Battle for Ambermill
General Marius observed as cavalry commander De Luca trampled a path into the port, throwing clouds of dust into the air. The faint cries of battle being joined were as music to Marius. This would finally put the Kirin Mora in their place.
Further south, still within view, the walls of Ambermill were under heavy siege. It seemed that an artifical storm had gathered over the heads of Count Dorian and his men. Bolts cracked and struck randomly into the tightly packed militia that had arrived from Hesperia.
Archmage Augusta would be at the scene of the spellcasting soon enough. The tide would turn. She was one of Dalaran's prime magi, more than a match for these lackluster rebels. Marius could not help but think ahead to the weeks to come; feasting in the fallen city, no doubt. Accepting a rich reward from Dictator Javali himself, and the gratitude of his peers. Marius would be able to spit in Leo's face, and finally prove whom of the two was the superior general. Oh yes, this would be a time to remember.
To his left, Marius could see the columns of his own soldiers heading into the highlands, from which they could mount an uphill defense against the threat of the Perinany Legion. With Dorian, De Luca and Augusta at his command, Marius was certainly a confident general that day.
Augusta did not reckon with seeing Saadhal again so soon. She rode atop her white horse, squeezing through the packed ranks of soldiers towards the city gates. Still furious at being tricked by a decoy atop the ships, Augusta was determined to deal with the real man this time, and show him no mercy.
She tried to teleport her detachment of magi behind the walls of Ambermill, but was met by magical resistance. Saadhal glared down at her from the walls, amidst the storm of magical energy battering Dorian's troops. Then they brought forth the battering ram, and were up against the gates like the ocean upon a cliff.
Miles away, a thundering battalion of heavily armed and armoured Perinany Legionnaires were making their way to the city of Ambermill. Under the supervision of Mageriff, one of the most feared of the company. At his side was Grigori Dosantos, shadows under his eyes and a ravenous thirst aching his body. Mageriff had not spared him any of the company's water. Grigori knew that conjured foods and drinks were only so sustaining. Magic was not as nutritious in the long run as one would think.
Finally, Mageriff halted on a ridge with a perfect view of the battle below. Rising even higher above the Legion were the highlands which separated Silverpine from Hesperia. They would pass under the shadow of those highlands to reach the battle. Grigori's knowledge of the area contributed to the speed of the group, and yet, as they hurried beneath the hills, a horn was sounded. Suddenly, a hiss reverberated throughout, and Mageriff only just raised the alarm in time for the Legionnaires to raise their shields. Arrows struck home several times, but for the most part they clattered off shields. "They're in the hills!" one of the Legionnaires cried.
That much was obvious. Mageriff sprang into action. "Lieutenant Ashaletine, lead the rearguard into the hills and ensure none survive to attack us from behind." That settled the affair. The young Ashaletine led the uphill charge, and Mageriff took them onward to Ambermill.
Once nearly upon the city, they came across at least a hundred refugees, fleeing West. They were led by several seasoned magi, and one young one who was no less skilled, and called himself Thomassy. These refugees were prepared to cover the Legion with magical support, and relieve the siege of the town. This had been their plan. To regroup outside.
By the time the Perinany Legion arrived, Dorian had long broken into the city. The Port had been taken by De Luca's men, and the resistance, though strong, had finally been broken. Nonetheless, it was evident to all that Saadhal had cost Count Dorian a great many men. In the town hall the Kirin Mora under their blind archmagus made their final stand. Relying on magic to replace his earthly senses, Saadhal took advantage of the shadows and of the evening light to strike at those who entered the town hall.
That was, until Augusta confronted him. Their combat was furious, but ultimately Saadhal's visual disability was his demise. Augusta distracted him with false hints of sound and smell, before falling upon the old man with dagger and fire in hand. She grabbed a bleeding Saadhal by the collar and hoisted him against a window in the town hall. She looked into his blind eyes with contempt. "When once I was your student in Dalaran, it seems that now, Saadhal, I am the master." "Only a master of evil, Augusta." Augusta's grip on Saadhal was combined with the conjuration of a raging fire in the palms of her hands, which blasted the blind magus through the window and to his death.
In the hills, the Perinany Legion was met with the problem of an uphill struggle. Charging against pikes and defensive positions was no joke, and yet, it was nothing that the Legion had not trained for or faced in the past. They took casualties, as was inevitable. Many died, and yet, by the end, the hills had been secured.
Count Dorian had not expected the arrival of the Perinany Legion; his numbers were far superior, especially with Mageriff's company split in half due to the ambush. Even then, Dorian had taken Ambermill, and used it against Mageriff's men. Grigori Dosantos despaired at seeing the city fallen, and they soon contended with De Luca's cavalry arriving to reinforce Dorian.
All feared the arrival of General Marius, who came in person once Mageriff entered the field. Grigori, Thomassy, Mageriff and the Legion held their ground all through the night, warding off assault, but slowly losing men. By morning, the stalemate had been declared. Both sides had been forced to withdraw with tremendous casualties.
One relief came; the Legion reunited once the soldiers from the hills returned.
Together again, Thomassy and Grigori brooded. They were interrupted by Mageriff. "We have a problem, boys. The city has not been reclaimed; storming it would trap us and doom us most certainly, even though we are capable of clearing it. It has already fallen once. The city of Ambermill and its port are lost to us, and while we maintain a position here, they still outnumber us and can get supplies from Hesperia."
"What do you suggest?" Thomassy asked, straining his mind as it raced with options.
Mageriff shrugged. "We can hold this position until we are killed to the man, or we can try and retake the city, which may end badly for us no matter what happens. Or we could pull back. I suggest that you and Dosantos consider what you are trying to achieve here. My men are the finest in the land, but we can't work miracles."
In the city of Ambermill, in the husk of the town hall, Commander De Luca, Archmage Augusta, Count Dorian and General Marius had assembled to discuss the matter of the Perinany threat.
"Our hill forces cost them dearly and split them in half, but they have not endured." Marius reported, looking over his subordinates. "And now we have at least three-hundred elite members of To Khenan refusing to negotiate. I could offer their commander wealth, power and a place at Javali's side in ruling all of Hesperia, perhaps; yet he would surely spurn me. We must decide what to do with these Legionnaires before they can act against our best interests."
- - - -
Battle for Caer Darrow
The Prophet was faced with what he wanted to be faced with least. A combined front of Amani trolls, Quel'Danil rangers, Druids of Caer Darrow, a green dragon and the humans of Lordaeron under an infuriated Marshal.
Surrounded by the Benefactors and their lord, Kariel Winthalus, the Prophet had formed a defensive circle. There was a brief moment before the combat was engaged again, in which the Prophet looked into Jin'thek's eyes.
Jin'thek's mind reeled as he heard the Prophet speak into him. "I know what you doin'. I can smell your blood; I even know where your lieutenant Ba'jal is gone. You not the big time player anymore, mon. The pieces, they move without you. Beyond your reach. Beyond your control. I cudda' helped you against the Blood God, Jin'thek. He is the enemy of Mueh'zala, the enemy of Shadra. I could have cured you. We would have been unstoppable, taken Quel'Thalas togetha'."
Then Jin'thek was in a mindscape again, like when he had tried to communicate with the Loa. He felt himself float through empty space, in a nothingness of the mind. The Prophet was before him, and behind him, a great raging viridian cloud, murmuring and weeping. A cloud that must have been Mueh'zala himself, raging.
"What now, mon'? You turn to da elves for help? How will you take Jobal'kan without me? How will you get as far as Jammal'anai? You're a fool. Da' elf you just killed, Amron of the Maroon Cult, he wudda' taken Mizah'kan and been your ally for a thousand years. He was chosen of one of the Four Gods; Loa that you too worship."
Jin'thek found himself on the battlefield again.
The human Marshal had hacked through the Benefactors, while the Amani surrounded them. Fenthelan and the Druids were instead taking prisoners, tying them down with roots.
Suddenly Jin'thek looked to the edge of the ridge. The Prophet stood alone against the green dragon, Lethon. They were hurling magic against one another, smashing and crashing, tearing the land around them asunder. Even in his dragon form, Lethon could not draw near to the Prophet.
Finally, the Benefactors surrendered. The one called Kariel Winthalus threw down his sword, and raised his hands into the air to signal that it was over. The Prophet snarled, seeing the defeat of his men. Having defeated the Benefactors, the way to the Prophet was clear. Amani and humans alike marched against him. Lethon bellowed a roar.
The Prophet sprang into action, his body twisting, and he turned into a giant vulture. One last message echoed in Jin'thek's head.
"The Blood God has won today, thanks to you, mon. The Heart of Aether slips from my grasp, and my Benefactors are defeated. Hakkar will feed off of the blood of those slain in the Great War." The Prophet left, chased by Lethon. "If you want to find your lieutenant, go to Jintha'alor. If you want to find me, go to Ulmat Thondr, south of Zul'Gurub, Hakkar's ancient home. Farewell, Jin'thek. May you suffer for your foolishness. Your name will go down in trollish history as the one who led his people to destruction."