ceronull Sep 22nd, 2016 242 Never
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- Rains lashed against the glass of the window, obscuring the turbulent waters of Meldric's harbor. Winds howled as large waves crashed against the piers tossing and nearly capsizing the ships docked there. The revolving beacon at the top of the lighthouse cast beams through the warm rains of the hurricane, mirrored glass sending light from an everburning flame.
- Perched on a high cliff that overlooked the mouth of the harbor the lighthouse served to warn the many trade and warships that traveled to Meldric of the steep coastline. The tall tower of sturdy dark stone groaned as the winds bashed against it, lightning illuminating the city and harbor in brief flashes of light. Just below the beacon's room a small room where a pair of Guardmilita watchmen huddled around an iron stove, the windows rattling with the sound of thunder.
- A human stirs the stew bubbling in the copper pot as their companion, a hobgoblin, adds another log of compressed wood-shavings to the stove. Sitting back in a wooden chair and looking out the rain-slicked window the hobgoblin woman sighs, "What'd I do to get stuck out here during the hurricane," she complained for the dozeneth time.
- The man shrugged as he spooned the thick stew of tubers and chicken into dented tin bowls, "You could go on patrol," he suggested as he handed her a bowl.
- She gave him a grimace when she turned away from the window, "Ha ha, funny," she replied as she took the bowl and grabbed a roll of bread breaking it in half to share with the human, "Guess it is better than being on Night Patrol in the city," dipping the stale bread into her stew to soften it.
- Nodding as he blew on the stew, "Yeah, there was another Ripper attack recently," he said between spoonfuls. A loud crack of thunder rattled the windows as they ate, sheltered from the storm.
- "Damn, anyone we know?" she asked then bit into the soaked bread.
- "Ned and Finn were abducted along with a slummer out after curfew they were escorting out of the Market," the man looked up as another boom of thunder rang out but the tower's floor rumbled slightly, "Carren was injured, heard the Rippers bit a chunk right out of her arm before the rest of the patrol scared it off."
- The hobgoblin shook her head and scratched at the scar on her chin, ""Shit...I had a round with them just last week," she sighed and turned to her bowl to ease the sudden sense of melancholy. This time even she looked up in alarm as a trio of booming echoes shook the windows followed by tremors felt through the floor, "Storm's getting worse?"
- Already on his feet the man grabbed his raincloak, tossing up the hood as he opened the door and let in a strong wind and howling rains. The woman wasn't far behind him as they stepped out onto the landing running around the tower just below the beacon above. Shielding his eyes from the warm rains the man scanned the harbor but the hobgoblin grabbed his shoulder and jerked him around.
- Pointing out at the industrial sector she shouted to be heard over the storm, "Look! It's burning!" a building, likely an alchemical factory, cast bright orange flames into the sky despite the deluge. The pair flinch as the air rumbled with another salvo of thunder and a split second later they watch as a dockside warehouse crumbled with a trio of explosions.
- Rushing to the corner of the landing the hobgoblin cast off the tarp protecting a device of glass and metal on a complicated swivel and yanked hard on a lever. Within the contraption a bar of metal is cracked and bent by spring-loaded armatures, the metal rapidly began to shine with a blinding light which was focused and directed by mirrors and magnified glass. The bright beam swept through the rains, a finger searching for the city's attackers tracing a pattern across the harbor.
- Seeing only waves the hobgoblin woman shouted in frustration, "Who's attacking us!?" as they swung the spotlight across the water.
- A salvo of cannonfire, no longer mistaken as thunder, rung out and the man tapped on her shoulder pointing out at the dark clouds. The beam swings up and the pair stare dumbfounded as it struck something floating toward Meldric. The bright finger of light swept across the riveted metal hull of something resembling a barge. The light lifted higher and revealed the structure was slung under a bizarre mass of pulsating flesh, strips of armor bolted into its hide. The hobgoblin woman let out a shout as the beam illuminated a cluster of alien eyes protected by a metal mesh.
- "War-Dirigible!" the man shouted as he ran back inside and threw open a hatch that hid several long metal bars of different colors and a small silver hammer. His hands shook as he took the hammer and began rapidly tapping against the bar painted bright red. Across the city the sound of emergency bells began to toll and the searchlights of other watchtowers cut across the rain-soaked night to light up the bulk of the Orc dirigible.
- Revealed, the warship unleashed a round of cannon-fire against the rousing city and several more buildings collapsed moments later. Several moored ships shatter under another salvo, the burning wrecks slipping under the rough waves. Meldric finally retaliated, ballistae and mortars returning fire against the large ship.
- By the light of cannon flash and lightning the pair of Guardmilitia watch as their city came under attack. The Orc war machine rained destruction down on the city but Meldric was far from defenseless. They watched as from the rooftops as a myriad of unnaturally colored bolts of lightning reached out to strike the sides of the war-dirigible with little obvious effect.
- A flame that shone as bright as the mid-day sun ignited over the monstrous College building, brands of flame arced out and set alight the rubbery hide of the atmospheric beast. An ear-splitting whine rang out as the craft bucked, cannon-fire growing irregular before cutting off as the crew of the dirigible struggled to calm the beast. More beams of blazing light leaped out, scorching the sides of the barge but already the warship was making its escape.
- The war-dirigible ascends upwards, the heavy warm rains doused the flames as it disappeared into the clouds above. Alarms still rang through Meldric but the pair let out relieved sighs now that the attack was over. Flames dotted the city, marked by orange glows illuminating the storm. Their relief was short-lived as the collection of bells above the contraption the alert had been delivered with began to chime out a coded message.
- The pair kept their beams illuminated, fingers of light scratched across the ragged skies. They searched for signs of the dirigibles return or other unknown attackers. Within Meldric the Guardmilitia rushed across the city to help extinguish building fires and rescue trapped citizens. The city was wounded, ambushed in the midst of a vicious storm but Meldric always rebuilt. It always grew strong from disaster.
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