"Cease fire!" called the commander.
The mortar team stopped firing, all except one man who was partially deaf in one ear, and entirely deaf in the other. After a moment, he noticed that nobody else had fired with him, and turned around to look at the knight that had addressed them.
"Ahem," the commander cleared his throat. "Her Educatedness, the Scholaress of Lorne." Then he rode off the hill from where he had spoken, and made way for an unfortunately faced woman.
She smiled, and it was the only pretty thing about her. Then she began to speak, as a hand somehow combed through her tangled and disheveled hair. "I am she. Heed my words. This tower is not wrought of onyx as it seems. Rather, it is the work of trained and enslaved furlizards - creating a material quite foreign to our Kingdom."
"To the point, Your Educatedness," prodded the commander.
The Scholaress winced, causing what few of the firing squad that were looking at her to look away. She continued, "Since we have no blades of Metusbreath, I suggest that you aim for the stone around the base of the tower, rather than for the tower itself. Thus it will fall like a tree in the forest."
"You heard Her Educatedness, men!" shouted the commander.
"I didn't hear a damn thing," muttered the deaf cannoneer, to nobody in particular.
And so, the siege of the Blazing Tower resumed. It was joined promptly by a crooked smile of cracked and golden teeth, from the lips of the Scholaress, and it seemed to have a far more profound effect upon the Blazing Tower than any explosive. For she smiled too with her eyes, where her gray irises were like shards of shattered glass. They channeled a fierce and destructive power as her left fist clenched around her scepter, squeezing from it every iota of arcanity.