Sentinels of Dawn Command

The Siege: Part 2

A desperate last stand

The Phoenixes of Sentinel Wing were reborn in the Flame of Cartacia, greeting the revived defenders with the dawn. The mood is grim but determined as they survey the plain before the city, awash with skeletal soldiers carrying ancient banners from the Empire’s Civil War. Eerily, there is no sound as they flow toward the walls. They see in the distance one massive shape at the center of the Bone Legion: a massive behemoth that shambles ever closer. A hundred feet tall and weirdly slumped, the figure resolves into a horrifying mass of bodies assembled into giant form. Now sounds break the silence: cries and moans of these undead corpses of the Legion’s slain.

As the grisly army draws near, what seems like smoke rises from their ranks. The dark clouds move swiftly towards the city and are revealed as hundreds of rotting carrion birds. They descend on the defenders in a first strike.

The Phoenixes work quickly to strike down as many of the birds as possible, but some make it through. Crya Tul, the merchant leader of the refugees who had taken command of a signal tower, is cut to pieces along with the defenders around her. Fortunately, the rest of the birds are dispersed before the Behemoth arrives at the walls, and they do not return. The Phoenixes guess this part of Hadon’s dream is only an afterthought, unlike the indestructible Bones.

The Behemoth itself slowly winds up and smashes a catapult. Its attack is disrupted significantly by Silas and Reaper, or it would have crushed part of the wall itself. Adamant meanwhile engages in Psychometry to locate Hadon Pelagius, the ghostly enemy general. As the battle grinds on, he confirms that Hadon is within the Behemoth, and that its body is composed of the victims of the cities his army has destroyed. As another tower is smashed, Adamant zeroes in on Hadon: he is where the heart of this monster would be, and the easiest way to approach is through its maw.

Adamant knows that he can burn the sparks of his life-force to appear next to one of his wing-mates, so he holds back to fend off one more attack from the Behemoth. Reaper and Silas leap off the walls, dodging through the hoards of enemies and scale the monster’s legs. In the process they do take wounds—and the city suffers serious losses as well. At last they climb inside and are safe from the Legion.

Rejoined by Adamant, they wind down narrow passages, hampered by the flailing of the victims which make up the Behemoth’s body. The victims are simply lost to the nightmare, beyond help. It is a race to the heart: in just minutes the monster will strike once more, devastating the walls.

Before that can happen, the Sentinels arrive in a large central chamber. At first it seems empty, but at the far end is a Bone warrior embedded in the wall. As it slides free, the Phoenixes recognize the insignia of Hadon Pelagius. Eerily familiar ghost light surrounds him. A warhammer appears in his hand and his voice rings in the minds of the Phoenixes: “You’ve got nothing left to fight for. I’ve reduced your Empire to ashes.”

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