Ignorance Can Be Remedied

by Shinko Hisada (身固之妥) (mirors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/112689.html) Weariness was pretty much a constant state of being on the battlefield. Kale was used to that after a year in the army, and he’d learned to work through it for the most part. But a week’s hard riding through the worst part of the mountains had left him […]


Love Is Blind

by Shinko Hisada (身固之妥) (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/103185.html) “Can you see anything at all, private?” Kale strained until his eyes hurt, and thought maybe he could see the barest hint of movement. “I… I think… flickering, like a candle behind a thick curtain at the end of a long, dark hall.” There was a dismayed noise from […]


Spring Fling

by Shinko Hisada (身固之妥) illustrated by Ravyn (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/86741.html)   The sun was shining, for a change. Jaren soaked up as much of it as he could while riding along the road through the valley, for once not in the shadow of one of the peaks. He wished the Elite uniform were a darker blue […]


Somewhere To Belong

by Shinko Hisada (身固之妥) (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/75200.html) To say that the chaos and noise of the capital city was a little overwhelming to a provincial farm boy was rather like saying that the war with Semaska had gone on a bit too long. Even inside one of the buildings, Kale still felt stifled and half-crushed by […]


Home For The Holidays

by Shinko Hisada (身固之妥) illustrated by marourin (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/70211.html) It was snowing as they approached Kale’s home village, but the fat, lazy flakes that drifted down were a vast improvement over the raging storms they’d encountered in the last two mountain passes. Even Kale was chilled to the bone, and Jaren had been spending magic […]


The Ultimate Sacrifice

by Shinko Hisada (身固之妥) (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/61705.html) To say that the morale of the Istrion Army was at an all-time low would have been a severe understatement. Rumour flew with the speed of wings, and everyone at field headquarters knew that the Semaskans had destroyed every fort and camp from there to the border. And now […]


Vade Retro Satana

by Shinko Hisada (身固之妥) (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/51454.html) It was a beautiful old cathedral, small but lovingly built. The heavy quarried stone walls had withstood the test of time, as had most of the roof. Sadly, most of the stained glass had long since been shattered and the empty holes of the windows had allowed the elements […]


Uneven Odds

by Shinko Hisada (身固之妥) (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/58939.html) The atmosphere in the field headquarters of the Istrion Army was one of barely-controlled chaos. Units drilled on the outskirts, the shouted commands of the sergeants mixing with the dull thud of weapons impacting. Dogs barked and horses whinnied, couriers ran in all directions, and even an entire squad […]


Behind Enemy Lines

by Shinko Hisada (身固之妥) (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/42773.html) There were, Kale reflected, a few things the recruiting officers failed to mention when they were making their pitches to the young men of the towns and villages. They spoke a great deal of honour and glory, heroics and bravery, triumph and victory. Kale had been far from the […]


A Matter of Honour

by Shinko Hisada (身固之妥) (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/39814.html) Sitting beneath a tree and grateful for its shade, Kale took another sip from his water canteen. Unfortunately the road between the port and the capital didn’t follow a river, so they had to ration their water between towns. Playing honour guard was supposed to be a cushy assignment, […]


Officer, or Gentleman?

by Shinko Hisada (身固之妥) illustrated by Ravyn (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/35750.html) There was nothing quite like the celebratory atmosphere of coming back to camp after a successful mission, Kale had discovered. It had been true even when he’d been an army regular, but nobody knew how to celebrate the way the Elite did. He rode in the […]


Abuse of Authority

by Shinko Hisada (身固之妥) illustrated by Ravyn (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/29048.html) In a country that had been almost constantly at war for more than ten years, a commander who could win battles and keep winning them was a treasure more precious than gold or jewels. When he could do it without excessive loss of troops, he was […]


Gypsy Dance

by Shinko Hisada (身固之妥) (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/23818.html) It was an odd feeling for Lady Katherine of Helmsford to slip unnoticed and unremarked through a crowd of her father’s people. Usually they parted for her, bowing or curtseying, but today they treated her like one of them. Which was a good thing, in fact it was exactly […]