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Thread: Disturbing News

  1. #21

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Prelude to Battles Part 1

    Az thought to himself. The officers were gone now, off with their orders after leaving Bristugo on the way to Dalimond. General Escasia was with her legion heading to the last suspected location of Laslo QuickFingers south of Bristugo. Az wished she could be here with him in Dalimond.

    Getting to the cliff by the bay near the little tower had not been easy, with so many civilians watching his every move. This was the one spot of quiet he had left to himself. He looked at his feet. He would never get used to invisible stone. The great stone walls and ramparts were finished. The six hundred year project was finally done, though it was probably older, according to a couple of discreet scholars. The grand wall followed the diagrams for Dalimond city proper in Ashlander's personal diary, but which he had never started. The Gnomish machines, weapons and rails had been added on in the last twenty-seven years enabling disappearing catapults and their larger cousins the trebuchets. In the grand wall there were also apartments for the military, hospitals, munitions, and areas for massive troop movements with their own portals. Behind the grand wall were the great dwarven pillars higher than the wall but instead of fire on top there were huge gnomish devices. Infrequent towers rose above the wall, as where designed inFeladan but more massive. The wall were twenty two meters high and ten meters wide except in some places where it was thicker. There was a massive fortification at the bay entrance, with a huge raisable stone gate, as well as large fortified entry points. Unknown was the two metersprotuberances from the wall to the outside, which according to the gnomes just simply appeared ten years ago. The center of the bay held the greatest of secrets: An assortment of aerial vehicles with components and weapons never before seen. There was something else. Something unimaginable. It was there, and all agreed, but none knew above and around them. Strange things had been happening in the bay for centuries, but no one spoke of them, for fear of ridicule. Their quiet conversation always ended with hex signs drawn in the air.

    He was furious with the course of the events this night and for the last thirty years. Only twenty more years and he could have exterminated the WA in a single week with a preemptive attack with these same strategies, tactics and weapon systems. ALL preparations were thrown away now, out of necessity. His hands trembled and right eye twitched.

    Taking a deep breath he focused.

    Down below Az could see with his spyglass, Fiendish General Clovis with his body guards, three Fiendish Master Class Blood mages at the town center. Slowly his head of security Colonel Vladockt forced the four individuals into a ever tightening noose over the last two and a half hours. Az grinned in admiration. Vladockt was a fiendish murderer out of Kirasanct. He formerly had been in the Imperial Kirasanct Guard. He was one hundred and fifty years old. He was a genius with a eidetic memory as well. He had been in charge of counter espionage, and a host of nefarious black ops out of Kirasanct. Originally a temple assassin, he had a history of unnecessary and unsanctioned kills to perfect his technique. He had gotten himself imprisoned in one of the secret Imperial bunkers, dedicated to the most dangerous criminals in all of Istaria. He had refused to become a Blood mage for the goddess of vengeance, saying it was far too limiting for anyone of true professionalism. Many said the goddess of vengeance was afraid of him, and that was why she allowed him to be captured, so his threat to that sacred city was neutralized.

    Vladockt was a force like no other. Not less than forty-three free assassination requests, from the illegal guild of killers, had been brought to his attention. Supposedly Vladockt had killed two of their Guild Masters for practice. Vladockt was merciless, vicious and absolutely loyal.

    Az turned his spyglass to the name of his pain, the Kirasanct general in charge of Imperial Kirasanct troops in the lands of the snow. General Clovis was a traitor. He had been watched by more than one department out of Tazoon for the last thirty years. He had the connections to squelch anything that could be done about him. Scuttlebutt rumors had indicated that he owned at least forty percent of the Imperial judiciary.

    Vladockt had proven it. Since then he had verified two hundred and thirty-eight counts of treason, with seventy-eight counts not requiring a court. General Clovis had set back his plans for twenty to forty years, due to his incessant blatant inquiries. His spying for the Withered Aegis had prevented a winnable one week war. The total extermination of the WA was no longer an option. Since he had come to Dalimond after his demotion, it had been far easier to avoid him while Vladockt tracked, recorded and did his planning on what to do about him. The general's network had been deep, large and encompassing.

    Vladockt had been impressed by Clovis for a while. Over a thousand people reported to him. This network had enabled him to buy slaves for the Withered Aegis armies, and find secrets in the Tazoon bureaucracy for blackmail and extortion. Military secrets were his biggest endeavor, for sale to the WA. The WA had turned him from his loyalties decades ago. Vladockt's final report had estimated on the conservative side of over twenty-five thousand deaths, mostly of innocent civilians. Vladockt had proven four thousand of them, all tied directly to Clovis. The time for his termination had arrived. The straw that broke Az's back, and necessitated this route, was the murder with his sycophant, the city magistrate, to eliminate the High Priestess of the Temple of the Goddess of Vengeance, deep below Kirasanct. Once the successful murder was carried out, then the magistrate, now high priest, bullied the Supreme Commander to send five legions of Imperial troops to defend Kirasanct. Once they arrived, he bespelled them and placed them under a geas. He left them naked outside the walls, freezing to death to be a “blood sacrifice” to the dark goddess, when the WA arrived. The idiot goddess had fallen for it. She had obliviously not been paying more attention to those under her own roof. Complacency was a terrible crime.

    Now Tazoon had approximately three hundred and fifty troops with over one hundred thousand enemy combatants on the way, led by three of the great dark lords. Indication of a force of ten thousand hovering on the borders of the observatory with a lesser great power, twenty thousand on the border of the Cauldron and fifty thousand at the edge of the Dead Pool, also led by more lesser or great powers. An emergency civilian and military response was not enough. Only a declaration of war would legally place the imperial troops, with the authority of a war time standing, and that standing's available resources.

    Az took out his tell stone and called Supreme Commander Leaf. “Supreme Commander Leaf?”

    “Yes Supreme Commander Az?” she answered.

    “We have a full blown war now instigated by the WA. We need only verify what is going to come out of the gate at the Eastern Outpost. The Magistrate of Kirasanct, acting under the orders of General Clovis, has your five legions of Tazoon Imperial troops bespelled. They are under a geas, stripped naked freezing outside their walls, waiting for an attack by unknown enemy forces, to be killed as a sacrificial offering for the dark goddess. General Clovis is here trying to spy again, is a traitor and I have proof of it here in Dalimond. Our few troops are spread out with little to no resources. I have a plan, but now will need additional resources to carry it fully out.”


    “No what?”

    “I refuse to declare war. It would be illegal as the WA has not declared war on us. There is no full council to make such a declaration, and no King to declare one unilaterally, to ask for assistance to protect his race, which would force our hand. Are you such an idiot that you have forgotten the basic tenants of Imperial treaty law??!! By the way, Clovis would never do such a thing, and neither would the Kirasanct magistrate. I have known them for more decades than you have been alive, and trust them both. So you are either ignorant, not properly informed by your criminal band of villainous individuals, or suffering from those human problems that affect the mind after so many years. You are above thirty years old. You are on your own. I am going to press charges on you for stealing my Seal of Office seven years ago. So make sure you get a lawyer. I am very busy getting these portals taken care off for military and civilian use. I think this is all a ruse on your part to seal me into a deep bunker so that you can take over the empire. You are a liar. I am a princess. You are a commoner. Good bye and good riddance.” The princess terminated the call.

    Az made the second call to the Gifted Lunus dragon who wasalways with Malicore another legendary gifted warrior, “Mordel are you there?”

    “Certainly Supreme Commander. Malicore is with me. We are having an ale at Aughundell watching all the dorfs go running around. We are not exactly sure what they are supposed to be doing. General Granite Fist has not been available for orders. There is a rumor of a forces coming out of Old Rachival heading here. Is there any thing we can do for you?”

    “Did you hand out and drop all those little scrolls I gave you for Kirasanct?”

    “Yes, we finished that about thirty minutes ago. It caused quite a fervor.”

    “Did you see the imperial solders?. Did you happen to get visual proof of their existence there?”

    “Are you kidding? We had those dark wizards trying fry us with their various spells and what not.”

    “There have been complications. We must have proof for their existence outside those walls, or we cannot save them to fight for Tazoon. Do you understand why they were there? They were requested by the magistrate and general to reinforce Kirasanct for help for the hordes coming there. The Supreme Commander Leaf did not know they were to be used for a nice sacrificial offering to the dark goddess. They were able to do this after they murdered the chosen high priestess. The magistrate is the sycophant of Clovis. Clovis is a traitor in the employ of the WA. It is a long story. I need you to trust me.”

    Mordel paused, shocked and appalled. Az never lied about anything, as he considered a lie a waste of time. Mordel thought that he really wanted to be there when Az finally did lie.

    “Is this going to be really dangerous, really important, and going to get us a lot of enemies?”

    “Oh yes, yes, and absolutely Yes.”

    “Let me ask Malicore as we are a team”

    AZ could hear the cadence of a argument going on.

    “What is the payment for this little escapade?”

    “The nefarious glory of fly by snatch and grab of a high ranking Kirasanct official and thumbing your noses at the defenses, while you get surveillance on the Imperial Soldiers. Their goddess is going to be furious, especially after she interrogates him and his friend. If you will do the other missions I will ask of you, risking your lives and skins again, you will become heroes to every other race in the lands besides us. The Fiends will of course hate yourguts. So food and drink for the rest of your unnatural lives, whenever you are at Dalimond”.

    “So about the snatch and grab...”

    “Grab the magistrate, take him out of the city limits, above the clouds and drop him on my command. You will need to be able to carry Malicore on your back and hold the magistrate in you taloned paw for up to an hour.”


    “If he can sprout wings and fly like he claims to be able to do, we got big problems. If he goes splat, then I need to know if he resurrects himself. If he is gifted, we will have even bigger problems. I am not sure exactly when I will be able to give that order, but no more than an hour.

    “Will you do it?”


    “Thank you Mordel.”

    “There is no reason to thank us. We are being paid and I am very bored. Goodbye.”

    Lifting the tell stone again Az called, “General Granite Fist.”


    “Are you by yourself?”

    “You must be joking. In this bunker?”

    “Very well then. You would have heard my conversation with the Supreme Commander. You will remain calm and keep an impassive face. There is a plan. General Granite Fist, I am hereby resigning my post as Supreme Commander of all Istarian Military Forces. As second in command, you will, of course, take my position. You will inform Princess Leaf. You and your twelve advisers will come immediately forthwith to Dalimond, to begin your duties. For us to survive this night, I must take up other sundry obligations. The enemy is unloading out of Old Rachival. You know where they will be going.”

    “Of course I know. Are you alright Az?”

    “No I am not. I am furious. I have a full picture now, and it is disastrous.”

    “After this call take a moment. You should rant, rave scream and curse. I have noticed that humans think far more clearly after doing this . If you remain as you are, we will fail. I am quite aware of what others have done to us, and its results. Since General Clovis is in Dalimond, he is your responsibility. Good luck to us both Az.”

    Citizen Az put the tell stone in his pocket absently thinking. The events so far tonight had been horrific and overwhelming. Shaking his head he cursed stamping his foot. There just had to be a traitor. There just had to be a bad apple in the barrel. He clenched his fists tightly in fury screaming in near mindless rage. The howl of his outrage for the first time echoed throughout the bay bouncing off unseen walls overshadowing the noise and confusion in the human city.

    All grew quiet. The blue tattooed Wardogs, stood at attention clapping their fists on their chests in salute. They knew that fury, outrage and hate. It belonged to them and their Master Az.

    The Fiendish, master class body guards, stiffened and immediately took a triangular defensive stand around their client, Fiendish General Clovis. General Clovis shivered behind them in their circle of protection. He could not help but to shudder at that howl, like the forgotten creatures of darkness hunting with a feverish need of blood and violence.

    Clovis whispered to the trio,” Remember your contract!” Getting no verbal response, he screamed it, clutching at the lead of the trio of master class blood mages. She shrugged off his hand grunting in disgust.

    The Dogs of War had already reacted to their movement, with the established pattern ordered by Colonel Vladockt for this particular mission. The pattern of total encirclement by crossbowmen keeling between long spear men. Behind the kneeling men, stood longbowmen. The longbowmen pointed their arrows waist down. The crossbowmen aimed waist up. The spear men would center their thrusts at the midsection. In a circle around them, and placed on building tops, were various casters and additional longbowmen of different schools. All their orders were clear. Only fire/aim at the blood mages, and only after a spell was indicated as being launched. Each had been trained to hold their positions for over an hour without movement or noise. All had been trained in the minutiae of facial/muscular movement of blood mages and other types of casters. In the case of master class blood mages, the blue tattooed Wardogs knew the secret language of heart beats, blood circulation, as well as changes of blood pressure in various parts of the body. With total control of their own bodies and blood, a master class bloodmage could hear, interpret and send messages in total silence in the middle of a crowd up to three meters.

    The lead blood mage realized something was very wrong. She recounted their movements. They had been trapped. The foolish coward behind, them kept screaming at all the civilians and Wardogs, that they could not do this or that or whatever. As if his rank made any difference at all to these humans. These were not stupid, untrained barbarians. The surrounding soldiers were calm, their hearts a slow regular rhythm. None of those bolts or arrows or spears were aimed at their client. She realized suddenly that they were aimed at them. The General had lied. There was nothing in their contract for offensive combat, life and death, hazard pay, death benefits to families, beneficiaries, death rite fees to the temple for burial or the final tithe to the Dark Goddess of Vengeance.

    They had been played by a miserly little ***. If any of them lived the Guild Master would have to be informed. This was actionable treason in Kirasanct. The soldiers around them were professional killers, with training far beyond the norm of imperial soldiers. Any movement of any of theirs resulted in the creaking of knuckle bones, creaking of bows or more gestures from the further out casters. Only one individual could produce such killers and trap master class killers that they were as bodyguards and that one had been in prison for over fifty years.

    By happenstance she looked up. There he was, Vladtockt The Lord Of Death, First Assassin in the dark goddess's temple. Sweat began to bead down her spine for the first time in her life. She could not speak up. She could not move. She and her sister blood mages would die in place as their contracts required—for a traitor.

    Hard, flat stares met icy cold grins, and dead eyes. The great pack of the Dogs of War waited hungrily and patiently for the kill. The stage was set. The die was cast.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Prelude to Battles Part 2

    On the secret Ramparts of Dalimond

    Private citizen Az closed his eyes taking a deep breath. He calmed quickly. He hated what he would have to do. All the other alternatives had been eliminated. The Dryad princess had driven the final nail into a no alternative coffin. He had hoped she would at least begin to see the bigger picture of the overall strategy. She,however, could not see the intent of the orders or how those order would affect her agenda because of her obsession concerning her political domain. She did do him one and only one favor by reminding him of a single clause in the alliance treaty. A King could force the hand of the alliance into a full blown war. He should have remembered, but too much had happened too quickly and he could not be everywhere at once. She was incapable of running a war and refused to listen to her own two battle hardened generals using them merely as secretaries. Now she obstructed what needed to be done just out of personal spite. She would pay dearly and he would make sure of it with the role she had finally forced him into. Tazoon was a gesture of his race to others. Perhaps this gesture should come to a close in human history. That would be for the future, if there was going to be one. By noon tomorrow all would be decided. Once again the fate of these Holy Lands would be determined by what a human decided to do or not do.

    Quickening his pace he ran along the wall's invisible surface. He wished Escaria was with him. Always calm and serene in the midst of his fury and passion. Better tho that she was away. He did not wish her to be tied to what was about to happen below. The time had come to cut out a sickly cancer inhabiting Istarian flesh on these lands.

    Suddenly a green flash of light surrounded him. He stopped and sighed. Secretly fingering a certain tell stone in his left pocket.

    “Is this the way you greet me human Az with a sigh?” said the Queen of the Dryads sitting on his shoulder.

    “So you have been spying on me again I see. Is it true you are older than the ancient great mountains?,” AZ said in a belligerent manner looking at the town square in the distance.

    Angered the dryad Queen hopped off his shoulder and hovered in front of his nose rapping him between his eyes with her royal scepter saying huffily,” How dare you ! You impudent..”

    Az interjected with an innocent look peering at her crossed eyed exclaiming,” Oh no it cannot be! A youthful visage with the glory of the sunrise. No ravine deep wrinkles, bland watery eyes or broken yellow teeth like Blog first commander of the fourth cohort! Nay I say....”

    “Enough Az enough!” she harrumphed, frowned then laughed. She hovered up and then sat on his head.

    Sighing she became serious somberly saying,”Now listen carefully my stubborn little Az. You were destined and fated to do what has been done in the past and will be done this night to come. Think about those past things carefully and the questions I pose. The foray into the tomb of Ashlander Vandus long before the Gifted quests in the company of specific individuals of all the races in an unparalleled effort of cooperation for the sake of a child? Even a Lunus dragon was there and the party was led by the High Chiconis Elder without complaint by the Lunus faction! Remember you not the fateful promises Vandus required of you in return for his secret scrolls, maps, scepter, crown and artifact? Who would have thought this possible? You did not know of the prophecies that only dryads and the High Elder dragons were aware of . The stipulations that Ashlander made on the night before his death, aware of his coming fate. Only a child of his own bloodline would enter his tomb in the centuries to come before all others. Only an innocent would have the right to hold what he would give. The blessing he would bestow on this child for all the days of his life in order to full fill the promises he would require.

    She continued,” The secret tunnels that were built into the bowels of Old Rachival for its treasures and knowledge therein of the gnomes under the very noses of the Withered Aegis while still a teenager? Who could have seen the rise of power of a young man into the seat of the Supreme Commander of all Istarian Military Forces at the ripe old age of twenty? The legendary caverns below Dalimond with their secrets and supplies filled by the hand of Vandus, while ships still roamed the seas. The building of allegiances for the production of the implements of war unheard of in all the lands existing in ancient legends and folklore lost in the mists of time? ALL of this done secretly under the very noses of the authorities you despised? Tho not least the last great enterprise of a tunnel through the bowels of this land to within inches of the lair of the dreaded Plague Bearer, done without question but only on the trust of a man's dream? Who would have thought that such a thing could be done?? The grand project of Ashlander completed in secrecy after over six hundred years, much less the additions of the Gnome and Sslik ideas to the defenses of this city?”

    The Queen continued quietly in an ancient voice filled with unimaginable time and sorrows,” All of these things around you, beyond you and in times before you were brought to fruit by a powerful king. A king lost to time before Ashlander in an age before the coming of Dragons. A king whose reign and name has long since turned to dust, blown away by the winds of time. A mortal king whose power was so great that even the great pantheon of gods feared him. He was the one who swore a Great Oath to the Elder Gods of Light. A vow with words of such power that realities you know not, heard his words and felt his terrible power. Why do you think the Dragons came here from a distant place in the past? They hunted in distant realms for that power that winds it way into the very essence of what they are. Little Az even the Hand of Destiny was forced to comply.”

    She continued grimacing,” We only know part of this grand puzzle. We do know that all of these things in your life and the lives others in these times came into play to protect a great hidden treasure. This framework of occurrences define our present. How much is fated or predestined, we do not know. The only thing we really know is that the Prophecies are ongoing, and we are caught up in them. Was your grand plan for the Withered Aegis yours alone, part of prophecy, or rather just a segment wrought by ancient words of power to the to the expectation of an entirely different ending in our future? Words of prophecy are shrouded in riddles and misleading clues to protect the outcome in the future. To know the absolute conclusion would negate the outcome by the very nature of the actions of the one reading, understanding and reacting.”

    Az could feel her changing from a sitting position to a standing one.

    “Oh Az,” she emphasized, “The fates are upon us. We are all pieces in a grand design doing different things. All the races have different prophecies, each requiring different actions or in-actions in relationship to ourselves or each other. You need to let go of your petty angers and not blame yourself for things that do not work out according to your plans. Remember this thought therefore, life and history are never fully written, never what they seem to be and true reality is never what it appears...”

    Az interrupted grumpily with a near shout,” Do these prophecies, which I have not been allowed to see, say who will win? When and where will the final battle be fought? When will this night finally end??!!”

    Rising from his head she flew in a tight angry circle ending in a hover in front of him half a meter away. She looked away with her palm towards him quoting,” and she will speak to him of many things before the Moon reaches its zenith on the ramparts hidden from the world.” Now we know who she is and who he is . You do understand yes??

    “Yes,” he replied with a growl.

    “And Az?” she inched closer to his face hovering and quivering with rage quoting,” If he fails, the Darkness shall take the lands of Aradoth in four days. Lesser Aradoth shall fall in six days. All other lands shall fall in fourteen days. The grand treasure of the city by the sea shall fall last scorched and burned after dragons fall from the heavens,the gods are no more and the first children of the lands magic,the dryads all, will lie unmoving, for the sands of time cover their flesh, the dream of Palmyra gone forever. Darkness shall reign for a thousand Aeons before light shall again come into the world.”

    With eyes glowing with green fire She hovered even closer still, only inches from his nose growling back at him,” I grow weary speaking with mortals out of necessity. I grow weary with your lack of understanding beyond your scheming. Have you not realized the realm of mortals is tied to the realm of the gods?? What so happens there shall be reflected here and what is here shall be reflected there? Are we winning at present? Think Az and realize this one important fact. Our gods are losing Az, losing this great “fun” war!! The Withered Aegis have summoned more than they know back into the divine realms. The Elder Dark Gods of the first age are pouring out their power to crack back open that door to the mortal realm, where they once walked. The great horde out of the Western Deadlands are not so much headed to Tazoon, which has already fallen, but to the site of the destruction of their former Leader Torrin Macalir. It is here that they must be be present. A minimum of Three Great Dark Lords blessed by the Elder Dark Gods shall be needed to complete the cursed profane ritual of perverse resurrection of the undying dead.”

    Taking a deep breath she calmed. Backing up still hovering she said,” You are right you know, none of this is fair. You shall carry the same mantle as I do. Neither of us wanted it. You were also right about taking the battle to the enemy, tho for all the wrong reasons. The gaming board of great ancient powers, Az is in play. The pieces are set and the winds of Destiny blow for dragon, dryad and bipeds alike across its surface. Only one dire warning left to give to you and your people from that great hidden power in Dalimond Bay. “No execution will take place in Dalimond behind these walls. That time has passed. If such an event should come to pass I will allow a wrath to descend on the humans unlike any before. The Lord of War shall defend my chosen place, not profane it with punishment by death or torture.”

    You will understand shortly Az. I promise. No, I am not the one that has been spying on you, your spies hover above. In response to your first question I will tell you this. Yes I am older than the ancient great mountains. And last but not least, a Tell stone no less!??,” said the Queen of the Dryads with a grin laughing she disappeared between blinks of an eye.

    Az fingered the tell stone again lifting it to his ear. He heard the laughter of the elder Dwarven general Granite Fist saying,” Told ya before it would not work Az. The bet is mine won fair and square. I will decide my prize later on. Thank you tho for doing this. I will inform the selected others. No one else must know of these truths lest all fall into despair no?”

    “Az replied,”Agreed. I am counting on you Supreme Commander to stop those deaths planned by Colonel Vladockt for the traitor and his unenlightened body guards. You heard the word.”

    “Indeed! And from Royalty no less! Well I have an idea about what is in the bay from an ancient tale passed down in the Iron Guard through the centuries about the dryads, but that is for another time. Besides I would not want to spoil your surprise. Oh Az how fortunate we are to live in these interesting times!! Fear not, it will please me to spoil the Colonel's plans!” she said laughingly, as the tell stone went dead.

    The two great elder ancients above him lowered themselves to either side.

    “Fear not naka Az we are with you,” said the High Elder of Dralk.

    “So is it true that you both have been spying on me all this time?” he questioned addressing the dralk ancient, while looking at the high elder of Chiconis.

    “Spying is such a limited word. Observing would be more accurate. In fact we have been observing you every day of your life, since you had been identified in our own prophecies ,” interjecting the Chiconis elder.

    Turning his attention back fully to the lunus high elder he questioned again,”Then you knew about what that *---* allowed to happen to my family when you could have prevented it..”

    Without an apology the Dralk high elder replied emphatically,” Would you have had the life ;you have without this happening? Would all the things you have done in your short years been completed up to now till the morrow? The answer is obvious and the answer is a resounding no. Until the arrival of helian high elder at that moment seemingly by happenstance, we only suspected you were alive, having no idea where you were. Only when you were, saved did our own prophecies verify the act and validate your position on the Board of Destiny. Did you not know of these things the druid discussed? For that matter of what we are speaking now?”

    “Absolutely not. I don't believe in destiny or fate or other such nonsense. IF I am wrong, then I would be very interested in their whereabouts so I can happily gut the Four Fates, lop off the hands of Destiny, listen to her wail and free us all of their tyranny. I am knowledgeable of War and only War. With this in mind I do not believe in a state of peace. There is only War and the interludes of time between Wars. Those interludes should only be used in preparation of the next War. History shows over and over a “state of peace” leads the “enlightened” to their own demise and destruction in the next War. I am surprised that the dryad would be so taken in by such poppycock. The very idea that what we could do or not do and the effects between our own realities to each other is just outrageous. If this was indeed correct then, Why has the God of War and the rest of his Kind done such a poor job of it and left us to clean up their mess!?? The fact, if this is indeed true, that the WA summoned ancient deities to assist them proves that MY war would have ended their existence twenty years into the future. The meddling of gods, fates, destiny, and complacency has ensured that the next truly great War will destroy this world with the tools that will be needed to win it. This is just a strategic series of battle field exercises that will waste my plans, most of the cities resources and ensured a lot of useless deaths.”

    “Then you feel sure you will lead the alliance to victory?” questioned the Lunus.

    Az shrugged saying,”I did not plan for this foolish series of battles. I don't need a bloody prophecy to tell me we will all be dead in two weeks, if we don't pull the rabbit out of the hat by noon tomorrow.”

    Suddenly standing still the dragons looked at each other in an extended short silence, nodded at each other then both looked down at Az. Az had stopped and was getting impatient.

    Az reached up his arms enveloping his vision of both saying,”What is going on here that I do not know?”

    The Helian elder replied matter of factly,” A personal matter. A private matter that does not concern you or this conflict.”

    The Lunus raised an eyebrow and questioned, “Why are you in such a hurry Az? This is the first time we three have ever spoken civilly to each other or were alone together.”

    Az pointed to the Dalimond square,” If we do not hurry up there will be a slaughter. Every single life down there has value, even the traitor. I would not see them wasted uselessly. The sickly green clouds of the Withered Aegis are getting thicker and ever so slowly obscuring the sky. Soon the moon will be gone. We cannot afford to lose aerial advantage.”

    The High Elder of Chiconas winced. The High Elder of Dralk roared. The lunus interjected quickly cupping his paws,” Step into my taloned paws Az the Warrior known now, as the Lord of War.

    Az stepped up quickly, holding on to the huge talons stating cryptically,” Thank you. You will not thank me in less than an hour tho according to Skirnir, who was told by Knossos to deliver a certain message to me. This is going to be rather difficult for me don't make it worse by interfering.”

    The dragons rose into the air together quickly, flying the short aerial distance in silence with both dragons frowning in concern.
    Last edited by Skirnir Ouija Glada; January 27th, 2018 at 01:17 AM.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Prelude to Battle Part 3

    Bunker in Tazoon

    Supreme Commander Granite Fist looked at the dead tell stone in her hand. The discussion with the Dryad Queen had been informative and collaborating with her own people's prophecies. She knew of course that the dryad Queen would know of the tell stone. She would not know who it was linked to. Dryads were so linked to nature, it obscured their vision in more ways than one. Though they acknowledged other races prophecies, they disdained them while in nature's embrace. A great strength and weakness as well. Dropping the tell stone on the granite floor, she crushed the crystal beneath her heel. The Dryad Queen was right. Each race had its own prophecies. The hand of Bobbit was on her now. Unlike Az, who disavowed prophecy, she cooperated in its fulfillment. Like Az, in his own intellectual entrapment, she, within the prophetic framework, had no real choice in the matter, either. After a short huddle of conversing with her twelve advisers, she approached the podium. The ranking dryads, Fiendish Colonel Metz, one of the three great traitors to the Alliance and the senior Elvish Liaison officer that Az had left here to get the orders signed.

    Drawing near she reached into her backpack taking out two sets of sealed order scrolls. She handed the two scrolls to General Thornbranch and General Hornwhistle, acting personal secretaries to Princess Leaf, Supreme Commander of all Istarian Civilian Affairs.

    General Granite Fist looked at one, then the other, Dryad General and spoke calmly, “Generals, your orders are well delineated and quite clear. Much will be explained about past events hidden from you, due to the Princess's behaviors, for the last number of decades. I believe that Az has chosen well. If the five legions do not come back from Kirascant and sent back here, you are to immediately retreat to Dalimond. As Acting Supreme Commander of all Istarian Forces, I am leaving scouts here and there, in case this should happen.”

    She continued, “If the legions do get back here, then your orders clearly state to make a stand here until reinforced. In this latter case, there will be no retreat from Tazoon. You will die in place, if necessary. I will do my best to see that this does not happen. Both of you are too precious to lose on a mere incorrect calculation.”

    Glancing a last time at the generals. she turned her full attention to the Princess Leaf, “Now for you Princess Leaf. Tapping her chin she tilted her head to the side,” YOU have gotten what you wanted—finally. Az is now, no longer a ranking member of the Imperial Military Forces. In fact he is not in the Imperial Services at all.” Granite Fist did not glance at the Colonel. She already knew where, and what, he was doing. Her eyes stayed on Princess Leaf. The same nightmare, repeated over a thousand times in the last twenty years, had diagrammed out what she would do very clearly. She continued, “He will have other sundry duties. Know that Princess Leaf that you yourself have personally guaranteed this particular outcome. May the gods help you!”

    The Princess looked at Colonel Metz, trying to ignore the Dwarven General she had known since she had come to Tazoon. She smiled brightly at her long time confident, and possible future husband, if her mother would agree to the union. Grinning broadly she crowed, “ Well now!. Things will get back to normal. How they are supposed to be!”

    Colonel Metz smiled wickedly, cunningly, and maliciously intoned,” Oh yes, my dearest Princess, very normal in ways you would never believe. I look forward to escorting you to the Throne Room of my Masters.”

    “Masters?” she questioned, “I don't understand. You have only one goddess, Milord Colonel.”

    The Fiend said nothing except to grin wolfishly at her showing his fine white teeth.

    Slowing blinking, Granite Fist still remained looking at Princess Leaf, who was growing more nervous. With this last statement of the fiend, she was getting frightened, as the truth was beginning to dawn on her.

    Granite Fist addressed the Elvin Liaison Officer to right of the Dryads, “Elf, I know your name, though you are always addressed by your title. I know who you are, why you are here, what you represent, as well as your mission. Make no mistake. I Am the Supreme Commander, and you are hereby ordered NOT to return to Az's side, or Feladan. You are to stay here and record events in Tazoon, for your Elvin superiors, on My authority. You will stay close to this young female dryad's side, to ensure her safety, if needed. If not, you will accompany these fine dryad generals. You will remain the Elvin Liaison to the Supreme Commander, as these dryad generals will carry my authority in this field of battle. The corrupted dead and spirit scouts already roam the streets above and around the city from the great pit west of Tazoon, under the domination of the Withered Aegis. Feladan is falling and there is nothing we can do about it, at this time.”

    Addressing the Princess a second, and final, time still looking at her in the eyes, Granite Fist said seriously, “Princess Leaf, as Supreme Commander of All Military Forces, I hereby relieve you of all duties, forthwith, concerning all civilian and military personnel affairs, until a Grand Military tribunal has determined whether or not your act of sending military personal to Kirasanct, thus endangering the well being of the entire Imperium, was legal, treasonous, a matter of poor judgment, or just childish immortal naivete. From that point in time you will be handed over to civil authorities, based on their discretion. I, therefore, remand you to your mother, or these two fine battle hardened generals, in the absence of a prison cell.”

    Turning completely away from the Princess in dismissal, Granite Fist formally addressed the fiendish Imperial Colonel,” Colonel Metz, your last orders are simple and straightforward. You will report to the Dark Goddess, and confess all of your treasonous actions. In conjunction with your superiors, your city and race are removed from the alliance of all races. You will also report to your deity, your criminal conduct in the first degree murder of your High Priestess of the not-so-secret temple beneath the basement of Kirascant. You will also, voluntarily, reveal without prompting, your role in the enslavement of over twenty-five thousand innocents, to the Withered Aegis, including over one thousand of your own people. You will also tell your Goddess that as, Supreme Commander, I will personally lead the forces that will level Kirasanct, after this present war is concluded, if needed. You will tell her I look forward to this event. The plans for this event have already been set in stone, for future use. Colonel Metz, you are a traitor. You are hereby stripped of all your rank. You are banished from all imperial lands. I was asked to give you this, before you carry out your final orders.”

    She handed him the elaborate black shiny thornwood scroll, in ancient fiendish script, sealed in blood drenched wax. Breaking the seal, then reading the fiendish writing within, he began to laugh. “Vladockt the Lord of Death, First Assassin for the Dark temple, is in prison and has been discarded by the Dark Goddess. This writ of a death warrant has no meaning. Throwing the scroll away he continued confidently, “I look forward to my Masters killing your race and your personal enslavement, with this dryad wench, to amuse me for the millennia to come. Az, and all of you, are fools. What say you then, oh elderly ancient dorf? Before I burn you to an icy dust? Surely you don't think YOU can kill me!,” he chortled brazenly.

    Leaning easily on the odd two bladed war axe with a peculiar spike Granite Fist replied,” You are wrong once again citizen of Kirasanct:

    1. Valdockt is alive and has been head of Az's special forces for some time. He has personally been tracking you, Clovis, and that idiot magistrate for ten long years.

    2. The dark goddess never revoked his privilege. Probably a clerical error on her part but, nevertheless, he remains the first assassin at this time.

    3. And finally, yes of course, I am going to kill you.

    Granite Fist quickly drew a single ancient glyph in the air between them. The divine glyph froze the fiend in place, silenced him and placed him under a geas.

    The fiend blinked in surprise, losing the advantage. The overly large axe seemed to swing in slow motion changing in appearance, as it descended to the fiend. In less than a blink it burst into golden flames cleaving the fiend in twain below the neck. As the remains of the body hit the floor, Granite Fist reversed the axe and pinned the fiend's head to the floor with its spike. His contorting face reflected his surprise. A column of golden flames of judgment surrounded them all, exploding through the bunker rooms, through the bunker ceiling, through the bulging, flowing sickly neon green clouds, to the far clear sky above. The green clouds of withered aegis power, burned as flames scoured the sky, ground and bunker for the unworthy, delivering the Justice of Brobbit from the green lands, to the east and to past the deep pit to the west. The flames remained in a circular perimeter. Screams were heard, as half the individuals in the bunker tried to escape, but exploded in flames, burning to dust in less than a instant. Of there colonel there was only a burnt spot on the stone.

    The room was silent, as a brilliant green burst of bright light, appeared before the Dwarven Supreme Commander then retreated immediately, hovering before the dryads all.

    Ignoring the light, Granite Fist had already dropped to one knee. The other Dwarves followed suit, bowing their heads. Holding up the great war axe in supplication,and bowing her head,Granite Fist called upon Brobbit, speaking in the first ancient language of the Dwarves, “Take away from us this great divine burden, oh Mighty One! This part of prophecy has been fulfilled. Your command has been followed.”

    A huge transparent hand gripped the weapon's handle around hers. Hand and axe disappeared.

    The dryad Queen Leaf, hovered up in a green flash, holding up her scepter exclaiming,” How dare you....”

    The Supreme Commander looked at her with a frown cutting, her off, “You rap me on my head, and there will be repercussions. I have far more important things to do, than listen to the type of tirade you already gave the human Az. Stepping up closer, Granite Fist looked at Queen Leaf with a flat stare, continuing, “When you look at me, you see, not a human, but All the Dwarven race. You may be immortal, guardian of a great crystal of power, Queen of your people, but you are not without limits. If you think your great secret in the bay of Dalimond can completely leash Az, you and it are very mistaken. Your prophecies, and the Draconic ones, are not the beginnings and ends of this torrid little affair. We have been aware of many things for a long time. What sits in the clear waters of the only deep port in all the lands, is the least of all of these things. Now, you should have a nice chat with your daughter, who is a primary mover of these present events. I really don't think you would agree with her decision, resulting in the potential dark blood sacrifice of FIVE legions, and their support companies outside the, now traitorous, Fiendish racial city. Just think, thirty thousand plus troopers all well trained, all their gear and clothing taken away, that are supposed to be protecting Tazoon and YOUR daughter, are freezing to death! Don't you have things to do?!! You've got an army to move from that magical island of yours, to Tazoon.

    Suddenly, Granite Fist leaned forward so much, Queen Leaf hovered backwards. Granite Fist raised her voice sarcastically, “Oh yes I understand now, you and your armies cannot traverse the Western Deadlands to the desert. You need Az, a mere human mortal, to clear the way, so you can make your grand entrance to the fields of battle. Well!! You got a lot of surprises coming to you Queen Leaf!! Make sure that great power of yours, protects that Tower of Nature, less one more structure bite the dust of war in these lands. By the time night is over, Az will have another title no longer merely The Lord of War. He will become The Lord of War and Destruction, with what you have yet to see. Gods help us!!. Good Luck to us both, Your Majesty!! I will see you shortly, in Dalimond. You will, of course, get all these individuals outside of Tazoon, near the eastern gate. Reinforcements will be forthcoming at that location If they come at all.”

    The twelve dwarven advisers waved, smiled then disappeared, with their leader, in a blink of an eye.

    Queen Leaf turned, looking ominously at her daughter, who had dropped her to knees before her mother weeping. Taking a deep breath the Queen began to shout.
    Last edited by Skirnir Ouija Glada; February 4th, 2018 at 12:14 AM.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Prelude to Battle Part 4


    The refugees had filled Dalimond to overflowing. Complicating matters was the full Legion of blue tattooed Wardogs and support companies belonging to Az, in and outside of the city perimeter. Individuals were camped on any available space within the city walls and surrounding the city. The roof tops were filled as well. The roiling black and neon green clouds, at two hundred and fifty meters in the air, had deepened the darkness, making the dim glows of campfires and torches even more gloomy and frightening. As the fear of the great multitude grew, so it seemed that the evil clouds drew closer to feed off the emotions of the vast numbers. The folk tales of the nebulous dark beasts, were already in the lore of the land. The creeping turbulent clouds only showed the truth of them. The clouds were like a huge voracious beast filling its belly. The final truth of the evidence was the arrows of light shot into the air by the Wardogs . If too close to the rolling green clouds, they would be snatched up, consumed then spat out as only blackened embers. In the darkness, fear and near panic, only a drunkard on the wharf noticed the little rowboat, with a small sail, coming up to shore with its four passengers cloaked and cowled.

    The amazing contraption floated on the water and had two poles with a silken sheet tied to the structure in various places. Two muscular males moved poles in and out of the water to either side. Two smaller figures, near the front, were wrapped with cloaks. On either side of the bow, written in Saris and Sslik, were the words Bright Sail. The name rang a bell in the drunkard's mind. He remembered an archaeological dig done by scholars, one hundred years ago, in a fishing village. The village was over one thousand years old. Of the many things found, was a fully intact sailing vessel. Its presence was considered a sign from the gods. The Saris had put it in storage in Kion, for further study, but the fantastic vessel had been forgotten.

    The old Sslik Captain reminisced. Once he had been a hero long ago. Against orders from the Magistrate to man the walls he had led a platoon to the eastern side of Lesser Aradoth due to the report of a druid. For a week, they had fought the strange monsters from the sea. The villages of numerous areas had been saved, with the platoon of city garrison soldiers, from Sslanis, But the villagers had refused to testify at his ensuing trial, due to their fear of the grand garrison. Only the great seer of Sslanis testified in his behalf. He was charged with treason, for disobeying orders. They called him a lunatic, gave him a medal for idiocy, then cast him out, banished from Lesser Aradoth.

    He laughed to himself thinking of the old saying, “No good deed will remain unpunished.” With no job, no position, no hope, he had wandered all these years as a vagabond. One day last year he had had a dream about being here before midnight. He could not remember all the directions or why, only what to say. To Dalimond he went then stayed night after night—waiting.

    The drunkard tumbled off the wharf onto the beach, laughing at the irony of it all. Now was the night. Dressed in rags, and drunk, he greeted them. He spluttered waving his arms standing up, “The heralds of prophecy have come to Dalimond.” Passing out, he fell backwards, hitting his head on a stone, becoming unnaturally still.

    Two short, frail figures from the small boat, knelt by the body. The taller of the frail pair, Bastet, eldest of the Saris High Priestesses said, “The first in six hundred years to arrive in Dalimond by sea. And the news of the gods would be heralded by the Fallen Hero.”

    Even a common peasant could see that the two females were blind, though they wore their blindness with dignity and aplomb.

    The shorter, frail, elderly female, Ssylvennia, Seeress of the Sslik, placed her wrap on him respectfully praying, silently. Removing her thin, scaled arm, she said, “And then his god came for him.” The body disappeared. Shaking her head she spoke softly, “Trinkets and medals for valor, and honor in war, then cast away in peace, forgotten. He saved the lives of oh, so many.”

    The overly-muscular males, who were the feared Grand Masters of Kion and Sslanis, came forward after beaching the boat.

    Bowing fully, the Sslik Grand master of Chi, Caliban, addressed the two,” Come honored and ancient ones, a party such as ours should not be late.”

    Stepping up from behind them, and taking each of their elbows, the Saris Grand Master of Unarmed Combat, Prospero, escorted them silently to the town square, while Caliban led the way. He gently pushed aside the people. They fell to his touch, so the high ranking, blind, high elders would not be inconvenienced. A pool of calmness swirled around them, peaceful with the smell of an early spring.

    A bit further down the beach a voice called, “ Did anyone hear anything?”

    Another voice answered, “T'went nuthing , just that fool drunk old Sslik passed out there partly in the water.”

    The only reply was a grunt and a scuffle over cup of ale.

    The receiving pad had been dead for hours in the city. Suddenly, it flashed a brilliant white, flaring light, in the darkness of the city. The momentary light was blinding in its intensity, causing screams and cursing, as most were momentarily blinded.

    The pad flared again, with thirteen individuals appearing; Supreme Commander Granite Fist and her twelve Iron Guard Commanders. Knowing her potential opponents were blinded she called out her series of orders to her twelve commanders,” Get me toVladockt! Separate the Wardogs and mages. Then launch your fellow commanders, with their shields, to our targets. Finally keep the receiving pad secure. No different than in the siege on the walls of Aughundell. Only you can do this. These idiots must be stopped, lest the War be lost here before it begins.”

    The Dwarven commanders executed their orders impeccably.

    The kneeling, heavy crossbowman, in front of the lead master blood mage, mistook the twitch of a single muscle in the right corner of the mage's eye. His right knuckle popped as the trigger released the enchanted adamantium bolt at point blank range. Less than a millisecond later, the Master blood mages reacted, as the shields flashed in front of them. Their abilities overlapped and combined reaching outward to what would be an area effect of over fifty meters in diameter enveloping the Wardogs, as well as civilians. The abilities would compound in power and blood costs, burning away even the lives of the caster as it extended to its maximum range, without immediate healing.

    The ancient Sslik Seeress commanded the Grand Master Monks with one word, walking to the city center as a group, “NOW!,”

    The grand masters blurred into Divine movement towards the center of the confrontation. Running up behind the circle of surrounding Wardogs. They leapt on the huge warriors' shoulders, and jumped forward in the air, dodging the flying objects. ALL things to the Grand Masters slowed to a mere crawl, some stopping. They saw the Supreme Commander flying towards the Fiendish colonel, with the daggers she had thrown, in the air in front of her, preparing for her first running step. They saw the shields arcing through the air, with dwarves and their shields following on the heads and shoulders of the Wardogs. The wall of Wardogs collapsed below and before them. The second set of three dwarves, with their shields , were only a microsecond behind Granite Fist. She was landing in a run, heading towards the target. Vladockt's three daggers flew to the blood mages, wobbling, their trajectory off because he had thrown them while dodging the incoming Dwarven blades. The crossbow bolt was slowly leaving the weapon. They saw the blood mages initiate their master class special ability, drawing blood strength and power from the hundreds of combatants and civilians in the square. They knew General Clovis had pulled out of his pocket a travel scroll to Kirascant. His incantation had already begun, planning to illegally leave his body guards to their untimely deaths.

    Only they could see, in this slow motion world, Dragons appearing in the sky. A transparent blue, tall fiendish female figure, ran towards Valdockt through the Wardogs. Thousands of imminent flashes of light were all around them. The frightening, and sudden, appearance of armed Gifted ones, as unaccounted for flakes of stone were popping off the Dalimond Statue of Winged Istara, drifting to the ground below.

    The Cusp of Prophecy had arrived.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Prelude to Battle Part 5


    The darkened receiving pad once again burst into light now continuous. So brightly did it glow, that the sky of descending dragons were revealed to all. Skirnir the Immortal hit the receiving pad first, moving with every spell and potion he had, as well as the additional potion he had gotten from the Gifted Dragon, Mordel. “Only thirty-five meters,” he thought to himself. Batting the mortal humans, and others, aside with the Knight of Creation Shield, he headed straight for the translucent, seven foot tall figure, clearing a path for those behind him.

    Skirnir thought to himself,” Vladockt must not die.The monks would have to take care of the traitor and his body guards.”

    Some of the Wardogs and civilians enveloped in the expanding bubble of dark purple began to die. The glowing evidence of triple master class ability, was none of the Gifted's concern. They had only three slow heart beats to achieve their goal.

    Without looking back, Skirnir shouted the orders he had been given, “Cixi attack the target I give you, William pinion the second target by attacking, all others assist Cixi.”

    Cixi, the renowned Gifted Gnome,head of the Gnomish Liberation Front, followed directly behind him. Kumo and Fire Opal, adult dragon Gifted Ones, flashed above the receiving pad. William Swann, the Immortal, took his Elemental Archer stance on the pad facing, the side of the Dalimond Inn. He would not miss.

    The crossbow bolt struck first, impaling and exploding within the lead blood mage, killing her and knocking her backward into General Clovis. Grand Master Prospero killed the second and third blood mages. Lightning, thunder and fireballs, followed the divine moves of the monk. A group of casters added their power to his. For the blood mages, caught by surprise, there was no defense. Their bodies shredded before the horrific onslaught of the blue faced, tattooed Wardogs of Az. The affected individuals, which had been lifted up in the air by the power of the master blood mage abilities, began dropping like stones; dead before hitting the ground.

    Grand Master Caliban rendered General Clovis unconscious, catching him in the last syllable of his scrolled recall spell. Twisting in the air Caliban, with his claws out, grabbed Clovis by the tongue, picked him up. He caught the three poisoned daggers, thrown by Valdockt. Jumping up, he stood on the air, the bolts and arrows flew beneath himself and Clovis. Using his own chi, Caliban then threw Vladockt's the three assassin blades at the tall blue figure. Three lines of solid light met their terminus in the body of the blue figure.

    Thousands of lights were now appearing all around them and outside the walls of Dalimond proper. In the corner of his eye he saw the Statue of Istara twisting off its mount. Exploding stone mosaics crackled like lightening strikes.

    Skirnir watched as Supreme Commander Granite Fist reached Vladockt's side, and attacked the translucent figure. The figure backhanded her, and she flew into the path of her onrushing companions. Vladockt was lifted up by his throat with two of Granite Fist's daggers in him. The blue, flame-flickering figure planted its feet firmly on the ground. Niatha Moraven the Dark Fiendish Goddess of Vengeance and Power had fully arrived, visible to all standing, ready to kill Vladockt.

    Roaring in fury Skirnir, slashed down with the Knight of Creation Shield, severing the arm of Moraven at the right elbow. It bounced off the wall, and he knocked the appendage to the western edge of the human tavern. Turning, he struck the goddess with a gauntleted fist to the jaw, then rolled away as Cixi attacked. Kumo and Fire Opal hovered while they breathed fire, attacking Moraven over the gnome's head.

    Skirnir threw Vladockt away from the building, over the dwarves, to the pad . He saw the Dryad Queen arriving with her noble court. He shouted, demanding that Queen Leaf heal Vladockt, as the body fell at her feet. Trusting her to do as she was told, he turned to Granite Fist and her escort, casting spells to save her.

    Sweating from the pain of broken bones being mended, Granite Fist whispered, “How?”

    “Rank amongst the Gifted has it privileges. Some of us have the highest rank of all,” he replied solemnly.

    “All of you Gifted ignore the goddess hovering above,” she earnestly pressed.

    “She and her brethren have only added to the suffering that we will endure this night. We fight for the sake of Istaria, not the gods. I have nothing for any of them,” he said scowling.

    “Will the Gifted help us this night? The hordes of Old Rachival sweep the fields, heading to Aughundell. There are few to come to our aid.”

    “Nay, we will not. The greater power we must confront, lies elsewhere,” he replied. Turning he strode to the combatants.

    A screeching howl of pain had been filling the Dalimond streets, as Moraven turned sideways reaching out to her severed arm with its hand flying away from her. She was being pummeled by Cixi, the gnome. William waited for an opening. His aim was true, and the partial arm, with its grasping hand, was pinioned to the wall. He walked forward firing continuously at the severed limb.

    Explosive, blue fire consumed the corner of the building, where her lower arm and hand had been pinioned. While she faced the field of slaughter, and looked at her hand, the daggers of Caliban found their marks. One struck at the base of her neck, one struck at her mid-sternum with the final striking her in the abdomen. Three of the seven great chakra, had been pierced.

    Staring at the daggers, she began to diminish. The poison, derived from her own blood, would kill her slowly. She tried to take a deep breath to call forth her true power, knowing that in the mortal realm of the Prime, she was subject to the Laws of Istaria. Blinking, she saw the female gnome at her feet, grinning up at her with her Demon Maul on her shoulder. Cixi was casually taking a break, while her brethren of the Gifted assisted her, by burning the goddess without pause.

    All around, and in Dalimond, Fiends appeared in the bursts of light. Looking up seeing her children abandoning her, the goddess remembered the pandemonium in Kirascant, less than an hour ago. The Dark goddess screamed in hatred. The scream was cut short by the strike of the demon maul to her abdomen stunning her as Cixi cursed in ancient Gnomish, enjoying each strike with relish. For the first time in a millennium, the goddess went silent. She was Thunderstruck.

    Skirnir walked calmly, through the eerily quiet scene, disturbed only by the fire of dragons and wails of a dark goddess' pain. The grand masters knelt on one knee, while one held up Clovis by his tongue, acknowledging the goddess Istaria.

    The goddess called out to the Gifted dragons burning the diminished divine one, “Cease, oh, Gifted ones, for I, and the pantheon, demand it. Your continuance disturbs creation!”

    Hearing the tone of command, they stepped back, after looking at the goddess.

    Skirnir, in a fury of temper, trotted up to the center of the devastation, his anger apparent. With a gravelly voice, he reprimanded them, “Never again disobey an elder Gifted's command, nephew and niece!!. Istaria may require even a greater price than the one you pay now.”

    Both bowed in obeisance before their uncle, no longer stepping back into the partially collapsed and burnt, human inn.

    Skirnir called out, “Speak thy words of prophecy, oh, Saris seeress!” He stepped forward gazing up at Istaria without fear.

    Both blind seeresses stepped daintily over the bodies, and various parts, lying on the blood soaked grounds. They made their way forward slowly, through the carnage. Thousands of Fiends crowded the city. They both bowed to the goddess, hovering above.

    Bastet, eldest of the Saris High Priestesses whispered, though her words carried easily throughout the city, “A goddess shall be admonished by one of her prior children. Now appointed by Istaria.

    “Seeresses, are the Gifted mentioned in any of the prophecies, divine or otherwise?” Skirnir's growl echoed through the city.

    “Nay!” both answered in unison.

    “Oh Gifted, Renowned Gnome, Cixi, instruct your former goddess so that all may hear with their own ears, lest any lie!” he thundered.

    “I shall, oh dorf, who never loses his temper!” she replied impertinently. She looked around, then up at the goddess Istara. Grinning, she said, “No one but the Gifted hears the wailing of pain due to broken divine laws, or the canker of the Withered Aegis on and beneath Istaria's flesh. Only the Gifted can hear her demands and commands. The Gifted bow to no god or goddess, no royal power, no government, imperial or city state. We heed only the one, on whose flesh we tread. Ware thee well, all of ye great powers, then of us and ours. You are all mortal to the gifted. Until our deeds are done, we will be here long after all of ye divine, or not, are dust. We the Gifted are fated, our destinies set in stone not of our choosing. Only the Gifted are fated with eternal suffering through resurrection. Only the Gifted may receive eternal redemption in their fight against the Withered Aegis.

    Cixi called out to the Elemental Archer, “William bring the body part to your father.” She also summoned the dragons. “Kumo and Fire Opal fear not the grumpy dorf. You have done well. But remember these words, young ones. Now drag that slowly dying traitor over here.”

    William brought the arm, that was slowly shriveling up. Skirnir threw the arm on top of the blue skinned, shrunken, burning goddess. Ignoring Istara, Skirnir called out to the thousands of Fiends surrounding the Wardogs, imperial forces, and Dalimond citizens and refugees.

    His thundering voice reverberated through the city. “Look well upon your former goddess, brought low. Look well upon this traitress to the divine, to Istaria, to her people and to her temple. Judgment is required. As of now, you are fiendish, and she is your goddess. When the one of authority comes, and your swear by your own blood, then you will be human in your present form. Your children will be human in form or fact.”

    “Tell us, oh honored, Ssylvennia, Seeress of the Sslik, what does the prophecy say?”

    The frail, blind prophet stepped forward. “The prophecy says, Judgment shall be rendered on the soil of Dalimond, that the humans may be freed by one, not of their race, as they were also enslaved by one not of their race. With this a great secret shall Istaria reveal to all her children of all the lands and the knowledge of this shall cause the gods to quake in fear.

    “Speak, oh Fiends of Kirasanct!” Skirnir shouted.

    “Death!!” the Fiends bellowed in reply.

    With judgment rendered, Skirnir plunged the Sword of Creation into the Heart of the Dark Goddess, twisting it in his powerful hands. Suddenly the earth rolled and trembled, and the winds blew mortals this way and that. The dragons, hovering above, were knocked off balance. The Dark goddess arched up, turning into blue, fiery dust which was blown away by the winds.

    Bastet called out,” And the secret of the gods will be revealed. The Gifted may kill even the gods, if necessary, in the course of their duties.”

    Only the great powers remained in place, with the two grand masters, servants of Prophecy, their captive still in hand.

    No longer needed, the Gifted were gone, in a blink.

    The greatest rule of the divine realm had been broken. The very ground rebelled at this event. The winds whipped back and forth, unabated. No divine entity shall step foot on the prime, lest all the realms begin to converge. The great Elder Dark evil gods had gotten their crack into the divine realm. Vengeance had provided a doorway to the mortal realm of its own accord.

    Cusp of Prophecy continues
    Last edited by Skirnir Ouija Glada; February 17th, 2018 at 10:16 PM.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Prelude to Battle Part 6


    Az spoke softly, “Stop your advance, High Elders. The events below must play themselves out. We must wait. We are too late to stop what has begun.”

    Hovering one hundred and fifty meters above the Dalimond soil, Aldebaran, the Lunus High Elder, addressed Az, “Why? Is there a prophecy you follow?”

    Sirius, the Helian High Elder, turned toward them both.

    Az retorted, “Nay. For each battle and conflict, there is much to be learned. Never before have we seen such a group of, supposedly allied, powers in conflict gathered so closely in the presence of the Gifted, much less of the divine. The Alliance is far more frail than many like to think.”

    Citizen Az stood in the cupped taloned paws of Aldebaran, looking at the scene playing out below him with his two escorting high elder ancient dragons. Fiends vs. Fiends, Wardogs vs. Fiends, Grand Master vs. Goddess, Gifted vs. Goddess all coming together like an avalanche. Events fell into chaos, cascaded into a vortex, then suddenly settled out with revelation. The power of consequence, good and ill combining. After the conflict the Gifted were gone. Now, boiling up, was another conflict of power. The Fiends having fully appeared, surged around Vladockt, the known First Assassin of the Dark Temple. The Wardogs surged around Granite Fist, Supreme Commander of All Imperial Forces.

    Both Granite Fist and Vladockt argued about who was really in charge. Most of the civilian refugees were pushed to the sides by the two factions. The larger force, five legions of former Kirasanct citizens, faced off with Az's legion of blue-tattooed Wardogs.

    Sirius spoke emphatically,“The dragons, lower than we, tell us there is going to be a riot, as you Humans, refer to such things. You should intervene now, else the alliance be broken.”

    Az remembered the orders he had given the Gifted dragon Mordel, who should be hovering high in the sky near Kirasanct. Ignoring the High Elders, Az used a tell stone to contact Mordel. Speaking clearly so that the elders would easily hear him Az said, “ Mordel did you verify the imperial troopers?”

    “Yes, half are dead and the other half dying.” he replied.

    “Do you hold the Magistrate in your great taloned paw?. Do you remember what you need to verify about this individual?” Az inquired.

    “Yes, yes,” Mordel replied in a grating voice full of threat. He continued “I am VERY Bored Az,” he said dangerously.

    “Firstly I am no longer the Supreme Commander. I gave that order with my full authority at the time. Those orders are therefore valid. Secondly, I wish to ask you now, as a friend. Please, fly as high as you can and drop him from the greatest height. As the magistrate falls, feel free to bat him around. Malicore needs lots of aerial bow practice, engaging an aerial target. Report the findings of your first set of orders, to me. You will also report your aerial training to both High Elders, who will be with me. The Elders are taking me to Dalimond proper at this time. What you find out in this exercise, will save lives of dragons and bipeds alike. Please advise them accordingly. This series of battles may end with the side winning, having aerial supremacy. I know the Gifted are gathering elsewhere, and I appreciate your time on behalf of the Imperium.”

    Mordel said patiently,“You need not concern yourself, little Az. We will follow your orders given when you were the Supreme Commander. I will report as directed. As far as the rest of the Gifted are concerned, we have already received additional orders from Divine Istaria. All of us will be where we are needed. Goodbye.”

    Az looked at one, then the other, elder grinning,“Nay I say again Elder. You all taught me well over the decades. In conflict, timing is everything. If I am right, Granite Fist will call on the Commander of the Fourth, and most ferocious cohort—Blog. He is the most feared individual in my legion, perhaps in all the lands. Of all the races, he intimidates the Fiends the most. I am sure you remember him. He was the one in my legion that complained about his back pack and armor. The dragons made some heavier armor, as well as a modified scale pack, for him. He was too rough on T6 biped equipment. The Dwarven smiths made his twin, huge handled, one hundred pound war hammers.”

    “But why is he so feared, besides enchanted dragon made armor, scale pack and enchanted Dwarven hammers?” asked the Helian high elder.

    “Well rumor has it that he was raised by icy dire wolves, till he devoured the pack. Somehow he ended up in Fiendish territories, and chomped his way through that area. Fiends managed to drive him off to other Imperial lands. After one of his horrific eating sprees, the Imperial Army gave chase, and drove him into the Eastern Deadlands. He was there for a number of years, and got a taste for ethereal flesh. The Withered Aegis managed to drive him back into the Alliance territories, after much to-do. It took five companies, armed with heavy equipment, to trap and drag him to a prison, specially made for him. That is where I recruited him. I earned his trust, by bringing him snacks, every day for a couple of months. Blog is absolutely loyal though, both simplistic and simple-minded. You see, he does not fight out of revenge, idealistic causes, or really anything complex. He is just hungry. He snacks his way thru a battlefield. Since he is a berserker, his cohort is more afraid of him, than me or the Withered Aegis. They will kill anything in sight, to make sure they don't accidentally become Blog's next snack. Blog is the only creature we know of, that the Withered Aegis is truly afraid of. After he gnawed and snacked a leg off of one of their great, Dark Lords, he made quite an impression. Blog is not anything we really understand, he is simply a force of nature. At eight foot five inches, eleven hundred pounds of brute strength, with a very elemental nature and some eccentricities about his eating habits.... Even though his breath smells like a charnel house, Blog is very charitable to his fellows, and always offers to share his food. What more could I ask for?” Az concluded.

    Below the two elders and Az, Granite Fist bellowed, as only a field commander can,”Where are ye, Blog? I need to check yer teeth. Give ya orders. I brought snacks for ya.”

    The western wall of the outfitter and tailor shop exploded outward. Sela and Ella Verin ran out the northern doorway with Loselren hot on their heels, as the roof collapsed behind them. Debris blew outward over the Human inn. Wardogs and Fiends intermingled and scattered, dodging the flying pieces of masonry. Seeing the infamous Blog coming towards them, many of the Fiends started dispersing to other parts of Dalimond. Humans pushed forward, to gain back their front row seats of standing room only.

    Blog, recognizing the voice of command, enthusiastically responded. That voice meant snacks were involved. Quick as lightning Blog was by her side, knocking the Wardogs aside without a second thought. Before Granite Fist could take a breath, she was sitting up on his wide shoulder. Blog looked at her nose to nose, smiling broadly. He pointed to his teeth saying nothing.

    Taking out a mithril stone chisel, Granite Fist held her breath, and picked between his teeth. She pulled out a few pieces of gristle, throwing them towards Vladockt in an off hand manner. Vladockt looked at them both furiously.

    “Give me your tooth chisel,” she said.

    Blog solemnly pulled out his worn down steel stone chisel giving it to her. Dropping it, she gave him her new one.

    “Why were you late coming Blog?” Granite Fist demanded.

    Without apologizing, as most would do, Blog stood his ground and pounded his chest sticking out his lower lip. He pointed to the newly destroyed shop saying, “Women say Blog need new clothes. Blog need mate. Blog need get busy. Blog show off teeth. Blog show clothes to females.” Slamming one of his huge war hammers on the ground he continued, “I will show them my hammer. I get one or three! Now snack!”

    She gave him the pouch at her side.

    Blog eagerly turned it upside down popping several skulls and a bony hand into his mouth. Looking at the Dragons, Fiends, floating flesh-like stone statue, and kneeling Grand Masters, Blog appeared confused. He munched on his bony snack slowly. He pointed at the crowd. ”Why Dogs here by us? Why Valdockt face us with many many Fiends there?”

    The Supreme Commander answered slowly and simply, “Valdockt think he boss. Vladockt not boss. Az say—Granite Fist—boss.” She pounded one fist on her chest. “There are many snacks coming to Aughundell. Valdockt say you stay here.”

    Blog grunted saying, “He no give snack. He not Blog boss. We go get snacks.”

    The Supreme Commander beamed a sunny smile at Vladockt. Nodding, she jumped down saying, “What Blog smell?”

    Blog replied, “Blog smell Dragons, Fiends, Human, Dryads, and Dragon blood in Fiend flesh. Blog smell many Females!!”

    She called for her water clock, which Dwarven Commander Rutger gave her. Holding up the clock, she spoke loudly to Blog. “Where is Dragon blood in Fiend flesh?”

    Blog pointed up into the vacant air.

    Granite Fist continued, “Blog see clock?”
    Blog nodded.
    She looked at him sternly saying, “Blog, go hunt females. Bring back. We check. Clock done short-short. I blow horn. Then we get snacks.”

    As Granite Fist turned the water clock on, Blog charged the fiends with a primal scream and bellow.

    Five legions of Fiends had watched the drama unfold. They had seen the unspeakable death of a Goddess. They saw the Human Goddess possessing a statue, which moved like real flesh, while still floating. Upon seeing the legendary Fiend Eater first hand, their fears bubbled up. To die marred or disfigured, carried terrible fines, in the Temple of the Dark Goddess.

    The Dark Goddess gave, and expected, physical perfection, upon return to her divine domain. A fine and fee for each imperfection, was expected at the Dark Temple, before death. No fee could be paid after death, these were considered part of death tithe, before the Ritual of Passing. Confinement, and dark torture, in her icy, blue-flaming dungeon, until the end of days, was the eternal judgment for any unexpected marring. With the Realms of the Divine, the Dead, the Prime and the Nether Regions of Darkness merging, the Fiends could see the ghostly horde of Fiendish dead coming for them in the distance. The legions had betrayed their Goddess in leaving Kirasanct. Too fearful to remember the promise of Az upon their arrival, twenty five thousand new Dalimond citizens rioted. Their Doom was upon them.

    Granite Fist's voice rang out above the clamor of bellows, shrieks, screams and cursing as many of the structures collapsed,”Grand Masters! Off your knees, and protect your treasures! Wardogs, gather up Valdockt, the Grand Masters and prisoner, and Seeresses. Surround us with the encirclement of your protection.

    Prospero and Caliban instantly reacted. Caliban threw the traitor to the midst of the Wardogs. He and his companion, gathered the blind Seeresses to within the protective circle. In the semi-quiet of the encircled area, an enraged Supreme Commander stepped up briskly and ripped the Insignia of Imperial rank from Vladockt's uniform. Shocked, Vladockt stood, unmoving.

    Granite Fist bellowed like a parade ground trumpet. “For your crimes against the Imperium, with your scheming and cunning, I, Supreme Commander Granite Fist, strip you of all rank, all privileges, all responsibilities, and remand you to Istara for your punishment.” Grabbing Vladockt by the throat, she flung him to the ground before the flesh-like floating statue.

    The statue seemed to stiffen into stone, shattering as the Goddess Istara manifested fully, not quite touching the ground. On one knee, hovering over the ground, she looked down at Vladockt. Driving a huge, blinding white sword into the soil beside his head, she bent forward, whispering into his ear. Vladockt fell to his knees, facing north, the gleaming sword visible in the corner of his eye.

    Citizen Az stepped forth on the soil of Dalimond Proper, from the Taloned paws of Aldebaran. Supreme Commander Granite Fist blew the Horn of Recall for Blog's return. Istara stood up, her radiant, golden, ethereal glory burning the Withered Aegis clouds above. The Gifted ancient Lunus Dragon, Mordel, appeared hovering above the arrival pad. Sitting on him, was the Gifted Renowned Warrior, Malicore, here to give their reports.

    A blue flash appeared In the air before the Goddess Istara. The Dragon Abomination met the Human/Gnome Goddess eye-to-eye, and the two great powers glared at each other. Underneath the Dragon Mordel, others appeared. General Escasia, Sergeant Major Ariella, Amelia the legion's expert druid, and her companion Mellia, an Imperial Spiritist arrived to give the Mission Report of Laslo's demise. The Dragons above and around Dalimond descended slowly.

    The voice of the Saris Seeress rang out in the chaos...

    Cusp of Prophecy continues....
    Last edited by Skirnir Ouija Glada; February 27th, 2018 at 09:19 PM.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Prelude to Battle Part 7


    The voice of the Saris Seeress rang out in the chaos, "... and the winged Guardians of the Great Crystals shall silence one of their own and the Goddess's intrusion."

    The winds thundered this way and that way. The mass of humans and scattered races found the search for cover far more appealing than fighting each other. The appearance of a Goddess, and an unknown creature of power, with obvious ill intent toward each other, added to the chaos. As their shouts at each other filled the air, fire encircled them. After depositing Az to the soil of Dalimond, the two high draconic elders stepped forth. Raising their paws, they drew shimmering glyphs in the air. Suddenly, a globe of white, opaque light, encircled the Goddess and her opponent; Vladockt between them. The winds grew still. An eerie silence enveloped the city. The torches of the city reignited as the winds died. The white globe undulated with the colored flames of power, released and contained therein. With each bulge of the globe, the mortals retreated in fear.

    Granite Fist drew the Dwarven horn of recall from her lips. Blog bounded over the cowering Fiends, leaping around structural debris. Dumping his scale pack, he showed the fruit of what he thought was a successful hunt for a mate. Fifteen Fiendish females lay, gasping for air, writhing on the ground. Granite Fist carefully, but quickly, checked teeth and pinched limbs, shaking her head.

    She looked up at Blog. “They will not do. They poor quality. They not fit. Hunt mate later. Time for snacks. Come with me.” With a quick stride she reached the group of Dryads.

    Blog pouted, looking put out, but left the Fiends in the dirt, following the Supreme Commander.

    Granite Fist looked at Queen Leaf and her entourage quipping, “Well I see you at least have arrived on time to do something useful. I am going to do a favor for you. Your daughter, the Princess, will come with us to Aughundell and assist Blog, since Vladtockt will be indisposed. Perhaps a successful battle will look better on her record, if she survives. I was led to believe, before this fracas developed, that she is trained. She is an excellent example of the lack of proper parental oversight.”

    Queen Leaf glared. Taking a deep breath, she turned to the Princess, “Daughter how feel you about this demand?”

    Embarrassed, Princess Leaf responded, “She is right mother. The General Tribunal, which will be called on to decide about my lack of proper actions, will look poorly on me. If I refuse the Supreme Commander's request on this Dark night of Battles, it would be disastrous for me. You have, indeed, trained me well. My actions on the battle field, will prove this point, once and for all. I am tired of being viewed as an idiot. There will be no doubt of my capabilities, after tonight.” Turning from her mother she addressed Granite Fist, “What will my duties be?”

    Granite Fist spoke truthfully, “I am not sure, really. Blog is unlike any other. He eats his way through a battle field. You will provide direction and advice. This will not be easy, as he is a berserker. You will keep him on task. This will be the most difficult assignment in your long life. I need someone capable, well trained in communication skills, and decision making. He needs to kill quickly, not be distracted by sampling the flesh of his enemies. The Withered Aegis is fearful of him. It will be up to you, to figure out a way to accomplish this. I will be busy with other concerns. In assisting Blog, you will assist the Fourth Cohort, thus supporting the pivotal defense of Aughundell. The Gods will be watching.”

    Pushing his way through the crowd, Az approached the group, in a mounting fury, “The Fourth Cohort is Mine. Blog is my Commander. Neither he, nor the Fourth Cohort, is in your chain of command, Granite Fist.”

    “Are you refusing your assistance, Az?” the Supreme Commander retorted angrily. “There will be no Imperial help, and there will be no assistance from the Gifted, according to Skirnir. Well over half my guard, was under Princess Leaf, and you. They have ended up spread all over Istaria. I did not complain, but followed orders. I am the Supreme Commander now. Three full Legions are gone from Aughundell, Az. What we will face in Aughundell, is potentially greater than what is coming out of the Eastern or Western Deadlands. Aughundell must stand, so that whomever is left, may be funneled to supply needs elsewhere. Tonight, Aughundell will face before an onslaught, far greater than what we fought in the last siege. The far outer walls have already fallen, around Old Rachival, as if they were not even there. The count of the Iron Guard dead, is too great to measure now. All of this, due to the draining of our strength. What say you, then, after so much as we have given you over the years?!”

    “Since you are Supreme Commander, I ask you this. Where is General Escasia?” Az demanded.

    Granite Fist stood there with her mouth open, completely unprepared for the question, in light of all else happening. Blinking quickly, her mouth could frame no response. Stunned and shocked, she was silent.

    Az turned and looked at Blog, “Commander of the Fourth Cohort where is General Escasia? I have need of her report immediately.” He sternly addressed Granite Fist, “There is no need to speak to Blog in the manner you do. It is insulting. He may think simply, but he is not stupid!”

    Looking back at Blog, Az addressed him again, “Comply, Fourth Commander!”

    Blog pointed to the half destroyed human tavern and bank vault. “She in there with healers. Blog smell her easily.”

    Az bellowed, with a voice of command, he was famous for, “General Escasia and Sergeant Major Ariella, come forth and give the Supreme Commander your report!”

    Upon hearing their names coming up to the gathering party by the pad, both hurried out. Still dressed in the rags of their uniforms, they ran up. Bowing, they clapped their fists on their chests. Looking to Az, they saw him point to Granite Fist.

    “I am no longer the Supreme Commander. Report to your new leader.”

    Bowing once more, they presented their report to Granite Fist, handing over their evidence.

    Seeing Malicore with Mordel, speaking to the two high draconic Elders Az called out, “Gifted Malicore please give the Supreme Commander your report.”

    Malicore nonchalantly walked through the encircling Fourth Cohort, in which the protected space had grown in size.

    Malicore stated bluntly, “Mordel and I followed your orders, and friendly suggestions. The magistrate was dropped above the clouds, with the outlying guard post as the target. He seemed very upset, for one supposedly so close to his Goddess. He fell a long way. Mordel batted him back and forth between his paws, while I practiced aerial combat bow skills. I used my Demon bow, of course. Mordel was aggravated that I fell off several times. I found it difficult standing, or sitting, while we performed this exercise. He had to catch me, as he looped and swerved in the air, following the magistrate as he fell. Mordel had never done such a thing, either. The practice session was good for us both.” He could not suppress a sly grin.

    “I think the magistrate was dead, before he hit the top of the guard post structure, but I was too busy filling him with arrows to pay much attention. The Withered Aegis cloud cover presented additional problems. It is more solid than it appears from the ground. The green neon clouds tried to grab the magistrate as he fell through them. Mordel and I also noted thin black pulsing veins through parts of the clouds. Since he is an ancient dragon, Mordel, thinks those black veins were conduits of power for the Dark Elder Gods, supporting the Withered Aegis. Mordel used his fiery breath to drive them away, and Gold Rage to sever the black veins of power trying to grab the Fiend. In any case, he was pretty crispy when he hit the guard post. The Kirasanct guard was killed, of course, the guard post shattered.” He tried to look concerned, but failed. He was far too proud of himself and his dragon compnaion.

    “The magistrate was in pieces on the ground. He never did sprout wings like he claimed he could, and did not resurrect after his flight was over. I had heard he was a devout fellow, especially after he became High Priest. Mordel and I agree, though, that he did, indeed, lie a lot, since his fear of dying far outweighed his belief. It was disgusting. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to report to the High Elders, with Mordel. All three are looking at me now. My duty here is done.” Bowing, he concluded his report. Turning away, his attention focused on the dragons.

    “Malicore,” Az interjected quickly.

    “Yes?” Malicore replied looking back over his shoulder.

    “Since the Supreme Command has changed, will you and Mordel be available for further missions, as we had already agreed upon earlier?” inquired Az.

    Stopping, Malicore faced him once more. He gave Supreme Commander Granite Fist a long, flat, Sslik stare, without blinking. “Perhaps, Mordel does not like changes in plans, since he became an ancient. We will see. She can always contact us. Istaria may have other plans, or orders, for us who are Gifted.” Looking around he grimaced. “While all this bickering goes on here, the Gifted are already suffering and dying, at the ordained place, fighting the Dark Elder Powers. How much more do you wish us to suffer, by doing and accomplishing nothing here?” He abruptly turned and walked to the Dragons, knocking aside Wardogs, and others, as if they were nothing.

    Queen, Princess, and Supreme Commander stared at Az in disbelief. Sputtering, Queen Leaf put her arm in front of her daughter, hovering slightly backwards. exclaiming, “How could you...but her voice died with the glare that Az, Lord of War, gave her. Granite fist took a deep breath to speak, but Az interrupted them, pointing to the chained and manacled Clovis. He strained at his chains, a maniacal look in his eyes. Luckily, he was unable to speak, due to his damaged tongue.

    “Look and see the enemy you chose to allow to stand behind you. You are supposed to be a Guardian of a great stone of power and Queen of your people as well. This enemy's plans have come to fruition, standing in your shadow, oh mighty Queen. Yet, you quibble over the death of a traitorous bag of scum, who sundered Kirascant's tie to the Imperium, at the command of his Withered Aegis Masters. Your wait-and-see fear of ancient prophecy, bound you, freeing our enemies. The dragons were much the same, in many ways, but were at least more proactive. You, yourself, told me that you were older than the mountains. You were the Queen of Palmyra. Queen of the greatest power in the world. Rather than stand and fight, dirtying your hands with the blood of Istaria's enemies, you fled, leading your people into exile. Only the Gifted were powerful enough to bring you back! Now, not even your great stone of power could restore Palmyra in the far Eastern Deadlands, where once she flourished. Now, that region remains decimated, defiled, and fortified by an upstart necromancer, and his foul league of filth. Such was the leadership of the great ancient Dryad Queen!! Such was the sacrifice she made! What a waste!”

    With a small measure of her great power, Queen Leaf hovered suddenly before him backhanding him to the ground, furious because of his insult and impertinence. His blood covered her hand splattering on her face and gown. Her Royal Court surrounded her. Dryads of her own personal legion, appeared, stationing themselves behind and in front of the royal court, with their Queen. The dragons drew closer, in silence, eyes glittering. The High Elders in the forefront, looked down at the Naka and Dryad drama unfolding. The glowing white, opaque bubble of power evaporated, revealing Goddess, and Abomination, with Valdockt. All gazed in amazement at such a confrontation, on the eve of battle.

    In less than a heart beat, Blog snatched the Princess Leaf out of the air, putting her on his shoulder. He pushed Granite Fist behind him, tucked the unconscious Az under his arm, and stepped back in the midst of the Fourth Cohort, laying him down. Arriving only moments prior, General Escasia sped between the Wardogs to Az.

    First Company of the First Cohort, Dryads all, flashed between Blog with it's Leader, Commander Thistlefoot, hovering a foot ahead of the others facing off with the opposing dryads. The legion of Wardogs flowed around the Dryads, and others, like river water around a great stone. The Grand Masters placed themselves between the chained traitor and the Dryads, protecting their precious treasures, the Great Seeresses of Lessor Aradoth.

    Commander Thistlefoot, of the First Cohort, eased forward, shaking her wizard staff threateningly. “Take one step forward and you will die first oh cowardly Queen. I, Thistlefoot, first of the banished dryads, have no reason to lie. I will enjoy your death at my hands.”

    The Sslik Seeress called out over the throng, “...and the ancient winged Queen shall cast the Lord of War down on the soil of his own lands, and a great banished warrior of her own kind, shall step forward to defend him with those left behind long ago....”

    The traitor, Clovis, laughed maniacally, slapping his thighs, as neon green, glowing tears flowed from the corners of his eyes. His laughter echoed off unseen walls into the silence of the bay.

    Cusp of Prophecy continues
    Last edited by Skirnir Ouija Glada; March 10th, 2018 at 09:14 PM.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Prelude to Battle Part 8


    Commander Thistlefoot raised her arms. Turning around full circle in the air above Queen Leaf, she addressed the great throng, shouting, “The Lord of War was correct. I was there. Queen Leaf led the people of Palmyra out of the world. No fight. No explanation. We, the Warrior Guardians of Palmyra living in the outer perimeter of the great forest, were sacrificed without consent. We were considered different, less. We could destroy and kill. We were looked upon as Anathema, despite the fact that Istaria chose us to be as we are. Then, the Withered Aegis overran those of us left behind. Five Legions to defend the Sacred Forest in those hallowed lands, only three legions survived, without having the Sacred Forest from which to draw our power.”

    Thistlefoot regarded her audience before continuing, “We fled here, called by the power in the bay. Now, we have new allegiances, duties, abilities. You hover above the firmament below us, that we call home. We were banished, forgotten and left for dead.”

    Drawing closer to Queen Leaf, Commander Thistlefoot leaned toward her. Being higher in the air looking down at her, Thistlefoots body was half again larger and wingspan three times greater. “Behold, grand nobility of the Dryad nation, your Queen — covered in the blood of a human. A mortal Human whose only crime was to speak the blunt truth standing on HIS own lands, to which the Great Ancient Queen took umbrage.” She pointed to Az. “ There her victim lies, dying, his flesh torn, bones broken.” Looking up into the empty air Thistlefoot called out, “What is your judgment oh my brothers and sisters of ancient Palmyra?”

    Suddenly appearing out of thin air, the remaining three Legions, previously of Palmyra, took their places, tier upon tier—one hundred meters above the Dryads. They flew in and around the hovering dragons, startling them. The High Elders of Chiconis and Dralk bellowed for calm, despite being shocked themselves. Until now, only the great dragons had dominion over the sky. Again the air above the town square changed with the glowing ghostly forms of two more Dryad legions from ancient Palmyra. Now, the living and the Honored Dead, gazed down upon Queen Leaf. A more sinister silence followed as Thistlefoot waited.

    Laughing, she looked down at the Dryad Queen, withering under her gaze, “Well said, oh Legions of Dalimond Bay!

    Looking at the Queen below her, she intoned, “We cannot judge you, Queen Leaf. No longer are we of Palmyra, or of your kingdom. No punishment have we for your crime of violence done even now in the presence of the Human Goddess Istara. Death is too good for you. As Captain of the Aerial Guard, Commander of the First Cohort, I banish you from the hallowed lands of Dalimond. I remand you to Alyssa our Goddess, your nobility of Palmyra, the Tree of Life and the Great Power Crystal of the Dryad people, for your sentencing and future disposition.”

    Then turning and ignoring the Queen Thistlefoot addressed the Dryad nobility, “To all of you I say, decide where your armies shall go. The children of your past are dying. The outer walls of Feladan are crumbling beneath the might of the Withered Aegis and Dark Elder Gods. The Withered Aegis travels before you from the Western Deadlands to destroy what remains of Tazoon, to bring back their dead leader. Your leader has left you with no plan, no orders and no decisions. She brought you to curry favor, spouting prophecy.”

    Turning again to Queen Leaf she said, “ By the Ancient Divinely-given Dryad Laws you will be STILL, you will be SILENT you will watch and see the Judgment rendered before the throne of our Goddess. So says the sapling of the bay.”

    Queen Leaf tried to speak, tried to act but was frozen by the Laws, uttered by their Goddess Alyssa.

    General Escasia's call for a healer rang out for the dying Lord of War, Az citizen of Dalimond. Several had tried to heal him, but he remained limp. Crumpled and broken his rasping breath, wheezed through his lips.

    The Helian High Elder spoke, “What has been done through a Great Power Crystal cannot be undone.”

    Lilith, the Abomination, slowly hovered forward, changing to Fiendish form walking on the ground to Az. Dragons moved backwards away from her in the air, the Wardogs parted, giving ground, growling.

    Lilith looked at Istara, who looked away saying, “He is no longer one of my children. He honors another. My hand is stayed. Waving her glowing hand indicating the hundreds of dead lying in heaps scattered in the city center, she stated emphatically, “Nor will I bring back these of my children who have honored me through the keeping of my Laws. I shall not return them back here from the Summerlands.”

    Lilith replied, “What of the legions of dead outside of Kirasanct?”

    Istara responded vehemently, “I will not return them!”

    Lilith ignored the Goddess. Walking up to Escasia, who knelt holding Az's head on her knees, she said, “Why do you weep, Saris child of Merrasat?”

    “No one can heal him, or if they can, they refuse to. Neither God nor Goddess will answer my prayer. They remain silent, unacknowledging.” She sobbed, glaring at the Goddess Istara. “Only Az can lead us, only he is aware of the totality of the plans of war this night,” Escasia replied.

    The Abomination gazed at her keenly. “Is there perhaps another reason, oh, Saris Female warrior?”

    Escasia blushed, turning her head aside. Pushing others away from the trio, Sergeant Major Ariella stood by her kneeling General, and friend, fearlessly addressing the strange Fiend, “Of course, FOOL, she loves him!!. So do something about this, or step away.” Her hand reached for the sword on her back.

    Ignoring Ariella and her threat, Lilith whispered softly, “I realized, after some consideration, you were an unwilling participant in the fulfillment of a blood pact, by my mother, concerning SoG and the Gnome. In this regard, I find myself in your debt. Therefore, what would you have of me?”

    “You must save him.” General Escasia returned.

    “To do so would forever change him. He would be like you, changed in ways you cannot imagine. So I ask you once again, child of Merrasat, child of the Saris. What would you have me do?

    “Save him from death,” she replied.

    “For the third and final time in front of all these witnesses divine, immortal and mortal I tell you,” she raised her voice. Catching the attention of all, save the Dryads, living and dead, who remained in silent contemplation of Queen Leaf. “Like you, he would become less than the Great Crystal Guardians, less than Divine, but more than mortal or immortal. In his, and your, flesh will be the blood of my mother, Zadora the Unspeakable, Anathema to all Dragons, removed from all Draconic records. This is the burden you will carry, as will he and his. Is this the Fate you will give him?”

    “Save him!!,” Escasia shouted.

    “You must NOT do this, Abomination!!,” bellowed the Lunus High Elder, roaring in wrath, joining the vehement voice in agreement of the High Elder of Chiconas.

    Changing into her true form, Lilith, rose above the couple on the ground, her great Dragon wings outstretched. The Abomination cut her hands with her own talons, allowing the brilliant blue-flamed blood to splatter on them both. Laughing in triumph, she lifted her arms saying, “So let it be Said! So let it be Written! So let it be DONE!”

    On the couple's cheeks, the glyph of Zadora's blood line appeared. The shattered bodies of the dead Wardogs lifted in the air, chest up, limp. All regenerated, wearing the Glyph of Zadora the Unmentionable, the Unspeakable Anathema to the Dragon race. The living Wardogs dropped to their knees in pain changing as the Draconic glyph appeared on their cheeks as well.

    Hovering above the crowd, facing the High Elders, she smiled showing her teeth. “By the choice of a female, mortal, nonhuman shall the destroyed bloodlines of ancient Barasavus be renewed. In an ancient noble house of Dragons shall Barasavus flourish, according to the Prophecies of Dralk. The house of the outcast dragon shall grow strong, and numerous as in the days of yore. What was denied and destroyed by Dralk, shall come forth strengthened, renewed and vigorous. The Unmentionable shall become many! On the night of calamity, they shall appear, coming in defense of the lands of Istaria. Led by the Heir of the royal line of Barasavus, and the Chosen child of the Saris, his mate, they shall stand before her stricken children, with Her anointed ones called The Gifted. Such was the prophesy of Zadora, my mother, given to the Noble house of Dralk after the Fall of the Draak Academy, thus fulfilling a great secret of the Elder High Councils of Dragons.”

    Lilith spoke loudly her voice rumbling in the bay, “Arise Royal line of Barasavus, Citizen Az of Dalimond with your mate Escasia. King and Queen shall you be of the Naka outcasts in the Ancient house of my mother Zadora. By her power, flesh, and blood, shall you both wield the living ancient weapons forged by the Gods of Light and Dark in The First Age. You will know how to use these weapons to fight what was bound in the First Age and is now released by the Withered Aegis.”

    Drifting down to the Pair in front of her, she crowned them both with the crowns of ancient Barasavus. The now royal pair, with the Legion of Wardogs, suddenly glowed with blue flames. Healed of all injuries, the legion raised their weapons shouting. Az and Escasia knelt in fealty before them, while the chanting of the bipeds in Dalimond continued.

    The Sslik seeress opened her mouth to speak, but was fearfully silenced by the warning of Lilith.

    “Utter one more word in MY presence and I will relieve you both of your blindness! No longer will you dwell in the darkness, nor shall your eyes see with the Third Eye, the pathways of prophecy!!” she thundered.

    Looking at the High Elders she pointed her finger at the Dryad Queen Leaf shouting, “Look at your Guardian, sister. The greatest of crimes has not been mentioned. Why is she here? What is a Guardian's greatest duty, other than the balance of all things? Who was to be the Guide for the transition of the mortal child Lizzie, with the Great Crystal of Power, for all the bipeds races? Where are the majority of your High Councils of Ancient Dragons? Where is the missing third of your winged dragon armies? Where are the majority of the biped wizards? They are all locked in the depths of the world beneath Tazoon, where Dryad Guardian left them, and her charge—Alone!!”

    “I declare the Dryad Queen unfit for her duties of Guardian! Istaria gave one great crystal of power to the outcast of Istaria's children. She gave one great crystal of power to the first magical race. She gave two great power crystals to the factious Dragons. Finally she gave the greatest crystal of the five to all her biped children. The sacred geometry for the balance of the prime is already diminished with one of its guardians in transition! The Withered Aegis was able to do, what it has done, with the Dark Elder Gods, since the youngest of us all had no mentor, no guide, no protector and the Dark Goddess set foot in the world!!”

    Roaring in Rage, the two High Elders recalled. Dragons and bipeds retreated before the fury of Lilith. Surrounded by, and contained in, a large funnel of brilliant blue flickering flames, she thrust the living and dead Dryads hovering in judgment, aside.

    Only the Gifted Mordel and Malicore remained undisturbed and calm. Then Lilith, guardian of the second great crystal of power, ripped the emerald pulsing crystal link and chain from around Queen Leaf's throat. Queen Leaf could not speak, could not move, bound by the laws of her people.

    Throwing the link and chain up in the air, Lilith exclaimed, “Let Istaria judge my own fitness and choose a new Guardian of the Great Dryad Crystal of Power!”

    Golden swirls of power surrounded Lilith. Leaving her, they flowed around the thrown crystal link. Suspended in the air, in a seemingly timeless moment, the chain and crystal link disappeared. Golden flashing swirls appeared around Princess Leaf, who sat on the shoulder of Blog, Commander of the Fourth Cohort. The click of a lock sounded with the chain and crystal settling lightly on the Royal Dryad Princess. Istaria had passed judgment and spoken.

    Turning back to the Queen, Thistlefoot pointed at her with a white flame burning staff she commanded sternly, “But, as for you oh Desecrator of the Ancient Divine Dryad Laws, judged by Istaria you have been placed on the scales and found wanting! You are Tainted Dryad! Get Out!!”

    The honored dead Dryad Warriors flickered out. With a face of stone seeped in fury Queen Leaf recalled with her Nobility standing as far from her as possible.

    Cusp of Prophecy continues

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