First to arrive was the mage army of the Oakenshore Guild, who after a brief, uneasy parley with the crop mages (who had retreated to a hilltop overlooking the battlefield), turned their efforts to the ground assault, hurling bolts of lightning and explosive curses against the Teertsi shock troops.
Soon after arrived the nimble lion-riders of Galvany, who were able to destroy much of the Teertsi ground offensive, distracted as the shock troopers were by the Oakenshore magic. With the lion-riders came birds of the sky, great eagles, which swooped down on the battlefield, plucking soldiers up and hurling them at their allies.
The lion-riders set up a whooping battle cry, rallying and re-rallying as they tore the Teertsi to pieces. From the vantage of their hilltop aerie, Alex and the other farm-folk joined in the rallying cry. His chest nearly burst with pride as he watched the tide of battle turning.
That battle had taken place eight years ago now, almost to the day. In actual fact, it had been eight years exactly.
"Eight years of occupation! Eight years paying tribute every year to those filthy oily bastards!" Alex yelled out into the void that surrounded him, but no answer came.
Every year since the occupation, on the day of the Autom Feast, the Teertsi Hole had reopened, and every year, a tribute of flour, lumber, preserved fish and various other goods was taken back to Teerts. There was nothing the Delta-folk could do about it, either, for the Teertsi were among them now.
And in many ways, ironically, the twin cities of the Delta had prospered since the occupation. The Teertsi occupation had ended the war between Galvany Fields and Azure Spires, for one. And though the Teertsi themselves were not hardworking, the people of the two cities had had to work that much harder in order to prosper, and many had risen to the challenge.