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RP:The Fiery Finale

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Part of the The Lesser of Two Evils Arc


Blood Fountain

Redhale stood tall and proud before a mass of slavering undead, the armored hulks at his back painted for the battle that faced them in the same manner his mask had been. The dark man wore some armor himself, although the silvery-grey pauldrons were likely more decorative than useful; he didn't plan to let many sharp things near him throughout the course of the battle, and even if they did his bones were likely stronger than the metal. Among his numbers, though, were some completely unamored zombies, in fact completely unclothed, their state of desiccation the only thing saving the sight of them from being somewhat rude. Despite being unclothed, and most of them unarmed, these hollow-eyed old ones looks a might more dangerous than their lumbering counterparts, and twitched with an energy beyond the bloodlust of battle. All of them marched around the fountain to stand at the northernmost point of the square, where they waited for their charge to begin.


Frostmaw has contributed some of its finest past warriors to this coming battle in the form of a dozen reanimated frost giants. The ancient undead behemoths stand among their shorter counterparts of Redhale's army, bedecked in plated,spiked armor caked in frozen blood from ages past. While the gear is worn with age and ice, it still functions as a means of deflecting the worst of weapons from the giants' naturally thick hide--furthered by its glacial state from being buried under snow until just recently, when they'd been awakened by Leifong. Satoshi herself won't be leading them into battle, entrusting them and their unrelenting lust for battle to Redhale's command while she follows Kasyr on other business.


Kasyr's' contribution isn't exactly humble, either. By virtue of both his reputation within the city, and the countless dealings the Kensai has made since his return to the damned city, there is a veritable host of vampires that accompany the Revenant to the battlefield. Numerous houses have seen fit to make their presence known, each one intent upon earning their share of glory.. and more importantly, the countless benefits that accompany this risky endeavor. Others of more curious origins are included amidst this number: Loyalists to the old government, to Tenebrae... And a few who simply didn't intend to be on the wrong side of the battlefield. And of course, there's the Revenant; garbed as ever in his trench coat, with a cigarette at his lips. "Redhale- Is our..secondary trump card ready?"


Redhale turned to Kasyr as the extra troops arrived, "Of course, I just wasn't sure they would fit up here with the rest of us…" He motioned towards the graveyard and a pair of roars bellowed forth, one a little hairier than the other, "I expect they'll keep most of the defenses confused, if not at least busy." He span further around and barked something guttural and awful at one of the leathery bony undead, which responded in kind. Though both of them sounded incredibly angry they seemed to be in agreement and after scanning the odd collection of fighters once more Redhale spoke, "My men know what they have to do, is your lot ready for the charge?"


Kasyr runs a hand through his hair, before he gestures off towards the enemy forces, "They've been debriefed, oui. So, I do believe I'm going to go et leave them to it." Specifically, they'd been ordered to harry targets of opportunity (Those that were slower and/or injured), to engage and demoralize the opposing vampiric forces, and to attack and raze enemy vampiric holdings as the army passed them by, so as to ensure that attackers were not able to mount a counter-offensive from the various estates. Obviously, this would require that the vampiric houses were to repeatedly fall back behind the defensive line provided by the undead- something which none of the various lords and ladies had any qualms with. Mostly, anyways; given the 'Knightly' Lord Marcus Trintus has displayed an eagerness to drag his forces along the front lines, and bask in the glory of conflict. "I intend to keep one of your dragons company, if you're not adverse to it."


Redhale nodded, "I'm sure it will be a wonderful view from up there." He looked North, towards their objective, and let out a sigh in his final moment of relaxation, "Well, I suppose I'll see you on the other side." Of the walls, he meant. He turned to the North and made as gallant a pose as he could at the head of his army before screaming out some choked, screaming war cry to stir the men into action. Long before that fierce screech had died away the relatively still area became chaos as heavy blundering warriors trampled the ground, cracking the paving with their mighty charge while the more nimble of their numbers darted around between the ranks. The stampeding footfalls and clattering equipment filled the air with as much noise as dust that was raised by their charge, and behind their unholy squeals a pair of deeper roars heralded the rise of two dragons, one swooping lopsided and low over the horde while another trampled along behind them, forcing the front line to accelerate their advance lest the death toll rise before the battle even started.


Kasyr's form is effectively consumed by the combined 'horde', a small blessing provided by his relative lack of height, when compared to the more 'noble' statures of those who had accompanied him, and some of the more bestial undead which bolstered the army. 'Disguised' as he is by circumstance, the Kensai simply makes his way past Redhale, with the simply worded request of "Veil, now." Beyond that, the Revenant simply sheds his coat to the ground, heedless of the manner in which its trampled, and proceeds to a point that will intersect with the low flying dragons intended trajectory. Really, one part of the plan hinged upon this- the Kensai having placed his faith into Redhale to provide some form of illusion to disguise his presence- so that he could leap up onto the beasts fore claws and effectively hitch a ride towards the castle. The lack of a coat would thankfully make scrabbling up towards its back a little bit easier~ Kasyr could only hope the others who had volunteered to join him on this particular suicide mission had either mounted the beast already- or had their own means of clambering onto the beast. Checking in With Redhale so he knew who to veil is likely somewhere on the list of "things to do", as well.


Dark Arena (and up the road)

Ahead, the castle loomed black and terrible as all get out. Vailkrin had creepy down to a science, and foreboding to the exact, and that castle represented both in equal measures of perfection. The approaching army had not gone unnoticed. The forces of the rebels, deadlocked with the forces of the Black Library, had been concentrating on upsetting the balance over fortifications. That was, until the graveyard was called upon and the dead rising in enormous numbers. That upset the balance, the alignments going out of whack. In other words, bad news for the rebels. About that point did it stop being a game of pushing, and a game of defense. With the scant time afforded to them, traps were laid on the path up to the castle in the intervening time, as it was just a matter of time before the offensive push came calling. This consisted mainly of runic tripwires of sorts, tied to fire spells. When crossed at a certain point, the entire area and that preceding it would simply catch aflame, ideally trapping enemy forces in the inferno. Haste saw to it that the spells were laid poorly, in that they were not well hidden. Disabling them was a very real threat. The second line of defense was the functional sacrifice of some of the undead giant spiders, caught from the Dead Forest. Webs strong enough to capture even giants were strewn around the area. It was a sacrifice since the firestorm was sure to sweep the area eventually, but it that was the way the dice had to fall. Assigned to watch for targets of opportunity, mostly, the spiders would descend onto anything worth sinking fangs into to pump full of necrotic venom, which would effectively dissolve even the flesh of the unliving. Namely, those giants and the beefier sort of undead Redhale was sporting. The vampires in the house, allied to the rebels, had been given what warning would come. As that army on the horizon formed up, however long it took, vampires would be fleeing to the castle in the distance. And so, it would all begin.


Xzarren rides a black armor-plated warhorse into the area, his clawed gauntlets clutching the reigns tightly while he aims to assess the battlefield. Apparently he had taken the gist of this assault was to overtake the lumbering castle in the distance and push out the enemy vampires from their last sanctuaries. A black, envenomed war blade swung from a sheath at his hip and would be the chosen weapon for this battle. He nods to Redhale and Kasyr in turn, trotting his horse through the rank and file of his small regiment, ensuring all men stood in their proper places and continually advanced the front line as commanded by the true generals of this operation.


Redhale led his charge through the streets and into the arena, his amorphous form seemingly carried on multiple limbs while his bony arms were exposed as they were raised to the sky. Before he was even halfway across the arena his men began to set off the traps, and how could they not, running as thick as they were. The fiery explosions blossomed outwards and upwards, but hot as they were it was still curious that what undead they did take seemed to vanish completely, turning to dust by some dark curse and leaving behind only empty suits of armor. While the traps appeared to work at first Redhale was grateful that the rebel vampires had somehow overlooked one crucial detail: That the arena ran thick with Redhale's own dark magic. Beneath the blood soaked sands was a great casting circle carved into the stone. Tied so strongly to Redhale was the area that it hardly took a moment for him to locate the traps where they disrupted his own magical field and guide his troops around them. So it was that after only a few explosions the undead's charge was only impeded by the spiderwebs, and while the spiders of the forest spun thread like steel it was hardly a match for the strength of the undead and their Duregar weaponry. The slight slow in the armies approach did, however, give a chance for Kasyr to appear at Redhale's side, catching up through the fray despite having ascended with the dragon high above the assault. This shade of the revenant jumped through the webs even more easily than Redhale did, not snagged upon a single one as he hopped through to fend off the web's creators with what appeared to be Gospel.


Kasyr, the man- not the illusion, is currently busy: Specifically, with the task of clambering up the fore claw of an undead dragon- a task made more complicated by the contious motion generated by its' flight. Nonetheless, the Revenant is still making altogether good time; what with Gospel in the form of a gauntlet to aid in his ascent, and a lack of a trench coat to weigh him down or hinder his movements. By the time they reach above the Arena, the Kensai's managed to drag himself up onto the re-animated Blues' back- if only so he can flop onto his back and just ride out this scene until its inevitable conclusion. "A little faster, enfin- would tu?"


There were no more tricks in store on the path to the castle. There simple hadn't been time to set any more up. All told, those sacrificed units seemed to have been in vain, too, as the horde simply advanced through it all. Sam, acting as his usual role as the scout, relays this information forward to the castle, as well. Grimly, and seeing how useless the spiderwebs were turning out to be, a slightly more final sacrifice. The spiders were sent into the traps themselves to activate them. As they had not been disarmed, only avoided, some would surely achieve this task even as the undead hordes tried to hack the equally mindless and generally large spiders to piece. Further up the path, along the castle walls, soldiers were forming up. Nagas, raised and armed, along the walls, enormous longbows in their cold grip. More spiders, put into ant lion like pits to drag anything that lurked close inside to finish it in a swift stroke. The shock troops, lead by the enemy coven's necromancer, mill about the courtyard of the castle. Those that had the capacity for thought were edgy, save for the monk, and possibly Sam. The teleporter at least had an out. Nothing left to do but wait, as casters and archers mill on the battlements, waiting for the hammer to fall.


At the Castle

Redhale hadn't seemed to take part in the battle at all, staring ever blankly at their goal while rushing onwards without so much as an unarmed swipe at those spiders. In truth he was in the marching of his troops, the weaving of their ranks and the swinging of their weapons. He was in the image of the Kensai who moved as an apparition and struck as a bolt, and now he was in the sky as Kasyr's ride first ran with a shimmering haze and then split in two, a slippery multi-cellular mitosis slowly stretching the airborne undead again and again, hiding Kasyr in a deadly game of three-card monte. Four card, five card… They sky was filling up. Below the horde slashed at those spiders they could reach in time and flash-fried with those they couldn't, though the spindly old ones seemed keen and fast enough to give all the spiders a wide birth in order to avoid the explosions. Despite the loss in numbers is was likely a good thing that the spiders had sacrificed themselves as it left the path clear for the army's second dragon, a rotten ancient thing which bolted along with its head low. Even the charging force found it better to part as they could no longer keep the pace, and so their attack was headed by the huge beast, and it seemed resolved to continue its charge, getting faster and faster in the face of all obstacles. The enemy would only just have time to say their prayers.


Kasyr can't help but blink a bit, as the sky becomes a bewildering sea of simulacrums. With an appreciative grin offered to no-one in particular, the Revenant pushes himself up into a sitting position, before simply settling himself into a crouch upon the dragons back. Overall, Redhale's particular maneuver served well enough to indicate that their plan was now entering into the 'do or die' phase. Thus, without further ado, the Revenant simply splays his fingers out along the Undead Blues back and braces himself. Not for a leap (that would be a bit ill-fated), but rather, for a change. A rather horrific deformation of the Revenants back as two grotesque lumps of flesh swell out from it. With a sickening squelch, that flesh bursts asunder in a spray of blood and gore- if only to reveal rapidly forming constructs of blood, bone and muscle. Within moments, the tissue upon them settles into the familiar form of wings- large & leathery. Now all he had to do, was wait for his part in this little drama.


Voranus grumbled about his position in life, the troll adorned in that black-faceless mask, tribal piercings running wild through his face as he prepared to fulfill his agreement with the revenant, Kasyr. Book was carried lovingly in his hands as he strolled forward, thick, rugged hands lifting the black robes he was wearing over his arms so he could prepare to weave his spell. Arms pushed outwards, forming a V in front of him, guttural sounds coming as he recited the incantation with that distinct troll accent layered in his words, the undead were Redhale's, no, this battle needed flair, something Voranus had an inherent ability for. The charging Dragon's blood started to boil inside its bones, undead or not, what little it had was causing a reaction in its body as it charged through the gate, the great beast flaring its nostrils as it gave off a snort mid-stride, much like a stallion would have. Sanguine liquid disperse through the thin membrane of the dragon's nose, the troll magus channeling his magic, lacing each drop as the nectar of life dispersed into a cloud of hot mist, creeping as if upon cat feet to the castle. It moved swiftly despite the appearance of being a slow creep, that ichor of impending doom giving an eerie quality as it fogged the inner ramparts of the rebel base with a red haze. It seemed nothing more than a parlor trick, yet Voranus' lips curled upwards as the true potency would be known to a few of the coven in the building. Dragon's blood was slowly creeping into the vampires of the keep, seeking to still there life one by one as it filled their nostrils.


As the forces of the Black Library seemingly became unstoppable, the situation seemed to become more and more grim. But not all was lost. The dragon charging forward was months old, done in during the Autumn. Functionally, that meant it had no blood to speak of. The liquids tend to settle in the early days, and over time, curdle and harden. What constituted as its 'blood' was just hard stuff in its veins. What use Vor' would really get out of it was likely minor at best. Blood magic worked best on the living, after all, and everything involved in this battle was dead long enough to stop being able to qualify for anything close. As for the dragon's simple threat of momentum, that had been accounted for. Sam's scouting was proving useful, here. While the horde moved up, a certain arrangement of spider holes was made around the gate. As the dragon barrels up faster and faster, utterly ground bound, the trap would be sprung in an utterly underwhelming manner with hopefully overwhelming results. Tripwires, made of web, spun and woven again and again, spring up, anchored with more webbing and the spiders themselves. Momentum being what it was, the dragon would simply not be able to spring over the tripwires. Perhaps one tripwire would be snapped and the spiders and anchors holding ripped free, but two, three? The odds weighed heavy. Ideally, this would result in a very Wile E. Coyote application of physics with the dragon eating road with its feet taken out from under it. Insult to injury promptly applied. Burning pitch poured over the battlements right onto the dragon, stopped or not. And a few of the explosively runed zombie suicide bombers that had been chucked overboard to taste, aiming to result in a very (twice/more/super) dead dragon. The focus on the dragon's removal was simple: it was the most siege oriented ground force spotted by Sam, and removing it would surely take the wind out of the sails of Redhale's forces and force the giants to come up to try their luck instead and be subjected to more mundane anti siege defenses. Redhale's Kansas City Shuffle worked like a charm, in the capacity that it produced too many targets to attempt to chose which one was right. It forces Lucius to tip some of his hand and use some of his precious vitae in order to light the sky afire. Vampiric gift tapped, thaumaturgy used, and a hell of a flamethrower sent into the air. He did not expire all his strength, a move that would be absolutely foolhardy so early in the battle, but enough that anything that was *really* up there to be set alight…and then marked out for the archers and lesser strength casters to pick it out and give it hell. In particular, a certain monk from the coven was eyeing up the incoming aerial challenge. Such a warrior as he would absolutely love to take the thing down, but not until it was certain just which one needed to be hit. Lucius immediately withdraws into the castle proper to drink heavily of the cattle and thralls he had at his hands, in order to regenerate as much blood as possible so he could retap his energies if there was need to. He still had an epic showdown potential in him yet.


Redhale's dark form shrank slightly as he let his men move around and ahead of him. Hidden amongst the chaos he fell into concentration, which would be needed at this turn of events. First on the list was the freeing of the dragon; its great rotting wings flexing to pull the web taught and shuck off the spiders. Cling as they might, most of the arachnids could not ride the rodeo that was a thrashing undead dragon, all frenzied with the strength of rage in its death. Those that weren't sent flying were quickly learning to fear the image of Kasyr, who leapt around even more nimbly than the Kensai himself, largely due to the fact that he didn't need to leap at all in order to bring his Gospel to their heads. Now, especially was this apparition making himself known, sending off great arcs of electricity with his movements and singing loud battle cries, taunting those cooped up in the castle with his speed and strength and wit. Of course such a taunt from Kasyr would be enough to egg on most foes, but really it was Redhale doing the taunting, and his words were like snakes sent to coil around the spine of the listener and whisper instructions through their very brains. The mass on the ground soon began to hack at the web holding the dragon, those with axes swinging as if to cut through trees in order to free the beast as quickly as they could while the lighter arms kept what spiders they could at bay. The lightest, though, those spindly old ones, simply clambered over the beast. It seems they were to be the front line after all, at least some of them, and so their first arrivals made springing leaps onto the castle walls, talon-like fingers sinking deep into the stone with many a snap and crack. Redhale's real concentration, though, was still on the skies, for keeping Kasyr hidden and safe was crucial. So it was that the dragons overhead continued to multiply, roaring through the dark sky and lighting it intermittently with cracks of blue lightning, and when Lucius' spell lit the sky well and proper it was met with no resistance and resulted in a light sprinkling of ash on the ground and, once the vision of those watching had cleared, apparently -more- dragons than there had been before the attack.


Kasyr's quick enough to react to the inferno that effectively roars through the sky, two particular measures immediately put into motion so as to preserve his existence. First, was the curling of his wings about himself, so as to keep the flame which leaps about the dragon away from his face and body. Second, and more importantly, was the rapid conjuration of his swords-12 great black broad swords to be precise, the likes of which briefly encircle the kensai- so as to stave off flames hungry maw. Guarded as he is, between blades, wings, and saurian steed (oversized meat shield)- the Kensai's able to endure the inferno. His mount, on the other hand, simply proceeds to collapse inwards- fire filling its belly, it's body serving as kindling. With the very scales beneath his feet beginning to disintegrate into ash, the Kensai simply dispels those myriad blades and proceeds to leap from the baked Blue. From there, wings simply unfurl, as the Kensai proceeds to glide amidst the veritable flight of illusory dragons. The intent is simple enough: use the dragons as moving cover- with a bit of faith spared for Redhale's abilities at illusion to cover him should he falter in his movements. All so he can get himself -directly- above the castle.


The undead that crowded the dragon was, more or less, exactly what the entire point of the exercise was. The pitch that had been poured onto the creature would just get on *everything*. Even as they hacked at the webs and the spiders, it was all another sacrifice of pawns. One, two. Three, four, a hail of flaming arrows arc out, too many to simply stop with spell or reaction. That pitch would be struck, and then be engulfed in flame. As well as anything close to it, covered in pitch, or the like. The image of the kensai was just icing on the cake, there. Setting the kensai apparently on fire would be delicious, and worth the spiders to stop both Kas' and the dragon. But, considering just how big the resurrected ancient dragon was, a slightly more drastic measure was picked up on. As the firestorm in the sky failed to reveal a more acceptable target, Sehr had no better target then the dragon burning before the gates. Even as the naga archers began their counter assault, firing at the slender undead climbing the very walls to pick them off as they swarmed with grim efficiency, with the occasional vampire spell slinger tossing ice, lighting, or fireballs, the monk finds Sam. A few words exchanged between the two. Whatever feelings of animosity they had between themselves was dispensed with. This was the final stand: do or die. The shadowstepper grabs the monk, who begins to turn activate his living stone gift as it happens. They both drop into Sam's shadow, and immediately erupt out onto one of the battlements up high, aimed right back out into the parade grounds by particular choice of shadow. Gravity takes over again and they fall, faster and faster. What would have resulted in a splat on the ground turns into another portal as Sam's shadow solidifies enough to leap through it again, the timing a result of vampiric reflexes and simple experience and skill. It was a functional gravity loop, abusing 'speedy thing in, speedy thing out' to the utmost extreme, as ground approaches and then passed through, then up on high to keep the momentum up. On lookers witnessing this spectacle would surely be in for a treat. This all had a singular point, though. On the final loop, instead of bursting forth from the battlement at terminal velocity, from above the gate the speedy pair burst. Sehr, ever the one lusting for battle and more then willing to die a warrior's death, and completely in his living stone form, kicks off from his coven cohort and rockets at the flaming pile of pitch and dragon to wallop right into that mess in what is likely the most spectacular manner physically possible. Sam, for his part, loops one last time and ducks into a dancing shadow and emerges not vertically, but horizontally and slightly on fire. This produces the effect of the ground itself being used to stop, skidding to a halt instead of splatting flat against it. Immensely painful, likely lethal to anyone that wasn't as tough as a vampire. Sam wouldn't be getting up right away, that was for sure, but hopefully he'd have time to go drain some thralls himself. Sehr, for his part, would fight his way out of the dragon if it was still intact, unbothered by the flames in his stone form, and take the fight to any poor bastard that he could reach, using any weapon that a poor bastard made the mistake of allowing him to get. He'd get his warrior's death all right, more then likely. As for the dragons wheeling in a suddenly enormous multitude, little was done to stop them. What could be done? They didn't seem to be attacking, and Lucius wasn't available to toast them again at the moment. What would come would come. This affords Kasyr the chance to get into the castle, not that anything short of more powerful magic stopping the kensai from dive-bombing into the undead infested courtyard, where Theresea waited with the stolen undead.


Redhale considered his illusions almost done, with the image of Kasyr being lost in the fire and the real Kasyr all but delivered on to the Vampire's doorstep. Still, before he made a move himself he had to make sure his men would fight their battle well. Those who had done their best to cut the dragon free were done for, and again left only their armor like shells washed upon the beach. Those still in the charge, however, were as lively as ever. At least, as lively as they had ever been after they had lost their lives… The dragon, too, thrashed on, far older than its blue brethren that had taken to the skies. Strangely enough, it was the powerful slam of the vampire-come-statue that free the dragon from its increasingly sticky situation. The shock which ran through his body after Sehr smashed through his skull caused the dragon to drop a great many bones, but still enraged and filled with the fervor of necromantic energy what was left continued its gallop, which it had never ceased attempting, right at the gates. The ragged remains of its skull connected with a crash and the bodies momentum ran in behind it causing a rumbling explosion to rush up the walls of the keep, flames licking across the stone and blooming forth through to the other side of the gate. Even Redhale's ancient allies were warmed by the tip of the fire's tongue, but that was the least of their worries. While arrows pounded into their thick, dry flesh and bolts of ice froze around their fists the only thing that really slowed their ascent were the fireballs flung their way, and crafty and quick as they were many were even able to avoid that. Yes, the dragon had been ancient, but these beings had been brooding in their graves since perhaps its birth, and their minds were of one, so they rose like a single furious beast onto the parapets where they would begin to stalk those archers, testing their own ancient strength against the nagas. Redhale, meanwhile, had vanished into the air, though a keen eye would spot, amongst all of the airborne ashes and flying flesh, hundreds of thousands of moths, fluttering outwards from the battle in a great wave towards the castle.


Kasyr detaches from his draconian diversion, wings folding in about his person, so that he can simply proceed to hurtle down towards the top most point of the castle (It's an evil looking castle, undoubtedly there is some ominously tall tower~). It's during this downwards 'flight' that the serpentine markings upon the Revenants arms begin to wriggle to life, inked scales beginning to wrench loose of flesh coil by coil- if only to explode from their moorings in a spray of darkness and vitae, the likes of which coalesces into the shape of katana. Somewhere, in the back of the Revenants mind, he makes a mental note to stop letting it recede back into his body- if only because it -really- stings to keep conjuring it. Still, poised as he is- the Kensai is effectively ready. Ideally, the lack of effect that anything had upon those dragons would have diverted the attention of any archers that might be present to the courtyard- thereby allowing the Revenant to make his descent in peace. By that point, Kasyr could simply extend his wings out so as to halt his flight- by which point a few deft sword strokes would likely spell out the end of what he encounters. And, if they should spot him, the kensai will simply rely upon an invocation of those electrical energies he's so fond of- to lance into one of them, and then finish off the rest during the ensuing confusion.


As arrows proved to be worthless, and spells so easily avoided, those undead that climbed the walls had apparently made it with little trouble. When too close to pound arrows into, the naga warriors, fueled by the equally necromantic magics, all yank out swords that erupt into flames. Undead, as a whole, disliked fire. But, desperation called for the wielding of their own weakness.was in order. To man to man combat those naga would go, wielding the strength of a dragon in every pair of limbs. Those super undead could dodge all day: one strike from the naga would fell it, cut in twain and set alight. There was little else to do. The gate had fallen to a dragon that had taken an obscene amount of damage. Sehr was rampaging in his own right, thrashing that beaten dragon into the ground. The price of ignoring the angry living stone monk. Every strike he landed began to petrify the ancient dragon. If it didn't simply disintegrate from the abuse its suffered thus far, it would simply stop moving. One or the other, it didn't matter which. Theresea, with her chains of binding upon the horde of stolen undead in the courtyard, stands ready. The undead present with her mattered little. The chains to the ten that sat inside the castle proper were the important ones. Akor sat ensconced within, ready to apply her negative healing magics to the undead that listed there, chained to the necromancer. Wounds she got would be levied onto that group of ten at first, and the damage fixed, allowing for an extended period of operation and opening up the rest of the horde to doing that much more damage. Al'Gullyn was out, prepared to wade into the fight as well, possessing a particularly large specimen of an undead ogre, the thing amplified by his vampiric gift. Kasyr's arrival was more or less ignored, right up until the point Sam spotted the Kensai, perched on the roof as he was. The very same roof he'd used to boost Sehr, as a matter of fact, the highest vantage point. Coughing, the vampire limps his way to direct Theresea's attentions to the Kensai, quite possibly the only one, short of Lucius, that could fight him for any extended period of time.


Redhale would not have Kasyr hogging all the glory of the brooding-hero-sitting-backlit-atop-the-tower, and so it was no coincidence that the moths began to converge on that very spot. The Kensai may or may not have recognised the moths, but they came far too thick to be flocking due to any natural phenomenon. Meanwhile, far below, dead people were meeting their end. Sehr and Sam had begun to pick apart the clanking mass of armored undead, the slow swiped of the soldiers leaving plenty of room for them to be picked apart. The vampires' arrival had, however, drawn attention from much of the main phalanx, and the two soon found themselves mobbed, the mounds of empty armor piling up around them only giving their enemies the high ground to attack from, many of the undead simply falling off the pile while swinging madly like bladed boulders. Sehr had been singled out particularly by the giants, who bore great clubs rather than blades and knew that crushing stone would be easier than cutting it. With their giant strength amplified by their necrotic nature and the furious swings falling from high they set about Sehr, pounding the earth around him while they closed in. On the battlements a much more calculated battle was taking place, the ancient dead of the graveyard possessing their own intelligence and intuition which let them fight much more formidably. They would duck and swing, clawing at the limbs of the naga and occasionally even shout out the incantation for some spell of their own, forcing their adversaries over the edge of the wall for them to fall into piles of dust or wrapping their tails in icy tendrils to keep their foes still enough to strike. Still, with the strength of the nagas even they had begun to fall; while their flesh was thicker than twice-tough leather it was still easy enough to hack off a limb, and while the flames seemed reluctant to take to their bodies a sword stuck deep into a shoulder soon caught them alight, although in such cases there was usually enough time to hug the naga close so that both fighting would perish in the flames. All the while those moths had been piling up around Kasyr's feet, crawling over the tower and building into a writhing dark mound, balanced precariously on that peak. Their wings still fluttered prominently across the shivering form when Redhale's mask surfaced from within them, floating up and bobbing awkwardly on the body they provided, "Hope we're not the only ones to make it through," He remarked casually.


Kasyr gives a sidelong look to Redhale, before he simply settles his attention onto the tower. Logically. The entrance might be trapped. And if not that entrance, the one after it. Essentially- it was a gamble, as to whether or not the Lucius' group had considered the idea that someone would reach this area. Overall, the idea that they -wouldn't- encounter someone that would stir up the sound of battle was unlikely. It's with that in mind that the Revenant exerts his will, 24 caliginous cracks forming in the air about him- gashes in reality that bleed a darkness that seems foreign even in Vailkrin. Swiftly, those cracks take the familiar form of a Katana, each one serving as a mirror to Gospel. From there, their purpose is simple- to promptly stick into the stone of the tower in a circle that extends a good few feet out from the Kensai, and begin to forcefully carve into the stone. Effectively, they'll serve to carve through the 'platform' himself and Red are standing on, and promptly drop it onto the floor beneath them- ergo avoiding any traps that might be set on the entry way to the lower level, potentially crushing defenders- and making such a ruckus that it'll likely be attributed to a siege weapon of some sort, and not an attack. Immediately thereafter, the swords will adjust themselves out a few inches and start cutting again- effectively setting it up so this new mass of stone, and the one he'll have lowered himself down on will crash to the next floor. Kasyr, is only intending on staying on it so long as he doesn't meet any (un)living resistance along the way, as he fully intends on engaging every single unfortunate entity he meets, and putting it to the sword. Literally. Either way, so long as he's able to focus on his swords, it won't be too long before the effective weight of the floors he's bringing down on top of each other will proceed to pancake down towards the lower floors of their own volition, if he's not stopped. Ideally, he'll simply be able to go down the tower at his leisure, dealing with Sentries, until he can find a point that allows him entrance to the castle as a whole.


It was over. The writing was on the wall. The walls had fallen, despite best efforts. The horde was on the walls, taking one for one or just about. Vampires dying on both sides, the stolen horde dying, the priestess working double overtime as Theresea tanked everyone she could reach. Her drow companion was faring less well, having had to abandon his ogre body, then downgrading to lesser ones that didn't last nearly as long. It was clear this was a loss. Sehr was a dead man walking, fighting as furious as any giant. Aramoth would be proud. Fist strikes, languid movements to avoid clubs, the giants pitted against him would be turned to stone slowly but surely. Every blow took its toll. He would go down swinging, the way he wanted to. It was time for the two vampires to withdraw back into the main hall, to activate a last ditch effort and a massive middle finger to the person who'd beaten them. Al'Gullyn was under the assumption that he was dead. Capture provided a fate worse then death, if outright execution wasn't in order. Theresea knew a little different, having gotten a message from Sam via the Seer. He was going to get them out and get the hell out. Those remaining would be left to rot. Sam was a smarter, more level headed sort. He knew when to hold 'em, and when to fold 'em. But, the final gambit. The Ancient Dragon. Al'Gullyn and Theresea fight back the hordes of undead with their own to get them into the main door. The chained and barely controlled undead saurian gives a roar as the door go open, adding to the sounds of the chaos of battle. A moment as the drow stares at the thing, the sort of look you give to the thing you know will kill you. Probably would. This was insane, half baked, and would have been such a preposterously bad idea if it wasn't already all lost. Al'Gullyn possesses the ancient dragon, using the necromancer's tenuous link with the thing to do so. Two minds crammed into one body. Both angry, both powerful in their own right, and utterly needless in which one becomes dominant. If Al'Gullyn kept his sanity from the ordeal, he would unleash vengeance unholy. If the dragon kept its own mind, much the same. It hardly mattered whether it was personal or rage fueled. And then the bonds of necromancy and physical chains alike were snapped, freeing the thing to do as it pleased. This would likely have been utter suicide had she not been communing with the seer and Sam, the shadowstepper grabbing Theresea through her own shadow to drag her out of harm's way. He was getting out with those two. The priestess and Lucius would be left behind. Lucius too proud to demand help or evac, and the priestess too clueless. The mixture of dragon and vampiric drow explodes out of the front hall in a burst of furious flame. Where that particular loose end was going to end up hardly mattered. As this trump card was played amid the hellish landscape of the battle, Kas' and Redhale would find a much calmer counterpoint in their adventure. The castle was like a bit of hard candy: tough candy shell, soft nougaty center. The undead in the halls would pose little challenge to the duo. Enemy soldiers, perhaps, but not Kas, the countless sword wielding willful lightning rod, and Redhale, the shadowy and spindly illusionist necromancer. Beating a path to Lucius' door would be just a matter of time, enduring spell traps hung at mostly obvious places, and beating down the undead that would fling themselves forward. Lucius was there, waiting, and refueled, more then one thrall meeting its death at his fangs for its vitae. Time for the showdown to end it all.


Redhale's mothy minions finally settled just as Kasyr's improvised elevator had fallen to its lowest floor. As if to make sure his form had finished coalescing the dark man shook out his cloak in an exaggerated shrug and in its unfurling set the strange body within those robes to walk low and hunched, his head hanging about level with his body like a prowling raptor. Joining him were the undead which had managed to wrestle their way across the wall, some of them missing limbs but all of them only angry for the injuries they had suffered. They fell in line behind the illusionist though seemed furious with him for not having fought alongside them, either oblivious or, more likely, not caring for the effort he had made. Even now, as he cut his way into the castle and through its corridors Redhale was fighting in the courtyard hand-to-hand through his men, fixing chains to bulky lances and making suicidal runs at the loose dragon in an attempt to lash it down. Not one of those charging made it even close to their target before being whipped away by a flick of its tail or crushed under giant claws. So great was its wrath that even the undead soldiers began to back away, not because they were scared but because Redhale was worried their numbers were drawing too thin. In fact the force has suffered so many casualties that one might have thought the winner for dramatic flair in the battle could go to Tiphareth's troops, as they arrived fantastically late to the battle in grand "here comes the cavalry" style. Of course, a force of drow warriors, while surely a force to be reckoned with, was still hardly a saving throw for Redhale's forces, and after slicing and dicing their own way into the courtyard the drow seemed as dumbfounded as the undead to be facing such a powerful creature. They did, however, have the advantage of being a great deal more agile than the undead warriors, and soon set about climbing the walls as far as they dared to begin a ranged assault on the dragon, using the heavily armed undead as a bulwark.


Within the Castle

Kasyr's myriad blades make short work of the latest wall to stand in his path, carving through it in such a manner that all that would be required to dislodge it would be a firm strike. It's only at that point that the Kensai takes the only survivor from their latest skirmish, a sniveling excuse for a guard that had offered directions in exchange for some form of mercy, and proceeds to offhandedly shove him into the wall. From there, the Kensai simply proceeds to shoulder tackle him- to at once break in the already weakened wall, and send the guard sailing into the room in a bloody heap. Satisfied with the coldblooded introduction, and hoping that this isn't the -fifth- room he's made a dramatic introduction into, to no avail- the Kensai simply marches into the room. Gospel, as ever, is still clutched in his right hand, and his left fumbles around for a cigarette. From somewhere outside, a furious roar sounds out- the likes of which simply has the Kensai' idly commenting, "..And that's where the other dragon went. No wonder I couldn't find it." Sleuth work aside, Kasyr is effectively entering the phase where he waits for the villain to make a monologue- or skip straight to the attempt of murder. Not that the Revenant is -idly- waiting for the inevitable retaliation, if the sparks generating around him are any indication. But, he's waiting. Lucius had really liked talking last time, anyways.


Lucius sat at the far end of a room covered all in trinkets; jewelry and magnificent shining statures set dancing by the light of fantastic chandeliers. He lounged languidly in a cushioned throne with some young, scantily-clad wee thing lain across this portly belly; a stunning beauty if one were to ignore the sheets of blood pouring from her throat. The lord chuckled quietly as Kasyr and Redhale entered and shrugged off the victim, careful not to spill any of her blood onto his fineries, "Oh dear, but I must look quite the sight," He said as one pudgy little hand mopped around his maw with a silken handkerchief, "Really I didn't expect you to arrive so soon," Although he likely would have said that even if they had taken a week, "I would have cleaned up, but it does sound like our little pet is doing the mopping for us." He chuckled again, heaving up and down with the muted yaps while from the courtyard the clamor continued, screams of agony indicating that some of the still-living taking part in the battle were beginning to suffer wounds, "You know, I was surprised you managed to bring so many with you, I mean, you," He prodded a plump finger in Kasyr's direction, "Loose canon that you are, it's no surprise to see you busting in here, but the fact that so many vampires have made their stand with you…" He tutted as he the drained woman over to one corner where a heap of other young beauties, men and women alike, were piled at the foot of a long velvet curtain, "I'm sure they'll see their error in time. This battle alone stands testament to the fact that the undead can't be left to their own devices, just look at the mess they've created out there, total chaos…" He hauled the body to the top of the pile, clambering upon faces and bodies to get there before turning around, "All we need to do, is to strike down the renegades!" As he turned the vampire lord held out both hands, every digit glowing with energy though only unveiled a moment before the room was filled with lightning, bolts spraying wide from his body and forking up to the chandeliers, spreading from there through all the precious trinkets scattered about the room, the treasure lit up by arcing energy and the room lit afire with the heat of it all. Even if one could keep their vision in the flashing light they would lose track of Lucius, only a pile of corpses and a fluttering curtain left for evidence that he had been there.


Redhale had spoken too many lies in his life to bother listening to the ramblings of another storyteller, so while Lucius attempted to make his point the dark man instead put his concentration towards surveying the situation, both inside and out, and trying to pull together a plan to make sure the enemy could not escape. In the courtyard the dragon raged much as it had been, now bold enough to unfold its wings so that it could really set to thrashing. The castle's structural integrity had already been compromised, and now the lashing of the beasts tail and the stomping of its feet tore bricks from the walls and shook entire floors out from under the feet of the invaders. Most of the rebels had taken the initiative and fled, but the dragon seemed to be targeting rebel and citizen alike with its swipes and bites. The giants and bulkier warriors did their best to wade through the piles of empty armor and make a stab for the dragon, but even when they did get close enough their weapons were barely able to cut into its flesh. Indeed, the battle might have fared better if those inside and outside had switched places, though convincing the old ones to kill what was essentially their brother while they let the offending vampire lord escape would have been as difficult as facing the dragon alone. Still, Redhale loved his men as much as one undead could love another, and his commitment to them lead to him being caught entirely by surprise when his own physical surroundings were lit up with magic. Luckily for him the electricity would pass through his form with little more than a paralyzing jolt, but the fire which sprang up in response was treated more seriously, and so Redhale's robes gathered close about him to very nearly almost reveal a skeletal form as he ducked forwards to dodge a falling, burning beam.


Kasyr's reaction is far more instinctual when faced with the sudden surge of barrage of electrical output. Reflexively, the Revenants own abilities are tapped into, the very air about the Kensai's presence abruptly consumed in a corona of lightning as he seeks to effectively ensnare the bolts that strike him, if only to pull them into the store of energy he's currently generating. Heedless of the odd patches of flesh that begin to ionize along his arms and chest, the Kensai is at least spared the intended damage. Which.. simply leaves the Revenant to stand in the burning room, footwork and wing beats used to nimbly avoid those bits of flaming debris sent clattering from assault both arcane and saurian in nature. With the chaos that's engulfing the castle, the kensai can't be certain if the curtain he spied had been fluttering prior to the dragons latest bout of rampaging, or due to the heated air- but at this point, it hardly matters. As dead set as he is upon catching up to Lucius, Kasyr simply proceeds to hurl himself towards that location- wings beating furiously to send him out that direction. Though..not alone. After all, the Revenant has 24 black blades in the area- the likes of which are more than able to heed the command to dislodge themselves from the wall they'd cut into, if only to serve as an impromptu barrier of blades for their master.


Lucius had scurried off down some stone corridor behind the curtain, panting as he ran. Sure, he could speed along with the best of his vampires, but that didn't mean it didn't tire him out. Despite the problems with his stamina he was out of the corridor and up some stone steps only moments after Kasyr had punched through the curtain, and as such was well out of the way when the hallway began to fill up with molten lead. The glowing liquid poured from grates along the top of the hall and soon began to fill the way, bubbling and boiling and catching tapestries and support beams all alight. The cackling of the vampire could be heard even over the gloopy pops and splashes the molten metal filled the reverberant chamber with as he hurried off to his escape.


Redhale briefly had the thought that he could go around the corridor of fire, but he didn't even need to turn around to know that the dragon's thrashing was dangerous even here; it had already pulled away the face of the castle and seemed to turn to direct its attacks in completely random directions. Besides that, there was the very real chance that should he go around he might never find Lucius. Instead the dark man coughed up some order to send the old ones to find another way, while he himself sprang forwards right behind Kasyr. At first he seemed to glide along the floor as if propelled by magic, but as he began to move over the glowing pools his form of locomotion became a little more apparent: Several lithe limbs, at least seven or eight, snatched outwards from his form, and even covered by his robes as they were the points at the end of them dug easily into the stonework so that his body and cloak were lifted safely above the rising tide of lead, though bursting bubbles of gas and incredible heat still saw his cloak catch alight here and there, and when it did so it seemed to screech and draw back towards his body.


Kasyr, though grateful for the fact that his wings had carried him above the lethal tide of molten lead, nonetheless faces another problem. Which is to say, whilst corridors are spacious to a degree- his wing span is unfortunately large enough that his movement is nonetheless hampered- and the streams of molten metal only complicate things further. The briefest of glancing contacts with one of those many molten downpourings is enough to prove this, provoking a feral howl as the flesh of his right wing is promptly reduced to a melted flaming ruin. For a brief moment, it would almost appear as though Kasyr's going to face dive straight into the red hot lead that's filling the hallway- at least until the electrical energy the Kensai had been channeling until this point is promptly tapped into. Finally given direction, that energy is effectively poured through the Kensai's body into his blade- the invocation of his odd abilities effectively allowing him to briefly propel himself forward into a lightning quick charge that sends him lancing down the hallway, with a few particularly deft midair adjustments made during those swift motions.


Lucius stood in a room at the end of the corridor. Moving up the flight of stairs would reveal that the vampire had not been running to make his escape, but rather his last stand. This room was far less flashy than the one he had been discovered in, but what it lacked in flair it made up for in functionality. Lucius was positioned on a small stone island near the back of the room, around which flowed a river of blood, which he was currently enjoying a heaped ladleful of. If one were to follow the river to its source, or if they had any sort of decent vision, they would see it ran from eight prisoners, all chained up by their wrists in manacles that bit into their flesh as they hung, causing their blood to flow down their bodies and drip into small channels beneath their feet. Lucius seemed to draw power from the fluid even without drinking from it, and upon spying Kasyr and Redhale coming up those steps decided to spend some of it to belch forth a massive fireball, the flames of which reached right out to the edges of the room. It scorched across the stony walls and floor and caused the mortar in the bricks to pop and crack with its heat. The lord had gone pale with effort, but it was effort he hadn't wasted, as the attackers either had to face the fire or turn back to attempt to tunnel through the corridor which was now almost full to the top, the lead quickly cooling from the bottom.


Redhale scuttled up through the end of the corridor just as the tide was about to cut him off, springing forwards and folding open as he rose into the room Lucius had prepared, realizing too late that he had been led into a dead-end, "This isn't-" He had apparently been expecting Lucius to go on another spiel, and only barely put his defense up before the flames washed over him. Within the inferno Redhale's writhing cloak pulled itself up and to his front so that the heat would be soaked up in its ever-flowing blackness, but even his enchantments had their limits, and before the fireball had passed that thick covering had been all but burnt away, revealing much of Redhale's inner form, or at least what it looked like at that moment. It seemed he was all bones, black not with burns but in nature, collected together to form a thick trunk of a spine obscured by his ribs, unusually small in number but so wide they looked more like plate armor than bones. Beneath this torso was a tangle of legs, the limbs he had used to scuttle above the molten lead in the process of twisting back into some other means of transport. Above the neck sat still his dark hood and expressionless mask, and only one arm had been exposed to present pretty much what one would expect of a humanoid skeleton save his sharp, hooklike claws of fingers, which were currently curled around a spell of his own. Rays of bright light, suspiciously bright in this collection of dark magic, crept out from his knuckles and flew as wisps towards those Lucius held prisoner. Each captive began to moan, then scream, as their bones creaked within their bodies. Some of their structure simply snapped, but mostly the skeletons within those bodies tore themselves free of flesh, first stretching skin to the point of sweating blood then snapping it apart like rubber pulled too tight. The liberated bones took little time to collect themselves and set upon Lucius, whether by Redhale's instruction or simply the will of those tortured prisoners, although of course with them came a great flood of blood. They weren't likely to do a great deal of damage, but their feral clawing might catch him up long enough for Kasyr to get closer. Redhale always had been better with bones.


Kasyr's reaction to Lucius' assault is neither to weather the brunt of the assault, nor to retreat. Rather- the Kensai redirects himself one more time- sending himself into a collision course with the wall. It's about this point that the -second- Katana that belongs to this particular form of Gospel is called upon, if only so that the Kensai can promptly call upon those particular bits of swordsmanship he's so fond to invoke- specifically, an imbuing of kinetic force into his blades, so that when those keen swords meet the wall, they crash into it with force enough to provoke a din akin to a pair of thunderclaps. The effort could be considered costly in a sense, considering the pair of palm sized chunks of flesh that spark into nothingness, revealing naught but bleeding tissue beneath, and yet the act proves ultimately effective. After all, the walls aren't built to withstand that kind of monstrous force, the likes of which causes the wall to simply proceed to rupture inwards, thereby allowing the revenant to dive through the improvised exit. From there, the Kensai's quick enough to curl up his wings in front of himself- effectively using them to shield him from what bits of flame waft through the hole, grimacing as the flesh cooks and chars beneath its intensity. With a grimace, Kasyr peels his wings back, even as chunks flake and fall off- or shatter from the sheer act of movement. Even still, he begins to move again- clambering through the hall he's found himself in if only to align himself up with one of the walls that he estimates are adjacent to the Lucius. It's only at that point that the Kensai recalls his other blades to himself- a full 15 obsidian katanas forming in the air about him, if only to hover. ...Apparently 9 of them had succumbed to the force of Lucius spell, and the molten metal, without Kasyr to direct them. They'd eventually be back, but it was still a nuisance. Either way, The kensai simply directs those blades to take up a position in front of himself, and begin spinning- effectively all but posed so that the Kensai can make yet -another- entrance. Really, the Kensai is just waiting for the sound of either casting, or something that indicates a spell going off- by which point those blades are going to impact into the wall, the circular motion meant to carve it loose- whilst their presence around it is meant to guide it straight into the mage. "Knock, Knock."


Lucius yelped out as the skeletons grasped his robes from behind, scratching at his face and neck. The last ball of flame has sucked so much out of him that he hardly bled, but he still had strength enough to whirl about and knock them back. They had been wasting away before they had been pulled free, and the spell Redhale had cast hadn't been so powerful. The skeletons splashed down into the river and Lucius leapt down upon them, grasping them by their skulls and smashing them into the walls with a snarling rage. In the end he was lucky that he had followed them into the river, as it gave him a chance to regain some of his strength before the piece of wall came shooting towards him. The crunch of it wresting free was enough to alert him, but without taking a good drink his reflexes weren't quick enough to get him out of the way. The shock of taking a chunk of wall to the side likely splintered his arm and shattered some ribs; the snapping and cracking sounds didn't all come from crumbling stone, but though he slumped bleeding he pulled from the power surrounding him, snakes of blood winding up from the pool he stood in to flow into his wounds and down his throat. He was desperate now, and looked it, all covered in blood, scraped and broken and nearly foaming at the mouth with rage, "Idiot! Look what you've done to me!" Indeed his torn robes and bloodied side were a direct result of Kasyr's actions, but a wiser man would ask what he had done to himself. Unfortunately it was often easy to gain power without wisdom, and Lucius, unwise as he might have been, had enough power to abuse even while at his wit's end. He wrenched from within himself and the blood around him the energy to call up another wave of flame, but this one wrapped itself about a more solid form. The coil of fire sat in his hands only a moment before lashing forwards directly at Kasyr, a worm of magma twisting on its own initiative to dodge whatever missiles the Kensai might sling in response, and to curl around the holes in the wall in its pursuit, and perhaps even to curl around the revenant's neck.


Redhale seemed to only just take note of his own state, all exposed and charred. He let out a growl of his own and heaved his shoulders in a shrug, the motion of which was imitated by his robes which continued to fall even after resting back upon his form, growing down in streams which wove themselves together to recreate the dark shapeless mass that Redhale was usually recognised as. Indeed even after falling to the floor they continued to grow, as did the form within them; two swollen arms punching down into the floor to give a firm stance as the twining tendrils of cloths lashed out around Lucius, sucking up the blood-river to become engorged with its mass and its power, and leaving Lucius high and dry in their binds.


Kasyr takes one good look at that mass of moving molten rock, before he abruptly charges straight at it. It's only when it lashes out at him that he abruptly tilts back, allowing himself to drop into a free fall of sorts that narrowly allows him to avoid snaking mass of fire- a fall that is only halted when he slams the Katana in his right hand into the ground. Briefly anchored as he is, the Kensai simply proceeds to shove himself off to the side- dragging himself out of the way as that fiery lash slams down into the position he just held. Swift as ever, that second Katana is then put into use- punched into the ground so that the Kensai ceases to move while he's facing the ground. From there, he simply proceeds to shove himself backwards- effectively taking him into a standing position far closer to Lucius. Hence close to his target, Kasyr simply dashes across the room- the only deviation in his movement coming when he nears one of the chunks of wall that are carrying one of those myriad buried blades. Leaping towards the odious mimicry, the Kensai grabs hold of the hilt mid rush, if only to twist his body around so as to wrench the blade out from it's stony sheathe. Armed, and now within Lucius' proximity, the Kensai simply proceeds to invoke that particular power of his one more time, flesh and muscle alike begin to vanish along his back, gradually obliterating what remains of his wings. What this sacrifice precipitates is altogether dramatic however, as the Kensai proceeds to lance towards Lucius body with that same lightning-like swiftness, sword poised to pierce his breast, if only so that excess energy can be discharged through his body. "I'm looking."


Lucius didn't waste time with poignant last words. Instead, the final sounds to pass his lips were the incantations of a spell. His chanting might have been cut short by a quick stab from Kasyr but the spell would be cast, the scroll it had been scribed on falling from on clenched fist as he breathed his last. The words invoked a shudder through his body, and his flesh went porcelain pale before flaking away in crisped ashes. From within his body a bright light began to shine, forcing a scream up his throat even though the vampire was surely already dead, and following it was a belch of white fire. That small lick should have been enough to warn Kasyr and Redhale away, but the had barely time to take a breath before that fire began to split his skin and rush outwards in great white streams. It was a wonder why the vampire had been carrying a spell made specifically to crisp undead, but there would be time to ponder that curiosity later, as both those present -were- undead, and ought to get somewhere else before they set to pondering. The flames ran in rivers, shone like sunlight, curved around corners and ate away at Lucius' undead flesh like corrosive acid. A stroke of fortune was found, however, for the heroes. Not a moment after Lucius had played his dirty trick did the dragon that had toiled so long in the courtyard launch upwards to make its escape, and as it limped through the air a lash of its tail tore through the roof above the bright inferno. The stones falling down were hardly a concern considering their descent was the invader's salvation, the sky above glowing with a new morning and inviting their escape.


Redhale was anchored in his position, his bony hands buried into the stone floor and form set heavy in his stance. Even though he began to struggle free the moment he had heard Lucius whispering wicked words he was hardly a fast creature by nature, and sure enough the rivers of white flame began to run down the splayed robes which had held Lucius down. Again the garment seemed to shriek but this time as it pulled back the fire was pulled with it, and soon Redhale himself was howling as it ate up his cloak and rippled pearly waves across his form. The length of his cloak that wasn't on fire was stretched immediately upwards along with whatever limb he had decided to reach with, and the immolating body jerked itself free from the claws it had set it the floor, leaving them to hiss and fizz in the expanding bloom of destruction. That same body was flung haphazardly into the air, the robe doing its best to grow outwards in order to keep the flames away from Redhale's body while simultaneously attempting to catch any sort of upwind the fire offered, though pressure, not hot air caused him to rise above the explosion.


Kasyr takes one good look at the blossom of white fire 'blooming' from Lucius, before he abruptly hurls himself back; his face actually growing pale at the coil of flame that narrowly misses consuming his face. Instinctively, the revenants will seizes upon the nearest sword, coaxing it to leap towards his hand, if only so he can tap into that surreal speed he's fond of one more time. It's the revenants left hand that suffers the consequence this time, the ionization of flesh and muscle upon it effectively rendering it useless, if only so the Kensai can proceed to surge up towards the heavens- towards the blissful sanctuary provided by Vailkrin's endless nights. Focused as the Kensai is on escaping, its no wonder that he doesn't notice the stream of fire that intersects with his path until the last moment- that ruinous flame lancing through his leg, if only to begin consuming upon the flesh there. It's that horrendous combination of fire and a ruinous 'purity' that coaxes a muted scream from the Kensai, and precipitates his fingers into losing their grip upon the blade. Separated from his weapon, and no longer quite as focused upon that element he's so adept at wielding, the Kensai finds himself suddenly subject to gravity once more. Thankfully, he was at least outside of the building by this point..though his ensuing crash into the roof, graceless roll down along its side, and his unfortunate plummet towards the ground are less ideal. It's only the instinctive surge of that peculiar darkness which clings to the Kensai which prevents the Revenants from face planting into the ground, as those various shadows which are normally clinging to Kasyr promptly proceed to jut forth from his body in a manner akin to some tenebrous squid, that insidious darkness seeking to smother the flames that had caught upon Kasyrs' leg- whilst also clinging to the wall so as to slow his ascent- and eventually halt it. Kasyr is duly aware that his cigarette is missing by this point. Also, he's only particularily aware of -1- of his mimic'd blades still being intact at this point, implying that the 'blessed' fire has managed to consume the others, for now. Oh, and the courtyard was a bloodbath. That was. Yeah...


Redhale's own flight path found him slamming back down into the courtyard. Hard falls he could take, holy white fire he could not. He rolled and twisted as he got back to his feet and ran quickly as he could towards his men. The dumb smiles on their faces quickly faded as they saw his flailing form running towards them, but their instruction was to stay put. Redhale's forces had suffered greatly in the war, so he figured a little more suffering could be excused as he laid his hands upon them and drew upon the dark energy he had given to keep them alive to combat the fire that burned at his very soul. Sure he got a little smaller, and walked away from the scene hunched and slow, but the flames sputtered to their end as each of the undead near Redhale dropped to their final rest. The few he had felled were the anomaly, not because they were dead but because their bodies lingered on the battlefield; whatever dark force that had been eating up their allies had apparently decided this meal wasn't for it. The only other bodies present were those of the drow, and the only beings waiting for Redhale as he lurched out of the castle were a paltry portion of his armored men and the handful of old ones that had escaped the castle before it had been gutted with that purifying flame.


Kasyr pushes himself into a sitting position, by a particular combination of willpower, and a few shadowy tendrils to help things along. Settled as he is the Kensai leans his head back against the castle wall, before he simply peers about the battlefield. Undoubtedly, the vampires were likely still adhering to their orders, and routing out the survivors from the various houses. At least- those who hadn't followed into the push. Of that 'brave' bunch, the Kensai didn't see any living- though whether because they had all perished- or simply cut their losses and moved on to more viable tasks… It's uncertain. Still, with everything in the area that wants him dead no longer stirring, the Kensai is able to finally relax- even as the castle continues to collapse behind him. Between the damage the dragon had done, the slow collapse of the tower they had entered in- and the rather straightforward method of travel they'd used to traverse the castle, it was no wonder it's crumbling inwards. At least the Kensai has his ominous appendages to fend off any bricks that might be apt to fall on his head. That way he could enjoy his rest in relative peace. Relative, if only because beyond falling bricks, he is also going to be tolerating a rather viscous visitor, of Vitae. To be precise, the Kensai's vampiric gift is using the time he's lounging to seize upon the spilled blood in the area, and slowly drag it towards his position- to drain what vestiges of life remain within them so as to repair his injuries. A sickly display, to be sure- but one that's necessary, if that dragon is to be dealt with.


Redhale didn't bother seating himself, even though he clearly needed some rejuvenation of his own given that the figure leaving the battle was more a heavy black skeleton shrouded in tattered rags that the daunting, full figure of Redhale. At least his mask had stayed in place, so he had some sort of face to turn in Kasyr's direction, to whom he raised one skeletal hand, one of the ones which hadn't been torn off and left behind, in a wave to the Kensai. With him walked his painted soldiers, hardly in rank and file any longer, and the surviving old ones, with whom he was set to hold council with regarding their own return to their grave, following which much work would need to be done to replace those lost in the battle, especially those whose bodies had mysteriously vanished… Yes, it seemed there was no rest for the dead.


Special thanks to Ranok for doing much of the npcing.