halteese. These soldiers in jade armor were of Maletta, a small country which Halphas Halteese’s brother, King Demuth, ruled over had invaded the capital Epistema. Using everything she knew, Aliyah fought and killed her opposition but not before gaining information from them. She had learned that Malettan forces had invaded Epistema and that the Council had already been lost and the soldiers which had been defending the Council were either separated, in small groups, or dead. Furthermore, Aliyah found several accusing objects from what appeared to be from Parousia in the soldier’s possession. This meant that Maletta had impersonated Halteese and attacked Grandallian forces. If that were the case then they had also Grandallian armor as well. Seeing things in this light, Aliyah was convinced that Maletta was behind the fact that Grandall was drawn into the conflict that her people and the people of Dalkia had been entangled in for so long. With Demuth’s thirst for power, she could not put this malicious plotting out of his reach but for him to pull an entire thing such as this off, made this entire scenario seem amiss. Aliyah needed answers and she needed them now. She made her way to the Council and scouting out the area, she saw that it had in fact been taken by Malettan soldiers. Their flags wrapped around the castle and danced within the frozen breeze that had stripped the land of its warm green grasslands. She missed the children playing in the summer and the butterflies that had flown—many which she would catch and then let go after she ogled them in their eternal beauty. Aliyah missed when things were so much simpler; yet, she cast that aside and entered the Council.
Once inside, she found herself ambushed by Malettan forces several times and after a while, she came across Grandallian forces as well. Aliyah had bested several of their numbers until she came across a commander. She was the Commander of the militarized Grandallian unit Relic and she was not as easy an opponent as the others were. In fact, her unit, Relic, was on an entirely different level of skill than the other soldiers made Aliyah uneasy. Despite this uneasiness, she battled the commander, named Annebella Williams, to a blood curdling draw. Aliyah had acted on her guerrilla tactics and used the diversion to temporarily retreat. She evaded and successfully eluded several units from both sides and eventually made her way back out into the snow covered surroundings and after hiding herself, she began to plot as she tended to her wounds. To her misfortune, she was discovered by Mellatan forces and was forced to retreat—this time, she had ended up running into another battle. This battle consisted of two commanders of different units but of the same origin—Grandall. One had armor of purest white riddled with blood of her own as well as her enemies. The other, her armor was of the darkest of nights and appeared to be spotless. Among them had been a young man who was lightly armored—or so he appeared. Aliyah was able to tell that his clothing was constructed with armor beneath its surface—fooling those who would think he would not be prepared. Clever. Aliyah prepared herself to battle them all, yet after combat against Annebella, she knew all too well that this would be her last battle if she did not run.
Halphas Halteese’ words echoed in her mind. Run. Survive. Should she abandon the capital and hope that she can survive? No. Her master gave his life for his country and Aliyah would do the same, however; these soldiers of Grandall, instead fought side-by-side with her. The woman in white armor gladly accepted her while the one in dark armor would rather her to die. The young man, he, himself had saved her life and ensured she did not succumb to the Malettan forces fighting by her side. With their teamwork the two of them dispatched most of the opposition while the two commanders were lacking in the tally—though she had been the only one keeping score.After introductions were made, Aliyah slowly came to respect the soldiers which she had met but mainly for the young man who introduced himself as Ky. As she explained things to the three, she was met by the rest of the units Gungnir and Exodus and with them, General Girardot. At the sight of his face, Aliyah was in fear that he would kill her on sight; yet, he seemed to be on the same page as the Commander known as Priya was. Even more so, with them had been soldiers of not only the Council but the Eastern and Western Walls of Halteese as well. Seeing them with Grandallian forces enforced that with them, she could survive a little longer. If she did survive, she would honor Halphas Halteesse for the rest of her life.
|The Mantis War|