“Deadrick!” Nerui yelled, “What do we do?”
The portal had closed- but not before it had released the three very angry, and heavily armoured Dragons.
One banked above them, dropping a huge firebomb.
“Move!” Deadrick yelled, he dived forward, pulling Nerui and Danyel with him.
The ball of fire hit the ground- barely missing them, and sent out a huge wave of heat, which caught Deadrick in the face as he turned.
The Werewolves assault had petered out, and now they were pulling back for fear of getting mixed in with the crowd and getting caught by one of the Ecrid spheres.
But Bruad and Garum were no longer firing at the crowd- they were trying to get a hit on the Dragons, but it was no use- the guns just couldn’t fire fast enough to catch the surprisingly fast Dragons.
“No, no, no, no!” Deadrick roared. His plan was falling apart; the Dragons arrival had given the Unholy chance to regroup. They reformed into a stronger built wall, and began to push back.
The biggest Dragon dropped again, taking a swing at a fleeing group of Skrule’s werewolves. They flew into the air, along with a number of Vampires, who had gotten in the way.
Deadrick didn’t know what to do- they couldn’t pull back; there was no way that they could ever get another chance of getting into the tower. He could feel Juhra preparing to enter reality- it was then or never.
But he knew that he was helpless, with the Dragons repeatedly dropping fire on them from above, there was no way that they could press on. And there was no way to actually stop the Dragons.
It was only a matter of time until the Unholy overwhelmed them.
Without warning, one of the Dragons let out a pained roar. Deadrick looked up, and saw the hundreds of arrows that had found their way into the soft spots between its bone plating.
He blinked, and then almost smiled as another wave of arrows whistled through the air from somewhere hidden behind the tree limit.
The wave caught the same Dragon again, striking its wings and blinding it. It screeched and began to fall to the ground.
It crushed anything that couldn’t move fast enough, as it hit the ground- silent. Dead.
“What is it?” Danyel asked, a smile at the corner of his mouth, “What’s going on?”
“I’d recognize that tactic anywhere,” Nerui said, beaming, “It’s the Elves!”
Deadrick turned to the trees to see hundreds of colourful, winged creatures come flying over the black, gnarled trees.
The Elven battalion flew the Gryphons with skill and precision. Each one wore armour bearing the mark of Ulissryn- not dissimilar to what their riders were wearing.
An Elf at the front of the formation stood up with perfect balance and yelled something.
At hearing this, the battalion all climbed to their feet and removed the large silver bows which were slung over their backs.
They each, still in perfect sync, took a long, ornate arrow from their quivers, and placed it on the bow. They aimed, and fired without hesitation. The Elf leading the formation dipped under the arrows as they ploughed past him, travelling forward and striking one of the remaining Dragons.
Deadrick looked up. The Dragons were distracted, now trying to catch the even faster Elves.
“Skrule!” He yelled.
Skrule turned to him.
“Move forward now!” Deadrick roared.
Skrule nodded and repeated the order.
The Werewolves, now fewer in number, reformed the assault formation they had before.
The sound of the Ecrid guns once again firing into the crowd filled Deadrick with fresh hope, and he almost laughed when he saw a second Dragon fall from above.
As Skrule and the Werewolves began to push forward again, the masked Elf that had led the formation into the battle dropped towards them.
“I thought you couldn’t in good conscience lead your kind into war,” Deadrick said as the Gryphon landed.
The rider pulled the odd looking mask off, revealing his identity.
“We are all one, Inquisitor,” The Halara yelled over the noise of the battle, “And Nerui had led us here before we even knew it. One of us means all of us,”
The Halara smiled at Nerui, who smiled back, but looked away.
“What is that?” Deadrick asked, referencing the mask, and noticing for the first time that the Gryphon was masked too.
“This allows us to breathe, the Gryphons are armoured to withstand the terrible conditions of these skies,” The Halara explained, holding up the mask so Deadrick could see it.
It was basically a large pair of goggles with what looked like a piece of leather that covered the face. On the lowest part of the mask, a glass canister was fixed on, with a pipe that lead to a bigger canister that was tied to the Gryphon.
“We are not the only help you have acquired, it seems,” The Halara said, referring to the Werewolves.
“Juhra’s essence lies at the top of the tower,” Deadrick said.
The Halara nodded.
“We shall take you to the top of the tower, but you must face the great evil alone,” The Halara told him, “We shall end this battle, while you, Deadrick, end the war,”
“We’ll come up with you,” Nerui said, “You’re not doing this alone,”
“I think your Werewolf friend has done all he can down here, also,” The Halara said, pointing to Bruad, who had deactivated the gun and fallen back against the seat, looking like he had be deprived of food and water and then viciously beaten.
“Are you ready?” The Halara asked.
“As ready as I’ll ever be,” Deadrick replied.
The Halara bowed his head slightly, then looked up at the battalion. As they banked over, he yelled something.
“Derelei, Galerionai, Naluitha!”
Three of the Gryphon riders heard the call, and broke away. Banking towards them.
The riders landed and took of their masks.
“Father!” Nerui cried, hugging Naluitha as he got down from the Gryphon.
“Deadrick, you’re with me. Galerionai will take Danyel, and Naluitha will take Nerui,” The Halara said, still in his usually calm tone, even amid the increasingly loud sounds of battle, “Derelei, there is a very tired looking young gentleman on one of the guns, get him, please”
The Elf called Derelei nodded and nudged the side of his Gryphon. He lifted into the air- the great big feathered wings lifting the majestic creature into the air with ease.
Nerui and Bruad pulled themselves onto the suddenly very large looking Gryphons.
The Halara climbed onto his Gryphon and extended an arm, Deadrick took it and climbed onto the back of the Gryphon.
“Lets go,” The Halara said. Immediately, his Gryphon lifted its wings up, and dropped them again. He did it again and again, and they began to lift from the floor.
As the Gryphon began to climb above the battle, Deadrick felt his stomach do a somersault.
His mind was racing, and his heart was beating faster than it ever had before. It suddenly dawned on him that no matter how he went about it, he would never be ready to fight the evil at the top of that tower.
And yet, he had no choice.