Scourgelady (melee offence officer)
Joined: 17 Oct 2007
|Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:07 am Post subject: The Argent March
|“Arrow storm! Shield wall, NOW!”
The marching soldiers raised their heavy tower shields overhead and crouched under them as a deadly hail slammed down from the skies onto the front line. Saronite arrows were weighted towards the head, Seja remembered, and were better suited to plunging shots rather than direct fire. They were being put to good use here. Screams were heard over the din of battle as some arrows passed through wood, plate, leather and flesh.
“Thirty seconds,” muttered the captain next to Seja.
She was grudgingly impressed with the Argent crusaders, now that she saw them put to the test. Perhaps Mograine had been wrong about the usefulness of the tournament they had seemingly wasted so much time on. She did not care overmuch for her zealous, Light-sworn brethren, nor they for her, but she was pleased they were not dying as quickly as anticipated. They needed to get her to Arthas after all.
The arrow fire ceased as suddenly as it had begun. The shields were lowered, bristling with arrows. The mounted captains stared at the distant rampart intently, some muttering under their breath as they counted down. A series of blue orbs rose above the battlements ahead, rising lazily into the air. They grew larger, taking shape as they soared forwards, streaming eldritch flames behind them like an array of comets crossing the heavens.
“Get to cover!”
The disciplined line of Argent infantry broke ranks and huddled next to the bulk of the siege tanks accompanying them as the deadly rain of massive rocks smashed into the glacier. One of the vehicles exploded like a bomb, showering its unlucky troop with flaming oil and shards of steel a yard long, as a boulder plunged through its armoured roof. Fragments of ice and stone rattled off their plate as the Crusaders pressed doggedly on with their advance. Seja broke away with a couple of her Ebon Blade retinue and guided her horse between the ranks of marching soldiers, looking for a familiar face in the masses. He would be in the middle, at the front, she knew. Fordring was not the type to lead from the rear. She caught sight of him, surrounded by his armoured cavalry bodyguard with their distinctive sunburst shields.
“Tirion!” Seja yelled towards the Argent leader above the din of the battle. “You can’t force a breach like this! The wall is too heavily manned, and those trebuchets are going to kill us all!”
The old knight fought for control of his horse as another wave of burning rocks screamed overhead. He turned to look at her and shook his head. “Perhaps not. There is no other way, though. We cannot get around that wall, and so we must go through it.”
“There might be a way! Give me leave to go, I think I can distract the Scourge defenders on the wall, and maybe take out some of those trebuchets as well.”
One of the accompanying knights overheard, and laughed. “Distract them? You’d need a pretty big distraction to draw them away from our advance.” Tirion waved him into silence and looked at her intently a moment. “You have a plan, I see. Go then, do what you can. Light watch over you.”
She sighed, “Save your blessings for yourself, old friend. You have more need of them out here than I will.” Tirion nodded brusquely and turned his attention back to the battle.
Seja looked up at the horizon above the Scourge rampart. The saronite necropolis which brooded ominously over the battlefield was nearly complete. She wheeled her horse around and galloped back towards the rearguard, where the magi were. A big distraction. I think I have one in mind. She needed to find her sister. Icecrown Glacier was rather deficient in seedy taverns, so the most likely place to find Deva was with the Kirin Tor. Tirion had ordered the magi to form the rearguard. Partly to give them a safer place to work their magic from, and party to shield the Crusader army from any Scourge which might try to take them in the rear. Seja and her knights galloped past the smouldering ruins of several frost wyrms, which attested as much to their leader’s foresight as the power of the magi themselves.
Passing the last of the armoured lancers escorting the magi, Seja spotted her sister sitting in one of the flat bottomed carts the Kirin Tor used as mobile rune circles. She appeared to be incanting a spell of some kind. Seja pulled her horse up alongside the cart and wheeled about to canter beside it. Her escort formed up next to her.
Deva waved a hand distractedly in her direction.
Seja fumed and held pace with the cart as it trundled along. After what seemed like an age of muttering and half formed hand gestures, her sister opened her eyes and looked over at her.
“Oh, it’s you.”
“Thanks, I love you too. Listen, I need your help.” Deva listened intently as her sister outlined her plan, and what needed to be done. She shook her head in disbelief as Seja finished and looked at her expectantly.
“You want me to open a portal into a Scourge necropolis. Have you lost your wits? I won’t be able to get you out of there!”
“That will not be necessary, milady.” Seja’s companion knight, Vereth, cleared his throat making a sound like a death rattle and went on, “We will find our own way back to the army. It is rather large and hard to miss as you might have noticed. Or perhaps we will not return at all.” He laughed morbidly. “We can only die, after all. One might argue that that is what we are here for.”
Deva gave the man a withering look, which might have been more effective if he had not already been more withered than any corpse had the right to be. “Believe it or not, I have no objection at all to your dying, but I would prefer it if you spent your unlife in some meaningful manner with hope of success.” She looked over at her sister and frowned slightly. “You have a plan, fine. I wish you the best of luck with it. But I must remain to hold the portal open, I cannot come with you.”
“I wouldn’t permit it anyway. Your place is here. Just get my knights and I into the damn thing. We will do the rest. There’s no time to waste, and less time to discuss this.”
Deva nodded curtly. “Very well. Shut your eyes, hold your breath - those of you who still have breath - and close your mouths. This might tickle a little…”