The smell of blood inches thick on the ground poisoned the daylight air as if the Sun God himself was relishing in the battle of the Heartlands. The lushous green fields, the majestic elven ruins, bubbling brooks and mysterious forests standing in stark contrast to the vile, sweating and death filled affair which rampaged around them.
DESTROY THE ESSENCE TAINTED!!
The shout came from a tall woman with dark hair and narrow eyes. Her hands were tough and her muscles lean, probably from years of peasantry. Now, however she was proving to be more of a problem. Warryn and the Elven Armies had been fighting for hours now, trying to repel the Order of the Pure Heart. Most of the Elven battallions had been next to useless, their innate talents wasted and consumed by the amulets their human enemies wore as protection. Instead they were forced to fight upclose, where their weakened and forgotten muscles put them at a costly disadvantage.
The Pure Heart commander, 'Liarra' Warryn had heard her called, had fortified her troops within the ruins of some old keep or town, it was hard to tell. They had fortified themselves and every assault from the elves were repulsed at ease. Had they more time the Earth Elves would have burrowed under, or at least laid seige to infidels. But the Phoenix was in a deadly duel with the Cult of Eremine, not 2 miles away. Warryn's orders, as he was painfully reminded directly, was to destroy the Pure Heart and then reinforce the King.
Warryn stared at the fortifications ahead of him, last year he would have walked up the enemy, shield on arm and attempt to smash down their barricades. But the weight of responsibility had changed him, he had others to think about.
General, we have scouted the ruins, there is no way in that is less fortified than the other. The high elf scout bowed his head humbly and waited for his punishment... none came.
What about the walls? Warryn's monotonous question clearly confused the elf
The walls sire? They're made of stone... thick enough to withstand the strongest of magic and we have no seige engines, we even tested the vines and they aren't strong enou...
The vines? How many?
They cover the walls sire... but as I was saying they are too weak to climb...
Thankyou Imduil, join your troop, find your captain and tell him to ready an assault on their front as soon as possible.
Of course my General.
Warryn stared at the Eastern wall and smiled, he picked up his shield and strode out to the Pure Heart camp, stopping well within arrow range seemingly unpeturbed. He took a deep breath, and quickly checked himself.
I thought it would be good for you to know that within the hour I will be standing over your corpses, and you Liarra, I am going to rip that necklace from your neck and then bury you to your waist so that all will know you are half the being that I am.
Feeling content that he had given them fair warning, as was honorable he signalled for the attack to begin.
Hordes of Elves came sprinting up the hill, mired in blood and mud, lust for death in their eyes as they charged into the meatgrinder of the enemy.
Arrows flew from both sides, the fire elves incinerating them mid flight for protection and to cause maximum damage their enemies.
All in all it was a successful distraction. The Order moved most of their troops to the front, laughing at the slaughter and victory they were sure to behold. The Earth Elves however had other designs, Warryn and a few of his favourite mages moved to the east, chanting as they did so. They arrived at the unmanned eastern wall, their mumblings drowned out by the screams of the unfortunate.
The ritual circle opened and the battle was won. The vines on the wall grew exponentially, worming their way through the bricks, instructed and commanded by the Earth Elf mages. The stones heaved and fell backwards onto the enemy until a large gaping hole opened in the Order's flank, their fortress breached and their troops unprotected.
The rest of the battle was a blur, screams, swords, blood, bones, Liarra's mangled face and her incessant whining that the Earth Elf Coshwood would pay for his crimes. She died the next day, buried in mud and slashed to death by the crows and vultures which gorged themselves on the macabre feast below.
The Army moved then, to confront the new enemy. Tired, bruised and aching they shambled onwards, towards King and Victory.
The arrival was less than welcoming, the elements raged all around, storms overhead, fire and lightning in the air. The earth itself shook with anger as beings of power manipulated it without abandon. Most of the elves were dead, Erathils personal healer injured and exhausted was passed out near the entrance to the House. Warryn ordered the charge and as the words left him a lightning bolt arced across and slammed into his defences. He laughed out loud and then rumbled onwards, commanding the earth to slam into those enemies he could see. The first Cult follower he batted away with his shield braining him. The second, third, fourth died to his sword, the next six to magic... then he lost count.
The battle seemed to have stopped. The Army had battled to the centre. And there he stood. The Phoenix King, Earthil, Greatest of the First Borns. Everything about him screamed majesty, his crown, his posture, his clothes, his sword. This of course the elves were used to, and it was not that which gave them pause. The Army stood in shock and horror.
Blood! That's...BLOOD!! The fire elf was unfortunate then... he had not thought how damaging that statement could be. He was instantly silenced by the Earth Elf standing next to him and fell to the floor unconscious.
It was true though... Earthil was bleeding and the more Warryn stared he could see the variety of cuts, bruises and injuries he had sustained. It was impossible, nothing on Velmaneth could harm him, he was infallible and yet here he stood, mortal and weakened.
A flash of pain stabbed Warryn, cutting to his mind and slashing open memories then the words, Now Warryn, now is the time.
The Army had felt it too and battle resumed, the Cult and Elves alike dying in droves. But still Warryn stood and stared... if ever there was a time to defeat Erathil now was it, his servitude would be over, he would be free to pursue his religion. But still he could not harm his brother, his brother who had slaughtered his guild, turned him against Danahil. Family Warryn. Blood. The royal voice rang in his head again.
He was right, the blood on the King's forehead, that on his arms was the same as Warryns. They were kin, great beings, warriors.
He roared with as much passion as he could muster, and charged up the slope to where Erathil was battling Jazdu, bludgeoning four more Cultists as he went. The Phoenix king was hard pressed, he danced and his sword flashed beheading several of the cultists at his back, but at the cost of ignoring the god-like being in front of him. Magic flared as Erathils defences struggled against the magic, tearing his protections down one by one and breaking through to cause shallow cuts and scratches. There was a fire elf too, burning brilliantly, a Sentinel. She had done well and charred bodies surrounded her, Warryn knew from experience that she could not leave.
He was finally there, only ten feet from Jazdu, the Diamond Elf's eyes grew dark and the magic of stone rocketed towards the demi-god seeking to bind him forever in a rock embrace. Jazdu's eyes flicked towards Warryn and he could swear its mouth curved into a smile. The magic of course had no effect and it was then that Warryn realised his mistake.
There was a bright blue flash and then wracking pain, every muscle, every part of his flesh, tearing itself apart. Warryn looked down and screamed as his transparent diamond skin showed there to be a storm raging inside of him, lighting ricocheted within him, finding no escape and instead tearing apart his organs and bones.
Erathil leapt towards Jazdu and they continued their deadly dance, neither gaining the upper hand. It was however apparent that Erathil was weakening.
Then a cold and dark feeling replaced Warryn's pain, earth magic, from his shield slammed into his chest again and again and again banishing the storm and quelling the dynamo. He mouthed thankyou and then rejoined the fray shielding his Brother where he could and slashing with his weapon when the opportunity arose. At least the elves were doing well, the Cultists were able to retaliate with magic specifically deadly to their individual races but Warryn was not foolish. He had made sure that mages warded those of their opposite element before the battle.
Two minutes in their three man duel and Warryn was unable to use his sword arm, his right leg was almost shattered and Erathil was favouring his left suggesting the same. They seemed at the beings mercy and just as it seemed to attack again it vanished. Warryn grimaced... he felt ashamed to be relieved but he couldn't deny that he was.It felt like no victory, the Elves had halved in number if not more, the Phoenix King refused attention and instead claimed he had to meet with the Heroes. Warryn was left to consolidate the battle
As was the story of the Battle of Pure Hearts and Magic. No glory. No victory. No spoils.
Just Erathil's blood.
Warryn Coshwood - Diamond Elf Paladin of Gerethenax
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