The forest floor was trampled beneath the iron clad feet of the Imperial regiment marching across the Frozen Forest. The soldiers said not a word, as it was believed that this wilderness was possessed by the ghosts of every virgin maiden to be slain at the hands of the Chosen. How such a rumor began, no one was quite aware but the ghastly figures of divine beauties was certainly as real as any ghost these soldiers have ever seen before. The sound of the wheels on the canons creaked with ever moment. Despite all the snow, the ground remained wet as though perpetual spring had come to this land. The horses bayed in an eerie pattern, which had the knights whisper the threat of witches within the woods. Tall trees opened a clear path for the soldiers to tread. Not once had the regiment turned to avoid an obstruction. It was said that ages ago a road went along this path, yet no one could name the builder or city which would have used it. As night approached progression halted and the unit set up camp by a small river which flowed near the ghostly road. For the first time since they entered the Frozen Forest, the soldiers spoke calmly to one another. Laughing at their fears, and enjoying the comforts of simply sitting. As if guided by an gentle breeze, many of the soldiers fell into an awkward sleep. As a fog rolled across the camp many of the still standing soldier succumbed to sleep. The guardsmen and night watch drifted easy into slumber alongside their companions. The general was not amused.
Uldorph von Aisen, the most recognized man of his small county, kicked and swore upon the sleeping frames of his men. None of his jeers nor insults had any effect upon the soldiers. If not for the snoring, Aisen would believe them to be dead. Wondering about the camp, the general huffed his displeasure upon all the bodies of his soldiers. Not a single man was awake beyond himself. When the blood in Aisen's head boiled to the point of eruption he bellowed his fiercest roar to the forest and panted in the wake of his own power.
"Behold, the mercy of the Azurewraiths." Came his reply from a lithe spectral man phasing from the fog. Taller than a horse, with eyes wild as an merciless void."We let you live where we would let you die."
"By..." Aisen replied, staring at his foe. Taking a deep breath, "Well, have you now." His scabbard screeched as Aisen drew his saber. "All together men, Halberds hoe, and on the dame." The general turned his head, to acknowledge the utter defeat of his soldiers. "I guess its just you and me." He lunged his weapon forward. The flimsy thing would cut a tree in half, if the blade would but support the weight of the general's strike. Yet, it found nothing but air where not a moment earlier there was the spectral figure.
"I do not believe that is wise." The sound of a wooden scabbard landing a blow firmly against the skull of the general echoed among the snores, much louder than perhaps it should.
Dazed, the general stumbled a few paces forward then swung about behind himself wildly only to find himself tripping over a wooden pole and collapsing upon the ground. Aisen's saber fell away from his body and the general rolled to his back. Aisen fixed his eyes before him, seeing his mirrored reflection on the blade of a ghostly sword. Spiritual energy emitted from the blade a coursed through the air. The energy left a cold feeling in the general's chest where the blade was pointed. "Always in the front, never the back. True to this, the day I die." Aisen smirked.
"If I was going to kill you, you would never know." The specter glared down upon the boastful man. "I merely wish to suggest that you turn yourself around. Nothing lives past this forest. You will only feed that which is already dead."
"To hell with you." The general spit upon the specter.
"If you wish to proceed, that will be your end. But do not say, the Azure Wraiths did not warn."
Before the general could spit again, the spectral figure faded into the fog and disappeared into the night. "To hell with you." As the fog rolled off the camp, the general kicked many of his soldiers and told them to pack up. "This forest is haunted alright, and we didn't bring big enough shot to get them all." Aisen force marched his soldiers back to civilized lands, swearing vengeance upon the ghosts of the Frozen Forest.