Chapter 21. Player’s Move

<<Chapter 20    Game Night    Chapter 22>>

(Sorry for taking so long. I’ve been editing one of my previous books. Also, time sort of got away with me. I saw how long I waited to do this chapter and I was like “Woah.”)

The appearance of two giant flying metal barge was intimidating; the spear of evil fire that was bleeding into the sky causing all manner of strange phenomenon, however, was fucking frightening.

Being raised in the military, Kollkie’s knew that one day that she would lead a troop into an epic battle against a mighty foe. She, like any sane person thought that the battle would consist of two humanoid armies clobbering the shite out of one another.

She had had spent late nights coming up with magnificent plans and overwhelming tactics. She had trained harder than most of her lazy male peers, and she knew that because she didn’t have a penis that she would be treated as an week idiot.

Kollkie had earned her station by spilling blood and knocking down all obstacles. She had resigned herself decades ago that she was never going to get higher than lieutenant, no matter how much she loved her sexist country or killed its enemies.

Life sucked like that and from the sight of the pillar of black fire it looked as if it wasn’t going to get any better.

What the fook is that?” one of the men under her command screamed.

Twenty meters away a purple frog in a top-hat landed from one the green clouds. Having fallen from an height that would have turned a normal person to chutney, it got on two webbed feet and bowed at a nearby flower, “Pardon me, ma’am, but would you happen to know where I might procure tickets for the Glass Washing Machine on Ice show?”

The elves stared opened mouthed at the nightmare that had rained from the sky. At seeing the talking frog one man went to his hip flask and downed its entire contents.

In a quick moment that took years to master, Kollkie knocked an arrow and effortlessly shot the creature in the abdomen.

The demon frog looked down at the arrow sticking out of it and then glared at the lieutenant, “Uncooth barbarian.” it said and hoped away.

Not knowing how she should react to the madness that was happening all around her, Kollkie’s was grateful when her subordinate pointed at a large group of individuals coming towards her unit like a large undisciplined wave.

Finally, an opponent she could understand. She viewed her enemy, half-expecting demons and all manner of abominations.

The lieutenant frowned at the mob. Her elven eyes picked up thousands of what looked like an militia. The ones up looked like corgs, those ill-tempered half-men half-ponies. There was also some breed of elf she had never seen

But what really caught her eye was the hundreds of humans in the mix who were running right for her, some of whom looked to be brandishing improvised weapons.

Humans were a pest upon the world. Raping, pillaging, slaving, hypocrites who multiplied faster than rabbits. Killing them wasn’t even called murder any more, it was civil service.

It seems our so-called allies have shown their true colours.” Kollkie’s said, “Form two blocks.”

From their numbers Kollkie’s doubted that she or her men would survive the first wave, but she would be dammed if she wasn’t going to die fighting.

Longbows.” Kollkie said calmly.

As one, her small regiment of soldiers drew their bows and took aim.

Take aim.” Kollkie said, though she didn’t need to, her men had already chosen their targets. “Fire!”

Fifty arrows were sent into the air and travelled further than what many would consider an impossible distance.

There were screams. Oddly enough, most of the arrows missed the charging centaurs and instead buried themselves into the chests of the stampeding humans. Men and women fell to the ground.

The invaders who had seen their friends get an arrow in them paused, not sure what happened. The centaurs, who had gained an incredible lead, didn’t stop.

Kollkie frowned. Her men had been targeting the humans out of emotion, not the main threat. “Aim for the charges. Now!”

All it took was a second for the elves to reload and take aim.

Up in the air, the large metal ship that had put a huge hole in the dome was hanging in the air. There was the sound of metal scraping against metal and the sides of the great flying ship opened revealing large metal barrels.

The lieutenant managed to call for one more volley of arrows before the barrels pivoted and aimed their attention on Kollkie and her men.

***

Men in Roman attire shot out of the wood, their shields raised and the moon glinting off their half-mad eyes and bronze spearheads.

They positioned themselves in a phalanx configuration, with their square shields they believed themselves invulnerable to whatever the heathens could throw at them.

Most of their numbers had died during the boat ride, their ships met with elven trickery and freak storm weather. But through what felt like the endless disasters they had crossed the sea and they had brought war with them.

They would go back home as victors of this strange barbaric land or they would soak the soil with both their and the peoples of primal world’s blood. They would fight their way through the elves and find the one who had hurt their little empire and their god.

An iron spear shot out from the encampment and cut its way through the humans, spreading blood and pain on its way. Three whole men were impaled by the shaft, their bronze shields and armour broke under the power behind the missile.

The Hercules as they had been known to be called readied their shields and prepared to spit death in its ugly face.

Realign.” The Hercule commander cried but by the time he called out it was too late.

A dozen arrows laced with an varying array of poisons found their way through the openings and targeted sweat coated flesh. Arms, legs, necks, and groins, all the elves needed was the opportunity.

The Hercules regained formation only to have the poison slowly eat away from inside them.

Men stood as still as statues as their muscles tightened from paralysing droughts, men with arms that had spent months rowing to this hellish wet world were of little use as they choked on their own fluids, hallucinogens caused fear and confusion within the ranks as men saw their worst nightmares standing right beside them.

One of the Hercules threw his spear at the heathens his emperor decided to cull and he was awarded with an arrow at his throat.

Vanasher saw it all.

All during this trip she and everyone else had proved their abilities over and over again, dodging arrows, swinging swords, and casting spells.

Just as they had promised, Jessy’s company had allowed the rumour to fly that their was gold on the move. A target that was so sweet that every bandit and desperate fool in Un Neill had come to their deaths.

Every night they came with everything they had.

Invading Hercules, Wood Elf bandits, Dark Elf pirates, thieves’ guild operatives, cunning tinkers, orphaned children, inbreed farmers; all of them came to take the gold.

Vanasher felt both gratitude and annoyance at Mr Black for absorbing most of the bandits in the area and promoting the rumours. It was a shame that Un Neill’s population was going to take a sharp decline so soon, but it was for the best.

Too many times had a tax collector who a merchant or wondering farm girl been harassed by the foul elements. Vanasher just wished that she could get back an soak for a while in her own tub.

As the Hercules reforming their ranks, the Royal Academy’s own students held their hands and combined their power and minds.

Reform.” The Hercule commander called before a globe of darkness encased his remaining men.

Blades made of telekinetic force appeared within the dense blackness. The elves couldn’t see past their own spell to fight the enemy, but then they didn’t have to. Within the darkness spell the blades began to spin on their axis.

The effect was similar to a pound of meat landing in a grinder.

Up on top of a wagon, Vanasher had placed a large spear thrower.

A few minutes later when the darkness dissipated and the screams turned to murmurs of agony, what remained was just one large bloody mess of twitching limbs.

Instead of immediately cutting their throats, the she-elves at the caravan allowed the humans to suffer for an hour.

***

Mr Black sat behind the decapitated head of Karga of the Oil.

Few people had ever heard of the small time merchant. He would travel from town to town selling folks his oils. On the surface there was nothing special about him, nothing spectacular.

The door opened and a scared looking solider rushed inside; he smelt like the floor of a tavern.

“Report.” McKellen ordered.

“Under the floor boards. Sir, its like…” the solider tied to collect himself but what he had seen and smelled in that room made him hold his mouth. The elf had thrown up and had tried to collect his nerves with the contents of his hip flask, but there was not enough alcohol in this world that would spare him nightmares.

McKellen looked at the headless body of the merchant, then his eyes turned to Mr Black. The man from the company was an unreadable as always.

“Upset that you have one more murder to welcome into your army.” McKellen asked.

“Negative. Karga was insane. The world is a better place without him. You’re opinion?” Mr Black asked McKellen.

It had been a few days since McKellen had elected to help Mr Black than try to stop him. Their partnership had been strained for a time as Mr Black hired more unsavoury elements into his mercenary band. But until he was given orders to do otherwise, he would continue to watch and investigate.

***

Somewhere within the dome, in a room that was saturated in black flames, a man flipped a switch and reality was given a wedgie.

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