The next morning, during breakfast in the Great Hall, Grand Master Yolrond announced that the Griffiths were advancing into the Pale-Reach and were attacking the town of Pittis, and that the Handlirian Order would be needed to help defend the city.

“Good morning, Handlirians. I have some very important news. The Griffiths are attacking our territory in the Pale-Reach, and they have begun by attacking the town of Pittis. Our Order will be needed to defend the Pale-Reach, starting with the town of Pittis. We will need to send a full-fledged force of Handlirian Knights to fight the Griffiths. I am telling you this so you are prepared to fight. The army leaves once I get it coordinated” said Master Yolrond.

After breakfast, Master Yolrond put together an army of Handlirian Squires, including the students which made up the bulk of the Fellowship of the Seals, and Handlirian Knights. The army was headed by Masters Peter, Icarus, Handlirian Knight Lancel and Castilius. The army was medium-sized. They set off for Pittiss the next day.

They arrived in Pittiss in 3 days. The town of Pittiss was a mostly wooden town which had a murky swampy area surrounding it. The town was walled with a wooden palisade, and it had guards. The Handlirian Knights went to the town and reported to the town’s Governor, Boris Tantis.

They went to the Governor’s longhouse in Pittiss and told him that the Griffiths were going to attack his town. Masters Peter and Icarus entered the longhouse, which was wooden in the interior and was lit by a window as well as a few candles.

“Hello, Governor Tantis. I am Master Peter of the Handlirian Order. We have sources that tell us that the Griffiths are going to attack your town, and that your town is helping the rebels in the Pale-Reach. We have arrived to help your town and defend you against the Griffiths” said Master Peter.

“Thank you, Master Peter. It is good that the Handlirian Order cares about us and about the struggles of our peoples in the Pale-Reach. I fear that the Griffiths will attack us. Our town is slightly west of the important city state of Artin, and I fear that the Griffiths will want to attack Artin once they are done here in Pittiss. What do you have in mind?” said Governor Tantis.

“Well, we should start training up your militia now. We should start setting up garrisons in the city walls against the Griffith army. We will have to be ready when the enemy comes” said Castilius.

“I will set up the militia to begin training. Thanks again for your help” said Governor Tantis.

So the Handlirian Order helped train Pittis’ militia in the towns barracks. The barracks was a stone building where the militia trained, and there were mannequins in the outside of the barracks where the militia trained. The militia was made up of mercenaries wearing brown clothes, and of guards wearing white clothes and helmets that covered their faces. The Handlirian Order trained them in fighting and archery.

James and Daniel Canner practiced with the militia. Castilius was teaching the militia to swing their swords, and they were hitting the mannequins with ease. Master Peter and Knight Lancel were teaching the militia to improve their archery. They used bows and arrows to shoot the targets in the mannequins, but some militia members, like Clive, were having trouble hitting the target.

“I just can’t hit it. I’m having trouble hitting the target.” said Clive in frustration.

“Relax and clear your mind. Tell yourself that you can hit your target, and then you will be able to hit it” said Lancel.

Clive did exactly what Lancel told him, and he managed to hit the target better.

“Good job” said Lancel.

The Handlirians duelled members of the militia to help them improve their fighting skills. James Canner duelled Guerin, a militia member. Guerin was about the same age as James. They duelled each other, and in a hard and long fight, James won.

“Good job, James” said Guerin.

The training for the militia took about a week. When training for the militia was finished, Master Icarus, impressed with the militia’s progress, briefed them and the Handlirian army on how they would defend the town of Pittis from the Griffiths.

“The Griffiths will be attacking this town any time now, so we must know how to defend it. The militia archers will be over the palisade wall of the city, while we will have the Handlirian army outside the city to engage the Griffiths. We will also have a sizeable portion of the militia in the town to defend it in case the Griffiths break through. The Handlirians and the militia will fight outside the city. We will flank the Griffith soldiers and attack them. We Handlirians will be versatile with our wide range of talents, and we will use both melee, bows and magic to fight the Griffiths. The front row of the Handlirians will fight in melee with their swords and staffs, while the back rows will use ranged bows and magic against the enemy. We are also here to defend against the high likelihood that there will be Palmorii helping the Griffiths. The militia will follow the same pattern: there will be rows for melee and magic. That is our battle plan” said Icarus.

A few hours later, a militia scout saw an army with silver armor and red clothes approaching from the forest, with a red banner of a griffin on a yellow background. The army was approaching fast, and was being led by the soldiers on cavalry, as well as what appeared to be dark figures with dark cloaks on dark horses with glowing red eyes.

The scout immediately entered Pittis and warned the militia and the Handlirians of the impending army.

“The Griffiths are approaching!” said the scouts.

“Brace yourselves! Remember the battle plan!” said Master Peter.

The militia and the Handlirians immediately followed the battle plan. The militia archers went over the town’s palisade walls, prepared to shoot. A portion of the militia stayed in the wall, prepared to attack if the Griffiths breached the gate. The Handlirian army, led my Masters Icarus, Peter, Knight Lancel and Castilius, left the city gate and went to the murky swamps where the Griffith army was waiting for them in formation. James and Daniel Canner were in the front formation of the formation, along with Alan, while Shay, Lana and Zara were behind the front row in the magic formation.

One of the Palmorii spoke, taunting the Handlirians. “I should have known you Handlirians would show up to defend your traitorous territory. No matter. We will still conquer the Pale-Reach” said the Palmorin.

The Griffith General Donovan, who was on his horse, told the Griffith forces to attack.

“Attack! Show these traitors who really rules Libernia!” yelled General Donovan. The Griffith forces charged at the Handlirian army and the militia.

“Brace yourselves!” said Master Peter to the Handlirians.

The Handlirians in the ranged magic row used magic to raise some water from the marshes, and they hurled the water at the Griffith army. The water disoriented the enemy army, and some soldiers of the enemy was knocked off their horses and fell into the marshes. However, despite this, the Griffith army continued to advance, and the Handlirian and militia army was forced to charge.

“Charge!” yelled Castilius as he led the melee Handlirians to charge at the Griffiths.

James and Daniel Canner charged with the Handlirian melees, and they clashed swords with the melee Griffiths and the Palmorii. James managed to kill some of the Griffith soldiers. Daniel also managed to kill some of the Griffith soldiers. Castilius was on his horse, and he was clashing swords with the Palmorii.

The battle was intense, and the Griffiths were gaining the upper hand, despite the Handlirians and the militia’s best efforts. A few Handlirian Squires and Knights, as well as a large portion of the militia, was getting killed by the superiorly trained Griffith soldiers.

“Stay back, brother! Don’t stay too close to the enemy or you’ll get killed!” said James as he pulled back his brother from the battle.

A Griffith soldier attempted to slash Daniel with his sword, but James blocked the soldier and stabbed him.

Master Icarus clashed magical spells with the Palmorii, who were using a life draining spell. The Palmorin won the clash, and he began to drain Master Icarus’ life, until Knight Lancel intervened and three a knife at the Palmorin.

“Get away from my Master!” yelled Lancel.

“Thanks, Lancel” said Master Icarus as he got back up from the ground.

“No problem, Master” said Lancel

However, the Griffiths were winning the battle, and their superiorly trained army continued to decimate the militia.

“Retreat back to the town!” yelled Castilius.

“Raise up a shield to protect everyone, Handlirians!” yelled Master Peter.

The Handlirians began to raise up a magical shield to protect the army from the Griffiths and the Palmorii while the militia and the Handlirians made their way to the town walls.

When the 2 armies got to the town walls, the archers began to shoot the Griffith army, and they managed to shoot down some of the Griffith soldiers.

“Archers! Shoot!” said Commander Curran of the militia. The archers fired arrows at the Griffith army, and they managed to shoot down some of the Griffith soldiers.

The Griffith army raised up their shields in order to block the impending arrows, and they advanced to the town palisade. The Griffiths tore down the town wall with fire torches, killing most of the archers including Commander Curran. They advanced into the town.

“They’re advancing into the town! Fall back and prepare to defend the town!” said Commander Curran.

The Handlirians and the militia fell back into the town. They were followed by the Griffith forces, who swept into the town, cornered the militia and the Handlirians, and continued to decimate the militia.

“Surrender now! You know you can’t fight any longer! ” said General Donovan.

The Palmorii approached James and Daniel Canner and got off their horses. Daniel and James hurled spells at the Palmorii while hiding in the buildings. The Palmorii blocked the spells with ease

“You know there is nowhere to hide!” said one of the Palmorii. The Palmorii searched the area for James and Daniel, who were hiding. James and Daniel decided to go under the swamp in the middle of the town.

Meanwhile, the town of Pittis was being burned down, as the militia and the Handlirians were being decimated by the Griffith army. The Handlirians were forced to withdraw, and they decided to go to the city of Artin nearby, along with Governor Tantis and his helpers.

“Governor Tantis, we have to retreat!” said Master Icarus.

“Yes. We make our way to Artin now. The Griffiths will want to conquer that area soon, and we must be prepared to defend it” said Governor Tantis.

“Handlirians! We must fall back to Artin!” yelled Master Peter to the Handlirian army.

“Yes, Master!” said James.

The Handlirian army and the militia fell back to Artin, as the Griffiths took control of Pittis.

“The town of Pittis is now ours. The cowardly militia has retreated to Artin” said General Donovan.

“Get someone to govern the town. Meanwhile, I will set up the army for an attack on Artin” said Donovan.

Artin was a city built on a mountain, and the elevation of the city was quite high. The city was walled with stone. It was one of the most important cities in the Pale-Reach.

“Artin is a beautiful city” said Zara as the Handlirians approached the city on their horses.

“Yes. The city glows, just like the mountain it is situated on.” said Lana.

“Artin is known for its horsing industry. They love their horses here” said Castilius.

“We are here. Now let us ride to the city. The city is governed by Lord Eddie.” said Governor Tantis.

The Handlirians and the militia arrived at the gate of Artin, where the city’s guards asked them what they were up to.

“What is your business in Artin?” said the guard.

“We have come to defend your city. The Griffiths are going to attack your city, and you will need help to stop them” said Master Peter.

“We would like to see Lord Eddie” said Master Icarus.

“Very well. Enter the city, and speak with Lord Eddie.” said the guard.

The guards opened the city gate, and the Handlirians and the militia entered. The Handlirians navigated the city’s streets, which rose further up the mountain, and on both sides there were wooden and stone houses. They went past the city’s marketplace and they went to the Lord’s Palace, the highest building in the city, and there they spoke to Prefect Eddie. Governor Tantis also entered the Lord’s Palace.

The Handlirian commanders entered the palace, which was an elegant interior of wood and had a high ceiling. There was a big wooden table in the room where the Lord ate along with his helpers. The Lord, who had balding blond hair and a beard, was wearing elegant red velvet clothes, and sat on his wooden throne in the far wall. The wooden throne was made of an elegant wood, and had turquoise on it.

“Hello, Lord Eddie. My name is Master Icarus, and the others here with me are Master Peter, Castilius, and Knight Lancel. We are leaders of the Handlirian force sent here to combat the Griffiths that will invade and attempt to take your city. We will defend your city with honor.” said Master Icarus. Master Icarus and the other Handlirians bowed to Lord Eddie.

“Thank you, Handlirians. You are a noble order, and I will help you defend my city, as will my militia.” said Lord Eddie.

“Let us set up the city for defence” said Master Icarus.

“The city guard is commanded by Commander Steve, and it is very well trained. The elevation of Artin will also make it difficult for the enemy to take the city. Commander Steve!” said Prefect Eddie.

Commander Steve arrived from the top floor of the palace. Commander Steve wore silver armour, and he was young and had long black hair.

“Commander Steve, the Griffith army is going to attack our city. You must prepare our guard to defend the city.” said Prefect Eddie.

“Yes, my Lord. Are these the noble Handlirians who are going to help us defend the city?” asked Commander Steve.

“Yes. We stand with you always.” said James. The Handlirians bowed to Commander Steve.

“Very noble of you. You’re Prince James Canner, I presume?” said Steve.

“Yes. I am the rightful king of Libernia, since my father, King Roderick, was murdered by the Griffiths. This is my brother, Daniel” said James as he pointed to Daniel.

“We will also stand with you, King James” said Eddie as he bowed to James and Daniel along with Steve and Gary, Eddie’s steward.

“Now let’s go. We have a city’s defence to set up!” said Commander Steve.

The Handlirians began to get ready for the Griffiths inevitable attack on Artin. The city guards set up the archers to defend the city, and the melees to fight the Griffiths.

“James and Daniel Canner, you will be with the melee Handlirians. You will stand outside the city walls waiting for the Griffiths to arrive along with the rest of the Handlirian army” said Master Icarus while coordinating the Handlirian army.

“Yes Master.” said James and Daniel.

“Handlirian ranged fighters, you will be on top of the wall with the archers and Knight Lancel. Hurl the enemy with spells!” said Master Peter.

“Yes, Master Peter!” said the Handlirian ranged fighters, including Adam, Lana and Zara.

Once they were set up, the Handlirian army and the city guard waited for the Griffith army and the Palmorii to arrive in the city.

The enemy army arrived at night with armoured Griffith soldiers, Palmorii on their horses, catapults and battering rams.

“Looks like they really want to take our city” said Commander Steve as he watched with the rest of the army near the city wall.

“That is why we must fight hard to defend it, Commander Steve” said Master Icarus.

In the Griffith army, General Donovan prepared to attack with the Palmorii Inquisitor Vaccitus.

“I sense the Handlirians are here, General Donovan. Good, we will crush them!” said Inquisitor Vaccitus.

“Attack! Show no mercy to the traitors” said General Donovan.

The Griffith soldiers and the Palmorii charged at the Handlirians and the city guards. The Handlirians and the city guards stood their ground as the Griffith soldiers and the Palmorii charged at them.

“Stand your ground!” yelled Master Peter to the Handlirians.

When the Griffith soldiers got to the Handlirians and the city guards, the clashing began. The Palmorii clashed swords with the Handlirians, while the Griffith soldiers clashed swords with the city guard.

The Handlirians had the advantage, as they had archers and mages up on the city walls that shot down the Griffith soldiers.

“Shoot!” said Knight Lancel. The archers shot down several of the Griffith soldiers with great accuracy. The Handlirian mages also killed some enemy soldiers as they hurled fire and shock spells at the Griffith soldiers.

The Handlirians and the city guard appeared to have the upper hand in the battle.

James and Daniel Canner were clashing swords with the Griffith guards, and they managed to kill the guards by using something they didn’t have: magic. When the guards let their guard down during the duel, James hurled an ice spike at the guard, killing him.

Daniel was hurt a bit while fighting the guard, but he forced the guard back with a spell and then killed the guard while he was down on the ground.

Some of the Griffith guards had gotten up on the city walls, and they killed some of the archers. Shay got attacked by one of the guards in the wall, but he used his agility to dodge the guard’s attacks, and then he blocked the guards sword and hit him with the back of his staff, electrocuting the guard and knocking him off the wall.

Lana and Zara used a shield to protect themselves from the arrows of the Griffith soldiers, and they even managed to hurl some of the guard’s spells back at them.

Castilius and Knight Lancel were sword fighting against the Palmorii near the city gate. The Palmorii used dark magic on their swords, and hurled their swords at Castilius and Lancel. However, Castilius and Lancel, being the good fighters that they were, managed to block the Palmorii’s attacks.

Masters Icarus and Peter were also fighting the Palmorii, as they were clashing staffs with Inquisitor Vaccitus. Inquisitor Vaccitus wore a giant bone helmet, with only his mouth being revealed. Masters Icarus and Peter managed to kill 2 of the Palmorii using electrocution spells.

“You are no match for the power of dark magic!” said Inquisitor Vaccitus.

“I don’t think so!” said Master Peter.

Meanwhile, the Griffiths used the distraction of the battle to attack the city using their catapults, and to break open the gate using battering rams.

“Hurl the catapults at the city! And break open the gate with the battering ram!” said General Donovan.

“Yes, General” said one of the Griffith soldiers.

“Catapults!” said a Griffith soldier.

The Griffiths hurled stones at Artin with the catapults. The stones did damage to the houses in the city. The Griffiths also brought the battering ram to the gate. The city guard was too distracted to pay attention to that, until Commander Steve noticed the Griffith army breaking open the city gate.

“They’re hurling catapults and breaking the city gate open! Someone go over there and stop them!” yelled Commander Steve.

James heard Commander Steve, and he went to stop the battering ram from breaking the city gate open.

“Brother!” yelled James.

But it was too late. The battering ram managed to open the gate. However, there were more city guards inside the city gate, and they charged at the Griffiths. The Griffiths continued to lose troops, but they were causing real damage to the city with the catapults.

James was at the city gate, attacking the Griffiths when Master Icarus showed up with his horse with Castilius, Lord Eddie and a troop of Handlirians Squires, including Shay, Alan and Gina and some city guards.

“James! We have to destroy the catapults! If we don’t stop them, we might lose the battle!” said Master Icarus.

“Okay” said James.

Master Icarus grabbed James’ hand, and James got on his horse. They rode for the first catapult. There were 4 catapults.

“Let’s go!” said Castilius.

The troop arrived at the first catapult, where the Griffith troops were waiting for them. There, they destroyed the catapult by slashing it with their swords and hurling fire spells at it.

They also fought the Griffith soldiers on horseback. Even though a few members of the troop were killed, try managed to fend off the Griffith soldiers and move on to the next catapult. They did this for each catapult, managing to destroy them and fend off the guards there. Eventually, all the catapults were destroyed.

Meanwhile, the Griffith soldiers were fighting the city guards in the city streets. A few of the Handlirians were getting wounded and killed, and Knight Lancel was killed.

James and the troop returned to the battle in the city streets, and they surrounded the Griffith army, killing the soldiers until the battle was practically lost for the Griffiths. Masters Icarus and Peter also managed to kill General Donovan and Inquisitor Vaccitus in a clash using his staff.

The Griffith soldiers fled the battle, as well as the Palmorii. The Handlirians had won the hard-fought battle.

“We’ve won the day, Handlirians! Artin has been saved from the wrath of the Griffiths!” said Master Icarus.

“We have defended our city from the Griffiths, city guard. Well done!” said Commander Steve.

“However, victory came at a great cost. We lost several brave Handlirians and city guards today, including Knight Lancel, and Squires Brian, Onell, Cole and Frea. You will be missed, and you will be remembered as martyrs” said Master Peter.

The Handlirians and the city guards saluted the dead, and celebrated their victory with a party at Lord Eddie’s palace.

“Let us drink and savour our victory over the Griffiths this day! As long as we are united, the Griffiths shall never conquer us!” said Lord Eddie as he gave a toast.

“And to the Handlirians, and their Masters Peter, Icarus and Castilius, and Knight Lancel, as well as the true Libernian King James Canner and his brother Daniel!” said Commander Steve.

In the party, they drank hard, and they ate a feast that included pork, chicken and fruits, as well as cake.