Part 22: Ainadra BurnsChapter 21: Ainadra Burns
While some people got to drive around in giant god machines or fly around in goblet (or mortar) shaped shaped flying... cups, others were sent to dead worlds to exploit singular pumpkin patches for their magical and nourishing properties.
Eh, it's a living... and drinking
Of course, for some of the lass farm inclined, life included such wonders as leading assaults on necromancer towers all on their lonesome.
Especially once the elves got a peace agreement with Mallacir and immediately broke alliance.
I'm sorry, but you refused a peace proposal by Mallacir while I can no longer watch my people die. It's all on you now
It's all on you wasn't much of a threat to someone who employed troops that routinely tore arms off fire elementals.
The Exemplars of Strength, all tried and battlehardened, were making their way through Ainadra with abominable ease. It could be said that the ground turned from the blood spilled there... had it not been red already (or if there had been enemies with actual blood).
Still, there were forces making their way over the burning plains of Ashwind Dale. There was at least one Exampler, most of the Rune Seers and one angry witch by the name of Misiss Firewick, who was the second elder witch that King Lich VI employed and the second one with an axe to grind against dragons.
Interesting... well, either that, or our scouts are incompetent.
What about it, my lord?
According to the Planestrider map, we should have encountered a lot more shards than we did. So, either our scouts missed a gate somewhere, or...
...or there's a separate branch of shards than only connects to Ainadra, but not any of our shards?
Precisely. The way that your people managed to make it to Burnouts is all the more outstanding... Either that, or there's some mechanics in shard gating that we don't really understand
I think... I think we would have remembered crossing a land that's basically blood colored ground in every direction
Well, I'll look into it once Amberon's citadel is down
But for now, I have to squeeze more mana out of our collectors! I really don't understand these drops in economy
The game is weird. Sometimes, the damage on my Exemplars changes per 50 units, for no reason. Economy fluctuates I have to check if I don't have riots currently. It's strange, unless I'm missing city upkeep maluses
Explosives, sire, that's the name of the game!
A Svart was leading King Lich around a factory established on sulfurous baths in Ashwind Dale.
For now, we're sticking them on the ends of long sticks, so that the troops could prod the enemy when they advance. But we have plans, great plans for the future!
Do any of them include affixing a runelock on an Examplar?
Er... no. But we are bundling explosives around their fists for some added punching power!
Wolves of Helia had some other ideas about the use of the explosives that were supplied to them. Being immune to heat and blast, they would surround the enemy and, when the correct degree of interspersion happened, set off the explosion.
It was a very messy way to handle things and some were wounded by flying bone fragments, but it was better than affixing pertards to their staves.
Luckily enough, magic sigils were easy to find in piles of left over burnt viscera.
The saddest thing about was that when an Examplar punched a zombie and the explosion sent burnt bits of reanimated flesh flying, there were no one who would appreciate the sight.
If this continues for much longer, I won't we able to see anything through the windows. I should attach brushes to the bats or something
Meanwhile, a not-so-simple incantation markedly improved mana extraction in Gatehouse, mostly by fixing leaks and envigorating workers.
You have to spend mana to gain mana, so it seems. Well, seems a little more guaranteed than just sending the troops to ravage the counrtyside
Early bird gets the worm... Birds are like dragons... flying around, dropping their dung on everyone... and worms are like dragons, slimy, and long...
And if I'm fast enough, I could catch and squish them both
Why can't I find a witch that isn't terminally insane?
Ladies... the dragon, if you please
And now, for the ship
It was horrible, when her bolt hit the prisms powering the elven sky ship.
The precarious balance that held the ship afloat and not exploding disappeared. Horrible energies surged, piercing the vessel, twisting the corridors into unnatural shapes and impossible angles. The crew was fused with the ship or each other, inverted into a bloody mass of organs and bone, or worse.
Mercifully enough, it only took several seconds for the cores to actually explode and the ship fell to ground, broken beyond repair, and twisted so badly no man would ever dare look upon it.
It took one spin of Exemplar's axes and the two packs of Shadow Spiders were reduced to two piles of twitching shadow appendages.
And once the pilot set out to maraud their nests, he found something curious.
At the center of (now crushed) egg clutches stood a tree all tied up by ephemeral shadow spider webs.
A tree with a face.
An angry face.
"Once upon a time, demonwoods greatly impressed Agrela with their tenacity, and the Goddess of Life turned some of them into Treewardens - her own faithful servants and protectors. Unfortunately, this wonderful transformation did nothing to soften the hatred and venom that pumped through the sap of those old angry demonwoods."
(From "The Overall Description of Everything" by Master Alfus Bumblegate)
The tree grunted and roared as it was freed, but didn't crush the Svart. Instead, it strode off, ready to beat something up.
Truly it was proof that even the most gentle of goddesses sometimes need someone crushed.
Unfortunately, he was in region full of dragons, who were not only out of reach, but also keen on burning his wooden hide.
Luckily, he soon found another tree to fight. Wolves of Helia and an Exemplar of Strength agreed: it was hilarious.
In a place far away, a lady was being extracted through a palace window by the hand of an Exemplar.
LADY MALLACIR! You have been bested by my lord King Lich the sixth. You will cease all mage activities immediately and you will be detained until our king determines what to do with you. This will likely be postponed till the death of the Usurper. Submit and comply!
I suppose this will have to do
It will! Your only other choice was to be punched into explosion!
Her former seat was, of course, put to the torch. King Lich VI didn't want to mess with such a remote holding, and there were rumors that subversive elements were already on their way there.
Sir Hugue was a little weary of going into combat again. Ashwind Dale had a humbling effect on thim. Surrounded by metal Svart giants and accolytes that never had to bear the elements beating on them, he felt decisively out of his depth.
Your wounds have been patched, soldier. Feel free to continue your duties!
Having said that, he jumoped back into his flight aparatus and rejoined formation, leaving behind envious prospectors who cursed the fact that they weren't the most advanced of the Svarts forces anymore.
An improved version of the Sand Golem harder, bigger, stronger. A desert world civilization created them to protect their temples and palaces
If they're from a desert world, what are they doing here attacking Amberon?
Usually, I just copy the unit descriptions out of the wiki, but many of the W2 monsters are missing. Instead I found the Destiny wiki, read up on Falled and the Hive, and lamented that a have with lore that seems to be so potent turned out to be Borderlands 3 instead
The last fight left sir Hugue barely standing. Where the Examplars could crush anything that stood in front of them and the Dragomorts simply flew overhead, he had nearly died.
King Lich VI was preoccupied with other things. For example, a new spell, granted to him by Krolm (via a rock that smashed through his tower and left a crater in the throne room). The spell would hurt whoever it was cast on, but it return... well, in return nobody they attacked would return to haunt them.
And there were rumours floating around that Volundr was praparing something nasty in the factories near the jungles and marches, but there was no certain information.
I tell you that human is untrustworthy!
Well, if he attacks us, I trust you will be able to crush his hordes
Ha! Finally you speak some sense!
Krel was still allied to Amberon, likely because the elf mage was so far, far away. Still, he was of no trouble, since his own people were unhappy about it.
I don't think we're desperate enough to summon a dragon... or our economy can support it
Runes... runes might be good for peoples like Svarts, but we're elves, we have no need for that
And it only took one metateleportation to let him put that elven magic in practice, shooting demonic trees.
Others, who had power of the gods running through their metal muscle, were able to just punch their way through entire cities and golden dragons.
M'lord, I fear I have to face truth I never though I had. M'lord, my ability to serve you as a man-at-arms is at its limits. I can no longer sucessfully face the threats that arise... and we have no more threats that are low enough for me to face
Normally, a king wouldn't do that... but you have already laid your life in my service... at least twice. I formally declare your service to me over and you are honorably released to do as you please
Thank you... thank you, m'lord. I shall return to order and see what good I could do there
Well, if not for all those amateur mages getting eaten by monsters, my research would be that much harder
In the meantime, Cecinia discovered a something new on Ainadra: elves! And the Exemplars were already murdering their way towards them.
However, that was not nearly fast enough and another one was teleported in to asses the sitution... and kill everything he finds.
"The theme of today's lecture is Supreme Vampires. Please open your notes from the previous lecture about Elder Vampires, and find the phrase "never cross an Elder Vampire", and copy this sentence to new page, changing "Elder" to "Supreme" and adding "ever" after the word "never". Everybody manage that? Splendid! Thus concludes today's lecture.
(From "On Supreme Vampires," a lecture by Necromaster Barbaross the Deceased)
A murder later, the Svart had already trashed some monsters and elves, found a magic mask and pressed into service an extremely old vampire.
So that's where the old fool is hiding? Well, we'll show him how to side with Usurper