Guardians of the Lunar Realm:
A Liylian Account of Life and Living to Tell It
A pair of guards looked off the side of the recently restored lookout tower. The first, Tobias, shifted his buckler and sword on his shoulder. The second, a slightly taller, lankier, and paler man named Cory, leaned with his spear against the side of one of the tower’s crenels.
Tobias: “It’s almost time.”
He let out a sigh.
Cory: “You nervous about tonight?”
Tobias: “‘Course I am. We’re stretched pretty thin, what with the shortage of soldiers. But we need those extra resources, and we’re just going to have to risk it at night to meet demands for now. I just hope us in the Schwartz Taskforce’s going to be enough to protect the harvest team out there.”
Cory: “Don’t worry, we’ve got it. Ah, the night watch is here.”
As the new soldiers took their post, Tobias and Cory met with the rest of the Taskforce, as well as the leader of the civilians, an herbalist by the name of Lewis. The last trickle of twilight began to fade as the group lit their torches.
Lewis: “As much as I hate to say, the place we need to head is the woods to the east.”
That’s bad, Cory thought. If it were the plains, we’d still have some visibility, but in the thick of the woods…
The group made quick pace, but it was obvious the villagers weren’t used to the late hours. They were slower, groggy, and had trouble seeing as far as the rested Taskforce could.
The group came to a modest clearing, where the gatherers began pulling herbs and foodstuffs.
Lewis: “These herbs make for a good antiseptic—medical supplies have been thin back in Liyl.”
“Just don’t eat them or you’ll throw up,” another villager added.
Tobias and Cory, meanwhile, separated from the group, scouting in the undergrowth around the clearing. It looked too exposed for their liking—someone could attack at any time.
Cory stopped. “Look,” he whispered.
Tobias saw it. It was a bit farther back, but they saw the orange glow of fire—a camp. “Goblins.”
Cory: “The same clan we squished the chief from?”
Tobias: “Yeah…they’re still not the happiest lot. It’s definitely a raiding band, and I’m seeing archers. We’d better move out of this area soon.”
The villagers were exhausted, so a portion of the soldiers took their loads to help the pack move faster. Much longer, and people would need to be carried. As they wandered through the woods, an eerie mist settled. Noises began to be heard in the distance.
Cory: “Please don’t tell me…”
Tobias: “—Yep. It’s zombies.”
The first corpse sprang from behind a tree, only to be walloped with Tobias’ buckler and roll down a hill. By the next, the group was sprinting full speed towards the outskirts of Liyl.
Cory: “Lewis, get the villagers inside with the provisions! We’ve got this!”
It wasn’t the Schwartz Taskforce’s first escapade—and certainly not the last.