Spear of Longinus, The

From ThroneWorld

Jump to: navigation, search

T95, Russian Empire
Upon return of the Army of the Crusade in triumph to Moscow the Spear of Longinus was placed within the St. Peter and Paul Fortress in Novgorod.

T198, The Danish Empire
Five stupendous towers twisted up out of the earth, spiking up from a valley floor riddled with dens and warrens and deep and noisome shafts. The bodies of hundreds of thousands of slaves lay piled along the roads and ramps of the massive complex. The Danes entered the valley of darkness with great anger in their hearts. Corolis lightning flickered from tower to tower and the sky was distorted and strange. Of all the men that entered that dark place, only Kristatos had a full understanding of the heinous crime that had been done to the earth.

“There is little time,” he rasped to his daughter, whose enigmatic face was twisted with revulsion at the bone-pits and the forges and foundries that her men had uncovered. “Train your guns upon these towers and let fly until no powder or shot remains.”

Within moments, the first shell had burst in a flower of orange and red upon the rune-scribed surface of the nearest tower. It rang at the impact, sending forth a mind-destroying vibration that made the earth shake and many of the men in the Danish army to fall to the ground, dead or senseless.

At the center of the valley, where the influence of all five towers was at its height, the sky distorted and twisted. A great wind came up, whipping stones and shards of ice into the faces of the Danish troopers.

“Fire! Keep firing until your barrels melt and the bronze ruptures!” Kristatos screamed over the howling wind. “I will do the rest.”

He turned, the Spear raised high above his head and on his lips there was a half-remembered chant – something he had once gleaned from the pages of the Black Book. Behind him, Oniko raged along the batteries of guns, lashing the men to a greater pace. The field pieces spoke again, belching fire. A second shell and then a third crashed against the leviathan towers. Green-black rock spalled and chipped, then a slab tore loose under the bombardment, plummeting a thousand feet to the floor of the valley. It exploded on impact, scattering crushed rock and shards of glass in all directions.

The sky at the center of the valley rippled like the heat over a hot fire, then there was a ripping and a tearing sound. Kristatos blanched at the event, for his chant was only half done and a thousand stanzas remained. There, before his eyes, space twisted and distorted and a black void spilled forth. Something writhed in the darkness and his hands struggled to invoke a second pattern while his mind was almost completely exhausted by the effort of the first.

A thing jetted forth from the tear in the sky, a writhing opalescent shape that slithered across the ground, pooling in the pits and caverns that the Frost Wolf slaves had gouged from the frozen soil. Intense cold rushed before it, killing the entire first rank of gunners. The cannon shattered, the metal unable to withstand the breath of the abyss.

Kristatos slashed down the Spear and thunder rolled again. He invoked Names and Signs and a wall of flame rushed up before him. The opalescent tentacle smoked and burned and failed wildly before it retreated. The second rank of guns continued to fire, shells raining on the towers. The Emperor put forth all his will, drawing on arts that he had gained in his youth when he had walked in darkness, seeking knowledge long denied to the race of men.

The entrance rippled and began to expand.

Kristatos invoked the final Sign, completing the last stanza of the ancient text. At the same moment, the fourth tower burst into flame and collapsed into the valley. The vortex that had threatened to flash into existence could not maintain itself.

The rip in the sky closed with a colossal snap.

Kristatos slumped to his knees, body dripping with sweat. Above him, the sky shuddered and began to rain in great endless sheets.

“Back to the ships,” howled Oniko into the teeth of the storm. “Our work here is done.”

T201, The Pit Beneath The Teeth, Hûkar
Bitter cold seeped from the slabs of granite lining the floor of the basin. Kartuq, the master of the Frost Wolf, stepped gently, feeling the sting of the air even through the heavy cloak, shirt of overlapping steel plates, leather jerkin, and the heavy felt undershirt. In his hands was a weathered old length of ashwood, tipped with a corroded, chipped spearpoint of archaic design. Here, at the very vertex of the powers invoked by the three towers that loomed up into the glassy gray sky above, any misstep would mean instant annihilation.

The old Wolf laid the spear down, gently, on the soapstone “key” that sat at the very center of the uttermost pit. This done, he backed away, taking care to place his feet in the outlines cracked in the hoarfrost. A little later, he stood high on the side of one of the Teeth, staring down into the pit, Two of the Uliqqa crouched beside him, their foreheads pressed to the dark green rock.

“Let it be done.” Kartuq’s voice rumbled in counter-point to the crack and rippling flash of lightning that danced between the Teeth. One of the Uliqqa cut his arm with a stone knife, then raised the bleeding limb to the sky. A constant swirling storm maintained itself above Hûkar at all times. Now it seemed to coalesce, the sky bending in and down over the Pit. Yellow lightning boiled in the basin below, then leapt to the sky, kissing the clouds with a stunning boom.

Kartuq felt the hairs on his arms and neck stiffen as the air filled with the god’s presence. Light and shadow roared and stormed in the recesses of the Pit and then faded away. A burning point of cold blue remained for a moment, and then was gone.

“So ends the Spear,” muttered Kartuq and turned away. There was much to be done, before the Sunlanders came against this place again. And they would come. This much was clear. At the oval door of the observation deck, the old Wolf suddenly spun, startling the Uliqqa that crept after him. They whimpered.

Kartuq looked carefully around the stone platform, seeing only the sprawling mass of the city far below, the sky, and wind and driving snow.

“Master…” hissed the Uliqqa with the bleeding arm, “what is it?”

“Nothing…” Kartuq sheathed the whaling knife. His thoughts were not for such as these, bare shells hollow with the madness of the god. Something was watching me, he thought. It felt like Her.

Personal tools