The Citadel's last stand (log)

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Posted by KRIANNA 26 September 2008
[Citadel, Battlement]
Driven into the mortar between the blocks of the battlement is a rusting dagger framed by the fields of burning violets below, which flank the approach to the Citadel and the drawbridge. Lying askew on the ground next to the wall is a pitted and rusted helmet with a panache of faded feathers.
Also here: Lord Sorlu
Obvious paths: east, west

You quietly say, "Honor, courage, death and sacrifice."

The temperature of the air drops rapidly about the battlement as the last of the words are uttered from your mouth. Immediately your ears are filled with loud drum beats and rhythmic roaring. The ground shakes as thousands of feet pound the earth in step and the surrounding air is filled with ethereal, flaming projectiles that soar over the battlements and walls of the Citadel. Your attention is drawn over the battlement to a swelling army of Krolvin and trolls that expand for yards away from the fortress' walls. The drums of the two forces compete against each for volume and ferocity as both sides scream alternatively, "Morgil!" and "Ra'ffrus!" Over this raucous noise comes the sound of two voices speaking to each other...

...gradually, the battlements are filled with the spectral form of soldiers, dressed in the uniform of the Citadel. A man in armor, holding a helm with a panache of black feathers, stands next to a woman. Dark blue and yellow cords hang from her shoulders, and she holds a dagger in one hand, tapping the flat of its blade against the gloved palm of her other hand. "And what dark arts are the Council considering now?" The woman asks, gazing down at the gathered hordes. "Do they consider us unable to deal with this mob?"

The man glances briefly at the Krolvin and trolls, then to the woman, stating, "Well, sir, they claim they are working on swordsmen to," he pauses as if straining for the correct words before continuing, "...supplement our force." The woman frowns and closes her gloved hand over the dagger blade, squeezing it. Soon, trickles of dark blood begin to flow from the creases of her closed fist.

The scene flickers slightly, the soldiers changing from material to immaterial and back again. The woman with the dagger turns to the man, "We wouldn't be in this spot if not for their inept leadership." She indicates with the bloodied dagger the massed army below, "This should not have happened. The town should not have been sacrificed." A deep, angry guttural growl comes from her lips, "...curse the Council!" The man nods patiently, but otherwise remains silent before asking, "How long will we need to wait for this mess to pass?" The woman glances at him with wrinkle framed green eyes. "A week, maybe two? It is doubtful they have the combined intelligence to understand the drawbridge." Both soldiers turn their gaze below in time to see a cohort of trolls plummet to the bottom of the ravine as the bridge across abruptly gives way.

The cool breeze begins to warm and the massing army begins to fade away, replaced by as many burning violets, resembling a field of fallen stars. The woman and the man fade slightly, the outline of the battlement vaguely visible through their forms. A young pikeman rushes up and exchanges whispers with the man, who nods and dismisses him. A sudden triumphant roar boils up from above, drawing the attention of both soldiers. The woman spits a curse and drives her dagger into the mortar in frustration before shouting, "They have solved the drawbridge." As she turns to the man, a deep, rhythmic thumping comes from below, "And apparently, had a battering ram ready to go. Get the men ready, that door was not designed..." her words are interrupted from below by a loud crash. The man, startled, drops his helm and it rolls next to the battlement wall. An expression of calm spreads across the woman's face, and she barks, "Draw up! Weapons ready!" More spectral soldiers appear, falling into place before her, as the air warms further and the sound of the Krolvin and trolls fade away.

The woman steps forward, now a faint reflection, and draws her longsword. "We go to save this Citadel. We are the Commander's Company, we are Elanith." She raises her longsword up into the air before her and encouragingly shouts, "Honor, Sacrifice, Courage, Death!" She and her men fade away, the dagger behind her, embedded in the mortar of the wall remains. The blood upon the blade dries, then flakes away, and replaced by rust. The fragrance of the burning violets carries over the wall, sweeping away the last vestigial traces of the phantoms of the Citadel.