Chapter 7; Dangers from Within
A fragment from the seventh chapter from the unfinished book, The Life Chronicle of Abedi Terik, the Dragon Emperor by Emil Tark, the head librarian of The Imperial Archive.
One of the most interesting parts of Imperial history is also one of the biggest failures of the Emperor’s reign. I am talking about the Vreban Peninsula War of Independence. For the unaware, this was the first time any part of the Empire had decided it was strong enough to break free and go it alone. Of course, the Emperor wasn’t going to allow that, so he mustered the army and marched down to flatten the uprising. By all accounts, they didn’t have nearly enough manpower to stand against the might of the Imperial forces, so it was going to be a massacre. An example made to all the other parts of the Empire to never stand up to his Imperial Majesty. The forces engaged each other on the Vreban borders and while the rebels fought hard; they were very obviously outmatched. Then it happened. The sky had been clear up until that point, now it turned black as thick dark clouds appeared out of nowhere. The wind picked up, blowing strongly into the imperial forces. People present started to smell something odd in the air and all the hairs on their arms and neck begin to stand up. All of a sudden, lightning started to strike the ground, always hitting within the Imperial army. The wind and lightning got stronger and stronger until the ground was blasted and blackened and the men were blowing around like leaves on the wind. Then a solid wall of wind formed between the two armies, unapproachable from the Imperial side. What we have named the wind wall. A barrier that, despite all the efforts of the Pyronate, we cannot breach. After trying to breach the wall for several days the Imperial army retreated in defeat. The Vreban people had managed to leave the Empire and rebuff attempts to punish them for it. This was something no one else had even dreamed of attempting, let alone managing in a show of magical power that dwarfed anything done previously. This caused years of problems for the Emperor. Other districts demanded concessions or threatened their own declarations of independence. They were banding together to create a council of disgruntled provinces. Alone they could have been quashed easily enough, but with many of them contributing large numbers of men to the imperial army, they couldn’t be discounted. The failed attempt to bring the Vrebans back into the fold had broken many of the Imperial legions to the point where the Emperor felt significantly weakened. He was forced to give in to their demands, to give these irate nations concessions that he would deeply regret. Alleviations of taxes, of goods required to be sent to the capital, of soldiers required from their home regions. When the Vrebans left the Empire, they took more than land and goods from the Emperor. They took his illusion of iron control as well. They showed he could lose and lose hard. The people never forgot this.