OOC: Yesterday I was prevented from finishing the update by an unexpected call, and I'm still at risk of puking sideways. But I will finish this. I must.
By the way Gurt, your post amused me to no end. Boogity Boogity! ..I love.
The couatl vanguard zoomed in on Zul'Dare. Riding atop their savage blue creatures, the couatl riders could not help but tremble. One in particular, a certain Henry Sealance, pondered to himself how he had allowed himself to be drafted into the company that received training to mount these beasts.
His orders were even more worrying. His highness Xanthus Alverolde had ordered them to find and capture the rogue admiral Janus, who would supposedly be in charge of the docked fleet at Zul'Dare.
Henry wondered for a moment what Janus looked like, but then resolved the question by guessing that he would be dressed for his part as admiral. Hefting his spear, Henry Sealance led his couatl division in a nosedive towards the ships that swam into view once they passed over Zul'Dare.
"Remember our orders!" Henry tried to call out, but the roaring wind rushing past him drowned out any chance that his comrades could hear him say the obvious. The sleek, wet couatl beneath him was difficult to sit atop, but it would hopefully keep him alive.
Arrows whistled past Henry's face as the couatl headed for the deck of one of the ships. It was certainly difficult to steer the beast, but Henry did his best, his heart stampeding out of control with fear. The captain of the ship was distinguishable, both for his hat and his attire. Henry hefted his spear, and just as the couatl came short of the ship, Henry threw it. In seconds, the captain was down, and Henry was steering his couatl away.
It would be difficult to find and kill Janus, but Henry would try. He could see his comrades and their mounts spreading confusion all around him, but surely enough, arrows were finding their marks. Beasts were being felled.
Then Henry was hit, and his vision clouded. His last sensation was hitting the cold water of the sea, which claimed him.
Hours later, Caldwell and the Tirasian fleet arrived to finish the job. The fighting was furious at first, but the morale of the rebels was low, and for the most part, they surrendered. It seemed that Xanthus had likely resolved the conflict.
Caldwell walked up to Xanthus on the deck of their flagship, and saluted. "My lord, amongst the prisoners is no sign of Janus. We do know that some rebels have fled inland. One of the captains of the enemy ships swears that Janus has taken flight to hide in Seashire, condemning the rebel fleet to burn."
This would be vital news for Thaumas to hear, surely, Xanthus mused. The Hesperian town of Seashire - Janus would have to be very well hidden to evade the authorities there. Unless, of course, it was all a lie and Janus was hiding amidst the citizens of the island of Zul'Dare.
Battle of Ambermill
The struggle had died down once the legion of Dalaran began to withdraw its soldiers. With the attackers on the defensive, Grigori Dosantos and Thomassy called an emergency meeting.
The archmagi of the Kirin Mora convened with Thomassy in the town hall of Ambermill. Saadhal, the blind magus, was finally in attendance. "We've won a phyrric victory, my friends." Grigori announced gravely. "Though we protected both the port and the city and drove them into a retreat, do you wish to comprehend our losses?"
Saadhal tried to slam his fist on the table, but being blind, knocked over a candle and cursed. Then he turned his attention back to raving. "We need a plan! Even if it means securing the fleet and using it to escape."
Thomassy remained brooding. His illusion had helped turn the tide, but a powerful enemy archmage had worked from behind the lines to counter it. It had taken her time and had left her too weak to confront him. It was, perhaps, the effort of maintaining the grand illusion which had caused it to fail.
Grigori raised his hands for silence. "But I have news. Mattheus Perinany has called for a meeting with me. The fabled Perinany Legion is on the march. Just as surely as Dalaran might receive reinforcements, we may too, if I do things right. I will leave Thomassy and Saadhal in charge, for I leave immediately to convene with Mattheus Perinany."
The thought of Grigori's absence unnerved Thomassy. Immediately, many of the archmagi began trying to talk over the other, outraged and bickering. Grigori ignored them, and left for the stables. Thomassy would have to decide the next move.
By morning, General Marius and Augusta stood at the rear of their army gazing out in the direction of Hesperia. Dalaran's spires gleamed in the far flung distance. Marius smiled as he returned his gaze to the columns of soldiers drawing nearer from the verdant horizon. They were no doubt the reinforcements under Count Dorian. "What will our next move be, General?" Augusta asked. "Dorian will be here by nightfall." "I suppose that does depend on what the Kirin Mora try to pull off next, if anything." Marius said with a grunt. "But no matter. Let them try."
Hellen von Xie and her Nightslayers were on the move. It had been an uneventful trek, but things were bound to finally get interesting. They managed to get past the Eastern Legion without a problem, as it was not camped around the entire town. Sneaking through the streets, Hellen led the heavily disguised troupe towards the central building in the main square. It was the standard town hall under the shadow of a cathedral.
The task would be simple. To assassinate Alterac's agents. If Gabranth thought he could meddle where he was not welcome, then Hellen would have something to say about that. If Lord Xie and Gabranth got particularly frustrating, she would have to remind them that it was only a matter of courtesy that prevented her from asserting her claims to the throne. As a distant cousin of the current ruling Xie, Hellen had escaped the inbreeding programme generations ago. Nonetheless, she still had her right to rule, more or less.
Her idle thoughts were distracting her from the task at hand, and she cleared her head. The Nightslayers had little trouble breaking into the town hall. Hellen secretly hoped that their informant had been wrong.
Ravenholdt had planted agents in most major cities. In Tarren Mill, one of their agents had been a clerk. He had intercepted a letter from Gabranth hinting that the mayor was dealing with him.
In Hellen's mind, this resolved the matter. The mayor would have to go. The Nightslayers met little opposition in the town hall only until they set foot in the main hall.
Archmage Franek wanted to personally oversee the arrest and teleportation of the mayor to Dalaran. The clerk that the Hareveim had interrogated had told him enough to warrant this occassion. There was no way around it.
With a company of Hareveim and several of General Leo's elite guards, Franek had Mayor Juntridge sent for. They awaited him in the main chamber of the town hall. There was no other way out of the building, so it would be a safe bet that Juntridge would not escape. If he refused to come down to meet them, well, Franek would have something to say about that. "The mayor will be with you shortly." a young assistant informed the company. His eyes darted nervously, looking over the assortment of weapons that the strangers were carrying so casually.
Mayor Juntridge stepped in, wearing his nightgown. "What is the meaning of this?" he asked. "Mayor Juntridge, in the name of the Hesperian Alliance, you are under arrest under suspicion of treason."
The Hareveim grasped him by the arms, and prepared to teleport him out.
Sensing the magic that would be employed to teleport the mayor away, Hellen sprang into action. The Nightslayers were concealed, hidden from the officials of Dalaran. Yet, their cover would have to be blown to complete the mission.
A dagger spiralled into Juntridge, and then he was teleported to Dalaran.
"What the hell?" Franek cursed, swinging around.
[Cue for both of you to act]