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Saturday, March 13, 2010

3.2.14.5. Rise and Fall of the Paladins - Part 1



Some time back, the Arcadians are outnumbered. Everywhere in the city, more and more citizens and soldiers fall victim to the superior, brutal forces. The city gates are all open, and a multitude more of soldiers and creatures of darkness storm into the city. The citizens are like lambs for slaughter, and each soldier must fight three or four undead at once.

Sir Harman and some Arcadian knights lead the defense of the castle walls. The ballistae and archers shot through a few winged demons and harpies, but causing more damage to the city buildings too.

An Arcadian Knight complaints, ‘They attack so suddenly! We didn’t even have a chance to call the griffin riders!’

The captain of the palace guards comments, ‘But, where’s Dejan? He’s supposed to help us here in the fight.’

‘As an eagle or a wolf? I don’t think so. He won’t be much help here. So, he went off by himself to find help,’ says Sir Harman.

‘I hope help will come soon. If not, we’ll be finished. Moreover, it’ll be night soon, so the flyers will be more difficult to hit...,’ says the knight, shivering in dread.

The officers stop talking at once when a winged demon shoots a fireball, smashing a ballista nearby. Another demon also shots and makes a big crack on the castle wall.

Come on, Paladins, Sir Harman wishes in his thoughts. Finish your fight there and come here to help us. We won’t hold out much longer.

The harpies and demons keep on storming. They also target the troops in the city. Sir Eldric who leads the Lorean soldiers outside the castle walls fights bravely, befitting his nickname, the Diehard. He even single-handedly slays an abomy *). The Succubus Queen sees that feat from above and shrieks to the harpies near her. And then, they dive almost altogether.


(* Abomy: Undead giant who likes to devour corpses and grows abnormally, abominably fat from undigested flesh and blood within.

Eldric sees that and sweeps his Claymore upwards, splitting a harpy in half. The second harpy grabs his helmet with her claws, and Eldric thrusts into that winged monster’s gut. Blood sprays through his helmet visor, into his eyes. Before he can do anything about it, someone grabs him from the back. It’s the Succubus Queen!

The next thing he knows is he’s being borne from his horse, up, up to the sky, and the she-devil takes him flying away from the city. Eldric knows it. This time he is certainly going to die easy, and his body is going to be difficult to find.

Now, without Eldric, the Loreans and Arcadians’ morale drop, and the Dark Forces charge on forward to total victory. The defenders are overwhelmed.

Suddenly, something breaks out from the palace through the windows. Sir Harman and the knights look back and see Archdevil Arachus. All of them lie down, terrified. But the devil just flies past them. He’s fleeing.

Shortly after, the Paladins fight their way out of the palace.
Cristophe asks, ‘Where’s the devil just now?’ and one soldier in the courtyard says, ‘He already flew away.’

Gritting his teeth, Cristophe looks at his own hand holding the sword. He raises Excalibur up high and then shouts,
‘An Avariel Aschi!’

The sword glows white, but no portal comes out. No Avariel, no Archangel, nothing!

Perhaps I don’t have enough mana for summoning him? Chris thinks, while Robert successfully summons his guardian, the Ancient Red Dragon Algaban.

Alas, the dragon can’t fly fast enough to catch up with Arachus. She only engages Tholocaus and other flyers. A big fire blast is enough to each the critters a lesson of not to mess with her. Tholocaus, however, avoids the blast and attacks her fiercely.

Amidst the battle, Chris makes a second attempt to summon Archangel Avariel. Instead of the Archangel’s coming, a voice is ringing in Chris’ mind.

No need to summon me. I’m already here with reinforcements. I’m engaging Arachus now.

Chris immediately looks up, and there they are! The reinforcements have arrived! From the east, come a number of angels and aelis flying in high speed. Behind them comes the Airship Aurora, shooting its ray cannons at the demons and harpies with incredible accuracy.

Not only that. From the south comes Dejan Pavlovic the halfling, riding the red griffin Acavela, charging on the enemy flyers. And he’s not alone. Behind him come an angel and the legendary Griffin Riders of Gryveil, the Pride of Arcadia. They are about a hundred strong, all riders wearing chain mails and red uniforms bearing the Arcadian Silver Eagle on each. Each of them wields a spear, a bow, a lance or a halberd reinforced with elemental aura. This elite squad is a rival only to the Dragon Riders of Borgia.

Dejan rushes to Chris’ side. ‘Prince Cristophe! Acavela is here!’ Saying so, he lands near the prince, who enthusiastically say thanks and rides his steed. Dejan then turns into a wolf and continues to fight.

The battle now heats up. Now the defenders are winning in the air. Sometimes, the griffins and angels help the ground units who are still outnumbered, bombarding the undead with explosives and aura blasts. The aid from the air units boost the troops’ morale, especially when a rider sweeps down and runs through two zombies and one skeleton with his lance, making a shish-kebab out of them with one blow. The troops cheer and attack more fiercely than ever.

Seeing this situation, the demonic general Tholocaus breaks away from his fight against Algaban. Just as he is about to rally his flyers, an angel attacks him. The distracted Tholocaus blocks the angel’s sword with his right arm – extraordinarily tough with his Armored Skin of Thorns – hooking the sword and disarming the angel. Desperate, the angel uses this momentum to move to Tholocaus’ back and grapple his limbs so he can’t move. As all the others are busy, the angel brings Tholocaus up and shouts aloud.

‘AURORA! FIRE THE GRAND CANNON HERE! QUICK!’

Quazar the centaur, captain of the Aurora hears the shout from afar and shouts, ‘FIRE THE GRAND CANNON!’

As the cannon concentrate the fire on the big parabolic plate below the figurehead, Tholocaus begins to panic and franticly struggles to get loose. The angel tries hard to maintain his position and begins to bleed all over by the thorns on Tholocaus’ body and wings.

Just as the devil is about to shake loose, the cannon fires! Dread shows on Tholocaus’ face – There’s no way he can avoid the Grand Rayblast. The angel, however, smiles on the face of death, singing praises to Vadis. The blast runs through both of them, disintegrating every part of their bodies until no trace of them is left.

The airship crews stand on their posts and bow their heads, in honor of the valiant angel, whose worthy sacrifice deprived the Dark Forces from one of their strongest generals. Knowing this, the fellow angels and aelis also sing their praises to Vadis because one brother is coming home to heaven.

The Succubus queen just came back from ‘processing’ Sir Eldric from the Diehard to the Dead. She shrieks upon the loss of her fellow general. Seeing Cristophe among the combatants, the she-devil flies to him.

‘Pay for Tholocaus’ death, you whelp!’ She shrieks.
Chris turns to face her, blocking her claws, saying,
‘Let’s finish what we missed out last time.’

So continues the fight between Cristophe and the Succubus Queen that started in Griffin Cliff.


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