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Hearing word of one of the Mask Of Winter's Abyssals marching his undead horde on the Marukani, Ranath, Markuran and Birds Of Trinity are riding out with 4000 of Rannath's elite Unconquered Celestial Legion of Righteous Glory to fight them off...

  • Birds-of-Trinity returns from scouting out the approaching troops and calls for a scroll.

<Markuran> ::Markuran leans against a boulder in the middle of the field where they've decided to set up camp. Idly he plays with a scapula, carving intricate designs into the yellowish bone. "Why did you bring them again?" his brown-eyed glance takes in the phallanx of troops Rannath insisted on

<Birds Of Trinity> When one of the soldiers brings one up, she pulls a pen from her boot, and sketches out a map at blinding speed, her hand leaving wispy golden trails behind it.

<Birds Of Trinity> "This is what their formation looks like."

  • Rannath is slumped against another large rock, wearing his usual red-silk outfit. "Mask of Winters is on the move."
  • Markuran spits into the fire. "Do you have any of your pastries left, Birds of Trinity?"
  • Rannath reaches out for the scroll and pores over it.
  • Birds-of-Trinity thinks about that. "Not very quickly, though. Spine chains are hard to steer. Did you look under the red bench? The one that's also a box."

<Rannath> "Good. The cannon have been placed and loaded, the men are ready.. All that's left to do is wait."

  • Markuran retrieves a pastry and pops it into his mouth, chewing happily. "Wait for what?" A crumb flies from his mouth into the fire here it explodes with a little *pop*

<Rannath> "Consider the uses of firedust cannons and trained soldiers."

<Birds Of Trinity> "Set the zombies on fire?"

<Birds Of Trinity> "That would be sort of interesting. Like a forest fire, only with faster trees."

<Rannath> "I think our friend doesn't realize that we're going into battle."

  • Rannath stands up, spear appearing in his hand and shedding small golden motes of light.

<Markuran> "We'd do fine just the three of us. No reason to have a bloody army."

<Rannath> "The odds are very poor that we could fight off twelve thousand undead and their commander by ourselves."

<Birds Of Trinity> "Someday, though, that army is going to be important, and not just to Rannath, but to the whole world."

<Birds Of Trinity> "Are you going to deny them this battle experience? Will we overthrow the Realm with a single green phalanx?"

<Markuran> "Maybe. But they'll sing stories of us in ten thousand years, not the army."

<Rannath> "The fame doesn't matter. The Realm is under the sway of a heretical religion that controls them through its lies. We cannot root out all that evil without help."

<Birds Of Trinity> "I don't follow. They will tell stories of us in one thousand years because we deliberately made battles more difficult for ourselves?"

  • Birds-of-Trinity looks at Markuran out of one cocked eye and blinks.
  • Markuran shakes his heat at Birds of Trinity. "No, no. Because the army is just a weapon. They don't swing stories about your sword either."

<Rannath> "My legion is not a weapon."

<Birds Of Trinity> "I do not wade into battle unarmed."

<Rannath> "My legion is composed of great warriors, mortal and Exalted alike. They fight for the glory of the Unconquered Sun and rush into battle to die for him and for us. You dare refer to them on the same level as an axe or a bow?"

  • Rannath seems calm, but there's fury in his eyes.

<Birds Of Trinity> "An axe or a bow can be a hero too, Rannath. My weapon gave its life to defend Creation, millennia ago." She pats the pommel of Ecstatic Plume.

<Rannath> "But he does not compare them to give honor. He means it as a method of dehumanization, to make them seem of less worth."

  • Birds-of-Trinity shrugs. "Regardless of Markuran's intention, I have no intention of wading into battle against a deathkight and an eighth myriad of his troops with nothing behind me but half my Circle. You remember what happened last time."
  • Markuran drops his scapula in the fire and stands. "When they line up in their faceless ranks, point out the hero. I think we should be going to fight now, anyway."
  • Rannath nods and is suddenly clad in his golden armor. "I must go and lead my men into battle."

<Birds Of Trinity> "Indeed. We will see you on the field." Birds-of-Trinity races off.

  • Markuran shakes his head at Rannath's back. "He is so very strange."
  • Rannath strides off to the front of the ranks.
  • Rannath stands in front of the soldiers, next to his white horse. His helmet is off, and the spear is in full blaze. "Warriors of the Unconquered Sun! Today we are once more hurled into glorious battle! On this day, it will be known forevermore that here on this field, the Deathlord Mask of Winters was stopped by the virtuous! We will triumph over the blasphemous undead, and forever be known as the saviors of Marukan! Glory to the Sun!"

The entire army cheers, beats their weapons against their armor, and basically goes ballistic in a very controlled sort of way.

  • Birds-of-Trinity shrieks a battle cry!
  • Markuran swings the Armsbreaker over his head and lets the Glory of the Unconquered Sun spill forth from his body, transforming the man of flesh into a man of light as golden radience pours from his burning Castemark and cascades down his sparkling white armor. Rushing forward head of the army, Markuran lets loose a roar of challenge that makes the undead quake in their unholy steps.

Spread out ahead of you lies the undeed hoard, twisted monsters 10ft tall with claws as long as swords, before them the spine chaisn twitch and craw like giant centipedes. Amongst the ranks of the dead there are bigger things visble too, capapults of living flesh being just one example...

  • Rannath mounts, raises the spear, and swings it downward with a flourish. The troops pour forward, as Southern fire arrows are loosed and firedust cannon roar, the projectiles flying into the undead ranks.

Many of the dead are torn apart by the gouts of flame, but they do not care, the losses barely drps in the ocean of the dead. They surge forward. Attop a hill creast a figure appears, clad in armour of soul and ivory, viciously barbed hooks covering it, twisting malevolantly. From his back rise 4 tentacles of blood, and in his hands he carries a massive hammer.

  • Rannath charges forward, Caste Mark shining with unparalleled radiance as he seems to become massive and terrifying. The flame-bladed spear carves out swathes in the opposing armies, as the cannons and archers reload. The army of the Sun impacts into the dead forces, the elite Fire-aspected infantry's animas igniting.

The catapults amongst the dead let fly with their burdens, and where they land there is chaos, the hungry dead rising from the impact sites, hungry for the blood of the living

  • Markuran charges ahead of the army, blurring past the lesser undead to wrestle with a Spine Chain, wrapping his mighty arms around the beast and, with a bonfire blast of light, shattering the siege weapon into ash and bone. As the decaying rain of the Spine Chain falls around him, Markuran charges another of the undead catapults as it is about to loose. The Nemissary in charge is dispatched in a flare of brilliance.
  • Markuran struggles for a moment as he lifts the catapult over his head and, chest heaving with the effort, hurls it into the ranks of the undead army.
  • Birds-of-Trinity weaves through the battle, leaping off of heads and vaulting on spearheads and saddles, slicing chunks off of the Mask's warriors as she passes.
  • Rannath doesn't bother with spectacular feats of daring or strength, preferring instead to cut down dozens with repeated strokes. Rannath is being incredibly thorough and methodical, hacking his way through the undead hordes while being supported by his personal phalanx of soldier-fanatics, the Golden Dragons.
  • The Marquis starts to bound forawrd, reaching the front ranks of the fight with suprising speed, the blood tentacles closing round people leaving pale corpses as the hammer smashes others away
  • Birds-of-Trinity eventually decides that this display of heroism is excessive, and finds a tall place to stand. Her sword suddenly blazes with purple-gold fire, and she tosses hot arcs of this at the army below.
  • Rannath spots the deathknight and immediately ceases his methodical slaughter in favor of a full-out charge at the Marquis. His spear becomes encased in a brilliant golden sheath of light, and his eyes burn with the same power.
  • The Marquis notes his approach, and starts to throw the blood drained corpses of his men at him as he charages forward.
  • Markuran shoulders one of the 10-foot monstrosities out of his way as he bears down at the Marquis's back, reaching out to wrap his arms around the woman and crush the life from his tainted flesh.
  • Rannath stands on the horse's back and leaps high into the air, as the poor animal is crused by the flung corpses. He comes to the jump's zenith above the Marquis, and plunges downward rapidly to impale the deathknight's head.
  • The Marquis bats the arms away with the tentacles, two reaching out to catch Rannath as he falls, snaking about him trying to crush
  • Rannath turns into a whirlwind of fire and golden light, spear spinning rapidly to slice the tentacles into pieces as he continues the plunge.
  • Markuran growls low in his throat and dives at the man's feet, catching him around the legs and, before the tentacles can interfere, rising to his feet and throwing the man straight upwards, into the path of Rannath's lance.
  • The Marquis screams in rage as the tentacles fall, burned to his side, new ones pumping out as he is thrown up into the air his hammer knocking the spear aside and Rannath away landing and causing havoc amongst his men
  • Birds-of-Trinity parries an attack directed to Rannath while his own attack is interrupted, causing the Marquis to roar in frustration.
  • Markuran breaks two more tentacles, hauling the gorey bands from the Deathknight's back until they splash at his feet, showering him with blood. Ignoring the spikes hidden within the dark one's chain, Markuran drives his fist into the Abyssal's spine with a satisfying crack of bone and blood-flecked scream.
  • Rannath flips in midair, landing on his feet. The anima display is titanic now, a huge golden bull bellowing in rage as Rannath dashes forward at the Marquis. His path is too fast for the eye to follow, only motes of golden light between the lines of his zig-zag pattern indicating that he's not simply teleporting. The spear is raised once more, and falls suddenly and repeatedly on the Abyssal.
  • The Marquis roars and turns his hammer moving in fast arc, smashing into the side of the bear warrior even as Rannath's golden spear pierces his chest
  • Markuran catches the hammer on the edge of Armsbreaker and slides it away, letting the swing's momentum do most of the work for him. Flexing his shoulders, Markuran gives the hammer the extra push it needs to send it spinning out of the Deathknight's grip and whirling into his own men
  • Rannath slams the spear deep into the Marquis' chest, twists it once, and rips it upward in an attempt to cleave the dead-but-alive creature's head in two.
  • The Marquis twists desperately back, bleeding from several holes now, knocking the spear aside then flowing as he closes his hands about Rannath's neck
  • Rannath is handily choked, struggling for breath as he struggles to bring the spear up.
  • Markuran darts one hand forward to catch the Marquis's wrist, hauling it back. Wrapping his other arm about the deathknight's throat, Markuran smiles and flexes his arm, cutting off the Deathknight's air as he tries to get enough grip to snap his neck

There is a sickening crack as the abyssal's neck snaps

  • Rannath throws the Abyssal's limp arms away from his neck, gasping. "Thanks."

<Markuran> "Thank me after we defeat the undead. Only the head is gone and that doesn't stop these sort."

  • Rannath snorts and wades back into the hordes, spear swinging.

Tags: (:tags Mask of Winters, Marukani Plains:)

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