flASH fiction Volume 3 Finale, Part 2
The Great Cleansing had brought all manner of outstanding sights to the world of Argaia. In humanity’s struggle to best the chimera foe, things of myth and legend had come into reality. The magical powers of the special few who fought for the preservation of mankind caused folktales and lore to manifest physically. Even though the war against the things created by the red rains was a violent and grim campaign, it had afforded those who witnessed the mayhem to also see truly fantastic occurrences.
The most recent outstanding vista was the sight of Rayward heavy cavalry in full charge outside the seal wall of Rustwatch. The Queen of Light had led her lancers on more frontal assaults than could be counted but this was the first time that she had led her army across a frozen ocean. With the Bone Sea made into a thick hard sheet of ice by the natural magic of Rin Northfell, the Rayward army had been given a direct avenue of attack at the great chimera, Hammurabis.
“Rayward, on my back and drive you lanced to the hilt,” Dimona called as her charger drove the point of the cavalry wedge on a collision course with the enormous chimera. There was still a far frozen field to cross before reaching the monster trapped in icy bonds but the Rayward army heeded their queen, tilted their lances and focused their aim at the twisted beast.
The rest of the united Argaian army followed in the wake of the Rayward lancers. While Amurai and Iron Men alike were all proud warrior stock, they did not have the practiced horsemanship of the Rayward army. Galloping across a wide span of ice was no easy feat to accomplish, even for the Queen of Light and her peerless cavalry so many of the other warriors had to take a slower measured approach across the frozen water.
While there was no man or woman partaking in the charge who was absent of righteous zeal and fervor, a reserved advance was well suited to the native Rustwatch force. The magic of Rin had solidified the Bone Sea so effectively that Coal and his Iron Men were able to mobilize many of their heavy artillery pieces and other war machines on the open field. The sky over the Bone Sea was filled with battle cries while the ice underneath was trampled by the hooves of Rayward mounts and the indomitable wheels of martial Rustwatch industry.
“If you let those Rayward lads steel the glory from Rustwatch today, I will break your bones on my anvil,” Coal shouted with magnificent command to all his soldiers as the Rayward charge continued to distance itself from the rest of the Argaian counterattack. The Iron Lord’s threat was answered with a thunderous primal call from the pit of every Iron Mans’ belly.
On the flank of the charge, a silent pair of images flickerd across the ice. One sinisterly warm glowing orb of violet energy darted over the frozen expanse like a legion of fireflies. Dancing alongside the purple flame was a dark shadowy orb. The thing was a absent of light and the cold of the Bone Sea could not compare to the bitter freezing void of black that raced next to the violet light. Together, Noah Redmoon and Saria Guideman barreled towards Hammurabis, as paragons of light and darkness.
Rin came to his wits after his whirlwind arrival in the realm of the Iron Lord. He returned to his feet after being flung from the deck of the Frostdale ship by the thrashing chimera. The pillows and blankets that had been conjured, by Saria to break his fall upon the ice dissipated and returned to vapor. The Frostdale boy readied himself as returned his efforts to holding the gigantic chimera bound in the ice. His magic battled the unmatched brawn of the beast and it soon began to wane as Hammurabis began to break free for the ice. “I can not hold the beast for much longer,” Rin pulsed with his thoughts.
“You need only buy us moments. We will be upon you in a heartbeat,” came a soft gentile burst of energy in the back of Rin’s mind as Saria answered his unspoken speech with her mind.
In the shadow of the great city, Hammurabis roared as it struggled to break free for the ice that held it in place. As it twisted and turned, it sent massive cracks shooting thought the icy plain. The sudden shift in the unstable ground was enough to topple many of the Rayward lancers as they sped across the ice. After much toil the beast was able to free its entire right side. With vengeance and malevolence, Hammurabis began chipping away at the glacier that imprisoned it’s lower body. With heavy blows form it’s pincers the creature knocked off chunks of ice the size of wagons wheels. The chimera was soon to be free and as it began to regain it’s mobility the thing locked in’s attention on the little shape of the Frostdale boy who could no longer keep it restrained. With a terrible cracking sound, the bulk of ice that encased Hammurabis’s lower half began to break. With enough of it’s movment restored the chimera was able to gain just enough range to bring a lethal strike down upon Rin’s head.
Hammurabis was never able to land a killing blow. Before it could smash the young Amuarai commander into a mess of wet red pulp, The Iron Lord came to Rin’s defense. More accurately it was the guns of the Iron Lord that saved the boy. The ominous chimera was rocked to it’s core as Rustwatch artillery sounded a deafening report and launched cannon balls, ballista bolts, heavy flack and all sort of projectiles into its bulky frame. The thick chitinous hide of the beast saved it from penetration but the sheer force of the war machines were enough to collapse the beast so that it’s upper half fell flat to the ice.
“Well done lads. First blood belongs to Iron Men today,” fervently shouted Coal as he watched the powerful weapons of his domain stagger the looming chimera. His proclamation was greeting with a round of cheers and victorious boasting from everyone wearing Rutwatch colors.
Hammurabis was felled by the weapons of the Iron Lord but the creature quickly regained its vicious composure. While its tenacity was restored mere instants after being suck by the full weighed of the Rustwatch arsenal it was too late to avoid further peril. The elder chimera looked on helplessly and braced itself for a maelstrom of an impact as Dimona Odinstar brought a regiment of Rayward cavalry crashing down upon it.
The Queen of Light let her magic flow unbridled and her lance was imbued with all the majesty of a lightning bolt. She was all the might of a summer’s tempest wrapped up inside the frame of a mighty warrior woman. She drove her weapon all the way up to the grip of her armored fist and broke it off inside the body of the chimera. Her strike was only the first of many. Every lancer that rode behind her stuck with glorious impact.
Hammurabis whipped and contorted after being hit by the Rayward charge. In its pain the creature crushed men and horse alike with its sheer size. The wounded flailing of the creature did not deter several more regiments of Rayward knights from ramming their lances home in its body. Nor was the monster able to avoid a second volley of artillery fire form the Iron Men. While the beast had begun to free itself form the oppressive ice of the Bone Sea not long ago, now it was bound fully once more as Rin’s wintery magic intensified and swept over all of its body. Soon the mighty chimera would be frozen solid but not before suffering two more savvy attackers.
Over the top of the Rayward cavalry charge came brilliant bursts of violet energy. Saria let her voice fill the sky with a wondrous soprano crescendo as she visited destructive illumination upon the weakened beast. With each bolt loosed from her fingertips, Hammurabis was beaten closer down to the frozen icy sprawl of the sea. The combined might of Saria’s light, Rin’s frost, Coals firepower and Dimona’s cavalry was enough to break the protective shell that encased Hammurabis’s head and neck.
“You are mine. Revenge and retribution. Today you lean them from me,” Noah Redmoon screamed as his shadow form flew through the air. He barreled straight for the opening that his comrades had created in the creature’s body. As a living shadow, Noah connected with the creatures wound with all the force of darkness. His blow ripped the very core of Hammurabis’s spirit from its body and flung it into a shapeless abyss of nothing. Light and life faded from the mighty chimera as Noah pushed his way through the inside of its body. The last surviving member of the Redmoon family dug his ethereal claws into the very life spark of the creature and rent it into oblivion.
Hammurabis was slain by the combined might of magic brought from five great Argaian cities. Dead and defeated the think fell, limp to the ice with enough force to break the prison that restrained it. Hammurabis slowly began to sink into the freezing depths of the Bone Sea amid victorious cheers and applause.
Rin, Noah, Saria, Dimona and Coal all gathered at the watery precipice as the last of Hammurabis was claimed by the water’s murky surface. They all stood in various silent contemplation as the world around them celebrated the great conquest that mankind had just enjoyed.
“I had thought we were done for,” Coal said scarcely louder than a whisper.
“It pains me to say so, but I agree with you. I felt that I would die before ever seeing Rayward’s Gate again,” Dimona responded solemnly.
Noah and Saria said nothing but they softly took each other’s hands. Their eyes told a story that reached through all know boundaries of sight and time. A royal energy emanated form them that could be felt by all.
“We have won in Frostdale, now we have won in Rustwatch. This is how this war against the chimera will be fought and won. We together will claim victory. We all make each other stronger,” Rin said with a weighted words.
“We are done losing to the children of the red rains. Now come with me to my city. We shall go to the Council Abby here. Let us all speak with the red cloaks of how we will continue this momentum and take back our world,” Coal said as he turned and began to walk back to Rustwatch. In his footsteps followed four of the greatest heroes known to Argaia. The Iron Lord valiantly led the precession of righteousness forged in flesh and blood. The Great Cleansing of Argaia was far from over but its course was now forever shifted. It had once been envisioned as humanity’s blaze of glory ride into extinction but now it beneath the grand metallic towers of Rustwatch, the campaign against the chimera garnered the promise of victory and hope born anew.