The merry retinue of Festivus gathered their belongings in a short time, taking down the tents, art displays, carnival props, prepping them on donkeys and draught horses. They were met by a small regiment of mercenaries hired by the Collegia of Norfolkshire to escort them out of the kingdom. The air was pensive. Many of the regalers were still tripping hard, despite the anti-dotes adminstered. Everyone was intoxicated, one way or another. A few students whose psychedelic fun turned into a bad trip, and were suffering dark anguish and paranoiac stress. Most of the students stood with Festivus, ready to follow him. They all looked at the gate, out of the campus ground, which was barred and heavily gaurded by elite troops. Alfried looked at his students, shaking his head in sadness.
"This is a dark day for the collegia, that we have to answer the threats of war." moaned Alfried, to the students. "Please try to uphold the peace when leaving, and try to escape the terrors of Nuremburg". Festivus nodded to the giant Andre, who took the little man onto his shoulders.
"Everyone, we will not fight back. We will try to escape, but we must spread the word of love and peace. We all will leave the city covered in flowers, and flowers we will hold in our hands as weapons, weapons of love." Festivus was adamant, shining confidience. "All Hail King Love!" The students and the followers of Festivus began their chant, "All Hail King Love!" in union and repetition, holding their flowers, staring at the gate, as it opens.. they walk out the campus, where a large crowd of mostly peasants, curious onlookers and a few nobles, along with an array of gaurds.. a fast blur sprintss from the crowd, a Nuremburg Assassin disguised as a beggar, armed with a long, thin dagger, dashes to slay Festivus, leaping high to reach Festivus who sits on Andre's shoulders, was halted by a bolt shot by a crossbow armed mercenary. The students and regalers were shocked at the violence, but despite their protocol of peace, they shrugged, as the Collegia's mercenaries orders were to protect the students. They resumed their chants, handing out flowers to those in the crowd willing to take one, and acted out their role as a float in a parade, the whole city were looking out windows and shops at them, either waving an feeling of admonishment or mocking them, a few rotten vegetables were hurled here and there. The elite gaurd followed them, to ensure they would leave the city. A crossbow bolt hit Andre in the shoulder, but the giant didn't even budge, or show any pain. He was wasted, high, to the point of oblivion. His shoulder trickled blood, as he carried Festivus on his shoulders. The crossbow rang out again, from a dark window, and this time hitting a student, in the body, who cried out in shrill terror, thus raising the attention of the mercenaries, who, began to rush to the side where the student was struck, trying to protect them with their shields as they marched, while two elite gaurds rushed into the tavern from where they believe the bolt flew, in search of the assassin. The wounded student was taken to a nearby clinic by some elite gaurds. Many peasants were angered at the violence caused by the assassin, and a few of them marched with the students, to show their support. Despite the crossbow bolts that hurled by, they continued their chants, passing out flowers, as the musicans played their instruments in tune to the chants, Giorgio strummed his lyre, hoping that he would not be struck by a bolt, or stabbed in the process, but little, did he know what was in wait for them, for as they approached the gates leading outside of Norfolkshire, the entire valley and mountains were filled with the armies of Nuremburg, that stretched across the land, a path was made, through the armies, as if it was a path made for the students and followers of Festivus. As soon as they had passed the gate, the mercenaries went out on a suicide charge, fighting the overwhelming numbers of Nuremburg, bravely meeting their deaths as honorable warriors, they did what they could to take down as many of Nuremburg, alas being hacked to peices by innumerable blades.
Festivus was not taken aback. He stood on Andre, whose shoulder was bleeding, and held his flowers high and threw them at the soldiers of Nuremburg as if they were weapons.
"What is this??? Why would you spend a huge warchest to fund an entire army just for a small troupe of merry makers?" Alfried, the professor, has followed them, and is befuddled at the incomprehensible need for Nuremburg to spend so much of a warchest to deploy an entire army to just slay Festivus and his followers? A Nuremburg Captain, clad in black with red trim, his armor also dyed black, and a huge red feather plumed from his dark helm walked to Alfried and spoke:
"We, Nuremburg, our aims is to wage war, and wars we shall fight for all our lives. War, is our religion". He spoke with a menancing tone, filled with cruelty.
"I... I.. I am Professor Alfried, a Professor from the Collegia of Norfolkshire. Please spare the students, they have nothing to do with you, they are simply students and we are just trying to study."
"You all want me, I, Festivus, I will lay down my life for my friends, please spare them". Festivus stood on the giants shoulders, proudly stretching his arms, ready to be slain.
"You, Festivus, come here." a stern commanded from the dark Captain of Nuremburg. Festivus jumped from Andre's shoulders, and walked to the captain, with flowers in his hands. They took him, bound him in ropes, and from each limb, they attached each rope from each limb to a separate horse in that direction. It appeared that they would tear Festivus from limb to limb by riders prodding the horse. Festivus winced in pain, for he was not yet dismembered, but the stress was too great to bear. The horses begun to ride in one direction, instead of riding from the axis of which Festivus would be dismembered, they carefully rode through the open path through the armies of Nuremburg.
"All those who follow Festivus and his teachings of Love and Peace, follow him". shouted the dark Nuremburg Captain. The retinue and students, with the gates to Norfolkshire closed behind them. There was no turning back. Everyone followed, except Alfried, who turned away, walking to the gates. The captain snuck up behind him, and shouted, "Coward!" and swiftly beheaded the professor.
The students and followers followed Festivus, who was tortured by the great strain of being moved by four horses tied to his limbs, the risk of being dismembered, the pain was vast. Great care was taken by the riders to prevent dismembering, so that Festivus was held aloft by the ropes, so the strain caused him great pain. A stoned follower, garbed in a suit made of woven flowers, ran to try to untie Festivus, and his arm was cut off by a soldier. He screamed in intense pain. The students and followers continued to chant and play their music, trying to hand out flowers to a soldier or toss a flower at them in protest. The armies of Nuremburg began to chant, their numbers vast, their war songs, drowning out the mere chants of love and peace of the troupe of Festivus, banging their shields, causing the ground to shake and rumble. The students were drowning in fear, having horrible bad trips, despite given the antidote. Giorgio began to see the armies of Nuremburg as demons. He saw them with horns, with eyes glowing darkness, a darkness that showed the abyss of nothingness, of despair and dread, the eyes of demons. He saw them all splattered with blood, their blades and spears covered in body parts. Giorgio tried desperately to keep his cool. He wished he hadn't gotten himself into this, he thought. How could he percieve this to happen? There was no warning, nothing he knew that he could have gotten himself out of this situation. A spear jabbed his left thigh, giving him a small wound, and it oozed blood. He was in pain, and knew this was going to happen many times. He continued to play his lyre, shouting "All Hail King Love" at the top of his lungs. A painted girl gave him a painkiller herb, that made him high, and took his pain away. He felt better, but the terror and horror remained. He didn't like the strange contradiction of being high in such a place and sitaution of terror. He didn't want to feel good when he should feel bad in the wrong place at the wrong time. But he knew that by having the pain reduced, his suffering was minimal. The painted girl was taken by Nuremburg's soldiers, and they gang-raped her brutally. He wanted to save her, but there was nothing he could do but to die trying. She appeared to be dead, and wondered if they killed her, or if she took a suicide-pill. He hestitated, trying to strengthen his resolve, trying to play the hero, trying to find wisdom, trying to find the solution, tyring to find a way out. There was no way out, the road led to death. He looked behind him. A seige took place, Nuremburg broke the oaths of their deal, and war took place. He realized that Festivus was simply a scapegoat for Nuremburg to gain strategic position in a seige. It was all a trick. The students all had oozing wounds, from thrown stones, spear jabs, as they sang and walked their trail of tears. The girls were gang-raped, some even while dead. Soon, it got worse, a student's leg was chopped off, left to bleed. The hackings continued, in a graduation. Festivus screamed in pain, for his arm was dismembered. It appeared he suffered a long and slow dismembering by horse, which is quite an exquisite torture method that Nuremburg is capable of derising. A student placed a bag in Giorgio's hand and said, "Keep this with you", and he ran off, with his weapons now unsheathed, hacking his way through the armies of Nuremburg like a champion, and the warriors of Nuremburg were in awe, and shock, and he hacked his way, slaying many soldiers with deft skill.
"Keep the peace! No fighting" cried Giorgio. He must have been a spy, he thought. He put the bag inside of his lyre where it could be hidden, a special place where he hid his money. The spy, hacking his way through the armies like an insane champion, exploded, for he wore a chest of explosives, he was on a suicide mission. The explosion, triggered a series of explosions and fires that tore up the armies of Nuremburg, for the ground was rigged with traps, to be triggered by an explosion, cleverly placed by the strategists of Nuremburg. The sudden explosion and heavy losses that Nuremburg incited a rage which left all the students and Giorgio all massacred. Giorgio could feel many blades strike his body, penetrating him with incredible irritation..
Giorgio woke up. He held the lyre in his hands, and upon seeing it, he began to sing it. It was a beautiful sunny day, and he had no recollection of what happened.
He looked around, it was a forest, filled with grand splendour of green lush gardens and birds, flowers that blooomed, with butterflies that loomed. There was no one to be seen. So he whistled, and played his lyre, walking in a random direction he felt was the best. He smiled at a rabbit fluttering across the meadow, it's cottontail catching Giorgio's eye. He walked for hours, playing his lyre. Finally reaching a hill, where he could see across a horizon, a cloud of smoke.
"Oh boy a village methinks". and he strode to the source of the smoke, which took the course of a few hours. He saw what he was looking for, a small village, but it was all in ruins, burned to the ground. It was littered with corpses. He saw his classmate, dying.
"What happened?" asked Giorgio, who held the student in his arms.
"Dont you remember? Nuremburg and Festivus? We were there". That triggered all the memories, it all came back to Giorgio. How could he forget?
"I died, and came back to live with my family at this village, for many months. Then an army of Nuremburg came, took our crops, raped my sisters, burned the village. They even killed all the children. The children will never come back, they will never come back" he cried. Giorgio was in shock. It was against the laws of all councils and governments of Alluvium for anyone to kill a child. Many strict measures and careful punishments were adminstered to punish those who murdered children, who couldn't revive at Alluvium after death. Where they went, was of the imagination.
"Try... Try.. to keep the peace". The student gasped and died. Giorgio was outraged. As a student of the Collegia of Norfolkshire and a follower of Festivus, he wanted to spread peace and the word of King Love. But now he wanted venegance, and wanted to fight Nuremburg. He decided to try to be a spy, to continuously do whatever it was he could to stop Nuremburg from being Nuremburg.