(This takes place later today – starting perhaps an hour before the group leaves Greywatch)

Over the lip of the hill they came – four strong, mounted on barded warhorses that were bone shrouded in saronite, draped with the colors of pestilence and war.  The wolf, the storm, vengeance, and rage – their coming was heralded not with trumpets or shouts, but by the howling of the winter gale and the pounding of hooves.

The wrathguard on guard at the lip of the caldera that was felsoul died in mere moments, flayed by driving ice and riven by hungry blades. The alarm was raised only a minute later, when the great guns that watched the soul engines were silenced, their handlers cast into the fel lava below and the guns themselves broken.   When the first great infernal fell with the four together, even the demonic forces of the legion were taken aback -stone and felfire found no purchase against grim undeath, washing over the shimmer of runes that left them unharmed, before they split apart, each rider taking his or her own path into the citidel.

———————

Aunne urged her mount into the sort of implacable gait somewhere between a canter and a gallop that can only be called a charge.  She chose the path along the ridge, into the heart of the inquisitors, calling back – “Do not stay until you are overwhelmed – if you cannot gate, regroup at the mouth of the arcway!  For the Templars!”

It felt good.  So good.  She called the storm to her and let it rage as she cut a pair of wrathguard apart, taking them an arm at a time, her smile wild and wide.  Below her, she heard the hollow voices of the inquisitors, the massing of the felhounds – but right now, right here and in this moment, she was power.  She was the sky.  She felt the pain and fear of the wrathguard and let it burst forth in a razor’s edge of frost from her blades, cutting one down in a single wide swing.

Ever forward.  Ever deeper – the runes sang to her, and she reveled in their song.

When her horse was destroyed by a blast of felcannon fire?  She threw herself free, allowing her body to lose its substance – landing as a wraith, lightly in the fel-tainted dirt of the caldera floor.  She solidified in time to tear a felhound to pieces, giggling as the wretched chained to posts nearby cowered away from her – their fear was delicious. She drew it in, breathed it – and unleashed it in a howling blast of frost into the faces of the rest of the pack.  

But resistance was solidifying – the inquisitors were holding back, raising their hands in a guttural chant that she could /feel/ thrumming with power, pounding into the ground.  Shadowflame began to erupt around her, a storm of black voidstuff that was flung without any sense of caution among the hounds – she felt its burn even past the sky blue titansteel that warded her.  

Some of her hair broke free, flaming as it fell – and she snarled, feeling the bones of her neck where the skin burned away.

She charged.  Hooves pounding against dirt and rock, launching herself and her whirlwind of blades into the inquisitors,  the storm within shredding their robes, breaking their power  – she ripped the largest down to her, a full two heads taller than the rest in a burst of her own shadow, and they clashed, unbreakable runeblades against the immovable object of the floating eyes that blasted at her with focused force, roaring in her ears.

I see your fear –  came the voice in her mind – I will not allow you to end.


She ignored it, laughing with the delight of it, of -letting loose- as the very air around her froze.  She giggled again when the voice’s whispering turned to panic.  Then pleading, promising anything and everything if she wouldn’t just..

… and then it all ended, empty robes bursting into flame as Wrath found the thing’s eye.

Below her, the inquisitors, reinforced with wrathguard and now a pair of Shivarren, made their way up the rock to her position – and she /felt/ more than /saw/ their resolve.  Alone, she was cut off – there was no chance of fighting back to the others, and resistance was stiffening.  The battle had let her work her way up into the rocks, to find herself at the Arcway  – in a place where she could hold, for a time.

So she did.  Until the constant battering began to take its toll – damaged arms becoming clumsy; damaged legs not nearly as steady as before.

So she called down – “Tell the Nazrethem, Zenzorem – this is the -beginning-.”  Her Draenic rang hollowly from the stones.  “Just a taste of what comes for him.”  As she spoke, the runes called the Gate behind her, the leering death’s head and purple light of its interior casting a pall that somehow did not diminish the shine of the sky she wore.  “Tell him I keep my promises, little demons.  And tell him the wolf is /mine/.”

She very nearly collapsed on the far side of the gate – letting it stand against the storm of shouts and rage that followed, incoherent demonic challenges blending into a howling hymn that promised retribution.  She left it open, with the might of Acherus waiting for whatever might pass through – kneeling, and waiting for the others.

The herons on her armor gleamed.

Author Aunne
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