Protectors is the fourth chapter of Interloper War Season Two. It's a brief look at the events of Ordon, the events on the southern Twili lines, and a chance to catch up with key Season One characters. At the conclusion of this chapter, some characters move on to the castletown battle, seen continued in the following chapter.
Protector of Ordon
Raoul Ambershade/Protectorate of Ordon/5th Day
The Twili command post was relatively quiet. Messengers would occasionally come and go, but they were few and far between. Actually, there really was only one messenger, and Raoul could tell by his flagging pace and pallid face that he was nearing exhaustion. The faces of the rest of the men in the room showed the same fatigue. Raoul reminded himself that until recently these men had been fighting a war. And perhaps still were.
Three men seemed to be the center of activity. They were crowded around a small, recently repaired table that was covered with a small map. As Raoul and Captain Creed approached, they sprang to attention...or at least did a very gallant job of trying. One was standing only with the aid of a crutch, and another's head was swathed in bandages. The third seemed to be uninjured.
Captain Creed introduced the three men. He gestured the the man with the head injury "Men, this is the new govenor, Lord Ambershade. My lord, these are the members of my command staff. Lt. Gaunt is responsible for the seeing the area around the village is patrolled," He gestured to man with the crutch, "Lt. Methilda is responsible for the security of the village and logistics. And our lone unscathed man is Lt. Chanur is responsible for the internment camp. Between these three, myself, and my second, Sgt. Niun, who you met when you arrived, we do our best to make sure things go smoothly. With limited success to be honest, but not due to lack of trying."
Obviously two of the officers had been left behind due to injury, Raoul noted. The third had cold eyes and the air of a professional. A professional of what, Raoul wasn't quite sure. An internment camp was a touchy affair. He hope the Commander had realized that and hadn't put a psychopath in charge of civilians. They were now, or at least soon would be, citizens of the kingdom just like the rest of them. It wouldn't due to cause them any undue hardship. Well, other than the bit with killing their men and conquering their land.
"What happened to your lieutenants, Captain? You say your second is a seargeant? That isn't quite proper. Did he die in the initial attacks?" asked Raoul, prying for more details.
As expected, Captain Creed stiffened, and shot Raoul a dirty look. "No, Lt. Raithe and Lt. Kayen both offered to stay, but I sent them with my remaining men. It would have done little good to deprive my men of all of their leadership. They are with the Commander, assaulting the Hylian's captial," he smiled, and unstiffened slightly, "Sgt. Niun is a crazy bastard that has followed me since my days patrolling border of the Wild Lands in Kheyja. He stuck around even when the rest left. A good man."
Raoul nodded, and tucked the story into the back of his mind for later. Kheyja was on the far edge of the Twili Kingdom. It was a vast plain that bordered the Wild Lands, which were known for their instability and for the terrible creatures that occasionally wandered into more civilized areas. Raoul could remember many stories from his childhood told of the terrible battles fought in and around the Kheyja Pass and the brave men who fought there. Creed was apparently an accomplished soldier.
Raoul locked eyes with each of the men at the table. "Alright, men. Give me the honest truth. Can we perform the King's work here?"
Raoul Ambershade/Protectorate of Ordon/Day 5
The four men at the table exchanged nervous glances, and seemed unwilling to speak. None of them wanted to be the first one to admit the rather unpleasant truth. That was fine with Raoul; he could guess what it was just by the silence. That was also fine. It would make his success all the more sweet when he proved that truth to be false. And as a bonus, it would royally piss his father off as well.
"Alright, you don't need to tell me, if it makes you all that uncomfortable. I understand that you've been handed a relatively untenable situation. It's my job to change that. The King has requested that this land be ready to be formally presented to him a week after final hostilies end. Which means we have maybe 2 weeks, or perhaps at most a month if things go bad enough for our forces. We have until then to pacify this area. Lt. Gaunt?" The man straightened with a wary look on his face, "What news from the patrols?"
The man glanced at the Captain, who gave the smallest of nods. "Quiet, my lord. We run into traps on occasion, but most don't actually seemed to be aimed at us. Lots of large predators around here. Bears, wolves, and the like. We get shot at on occasion, but no serious resistance. The Hylians seem to be more concerned with getting back on their feet. A lot of them are returning to the outlying farms and settlements. We've been leaving them alone and for the most part they've been leaving us alone."
Raoul nodded. "Good. Continue along like that. Don't attack unless provoked. Lt. Methilda?" the man did his best to straighten with his crutch, "Do your best to start taking a census, and see if there are any property records. We need to discover who owns what. These people will soon be the King's subjects. I see no need to unjustly deprive them of their possessions."
The lieutenant nodded uncertainly, "That may be hard, my lord. The Mayor's resisdence was burned down during the initial attack. From what we can gather from the natives, it was the storehouse for most of that sort of the thing. Plus, for a lot of the properties, its simply, 'I am here, therefore this is mine.' Hard to track that."
Raoul nodded in understanding. "Things work like that in our own Kingdom as well, if you travel far enough from the cities. It isn't surprising. Do your best. I am confident that whatever you find will at least be useful." The man nodded, and even attempted to salute. Not an easy thing with a crutch under one arm.
"Sgt. Chanur. The Captain and I will be heading down to the internment camp. WOuld you care to provide and escort for us?"
Raoul Ambershade/Protectorate of Ordon/Day 5
The internment camp wasn't the worst place he'd ever been. That title was reserved for a little corner dungeon in the former Duke Cheesen's summer villa that he'd spent one summer living in as a child. That had been an experience that he'd tried to forget for many, many years. He was sure the Hylians would be doing their to forgot this place as well.
It wasn't quite dirty yet, but the dirt was quickly encroaching on what little clean space was left. Raoul reckoned that it would be another two or three days before the place became unbearable to live in. That was in itself a bit disappointing, considering the camp had likely only been there for three or four days at most. The Twili resources were heavily taxed, but whoever had choose the location either had either no clue about drainage, or had purposely put the camp in a place that would cause the most misery for its inhabitants. He wasn't sure which. He hadn't quite gotten a good reading of Lt. Chanur yet. Well, and he didn't know who had chosen the place either. No reason to blame it on the Lieutenant, if it wasn't his fault.
"...So, Lieutenant... whose idea was it to place the internment camp at the edge of a swamp?" Raoul asked, conversationally.
Lt. Chanur's default expression seemed to be somewhere between sullen and expressionless. Which was too bad, the women would have probably would have been all over him. It didn't waver a bit when he answered. "I did, my lord."
"And your reasoning?" Raoul asked, doing a fairly good job of keeping reproof from his voice. So the blame did lay with him.
Not that Lt. Chanur seemed likely to hear it anyway, if his answer said anything about him. "To show them our superiority, my lord. Doctrine for creating camps like these emphasizes creating a feeling of insuperiority and despair in the hopes of preventing uprisings."
It wasn't the most pleasant thing that Raoul had ever heard, but it sounded like thinking that Lord General Grem would encourage. And it made a good bit of sense, to be perfectly honest. And it thankfully gave him an oppurtunity.
"Assemble the Hylians. I wish to address them." Raoul ordered.
Captain Creed raised an eyebrow. Lt. Chanur looked a little uneasy, "About what, my lord?"
It was Raoul's turn to raise an eyebrow, "Whatever the hell I want, Lieutenant. Last time I checked, I was now the one in charge."
This made Chanur even more uneasy. "...I would like to remind you that this internment camp was created by the military authorit-"
Raoul interrupted. "Which ceased to exist when I accepted the Rod of Authority from Captain Creed. Unless the Lord General or one of his designated lieutenants is here, the soldiers in Ordon, for good or for worse, are under my command. And I asked you to gather the Hylians." ---------
Raoul Ambershade/Protectorate of Ordon/Day 5
The refugees at the internment camp were a dishevled and frightened group. Not that was particularly surpring by any leap of logic. It was, as Lt. Chanur had report, mostly women, children, and the elderly. The men had presumably either been killed, fled, or joined up with the remainder of the Hylians in Castle Town. That made things easier anyway. They'd be more pliable. Without their men, earning their loyalty would be far simpler.
Speaking of Lt. Chanur, he looked distinctly uncomfortable. Raoul had an unpleasant feeling that he knew why. The crowd didn't look too beat up or too hungry, but if Lt. Chanur's earlier speech was any proof, things had not been pleasant for the Hylians. Cpt. Creed looked a little uneasy as well, but that was probably because there were something like 300 Hylians and maybe 20 Twili. If the Hylians charged there would be a terrible slaughter, but the Twili guards would certainly be overwhelmed. Raoul was certain he could defend himself and the guards if it came to that, but it wouldn't be pretty. Not to mention completely contradictory to his goals.
"Citizens of the Ordonian Province, my name is Raoul Ambershade. I have a number of very flowery titles that follow my name, but the one that concerns you all is that I am now the Twili Govenor of this place," the crowd starting muttering angrily, but Raoul expected that and continued to talk. "I am here to promise you that we of the Twili Kingdom have no intentions of causing you more harm than we already have. And it is a terrible thing we have done to you. We have invaded you land and killed your loved ones. I make no excuses for what we have done, other than to say that it was war, and that kind of thing is all too common."
Raoul paused to take a breath and to try to judge the crowd. They hadn't been happy, and so far his speech had done little other than bring up bad memories. It was time to change that. "However, for you, that ends now. Unless we are opposed, I pledge that no Twili soldier will harm another native Ordonian. I will allow you to return to your homes and lives to pick up the pieces of your lives. There is no helping the fact that there has been a great tragedy here. But like it or not, Ordon is now apart of the Twili Kingdom," The crowd went quiet all of a sudden, but then burst into loud, angry chatter. Lt. Chanur twitched, and when he twitched, the rest of the guards twitched.
Thankfully, Raoul raised his hand to prevent anyone from making a stupid mistake. The guards, reluctantly stood down, and when the crowd saw that, they calmed as well. Pointless violence achieved nothing for him. "I cannot promise you that there will be changes. There will be. More of my people will eventually come, and they will come to stay. However, I promise you that what is yours will still be yours. If you hold property, it will not be confiscated. If we have or will take supplies, you will be paid for them. I will be fair, and my rule here will be just. If you have problems with my soldiers and my people, I will hear them and will, to the best of my ability, make fair judgments. I promise you this as member of the Twili Royal family."
There was a moment of silence, before a youth about twelve standing almost directly in front of them shouted, "How can we trust you?"
Raoul blinked, before smiling to himself. These were Hylians after all, not Twili. "Good question, young man. You may not know this and perhaps will not , but members of the Royal Family of my kingdom cannot go back on an oath, once given. We physically cannot. If we attempt it, it causes a great deal of pain. If we continue, it leads to death. Legend says that the first king made an agreement with some powerful Twilight creature and ever since then, we could not break an oath."
The crowd seem to be thinking that over. Of course they were trying to figure it out. Even to Raoul, it sounded far too good to be true. They weren't Twili, so it was hard for them to accept. He continued anyway. "As such, since I have given my oath, I ask one from you in return. If you swear an Oath of Loyalty to my King, you will be allowed to return home. No questions asked. You will be considered a full citizen. And you will have peace."
The crowd exploded. Lt. Chanur turned sickly green.
Raoul Ambershade/Protectorate of Ordon/Day 5 (Noonish) ------------
Raoul let the crowd roar for several minutes. Some of the crowd were angry. Some were supportive. Most of them were arguing amongst themselves. It thankfully hadn't turned into a full fledged riot, at least not yet. But he certainly had them riled up. People were far easier to manipulate when their emotions were running high.
After a few moments, he called for silence, and to his great pleasure, the crowd almost immeadiately quieted. They had at least recognized him as an authority figure. Or at least as someone they wanted to hear. Or perhaps they were just frightened he'd sick the guards on them if they didn't quiet themselves. Either way, it was a form of respect, whether out of curiousity, fear, or perhaps... hope.
"I will give you a chance to prove my honesty. If any of you wish to take the Oath immeadiately, I will do my best to hear and solve your complaint right here and now. I cannot bring anyone back from the dead," Well, he could...in a way, but he doubted that any of them would want to have a shade in their lives, "But I will do my best to address any of your problems and complaints."
There was silence for a moment, and Raoul was momentarily woried that no one would take him up his offer. It would be a major blow to his plan. Just one person would get the ball rolling the way he wanted it to.
A woman who looked about 40, suddenly began pushing her way through the crowd towards him, dragging someone behind her. Raoul watched her with interest as she fought, and then began marching towards him when the crowd realized that someone was going to do something. He saw she was dragging a girl behind her, probably her daughter. Or a niece or some kind of relative. The girl was fighting the whole way up, but the woman walked with cold determination, that caused little warning bells to go off in Raoul's head. Whatever it was, the woman thought it was serious.
She reached the front without trouble, and with a glance from him, the guards let her through and she climbed the short dias to stand before him, still dragging the girl, who had given up fighting as soon as they had gotten near the soldiers. Now she was desperately clinging to the woman, silently sobbing into her dirty dress. Captain Creed approached them and did a quick professional check for concealed weapons, then allowed them to approach.
The woman stared at him for a long moment before speaking. It was a calculating and considering look that Raoul was familiar with, albiet from distinguished courtiers from the King's court. It seemed as if it were true that Hylians weren't much for rank. He wasn't particularly bothered by it. He let her look her fill.
"You'll keep your promise? If I swear, you'll hear my issue?" the woman asked loudly and harshly.
He nodded. "I will." Now was not the time for flowery words.
She considered for a few more moments, before nodding. "Speak your oath, I will take it."
He nodded, and begin to recite from memory, "Repeat after me then, inserting your name where applicable. I, Raoul Ambershade, do swear alleigience to the Most Glorious Kingdom of Twili. I pledge my life to her service and to uphold her laws. On my life and honour, I pledge to honour her, protect her, and bring her peace."
The woman repeated after him word for word, then looked at him. "No kissing of rings or bowing required?"
He smiled tightly. "Not when I'm around at least."
She nodded slowly. "I see. Then, I present my issue. That man," she pointed at one of the guards, "has raped my daughter. I would like to see justice done."
Raoul Ambershade/Protectorate of Ordon/Day 5
Raoul barely held in a flinch. Din's Tits! This was exactly the sort of thing he didn't need. It was as if the Goddesses had deliberately dropped this on him in the hopes of making things more interesting. The Goddesses loved their games as much as anyone else. But all mortals involved, beware. They were kind, but they could also be so, so cruel.
"That is a serious accusation. Do you have proof or witnesses?" Raoul asked, pleased that his voice didn't shake.
Two things were essential for stability in Ordon. One was, obviously, that the citizenry not be in open revolt. The other was that the local soldiers not be in open revolt either. This was exactly the sort of situation that could disrupt them in the blink of an eye. He was too new a leader to defuse it with force of personality alone. This would require very very careful footwork, and a very solid decision.
Well, the woman had certainly taken his offer seriously.
"My daughter and I are both first hand witnesses," the woman replied with barely supressed fury, "And I have two others who will testify to the beast draggin my daughter away. There was at least one other soldier there, who could also testify, but I doubt he will come forward. The coward."
Raoul nodded and turned to Lt. Chanur. "Lieutenant? What is the name of this soldier?"
Lt. Chanur had somehow managed to regain a semblance of normal color during the past few minutes, and had discovered an undiscovered well of obstinance, "My lord, whether or not this accusation is true or not, we are at war. The men are edgy and prone to-"
Raoul slapped him, hard enough to knock him to the ground. The sound of it echoed oddly between the small buidlings of the camp. "When I ask for something, Lt. Chanur, I do not expect to be refused and questioned every step of the way. My question was simple. What is the accused soldiers name?"
Captain Creed spoke up, "It's Corporal Blachet, sir." There was a bit of wariness in his tone that hadn't been present before. Raoul wondered if he'd made a mistake. Oh well. The lieutenant had deserved it. And the crowd had certainly appreciated it, judging by their whispers.
"Corporal Blanchet, front and center!" Raoul ordered.
Vykos Osteon/Ordon Protectorate Graveyard/Mid-morning 5
"You can't just wheel that in here! Where are your papers?"
Vykos hated bureaucracy. After returning to the mortal realm after centuries in the underworld, he thought he could escape most of that rigamarole. As his cart of horrors was wheeled in by undead minions, soldiers on patrol gave him some flak, which he did not appreciate.
"I care little for your customs, mortal. My orders are from the Garrison to gather raw materials from all places of burial under our control. And I have no qualms about adding yours to my depository."
His Stalchild slaves grabbed their shovels and stood at the ready as Vykos pulled out a scroll with his elongated, fleshless fingers. His voice sounded gaseous and grim, though his face was covered by a beaked white mask. And his robes were of a deep black, embroidered with bale-thread from the land of the dead.
"By all means, I would love further resistance. If this ground does not have enough for me to use, you two would make fine specimens."
The soldiers took a few steps back, showing obvious signs of disgust.
"I know we've got some profane stuff going on, but this is crazy. What kinds of powers did we swear allegiance to?"
"No clue. But this one's a poster boy for 'em."
He ignored their comments and asked them one final question.
"You two must tell me if there are more burial grounds in this place. Humanoids, animals, I care not what they are. Talk to your superiors and get back to me as soon as you can."
Vykos motioned to begin the extraction, and animated two more mini-Stalfos to assist in this process from what materials he had on hand.
The soldiers walked off, visibly disgusted by what they had seen.
Raoul Ambershade/Protectorate of Ordon/Day 5 ----------------
For a moment, Raoul wondered if the man would actually step forward. Rape was not a crime treated lightly by the Twili in their homeland. Like most other serious crimes, it was punishable by death, life imprisionment, or for the worst offenders, soul binding. Raoul did not have the time or resources to imprision the man for any length of time, nor enough mages to perform a soul-bind, so the man had to know what would come if he was found guilty.
Eventually, however, the man stepped forward out of the crowd of guards and walked stiffly towards the stage. Raoul felt his stomach drop. To his finely tuned senses, the man was bleeding all sorts of negative emotions. It wasn't quite enough to prove him guilty of rape, but it sure as hell implied he was guilty of something. An innocent man would not be so terrified.
"You have been charged by a citizen of the Twili Empire with rape," Raoul began when the man finally approached, " This is a serious charge, Corporal Blanchett. What is your plea?"
"A-Are we going to have a full trial here, m-my lord?" asked the Corporal nervously, his eyes quickly darting between the woman, the girl, and the crowd."
Raoul raised an eyebrow. Was no one in Ordon capable of just answering a question? "While I would love to have a fair and proper trial, we neither have the time, the men, or the means of holding a trial. As such, I will hold a Judgement, as is my right as Govenor and a member of the Royal family. What is your plea, soldier?"
The man gulped, but managed to pull himself together well enough to speak. "N-not guilty, my lord. Several of my mates can testify that I did no such thing!"
Raoul rather doubted the truth of that, but shrugged. "You both have witnesses then? Good. Bring them. Lt. Chanur," he turned to face the Lieutenant. He was mildly pleased to see a rather large bruise forming there, "Get me a tent and a lamp. I will hold my Judgement away from the crowd."
Raoul Ambershade/Protectorate of Ordon/Day 5 --------------------
The tent that Lt. Chanur provided was cramped to say the least. The woman had brought her daughter, and two witnesses and the soldier had brought two witnesses of his own. Counting himself, his assitant, Captain Creed, and Lt. Chaur, that made ten people in a very small tent. Raoul would have normally complained, but a cramped space was almost ideal for what he had in mind.
The soldier, with sweat running down his face, began speaking"Sir, these two men will vouch for me. I was no where near th-"
Raoul cut him off with a gesture. "Quiet. This is a Judgement not a trial. The witnesses are here so they can verify what will happen, not to provide you with an alibi," the soldier went pale, but Raoul ignored it, "Now, everyone stand in front of the lamp.
The lamp Raoul had requested was laying on a table that Raoul had posited as close to the door as possible. This gave all the participants as much room standing in front of it as possible. Still the room wasn't quite dark enough. Raoul snapped his fingers. The rest of the room's occupents jumps as it suddenly became darker, and the shadows on the far wall looked far more solid. Not perfect, but it would do.
"As I said before, I do not have the time for a lengthy trial. It would do nothing except cause more strife between the Hylians and my people. Thankfully, I have a method of divining the truth." The soldier went even more pale if that was possible, and the rest of the room muttered to each other nervously, "I give you my word that what will transpire here is the complete and utter truth. Any attempts to deny it by any party will be met with harsh punishment. I do not do this sort of magic lightly."
"You are a mage, then?" The accuser asked?
He sketched a little bow."Indeed. I am not the most powerful, by far, but I will admit to be ranked among the top two hundred mages of my kingdom. Though, I know that you Hylians disdain the sort of magic I perform."
He turned to his asisstant and nodded. The boy carefully adjusted a small charm that Raoul had placed on the lamp. "This spell is called by many names depending on where in the kingdom you are from. However, I refer to it as Shadow Puppet Manipulation. At it most basic, it performs exactly as it says. It allows one to manipulate shadows in a myriad of fascinating ways. However, I will be performing a slightly more advanced version of this spell. Combinded with some level of skill in divination, this spell can be used to act out past events. A very useful applications, I do have to say, and one that I've used many, many times."
The crowd shifted uneasily. That was fine. The more they fear his magic, the more they would respect him for mastering it. It was as simple as that.
Raoul Ambershade/Protectorate of Ordon/Day 5 -------
As Raoul began his chant, the shadows in the room began to flicker mysteriously. Raoul was well used to it, as was his assitant, but he knew that non-mages often found the phenonmenon quite disturbing. Especially when the shadows seemed to be trying to beat their way out of the cloth. He supposed the keening noise had something to do with it. It sort of sounded like screaming from a long distance away.
But as Raoul continued to chant, the shadows began to settle, and the small charm that his assitant had placed began to glow. Well, glow wasn't preciously the word for it, but it seemed to be emitting...something. It wasn't quite light, but the shadows still seemed to get deeper and darker. For all of his study, Raoul still wasn't quite sure what it was. The charm was made from an ore that was found in a few parts of the Twili kingdom. It was used for two things: creating Twili golems and shadowmancy.
After several long minutes of chanting, Raoul paused to catch his breath. He turned to the woman, who was pale with fear, but her brow was furrowed in determination. That was good. Strong feelings would only make the magic stronger. "When did the incident occur? Be as specific as possible."
She swallowed, and thought. "About two hours after dark."
He nodded and chanted for a few more moments. When he finished, the room suddenly seemed to brighten. There was a moment of confusion amongst the witnesses gathered, but the sounds of confusion cut off when the onlookers noticed what had become of their shadows.
The witnesses were split into two groups, one made of the Hylians and one (including himself) made up of the Twili. Considering the placement of the one lamp, it would make sense that the shadows would be also split into two groups. However, they weren't. A few, like himself, Captain Creed, and Lt. Chanur, seemed to not have shadows at all. However, the woman, the girl, the two Hylian witnesses, and the three soldiers all had shadows. But their place on the wall of the tent had no relation with where they were standing.
"Well, at least we know you were all together. That much is truth. So, this Judgement will begin."
Raoul Ambershade/Protectorate of Ordon/Day 5 ---------
"Wha-Wha-What is this?" One of soldiers asked?
"A representation of the event in question," Raoul's assitant primly answered.
"What does it...do?" The other asked.
"Watch and find out," Raoul said dismissively, "As I said before, I swear what you'll see here is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."
"Is this sort of thing submissible in court?" Lt. Chaur asked curiously. Raoul was finally figuring out Lt. Chanur. He was a by-the-book kind of man. Taken to the extreme. He would follow any order or policy, with little to no imagination and little to no consideration for what he actually was doing. He was the ideal soldier by most people's definition. Raoul wasn't fond of people who refused to think for themselves, however. They could be useful, but they had no ability to seize a situation and use it to their advantage. Or when to stop. Lt. Chanur, in particular, seemed to become quite distressed when the rules weren't followed.
"If the proper paperwork is filed, then yes. But that isn't relavent at the moment. Shall we begin? Everyone quiet. If anyone speaks before I do, I will become quite angry." Raoul informed them.
He spoke a few more arcane words, and then with a suddenness that caused several in the room to gasp, the shadows began to move. Raoul had to admit it was a bit unnerving. The shadows seemed to move like people, but something always seemed a bit off. Perhaps it was the fact that there was no ground for the shadows to walk on, so they simply seemed to be walking on air. Or that they clearly seemed to be interacting with objects that weren't there. Whatever it was, it was a bit eerie. There was no sound either. At best, there was a kind of buzzing noise that indicated that someone was talking. It was like watching a bad play that starred featureless mute actors (Depending on the play, Raoul often thought that this would actually be an improvement, but as a lordly patron of the arts, he hadn't expressed this thought aloud just yet).
This one played out even more like a bad than normal. The soldier shadows swaggered back and forth, talking amongst themselves and occasionally chastising invisible Hylians, sometimes quite fiercely. The mother and daughter were off by themselves doing some sort of household task that was unrecognizable due to lack of context. Eventually the soldiers crossed path with the two. The shadow of the soldier who had been accused approached the girl, and attempted to draw her into conversation. Needless to say, he was ignored. Apparently taking some degree of insult from this, he grabbed the girl and attempted to drag her off. The girl's mother attempted to prevent this, but the soldier's two friends grabbed her and proceeded to beat her quite severely.
All the while, of course, the soldier did his best to have his way with the girl. Raoul had not really doubted it, but this was rape, through and through. He could hear the girl sobbing in the background, and her mother comforting her. That technically violated his rule on talking, but he ignored it. This was all the proof he need.
Raoul ended the spell with a wave of his hand and a muttered word, and turned to face the soldier. The soldier refused to meet his eyes, had clenched his fists, and was silently shaking. Whether in terror or anger, Raoul couldn't tell, and didn't particularly care. "Anything to say for yourself, Corporal?"
"No, sir," he replied through clenched teeth.
"Good. Undoubtably anything you had to say would simply be more lies. I will place you under arrest until a proper punishment is decided. The rules says a committee of no less than three must discuss your punishment. Your direct superior, Lt. Chanur, your commanding office, Captain Creed, and I will sit on that committee and determine your fate at a later date. It will not be pleasant. We will follow the Twili law to the letter," he turned to Creed, "See to it that he is placed under watch. Bread and water rations until we have decided what to do with him."
The Captain, face completely impassive, nodded, grabbed the soldier's arm and walked out of the door. Raoul turned to the soldier's two companions. "You two will be given lesser punishments, for aiding a rapists, and conspiring to conceal the crime. Those punishments will also be decided at a later date. Until then, report to posts and continue your duties."
The two soldiers gave a hasty salute and all but ran out of the tent. Good two problems taken care of. Now to see to the third. He turned to the Hylian Woman. She had an indecipherable expression on her face. "Are you satisfied ma'am? We have determined his guilt, and I have drawn up plans for deciding his punishment. Have I fulfilled my end of the bargain?"
She chewed on her lip unhappily for a moment. "What's my guarantee that he'll be actually punished."
Raoul shrugged. "My word, and nothing more, to be honest. But that is all that you've had since the beginning. I'll do my best to see a decision is reached by the end of the week."
She nodded slowly, "True enough. Fine. I am satisfied. But don't think you've cowed us all." With that, the woman dragged her daughter out of the tent.
Raoul breathed a sigh of relief. That had been much, much more complicated than he had hoped it would be. Perhaps now, he could get start-
"Sir, there is an unidentified mage digging through the graveyard where we've buried all the war dead!" A messenger reported, as he stumbled into the tent.
Raoul sighed. Things were never uncomplicated. "Get a small detachment of soldiers, and bring the mage to the headquarters building. I don't want any rogue mages around here causing any trouble. If necessary, I'll meet with him myself.
Vykos/Ordon Protectorate/Noon 5
This process was taking a little longer than he expected. In order to expedite, he reanimated a few more mini-Stalfos to aid in the digging.
Vykos cursed when he saw a detachment of Twili soldiers on the way to his location, and kept his honor guard of four Stalfos at the ready, weapons drawn.
"I already know what you want. They will protect their master to the second death, so do not come any closer. I am High Evoker Vykos Osteon acting under orders from Archmage Ocerion Jek. All remains interred in this territory are my property, as Commander Maydni may require reinforcements later today."
The soldiers flinched a little with what they were seeing. A seven foot tall undead Wizzrobe that didn't teleport around and instantly kill them (little did they know that due to his undeath he could not blink around) was repurposing the remains of war dead and bringing them back for a second round.
He palmed a sealed scroll in his hands and firmly grasped his staff crafted from a giant's femur in the other. Tapping it on the ground lightly, his gravedigging slaves went into formation and stood sharply at attention.
"You are to report to our headquarters immediately! Failure to comply will result in use of force. Consider this your first and final warning, mage."
Hardball. This was the kind of stuff that annoyed him to no end in the underworld.
"You're all really smart, you know that? Detaining the very being who could deliver reinforcements to Castle Town when your countrymen need them? Try anything, and you'll serve me in death."
Some of the people who were not gathered around Lord Ambershade's trial had migrated to the graveyard. The Hylian contingent was disgusted, hurling insults at Vykos and his army of the dead. Other Twili civilians seemed unaffected by this display.
"This is the kind of company the Twili keep? I want nothing of this!"
"You have no respect! That's my Aunt Mabel you just dug up and turned into a Redead!"
The Twili soldiers had a bit of a problem on their hands. Vykos was a bit stand-offish due to his desire in keeping diligent to his orders, and these men were clearly standing in his way. Following procedure and orders of their own, of course, but still. Being obstructions like most mortals were. And if they were to use force, it would end badly in either event. So they were not looking forward to carrying out with their threat. In fact, they didn't.
"If I am not under arrest, then I will play your silly game. For now. This work must not be interrupted. Anyone who tries to stop them will end up being dinner and a conscript in one go."
"You are not. Lord Ambershade simply wishes to avoid further spectacles, as there are now two going on, thanks to you. We will clear this up as soon as we can, High Evoker."
He took his four Stalfos, his impromptu honor guard, and went with the soldiers to this headquarters building.
When they arrived, Vykos held up his sealed scroll of orders to show the commanding officer.
"This is for your Lord's eyes only. Orders from my superior."
"You do realize you should have announced yourself to the governor upon entering this Protectorate."
"No time. And I am not one for formalities. I have my orders and you have a war to fight. My goal was to be out of your hair in less than two hours. Do not keep me waiting..."
He tapped his long, slender skeletal fingers against a hardwood table as his retinue stood at the ready with their weapons crafted from very dense bone.
Raoul Ambershade/Protectorate of Ordon/Day 5 ---------------
Things progressed more or less smoothly once Raoul had made his judgement. Most of the rest of the Hylians seemed willing to take the woman's word, and in short order, most of them had sworn alleigance to the Twili crown. Raoul wasn't expecting instant loyalty from them, of course. Many of them, if it occured to them, could make a very good argument for swearing under duress, should the Hylian army somehow manage to retake Ordon. However, it was a start. If at least one of them took the oath seriously, it was a victory.
Raoul was a little wary of leaving Lt. Chanur behind, so he did his best to completely spell out his policy of dealing with those in the internment camp. He even had the man write it down. If the man was all about being by-the-book and military policy, Raoul simply had to make the man understand that this was a new policy. One that completely replaced the old one. He was reasonably sure that he had gotten his point across.
He had almost left Captain Creed behind to supervise, but had decided against it. He still hadn't met all the soldiers and civilians left behind by the army. The man's presence helped to cement his own authority. Things were progressing quickly, but there wasn't anything he could do about that. Captain Creed was, at least for the moment, an important facilitator for him.
As they began the short hike towards Ordon Village, the same messanger from before came hurrying towards their small party. The man was pale, and it wasn't just from exertion. The man's fear was bleeding off him in waves. He had seen something that had frightened him quite badly. To his credit, he passed the message he was holding on as professionally as possible.
"The mage we discovered in the cemetary says he is there under orders. He says they are for your eyes only, my lord." the man gasped between breaths.
"Did he say whose orders?" Raoul questioned.
The messenger shook his head, and Raoul dismissed the man with a pat on the back. That left Raoul in a bit of a bind. Most likely the mage was telling the truth. After all, telling a lie like that near a town full of Twili soldiers and mages wasn't particularly healthy. But if the man was digging in the graveyards, he was either a necromancer or a dark arts practitioner. Raoul did not want either of those types of people in Ordon at the moment. They caused far more trouble than he wanted to deal with.
They arrived back in the village in short order, and Raoul wasted no time heading towards the headquarters, where the mage waited. He entered the building and was immeadiately confronted with a roomful of the palest Twili that he had ever seen. Ever single one of them looked either frightened or sickened. Probably a necromancer then. They always had that effect on people. Especially after they started practicing their art on themselves.
It wasn't hard to figure out where the mage was. There was a door on the far side of the room that all the Twil stayed well away from. Sighing, Raoul gestured for Captain Creed to resume his normal duties, and walked towards the door, mentally preparing himself for what he would face.
It wasn't nearly as bad as he had expected, but it was still mildly disturbing. Sitting at the table of the small room was a skeleton in black robes. It was largely flesh-free, which thankfully kept the smell to a minimum, but the smell of ammonia and other foul chemicals now filled the room. It probably wouldn't ever go away, either.
"I am Lord Ambershade, necromancer. You say you are here on orders? May I see them?" Raoul asked with cool politeness.
Vykos/Ordon Protectorate HQ/Noon 5
The scroll Vykos had been twirling through his fingers finally had a home. When the Lord had arrived, the necromancer tapped his staff on the ground, and his four Stalfos stood at attention, saluting.
He rose too, nodding.
"There you are. I am High Evoker Vykos Osteon of the Archmagistry. Archmage Jek gave me orders to do this urgently, and by that he meant just head to burial grounds and dig away. Details are in the letter, I believe."
It read as follows:
To the Most Honorable Lord Raoul Ambershade,
We at the Archmagistry apologize for any inconvenience the appearance of High Evoker Osteon may have caused. Commander Maydni's offensive on Castle Town may be needing reinforcements as the day goes on, and with how conscription has been underperforming lately, other measures have been explored. The word of Vykos' arrival in this realm might come as a shock to many of us. And we regret the loss of those who called him forth in the process, but we deemed it necessary. Even if he did kill them.
Vykos is hereby authorized by my office to exhume remains in any Twili-occupied territory, should he see it fit.
He is a skilled necromancer with centuries of experience; two hundred and fifty of these years were spent in the underworld. Because of this, I did not wish to give him diplomatic missions. His role is straightforward and his methods are questionable to all except our nation. And he has contempt for just about everything that breathes. We at the Archmagistry believe he is more than capable of giving Maydni the support she needs while Lord Grem is elsewhere conducting our main campaign.
Again, we apologize for any diplomatic problems this may have caused. It is hard enough to win the hearts and minds of these Hylians. They have been set in their ways for millenia, and winds of change do not often get a warm reception. We applaud your hard work in Ordon, and if there is anything we can do to ease what will probably be a setback, do not hesitate to contact my office. Vykos will most likely not be returning to your Protectorate. And do advise your civilians not to provoke him during his stay. His orders are clear, and he will recite them upon request. When his job is complete, he will leave quickly.
Apologies from the Archmagistry,
The Most Honorable Archmage Ocerion Jek
He ordered his Stalfos honor guard to be at ease, and then waited for the governor to read this sealed scroll of which contents he'd been quite curious about.
Hopefully the Archmage didn't speak ill of him. He had it bad enough getting heckled by people he wasn't allowed to kill.
Raoul Ambershade/Protectorate of Ordon/Day 5 -------
With all of his might, Raoul managed not to let his contempt show as he read the letter. Ocerion Jek was a fool, as always. He sniffed the letter, and caught the scent of fading magic. The man had the gaul to rewrite the letter and replace its contents magically. Undoubtably the man had recieved word from one of the few mages left in Ordon. Even in Hyrule he was unable to escape the machinations of the Court. Some cockroach mage doing his best to appeal to the old men in the Archmagistry was likely watching him and reporting his every move. Fools. All of them.
Unfortunately, the letter had clear orders for the lich thing. He could object, of coure, but that would likely constitute negligence on his part, as well as hampering the war effort. Of course, letting the lich do what he wanted hampered his own efforts, but as always Grem and his group of militaristic morons paid little attention.
"Necromancer Vykos Osteon, you orders are clear. I will not interfere with your efforts. But both my men and the Hylians have little love for your art, so for your own safety and theirs, I expect you to complete your grisly task quickly and be out of my province. Is that clear?"
Vykos/Ordon HQ/Noon 5
He was surprised that there were no objections to impede his progress.
"My minions have been hard at work since your men brought me here. It shouldn't be long when I get back to supervise the end. If they haven't gone derelict and started feasting on remains...ugh...I forgot about that part. Don't worry. They won't attack the living unless I tell them to, or if something strays too close. I will be gone within the hour. Thank you for understanding, and may our empire flourish."
It sickened him to be formal. But it got him what he wanted, which was a cessation to interruption. After saluting Lord Ambershade, his Stalfos unit did the same and filed out alongside.
The stench of undeath would linger in that building for a good while. Vykos was a carrier of multiple types of profane diseases. Unless delivered properly, they were harmless, but they had a very unsavory odor similar to that of a mortuary, freshly buried dead, and those long dead.
As he made his way back to the graveyard, troops were stationed along his path at every step. People continued to hurl insults at him, and some of the Hylians even threw things at his minions. Pots, rocks, and even rolling pins flew in his direction.
One hit him in the back of the head.
"A pox upon you."
Raising his staff toward the perpetrator, the man's skin began to erupt in small boils as a light orange cloud wafted around his feet.
"You will beg for death's sweet release. But it will not come. Not for you."
He dropped to the ground, writhing in pain as he scratched at his sores. They burst open, spilling a light orange fluid mixed with blood onto more skin, which in turn caused more boils to erupt just as fast.
That was all he could say before he went into convulsions, flailing to scratch at boils that would only create more if burst open. Those with him were very careful not to touch him, as they feared contracting the same plague. As Vykos walked away, his Stalfos all flashed obscene gestures toward the crowd in unison, and then accompanied their master back to the graveyard. His message was clearly sent. He was not liked. But he would not take crap from anyone.
Upon arriving at the cemetery, his minions had completed their task. Vykos' cart of horrors was full to the top with materials. People were crowded around, protesting.
"Dessicated flesh to the left! Skeletal remains to the right! And incorporeals stay in the damn cart! We move to Castle Town!"
Medics rushed to the afflicted man's aid, taking him to the Ordon infirmary. While bleeding profusely and covered in horrible looking sores, he was only in shock. Vykos was right. He wouldn't die. But he was in so much pain that he begged for someone to kill him.
[b]Vykos/South Hyrule Field/Late Noon 5[/b]
[hl=limegreen]"More to work with! This is wonderful!"[/hl]
Vykos saw crows and other scavengers had already started their work on dead Hylians and Twili alike. Fire had also consumed much of the usable viscera. Whatever happened here was absolute carnage. The Hylians were outnumbered, but somehow they made a fight of it. At least until some space cleared in the middle and warriors dueled.
He began to raise more Stalfos and Redead, adding to his numbers. His cart was full, and so he emptied some of its contents, assembling more of his army of the dead. It was almost four hundred strong at this point. They weren't trained soldiers. They did have urges though, and they were more annoying to deal with than live enemies because pain was not something they were capable of feeling. Still, live soldiers would be more dangerous.
Grem just had to hog up all the fleshbags. It didn't matter to Vykos. Skeletons flung off crude funerary pyres and began to reanimate.
[hl=limegreen]"Rise, and serve your master. Death to all life. It will all fade to nothingness in the end."[/hl]
Vykos/Southern Hyrule Field/Late Noon 5
"Surely there's enough in the wagon to make some Gibdos. That graveyard had remarkably well-preserved corpses."
While he was conducting mass reanimation, Vykos had some of his minions empty a little bit of the cart out. Indeed, he was able to add to his elite guard by making use of husks of dessicated flesh. Sure, they weren't as fun to work with as Redeads, but they could take much more of a beating. When he was done, he covered them in a certain portion of his cart with a thick sheet. They were better used at night; the sun made quick work of them if they were active.
This would be his trump card if he got over-run or something managed to get to him.
He had no replacement bodies. There wasn't anything he found that could even be suitable for that. Plus, he would never carry his Phylactery Core into battle. Losing that would spell a permanent return to a place he strongly disliked.
Any proper replacement bodies he had were buried near where he'd hidden that. And he'd never tell anyone where that was.
Stalhounds patrolled his perimeter as he continued his disgusting task of repurposing the dead. His army was growing to a semi-impressive state, and the only things holding it together were collective urges to feast on flesh, destroy all life, and not anger their master.
[b]Vykos/Ruined Forward Camp/Afternoon 5[/b]
After what he'd seen on the forest outskirts, a semi-cataclysmic battle or two happened to be a delight. So much destruction had taken place here. Some of it unsettled him due to residual energies he could feel in the area. Normally he sensed death and its freshness. But he also sensed an unsettling magic that had been used. Craters brought about by the divine?
Jek warned him about some of the Hylian forces being directly powered by such things. And such things would make quick work of him if he had to directly engage them. Oh well, that's what the army was for. And it began to grow in much greater numbers as Vykos went to work. He could not count the number of corpses, and even when some were ruined, they were still of some use.
And most of these still had equipment of some sort, so he didn't have to use spare parts to fashion bone weapons. But no Gibdos could be constructed out of this. And the divine energies prevented him from making any Ghini.
He stepped over to take a look at one of the craters and saw footprints coming out of it. Something survived a smiting blow? Perhaps the others in this underworld had done their research on what powers might be worthy of their convenient allegiance.
Adding nearly half a thousand corpses to his rampaging army of the dead, Vykos stood at almost eight hundred strong. He was impressed, for this was the largest force he'd created in the living realm. Being involved in wars below was a daily activity. But this time, his minions could actually feast and enjoy it...
Vykos stepped onto his chariot of sorts and continued his journey to Castle Town.
[hl=limegreen]"Minions! Your hunger will be sated before long! Hylian flesh cries out to be devoured!"[/hl]
Protector of Light
Moran Taliesin - Twili Encampment - Night 4-5
You can no longer creep in the shadows, wallowing in the gray. The Balance is in danger, the scales may soon be tipped in such a way as to never again be righted. You no longer have the luxury of your involvement with the Light Warriors. Your duties must now supersede their needs.
It was an all too familiar voice in his mind, melodic and unmistakably feminine. Cecile, First Scion of the Goddesses, who now served them from on high, had come to him. He realized that he was not truly asleep, but nor was he having this conversation in the waking realm. Such was her power, that which was bestowed upon her from her Mistresses and his, that she could pull his consciousness out of space and time into a place where they could convene. She was the heavenly servant of the Goddesses and he the earthly one, and they had much to discuss.
"The balance remains intact for the time being, but you understand that it cannot be so forever. One or the other will triumph."
Your safeguards bought time, but such creative alternatives were never meant to stave off the inevitable. The time is nearly at hand when they shall meet, and their fury shall rend the very air you breath. With each blow they strike upon one another shall the earth be riven. You know of what I speak, you know the dire consequences of this event.
You also know that it is unavoidable. The Balance is in danger, and you are the Keeper of the Balance. You are being recalled to active service. No longer shall you hide amid the shadows, for your light shall be too great and the shadows will flee from you. You are Moran Taliesin of the Gray no longer, and shall henceforth reclaim the name of your birth. You are Chamdar Taliesin, born of the Light and in service to it.
Now awaken, time is of the essence and there is much you must do.
Chamdar Taliesin - Twili Encampment - Fifth Day
Upon awakening he had realized that he was no longer how he remembered. Though much of his physical features remained the same, he was stronger now, imbued with a power and an uncharacteristic youthfulness that he'd not experienced in centuries. Long had he been Gray, it was a heady feeling to awaken and feel once more the power of his true self. He was of the Light once more, and glad to be so.
He'd been kept chained inside a tent all night, with Twili sentries posted outside. As he got to his feet he used the magic that had long been denied him to dampen the sounds that might have been made by the fetters that held him. The Twili guards were mages, he could feel the dark magicks flowing through them. It appeared that Lord Grem had not been intent on giving up his prisoner.
A shame that he'd been unable to foresee this turn of events.
His outfit was different now. Where once he'd worn drab colors, now he was clad in a single breasted white cassock that fell to his ankles and a circlet of light, almost delicate silver material adorned his brow over his neat, closely cropped white hair. They'd taken his staff, he would need to retrieve it before he could embark on any course of action. To do that, however, he would need to blend into the throng of Twili soldiers milling about outside his tent flaps. It was a simple enough spell, manipulating the way people perceived his physical appearance, but first he needed to deal with his guardians. So close were they in proximity that they would sense the magic employed by the spell almost immediately and raise the alarm.
He released the spell that muffled the sound of his bonds and began to rattle the chains, causing enough noise to draw the attention of his captors. He could have used brute force, but in the center of so vast an army he would never had made it out, not even in this form. Beyond that he was still doubtful that he could stand toe to toe with Lord Grem, even in his state of heightened power.
The flaps were swept aside as one of the dark skinned, dark clad Twili ducked in. It took some moments for him to digest what he was seeing, the dramatic change in the prisoner's appearance.
That moment of hesitation was all Chamdar needed to wrap those chains around his neck and throttle the life from him. The thrashing brought the other mage bursting in. The ceremonial blade that had adorned the belt of the first mage found its way to the second's chest. In short order they were dispatched, no alarm was raised, and Chamdar sensed no Twili mages in the immediate vicinity, none that were close enough to sense the oscillations of mystical energy that were created by his spell. When he emerged from the tent, he appeared as one of the mages he'd just killed. Their bodies had been shielded from view, and he was left to roam freely the encampment.
He was of the Light once more, and as he strode through the camp, passing campfires and paddocks, he knew how much death he could sow through their ranks. He could kill so many of them, maybe enough to make a difference in the outcome of the war. But Cecile's words still resounded in his mind, as though burned into his thoughts, and carried with them the weight of the Goddesses themselves. The Scion, Kae, had been summoned to act on the battlefront. It was she through whom the war with the Twili would be decided. He had other concerns, different in size but equal in scope, with ramifications that were far reaching and wholly within his domain of influence. She, the Scion of Nayru, had many charges. Chamdar had just two, but such charges were they that he could attend no others.
Your duties must now supersede their needs. They did at that. He would help where he could, but his mission was clear, and he could not fight a war if that meant neglecting that mission.
He could only wonder at what had transpired that might have forced the Goddesses' hand in such a way.
Chamdar Taliesin - Twili Encampment - Fifth Day
Inside the tent flaps of the pavilion wherein the items of magical significance were kept, the sentry on duty found himself held fast in the crushing embrace of Chamdar's power. Two fingers had the old man placed under the Twili's chin, one holding him immobile, the other inducing such pain as most would never feel in their lives. He should have been convulsing, crying out, but could not. Chamdar pressed the fingers harder against the soft flesh as he looked him in the eye. Then, after a moment more, he pulled his hand away.
The Twili dropped to his knees, trembling, his chest heaving. Chamdar knelt down beside him.
"I will ask you this one last time. I require my staff, where is it?" The Twili didn't look at him, did nothing but shake and gasp for breath. When Chamdar laid a hand on his shoulder, the sentry flinched away from him. "My aim is not to harm you, friend. I seek only what is mine, I have urgent business and I have need of that staff."
He threaded his voice with magic, with a soothing light that filtered through every word he uttered. The Twili's pain began to subside as the magic worked its way in. After a moment, the Twili looked up at him again.
"I'll be punished, killed even, if I relinquish that staff." Chamdar nodded thoughtfully, scratching his snowy white facial hair. After several moments of silence, he leaned close, his fingers gripping the Twili's shoulder.
"What do you think will happen to you if you don't?" The sentry swallowed hard, his mouth opening slightly as if to argue, but saying nothing. After a moment more, the implied threat had its impact and he clambered to his feet and retreated into the mounds of mystical items both powerful and insignificant, and some time after returned with Chamdar's staff held reverently, laid across his upturned palms. The old man approached slowly, and then smiled as his fingers closed around the wooden shaft.
All of the runes carved into the smooth, polished wood suddenly came alight, glowing a dazzling white aura as soon as he grasped it. He felt the warmth of it as it too embraced the transformation he'd undergone. He was complete now, in a way that he'd not been for centuries.
One long, thin finger traced it's way along the length of the staff until it landed at last on one particular symbol. When the tip of his finger pressed into that rune, the light glowing from all the rest winked out and the light seemed to run into that one engraving. The light from the symbol grew bright, and took on a reddish caste. Chamdar looked up into the face of the Twili and grinned.
Then he unleashed Din's Fire.
The massive, semi-spherical dome of God-fire incinerated the tent and the Twili. His intention was to destroy the dangerous magical items and weapons that may have been held by the Twili inside the pavilion, but he was unsure whether the spell was enough to do the job. If not, he could at least hope that they were damaged or rendered ineffective.
In the spell's aftermath, after the fire had burned itself out and Chamdar was revealed standing in a clearing where the pavilion had stood, he found himself surrounded by Twili soldiers. Weapons at the ready, they eyed him warily, obviously concerned about his spell work. The element of uncertainty would last only moments, Chamdar knew. His finger moved to a symbol directly above that for Din's Fire and pressed into it. This time it began to glow brilliantly, with a light that was tinged with emerald. Soldiers rushed to stop him from unleashing whatever magic he intended, but their weapons met empty air when they made their attempt. Farore's Wind carried Chamdar some distance away, out of the immediate vicinity of the army encampment.
He had important work to do and little time in which to do it.
Protector of Complex Plot
Senshi/Desert Colossus/Morning 5
"So you're worried about the Light Warriors. That's actually some what humorous since you don't really know what the Light Warriors are. These novices, these kids that you've probably been leak horror stories about are not Light Warriors. They're mainly undisciplined children that managed to gather around one real Light Warrior and thus claimed the title for themselves. The real Light Warriors could have ended this war two days ago but to your benefit most of them died centuries ago. Of course there are still a few left over that I only feel its fair to warn you about. Anything less would be me failing to meet up to my end of the bargain after all."
Grem's expression remained stoic and a quietly listening to Senshi's over exaggerated descriptions. Either he didn't by Senshi's theatrics, was legitimately concerned or didn't care about the Light Warriors at all and was just testing Senshi by his response. A simple mind probe would clear everything up but Senshi knew better then to risk that at this point. He need to gain the Twili's trust and having no idea what the Twili's capabilities in psychic matters were he had no way of know if he'd be detected if he went roaming around inside on of their leaders heads.
"Your first and greatest concern is Ithan Chiaria, simply put if he wills it you lose. He's a psychic, the most powerful alive if not that's ever lived. His telepathy and telekinesis have no known upper limit and he's even been know to manifest mental power as raw blasts of energy. He's one of two individually would could actually defeat your whole army on his own. The other of course being the Hero of Legend but I'm sure you have nothing to worry about from him. One of those usually only shows up when someone has the audacity to go after the Triforce or at least use a piece with less the pure intentions."
Grem's expression remained unchanged even with the mention of the Triforce or the Hero. Senshi was hoping he'd at least flinch at the comments hitting at the Twili's true intentions. Of course it was possible that they really weren't trying to invade the Sacred Realm but that was unlikely. After all why else would the Goddesses become so heavily involved in this was it that weren't the case. It was more likely that this man either arrogantly though he had nothing to fear a Legendary Hero or that he was a great poker face. Not being careless enough to take Grem for a fool Senshi assumed the latter. While it was annoying to realize he wouldn't be able to get a rise out of him and piece their plot together it also made him realize he wouldn't have to bait him with bits of information he rather the Twili be kept in the dark about.
"You don't seemed concerned, oh well I only hope that doesn't come back to bite you later." Senshi said reviling a menacing smirk from the shadow of his hood. "Anyone I'm sure Chiaria won't be a problem for now. He did show him self briefly claiming to have finally killed an old nemesis and hasn't been seen since. It's simply a matter of fate if he show up again but if I were you I'd pray we to ever god the Twili worship that he doesn't. Speaking of gods the next threat on the list use to be pretty close to one. Moran Talisen, the real scion and while not someone who could win the war on his own like Chiaria he would turn the tide against you. Now the twist with Talisen is you've already met him, he was the old man fighting along side me when we encountered you all last night. That said if he's already been dealt with please let me know so I won't waist your time talking about him." Senshi paused long enough for Grem to stare at him silently before continuing.
"Right, I'll take that to mean he got away. I hope the fact that one old man couldn't be stopped by your whole army means your taking what I'm saying seriously. Anyway there's no point in elaborating on Tailsen's true power since I doubt he'll ever be able to unleash it's full force on you the greater concerned to you is that he could turn those so called new Light Warriors into a real threat. The simple solution is to keep him away from him them no matter what it takes, sadly I have no idea how you would do this. As far a fighting him, just keep your grunts at a distance and hit him with you're biggest gun."
"While I'm at it I suppose I should tell you about Phoenix as well. Now I'm sure you've heard at least something about Phoenix considering his position I find it hard to believe you wouldn't. After all there isn't an army in the world that would be foolish enough to invade a country without at least knowing who was leading their opponents. Well it goes with out saying he's a key target for you but it is only fair to warn you that while he'll first appear as an impotent old man in truth he's ancient trans-dimensional demon disguised as a Hylian. I know that sounds fairly outrages but things like that are surprisings common among the Light Warriors. It seems he's been staying out of the battle since he's two busy running an army but if you do decide to pick a fight just know that he's primarily a melee fight, one that I've never seen lose a battle but still a melee fight none the less."
"Lastly there's Darrel Mytura, well there's not much to say about Mytura. He's skilled with several centuries of experience and a fairly powerful sword but nothing remarkable. He is the one that brought these new Light Warriors together and I suppose he could mold them into a force to be reckoned with he's far to concerned with his own personal issues to take on any kind of leadership roll. Truthfully I wouldn't even mention him if our deal didn't require me to mention all of the Light Warriors."
"Oh that reminds me, while I was stealing that mask for you I heard rumors that another Light Warrior has shown up, a paladin named Seishi Ma. He has a sword of light which could prove a problem for you if what I've heard about the Twili's main weakness is true. His main strength comes from his ability to draw in sun light so I'm you can take him out if you can attack him at night. Now I suppose you still want to know about these new kids that showed up too. Well I can't help but think I'll be wasting your time so feel free to stop me at any time."
"I know you've already heard about the so called scion Kae Bryseis. I can't deny that she does hold that title but in her case it's really just a fancy name. She does have to power the comes with it but her inexperience with it and habit of flying off on emotional impulse has made her rather self destructive. In all honestly I give it a week before she accidentally kills herself. Now there still is the minor threat the Talisen will mentor her, molding her into something worthy of that title but the solution to that is to simply kill Talisen before he gets the chance. Granted you could go after her but you'd risk making her a martyr or worse angering the Goddesses enough that the become directly involved or conclude that you're targeting the divine and send the Hero of Legend to deal with you. On the other hand letting her self destruct would kill the Hylian's moral making them think their Gods has abandoned them and possibly make the three think twice about sending another inexperienced child against you."
"Next there's Habiki, this one I'm curious about. He appears to be one of you golems that has some home become sentient. I imagine you could sign more light on him then I could but some how I doubt you will. Regardless he's a pacifist and falling a part so I doubt he's of concern. He does have a half pint Zora side kick that got his hand on a Light Arrow though so I guess you could keep an eye out for that. Speaking of Zora the new Light Warriors do have one adult in their ranks, an old general named Polaris. Sadly I don't know much about him other then he may have a lot of military experience. More an asset to the army then the Light Warriors if you ask me but what ever."
"Lastly there's Felina... I can't remember her last name but that doesn't matter." He was lying but he didn't want to risk the Twili making the connection in the off chance they actually did the research. Besides he really didn't want to entertain the notion that the chick who had the gall to insult his sister may be related to his childhood idol. "She has some kind of animal power I don't know a lot about but seeing how I have yet to see a wolfos with claws that could pierce armor or fur that could stop a sword I have trouble taking it seriously. She is the one that came up with the idea for this ultimate weapon the Light Warriors are after so I suppose that's note worthy, but I can't help but think she has other motives. She is a foreigner after all and just happened to show up out of nowhere at the perfect time. Who know maybe she's willing to work for you."
"While I have your attention there is one other individual I feel need to mention. Last night I told you my main concern was a third party that posed a threat the both the Hylian's and the Twili. It's name is Taden Hothnight and he was a semi-undead ice mage well know for playing both sides in a conflict for his own enjoyment. Now in all fairness if Hothnight were himself he'd probably be a greater hindrance to the Hylians then the Twili but he has the misfortune of being a disembodied spirit at the moment. He has however taken control of a former new Light Warrior named Lynn Annei. Now while I have sincere doubts on Annei's mental fortitude she does seem to have enough will power to retain some influence over her actions resulting in a hybrid between the two. So while the Hylian's have to be concerned with a homicidal mastermind who would like nothing more then to kill every Hylian off one at a time while leaving to survivors to suffer in emotional anguish until there number comes up, the Twili have to be concerned with an emotionally unstable Shiekah who's fanatical loyality to the Hylian crown would push her to gladly commit several acts of genocide against the Twili. She'd most likely start with your civilians then move on to the family of friends of your champions hoping to throw them into a life long vendetta against her. Hothnight seems to get off on the attention. My warning to you, and I can't not stress this enough, is that if the women comes to you offering to aid your cause you should immediately assume its a trick and kill her on sight."
"No if there are no farther question we can move on to why the piece of wood will win you the war. Now, how would you like the have the so called forest wrath on your side?"
Senshi/Desert Colossus/Morning 5
"The plan is simple," Senshi started as his leaned back in his chair acting overly relaxed in front of a man of high rank as Grem. "You give me two men who can put up a decent act, one to wear the mask and one to act as himself. We seek out the 'Forest Wrath' and have the one with the mask tell him the Hylian's have betrayed the agreement and attack the forest, specifically the Deku. He will claim that the Twili saved them defending the forest and its inhabitants hoping to make amends with those they've wronged in the past. The undisguised Twili would then extend the olive branch, offering help against the Hylian's who he'd now believe are taken up arms against him. I'll be there to help give the two's claim credibility an ensure they can meet with the 'Wrath' to begin with. After all, I've know him a very long time and we have a... how to put it, a 'working arrange meant.' In fact as a back up plan I may be farther call on that arrangement for his slightly more limited co-operation."
"So, do you approve?" he asked as he leaved forward leaning his arms on the table and folding his hands covering what little bit of his face could be be scene under his hood and concealing his devil's smirk.
Lord Grem/Morning 5/Desert Colossus Twili Camp
Grem smirked, matching the expression no doubt concealed behind the younger man's hands. "That is an interesting plan. Leave the mask here, and we'll see it enacted. In the meantime, I think I have a different job for you. As you may have noticed when you traveled to your Castle, I have my Advance Army assaulting it now. I want you to go there, and join the siege alongside Commander Maydni."
He plucked a piece of parchment from the hands of the aide at his side, and scrawled a message on it before handing it to Senshi. "Take this to her. It will place you as her executive officer, second-in-command of the Advance Army. Once the siege is successful, return to me, and we'll talk over dealing with your rogue ice mage... and what is to be done with your little girlfriend."
He leaned back, relaxed, in his chair. "So long as you keep your loyalties to our armies, you will have my word I won't let the men do anything more than look at her. But," his eyes narrowed, becoming a dangerous glare, "betray us, and she'll wish she had only been given over as a pleasurable fleshly release for the soldiers."
Senshi/Desert Colossus/Morning 5
"I see, I suppose I have no choice. Though as a courtesy I should let you know don't have to threaten to hurt the girl every time you give me an order. I'll do as you say naturally assuming that's the case." Senshi said as he rose out of his chair making sure to mask any emotion.
"By the way, since you've gone so far as to trust me with of position of importance I feel it's only proper to return to gesture. The "Forest Wrath's" name is Kokage Tsukiakari, if your man call him out as such he may respond without me needing to be there. They should wait until night fall before the attempt to contact him though, he'll be more reasonable at that time. Oh and also they should mention to him that there is child of the forest at the castle. They can word it in away that they can help him save her or more simply as an act of faith that they don't want him to accidentally harm what he wants to protect. Do make sure they mention it though, if Tsukiakari finds out on his own he'll turn on us with out a second thought. If he seems confused just mention my name and he'll understand. Though, if all of that is to much for your man then I humbly recommend you await for my return from this battle so I can accompany them to insure the missions success. Anyway, I better get going, it's a long walk to the castle." He adjusted his cloak ensuring none of his skin would be exposed to the harsh sun then headed off into the desert.
"Ha, he sure threw your plan for a loop. How's it feel to be the puppet for once."
"I've been a puppet since I was thirteen, this is more of the same games I've been stuck playing since. Besides so long as Tsukiakari joins the Twili everything will work out. I just have to alter some contingencies now."
"What will you do if you are forced to fight Arch Angel's host, or even the Scion all things considering."
"I'll have to worry about when I get there. Right now I'm more concerned over why Grem would send to join a battle that it would take until nightfall for me to get to. He could just be thinking about sending reinforcements and nothing more, but at the same time I can't help but think he noticed how quickly I made it to the castle and back last night."
"Concerned he thinks you have the Ocarina of Time. I have to say that is unlikely. Even if the Twili do know of the artifact he has no reason to assume you have it. If he is curious he is more then likely trying to figure out if you are teleporting without making assumptions as to how."
"True, even still I think it's best I find a new method of travel."
"Blah Blah whatever, how about we stop talking about that blow tube and use it. We're far enough away know and this desert sucks."
"Right, I guess Lake Hylia then."
Isaac Telmar - Fifth Day
He stood in the center of a circle illuminated by a mysterious, sourceless light. Across from him stood two men, men he knew. Men that he knew were dead.
The plenipotentiary, the Voice, adjusted the livery he wore and stepped forward, clearing his throat into his fist and offering an elaborate bow. His too handsome face, his easy manner, it was all a calculation. This one wasn't a man, not really. He was a construct, designed to exemplify the qualities of his position and his duty. He was a lie given form, a magic that even Isaac saw as monstrous.
The man that stood behind him was the opposite in nearly every way. The pariah, the Eyes, was constructed in much the same way as the former, designed to be insignificant, to be beneath notice. The pariah was meant to see the world and the events taking place in it. They were a tandem, the eyes and the voice, created for nefarious purposes by the old man. They'd been a constant thorn in his side when they'd been alive. He didn't intend to let them torment him in death.
"You struggle so mightily, Isaac Telmar." The voice was like velvet, soft and smooth and entirely too commanding to belong to any one man. It was for this that he had been made, to speak, and to enchant with that unnatural voice. Safeguards, that was what the old man had called them, so long ago when Isaac had learned of their existence. If he'd been able to he would have killed him right then and there, but he was regrettably restricted. "But to what end?"
"To whatever end." he said shortly, already growing tired of the bizarre surreal quality of this plane. [color=darkred]"You never understood that. I don't care what happens.
"That's the whole point."
"You are committed?" He only nodded. The pariah looked on from behind them, huddled within the folds of his tattered cloak, his eyes seeming to look everywhere at once. It gave him the appearance of a madman, and perhaps he was. That didn't change anything. "Then you are the monster they say you are. A pity, I so wanted to reserve judgment."
Hands clasped behind his back, the plenipotentiary turned on his heel and started walking away toward the far edge of the illuminated circle, then snapping and spinning back toward Isaac. "You know, it occurs to me that you don't quite understand what you've done in killing us and making a play on the Scion of Nayru. My associate here tells me that you've enacted a safety protocol that may surprise you.
"Chamdar Taliesin walks the earth once more. He has, according to Eyes, been restored by the Goddesses in order to account for assets lost. Namely, my associate and myself."
Isaac didn't know what to say. It had been long since he'd stood in the presence of the old man at the height of his power and influence. He was an unknown variable, to be certain, and one that could be extremely troublesome. Isaac felt like unleashing a string of expletives and throttling the ghosts, but did nothing.
"Consider yourself warned."
Isaac Telmar - Faron Woods - Fifth Day
His eyes slid open slowly, needing to adjust the the points of light that played across his face. The first sensation he could coherently feel was a pounding headache. The next was the realization that he was lying on the ground. Whatever it was that the Twili bitch had done to him, it had sapped his strength more than a bath would have. He'd have to remember the score the next time he tried to eradicate a powerful enemy of theirs.
As his vision cleared and he expanded his senses beyond the pain in his head he realized that he'd somehow ended up in the forest. Everywhere he looked he was surrounded by trees. It all looked so... flammable.
But what was the point? The forests of Hyrule had been burned, frozen, turned into all manner of giant, monstrous fiends. The denizens of the forest, and of the mountains, and the lakes, and the plains, they'd all been slaughtered several times over. And despite all that they continued to come back, like a weed infestation. No matter how many times the Lights and Darks had reduced Hyrule to rubble over the centuries, things never remained that way. Whether by hard work and perseverance or mystical intervention, that which had been destroyed always seemed to come back in one form or another.
But he thought, just maybe, this time it could be different.
Chapters of Interloper War
|Season 1 Chapters|
|Primer · Technically Not Retconned... · Thematic Curiosity · Castletown Kick-Off · Enter, Habiki · The First Gathering · Forest Interlude · Dispersion · Castletown, Round Two! · Forest Line Assault · Secrets Within the Vault · Restless Night · Journey through the Mindscape · Snowpeak · Darkness Stirs · H For Habiki · True War|
|Season 2 Chapters|
|The Twili Edge|