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Just a short story, not a story hour.


Sorry but I didn't see anywhere else to put this. It's just a short story I wrote while distracted from working on my own rpg.

Even before the agama empire rose to power, the zill were being bred by the agama for use as food and slave labor. Considered a passive species, the zill never thought of resisting, especially when their own soldier caste were used to keep them in line. When the agama fully rose to power, subjugating most of the other species along the way, the position of the zill changed little.

Much like the humans, the zill had a very hard time during the downfall of the agama, finding themselves on the receiving end of the wrath of the agama trying to hold their empire together. Unlike the humans, the zill found themselves on both sides of the revolt, on one side the workers were being mistreated, forced into hard labor and taking part in the revolts. On the other side, soldiers, under orders from their agama commanders trying to squash the revolt and keep the empire together. When the revolt ended with the agama no longer in control the zill found themselves a free people for the first time in hundreds of years.

With this new found freedom, the zill found themselves without direction and leadership, even the soldier caste turned to the other species for leadership. When the other species were unable or unwilling to fill the leadership void left by the departing agama the zill were forced to look inward. The zill gathered themselves and had long discussions of what to do with this new uncomfortable freedom. There were zill that felt compelled to help the agama, now more than ever, that they owed them for all they had done for the zill. Others said that the time of the free thinking zill was now and that they needed to create their own civilization. A very small minority, mostly the soldiers, urged that the zill step into the leadership roles left by the agama but the other zill were very uncomfortable with that suggestion. In the end it was decided that they would leave the towns and cities they had helped build and seek The Free.

For many years zill had told tales of The Free, zill that had never been enslaved by the agama, zill that controlled their own destiny, zill that created their own civilization, zill that lived in peace and harmony with the other species and the world around them. For as long as they had been telling these stories there were free thinking, free willed, adventurous zill that slipped their bonds and escaped into the wilds, hoping to join The Free.

Word spread that the zill would be leaving the already struggling towns and cities. The others bargained, begged and pleaded with the zill to stay, and some would stay, but the vast majority had already decided, they were going to join their ancestors, The Free.

The RATFOLK provided the zill with what little information they had gathered about “wild zill” over the years, for a price, and with that, the zill gathered their meager belongings and left behind the cities and towns they had built for the agama. Led by their soldier caste, it is estimated that more than eleven thousand zill headed into the wilds on a mass pilgrimage to rejoin their ancestors.

The travel was not easy, the way proved to be far more difficult than expected and many times the zill were forced to backtrack or detour to avoid dangerous or impassable terrain they encountered. It wasn't just the land that made the journey difficult, the beasts of the wilds proved to be far more dangerous than expected and many zill were lost during the search for The Free. More than half those that began the quest were lost to the dangers of the world outside the protective walls of the cities. Cities they built to keep the agama safe, cities they built that kept them from being free, cities where they should have stayed.

More than nine months after they had begun their journey and they had still not found a trace of The Free. The calls to stop searching and start a settlement of their own were coming more often and with more support than ever, morale was at its lowest point in the journey, the soldiers knew they would have to heed the calls sooner rather than later. A scout returned, they had spotted great structures of earth, cultivated fields and what they believed to be The Free, tending them, a mere three days to the south-east. Word spread faster than a wildfire through the pilgrims, morale and hope returned, a new energy and purpose was evident in their step as they continued their journey.

At dawn the very next day, as the zill broke camp, just before they set off on their travels, they were set upon by hundreds of warriors of The Free. The remaining soldiers stood no chance of protecting themselves, let alone the pilgrims from the vicious onslaught. The fighting was one sided, the pilgrims pleading for mercy and understanding, The Free fought with a ferocity none of the zill had ever seen from their own kind, not even their soldiers. A full third of the zill lay dead before The Free fell back, encircling the remaining zill, preparing for another attack.

The zill couldn't understand what had happened, why had The Free attacked them? Why were they so vicious? Why? The zill knew they were going to die here. They had traveled all this way for what, to die at the hands of The Free, why?

A single member of The Free strode forth from their battle line, the zill huddled together in fear.

“You will die here or you will work our fields and tunnels, build our walls, until you die there, the choice is yours,” said the zill.

Thanks for reading my story, I hope you enjoyed it.


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