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[The tenth hour, Day of the Bull, Month of the Dragon, 1700 TH - Above the Hall of Two Axes]

Marduk turns to Mandala, "The Elementals were working for The Jester or the Snake?" Marduk is distracted by the door opening and closing. "Mandala, somebody scary just walked through the Wards on that door. Somebody serious. And short."

Marduk scanned the roof top for the defenses he and Mandala were supposed to take out. "Have the Elemental start taking those things apart? I feel like we're forgetting something."

The tenth hour, Day of the Bull, Month of the Dragon, 1700 TH - Air Defense One

He did it without hesitation. Without thinking. Perhaps it would have been wiser for him to think before he acted in this instance, but Fearghas did not even stop to consider that. He just did what came naturally to him.

"Argbod Deleram!" he shouted resolutely into the storm. He made a motion of removing a glove from his left hand, and a glove larger than a troll's head materialized in the space in front of the crew's leader. Then Fearghas swung his arm and snapped his wrist. The glove followed Fearghas's movements and promptly slapped the poor surprised Theran in the face. "I am Fearghas the Flyer, and you, sir, have offended me! I hereby challenge you to a duel below this very storm!"
[The tenth hour, Day of the Bull, Month of the Dragon, 1700 TH - Air Defense One]

The Argbod was scarily fast. His rapier leapt from his holster into his hand, and had pierced the the phantasmal glove several times before it hit his face. The phanstasm being immaterial, this had little effect. His fine clothes were looking dishevelled from the unexpected wind and rain. They were however functional as well as fine, and appeared not to restrict his movements.

"You Sir, are unknown to me. I am manning a military facility, and do not have the luxury of giving you the drubbing you deserve. A duel is not mine to offer at this time."

"However, as you are in a restricted space, and have assaulted a military officer, you are under arrest"

"You lot, deal with the sorceress while I arrest this impudent Elf".

Saying this the Argbod ran towards Fearghas, as he moved, he rose up into the air to meet Fearghas. Unlike Fearghas who seemed to be flying the Argbod definitely appeared to be running. When he approached within 10m, he leapt in a spinning twisting way, his rapier before him for his target. Magical energies formed around his blade as it aimed for Fearghas's heart.

The Argbod didn't seem to notice that many of his crew were ignoring him, as they seemed affected by Alyena's spell. Many of them began to flee. A hardy knot of about 8 seemed unaffected, and grabbing their weapons they ran towards Alyena through the storm.
[The tenth hour, Day of the Bull, Month of the Dragon, 1700 TH - Air Defense One]

Mandala turns to the air elemental waiting for orders. Come with me, O mighty force of Air, and let us remove the barrier that protects those who seek to harm my friends.

Mandala races with the speed of thought and hovers in astral space just outside the ward around the first air defense station. It is a powerful ward indeed. He drops the Spatial Sense spell and replaces it with Shattershield. Aid me, Windborn, in my sorcery.
[The tenth hour, Day of the Bull, Month of the Dragon, 1700 TH - The Skies Above]

Ryl screamed her defiance as she leapt towards the drake, only to feel a moment of surprise as a spell flashed past her and sent it spiralling away towards the ground. She shrugged mentally to herself, she had recognised the spell signature, her friends were obviously on the roof and there was no time to waste on contests of strength - she needed to get Rose to the rendevous as quickly as possible, that meant dispensing with the rabble trying to climb on board...

...with a flick of her powerful wings she arched over the gunwale and sent a wash of incandescent flame over the nearest unfortunate trying to beat her back. In a fury of teeth, claw and blazing breath she ran amok across the deck of the Snake's Fury, smashing aside those foolish enough to come against her as she rent the grapple frame assunder...

As it whirled away from the deck she sent a final gout of fire back at her foes and caught the flailing end of the last line back to the Swift and began to drag herself back to her vessel

~We are free, cut that crap out of my decks... Set the course for the palace, it is time to make our approach. Gunners to your stations I want all batteries ready to fire. Archers to your stations...all hands, this is what we have prepared for...gird yourselves, what we do here today will have an impact felt across the worlds!~
[The tenth hour, Day of the Bull, Month of the Dragon, 1700 TH - Air Defense One]

Mandala marshals his energies and calls on the air elemental with him to aid in the destruction of the ward that defends the weapon before him. It has been a while since he felt so much mana swirling around him, and he thrills at the feel of it coursing through him. This will be impressive.

He reaches out and touches the ward, completing the spell, and the energies rush forward to do battle with the mana barrier.


What? That's it? THAT'S IT!!?

He waits for the pitiful charge to do its worst against the barrier. He steels himself for the probability he needs to do another blast.
[The tenth hour, Day of the Bull, Month of the Dragon, 1700 TH - Air Defense One]

The ward shudders and wavers; filaments of pressure and fracture spider all over its astral surface. But it holds. Mandala focuses his anger and frustration. What would the Buddha say of this attitude, old boy? He draws mana into himself and strikes the ward again, aiming for an intersection of astral cracks.


Much better!
[The tenth hour, Day of the Bull, Month of the Dragon, 1700 TH - Outside the Hall of the Labrys]

There is a feeling of pressure, as though an outside agency was manipulating the memory. The epic fights at the two air defenses, the ambush by the dagger wielding nethermancer, the gathering of the wounded and placing them on the Storm Swift are all blurred as the dream moves forwards in time.

A moment of disorientation is felt as though standing suddenly when perhaps too much Elven wine has been consumed, then...

Standing outside the Hall of the Labrys, the door is slightly ajar. Only a minute before Mandala and Marduk "saw" an invisible figure precede them in. Through the crack could be just seen the tall Nave leading up to the throne of the Governor. The ornamental Caryatid columns holding the roof up each held twin double bladed axes around which a lightning halo crackled.

Through the glass in the roof could be seen the crackling lightning of the storm. Unlike the outer hall, this glass hadn't cracked. Perhaps a higher quality of magician had enchanted this, the most important statesroom in the entire empire of Thera.

Clearly the hall was on high alert. Although only about half of it could be seen, in the middle of the hall was a table with a pile of cards, money and drinks. The table was abandonned, and three squads of 3 guards were searching the seats on either side, obviously looking for someone or something. A fourth squad had moved to guard the throne.

The White Rose paused.

"Our reconaisance of this building indicates that the primary guardians are the columns. The box is held in a chest to the right of the Governors throne. "

"I will dampen the magic in this area, this will disable or at least weaken the columns. The guards are your problem. "

"To open the chest we need the code. The code is 'dragon', 'cloud', 'tree'. Pressing the sigils in the wrong order is probably a bad idea, although I don't know what will happen"

"It seems our distraction is holding"
, she paused and listens to the sounds of the destruction that mark the progress of the Sphinx in its methodical destruction of the Visible Castle. "Normally reinforcements would arrive within one minute of us invading this place. They may already have been called upon, but in any event we should make this as fast as possible."

Raising her hands, the Aura of Golden Beauty poured from her flooding into the Hall. As the aura entered the hall the statues began to move. The stone maidens that formed the columns creaked. The twin double bladed axes in their hands were raised, and the aura of lightning arced all around them. The aura flooded through the hall, and as it reached the stone Carytids, the lightning went out. Crys of alarm could be heard from the guards, who lifted their spears and faced the door.

"Time to play boys and girls" she gestured towards the door...
[The tenth hour, Day of the Bull, Month of the Dragon, 1700 TH - Outside the Hall of the Labrys]

Ryl arched her back like a cat and shook herself, her scales making a musical tone as they slid smoothly over muscle and sinew. She grinned…a worrying sight with a muzzle full of teeth wreathed in the firey evidence of her wrath. She spoke into the minds of her companions

~It is time to end this thing. They cannot stand before us but others will come and time is not on our side…three each?~
the smile evident in her mental tone…

And she sprang forwards with a roar that would set teeth chattering and lift the hairs at the nape of the neck…at least on the braver sorts…
[The tenth hour, Day of the Bull, Month of the Dragon, 1700 TH - Outside the Hall of the Labrys]

Mandala marvels at the bravery of his saurian companion. And takes one look at the Golden Aura and decides better of any such rash action. He takes aim at the three guards immediately around the throne. let's see what the rest do when the throne is deserted. Focusing his will, drawing the mana carefully to himself, Mandala fires a bolt of energy, almost as much as he can bear, at the three of them. The Golden Aura saps the energy, but enough gets through to rock any normal human back on his heels.

But, oh, the drain of so much power! Mandala can feel the burn in his core. Some of the burn lingers after the spell passes. That's going to leave a mark.
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