The river that stems from the distant mountains to the west to form the border between Tauria and Obstaria eventually splits. One fork hurries south, and, skirting the Southern Hills, empties into the ocean. The other fork runs north, and turns into a swamp before reaching the inevitable sea. It is where the river forks that the Forgotten Battle was fought.
The only people who remember what happened at that place are the lucky few who survived and the caretaker who tends what was left behind. For a cemetery was made at the spot, the Forgotten Cemetery, made to honor the Forgotten Battle. The true purpose of the cemetery has long since been forgotten, and though many know of the cemetery, next to none know why that particular location was picked.
Illustration 1: Map of the Forgotten Cemetery.
The Forgotten Cemetery lies on a small out-shoot of land, created by the dumping of sediments from further upriver. This out-shoot, because of eddies, has been turned into an almost island, with around an inch of low water at its base, forming a narrow entry point to the cemetery. The choke-point is guarded by a statue.
This statue is of a soldier, standing with the standard armor of either Tauria or Obstaria, with its chain-mail armor, round shield, and spear. He stands, gazing out towards the land, away from the cemetery, guarding those fallen and long since forgotten. Cast in bronze, the statue stands on a pedestal, on which is a plaque. It reads:
The Forgotten Cemetery.
“To die for honor's sake is not to die but to be reborn immortal.”
The quote is a famous saying, and has been adopted as the informal motto of several of the kingdom's militaries, Tauria and Obstaria included. It's a common choice for a soldier's cemetery. The origin of the saying has long been lost in the mists of time.
Past the statue is an open area. To an ignorant visitor, it would seem to be a simple field of grass, with an odd feature of various weapons- swords, spears, and more- plunged into the ground at even spacings. This is the cemetery, and it follows another military tradition of using a soldier's weapon as his tombstone. Soldiers, because of this practice, would hire someone to engrave their names onto their weapons so relatives could identify their graves.
Around the edge of the cemetery are some benches for visitors. There are many visitors, for the Forgotten Cemetery has been taken to be a monument to the World War, in which the Forgotten Battle was fought. The reasons for this are unknown, but a major one may well be the fickleness of human nature.
The cemetery is cared for by the caretaker, who has a house further east of the area. His duties are, mainly, to do three things: care for the graves, train an apprentice, and remember the Forgotten Battle. As such, in about a decade or two, the only person to actually remember about the Battle, besides the occasional archivist who reads their records, will be the caretaker. Usually, he will tell a person who asks him about the cemetery's history the tale of the Forgotten Battle- after he finishes weeding the cemetery of course.
The Forgotten Battle:
After Tauria and Obstaria entered the war, their first move was to take Merthia. Which meant that Tauria had to cross the river. Their intelligence suggested that the majority of Merthian forces that were along the river was at the fork, while the least was further upriver, nearer to Obstaria.
The Taurian military received its orders. It would cross the river further west after Obstaria pushed the Merthian forces back, so as to provide an easy fording. One regiment's orders, however, were mixed up. How is a mystery. What is known is that that regiment mistakenly went to the fork to cross.
The regiment was composed of mainly infantry, with a couple of archery divisions. Their leader thought the assignment was stupid, but who was he to question his superiors? Perhaps they were attempting to flank their enemy. And so they pushed across the river, to Merthia, in the middle of the night.
They quickly constructed several boats from the nearby trees to make the crossing. When they had made it over, they tried to leave the site. They headed south, and that was when they were discovered. Surprised at the audacity of the Taurians, the Merthians were at first at the disadvantage, but soon recovered. As they had superior numbers, they pushed the Taurians back to the river, while sending a messenger to the Kathians to send an army to aid them.
The Taurians who had so far survived swam across the river. They came, not to their homeland as they had wanted, but to the space between the fork. And because of the speed of the Merthian messenger, a Kathian army was coming to finish routing them. With the river at their backs, and thus unable to retreat as quickly as they needed to survive (if they tried swimming now, Kathian archers would cut them down). They were left with but one option. They were going to die.
They gripped their shields, their spears, and their swords, and they backed up onto the out-shoot, the tiny little peninsula. The Kathians came, and cut them down, as they fought and die for honor's sake.
Some few survived, some lucky few. They were the ones that slipped out and swam, once the fighting really started and could serve as a distraction. They were the ones who turned around and pretended to be Kathian- a deception that worked well, as the night and the blood and the gore and the chaos proved quite distracting. Of course, some were brave and were taken prisoner. They survived in the POW camps until the camps were liberated and they were freed. But this type of survivor was in the minority to the previous kind.
They were called the Lost Regiment. At least, for a time. But soon, they and their sacrifice was forgotten, and they were named the Forgotten Regiment.