Thursday, December 10, 2009

(Fantasia) Katleah of Veid: Crusader of Ostgard

Katleah of Veid: Crusader of Ostgard
Originally titled as the tale of Katleah Tostensson
by Rige Andersson


It was a wintry afternoon in a once united land named Banaria when a man, carrying a red lantern, hastily walked from the woods in midst of the strong wind towards him. While walking, he, through the name of Mathias Tostensson heard a voice coming from a maiden around the entire place, there he simply searched them until he found a beautiful girl, sitting in a stone and playing a harp.

Mathias was amazed upon looking at the maiden singing, and as the maiden finished singing her song, Mattias asked her:
"Hello maiden, what is your name?"
Then the maiden said:
"My name is Mielikka, and I am here guarding the woods. And you?"
And Mathias announceth himself:
"I am Mathias Tostensson, and I am looking for a place to rest for I am weary out of this cold weather."
Mielikka then replied:
"This place was and is, marred by the cold, Frost and winter bind this entire place for years."
"And where is the place where I will take rest?" Mathias said.
And Mielikka replied:
"From here, you need to cross the river, and you will see a small hut."
Mathias then accepted what Mielikka saidth to him, and he spoke:
"By the way, how nice is your vocie. And I am deeply amazed."
Mielikka then smiled, and said:
"Thanks Mathias, and may the spirits of this place guide you in midst of the cold wind."
Mathias then bowed and left away to the place what the maiden saidth to him, there he walked, crossed the river from a canoe, and landed in an isle where a hut raised.

Mathias, as he entered the hut, sought nothing but darkness around the place; and with the help of a flint, he lit a wood and thrown into the fireplace. And as the fire continued blazing, anything changed around the entire place. There he sought strange carvings and painting, as well as food and drink served on the table. Mathias was amazed on what he sought around, and he immediately went tinto the table and ate some of the food being served. While eating, he heard someone knocking outside. He immediately stopped, stood up and went towards the door and sought Mielikka. Mathias then said:
"Is there anything I need to give you?"
Then Mielikka said:
But Mathias, as he sought the beauty of the maiden, then said:
"No need to worry about Mielikka, you may enter the place."
And thus,
Mielikka entered the place and joined Mathias in eating. There she enjoyed the fine food and drink, and even played her harp for him. Mathias, as he drink mead, became deeply charmed on the maiden's beauty, and said:
"In fact, I am deeply charmed at your beauty Mielikka."
There the maiden Mielikka stopped playing and she kissed and embraced Mathias. Mathias felt the kiss and the bosom Mielikka gave to him, and thus, in midst of the night, they made love.

The next day,
Mathias sought Mielikka sleeping beside him, there he carressed her body and kissed her cheek that made Mielikka awake. Snow remained falling outside as the two stayed in the hut for long until...

Hordes of brigands, while in their boats, sought the hut, and thus they fired their arrows against it. Mathias, as he heard the noises coming from the river, then sought from the window that the brigands attacking. There he immediately hath Mielikka awake, and they immediately escaped the place before the brigands advance through the entire place; as bows continue to fire their arrows and the brigands attacked through, they finally found out that it was too late, for the people whom residing in the hut escaped.

While escaping, Mathias and Mielikka immediately ran through the woods before the brigands kill them; they continue running until they sought an armed men, under prince Sorensen marching towards Ostgard. And thus Mathias immediately approached the prince and said:
"My lord, the brigands are attacking the entire place, save us!"
Then pince Sorensen replied:
"So where are these lowlives?"
"They are near the river." Mathias said. "they have long boats, and..."
"Ok," Prince Sorensen replied. "I think these brigands are trying to attack Ostgard again?"
And he called some of his men to subdue the advancing brigands from the river, while Mathias and Mielikka then went along with Prince Sorensen to the town of Ostgard to provide them with lodging. A month later, the two, out of having a good relationship, end up married in the temple with prince Sorensen as its sponsor. There the people offered them bread and salt, as well as a newly blessed house for them.


A year later,

Mielikka became pregnant and Mathias, upon hearing it from the old women, became happy. Upon returning home, he found that his wife was knitting in the chair near the fireplace; there he asked Mielikka to verify what the old women saidth to him:
"Is it true that you are pregnant?"
"Yes," Mielikka said. "Why?"
"Who saidth so that you became pregnant?" Mathias said.
"Three men, clad in black, came forth to our house and knelt at me, and they said that we will have a beautiful, cunning girl."
Then Mathias, as what Mielikka spoke to him, then caressed her womb and said:
"May the heavens bless this child as she enters this realm."

Hordes of hostile tribes and brigands launched an attack on the city. With thirty three ships and six hundred warriors, the enemy tried to penetrate the hill where the city stood, whilst the defenders, under King Balder and Prince Sorensen, kept a watchful eye over them.

Enemy archers fired their fire tipped arrows against them, whilst the defenders respond by the same manner what the enemy does. Many of the valiant warriors of Ostgard were killed as enemy attacks were intensified; and many people were pressed into the armies of the realm, preparing to defend the town with wooden walls until their last breath.

There Mathias, once a hunter, became a warrior, wielding a sword, donning an armor. And he, with his cunning strength and valour, became leader of one of the regiments preparing to sacrifice their lives outside the city walls. As the enemies advanced through, Mathias ordered archers to fire their arrows with the blow of his horn; and as the archers fired their weapon, many of the invaders killed, but as the enemy continues to penetrate, there Mathias and his men prepared themselves from the shields they've brandished to the swords and spears ready to thrust the bodies of the foe! Prince Sorensen, as he sought the warrior Mathias fighting against the enemy with courage, then came along with his horsemen to join with him; and said:
"I came forth to help you."
"No need to help me." Mathias said. "I can defeat them and I swore to the heavens to offer my life towards them."
"Need not to say it." Prince Sorensen said. "For we need you."

Mielikka, at that time, despite her pregnancy, was helping the sick and wounded warriors in the infirmary along with the monks. The warriors, as they sought her, then gave thanks and at the same time, Mielikka said:
"Need not to say it, despite the pregnancy I have, I am willing to work hard to make you fine."
Then a monk approached her, and said:
"Mielikka, thanks for your help, but you have a child to carry."
And Mielikka, upon hearing the words the monk said, immediately went home. Upon reaching home, she felt the kicks of the child in her womb and thus,
she called for help.

An old lady, upon hearing the voice of the pregnant woman, then came forth and said:
"Is there anything wrong?"
"Yes." Mielikka said. "Help me."
Then the old lady immediately called a young girl to assist, then prepared a bowl of water as well as helped Mielikka in her labor. Mathias remained in the field, fighting as Mielikka felt the pain while releasng the newborn child from the womb she carried; the old lady as well as her assistant tried to help her as she continuously said:
And Mielikka tried to push hard until the newly born child came out of the hidden realm, looking at the outside world for the first time. The old lady, as she sought the newborn child, thus said to Mielikka:
"Thanks god! You have a beautiful baby girl!"
Mielikka then smiled as the old lady handed over the infant girl to her. At the same time, Mathias and his men continued fighting against the hordes of invaders outside the palace walls. Fighting until Mathias casted his last blow of his horn, calling for a retreat.

Many of his men were killed as the remaining ones retreated to the city walls. Archers continued firing till the last arrow fired against the enemy, and Mathias, as he reached the doors, then stared at the wounded warriors trying to reach; there he called some to help the wounded and the fallen, only to end up the valiant warrior wounded in the thigh.

Many people found Mathias wounded in the thigh, and with the help of the monks and some of the surviving warriors they immediately sent him to the infirmary to have his wounds cleansed and healed; however, Mathias tried to stand up despite the monk's objection, and he said:
"I need to go back home father."
"No my son!" The monk said. "You need to stay here."
"How about Mielikka? My love?" Mathias said.
"She's in good hands." The monk said.
And Mathias replied:
"But... she's pregnant, and I need to go home for her."
The monk thinked for a while, and he replied:
"As you wish, but I will send some of our monks to assist you."
"No need." Mathias said.
But despite his opposition, the monk still send two of his men to assist him back home. And as he reached home, he sought the old lady, along with her assistant, helping Mielikka with the newborn child; and thus,

Mathias, despite the pain, walked briskly towards his loved wife, and Mielikka handed over the newborn girl to him. There he cuddled and said to the people around as its witness:
"In honour of this child, born in midst of the battlefield, I will name this beloved one as Katleah."
Then the monks immediately knelt in prayer as Mathias carried the child and Mielikka looked at her husband carrying.


After Katleah's birth, Prince Sorensen as well as the monks gave gifts to the infant daughter of Mathias and Mielikka. There they gave silverware, sandalwood incense and fine wool for the newborn maiden, the prince, as he offered the gifts to the infant one, then said to Mathias:
"An honour to your daughter."
"Thanks." Mathias said. "She's born from the battlefield."
And Prince Sorensen replied:
"How nice is she."

Outside, fighting ensured as the enemy still tries to penetrate Ostgard and its walls; many defenders tried to defend it and at the same time, monks and laymen inside were praying in the church; and with candles lit and incense raise its fumes and its sweet smell, all of them were praying for their redemption against the enemy:

"Saint Charmel beloved thou heavenly one,
Your hand you hath offered brings us freedom;
Our happiness and joy, our love and our strength,
Redeem us oh your people as you cherish.

Thou heavenly maiden, thou gift of god,
Repent us your people from our sin;
With your rose in hand gives us strength from within,
Whilst your face brings mercy and hope now coming.

Help us as the voices of people now call,
Through our prayer now solemnly saying;
Let our enemies bring to hell and its flames,
And the souls of our fallen in heaven's bliss!"

Praying ensured as the defenders of Ostgard continues to strike many times against the invader, until a strange noise in its surrounding fields now redeemed the lives of the defenders; as warriors coming from the heavens now strike at the invading brigands from its camps, setting fire and at the same time bringing death on their path. Many people inside Ostgard were rejoiced as their prayers then fulfilled; and at the same time, the enemy, now in Ostgard's doors, finally fled away as their men died.

Mathias, as he carried his infant daughter, simply smiled at the young one and spoke:
"I hope you will be beautiful and strong; for you are born of this battlefield."
At the same time,
Shieldmaidens, clad in black then appeared and blessed her; the Shieldmaiden Vanadia spoke as she carried her:
"How lovely is your face,
how passion is your strength;
how sweet is this maiden,
how strong as she will."


Years passed, Katleah became a young girl, and despite being a girl; she was often joined by her father to join hunting, with a bow and arrow in hand and the sword on other; there she hunted several beasts roaming around the forest like wolves, bears and boars for its fine fur and meat. Until one day...

During a hunt along with her father in the same woods, groups of brigands sought the two, made a surprise and fought with them. There the valiant knight Mathias, her father fought hard as they end up cornered by the brigands in the woods, and so was his daughter Katleah; as she, with her sword in hand eagerly slashed the enemy one by one. Blood from these lowlives now emerged from their worthless corpses, flowing to the barren soil of the woods as fighting continue.

But as Mathias and Katleah continued fighting against the brigands, the knight Mathias Tostensson, with all of his strength fighting against the ones who surprised and dealt, end up wounded and finally killed by the brigands with spears being thrusted in his body. Katleah, as she sought her father being killed; rose its rage and killed the rest of them like a wolf setting its revenge; mauling them until their blood spurt on her clothes and on her face.

After killing them, Katleah sought her father lying, there she wept continuously as his body now lie in her knees. And as she went home on horseback carrying her father's corpse, many people witnessed and mourned after the valiant knight who defend Ostgard during its defence against the invading enemy; Prince Sorensen, his friend, then stared at him and bowed down in mourning. The monks, as well as the soldiers; as they looked at Mathias's corpse, then fetched the corpse while Katleah assisted them. Mielikka, upon hearing her husband's death in fighting against the brigands in the woods, then wept away in grief.

There the corpse was then cleansed, blessed and interred in the temple, now covered in a shroud and being guarded by the warriors. Many people looked at the corpse and at the same time, red roses were offered to him. Katleah, as well as her mother, Mielikka, wept as they stared at the shroud covering her husband's corpse. And after a day of mourning, Prince Sorensen then approached Katleah and said:
"Will you join us in carrying your father's corpse."
"In memory of my father." Katleah said. "I will."
And she joined with the monks, the warriors, and Prince Sorensen in carrying the corpse of her father towards the burial site. His corpse, covered in shroud, was surrounded by red roses as he was carried by his family and friends leading to his resting place. There prayers were heard, followed by giving full honours to him; Katleah then swore to her father to become a valiant warrior as his corpse were lowered to the burial pit, and despite her mother's objection, she joined with the monks and the warriors in burying him. Songs of mourning were continiously being played all in his memory.

The next day,
Katleah, while praying in the altar as part of their three day mourning, heard something strange. Outside, the sky became dark and many people immediately went to their homes. Mielikka, now old, was playing her harp at that time; playing music she remembered in all of her life. And as Katleah continued praying and hearing strange noises around the altar of her home, there she asked:
"Who are you? Who is calling me?"
Then the spirit announceth:
"I am the spirit of the old monk Ferohar."
"What makes you come into this place?" Katleah said. "Have I done wrong?"
"No." Ferohar said. "I came forth to announeth that,"
"Tell me." Katleah said.
"You will become a knight." Ferohar said. "But you need to evade their objection to achieve what fate hath given to you."
"Why should I become a knight?" Katleah said. "Is this what my father hath said to me?"
And the monk Ferohar replied:
"Your father wanted you to become a knight despite that you are a girl. You were born of the battlefield as what your father and Prince Sorensen said to you, as well as you have the strength, the will, the beauty what the battlefield hath molded you."
"I don't know why." Katleah said.
And Ferohar finally spoke to her:
"But somehow, you will understand."
And he disappeared, Katleah then continued praying after that appearance.


Katleah, was walking to buy something on the bazaar in Ostgard. While walking, she sought fine armor-like jewellery being sold by an old into that place, and as she continued looking it, the old man, who was vending the strange trinkets, then said to her:
"Pay attention to the jewellery usually worn by the girls coming from Türkmen lands; this gupba-tuvulga and the çekelik-bukav protects the neck from attacks with swords, while this gül-aka protects the chest from the slashes of the swords and the points of the spears and arrows. This bracelet, out of silver covers the wrist, and various pieces attached on the front and back of dresses prevent injuries from arrows and spears. And if you wear all of these jewelery being worn by the Türkmen, you will become like a warrior shielded by these jewelery."
Then Katleah asked him:
"How much are these?"
"Three hundred gold Kopecks." The old man said. "If you want, you will buy it for at least two hundred fifty gold kopecks; get it young one, for you are nice upon wearing it."
Katleah was so deeply amazed upon looking it, and she finally bought it for two hundred fifty gold kopecks to the old man. The old man, as received it from the maiden, approached her and asked:
"If you want, take this."
And Katleah, upon receiving it, then asked:
"What is this?"
"These are the keys to the cave where the weapons and armor of the famed warrior Görogly hidden."
"Where I can find it?" Katleah said.
And the old man whispered the words to her, Katleah accepted it and she finally asked his name:
"What is your name old man?"
"I am Gorkut."
Katleah then bowed to him, and she left away.

At that time,
Ostgard was again invaded, as the brigands and tribes hostile to Ostgard then joined along with the invading Rauklians advancing through the north and in the west; there many of them, from river and land, hath invade the entire realm. Many people were killed as the invaders carry off their loot from their path, women were enslaved, some were raped, whilst the survivors hath fled to the walled towns as the enemy marched around.

Prince Sorensen, now crowned as king, then called forth the rest of the entire warriors again to defend the remaining uninvaded towns, fields as well as the walled city against another onslaught. Katleah, upon hearing it; wanted to join to become a swordswoman; but her mother then objected it:
"Katleah, just stay here! I don't like having you end up like your father!"
"Why did you say so mother?" Katleah said. "Just because I am a lady, joining in a job for men?"
"Just please Katleah!" Mielikka said. "Don't join the war!"
But despite her mother's objection, Katleah joined the rest of the men fighting against the coming invader; wearing with what she had bought from the old man Gorkut, many men, both swordsmen and knights were astonishingly amazed on the maiden's beauty just to become a warrior. One of the noble knights, a Prince whose name is Alen, said to her that:
"Your'e beautiful, but why do you want to become a swordswoman?"
"This is what my will said to me." Katleah said.
"But it seemed improper to you to join in our company." Prince Alen said. "But you are suitable to be a courtesan in the battlefield!"
Along with a laugh.
Katleah, as he sought him laughing, then grabbed him hardly from the hand and said:
"You may call me that sir; but you don't know whom are you talking to!"
Then King Sorensen came, there he appeased the two and asked Katleah:
"What's going wrong Katleah?"
"That man underestimated me." Katleah said.
Prince Alen doesn't speak as what Katleah spoke to the king, then he replied:
"I can't understand that a lady joined in our ranks."
"Alen," King Sorensen said. "That lady you've underestimated is the daughter of the knight Mathias Tostensson."
Then he looked at Katleah and announced:
"Katleah, he is Alen, my son."
Then he looked back at Prince Alen:
"Alen, she is Katleah, daughter of Mathias Tostensson."
The two then bowed together as if nothing happened, and Prince Alen then smiled at her for a while and so was Katleah towards him.

Upon becoming a swordswoman, Katleah, with a fine skill in swordsmanship and archery, became one of the defender of a tower in Ostgard's walls. There she became in-charge of her commandant and used to organize the men with humane, equality and discipline; men, despite that thinking of a female in-charge of the corps as weird, simply obeyed what she hath commanded to; and at the same time, she assisted them in their actions being laid to them.

One day,
She heard three men playing their instruments and singing. There she approached them; these men were shocked at first, but Katleah, upon looking at them, said:
"Why are you scared?"
And one of them replied:
"Um...I thought you will reprimand us."
Katleah then laughed and replied:
"No need, in fact, I like to play."
Then the player handed over his lute to the maiden, and Katleah sat in a chair and played some melodies in it; these men, as they sought their in-charge playing, were amazed since they didn't know that their in-charge also play music. Katleah, as she looked at them, said:
"Join with me! There's no need to worry about."
And the boys joined with her in playing their instruments in the sentry.

While playing, Katleah simply remembered her father through a song he sung during her childhood; tears then flow from her eyes upon playing playing it and sung:

We were born at night, when the she-wolf whelped.
In the morning, as lions roar, we were given our names.
There is no god but god
In eagles' nests, our Mothers nursed us,
To tame a stallion, our Fathers taught us.

We were devoted to our Mothers, to people and the Native land,
And if they will need us - we'll respond courageously,
There is no god but god
We grew up free, together with the mountain eagles,
Difficulties and obstacles we overcame with dignity.

Granite rocks will sooner fuse like lead,
Than we lose our Nobility in life and struggle.
There is no god but god
The Earth will sooner be breached in boiling sun,
Than we appear before the world; losing our honor.

Never will we appear submissive before anyone,
Death or Freedom - we can choose only one way.
There is no god but god
Our sisters cure our wounds by their songs,
The eyes of the beloved arouse us to the feat of arms.

If hunger gets us down - we'll gnaw the roots.
If thirst harasses us - we'll drink the grass dew.
There is no god but god
We were born at night, when the she-wolf whelped.
God, Nation, and the Native land -
We devote ourselves only to their service.

Many warriors were wept upon hearing the song what the swordswoman hath played, and as Katleah continued singing it, more and more warriors in the walls clapped and stomped their feet; for the melodies of what Katleah made from the strum of the guitar as well as her voice was as if remembering their past and the rest of the fallen ones in every battle.

After playing,
Katleah immediately left away from the boys, at the same time; Prince Alen then came forth and approached her, and asked:
"Is there something wrong Katleah?"
"Nothing..." Katleah said. "Nothing."
Then she left away.

While in her room, Katleah simply remembered her father as she looked at the moonlight shining. Outside, wolves were howling aloud that even the crows, ravens, and eagles were flying from their trees in response; and at the same time, enemies, upon marching towards Ostgard, were terrified since these birds signified death to them; but despite being scared from the dark feathered birds, all of them continued marching on its path-leading to the place...Or their graves.

While thinking, and staring at the moonlight shining, Katleah remembered about the old man Gorkut saidth to her; about the arms and armor of the great knight Görogly being hidden in a cave somewhere in the woods near Ostgard. And with the permission of the commandant she served in the garrison, she went to the temple where she prayed. While praying, a monk, wearing black capes approached her and said:
"What are you praying for young lady?"
"Im praying..." Katleah said. "For my father's soul to guide me."
"To guide you?" the monk said. "Well..."
The monk then gave a medallion to her and said:
"Take this young one, for the heavens will help you somehow, you father's soul lives there today, and her can guide and help you."
Katleah, upon accepting it, then replied:
"Thanks your highness."
Then the monk blessed her with a benediction:
"In the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy ghost be upon you."
And Katleah, upon recieving the blessing, bowed.

The next day,
Enemies from the north finally approached Ostgard's wooden walls. With its leader, the merciless Bhuji of the Rauklians called forth the rest of his men, along with his allies to attack; Katleah, as she sought them from her very eyes, blew her horn aloud whilst the warriors in the tower and the walls immediately mobilized from the bottom to the top in pursuit of destroying them with their bows. And as the enemy attacked through its fiercest waves, the maiden, along with others fired their arrows against them one by one; whilst other warriors under Prince Alen's command hath brought them traps of surprises coming from the woods to the hills where some of them pour oil and fire against them in their path. There many of the invaders, despite their attempts to attack were immediately beaten by the enemy, and Bhuji, the leader of his entire forces called for a retreat as more and more of their kind end up slain by the defiance of their enemies inside and around Ostgard.


After the courageous defence against the invading Rauklians, another war hath been set in Ostgard. And king Sorensen, after the actions laid by the swordswoman, hath made Katleah Tostensson as a knight, and with the people, including her mother, Mielikka as the witness, the monks gave her a benediction, whilst the king bestowed upon her the knighthood same as what her father hath made by the king; Many people rejoiced upon assumption given to her as a female knight, a dame sworn to defend Ostgard from the invading enemy, whilst her mother expressed apologies to her and said:
"Im sorry for the times that I offended you. For you are a girl."
"I am a girl." Katleah said. "But not all girls are not as if like yours."

After the event,
Another horde of Rauklians, and its allies attacked Ostgard again, Katleah, as she stared them from the window of the garrison, then blew her horn aloud as a signal for its defenders to defend the entire city from the advancing foe. There many warriors, clad in their chain mail and plates, and with their weapon of choice carried in their hands, awaited them in the garrisons, in each tower and wall of Ostgard-preparing themselves to die fighting.

And as the enemy approaches the walls, Katleah then unleashed her archery skill by firing her arrows from her bow against them. And many Rauklians, as they marched and charged through its walls were killed while others were injured by the arrows released from her and her men's bows; the defenders as they continue staring at their enemies continued firing their arrows until its last shot of it. And many Rauklians and its bandit allies were stunned as they sought some of them were killed, whilst the injured were immediately retreated to their camps; and Katleah, as they sought them trying to retreat, immediately went down from the walls to the gate and with the blow of her horn, she rallied all other warriors to join in their counterattack against them!

The enemy, as they sought the defenders now preparing for their counterattack, tried to assemble as they could; but as they brandished their swords and spears and trying to advance again, the defenders of Ostgard, with Katleah Tostensson as their leader charged directly from the walls like water released from the dam; and with the blow of her horn, the flow became a wave, and more and more enemies, from their attempt to attack, became a retreat; as the warriors of Ostgard were fighting against the enemy, Katleah and her men immediately charge forth and mauled the enemies as if a pack of wolves killing a group of lowlives in the fields. There the maiden, with the sword in hand, thrusted and beheaded the Rauklian swordsmen and its bandit allies as she, herself charged through; her warriors, as they looked at her fighting alone against the hordes of Rauklians, immediately joined with her as their leader continued advancing.

Many Rauklians were terrified as they sought the maiden knight, attacking their warriors in the field alone; there they tried to resist her as much as they could, but Katleah Tostensson, like a berzerker or any wild being, resisted them easily despite the cuts she had from her body; as well as mauling them with the sword and beated them by the shield, her warriors, at the same time charged forth; killing every retreating Rauklians and its bandit allies from the battlefield. There the enemy end up being annihilated, from the hands of what they have called "the wolf of Banaria."


Meanwhile, on the enemy's side,
Bhuji, while having a meeting with other war chiefs, was shocked by the message given to him by the messenger:
"My lord, our men were killed by the defenders of Ostgard!"
"What the hell!" Bhuji said. "And who leads them?"
"A woman..." the messenger said. "A woman clad in armor!"
Bhuji then laughed at the messenger and said:
"A woman? Women used to ran away from us!"
Then the messenger replied:
"Don't laugh my lord, I even see it in my own very eyes!"
"Are you crazy?" Bhuji said. "Give me a proof that their leader is a woman?"
And the other war chieftains nod on what Bhuji said to the messenger. And Bhuji again added:
"If you want, bring a white flag and talk to her! If possible, kill her!"
"Yes my lord." the messenger said.
And the messenger left away, leaving Bhuji and the rest of the war council talking about their plan in an attempt to capture Ostgard from their enemy. Bhuji, as he talked to the other war chieftains, then said:
"And if there is a woman who is fighting against us, we will have her head as a present!"

Katleah, while in her barracks, was praying in the altar of her room, praying silently as he could in the icon of saint Charmel. And as she continue praying, a monk approached her and said:
"How's fighting?"
"Tiring." Katleah said. "But it gives power, it also gives strength, and for at least I defend the weak and the small."
"You are right." the monk said. "For god gave you this action, even though it is weird."
"Yes I know." Katleah said. "My father wanted me to do the same as male persons do, even though I am a girl. But I know what other girls do."
The monk simply nod at her and said:
"You are right, may god bless you and your fight."
"And I will continue fighting as long as it is the people's right." Katleah said.
And the monk left away as Katleah continued praying.

As the guards and some of the sentrymen were sleeping, Katleah rose from her rest and immediately went out of the city in search of finding the armor of the Knight Görogly; there she simply crossed the field to the woods by foot until she sought the cave where the armor of Görogly were hidden; upon entering the cave, Katleah, with an oil lamp in hand, sought nothing but rocks as well as cornered by darkness as she continue crossing it; while crossing, Katleah heard strange voices around, there she respond by saying:
"Who are you!?"
Then the ghost appeared to her and said:
"I am the ghost of the knight Görogly, and I came forth to guide in your journey."
"Journey? Journey for looking for your armor hidden?" Katleah said.
"Yes." Görogly said. "That armor, long hidden for years, needs a new owner; and thus through my servant, he gave you the keys that lead to the place where you will find my armor as well as my weapons."
Katleah then recalled the man who gave the keys, and asked:
"Is Gorkut, the man from the bazaar your servant?"
"Yes." Görogly said. "He is my servant, and he served me with outmost loyalty until I end up killed in the battlefield against the Rauklians under Bhuji."
"Bhuji? The leader of our enemies?" Katleah said. "He wanted to conquer our land!"
"I know." Görogly said. "He wanted to conquer Ostgard and the fields of Banaria, making the people his slaves and sometimes killed according to his will."
"That Bandit!" Katleah said.
And Görogly replied:
"The Rauklians are known for its bandit like nature, and aside from its warrior like strength, these people are known for its nomadic nature and its barbaric appearance."
"And they aligned with other bandits in our land, as well as in the fields where they stayed!" Katleah said.
"I know." Görogly said, "And the people were tired of being occupied and enslaved. Remember the days your father killed while fighting against the bandits in the forests? Remember your father told you about he and your mother escaped from the invading brigands? All of them are Rauklians!"
Katleah simply accepted what the ghost said to her and replied:
"And thus I need to defeat them until the last bandit living in this hell!"
And she opened the door using the keys given to her by the old Gorkut in search of the armor hidden. And as she opened it, she sought an Iron armor plated with electrum as well as a sword and shield out of steel; she was amazed on what she looked at it, and the soul of Görogly then spoke to her:
"All of these are now yours, keep it for this armor once I used comes from heaven."
"And so are the weapons?" Katleah said.
And Görogly replied:

Then Katleah immediately wore the armor given to her, and at the same time carried off the sword and of the shield; and as she done wearing it, she gave thanks to the spirit who once wore the armor given to her, and she immediately left away. upon leaving, Görogly then spoke to Katleah:
"Before you leave, there's a horse awaiting for you."
"Where?" Katleah said.
And Görogly replied:
"Outside the cave, there's a black horse waiting."
Then Katleah bowed at him and left away wearing the new armor given to her as well as carrying the weapons also given. And as she reached outside, a black horse approached her, Katleah then immediately rode in it and returned to Ostgard with the same path she journeyed with; it was early morning then.

Meanwhile, in Ostgard;
Another horde of Rauklians came forth, many warriors were awakened by the bells rung by the monks who seen from the towers of the temple; many of them immediately went to the walls and garrisoned towers as the enemy again approached to the walls of the town. Katleah, as she immediately rode on horseback to Ostgard, sought the enemy trying to attack the town. There she, alone but spirited and in pursuit of defeating the invaders, attacked the advancing foes in the field; the Rauklians, as they sought a lone enemy dressed in a strange armor, were surprised; and despite their resistance against her, they were overwhelmed as most of them were slashed, mauled, or thrusted by the sword of the female knight on horseback. The warriors of Ostgard, and even Prince Alen were amazed as what they sought, and they even think that the knight wearing a strange armor and fighting against the Rauklians are same as what their leader used to. And thus, They immediately helped the warrior in destroying them, as Prince Alen rallied some of his warriors and from the gates, they attacked them.

After the battle, the warriors returned to the walls; and at that time, Prince Alen approached the female knight, and asked:
"Who are you? And why did you helped us?"
Then the female knight raised her helmet, and Prince Alen surprised as he sought his friend, having a long brown flowing hair and said:
"Katleah? Is that you?"
Katleah then replied:
"Its me!"
Then Prince Alen said:
"Why are you wearing that armour? And where have you been?"
"I went to the cave where this armor being hidden." Katleah said. "And this armor I wore was once wore by the knight Görogly, whose spirit wanted me to wore this."
Prince Alen then reprimand her:
"Next time, you need to ask permission from me."
Katleah, upon hearing what the prince said to her, then replied:
"I tried so, but all of you are sleeping!"
"But still," Prince Alen said. "You didn't ask permission!"
And as they continue arguing, Katleah then said to him:
"Then fine! Why I need to have permission from you despite that I am a knight? Or rather say I need to ask permission from you just because I am a girl!?"
Then she left him away, leaving Prince Alen and the rest.

And as she returned to her house, Katleah simply went to her room and sat down in her bed; there she simply reflect herself about her action being taken. At the same time, Mielikka, her mother sought her from the door of her room, and she went though to comfort her. Katleah, as she sought her mother, then asked:
"Is there any problem mom?"
"Nothing." Mielikka said. "I just wanted to comfort you, and I am glad that you returned home after two years of staying in the the city towers and defending the whole city against the enemy."
"Yes I know." Katleah said. "I just wanted to go back home, and I miss you so much!" Along with a kiss in her cheek.
Mielikka then replied with a smile as she comforted her in her room.


The next day,
Katleah, as she returned to the wall tower, simply stared into the window of her room as well as thinking deeply about the battlefield. At that time, Prince Alen, as he looked at her, approached then apologized:
"I'm sorry for what I have said to you."
"Why did you say so?" Katleah asked.
"I don't know." Prince Alen said. "I just can't say about it."
Katleah, as she heard what the prince said, replied:
"If that is your answer, then please, leave me alone!"
"But..." Prince Alen said. "I just can't say it!"
Katleah again spoke:
"Just leave me alone! Or I will leave you instead!"
And she left away, leaving the prince alone in the maiden's room. Prince Alen, didn't respond as the maiden immediately left away from him.

One of Bhuji's messengers, carrying a white flag, went to the walls of Ostgard to meet with King Sorensen. The messenger, as he looked around the entire walled place, sought anything defensive, even the people since they stared at the enemy having a white banner waving in it. And as he entered the palace, and its throne room, King Sorensen, sitting in his throne, stared sternly at him and asked:
"What makes you come here?"
"Our leader wanted to make terms with you." The messenger said.
"And what terms?" King Sorensen asked.
"Paying tribute to him." The messenger said. "As well as having a territory out of your realm."
King Sorensen, upon hearing what the messenger said to him, replied:
"We, the sovereign people of Ostgard cannot pay tribute to any foreign ruler or having our territory be given to someone else, especially to a bandit ruler famous for enslaving and even killing our people!"
The messenger was shocked on what the king said to him, pointed his finger towards him and replied:
"If that's the case, more and more of our warriors will attack this place in no time!"
"And we are prepared to meet for it." King Sorensen said. "We prefer ourselves died in the battle rather than enslaved by the bandits like you!"
And the messenger immediately left away. Meanwhile, Katleah went to the throne room and sought the Rauklian messenger walking towards her; there the messenger, as he looked at her, immediately threw off the white banner and unleashed his dagger towards the female knight. Katleah simply dodged, pushed the enemy away into the floor and at the same time brandished her sword away just to thrust the hostile lowlife trying to resist while lying. King Sorensen was surprised as he looked at her killing the messenger, and said:
"Why did you do this?"
"That messenger wanted to kill me!" Katleah said. "And if possible, even you!"
King Sorensen didn't speak after the maiden spoke to him, and Katleah added:
"But then, we will give to one of their messengers a gift-their head!"
"Then behead that corpse!" King Sorensen said.
And Katleah replied:
"Sure! I will behead him!"

And she behead the corpse of the Rauklian Messenger in front of the king and the entire nobility in the throne room. Blood coming from the enemy's corpse flow continously from its neck, and most of the people who seen were disgust about it. Katleah, after she made her action, then grabbed the head from the hair and spoke to the people around:
"This is the head of our enemies! Guised as an emissary of peace, and waving a white banner; this Rauklian lowlife wanted to kill us after what the king spoke what is against to their wishes! We all know that these bandits wanted to underestimate, to destroy us, and with the banner of peace they wanted to fool with us! Through this head this is an example of our defiance, Through his blood we show what is resistance, and though his corpse we show that no enemy shal't ever conquer us!"


The next day,

Bhuji was at meeting with his chieftains when one of his warriors, carrying a cloth, said:
"Our enemies gave you this."
"Unfold the cloth." Bhuji said.
The warrior then unfold the cloth covering the strange gift by their enemy, until they end up surprised as Bhuji sought his messenger's head, along with a message:
Bhuji, as he read the message, then spoke to the rest:
"If this is what they want, then we will continue attacking them until they end up being killed by our swords!"

And thus,
He immediatley done his armor, and called forth the rest of his forces to attack against Ostgard. And many of his warriors immediately done their armor, brandsihed their spears and swords before marching against them; Bhuji, as he lead his entire army, spoke to his men in an avenging manner:
"This is our revenge! To our fallen ones being killed in every battle against these lowlives!"
And his warriors shouted in response to his words.

Katleah, on horseback, went to the woods in search of fiding a strategic place; upon wandering, she, covered by bushes and trees, sought the enemy marching in the pass towards Ostgard. She even sought their leader leading them on its way along with his chieftains, done in their leather armor and brandished with iron swords and spears with them; she continously looked at them marching, and she immediately rode back to Ostgard where its defenders enjoying their fare ahile others coninously observing the terrain.

Upon entering Ostgard, Katleah blew her horn thrice, and most of the warriors immediately assembled through the walls and towers, as well as opened the gates for her to enter; King Sorensen, as he looked at her going down from her horse, asked:
"Is there anything wrong?"
"Yes." katleah said. "For our enemy is now attacking us again!"
"how many of them?" King Sorensen said.
"Thirty thousand of them." Katleah said. "Carrying spears, swords, bows and arrows."
And King Sorensen asked her again:
"Are there also horsemen?"
"A hundred," Katleah said. "Mostly armed with bows and arrows, as well as armored with leather."
Then King Sorensen, upon knowing the enemy being saidth the female knight, replied:
"Thanks for informing us, for they are now responding to the words you have said yesterday."

And Katleah again blew her horn for its preparation for battle, archers, swordsmen, able-bodied men and women in armor immediately turned the city into a fortress, waiting for the enemy's response; King Sorensen immediately went to the walls to lead his royal guards guarding, and at the same time; Prince Alen also joined with the rest in defending the garrisons near the walls; as well as arming the militia with every weapon from the armory.

While giving them armor and training them, Prince Alen sought Katleah looking at him; there he approached her and said:
"What comes you here?"
Then Katleah replied:
"Why?" Prince Alen said. "Is there anything wrong?"
"Um..." Katleah said. "Nothing, may I help you training them?"
"Sure!" Prince Alen said, along with a sigh.
And Katleah, along with Prince Alen, trained the militia in the square, many of them respond on what they've said to them; and at the same time, giving them time to practise using their weapon as they could; upon training them, Prince Alen, as he sought the maiden helping a young militiaman in his sword, immediately approached her and said:
"Kat, after these, will you go to the garrison?"
"I dunno..." Katleah said. "For I will lead a large group of horsemen and housecarls."

As the entire Ostgard awaits its spproaching enemy in the full moon's glow, the Rauklians, led by Bhuji, now hastily approaches the realm before its proper; there Bhuji sought burned villages, dead people, even dead warriors of his; and as he looked at them, especially to the corpses of his men, he simply passed on and at the same time, swearing revenge and promised to his men not just to occupy Ostgard and enslave its people, but to burn the entire town for good:
"I promise that in front of our fallen ones, we will bring these people sorrow; in front of our men a joyful victory, not just by occupying their territory, but to burn it and leaving no trace!"

As they looked at the walled city distant from their eyes, Bhuji, on horseback, immediately looked through, unsceathed his sword and shouted:
"To Ostgard!"
And many of them respond by shouting, and at the same time, attacking; but then, as they continue approaching its inpregnable walls, their enemies, from the walls and its towers shower fire tipped arrows against them; and many of these advancing lowlives killed by its fatal shot, giving death from its blade and of its flames tipped from its points; for Katleah Tostensson, the so called "Wolf of Banaria" hath started firing them, followed by her men.

But the Rauklians then respond by firing them with arrows, killing its defenders; and at the same time charging forth carrying ladders to besiege the entire walled town. Katleah, as she sought them trying to penetrate and raising the ladders, blew her horn away and hath her men threw rocks against them; many Rauklian lowlives were beaten by the rocks being thrown as they tried to raise the ladders and cross over into the topmost of the walls. Bhuji, as he sought their defiance, was shocked and spoke to the other chieftains:
"Continue attacking Ostgard! Set fire if possible!"
Then many of the Rauklians respond by continous firing of their bows, now tipped with fires in pursuit of burning the wooden walls and its towers where its defenders lie; the defenders respond by taking out with water from the well or pouring sand in it. Katleah, along with Prince Alen, immediately pour water into the flames as the enemy continued firing their arrows against them, assisting the rest in besieging the wooden walls of Ostgard!

And as the besiege of OStgard continues, many of the defenders were killed and others wounded; Katleah immediately blew her horn as she looked at the fallen; and the defenders, in revenge for their fallen men continue firing their arrows, pouring hot tar, and throwing stones against the besiging enemy; But one of them successfuly reached the walls and attacking the defenders while some of them attacked some portions of the city like packs of wolves; the militia, as they looked at them like angry dogs, attacked them in the streets; creating a series of duels and brawls until every one of them end up mauled until their deaths, other Rauklians, upon reaching the walls, carried torches and setting some houses in fire; the defenders then respond by setting out fires with buckets of water from the wells and stopping their advances inside the city with their weapons, as Katleah, the one who sought them, immediately lead his entre men to destroy the ones who set anything to fire.

Many people were terrified as the enemy hath totally penetrated in a single ladder set forth in the walls, many of them ran towards the temple, praying the same prayer being spoken during the first invasion of Ostgard around the entire room now with its windows and doors closed to prevent being occupided by the enemies:

"Saint Charmel beloved thou heavenly one,
Your hand you hath offered brings us freedom;
Our happiness and joy, our love and our strength,
Redeem us oh your people as you cherish.

Thou heavenly maiden, thou gift of god,
Repent us your people from our sin;
With your rose in hand gives us strength from within,
Whilst your face brings mercy and hope now coming.

Help us as the voices of people now call,
Through our prayer now solemnly saying;
Let our enemies bring to hell and its flames,
And the souls of our fallen in heaven's bliss!"

But as they continue praying, the doors of the temple continue knocking as the enemy tries to open it; Katleah, as she sought them trying to open, immediately attacked them alone with her sword raised in her hand; the enemy, as they sought her attacking, then confront as they defend with their sword and axe they carried and torch on the other; and as these lowlives tend to defend themselves against a lone maiden clad in armor carrying a sword and a sheld, these men were stunned as one of them end up slashed and stabbed in the neck by the maiden's sword; and they end up fled away before they end up being beaten by the "wolf of Banaria."

And as the enemy continue penetrating Ostgard, others tend to destroy the gates by a battering ram out of wood; there they continue ramming whilst the defenders poured tar and setting fire in it, and others throwing stones and firing arrows from its bows just to destroy them; as Ostgard, despite of its defences set by Prince Alen and King Sorensen, likely not to withstand the attacks of the Rauklians under Bhuji.


Fire and iron continues to reign as Ostgard continues to be besieged, as the Rauklian king Bhuji, whilst in his camp sought his entire men now advancing by scaling its walls while others tend to destroy the gates by ramming with a heavy log; while King Sorensen of Ostgard tried to defend his entire realm against them, despite the deaths of his men in its defence.

Katleah, after destroying the enemy with her men, immediately went through the tower near the gate and blew her horn three times to raise morale for the entire troops she've led; there the defenders continued throwing stones and setting the ladders on fire as the enemy tries to reach the walls for it; as well as seting the battering ram and its carriers on tar and fire.

And as the battle continues to rage over Ostgard, Bhuji, as he looked at the map of the entire walled realm, then called the cheftains for a last strike against them; upon officiating the meeting, Bhuji, after staring at the map, then spoke to the others:
"We promised that in revenge for our men, being killed in the battle against these infidels, we will perish Ostgard and enslave its people! And now, our men are trying to penetrate its walls and destroy its gate in order to enter its wooden place and set anything on fire, all of these is our revenge against the deaths of our men in the battlefield being set decades ago and of today; their blood hath spoil the enemy's land, and thus will rise the twilight over these lowlives!"

The chieftains, upon hearing it, then raised their swords and cheered. But as they continue rejoicing, a messenger came and spoke to Bhuji:
"Sir, the defenders of Ostgard destroyed the battering ram with fire and tar!"
Bhuji reacted with anger, and spoke to the messenger:
"Then call the others to bring another ram, and at the same time ladders to scale the walls."
"But..." The messenger said. "Most of our men were killed by the enemy; especially the group led by a girl!"
"What!?" Bhuji said. "That girl? Who killed our emissary?"
The other chieftains reacted on what the messenger spoke to him, and one of them called for the destruction of the walls:
"My lord, better to destroy a part of their walls in order to create a hole, likely for our men to enter it."
Bhuji, upon hearing it, then replied:
"Then how? setting fire into it?"
Then the chieftain replied:
"Yes, we must set the walls on fire!"
Bhuji then agreed on what the chieftain said to him; there he spoke to the messenger about the advise, and the messenger left away.

But as the enemy continue to prepare again their action, a rain came forth at night, and at the same time a storm; the enemy, scared of storms, immediately retreated as its roaring sound and the thunder rages over the heavens. There Katleah blew another to annahilate the other retreating ones in the field, by firing with arrows and throwing big stones against them; the enemy, as they continue hearing the roar of the storm, continue to fled away as they could, leaving anything near its walls as well as the corpses of their fallen ones around the field. Bhuji then became terrified as more and more of his men fled away by the roar coming from the heavens; while King Sorensen and the rest of the people were glad since the storm made the enemy fled away, keeping the entire realm free.

The next day,
Katleah, along with King Sorensen and Prince Alen, made a plan to anahilate the enemy in their camp; upon setting it, King Sorensen interrupt her:
"Kat, your plan seemed good, however we have few men to fight against a large army."
"However," Katleah said. "My plan is to have this battle during a fog, there the enemy will be blinded by the fog around the entire place, the worst is that they will be anahilated again by arrows being fired against them; as well as being harassed by me and some of our men in the field."
"But..." Prince Alen said. "The fog takes place for a month, and at the same time, our enemy encamped near Ostgard, what can we do for now? Wait?"
"No." Katleah said. "But I don't believe that the fog takes place next month, therefore I will pray so that the fog will take place-now."
Prince Alen then replied:
"Then do it."

And Katleah, after the meeting, then went to the temple to pray. While praying, a monk then apporached her and asked:
"So you are praying for a fog to come?"
"Yes." Katleah said. "I pray so that the fog from the heavens will come."
"But your prayer..." The monk said "Seemed too unpredictable."
"But still..." Katleah said. "I will continue praying until the heavens accepted my word, and thus through this action being taken, is my plan in order to destroy the enemy now camping near our realm."
The monk didn't speak, and he left away leaving the maiden knight praying.


As Bhuji and his men continued marching forth to Ostgard, a fog came forth from the heavens, creating obstacle to their path. There many of them tried to lit their torches as they could so that they could see each other and march, but as they tried doing it, they didn'nt notice that their enemy charged forth like wolves; as Katleah and the rest of the warriors attacked forth from their positions.

Katleah, as she charged forth on horseback, raised her sword from her hand and immediately behead one of them in the fog covered field. Many of her men rushed like wolves attacking their prey, mauling them with axes and swords from their hands killing every struggling foe as they do; Bhuji, as he sought the his entire men getting killed by the wolf of Banaria's blood stained hands, immediately called for a retreat, but...

As he tried calling his men, Katleah sought him and Bhuji immediately ran away; there Katleah, on horseback chased him until Bhuji fell down. Katleah, as she stopped chasing with her horse, then spoke to him:
"So are you willing to fight with me?"
"Never!" Bhuji said. "I don't fight with a mere woman clad in armour!"
And Katleah replied:
"What makes you say so? Are you coward?"
"I am not coward!" Bhuji said as he tried to stand up. "But I never fight against you!"
But as he sought his entire men being killed by her forces and others ran away, he ran to join with them, only to be chased again by Katleah and eventually, with the sword she raised, thrusted on his back and eventually fell down. There the leader of the Rauklians end up killed by the sword of the swordsmaiden.

Many of her men stopped as the remaining Rauklians retreated away in midst of the fog. Others sought Katleah, still on horseback staring at the enemy leader lying down in the field, little by little, the fog that covers the entire place dissapears. There Katleah carefully went down on horseback, and having Bhuji's corpse behead by the same sword she used in thursting his back.

After the battle, many of the warriors of Ostgard were looking at their fallen comrades in the battlefield. Katleah, as she looked at them, then knelt and spoke a prayer for the souls of the fallen, there she wept and her tears hell down from her weeping eyes to the blood stained soil of the land she've knelt, weeping whilst her men rejoiced after their victory.

Katleah then came to the tent and she sought Prince Alen sitting and drinking Kvass. Alen then said to her:
"Cone here Kat, there's no need to worry about."
And Katleah came to him and sat in a stool Prince Alen immediately set for her; Alen then prepared a glass of Kvass and said:
"Want some Kvass?"
"Sure!" Katleah said. "I always like the rich taste of Kvass."
"Really?" Prince Alen said.
And Katleah replied:
And Prince Alen gave the glass to her, and Katleah, as she sippeed the beverage, then said:
"Tastes good; thanks for the Kvass Alen."
"You're welcome." Prince Alen said. "By the way, how's the battlefield?"
"The battlefield?" Katleah said. "We have routed the enemy in the woods; and we've confiscated their weapons and armor. At the same time, we faced Bhuji and his men in the middle of the fog. There we defeated him as the hail of arrows killed his entire men first, then the remains, including himself end up killed by the rest of our men."
"Good!" Prince Alen said. "And you are liable to lead an order."
"Really?" Katleah said.
And Prince Alen replied:
While drinking, Prince Alen stared at Katleah, and Katleah said:
"Is there any problem towards me?"
Prince Alen then shook his head, and said:
"Oh! Nothing, I just simply stared at your nice looks."
Then Katleah smiled at him and replied:
"Thanks for the compliment."
But Prince Alen, upon hearing what Katleah spoke to him, then replied:
"In fact, I like you, aside from the beauty you carried, you have the sense of concern and of love towards the people."
"Yes." Katleah said. "Through the sword I carry, and from the armor I am wearing, I am showing how I love them-by defending them against the enemy."
"How about having a family?" Prince Alen said.
Then Katleah replied:
"Perhaps, after this battle, then I will have a family then."
"Ok." Prince Alen said. "I respect your answer."
Then Katleah smiled and said:
"Don't worry Alen, by the way, what makes you ask that question?"
"I dunno why." Prince Alen said.
"Perhaps you don't say it for you like me?" Katleah said. "Tell me."
"In fact..." Prince Alen said. "You're right Kat, I like you."
Then Katleah came close to him and said:
"Well... In fact, many men wanted me, but none of them gave something meaningful to me; however, as you came, you show what is meaningful,especially to your actions, you deeds, your ideas imbued."
"For that is what the code says." Prince Alen said. "Honour, Service and Committment."
"You're right." Katleah said. "And you even show it to me."
And Prince Alen then smiled, and as he stared at Katleah, their eyes then focused directly to them; and thus, they kissed.


While praying, the shieldmaiden Vanadia appeared to Katleah and spoke a word of thanks:
"Thanks for having a good job in the battlefield against the Rauklians."
The crusader then smiled and said:
"Always welcome thy shieldmaiden."
Then Vanadia replied:
"Sure! Why not?"
And Katleah said:
"Well... in fact, what makes me a crusader from a lowly swordswoman is the blood wherein my father flows, of the battlescene wherein I was born, and the enemies around us."
"But," Vanadia said. "In fact, there's a hidden power inside yours."
"Where?" Katleah said.
And Vanadia touched her heart and said:
And Katleah replied:
Then Vanadia said:
"Your love of people gave you that kind of strange power, just like your father whose love for people made him a hero for everyone; whose prowess in the battlefield became a scourge for the barbarian invaders."
"But how come my prowess comes from my heart?" Katleah said.
And Vanadia replied:
"Someday you will know."
Then Vanadia gave something to the crusader and said:
"Here, take this."
And Katleah, upon accepting, asked:
"What is this?"
"This is the crown of Banaria."
"Beautiful." Katleah said. "But, I am not a member of the royal family, but how come this crown must hand over to me?"
And thus, Vanadia spoke further the words to her:
"Your father comes from an ancient line of kings in a united land named Banaria. And after centuries of strife, of warring realms and barbarian occupations, Banaria was separated into different realms, kingdoms warring. The ancient line of kings was then never heard after and as if extinct as what the rest of the people think of. Perhaps, you Katleah Tostensson, or rather say Katleah Tostensson of the house of Veid, wolf of Banaria and Crusader of Ostgard, must become the unifier of Banaria and be as its empress."
"I can't understand this." Katleah said.
And Vanadia disappeared, along with the words:
"And someday you will understand what I have said to you."

And Katleah, carrying the crown, didn't speak at all. Prince Alen then came to her room and asked:
"Is there anything wrong?"
"Nothing." Katleah said. "But,"
And Prince Alen replied:
"Tell me."
"A Shieldmaiden appeared to me, then said that I belong to an ancient line of kings of Banaria. I coudn't explain further."
Then as Prince Alen sought Katleah carrying the Imperial Crown of Banaria, he recalled something and said:
"I remember that this entire land was once united and ruled by a royal family known by its fairness, truth, love and strength. But it was long vanished as what they said to me."
"But," Katleah said. "The shieldmaiden told me that my father and I belonged to that ancient line, and I can't understand this kind of thing. Am I look like a princess, a queen?"
"I notice that." Prince Alen said. "As people are cheering at you, hailing you as its defender same as I and my father, they are as if thinking that you are a queen or member of an ancient line vanished long long ago."
"So you also believe in that?" Katleah said. "Of someone who will unify Banaria with Ostgard under one crown?"
"Sure." Prince Alen said, "If you are the one who will be as heiress to that throne."
"How?" Katleah said.
Then Prince Alen knelt and offered to her something special, and said:
"Aside from that crown, another gift awaits for you, this time comes from me."
"A ring?" Katleah said.
"Yes." Prince Alen said. "My father is too old, and after him I'll be Ostgard's ruler. But ruling alone may provide something good, but lacks something."
"What?" Katleah said.
"A someone to help in ruling this entire realm," Prince Alen said. "And you can be the one who is suitable to become as what I have said, as confidant, as a partner, as my empress, and lastly as my wife."
Katleah, upon hearing the words Prince Alen said, then replied:
"Sure! But we have a war to finish!"
Then Prince Alen rejoiced while Katleah sought him rejoicing upon accepting his plea to be his wife. But the rejoice stopped as the messenger came to the two and said:
"Milord! Milady! The enemy is approaching further!"
"Good!" Katleah said, call forth the rest and we'll set the plan in action!"


As the war continued, Katleah, being the leader of the entire housecarls and horsemen against the invading Rakulian tribes far north and west, remained valiant as she and her men stubbornly defend the pass leading to Ostgard against them; and with the blow of her horn, her men, with axes and spears in their hands pursued the invader as they tried to defeat them; there weapons clashed, war cries loudened, and bodies slashed as every skirmish being laid on both sides warring.

Upon fighing with them, Katleah, with her sword in hand tries to pursue them one by one and at the same time defending herself through the shield she carried against the enemies who were trying to assault her. There her men immediately helped their leader by hacking them as they could, and as the enemy, despite their near successful actions they had, could'nt penetrate as the female knight, along with her men hacked their men as if like their own; and with the eagerness they had set through against these lowlives, the invaders couldn't resist and they retreated away from the pass they tried to penetrate, leaving Katleah and the rest of the surviving warriors of Ostgard trying to guard the entire place.

While in the camp, Katleah was staring at the moonlight whose rays shining towards her. And with a lute in hand, she simply played melodies what she hath remembered in her heart. Some warriors, upon hearing it, tried to look at her playing a guitar and singing alone; Katleah, as she continued playing and singing, then looked at them watching her and said:
"No need to watch, come and join with me."
And they approached her and join in singing the songs what the lady remembered; some clapped and others stomp their feet as they enjoyed singing the songs what the maiden Katleah Tostensson played and sung. In the wilderness, wolves were howling aloud and at the same time birds were flying from crags and trees in the middle of the night; giving life to the music being played.

After playing, one of the warriors approached her and said:
"We are thankful to lead us in the battlefield against the invaders, as well as the thieves who roamed the entire realm!"
"Thanks for your compliment." Katleah said. "But it is us who must be thankful not me."

Bhuji's successor, Mamai was surprised about the defeat of a thousand men in the mountain pass by a hundered men led by the female knight; there he immediately called off the other war chieftains for a meeting about the incident, and at the same time he called off his messenger who told him about the defeat; the chieftains, as well as the messenger immediately went to the tent of their leader as Mamai awaited them.

And as the meeting commenced, Mamai then asked the messenger:
"Tell me, how many of our warriors killed in the battle in the mountain pass?"
"Two thousand." The messenger said.
"And who lead them?" Mamai asked.
And the messenger replied:
"A woman, clad in armor and brandished with a sword."
"Isn't it the woman who killed our leader?" Mamai asked.
The messenger didn't know what to say, but in fear of what the leader asked him, he replied:
"I don't know about it, but what I think of that maiden is that she lead a few hundred men and at the same time she killed sixty of our men in a skirmish!"
Mamai simply nod on what the messenger said to him, and so were the other chieftains who listened to what the messenger said to them; then Mamai spoke to him:
"Let's see if they rejoice again in their victory!"
However, another messenger, carrying a sack, appeared then said:
"My lord, someone send you this."
Then Mamai replied:
"Open it and show it to us."
The messenger opened it and many of them, including Mamai, were shocked as they sought the head of their former leader. There Mamai screamed and shouted to the messenger:
"Tell me who did this?"
And the messenger replied:
"It is the wolf of Banaria who did this."
"The same woman who is clad in armor and brandished with a sword?" Mamai said. "This is insanity! Why amongst the strongest people my father hath beaten only to end up killed by a woman?"
The elders who were with him seemed questioned about it, and one of them said:
"My lord Mamai, what shall you do?"
"I don't know how." Mamai said. "But I still wanted to get rid of that maiden in order to attack their kingdom!"


Many people rejoiced as Prince Alen, Katleah, and the rest of the warriors returned to Ostgard after defeating Bhuji and the Rauklian invaders. There rose petals were showered and at the same time flags were waved as people knew about the victory given to them by the defenders. King Sorensen, as he stood up on the gate of his palace with his retinue, became happy as he sought his son, and the rest of the warriors returned safe. There the prince and the swordsmaiden He even gave thanks to Katleah for the honour she've given to them.

As Katleah sought her mother with King Sorensen, she immediately approached the king and knelt; there the king simply blessed her and said:
"Thanks for saving Ostgard against the invading Rauklians and its barbarian allies."
"I simply swore myself to do this." Katleah said.
Then Katleah's mother also gave thanks to her daughter and said:
"At first, I was worried for you are a girl; but then you tried to act like your father."
"Yes." Katleah said. "I wanted to become a warrior, to become a crusader to fight against the barbarians, the Rauklians, and to conquer the rest of Banaria for Ostgard!"
Then the king, upon hearing what the maiden warrior said, then replied:
"Sounds courageous Katleah! Why not?"
"Me?" Katleah said. "To lead a thousand men to deal against them? Sure I will!"
And on outside,
Wine, merry and song became rampant around Ostgard. There every knight and warrior drank lots of mead and eating roasted meat; others tend to eat bread and drink Smiten from the boiling samovar. Katleah also enjoyed their company by drinking lots of mead same as Prince Alen, and staring at the midnight moon glowing along with the stars in the middle of the night, giving life to a scene wherein the campfire continues its full fiery glow.

The next day,
Katleah went to the court of the King. There she sought Prince Alen and the rest of the retinue looking and said to her:
"Seems that you are still wearing that armor."
"Yes." Katleah said. "For every knight must wear its armour with pride, especially in this unending battlefield against the barbaric Rauklians spreading all over Banaria!"
Then she immediately approached and knelt to the king. The king seemingly stared at her bowing and said:
"Your plea will be fulfilled."

The rest of the retinue were shocked as the king accepted the maiden's plea. There the nobles were thinking badly about her, and some tend to create an outrage by simply saying that she's a girl and she's unfit to lead a battlefield. But then, Katleah, as she heard the voices of the nobles opposing, then replied:
"How about you? All of you are sipping tea, collecting money from those who are deserved, then waiting to die in this holy battle? Aren't all of you nobles suppose to be warriorlike? To be servants serving the ones who were in distress? An inspiration to many and to be a part of a society? How come you oppose me as a girl whilst all of you are sitting and not wearing armor?"
Then one of the nobility replied:
"But then, you are look too childlike to lead a thousand men, and even you wear an armour for sure you can't defeat the invaders most of the time!"
"How come you say it?" Katleah said. "Have you experienced getting beaten in a battlefield, rising up then respond to their action in pursuit of victory?"
"I don't know what are you saying." The noble said. "What I am telling is that you are a girl and girls must not join in the battlefield!"
"Are you sure?" Katleah said. "How come Saint Berglend? Saint Charmel? These two are both women and warriors, of wearing their armour, fighting the foe and at the same time being a loving mother and a wife to their husband; then you will say that girls are unfit to join in a fight!?"
The king was quite impressed on what Katleah said to the noble, then said:
"Well... Just like her father, also a warrior, she wants to fight and lead while at the same time being beautiful as what the men see as her."
Then Prince Alen added:
"That was also what I am thinking of."


After the approval of the king, bells toil all over Ostgard as Katleah called forth every warrior for a meet. There more and more of them came into the palace, and the Wolf of Banaria, done in armour once worn by Gorogly, then spoke to them as an introduction to the battle:
"All of us are thinking of revenge against the Rauklians and the rest of the barbarians for attacking our homeland and nearly ransacking it; we are also thinking the past wherein some of our people are being killed or being enslaved by these same people who invaded us, and yet we continue fighting in order to keep or Orstgard as if a lady to be honoured, we've killed Bhuji and hos forces, we've defended the pass against the invaders or even attacked their camps unexpectedly; but how come the enemy continues to invade us despite having their leader killed? Perhaps after praying and meditation the heavens commanded us to invade the Rauklian realm and its barbarian allies all over Banaria and be cleansed off from their filth, from their barbarism, from their tyrrany!"
And the rest of the warriors shouted and raised their spear, axe, and sword in a victorious manner.

Katleah then assembled more knights, housecarls, warriors all over Ostgard and as what most expect, setting a long march to conquer Rauklian Banaria and its barbarian tributaries who tried to attack Ostgard many times. There they marched through, carrying the banner of Black and Yellow and singing hymns attributed to Saint Charmel; there the female crusader, along with Prince Alen and the rest of the holy knights marched to end the barbarian wrath led by teh Rauklians all over Banaria.

But as they continue marching towards the Rauklian realms in Banaria, three hundred Rauklian warriors surprised them on its way; there Katleah with the blow of her horn ordered them to resist in order, as the Rauklians tried much to subdue them against a well organized warriors from Ostgard, and ordering them to make a foulkon position-having their shields at the sides, presenting a shieldwall to protect against them while allowing their spears on the other hand thrusting on the attacking foe; there the Rauklians felt the fatal thrusts of the spears as the warriors tend to protect the entire flank while at the same time subduing them.
And as the battle continues in the pass, Kalteah then resounded the horn and ordering them to counter their attack as the housecarls and swordsmen advanced through to kill the rest of the Rauklians trying to attack; there they hacked the lowlives many thimes as they could, until the enemy, sensing their fate, retreated-and Katleah as well as the rest tried much to follow their paths until they subdue the last of them.

After the battle, many enemy weapons of some sort were being carried off same as the armours of their foes; and at the same time Katleah set forth a camp for the night. There the warriors started to built up their tents and resting as the sky starts to turn dark. While resting, Katleah sought the moon turned bloody red in a dark sky; and she thought that something will come in the entire battlefield against those who invade, there she immediately went to the altar and pray, praying for another miracle to come.

And as she continue praying, a monk came to her and said:
"How long will you keep on praying in this battlefield?"
"Just for now." Katleah said.
And the monk replied:
"For another miracle to come." Katleah said.
"And what kind of miracle do you want to to expect?" The monk said. "A shower of hail against the Raukians? A two-week darkness?"
"No." Katleah said. "But a safer journey home after the battle."
"Sounds good." The monk said. "May I join in your prayers?"
"Sure!" Katleah said.
And the monk joined with her in praying.

Prince Shuar, son of Mamai of the Rauklians, was surprised as thousands coming from Ostgard were invading the entire realm. There he immediately called forth some of his men uder his command to the fortress of Huambisa whom he called as "impregnable" and "strong to withstand the siege."
But then,
He didn't notice that another outbreak will come amongst them-as Katleah, while in a meeting with Prince Sorensen's war council, pointed at the fortress of Huambisa as a major starting point for the battle; some of the elder members of the war council agreed, others were disagreed due to their conception of the enemy's fortress as impregnable. But Katleah, upon hearing their replies of opposition, then responded:
"How come you call that fortress as just impregnable? We must try much in sieging their ramparts, and destroying their gates and walls in order to make them weak. And secondly, sieging a fortress, whether it is impregnable or what is a part of our battle against them-we'll show how we from Ostgard can destroy a battle ridden foe!"
Then Prince Sorensen, upon hearing what Katleah said, then asked:
"So What shall we do then?"
"Why not thre the fortress with stones?" Katleah said. "Since the purpose of our trebuchets is to smash their walls with stones and pots full of oil and lit with fire coming from us, then we will attack them directly as possible."
"Hm..." Prince Sorensen said. "I still could'nt understand this situation Katleah."
And Katleah replied:
"And perhaps I will make you understand this."

And on the next day,
And as the warriors of Ostgard prepared for the siege of the fortress, Katleah herself mobilized the trebuchets then pointing them at the fortress wherein the enemy stood. The enemy, at that time were on their guard duty and others resting until...

As Katleah rallied the rest of her men with the signal of her horn, more and more came forth and charged against the Rauklian fortress of Huambisa. There the trebuchets started to threw every stone and lit pots full of oil whilst the housecarls are besieging them with their siege towers and ladders, and others tend to breach the gates as the enemy, surprised at the blew of the horn and of the stones and burning pots being thrown, now kept on resisting stubbornly.

And Prince Shuar of the Rauklians, facing the difficulty of being besieged by the revenging foe from Ostgard, tried to call forth his warleaders for a council. He, being arrogant like Mamai and the rest of the Rauklian nobility, tried much in dealing with the foe badly; but then,
As he convene the war council, Prince Shuar sought the rest whose faces are as if beaten, and said:
"What's wrong all of you?"
Then one of the chiefs said:
"We are all being beaten with the wolf of Banaria and her men!"
Then Prince Shuar said:
"What's wrong in having our men being killed while defending thir fortress?"
And another chief replied:
"Imagine? They threw us with stones and jars filled with oil and set into fire while others are breaching the gates of of our fortress? We are too weak in dealing with them!"
"Weak?" Prince Shuar said. "Or all of you are scared just because they are bigger than us?"

The rest of the warleaders didn't speak as the prince replied them badly against them, as more and more Rauklians are being killed by hail of stones and arrows coming from Ostgard; as Katleah joined the rest in breaching the gate in order for the rest to enter. Blood flows continuously from both ally and foe as the besiege grew strong.

And after every ramming, the gates were breached; allowing warriors to enter. There Katleah, again with the signal of her horn made the housecarl and swordsman increasingly enter and harassing Rauklian on its defences. Katleah then took part in thrusting, slashing every stubborn foe until...
She's been called by Prince Shuar for a fight as he said:
"Wolf of Banaria! If you are really a devouring wolf, then fight me!"
"Sure!" Katleah said.
And the two started to fight. There Katleah, with her skilled expertise in striking made Prince Shuar being beaten while Prince Shuar tend to beat Katleah by roping off through his boledora; there the crusader fell down and the Prince immediately approached her and said:
"This time, wolf of Banaria will be dead!"
Katleah immediately cut off the boledora being entangled in her feet through her hidden dagger; then ran to get her sword back and said:
"But not for now!"
And the two continued clashing their swords as the battle rages inside the fortress. There the crusader kept on beating until she able to cut off the Prince's hand then thrusted in his chest. There Prince Shuar felt the pain coming from the thrust and said:
"How come you killed me? Is this the fate of the gods?"
And he fell down.

The fortress of Huambisa then fell down as the enemy end up being killed or taken as prisoners. Fire raged in every building were been able to put down, and Katleah ordered the entire fortress under their possession, raising the banner of Ostgard and rebuilding every destroyed edifice around it; while the corpses of the enemies were rather being burned into the raging flames instead of burying it, for hell awaits them.

Mamai, the lord of the Rauklians was staring at the map as one of his servants came then said:
"My majesty, your son, Prince Shuar was killed by the wolf of Banaria in the fortress of Huambisa!"
"What?!" Mamai said. "My son? Being killed by a lady?"
"Yes!" The servant said.
"How come a lady, done in armour killed my father, then my son, same as the rest of my men, and of my allies in a vast battlefield?
How come a lady, despite her status, know how to deal with us with a sword, axe and spear?
How come a lady, whose style must be for beauty end up leading in a place of gore?"
"I don't know." The servant said. "But some said that she's a berzerker in fighting against us."
And Mamai, upon hearing what the servant saying that Katleah, the wolf of Banaria is a berzerk-like warrior, sensed something badly and said:
"If these people, especially that lady wanted a real battlefield, then we will unleash the real us! Mobilize our men and we will show these people who's greater! I need her head placed on a pike!"

And thus,
The rest of the Rauklian kingdom in Banaria became a fortress, and along with its barbarian allies trying to prepared for the coming wrath after the fall of the fortress Huambisa and the death of Mamai's kind. Katleah, while staying in the conquered fortress, kept on meditating and praying as she could-trying to invoke the heavens to end the battle.


As the tide of war swept over Banaria after the capture of the fortress, every town and fort were being conquered by the sword of Ostgard as its warriors marched through after every victory against the Rauklians. There slaves were redeemed, food were distributed amongst the hungry, the ill were immediately treated, and justice restored as most of the cruel masters were end up being pointed by the accused and end up behead by the sword. Foundries strike many times to create swords and spears whilst the farms give off its food for the ones fighting.

But despite the victories, the remains of the Rauklian realm and its barbarian allies are trying hard to face the conquering foe, as Mamai and the rest of his stubbornly strong warriors tried much to defend their kingdom and its tributaries despite having their towns captured by their enemies.

And since the enemy started its last full war aganst Ostgard, Katleah, whilst staring at the map and organizing along with Prince Alen and the rest of the retinue, was called by a messenger and said:
"Milady! The Rauklians are now starting to counterattack against us!"
"Really?" Katleah said.
"Yes!" The messenger said. "They are now trying to organize and leading straight against us!"
And Katleah replied:
"And who is their leader?"
"Milady," The messenger said. "The Rauklian king, Mamai who is now leading the battle against us."
"Oh!" Katleah said. "The son of the late king being killed by my sword? Let him be! For sure their blood will swept all over their realm in exchange for their year of oppression laid against us! Go and call the rest of our men to prepare for battle!"
Then she continued planning along with Prince Alen and the rest. The Prince, whilst planning along with the maiden crusader, asked:
"How come you said it to the messenger?"
Then Katleah replied:
"Remember, these people are trying to underestimate us despite being defeated in every battlefield. They are the ones not us who started this mess, and thus in exchange to their massive response, we will give them a swift counter."
But Prince Alen didn't understood what Katleah replied to him, and said:
"But, compare to them we are too few and they have barbarian allies too!"
"They may be too many," Katleah said. "But still we will give them a tougher thrust."
"How?" Prince Alen said.
"Why not we act like bandits do?" Katleah said. "Even they're few they know also how to crush many."

And thus,
As Mamai's forces, along with its barbarian allies marched over to stop the growing threat from Ostgard, Katleah called forth the archers to hid in every passes same as the trebuchets to fire stones at the ones marching; gangs of housecarls, swordsmen and lance carrying warriors are readily prepared to face the unknowing foe marching, and so were the woods in order for the knights under Katleah and others by Prince Sorensen to charge through and anahilate Mamai side by side!

And since Mamai and his forces marched over, Katleah simply ordered to remain calm and at the same time setting forth the signal in order for the archers and trebuchets to fire. And with the first signal of her horn goes the archers firing their arrows from the hidden bushes of the cliffs creating a sky of arrows that killed every Rauklian warrior on its path, while the jars filled with oil and set on fire thrown by the trebuchets in the hills gave a fatal decrease over them; that Mamai and the rest of the forces and his allies unexpectedly sought massive deaths of theirs that as if like a curse waiting for them!

With Mamai ordering the rest to retreat, goes the second signal of Katleah's horn making the knights and the rest of the warriors charge through from the forests and starting to harass the Rauklians and its barbarian allies, followed by raising her sword and had Katleah raised her voice aloud to join with the rest of her men:
And with every hack of the axe and sword and the thrust of the points coming from the iron spear coming from the charge lies every deaths that Mamai tried to reassemble the surviving ones; and since he tried so in reassembling the rest of his men, he sought Katleah, riding on horseback and fighting his warriors, only to charge through and said:
"Pick someone your own size!"
"Sure!" Katleah said, along with raising her bloodstained sword in her left hand.

There the two foes started to fight, fighting like wolves in the middle of the battlefield, as Katleah raised her sword giving a swift swing against the Rauklian. Mamai tend to dodge and even raised his sword in order to beat the maiden off-but Katleah raised her shield and blocked off the sword in which Mamai unleashed while giving off a swish of her sword that wound Mamai's arm, but the enemy stubbornly continued fighting against the wolf of Banaria badly.


The battle continues as the Rauklians tried much to defend themselves against the enemy's advance, there the warriors tried much to break off the approaching foulkon under Prince Alen while Katleah's forces harassed the barbarians with axes and swords, shower of arrows give darkness at the late afternoon sky that made the struggling foe end up their fellows fallen.

And as Katleah fought stubbornly against Mamai, she tried to slash the enemy with her sword while Mamai eagerly defend himself through his shield, but as the maiden tried to give her last thrust against him, Mamai immediately blocked off by his shield then forcefully pushed her back that made Katleah fell down and feeling some wounds in every part of her body.

But then, Katleah lying after being beaten and being forcefully pushed back by Mamai, tried to stand up and like an avenging wolf, giving her strength to end Mamai's menace, this time seeing a mace from a fallen, she immediately get it and along with her sword in the other, giving off the foe a beating so many times that the Rauklian kept on resisting badly as he faced Katleah's retaliation; until he got an opportunity to beat her off by giving his sword a slight stab in her elbow, that Katleah, again feeling the pain badly, yet continue fighting despite blood flowing from every wound. There clashing of swords from both sides becomes intensified as the once dirty pass to the once green field becomes red with blood out of the fallen corpses both friend an foe. And since the two continued fighting with Katleah, gone berzerk beating Mamai with her mace on hand and sword on the other despite having wounds, Mamai again tried to push her back despite pain and wound around his body, only to knock with a mace and got a fatal thrust from the chest to the waist by the maiden who noticingly sought him trying to do it.

Thus, Mamai, the leader of the Rauklians end up killed by the cold sword carried by the hand of the crusader-empress of Banaria, and most of the enemy combatants, facing defeat, fled into fear as the warriors of Ostgard However, Katleah, feeling the pain and flowing of blood coming from every battle wound, fell unconsciously in the field. Prince Sorensen, whilst looking for her, finally found the maiden lying and thus cried as he lied down then hath Katleah cradle in him as he continue weeping. Tears fell into the maiden's that made Katleah slightly awake, there the Prince felt some slight movement from the maiden until he sought trying to open her eyes then said:
"Have we won?"
"Yes." Prince Alen said. "We've won the fight."
And Prince Alen then carried off Katleah and said:
"But first, I will bring you to the monastery to treat your wounds."
"But," Katleah said as she sought herself being carried by the Prince, only to give up and accepted what the Prince said to her. There he walked long, passing every corpses of Rauklians, standing warriors, smoke and woods until they sought a monastery.
The monks inside where praying until someone knocked on the monastery door three times and one of them opened. There they've sought the Prince carrying the wounded maiden and said:
"Fathers! Please help treat my friend's wounds!"
Then the monks immediately sent the two in an infirmary where Katleah, and even the Prince's wounds were tended; and a concoction of aloe, olive oil, and other herbs placed in every battle wound in order to heal while Katleah had a good rest inside a holy place.


And since Mamai of the Rauklians end up killed by the sword of Katleah while his men fled away in fear, as more and more revolts against the Rauklian realm started swiftly that costs the downfall of their domination. There the people of Banaria felt being redeemed by the warriors of Ostgard after centuries of being oppressed and as Katleah and the rest marched at Prontera, the once proud capital of Banaria, the maiden crusader, riding on horseback sought every building left unharmed and people rejoicing since they are waiting for a redeemer and unifier of a once proud realm.

Stopping at the church where ancient Barnarian kings were crowned, Katleah went down from her horse and walked inside and knelt near the altar for some prayers. And after praying, she went out and seeing the people rejoicing and enjoying the camaraderie of the Ostgardian liberators, spoke loudly and proudly to be heard:
"We, the people of Ostgard are prouldy liberated all of you from the oppressive hand of the Rauklians and be given real care by our men.
I, being a leader of all the forces of Ostgard is not a member of the Ostgard's royal family, but rather a warrior coming from the line of kings of your beloved land. And I am willing to accept your plea to be your empress."
Then one of the people said:
"And who are you then?"
And Katleah announceth herself:
"I am Katleah Tostensson of Veid, descendant of King Wawel and daughter of Mathias."
"King Wawel?" Another person said. "The King who unified Banaria and the one who redeemed the slaves through his decree?"
"Yes." Katleah said, and carrying the box where the crown of Banaria kept, then said:
"Here's the box where the crown of Banaria is placed, and this is also the proof that this crown is kept by one of the house of Tostensson's bloodline who promised to unify all the peoples under one crown."
The people agreed on what Katleah said to them, and Prince Alen also spoke to the rest:
"Yes, and I am willing to join with her in unifying the kingdom. I do belong to the royal family of Ostgard, son of King Sorensen whose friend is your liberator's father, and with Katleah we are willing to forge unity with your kingdom!"

Then Katleah and Prince Alen raised their hand signifying unity of the two kingdoms while the people rejoiced as they finally met the descendant of King Wawel who is willing to become its ruler. However, after the speech, a messenger came to see Prince Alen, and said:
"His majesty, i'm sorry but..."
"What?" Prince Alen said. "Tell me."
And the messenger replied:
"Your father, King Sorensen is dying, you need to return."
And the Prince felt deep saddness upon hearing what the messenger said to him, and Katleah said to the Prince:
"I'm sorry Alen, you may return to your homeland to return and stay with your father whom helped me in this struggle."
"Thanks." Prince Alen said.
And the Prince rode off along with some of his men towards Ostgard where the people continued praying for the dying king, leaving Katleah and her men to rebuild Banaria from the ashes of its dreaded past.

And as Prince Sorensen returned to Ostgard immediately from Prontera, he went through the king's room where he found his father lying in a sick bed along with the monks and his retinue, there he approached then knelt towards him, and King Sorensen said:
"How is my dear son?"
"I am fine." Prince Alen said.
"How about Katleah?" King Sorensen said. "Where is she?"
"She is now with her people," Prince Alen said. "She is now ruling over Banaria after defeating our enemy."
"Good." King Sorensen said. "I remember my friend, her father Mathias, who even swore that he wanted to recapture Banaria from the Rauklians."
"Yes." Prince Alen said. "And for sure his daughter continued what he's saying to you."
"I know." King Sorensen said. "And for sure she'll rule it with love."
And Prince Sorensen nod as what the King said to him, then staring at the people around him, King Sorensen, in his last dying voice then said to the rest:
As I feel death coming over me, I am leaving this entire realm experiencing much of blood and iron after every battlefield. And since our victory costs death both here and the rest of the battlefields being passed, I notice that more and more of our people sacrificed themselves, their time and bodies to end this battle from both foundry and farm to the fields where our warriors felt the pain from every stab and thrust from the enemy, same as what they are fighting against.
And if I die, perhaps this would give me a time for peace, and I will leave to you the crown, the throne, and perhaps even this entire realm and the people who enjoyed living with dignity; but then, I would even like to say that it is better to marry Katleah, for sure that would give a good and lasting peace."
"I will father." Prince Alen said. "I will."
And the King passed away, leaving his retinue mourning and a peal of bells.

After the death and burial of King Sorensen lies the coronation of Prince Alen as Ostgard's new king. And bells around the kingdom peal aloud as the the Prince, wearing black tunic and with a golden cape walked towards the altar where the Archbishop and the rest of the retinue awaits.

Following the ancient tradition, King Alen recited first the profession of faith, an invocation of the Holy Ghost and a litany were intoned as well as the coronation oath in which the Archbishop hath said and he to be repeated:
"I swore to thee as Ostgard's ruler according to the law and to the will of the people, as its defender, and to govern in the sole interest, happiness and glory of the people."
And following this, the emperor then assumed the purple Chlamys, and the crown, carried by one of his retinue was presented to him. There took it and placed it upon his own head. The hymn was then sung as the newly crowned king then faced the rejoicing people, followed by a high mass in commemoration of the coronation.


Months after the conflict, Banaria tried much to recover same as Ostgard from the ravages given by the Rauklian upsurpers, homes were again being rebuilt, slaves being freed were given new lives as freemen, and foundries that forged swords started to forge again, this time forging ploughshares and pruning hooks for the coming harvest.

But, meanwhile,
The boyars, once nobles of the old Rauklian and Banarian gentry tried much to choose their ruler despite having the entire realm being controlled much by Katleah and the council she picked from the peasants. There they tried much not to recognize Katleah, of being a descendant of King-emperor Wawel though Mathias and instead wanting to have one of their nobles, Raswith to be the ruler.

As the plot continued going, the boyars started to convene a Zemsky Sobor in order to talk regarding the throne, but this time with some boyars who are closely aligned with Katleah as the legitimate ruler instead of Raswith; there quarrels started, giving off noises against each other until...

Katleah, accepting an invitation from a boyar went through the meeting-place along with the council of peasants and called fourth some warriors to restore order. But one boyar who was against Katleah and in favor of Raswith, witnessing the maiden along with the rest of her retinue said:
"How come you are still here and insisting that you are a descendant of Wawel? Don't you know that the descendants of Wawel were killed and some spirited away as the Rauklians ruled the entire realm?"
"But," Katleah said. "How come some surviving members of the family tried much to uphold the crown instead of falling over to the enemy? I notice that all of you are acting traitorously to a Banarian whilst coddling with a Rauklian one?"
"Well..." The boyar said. "That is what we the nobility is, trying to restore order with or without the crown, we can even elect a new ruler if we want to."
But Katleah replied:
"Your words are as empty as your soul, perhaps you and your allies aren't restoring order but rather to push every peasant and townspeople into serfdom while having lots of Kopeks in your pockets!?"
The boyars rage with fear after what Katleah said against them, there they started to brandish their daggers and started to attack her, but the boyars allied to her blocked their way and trying to resist as they could inside the chamber. And Katleah, wittnessing the event, called forth the warriors inside and arrested the boyars save ones who accepted her as their ruler.

And on the next day, As Katleah was accepted as Banaria's empress, a ceremony was officiated in the cathedral, as thousands of people witnessed the descendant of the house of Tostensson, wearing a black gown and scarlet red cape, walked towards the altar where the shieldmaiden Vanadia, the retinue of monks as well as the archbishop awaits for the ceremony.
Inside the cathedral, the imperial regalia were laid on the high altar, while Katleah was seated on a low chair nearby. There the royal oath was administered by the archbishop while Katleah followeth:
"I swear to maintain the integrity and unity of the empire, to respect and enforce respect the rights and laws of the people; not to lift any tax except in virtue of the law; to maintain the house of Tostensson and to govern in the sole interest, happiness and glory of the people. So may it be."
And then Katleah knelt.
Two mitered abbots next entered from a side chapel, carrying a mixture of holy oils, with which she was then anointed. Following this, Katleah was handed a sword from Vanadia, which she used to trace a cross in the air. And finally, she was crowned by the Archbishop, assisted by two other bishops, following which she received the orb and scepter. The high mass continued, with the newly-crowned sovereign ruler of Banaria receiving the Holy Communion, then kissing a crucifix and mounting to her throne, with a coronation speech in which she've spoke:
"I notice that all of us are rejoicing to have a legitimate ruler returned to her realm, that all of us are struggling to live in peace after months wherein blood and iron are as if as kings, and now with I as your new empress, will join hand in hand with everyone, of tradesman, artisan and peasant in building a new Banaria from its Rauklian past."
And the rest of the people were clapped and rejoiced as the new empress was proclaimed.

As the people continue rejoicing, Empress Katleah unexpectedly sought King Alen, along with his retinue as well as her mother, wearing a white gown and a diamond diadem witnessing the entire event. There the retinue approached through then King Alen said:
"I am willing to join with you my majesty."
Then Katleah stood up then said:
"Sure I will."
And as she sought her mother, she gave her a warm embrace and kiss in her cheek and said:
"I have fulfilled my father's wishes."
"And so do I." Her mother said.
And she looked upon to the rest and proclaimingly spoke to the people:
"These are also the ones who helped us redeem Banaria. And like us, they are willing to join in creating a new chapter of our history."
Then King Alen added:
"And I am willing to join with her starting with my affirmation to be her husband, for in fact, she, long before as your queen is my friend, my confidant, my ally and my colleague in the entire struggle we pass; and as I spoke my affirmation, I need your approval."

The council of peasants, tradesmen and artisans as well as the boyars agreed on what the King said, while some of the boyars opposed; but since Katleah agreed on what the King of Ostgard, whom he made relationship with her, stopped further opposing as what Katleah said to them:
"I hope you understand. For the King of Ostgard and I are in a relationship, first as a close friend, a confidant, and now willing to accept me as his wife; so why not accept him as you accept me?"

The boyars couldn't speak upon hearing what the empress said, then one of them replied:
That is what I think of you, no need to worry about my majesty."
And Katleah simply nod at the boyars then looked back at King Alen and said:
"No need to worry about Alen, I am willing to be with you."


And on the wedding day, Katleah Tostensson of Veid, this time dressed in a white wedding gown and carrying fresh red roses, marched on the red carpet passing a sword arch coming from the swordsmen whilst Prince Sorensen waits in the altar along with the priest; there the spectators, as they sought the maiden passing, this time felt something different as the maiden they used to see as a crusader, of wearing armor and of male clothing this time wore a gown and becoming a member of the royalty.

And as Katleah reached the altar and herself over to Prince Sorensen, the Priest blessed the both with holy water then followed with prayers, then the two hath exchanged their rings, wearing crowns, veil and cord; and the priest then said:
"Katleah Tostensson of Veid, will you take Alen Delvina of Ostgard as your husband?"
"I do." Katleah said.
"And Alen Delvina of Ostgard," The priest said. "Will you take Katleah Tostensson of Veid as your wife?"
"I do." Prince Alen said.

And finally even had their hands where their rings wore in their fingers then tied together with a cloth while the other, have their fist raised and swore:

“I offer my life to you always
And I will always remember
My love and loyalty to you
Forever and ever.

And I will also offer to god, to country and to my people
Our deepest love, unity, and sympathy,
In spite of sacrifices and hardships we used to be
And thus we promise
Our ambition as couples
Together as one
To the fullest extent of our lives
Forever and ever.”

"And now," The priest said to the witnessess around. "We have witnessed a different era in the history of Ostgard-Banaria, as two crowns united in the name of Tostensson-Delvina, may the heavens bring the couple and the rest good blessing and therefore, Alen, you may kiss the bride."

And finally,
The newly crowned king-emperor Alen kissed his loving wife. And the rest of the witnesses rejoiced as the two crowns united in marriage, as the announcer spoke to the rest:
"Long live the Emperor and Empress of Banaria!"
And the people shouted "long live" as the newly wedded couple witnessed the event with joy.