NaNoWriMo 24–The Siege

NaNoWriMo 24

Really pleased with my progress yesterday.  In all I wrote three of my normal sized chapters and pushed it across the 45,000 word count line.  This should let me rather easily finish by Wednesday unless I start slacking again.  I am not sure why but I really want to finish before Thanksgiving.  If I can knock out another 2000 words or so this evening I will definitely be on track.  I think pacing wise I will be there as well.  The main event that has been leading up to is under way, and I have a few chapters dealing with the fallout but that should put me well over the 50,000 mark maybe even 55,000.

Here is the story to date for those that want to catch up, like always super raw and super unedited.  Even to the point of confusion at times.

  1. Shadowed Stone
  2. Little Giant Girl
  3. Birthday Wishes
  4. The Gifts
  5. The Incursion
  6. The Watch
  7. Rough Landing
  8. Dragon Bone
  9. People of the Storm
  10. The Lady
  11. Cambridge Beneath
  12. Prisoner of War
  13. Woodbinding
  14. Parting the Veil
  15. People of the Earth
  16. The Pack
  17. Brittagus Escape
  18. The Lightskimmer
  19. The Nightlords
  20. Hagengarde
  21. Homecoming
  22. Reckoning
  23. Best Laid Plans

24 – The Siege

“Are you sure this will work?” The short valkore man asked as he opened the tiny grey box to see an even smaller orb contained within.  Shaking her hands furiously Pico pleaded “Be careful with that please… it is very sensative.  As far as if it will work, definitely…  what it will do that is an entirely different matter.  It should detonate on impact and disintegrate a bunch of those big brutish things in the process.  The real question is are you going to be able to drop it successful in the fog?”  Captain Barret looked incredulous “Egan is the best munitions man we have, he will do his job just fine.”  With the vote of confidence Egan carefully loaded the payload into the bomb bay of the skyship.  Looking back and Pico and Captain Barret “We are ready to fire”.

The ship glided over the top of the sunwall and out onto what seemed to be an ocean of fog.  The valkore stormcallers had crossed the wall hours ago and worked up a great storm providing a foggy cover for their approach.  Pico thought to herself, if only this sort of thing worked in the real world.  Being able to control the weather was a massive stroke in their favor.  When she was first introduced to Valkore, Bemel said they were the “people of the storm”.  That moniker did not really have much meaning until this morning, but they very much earned every syllable. 

In the distance there appeared to be a parapet of a keep jutting up slightly above the fog bank.  To her relief there did not appear to be a spotter yet in the tower.  As they got closer to the keep she could see flashes of lightning within the fog.  The shaman were doing their job keeping the Orts confused and engaged as they slipped onto the battlefield.  Their mission was to drop the bomb on the keep below, and then rejoin with the rest of the skyships attacking to the west.  For whatever reason the enemy had chosen to protect the western facade of the keep with their war machines, and what better to take down a siege machine than another one from above.

Egan signalled to the captain “We are over the target zone captain, this is the area where we have calculated will have the highest concentration of Ort backbreakers.”  The captain stared down at the gunner with a steely gaze.  She thought about the actions and responded cautiously.  “Prepare to fire on my mark”  She looked out over the bow of the ship to the storm swirling below.  She could see large shapes half forced in the mists, and as they glided over a large mass of these she gave the order “Fire!”.  The gunner released the clutch that held the payload in its place screaming at the top of his lungs “Brace for shockwave!”

The little orb drifted down through the cloud bank plummeting towards the rocky earth below.  When it landed there was not much of a reaction at first, and then as though the boat had hit a giant wave it was pushed upwards and back riding the cloudbank.  Pico rushed to the front of the boat and watched as a ring of fog rose up away from the ground and then from the center there came a giant thrust upwards in the bank.  As the fog started to dissipate she saw a great empty void in the forces below.  As though they had simply been erased from existence.  On the edges of the blast radius she saw orts cut in half, missing limbs, as though the force of the tiny bomb had simply deleted parts of their bodies.  The weapon had worked better than she could have ever imagined.

On the ground the brutes were scrambling, completely confused by what had just happened.  No magic of the wildlands was capable of doing that.  It was all that Varus could do to keep the beasts from routing.  “Stay together!  We have to regroup, there are more things than that in the fog.”  The gorund general shouted as a peal of thunder shook the area and a lightning bolt struck an ort not two feet in front of him sending it to the ground in a sizzling pile.  He could not wrap his head around what had just happened but he fought hard to keep the meat beasts in line.  Baigan had clearly underestimated the level of resistance.  If they failed he hoped his assassin could dispatch the traitor quickly and they could make their escape.

Bemel heard the explosion of the bomb hitting and felt the wave of force rolling backwards towards his forces.  In the attack plan, he had been tasked at leading a force of Elfen archers to act as a protective cover for the Stormcallers striking out from behind him.  They had done an amazing job at confusing the Orts, and real resistance was crumbling around him.  To the left the Sasquatch warriors were advancing on the keep with Torklah and his rock shaman following behind.  The shaman gifted in the ways of earth were erecting physical obstacles to protect the charging warriors.  The way the two of them worked together was truly amazing to watch.

Bemel saw an Ort emerging from the mist charging towards his group.  He nocked an arrow, drawing it back slowly.  He stopped his breathing for a moment and let the arrow fly.  It soared over the battlefield trails of fog spinning off the fletchings behind it.  It struck the Ort squarely between the eyes sending it collapsing on its own weight, causing the one coming up behind it to trip and fall as well.  The Ortan were powerful, but they lacked any grace of battle.  His elfen brethren loosed their own arrows, each one finding home deep within an approaching ort.

To his right Bemel saw the Valkore approaching with Morrow and Josah leading the charge.  Morrow looked almost gleeful as she brought down her big hammer to bear against the kneecap of an Ort who had the misfortune to swing at her.  She followed up with a grace that should ahve been impossible given her girth, bringing down her hammer upon its skull silencing its growling.  Josah sliced a path in front of him, the flashes of lightning reflecting off the dual spinning blades.  Bemel thought that alone any one of these forces would have struggled to defeat the Ortan horde.  However together in this makeshift alliance we were mighty.

When the Barret’s skyship arrived on the western front, the other ships were already dropping whaleoil bombs down upon the machines below.  The battering engines were blazing sending black plumes of smoke up into the air.  Barret moved the ship into the fray and Egan dropped their own whaleoil bombs striking a ballista sending its crew scrambling off of it to avoid the flames.  Pico looked down at the carnage in amazement and dread.  If this force were ever turned on her world, what would they possibly do to stop it?  She had to marvel at the cooperation being shown from so many different groups.

Behind Pico there was a sudden and searing light, it struck one of the skyships in the hull causing it to errupt in a shower of light and list to the side before ultimately crashing down to the rocky ground.  She spun around to see that a figure was standing on top of the Keep Parapet above the mist firing these bolts of what looked to be fire braided with lightning.  She had never seen anything like it.  To her left Captain Barret screamed “Evasive maneuvers” as a bolt of the magic shot out striking another skyship.  Barret scanned the horizon finding a smooth flat spot in the rocky ground “Signal all skyships to land, we’ve done our part.  We need to hide in the fog.”

The ship lurched speeding up and dipping down into the cloud bank.  Another ship was taken down by the magic but two more joined them below the cover of the fog.  They watched as the ground sped past them finally slowly as they touched down on the desolate ground.  Barret screamed “What was that?” Pico only managed to shrug.  In all of her books she had not heard of anything like that.  Whatever it was, it was able to decimate these ships.  Maybe there was some fight left in the enemy after all.  “Everyone ready to disembark.  Prepare for battle.  We will fight on the ground.”  Barret said as she grabbed pulled her sword out of her scabbard raising it into the air.

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