Spoiler: Ambience As the myriad of Dread enemies flooded onto the battlefield, the Regalian plan was set firmly in motion. Immediately, General Aldwyn Howlester called for the bombardment of arrow volleys to commence from his Altalar backline. Field Commander Faraine Olawenys acted on the orders, as according to plan. “Loose!” her voice boomed; the whirring sound of thousands of arrows filling the air harmonizing her orders thereafter. The initial wave of arrows did nothing to stop the onslaught approaching despite having hit their mark. “Soften them up with cannon fire, Jude!” Faraine barked, riding along the backline of archers while they drew once more. Field Commander Thaddeus Jude had, himself, been charged with Howlester artillery cannons and as per the plan, gave the signal for the cannons to blast into the Shenath foot soldiers that swiftly descended upon Aldwyn’s Tenpenny Men-at-Arms. The Regalian soldiers flurried into motion to their quickest capacities, yet not a one was impervious to the terror which began to rattle through them all. Rikkira was a missile through the skies that sought her targets with smooth course. She dove and released a beam of lightning breath in an arc directly through a squadron of Regalian soldiers, decimating them where they stood. Onward she flew, denting the Regalian defense with a single volley of her power. The screams of the men pierced the ears of all, but it was not the only outcome of this merciless attack, for soon a second beat of wings lifted into the air and a courser cry shrieked overhead. The Imperial Dragon swept into the sky and crashed into Rikkira to intercept her direction, causing the Dread Dragon to jolt from collision. The two Dragons swirled over the heads of Kathar and Regalians, roaring and wings blaring in their flight. Lightning danced in the sky, one ray expelled between either Dragon and aimed to the other. To and fro they ensued their draconic conflict, a Dragon’s dance which alit the skies with their bright lightning powers. Clouds darkened; and eventually the booms of thunder resounded. The blasts of Howlester cannons were some of the only noises that emanated through the crackling racket from the dragons; the shots ploughing through the Shenath line for as long as they could possibly do so. When the Kathar were too close to fire on, the cannons ceased firing and the Tenpenny soldiers engaged. Tenpennies under Henrik Norrvakt were quick to engage, swords at the ready and warcries blaring. The thunderous clash of steel blared across the line as each force met with the Kathar enemy. Henrik Norrvakt held his line adequately with the assistance of Reyes Valasquez, Seraphina von der Ebene and Isak Atwood. Reyes Valasquez, usually in a commanding role stood stalwart to Henrik’s side as part of his squad leadership, deflecting Kathar blows but unfortunately succumbing to greater skill than her own, taking multiple slash wounds to her arms which caused her to drop her weapon and scream out in agony. Henrik could do nothing to assist either as he himself was heavily engaged with Shenath dual wielding rogues while forced to dodge magical projectile fire. To her aid came Isak Atwood who slew her assailant and four more warriors which beelined in their direction to end Reyes’ life; heroically then dragging her out of the fight and to safety where she could recuperate. Seraphina also fought moderately well though nowhere near her usual skill level. She narrowly avoided taking any wounds but remained steady in the fight for herself, her friends and her Empire. From the waters, Regalia’s ships were scattered with cannon preparations. Men on the decks ran here and there, loading and preparing the stations for cannonfire in a panicked set of scurrying movements. As the Kathar forces swarmed to meet with the Regalians, the naval forces were urged into hastier action. Motivated by their panic, they managed to load the cannons. Their aim, however, would be the one to slight them over all. Cannons boomed and fired across the water towards the land, only to strike among some of Aldwyn Howlester’s men in a rush. Just after it, before this could be processed, some of the Imperial Marshal’s men were also the unfortunate victims of the misplaced cannonfire and fell where they charged. The havoc caused disarray among naval men and Howlester men alike, but by some graces some of the Kathar were also hit by the soaring cannonballs. The ships rocked with fervent, rough waves--white caps that rose higher and higher until they were peeking over the cannons. Those on the decks held their positions to the best of their power, assuring that none of the other necessary supplied were tossed overboard. As some scrambled to snatch up more cannonballs, pairs of tentacles crept alongside one ship, and soon rose from the waters beside another. The previous gurgled, looming sound emerged higher towards the surface as if speaking to the naval forces directly from the depths. The Dwarven Oceans of Fire spewed out flame towards the rising tentacles, performed by some quick-thinking naval men who had learned from the first interaction with the familiar creature. However, this barrier of flame shot outward, strong and true, but the Kraken delved into the depths again, almost as if it disappeared without a trace. The water briefly stirred, then burst out of the water in a series of splashes and waves arising all at once. The Kraken neared the ships again, exuding its nautical croon. Soldiers Yasuke T’leuryn and Sage Rowe were some of the many who leapt into action, ready to defend the decks against the barrage of tentacles that snared at the ships. Unfortunately for Yasuke, he was snatched by one that arose behind him and lifted from the deck, over the ship and above the water--but not for long. The tentacle with its newfound prey flung him around, smacked him against the boards again and again until Yasuke was brutally injured, and it tossed him haphazardly back onto the deck where he came from. Sage Rowe did better at fending off most of the tentacles which threatened the lives of the other naval men, but she was caught in the crossfire of boards cracking, men flailing, and the harsh slap of cold water, sharp as needles. She broke from the fighting to move Yasuke elsewhere, for his condition was so severe that he would be out of fighting easily for two full weeks. Margarthe Black only managed to keep him alive with quick-thinking, brief medical work, but even she was unable to perform under the high stress situation. The Kraken did a severe amount of damage, especially to av Nystrom’s ship, and Valentino Sangiovese proclaimed that the Nautknight was too fragile to withstand any more damage. Gabadeli manned one of the cannons and faced off a trifecta of tentacles, but in the midst of the conflict he got scratched and bruised from the whipping motions of the tentacles against the water and the ship. Valentino Sangiovese’s proclamation did not go unheard, and soon the Nautknight began its retreat away from the Kraken, roughed up and barely upstanding. Meanwhile back in Aldwyn Howlester’s army, the Men-at-Arms under Field Commander Jared Kade dove into action to assist Henrik Norrvakt’s column. Moving swiftly through the hordes of Regalian and Kathar bodies, the Kade pressed the Shenath advance with Benjamin Syldove, Annelie Sarthyra, Einherjar and Joasaie Lloablen. The Kade displayed decent swordsmanship with his signature dual scimitars. After pulling one from the skull of a Kathar spellslinger, he turned to his fellowship; proclamining, “Come on lads! Force these thrice be damned heathens back! May these rogues fear our blades!” Benjamin and Einherjar, both Url of note back in the capital, charged into the Kathar line with force, knocking Shenath asunder. Benjamin himself collapsed a Saivale officer to the floor and mauled him to death, forcing a minor pull back in that particular regiment. When Benjamin then turned to assist Einherjar, it was only then he realised his fellow Url was on the floor in a puddle of his own blood, clutching his abdomen to keep his insides from falling from a gaping wound he had suffered. Benjamin heroically grabbed Einherjar and carried him back behind the line for medical attention, which miraculously came at the hands of Kara'välÿna Hállëvandëia, a known medic in Regalia, who easily through the use of her skills keep Einherjar alive but just barely. This Url most certainly owed his life to Benjamin and Kara, but early celebration was still not yet warranted. Back on the front line, Annelie Sarthyra and Joasaie Lloablen faced the first of many Void Harpies that descended upon the Regalian ranks. In an amazing feat of tag teamwork, Annelie was able to use her athleticism and skill in unarmed fighting to wind the Harpy as it descended with an uppercut to its abdomen. Pinning it in place with her right foot as it flailed upon the ground, Joasaie Lloablen brought her atrave down upon the creature’s head, crushing it instantly and putting one of many of these demons out of the fight. So far, the line was holding well Aldwyn’s end. Faraine Olawenys continued to order arrow fire up until the point she took a burning spell projectile to her arm. Thankfully, her armor took the brunt of the blow but would still leave her with very minor burning. Aldwyn called for the Archers to start pulling back and to hold their arrows so to prevent any friendly fire on Regalian soldiers. Ironically, a foolish Altalar soldier slipped during the command and fired his arrow forward and into Aldwyn’s shoulder. The force of it knocked him from his horse but given the entrypoint of the arrow, he would survive to remain on the line, merely choosing to snap the arrow’s shaft in half and remount his horse. At this point Edmure Howlester thought it prudent to send in the mage strike force Aldwyn had amassed, calculating that a quick push back on the weaker Kathar left regiment could possibly leave way for the 10,000 Highland berserkers held in reserve to make a clear and precise collapse of that left column, and make the Imperial Marshal and Field General Reimar Typhonus’s job much easier by forcing that flank to pull back. With that in mind, Aldwyn ordered Valerie du Brierust, Kai-si’en, Ilyvaeia Nilovenisyl, Tullion Kearney and Lysander Blackwood, the latter for good measure, to charge forth to assist Jared Kade and company. Valerie du Brierust was barely able to lift a hand before being bombarded by a flurry of fire being cast from a Shenath Mage’s hand, singeing her hair short into a bob cut and burning the top of her shoulders. Falling to the floor, she was dragged back to a medic by Lysander Blackwood, who saw it as his duty to carry the damsel in distress to the nearest medic for attention. With Valerie gone, it was up to Tullion, Kai-si’en and Ilyvaeia to do as was tasked. Tullion with his magic helped the group of three slip through a wave of Kathar warriors and toward one of the Shenath officers on the front lines. Ilyvaeia conjured an indestructible shield around Tullion, Kai-si’en and herself while Kai-si’en flew ten feet into the sky with use of her moth wings, clapping her hands above her head and emitting a blinding flash of moonlight amidst the Kathar warriors, giving just enough time for Jared and Henrik to push forward and force the left flank of the Kathar host into pulling back as planned. The Dragon conflict ensued amidst the rest of the chaos, as if detached from everything around them. Though the exchange of lightning fired from either Dragon’s mouth was aimed to the opposing, occasionally a sliver of such struck the ground surrounding the Regalians and Kathar. The powerful creatures collided and fought each other claw and teeth, where one bit and swiped when too close for the other’s comfort. The Imperial Dragon, bigger than the Dread Dragon, drove a lot of physical force into its attacks, but it was the swift and skilled Rikkira who could out-maneuver her foe with smooth turns in the air. She drove into him after juking mid-air, latched onto his shoulder with her bite, and blasted a gravitational pull effect into him so he was sent careening down to the earth. Relatively unbeknownst to the Dragons, their flight combat had directed them in the direction of the city behind the Regalian force, into one of the towers. The battlefield felt the eruption of Dragon bursting into stone and rubble which fell with them. Roars and cries of either beast only ensued once they were at the ground, and while mostly concealed mostly away from the direct sight of the Regalians, it seemed as if the Imperial Dragon was put in quite a pinch. Yet the fight ensued again after a burst of lightning dragon breath, and Rikkira soared into the air with a clunky, beat up Imperial Dragon taking after her. With Aldwyn’s army holding strong, his father, the Imperial Marshal, ordered the Howlester Highland men alongside the Tenpenny reserves to begin pushing the Kathar line back thanks to the opportunity Aldwyn’s army had created. He sent forth the orders from inside his command tent, stepping outside to nurse a sigg that hung from his mouth, watching the battle unfold. Ania Howlester, one of William’s Field Commander’s, handed the adjacent order off to Einarr Norrvakt, both sharing brief nods to each other as they galloped off up to the front lines. The Imperial Marshal’s line was being held predominantly under Mordred Howlester, his brother, and Sigbjorn Modig-enn, a Santorski loyal soldier there at the behest of Ania. Sigbjorn did moderately well, dispatching a couple of Kathar that encroached on Mordred. Mordred did adequately, clearing a path for Ania’s approach who relayed Imperial Marshal William Howlester’s orders. Ania barked the orders out loudly for the Howlester Loyal Soldiers to hear; and almost instantly the Tenpenny soldiers parted to the left and right to allow for charging Highlanders to smash forward into the fray and harry the Kathar that attempted to push in. Ania and Einarr then moved to assist Mordred and Sigbjorn, a flurry of axe and sword combat becoming a myriad of blood as the line held. Although the left-hand side was holding, the right-hand side faced a sudden surge of Silver Tear Paladins and Golems which succeeded in an unforeseen flank. They were bombarded at once, met with heavy-hitting strikes which sent many Regalian soldiers aside as if ragdolls. Field Marshal Ardige Viduggla, Field Generals Hengest Harhold and Deo dei Termini would have to act quickly and competently in order to prevent a full on decimation by the Kathar’s tank-like forces. If any characters under Aldwyn Howlester, William Howlester or Av Nystrom were not mentioned in this particular progression it is due in fact that the character is, by progression standards, too inactive server side to warrant mention. Double character sign ups were also not permitted save for where special dispensation was granted. All injuries are effective immediately. I also included inactive characters in William Howlester’s column because I wanted to also be excited and enjoy it with my friends. Sue me.