"Watch your front!" Lt Svar roared at his men as they manned the battlements when the crazed townspeople rushed the walls again. The Imperial defenders had grown accustomed to the thunder sticks of the strange soldiers who came from the skies after fighting together for two days.
Svar paced slowly behind his men as they fought against another wave of crazies that kept throwing themselves against the stone walls of the Citadel. He was quite intrigued by the ritual that turned the entire city's population into mindless creatures reduced to their basic most desires yet still retain enough intelligence to use weapons and even form simple tactics among themselves.
The constant attacks were... irritating, thought Svar. He wondered who was the mastermind behind all these, and what was their final objective. After ensuring there were no issues with the troops, he walked down the walls, ignoring the stares and fugitives avoidance of him as he passed by them.
Hundreds of makeshift tents and shelters covered the small courtyard and gardens, turning the once beautiful landscape that showcased the wealth and power of the city into a refugee shelter. Over the past two days, hundreds of unaffected citizens of the city somehow managed to find their way to the Citadel, where Lady Titanna allowed them in as long as they were affected by the madness.
Hundreds soon turned to thousands, and there were incidents where a few crazies had slipped in among those seeking refuge. Luckily not much damage was done, yet dozens were killed in the sudden violence.
Titanna had quickly organized the civilians, putting any surviving adventurer or city guard to hold order among the refugees, while any volunteers were sent to Knight Captain Judis. She even placed her political enemies to handle their food stores, making Svar shake his head.
He couldn't understand what politics was all about. If it was up to him, he would have issued a challenge to his enemies and defeat them in open combat as was the way of the Oerkins. But even after adapting to the hooman's way of life and getting a commission with the Marines, there were still many things that befuddled his mind at the way these soft skins did things.
Still, it was not his place to judge, he was only to carry out his orders and keep his men and the soft skin Rothschild girl alive. Till then, he just kept to his best talent, which was waging war.
Capital of Bluewood, The Palace
"My Emperor," Rows of minsters stood respectful before their Emperor reported, "News of the Black Scorpion Legion has returned. They... they were defeated by an unknown force in the south together with local forces."
Emperor Varacen frowned, "The Scorpion King was defeated in combat?"
"Yes, My Emperor!" The minster who made the report stepped forward and kneeled down. "After he had conquered all the major cities of the Twin Alliance, he moved his force to the south to suppressed a local uprising which had already defeated the local army."
"But, we just received urgent word that all forces were defeated on the field..." The minister kept his head down low.
"Impossible!" Emperor Varacen roared and he slapped the table before him. "He has the Bronze men as support! Who has the power to defeat them?"
"My Emperor, if I may," Another minister stepped forward and bowed. "It might be that group of rebels in the South."
"Them?" Emperor Varacen rubbed his chin. "The ones that Duke Sturm failed to destroy?"
"Yes, my Emperor," The other minister said. "They must hold some Legacy of the Gods to defeat both Duke Sturm and the Scorpion King. We can no longer belittle their abilities. If they are using their Legacy to expand their powers, we must not hold back and throw everything at them, and if we could take their legacy into our hands..."
Emperor Varacen nodded at the unsaid words, "Very good... Then, hear my words, send fore the Imperial Army! Crash them once and for all and take over that Legacy of the Gods from their hands!"
The ministers all kneeled and kowtowed, "Your wish is our command!"
Orwell's Point, River Docks
Dozens of local shipwrights, Haven engineers, and techs worked non stop, modifying the Imperial Barges captured from the previous invasion fleet, turning them into a sort of amphibious vessel. The oars benches were removed, giving more internal space while the under decks were strengthened, allowing the heavy wheeled and tracked vehicles of the UN Marines to be driven into the lower decks.
The forward square bow of the barges was cut out and turned into a dropable ramp for rapid vehicle deployments. At the rear, a couple of screw propellers were installed with two banks of Haven Heavy Industries "Quad" Dragonite engines that powered the shafts.
Engine tech in Haven had taken off at a rapid pace as the city's reliance on engines grew more and more. Dozens of goblins in work overalls shrieked in their own mad language banged away happily at the screws and nuts of the engines as they did the installation of the engines under the eyes of horrified locals.
Modifying the barges took a week despite the work went on non stop without stopping. Four of the barges that once carried Imperial troops now were docked proudly in a new coat of naval grey paint, with the white and black stencils of LCVP 01 to 04 neatly painted on their sides.
The Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel forward converted ramps were deployed with chains linked to the tops, which worked as a pulley to close the ramps, awaited with their crew impatiently as dozens of vehicles and troops boarded the ships.
James Bone, formerly just a lowly UNMM Corporal, now holding the lofty rank of a Marine Captain, Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion, stood at the side with his aides watching the boarding of his men into the four barges. He never in his life thought he would make his way up the ranks so fast, and as an officer, no less!
"Is that shit seaworthy?" James asked offhandedly as he watched one of the SRM carriers' tracked wheels whined loudly as it tried to find purchase on the slick surface of the ramps. Finally, the driver managed to control the half track and it rolled on board, causing the barge to sink down slightly.
"Yes, Sir," His aides answered him. "The engineers ensured us they are able to carry all the weight."
"I really hope so!" James replied. "How long before everyone is loaded up and we can move out?"
"Another hour at least, Sir!" His aide said. "We still got two companies yet to embark."
"Hurry them up," said James. "It's going to take roughly twenty hours to reach Norshelm."
They had planned to use the river to travel directly to the city, instead of crossing overland and traveling by the inland sea as it would make logistics easier. An advance party consisting of the PT boats had gone ahead to clear the river of the wrecks of the Imperial Barges that were sunk in the battle to prevent any mishap from happening to their own ships.
"We have already spent a week here sitting on our thumbs... It's time to save our people if there is any left to save!"
Norshelm, Rothschild Estate
Mills banged the table, "When is the rescue force coming?"
"It's been over a week already!" Mills gestured out to the windows. "We waited so long and now the damn crazies had come knocking at our doors! And we still have people in the city!"
Hundreds of figures could be seen trying to force their way through the ornate fences and gate of the Estate in the distance.
"Calm down," Lieutenant Trism said for the umpteenth time. "That vile storm over the city has grown stronger and stronger, making us lose all forms of communication with the city and everyone else."
"We barely could send in the helos to resupply the Citadel, but now, we can't even send them in without them experiencing heavy turbulence and risk crashing them!" Mills grumbled. His eyes were bloodshot with a lack of sleep and guilt was gnawing away at him for unable to save the people trapped inside.
"Mills," Trism put his hand on his shoulder, "Go get some rest and stop thinking about this, help will come. It is no use for you nor us if you break down at this point!"
Mills buried his hands into his face, "I can't sleep! I keep seeing those faces!"
Trism sighed and he held out his palm face out and placed it over Mills's head before reciting a spell. "Sleep!"
Mills's head dropped onto the table as he fell into a magical slumber and Trism sighed again before he pushed open the door and called for the sentries to bring Mills into his own bunk to rest. He returned to the window and frowned at the crazies that were attempting to overrun the fences and wondered if they had been abandoned by the UN.
He had sent a couple of teams out to attempt to communicate back to Orwell's Point but they had yet returned with any news and for once he felt naked with any flow of information. He wondered what was happening in the city and if there was anyone left to rescue at this rate.
He glanced at the warp storm hovering over his head and stared at it suspiciously, wondering if it grew larger?
Norshelm, Underground Palace
"MOREEE! Ohhh... More!" Moans and groans came from a tangled mess on the massive bed. "Yeess! yesss!"
Hedone smiled as she finished and the male slumped over her, planting kisses all over her naked body. Her power was slowly recovering as more and more faith was flowing into her core. The worship given by her new converts were giving back her once lost powers, strengthening her divinity once more.
Soon, with more time, she will take over this entire land, her worshippers will adore her and only her. It will only be a matter of time before she recovers enough of her divinity to influence the weak willed creatures of this world and once she has enough faith, she can take over this world as its sole goddess!
She still remembers the many eons ago, when she and the Pantheon of the Gods fled from that world where they lost much of their followers from fighting with the other Gods. Those that remained behind were destroyed, their cores turned into stardust.
Yet, this world that they found after many many ages of traveling through the cosmos, had their own Pantheon of Gods that did not take well to newcomers to complete with them. A war was fought, and many fell on both sides, and in the end, both sides lost all their strength and could only hide or retreat into solitude to recover their powers slowly.
Luckily, the natives in this world had the same basic desires as her original world. These silly creatures were easily persuaded by her charms and promises, making her their Goddess easily. It has taken her many cycles before she could manifest enough of her powers to form her core and placed it into a vessel of her choice, but the creatures of this world could not withstand her power as she was a divinity being of this world, making her having to change new vessels every few years after vessel was burnt out.
But the Gods of Luck and Fortune must be listening to her! A being from her original world was found! As long as she converts him to be her follower, she could have an everlasting body to remain in this plane! Once that happens, nothing can stop her from spreading her influence throughout this world when she walks in this plane!
She eyed the tied up human on the pillar and smiled bewitchingly at him who blushed and looked away. "Hehehehe..."
"Spread the word..." Hedone giggled in happiness. "We must spread happiness to everyone everywhere! Tell everyone to give in to their desires! Make love and not war! Share the wealth and food! Heheehhee!"
"The Mistress rewards!"