Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Albinor Chronicles Chapter 31
"The Daro Horde"

By Marcus Pan

August 4, 007

Hard times breed hard people. People with a will to survive at all costs. Hard times have fallen on the Republic of Darokin and the fate of the country is in risk of toppling off of the brink of oblivion. The Republic of Darokin is in the midst of a great depression. A situation that has cost the citizenry such necessities as homes, food and family. Gold is short and businesses have shut down due to losses in revenue. Aye, the depression has cost the people plenty. And among them are sanity and lives.

Crossroads is a small town that has grown on the spot where the Cross and Selenica Trails meet. It is a thriving town where weary travelers can find shelter in it's inns and wash the dust from their lips in it's pubs. A cheery, jovial place it is.

August the fourth dawned brisker than 'tis usual, so the people stoked the firepits and built a haven of warmth. The ten knights of Darokin could be seen walking amongst the townsfolk, easily distinguishable in oiled chains. The swords that hung from their belts were rarely unsheathed. A drunk townsman or trouble-making traveler was all they had to make their days. Even these were few. Aye, 'twas a boring town as most towns go. Smoke wafted to the clouds as the day wore on to lunchtime, all well in Crossroads of Darokin.

A large cloud of dust rose to the sky eastward, denoting a large passage on the trail. The knights gathered and looked. 'Twas a group of men. They had clad themselves in oiled leather and girded their waists with longblades. Upon their chests was an unknown sigil, but one that did not give feeling of goodwill. 'Twas a skull through which a dagger was pierced. And the men were numbered nearly a hundred.

The ten Darokin knights reacted quickly as the horde approached. The people of Crossroads took up arms and rallied beneath the knights. A great battle ensued. It was over quickly, the strange and evil horde victorious.

This group of men, formed of angry citizens of Darokin, was not the only one. They popped up all over Darokin. They say depression moves people to rebel and the new Daro Horde is proof.

Aye, 'tis their name the Daro Horde. Factions foam all across the Republic of Darokin and they number over four hundred strong. They are easily distinguishable in their painted leather emblazoned with the pierced skull. They have no laws save the spoken words of the Daro Queen, an old woman. She is also known as Master Thief Sharri Whisperwalk of Akesoli, previous guildmistress of the Akesoli Thieve's Guild. Her word is scripture to the horde.

Other battles ensued after the ravaging takeover of Crossroads, but nothing seems to stop the Daro Horde's rampage of destruction. Darokin's army stands a quarter less than that of the horde and they have lost two battles already against the deranged hordesmen. Darokin is on it's knees. If the Republic of Darokin falls, the middle of the civilized lands of Albinor falls to the Wilde. The Principalities of Glantri and elvenlands of Alfeim and Drow will find themselves cut off from civilized contact and isolated by the Wilde. Great distress will be caused. This is the power and problems that the Daro Horde could cause. As they say, hard and desperate times breed hard and desperate people.