Battle:Defending Cenril;Holding the City

From HollowWiki

Part of the Conquest:The Return of the Prek Arc

Summary: The anticipated assault on the city of Cenril finally occurs. A portal is opened, and 8000 Preklek soldiers invade the city proper. The allied forces of The Fold, The Order of The Violet Rose, The Eyrie and Lithrydel’s guard, along with Cenrilian militia fight valiantly, sustaining heavy losses on their way to eventual victory. However temporary it may be.

Characters: Triyul, Arien, Lucia, Mahri, Rhocielle, NPC Fold, NPC Eyrie, NPC Order Knights, NPC Rynvalian regiment.

LOCATION: Cenril: East Beloy Street, and Congressional Way’’’

Hollow's Narrator: The blood mage drops his illusions now unveiling the two prek-mounted Wyverns in the air over the elevated outlook. Acting quickly, the mage lifts his hands towards the sky, rolling them through the air as he calls on that arcane magic with naught but his motion and mind- an impressive feat in and of itself. As he does, the crimson liquid within four barrels surrounding him begins to rise in a thin mist, filling the air before shooting towards the sky above him. The air above begins to crackle and spark with more than lightning. Instead, as it crackles and burns, it would appear that a hole was being ripped into the very fabric of space, the edges of which expand and contrast sporadically as if it were a living, breathing entity with its own temperament. The mage, now fully focused upon that gaping hole, is obviously struggling to keep it open, his hands outstretched towards it as he channels more of his singular magic into this all-important spell. (Seen in Cenril)

Rhocielle shouted, "*A volley of flame tipped arrows blazed across the sky like so many errant comets, originating from the observatory atop the great library of Cenril. Their aim was blind, but their directionality clearly drew attention towards the north eastern bluffs of Cenril's cliffs and the site of the newly formed Preklek portal.*"

Triyul shouted, "*Death loomed. It was still. Sif this very city, took a breath before the plunge. You could hear it though, like a beating heart. One. Two. Three. The first fifteen do not exit and pause, look about, take time to appreciate the view. Nay. They came through that portal at a running gallop, a glowing blue blade in their left hands - over seven feet of gliding death, each one, they leapt from that cliff's edge and expanded both arms so that a thin fold of skin connected from the hip to the wrist could catch wind. The fifteen that followed did the same, quiet as the city was still - but that breath. That breath was being slowly exhaled, forty-five now out of the portal in thirteen seconds, yet they all did the same - headed due west, as if they were a blanket preparing to lay over the entire city. The Preklek had come. An arrow - from the library. It had begun. Several extended their arms toward where that arrow had come, losing altitute in the begining and...that quiet night, became loud with the crackling of lightning. Several bolts, enough to tear block and stone if not burn any metallic garbed creature to a crisp. More flooded through. Already, up to seventy, all gliding quietly. From two thousand feet above, a lone wyvern hovers - watching.*"

Arien:: It was the blazing trail of flaming arrows that cut across the storm darkened sky, that drew the eyes of the Fold officers who manned the Beloy roadblock skywards and to the east, expressions of lazy unrest paling to that of outright fear, before determination set in. The commander responsible for the men beside him turned his head to bark an order over his shoulder. “Something’s happening! Alert the general!.. And prepare to hold the line!” Turning, he trotted down the assembled formation; tower shields, three quarters the height of doors, planted into the earth as a solid wall, behind them the pike men who protected the crossbow men. Hopefully their stronger punch would do more than regular arrows to penetrate prek armor. Behind them, the mages, elementalists, and beyond them, the healers. 100 strong, at this point, a pittance to what they would face. Thank the gods for allies and their support. In the darkness, a shadow, high above; shadows that blazed to life in the arc of light shed by their enchanted swords. “Shields up!” A second bark, and a shifting of the rank and file to defensive stance, swords at the ready. “Bowmen! Choose your target! Wait for the fall…wait for it..they have to come down sometime! Aiiimmm.. Fire at will!!” A deathly shower of reinforced crossbow arrows winged into the dark skies, eyes below locked upon the glowing blades that lit them up like glowing targets in the night sky.

Valaran shouted, "*The portal high above Cenril seems to flux outwards, enlarging greatly in a matter of seconds before imploding into oblivion. Not a second later, however, it reopens and, though slightly smaller this go round, Prek begin to pour out once more.*"

Valaran shouted, "*Wolves can be heard howling in the not-so-distant over the din of battle. It would seem that they come from the same direction as the Prek Portal.*"

Lucia :: In the southern quarter of Cenril, seated upon the top of a centuries-old guard tower, five young soldiers were gathered around a rickety table playing cards. Thirty-Nine Starbust being the game of choice, Knight Initiate Wallace Mackabee jumped up from his chair (toppling it over) and whooped loudly. "Ha ha! Three ladies, and the Knight of Sorrow! That, boys and girls, is what we call the hand of god at work! Pay up!" No sooner had the chips been tossed out and collected, than did the sound of shouting ring out across the city. From their elevated position, there was no denying that the words were 'Fire at will'... nor was there any doubt as to what it meant. Chips scattered about forgotten, the table tipped on end in the rush to reach the signal pyre. Initiate Rolands fumbled with the large ignition stick... but a Specialist by the name of Cariella shoved him out of the way, conjured a globe of fire, and hurled it into the fireplace forcefully. A plume of flames exploded out the top of the tower... impossible to go un-noticed by any of the citiy's defenders, and certainly likely to be ignored by the Knights of the Violet Rose who had arranged for it. Down on the street level, Knight General Lucia Dameteise and Knight Commander Joseph Grier rallied roughly seven hundred anxious knights into organized groups. "Initiates! Specialists! Sergeants, Captains, and Commanders too... we go now to face an enemy many of you have never even seen in person! They outnumber us! Their weapons are better! Their bodies are stronger! They are born and bred for war... and their only drive is for conquest! But as sure as the godsdamned things are not of this world... neither are they unkillable! Your blades... your arrows... your magic... use them, and these lizardmen -will- go down! With the signal gone up, our patrols are already moving to assist the militia and the Fold's army in holding the barricades. They won't hold for long without you lot, though... so obey your Sergeants, hold the line, and do not let one of their godsdamned scaly feet set foot in our city! Sergeants! Lieutenants! Advance, and show these invaders the -true- force they now reckon with! Dismissed!" Amidst the cheers, shouts, and battle-cries... Lucia turned toward the knight at her side and offered him a brief pat on the shoulder. "Head over to the castle, and rally the rest of them. Move them up along the coastal streets, and position them as re-inforcements throughout the city. I doubt we can hold the walls forever. We're going to be fighting it out in the alleys and houses and cellars before too long. If it looks like we might lose the city... you have your orders. Set the fires, and start evacuating civilians to the Royal Fleet. I'll see you when this is all over, Knight Commander. Gods be with you."

Lucia shouted, "*An explosive plume of flames lights up the sky surrounding the Old Guard Tower. The signal to attack is undeniable.*"

Mahri :: High above, two wings of dragons in a V-formation fly their way across Kelay. Cloud cover is their ally in this venture. Leading the aerial charge--a purely white dragon, her sleek form cutting through the lowered ceiling with blues and greens to the right and left of her position. Riding the dragon is, perhaps not so surprisingly, Mahri. Unlike the other riders, she chose not to wear leathers died or bleached to match her mount. She wore her usual black leather. The second wing, led by a black, veers away from Mahri's wing, heading south to aide the fighters closer to sea. Mahri leans over Sora's neck, a black-gloved hand pats the sinewy neck. A buggle of challenge trumpets from the white, a call to the others to break and attack at will. Greens spew noxious gas at the columns of Preklek while blues stream..yes, water and reds spout fire to bring the water to a boil just before it hits still more of the aliens. Mahri and Sora? Oh, they do their part, strifing down with jets of arctic breath to get those that aren't shot with arrows, gassed or boiled. And still the bastards seem to keep coming. Lycan and mount have their eyes open for more specific prey though, and they scan the ground for Triyul.

Triyul :: From the darkness arrows begin to rain up at them - nay, a first mistake. Some would fall, certainly - but the ones who witnessed bretheren falling would curve toward that road block, the tip of their swords pointed directly at the mass of soliders gathered at the road block - and almost in a unison, as fifty Preklek begin circling above, losing altitude ever so slightly, begin pummeling them with lightning from their enchanted blades. Death from above, oh my. The flood - it stemmed, but now they knew battle was engaged. They began flooding through ten abreast, but at shorter intervals, not all took to the skies - some now charged down the stairs with weapons at the ready to face whatever lay in the street beyond. The flood was splitting, half trailing down the stairs - the other half jumped off the cliff to join their brothers. Until. Until what had once been fifty, now thirty, stopped the use of their blade. Nay, they did more. All the Preklek that had breached the city began to curl into balls, descending from the air - even rolling along the ground before just as suddenly erecting again, typically with a sword point trying to drive through a defender's mail or plate. They were well versed in the anatomy of their foes - most sought the soft spot under the arm but..Carnage had erupted. Explosions lit up scenes around the city, these Preklek using odd balls created enough energy to rip two, three, four of Cenril's last hope to shreds. And again - ten wolves suddenly joined the fray, feral, frothing beasts seeking whatever remained of that first road block - seeking throats and hamstrings, and driving fear home with their rabid gaze and lunging death. From two thousand feet above, he could barely make out much in the little that remained of the sun - but from beneath the confines of an insectoid-like helm, the male was grinning with pure elation. If his calculations were correct - and they were rarely wrong - seven hundred Preklek should have flooded into the city already. The fluxing portal...was not something he'd predicted however. So it was easy to assume, mayhap five hundred - three quarters of which had now met the ground in a rolling dive and attacked - had already came. All Preklek who came through that portal now - they were firing immidiately, as soon as a target was spotted. Like sheep to slaughter, even a few of their own bretheren fell in the chaos. Discipline only went so far, much like a mans word. Sometimes it just wasn't enough. But it was obvious to the one out of fray, watching below - they were executing a plan with no communication required. A plan. Death. Wrought iron. Decay. Buzzing flies, the carcasses of mothers, children, dead by a blade of starvation - it was enthralling, the new world he would create. Then. Explosions. Not his. He couldn't make it out from his altitude - dr...dragons? No. No. Her. It must be her. Them. Those Eyrie. They..she killed him. Once. The controlled chaos became confusion for his men - yet they adjusted, as well trained soldiers would. They could only glide so long, but tiny and agile they were in the air compared to the monstrous form of Dragon and rider - so they would use the Dragon's very own draft to maintain as much altitude as they could, ten poured through - leapt from the cliff - and were instantly firing bolts of lightning at foe's wing, rider, they knew the anatomy of their enemy. They truly did. Every race, drilled into their core. The wing. The underbelly. Some would even try to sweep down from above, land on an Eyrie's back. One Preklek did in particular, blade seeking the back-right hip of Sora with his blade to catch balance. For the first time, and surely not the last, since this began - Triyul considered joining the fray. But the Preklek on the ground? They were not so lucky, they exploded, were washed away - melted to nothing but bone. The Eyrie truly were shredding them to pieces.

Arien was here. When the general had arrived with another 50 Fold soldiers from the central command station would be entirely unclear, because all hell had broken loose. Emerald gaze turned skyward, the pulse of energy searing through the swords of the prek gliders a nanosecond of giveaway. She would not be in time to save those immediately behind the tower shields from the grounded charge that would be conducted by what should have protected them, and a row of men would fall, in quivering masses of muscle to the ground. The elf ran along the back of the formation. “It’s lighting!.. Give them a taste of their own medicine!” It was to the mages she barked the order, and to a man, the elementalists raised palms above head, incantations uttered to the heavens as their combined magics turned the second wave of lightning strikes, back upon their wielders. To a prek, every alien enemy that launched attack, would have to defend against the energized strike that was boomeranged their way. Without action, they would fall like flies, charged by their own armor. But there was no time for celebration, eyes would fall from the sky, where draconic hell hand been unleashed, to the rolling stalking charge of the preks coming into ground range. Drawing her own Shoales blade from its sheathe, Arien narrowed her eyes upon what forms she could see had made it to ground, by her number, 50..and fair enough odds. She barked to the bowmen. “Pick your targets and fire at will, at this range the munitions should pierce. Avoid those engaged in combat!” Around her, the clash of steel on steel rang out as melee battle broke forth. “Throats and spines men! Even lizards can’t regrow a head. Look for the weak spots in the armor seams!” The elf was yelling over the fog of war, so loud it was almost impossible to hear. The wolf was on her before she knew it, snarling and foaming in its feral rage. Canines sank into the leather clad thigh of the female and a bellow of pain and rage erupted from the paladin as she drove Shoales into the heart of the creature. The enchanted blade slid through the flesh of the creature, and it was the lack of cry that gave the female pause. Gaze darted to the wolf as it faded into a wisp of nothingness, a flash of realization occurring as she turned to witness the struggles of those others battling the creatures. “Illusions..they’re illusions men!..The Prek, focus on the prek! Hold the line!” The elf limped down the formation shouting encouragement. She had believed, and suffered for it, perhaps others might be spared the same damage.

Lucia :: Knight Commander Attison Graves and his garrison of battlemages were the first Lymerrian forces upon the scene, their own blades and staves flaring up with magic brilliantly. Bursts of frost magic speared through entire clusters of Preklek invaders. Walls of fire, burning hot as the sun, melted armored foe and and brick wall alike... turning the very air around them to plasma. At the center of it all, Graves whopped out commands like any seasoned General. "Hold! Hold them all! Initiate Stenishal, watch your left... there's an alleyway! Illusionists Patosai and Shelrock... you know what to do, but stay the feckering hells behind the second line!" It appeared that everything was going according to plan, until a pair of the brutish lizardmen ripped through a pair of Cryomancers, leveled their enchanted blades, and loosed two electrical blasts into Graves' chestplate. The hole closed in rapidly, but not before the Commander's view of the battlefield went black. From somewhere behind him, arms dragged him out of the streets and into one of the adjoining alleys where the unit's Chiurgeon was standing by. On the other side of the battlefield, just a few dozen feet from the door to the Old Guard Tower, Knight General Lucia Dameteise and her own unit of knights stood in awe at the arrival of the dragonriders. The devastation they rained down upon the invading army was... akin to an act of the gods themselves. The Knight General raised her hand, holding the line which they had drawn, and quickly climbed up atop an old, felled wall in order to get a better view of the battlefield. From her position at the marketplace, she had a clean view straight up Congressional Way... all the way to the intersection of Beloy Street. Explosive blasts of charged energy, both friend and foe alike, ripped through the air. There was a sort of... sizzling charge... which spread out across the entirety of the city. Furrowing her brow, the Knight General found herself forced to make her first battlefield decision: To advance up Congressional Way... or to take the long way, out across the harbor, and hope to avoid getting sucked into any combat going on there. The guardsmen on Beloy Street would not last long. Lucia had another two hundred soldiers which could be put into play... immediately. But if they rushed in now... many of those soldiers would be wounded or killed. That meant that her unit would be unavailable, should things begin to look too severe. Frowning, she procured a crystal coin from her leather shoulder-pack and pressed her thumb into it sharply. "Knight Commander Graves... what is your status?" There was no reply... and so with a wince, she tried again. "Knight Commander Graves, the battlemages... how are you faring?" After another couple minutes had passed with no reply, Lucia swore out loud and conjured up another image to mind. "Knight Lieutenant Scherrelon, General Dameteise here. How quickly can your unit get to Beloy Street? Commander Graves is not replying... be advised that it may be dangerous. If you don't think you can get there in once piece... hold your position. End." There was silence for another extended period of time, but eventually the young officer's voice spewed forth from the face of the coin as if he had been standing beside her. "Sur Dameteise, it looks a bit dicey over there right now. Perhaps I could send a couple scouts, and if it looks like the dragons aren't going to roast us right along with the Preks... we advance... if that works for you, ma'am." The Knight Genral frowned sharply, sighed, and nodded her head to nobody in particular. "Aye. Do it, Lieutenant... I am going to keep my unit to the south, at the market district. We've got spare weapons and armor, water, and a couple of healers to treat the wounded. If you have to fall back, head our way. Do your thing, Lieutenant... we have -got- to hold the line."

Mahri :: Sora screams in pain, instinctively twisting her snake-like head to snap at the nuisance on her flank. In the process, Mahri is nearly unseated. Gripping a spine, the lycan regains her seat. The unfortunate lizard attached to Sora's backside gets blasted at close range by the dragons frigid breath and the Prek-cicle falls heavily to the ground. The rest of the wing, wheeling and diving, thin in numbers. Going from eight to five then three in short order. The blue, green and red riders left reform behind the white and all four ascend, gaining altitude to recoup before wings tuck in and all once again decend upon the horde. Mahri's stopped looking on the ground for Triyul and instead turns her battle fevered gaze upwards, into the skies. There, that speck and not the dragon hovering amongst the cloud cover, but the other on what looks to be a smaller two legged dragon. And on it's back? Well, that had to be no one other than that damned Preklek, Triyul. A decidedly feral grin pulls her lips apart, showing even white teeth with the canines only slightly longer than normal. ~There he is Sora.~ The Ice Dragon's attention is withdrawn from the battle below and she pounds her wings against an updraft, aiding in the dragons sudden change of direction--that is she flies right for the wyvern and its rider. Crimson stains the ice-hued scales along Sora's back leg, the blade still piercing the joint. Any landing is going to be hard one. Meanwhile, the blue rider finds himself in a bit of trouble, the left wing of his dragon pierced and the webbing nearly shredded. Limping away, the pair retreat to the nearest healer. ~I see him, Mahri. This time, he won't be coming back~ The white's roar of challenge bellows from her barrel chest, easily heard even over the sounds of battle below.

Valaran shouted, "*Almost as quickly as it had arrived, the portal above Cenril dissipates into nothingness.*"

Orimathrash banks away, the foray a tad too aerial for his peace of mind. Swallowed briskly into a rolling shoulder of thunderheads, the dragon is in a moment a memory.

Triyul watched. They had reacted as he'd predicted - but, obviously, he was not so cunning a general as he liked to think. There were no lines of communication really. Just a strong, solid plan: Kill anything that moves. Be it man, woman, or child. Or dog, for that matter. Everything that hadn't evacuated. And so they were - yet the Preks' that had sucessfully made it to that first road block were met with magic. Quite a great deal, for that matter - magic that even their armours couldn't withstand. Nay. But the skies, the skies he had all but won at this point - the Eyrie were dropping like flies, crushing friend and foe alike below. The city was ablaze. Chaos, chaos, he wanted to hum. He started to, actually. His highly disciplined lizards of death, what remained of them, soon began that same glide above Lucia's and Arien's forces in that narrow street, some began to claw their way up the sides of buildings - and it was with haste that several chucked little round balls that would explode at the enemies feet and send them flying in death. That was to say, really, that they wouldn't have a few seconds to regroup. Between the Eyrie's defeat, and their victory, one hundred Preklek had now managed to form a strict formation down the street, four abreast - wide to allow any charge to pass bewteen. More flooded out of that damned portal - but they were now grouping behind, spreading out a few streets up. Amassing. That first road block. It was pivotal. The portal - Triyul saw. Gone. Gone? Nay. Sora. Nay. Naaaay. No. His head shook quickly, dual rapiers instantly weilded. Sora came first. The Portal came after. Revenge was going to be his. The Wyvern took a diving flight straight down toward the earth, barrel rolling along the way, and suddenly those thin weapons were firing exactly what the rest of his entourage did. Lightning. Smaller, but just as fast. Just as deadly, and quite accurate. He was not a grunt, nay, not at all. Down below on the field, on the street - the quickly amassed Preklek's begin chucking those round balls around, seeking to decimate the ground below their foe much the way their own bretheren had just been decimated from the sky, and from Lucia's forces. The balls explode, no doubt - a few are thrown back, taking out six of his own, but that is soon followed by a fresh round of lightning that would rend flesh. Except for one thing. This time, it twas not random, but the entire group firing as a whole. Those who climbed the roof from the secrecy of the Prek-side of the street were hopping from building to building, around ten on either side of the street, trying to steathfully snake and sneak by in an obvious preperation for a small flank. Twas not as if the scene had been quiet prior to this, nay, fighting still raged - but this group of Preks...they were ready not to die, but to kill.

Arien needed a clearer picture of what was going on. To see with a general’s eye the big picture so that action might be determined. More men fell, the healers at the back of the formation dragging them out to the side pavement to administer what healing was possible if they were not already dead. Still her numbers were thinning, 150 by her visual count, was closer to 65, perhaps 70 at the most. “Where are those damnable reinforcements?” she shouted to no one in particular as blade was thrust through the neck of yet another advancing lizard. Spinning on her heel, the general limped her way to the doorway of the nearest building, Shoales’ frigid blade cutting through the knob and lock of the home. Wincing in pain, the elf hobbled up the stairs to the second floor, emerging onto a balcony that overlooked the fray below. The flash of light that signaled the collapse of the portal was not lost on her and she called down into the fray. “We have taken the portal! Hold on! brave souls..the night is young! Victory in our grasp!” Victory? Oh she speaks too soon. Reptilian face popped over the balcony’s railing, to be met in unsuspecting instant but the slicing frigid blade that severed head from neck. Who said they would play fair, and remain upon the ground? Emerald gaze swept the street before her, peering more closely into the darkness for the shadows that approached, not in battle formation, but like smoke rolling along the edges of a fire. The prek could creep and climb their way over the line. “Alert the militia! Incoming in the alleyways!” she shouted. Hopefully Wolfram’s traps would greet the maurauders, flash bombs of pepper and other irritants that would distract them enough to be taken unawares. Helpless eyes looked to the formation that approached her weakened stand, one more melee clash they could sustain, and after that? “Gods be dammed, Lucia..Where the hell –are- you?”

Valaran shouted, "*The portal suddenly bursts back to life, larger than ever, but none the more stable. Prek flow forth and, though the first wave of about twenty hang back, the rest begin heading towards the north.*"

Lucia :: Knight Commander Grier may have been newly promoted... but there was a reason that Lucia had placed him in the position she did. He was ingenious, and quite possibly one of the keenest soldiers she had ever met. Yeoman Skylei was smart, mind... very smart... potentially smarter even than the Generall herself... but Joseph Grier was a man who could think -while- fighting. And as he and his forces battled their way along the seaside streets... eventually they reached their destination, and moved into position. While Lucia's battlemages and knights and infantry units marched up Congressional Way, Knight Grier and his men were upon the rooftops, just out of sight of enemy and ally alike, lying in wait. Their signal came when the Preklek landed (and climbed... and jumped up to) the rooftops across from them. The moment their scaly hides came into sight, Commander Grier and the one-hundred-and-thirty-three knights under his command rose into view. As they rose, the sound of an equal number of bowstrings being drawn back sounded over the battle. What they loosed was not simply a volley of arrows... but of arrows tipped with Immolation Powder. Much like the streets below, which echoed with the sound of young men and women being ripped to pieces by exploding spheres... the opposing rooftops became shrapnel, fueled by the exploding arrows, ripping through armor and flesh alike. Certainly it would be insane to hope that a single volley could kill every enemy on the offending side... but when the arrows were loosed, again into cover went Grier and his forces. Those in lighter armor, or perhaps simply more gracefull, moved along down the line... keeping in position with the Preks on the other side. As soon as they could nock an arrow and fire it, they did... ensuring the maximum number of casualties possible per defender. From her position in the marketplace, Lucia watched this... but inevitably the enemy forces were drawing closer. Raising her hand into the air, the Knight General once more rallied her soldiers into a fervor. "Alright, then! It looks like we're about to get right into the thick of it! Remember... we have the upper hand, here! This is our home! This is -our- city! We aren't about to give it up to a bunch of slack-jawed, scale-covered conquerors from the other side of some feckering portal, are we!?" The riotous 'No, ma'am'... accompanied by stomping boots... literally shook the plaza. "Then get into battle formation... archers in back... lancemen up front! Everyone else in the middle, eyes up... heads clear... kill 'em all, and may the gods have mercy on their lizard-souls!" The soldiers in the marketplace burst foward into the streets... up and through the alleys... shouting and screaming and roaring just as violently as they could manage. Any Prek on the ground between them and Arien's position found itself cleaved in two... or worse. The rooftops exploded overhead... and several of her charging forces fell as the street exploded too. It was hell, forcing her forces north along Congressional Way... but the barricade had to hold. Ahead, Lucia spoted Arien amidst the chaos. Bringing her gauntled up to her lips... the Knight General shouted over the roar of battle piercingly. "Lady Arien! Nice to see you still in one piece!" No sooner had she said the words, than did one of those exploding orbs land at her feet. Cursing loudly, she lurched... grabbed the damned thing... and hurled it right back in the direction it had come from. Windows shattered, cobblestone fractured, and the alley rumbled with the sound of rending flesh. "Gods damn it all to hell... they're persistent... I'll give them that!"

Lucia shouted, "*Battlecries and screams of pain can be heard, echoing over the city from their origins near Congressional Way. The fighting remains fierce... violent explosions in the streets and across the rooftops. Both sides, it seems, are intent upon tearing the city to pieces.*"

Mahri :: Arien will be glad to know that the reinforcements she wanted weren't necessarily what she expected. The wing that had gone south before had returned, having never made it all the way. The black dragon in the fore lead six others, all a range of jewel tones from amythist to emerald and a sapphire in there too. These skim the roof-tops, picking off prekleks and flying them high enough to drop. The remaining dragons of Mahri's wing joins with the arrivals and immitates the maneuver. One by one, Prekleks are snatched up in dragon claws and dropped from great heights. No thought is given to damage on the ground since they are aimed at their fellow warriors. Sora and her rider continue their ascent towards wyvern and Triyul. Two bolts of sleek lightening score dual hits over the white dragon's shoulders, leaving the scales charred and blackened. Another roar of rage escape both Dragon and Rider. A blast of chilled breath pours from between the maw of the dragon, accompanied by shards of ice meant to shred the wyvern's wings. Mahri has her eyes closed and hands held palm up while she concentrates. In the cradle of her hands a shimmer of energy forms. Sweat beads on her forehead as she wills energy to gather and solidify into a whirling mass of fire. Oh yes, the elements can be harnessed by a druid as well as an elementalist. So few forget that. However, this high up, vines are not feasable so, she's using a portion of natural talent that she's not used in ages, nearly draining her own energy in the process. Dredging up reserves, this sphere is launched with a harshly spoken command towards Triyul, hoping to sear him into the armor he was so damned proud of.

Triyul :: That strict formation, broad formation became a full charge - a few still fired, a few still tossed those orbs, but most were now ready to experience first-hand something foreign to all but a small number of Preklek. Real hand to hand combat. Regardless of what had been implanted in their minds, what training they had undergone leading up to this - the concept was foreign to them. Quite. Steel met against malevolent duegar iron, every Preklek blade seeming to..sizzle with an energy of its own, the alien's themselves - enthralled in the moment - found themselves shouting, screaming, like the feral beasts they tended to enslave. And just like that - in the fray of what remained of Arien's thinning numbers - it was back. Back. And they were back. Flooding. Whatever was occuring on the otherside of that portal, they had changed strategies - they gliding straight over the fray. Straight toward Congressional Way. Straight toward Lucia and her forces, but landed somewhere between Arien and Lucia. A flood really, it looked like black blood spurting from a vein, a thin, steady flow of Preklek were begining to amass unopposed on a relatively undefended street. In the distance they saw Lucia. Behind, they saw Arien. My gods, but what timing - they were cleaved to hell! All of them, all of the seventy that had already erupted from the portal, cut down before they even had the awareness to stop landing. Yet eventually - they did, eventually those gliding just above the rooftops into the scene were landing on those very roofs and instantly flipping -down- off them after landing. Into the middle of Lucia's gathered. As if to carve a path out, this was continued, regardless of the losses - and those on the roofs? Well Arien had taken care of one side, true. All ten fell, for lack understanding of exactly who they were dealing with. Arien was alot of warrior packed into one woman, no arguement. But lo and behold, what was this marching up the street a block south? Two hundred Preklek that had made it down those stairs? It was. Matter of fact, it was. And all they saw were explosions - coming from to very pivotal places. So they split, half trotting up the street with stealth, trying to avoid any enemies present, the other half - they came down the alley on Arien's right. Her forces rather, she was pretty secure on the roof. Yet both groups were soon doing the same thing - flanking down the alleys, until...They didn't notice at first, the pepper. Until the little bombs were sending it into their eyes, where a helm couldn't protect. it caused discomfort, pain, distracted and - truth be told, cut down on their effeciency by at least twenty percent. But they still fought, a sudden roar after both groups had been spotted - turned into a narrow battle as Lucia and Arien's forces plugged the gap that was two abreast Prek only. Triyul continued his barrel-rolling descent upon Mahri. He used to be one of them. A dragon. He knew their breath well - could remember the exact moment in time when that exact eyrie and rider had forced him into an artic tomb. He was prepared. Hence the rolling and descent. Wyvern were tiny, agile things - compared to a dragon which is, lets just say, twenty tons of bad ass. The male managed to avoid the breath - barely, he felt the cold through his armor - even the sharps of ice, which scared him to the bone. The shards, they pelted against his helm as he rolled his beast away. One hundred feet, fire, this his arrogance saw him charge through - at a mistake. Those yellow flames, his wyvern did not mind. His own armor found it scorching hot - after a brief scream and surprise his Wyvern had side-swiped. The Preklek general found himself clutching the reigns again, considering flight, but continued that charge - with just a tiny adjustment. A decline toward where he predicted Sora's underbelly would be in approxmimately thirteen seconds. The Preklek below were now being snatched up from above, rained down- morale was begining to fade, monsters had returned from the skies.

Arien had hacked and slashed her way though those lizards that had clambered into her secure perch, and it had not taken long for the general to decide that enough had been had of her birds eye view. The call from Lucia, drowned by the blast of exploding munitions sealed the account. “The hell if we’re not more so commander!” she shouted down into the streets. The flash and sonic boom of the portal reopening caused momentary jubilation to sink. Gods, Rho. How had the mage reopened the portal if her team yet lived. Fear choked her, desperation gave her wings.Trotting down the stairs, her teeth gritted against the pain provoked by swelling flesh and dripping wound, The general found her way to one of the healers in the midst of raging din. “Fix” There was no room for argument as fingers twitched upon Shoales. She yearned to lift the blade to her eyes and look..see, magically where her mate might be, see if he was lost, but she feared what might be on the other side of that mirrored surface, and what it might do to her concentration. Within minutes, the elf had leaped into the fray, meeting the charging lizards with a battle cry of blind rage, all of the fear and rage locked in her for the thought of where he might be, adding power to her blazing fury. Lost in the fog of war, she would not see the prek reinforcements land behind her..They had breeched..what was the point of standing at a line..if they were already behind it. It would be a hunt now, though alleyways. The must be defended!. “Fall back!..fallback to the capitol building! Don’t let them take the government. Fight them in the streets! Our men will take the portal..I promise you, they cannot keep coming. Hold! Help is on the way!” And it was.. Two hours had past since the signal flares at the castle had leapt into the skies..signals meant not only for Cenril..but for observing eyes across the channel. An armada had set sail..and on it, near on five thousand armed HighBorn, warriors and mages both. Troops were flooding into the city, pressing to the heart of the conflict as they came to reinforce her flagging forces.

Triyul :: It has been two hours. Many streets are soaked with blood, ashes fall from the skies - the city is being destroyed. And amongst all of this, slowly, one may note the presence of several thousand Preklek in strong formations throughout several streets. Streets under their control, no battle, nay, they awaited an order from a commander below. Eight thousand strong, maybe more - maybe a few hundres less. Lucia and Arien's battles, they were isolated pockets at this point. The city. It had been breeched.

Triyul shouted, "*Prekleks stop flowing out of the portal suddenly, sif none remain*"

Valaran shouted, "*A much smaller more compact portal appears over Cenril into which flies a lone Wyvern carrying a mysterious passenger. All portals close immediately thereafter, perhaps never to be seen again?*"

Rhocielle shouted, "I will skin all of you alive! And construct my own portal from your hides to exterminate your race!"

Lucia plowed through the swarming Preklek, using her heavy bladed tower-shield like a battering ram. Eventually, however, the elongated spike at the center got stuck... and while she tried to wrench it out, another of the feckering lizards came at her from the side. With only a moment to spare, an arrow from above pierced the lizard-warrior's throat. While he stood there and gurgled, Lucia wrenched the blade from his hand... cut it back down through his neck... and spun around to sever his skull cleanly from his shoulders with her own broadsword. From above, Sur Leilanie's voice could be heard calling out... but she couldn't quite make out the words over the sound of battle. So engrossed in the fight was she, that the sounded retreat never reached her ears. Instead, she cast off her old battle-weathered broadsword in favor of a second of the duergar blades the lizardmen wielded. With one in each hand, she cut down her foes as swiftly as they arrived... and loosed bolts of electric death into the air at those who threatened to come down upon her head. Bloodlust took over, now...even as her own knights fell back around her for the capitol. Screaming like a beast possessed, Lucia hurled herself deeper and deeper into the frey. From the alleyways, those soldiers under the command of Knight Grier who had not taken to the rooftops now charged through into Congressional Way. If the Fold's forces could not hold the barricade... then they would. And there were more, too. From the road leading towards the Western Gate, Knight Lieutenant Scherrelon and his battallion of Heavy Infantry appeared. These knights did not wield blades and shields... but rather greatswords and massive battleaxes. Even the archers in his unit were heavily armed, wielding massive shoulder mounted steam-cannons of dwarven make. The projectiles fired were the size of sledgehammers... and impacted Preklek armor with according force. With all of the action either trailing -behind- Lucia's position... or being pushed back towards the barricade... the Knight General seemed to drop out of her trance. Looking up, she watched the gliding Preklek with a sneer and waved for her archers' attention. "Watch the sky! The feckering alligators can -fly-! Take 'em out before they hit the ground!" But slowly... surely... the numbers swelled. And as the enemy grew in number, those of the defending forces dwindled. Eventually, it came to the point when the Knight Commander looked to her side and saw only a handful of men. The strategic importance of the barricade became moot without a strong enough force to defend it... and at last, Lucia heeded the call to retreat. "Godsdammit all! Fall back! Fall back for the Capitol building! We cannot hold them here any longer! We've got to funnel them!" Sur Leilanie nodded her head, and disappeared down the street. Lucia turned back to her band of soldiers and hissed. "Move! Now! We have to hold out for reinforcements. The Council promised me Lymerria would send more soldiers! We need to hold out that long!" And as the last defenders of the barricade fell back, Lucia reached into her pocket and pressed her thumb to that crystal coin. "Commander Grier. Light the fuses... and get clear. Turn the feckering city to rubble."

Lucia shouted, "*As the sounds of fighting become more localized, the shouts of the defending army grow steadily fewer and far between. And then... a moment of silence. One glorious moment in which nothing echoed out over the city save for the sound of conquest. In an instant, the silence is torn to shreds... as all across the city, explosions shatter building, and road, and invader alike. Fires lick high up into the skies, spreading as debris falls from the heavens to settle upon rooftop, and marketplace, and to smolder in the streets. One can only hope that the civilians were evacuated, as was the plan...*"

Mahri isn't concerned about what's happening on the ground. All her attention is focused on the wyvern. Damn the fecking thing is fast, but she's satisfied to know her magic hadn't failed her. Slowly her strength returns, though not nearly as quickly as the lycan would like. Some workings just took so much to complete. Sora might be huge and bulky on the ground, but in the air, she's godsdamned swan. Rolling, she narrowly avoids being gutted by the bi-pedal little dragon, the screetch of claw against scale announces a connection. Clinging to Sora's spikes and grateful for the straps holding her in the saddle, Mahri gets a view of the ground..upside down. When her mount completes the roll, she'll find herself above Triyul and the wyvern. "Got ye, ye fecking bastard," she hisses into the wind. Below, dragons scream as the Preklek get smart. While most go for the ground armies, a handful keep watch on the skies and use their charged blades to ward off more attacks. Three dragons go down with riders. These, unfortunate casualties of war. Four left now. ~Mahri, the Black's rider wants to know what to do. They can't hold their position.~ The decision is taken from the lycan as explosions rock the city, sending two more dragons spiralling dangerously into a group of Prekleks --at least twenty altogether. ~Tell them to go back to the Eyrie Tower.~ The four immediately gain altitude and return home to tend wounds and give reports. Now, it's just the ice dragon, Mahri, Triyul and his mount in the air. Staring down at the pair, Mahri urges Sora to greater speeds, following their prey through the air. This had a distinctly familiar feel to it.

Triyul spoke a few words to himself, seeking Serenity: "I am a humming bird. Watch me soar." And with that - it was cat after mouse. Winged cat after much smaller winged mouse, he'd zip left, zag right - up and down, trying to evade his prey until eventually - still remembering the brief pain of that searing fire he'd try to do a complete aerial three-sixty. Curving up, trying to get that extra few degrees to make himself the predator, instead of the prey - he did not think it would work, and whilst it occured one of his hands let go of the reings long enough for his rapier to burst forth a few bolts of lightning randomly, a tactic of fear. He didn't like her behind him. Down below however - his eight thousand were begining the march. The front coloumn marching up the now desicrated Beloy street, where dead bodies in the hundreds lay strewn - it simply disappeared in an explosion that even Triyul heard from his altitude. He spared not a fleeting glance as the pockets that attacked the retreating Lucia and Arien were either supressed, or falling back toward the main force. Commanders, captains - they were shouting now. This was predicted - a terrible general, a grand mathmatician - Triyul knew what came next. Perhaps.

Mahri :: Triyul got so very lucky with those shots. Sora's huge head rears up with an unearthly cry of pain. Ice-blue eyes roll with panic as those bolts of lightening sear right through the membrane of her wings, sending the dragon spinning towards the ground. Cursing and holding on for dear life, Mahri squeezes her eyes tightly closed and waits for the landing to come. And come it does. With a crash and roll that leaves the pair unconcious but alive. Mostly anyway.

Arien:: The commander of the Rynvalian regiment, was a battle mage in his own right, and his expression was grim as he stood atop the Belfry of the cathedral, palm resting upon his elemental blade, cerulean gaze fixed upon the marble white building that loomed in the darkness across the way. It had taken every fiber of his willpower not to disobey the governor and press straight for the heart of war, but her orders had been to hold the citadel, to find the captitol, for if their presence was required it would mean that hope was lost. His troops had fanned out along the parallel streets of the city, elven wraiths, the nobilty and grace of the Eldars stamped upon their faces. Many wore armor, elven crafted light, flexible, their tred almost soundless in the roar of battle. Fingers itched for blades, shields rested at the ready, but more tangible than most was the blanket of magic that that seemed to ripple in the air amongst the moving columns; spell blades, most, ..chosen for their adapatability to both blade and magics in combat.Some had been lost in the explosions that rocked the city, the Rynvalian guard having not been informed of this defense of last resort. Costly, but the commander had arrived with his regiment largely intact. Thrity, had paid the price. Vyshyr turned his head, the fluttering of robes in the wind behind him catching his peripheral vision. They stood, like a coven, the battle mages directly under his command, trained in the arts of the arcane, some masters of the elements. 500 strong in their own right, fighting units had been placed upon every rooftop that had line of sight of the Captitol and the streets surrounding it. “Come..” His command was melodic, and rich with power. “They must come from the north, or the south, there is no other choice. Be ready.” Across the way, in the public commons south of the Captitol, defended on three flanks, 2000 armed soldiers awaited, ready to do battle with any who pressed into the Capitol complex proper. And yet another 2500 remained, on the outskirts of Congressional way, silent, meditating, prepared to engage. They would not be so foolish as to offer themselves a sacrifice, bottled up into the single street. Patiently, they attended the signal, as the sounds of combat drew closer and closer in the streets and alleyways of the city.

Lucia :: Knight Commander Graves felt the world flowing back to him... first, the sensation of light... and secondly, the senation of pain. Groaning, the weathered old magister pushed up off of his feet and tested his own strength. Despite the metal which had been fused to his chest, it appeared that there was very little structural damage done to him. His first glance told him that he had been dragged inside of the capitol building... but the second told him a great deal more. Upon the floor, scattered across various cots and 'emergency beds'... were a good number of his battallion. Initate Rosenbaum looked the worst of them... his face burned well beyond recognition. The only thing that had given his identity away at all was that damned Ankh hanging around his neck. Now partially melted, a charred hand clutched to the chain desperately for support while a frazzled-looking healer did her best to ease the man's suffering. As Commander Graves turned to leave... to see if there was anything he could do outside... a voice which sounded as if it came from the bowels of hell itself gurgled forth from the near-corpse of a man. "C-co... mmander. T-tell... tell... my mom... I d-died... quick." He struggled, choking on his own blood, and ceased breathing shortly afterwards. His expression set into a permanent scowl, the Commander crossed that floor with his slight limp and plucked the ankh from around Rosenbaum's neck. "The gods have you now, Berrin. You're in good hands now. I'll tell her. Don't worry." ||| Outside the Capitol Building, Knight General Lucia Dameteise and the remainder of her unit stood bunkered down behind a wall of debris when the haggard shape of Commander Graves appeared in the street. Waving the man over rapidly, Lucia pulled him down behind the barricade and laughed out loud. "Thank the Gods you're alive, you sonovawhore! I was scared half to the Nine Hells! A lot more of your men survived than we had thought. Commander Grier and I have them positioned on the upper floors of some of the opposite streets. We're picking off the Preks house by house out there... but we've got to hold the Capitol until reinforcements arrive. Are you good to go, then?" With a nod, Graves pointed towards a nearby alley. On the other end, a heavily armored battlemage was waiting with a grin. "Commander Graves! I'm Knight-Specialist Kaielen, Rynvale Chapterhouse. We're just up this way..."

Triyul watched her fall. Pleased. Belated, really - "I am a leaf on the wind. Hear me soar!" And with that his wyvern took off at break neck speed, wings tucking against its lithe frame as he swooped down the thousand or so feet below to join up with the waiting mass of sixty-five hundred Preklek spread out four streets wide. He'd thought of exactly how this was going to go. Long and hard. Enough studying of maps - yet so had Arien. So had the Violet Rose. He hadn't a clue what lay in store for him - but the barrage started immidiately. At the end of every street was the same target. The Capital building. They were far out of range for much - they waited, he swooped down. And roared. A Preklek sounding like a saurian, if only but in the gesticulation of it. His Wyvern joined in. Weapons were prepared. They understood exactly what that rawr meant, and Triyul joined them from the skies. Controlling his wyvern using knees, dual rapiers prepared for an onslaught as suddenly several thousand Preklek released a morale-drowning roar and began to charge.

Arien:: The war cry of the prek, mingled with the wyvern’s roar, a fitting crescendo to initiate the moment it had come to. This moment. “Now..” came the quiet command from Vashyr, and from tens or rooftops that lined congressional way, a choral chant would begin, as harmonious and mystic as the alien cry was barbaric. Eyes and magics were focused upon the encroaching horde, and soon enough they were almost lost to the naked eyes beneath the thick blanket of fog that arose, rolling in thick layers from their ankles, almost it seemed to the height of the rooftops of the buildings though which they were funneled. Twofold was the purpose of the fog, to disorient and confuse, perhaps to slow down. Only fools rushed headlong into a defense that they could not see, and in the second, it hide the secondary work of the mages, as a series of blockades, of earth and stone, rose from the earth in rhythmic series-funneling, it was to be hoped, the charging preks like so many..lizards, through a maze, directly into the path of waiting reinforcements who stood lurking and silent in the alleyways. The fist few moments of contact, when it happened, would be risky, for the spell blades would be fighting blind, until magics of their own making could clear the air around them.

Lucia :: Knight Commander Graves heard the snarling, un-earthly roar of the Prekleks only seconds after reaching his position. Taking cover inside the ruined hulk of what had once been an armor's smithy along the main promenade... the remains of his unit and the newly-adjoined Rynvalian battlemages opened fire upon the Preklek forces as they charged past their hideout. On the upper floor, where Knight Graves stood, the magic of choice was ice. Freezing the air about them, he and his officers rained down impossible spear after impossible spear of ice... skewering multiple armored invaders at once. On the ground level, it was lightning with which the knights played. The preklek armor was tough... but it made them lightning rods, as much as human or elven armor did. A group splintered off of the main charge... pouring into the ruins... but it did them no good at all. Around each corner, some fiery death or another awaited. At last, when the breaches in the old smithy became too frequent, they fled up to the roof and disappeared into yet another burnt-out structure. ||| On the street level, Knight General Dameteise had her hand clenched firmly upon that crystal coin. "Admiral Ulric... it's time. Bring the rest of the forces in for the kill. We've got them bearing down on us... right at the heart of the city. Close the trap in behind them." And it was a trap. Even as the Preklek advanced... the few lizardmen left to patrol places like the docks found themselves suddenly overwhelmed. From the harbor, the sound of fifteen hundred men... enraged... violent... and just as hell-bent on conquest as the alien invaders charged forth from the end of the docks. Unit by unit, they proceeded through the streets... catching up with any straggling Preklek forces and cutting them down en masse. At the head of this force, Knight General Baelen Ferrelick. His booming voice barked out across the harbor in true dog-of-war fashion. "Right! Ichor Lance, you're with me! Eddleburg and Stormhold... Knight Commander Bishop! The bastards think they've got us on the ropes... but Lady Dameteise has them right where she wants them. We move north, now! Flank them. Kill them And then we're the feckerin' heroes! If you have any questions... ask 'em to the Preks. You have your orders! Move out!" And move they did... like the steel-plated, burly voiced hands of the gods. Screaming. Like banshees. And as the Preklek appeared... they cut into the flank of that enemy force like hounds to meat, tearing and gnashing with their blades. From the backs of the lines, shoulder-mounted Ballistas fired upon any Preklek who took to the air. Further north, Lucia and her soldiers were in the thick of it as well... fighting for their lives to ensure that this last line held.

Triyul :: You'd think they stop. They had attacks from either side of the street that they couldn't see, a ton of men behind - a maze to navigate. Yet above the den of this latest eruption of hell, the roar of a Wyvern kept them moving. The rear of this abrubt charge began dropping exploding orbs on the ground, many tossed into buildings as well - to cut off those who threatened to flank. And sure enough, two building went out simotaineously and collasped outward - blocking off the onslaught of fifteen hundred trained soldiers. Two hundred of his men stayed behind - they were acting of their own accord, sif they it were planned, and took refuge in four vacated buildings. They would wait in ambush, patiently if need be - but the rest, as one by one they were getting killed, sometimes in groups, they continued that charge foolishly through the fog and maze that Arien's battle mages had created. Triyul, such as it were, was at the head - high above, but at the head regardless. Their encounters with the ambushing troops was brief, this charge - it was not going to stop until they came to the doors of the capitol building itself. So they would respond en transit with ranged shots of lightning - in motion as they were, they were not terribly accurate but...truth, there eight thousand of them firing at where they suspected the enemy to be. It was not only that either, they were tossing their balls about atop roofs - to collaspe them inward, on any inside. Disciplined soliders, reacting without orders. Triyul was naught but morale.

Arien:: Hell had broken lose in the alleyways, and little did the unfortunates trapped within those alleyways, realize just how high the cost would be for this night. For in such conditions, combat at close quarters, it would be impossible to avoid friendly fire, to avoid collateral damage. And so, while those on the outskirts pressing were free to fall back or make adjustment as needed, those trapped in tight alleyways fighting to the death with lizard menace, were all but lost. They fell, 100, 300 could it be? 500 as the bloodly close quarter combat raged, the prekleks pushing through mindlessly towards the capitol building entrance. Buildings fell, taking with them clusters of battle mage units to their deaths as they did so. But to a man, each Rynvalian officer took a lizard, or two or three with him. Surely they would not reach the open porticoes of the capitol building less than 1000 fallen. Perhaps, the Knight commander’s men had fared better, but the swath of death carved by the prekleck horde provided a silver lining, a clear window for the mages who remained to unleash another brand of hell, secure in the knowledge that they would not be responsible for killing their own. That chant rose again, faintly weaker now, for the loss of a fifth of their number, but that fog that clung to the preklecks as they made their charge, condensed, and beaded, becoming a more tangible blanket of wetness..water, in the midst of their lighting charged fury..a conductor that would surely cause the lizards to fry themselves in their own skins. Were that not enough, the incantation of the mages would find the earth shuddering beneath the charging horde, rending just enough to allow for the rise of ground water..puddles to act as further charge. They erupted into the open, in sight of the capitol at last. But what was this, anchored upon the open porticoes? Wheel mounted Balliste, prepped with quarrels long enough to skewer though rows of Preklek as they made their advancing march. One, then another. Reload. The Balliste raised death, lizard shiskabob. And still they came.

Lucia :: Knight Commander Graves fought his way through a swarm of Preklek shock troopers, his stave in one hand... and a Duergar longsword in the other. Meting out death in a wide arc, he and Specialist Kaielen regularly shouted their kill counts back to one another. As Graves watched another struck down by fire, his voice rang out above both the chant -and- the hollering Preklek. "One hundred and one! Er... make that One hundred and two! Looks like he took out one of his own when he went down!" Chortling, the younger soldier leapt off his perch and into the ruins of a collapsed building. Inside, three lizardmen were patiently watching the battle outside. Without so much as taking a breath, Specialist Kaielen let loose a torrent of lightning... dropping them to the floor in violent convulsions. "One hundred and three, old man! Looks like I'm winning, now!" ||| On the southern front... advancing directly into the Preklek lines... Knight General Ferrelick stood amidst a wave of advancing soldiers. He watched the wyvern overhead... sneered at it, really. How sublimely arrogant, truly... watching it all from overhead. Pressing his thumb into the crystal coin in his pocket, he let the image of Knight Commander Bishop fill his mind. "Bishop! One of them is flying overhead... he's mounted. The only one. How much would you care to bet it's their leader? I saw some Drakes tied up back in the Marketplace. If you got one of them loose... you could get up there. Take him out. Cut the head off a snake, and all... aye?" From the other end, a gruff soldier's voice responded sharply. "On my way, Sur... I'll leave Lieutenant Mallorik in charge here. Mallorik! Keep pressing them into the lines. Lady Dameteise and her soldiers will hold! They won't let us down!" ||| Meanwhile, back on the Northern Line, the Knight General was busy bunkering down behind a wall. Smoke issued forth from her blackstone plate... several charges from those preklek swords having found their mark. Sur Leilani was knelt beside her, hand clasped atop her wounded commander's gently. "Lucia... just breathe slowly. The healers are busy right now, but I've let them know you were hurt. Don't worry. Commander Grier is doing a fine job. The line is holding... best we can keep it anyways. Lieutenant Scherrelon and his men are swarming down around either side of this street. It's a double flank... just like you said. Hold in there, ma'am. We'll be alright." As the elven ranger glanced up, she witnessed another of her comrades in arms struck down. Even still, Scherrelon and the Heavy Infantry were coming to help them. They would hold the line. They had to! ||| Somewhere, down in the Market District, Knight Commander Bishop stared a rather ornery-looking Drake in the eye. The creature was smart enough... if still immature... and he hoped that perhaps he could reason with it. When he received a snort of acrid brimstone as his reply, however, he opted simply to untie the thing and climb upon its back. Resting his hand on the drake's neck gently, he closed his eyes and tried to envision the creature in the same way he used the crystal coins to communicate. Telepathically. ~Up there. The source of this invasion. He needs to die. Take me there... and when we're done, I'll see to it you never wear a saddle again.~ Apparently, it didn't take much more than that to convince him. They were off, and headed straight for the wyvern and its rider. Fast.

Rhocielle and his remaining Warders did not flank the Prelek advance as they arrived at the site of the internal incursion. Far from it, for that would mean coming up directly behind them or from the side. They raped the Preklek charge from a distance. Armed with uniquely designed crossbows, the strange weapons were quickly cranked and fired to release rapid volleys of steel tipped quarrels through the backs of repitilian craniums as they advanced, or retreated, pending on the point of view. Barking orders in literal canine barks, the elite group moved both as one and as singular armies in their own individual right. The Preklek could only dream of accomplishing what the wolfen male had trained his own men to do. Each armed with a myriad of tools, they were used to their fullest extents. The lizard men were not the only ones with toys. Small glass globes of florescent azure liquids were tossed into the dense collections of Prekleks. Whether the items shattered on ground or Preklek armor, the result would be the same. Basil's own concoction had finally seen the light of combat. In flourishing spectacle, spheres of electrical charges erupted in the masses. Liquid lightning was the name devised by the Cabal mage. It was an understatement. Liquid death was more apt, their wielders were the walking death itself. Their destruction flared in comparison to that wrought by the leader of the group. Scorching waves of flames Bottles of purest moonshine soon followed, soon flaring in hellish flames from contact with any charred and burning corpses. The electrical and fiery flares in the distance sparked the besieged defenders to life anew. Battle mages well versed in ballad of manipulating the very earth and stone slapped their hands together in thundering clap. The ground rumbled as oscillating spears of earth works rocketed upward and forward along the path of the charge, penetrating pavement and Preklek alike. They served as both deadly traps and as further makeshift battlements to continue hindering and disrupting the advancing Prekleks from a flood into a more manageable trickle. Congressional Way would soon become a alley of crucified reptilians.

Triyul :: That's it. He's been outmaneuvered. He could hear it, begin to see it as fog cleared - after several hours of battle, the final decisive moment had his men pinned down on all sides. One final roar from the Wyvern, and he left them to die, all the thousands that remained. It was over.

Arien:: And die they did. In the defended encampment adjacent to the capitol building, the governor of Rynvale cast somber gaze over her assembled troops. Hunkered down here, defended on three flanks they had waited, 2000 strong, fresh legs and vengeance in their souls for the sound of the carnage beyond. They knew their brothers in arms were dying. The earth shook beneath them as the battle mages beyond their secure encampment wreaked havoc on Congressional Way, and the fiery haired general turned eyes and ears towards the portico of the Capitol building; the launching of the balliste bolts would be her sign that the end was upon them. “Hold..hoooollld…” she commanded firmly. ~whoosh~ The launching of the first quarrel found head spun to face the assembled troops. “Kill them all..or die trying.” She said clearly into the restless gathering, drawing Shoales from its sheath at her side. In unison swords clashed against 2000 shields, and a battle cry went up. Then, they were pouring out of the encampment and flooding across the rolling lawns before the capitol building, a wall of elven warriors raining hell upon the single minded alien horde that continued to come, poring in wave after wave though the maze of execution spires. Confused, and without direction from a general long gone, the remnant of the alien force fought blindly, and without purpose, no match for the pincer grip in which they found themselves. Slowly their numbers dwindled as the knights of the Order, and the forces of Rynvale fought their way through the heart of the alien column. The wolfen Warder and his unit were likewise no in the heart of the fray, the allied partners battling with the zeal of desperation for the very survival, they believed, of their world. It was some moments before those who survived realized that opposition had ceased. The clash of steel on steel dwindled, until there was only the sound of the wind, and the groans of the dying to be heard on the air, and Arien found herself standing suddenly, like hundreds of others it seemed, blade in hand, bloody and battered with no resistance before her. Emerald gaze swept over the sea of bodies before her and behind her, before lifting to take in the smoky desolation of the city street. It was over. Slowly, hesitantly almost, the cheer began, passing from body to body as the allied forces took up the cry of victory. Her heart broke for their delusion. This was no victory-it was but the beginning. The thrumming pulse of energy that flowed through her blade and into her body drew eyes downward towards the enchanted weapon. Shoales had sensed its twin; Mastaes was near, which meant Rho was too. She blinked back the tears that threatened. He was alive. A shallow breath was taken before the elf turned slowly on her heels to face the black alpha who was headed her way. Emerald gaze found silver pools and held, love in her eyes as a single, simple thought winged his way. ~What took you so long wolf?~

Rhocielle strode through the body ridden street with the gait of a weary warrior, tired from years of warfare compacted into only a few bloody moments. The unsheathed blade of Mestaes hummed lowly as it drew nearer to its icy twin. His black armor, scarred with dents and gashes into the metal, spoke of hours of endless combat to reach the High Elf. With a soft snort in wry response to her question, he stood before her. Towering over the slender figure of the general, the wolfen warder dipped his muzzle to press his leathern nose against her petite one. ~The Prekleks protested to dying. ...but I was persuasive~

Arien laughed softly. ~Indeed, as were we~ Turning from his body her eyes sought through the grizzly scene. “I must find Lucia, there is much to be debriefed and the state of the City determined. Mahri’s fate likewise is unknown. The price was high, but we held the city,” she murmured as she began picking her way through the street towards the Knight commander’s last known location, her Warder once again a shadow at her side.

And indeed, they had.