Salthiusar (18): Turn 15, Autumn 17th Era 66 (Common: 1246)
13th of Rain’s Birth, 17th Era 66 (Common: 1246)
The wall shattered as quickly as the blow had landed. Elves went flying across the city, and a fair few failed to arrest their falls, breaking bones as they landed. The night air was thick with magic and blood and death, with little of beauty staying out. Irèsp caught his fall, and turned to see a hideous wight, eyes blue and skin dead. One swift slice and its head tumbled from its body. Elves tended to master blades faster than men, yet few could match Irèsp. Having spent time on his bladecraft, with magic to aid him, it was hard to deny his power. However, he spent more on the magic that sustained the army at large, for that was their advantage. The undead host was smaller than they had expected, yet the host itself was unexpected. He fought on, and on, and on. Life appeared to seep from him, until, at last, he fell from life.
In the aftermath, all the attackers lay slain again. Every single one was piled and magically burned, a great pyre with smoke that could be seen from Megant. However, the cost was almost too much. The Order of the Guardians, the Protectors of Salthiusar, had been eliminated. Glaborel, Haeron, Slaér. Every last Guardian in Salthiusar had perished that fateful night, and Irèsp could taste their blood in his mouth.
Afterwards, the Guardians had been buried in crystal, as had Sialaat before them. Yet six Guardians remained: five in Likome and one in Kerin-Curan. They were instantly notified, and Irèsp could feel their consciences nagging at them, as it did him, to return to honour their fallen brethren. As the city mourned, and, under command from Calleis and Dalàth, every elf trained in combat for any future attacks, Irèsp went to the north tower yet again. Bypassing the magical wards and barriers, he went up to the last chamber, a great room of immense size. It was larger inside than out, being warped by no command of a mage. From inside that room, a rift of pure magic leaked into the real world, and was eaten up again as quickly. None could leave the room, yet the room itself changed under its influence. Irèsp cast a spell. It was not a normal spell, none could doubt that. The rift itself grew, and the purest magic came rushing forth. Yet the eating source grew in hunger to accommodate the extra flow. Irèsp left the room weakened and weeping.
The next day came as a normal day, except that, on a fundamental level, it was all very, very wrong. Every elf in the city trained as the day before, learning the arts of war from those who knew it. Dalàth had begun the Archiving, as had been agreed long ago. All were certain that, within a year or two, it would be decided whether Salthiusar would either fall or remain on Kolnur, so it was time for all knowledge to be collected. Every single scrap of Salth knowledge was being collected from the minds of the city, being stored in unbreakable crystals, self-sustaining and invincible. Bowels, well over 400 feet below the city, had been sung with such emotion that none had ever felt, and was ready. Each crystal was sealed away separately, and then further protected by spell upon spell, drawing from the crystal it guarded. When the world had been cleansed of the Shadow, whether Salthiusar still stood or not, the vault would be opened to the learned, and it was hoped the city would be reborn with this knowledge. If the Shadow took the world, and naught but cadavers and monsters walked the world, the vault was set to eat itself, turning itself into energy and taking as much of the world out with it as possible. To further the former, a Salth would be interred within the vault, to guide and teach.
Calleis had taken up finding the most destructive spells possible, aided by mages wise, old and powerful. They would never wield a sword, nor ride a horse of war; they would command the elements to crush the greatest enemy. Thus far, nothing greatly new had been found, though the research was coming along fast.
It was when Irèsp finally sat on the Second Seat that it finally hit him. Over 45,000 elves had died that day. He wept for them. 495 Guardians had died. He wept for them. Slaér was dead. He wept for his friend. The Salth saw little point in emotions, and most became hard and devoid of most feelings shortly after they arrived. Irèsp had sat on the Second Seat for thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of years. Not one tear had been shed since then, until now.
Then he woke. The date was lost to him, yet he knew as he woke that a terrible evil had befallen the city. The mage next to him, evidently his carer for the time, shouted for others, then attended to him, checking his vital signs and making sure he was alive. Irèsp sat up with energy that none of them seemed to expect. First came Dalàth, then Calleis, then a few others entered, then Slaér. Irèsp gasped as he realised he had only been dreaming. He demanded the date.
“15th of Rain’s Birth, Second Seat.” Came the response.
“The year?” Irèsp replied bluntly.
“17th Era, 66.”
He sighed, and let the others fill him in. Over 4000 had died in the battle, yet none had been Guardians. The city was well and surviving, though there was large damage to the western wall. Apparently, Irèsp had been there as the wall fell, and then fought on and on and on until he appeared to die. They had all feared that was so; thus it relieved them that it was not the case. Within a few days, the city had been restored. It would take a lot more for the mages of Salthiusar to go down, he knew, but he also knew a force existed great enough to do just that. He had the Archiving begin as a precaution, and ascertained the training every mage was to receive. Yet there was no capacity yet to replace the losses, as the training took too much to also induct into the free-floating military. Irèsp was sad for what they had lost, but was happier than he should. After all, who could not feel elated that his life’s work would continue; that there was yet hope? Such thoughts were not common to all, but he was content while he could be.
Not even five thousand had died in the fighting.
His dreams had told him over forty-five thousand.
-Against the Dark continues to be trained.
-495 Guardians and 45,173 Mages (451 Contingents – 41 Guardians and 73 Mages are taken from duty for a while to aid the city’s repairs and to wait for military strength to return, though are kept as part of Salthiusar’s standing force, to fight if a foe comes to the city)
-5 Guardians and 500 Mages (5 Contingents)
-1 Guardian and 100 Mages (1 Contingent)
Last edited by Septok; 08-03-13 at 09:17 PM.