Part 35: Jazzimus Prime: Update 8
Syrupleaf - Chapter V Part 8 - The Siege of Syrupleaf
13th Limestone 142
As the remaining caravan guards leave the depot and engage the creatures, Luigi's Discount, Lackloss, and Fellblade charge out of the gate. Another merchant guard, a swordsdwarf, is quickly felled by one of the Spawn.
Lackloss is the first to arrive at the front line. The bridge acts as a chokepoint, preventing the Spawn from approaching the fortress with their full numbers all at once.
Luigi's Discount and Fellblade arrive a few seconds later. The two of them hold the bridge as Lackloss engages the largest of the Spawn that are nearby.
Lackloss grabs the creature by the left claw and twists its arm, then shatters the limb with a powerful strike. He follows this with a roundhouse kick to the Spawn's lower body, knocking it off of the bridge. The massive creature collides with the ground but then slowly stands up again, badly injured but not defeated.
As more of the Spawn scramble up the ramp, Luigi's Discount and Fellblade quickly find themselves surrounded. Fellblade smashes the foot of one of the creatures with her hammer, but two more of the creatures grab her body in their claws and attempt to pull the dwarf apart. Luigi's Discount swings her hammer into the side of one of them, knocking its body into the other and sending them both off of the bridge to the ground below. Unfortunately, her action is too late to save Fellblade.
Three more of the creatures, having just ripped apart the body of a dwarven merchant, turn to make their way towards the depot. Lackloss punches one of the Spawn in the throat, causing it to stumble and double over, as the others charge past him up the ramp.
Luigi's Discount appears to be in a sort of martial trance, as she swings her hammer back and forth at the Spawn surrounding her. Another of the creatures is knocked off of the ledge to fall to its death, and the chest cavity of yet another is caved in by a hammer blow. Luigi's Discount proceeds down the ramp to take on more of the Spawn.
Nearby, Lackloss sees the large Spawn he had knocked off of the bridge earlier, and takes it to the ground with a diving tackle. The two of them grapple on the icy earth.
Luigi's Discount stands atop a pile of several dead Spawn. Three more of the creatures writhe on the ground near her, their arms and legs broken and mangled by hammerstrikes. She ignores the crippled Spawn and closes to engage the nearest uninjured one.
At least ten of the creatures have been struck down by our soldiers at this point. The bridge and depot area has nearly been secured now, save for a few badly injured Spawn still fighting the caravan guards on the bridge.
Another wave of a dozen Spawn crests a nearby snow bank and charges, closing in on Luigi's Discount. At the rear of the group is the terrifying seventeen foot tall behemoth itself, the Spawn Leader, its eyes burning with hatred.
I turn to Skullbuggy, standing next to me in the safety of the gatehouse, watching the battle unfold.
"The two of them cannot hold off all of these creatures by themselves. Assemble the rest of our champions from the barracks."
Skullbuggy nods and sprints into the fortress.
Luigi's Discount stands her ground, her hammer held high, as the second wave of Spawn charge at her. Undaunted by their numbers, she smashes the leg of one of the creatures and shatters the arm of another. The rest of the group surrounds her, the Spawn Leader closing in behind them.
Lackloss continues to grapple with the large Spawn. He has broken both of the creature's arms and legs, but is beginning to tire.
Luigi's Discount strikes down two more of the creatures which surround her, as yet a third wave begins to pour in from over the snow bank. Once again she swings her mighty hammer, shattering the knee of the nearest Spawn...
...which then falls forward, directly on top of her.
Luigi's Discount is pinned to the ground, unable to move. The remaining Spawn charge up the ramp towards the depot.
The Spawn Leader shambles over to the prone and pinned Luigi's Discount, and crushes the helpless dwarf's head in one of its great claws.
Exhausted, Lackloss finally breaks the neck of the spawn he had been grappling, and the creature collapses in a heap. The joy of victory gives way to misery, as Lackloss looks across the battlefield and sees his fallen comrade Luigi's Discount.
Lackloss charges at the Spawn Leader with a scream, and grabs the left claw of the titanic creature. Twisting with all of his strength, he hears a a few of the creature's tendons pop. The Spawn Leader emits a piercing otherworldly shriek, and grabs Lackloss's body with its other claw. With all of its might, it throws the dwarf's body against the side of the glacier.
I turn to look at the depot bridge. The last of the caravan guards have fallen as well.
Now unhindered, the Spawn begin to pour across the bridges. The merchants in the depot put up very little resistance and are swiftly crushed. I scream out an order for the drawbridges to be raised immediately before turning to flee into the fortress.
I turn to look back over my shoulder. The drawbridges have been raised, but no fewer than a dozen of the creatures have already reached the gatehouse ... including the terrible Spawn Leader itself.
I continue to run down the golden-paved entryway, the shrieks of the Spawn echoing close behind me. The three remaining champions of Syrupleaf, Kennel, Royal W, and Holistic Detective run past me in the opposite direction, their weapons drawn.
Bobbin Threadbare wrote :-
Though terrified as I was by their appearance, my more experienced companions were unsurprised by Their appearance on the slopes of the glacier. When I pressed them for greater information, they at last acquiesced, no longer afraid of the beasts' wrath after their appearance had been made a certainty. They explained that these ravenous demons were the spawn of one Holistic Detective, a previously upstanding dwarf reduced to a nightmarish caricature by the very fires of Hell itself. However, their next bit of news chilled my very soul: this Detective had been the dark Champion of that dismal fortress, HeadShoots. My father's brother had traveled to this location shortly before his disappearance, and now I knew why. Alas, it appeared as if my own fate was to be tied to his, slaughtered by the Holistic spawn as my uncle had died by the original's hand.
Grim as it was, however, the fortress had withstood the appearance of these beasts before. And now, it seemed, a series of bridges had been built to deny access to the monsters on the field. However, much to my surprise and dismay, the order was called to let the bridges stand down: our nascent army refused to hide behind the defenses, and wished to send the monsters back to the Hell from whence they came. I and my fellow caravaneers found ourselves worked into a panic as the gibbering monstrosities made their way up the slope, but even through the haze of my own fear, I noted that the others who had withstood the previous sieges felt none of our terror, but merely took into their hands whatever makeshift weapons they could appropriate. At least one had a maddened gleam in his eye, a look telling of both sorrow and of determination. The constant reappearance of Them had taken its toll, and now my fellow dwarves had withstood enough. Either They or we would die here today, the look communicated. Death would come to the gate of SyrupLeaf, for one force or the other.