Difference between revisions of "Of The Dividing of Meridian - Volume V"

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Ambassador Darien struggled to maintain control.  Panic had gripped the Imperial troops as they watched the dragon destroy Far'Nohl's army.  They turned and ran back the way they had come, trampling over one another in their desperate bid to escape.  The dragon turned its attention on them, taking wing and showering them with fire from above.  It rose above the gully, circled back, and let loose upon them again.  The Ambassador's commands were lost in the roar of the flames, and his army fell where they stood, reduced to little more than ash.
 
Ambassador Darien struggled to maintain control.  Panic had gripped the Imperial troops as they watched the dragon destroy Far'Nohl's army.  They turned and ran back the way they had come, trampling over one another in their desperate bid to escape.  The dragon turned its attention on them, taking wing and showering them with fire from above.  It rose above the gully, circled back, and let loose upon them again.  The Ambassador's commands were lost in the roar of the flames, and his army fell where they stood, reduced to little more than ash.
  
==2==A sudden blast of pure, white energy flew across the gully, striking the dragon's flank.  It wheeled at the sensation, roaring in confusion and pain.  Faren stood with his arm outstretched, a thin layer of frost formed on his fingers.  The spell had only succeeded in gaining the dragon's attention, however, and it turned angrily in his direction.  As it opened its jaws and spit fire at him, Faren raised his other hand.  The flames hit a wall of energy, and parted like a river against a boulder.  The dragon roared in bewilderment, but Faren stood unscathed.  Kraanan ran to stand by his side, as the dragon advanced upon them. Far'Nohl seized the chance.  He ran past the dragon, shouting orders to his fleeing troops.  They were almost to the gates of Tos by the time he caught up to them.
+
==2==
 +
A sudden blast of pure, white energy flew across the gully, striking the dragon's flank.  It wheeled at the sensation, roaring in confusion and pain.  Faren stood with his arm outstretched, a thin layer of frost formed on his fingers.  The spell had only succeeded in gaining the dragon's attention, however, and it turned angrily in his direction.  As it opened its jaws and spit fire at him, Faren raised his other hand.  The flames hit a wall of energy, and parted like a river against a boulder.  The dragon roared in bewilderment, but Faren stood unscathed.  Kraanan ran to stand by his side, as the dragon advanced upon them. Far'Nohl seized the chance.  He ran past the dragon, shouting orders to his fleeing troops.  They were almost to the gates of Tos by the time he caught up to them.
  
 
==3==
 
==3==
    "FORM RANKS!" he called.  "TURN ABOUT!  FORM RANKS!  RALLY TO ME! TO ME!"
+
"FORM RANKS!" he called.  "TURN ABOUT!  FORM RANKS!  RALLY TO ME! TO ME!"
    At the edge of the field, Jala had begun to sing again.  This new tune was very different from the first.  It was deeper, stronger, and she poured her power into it in the hopes of inspiring courage in the fighters.  Away from the line of sight of the dragon, her song did the trick.  Emboldened, the soldiers lifted their swords and took up the cry.  Far'Nohl charged, and his troops followed. They charged round the bend, and back into the gully.
+
At the edge of the field, Jala had begun to sing again.  This new tune was very different from the first.  It was deeper, stronger, and she poured her power into it in the hopes of inspiring courage in the fighters.  Away from the line of sight of the dragon, her song did the trick.  Emboldened, the soldiers lifted their swords and took up the cry.  Far'Nohl charged, and his troops followed. They charged round the bend, and back into the gully.
    What archers remained loosed their arrows at the dragon's rear.  A few shafts caught in the membranes of its wings, but the rest glanced off.  As the creature turned to face the charging host, the spearmen caught it in the face.  Even so, their blows could not penetrate its thick scales.
+
What archers remained loosed their arrows at the dragon's rear.  A few shafts caught in the membranes of its wings, but the rest glanced off.  As the creature turned to face the charging host, the spearmen caught it in the face.  Even so, their blows could not penetrate its thick scales.
  
==4r==
+
==4==
 
It roared and reared and belched fire at them all.  It spun and swung its tail through their ranks like a club, and sent men flying.  It lashed out with its claws and bit with its teeth.
 
It roared and reared and belched fire at them all.  It spun and swung its tail through their ranks like a club, and sent men flying.  It lashed out with its claws and bit with its teeth.
    Ambassador Darien had managed to regain some control over his troops, as well.  He ordered a charge, and they joined the others.  They fared no better, however, and the dragon's ire destroyed them just as easily.  Darien landed a blow with his sword on the dragon's front leg.  It swung its neck round, and roared in his face, startling his mount.  It reared, and the Ambassador fell from the saddle.  He rolled just in time to see the dragon clamp its jaws over the horse, throw back its head, and swallow the poor animal in a single gulp.
+
Ambassador Darien had managed to regain some control over his troops, as well.  He ordered a charge, and they joined the others.  They fared no better, however, and the dragon's ire destroyed them just as easily.  Darien landed a blow with his sword on the dragon's front leg.  It swung its neck round, and roared in his face, startling his mount.  It reared, and the Ambassador fell from the saddle.  He rolled just in time to see the dragon clamp its jaws over the horse, throw back its head, and swallow the poor animal in a single gulp.
  
 
==5==
 
==5==
    "We have to lead it away," Shal'ille cried.  "We have to draw it from this place."
+
"We have to lead it away," Shal'ille cried.  "We have to draw it from this place."
    "How do you propose we do that?" Kraanan demanded, but he was already calculating possible strategies in his head.  Faren, however, did not wait for their word.  He raised his hand, bringing forth another ball of cold energy, ready to loose upon the dragon.  He never got the chance.
+
"How do you propose we do that?" Kraanan demanded, but he was already calculating possible strategies in his head.  Faren, however, did not wait for their word.  He raised his hand, bringing forth another ball of cold energy, ready to loose upon the dragon.  He never got the chance.
    The orc had sounded his horn once again.  The three of them turned in time to see a hundred orcs rounding the bend from the narrow pass one by one, running full speed with their weapons held high.  Overhead, their archers loosed a volley of arrows into the air.  The shafts reached their height, then turned back to the earth to fall amongst the two already scattered armies.
+
The orc had sounded his horn once again.  The three of them turned in time to see a hundred orcs rounding the bend from the narrow pass one by one, running full speed with their weapons held high.  Overhead, their archers loosed a volley of arrows into the air.  The shafts reached their height, then turned back to the earth to fall amongst the two already scattered armies.
  
 
==6==
 
==6==
 
Men screamed and fell.  Others ran again.  Kraanan raised his shield against the onslaught, but Shal'ille was faster.  She threw a hand above her head, and the arrows struck the air over them, falling harmlessly to the ground at their feet.
 
Men screamed and fell.  Others ran again.  Kraanan raised his shield against the onslaught, but Shal'ille was faster.  She threw a hand above her head, and the arrows struck the air over them, falling harmlessly to the ground at their feet.
    By then, the charging horde was upon them.  Faren loosed his spell into their front line, knocking several to the ground.  Kraanan lifted his sword, and cried aloud as he charged into them.  Two he felled with his first blow, then proceeded to cut them down one by one as they passed.  Two more fell upon Shal'ille with spear and scimitar, but she turned their blows aside with a wave of her hand.  No matter how they struck, they could not penetrate her magical shield.
+
By then, the charging horde was upon them.  Faren loosed his spell into their front line, knocking several to the ground.  Kraanan lifted his sword, and cried aloud as he charged into them.  Two he felled with his first blow, then proceeded to cut them down one by one as they passed.  Two more fell upon Shal'ille with spear and scimitar, but she turned their blows aside with a wave of her hand.  No matter how they struck, they could not penetrate her magical shield.
  
 
==7==
 
==7==
  Far'Nohl saw the orcs coming across the field.
+
Far'Nohl saw the orcs coming across the field.
    "RALLY TO ME!" he cried, and those closest to him followed.  The dragon was temporarily forgotten as they ran to meet the Orcish host.  Some Imperial troops followed them, as well, and the armies collided in the middle of the field.  The air rang with the sound of steel on steel and the cries of the dying.  The green grass ran red with the blood of men, and purple with the blood of orcs.
+
"RALLY TO ME!" he cried, and those closest to him followed.  The dragon was temporarily forgotten as they ran to meet the Orcish host.  Some Imperial troops followed them, as well, and the armies collided in the middle of the field.  The air rang with the sound of steel on steel and the cries of the dying.  The green grass ran red with the blood of men, and purple with the blood of orcs.
    Far'Nohl fought as hard as any, cutting his way through their ranks with his sword.  He was soon joined by Kraanan, who had lost his shield but replaced it with a mace.  With a weapon in each hand he stood back to back with his liege, and any who dared to challenge them soon came to regret that decision.
+
Far'Nohl fought as hard as any, cutting his way through their ranks with his sword.  He was soon joined by Kraanan, who had lost his shield but replaced it with a mace.  With a weapon in each hand he stood back to back with his liege, and any who dared to challenge them soon came to regret that decision.
  
 
==8==
 
==8==
    Still most of their army was on the run.  The dragon took wing again, and gave pursuit past the Main Gate of Tos, and followed many fleeing soldiers deep into the Twisted Wood beyond.  It soon disappeared behind the line of trees, and was gone.
+
Still most of their army was on the run.  The dragon took wing again, and gave pursuit past the Main Gate of Tos, and followed many fleeing soldiers deep into the Twisted Wood beyond.  It soon disappeared behind the line of trees, and was gone.
    Jala came running back into the gully.  She fought for every breath as she struggled to keep her song going, but it was no use.  Her strength was utterly spent, and her magic was no good to her if she could not sing.  All around her she could see the courage of their troops failing.  With no other choice, she drew her short sword from her belt and marched into the thick of the fray.  She had never been much of a fighter, yet she managed to take an orc unawares as it struggled against one of the Imperial soldiers.
+
Jala came running back into the gully.  She fought for every breath as she struggled to keep her song going, but it was no use.  Her strength was utterly spent, and her magic was no good to her if she could not sing.  All around her she could see the courage of their troops failing.  With no other choice, she drew her short sword from her belt and marched into the thick of the fray.  She had never been much of a fighter, yet she managed to take an orc unawares as it struggled against one of the Imperial soldiers.
  
 
==9==
 
==9==
 
The knight thanked her with a curt nod, then raised his axe and returned to the fight.
 
The knight thanked her with a curt nod, then raised his axe and returned to the fight.
    Jala looked around, desperately seeking any sign of her sister; or Faren.  So intent in her search was she that she did not see the orc coming up behind her until she was caught in the back by a sharp kick of his boot.  Jala was knocked off her feet, the wind gone from her lungs.  She hit the ground hard, and rolled, looking up into the face of her assailant.  The huge orc stared down at her with one menacing eye (the other was missing, and the socket covered by an ugly scar), and smiled a smile that was missing several sharp teeth. He raised his scimitar, ready to bring it down upon her; and suddenly shook as lines of shocking blue energy wracked his body.
+
Jala looked around, desperately seeking any sign of her sister; or Faren.  So intent in her search was she that she did not see the orc coming up behind her until she was caught in the back by a sharp kick of his boot.  Jala was knocked off her feet, the wind gone from her lungs.  She hit the ground hard, and rolled, looking up into the face of her assailant.  The huge orc stared down at her with one menacing eye (the other was missing, and the socket covered by an ugly scar), and smiled a smile that was missing several sharp teeth. He raised his scimitar, ready to bring it down upon her; and suddenly shook as lines of shocking blue energy wracked his body.
  
 
==10==
 
==10==
 
He convulsed violently, dropping his blade, then fell aside dead as tendrils of smoke rose from his singed flesh.
 
He convulsed violently, dropping his blade, then fell aside dead as tendrils of smoke rose from his singed flesh.
    Jala looked to where he had been standing, and Faren stood there now with his hand outstretched where he had zapped the orc.  He lowered it to help her to her feet, and she took it gratefully.  He turned as if to lead her out of the battle, but she pulled him close and into a deep, passionate kiss. The first they had ever shared.
+
Jala looked to where he had been standing, and Faren stood there now with his hand outstretched where he had zapped the orc.  He lowered it to help her to her feet, and she took it gratefully.  He turned as if to lead her out of the battle, but she pulled him close and into a deep, passionate kiss. The first they had ever shared.
  
 
==11==
 
==11==
    "Was now really the time for that?" he said, after they broke the kiss.
+
"Was now really the time for that?" he said, after they broke the kiss.
    "It has waited long enough," she told him, and together they turned back to face the oncoming horde.
+
"It has waited long enough," she told him, and together they turned back to face the oncoming horde.
    As they did so, a small group of orcs formed a rank of their own in the middle of the fray.  These few carried no weapons and wore no armor.  They were dressed in ragged brown robes, tied with rope around their waists.  In their hands they each carried a gnarled wooden staff.  As one, they began to chant.
+
As they did so, a small group of orcs formed a rank of their own in the middle of the fray.  These few carried no weapons and wore no armor.  They were dressed in ragged brown robes, tied with rope around their waists.  In their hands they each carried a gnarled wooden staff.  As one, they began to chant.

Latest revision as of 15:49, 12 June 2019

1

They scattered and fled, dropping their bows as they ran. Naught but a handful made it away from the inferno as the dragon laid low their formation. Ambassador Darien struggled to maintain control. Panic had gripped the Imperial troops as they watched the dragon destroy Far'Nohl's army. They turned and ran back the way they had come, trampling over one another in their desperate bid to escape. The dragon turned its attention on them, taking wing and showering them with fire from above. It rose above the gully, circled back, and let loose upon them again. The Ambassador's commands were lost in the roar of the flames, and his army fell where they stood, reduced to little more than ash.

2

A sudden blast of pure, white energy flew across the gully, striking the dragon's flank. It wheeled at the sensation, roaring in confusion and pain. Faren stood with his arm outstretched, a thin layer of frost formed on his fingers. The spell had only succeeded in gaining the dragon's attention, however, and it turned angrily in his direction. As it opened its jaws and spit fire at him, Faren raised his other hand. The flames hit a wall of energy, and parted like a river against a boulder. The dragon roared in bewilderment, but Faren stood unscathed. Kraanan ran to stand by his side, as the dragon advanced upon them. Far'Nohl seized the chance. He ran past the dragon, shouting orders to his fleeing troops. They were almost to the gates of Tos by the time he caught up to them.

3

"FORM RANKS!" he called. "TURN ABOUT! FORM RANKS! RALLY TO ME! TO ME!" At the edge of the field, Jala had begun to sing again. This new tune was very different from the first. It was deeper, stronger, and she poured her power into it in the hopes of inspiring courage in the fighters. Away from the line of sight of the dragon, her song did the trick. Emboldened, the soldiers lifted their swords and took up the cry. Far'Nohl charged, and his troops followed. They charged round the bend, and back into the gully. What archers remained loosed their arrows at the dragon's rear. A few shafts caught in the membranes of its wings, but the rest glanced off. As the creature turned to face the charging host, the spearmen caught it in the face. Even so, their blows could not penetrate its thick scales.

4

It roared and reared and belched fire at them all. It spun and swung its tail through their ranks like a club, and sent men flying. It lashed out with its claws and bit with its teeth. Ambassador Darien had managed to regain some control over his troops, as well. He ordered a charge, and they joined the others. They fared no better, however, and the dragon's ire destroyed them just as easily. Darien landed a blow with his sword on the dragon's front leg. It swung its neck round, and roared in his face, startling his mount. It reared, and the Ambassador fell from the saddle. He rolled just in time to see the dragon clamp its jaws over the horse, throw back its head, and swallow the poor animal in a single gulp.

5

"We have to lead it away," Shal'ille cried. "We have to draw it from this place." "How do you propose we do that?" Kraanan demanded, but he was already calculating possible strategies in his head. Faren, however, did not wait for their word. He raised his hand, bringing forth another ball of cold energy, ready to loose upon the dragon. He never got the chance. The orc had sounded his horn once again. The three of them turned in time to see a hundred orcs rounding the bend from the narrow pass one by one, running full speed with their weapons held high. Overhead, their archers loosed a volley of arrows into the air. The shafts reached their height, then turned back to the earth to fall amongst the two already scattered armies.

6

Men screamed and fell. Others ran again. Kraanan raised his shield against the onslaught, but Shal'ille was faster. She threw a hand above her head, and the arrows struck the air over them, falling harmlessly to the ground at their feet. By then, the charging horde was upon them. Faren loosed his spell into their front line, knocking several to the ground. Kraanan lifted his sword, and cried aloud as he charged into them. Two he felled with his first blow, then proceeded to cut them down one by one as they passed. Two more fell upon Shal'ille with spear and scimitar, but she turned their blows aside with a wave of her hand. No matter how they struck, they could not penetrate her magical shield.

7

Far'Nohl saw the orcs coming across the field. "RALLY TO ME!" he cried, and those closest to him followed. The dragon was temporarily forgotten as they ran to meet the Orcish host. Some Imperial troops followed them, as well, and the armies collided in the middle of the field. The air rang with the sound of steel on steel and the cries of the dying. The green grass ran red with the blood of men, and purple with the blood of orcs. Far'Nohl fought as hard as any, cutting his way through their ranks with his sword. He was soon joined by Kraanan, who had lost his shield but replaced it with a mace. With a weapon in each hand he stood back to back with his liege, and any who dared to challenge them soon came to regret that decision.

8

Still most of their army was on the run. The dragon took wing again, and gave pursuit past the Main Gate of Tos, and followed many fleeing soldiers deep into the Twisted Wood beyond. It soon disappeared behind the line of trees, and was gone. Jala came running back into the gully. She fought for every breath as she struggled to keep her song going, but it was no use. Her strength was utterly spent, and her magic was no good to her if she could not sing. All around her she could see the courage of their troops failing. With no other choice, she drew her short sword from her belt and marched into the thick of the fray. She had never been much of a fighter, yet she managed to take an orc unawares as it struggled against one of the Imperial soldiers.

9

The knight thanked her with a curt nod, then raised his axe and returned to the fight. Jala looked around, desperately seeking any sign of her sister; or Faren. So intent in her search was she that she did not see the orc coming up behind her until she was caught in the back by a sharp kick of his boot. Jala was knocked off her feet, the wind gone from her lungs. She hit the ground hard, and rolled, looking up into the face of her assailant. The huge orc stared down at her with one menacing eye (the other was missing, and the socket covered by an ugly scar), and smiled a smile that was missing several sharp teeth. He raised his scimitar, ready to bring it down upon her; and suddenly shook as lines of shocking blue energy wracked his body.

10

He convulsed violently, dropping his blade, then fell aside dead as tendrils of smoke rose from his singed flesh. Jala looked to where he had been standing, and Faren stood there now with his hand outstretched where he had zapped the orc. He lowered it to help her to her feet, and she took it gratefully. He turned as if to lead her out of the battle, but she pulled him close and into a deep, passionate kiss. The first they had ever shared.

11

"Was now really the time for that?" he said, after they broke the kiss. "It has waited long enough," she told him, and together they turned back to face the oncoming horde. As they did so, a small group of orcs formed a rank of their own in the middle of the fray. These few carried no weapons and wore no armor. They were dressed in ragged brown robes, tied with rope around their waists. In their hands they each carried a gnarled wooden staff. As one, they began to chant.