Chapter 34: Machines and Monsters

Good evening! The deadly battle continues and we see that Lucio has bought in some new weapons to fight Rent’s rebellion with. Their power is like nothing seen before in this world.

Enjoy!

 

Morning that day was not a fanfare of luminescent brilliance, but a slow pale brightening, akin to the paleness of fear. And it was fear that whitened Raychel’s face when she surveyed the sky.

Three monstrous silhouettes surrounded the tower, settled in the sky.

Raychel quickly took off and flew toward one. One of the silhouettes turned around, and a single white hot blue eye glared balefully at her. The air in front of her crackled and she swerved off to the side. The machine was jet black, with a thick squat body. Claws of metal stretched forward over the eye, like gargantuan pincers, and thick arms reached downward to the ground, covered in a sickening blue purple haze. Further behind, four fins of metal branched out from a white light. The whole machine was so large it eclipsed the tower, and Raychel estimated that it would take her three seconds to fly past the whole machine.

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Chapter 33: Clouds and Lightning, Wraiths and Demons

I’m on time this week! This here is the second day of the battle, focusing more closely on the sheer power of magic- As you can imagine, these scenes were particularly fun to write. 

Neil

Sleep did not come easily to Rent, and it was with a spare hour of sleep that he rose with the next day. “Sir!” Garoque called out to Rent. “You need to see this!” Rent followed Garoque down the stairs to the entrance to the fortress. He gasped in shock. Before him stood an array of bears, whom he recognized from Utkar’s refuge.

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Dark Tower Interlude 9

As promised, here it is!

Lucio paced on the bridge overlooking the dark battlefield, murmuring to himself. The pale sickle of the moon illuminated nothing but the single diamond on his crown.

“My lord!” a servant said, stumbling in. “You asked for me?”

“Yes.”, Lucio said. “Bring the Director and the Captain to me.”

The servant left and soon brought back Tarrell Ward and Feragrim. “What can I do for you, your majesty?”

Lucio waved the servant away and bade the Director to come closer. “Is there anything you can do with your Flux to turn the tide? The bears are destroying my men, and the modified men are faring little better. The cannons are ripping the formations apart as well.”

“I can attack the cannons, but I am only one man. I cannot use the Flux’s full potential.”

Lucio shrugged. “We know nothing of their formation. I suspect the eagles are involved too, and there seem to be some… monkeys… operating the cannons.

“They would have a detachment of Librarians, I would think, if Scrimm is there”, the Director pointed out. “If all of them concentrated on defeating me, they would win.”

Lucio said nothing and dismissed the Director.

Feragrim spoke up, “You are aware that you failed in your purge? Several elves remain.”

“Of course I know, Feragrim. Raychel and the other elves were the ones who broke out the modified elves, after all. You too are dismissed.”

Feragrim stepped out.

Eclipsius appeared again, a dark skinned man with cold dark eyes. “How are your efforts going?”

“They go well. I had originally intended to attack each empire on its own, but then I received news that that Lord Marvael had declared rebellion and allied with those empires. Now I am killing a bird, a monkey, and a bear with one stone.”

Eclipsius asked, “Who is Lord Marvael?”

“Some heir who missed his chance for the throne when I took over Silmaria.” Lucio replied diffidently. “He’s nothing.” He then continued, “Their armies are all in a joint struggle here. The civilians seem to have evacuated. I could find no trace of them.”

“This goes well, you say?” Eclipsius murmured. “You have lost more men than they have. Even your modified men are doing nothing.”

“I assume your war machines are ready. If not, get them ready. I have need of them soon.” Lucio said, ignoring Eclipsius’s admonishment.

Eclipsius shook his head. “Why not tomorrow?”

Lucio shrugged and turned back to surveying the battlefield. “Using your machines will bring sickening destruction. I only need them as a last resort.”

“You are aware that this is a war that you’re waging, right? You’re supposed to be bringing sickening destruction to these people.”

“And I will bring it to them my way.” Lucio said firmly.

As Eclipsius vanished without a word, Lucio’s eyes drifted across the fires kindled on the battlefields as the soldiers made camp and rested. Soon his thoughts turned to his goals back home, to his kingdom, to his elves. He had left control to a regent that he trusted not to usurp his throne, but still worried for his empire’s safety.

 

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Chapter 32: War!

I’m so sorry for posting this two days late- school intervened. This chapter begins our great, action-packed, grand epic battle (there really is not much else to say.) Stay tuned for an extra Dark Tower Interlude afterwards!
And thanks for reading this far.

Neil

The sun rose, bloody red. Vultures, hordes of them billowing through the sky, eagerly anticipated the carnage. Rent’s fortress gleamed red with the light of the scarlet sun. Its men gathered behind fortifications, and an arched doorway yawned, seeming to breathe in the very air. Two towers jutted out, framing the rest of the fortress. Upon its top, gleaming cannons of gold shone, so that the fortress appeared to be lit with golden fire.

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Chapter 31: The Last Doubt

Hi Readers! This is the LAST chapter before war begins, so sorry for the lack of action. But it’s a pretty important chapter for our characters, as they all begin to clear their doubts, with help from a wiser and more enigmatic Rebecca. Thanks for reading this far!

And I hope you enjoy this chapter, of course.

Neil

Jack paced through the fortifications, barking out orders. “That cannon goes there, and that one… no not there! There!” he shouted, pointing his finger. He paused and surveyed the battlefield before him, looking at the forest, where even now he could see the smoke from the opposition billowing into the sky, and then moved on. A monkey approached him.

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Chapter 30: Renegade

This is the 30th chapter, and I’m stunned that I’ve managed to keep this project up for as long as I have. I have you to thank for reading these chapters and motivating me! Also, I apologize for being a day late again, school is reaching its hectic phase. In other, more relevant news, Rent takes this small crisis alluded to earlier- that of the demagogue Utkar and the sectional strife within the bear clans- and manages it as best as he can. He also gives a speech! Next week is the final chapter before battle begins, so stay tuned!

I hope you enjoy this chapter.

Neil

 

Amid the ruins of what had been a forest, Rent stepped carefully over soot suffocated ground, accompanied only by Ragnar and Everall. The verdant trees stood, an hour away from the fortress, stood protecting them from this no man’s land that would be soaked in blood. As they entered the forest, weaving around trees, it was Ragnar who took charge, silently directing Rent to the stricken encampment where most of the bears stayed in refuge.

The noise hit him like a brick wall, after the pure silence of the previous hour. He saw before him a mottled brown mass that pulsed unpredictably, with colors ranging from jet black to snowy white. The movements were slow and unsteady, and the eyes of the few bears who were looking at Rent were lifeless. Rent felt the urge to rush to them and ask questions, but Ragnar placed a paw on his shoulder, holding him back.

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Chapter 29: Reunion

Hi Readers! I’ve been posting here for a few months now, and I’m amazed at how far the time has flown. While we won’t finish till December, we are about three-quarters of the way: Rent’s alliance, while not perfect, shares a common goal, Raychel has augmented his army with her own elves, and Scrimm has bought the full force of the Library’s magicians to bear upon this war. War will come soon, but not quite yet. 

Enjoy!

 

 Jack stared at the horizon, praying that each passing minute would bring his daughter back to him. After hearing from Scrimm about the recent events, especially about Rebecca’s destiny, he still had trouble seeing what Scrimm and the late Book Master and Lucio had seen in her. He only cared for Rebecca his daughter, not Rebecca the Child of Destiny. Shouldering his new rifle and loading it with languid ease, he let off into the sky a shot that rang through the fortress. With his eyes he observed its fall until it winked out of existence a mile away, exactly where he had aimed. He laughed in exultation, enjoying the friendly ease and power of the monkey’s rifle.

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