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The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne
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 PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2003 6:35 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

The door opened before the Queen put her hand to it. Standing there were a Dryad and a Rekc'Art.
"Todth! Villa! What are you - ?"
"There is no time," interrupted Todth. "Tanasril's army has come."
"Two massive teleportation spells have been cast in the past day," said Vlilmeora. "Moreover, Queen Thrillia sent word that she has already engaged one section of the army."
"Tanasril's army . . . has divided?" gasped Alhana.
"Where are the two halves?" asked Toberk.
"And where is the archmage?" demanded Juster.
"One is in the southern reaches of the Dryad Forest," said Vlilmeora.
"And the other is just north of Magicum," said Todth grimly. "They are between the city and your advance guard, Alhana."
"The melee fighters!" cried the Queen. "I never pulled them back!"
"And now it's too late," said Todth.
"Then there's the Spires." Wodenthall shook his head heavily. "We're surrounded, and we can't trust the Thamans for much."
"Actually, there is good news as well," said Vlilmeora. "The power of the Spires has greatly waned. They hardly function at all now."
Todth's mouth twitched. So, he thought, Warder was successful. But I wonder what the toll has been?
"That is good news," said Alhana. "But - Tanasril?"
"And the Thamans," said Todth aloud. "You realize that, with the fall of the Spires, the Thamans will no longer be bound by the alliance."
"Too true," said Wodenthall.
"Well, what are we waiting for?" Alhana tossed her head. "Let us go back to Magicum, and prepare!"

The Sun rose higher; it was midmorning. The camp of the Thamans was calming down after the treachery of Perovil. The General was preparing to go to Alhana and explain what had held him back from speaking with her, when someone rapped the post outside his tent.
"What is it?" he demanded, not bothering to look up and he strapped on his sword.
"My name," said a strange voice, "is Ephinmor, and I have an offer to make you."
The General turned slowly. His icy eyes showed nothing as they absorbed the image of the black-furred creature waving its tail in the tent flap.
"What offer? And what are you? n nor monster that I know of."
"I am a magefel," answered Ephinmor. "An experiment of the distinguished teratogenitor Tanasril the Broken."
Errias laid a hand on his sword. "Tanasril? So the rumours are true. He does seek revenge on the Magisrays. What does he want of me?"
"Pardon, my lord, if I misled you." Ephinmor twitched his tail to curl around his legs. "I am an experiment of Tanasril's, not his servant. I represent only myself - an archmage in my own right, and a master of powerful necromancies." He gestured with his right hand. A ring thereon flashed with black fire, and several misty forms coalesced out of the shadows. Errias did not flinch. "Black Phantoms. Are there more of you?"
"Phantoms or magefels? But then, there are more of both.
Errias nodded. "Very good. What do you want, Ephinmor of the Magefels?"
"I propose a deal. I desire to be rid of Tanasril, you desire to be rid of the Magiusrays. Neither of us bear great love for either of them. An alliance, therefore, seems natural."
"Indeed." Errias stood and pondered. "I would be willing enough to accept your offer, except that I cannot break my word. I promised to aid Alhana until the threat of the Spires has been removed."
"It is has. My magefels have sensed a great decrease in their power. Also, the Dryads attacked our camp earlier this morning. Do you think they would do so if the Spires still threatened."
"You speak truth. Very well. Ephinmor, I accept your offer. Now, if you will pardon me, I must draw up my army."
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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 3:22 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

"Merciful Sylvestra," breathed Vlilmeora, watching as the last ranks of the Equestrodens galloped through the line of trees into Magicum. "We have arrived too late."
"Maybe," said Todth. His eyes swept the trees, as if his eyes would pierce them to see the city they veiled. He saw smoke staining the sky over the eastern section of the town. "And maybe Tanasril is not the only one attacking."
"The General!" cried Vlilmeora, her eyes following the Rekc'Art's.
"Indeed. Apparently he has decided the alliance is no longer binding." Todth turned and surveyed the people they had gathered: Warriors, Solari, Paladins, and a solitary Warrior of Discord. How ironic, he mused, that Alhana's forward guard would now strike her enemy in the rear.
"You men - and women - attack!" With a cheer they gladly obeyed his orders. After waiting for several days for an enemy that never materialised, they were glad of the chance now to wade into battle.
Todth would have ridden forward too, but Vlilmeora stopped him. Clutching at the Rohne's flank, she hissed up at him. "Stop! Think! Where is Tanasril? It would not do to charge in within ascertaining his position!"

Juster was wondering much the same thing. He had been pushed back into the Guardhouse by the vermin Knights, and stood now with his back to the wall, battling three of them.
"Curse Tanasril!" he ground out through clenched teeth. "Why won't he fight me - "
"The Master has more important things to do," replied one of the Equestrodens, allowing the other two to fight for the second. "You are just a single foolish human. Why would he bother with you?"
"Ha!" Juster cut viciously, driving back his two opponents. His sword bit into his conversation partner's arm, forcing him to drop his shield. "I am not any Warrior! I am Juster Silveredge!" He yanked his sword out, and thrust it through the Equestroden's heart.
"Juster Silveredge!" hissed one of the other two.
"The traitor!" cried the other. They charged anew, their longswords gleaming in their own light. Juster crossed with them both, and pushed them back. But it did not stop them; they leaped back at him. One of them thrust his sword into Juster's leg, while the other prevented him from countering. His other leg buckled as the Equestroden rammed his shield into it; Juster fell to his knees. From that position he thrust his sword into the offender's stomach, blocking the other's blow with his shield. Then he slashed that one across the neck, and pushed himself against the wall to regain his feet. Not that it did him much good. Five more Equestrodens stood in the door.
"So, you are Juster Silveredge." The one who spoke eyed him from a great height; the Equestroden was so tall he had to stoop to come through the door. A cape fell down to his tail should have been. "I am Knight Captain Srynje, soon to be Lieutenant Commander, when Lord Maris and Lord Tanasril find that I am responsible for securing you."
"You have yet to do so," growled Juster.
"That will not be so hard to do." the Knight Captain drew out a long-handled mace. With his other hand, he gestured his four attendants back outside. "I can take you alone," he said in explanation, his sharp teeth flashing in a malevolent smile.
The two met. The mace flashed down on Juster's shield arm, forcing his guard down. Juster's own weapon flicked out, glancing off the mail on the Equestroden's flank. There was a crack, and the rings sprang apart where the sword had touched them.
"So much for Processed iron," muttered the Equestroden as his hauberk fell apart. He had been one of those Equestrodens who used Processed iron for armour; they considered it a greater honour to wear armour forged from the scales of Dragons by the magicks of their Master.
The discovery that the Processed iron he wore was worthless did not throw the Knight Captain off balance. He parried several attacks of Juster's, then jumped away from another. Juster lunged after him -- and fell to the ground as his legs gave way. The Knight Captain raised his mace on high, and smashed it onto Juster's helmet.
"Out cold," said Srynje in satisfaction. His men, who had been waiting outside, came in and, at the Knight Captain's direction, carried the unconscious Warrior outside.

Last edited by Falotar on Sun Aug 15, 2004 9:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Raistlin, Archmagus

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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 10:03 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Alhana had been driven to the edge. She wanted to scream, to cry, to curse, and she couldn't. Perhaps her daughter had been right all along; being a queen was not worth it - not if you were unable to protect your people. Your friends. Not if you were unable to mourn them.

She fought grimly, silently; not a word was uttered from her mouth. She wouldn't let herself cry; it would blind her in battle. Wodenthal had been like an uncle to her; she wouldn't dishonor his memory by letting herself be cut down do to her own foolishness. He'd given his life for her, and she wouldn't let him down.

Alhana turned to parry a warrior's down stroke; and, when he fell, she saw what was descending upon her kingdom. Her mouth fell open as she stared in horror at the monsters. Were they Ratmen? No, they were different.

"Alhana, behind you!" The Queen turned, immediately bringing her blade up to block. While her opponent was jarred backward, she swung her sword in an ark to run the Solari through. The woman glanced around for who had warned her, and saw her brother battling not far away. One arm hung limp at his side, and blood covered the area of his elbow.

She felt the anger burn as her blood froze. Thamans. She'd been betrayed by them for the last time. "Errias!" She cried. She'd find him and murder him with her own hands. "Errias Thaman!" She moved forward, oblivious to Tanasril's forces. She had only thoughts of blood debts to pay on her mind.


Flying was a wonderful feeling, Riven realized. She was winging her way towards Magicum, and she held a passenger on her back. She could have done without carrying Tanasril, but, all the same - it was still flying.

She didn't feel anything. Neither anger towards her enemies, nor any worry for her home. Well, until they reached the edges of Magicum.

Riven balked in the air, halting her forward flight. She looked down, using magic over the air to keep her aloft and spare the strains on her wings. There were battles, and people were dying. She descended slightly, a horrible feeling in her chest. Something was wrong; well, many things were wrong, but something in particular.

She was careful to stay out of arrow range, but she flew as close as she could around the palace. There. A body lay on the gatehouse. Looking closer, Riven gasped; she stopped pumping her wings, and forgot to control the wind surrounding her. She dropped.

It was a moment before Tanasril's cries penetrated her head. She backwinged, and her horn glowed a dark blue as a strong wind blew up under her. "I'm sorry, Master," she murmered to the Archmage. "Where to?" Her voice was dull, and saddened. How could Wodenthal be dead?

[ 25. August 2003, 11:06 PM: Message edited by: Raistlin, Archmagus ]
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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 11:42 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Tanasril groaned as he stirred and sat up.
"Master," said a high-pitched voice. An Equestroden was at his side.
"Are we near Magicum?" asked the archmage.
"The city is just beyond that belt of trees," responded the Equestroden.
"Excellent. Go to Sir Maris. tell him to order the Knighthood. As soon as he is ready, we will attack." The Knight bowed and departed on his errand. Tanasril began gently stroking Riven until she had roused.
"The time has come," he said softly. "Destiny awaits House Magisray. And you, daughter of my magic and of that family both, you will help me bring fate home to them."
"As you will, Master," Riven replied, even as unease grew in her mind.

"Friends and citizens!" cried Queen Alhana. She stood on the gatehouse of the Palace, overlooking Temple Court. Darius stood on her right, Wodenthall on her left. The townsfolk of Magicum stood in the Court below her. Both Vlilmeora and Todth she had dispatched to go to her heroes stationed north of the town and bring them back to Magicum - "through Tanasril's army, if need be," she had said, "for it is better that they try to fight their way through then if they remain useless."
"People of Magicum," she continued with her speech, "I have called you here to inform you of our situation. Tanasril's armies are quickly apraoching. Indeed, we believe they stand at the borders of our kingdom." A murmur of fear ran through the ground. The elders among them could remember the last battle between their forces and the mad archmage's, and their children and grandchildren would not soon forget the stories told of them.
Alhana raised her hands, and silence fell once again. "Peace! There is yet hope. The Spires of Death, which we rightly feared, have been rendered powerless, thanks to our friends the Dryads and the Rekc'Dar. although both are now weakened and will be unable to help us, they efforts have spared our city from a power as strong and deadly as Tanasril's.
"Some of you may have heard that New Volencia is on the brink of colapse. As such, it will not be sending any help to us. However, you may also remember that the Emperor of D'Tar Mordin is our ally. His Empire has never failed to help us yet, and we can expect help from him. Also, there are the Thamans. Although we have no cause to love each other, they would not be so foolish as to break off the alliance when the archmage threatens us all - "
"Sorry to disappoint you," drawled a voice, "but my cousin never considered Tanasril a threat. And, with the threat of the Spires ended, so does our alliance."
Alhana, Wodenthall and Darius turned in shock to see who had spoken. Quivour Thaman stood there, leaning against the archway which led into the upper chamber of the gatehouse. He twirled a dagger in his hands, its blade stained crimson with the blood of the Guards he had murdered to reach that spot. It contrasted oddly with his blue silk tunic and trousers.
"Are you crazy, man?" asked Wodenthall. "Tanasril won't be satisfied with just our blood! when has one of his kind ever been?"
"That is no concern of ours," replied Quivour. "Errias can handle your precious nemesis. Just as I will handle you." His dagger flashed, and it was spinning through the air towards Alhana.
The Queen cried out in fear - not so much for herself, for she did not fear Krypta's embrace, but for the people who would be left leaderless. Darius swore an oath and drew his sword. And Wodenthall threw himself in front of his Queen.
"Forgive me, dear girl," he said. He staggered, pulling the dagger from his lung where it had lodged. "Forgive me - I was unable to protect your daughter . . . ah, ahhhh . . . " He choked, and coughed, and collapsed dead.
"Murderer!" cried Darius. Quivour whipped out two more daggers, using them to block the enraged swing of the Baron's sword.
Alahana had recovered herself. Praying for Wodenthall's soul, she knelt and removed the sword he had worn. Then, leaving her brother to fight the spymaster, she jumped down to the Court, landing gracefully. She lifted up the sword, rousing the people from their horry-wrought daze.
"To arms!" she cried. "The Thamans have betrayed us! They will be upon us shortly!"
"We will fight!" answered a young voice. Drexel lifted his own sword aloft, the mithril flashing in the sunlight. "To avenge my father's death!"
The people cheered. They caught up the weapons which they had not gone without since the first battle with Errias. Then, following their Queen and the three Silveredges, they went quickly to the outskirts of their town.

But it seemed they were too late. Trumpets gave a crystal-cold call in the east. Fire-arrows and flaming magic set the eastern part of the city ablaze, sending the defenders reeling back to choke on the fumes. Solari poured in, immune to the heat and smoke. Wizardsa and Adepts teleported past the firewall, while other Thaman heroes ran past the blazing barrier to attack from the south.
Glimpses could be seen through the smoke: here Alhana fought a squad of Rangers, Wodenthall's heavy sword blocking the blows of their shortswords and knives and thrusting home to end their lives. Here Toberk stood with other Rangers, denying the enemy Warriors the path of the southern edge of the city with his deadly arrows. Here stood Harik, with his Peasant militia and the two Barbarians from Alhania, contesting Temple Square with a dozen Adepts. Here was Treven, standing before his Guild, surrounded by fire, fighting a quintet of Solari.
And then there was Drexel. Gripped in a rage surpassing even the Barbarians', he hewed his way through the enemies which charged him, his mithril blade cutting through Adepts' staves and Solari's maces with equal ease. The whining song of his sword seemed to melt the foes before him, and at last he stood on the blazing outskirts of the eastern edge of the city.
"Thamans!" he cried, lifting his sword which burned red with the reflected fire. "Come to me! I will avenge my father's death, and punish you for your treachery!"
"Always that word is on your lips," said a mocking voice. Daric Thaman rode up, accompanied by four Palace Guards. "'Traitor,' 'treacherous' - you're just like your father. But I do not know what you mean. Wodenthall is not dead."
"You're wrong," snarled Drexel. "Your stupid spy killed him!"
"Quivour?" Daric ground his teeth. "Curse him for an incompetent wretch! Wodenthall was meant for my sword. Oh well! If I cannot have the father, I will take the son. Now is your time to die. Prepare yourself!" He spurred his horse towards Drexel, who shouted in answer. The Guardsmen cried out too, and, lowering their halberds, they charged.
The young Silveredge ducked the slashing sword of his mounted opponent. Cursing, Daric wheeled his horse. Drexel turned to face the four Guards. With one blow he decapitated two of them. Grasping another he tossed him around, knocking Daric off his horse. The last Guard took this oppurtunity to thrust his halberd into the young man's back, but it rebounded harmlessly off Drexel's armour. The Silveredge spun around, and skewered the Guard on his sword.
Then he turned yet again. Daric had untangled himself from his horse, which had reared in startlement when the body of the Guard crashed into its rider. All three had gone down together, but only the thin Baron got up. He pointed his sword at Drexel.
"So, it is just you and I. That is as well. Now I will show you how a true warrior fights!"
"You can try!" shouted Drexel, and the two rushed together.

Juster stood alone. He stood on the battlements of a Guardhouse on the north side of the city. He ignored the icy cries of the Thaman horns, for his mind was fixed on one thing only: Tanasril. He was not disappointed.
A clarion rang out, then another. The treeline to the north of the city thrashed wildly, and a line of Ratman-like creatures mounted on demonic steeds came crashing out. Juster loosed his sword in its sheath, and jumped down to meet them.
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Raistlin, Archmagus

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 PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2003 12:55 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Magicum's queen stared up, oggling the sight that beheld her. There was the man that had haunted her dreams for years; respite had come with the birthing of her daughter, and taken away with Riven's kidnapping.

Alhana was terrified; her daughter was before her again, and she could only picture her little girl; her little human girl. But instead of her daughter, with ten toes and fingers, there was a monster hovering above her.

"Tanasril," the queen spat. She heard a high pitched whine and side stepped to avoid the blade of one of Thaman's warriors. He'd taken advantage of Tanasril's appearence. Turning, she neatly ran him through. "Release my daughter, mage!" Alhana fought off the other warriors with her late friend's broadsword, before her subjects made a loose ring about her. They would keep off the others while she spoke with her nemesis.

Her daughter was paying for her mother's mistakes. If Alhana had only executed Tanasril all those years ago, this would not be happening. Well, she shouldn't have spared Daric Thaman, either. If they'd both died then...Riven would still be human.

The queen pushed away her guilt, covering it with a white hot anger. "Now, madman!"

Riven stared at her mother, and then over her shoulder at Tanasril. He said he had remade her; he had! He'd made her strong; he'd made her fly! But...well, she didn't mind it now, but what would he do to her mother?

"Master," she said softly. It was all she said, and she pumped her wings, treying to get away.

"Look! That monster is carrying the archmage!" She didn't know who said it, but the princess saw an arrow whizzing towards her neck, and another aimed at her master's head. Her horn flared blue, and a torrent of wind surrounding them in a spout; the arrows glanced away as if it were armour, and fell worthlesly to the ground.

Alhana stared at her daughter, amazed. She held her sword limply at her side, seeming to forget how to use it. A ranger slew one of the peasant's guarding the queen and ran at her, short sword held high. Alhana didn't see him, or hear. Riven was so powerful, it was almost frightening. The queen had always known she had an affinity with plants, and she'd liked watching storms; but Alhana had never realised her daughter had magic. The ranger was all but upon her, but she was oblivious to cries around her.

"Mother!" The word was pulled from Riven as she saw the man lift his sword to strike a killing blow. Vines sprouted from the ground to wrap around the Ranger's feet, ankles, legs; they spiraled their way up to his arms as he cried out in fear. Riven's horn glowed bright green, tinged with blue as a strong wind grew to blow the ranger off his feet. The vines left their roots in the ground to go with him, keeping the man bound.

Alhana's grip tightened around her sword hilt as she looked up at her daughter. Perhaps she wasn't lost after all. "Release my daughter, Tanasril," the queen repeated.
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 PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2003 3:22 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Release her?" Tanasril's laughed screeched through its discordant notes again. "You're the one who's mad, Alhana! I have spent hundreds of years waiting for this time, waiting for my revenge! You thwarted me once with cold steel and treachery, do you think to stop me now with words? Don't you understand? I have already won! Your daughter is mine heart, mind, and body. Your fate is to be the same, and your brother's. You will bow down to me, and give me the gratitude I deserve for working my art on you!"
Before Alhana could release the angry words she held, another voice wafted silken over the smoke and heat of the battle.
"Master!" cried the voice. Tanasril looked up, his crooked face twisting into its broken smile.
"Ah! Ephinmor, xath, you come in good time! Now, foolish Queen, see what powers I have! Your pathetic town has not yet even begun to feel my wrath." He cackled and pointed. Alhana looked warily to see what he ndicated, and gasped. a Dragon swooped over her town, and on it rode a black-furred creature in Wizard's robes. "Ephinmor, what news?"
"Not good for you, I fear," replied the magefel. Xath was circling Riven in the air now, allowing his rider to speak with the archmage. "Dragun's army fell apart; those 'Processed' weapons proved to be worthless."
"It is well, then, that my Equestrodens are using my own arms." Tanasril nodded smugly to himself.
"Ah, but that is not all. You see, your stat has been eclipsed by another. My own. Xath, attack!" And he did not wait for the shapeshifter, but shot his own energy blast at the archmage.
"What is this?" shrieked Tanasril, even as Riven instinctively absorbed the magical blast. "You, too, betray me?"
"Say, rather, that our ways part. yours goes down to defeat - and mine, mine goes up, to the High Kingship, and maybe beyond! Xath!" The Dragon jerked, and came out of circle to swoop toward Riven. She reared in midair, throwing her wings out of alignment and plummeting until she stabilized herself with wind magic. Xath passed over her, but as he did so Ephinmor jumped off. He caught Tanasril's hump with his claws. Screaming the archmage tried to throw him off, but failed. Both of the Wizards fell from Riven's back, landing in the midst of battling Equestrodens and Peasants.
Alahana had no time to react to this, however. Another voice spoke now, a tone as frozen as the Northern Reaches, as deadly as the Spires, and as devoid of emotion as Krypt herself.
"Alhana," said the voice of Errias Thaman. "I have come to end this chaos. Magicum will become part of the United Kingdoms. You can surrender now, or you can die. It matters little to me."
Alhana turned, her eyes so fiercely red they outshone the fire. She saw that Errias, too, had been riding a Dragon - it had landed in the middle of a narrow street, pushing over the houses on either side.
"You're a fool if you think I'd ever surrender, Thaman," she snarled.
"The decision, then, is made." He drew his sword, and advanced, the ice in his eyes matching the fire in alhana's.

"You - little - brat!" cried Daric, thrusting himself off the ground with his sword. Drexel stood a yard away from him, his own mithril blade held straight out before him.
"You'll die on those words, scoundrel," he answered. He ran forward once again. Again Daric was throw to the ground.
"Get up and fight me, you coward!" screamed Drexel.
"As you wish," hissed Daric. He lunged against Drexel, but the young man parried his blow and the next. Then he swung, Daric barely blocking it. He dug his feet into the ash-covered ground, and leaned against his sword. Ringing, the two blades slid along each other, their hilts locking together. Drexel gritted his teeth and pushed.
For minutes they stood thus, glaring into each other's face. Then Daric felt the swords give way. With a last heave, he threw his weight against his blade. He heard a snap, and found himself holding but the hiltshard.
"My sword!" he cried. He backed quickly away from Drexel.
"Do not worry," Drexel said. "Although you might be a dog, I still will not strike you - unarmed."
"You are the dog, boy. And I have no qualms about punishing a rebellious hound." He pulled aknife from his boot. He held it up. Its blade was stained dull black, and it did not glimmer in the sun or the fire. "This knife is poisoned. It was to insure my revenge against Alhana, but you have pressed me too hard." He lunged again for drexel.
With a look of disgust on his face, the young man parried the blow. Daric stagered. Before he recovered, the young Silveredge ran his sword through the traitor's heart.

"So, he has fallen." The Queen of the Thamans nodded. "I knew he was no match for my son. Now then, the rest of you, charge! We will take that brat's head, and give it as a present to his father if he yet lives! If not, we shall hang it over the gate in Thamopolis! Now, attack!" The last of the Thamans charged toward the lone figure of Drexel, standing black against the inferno.
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Raistlin, Archmagus

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 PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2003 4:23 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

"Master!" She had lost sight of Tanasril and the Magefel, and frantically Riven searched. But...was the archmage the one she needed to worry about? Mother! She jerked her head around to catch sight of the Queen, circling and being cirled by a man she did not recognize. She'd heard the name Thaman, however, and hesitated above the battles. Why had Ephinmor turned against Tanasril? The teretoginator was his Master, too!

But then, hadn't she been against him, in the begining? Why? She rose up, shaking her head. Her mother, or her master? She couldn't be in two places at once! Or...could she? Flying higher, she spotted Tanasril and the magefel. Her horn shimered, and vines sprouted about Ephinmor's feet, climbing up him just as they had the warrior. It wouldn't hold him for long, but perhaps long enough.

She turned her attention to the queen, and hesitated at the sight.

Alhana leapt forward, bringing her sword across her to swipe at the general. Errias brought his own sword up to parry easily. Alhana stepped backward, her eyes on the general. She trusted that they would not be interupted; peasants of her own, and Thaman's warriors stood about them; fighting, but no one moved to attack the leaders.

The queen brought her own sword up as Errias darted in. Feeling the broadsword begin to give, she clasped the hilt in both hands, and pushed. She saw the general give a feral smile as he bore down on her; Alhana could not find a leverage. And then...

She felt a wind blow, and she pushed again. Errias fell backwards. Alhana blinked, watching Thaman pick himself up from the ground. Hearing a neigh, the queen turned and looked up, spotting her daughter. Her eyes were a torrent of color, with yellows, reds and blues decorating them. Alhana nodded her head to Riven as she saw the teretogenic moving away, to help Tanasril. Well, if she needed to help the queen's enemy, at least her daughter had come to her aid first.

She had forgotten about Errias for the moment, and did not see him coming toawrds her until he was all but upon her; someone had cried out. Alhana ducked and spun to the side, chooting her foot out to kick the general in the side. "You'll pay, Errias," she growled. "Baron Wodenthal's death is on you hands, man. I hold you responsible for the actions of your family." She swung her sword with a ferocity she'd not yet shown.
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 PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2003 11:04 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

"Where to, indeed?" murmured Tanasril. He glanced around, his eyes squinting against the flames encroaching towards the centre of town. At last he spotted someone he recognized from his spies' descriptions.
"There!" he cried, pointing at the figure battling through the Warriors below. "Take us there!"
Riven obeyed, pulling her wings into a dive. She pulled up to hover ten feet above the ground. Tanasril laughed aloud as he stroked Riven's mane. At the horrible sound, both the Thaman Warriors and Alhana paused in their fighting. alhana looked up, anger burning in her eyes, but a darker cast of fear there as well.
"Alhana!" cried the teratogenitor when his paroxysm had ended. "Behold! I have remade your daughter, and now she is mine! The destiny of your house as my servants and companions is now to consummated! Alhana, prepare yourself!"

Sarras lowered his arms. He, Ephinmor, and Errias were standing on a small rise overlooking the east of Magicum. The General and the leader of the magefels had been watching with interest the duel between Daric Thaman and the heir of the Silveredges. Sarras, however, had been engaged in an another kind of viewing.
"Tanasril has begun his attack," he said. "Also, it seems as though the Magicumians are holding their own against your forces, General."
"It is the work of the traitor, Minrhael," said the General. "If not for her, we would have overwhelmed their forces. But so be it. Ephinmor, it is your turn."
"Yes." The magefel raised his paw. The Black Phantoms glided forward. The other magefels teleported to stand before Ephinmor. Xath and Terida, still in Dragon form, crawled forward to loom behind the black-furred Wizard.
"So," he said, nodding. "All is in readiness. The Phantoms will go around the south, reinforcing the people you sent there. You magefels will be teleporting into the centre of town. As for myself and the General, we will ride Xath and Terida into the battle."
"At last!" said Relfiras. "We are going into battle at the Master's side. I was beginning to think you would delay forever."
"Only until my plans were ready," replied Ephinmor calmly. He had foreseen trouble with the aspiring teratogenitor, but he knew he could deal with it. "I'm afraid, Relfiras, that you are misinformed as to our object. We are not fighting at the 'Master's' side. We are fighting against him."
"What!" Relfiras brought up a hand, clenching it. A red glow scintillated from between his fingers. "Traitor!"
"To a Master I was coerced to serve?" Ephinmor began to purr. "I think not. You are more of a traitor for turning against your own kind. This is my hour now, Relfiras - the time of Tanasril is over."
"You can't mean it!" rumbled a voice from behind him. Ephinmor looked over his shoulder, his purr changing to a growl of annoyance. Xath loomed terrible behind him. "The Master made us what we are! We owe him a debt of gratitude!"
"Silence, fool!" hissed Terida. "Tanasril freed us, yes. He gave us the power of shapeshifting, yes. But at what cost1 I still dream about the day he reordered our bodies so that they could assume different shapes. I did not ask for that, nor did you."
"Yes, but - "
"Silence!" ordered Ephinmor. Xath cringed - a comical sight for the Dragon. The magefel turned his attention back to Relfiras, wose hand had begun to burn like a star fallen from the skies. "As for you, you will obey me now or be cast out of our company, and the Master will not help you."
"Bah!" Relfiras opened his hand, a fire jetted upwards from it. "You are a fool, Ephinmor. You are leading these people to their destruction. No teratogenic can live apart from his creator!"
"You're wrong, Relfiras," replied Ephinmor. "Now go, before I lose my patience and rid the world of one more teratogenitor."
Relfiras snarled, but he knew he could not oppose Ephinmor, who had the backing of all the magefels as wel as the Dragons and Black Phantoms. Another snarl, and he teleported away.
"Good." Ephinmor rubbed his paws together. His purr returned. "Now, we attack!"
"I remind you," said the General coldly, "I am in command here. We will attack, but I warn you: do not usurp my authority again."
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 PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 4:11 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

For a while it seemed as though the returning Heroes would break through the rear ranks of the Equestrodens. Unprepared for this assault, the Knights fell into confusion. The Magicumian Heroes pressed into the town. But, even as Vlilmeora passed within the outer line of houses, the tide turned. From behind the gutted remains of a Guardhouse loomed a tall demi-horse, mounted by an enormous Equestroden. He wielded a long, heavy halberd with one hand, using his other hand to control his mount.
"Lord Maris!" cried the Equestrodens.
"Knights!" he called. "Rally to me!" He swung his weapon up and smashed it into a Warrior, sending the corpse crashing through the wall of one of the houses. "Now, attack!" He spurred his horse straight at the Dryad.
She raised her bow and fired. The arrow struck him in the gap between his chest piece and his left shoulder guard and stuck there, but the Knight Commander paid it no heed. He swung his halberd, catching Vlilmeora's bow and scattering it in splinters. Then he was past her, but a back stroke from his weapon caught her in the back. Within the Forest, a tall ash shuddered and died. Vlilmeora would rise no more.
Sir Maris charged through the Heroes, slaying those who dared bar his path. Warriors flew like feathers, the Paladins collapsed like towers knocked from their foundations. The lone Warrior of Discord, howling in rage, jumped into the air, his blade-stick raised. Sir Maris batted him contemptuously away, and the Fervan warrior crashed against a tree, a mangled mess of harness and flesh.
"Is this all you have?" cried Maris. "These pathetic fools cannot stop me!"
"Try me, then, if you are unsatisfied." Maris looked to the speaker, and saw a tall man, cloaked, with a staff in his hand and an enormous sword slung on his back. He sat aside a great horse, clad in mail, and danger was in his eye.
"You wish to fight me? Alone? You are a fool!" Sir Maris charged.
Todth leveled his staff at the Equestroden. Lightning shot from it. The demi-horse reared. Maris leapt from it, slashing out with his halberd. The barest tip caught Todth's staff and wrenched it from his hands. Todth jumped to the ground, and drew his sword. It flared brightly.
Maris landed on his feet. "Rekc'Art scum!" he cried. "You will regret this!" He rammed towards the Rekc'Art, his halberd flaring out. Todth leapt the halberd, and brought his sword down on the Equestroden's helmet. The enchanted helm split asunder, sending Maris staggering back, but for a second only.
Then he swung his halberd in wide arcs, driving Todth back. The Rekc'Art realized that if he tried to block, those blows would jar the sword from his hands.
Maris paused to recover, and Todth jumped forward. The Equestroden blocked the slash of the blade with his haft, thrusting the Rekc'Art off balance. The he reached out and grabbed Todth by the throat. He held him away from his body, and began drubbing him with his halberd.
Bones cracked as the haft connected, cuts opened up as the head flicked across the Rekc'Art's flesh. Todth knew he was going to die if he did not do something. He concentrated through the pain. Electricity gathered in his body, suddenly jolting up the Equestroden's arm. Snorting, Maris threw him down, and placed his boot on the Rekc'Art's chest.
"Your puny spells will not save you now," he growled. With both hands, he lifted up the halberd, head down. He plunged it downwards.
Todth grabbed the Equestroden's boot with both hands, shoving and rolling. Maris stumbled, cursing. Todth jumped to his feet, fire glowing on his open palms.
"Now, it's your turn," he said, and fired two streams of flame at Maris. The Equestroden raised his halberd, holding it crossways before him. The fire hit it and parted, dissipating into smoke. Then he swung his halberd again, knocking Todth off his feet. Quickly he swung it round the other way, catching the Rekc'Art in the side while he was still in the air. Again, his halberd swung back, and again.
"I told you," ground out Maris. "Your spells are useless." He raised his halberd; Todth dropped to the ground. Then the Equestroden slammed his weapon into the earth. The shock lifted Todth's body and threw it a dozen yards away, crashing into the ground and bouncing.
Maris walked over. He kicked the Rekc'Art. There was no groan, no breath of sound. He seemed dead. But, to make sure, Maris struck off his head, then threw it as far as he could away from the battle. It vanished.

[ 14. November 2003, 06:36 PM: Message edited by: Falotar ]
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 PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 1:21 am    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

"Ha! You think these will stop me?" Ephinmor raised his arms. Flames shot up, covering his body with a mantle of fire. The vines withered to ash. Ephinmor stretched out a clawed finger to point at Tanasril, and all the fire streamed forth from it, striking the archmage and driving him back.
Tanasril screamed as the fire seared his flesh. Instinctively he threw up his hand, magical energy springing from them to deflect the stream of fire. He then lowered his hands, panting.
"How dare you," he snarled. "How dare you! You pathetic mongrel! You would be nothing without me!" He raised his hands. A blade formed of purest energy coalesced there. "Now die, you dog that bites the hand which feeds you!" He lunged for Ephinmor. The magefel raised his hands, drawing back from the archmage into a defensive stance his claws gleamed in the light of the burning town.
"Dog, Master? Surely you mean cat." One hand swiped, knocking the blade aside. The other came up, raking across the teratogenitor's burnt chest. Tanasril fell back, screaming louder than before. Ephinmor's fangs glistened as he smiled and launched himself at the staggering hunchback.
His flight was halted by a gust of wind. he landed nimbly on his feet, and glared up at the winged, equestrian shape of the Princess. "Xath!" he yowled into the sky. "Stop her, you fool!"

Xath had been circling above the fray. Never too quick at the best of times, the rapid march of affairs had left him quite befuddled. He hardly knew who he was fighting for, or whom he wished to fight for. Then a voice hissed in his ear.
"What are you doing, idiot?" It was Terida, who had thrown herself back into the sky after Errias had disembarked.
"I'm not too sure myself," he confessed. "What precisely are we doing?"
"We're supposed[i/] to be helping ephinmor destroy Tanasril!"
"But, I could never do that! I owe Tanasril my freedom, my ability to shapeshift - everything!"
"Indeed." Terida snorted smoke out of her nostrils. "Well, if you cannot bear to fight the Master, then let us fight the Magicumians. They are, at least, the enemies of [i]both
our masters!" With that, the two dragons turned their fiery breath upon the Palace.

"Fools!" snarled Ephinmor as he caught sight of Xath and Terida, setting the Magicum Palace alight. "They are supposed to be helping me! But, as they say, if you want something done, you must do it yourself!" He clasped his hands together, and thrust them at the hovering form of Riven. Greenish-white light shot forth, striking the creature. Riven threw back her head as her mind was pierced by the searing energy.
"Stop!" cried Tanasril. He thrust himself up from where he had fallen. "What are you doing?"
"Breaking the ties that bind, Master," replied Ephinmor, his eyes fixed on the Princess, who now pulsated with the greenish light. "If I cannot restore her humanity, I can at least restore her mind."
"No!" Tanasril lunged for Ephinmor, knocking the magefel to the cobbles and disrupting the spell. The beam ceased to shine onto Riven, but still she fluttered, dazed. The physical world about her was forgotten, as the half-completed spell plunged her deep into her own mind.
Tanasril pinned Ephinmor to the ground. His hands were about his throat. With the strength only madmen possess, Tanasril began to squeeze.
"Thus end all traitors," he hissed, his face scarcely an inch from Ephinmor.
But the feline Wizard was not finished. Inherited from the the essence with which his own body had been fused came an instinctive technique as old as the first cat-fight. Ephinmor pulled his legs up underneath Tanasril's belly, and began to dig with them. Tanasril howled as the piston-like limbs dug into his abdomen. His grasp weakened, and finally he pulled away. Moaning in horrible agony, he clutched at his stomach, blood seeping through his fingers. Ephinmor's eyes gleamed as his raised his right hand, where the Twilight Ring shone darkly.
"Say farewell to this life, teratogenitor," he purred. Three Phantoms glided forward, electricity gathering on their upraised hands.
Then, there came a distinctive sound of pounding and clacking; like the running paws of a monstrous dog. It was the sound of a galloping demi-horse.
Sir maris burst into the square, halberd swinging. Magicumian and Thamanite alike were struck down by that massive polearm. The Phantoms turned to face him. He raised his halberd, turned his horse sharply so that the Phantoms were on his right, and swept the halberd down.
The blade whined through the air. It struck the first Phantom, then the second, then the third. The three disappeared into wisps of black and purple smoke.
"Nothing will oppose me," cried Sir Maris. He turned his mount again, and levelled his halberd at an astonished Ephinmor. "Not Phantoms, and not you, traitor. Now, make your peace with the gods you will soon meet! Sorya!" He lifted his halberd with both hands, and spurred his demi-horse towards Ephinmor.
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Raistlin, Archmagus

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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2003 12:11 am    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Riving floated in the air, unseeing. What...How...Why? She didn't understand. Where was she? Why was she there? And what was happening?
She felt her feet touch something as they gave out beneath her, bringing her to her knees - all four of them. Had she fallen? She wasn't aware of anything. There was a scream near by, and the princess ducked her head, instinctively pulling a shield of air around her, followed by a dome of vines and moss and roots. Her breathing was heavy, but she paid that no mind; something was happening; something horrible. But what?
Another shriek peirced her ears, and the monster opened her eyes. Her home. Her family. They were being attacked. By...
By someone who had enslaved her. And, too, they were being attacked by others. Others who had...who had...
An image flashed behind her eyelids. Wodenthal, dead on a balcony. Her eyes shone blue and she let out a high pitched wail. Touching her horn to the ground, she clenched her jaw. The green dome fell apart, and Riven stood, her eyes red. They shone like a beacon, seeking out the offenders. Spotting Tanasril, she slid into a gollop towards him, maintaining the wind sheild that protected her.
She drew up short behind the teratogenitor, rearing with an angry sound somewhere between a whinny and a shriek. She through her front legs back to the earth, staring down at Tanasril.
"You humiliated me," she growled. "You enslaved me. You attacked the people important to me. I want compensation, madman." The word seemed odd from her equine lips; she looked no where near sane herself. Green hair fell across her eyes, and she only looked out at her creator through the curtain.
She had barely noticed Ephinmor and the Equestroden, so intent was she upon her Master. But seeing Sir Maris charge at the Magefel, she turned to look out of the corner of her eye. He had saved her, in a sense. She owed him this much. Leaping forward, she brought her horn up to parry Maris' Halberd, sending a gust at him and vines to entangle his mount's feet.
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 PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2003 10:53 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

The demi-horse reared, vines snapping and coiling about its feet. Maris maintained his seat and steadied his mount, but bewilderment had fallen on his face.
"Your . . . Highness?" he asked uncertainly. He stared into her blazing eyes. "You . . . protect this traitor?"
"I owe him my mind," replied Riven, her horn and eyes flashing. A gust of wind buffeted the Knight Commander. "Tanasril used magic to enslave me. He used me! Used me to attack my home! And Ephinmor freed me from that!" She tossed her head. Electricity arced from her horn and crackled in the air. "You'll have to take me down to get to him!"
Maris shifted in his saddle. He looked at Riven, the dangerous glow of her eyes and the energy sparking around her. He looked at Ephinmor, leaning on a trough, and breathing hard after his grueling magic battle with the teratogenitor. Last he looked at Tanasril, clutching his torn belly.
Tanasril looked up. Through tear-bleared eyes he beheld the Equestroden and the Princess. He saw the halberd wavering as its owner paused in indecision. He croaked one word: "No."
Maris could not hear him above the clamour of battle. But the feeling came to him so strongly through his bond with his Master, that he nearly screamed the word aloud himself. With an effort, he controlled his emotions.
"I cannot strike down the Master's steed," he said. Moving his own mount around Riven, he moved over to where Tanasril knelt. He reached down and pulled the archmage up behind him.
"Oh no you don't!" cried Riven. "That lunatic has destroyed everything I loved - I won't let you save him!" Air locked around Maris, immobilizing him. He struggled, but neither his strength of body nor of mind could free him. But something else did.
A high scream pierced the dull uproar of battle. Riven forgot her spell, forgot everything else but that scream. Whatever else Tanasril's enchantment might have made her forget, she could not forgot her mother's voice.

Errias had fallen back under Alhana's furious onsluaght, giving ground as his crystalline mind refracted her movements into a pattern. Then, as she thrust her sword, he slid his own along it and, with a flick, lifted it above the hilt of her blade and cut across her wrist.
Alhana gasped in pain as blood welled from the deadly wound. The sword fell from her hand, and she stumbled back, clutching at her hand, trying to staunch the crimson fount. Errias allowed himself another smile.
"And so it ends," he said, lifting his sword for the final blow.
But, even as he began his stroke, he staggered as something struck him in the head. Whirling, he saw a Peasant holding the haft of a broken spear. Frowning in irritation, he struck the fool down. Three more Peasants appeared; he hewed them down with a slash. Then his Guards moved in, allowing him to return to Alhana.
She had picked up another sword, and stood facing him. Her wrist she had bound with the sleeve from her right arm.
Errias ground his teeth. "Your spirit is strong," he observed coldly, stepping back.
"Stronger than you comprehend, General," she said. She lunged, and he tried to parry, but the lunge became a feint, and he stumbled. Quickly he recovered, but the Queen seemed to to have vanished.
"Turn around," came her voice, and quickly he spun, raising his sword. Her own blade flicked out, and his sword flew from his hand. She thrust the sword against his throat.
"Normally I wouldn't kill an unarmed man anymore than I would stab him in the back," she said through clenched teeth, "but unless you call off your troops and surrender, I'll kill you as you stand."
"I believe you would," said Errias emotionlessly. "Your fury has burned off all your scruples. It is a pity to kill one as strong as you." Quickly he slid away. Alhana thrust, but only nicked the left side of his neck and he twisted. Then she felt his gauntleted hand on hers. He planted his other hand on her chest, and pushed her down. She fell, still clutching the sword. Putting his other hand on it, he wrenched it from her grasp. Then he raised it. His eyes glittered like frost on glass.
"I agree, it is dishonourable to slay an unarmed foe. But the strategic value of this oppurtunity cannot be missed." He plunged his sword down.
Alhana rolled, but Errias was as quick as a snake. The blade bit her shoulder as she rolled, and thrust down. Had she known it, the blade just missed her heart. But she did not know it, and as the cold steel thrust into her chest, she screamed what she thought was her death cry.

[ 12. November 2003, 10:45 PM: Message edited by: Falotar ]
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Raistlin, Archmagus

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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:46 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Tanasril and Ephinmor were forgotten; the battle was forgotten. Riven's eyes flashed bright yellow and she ran from her one-time master. Wanting to gallop and finding too many people in her way, she shrieked, high and angry. Wind whiped through the air, forcing a path through the masses.
Muscles shifted and bunched as Riven ran and jumped fallen heroes. Nothing was important. She could hear nothing but the scream, echoing again and again in the deep, dark depths of her mind. Terrified of what she would see, Riven ceased the wind spell and leaped ofer the few people in front of her, wings spread to keep her aloft long enough.
She clattered to the ground, wide eyes looking down at her mother. The princess's breathing was harsh as she swung her head to look at Errias. She glared at him, eye's shimmering. There was a yellow undercurrent to the bright red that shone from her eyes. The one look was a simple promise: death.
Looking back at her fallen mother, Riven bowed her head slightly, wanting to help a nd not sure what to do. Glancing at the sword embedded in Alhana's shoulder, the monster's immediate thought was to pull it out; but that could only cause more damage, she thought. Amazing that she was able to recall these lessons; it felt like years and years since she'd last heard them.
The queen blinked and looked up at her daughter, taking in shallow breaths. "Riven," she said, softly. One hand reached up limply, brushing the princess's hair.
The hand fell back, and Alhana's eyes closed partly; it was an effort to breath. Wildly, Riven looked up, rearing on her hind legs to look around her. "Healer!" She cried. Scanning the crowd of fighters, she spotted the purple and red robe of a Healer. Her horn glowed a dull blue as a wind surrounded him, lifting him into the air and pulling him towards his queen. Setting him on the ground none too gently, he stumbled to his knees, next to Alhana. The man's eyes widened as he looked up at Riven. "Heal her," she said, desperately. When he had nodded, the princess rounded on Errias. Hulking forward, she tensed her wings close to her body, eyes furious. "I'll kill you," she growled. "Even if she lives, I'll kill you, I swear it. The Thamans should have been finished years ago." Her horn flared to life, shining green and blue. Thunder rumbled overhead, and lightning crackled across the sky. Crushed plants writhed, growing at an alarming rate. Green tendrils reached for Errias, roots tried to trip him. "You are dead where you stand, general."

[ 08. November 2003, 09:20 PM: Message edited by: Raistlin, Archmagus ]
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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2003 11:36 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Errias' eyes widened slightly as Riven stood before him, and the earth and sky came alive with her rage. In all his calculations, his extrapolations of the future and its scenarios, his mind had never hit upon this. It was the one thing he had not foreseen, and so was the one thing he could not overcome - this transformed princess coming to the aid of her mother.
But even if he could not overcome her, did not mean he was unprepared for this chance. His hand went to his chest, and grasped at something there. His eyes gleamed coldly at Riven even as the plants began to creep up his legs.
"My plans are undone," he acknowledged. "The one chance that I left unattended has arisen and destroyed my ambition: you." Lightning flashed down from the sky; Errias hissed a little as the bolt struck him and drove him to his knees. The plants grew faster, as if to hide his charred body from sight, but he yet lived. His icy eyes still glared hatred at Riven. "But though I grant I shall die here, Princess," he rasped out, his voice beginning to fail, "know that it not by you or yours that I am slain!" He pulled his hand from his tunic. A knife flashed in the lightning. "An instrument I saved against the final chance: my defeat. It is not for you, Princess - " he hissed again as a sharp wind bit his raw flesh "- but - I - will - not - be - slain - by - another's - " the knife flashed again as Errias' hand thrust it deep into his own heart, and his last word came forth with a spurt of blood: " - hand."
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 PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2003 2:37 am    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Drexel fell back, choking on the fumes from the fire surrounding him. Alarica's entire force had charged him; now, cut and bruised, he was pushed back nearly to Temple Square.
wearily he swung his sword, cutting down an already wounded Guard. He gasped, and staggered, and lifted his sword for the next attack. But none came. Instead, there came a voice.
"Foolish boy," said the acid tones of Alarica, "you have slain have many - a dozen, a score, twoscore? and yet what matters it in the end? If my soldiers cannot bring you down, I will!" Out of the smoke and ash ahead of him loomed the mounted figure of the Thaman Queen. She was terrible, in Processed chain mail and wielding a cruel, long-handled axe.
She swung her weapon. Drexel was knocked off his feet. She spurred her horse at him, but the beast reared, refusing to trample the fallen Warrior. "Surrounded by weaklings!" hissed Alarica. She raised her axe and struck the neck of her own mount, leaping clear as the horse fell.
"Horrible woman," said Drexel, thrusting himself up. "There was no call for that."
"Don't presume to speak to me thus!" she shrieked, and raised her axe. But then came the call of a horn - not the icy trumpets of Thamos, nor the tarnished-silver shrill of Equestroden clarions, but the deep bay of Northern horns. A Warrior ran up to Alarica and grabbed her arm. Impatiently she shook him off, but he shook his head and choked something out.
"What is it?" she sapped. "Speak! Or are you blind and cannot see that I am exterminating vermin?"
"The Magicumians!" the Warrior yelled ragedly, right into Alarica ear. The Queen slapped him across the face with a mail-clad hand, but he ignored the pain. Drexel saw that his eyes were wide with fright. "Reinforcements have arrived! For the enemy!"
"What!" Alarica raised her axe and struck off the Warrior's head. Her eyes blazing, she turned to Drexel. "If this is true, I'll have to delay killing you. But there will be another time, soon - "
"Don't bother," growled Drexel. He levelled his sword at her. "You've killed your horse and slain one of your own Heroes out of spite. I can see I have nothing to fear from you, hag of the Thamans. I'll finish you now, if you're brave enough to fight me!"
"Hag!" she snarled. "I'll teach you to show respect, you little whelp! Brave enough? It takes no courage to face one such as you!"
"It is well you think so," he said as the two began to circle each other, "for else I am sure you would not fight."
"Choke yourself on your words!" screamed alarica, and threw herself at Drexel, axe flashing. It clove his uplifted shield in two, biting his arm to the arm. He grunted, but did not falter. He kicked Alarica away from him, and thrust. The Processed mail held against the mithril blade, however, and Alarica laughed. Wasting no time, she knocked Drexel away with the haft of her weapon, and then swung for his head. But drexel ducked the heavy blow, and before the Queen could come out of it, her ran his sword into her throat.
The Queen fell, surprise etched on her hard features. She clutched at her throat, lifeblood spurting out between her convulsing fingers.
"How - " she gurgled, and died.

Emperor tarmyln looked over the city. The smoke from the blazing eastern section hid the rest of the town from view, but he thought he could discern two Dragons flying above the Palace. A few Thamanite Guards and Warriors still hung at the fringes of the eastern edges of the town, wary of daring the flames and rubble.
"What do you think?" he said to the Dwarf astride the pony next to him.
"By Krolm's beard," answered the Dwarven King, "I dinna think ye'll have much planning to do. It looks fair straightfoward to me."
"I agree," said the Lord General from the Emperor's other side.
"So also I thought, Torvin, Taramech." Tarmyln raised his sword, and looked over his shoulder slightly. "There is no need for strategy here!" he called to his Heroes and henchmen. "All units, charge!" He swung his blade to point at the burning city. His followers cheeres, and rushed forward. Tarmyln spurred his horse, as did his lieutenants.
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