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Chapter Five Act Seven: Kindled Ruin (Part 2 of 3)


Collygon

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Hey guys!

 

This is part 2 of act seven! If you haven't read part 1, read that first. I won't be making previously spoilers for parts 2 and 3.

 

Spoiler

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Stormcloak: It’s hit! Its wing is hit!

In the rear of the city, a small force is pinned inside the palace courtyard. After circling and spewing flames at them from the sky, the beast finally landed into the sequestered corridor, forcing the group to make a final stand.

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Tullius: Great shot!

Tullius exclaims his relief at Wuunferth, kneeling behind a brazier for cover. The court mage grunts, curtly, though sporting a confident grin.

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Since trapping them here, the dragon has repeatedly swooped up and down, snapping soldiers into its claws and tossing them into the sky. Every one that splattered onto the ground sunk their hopes that they’d be able to beat this thing. But with the roars of pain now screeching from its maw, an invigorating surge spurs them to fight.

Dennis: Now! Bring it down!

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Davey: Hraaaaah!

At Dennis’ holler, Davey and Mike leap from their hiding places atop the roof. Axes held above to strike. They plunge towards the dragon as it attempts to take flight with strained beats of its wings.

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Mike: Take this!

Hearing their cries, the dragon tries to twist up to retaliate, fumbling over the brazier in the cramped space. The stone cracks under it’s weight as it topples over itself, crashing into the snow on it’s back.

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Davey: Yeeaaah!

Mike: Oof!

As it bellows a desperate roar, Davey and Mike slam into its chest. The impact drives it further into the ground, pinning it in place.

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The remaining soldiers capitalize on the opportunity, charging at the downed dragon.

Dennis: Now’s our chance! Go!

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Wuunferth: Hurry! Before it-shit.

Wuunferth curses as he leaps up, readying another ice spike, hurriedly. A growing heat begins to emanate from the dragon’s jaw as it raises its head towards its aggressors.

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Wuunferth: Get down!

Mike looks up from the dragon’s belly, sweat beginning to drip down his face from the oven that has become his helmet. His smile is yanked away by a gasp as a blinding, red light engulfs his vision.

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Mike: Oh, Shit.

 

Spoiler

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Vigilant: Protect the barricade! Hold your wards!

Dawnguard: Incoming!

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Dawnguard: Watch out!

Vigilant: Shoot it! Shoot it!

The chaos of battle is at its peak at the front gate. The wooden fortification barricading the entrance remains upright, defended by the Dawnguard and Vigilant. Soaring crossbow bolts and infallible wards keep the dragons from bringing it down. But that hasn’t stopped them from trying.

A constant assault of flame and claw threatens the defense’s durability. The wards cannot stop the entirety of spewed fire as the tendrils lash around the magic’s edges. Multiple times has the wooden tower gone aflame, forcing the Dawnguard to halt their aim to frantically stamp it out.

This is their last defense against the daedric army, else they swarm into the city. The bridge’s destruction will only slow them down, and as the dragons continue to attack, the troops begin to wonder if slowing them down will even matter.

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Ulfric trudges into his city, following the rest of his fleeing stormcloaks. His stare falls to the ground and his heart weighs heavily in his chest. Galmar sacrificed himself for nothing. Destroying the bridge took out a handful of daedra, nothing more. And they will have no issue crossing the gap.

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He doesn’t notice Carcette’s expectant stare, nor Celann’s worried one until he nearly bumps into them. He stops and silently shakes his head.

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Celann: It didn’t stop them?

His shoulder’s sink, despairingly. Carcette acceptingly sighs, firmly nodding her head.

Carcette: There’s nothing to stop them now. The ward can’t be maintained with the dragons never relenting.

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Ulfric: I see. Then we have only one choice.

He glances at his companions, taking hold of his axe. They each nod affirmatively, drawing their own weapons. The three of them line up alongside the other soldiers, bracing in preparation for the moment the gates burst open.

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Ulfric: We hold them here as long we can!

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Ulfric: They will not take our city!

 

Spoiler

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Belyn: I can’t believe it…

Malthyr: Yeaaah! Woooo! We did it!

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Talen’s squad regroups with Taeyva and Torund, smiling and gawking at the dragon slain by their own hands. While the dunmer continue to pump their fists and elicit cheers, Talen turns to Taeyva, saving the celebration of victory for when they actually earn it.

Talen: We’re hardly making a dent.

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Talen: There are still multiple dragons in the city. Eventually they’ll figure out they just need to stay in the sky. What do we do?

Taeyva huffs, her eyes never leaving the corpse.

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Taeyva: We can’t keep scrambling throughout the city searching for dragons to kill. We need to regroup.

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Talen: It’s too late for that. We have to hold the gate against the daedra. And splitting our forces keeps the dragons from focusing on the main army.

Taeyva begrudgingly nods. She briefly looks back, over her shoulder, and pauses. Then, with an urgent gasp, she turns to face them once more, a bewildered look in her eyes.

Taeyva: We need to regroup at the palace. Abandon the gate.

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Talen: What? Are you crazy? Did something just happen?

Talen gapes at her, stunned at the declaration. Though the fiercely determined glare she shoots him squashes his doubts. He nods, firmly. He can trust her.

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Talen:Hey, we’re regrouping at the palace. Enough running about; it’s time to reinforce the garrison.

Belyn: Let’s go!

Malthyr: Hoorah!

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As they express their eagerness to follow, Taeyva looks to Torund.

Taeyva: Torund. You need to keep an eye on Malkor now. I still don’t trust him, but don’t go trying to kill him, okay?

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Torund: I’m on it.

Taeyva smiles briefly before redirecting her attention to Talen and his squad.

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Taeyva: We’re going to the palace first. Once we group there, we move to pull the main force away from the gate, otherwise there will be a slaughter.

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Taeyva: We’ve been tricked. I’ll explain on the way.

 

Spoiler

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Malkor: Hrah!

Malkor ducks low, dashing to the side as the dragon lashes towards him. It’s powerful jaw clamps shut with a bone-breaking snap around cold air before suddenly opening again to release a piercing wail.

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Malkor arcs his sword into the dragon’s neck. The daedric steel cleanly severs the impenetrable looking scales, drawing a spray of blood. The blow sends the dragon reeling.

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It yanks its head up, frantically trying to dislodge the blade. As it does, Malkor presses it deeper, carving downwards against the dragon’s movements. With the added force working with him, Malkor drives his blade straight through the opposite end of the neck.

As it slides free, Malkor stumbles forward, catching his footing just as the head of his foe flops into the melting snow.

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A slow, warm exhale escapes the dragon as its life passes. As its body begins to crumble into the snow, Malkor pants, both bewildered and proud. He didn’t think killing them would be so easy.

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Malkor: Alright… Let’s keep going.

He peers up to the ramshackle roofs of the grey quarter where most of his automatons remain. From that height, the ballistae are able to fire openly at the dragons in the sky. Though it does require the centurions to protect them.

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He hauls himself up top, cautiously scanning the skies. The dragons have mostly avoided this area, but the one lying dead below him won’t be the last.

On the roof, two ballista skitter and whir expectantly. Their shifting trajectory moves away from the night sky and settles at his approach.

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Malkor: Not many left. Damn.

He huffs with a frustrated shake of his head. This fight will never end if he remains relegated here.

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Malkor: Alright, we’re moving into th-

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A sharp gasp flees his lungs as he catches sight of a figure in the distance.

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Malkor: Oh, no.

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Malkor: Cass!

 

Spoiler

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Mike: Oh, shit!

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Mike stammers out unsteady breaths, his mouth agape, his body not burned to a crisp. A massive icicle protrudes through the skull of the dragon that was about to hurl a mouthful of fire at him moments ago. Gathered around it, the other soldiers sigh in relief while Wuunferth lurks silently in the back.

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Mike: I owe you, Wuunferth. I thought I was a goner.

The court mage responds with a gruff nod, his attention taken by the dragon before them.

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Wuunferth: Yes, yes… They’re not easy to slay, but it can be done.

He trails off as he begins to scratch his chin, brows pressing further in thought.

 

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Tullius: We killed one, but there are many others. We’ve been driven back far enough. We should assist at the gate.

Dennis is quick to agree, urgently.

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Dennis: We can’t waste any time. Let’s move.

Davey: Agreed! We may actually win this thing!

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The soldiers beside them brandish their weapons in the air and shout a motivated cheer.

Tullius: To the gate!

 

Spoiler

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Stormcloak Man: Fire!

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Stormcloak Woman: Fire!

Volleys of arrows and bolts rain upon the daedric forces storming into the gate. Blood splatters across the cobblestones, pooling into puddles atop the melted snow. Daedra and man fall, accumulating as corpses in the narrow path. With every scream and holler, another body topples onto the mounting pile.

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Stormcloaks: Charge!

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Dawnguard: Hold the gate! Hold!

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Celann: Fuck! Stay back!

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Carcette: Hahaha! You’re next!

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With every daedra that falls, another one barges through the doors. Attempts  to push forward are repelled by a seemingly endless wave. Ulfric grunts, realizing he’s only taken steps backwards since they began holding this position. His eyes catch the blue and brown uniforms, now stained crimson, that litter the ground. For every dead daedra, there are multiple slain stormcloaks and dawnguard. And only one side is receiving reinforcements.

Orc: Hrah! Gah!

Ulfric: There’s too many…

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Ulfric stumbles back with frantic, heavy breaths. They can’t hold the gate.

Ulfric: Fall back! There’s too many! Fall back!

Immediately, the soldiers begin to pull back. Wild, intimidating swings and a final volley of arrows keeps the daedra from hampering their retreat.

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As they flee, Carcette stands her ground, bludgeoning any daedra who comes too close.

Carcette: Not if I can help it, filth!

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Ulfric stands by, waiting until the last soldier rushes past him before crying out to her.

Ulfric: That’s the last one, Keeper! Hurry, we have to move!

Celann: Carcette! Let’s go!

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Carcette lurches around, slamming her warhammer into another daedra as it tries to barrel past her.

Carcette: I’m right behind you!

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Carcette: Just go!

The screech of a blade piercing metal and bone pierces the air. Carcette cuts off with a dull gasp as a fountain of her own blood floods her vision.

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Carcette: Guh…

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Not another sound escapes her. The daedra doesn’t give her a second glace as it pulls its blade free.

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Celann: No…

Celann stops in his tracks, unable to tear his eyes away until a firm grasp on his shoulder yanks him.

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Ulfric: We need to move, Celann!

Ulfric’s holler is drowned out by the ringing of death and destruction around him, but Celann hears it none-the-less.

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Suppressing his tears, Celann turns and runs…

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…as the daedric army stomps Carcette’s corpse into the snow.

 

Spoiler

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Malkor: What happened, Cass? Are you alright?

Castalia clambers from the centurion, relieved to touch solid ground. Though the relief is short-lived. She clenches her jaw, letting out an infuriated groan. Not only did Gerruck survive, but she lost Elyvaea.

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Castalia: Yeah, I’m fine.

Malkor sighs. The aggravation in her tone is clear.

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Malkor: He’s still alive then. Damn it. So what do we do now?

Castalia holds her head in her hand, shaking it pessimistically.

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Castalia: I don’t know. Without Elyvaea… And who knows what happened to Erinye… I just-

Malkor: Hey.

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Malkor stares at her intently.

Malkor: This isn’t over. I’m here with you now. What’s your order?

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Relief flickers in her eyes as she returns his stare. She smiles before glancing blatantly at the ballista behind him with a nod.

Castalia: Can that bring down a dragon?

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Malkor grins.

Malkor: Heh, easily.

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Castalia: Good. Then follow me.

 

Spoiler

Celann and Ulfric skid to a halt, running into Tullius and Dennis as they run to reinforce them, confusion plaguing their worried faces.

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Tullius: Ulfric? What’s happened? The gate…

Ulfric’s jaw tightens as he huffs in contempt.

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Ulfric: We were overrun. There’s to many and they are coming. We have to hold them at the palace!

Instead of retorting, Tullius yields a sigh.

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Tullius: Very well.

Dennis looks to Celann, stricken as he notices their missing member.

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Dennis: Carcette? Is she…

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As Celann silently shakes his head, Dennis trails off.

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Ulfric: We need to move! Now!

Ulfric rushes towards the palace, waving them to his side. Dennis swallows his grief and hurries after him, alongside the rest of the soldiers.

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As they flee into the palace courtyard, Mike holds back, noticing Davey kneeling on the ground.

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Mike: Davey? We have to go! What’s going on?

He peers over Davey’s shoulder. Halfway buried in the snow, a black soul gem flickers in the fire light.

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Mike: What the… Is that a black soul gem?

Davey nods.

Davey: Looks like it. I don’t why it’s here. But believe me, it has to be important.

 

Spoiler

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Mike: Davey, this is ridiculous!

Davey ushered Mike into the Grey Quarter, secluding them in a collapsed alleyway. He steps into the shadows and begins shaking and tapping the gem. As nothing continues to occur, Mike grows more and more irate.

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Mike: We need to defend the palace! It’s just a soul gem!

Davey grunts, clearly focused more on the gem than Mike’s pleas.

Davey: No way, man. Why would a soul gem be randomly here?

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Mike groans in frustration, jutting his hand back from where they came.

Mike: It doesn’t matter! We have to help them!

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Elyvaea: It does matter.

The shifting, ghastly voice startles each of them. Mike nearly slips on the icy steps as he stumbles back from the transparent woman suddenly shimmering before them.

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Elyvaea: Please, listen. I need your help.

 

Spoiler

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Malkor breaths steadily, holding his hand against the ballista’s outer shell as the dragonborn approaches. It was easy to find him, or maybe it was easy to find them. Malkor can see the rage boiling in that man’s eyes even from his vantage on the roof. 

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He continues forced, slow breaths, trying to contain the escalating anxiety. He cannot miss this shot. Fortunately, he doesn’t seem to have been spotted yet. But only because the dragon’s sights are set somewhere else.

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Castalia stands atop a roof outcropping, exposing her position. She fidgets with her blade as the dragon soars towards her, though she won’t be using it yet. He won’t fall for the same trick twice.

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Alduin: Think you can take me down again, do you?

He digs his heels into the dragon’s neck, ordering it to charge at her. With a powerful heave of its wings, the dragon propels itself through the air with a deafening roar…

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…that bellows over the order to fire.

Malkor: Now!

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With a piercing snap, the ballista releases the bolt. It whizzes through the air with a shrill whistle, its tip poised towards the dragon’s neck.

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A harrowing shriek shatters their eardrums as the bolt puncture’s the dragon’s throat. Gerruck flails, trying to stay mounted as the dragon suddenly goes limp, plummeting from the sky.

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Castalia rapidly shields her face, bracing for when the dragon collides with the roof top. It shatters the shingles, crashing through them in an explosion of debris as it slides onto the ramshackle roofs of the grey quarter.

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Gerruck rises from the wreckage. The dragon lies dead at his feet.

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Malkor: He’s alive?

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Malkor gulps, noticing the livid glare directed at Castalia.

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He turns to her with a gasp as she already begins moving towards him.

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Castalia: This ends here.

Before Malkor can stop her, she leaps into a sprint across the roof. He curses under his breath, scrambling to make it down there, when a vengeful shout and burst of bright flame catches his eye.

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Alduin: To me, Dovahs! Yol! Toor-shul!

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Mike: What the-

Davey: What was that?

Elyvaea: That’s him!

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Elyvaea: Get me up there. Hurry!

To be continued in part 3…

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments


Recommended Comments

Oh. Carcette death was soooo brutal and realistic. Pretty much how I imagine it happens during the fight. I don't know why, but remind me of the "attack on titan" when the mindless crowd just trampled the boy into the ground. :'(  
 

Link to comment

Loved the placed given to the former antagonists Castalia & Malkor, as well as the teamwork of Wuunferth with Davey & Mike. Very cinematographic style all along, particularly in the gates' stand ; with always top notch screenarchery (I think the fire thu'um is a firebolt placed at Gerruck mouth for example). Awesome entry once again. :D?

 

ldyMRSUy_o.png« That story keeps ending at the worse moment. That's very aggravating, yes !

                   trev37.gif -> the end, for now.  »

Link to comment
On 3/6/2021 at 7:27 AM, Crw said:

Oh. Carcette death was soooo brutal and realistic. Pretty much how I imagine it happens during the fight. I don't know why, but remind me of the "attack on titan" when the mindless crowd just trampled the boy into the ground. :'(  
 

Thanks! That was tough to pull off... All the NPCs in that fight was crazy to manage.

 

16 hours ago, Jayomms said:

RIP to the Fallen. ?  Good Yob! That seems like a lot of work to put together. :sweat_smile::heart:;):thumbsup:

Thanks! It was indeed.

 

12 hours ago, Tirloque said:

Loved the placed given to the former antagonists Castalia & Malkor, as well as the teamwork of Wuunferth with Davey & Mike. Very cinematographic style all along, particularly in the gates' stand ; with always top notch screenarchery (I think the fire thu'um is a firebolt placed at Gerruck mouth for example). Awesome entry once again. :D?

 

ldyMRSUy_o.png« That story keeps ending at the worse moment. That's very aggravating, yes !

                   trev37.gif -> the end, for now.  »

Thank you!!

 

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