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Thread: Disturbing News

  1. #61

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Battles Part 27

    Interlude Part 12

    Inside Doom

    The Gifted Mordel and Malicore appeared over the pad in Doom, hovering after the use of a random group teleport by Malicore from the ancient Grand Hall in Dralk. Mordel knocked Malicore off his back. Mordel was in a wrath and Malicore was dodging his swiping claws while running around his feet with great agility.

    “You took away my glory of battle Ssilk. I could have fought the entire race of Dragons alone! What did you do? You snatched me from battle and made us appear to be running away like bipeds or cowardly Helians!” Mordel roared.

    “Quit acting like a hatchling Mordel. You are an ancient so think like one!” retorted Malicore, “Lilith kept her word and made us the most sought after pair in all the Dragon lands. Let them stew in their frothy hatred and get really worked up! We got business here on the back side of Doom methinks.”

    “Did you bring us here purposely Malicore?” snapping at him with his great jaws.

    “No, I did not Mordel. I just used the only group teleport I had. Remember, oh ancient forgetful one, how you admonished me several years ago about wasting good gold on trivial matters like teleport scrolls? So I picked one up in a disreputable second hand shop out of Aughundell, in a discounted clearance sale for one silver in the lower side where the thieves hang out. But, it was a random teleport and thus the discount. So don't get grumpy about following your instructions. In the meanwhile we got business here.”

    Continuing to swipe at him Mordel thundered, “By whose authority Naka?”

    “By Istaria's and Kaasha's authority so help me Kaasha! But, if you keep this up then I will lose my temper and we will lose our fame garnered in the sky! I will kill you with my special arrow and you will materialize on the pad in Dralk. I imagine the dragons will line up and kill you one at a time for at least five thousand times. One kill per dragon before you fully are fully materialized and able to fight. You my ancient friend will then be known as Mordel of the Five Thousand Deaths, the laughing stock of Dralk till the end of days. I will die over and over on the receiving pad in Aughundell, since the last time I heard about anything over there, the whole place was being over run.”

    The idea of five thousand ignominious deaths caught the ancient's attention very quickly. Suddenly Mordel was very calmly appraising Malicore's thinking, “There was after all no doubt about Malicore's efficacious ill conceived death arrow project, according to Lilith. To give up any Glory in the quota he had garnered was an anathema of a thought. He squinted suspiciously at Malicore saying, “So just what did your God tell you little Naka?”

    “While we were teleporting Kaasha told me 'Into Doom will Istaria send you both. Another will have further instructions. Delve deeply therefore my Gifted child. Therein you will see a secret that which has never been seen by mortals before and kept secret by the Dryads.' That was all I was told. You know how cryptic the Gods are.” Malicare said shrugging.

    “Now are we finished threatening each other Mordel??”

    After stamping one taloned paw on the flooring Mordel snorted with smoke coming out of his nostrils returned rather waspishly, “Hrumphh!! Very well. Did that snake God of yours assure you of a battle coming? Will there be blood and glory in it for us with many enemies?”

    “Truthfully Mordel I am not sure. Kaasha seemed uneasy and envious all at once. Be that as it may, we must move quickly. Time is of the essence and something is very wrong here. I can smell it in the air. I will scout ahead.”

    Mordel thought to himself, “What would a God be afraid of? This just might turn out to be interesting. Secrets could bring great horde wealth and power.” He eyed Malicore walking quickly in front and followed with nary a complaint.

    Without further discussion both went around the bend then stopped at the intersection. The stench of decaying flesh was nearly overpowering. The usual inhabitants in this area were gone. Scattered small piles of Myloc warrior corpses filled the areas. Taking a left Malicore went to the first cul-de-sac. The other monsters were also dead with numerous Myloc warriors. Going back to the intersection he found that Mordel was gone. Going further down he went under the rock overhang. Mordel was standing on the small elevation. Hundreds of Myloc warriors littered the floor. Scattered Dwarven weapons lay amongst the piles but no Dwarves were in sight.

    “What do you think Mordel? It is the same down the other way?. Dead creatures, dead Mylocs and scattered Dwarven weapons drenched in Myloc blood?”

    “Malicore, these were battles of vengeance or dominance, so I believe. I sense much the same further in. One thing I am sure of. The stench of WA power is completely and absolutely gone. This could be a far more dangerous puzzle. I will lead now,” harrumphed Mordel.

    Malicore followed without a word thinking to himself, “The ancient Gifted Dragon had his good points even though he was a prickly picky ole fart. He was composed now and a bit of leadership in their duo would go far to assuage his perceived loss of Dragon face by leaving Dralk in the manner they had to.”

    The scene was the same in all the tunnels and side branches up to the stone arch over now empty pool of former glowing green goo. The creatures in the emptied pool were dead with scattered Mylocs bodies around the corpses. Mordel suddenly stopped just past the stone archway.

    Malicore came around, “What is wrong ancient one?”

    With a talon Mordel moved a slimy body away from the pile of rotting flesh.

    “This Myloc is not the same. This one is different. We have not seen his ilk till now. The color of his flesh and its smell reeks of power unlike all the others we have killed before now. This one carried authority as a warrior unlike the other drones. You will also note that the WA associated smells of the typical Myloc is not on this one at all. This puzzle is becoming clear to me now. We must go to the area of the Dwarven King's last stand and burial site.

    Once again the same was seen. Many more of the strange Myloc warriors were noted in the piles of heaped dead. The dead numbered far too many to count.

    Pointing Malicore spoke with conviction, “Well Mordel there is only one direction to go and that is down the steep incline towards the caverns of the Myloc Queen.”

    Malicore quickly turned around and headed to the opening. With a single step on the incline bright light flashed in his eyes. Unable to see he jumped to his left with his bow out and two arrows notched. Mordel slowly followed hearing Malicore's sudden warning. He stepped into the bright lights with his spells and breath of fire ready then looked almost shocked seeing the scene below him.

    “Well the Gifted aerial duo has finally arrived ready to go forth into battle! You are late Gifted Ones. This is not the time to go sight seeing. Telak already left after he accomplished what he wished. #1 and I needed you both a half hour ago to do your part in this repair then leave via the portal,” said the glowering and glowing little Gnome. Pud cursed quietly muttering in ancient Gnomish technospeak not realizing Mordel's ancient ears could hear him quite clearly. The Gnome headed to the dust covered moldy Portal which had been partially dismantled.

    Mordel followed first. Malicore stayed atop the slope sticking his head in and out of the illusionary barrier that only showed an empty interior around the teleport. Pud Blowfuse looked up seeing Malicore dally about.

    Exasperated he addressed Mordel, “Can you please get your friend down here. My time here is limited and this must be done. I should have already been in Old Rachival with Telak. Kaasha is going to be very angry since it was he that recommended both of you to bear witness for the Gifted of Istaria and his children.”

    Mordel bellowed for Malicore to come down. Malicore huffed and puffed, all put out that he was not able to investigate further.

    “But I could not sense the magic Mordel!! We need that spell. We could use it in aerial combat!”

    Pud huffed, “Never happen Sslik. A magical device is creating that. Telak does not share with those who do not honor him. He does not play well with others.”

    Ignoring Malicore, Pud addressed Mordel, “Come Mordel you need to separate the back half of this teleport from the front half.”

    Mordel followed the instructions with care. Pud turned and addressed a smaller than average automaton, which had been standing still throughout the discussion. Suddenly it dissembled to several dozen very tiny automatons which crawled into the intricate circuitry disappearing within the depths of the device. Pud motioned to Mordel, the huge Gifted Dragon, to pick up the top of the standing area and lay it down to the side. Dozens of darkened cracked crystals could be seen, connected by strange silvery strands throughout.

    Without looking up from peering into the circuitry Pud held out his hand addressing Malicore, “Please give me two of those Dragon Crystal you have. It does not really matter what kind they are just two of them. Telak was very specific.”

    “No! Not till you give me some answers. You are not the Leader here. You decide nothing for us Gifted.” Malicore snapped.

    Still not looking up Pud made the request politely again holding out his hand, “Actually I am the leader for these few moments and you will follow my instructions. Kaasha told you 'into Doom will Istaria send you both. Another will have further instructions.' to be precise. You did the teleport, Istaria used it to send you both here and I am the one giving the further instructions.”

    Pud stood up giving Malicore a flat hard stare continuing, “Just so both of you know, I don't like toasted Gnome on a stick jokes and barbarians traipsing out of the jungle. I told Telak this was a big mistake, but he is my Boss. Kaasha is finally getting in the game now. It was your crystals he specified to Telak. There is an agreement between a new ancient Goddess an old Goddess and two Gods with one of them being the most ancient of all. Telak is leading because unlike the Gifted and the other Gods he will no longer be reactive to the high and mighty WA. So he already sent Yule Tide greetings early, just a few moments ago before you arrived. So Malicore get out of the jungle and make it snappy. I will send you both to go and play in the Big City. Then you will give Kaasha's own personal greetings to the Fallen One. Mordel didn't get to play in the Grand Hall but he will get to say hello to a creature far worse than the power bloated mad queen down here.”

    “So there will be great danger, a battle of glory and plenty of blood to wet my talons in?” Mordel interjected greedily.

    “Depends on you both but it is going to be an absolute dark mess. Telak agrees with the General Az. It is time for an unexpected first strike on this terrible creature, whom is the Wa leader of the rest of the world. He is after all the one Torrin and others long ago made the agreement of power with. Do you truly believe it was Torrin's power that raised that sky encompassing God like barrier!? Az was right about the WA though he does not know the true measure of this fel power on this world or any other as a matter of fact. If you don't hurry up Az will get all the glory. Personally I do not care about any of it.”

    Malicore growled brandishing his bow at Pud, who had a finger on a big red button on a little black box and did not back down from the Gifted's nonverbal threat. As Mordel's Dragon senses expanded, he realized several big invisible somethings without a scent were moving closer.

    Mordel bellowed at the Ssilk Gifted ranger, “Give the blasted Naka two of the crystals, Malicore, that I made for you. I can always make more. I will have the glory that you denied me in Dralk!”

    Mordel turned his head slightly looking at the Gnome with a single eye, “I do have one final question Gnome. What has been going on down here?

    Grudingly Malicore went to give the little Gnome the two crystals under the baleful eyes of Mordel. Pud snatched the crystals and set them into the silvery latticework.

    Pud scratched his head, “A simple enough question but for the full answer there is not enough time now to delve into it. I will give you the bare bones of it as the humans say. Once in the first age of the world two races of the sea built the majority of this place for it was under water carved out of a mountain. With the near destruction of the world with the Great War at the end of the First Age and the cataclysms that followed destroyed almost all that was built. The Goddess down here discovered it later and drained it. The Withered Aegis long ago looted this place for its wealth and stone to be used elsewhere. Telak says Doom was known by another name and was a beautiful place long before our histories began. The Dwarves rediscovered it with the appearance of a sinkhole. The fact of what it has become is tragic. This ancient portal is the only thing left here of a glorious civilization's history long since forgotten. The builders of this place and their glory are now just dust of the ages long since blown away by the wind as far as we know. Telak did not explain anything further about these races.”

    “Now on with the present. Put on the back of the portal quickly Mordel as well as the stone flooring in front. The activation sequence is about to start. Malicore, get on Mordel's back. Mordel, back up as far as you can then hit the opening portal flying. Sorry you missed the fight here Mordel. The WA pulled out all of its power. The Dwarves got loose and attacked anything that moved and the mad Myloc Queen tried a land grab. The outcome was predictable. The Dwarves were already dead. Mylocs were in the flesh so the Dwarves left them in piles so to speak. The Queen is still frothing over such a big number of dead children. Remember that where you are going, up can be down and down can be up. Also remember that....... ”

    Mordel's bellow of angry Draconic frustration with the Naka's rambling cut the Gnome's instruction short while filling and echoing into the other passages. Mordel quickly backed up to the far wall with Malicore on his back as the winds from the portal snatched at his great wings. The floating upright disk of the portal was fully lit up and expanding already now three times its normal size. The batteries to both sides were bubbling and exploding. Mordel launched himself off the far wall with his hind taloned paws, wings beating then folding around himself and Malicore, as the shrieking winds sucked them in.

    Pud Blowfuse gestured frantically screaming, almost drowned out by the howling swirling winds and flowing colors as the Gifted pair passed him, “Fly Fools Fly!!! and don't forget that in magically enhanced Darkness….........”

    Suddenly the portal was quiet before he could finish. The dust and silence settled quickly. Pud sighed, stepped up to the palm of a huge glowing metal hand. Both vanished in a puff.

    In the distance the power bloated Myloc Queen's howls echoed faintly over a Divine interloper so close to her kingdom..........

    Twilight of the Gods continues

    Last edited by Skirnir Ouija Glada; February 16th, 2019 at 07:12 PM.

  2. #62

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Battles Part 28

    Conflict Part 1

    In-Transit / In High Far Night Sky Above

    Number One floated in geostationary orbit above the capital of the Withered Aegis East of the Forbidden WA Barrier while reviewing his data before carrying out his orders.

    The tides of time were inescapable in most realities. The great master had however decided to make this world a statement to his most ancient foe on this world called, the Withered Aegis. This world was no different than those before it. The Withered Aegis was the Chaos of Undead, the antithesis of life. In countless realms of the macro cosmos Telak had turned his attention elsewhere or elsewhen following the rules the Macrocosmic Grand Balance required. These in turn had fallen to the Undead Chaos in all of its varied names, crushed beneath tidal waves of mediocrity, the want of power and the finality of greed. Tools and the technologies they bring, decided form, structure, order and ultimately the process of balanced function. Perhaps this little world, the ancient enemy had so much invested in, would see the enlightenment that only the God of Technology could bring. His Master was not going to follow the rules this time. Entropy of the universe had had enough of a lead, time after time. Telak, his master, had decided that it was time for the process of Entropy to grind to a halt here. He was going to “jump in the mud, get dirty and achieve the final victory of last man standing” so the human carbon units say. The grand advance of the WA across the entirety of the cosmos would be stopped dead in its tracks. For the first time Telak had an odd group of allies in his ancient fight of order vs. chaos and life vs. unlife. No longer would Telak's alliance be reactive. Thousands of Aeons had passed since this world's creation. The patience of what some deities thought was a shallow minded God could not be underestimated, as Telak had shown him.

    Number One, as Pud Blowfuse called him, was the eldest of all Telak's technology. He appeared only as a diminutive automaton half the size that the Gnomes create. His greater structure was located in folded space in another dimension. Number One had been found by Telak , who had repaired him to complete functionality. He was a pre-existing prototype of a machine civilization. In a distant galaxy far far away this civilization had existed before the present cycle of creation. Upon awakening he and Telak understood each other perfectly.

    This was an exciting time. Telak had told him he would get more data concerning these diverse representative groups of carbon units. Telak would show how despite their limited processing and limited perceptions most would come to see enlightenment on this nearly ruined world. Telak had forbade him to explore below Tazoon or to speak to the five sentient living great power crystals, despite his objections.

    The process of evolution could not be disturbed lest the fragile carbon units and their supposed divine counterparts, with their primitive cognitive capabilities, destroy the world like they had done before. The carbon unit Telak had acquired for him to analyze over time was a fine example. In a few Aeons Pud Blowfuse would hopefully begin to understand the rudiments of Telak's grand plan. Meanwhile he would be guarded and guided subtly as his reasoning expanded to include a greater view of the workings of the macro-cosmos in all of its mathematical glory. Gnomes were aggressive, excitable, limited, impulsive yet clearly the most most objective, logical and calmest of all the biped races. Smallest of the walking races, Gnomes were understandably Telak's chosen carbon units tho interestingly enough the others gladly followed him.

    Number One had already sent Telak's one meter spheres, on their way to their designated points of contact. They would impact over the next few hours. He stood on the final sphere. Devoid of magic it was five meters in diameter without any indication of the power it contained. Unreactive at first sight and nonreactive to Number One it merely floated in space like a misplaced piece of furniture.

    The superior to the Fallen One of the Withered Aegis, as referred to on this world was without true structure. It finally arrived at the precise time and place Telak had calculated. As usual the WA entity was unable to follow any true inductive or deductive process of thought as Telak had described. The only original ideas it had were from those creatures it absorbed and reanimated for a period of time. Entropic consciousness always arrived quickly and the true form of instinctive chaotic evil was fully manifested in the end.

    The floating mass of the WA zipped past Number One far below him and was already beginning to burn in the upper atmosphere. It did not seem to understand how zero gravity movement worked. An amorphous mass with amoeba-like pseudopods undulating this way and that trying to hold on to something which of course was not there. Number One watched with detachment and waved politely projecting the simplest binary message of a courteous 'how are you and good bye,' as per Telak's orders. For some reason the creature seemed to be upset, but by the circuits of the Great Creator AI he could not calculate why. It tried to keep threatening but in space no one can hear you scream.

    Looking at the chronometer built into his arm Number One gently moved the sphere one thirty thousandth of a millimeter to the right. He tapped the sphere with the exact amount of force required since Telak did not wish to terra-form the planet below from scratch, which would have been the more logical thing to do. The sphere began to take on a non-distinct border absorbing light and heat as it gained momentum with inertia to its target directly below in the center of the huge twenty square kilometer capital. The sphere would, of course, arrive on time at the designated impact point to achieve Telak's objective, as multiple events would occur simultaneously to the specified outcome. Neither the humanoids, dragons or their associated divinities would know except of course Telak's allies. After all, the divine ones would get extremely upset if they truly understood Telak's power.

    Number One finishing processing, “Time to go. Telak had work for him two galaxies over. A Non-Carbon unit's work was never done.” He vanished instantly without a sound as twelve falling stars arced across the sky, while one dropped straight down, all caused no doubt by the converance of all the realms......

    East of the Great Barrier ground level

    The Fallen One had been pacing in the grand plaza before sitting on his throne. He had stood up to greet one of the lesser Visages of the most ancient Chaotic evil that had been expected to arrive. He could almost hear its great rage and frothing wrath but suddenly it disappeared.

    He sat down on his massive throne facing southward across from the ancient Temples in an arc before him. He glanced to the right. The WA-manufactured barrier he had created stood solidly in the west, despite the flashes of light behind coming from its puny ongoing war. His agreements with his Masters' mortal servants across the great barrier to the West had failed over and over in Istaria, though he had been reassured by their latest emissaries this very night. He chuckled evilly to himself with the knowledge that all the mortals thought their enemy Torrin had, through his own power, created and done so many things. No mere mortal could do what he had accomplished.

    He expanded his magical senses to the North only the frozen corrupted neon green ice was behind him. Looking to the East there were only his strongholds, throughout the single most massive continent on this world. His third eye and its great power reached further out across the world. Less than a handful of areas remained on land not under his dominion. A third of the great oceans lay stagnant and desecrated from the huge barriers he had placed connecting the land masses to stop the world tides. His greatest threat was from the sea peoples on the far side of the world, but even their power had been decimated when he blocked off the Sea Goddess' Stone Temple Deep with its magical powers and single horrific guardian long ago.

    Something nagged at the back of his awareness. Something was wrong. With one hand under his chin, two hands gripped the arm rests on his throne tightly while one hand stroked his Corrupted Divine Necklace of power. He gazed out over the grand plaza filled with thousands of living or dead in chains laboring or being tortured, while others were roasted, as before East snacks, for exotic creatures from forgotten dark realities. The plaza had been raised over the immense now empty magical lake that had been over one kilometer in diameter surrounding Palmyra in the past.

    Was there a danger here he could not see? He was the Favored One, called by his enemies the Fallen One, Emperor of a thousand conquered realms. His capital alone was twenty square kilometers, taking ten thousand years to build with slave labor. Hundreds of Portals could take him anywhere to a thousand different conquered realms scattered in time and space. What could not be finished in life was finished in everlasting bound death.

    He was over fifteen meters tall and easily greater than ten thousand kilograms in weight. He had cloven hoofs for feet and four arms coming from his torso. He had huge ram horns on his head and his massive delineated high density muscle bound flesh was filled with burnt runes of protection and power over his entire body. He feared no enemy alive, dead or divine. Large Talons equipped the ends of his huge fingers, if he did not need weapons. A third eye was in the middle of his forehead. Huge bat like wings could give him flight. He could command the four elements for several intervals and even slow down the passage of time for a short period to meet his needs.

    His ancient masters had ripped and disassembled him and then rebuilt his flesh hundreds of times, as his power grew over thousands of years. He feared only his own ancient Masters. A God or perhaps a Goddess could fight him and survive only to be in turn enslaved. He was after all invincible. His true name had been lost countless ages ago, thus protecting him from lesser or greater powers attempting to enslave him.

    With the arrival of his capital on this far flung world by his Masters, his time for total obliteration and domination was at hand. This world would be no different than all the other fallen worlds. He was the Doom of Life, tip of a sword never defeated, welded by the most ancient Gods of Evil Chaos.

    He stood up clapping all four hands. The screams and wails of thousands in the Great Plaza ceased. All awaited his command in undead silence. With a never felt before twinge in his gut he looked out over his tens of thousands of dominated subjects.

    Suddenly, a round non-distinct bordered sphere fell into the middle of the packed Plaza swallowing up the stone and undead beneath it, causing a perfectly round bore-hole while not making a sound. Without a thought the Fallen One's runes suddenly burned brightly in his flesh with tendrils of smoke rising from the dread inscriptions.

    Then came the sounds of wrenching and fracturing of stone. Huge cracks reached out from the bore, as the great plaza began to fall into the dried covered lake with its one hundred meter deep shallows and near abysmal depth in the two hundred meter wide sunken center. His great wings lifted him as a Withered Aegis sphere of protective green flames engulfed him, but even with his power he was drawn inexorably towards the twenty meter bore hole.

    He drew upon his great works for more power. The Great Barrier in places began to ripple. Desecrated stone, rotting plant life and creatures flew around him as they were sucked into the bore. He could not see an enemy. There was nothing to vent his great power on. With a echoing scream of hate across the blighted lands of the huge continent his sphere of flaming neon green power dimmed, as he was sucked towards the center of the great bore.........

    Standing on a terraced balcony on a floating island far above the highest clouds, two Gods and two Goddesses watched the events on the ground in the air before them. Their actions had been decided in their agreement. Their children would not fall to the Withered Aegis. Let the rest of the Pantheon decide for themselves. The mere existence of the Withered Aegis and the results of the Pantheon's compliancy in the mortal world could be seen in the events of the night around them. Telak God of Technology as well as the Mortal General Az were right. The time was now to strategically strike first and then to fight—on this plane.

    The four divine entities enhanced Telak's early Yule Tide gifts sent by Number One to the East and West across the world with its long forgotten lands and seas. To the West of the great barrier the Juggernaut and its escorts headed North. Sergeant Major Ariella, left in charge of the Juggernaut and its escorts, gave orders for a scorch and burn followed by blessed salt after dropping their payloads on the WA temples in the Eastern Deadlands. The huge columns of fire lit up the raging four elements.

    The Twilight of the God's complacency was over........

    The End of the beginning had begun
    Last edited by Skirnir Ouija Glada; March 2nd, 2019 at 11:27 PM.

  3. #63

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Battles Part 29

    (With her tail stiff and straight up behind her, fur hackled up on her shoulders and an expression of fearful excited bewilderment, Nimbles, as the wind howled around her, called Katara on her tell stone. Not realizing she had fumbled the setting the message went out on all crystal channels, “Katara? Huh umm just how do you fly an aerial Scout? I got twenty seconds maybe less so make it snappy.”

    The Four Fleet Command Staff responded with dead silence while Katara's howling laughter trailed her as the Kon's combat aerial dive began............) Battles Part 26


    Conflict Part 2


    Captain Goodlight had begun her sloping dive and partial rotation to extend out the message hook and pole with the precious cargo for Vargus to snatch with the same device on his ship, The Whatever. She had already notified General Az that Vargus would be bringing in the special cargo. She had turned off her connection to Az, since he began to curse about idiots not following orders. The Gifted backpack was flapping away in the breeze with the extended pole bending this way and that.

    The night was clear above the Kon. The WA cloud cover was retreating much further inland, as the Plaguebearer summoned more power heading towards the Eastern Outpost. Her destination was not that far away when she diverted her craft to assist the Gifted Dragon Knoble, the only honest player of “bones” she knew. He owed her fifteen gold and she was not going to let the debt possibly die with him. Takara had already angled her weapon array and was firing below them, trying to track the invisible target following Knoble. The Light darts and bolts made for illuminating the air and water with long trails of fading bright different colored lights were beginning to work. For some strange reason she was laughing and not maintaining her usual fierce focused silence.

    Goodlight opened up the ships battle net communication, but did not speak since the Kon was supposed to be under crystal silence.

    Squi's agitated voice was easily recognized while she shouted at Katara, “We are supposedly under crystal silence orders you dimwit. The Captain will bury us so deep in paperwork we will never see the light of day or much less our bonuses from the Grey Council. So who are you talking to while ignoring the Captain's orders, oh weapon specialist extraordinaire?!”

    Squi's voice hardly penetrated the inward reverie as Katara touched, whispered and sang to her children. She took care of them and they took care of her with never a failure, jam or gliche from any of them. Looking around down and back in her weapons area, Katara stroked the huge weapon behind and below her. She murmured to the most silent of all her children, “Don't worry baby momma has not forgotten about you!”

    Squi demanded shouting, “Did you hear me Saris!!?”

    Katara grinned to herself with a new idea how her kids might have a bit of fun and reset her munitions while answering unusually calmly, “ Yes Yes......Well..........that was Nimbles, who fumbled and put out an all call for emergency assistance on all channels. We have all sorts of help coming for this supposed to be secret never did happen mission. It seems she is in charge of flying that fast little modified Scout and Vargus is out on a grapple ten meters behind. As much as I like Nimbles, she can be a real air-head. So she is learning as she goes for something she thought was easy. She is a thief and messenger after all and this is no different than on the job training or so she thinks!”

    Goodlight interjected, “What??! Vargus is not flying that craft? The cargo is out on the message pole and hook. We are almost in position for the hand off.”

    Squi responded, “Well about that Captain....,” coughing politely, “there might be a problem.....”

    “Yes? Since we have hand off contact supposedly in thirty seconds with half our sails down,” whispered Goodlight with a sharpened edge to her voice.

    “With a hesitant sigh Squi tartly replied, “Look at your scope Captain. We got a blip on the crystal screen with a strange moving tiny one behind it. Intersect not in thirty seconds but in about one minute she is kinda meandering around a bit. She appears to be coming straight down for the moment. That will put us two hundred meters above the water at contact.

    “How high is Knoble above the water Squi? Since he has an object behind him and another in the water coming from the East.”

    “He is only one hundred meters above the water and slowly dropping. The Unidentified Aerial Object is about two hundred meters behind him and approximately three times his size. Unidentified Underwater Object coming to him is about three hundred meters away and is speeding up. It is developing a twenty high meter wave in front of it. That critter is about three times greater in size than the UAO following Knoble in the air.”

    “Okay its a no go with Vargus. He and Nimbles are on their own. Katara notify Knoble, that he will have to make the snatch and grab then deliver to Az. As you both know we cannot bring back in the cargo once fully extended. Knoble will need to arc straight up with a near dead stop pivot that only a Dragon can do then call the wind to speed up to match us. Determine the mark Squi. I am notifying Az of the change in plans.

    Az, the ultimate Commander of all the forces, under the table of course, looked down at his tell stone. He had no help to give. The Scouts that had brought them were already gone. The players in this drama were too far away for his Wardogs to fly out. He began to mutter to himself cursing between words and shivering with suppressed rage. The Kon was supposed to deliver the precious cargo! Then that idiot captain changed the plan to Vargus delivering! However, that scallywag Vargus was flying on a tow line (by the Gods!!) behind that illegal Scout of his and now a Gifted One was going deliver the precious cargo!?.....later than expected!!? Why did it have to be a Gifted one!? Everyone knew that you could never be sure what they were going to do next. Did Destiny have it out for him!?The Wardogs around him took a couple of steps backwards. They knew what was coming. The Dwarven ghosts began to make wagers between themselves passing ethereal notes and coin as they watched the strange winged creatures betting on what their shaking leader was going to do next while their ethereal breaths caught in their throats.

    Nimbles took off the restraint belts so she could stretch out her legs to better reach the

    pedals. The screw ball flying monster had torn everything out to fit himself in the cockpit and it reeked with the smell of burnt poor quality wood oil. She had already figured out several important facts. If she moved the guiding stick to the right, it made Vargus go left and then she went left. If she pushed the guide stick to the left, then the opposite happened. So one had to push left to go right and right to go left.

    Nimbles thought to herself, “Gnome magic was sooooo easy to figure out. I will figure out all those hundred or so grey buttons, toggles, switches, levers and pedals with four crystal screens in a moment,” smirking to herself.

    Taking a very patronizing tone she addressed Vargus who had been very quiet these last few minutes, “Okie dokie Vargus the flying Wardoggie do you have your tongue up your nose from the wind ducking around back there like some flying puppy? Where is the rendezvous point? We are at one thousand meters on that course you set and going really fast.”

    Vargus sputtering, bouncing between cross winds from the air on the sails, bellowed, “You little ground hugging *---* I will snap your spine. I put it in nice bright red letters on the pale green screen next to the purple flashing control level, so you would absolutely see it. I had a faint hope -–perhaps—you could figure it out you empty headed, bearded ,back jungle throwback. So you have to go *---* *----* down! and then.........”

    Nimbles was not very pleasantly conducive to anyone other than herself being right. She snapped at him cutting him off before he finished, “Get a grip you flying sow, pull up your knickers, gird your loins and act like a real male or do you need me to do that for you too?!!”

    Vargus said nothing totally stunned by his ill fated waspish feline mission companion.

    Hearing no return Nimble growled thinking she had been further insulted.

    “I will give you down you impudent wretch.” She thought viciously, “ Besides she was not going to tell him she was color blind. After all, the only one in the world that knew about this personal problem was Bytsi, her Dwarven best friend at the Long Drop Tavern in North Crystal, who helped her coordinate her fashionably colored wardrobe for work and play.”

    Squinting and looking down she focused on the control board. There were four toggles that were flipped inward and seemed to be a slightly brighter grey on the very last row. That must be it. With an odd feeling in the pit of her stomach she flipped the four toggles back. The encircling sails snapped and folded. Nimbles realized she had lost forward momentum. The illegally modified Scout ship Whatever dropped like a stone ever so slowly angling downward. Nimbles found herself hanging behind the cockpit stretched out in the wind. Howling in fear she kept calling for Vargus, her nemesis, but her voice was carried away in the screeching wind.

    Vargus started climbing back to the vessel along the special grappling rope with his wings folded as the wind hammered him. His hands were becoming raw and bleeding. Extending his talons he clawed his way up the wooden decking, scoring and cracking the deck planks. With his dragon blood sight he could see the surface of the choppy sea coming with speed. His powerful muscles screamed with burning pain. He had to get so much done, as well as to deliver the calamity called Nimbles to Az for Gods know what. It was not the fear of the coming monsters he could see below that gnawed at his gut, being burned alive, blown apart or even eaten except for one embarrassing fact. The former womanizing, hard drinking human murderer, thief and assassin ...could...not...swim....

    Knoble was in a fix. An enemy was coming toward him in the water which was far larger in size than the creature behind him in the air. The mission change had caught him by surprise. He was now only twenty meters above the water. In the distance to the East a twenty meter wave was being created against the the flowing currents in this sea. The behemoth was just below the surface and speeding up. The Gnome vessels looked to be headed right at each other above him heading downward.

    There was the pivot point. Knoble turned nearly in place then headed straight up without losing speed. He could feel the creature behind him begin to arc upward closing the gap between them. He had to get the precious cargo to Az. Too much depended on what was in the backpack even though Az had refused to inform anyone about that or this secret mission. Only the very odd order about all the city magistrates at 2 AM would chant the same spell at the same time then nothing else was given at the general staff meeting aboard the Juggernaut. The Gifted Dragon had never failed in all his long life. Tonight would be no different.

    Squi called out in fearful urgency, “The Whatever is descending faster than ramming speed. Intersect is in twenty seconds. Nimbles is not in the cockpit. She seems to be flying next to it. We cannot avoid impact.”

    Goodlight was flipping toggles and switches yelling to Squi, as all the Aerial Gifted disks mounted on both sides of the vessel turned off, “Drop sails, boosters out and on with guiding fins extended. Now! Takara drop the Dim Witty's --Crowd Pleaser--. Now! Squi eject all anti- personnel mines. Now!. ” She could only hope the theoretical maneuver would work with all excess weight eliminated. She sent a plea to the Goddess that had taken her in.

    Katara released the steam clamps holding the huge urban legend weapon. Her largest child was dull black with spiralling horrific ancient spells and curses in gold and platinum. The scripts in numerous dead languages seemed to beginning to move on their own with a mesmerizing pattern. The ten thousand and one spells radiated fear, curses, terrible forbidden enhancements in all arcane magics known and mostly forgotten, spiralling around the device with beautiful calligraphy and script. She stroked her child as it fell away.

    Katara called to her child in a Saris song of love and farewell then as it dropped saying in the ancient sacred language of her people, “Make momma proud sweetheart. Shine baby shine!!”

    Upon arriving at the cockpit Vargus reached back and grabbed Nimbles's leather vest with his taloned hand while the other pulled them both into the cockpit. Grunting with effort he shoved her to the flooring by his feet, watching the Kon streak suddenly further in front of the Whatever with both firework boosters burning. A very large black three meter object was falling slightly behind the Kon, as she pulled away in front. He did not know what the Kon was doing as she speeded up. She headed down firing all four forward fireworks and holding them for three seconds simultaneously before releasing. The mines shot outward and dropped a mere second or so behind it.

    The attack/defensive move was a maneuver designed to get an additional power boost as almost two thirds of the Kon's total weight had been eliminated with the release of its biggest magical ground weapon---The Crowd Pleaser. Vargus shuddered then gasped with the absolute knowledge that he,“it” and and all those other munitions were heading in the same direction. Fearfully frantic he shouted at Nimbles about what pedals to push down simultaneously. He flipped back on the aerial disks on the sides of the vessel, sails popped out and pulled back the flying guide stick as the muscles in his back, shoulders and arms rippled and knotted with the strain. Vargus knew with a strange foresight he would need the last booster firework.

    With a sense of unmitigated horror he remembered what General Az had told the Wardogs years ago, “There are only four Crowd Pleasers left in the world. The others that have been found were dismantled. Their crews were hung immediately thereafter. The locations of the remaining ones were compartmental classified Grey Council secrets. The devices were considered too dangerous to let any of the other Governments have one or various racial cities. All were considered unsuitable for sound respectable usage and Gods help the Holy Lands of Istaria, if Tazoon got one with all of its Imperial corruption.

    The devices were Insured by the Three Sisters Law Firm. The same law firm that brokered an agreement between all the racial cities in the Tazoon Accords for outlawing in all the lands of Istaria certain weapons due to their causing terribly painful deaths and/or unimaginable horrific environmental destruction.”

    The grossly magically enhanced Shock and Awe device had been the brain child of a paranoid schizophrenic genius with psychotic episodes in Dim Witty Fireworks. After having a triple illegally distilled Knut's whiskey induced nightmare of being chased by a giant Bogeyman through water, stone, air and fire, the lead designer had to be restrained for some time. Thereafter, followed five years of frantic fanatical design and feverish work schedules resulting in the final product. The Crowd Pleaser was three meters long and two and a half tons in weight. Satisfaction was Guaranteed in any environment with a full refund,---if anyone was left alive to get it.

    The Crowd Pleaser came with its own unique marketing jingle of 'Light em Up and Burn em Down in the Dark..........'”

    The Beginning of the End continues

  4. #64

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Battles 30

    Conflict Part 3

    In Transit

    Knoble saw the message pole as the Kon rotated toward him. A full spin with his wings folded for a split second enabled him to dodge the four over large fireworks and numerous anti-personnel mines. The Kon was coming to him on a near collision course straight down at him. He recognized the Crowd Pleaser behind the Kon flickering past him. Having grabbed the backpack, Knoble bounced off the side of the Whatever four heart beats behind the Kon in a near microsecond aerial impact. Knoble, fearful of losing the backpack by dying from the grossly illegal devastating devices, called for the wind with his wings fully spread. He began to lose consciousness from the numerous waves of devastating detonations below him. He was unaware of the giant Elemental Dragons less than one hundred meters behind him.

    The shell of the huge creature was seven meters wide with multiple segmented legs, stalks for eyes and a maul of a mouth with many moving parts. Two tremendous pincer like claws one on each side were still as the monstrosity hovered in the water fifty meters below the surface. A strange bipedal stood on the dorsal aspect of the huge shell of the great seamonster.

    The bipedal creature was an ancient male, two and a half meters tall, lean and wiry with webbed hands and feet. Gills constantly moved on its neck in continuous waves The small scales covering it body were iridescent reflecting the bright colors of the ancient long forgotten coral reefs. Its eyes were overly large, fully black with double membranes and slowly blinking lids. A low crest of bone ran on top of its head and down its back. In its right hand was a tall coral and sea mithril staff three meters in height crowned in perfectly carved spherical jewels.

    The multitude which followed behind them could only be described as an army of strange creatures of the depths, as well as those obvious creatures similar to the leader but with only a fish like tail rather than appendages like legs. The huge vicious unknown water creature in front of them was getting ready to attack its prey which could only be in the sky. They had been tracking behind it for hours. A similar army had been following the other huge aerial creature flying above while their compatriots moved under the waves waiting patiently like the silent great predators stalking their prey from the shadows.

    With the terrifying device still right in front of him in the air going straight down, Vargus pulled the flying guide stick hard to the right while giving the chaotic calamitous Saris a 2nd set of instructions. He tried a slightly different direction since as the Whatever was not responding. The arc was less than Kon's but still tight. With a howling scream of pain from the task he was attempting to do, Vargus finally managed to barrel roll to Port. He adjusted course, gaining altitude with a new wind crystal and full sails. He could see the battle receding in the distance. His mission termination point was not that far from their present position by flight of Dragons. They were already two hundred meters away when the lesser explosions began.

    Vargus thought to himself laughing hysterically , “By the Gods we just might arrive alive!”

    The huge Elemental Creatures had ignored each other with the intent of each to obtain the snack. One arced upward and on arched downward to snatch it first. The prey though, defied all reason, as it changed course without stopping going straight up. The creatures impacted each other. Enraged, the Elemental Dragons attacked each other with tooth and claw. Neither noticed events around themselves as they were fully engaged in their own rage.

    Six fiery trails headed downward. The Kon arced upward just above the giant toothed mouths of the creatures leaving her colorful trails in the sky for all to see. The fireworks hit randomly. Three three struck one and the last on the other. Their detonations created their own shockwaves through the air and water severely damaging both combatants. Additional damage ensued by the twenty four anti-personnel mines. Each battling Dragon then called upon its own Element for more power, as both were severely injured by the fireworks and mines. A huge fast moving vortex of water rose as a thickened yet visible vortex funnel of air descended. The Crowd Pleaser fell between and below them into the curvature of water magically created by the Water Elemental Dragon's vortex of water. Knoble, now unconscious, was caught up in the air vortex being dragged down beneath the sea's surface.

    One of the half fish and half humanoid water creatures leapt through the howling air of the funnel snagging the backpack from the unconscious Dragon. Two of the bipedal sea people stood on a different finned huge sea monster. With glowing green spheres around their webbed hands they shoved the Gifted Dragon out of the funnel back above the water, as they entered the other side of the vortex healing him. Knoble headed straight up and south calling the wind before realizing he no longer had the Gifted Backpack.

    Goodlight and Squi were pressed back in their seats with the maneuver of the Kon. Katara, in a focused euphoria, continued firing at the huge combatants while releasing the only two overly large firework rockets from the stern at the Elemental Dragons. Both fire work rockets fell towards the sea and deeper below the water's surface. At the apex of the three hundred and sixty degree overhead roll, Goodlight barrel rolled changing direction and heading to due South toward a two thousand meter aerial line of flight. Sails popped out, fins retracted as the boosters were ejected to fall in the distance below them. Katara looked back at her children showing off with a tear in her eye while humming a Saris mother's song of praise.

    The maelstrom of air and water deepened between the fighting titans nearly to the seabed. The two titans continued fighting inherently knowing this great duel of power would be to the death. The sea people underwater High Wizards with their staves through their own prescience realized what was going to happen next. There was no time to retreat. Raising their living staves and calling upon their own power and the power given to them by their armies. Two solid huge walls of seawater many meters thick rose from the depths of the seabed extending into the sky East and West of the dueling pair. The Crowd Pleaser silently sank unnoticed by the battling monstrosities into the inky darkness of deep water too heavy to be buffeted this way and that with its strange pulsing glowing scripts spiraling around its body. The timer ran out on the three meter long two and a half ton Crowd Pleaser.

    The Crowd Pleaser detonated. The inner arena of the maelstrom of both deadly powers of Air and Water shredded and burned from seabed to surface. The frothing water instantly vaporized the sea at ground zero. The sandy bottom of this northern sea turned into glass in the center of effect. The huge battling creatures were obliterated into multicolored flaming fragments of burning flesh and bone, both in water and into the high sky above. The watery walls of the Wizards collapsed then titanically rebounded upward nearly as high as the column of water, steam and burning debris. The dark tormented sea with its stench of burning metal, flesh and bone rose up several hundred meters with a towering column of flames brilliantly.....shining..... Shockwaves decimated the armies of the shallow and deep sea peoples with multiple ripping concussions.

    Az thought to himself as he viewed the battle and the carnage in the far distance with the special Gnome spyglass, gasping with disbelief and eyes then widening in recognition, “Who could have known!? Who could have known!?” Frightened, he shouted over the battle net tell for the Gnomes underwater with their breathing gadgets setting explosives, as well as the Dwarven support crews on shore to run for higher ground or seal themselves in the tunnels. There was no real way to prepare.

    Earthquakes battered the seaside lands destroying towns, structures and roads. The immense waves headed out in all directions washing out surrounding shorelines hundreds of meters away. The most northern aspects of the Eastern Deadlands burned with multi colored flames and detonations as the sacred pure waters of the sea drenched them temporarily cleansed them.

    The Wardogs leapt up in the air with their wings beating furiously trying to gain altitude before the sky blocking waves hit. The Gnomes deeper in the water could only hunker down and hope for the best. Gnomes and Dwarves on shore ran to the partially hidden tunnel complex leaving equipment behind them. The two sets of waves hit taking many Gnomes over the sharp hillsides to dead and desecrated valleys beyond along with their Dwarven compatriots. The Dwarven ghosts headed straight into the stony hillsides afraid of the water despite the fact they were already dead.

    The aerial Wardogs immediately began to hunt for the Gnomes and Dwarves swept away as the now corrupted waters receded while the desecrated lands burned leaving a fog smelling of unclean death.

    Approaching the contact point in the Eastern Deadlands, Vargus made the mistake of assuming his good fortune without putting on the safety restraint straps. The aerial shockwaves had knocked the tiny Whatever sideways nearly to the distant shoreline to the South.

    Nimbles totally outraged at being tossed around as if she was nothing did the surprise Chi attack her granny had taught her. Grabbing the under edge of the cockpit decking over her head, she launched herself upward with both legs straightened into a single mid-mass two heeled kick on the Wardog. Surprised he flew backwards, as the tow line unraveled, and found himself once again at the end of the tow line bouncing in the wind. Nimbles once again attempted to take control of the Whatever in but had not reckoned the presence of the high velocity air currents heading to the great barrier. The high roads of winds far above the clouds had been misplaced by the creatures of Darkness. The two hundred to four hundred kilometer per hour winds now shrieked from one hundred to two hundred meters in altitude. A Eastward invisible torrent of wind snatched away the little vessel going East, as if it was a twig in a howling harsh wind. Like her compatriot being too confident, she had not buckled herself in and once again she flew parallel to the decking holding on by her claws for her mortal life.

    Vargus was ready to give up. This was just too much. He suddenly remembered the little accessory he had deftly stolen from Nimbles when she attacked him the first time in the cockpit. Pulling it out he realized it was a cosmetic snap shut powder and hand mirror he had seen countless females use. Popping it open, he figured to himself that he may as well look good going into the afterlife although no one really was sure where the Wardogs would go. A male--always--had to look good for chasing the females they sought. Figuring he was going to die, he saw Az looking at him with a divine wrath on his face from the shoreline, so he blew his King and General a kiss good-bye in defiance and waved daintily.

    Everything was happening too fast now. “Oops,” Nimbles thought, as the good ship Whatever impacted on the Great Forbidden WA barrier. Looking Eastward beyond the bow of the Whatever, Vargus did not have time to process what he saw.

    Most of the Wardogs saw the act of audacity to their General and King. Impressed the Wardogs stepped backwards again, as Az looked at them all clapping their fists on their chests. Snatching out his Black Sword of Power, Az released its power at the little ship and his errant warrior in erupting hostility finally becoming fully outraged. The meter wide line of black flowing flames hit the barrier as it continued to ripple, flowing through it in a obliterating path of complete destruction over twenty meters wide. The result of Az's death strike was too late.

    The Dwarves and Gnomes were being brought back to shore by the Wardogs as others ran out of the tunnels to check on their friends. The ghosts stepped out of the stony cliffs. Feeling abjectly humiliated, Az jumped up and down in unbridled fury on his God made Dark Sword of Destruction and Obliteration, while all watched in stunned amazement. .

    Completely unobserved, yet displacing a large amount of water, the giant barnacle encrusted creature with its huge pincer type claws stood up on its segmented legs with the female Grand Temple High Wizard Prestress standing on top. As they rose above the level of the water, the pair viewed the chaos on the shoreline, while the Grand High Temple Wizard held her staff of power and authority in her right webbed hand and a Gifted Backpack in the left webbed hand.

    She was utterly shocked at the chaos. The most ancient remaining histories said that Sky Peoples were very irrational, violent, impulsive, emotional and erratic creatures. The Gods themselves had supposedly given up on all the races of the Sky Peoples then tossed them all on the Skylands, leaving them there in disgust. Only the Dryads had been contacted in desperation long ago.

    She was the most ancient and powerful of True Peoples of the Shallows and Deep Royal Temples and yet the Sky People completely ignored her. All watched a male with a crown wrapped in black flames jumping up and down in some obscure ritual on top of a large sword laying in the sand.

    They whispered and looked on in obeisance and awe at the individual they surrounded. Amazingly they seemed to be exchanging coin and bits of writing furtively. Tapping her staff on the Back of the giant creature, a greenish blue extended stroke of lightening struck. It burned the entire surrounding shorelines of the ancient small secluded Pirate Port for almost a minute to get everyone's attention. The ancient forgotten little port sat above one of the great former openings to Stone Temple Deep one hundred meters below.

    Suddenly realizing the presence of a monster and powerful interloper most of the biped civilians jumped up and down screaming, while running around frantically in circles except for the strange creatures with wings who stared in disbelief. The adored and watched male was frozen in place like an idiot with his mouth slackly hanging open looking at her standing on his big sword laying in the sand. The Dwarven ghosts hid again in the stone hillsides while sneaking peeks at the fearsome monstrosities.

    She thought carefully with great inner focus not to make a mistake for this was the first exchange of greetings with the Sky Peoples in possibly a hundred millennia.

    She took a deep breath and carefully held out her arms encompassing the large crowd on the shore. All was done carefully in the religious historical described correct manner, while making sure to pull back her lips and show all her sharp teeth fully as required.

    Then she uttered the Last Fragment of the Last Remaining Holy Text of Sky People Greetings,

    “...and what time do we call this!?”
    Last edited by Deforian; April 11th, 2019 at 08:01 PM.

  5. #65

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Battles Part 31

    Conflict Part 4

    West of the Forbidden Barrier/Eastern Deadlands/Pirates Inlet-Smugglers Bay

    The large stealth scouts floated silently, undetected by all, in an arc fifty meters above the shoreline of the ancient pirate Inlet. Their larger than average sails were folded. The crew wearing tightly woven black mesh were indistinguishable between each other. The dozen ship force had a platoon of heavily armored Gnomian assault warriors split between ships. None spoke and all were still.

    They watched as the drama unfolded below them. The Temple wizard had thrown the back pack to Az and waited for a response but none was delivered. The anger of the wizard was easy to see with her tightening grip on the staff and a stiffer stance. Since she was not addressed the wizard and her huge creature disappeared beneath the dark waters. Az shouted orders. Most packed their gear or what was left of it after the waves and waited. Fleet ships were arriving and transporting the civilians. Az's Wardogs and a small group of Gnomes proceeded into the tunnels. The Dwarven ghosts followed.

    A Medium ship from the 3rd Fleet arrived over the sea where the battle had occurred. Two dozen small fast scouts flew in an expanding grid pattern. There were no survivors found since the emergency call registered in Fleet Command HQ aboard the Juggernaut after their arrival at the battle site. No creatures were noted in the air or under the water. The damage to the shore lines was evaluated. Aerial drops of supplies and personnel assisted on land though in limited numbers. Dead fish were already washing up on the surrounding shorelines. Oddest of all was the fog. A dank greasy free floated approximately three inches above the water. It moved with the waves covering two thirds of the near sea.

    Pirate Inlet was quiet now. The invisible ships slowly dropped to approximately one half meter then became visible. Six individuals hopped down to the shore. Four sat behind the two that stood right at the edge of the water. A vessel eased outward and dropped a device into the center of the Inlet then returned to its position. The water surface rippled with a low faint sonic vibration.

    In the far south of the Eastern Deadlands another dozen Black Gnome vessels floated near the shoreline of the ancient inward sea area known on the ancient common maps as Smuggler's Bay. Like their counterparts in the north, six hopped down to the shoreline with two standing and four sitting. As with the other group of Gnomian individuals a sonic device was dropped into the water and the ships and Gnomes waited for the ancient fabled race. Smugglers bay in centuries past had a small illicit docking area with storage areas for stolen goods but now long since destroyed. As in the north a huge blocked off tunnel entrance was in the deep waters below.

    In Pirate's Inlet the Gnomes, secure in their strength, remained patient, confident and calm.
    They knew the underwater sonic buoy would be answered. Az's personnel comprising the prior group had made a poor showing. They on the other hand knew what to expect now after centuries of argument. The Gnomes unlike Az's group would not fail.

    In the distant past a day finally came that one of the sea creatures was injured and washed up on the shore after a fierce battle underneath the waves that had gone on for days with strange currents and flashes of light in the dark sea. The Gnomes hid the terribly injured creature and cared for it. They did not go out on the waters to fish for fear of what was below that might come out to attack or eat them. Being quick to figure out things, though fearful and shy, the villagers slowly tended to the healing of the strange creature.

    A full moon had passed then others came to the shoreline with weapons of great power and fierce un-Gnomish countenances. Only the village shaman stayed with the strange one, being the bravest of them all. The sea people swam up to the edge of the sandy shore with water swirling around their bodies as they rose from the sea. The recovered sea female slowly stood up gave the shaman her blessing before returning to the water saying nothing. The Sea People left strange things on the shore the next day and so began years of trade in earliest days of the Gnomish people with many minstrels and scholars coming observing, recording and the then leaving. One day the Sea People did not come and never returned, but the knowledge was not lost all of those centuries before. Now the Gnomes were an older race with a civilization of wisdom and knowledge.

    Only the Gnomes still had most of their histories and songs passed down generation to generation. First by the minstrels then by the scholars traveling the world collecting knowledge and always recording for those that came afterward. They never understood why the sea peoples stayed away after the last trade long long ago.

    Not long after the device was dropped, the water swirled with the huge shelled creature and the ancient High Temple Wizard standing on it rose above the waters holding the buoy. Numerous heads rose above the water behind her. She stepped down and laid the device on the sand then stepped back in the water one meter out observing and waiting.

    Both groups of Gnomes in the North and South locations followed the same procedure. Two Gnomes in front stood up bowed to the Temple Wizard to each other then began to dance, facing the Temple Wizard. The dance was basic simple and short. Two of the creatures swam up from behind the Temple Wizard then stood up in front of her with their webbed feet barely in the water as the water flowed around each. The dance was repeated but slightly more complex. The Gnomes responded and so it went until the dances were fluid intricate nearly erotic not touching yet touching as the pairs exchanged partners and the Gnomish dancers rose up on small columns of water provided by the water creature's power. The Gnomes sitting brought out little spheres with buttons. Sound was added to the fluid dancing. Four more stood up behind the dancers standing in the water verbally repeating the sounds. Back and forth the language of sound and movement passed till both understood each other in the time allotted.

    In the North Pirate Inlet the moment had finally come. An ancient Gnome with a beard to his feet stepped down from the ships. He walked to the water then stood ankle deep confidently facing the Tall wizard. He held with both his hands a large closed sea shell with an unknown script on the outside to the ancient female. The wizard moved up and daintily took the huge clam and opened it up. Within was a large ruby made into a perfect sphere. Holding the large sea shell with its perfect ruby sphere inside she turned and faced the vast crowd watching from the deeper waters. With whistles, clicks, trills and body movement she gave her message. The token of friendship from long ago had been returned. Only the littlest walking Skypeople had finally understood. The presentation to the Sea Peoples by the High Wizard was met with approval. Quickly the sea dwellers evacuated and disappeared into the inky waters.

    The Gnomish eldest scholar walked back to the ship thinking to himself, “The stage was set now for both North and South entry points into the tunnel system. The Gnomes would open up the more shallow areas. The Sea Peoples would remove the corrupted stone debris left over. The inner caps much lower in the water blocking the tunnel system would be opened by them.

    As expected the Sea People were jealous of their privacy. Dwarves were tight lipped about their true wealth. Gnomes were closed mouthed, their secrets held tightly in the vises of their little hands. Gnomes did not share easily and never played well with others at the end of the day. The new alliance would remain a secret of the Gnome Intelligence Department of the New Rachival governing council unshared with any other race or city.”

    The black silent ships in the North and South wavered in the air then disappeared into the cloudy night sky. The waters boiled and frothed as explosions cleared most of the shallow corrupted stone covering, revealing the extensive life size mosaics of shells, precious metals and jewels.

    The still waters became more choppy as the strange creatures cleared the way in the dark depths below.....

    --- Beginning of the End continues
    Last edited by Yfelvik; June 19th, 2019 at 05:20 AM.

  6. #66

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Battles Part 32

    (….Mordel's bellow of angry Draconic frustration with the Naka's rambling cut the Gnome's instruction short while filling and echoing into the other passages. Mordel quickly backed up to the far wall with Malicore on his back as the winds from the portal snatched at his great wings. The floating upright disk of the portal was fully lit up and expanding already now three times its normal size. The batteries to both sides were bubbling and exploding. Mordel launched himself off the far wall with his hind taloned paws, wings beating then folding around himself and Malicore, as the shrieking winds sucked them in.) Battles Part 27

    Conflict Part 5

    In Transit/East of the Great Barrier

    The howling wind in the darkness surrounded them. Malicore knew that Mordel was trying to speak to him but all he could hear was a shadow of something. With visibility less than ten meters Malicore was becoming frightened for the first time in his life. Neither of them could afford to die despite the fact they were Gifted. They would not come back here where Kaasha wanted them. They were going faster than ever before and Mordel could not see or hear nor did he have a sense of the way forward.

    Suddenly there was green twilight in front of them and Mordel was caught by a shearing cross wind and tumbled sideways. Malicore lost his grip on Mordel's scales and was flung off. Mordel bounced off a gigantic fracturing piece of masonry. There was no time to worry about his battle companion. Malicore pulled out a thin rope with a grapple and threw it at an oddly shaped rock. The grapple caught. He realized upon arrival at the time that the rock was a black granite corner stone of over one thousand tons. As he stood upon it, he had a chance to view the potential battlefield.

    They were half way down a tremendous funnel in the air. The funnel was draining all manner of WA debris from thousands of meters around heading mostly eastward. Everything seemed to be moving at the same speed yet in the lower parts of the funnel things appeared to be going faster, as the spiralling layers of material got closer to the huge black hole in the center before disappearing. The WA clouds would try to reweave themselves above the funnel but were shredded over and over.

    At the lowest part of the huge turning funnel he saw the shape of a horrific creature surrounded in a sphere of green fire. Its wings were beating so quickly that only a Gifted one could see them. Despite its great huge wings, the creature was slowly being drawn to the center beneath ground level. He looked up seeing Mordel trying to leave the funnel but failing in his attempt. Catching his attention the Gifted dragon indicated for him to run along the huge slab he was traversing and then jump outward. Malicore obeyed without question. Mordel wings snapped twice and he grabbed his battle companion gently with his taloned paws then Malicore climbed to the base of his neck. Malicore could see they were now closer to the bore. At this distance they could see all the WA materials disappearing at the non-distinct edge of the huge black circular hole. The hole itself seemed to have a great depth and was almost mesmerizing in quality. The center of the great funnel of spiraling air and debris was clear.

    Mordel urgently addressed Malicore, “Where is the big city and great creature the impertinent Gnome in Doom referred to? I refuse to leave with out my glory Sslik!”

    Malicore responded in awe while looking at all the moving debri, “I believe it is all around us my great friend, being sucked into that large hole below. YOU have been busy trying to find a way out so I took a long look. There are huge pieces of massive temples and pillars. Trails of WA creatures I have never seen before as well as chunks of the huge thorned limbs of the vegetation that the WA grows for whatever the reason. I do not know what happened here. I do not understand. ;The great creature though is about fifty meters above the bore trying to fly out. Use your Ancient Dragon sight. See it?”

    Focusing, Mordel's eyes widened, “It is far larger than I am and quite fierce looking. What do you think that creature is?”

    “Looks like a God fallen down on hard times I think. Only the most powerful of the WA would have that large of a complete sphere of green flames around itself. More importantly though is how do we get out of here? We are on the other side of the Great Forbidden Barrier Mordel. Think of it, we will be able to claim to be the -first- warriors since that Elvin General with his large army heading east through a secret passage in the great Forbidden Barrier.” replied Malicore excitedly.

    Concerned Mordel replied, “I cannot fly out Sslik. The pull to the center is too great.”

    Surprised at his battle companion's answer Malicore happened to look down then gestured to Mordel. The creature had reached out a right arm towards the great barrier. A second right hand wrote green script in the air. A line of pulsing green went from wall to his right hand.

    Mordels eyes widened in astonishment for the ancient Gifted One had never seen the like of this. The creature seemed to be drawing power in some manner from the great Forbidden Barrier far to the West. Expanding concentric circular rippling waves flowed across its vast flat surface as a great funnel began to form the base of the pulsing green line..........

    --- Beginning of the End continues
    Last edited by Yfelvik; June 19th, 2019 at 05:19 AM.

  7. #67

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Battles Part 33

    In the Far Sky Above

    The superior to the Fallen One had come a long way in time and distance to arrive at this world in which the Powerful Undead Chaotic Gods had invested so much. She had, through her living servant, achieved much. This in turn had increased her standing in the foul hierarchy of power. Her servant had called for help for the first time in a thousand millennia. Her humanity was long since gone, dust in the howling winds. Her given name by the ancient powers of the WA was Mindre Grådige Gudinde and her first servant had reflected her great power in all of its glorious evil. She was to have arrived on a teleport pad in the grand capital east of the seemingly tiny Forbidden Barrier. She found herself though in orbit slowly burning. A glowing green pseudopod of power bulged outward encasing her servant in green flames. Despite her great power she began to burn brightly streaking across the high night sky. There was nowhere for her to go and no way to return to her seat of power far away.....

    Conflict Part 6

    East of the Forbidden Barrier

    The Fallen One was slowly rising against the pull of the great black hole as power was absorbed from the Forbidden Barrier. Looking up he saw the flying pair of Istarian Gifted warriors. A small Scout ship appeared coming through the Forbidden Barrier. It rode the green line of power moving at great speed pulled towards the Fallen One. The Scout was apparently in some way being pulled by Fallen One's pulsating green line of power.

    As the small Scout ship, with over large sails and a Wardog in tow on a grapple line, entered the funnel of air, a twenty meter thick line of black flames narrowly missed them. The huge green solid thread of power from the barrier was cut apart by the black flames, as if it was of no consequence. The line of power immediately dissipated while the black flames continued in a straight line. Angling upward into the far sky, black flames obliterated everything in its path through the walls of the great funnel of air with its unimaginable amount of monstrous debris. Below the Gifted and the Scout, the Fallen One,drawing more upon his own power, howled in primal rage. High in the sky above he watched as his Goddess was obliterated by the huge funnel of black flames continuing upward. The bubble of greenish powerful flames around him instantly disappeared as he was forcefully jerked downward to the black bore. His flesh beneath the burnt runes of power was rent all over his body The Fallen One howled in vehement rage shaking all four fists. He realized that it was as if he was on an invisible leash held by a far greater magical power and was now greatly diminished.

    Once again the huge creature looked straight up seeing clearly the small aerial craft as well as the Gifted Dragon and Sslik warrior. Bolts of green lightening flashed out of two of the wands of power he held towards them. The bolts of power he sent to them were bent back downward toward, narrowly missing himself.

    Mordel looked at the Wardog realizing he knew him, while Malicore recognized the Saris. The Wardog was Vargus who was putting up some type of female accessory he had seen the Naka females use. The female had climbed back into the cockpit and was screeching in colorful robust old Saris curses at the Wardog. At first, with its momentum, The Whatever went past the Gifted pair before being pulled back down.

    Vargus looked at the Gifted pair almost eye to eye in a stretched out moment. Vargus knew he and the Saris needed their help desperately. Dragons were cunning, powerful and odd creatures. Malicore was known for his fearless malicious vengeful fighting. He would need to do something out of the box to keep them on this side of the wall lest they return to the fighting in the west. You could never be sure about what a Gifted One was going to do next.

    Vargus shouted at Mordel in Dragon speak, “I know you oh most ancient and feeble one. You are the ancient ole fart who FLED Dralk when the fight was just starting. Betcha one thousand in horde gold that the furball of a Saris in the cockpit beats ya to the Fallen One, Emperor of a Thousand WA Realms. You should retire. You are getting too old and fat for real fighting oh lessor Gifted Lunus called Mordel.”

    Vargus then immediately flashed the acknowledged universal obscene gesture at Mordel while blowing a kiss at Malicore. He was already pulling himself upward to the cockpit as Nimbles began a spirited attempt to fly the Scout resulting in a fast random meandering path. Malicore cursed, missing with multiple volleys of Demon Bow arrows unable to anticipate where the Saris was going to go next and unused to the circular wind pattern. Mordel bellowed in wrath releasing a volley of Dragon fire almost catching Vargus and blackening the stern of the little Scout ship.

    Mordel shouted at Malicore, “Get out one of your remaining cursed Dragon arrows. I will kill the Wardog and you attack the fallen God to get its attention so that we can deal with him afterward. Our glory shall be sung in all the ages to come!!” With a double snap of his wings The Gifted Pair shot downwards in pursuit of the small Scout ship and its criminal crew.

    On the Scout ship Vargus pushed Nimbles aside then strapped them both in. Relieved at his presence Nimbles did not attack him.

    Vargus stated urgently, “Lock in on the monster below with the two Dim Witty fireworks. I will take care of the flying.” Pointing at a knob to the left Vargus continued, “Pull that once when I tell ya.”

    Nimbles shouted, “Were those Gifted Ones? Did you get their help?”

    Vargus replied in an oddly calm voice, “They are going to come and help alright. We can escape and leave them the WA monster. They can fulfill their destiny and we will live to fight another day with a good ale before doing so. I am absolutely sure I was able to get their attention.”

    “Thank goodness. We could always use Gifted fighters!” Nimbles exclaimed fervently. Vargus smirked behind her where she could not see.

    “Fire, Nimbles!! by pulling that knob!” Vargus shouted as he looked into the rear view mirror at Mordel who was getting closer but not quite in flame range—yet.

    Caught by surprise The Fallen One was knocked to the right by the exploding fireworks but was unscathed. Slightly stunned he only had time to blink before the anti-personnel mine exploded in front of his face, knocking him further while screaming in pain. Rubbing all three of his eyes he went sideways near the fuzzy border of the Bore hole. The great invulnerable creature had not paid attention to the fact that all debris pulled down to the bottom was moving one hundred times faster than the debris on top. Suddenly he was pummeled with variable sized one hundred ton to one thousand ton masonry, along with Withered Aegis plant life and undead bodies of his slaves and armies. With multiple strikes the Fallen One was knocked back across the bore hole twenty five meters lower, as he tried to right himself.

    Mordel flipped sideways and released his flames scorching the huge creature's chest. Malicore struck the back side of the Fallen One with the glowing yellow arrow before the creature could react. The little ship flashed into the blackness as Mordel righted himself and sped up heading downward. The Gifted pair entered the Darkness of the bore hole a split second afterward while Mordel's Breath of Fire hit the darkness before him.

    The Fallen One, fully outraged, followed the Gifted pair. He thought to himself, “They would die first for these latest insults and then the little wooden boat with its mortal crew would be gathered up for his own little playhouse of tortures and dubious pleasures for a nice ten thousand years of self gratification.”

    Malicore turned to see the monstrous creature following them while the creature belched green flames at them, as he notched his Demon Bow again. With eyes dripping green flames and four hands holding four huge staff like wands emitting green lighting bolts, the fearful creature was getting close enough to see the bleeding rents in its flesh. It was obvious that the creature was now incoherent in his rage and his diminished power. Malicore grinned.

    As Malicore's vision turned to black entering the bore, he laughed out loud shouting to Mordel, “That Gnome will pay for his insults, but who could have ever known that fighting in the Big City could be so much fun!”

    “The boring interlude of these hours was finally over for them.” Mordel thought to himself, “He was going to get his revenge and glory all at once.” Mordel could not help but show his fine rows of sharp teeth to the darkness upon entering behind his long blast of dragon fire.....

    Beginning of the End Continues

    Last edited by Skirnir Ouija Glada; July 11th, 2019 at 09:36 PM.

  8. #68

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Battles Part 34

    (In the distance above the clouds on the way to Old Rachival Escasia and others watched from the stern of the 2nd Fleet flagship. The destruction of the enemy was almost complete in the explosions, flames and shockwaves engulfing the great Dark Lord Grim with his horde around Feladan and throughout the Sacred Forrest. Thousands of little sparks could be seen setting additional fires, as the remnants fled to the Eastern Deadlands for safety. The WA cloud cover dissipated over the lands that burned purifying the land. An icy North wind blew, as the aerial ship tacked its course.

    “There will be repercussions your Majesty from this event.” Eldest somberly rumbled.

    “Truly Eldest this will be the least of our worries before the night is done,” reasoned Escasia. Battles Part 14)

    Old Rachival

    Conflict Part 7

    From the forecastle of the huge flagship Queen Escasia watched as Admiral Whistlecheek brought the flagship into position just west of Old Rachival at one hundred meters above ground level. The number of WA troops seemed a bit less but she was not surprised. The Dark Lord of Gears had taken his seven elite legions of automatons to Aughundell. Old Rachival remained covered by WA low level clouds resulting in a more darkened corrupted artificial night. The medium vessels began their attack runs from all four directions through the protective green WA cloud cover dropping their loads before arcing upward. Each ship repeated its run over the main roads two more times on the dead city's upper slopes and high plateau. The ground, paths and cliffs oozed thick flowing various colored fluids that the WA could not avoid.

    The project weapon for this attack had been overseen with a consult from Knut. Knut had in turn had perfected the two stage Dim Witty shock and awe weapon which was aerial support for ground troops in the Imperium. Designed for for a situation that no one had ever thought of, the world would now have its debut. The admiral gave the signal. A single archer fired a fiery arrow that arched up and then fell into the greenish darkness of the dead city. Old Rachival exploded in towering rolling flames that seemed to have a mind of their own. The huge waves of flame rolled throughout Old Rachival like an ocean's great waves battering against craggy stone cliffs in a deep cold winter storm.

    The corrupted stone fell away in huge chunks to roll down the slopes. Flat ground areas of corrupted stone flashed into dust. The visible undead Withered Aegis were vaporized. Numerous previously unknown main entrances to the underground storage levels were revealed. The upper slope above the experimental area that had housed XProject, now was for open for transport. Many more open and melted metal doorways to the citizen living areas came to light on ground level.

    The Admiral walked up between Queen Escasia and Eldest, the Helian high dragon of the Wardogs. The Admiral was silent but the tension around him was palpable.

    Eldest spoke first, “Admiral what will your Naka Warriors do next?” Eldest watched as a blackened fog at least one meter thick began to collect above the ground which still swirled around the areas not finished burning.

    Admiral Whistlecheek responded in a clipped voice, “We will do only what we must. Dead or not this bleak place had an unparalleled beauty and grandeur in our past. We will destroy only a part of what the WA put here in their desecration of a place Istara smiled upon, while Telak walked amongst us.”

    The Admiral looked up at the ancient Dragon silently then said as he waved his little hand nonchalantly across the spectacle of what was happening below, “And if this had been Chiconis at the time of the attack? What would the Helian Dragons have done with its fall?”

    “We would have called upon our Dragon brothers from Dralk to assist us even as we would respond to them. We then would counter attack and annihilate all opposing us or die in the effort.” he responded raising eyebrow scales, looking at the Gnome. Eldest could smell and see the Naka's tiny expressions, however fleeting they were or might be. The little elder Gnome was literally shaking with rage underneath his skin, despite the fact he was outwardly calm. If fate had been different he would have made a fine Helian Elder.

    With his stance stiffening his hard and glittering eyes squinted, “Our armies were obliterated while defending ourselves and others around us in the prior conflicts. There were not enough to repel the fated attack. Those left could only sacrifice themselves to save what others they could. I was lucky. I survived. With the slaughter of the innocent our race nearly perished becoming extinct. The WA could not penetrate the living areas. We gave up only feet in those deep passages. The dead were piled to block the WA and protect most of our remaining children. When the WA were not able to take those levels the vile enemy simply sealed my people in with desecrated stone. The great towers in the city were collapsed and remolded to create this now terrible place. With the ventilation system sealed and no where to go they died in thousands. Since I have told you these things Dragon, I ask you, “Who came to assist us in that hour of need? Who came to save the butchering of our children, females, elderly and so much of our accumulated wisdom oh ancient one? Who has helped us retake our city?”

    Eldest looked down at the Gnome serenely, whose scent was rife with violence, despite his outward appearance, “Admiral Whistlecheek, truly I do not know.”

    A gravely voice full of terrible memories answered, “A handful of individuals came and most died beside us and we remember them. Only one full family clan and all of its allies brought what they had. Of that number only one lived to continue their blood line. This family group was called the Teach clan. Their clan had been cursed by an evil Goddess, who witnessed the slaughter of my people doing nothing. In doing so she forsook the agreement she had made with Telak. The Dwarves were already besieged. So it is recorded in our annals and passed down that our greatest ally was a cursed criminal family/clan of humans and their allies who came at our call and saved many. This Clan was not well known to us and we were surprised. With the exception of a handful they and theirs were the only help we received. Since then there has been only the one called General Az, fated to assist and be our greatest ally during these times. Even now none of the races have even sought to help us regain Old Rachival. I doubt we will ever free this no longer sacred place, except to leave it as living proof of the help we never received from the rest of the world.”

    The flames died out slowly. A terrible char house stench poured out of the prior sealed entrances to the civilian living areas. There was only silence. The admiral pulled out a dual eyeglass and began chuckling to himself.

    Queen Escasia asked, “You still have not answered the question Admiral and why do you laugh now at such a grim time?”

    The Admiral tilted his head remembering, “There are many of us that never stopped believing in Telak, despite the fact so many left him. He had agreements with several other divinities to protect his chosen but they decided to betray him for whatever the reason. The oldest of our mathematicians long ago predicted this and projected that Telak would demonstrate his promise in their esoteric projections and even gave a date within the time space continuum.”

    Queen Escasia looked irritated saying, “ What are you talking about ? What are Mathematicians?, Esoteric projections in the time space continuum?? Do I need to call a healer to check on you? I fear you are rambling and making no sense at all and that is not like you Admiral!”

    The Admiral sighed looking away, “ I am tired Dragon perhaps you can tell the youngster what I am talking about.”

    The Queen frowned not knowing if she had been insulted or not. The Helian Dragon of the Wardogs,Eldest, eyes widened at the Gnome's statement quickly thinking, “None of the oldest Dragons had reasoned that the Gnomes knew so much. He had long told the Helian High Council that the bipeds were a great danger. They should have listened, considering all the new equipment that had appeared after the events that had transpired with the setting of the sun. The Naka would have to be observed more closely. Sadly events of this eve had proven his argument that had set the stage for his banishment in the distant past.

    Eldest framed his comment carefully, “The Admiral is very tired, Child of the Sky, so I will answer this question for him, as I am the eldest here. In all the races only the oldest and wisest have a clearer vision of the world around us. The elders he was referring to were famous soothsayers that argued much over events in the future then walked off with each thinking they were right. The date most of them argued about was in their future. Their future is our present on this terrible night.”

    Escasia was silent for a moment then responded pleasantly, “I am sorry Admiral that you are so tired. Soothsayers! I know what they are! As you can see I am not a Scholar, but rather a student who pursued the Military Arts. So what did they say?”

    The Admiral relaxed with the quick intervention of the Dragon, “Something old and something new would witness a Divine promise kept on this night.”

    Eldest spoke up, “Child of the Sky you are something new. I am something old and the Divine promise concerns Telak.”

    “Look and see Queen Escasia,” as the Admirals tiny arm quickly pointed downward to the dead surface of Old Rachival..........”

    Beginning of the End continues

  9. #69

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Battles 35

    (The Hekla, flagship of the 1st fleet had long since departed at the command of Admiral Twistpipe. He was a fierce middle aged Gnome with an unusually aggressive personality type. Since there was no order not to leave, he made the decision to take advantage of the loophole, using his own judgement. He looked at his clock . It was after midnight. Unbeknownst to Az he also answered to the New Rachival Intelligence Agency, who wanted a birds eye view of the Western Deadlands. The Gnomian Scientific Bureau was also responding to the request of the Helian High Elder with whom they had a separate agreement. Equipment, for ground camouflage from aerial intruders needed to be delivered to Drakul's Heart, the sacred volcano of the Dragons. An engineering team would go with the equipment. Above the WA clouds his flagship, the Helka, was still below normal cloud level. They would reach their first drop in thirty minutes at the volcano. That drop mission would take fifteen minutes. How long the equipment would take to set up was not his problem.

    The 1st mate reported, “Sir we have an Aerial Disturbance (AD). The AD is incoming from East of Tazoon. Fifteen hundred meters and closing quickly. It is really big sir. I would say about three times the size of an ancient. Changing configuration on the crystal viewing screens. ETA is about four minutes. Without hesitation Admiral Twistpipe softly stated his order, “Captains you know the drill. All up above normal cloud level by one hundred meters. Notify the Helian High Elder we need inbound dragons to us from Drakul's Heart. Give our present speed and position. Use stealth attack sequence--Defensive Alpha. All to stealth mode. Crystal silence. No firing. Ahead full.”

    The fleet rose swiftly. What it lacked in aerial maneuverability and speed it made up in altitude modification limited only by the magic of gravity. The ships disappeared in the clouds, followed by fading from view after breaching the clouds. The Fleet was made up of a large flagship ship, ten medium ships, twenty smaller ones with numerous very small scouts spread out in tactical precision. The decision had been made. Fight only if attacked, neither mercy nor quarter would be given. There would be no rescue of downed ships or falling comrades. The mission overrode all other concerns. Fully one half of Az's killers would be the fighting contingents, as needed, in support of three of the four fleets.........Battles Part 2)

    Conflict Part 8

    High in the Sky between Drakul and the Western Deadlands

    Admiral Twistpipe Stood firmly on the forecastle deck observing the fighting on Drakul without fear of the enemies flying past him or the killing of those next to him. His craggy deep lined face was full of old anger and grief, though he faced the battle while scowling without flinching. The Wardogs were impressed and referred to his smile as the hungry look of a blood lusting creature of darkness in the evil realms on the hunt for fresh meat.

    Water elemental dragons tried to scale the rocky walls of the Drakul volcano without success. Several of the aerial strikes by the foul elemental dragons of the air had been successful but after those none were able to penetrate the Gnomish fortified batteries with supporting Dwarven warriors for armored infantry. The defensive lines had been shattered in the beginning with two enemy incursions, killing two Dragon matrons. Gnomes and Dwarves had died by the scores, while fighting a near invisible enemy.

    Now the Matrons stayed just inside the tunnels holding the entry points to the hatchlings in the underground areas. Thereafter no more incursions occurred . The cost had been too high for a mere snack, or so it appeared. Now the flying creatures sought easier kills on the fleet vessels.

    A fast small Scout ship came along side the huge Flagship. The Wardogs leapt up in the air with wings beating, tossing crates in a line down to the deck. The Commander of the Scout looked up at the Admiral Twistpipe who nodded then called for the Captain.

    “Yes sir?” replied the Captain.

    “Retract all sails above and below. Go to the alternate means of transportation and signal the other ships to do the same, as we had discussed in the briefing before we started.”

    “Done Admiral, as ordered.” Both watched the telescoping masts and their sails disappear. The Captain vanished on the hidden stairs going below.

    The Scout slewed around above the main deck while unfurling its sails as the smaller masts telescoped inward. The crates were unloaded. The Scout opened it sails with masts telescoping outwards, then leapt southward quickly disappearing into the darkness of the night.

    A huge Wardog officer landed on the deck beside Admiral Twistpipe saying, “The Master Tinker on the Juggernaut sends his regards and says 'I hope Admiral Twistpipe enjoys his birthday present early'. Do we have permission Admiral to set up the device? We cannot find the Captain.” The Wardog quietly knelt on one knee and attentively looked down at the diminutive Gnome without blinking or portraying any type of emotion.

    The Admiral, who had not moved in all this time, turned his head slowly and grinned at the officer. The Wardog grinned back without saying a word. The Admiral understood the Wardogs perfectly and they knew him thus no communication was necessary.

    To the East a small dot appeared and became progressively larger very quickly. Twistpipe recognized the Dragon. Knoble stopped and hovered by the forecastle where Admiral Twistpipe was standing. Looking at the Admiral the Gifted One spoke serenely. “Fear not Admiral Twistpipe, help is coming. It is our belief you will be pleased.”

    Twistpipe replied tartly, “I fear nothing Dragon. I hope the mentioned assistance comes faster than what we received at Old Rachival from the other races. I do however thank you for the assistance you have given to this fleet on this peculiar and particular night. It shall be remembered by us all. May Telak grant you a favorable wind Knoble.”

    With no further reply from the Admiral, Knoble said nothing and then turned once again and headed southward on Gifted orders from Istaria.

    The fleet was stalled off the coast of the Western Deadlands. Unable to proceed forward, due to unnatural headwinds coming from the Western Deadlands, with no Draconic allies present to assist their way forward. The Third and Fourth biped fleets had left Dalimond after resupply and were supposedly on the way. Twistpipe grunted in dissatisfaction.

    In the far East to his position there formed in the horizon a tall brilliant column of multicolored flames. It lasted for a moment or so then the darkness of WA cloud cover and night supplanted that event's great light from afar. Admiral Twistpipe chuckled then turned his attention to the place of his intended arrival.

    Hordes of WA were coming out of the ground by the teleport towers. Their orders were to had to Tazoon in the South East or straight towards the Tower of Nature. Supposedly the Tower was guarded not only by Mortals and Dryads, but their Goddess as well. However, the Goddess once again was not paying attention.

    The Outer perimeter had been broken and the tower guards were now being pressed backwards up the stairs. Dark smoke was coming out of the tower. The sacred tree within had begun to burn. Dragon fire had already blown out part of the walls since the Watcher Dragon who usually observed from the roof top was finally involved. He was no doubt infuriated due to the inconvenience of dead, alive and undead Naka interfering with his duties.

    Twistpipe was amused that the roar of the Dragon's livid ferocity could be heard even on his flagship far away. Not a single planned munition had been dropped on the Western Deadlands—yet. Twistpipe turned slightly, viewing the Rainbow Bridge to the Dryad lands. The dead were piling up on the Eastern side. The Dryads were mostly holding their own but were still being slowly pressed back Westward.

    Finally Twistpipe used his special spyglasses to check his ships. A full twenty five percent of his fleet no longer existed. Every ship was under crystal silence and with orders for silent running and no return fire unless attacked. Ships fell burning to the water with the Gnomes dropping off them like a white water river running through a sieve. One commander in the distance saw the Admiral looking at him as he fell from his burning ship. He saluted, following his orders without a single word or shout of fear.

    Admiral Twistpipe returned the salute slowly keeping eye contact with him till the aerial officer disappeared below in the darkness. This was beginning to look like the battle for Old Rachival so long ago.....

    The Beginning of the End continues...

  10. #70

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Battles Part 36

    (They watched as the drama unfolded below them. The Temple wizard had thrown the back pack to Az and waited for a response but none was delivered. The anger of the wizard was easy to see with her tightening grip on the staff and a stiffer stance. Since she was not addressed the wizard and her huge creature disappeared beneath the dark waters. Az shouted orders. Most packed their gear or what was left of it after the waves and waited. Fleet ships were arriving and transporting the civilians. Az's Wardogs and a small group of Gnomes proceeded into the tunnels. The Dwarven ghosts followed. Battles Part 31)

    Conflict Part 9

    In Transit / Plague Bearer's Secret Sealed Lair (--Part 1)

    A sergeant in the platoon following King Az asked, “What did she want in return for the backpack? What ever it was supposed to be she was quite angry about not getting it.”

    Hurrying quickly to enter the hidden tunnels Az exclaimed shaking his head, “I have no idea. No doubt it was a moment I fear we have lost forever due to a fated lack of time or perhaps Destiny played a card in her hand in a game of high stakes between Gods.”

    The small stairs were aggravating. The winding stairs going down in a fairly tight circle, had been made for Dwarves and Gnomes. The smell of oil , the sounds of hidden steam devices and the crackle of electricity imbuing the air with a heavy laden breeze came up from below surrounding them all. The black crumbling corrupted stone was left behind them as they shuffled deeper with their wings tightly held to their backs. The stairs led to steep stone ramps going ever downward with numerous junctions. No sconces or Gnomian lights lit the way. Az was grateful that with the change to the creatures they were now, he and his could at least see partially in near total darkness.

    Az whispered to those behind him urging them to a greater speed as he began to run. None complained about the weight they carried. No one questioned the need in his clipped rumbling voice. The promise of blood and a fight to the death awaited them and that was all they needed.

    The whisper of Dwarven instructions came over the Gnomian secret crystal net with its faint crackle in the ears of the Wardogs and their leader. An unknown voice stated quietly over the crystal net, “Take the first corridor next level left then proceed to the lower junction. Beware of the junction. The Scientific Council has yet to make a decision about it. Numerous humans have followed the magical need you will feel and were never seen again. In the distance from there you will see a faint light where you need to go. Follow the light quickly. Your transportation is waiting for you.” The voice then stopped as quickly as it had begun.

    The stone walls and ceilings had changed. Veins of multiple rare minerals and jewels could be seen going deeper. Finally the tunnels had become odd shapes, perhaps designed for strange races rather than those who ran down the Gnomian designed makeshift ramps. Everywhere they looked were murals of a world they could have never imagined. In the murals there seemed to be a story being told in a strange script none could understand. Finally the group could go no further. The darkness was totally oblique and encompassing. They had finally gotten to the junction the voice had spoken of.

    They could only feel the touch of their own fingers upon their faces. An odd feeling of somehow being watched crept up on them. The quiet was as heavy as an eon's silence watching over non-trod inch thick dust in a tunnel which had once echoed long ago with the songs of forgotten melodies. They all felt the urge to run elsewhere than proceeding to the appointed direction. Az growled reaching back to grasp the ancient black sword's hilt for reassurance.

    Within the group of Gnomian Engineers that had followed the Wardogs the voice of the young apprentice Tinker piped up saying, “Fear not General Az and mighty Wardogs, for to me you are all giants. Make way that I may get to General Az.

    The Wardogs chuckled, as the voice of the young Tinker sounded, who was one of the favorites of them all, squeezing sideways for the little one to pass betwixt their legs. The little apprentice Tinker had a Gifted handheld Lamp holding it up as high as he could reach.

    Standing next to General Az he said softly into his crystal of the small group net, “Do not speak loudly Wardogs for all of you are now in an ancient place, filled with a magic we know not. The High Wizard told me to give you this ragged crystal stone. You are in a place that is really two tunnels --we think-- or perhaps this place is from a distant time past, or a future time yet to come. This place could be merging, as we know that is happening on the lands above us. The shard will shatter and make a faint light. It will hit the floor, walls or ceiling in the distance of this tunnel that you are all facing. A massive spell will be triggered. Only those of human or half human blood are affected with this seemingly magical need that abides in the darkness around us. The released spell will trigger around us as like a geas of old. There is some type of connection here in your race's past. The history of it eludes my Elders in our race's magic. There is no reason to hold your breath Wardogs but remain silent. Head toward the distant light you see as we were all instructed. Hold on to the one's belt in front of you, keep going and for NO reason whatsoever –stop!”

    Az could feel the stone placed into his much larger hand by the little Gnome. The stone was small, light and slightly ragged, as if it was a toss off from some other process that the Gifted Dragons use. The Wardogs moved slightly out of the way so to give Az the room he needed.

    When the small crystal bounced off the wall then dropped to the floor it made a small snap with little puff of smoke. The tunnel began to hum and the world around them changed. No longer dark and cramped but a free open vista atop a ragged piece of granite appeared before them. They stood deeper under water than any had been. Odd creatures in family groups swam by not noticing them. In a cave across the shallow valley in front of them a thin near wraith-like shape similar to a coiled snake, however knew they were there. Slowly it coiled with a hooded head rising slowly. A quarter staff like stave made of coral and jewels was in its right hand as the figure uncoiled in the shadows. In the distance above them light glittered on the water's surface, slowly dimming in sunset. The coral walls shimmered in multiple colors. Tall plants seemed to sing as they swayed in the current.

    With a greater urge to take one of the paths connected to the one they trod they shuffled grumbling.

    The little apprentice began to whisper urgently, “Focus, concentrate and move quickly Wardogs! Grab a Gnome or Dwarf and run!! Something is wrong! Keep breathing! Do not hold your breath for we run in a tunnel filled with air!!”

    The Wardogs passed the accompanying Gnomes/Dwarves above their heads. All of the smaller individuals cursed at the indignity of this trial of one's pride. Some of them began to choke as they all saw the bubbles of their exhalations coming from their mouths that left in trails behind them in what appeared to be flowing water.

    Slowly they were losing the feel of the tunnel walls and floor........

    The Beginning of End continues
    Last edited by Yfelvik; October 7th, 2019 at 04:16 AM. Reason: Add Part 1

  11. #71

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    My poor Rachival....
    Gnome Extraordinaire
    Join the GLF! *Gnome Liberation Front

  12. #72

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Battles Part 37

    In Transit to Plague Bearer's Secret Sealed Lair--Part 2

    Conflict part 10

    (Slowly they were losing the feel of the tunnel walls and floor....Battles Part 36)

    The Junction

    The troop was finally arriving in groups of two or three. The junction was huge. The walls, ceilings and floors were covered in greater than life size mosaics depicting a world with creatures that could have never have been real. Long flat wheeled freight pallets, equipped with tie downs were waiting motionless on the rails near a far wall in “The Hub” as it was named by the Gnomes. Tens of tracks ran in different directions into a honey comb of passages. The ambient was no more than twilight which was more than enough for the warriors. Each of the vehicles were long enough for one Wardog. Between each of the flat freight vehicles dual small bots were positioned on odd contrivances. They sat on the tracks between flat freight vehicles that were bound in a row by steel hooks. Scattered Dwarves and Gnomes were busily loading and unloading rail freight whispering to each other while others got out of wheeled small carriages to perform their various duties. Elevator shafts could be seen in the stone walls. Despite the activity all around them, the Hub seemed to be filled filled with an unseen energy and anticipation of the ongoing war and mission.

    The Wardogs with Az that appeared first were the group with the young Apprentice sitting on Az's shoulders who suddenly stood up pointed and yelled, “Beware Wardogs, look to that far wall!”

    An oddly sounding horn blasted the silence. With shocked looks, Gnomes and Dwarves throughout the junction stopped what they were doing, covered their ears, while trying to scoot quickly away as far as possible. The Great Calamity that had been spoken of in centuries old history books for commoners was present amongst them all in the huge junction. There she was, a shrunken emaciated old crone, many many times great gran gran tottering with her walking cane. She was dressed in rags, weaving a haphazard course over the tracks, stopping vehicles and multiple transports.

    The earth and stone fractured where she stepped and spoke. Air vibrated with the violence of her muttering as thunder clouds with sporadic four meter high lightning followed three meters behind her. The frequency of her violent verbiage increased each time she walked on her own beard. The Great Calamity as she was known as, was the greatest urban Aughundell legend of Dwarven race. She was ancient when Aughundell was young. Most believed that she was cursed by ancient forgotten gods. She was avoided at all costs. Dwarven mothers reserved the Great Calamity for miscreant youngsters in their threats of monsters at night time. All of the Wardogs had heard of the legend with the rumors that had been circulating for centuries.

    Despite the appearance of the living legend most still looked at Az waiting. Defend or attack they thought as most started drawing their weapons dropping the smaller ones safely to the ground. Unsure of what to do next, they awaited their General's orders.

    In the Water Beyond

    The dark formless shape slowly unwound. What had been a featureless wraith became bone, sinew and muscle covered in scales of green and blue from the waist down. Thick black unbound hair flowed behind her. Her countenance was of a mesmerizing eldritch inhuman beauty. She wore no jewelry. She needed no enhancements.

    No one had ever seen her hidden in the magically created cave. No one had known of or had ever been the wiser of her powers. She had existed long before their histories only as a myth. Her corrupted healing took time. Time had no meaning for her as she was the Mistress of her own path, which laid outside the paths traveled by mortals. With a wicked immortal malevolent patience she had waited. Patience could be an unholy fruit with a rich sweet taste of vengeance for a malicious twisted intent nurtured over time.

    She was beginning to get excited, as once again her former throne would be hers. She was the last of her kind, Queen of Eldritch powers. In the last great battle she had destroyed the High King of the Shallow Seas but had been too weakened to fight the numerous Princes of his family's many houses, along with their Temple High Wizards. She had been in a half sleep for an age or had it been a thousand? She knew not and nor did she care. Her great prize was once more within her reach. She needed, she wanted, she lusted for her dark throne room with its altar to the Dark Evil Gods she worshiped and a yearning that she could not describe. She needed the smell and taste of blood, the odor of fear with the sacrificial prey which her minions had brought. She shook with the lusty unholy and horrific memories.

    The fact that these strange creatures that ventured through one of her magical tunnels from her throne room enraged her, but still she wondered with curiosity. They appeared to be air breathers but how could that be? What calamity had happened that would place her throne and domain outside the fluid world of the True people? The Gods had separated them all in the beginning. Sky-Land walkers and their own Sky-Air creatures rode the empty currents of what they all breathed. How disgusting! Nevertheless only with her permission did someone enter her domain. A terrible price they would pay for this unheard of lack of courtesy!

    As she leisurely left her cave of rest her long staff no longer was solid coral encrusted with jewels. The staff of power moved of its own accord. Jewels had become tens of single eyes at the end of hair like thin stalks constantly moving and constantly blinking. It had no head, but only an orifice with rows of spiraling teeth. It swam now around slithering up and down around her body of flesh or beside her. She stroked it like a pet without thinking.

    The moment her head breached the deep shadowed illusion of a cave, the glittering lights of a natural sunset ceased in the blind of an eye. The deepened shadows of an evil night prevailed. The pods of families swimming between the Queen and the flickering shadows along the other side of the valley puffed into dark clouds of blood as their screams abruptly ended. Their blood turned into blackened embers that dissipated into the current. The great awakened power did not notice the horror of her own passing. Hundreds of brilliant lights appeared in the distance with a greater multitude of lesser lights following, as they sped towards her.

    The Queen finally focused upon what she needed. With a word she cast other powerful spells. The eyes on the magical staff strained, looking into a far distance with the spells of power cast. The flickering dim lights were merely ghosts that she need not fear. The
    heartbeats of a larger living creature running along with a smaller creature on its shoulders were like thunder in her ears. As she got closer and closer time space and reality, the fabric was subverted to her will.........

    The Beginning of the End continues

  13. #73

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Battles Part 38

    (The Queen finally focused upon what she needed. With a word she cast other powerful spells. The eyes on the magical staff strained, looking into a far distance with the spells of power cast. The flickering dim lights were merely ghosts that she need not fear. The
    heartbeats of a larger living creature running along with a smaller creature on its shoulders were like thunder in her ears. As she got closer and closer time space and reality, the fabric was subverted to her will.....) Battles Part 37

    In Transit to Plague Bearer's Secret Sealed Lair-- Part 3

    Conflict Part 11

    While In the Tunnel

    Both were unaware of a Queen of darkness coming to them from elsewhere. The Dwarven Master Miner sat on the Master Sergeant's shoulders while the Wardog ran. He could see that the Wardog was still reaching for the walls but unconsciously bending his fingers before his claws could drag along the surface of the wall. The Wardog could only hear the splashing of water that he made with his feet while entrapped by the spell of a greater power.

    The ghostly King Dralnok suddenly whispered into the Miner's ear, “He must hear his claws scratching on the wall for him to come back to us. The dark creature in the water is gathering him in his own mind for herself!”

    The Miner started twisting both of the Wardog's ears painfully. The Wardog reacted instantly trying to grab the Dwarf off his shoulders with his left hand as the Dwarf's thumbs got deeper into his ears. He bellowed in pain, stopped dead in his tracks and began cursing and bellowing at the Dwarf in the Dwarf's own language being fully distracted now.

    King Dralnok hooked his mighty Hammer inside the crook of the arm of the Wardog and said a prayer to Brobbit, as he bit the Wardog's arm. With the help of his Iron Guards, the King pulled the hand towards the wall. The Hammer took on a golden glowing aura.

    The magical tunnel disappeared as she lost the anchor for her spell in the far distance. Enraged she struck the cliff wall in front of her. The Princes and their High Temple wizards were still targeting her with blessed rays of bright burning light. She held up her Gods-made staff, uttering a single word. The Black Abyss of Legend formed around her defensively as blinding rays of light hit, disappearing in its rippling non-reflective surface completely absorbed. The combatants had finally come in magical range of their great dark foe which had come to life from the ancient legends.

    The Wardog heard the sound and looked at his left hand in wonder, now hearing the screeching of his claws on the tunnel's unnaturally smooth stone walls. He had already dismissed the bite and use of the King's great Hammer. Amazed he scratched the surface again hearing the sound and realizing that he had somehow forgotten he was in a tunnel.

    Az looked at the Wardog and Dwarf in amazement as they seemed to be in some type of apparent intimate struggle only two meters away from the opening. Several other Wardogs joined him laughing and pointing at the feared Master Sergeant second only in strength to Blog the Leader of the Fourth Cohort. Both Wardog and Dwarf looked up at the exit freezing in place at the sneers and jests of Az and company with the Gnomes and a couple of Dwarves around their feet.

    In desperation and rage the Queen, hovering in the water, stuck her face through the stone wall in front of her partially into the air of the tunnel to see what was going wrong. Seeing a half skull with skin and muscle regenerating on the other half, the Master Miner screamed in fear showing his yellow bad teeth. He was joined in screaming by the Queen, who looked upon the horrific visage of a hairy fairy figure creature of the Sky Lands of Legend. A creature known by all children, as described by their mothers, about under the coral bed monsters.

    The Master Sergeant reacted by grabbing the Queen by her throat and slamming his head against her forehead. The face the fearsome creature disappeared back into the stone wall.

    Stunned for only a moment the defensive sphere of magic around the Queen began to fracture. Rays of blinding white light melted the stone around the Queen deflected by her runes of power seared and sealed into her scales. Turning to face her opponents she overbalanced and her left arm slipped into the stone with her hand feeling the air of the far away dimension on her regenerated skin. She began scribing the glyph she needed into the air beyond her reality in the tunnel of the Lands of Istaria.

    King Dralnok called out a battle command used for the defense of the ramparts on the Walls around Aughundell during times of War to the Master Miner, “Back flip attack!”

    The Dwarf on the shoulders of the Wardog reacted without thought, flipping backwards. He twisted in the air and attacked the creature with his pickax. The separated arm was freed from the creature's partially protruding shoulder in the stone wall. The King with the three to four hundred Iron guards leapt on the arm, dragging it into the living stone of the wall. The arm with its hand disappeared. The floating glyph was finished. Many of the Iron Guard were obliterated.

    The Queen screamed her pain into the water next to the stone wall of the underwater cliff. The Shield of the Abyss exploded into huge shards that tumbled toward the Princes and their Temple High Wizards, holding onto their bright shining white staves. Many could not dodge fast enough, falling into many of the shards of The Abyss exploding outward, disappearing into their depths. The Queen's pet once again became her magical staff with a single thought. She struck the stone wall in fury cursing in a dead ancient tongue that burnt the flowing water with its power.

    Her enemies had finally caught up with her as more joined them. What had been tens of individuals of the Children of the Sea were now thousands. All began to chant the same incantation, as the flares and rays of brilliant light continued to strike.

    She had fought a Guardian of the Deep and won. She had fought divinities and had won. She could not however face an entire race and not be beaten, while doing what she was doing. There was only one way out. She began her final spell of power facing the cliff stone wall, exposing her back to the Children of the Sea. The hundreds of eyes of her staff turned into the mouths of her victims trapped within. Unable to escape from the staff, they had to obey and began to sing in a shrieking wailing counter point for the dark forbidden dreadful spell.

    Further back in the tunnel, where the Wardogs had been, exploded with the Queens power. White water came roaring down the tunnel towards them shaking the living stone around them all for over a kilometer with the thundering of unknown spells in the distance, close yet far away.

    The Queen reeled, as the power of an entire race struck her back, but the forbidden spell harnessed most of her enemy's might and directed it to the Queen's command. A great backlash went back to the point of origin. Water, stone and all else vaporized along with two hundred meters of creation in the shallow sea. The entire race was knocked backwards with the rolling waves of quakes along the seafloor, destroying most of the underwater kingdom.

    Az seeing the two unmoving comrades only two meters away, committed an almost unforgivable act shouting, “FIFI you better get going or you will be giving everyone in this legion a foot massage for the next fifty years.” Wardogs fell laughing on the floor while others passed bets. The true name of the Dreaded Master Sergeant was now known.

    Master Sergeant Fifi shouted at the Master Miner behind him, while he began to stretch outwards to Az's extended hand in a single jump, “See ya later Twinkle Toes with your new girl friend” as he looked over the Dwarf at the dreadful creature flowing towards them in the turbulent white rushing waters. Twinkle Toes was enraged about the nicknames becoming known. He looked over his shoulder and saw the horrific visage of a creature that had a hand growing from its left shoulder, howling in violent anger. Not being able to help himself he thought the dreadful thought and froze in place, the surviving ghosts had to propel him out of the tunnel before it turned into a solid stone wall.

    Fifi came through first with Twinkle Toes coming through in a quick second place along with with a horde of Iron Guard ghosts hanging onto to him then scattering on the floor.

    Everyone took a deep breath, paused and looked at the stone wall. All was quiet. The Wardogs were standing like statues except for one. Most were looking at Az. Some Wardogs with their dragon like eyesight, turned to gaze elsewhere at a commotion along a far wall. They wondered about their original orders, concerning that particular mythical creature they were seeing for the first time in the distance.

    Twinkle Toes looked at Fifi and broke the silence within the mission party by saying, “How could you!?”

    FiFi moved up next to Az in front, while gazing at his general and King growling, “How could you !?”

    Az said nothing as he looked intently at the stone wall before him. He rose slowly and hovered becoming so very still that it seemed he was not there at all. The Wardogs seeing their General's stance and hearing his silence began to back up nervously, as their wings spread for lift. The stone wall of the former tunnel began to crack and pop into fragments. Az hovered at one meter, and began reaching for the great sword on his back. He took a deep breath and with his best prolonged battlefield bellow called out the warning,


    Beginning of the End continues

  14. #74

    Default Re: Disturbing News

    Battles Part 39

    (….He took a deep breath and with his best prolonged battlefield bellow called out the warning,

    “LICH!!!!!”) Battles Part 38

    In Transit to Plague Bearer's Secret Sealed Lair Part 4

    Conflict Part 12

    The stone wall had begun to develop fractures that were spreading rapidly where the tunnel exit had been. Through the cracks a dark thick liquid-like stone began flowing to the floor in front of Az. The seemingly liquid stone appeared to be hot due to the sizzles and little wisps of smoke as it flowed. The floor with its mosaics slowly cracked and snapped, as if freezing in front of the spreading thick now black fluid. The further the arc of thick stone spread out from the wall the more deeper black, more shiny and thinner it became. As the liquid stone spread out further, the faster it went.

    Az was hovering about one meter above the junction floor. He suddenly understood. Watching a little finger of shiny inky blackness try to reach and grab him in the air as well as his hovering Wardogs. The unnatural fluid rolled over rails and crates while absorbing everything in its path. Individuals caught by the frightening stone-like liquid could only scream as they were being absorbed. The remaining lumps of individuals changed shape as they fought for their lives. The lumps flowed through the substance as they headed quickly to the North inside the huge junction. They then went over an apparent ridge and disappeared. Every once in a while an arm, part of a face trying to catch a breath of air or weapons would appear before being pulled under once again. As more were absorbed a chilling sense of gathering strength radiated from the shiny black expanse.

    Az bellowed to all of the personnel that had survived the coming of the Great Calamity throughout the junction. His bellow echoed to those further from the expanding deadly semi-circle of shiny death, “Evacuate the junction! The realms are merging herein and the Lich is summoning her Gods as she comes to us!”

    Az partially turned in the air then addressed the Sergeant Major speaking swiftly, as he tossed his backpack to him, “You know what must be done. I will be there or another will join you. The black stone below your taloned paws is the Summoned Consuming Ice of the Abyss. It will absorb whatever it touches.” Lifting his head he addressed the Pack, “Pick up our compatriots. Today will be a good day to die in glory, but Not here Not now!”

    To the rest of the personnel in the Hub he shouted, “Run fools Run!!”

    Slowly a perfect column of water three meters in diameter and five meters high that floated at one third of a meter above the shiny black stone coming out in front of the rapidly melting wall.

    Flames rolled around the figure throughout the column as spontaneous rising rows of bubbles appeared within the crystal clear water. Once free of the wall the column began to head Northward picking up speed, as it got closer to the center of the junction/hub.

    A three meter tall creature was appearing as it regenerated in its five meter column of crystal clear water. All could see that this was the same creature who had attacked the duo in the tunnel. With a hand and part of a forearm now visible growing out of its left shoulder, the scene became even more shocking and macabre than the description found of a monster in a Copper Dreadful Novel. In the distance there were cut off screams in the background, echoing in the hub. Quickly the three meter shape formed. Once again a bony structure was followed by muscles and skin/ scales. Flickering red flames flowing up and down with black strands in an unknown symmetrical pattern within which the regeneration followed.

    Az began chasing the dreadful creature closing the distance betwixt them. His sword was out and engulfed in black flowing flames of power crisscrossing over him.

    The ancient crone, known as the Great Calamity, had come out of a far wall through another tunnel had slowly been meandering along in the Hub. She abruptly came to a stop. She sniffed in several directions then suddenly turned and ran towards the last individual in the group fleeing the way she had come from in the South side of the Hub.

    The ancient crone turned and paced under FiFi craning her neck and squinting with her cataract covered eyes, at the Sergeant Major growling, “**$!##&!FLIM??!! )%^@@$#[email protected]@ FLAM??! }]^[,$$*!! SHOOTER??!”

    The Sergeant Major did not answer and kept flying to the exit along with the others. Less than heart beat later the Calamity swung her walking cane in the air where FiFi had been. She cursed and muttered believing she had been ignored. The crone sniffed again since there had been no answer. The realization that she was smelling herself and that she stank immediately motivated her to act quickly. She had the feeling she had been followed or tracked for centuries by creatures unknown. If she had ever backtracked there was never any evidence of scent or print in the soil. Her fury increased with the idea of someone interfering with her. The unknown creatures would pay with their lives. The lightning storm cloud behind her increased dramatically in size with the lightning strikes becoming far more powerful and wide spread.

    Slowly she turned around seeking as she shook her cane in vexation. She blinked rapidly believing that a moving waterfall was in her immediate vicinity. Muttering she turned scampering then running due North in the huge hub. Her run became a sprint as she obliterated anything in her path. Screams and shouts were snuffed out instantly as she passed. Any Gnomes or Dwarves in her way became part of the horrific bloodstain with bits of flesh and bone showing her path through the junction if not smart enough to have left earlier. Circles of flame surrounded her feet with the sprint towards her goal.

    The black flowing ice on the floor had already been spreading up the grand walls into the ceiling above. It absorbed all light and murals even as it had consumed the railway tracks, trolleys and equipment of all types.

    The spreading Ice of the Abyss however was treated no differently by the power of the Calamity. The black ice kept falling away from her as if it was somehow in pain. If it was not quick enough, the circle of flames surrounding her feet burned perfect circles around her with a horrid stench of black smoke wafting in the air of her sprinted path.

    There was nothing Nothing in the world that was going to stop her from getting a good wash in that moving five meter high underground waterfall. Then she would obliterate those creatures tracking her!..........

    The Beginning of the End continues

    Last edited by Skirnir Ouija Glada; March 13th, 2020 at 09:13 PM.

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