The citizens of Thyrium had always been under threat from their aggressive war-monging neighbors, Vesuvium ever since they could remember, but the new ruler of Vesuvium, Thromus took things to an entirely new level. His first order as the King was to declare perennial war on Thyrium until such a time as they surrendered to Vesuvium unconditionally and agreed to subject themselves to the rule and sovereignty of Vesuvium.
Now, while the citizens of Thyrium had always been peace loving, they were also fiercely protective of their way of life and their independence. Therefore, Thromus’ latest announcement did not go down too well with them, as he wanted to pluck their independence from them and force the Vesuvian way of life on them. They started preparing for battle and just as they feared, Thromus’ armies soon sailed down the river, took control of the Thyrian docks and cut off all supplies by water to the city.
In rearguard action, the Vesuvian army had also sailed further down river and made their way across to the other side of Thyrium and blocked all possible roads leading into the city. Thyrium was therefore under siege from both sides, land as well as water. They had to rely on their existing supplies of food and firewood while their armies tried to breach the Vesuvian siege.
In the midst of all this action, the noble citizens of Thyrium had forgotten all about the prophecy of Anubis, the Rat God. The city was to be cursed with the plague for a period of exactly seven days every 129 yrs and try as they may, nothing would prevent the plague from spreading through the city during this week. The King of Thyrium was so busy with his battle plans, strategies and tactics to overcome the Vesuvian siege over the past three months now, that he forgot all about the prophesied week which was due to start tomorrow.
The city priest whose family’s duty it was to proactively notify the King of the prophecy so that necessary arrangements could be made to contain the plague had died during the first few days of the Vesuvian siege because regular supply of his medicine had stopped due to the fact that all supplies to the city had been stopped. His son was only thirteen years old and didn’t know what needed to be done in order to contain the plague.
At the stroke of the midnight hour of the prophesized night, the rats started emerging from the wells, the rabbit holes, the forest and every other possible avenue and started pouring out into the city streets. As it is food supplies were depleted due to the three month long siege of the city, and the rats made the situation even worse.
Thromus, the Vesuvian King had heard of the curse of Anubis on Thyrium, and had also calculated the exact date of the prophecy. He had therefore ordered his army to be on full alert on that particular day. As the sun rose over the horizon, he himself led the initial charge of his army on Thyrium. Today was the day that he would run the city over and proclaim himself to be the eternal ruler of Thyrium.
The invasion had already begun, but nobody noticed. The guards on the Thyrian walls were busy trying to save their limited food supplies from the rats which seemed to be everywhere today. And in the confusion that followed, they ended up allowing the Vesuvian army to breach the walls without too much difficulty. Thromus’ long cherished dream of being the King of Thyrium was fulfilled without too much trouble, courtesy Anubis’ rats which had already done more than half his job that day.
This post has been written for the Today’s Author Write Now prompt for Nov 22, 2013 where the post had to include the phrase – the invasion had already begun, but nobody noticed.
This post has also been written for the Trifecta Week 105 prompt where the post had to include the word pluck with the following meaning – to move, remove, or separate forcibly or abruptly