Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chapter 5, Part 3 - Army

The night of the new moon had come only a few hours before, heralded by a brilliant orange sunset. Porphyria looked over at Lethik Nardan, who she had met in Corna the previous night, and was now accompanying at the head of a small army of orcs on the road from Corna to the Ivory Tower. The two gogtzulu that Porphyria had summoned back in Halfmoon Bay flew overhead, scouting the surrounding area for allies of the Justicars, but found little opposition. Hours before, the gogtzulu had intercepted a lone man on a horse, but it had turned out to be a false alarm, although that fact had not been discovered until after the gogtzulu had nearly lobotomized him.

Lethik Nardan had provided about 90 orcs as soldiers -- he had dominated the leaders and key figures from two different mid-sized tribes from the area, and the rest of the orcs had followed their leaders willingly, if a bit dubiously. Porphyria had some concerns about how long the orcs' resolve would last once battle was joined, but was generally impressed at the ringwielder's ability to raise an army on such short notice. With luck, the orcs would be barely needed, anyhow.

Lethik signaled a stop. "The tower is in sight," he said, pointing to the west, where a tall white tower could be seen rising from the grassland, "if we move too much closer, we'll be in danger of giving away the element of surprise."

"Very well then," Porphyria said, "we'll make our final preparations from here, and order the assault."

Lethik turned to Porphyria expectantly, stating, "You never have said how you expect us to make it in and out of the tower alive. Nor have I heard from you what you expect of me."

Porphyria smirked slightly. "I suppose it's finally time for me to give up another part of my plan, although the extent of your involvement is minimal. Once we order the orcs to charge, and the Justicars are fully engaged, we will teleport into the Tower with the two gogtzulu, both of us invisible. Your job is simply to wait for my signal and activate a single rune from your ring there, then return to oversee the orcs, exiting by floating through the walls."

"Oh? And which rune would you pay such a fortune to have this one use of?" Lethik asked the question with a measure of disbelief -- he knew that the ELF agent was most likely insane, but hadn't before realized that her insanity extended to believing herself invincible.


Lethik considered for a moment before responding, "That'll buy you a small chance, but it's still going to be you and a couple of gogtzulu up there against a good number of armed Justicars, even if most of the Justicars will be preoccupied with their front door. You're not going to make it."

Porphyria's eyebrows raised, and she said, "Oh? Are you worried about me, ringwielder? I hadn't realized that we had grown so close in our short acquaintance."

Lethik chuckled, "I just value my customers, especially the ones who have more money than sense. But I suppose it's your life to piss away. Although I'd suggest you wear a little more armor than that, if you're at least intent on giving the Justicars a good fight." Lethik pointed at Porphyria's garb -- a simple peasant skirt and blouse, painfully not suited for protection.

"Yes, I suppose I should change, since we're almost ready to go." Porphyria pulled out of her sporran of holding a parageos and xyrikallix. Porphyria was changed quickly, and the chaos-forged armor fit her perfectly, covering her from head to toe in color-shifting metal.

"Order the charge, Lethik." Porphyria's voice displayed a hint of excitement as she gave the instruction. The orc leaders responded to Lethik's instructions, rallying their forces into a charge to the Ivory Tower. Porphyria watched as the horde reached the front gate and began battering the wood of the door with a ram. Porphyria gave a mental command to the gogtzulu overhead, who landed beside her.

"We're going in. Get ready," Porphyria whispered, affixing in her mind the image of the place she wanted to go, Coelwyn's study inside the Ivory Tower. She had only ever seen it through a scrying apparatus, and hoped that the image in her mind would be enough. In the distance, Porphyria could see the front gate of the Ivory Tower fall, revealing an army of Justicars waiting just beyond. Lethik turned invisible next to Porphyria and she followed suit. The gogtzulus' tentacles writhed in anticipation. It was time to go.

"Ia Yog-Sothoth! O Keeper of the Gate who art the Gate, O Keeper of the Key who art the Key, who walks between worlds and across centuries, I call upon thee to deliver me forth from this place!"

As the silvery sphere of Yog-Sothoth's manifest form enveloped Porphyria, she could feel the strange, disinterested intelligence of the lloigor exact its toll for transit upon her psychic energy, taking along with it the image of the place she prayed she ended up. The next moment was darkness, before the world exploded in a series of concepts and images.

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