Where: The North, Military camp
When: March 28th, 872 RoK
Malia's soldiers were tired, at best.
At worst, the red rim around the eyes of even the biggest men, the fiercest fighters toughened by the harshness of the North, was the result of grief. Those who knew the fate of their friends and relatives in the massacre at King's City, ironically, had the advantage because at least they knew enough to mourn, to channel their pain constructively toward Marcus the Vile, whose associate had been held responsible for the King's death and thus the instability in the land…
But those who had yet no word were torn up, compelled to fight for their Duchess when what they wanted was to either be home to greet their loved ones upon their return or travel to find them.
At least they had food, for now. Malia had made certain to read every book on every famine on Earth and in Eventyr, years ago, now, to best prepare for the worst. The fare was boring, but it kept bellies full and men on their feet.
That wouldn't be enough, though, for the fight that laid ahead, and so the Duchess made her way, on horseback, toward her commanders as the men mobilized, with the Green Duke at her side. After a brief update, including the somber news that their spies had not returned on schedule, Malia nodded, casting her eyes down in a brief moment of mourning respect, and then looked to James for support before she rode forward to address her people.
As the hush fell over the crowd and all eyes turned toward her, Malia searched for words. It was philosopher Thomas Paine who arose first.
"The times have found us," Malia began. The words weighed heavy a moment, then she went on. "Eventyr hovers on the edge of chaos. Fear, uncertainty, and death have knocked on the door of every household in our Kingdom… but it is still our kingdom. It belongs to us - the people - not to pretender queens or to the creatures. Today, we will stand against that chaos; and we stand together. With our countrymen, and our allies."
Casting a smile toward James, Malia reached for his hand and lifted both over their heads between them, to much applause.
"Blasting powder in the hands of our enemies - not unlike creatures on the loose - presents an existential threat," Malia went on, more somberly. "Entire castles," built as fortresses, "can be brought down…"
With a deep breath, Malia continued. "Today, we reclaim power. For the people, and for the nobles who represent them. Any less will allow Eventyr's descent into chaos."
The applause erupted, and Malia basked in it, drawing James forward to share in it, for a long, long moment, before they needed more practical planning.
"Let's find these motherfuckers," Malia said to James, while most of her words were drowned out by cheering, and she smirked, "And eat them alive."