I really need to have another double chapter day. I am still ahead of the curve at 11890 words, but it no longer feels like I am nearly as far ahead as I was. I wrapped up chapter 7 last night and would have continued but I felt like I needed to mull over the direction things were taking a bit before continuing. The first few chapters I had plotted in my head well ahead of time, now the story has a life of its own and I am just trying to tell it the way it should be. Without further ado, here is Chapter 5, still in much need of editing and revision.
5 – The Incursion
A bead of sweat formed on Baigan’s brow as he pushed forward with his outstretched palms forcing more energy into the opening tear. The slit of purple light began to sizzle slightly as the influx of energy poured into it. With a loud shaking thunder the tear cracked wide open, the room was bathed in a purple glow for a moment before the shockwave hit throwing Bai back against the carved chamber walls. They were through, he could see the mortal world on the otherside of the now round and pulsing opening. Looking around him he saw all the big dumb Orts looking down at him, confused at what he had just done.
“What are you waiting for you lummoxes… get through the gate before it starts to close” Baigan spit back with frustration. Slowly one by one the thirty or so Ort Backbreakers pushed through the gap having to duck to clear the opening. After a few minutes they were all standing together in a small cave at the head of a stream. As they moved forward they saw that the opening was a root cellar of sorts underneath a giant Willow tree. A sudden wave of realization hit Bai as he realized that this was in fact the fabled “Way Willow” he had heard stories about as a child.
That could only mean one thing… “The Queen will be at the end of this stream. Remember… everyone dies but the Queen. We need her alive.” The breakers formed loose ranks and began marching downstream flanked by their unlikely leader. Baigan felt absolutely tiny in this forest of 20 ft tall Orts, but also he felt the power that he wielded over them. He was their key to taking the summer wall and pushing forward into the Americas. The Trogish had a constant drive for warfare and that kept them constantly pushing the boundaries of their territory. Little did they know that this constant push forward would eventually serve his masters plan.
Bemel strained his ears to hear what had just entered the world, and after a few moments he heard the slow rhythmic crashing of feet entirely too large to be here. He glaced sideways at Benj whos cloak was slowly shifting around his body to form what looked like armor made of bark. Benj nodded “It seems to be an invasion force… no matter what we have to protect the Queen.: The folds of Morrow’s dress began shifting slowly to form silver leaf scale mail, and from her pack a hand mirror began expanding until it had formed a gleaming silver hammer. Josah was similarly attired by had a pair of gleaming silver handed short blades. Oakswurv instead had taken up his own ironwood stave that had grown into a silver creset at its tip and was now humming with a cold blue light.
“We are horribly outnumbered, and trapped in this hollow. They have the high ground.” Remarked Bemel as his own wooden lyre had grown into a full sized longbow. Benj nodded grimly at him “They don’t stand a chance.” This caused a rousing chuckle to arise from the group, but as they watched the first of the Ort Backbreakers coming through the treeline the faces went solemn again. Bemel knocked an arrow and let loose at the nearest Ort, hitting it square between the eyes causing the huge beast to fall sideways onto the next breaker sending both tumbling to the ground.
Morrow moved with a swiftness that you would not expect from a woman with her girth, and she lept high into the air bringing down her silver hammer upon a rock a few feet in front of the party. When the hammer struck ground it sent up a great spark, forming a wall of fire that pushed forwards into the oncoming Orts, setting a few ablaze and knocking a few others down. A purple bolt of light came leaping from within the ranks and it caught Morrow offguard knocking her back, the force of it extinguished the fire wall, letting the breakers push forward again.
“Morrow!” screamed Josah as he dropped his blades and rushed to his wife’s side. With that Oakswurv stepped forward and planted his staff in the ground, bearing down upon it with eyes shut the little shards of frost began forming around the crescent. Within moments the frost had become a swirling vortex of crystals. Picking the staff back up he whirled it around towards oncoming horde letting loose a rain of icy flechettes. While some struck deep into the hides of the encroaching brutes, they were for the most part ignored. The pack came to a halt at the edge of the treeline as though waiting on an order.
Stepping out from behind the pack was a wispy man cloaked in black with his own version of Oakswurv’s stave. A sudden wave of realization swept Oaks face as the man peeled back his hood and show a very familiar face. “Baigan… what have you done…”.he mumbled as he dropped his stave, pained look washing over his face. The other started to chuckle and it echoed throughout the now silent hollow. “I am freeing us of the yoke of summer father.” With a swipe of his own staff he knocked back Benj a few feet a with another swipe knocked away Bemel who had been readying another arrow. “We were born to rule Father, not bow like subservient dogs. I have found a way to be free of these fools.”
“Bai.. you don’t know what you are doing.” mutter Oakswurv his voice quavering. A look of sheer hatred washed across the others face. “No father… it is YOU who do not know. It is you who have allowed ourselves to wither and die under the thumb of Summer. It is you… that must stop” screamed Baigan who sudden thrust forward his staff with almost impossible speed. It gathered the cold mist that had been hanging in the air and pushed it forward with a deadly purpose. As it moved it coalesced into a large spear of ice, which struck Oakswurv in his chest, driving it forward into his heart. “It is you that must die.” Baigan replied coldly.
Turning to look at the Orts, Baigan screamed “Finish these fools, I will find the queen” and at once the mass of blue flesh moved towards the others. Baigan strode confidently and with another blast of force from his staff knocked the old farmhouse door from its hinges. He pulled from underneath his cloak a crystal and cautiously strode into the house. “Bethilda, I know you are in here… if you come with me willingly I will spare your precious council.” Baigan yelled into the house cloyingly. Bethilda heard the voice immediately recognizing who it was, who had betrayed them.
Beth looked at Kale, taking her squarely by the shoulders. “I know you are special, I saw it the moment you stepped out of the house. You will be a great protector someday. No matter what transpires today… you must get Jace out of here. Within him lies a very special purpose, one that he cannot realize yet.” Kale gulped slightly, not really understand what this woman was talking about… but against her better judgement she nodded slowly. These strangers had been better to her than anyone in a really long time. She didn’t owe them anything,but she felt like she had to protect them. “Jace doesn’t know what he is yet, I know you have dealings with the Wildfae. Seek them out… they can help.” Bethilda pleaded. “Whatever you do… keep Jace safe” looking over at him lovingly “he’s my son, and the prince of summer.”
Jace welled up with a sudden rush of tears…but all he could muster was “Mom…”. She put her hand over his mouth. “No, now is not the time, you have to leave, you have to go with Kale. We will see each other again.” Bethilda begged as she pushed her son towards Kale. The big girl grabbed hold of Jace with both her arms in a bear hug, and like she had done many times built the tunnel in her mind. This time carrying Jace with her down the tunnel, and the world shimmered purple for a moment and then there was nothing but night time and the open plains that she had seen so many times before.
Bethilda steadied her rapidly beating heart and pushed away the wave of emotion welling up inside her as she watched Jace and Kale shift into the shadows. “I will come with you willingly Baigan, if you spare my friends” Bethilda called down as she began slowly walking down the staircase leading to the room in which Bai had been standing. “Well enough my queen, you know what to do… he said while stretching out his arm with the crystal held tight in it.” Mused Baigan with mocked reverence. Sure enough Beth did know exactly what to do, and as she reached the bottom of the staircase she very gently touched the tip of the crystal. Within seconds there was a blinding flash of orange light, and when it faded gone was the Queen. Replaced by an humming orange glow from within the depths of the crystal.
Baigan was a bit pleased with himself, this had gone entirely too easily. He stepped back onto the porch of the old farm house and was greeted by the sight of the council desperately trying to fight back the backbreaker attack squad. A few of the giant oafs had fallen here and there, but the majority were still putting up a fight. Morrow had fallen and Josah was fighting with blind fury trying to all too obviously to avenge her death. He looked down at the crystal “Oh you silly Queen, did you really think I would spare them” Baigan said dryly as he outstretched his arm and made a waving motion across the scene in front of him. “They too will all die today, just like my father did.”
Yelling at the top of his lungs Baigan barked “Kill them! I am bored of this place!”