WarScape; Volume 3: The Thaw of Evil . .
I was honoured to join Blake Baer and Siercon and Coral in their WarScape saga this year, and here's my volume of the series.
When the unearthly howls first reached our ears, carried by the frosted wind, not a man could resist the icy tremor which ran down their spine. Chilling like the scream of wind through the mountain cemetary, we knew it to be the herald of death, truer than the Reaper himself. Looking over our once steadfast walls I spotted the source of the demonic baying, and felt the steely vise of dread clamp upon my heart. Great beasts of darkness rose from hell itself, their heads upraised in exhaltion at being free, flames leaping from their jaws. Evil had thawed, and surely it'd take more than mortal man to freeze it again.
As it grew difficult to behold the terrifying evil beasts which rose from fire to assault us, my eyes turned to the sea. My sense of dread was complete upon viewing the devastation which crushed every belief in escape. As a black, soulless ship rowed alongside our anchored galley, streams of flaming quarrels rained destruction upon her decks. On land, drumbeats rang out like peals of thunder, a great ballista fired death to their rhythm. The walls of our fortress grew tight around me, hope draining from my marrow.
From my vantage I could just barely see the horde which spread throughout the town. Flames sprung of each building as the swarm passed, I prayed that our church would withstand. From the hills our stalwart defenders descended to battle the evil which desecrated their homes, sturdy Northerners whose axes swung sure. For a moment I dared to hope that they would emerge victors, then a wail like that which I'd never heard split the frigid air. Evil's greatest ally made its presence known, the dragon's horned head turning towards the battle below...
The sounds of war permeate the air, screams of our fallen piercing my heart. Yet I refuse to surrender all faith. My life may soon be forfeit, these castle walls no match for the engines of evil, but while there is time there is hope. It is said that a new type of vessel is being constructed deep in the heart of the mountain, one which needs no sea to cruise upon and is buoyed by steam. It seems impossible, though I pray it true; belief in escape is all which isolates us from death.
Looking out, my previous thoughts of escape appear as the most unattainable dream. Our bastion of stone, our isolation from all that plagues the poor and the weak, is surrounded by those who have ruined countless such edifices. Our developing cloud ship is still but rumour, of which I've seen no proof. At long last all hope has left me. I have died, and our city shall be the earth to entomb me... Forsaken are the men of God, for we have sinned.
The inner tower.
A ship suffers a fatal hit, water gushes out from the shattered planks.
Decapitation of a Northern warrior.
Two bureaucrats watch as their forces battle evil.
A war beast is summoned from the depths of the Earth.
A ballista lends it strength in the ship battle.
In hidden tunnels under the castle propellers for a airship are built.
A underground pond.
The boat battle.
The interior of the castle walls.
An overhead view.
Thanks for stopping by, and look forward to Blake Baer's and Siercon and Coral's upcoming volumes!