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In the entire region of Baylein, there is not a more legendary, or a more controversial place of higher learning, than the Battle School in Helam.  The school has been training young men for at least fifty years, and Trelon has gained a reputation as both a caring teacher and a vicious punisher.  Young men who decide to attend the school do so with a firm knowledge of their humanity.  They are expected to be both killer and peacekeeper.  Any young man who walks through those gates with too high an opinion of himself, is immediately and permanently shown why arrogance and ego has no place in a soldier.

The first class to graduate did so two weeks early when war broke out between the continent of Astynia and the island nation of Galdin.  All thirty-four graduates were immediately sent to the demilitarized zone on the eastern border of Astynia to act as a security force.  Early in the war, Galdinian military began an attempt to claim the DMZ.  They were pushed back by the Astynians, but there was great cost on both sides.  The Astynians then approached Baylein for military assistance, not in battle, but only as a security force.

It was at the Battle of the Two Lakes where Trelon threw off his mantle of teacher and leader, and became a legend.  Because of him, all thirty-four of his graduates saw fierce battle, but not one was killed.

An hour before dawn on the southern shore of Lake Nord, a lone Galdinian scout approached the edge of the outer encampment and pleaded for an audience with the Astynian commander.  The audience was granted and the Galdinian was allowed into the camp.  This is what he told the Astynian commander.

“I come here on pain of death.  My people do not know I am here.  If you kill me, no one will know.  I only wish to bring you a warning.  I am no traitor.  I did not come here to betray my people.  I only come here to prevent a massacre.

“An hour after dawn, this camp will be invaded by an army that you cannot defend against.  It is an army of creatures so vicious, that many of your men will be unable to face them.  Even my own people are terrified of them.  I do not know what they are or where they come from, but they are terrible.  My king has made a deal with forces beyond his understanding in order to win this war.”

Of course, these words were taken with some apprehension.  None of the Astynians believed this man’s tale, but because they were not stupid, they increased the capabilities of the front lines and prepared for the attack.  When the attack came, their preparations were thrown into the wind.

A fog bank had rolled in and covered the entire lake, extending about a half mile into shore.  When the invading army appeared behind the lines, chaos came with them.  It seemed the creatures were made of fog.  When they attacked, their attacks were brutal.  When they were attacked, their bodies turned to mist.  No man was able to injure them.  They killed the Astynians without mercy.

When it was believed that all was lost, and the Astynians were prepared to surrender, Trelon and his thirty-four boys, no, thirty-four men, approached the melee.  All thirty-five of them, to a man, had decided to no longer sit and watch the massacre.  They decided to do what they had been trained to do–fight.

He split up his little army into three units and sent one of the units east, another west, around the lake, and the third he kept with him.  He and his small company then walked directly into the fog and headed for the center of the conflagration.  As they walked they stayed low and avoided any confrontations with the enemy.  In order for his plan to work, they needed to reach the center of the fog bank without attracting attention to themselves.  As they crept the last few feet into the heart of the darkness, he saw what he had hoped and expected to see, and he was terrified.

There were four robed creatures standing in a circle.  Each creatures right hand was on the left shoulder of the one next to it.  Inside the ring of brown robes was an altar of stone.  Sitting on top of the altar, was a blue globe about three feet wide.  Each of the creatures left hands were resting on the globe.  The creatures were mumbling incoherently, and the globe pulsed with life.

Trelon knew that the four creatures must be killed at precisely the same moment, or the fog and the mist creatures in it would continue to grow.  They split into groups of two and each group slowly crept behind one of the creatures.  When they were in place, they acted as a single, highly polished machine and struck their enemies in unison.  As the four creatures fell to the ground, the blue globe shot a narrow shaft of blue light straight into the air.  This was the signal for the other two units to begin moving into the fog.  Trelon moved to the altar and with a single thrust of his sword, shattered the globe.  The fog immediately began to evaporate, and the Galdinian soldiers were exposed and quickly dispatched by the combined efforts of the Astynians and the young ‘Trelonians’.

Trelon and his little army were hailed as heros and the reputation of Trelon and his battle school became legendary.

 

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