Fable - Ask The Road of Condemnation

Sibylla

Anirian Knight Sergeant
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It was just going from bad to worse.

"Shit,"
Sibylla cursed, barely hearing Landon 's quip regarding mages costing double. The bright flash had burned her eyes, and she was seeing flashes for a few seconds before being able to gather her bearings.

Mages and fire. The scent of charred flesh and bone was already an acrid stench in her nostrils. With a grunt, she pursued her fellow Knight's path, knowing well that working in pairs was going to be to their benefit than splitting off.

Just then, an enemy solider came crashing through the trees, sword raised to strike Landon from behind. Reflect took over and she swung her sword up, blade clashing against her opponent with a resonating twang. A grunt and she used all her strength to shove the man forward, causing him to trip and flail back. Immediately, Sibylla twisted her wrist and ran the man through the belly.

There's saving Landon's head take one.

"If we do, you'll try and cheat your way through it," Sibylla countered, darting towards the right where she saw another mage in the distance. There wasn't time to spare. Where Landon had the advantage of distance, Sibylla had that of strength and sheer determination. Rushing towards the mage as he concentrated in creating a large fireball, the Anirian Knight charged.

Before the mage could complete his spell, Sibylla had already slashed his throat.

"Five."
 

Alakir

Fierce Fang
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Before he could blink, men he'd served with for nearly a year were dead all around him. Alakir felt the heat intensify before his vision went white, and the cool, seaside path suddenly began to boil human flesh. But for the warning from the female Dreadlord Zana, Alkair would have been another letter that Talus would have to send at the end of the journey.

Alakir counted himself blessed in that regard. No one was left from his household to receive that letter, and no one would bother to make a proper headstone for him in the family cemetery.

"We won't hold long if they get to continue buffeting us with flames. They seem focused on the caravan," he remarked toward Zana and Talus, "and there's scant leavings of our contingent to guard the prisoner."

He kept a healthy distance now from the cracks, which still broke through the path now and then to vent pressure in the form of superheated steam. They'd come to the crossroads of guts and glory, and there were only two paths forward.

"Your pardon, m'lord," Alakir dared, "but I'd like to throttle those fuckers for killing my friends. May I have your leave to do so?"
 
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Talus

Dreadlord
Dreadlords
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Talus moved like a bolt of lightning as he saw Zana's horse shift slightly above one of the cracks. Panic struck his heart, but he fell back on his instinct and reached out to touch Zandor's neck. Magic coursed through his veins, and then there was a sudden shift.

The world snapped into a familiar blue and white for Zana, Talus...and her horse. An urging touch moved them only a few feet, and with a great whinnying cry Zandor and the other two snapped back into reality just to the side of the carriage.

He looked up at Zana for a few moments, an odd expression on his face. That was the first time he'd phase-walked with something as large as Zandor. There was a look of almost confusion on his face, but he shook his head as he heard a guardsmen call to him.

"Do it!" Talus hissed at Alakir. "I'm right behind you."

He gave Zana a glance. "Cover us."

It was the only order he gave as he broke off from Zandor's side and sprinted off behind Alakir, rushing through the fire and heading directly towards the foreign mages.
 
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Zana

Second Level
Dreadlords
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Zana was a little glad she hadn't eaten that morning. With the combination of the vision and then phase-walking she thought she would have thrown up if there was anything in her stomach. She caught the odd look and could feel the mix of emotions roll through him.

Later.

They would figure out his growing magic when they were alone. For now...

Her heart leapt into her mouth when he bolted off after the Guard. She couldn't protect the carriage well and go after them. For a moment she was torn but there were enough Dreadlords beside the carriage to handle it; five of them still survived. More than enough. Zana paused a second more to see one of them pull the prisoner from the wreckage of the carriage and then she turned Zandor and nudged him after Talus and Alkair.

The stallion cleared the wall of fire and then went crashing after the other two. As the fireballs began to rain towards them Zana threw up her hand. As they hit the purple shield they fizzled and then from the purple energy they spat themselves back out towards the people who had thrown them.
 
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Landon

Anirian Knight
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Fighting The Fire Mages and Enemy Up the Hill (for those now joining)

Landon shook his head and quickly rolled to his feet, like the predator they trained him to be. Arrow slid to his bow and he fired at a soldier running up to swipe at Sib as she took a second mage out. The man dropped dead. Quickly.

"Me? Cheat. I would never." Dark brows rose in mock-offense but the rest of his face remained all business. Tall, powerful legs took him toward his fellow knight. A dagger was taken from his belt as he launched it at another mage. It hit something invisible and clattered harmlessly to the grass.

A shield of magic?

Landon's attention didn't shift long off of Sibylla as he moved with her, covering her attack. It was an easy rhythm. Reminded him of the front and how they'd often work in pairs during the scouting missions. A powerful kick to another attacking soldier then a quickly, silent cut along the man's throat.

"Six," the man said grimly.

A spared glance over his shoulder at the purple shield. The tell-tale flash of his boss' sword. "Reinforcements comin.'"
 
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Alakir

Fierce Fang
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37
"VEL'ANIR!"

His breathless warcry wrested free from his throat. Spittle sprayed wanton as he hefted his weapon and closed the distance as quickly as his legs could carry him. The fear of arrows was dispelled by a cocoon of magic that warded them off, but his disbelief was suspended by bloodlust.

Every Guardsman in his contingent was gone. Men he'd served with for months now, people who's life stories he'd heard and knew lay dead around a carriage fit to carry a single prisoner. They'd died for Vel'Anir, the way he was always told he should.

For some reason, their deaths did not sit well with him. He knew he could not have prevented it, and yet, he felt he could exact vengeance. Alakir felt it was his duty.

Talus gave him leave. Zana gave him cover.
"EAAUUUUUUUUUURGHHHHH!"

The blade of his weapon drove deep through the chest of one of the mages. Fire channeled around his body hungrily tore into his eyes and slithered like a serpent into his mouth. Released unbidden by the man who controlled it, the magic now sought to turn on the unworthy. His body immolated, he hit the ground beneath the weight of the Guardsman, who wasted no more time on him.

Around them, horror rose among the ranks of their assailants. Screams and orders mingled and became incoherent noise. Alakir wrenched his weapon out of the corpse and brought the haft whipping round. He would plow through them and give the Dreadlords ample room to ply their deadly trade.

The Anirian Knights were there, ripping through the line of attackers as well. Once the haze of rage lifted, Alakir saw them, too. The blunt portion of his poleaxe smacked the meat of another mage's back and sent him reeling.

Alakir thrust a fist skyward triumphantly, words failing him.
 

Vale

Dreadlord
Dreadlords
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While it was great that the attack on the mages on the hill was successful, that still left the small group of guards and himself by the carriage. The attackers that had rushed down in the hill collided into the small shield wall the group of guards on this side of the crack. For the guards that weren't in a fight with one of the sword-wielding assailants, the others would run around their flanks and straight toward the carriage and prisoner still inside.

That's where Vale stood and when the first one came through, his sword met the attackers in the air as sparks flew erupted from the collision. The second swung at his back and the Dreadlord ducked underneath before taking a step back and letting the two remain in front of him. Casting a quick glance to his flank, he saw that the rest of the Dreadlords and practically everyone else ran up to the hills to deal with the mages and just had them at the carriage. "Perfect." Vale muttered to himself before the two men lunged at him once more.

The first strike was deflected to the right and when the second was coming in, Vale whipped out his hand and the shadows responded. The sword was about to connect to his arm but it stopped mid-air abruptly and cause the wielder of it to grunt heavily. It appeared as if it just had hit a wall and stopped in place but on the ground where the shadows of the fighters reflected them, the man's arm had a tendril of shadow wrapped around it unnaturally and keeping it in place.

Vale didn't need another moment before his sword came down in a vertical line and sliced the attacker's arm clean off. The man let out a scream and collapsed to the ground with a pool of blood beneath him. The Dreadlord sidestepped to face his other attack and readied his sword. The guards that were defending the caravan were fighting for their lives but were giving ground, more of the attackers running past them and jumping onto the carriage as even the driver started to fight with them.
 
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Sibylla

Anirian Knight Sergeant
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It was a chaotic nightmare. Magic was tossed left and right, either through the use of fireballs, shadows, or the incantations that would manifest weapons itself from thin air and lance through the mages who were attacking them.

All the while, Sibylla was tempering herself to the rhythm of the fight. She felt comfortable here. In the midst of blood, sweat, mud, and the high risk of death. Maybe she was an adrenaline junkie. Perhaps this was why she could never truly feel comfortable with the Home Guard. Escorting for society balls or protecting the Dreadlords from assassination could never match the high she felt at being able to use her hands and skills to bring an opponent down.

Working as a pair with Landon, the Knight found another archer. A dock of an arrow and it flew at their direction while another made an attempt to lunge at her. She only barely caught sight of the movement, grabbing the solider to use him as a shield, the arrow piercing his back. That still counted right?

Yeah it does!

Shoving the body off of her, she called out to Landon, pointing at the archer, "Get him!" she told him, moving to cover him as another mage at their right attempted to summon a large ball of fire. She did her best to rush forward, slashing at another attempt to block her by a second opponent. Her sword came crashing down, slashing across his chest only to twist and be plunged within it. A third soon joined him.

Eight!

Her eyes were still on the mage, his incantations almost to completion. She was too far to stop him and had yet to pick up her dagger.

"Fuk," she cursed, eyes going wide as the massive ball shot out towards her direction. Sibylla was quick, but not fast enough. It struck her on the chest, tossing her back to crash onto the trunk of a tree. The wind knocked out of her, and the magical flames seemed to lick at her armor. The only saving grace is that the scaled leather had been a gift of the Dreadlord masterworks, taking the brunt of the damage so that she wasn't immediately consumed by the flames.
 
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Talus

Dreadlord
Dreadlords
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Talus burst into the center of the mages like an explosion.

His ghostly form snapped into existence besides the robed foes, his sword flickering forward with no amount of warning or cry of battle. He was not there to offer mercy, he was not there to offer a moment of consolation or anything of the sort.

The Dreadlord cut into the attackers without a single moment of hesitation. Crimson blood splattered onto the ground, bodies fell like ragdolls, and men who had mere moments ago considered themselves powerful beings of magic were rent from life.

A ghostly hand came up, reaching towards one of the robed figures and grasping.

From the man's very core Talus ripped a formless figure, his soul tearing free with a scream as Talus' crushed his fingers together. There was a quiet snap, and then the ghost disappeared from existence as his sword turned and stabbed into the last of the mages. "Zana! Clear the rest!"

Talus called to his secret love, knowing she would be able to flatten those forces still around him.
 

Landon

Anirian Knight
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Like any good soldier, he trusted Sib to cover him as she motioned to the enemy archer. Pale blues snapped to the movement in the dark, gaze narrowed and he let loose an armor-piercing tipped arrow. It found its mark into the man's forehead.

The flare of fire caught his eye as Sib was thrown backward.

Landon managed to keep most of his cool, free hand dropping for a dagger at his belt and with a strong flick of his wrist, it buried into the fire mage's eye who'd just fired at his fellow knight. The mage dropped and in a blur of ghostly movement, Landon recognized Talus.

Thank the gods.

Landon shouldered his bow and backtracked to Sibylla, punching and shoving his way to the dazed knight. Sharp blues studied her form quickly, making sure she was still breathing. Okay. But his attention remained outward, providing a barrier to any who thought they'd be able to cut her down as she gained her footing and breath.

"You with me?" A panted grunt over his shoulder. Bow on his back and two daggers in his hands.

"And we're tied," the smallest of ripples on his mouth.
 

Zana

Second Level
Dreadlords
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The Earth cracked -

Her sword cut through one of the mages as they tried to drag her from her saddle...

- beneath their feet once more, stemming from a man -

... Another fighter approached her and whilst her eyes were looking ahead instead of to the present Zandor reared and struck the assailant in the head with enough force to crack their skull. The warhorse was given a wider berth after that.

- his hands were pressed to the ground and he murmured beneath his breath -

Zana was trying to find the man even before the vision left her and Zandor kicked out at another person who came to close. There! He was cloaked as he had been in her vision and he was about to kneel towards the ground... Talus' shout divided her attention for a split second and she didn't need any further encouragement.

The Second Level Dreadlord, Pride of Luana, made it clear in that moment why exactly she had risen steadily to become one of Ashur's favourite Dreadlords. The assailants began to rise into the air. There was a look of bewilderment about their faces as they dropped weapons, scrambled to hold onto anything nearby to keep themselves from raising into the sky. But bewilderment was quickly replaced by pure panic as they gripped at their throats and the invisible force that was crushing the very air from their lungs.

The lucky ones found their necks broken. Others had the air slowly squeezed from them, and others, others who she had seen launch attacks that had killed and hit Dreadlords from Luana, began to scream in agony as their limbs were ripped apart by invisible tendrils of force.

Once every life had ended the bodies dropped to the ground with sickening thumps that filled the sudden silence of the forest.

Zana breathed hard as she brought the magic back into herself and slowly slid from her saddle in exhaustion.
 

Vale

Dreadlord
Dreadlords
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Vale was quick to get on the carriage and on top of it as he launched a kick into the man's ribs who was fighting the driver and immediately fell off. One of the attackers climbed onto the carriage and the Dreadlord immediately flexed his fingers as the man put his hands in the shadows to find something to hold onto. He couldn't lift his hand again like it was caught and while he was distracted, Vale's blade went through his chest with ease before being pulled out.

The Dreadlord glanced at the guards who had been defending on the ground but they had been overrun then. One of the guards had lifted his shield but his assailant used his weapon to drag the shield down while another used the opportunity of the opening to stab their sword right through the guard and kill him there. When that one fell, the rest quickly got stormed and stabbed or cut into pieces.

Vale wanted to use his magic but if the prisoner escaped, he would need all of it to keep him contained. He was trying to use it sparingly and he whipped his attention to the driver. "Go!" More of the swordsmen began to sprint toward the carriage and the driver hesitated for another moment before finally gripping onto the reigns and flicking them to get the horses moving.

With the Dreadlord on top of the carriage, he sheathed his sword and stretched out both his arms slightly with his palms toward the sky. As he focused, the rune on neck gave a slightly purple hue and he flexed his fingers. When the wave of attackers entered into the light, they tripped to the ground by an invisible force. They all looked behind them and saw it was their own shadows acting on their own accord as they climbed on top of them.

Some of the men would stab the sand but nothing would happen. The shadows of each of them would draw weapons before beginning to stab into them. The attackers would start shaking as blood would start to pour out from beneath their clothes. A second later, the carriage took off as the others ran to their comrades before attempting to find a ride to catch up.
 

Alakir

Fierce Fang
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37
With a grunt of effort, Alakir drove his final target overhead. The magus wore an expression of terror as the blade that impaled him dug deep, hefted him airborne, and then retched as it nailed him into the dirt. The three of them had broken the mages, but the losses had been significant enough to stall any forward movement.

All of them knew that to press onward without shoring up reinforcements was a risk. If nothing else, whoever had planned the attack had done so knowing it would buy them time if nothing else. Alakir was grimly aware that absolute success was unnecessary.

He also imagined that the Dreadlords knew more than they were letting on. "I'll get a head count and assess the damages," the Guardsman told Talus and Zana as he pulled the halberd free of the corpse. As the adrenaline slowly left his body and he caught his breath, Alakir slung the weapon at his back and shot his officer a glance.

"Did they know when they sent us?" he inquired.

He also knew that Talus might not want to answer him.
 

Talus

Dreadlord
Dreadlords
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Talus swept to Zandor's side in an instant, his form suddenly snapping forward to a ghost that was already catching Zana in it's arms. His fingers laced around her, making sure that she never hit the ground as she softly tumbled into his arms.

A brief smile was all he could offer, a sense of reassurement through the bond as he did his best to make her know that he was there for her. His fingers tightened, and he took in a breath as he looked her over for any other wounds.

Alakir's voice rang out behind him. "Fuck if I know."

The answer was far more cavalier than any other Dreadlord would have offered, but Alakir was one of his soldiers, and on top of that Zana was half passed out in his arms.

He really didn't know the answer.

"We have to go after that Carriage." Talus said with a shake of his head. "No way we can let them get him."

Not after what the bastard had done. His head panned, and then he suddenly spotted Landon, still clutching Zana. "LANDON!"

He called out to his friend.

"We need horses!" Well they would, Talus and Zana could take Zandor.
 

Zana

Second Level
Dreadlords
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Zana had never felt so tired.

She barely registered the fact it was Talus who had caught her as her head lolled against his chest for the moment, eyes closing as she sought to stop her head from swimming. Such a show of magic shouldn't have left her feeling this drained; it was as if she had been fighting all day. It could of course be down to the fact she hadn't been sleeping well recently, at least not unless she was at the Cabin and able to suppress her visions. But she was used to that - it was what she had been trained to cope with.

So why did she feel like she was going to throw up?

"They did," the Luana Dreadlord managed after a moment or two as her head cleared and she managed to swallow the bile rising in her throat. "I'm okay..." she nodded to Talus to set her down on her feet though her legs were still wobbly and she ended up leaning up against her horse.

As the two Knights gathered in Zana tried to explain.

"There is a traitor in our group, someone who is mind linked with one of their Commanders. They know our numbers, our strength, our every move if it is spoken aloud," she just hadn't been able to see who the mole was.
 
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