Category: Casual Villainry

Casual Villainry Excerpt – Uprising

The march through the gates of Echor begins. The guards tasked with maintaining order in the outer circle are no threat, by all accounts they’re just slaves who get to act better than everyone else. Shown just enough favor by the upper-class to have a few tomes but only as a symbol of artificially superior status. These people aren’t experienced in using the magic within the pages, they have no need to be against their inferiors who can’t even fight back. Directed by Shiva and Anna, the efficient and coordinated R.U.N.N. unit easily overwhelms these guards of fragile ego while they fumble to get tomes into their hands and argue who owns which of them. 

Anna’s voice calls out the challenge, carried by a sound-amplifying spell which today will scare off more than just birds. “There are two types of people in this settlement; slaves and the people who own slaves. Among you there are some who are in denial, believing themselves to be in a grey-area. Those people are not to be scorned, for they, too, just want to believe that they’re more than just property. By the end of the day, this all changes. There will only be one type of person and no one will be property. All of us will be people, allowed to choose our own paths in life. That is what we, the Rebel Uprising of No-Names, stand for. Years have we spent outside of the shadow of the upper-class, a shadow they call ‘protection’. Just one lie that you’ve been told to keep you complacent. We won’t ask any of you to fight with us, for you condemned we have but one order. To start dreaming again, so that you can finally become yourselves instead of faceless machines of servitude. Remind yourselves of your names, because that’s who you’ll be once we’ve won this war!” 

One of things Adrium learned thanks to her outings with her mother was the range in which her empathy reflection took effect. She is more effected by things that are closer to her and singular subjects she focuses on, though in terms of taking in an atmosphere she can feel up to a fifty-meter radius around her. She attempts to feel out the reaction of the lower-class nearest to the group but it’s difficult through the unit’s own seriousness and purpose. A feeling not least of all emanating from her mother.  

What Adrium expects to feel is a pensive hope spurred by the first light these lower-class have likely ever seen. From what she can tell, this outer ring is used for training new slaves who are intended to either die or move into the city once they’re deemed ready to serve. There should be a spirit of rebellious youth yet flickering but no such feeling reaches Adrium’s body. The despair outside of the unit is thick, built-up with generation after generation of inevitability. The young people here have inherited both feeling and fate from their slave parents and senile instructors. Adrium realizes in an instant why so few ended up joining the uprising despite years of efforts. It isn’t just a case of saving people physically, it’s a case of finding those whose ambitions weren’t snuffed out when they were birthed from their mother’s womb into a pool of mud. 

Adrium pulls herself back from the hopelessness and turns to her mother. “Feels like there won’t be anyone joining us.” 

“That’s for the best,” Cyrilla answers, “They aren’t trained like us, physically, mentally or magically. They’re starved and without any tome training, bringing them along would be as using corpses as shields. We want these people to survive to see the new day.”  

Adrium ponders at this, she is certain that victory will come though she wonders if these lower-class will know what to do with freedom. If you let an animal that was bred to be livestock roam free then it will not celebrate, it will be directionless and struggle to survive. These people only know the immoral guidance promised to them by the upper-class, it isn’t a certainty that they’ll even be able to function without a solid leadership. Anna most likely won’t live long enough to establish herself as a new beacon, Cyrilla is more a solider than a ruler and Shiva has her own flaws, which just leaves- 

“We’re entering the inner-circle!” Shiva’s voice intrudes on Adrium’s contemplation. “Don’t let this first victory make you overconfident, the upper-class are unfortunately a lot more capable than the suck-ups out here. We have to strike hard and take out as many as possible before they realize we’re a real threat. We have no time to waste, for the uprising!” 

No casualties have occurred as of yet. The unit, still strong with all its number, gives one last roar as the charge into true war commences. The noise and mess made in the outer ring must have seemed little more than a tantrum of a child to the upper-class, for they have neglected to formulate any type of defence in response. Such is the nature of the upper-class, they don’t realize what’s upon them until it’s them getting injured. What they first believe to be a parade, some cutesy act of defiance, only becomes a matter of concern when their rich blood is exposed to unworthy eyes.  

Around 20% of inner-Echor is taken in minutes before the upper-class start offering any true resistance against the uprising. Shields are erected and spells of flame and lightning are thrown rather than just received. The technique of the upper-class becomes obvious with only a moment’s analysis, a raw offensive artillery in an attempt to overwhelm foes that they’re still coded to believe are below them. What they don’t realize is that they’re dealing with a magical phalanx, defence sturdy on all sides. The spears of the uprising take more forms than just flames and lightning, it took more than that to fight the wilderness.  

Shiva calls an order and the collective casts an ice spell which creeps up the various buildings in the surrounding street. Whether it be for the sake of tactical advantage or just to look down on their enemy, the upper-class have been quick to scale to the rooftops. If levitation were a more common spell then they would no doubt go higher, fortunately they’re as bound by gravity as anyone. As the ice reaches the elevated platforms and make it impossible for the upper-class to achieve any proper foothold, they must surely curse that they walk the same earth as the rabble.  

Taking away their physical stability is only the first step. The frozen buildings and the general architecture of inner-Echor are one of the signs of superiority that the upper-class flaunt. They revel in the fact that they have rows of fancy restaurants and jewellery stores and places to indulge in art while those of the outer ring have dirt and the odd barn. That they hesitate to collapse these buildings on the R.U.N.N. unit, despite the tactical advantage of such a move, is another sign of their entitlement to such luxuries.  

The accuracy of the R.U.N.N. unit’s offensive magic is practically perfect. The lookouts in particular have gone from sniping swooping wakudya and scuttling raider spiders to aiming for people who have rarely ever had to lift a finger. While the upper-class have a grasp of the magic they wield, they make no movements that are difficult to track. The lookouts take advantage of this lack of lateral movement while several of Garv’s unit create the openings they need by cancelling out the upper-class’ barriers. The rest of the unit bar Cyrilla help to maintain the unit’s own barrier. The runner herself, given she has the fastest reaction time of the group, remains on standby until the upper-class inevitably do start aiming for the buildings.  

Surely enough, the upper-class are quick to discard the structures once they serve no use. It isn’t as if they’ll have to dirty their own hands in the rebuilding effort anyways. Though it is frustrating to give up their high perches, these walls make for much easier targets than the R.U.N.N. unit. Explosive combinations of fire and force turn architecture into debris as waves of polished bricks and high-grade splinters come down on the unit from both sides. Cyrilla is moving the moment the street becomes any slimmer, wasting not a moment in casting an earth-shaping spell. New walls are made around the unit and catch the broken buildings out of the air. Uninhibited, the unit marches on, continually pushing back against the steadily rising number of upper class. Their formation yet to be broken, they would only have to outlast their enemy if things continued in this manner.  

There was but one roadblock between the R.U.N.N. unit and that simple win condition. One which soon makes its appearance as the upper-class divide to make way for two men. One young and one old, a duo whose faces Cyrilla has never forgotten. The elder a red-faced, temper-driven man and the younger a boy a couple of years younger than Cyrilla who would not think twice about taking the life of another to better his own. It’s been over sixteen years and the two have matured in a physical sense. White hairs and wrinkles have made their home on the elder while the younger’s features are no longer quite so round. These are the two most powerful men in Echor. Born to the settlement’s high family, the head of the Hakon family and his heir.