Spoiler: Ambience Bodies flung this way and that from the sheer force of Golems driving through the Regalian soldiers. Ardige Viduggla and Hengest Harhold’s men were all but caught off guard from the successful ambush tactic driven by the Silver Tear Paladins and the Golems combined. Like footwork, the tank-like Kathar fighters disarmed the Regalians’ stances and positions, thus ushering them into an urgent sense of improvisation. Many were crushed, squashed, or flattened by the sheer force. The Field Marshal Ardige Viduggla glared out across the lines in a mixture of fear but forced stoicism. He lifted a hand, striking it to his side to signal the order to charge. The Dwarven force which numbered significantly into the thousands lumbered into battle under the command of Azshalla Baal'ial. While the troops engaged, the Field Marshal Ardige Viduggla prepared for his next order, glancing around in search of Garth Viduggla’s field banner which was absent from the line. “Where the hell is Garth?!” Ardige shouted. No one responded and instead, the Field Marshal had to accomodate for once less Field Commander but the truth was the Imperial Marshal had removed a number of Ardige Viduggla’s men and stationed them in Merkars’arh for whatever reason. Garth Viduggla for example, just before the battle began, had officers within the Imperial Marshal’s column issue commands from the Imperial Marshal himself to fall back into the City and out of the battle. When Garth Viduggla protested, citing that he was a Field Commander in Ardige Viduggla’s army, he was met with a pre-written response by William Howlester’s hand, citing that he, ‘did not recognise Garth Viduggla as a Field Commander in this instance, and to immediately return to the City for its defence.’ As such, the Viduggla column had suffered some minor setbacks logistically, but in terms of sheer numbers they held strong. Azshalla Baal'ial led the Dwarves into the thick of it, targeting the first of the golems with their assistance and that of Malruthiia and Quin the Url. Through Azshalla’s precise and timely orders, the Dwarves were able to topple the first of the large, hulking golems with ease while Quin the Url negated prospect casualties by using his brute strength to scatter incoming Wolond and Shenath troops, tossing them about like ragdolls while taking no damage in return, not even a scratch. With the first golem on the floor and temporarily out of commission, the group could spear forward. Malruthiia managed to clear a small path before being pushed back three lines by Shenath wind mages. Thankfully for her she fell on something soft, that being Akkael Daelynn, a Fin’ullen Altalar sorcerer soldier who barely had the chance to even lift a hand to fight before experiencing the full force of the muscular Maraya clatter atop of him, breaking two ribs and his left arm upon collision. The Dwarven units held the line tightly to Ardige’s satisfaction. What's more, with large swaths of Wolond troops showing up amongst the composition of the right flank, it was highly unlikely that an ambush from the jungle would occur. Shane Marth then took charge of a regiment of Tenpenny Men-at-Arms, alongside Saabira Zakaria, and held the line closest to the Harhold Army’s own. Shane Marth, despite his commoner status, displayed skill in Field Command tactic and strategy that would put even long term students of the subject to shame, executing a perfect spearhead maneuver which allowed Saabira and a number of highly skilled Tenpennies to splinter the column and target their officers. Saabira and Marth charged forth toward a Saivale officer only to be checked in their advance by a Silver Tear Paladin. The Kathar warrior held out his weapon to strike at Marth but was deflected in his attempt by Saabira’s polearm. The Songaskia’s expert level pole combat skill soon proved to be too much for the Paladin atop of the strikes Marth attempted and the large number of Tenpennies. Despite being able to slaughter many Tenpennies, the Paladin fell to the ground after being tripped by Saabira and before he could lift his hand to cast toward Marth, the one eyed ginger forced his blade through the Kathar’s helmet and through the back of its head. With success looking likely for the rightmost flank, Ardige ordered the last of his Field Commanders, Frejnir Viduggla and Rodrigo Peirgarten, to take command of the last of the Tenpenny regiments and begin routing the Kathar force from the right hand side into a pincer-like motion, on the educated assessment and advice of his tactician, Mustafa Bey, that the Howlester left flank would do the same. Thus Rodrigo and Frejnir drew their weapons, rallying the soldiers from nearby to their side. The notable members of this grouping consisted of Torhilde av Kongehjem, Sibÿllad Lykke, Forcus Ironfist and Zelgius Pavise. Utilising his knowledge of battle already, Rodrigo led Forcus and Zelgius through the fray, hugging Azshalla’s column and using their advance as a quick streamline into the thick of the battle. From that angle, he was able to quickly dispatch two Wolond troops with a couple of swipes of his sword. Zelgius Pavise was less lucky with his weapon, only felling one Kathar before taking a stab wound to his shoulder, dropping his weapon and retreating back into Rodrigo’s column out of danger. However, out of all the soldiers in that column that day, including the Field Commanders, Forcus Ironfist showed exemplary combat initiative. Despite being 90 years old, the Dwarf dispatched with almost an entire regiment consisting of dozens of Wolond single handedly until his weapon broke from the sheer force of his swings. When it finally gave way and shattered, the Dwarf charged the Saivale officer in charge of the regiment to the ground and gouged out his eyes with his bare hands before splitting his skull in half. Frejnir Viduggla continued on, leading Torhilde av Kongehjem and Sibyllad Lykke alongside him in his wake. The fray was muddled with Kathar involvement and swipes of weaponry all around. Torhilde was a well-suited carry for the bunch, managing to toss aside Kathar left, right, and center, thus leaving openings for Frejnir and Sibyllad to help cut down the masses. Valkari Lothgard, by Ardige Viduggla’s orders, left his side--as it became painfully apparent that he would not need a bodyguard--and hopped into the heat of the fighting. However, she endured quite a few cuts while trying to involve herself in the mixture, right alongside Sibyllad Lykke, who was doing a bit better in terms of fending off the Kathar, but did earn a bruise or two. The Kathar felt the pressure from the Regalian forces and once more jumped in to protect their brothers and sisters in arms, they began to withdraw. Wing Admiral Horatio de la Riviere remained out in the open water, unfortunately amidst a thwacking array of tentacles which struck at whatever it could reach. It did not tire, it did not indicate any remorse in whatever calamity it induced. Fawzi Kra’zzla took some of the worst damage, for despite his best efforts to remain afloat to withstand and combat against the deadly sea creature, his vessel was enduring some of the most direct and full-front blows the Kraken gave. A full on blow from several tentacles at once took out the entire bottom foundation of his vessel, and at once it all began to sink. With no other choice, Fawzi took to the waters, rubble all around him as he paddled for the distant shore. Captains Dedryck de la Riviere and Faell’veia Avalorn managed to keep their own vessels afloat, though witnessing Fawzi’s go down was enough of an intimidation act to ensure they acted with thought and caution. They were taking damage for certain, but their combined abilities to captain with relatively clear heads throughout the destruction was enough to keep the Kraken at bay--but they could not do it for long. The entire ocean felt like a frenzy, a clash between weapons and the strength of something far more powerful than any man or woman upon the ships. Jasper Cassim helped fend off a good portion of the tentacles in their swinging and slashing attacks, however he endured quite a few bumps and bruises from all that clattered around him. As the ships rocked violently with every thrash the Kraken made, Thibaut du Pont stood trembling in the center of one deck, holding his fingers in the Unionist Eye formation while praying incessantly. His body shook and trembled as wildly as the ocean rocked; everything around him fell apart; men were thrown overboard; cannons were ripped from the hulls; and he experienced a close call himself, for a thick wooden shrapnel broke from the side and nearly impaled him, but luckily swung just beside him, grazing his arm in the process. Noelle Peirgarten managed to snag the wounded and tend to their injuries in the close call that the situation was, doing far better than most medics could do in the case of a Kraken attack. Abelhard Latimer prevented more sunken ships by manning what cannons remained. If it were not for his swift courses of action, doom could have been even more certain for the lot. The Dread Dragon and the Imperial Dragon once more caught the eyes of the wary scouts and tacticians as they breached the clouds, this time the Imperial Dragon on the upper hand. The sheer force of the two beasts punching through the clouds caused a momentary slip in the clouds, a ray of light beaming down as if to announce the imminent crash down below as they sped towards the city. The Dread Dragon had her back aimed for the city, with the Imperial Dragon clawing on top of her, its jaws sawing into her neck while she cried out, her wings desperately trying to reach out for anything to turn the tide. No respite came however, and with neither of them using their wings to fly, their entangled bodies dove to the city like a comet, crashing into a watchtower that promptly collapsed, city guards barely making it out just as the stonework tumbled down like a house of cards from the slightest touch. Rikkira had mostly intercepted the crash, but both Dragons were weary in their fight. Some could say that the Imperial Dragon was definitely stronger, but that the Dread Dragon had more experience and thus tired the beast out much faster as it pushed desperately to keep her away from the Regalian soldiers. As soon as both came back to their senses from their drop from the sky, the brawl in the streets and plazas commenced that would unleashed a flurry of destruction and collateral recklessness for others in their way. Garth Viduggla tried to frantically rouse the city guard and its defenders to clear the path, or move others out of the way as the two Dragons wrestled and coiled across the districts. Like two eels trying to strangle each other, they rolled from street to street, knocking over houses and clawing at each other’s faces, until halting in a major central square. Here, the two of them returned back to their humanoid form, though perhaps not fully humanoid. Both stood covered in scales, with their burning Draconian eyes, poised to fight once more, but this time less as beast and more as man. The city guard and its defenders quickly roused to the challenge also, crawling from the rubble to meet Rikkira which was now finally in their reach to strike. The battle ensuing between the two Dragons was equally intense as the sky battle had been, yet in a more compressed form. They manifested weapons from pure white Soul Essence as they fought, the Imperial managing only crude cludgels and sharp sticks, while Rikkira effortlessly switched from Altalar Glaive to Longbow, moving with such elegance and grace that every gesture seemed like a well calculated performance. Indeed, by the time the defenders approached, she was definitely on the upper hand, having just impaled the Imperial with her long spear, forcing him to his knees. In an attempt to prevent a coup de grâce, Hagmer was the first to jump in, head long with his claws stretched out for her neck, pushing off in a running charge with his tail poised to strike and his lunge aimed at her neck. In the mere blink of an eye, Rikkira turned, her gaze ever indifferent and indignant towards the approach of the Manathar, as she raised her hand, snatching Hagmer from mid-air and bringing the hulk of muscle to a full stop, her nails digging into his neck. A faint hint of irritation dawned on her face, the ever so slight frown that appeared, a slight tremble in her nostrils, all to be interrupted by a barrage of Fire Magic coming from behind, as Mae Draylas attempted to distract Rikkira away from Hagmer. She unleashed bolt after bolt before following with a full torrent of flame, channeling nearby ruined houses and torched timber that had been set ablaze by the lights knocked over by the Dragons before. A network of flame funnels circled overhead like a great maelstrom, gathering up every bit of wildfire to overpower the Dread Dragon, Titus Evander Cretch and Fen-nan Solaveira ducking underneath the flames to try and reach the center where the fight had commenced. Rikkira had let go of Hagmer then, who fell to the ground coughing his lungs out as if he had just been drained of all energy to continue living, heaving for air. Mae continued to funnel fire towards the scaled lady and her black and blue battle dress, the fire heat causing her clothes to dance around her figure from the sheer force, yet not hurting its intended target. Much to Mae’s horror, despite her pulling everything she thought she had and then some, the Dread Dragon was merely waving her hand at the Magic cast at her, as if playing orchestral composer, yet to the tunes of Mae’s impending doom. As if her irritation had been built to a level where it started getting to her, she hooked her spear still attached to the fading Imperial closer to her, before giving off a cannon-ball-like kick, a movement once more so gracious that it failed to telegraph the sheer power behind it, sending the Imperial in a straight line like a bullet crashing into a building and out of sight. On his way across the pavement, he crashed into Titus Evander Cretch, who was immediately knocked out by the body of the Imperial flinging up against him, and then rolling further and away. Rikkira then did something she had never done before, and one for Mae to remember her by, something she did started turning Mae’s Magic against her. She continued to cast her flames, but could no longer stop them. It was like Rikkira was using one hand to dispel the flame brought against her, and another to turn Mae’s own magical gift against her, as she started profusely sweating from the heat, and started to feel a sensation she had never felt before: the fire burning her skin. This was not the pleasant and playful fire she had known all her life, but a hurtful and hateful fire that started eating into her hands and then her arms, and the more she tried to make it stop, the more it just kept coming. Every flame in the city, every flame on the battlefield, she could feel them all, and she could feel the disgust the Dragon had, the way she manipulated the fire to make her burn, and how she wanted to burn them all. And then, just like that, Lazarus Lupenzi drove a sword through Rikkira’s neck. It was as if Rikkira was so preoccupied with teaching this small creature Mae a lesson that she completely forgot others were also present, Lazarus Lupenzi having made it to her side and plunged a sword into her neck. Rikkira froze momentarily, her casting towards Mae dropped, who also immediately was freed from her torture as she fell to the ground screaming, her hands and arms still feeling that burning sensation. Lazarus had a moment of victory, a sensation of having done the impossible, while Rikkira’s hand gently trembled and tried to reach for her own neck, her head unable to move. Yet no blood came from her neck, and her eyes turned to Lazarus with malice. The gentlest of touch of her hand on the blade caused the metal to snap at the hilt, the remainder stuck in her neck fading like silver dust in the wind as she turned to him. Hagmer had gotten back up, trying to assail her with his tail, though her dragon scale seemed impervious to his attacks, while she stepped forward to Lazarus who had to step back, his sword now shattered and only his shield remaining. Fen’nan Solaveira and Gehrman Gahan rushed to the scene, Fen’nan using her Altalar recurve bow to take shots at Rikkira to draw her attention, while Gehrman attempted to deflect Rikkira’s oncoming attacks with his sword with his reinforced metal staff. With each blow she inflicted, his arms and weapon shook as if they would rupture and split apart, Fen’nan’s arrows deflecting off her scales yet putting her off balance to the point she could not just wipe the field. Between the two of them, they were able to hold a direct flight with Rikkira for the longest of all of them, Gehrman using his superior athletics to jump out of the way of her attacks, and almost matching her elegance in movements to draw her away from Lazarus and the others. Garth Viduggla just barely reached the scene with more soldiers in tow, ordering them to surround her, pushing the Dread Dragon into a tight formation. Her awareness of this fact dawned soon, and her response was swift. She sung into the Soul Rivers, momentarily becoming visible to all to see in the city, swirling white torrents of glittering white essence, spewing forth bolts which drew into the floor of the city. Out crawled skeletal creatures, eyes vibrant green, summoning Witchblood weaponry and attacking the defenders of the city.