Monday, December 2, 2013

The War for Manseul

Sel swaggered into the Dragon's Teeth, joining his men in their celebration. "You fought well, today, lads! Long have we struggled against the Army of Lohst at Ahie Gate, but today marked a turning point. We struck the enemy strong and fast, and they ran, whipped, with their tails between their legs! It will be a long time, indeed, before the Pretender's Army dares attack again!" Rousing cheers met his declarations, for all were drunken on their victory and confidence. Indeed, this was a victory to be savored. Long had the Army of Lohst prevailed at Ahie Gate, and terrible was the guilt and wreckage left in that army's path. Perhaps the change had come. With one victory, more could follow, as long as the troops held fast.

"Captain, there's talk of spies in Manseul, creeping in through the gates. Just yesterday, Mie spotted one coming through Iere Gate. He gave chase, but lost him at the market." Maheen reported.

"Hah. Spies. They'll find no welcome here. This is Manseul! We just defeated an army. What spies would be foolish enough to challenge such a city as ours?"

"Sir, something is amiss. There is talk of strange things seen in the backways. Women and children being frightened by terrible creatures."

"Maheen, we can send some troops to investigate tomorrow. This is a day of victory, not fear. Now, return to your post."

Maheen relaxed, striding confidently back to his sector near Fiel Gate. Soon, however, his steps rang out as he charged back to the Dragon's Teeth. "To arms! To arms!" He cried. "The enemy is within!"

Civilians raced, screaming, from the scene of massacre in the streets. "Monsters! Foul beasts in the city!" Gross, misshapen dogs, the size of horses charged after them, determined to break through Mahth Gate and crooked lizards slithered their poisonous tongues, tasting for more innocents to devour.

Alarms were sounded at Iere, Fiel, and Mahth Gates. Troops in the barracks stumbled from their victorious slumber into a dreadful battle. Within and without, the full brunt of Ahngr, Bitdernis, and Jelassi Armies bore down on Manseul. The battle raged through the next days, finally calming as the enemy forces within were subdued. The city was devastated. No celebration marked this tenuous victory.

"Milords," Captain Sel reported, "We were fools. We were so focused on the Army of Lohst, then pleased at our triumph at Ahie Gate, that we failed mark the spies from the Pretender's other armies taking root in Manseul. When they struck, we were utterly unprepared for the severity of their onslaught. Their monsters were nurtured within our gates. Ours. What foulness haunts our city! Even now, we suspect there are many still within the city, biding their time for our next moment of weakness. We must charge those at the gates to be vigilant, and to thoroughly inspect each one allowed through. Regardless, we shall prepare for the next attack. It is not a question of 'if', but of 'when'. Good day, sirs."

Why yes, I did borrow from John Bunyan. (Not Paul Bunyan, though I do tend to mix the two up.) If you recognized the 'vibe' or the 'sense' of John Bunyan's The Holy War, awesome points to you. If not, I highly recommend you read the original story in its entirety. (Be aware, there are 2 parts, just 'cause the battle is won, doesn't mean Diabolus is done.) This was inspired by the war and battles in my own soul, as well as insight from my Heavenly Father. Some of our spiritual battles are obvious, and we know quickly whether we have won or lost, but others are far more insidious. When these battles erupt, they come from the insurgency within us, which is far more frightening and monstrous, because I am my own enemy.

The battle is long, and you are weary, but the armor is light, and the cause will prevail. And someday, we don't know when, we can stop fighting, lay down our arms, and rest for eternity. Fight on, friends. 

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