The Enkan, Asamai
The Leothite leader stood on the southern edge of the Enkan with his general, looking scornfully through the heat ripples at his opponents.
The thin layer of golden fur covering his torso and arms glistened in the mid-morning sunlight. His flowing mane had been tied back, with a pair of braids dangling to the sides of his face. His beard was a point of vanity, which he always kept neatly trimmed along his strong jawline and groomed to a fine point at his chin. Various leather items adorned him: a thick strap about his neck was adorned with metal plates, his belt supporting a handful of furs and its own metal plate, and decorative wristbands on his right arm. As always, his curved blade was in his right hand.
A villager had alerted him several days earlier of suspicious movement in the desert lands below his kingdom. He laughed off the notion of scouts, knowing that no animal on the Serengi would have the fortitude to challenge him and his pride. In the days after, more had come to warn him. That morning, he had finally relented and come to see for himself.
The Leothite standing next to him spoke, a small measure of attitude in his voice. “You see, King Nemeses. We did not lie to you.”
The approaching force was pitiful. Their numbers would have been lucky to rise above fifty, barely a tenth of the forces he controlled. They stood in the uncomfortable heat, which would continue to increase for some hours yet.
Nemeses remembered the stories of how harsh living conditions were in the Serengi. There were but a handful of oases throughout its vast area, areas that managed to provide a liveable area for any form of life. Those were large enough to support a group of ten Leothites, twenty if they were frugal enough.
That thought brought a sneer to his muzzle, his fangs prominent. Many in his pride had grown plump and complacent, disregarding the stories of epic battles for control of this meagre portion of the desert. Years of ease had made them lazy, with the Enkan itself beginning to show signs of degradation and disrepair.
The tribe’s patriarch spoke. “It has been some time since we crushed their last uprising. I told our warriors to be ruthless, and leave none standing. And yet, here they come again.”
The other looked out upon the field. “The one thing that can be said for the Serengi is that it instils hardiness in its inhabitants.”
Nemeses turned to him, his nose wrinkling as he bared his teeth. “It will not do! They must be eradicated. As long as their kind continues to live, we are at risk.”
The general cowered from his leader’s well-known temper. “I will warn the troops that no mercy is to be shown.”
Nemeses pointed his sword to those camping outside his borders. “I want each of their heads at my cave door by the day’s end. See it done.”
– L –