“Kayadoa has yet to birth anything able to bear the resolve of one who is truly disciplined”
Antillus Ehren, the second spear of House Kaya’s Third Battalion, at least that is how he was once known. Now Antillus bears a litany of less than desirable titles: wanderer, outcast, mercenary, fugitive and traitor.
Born on a small farm in Elder’s Field, Antillus quickly learned that his hands were better suited for sword and shield than plow and sickle. Thus he bid farewell to farm life at a young age and made for Tief to enlist in House Kaya’s Legions. Antillus pressed into his military service with great vigor, embracing the regimented life of a soldier. Order, duty and discipline, Antillus wore them like a coat of well tested mail.
Ever to be denied an officers commission, due to his lack of noble blood, Antillus served with distinction. Earning the trust of his men and the respect of his superiors, Antillus ever stood at the front lines, leading by example. He bore no breach of discipline, drilling his men mercilessly. Antillus saw all soldiers as equals. Each each worthy of the utmost protection and loyalty of their fellow soldiers. And it was his adherence to this code that brought about the end of Antillus’ military career.
Antillus was sent along with the Third Battalion to the city of Free Road. Their orders were to contain the port in the city preventing aid and arms from being shipped to Liberty’s Hold. The ultimate goal was to choke out all support for Liberty’s Hold, allowing House Kaya to purge the free city from their land. The occupation of the harbor drug on for years, proving to be costly and ineffective. Sympathizers from both within and without House Kaya’s troops managed to squeeze enough supplies through to Liberty Hold, securing its defenses adequately enough that House Kaya dared not mount an offensive.
As years began to pass the strategists of Kaya’s ruling council decided that the siege of Free Road’s harbor was futile, however in an effort to save face and to minimize the financial loss of the incursion, House Kaya gave the Third Battalion one last order. The troops were to secure a self sustaining presence in Free Road, obtaining enough land and resources to build a permanent and defendable garrison on the Isle of Free Gorrain. The orders informed the battalion that they would receive no supplies or reinforcements from Kaya nor could they return to Kaya without completing their mission. The intent of the orders were clear, to succeed was to survive. In one stroke House Kaya will either gain a strong foothold into Gorrain territory or be rid of an expensive military excursion. The strategists considered it a win-win scenario.
The Third Battalion, however, had different plans. En mass, the soldiers defected to the Free Cities of Gorrain. After years of dealing with the Freemen the Kayan troops had developed many connections to the people of Free Road. respecting them, sometimes sympathizing with them and, even more rare still, starting families with the local residents. This familiarity is not uncommon in war, but in this case it became the beginning of a bond for which the Kayan troops clung to when they were abandoned by their commanders. Much of the battalion gladly turned on House Kaya deeming that their failure to route the people of Liberty’s Hold proved Kaya’s unworthiness to lead the people. A remnant, however, remained loyal to House Kaya, longing to return to their homelands.
Antillus was one of the latter. He understood his commanders decision and deeply believed the discipline so deeply indoctrinated in House Kaya. However, knowing he was currently not welcome home, and believing that service to his men and the hard won loyalty to is immediate supervisors trumped his political ideals, Antillus joined his troops as they moved to support the Free Cities of Gorrain.
Despite being a vocal supporter of House Kaya, Antillus was able to live amongst the freeman without malice. His soldiers served him without question and his captains trusted him to obey the chain of command. For a number of both owed Antillus their lives due to either his direct intervention or as a result of the constant training Antillus subjected them to. To know Antillus was to know that he is the consummate soldier who put duty above personal honor. He pledged to serve them and that is all that mattered to anyone.
Antillus grew comfortable with this new order when he realized that the military might of Gorrain was predominately focused inward, constantly trying to quell riots and political uprisings. Through his duties Antillus began to chronicle the political maneuverings of the Free Cities, developing tactics that would allow House Kaya to exploit the tumultuous climate should they ever decide to invade. Due to a firm believe that the cold war between Kaya and Gorrain would never escalate, many turned a blind eye to Antillus’s extracurricular activities, dismissing them as a dark hobby.
Antillus’s loyalties to House Kaya, however, would prove to be the tool of his unmaking.
Antillus served with an officer in training, the son of a wealthy merchant price, Valka Trabor. Valka was lazy and arrogant, owing his forthcoming officer’s commission solely to the influence of his father. None the less, Valka was given his first command, a team assembled from some of the finest men Antillus had ever trained. It was generally agreed that the men were assigned to Valka strictly to compensate for his lack of martial skill.
Valka set off with his men to investigate reports of marauders in the wilderness around Free Road. All were shocked to see Valka return from this rather mundane task both defeated and alone. He was the sole survivor of a vicious ambush or so he claimed.
Antillus seemed convinced that something much more treacherous had transpired and attacked Valka while screaming accusations of betrayal. Other soldiers pulled the two men apart questioning Antillus. Antillus claimed that one of Valkas soldiers had in fact survived, although mortally wounded, and trekked back to the fort where with his dying breathe he told Antillus the truth about what had transpired. Before anything more was said the Fort’s Commander, Spirol Rutgar, ordered a trial be scheduled at which time Antillus would bring evidence against Valka. Alas, Valka never saw trial.
The next day, men representing the governors of Free Gorrain brought new charges to the Fort, however this time they were against Antillus. Antillus was accused of being a Kayan loyalist and charged with treason against Free Gorrain. Antillus’s loyaty to his homeland was indeed well known, but the formal accusation shocked everyone. As a soldier Antillus was spared the death penalty, instead being exiled with his right hand horribly scarred so he wold never be able to raise a blade against the citizens of Gorrain.
Packed on a freighter and shipped back to Tief, Antillus found himself unwelcome in the capital city as he was a reminder of House Kaya’s military failure in Gorrain. Unable to serve in the military due to his injured hand, Antillus returned to Elders Field where he began to train wielding his blade left handed. Although he might never have the strength to once again be a fighter, Antillus honed the other aspects of his martial prowess. He set out as an adventuring warlord. Convinced that Valka and his father are responsible for is exile, Antillus promises to one day return to Gorrain and bring honor to the soldiers betrayed by Valka and perhaps even return honor to himself.