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Blaylscith scattered in all directions through puddles of murky, gray water as a battalion of mud-spattered Legionnaires tramped into the bustling encampment.  Straggling behind the main group and panting with over-exertion, a second unit followed closely, but unlike the former, who marched in unison and carried their weapons with strength and purpose; those who followed were ragged and in visible disarray.  Many of these bore scars that stood out in vivid contrast against their pallid complexions and others nursed fresh wounds; a testament to their harrowing existence, which was exemplified when the unit came to a halt and many stragglers stumbled or nearly collapsed out of fatigue.

When the battalion of Demonfey ahead of them stopped, they stamped the ends of their spears into the ground or clapped their swords against shields as they voiced a growling, unified exclamation that echoed along the bleak way and sent shivers of fear through any who heard them.

“Raah!”   These were the Legionnaires of the Realm; fiercely loyal to their Centurion and vicious of nature, not only in battle, but with any who crossed them.  Their uniforms were spattered by the mud of the road, but they were in good repair; made of finely worked leathers treated with oil to repel water, and their weapons were fashioned of exceptionally-wrought steel by skilled Dlalth hands in the forges of Vrasduuhl, the centermost and chief city of the Uunglarda.

In contrast to this disciplined, brutally efficient regiment, those who followed behind were under-nourished, poorly equipped with second-hand, over-utilized weapons, and wore clothing that had been repeatedly patched, were soaked through from the pouring rain and distinctly unclean.  These were Legionnaires who had been forced to undertake their oaths of service after years of harsh punishments and deprivation.  They were the insignificant and the irrelevant; the expendable vanguard who would suffer the greatest number of injuries and fatalities before the highly-trained, ferocious Demonfey ever stepped onto the field of battle.

As icy rain leeched down in heavy torrents, the battalion of Demonfey were rapidly processed and sent off toward the tent where hearty provisions awaited them.  The remaining Legionnaires were left standing in the downpour with little thought to their comfort or the fact that several had fallen out of utter exhaustion.  Lying in the pooling rain, their needs were ignored by those standing round them.  They were all fully cognizant of the fact that any display of compassion would only result in further torment or punishment, but although they were weary beyond measure and, in spite of the fact that some had not eaten for days, they stood in the downpour with grim, mute endurance and waited.

Long after the Legionnaires of the Realm had enjoyed a satisfying meal, one of the Captains returned to those still waiting in the rain, who were now shivering violently from weariness and exposure to the elements.  Compelling them to undergo an inspection, the Captain first released only those who were still able to follow his instructions while he callously ignored those who had fallen or who could no longer force themselves to obey.  Sending the first group off to the provisions tent to scavenge whatever food and drink might remain, the Captain then summoned one of his Lieutenants who carried a barbed lash.  Mercilessly, he stalked through those few who remained hunched against the deluge, handing them the lash and forcing them to beat those who had fallen until they scrabbled, wailing, to their feet.  Only when all the remaining nonessential Legionnaires were once again standing, did the Captain give consent for them to join the others in search of any provisions that might yet remain.

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This is a snippet from book three of the Dark Fey Trilogy, Breaking Into The Light.  It is an unexpected insight into the life of a Dark Fey Legionnaire.  Book three of the series is filled with shifting perspectives as both sides learn to See each other as they truly are, opening the portal trust and, ultimately………

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~Morgan~

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Amazing artwork found on Pinterest.  Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the original Artist(s)