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Sunday, January 17

City Under Siege: Part 6d – The Battle Begins

Quintus’ contubernium charged forward, following Roderick val’Tensen’s attack to engage the forces of his father, Adolphos val’Tensen. And just as he feared, Vlad was leading a canton in his direction.

The two forces collided on the battlefield with a clash of steel. The Milandisian cantons presented a thicket of polearms to the longspears of Quintus’ forces. The longer reach sliced through shields and pierced shoulders. Men screamed and cursed, but they pressed forward.

Then they were face to face. Quintus lowered his shield and drew his gladius, only to see Vlad draw Grungronazharr.

“Vlad!”

“Quintus!”

They locked blades halfheartedly.

“You’re fighting for the wrong side!” said Quintus. “Why are you following Adolphos?”

“Me?” Vlad struggled to push him back. Quintus was stronger than he remembered. “I thought you were loyal to the Emperor?”

“The Emperor is mad!”

“Menisis invaded our lands,” said Vlad, gritting his teeth. “You are siding with a conqueror.”

“I don’t want to hurt you,” shouted Quintus. “But I will if I must!”

“Likewise,” said Vlad. They shoved off, disengaging.

Vlad pointed and a blast of flames extended from his finger. Quintus muttered a prayer to Illiir that absorbed the attack.

Around them, their men engaged in a bloody conflict, parrying and striking, with neither side gaining the upper hand.

Adolphos and Roderick met in single combat. After an exchange of ferocious blows, Precision went flying out of Adolphos’ hands.

Adolphos fell to his knees. “Do it! What are you waiting for?” he snarled up at his son.

Roderick hesitated, blade raised. “I can’t!” he sobbed, lowering his blade. “You’re still my father!”

Quintus clenched one fist and it glowed with holy flame. He pointed it at Vlad.

The Milandisian held Grungronazharr high and the flames washed harmlessly over him.

The two stood panting before each other, unsure how to proceed.

“You’ve gained new powers since last we met,” said Quintus. “I’m impressed.”

“And your prayers are more powerful than I remember,” said Vlad.

They lifted their weapons to strike again when a tremendous explosion obliterated much of Enpebyn. The blast knocked armies on both sides flat. more

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:40 AM


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