The Call

10 February, 2016

This is based on a story I contributed to in high school. There was a colossally huge planet and this far away outpost was responding to the summons of their leaders. There was also magic involved...
anyway, the idea has been knocking around for a couple of weeks now, I wanted to get it out.

The Exarch stood high on the tower his 15-times-great grandfather had raised, pondering his choices as the twin moons set.

For 18 generations, his family had led a motley collection of outposts of a far-flung empire; it had taken months upon months for their forebears to cross the shifting sands and come to settle here on this river valley. Over 600 years had passed, and in that time, their descendants had thrived. Their towns now stretched far beyond the horizon up and down the valley in the desolate wastes.

In that time, messengers from the capital had come. News had come regularly in the earliest years — although they had never been frequent. Over time though, visitors from the capital to this long-neglected oasis had become more and more rare. Merchants were not yet completely unknown, but the last dispatch from the capital had arrived when his grandfather was still a young man.

Since then, nothing had been heard of the outside world. Until today.

Two bedraggled men on camels had ridden into town, and brought into the palace news of hellspawn and dragon fire. The Emperor was calling for soldiers, for supplies, for everything.

More time passed.

The Exarch remained alone, looking out over his people.

The sun rose.

He turned away and headed toward the stair.

No. He would not risk his people for those who had ignored them for generations.