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[RP] Thimble's Promise

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The forges within the Corvus Citadel had been a bustle of activity since the Trials had begun. Though Thimble was but a crow, he had mastered the use of hammer and anvil while inhabiting the reanimated corpse of a long dead knight. Long had he toiled in that vessel, sweating from the heat of the flames, his arms covered in soot. The body had required food and drink while working, but the Citadel had provided. Zerst, Master Chef of the Citadel, had been hard at work himself, creating endless amounts of his signature dishes: gerbil cream pies and gerbil juice. He claimed that there was a secret ingredient, but that he would never tell what it was. No matter; the products of his genius had helped Thimble and the other Crafters of the Citadel outfit nearly all of their combatants in armor made from rare ores gathered near the contested Goldenhorn ore fields.

All of that was about to change. The Trial of Valkyn, the All-Father, had begun. The forge still needed tending from time to time, but Thimble had several very eager apprentices who were now skilled enough to take on most of the work. Now Thimble would be able to spend more time in the Trial, to compete to earn tribute with He Who Sits Upon The Dragon Throne, Valkyn the Ancient. He would burn, tear apart, and shred the reanimated bodies inhabited by the crows of Balance, and he would help lead the forces of Corvus Citadel and the rest of Chaos to victory. That was his promise, to himself and to his Brothers and Sisters of the Citadel.

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The drums of war were beating a steady rhythm (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G24_1FbBrbg). Corvus Citadel's warriors had joined forces with several other guilds pledged to defend the freedom of the Chaos faction. The forces of Balance had gained control of all three keeps, forcing all Chaos and Order crafting to be done in the safety of the Eternal Kingdoms. Now it was time to take back what was ours, and more.

Thimble had been part of an advanced force into the area, days before the siege. They had set up camp near the magical gate leading to their temple, felling trees and busting slag to prepare for their reinforcements to arrive. Now those allies were appearing, banging hammers and swords on shields, the occasional roar of a champion drowning out all sound around them as they prepared their minds for battle.

Finally the order was given. The massive force set out for Drachenfels Keep, the sound of dozens of porcine hooves creating a cacophonous roar. Most of the attacking force immediately began the assault, but Duffy, a member of the Corax Council of the Citadel, had other plans. He ordered the warriors of the Corvus Citadel and their allies Infernal to ride with all haste toward the portal to Hurijot. Once there, they leapt through the portal and made haste toward Storm Haven Keep, in the heart of territory controlled by the Balance faction.

As they approached the keep, Duffy gave the order to Infernal to summon the great siege engines crafted in the weeks leading up to the attack. Immediately the towering wooden trebuchets began to coalesce into existence, followed shortly by giant balls of fire being launched at the keep's walls. Over and over the walls were struck, and though they weakened, they stood strong. The defenders manning the walls of the keep summoned their own engines of war in response; ballistae mounted on the walls, and their own trebuchets firing from inside their courtyard. Balls of fire the size of centaurs hurled back and forth, smoke trailing behind them, creating a lattice of streaking shadows on the ground.

Thimble saw several of the defenders gathering on top of one of the corner towers of the keep. He used the wings of his vessel to propel him forward, and then began summoning the natural power that permeates all living things and focused that energy into orbs among the defenders. Having mastered the forces of Nature, he was able to see the orbs he summoned while the defenders were ignorant of their imminent demise. Once he was satisfied with the number of orbs, his focus strayed from Life energy to Death. With a smile on his lips, he summoned a Blight field, causing the Life orbs to become corrupted and explode, tearing the defenders' bodies apart.

His attention suddenly shifted to the wall. It had seen so much punishment that it was beginning to crumble, bricks slipping off as the ones below them shifted. Another meteor-like fireball slammed into what by then amounted to little more than a pile of broken stones and blew a hole wide open. The wall was breached! The order was given to rush into the breach, no matter the cost. The forces of Corvus Citadel and their allies streamed in, instantly annihilating two of the Ranger guards who were trying desperately to stem the tide that was pouring in. Thimble threw orbs of Life energy in front of him as he ran, healing himself as he stepped through them, and laughed at the remaining guards who were targeting him. Duffy gave the call to charge directly into the room where the ultimate objective lay: the Tree of Life. More and more attackers piled in, and here is where the defenders were making their desperate last stand. Attackers fell, the crow spirits inhabiting them forced to fly back from the portal the better part of a league away. But for every attacking vessel that perished, two or three defenders met their end. Though the crows flying back were weighed down by the shroud of Death, far too many Chaos forces remained for the defenders to handle. The very life force of the Tree of Life was quickly extinguished, and Duffy himself was able to plant a new sapling using a golden apple harvested from the knotwood forest outside of Corvus Citadel.

Word reached them of triumph at Drachenfels Keep. The forces of Chaos had done the impossible - they had taken two keeps from the vast and powerful Balance armies, led by the feared forces of the Winterblades. The Corax Council was under no illusion, however; the Winterblades were not a part of the fight at either keep. If they had been, the outcome would likely have been very different. Not for the first time, Thimble silently thanked the sacrifices of the spies who were able to relay the positions of the enemy forces.

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