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  1. #11
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    Ignore Knightfall
    Originally posted by Taboo
    Truely excellent. I told you if you keep this up I'll never get any updates done on my own! Now I've got to get busy writing!

    Good job, I'm looking forward to reading the next one. I don't know how you keep 'em coming.
    Actually, this story is something I wrote several months ago when the Starfarer's Handbook first came out. All I've done recently is spellcheck it and bring it more in line with certain details in the Guide of the Galaxy.

    And without further ado, here is part five of Book One. The conclusion of Book One.

    Part Five - The Conflict Begins

    Ruby Theragain clutched at her doll under the burned wooden sign of Hale's Fine Woodcarvings on Springwater Street. Beluir was in ruins, half it's population either dead or fled from the city. Now the halfling child watched as strange metal creatures marched up and down the street. They paid no attention to the halfling girl, as they continued down Springwater Street and disappeared around the corner. Ruby had refused to let them see her cry. Now she wept openly for the mother and father that had died in front of her eyes. The city hadn't any warning. The rain of fire had streaked out of the sky and laid waste to everything it touched.

    The door behind Ruby opened. "Are they gone Rubes?"

    "Yes Finkel," Ruby didn't turn around as the halfling boy struck his head out the door. "You can stop hiding now."

    His friend's words were meant to cut him and he knew it. "That's right Rubes, I was hiding from them. These beasts are dangerous and you shouldn't be so defiant in front of them."

    "I am not afraid of them."

    "Neither am I." Finkel's tone was defiant. He wasn't a coward, just more cautious then his friend. "Hiding from them is a good idea Rubes. If you are a ghost then they can never see you. They can never pick you out of a crowd."

    Ruby turned and looked at her friend standing in front of the ruined storefront. She had never seen him look this way before or sound so unnerving. He looked older, almost like he had come of age in less than a day. Not that she blamed him. She might have lost her parents but Finkel had lost everything. His family had been killed, his home completely destroyed and all of his friends in the Pond District. The rain of fire had destroyed the entire district and Finkel had been luck to get out alive. He had no one to take care of him, unlike Ruby.

    True, her parents were dead and nothing would bring them back. The rain of fire had left not a trace of them when it hit them. But she still had her brothers and her Aunt Daphnia and Uncle Pete. They hadn't had any children of their own so when the fire from the sky had killed her parents they took her, Wiley and Jaspin in without a thought. Their home had remained intact for the most part but there was little room. Ruby had begged them to let Finkel stay with them. They insisted there just wasn't room, which Ruby had thought was just un-halfling of them. The truth was that Ruby's family never liked Finkel thinking him whiny and a bad influence or her.

    Finkel didn't have anyone, except Ruby. She refused to abandon him to the streets and had brought him half her food and found him a place to sleep at night in the woodcarver's shop. The Carver wouldn't need it anymore. He had fled the city in the night with so many others. Most had gone north to the Lluirwood or so Ruby had heard from her friend Lily Tibbles. Lily had contacts all over the city but then she was quite the nosy busybody and loved to gossip. She had picked it up from her mother but after these steel men came she started to see it as her duty to find a way to smuggle information around Beluir and keep everyone informed.

    And all this happened in less than one day and night. Ruby was beside herself with grief and began crying again. Her momma and papa were gone and there had been nothing anyone could do. Even the Priests of Yondalla were powerless to stop these metal beasts and their weapons of destruction. The temples to the Halfling Goddess had been razed to the ground and the priest round up like sheep. No one had seen or heard from them since.

    Strange new humans and halflings had started walking up and down the streets during the day preaching to the city about a faith called the Unification Church. Ruby had never heard of such a thing and she didn't like what they had to say. She hadn't been overly fond of priests or religion but she did believe in Yondalla and considered herself faithful. But these priests had said things about gods and religion that scared her. Only Twelve True Gods and the rest were just fairy tales or something the priests referred to an Aspect of the Twelve. She didn't like the sound of that at all. Yondalla was real and no one would tell her otherwise.

    By why had she not done anything to prevent this. Of course, Ruby knew the reason why. The entire world was suffering or at least that was what Lily had said.

    "The rumor is that from Assur to Waterdeep this rain of fire had fallen and destroyed everything it touched. Then like here the metal beasts came and took over whatever they could. Everywhere in Faern people are resisting these monsters as best they can but it is almost impossible to hurt them. There is even talk that this Unification Church destroyed the Gods. It is all so very strange and frightening."

    Ruby wasn't so sure of to believe from what Lily had said. After all, these metal monsters had arrived without warning and had powerful weapons and magic. And without the Gods, Ruby didn't think the world had much of a chance to make the monsters leave if they don't want to. But Ruby could hope the rumors that Lily believed true were false and that Yondalla would save Ruby's homeland and send these invaders packing.

    "Rubes, another patrol is coming. Their stupid curfew is right now! If you stay out here this time they haul you away. Please come inside until their gone. Can you do that for me, please?"

    Ruby knew Finkel wasn't a coward and that he was right. They would haul her away and to who knows where. "Alright, if it will make you feel better."

    Finkel let out a long sigh. Ruby scrambled to her feet and the two halflings scrambled inside and closed the door behind them. They ducked down and remained completely still as one of the huge metal beasts went by screeching and howling as if to dare anyone to challenge it.

    Ruby covered her ears and forced herself not to cry.

    * * *

    Hours earlier, Commander Madden had watched as the Imperial battleship turned towards his tiny fleet. The battleship was huge but Madden was not impressed. He had served on such a vessel once and knew its weaknesses. He also knew its strengths and barked an order to his helmsman as the metal behemoth lined up it main gun to fire.

    "Hard to stern, Ensign Wilder!" Madden cursed as one of the corvettes continued on straight towards the leviathan firing all its guns at once. "Damn fool! Captain Sandaval is going to get everyone aboard that ship killed. Hail the Sabre, tell them to bank away-"

    The Imperial battleship fired just as the hail was going out to the other League ship. The Sabre did bank but not in time to prevent the battleships powerful quad ion cannons from finding its target. The entire forward section of the corvette exploded as the ion blast cut through the shields and hull. The ship began to rock with explosions and soon the vessel was dark and adrift in space.

    "Message to the rest of the fleet. Fire everything we got at that damn battleship! Keep them away from the Sabre! I'm not going to lose that ship and it's crew just because Sandaval had to be a glory hound!"

    Madden knew that bringing Sandaval into the League had been a mistake but he had battle experience. The League wasn't very battle savvy so Madden had gone against his better judgement and not vetoed Sandaval's application before the Directorate. Now the hot head captain's crew was paying for his mistake.

    The Victory let loose with what weapons it had but the Deva Wing and the remaining corvette, the Valorous, would have to beat the odds and work together. Madden patched in his command station directly to the Valorous' captain. The gnome was a good man but didn't have Sandaval's experience or arrogance. The two captains came up with a quick strategy, which would hopefully allow the Victory to send in rescue teams and save the remaining crew of the crippled corvette.

    The Deva Wing would draw the battleship's fire away from the Sabre, while the Valorous appeared to stay with the Victory and cover her, while she rescued the Sabre's crew. And hopefully the Imperial captain would move to take out the cruiser and then come back for the corvette and the carrier. Then the corvette would try to surprise the battleship from behind and disable its ion cannon. It was risky but had little choice now. The quad ion cannons could cripple each ship with one precise shot.

    The Deva Wing took the fight to the Imperial battleship using its quad plasma cannons to full effect. The two warships exchanged torpedo fire both taking a severe strike. The battleships port side exploded inward as the torpedo struck, while the cruiser took a massive strike near engineering. The two ships then past each other like on the open sea. The Imperial captain smelled blood. The battleship turned away trying to line up its ion cannons. That's when the Valorous shot out of nowhere firing all its weapons at once. Only its plasma cannons penetrated the battleships shield. Two of the quad cannons exploded but the other two remained. The Imperial captain realized his mistake and sent out a barrage of torpedo fire towards both vessels. Two of the forward torpedoes struck the Valorous, dead center, and the ship exploded in a ball of fire and metal. The Deva Wing took two torpedoes from the battleship's right tubes and Madden knew he was in trouble. His engines were gone and so were the main guns.

    The Imperial ship turned away from Deva Wing towards the crippled Sabre and the Victory. She closed towards the two other vessels and all Madden could do was watch helplessly. Then something happened not even he expected. The Sabre's engines fired and the ship turned towards the Imperial warship. The small corvette rocketed toward the ship that had supposedly crippled it and through a barrage of torpedo fire Captain Sandaval rammed his ship into the battleship. The force of the impact knocked out the battleships remaining ion cannons and severely crippled the ship. The Sabre exploded into a blood red fireball that any wizard would have been honored to see. The battleship remained but it had no way to stop the Victory from moving in and destroy it with its torpedo bays.

    What happened then was unfathomable to someone who had not seen it happen.

    * * *

    Captain Farhand had never been more terrified in his life. The corvette had come to life and rammed into the Centurion before anyone could react. The battle was lost. He had only two torpedo bays left and doubted that they would hit the mark without the targeting computer. Most of his bridge crew was dead along with Elgan. The computer would not even recognize his command codes so the autodestruct was useless. Blood poured from chest and face and his left arm was shattered. The Divine Sphere had been at the focal point of where the corvette had rammed his ship. Centurion, the ship and the Aspect were dead.

    The windows on the bridge had held but cracks were beginning to form and spread. He could hear the air rushing out of cracks and knew that it would be only a manner of time before the whole bridge decompressed. He refused to leave the bridge. He would not leave his ship. He would die here where he was meant to be.

    What he saw then was unbelievable. His laughter echoed through the bridge, then the glass on all sides shattered and he was sucked into the void of space.

    * * *

    While the warships danced with death the League interceptor's rocketed through the void dealing death to the outmatched Imperial fighters. The League's numbers were too many and the few remaining Imperial interceptors left the void of space switching to the atmospheric engines that allowed them to enter Toril's sky.

    The leader of Fathom Wing, Jason Rodani, watched the five Imperial interceptors cross through the plasma gun grid guarding the planet below. He wouldn't let them get away not after what the Empire did to his world, what they did to Breka.

    "This is Fathom Leader," Jason spoke into the Comm with authority and pride in his men. "We're going to split up. Breakwater, you take Fathom Left and draw those guns fire. Fathom Right, you are with me. Those Imperial bastards are not getting away today."

    "Yes sir!" Breakwater was his second-in-command and one of the best pilots you'd ever meet. Halflings were great pilots. Half the interceptors of Fathom Wing banked towards the plasma cannon grid and burned their thrusters at full. The cannons wouldn't hit them, as an interceptor was one of the fastest fighters in the galaxy. Everyone used them.

    Jason hoped the programmer that came up with the software for these weapons wasn't that good. If the platforms were programmed with multiple threat analysis then they would be easy targets, as they attempted to slip by and into the planet's atmosphere.

    Fathom Left moved into range of the platforms and then rocketed away before the cannons could get a lock. The weapons fired away depleting power reserves and Jason knew the programmer had been second best. The weapons should not have fired without a lock. The interceptors of Fathom Left easily dodge the plasma bolts and even took two of the platforms with their ship's twin laser cannons.

    "Alright, lets get those Imperial dogs!" Jason banked his ship towards the gap and the rest of Fathom Wing followed him down towards the planet. Several distant platforms tried to lock on but they were to far away to be of any real concern. The pilots of Fathom Right dodged and weaved through the incoming plasma fire without breaking a sweat.

    "Switch to atmospheric engines and watch your descent. It will feel like the ship is falling for a second." Jason wasn't worried. He and his men had done this maneuver dozen of times before in training in harsher conditions than this.

    The twenty interceptors cut their fusion engines and switched to the atmospheric generators. The ships had magic built into them that allowed them to use the world's air to propel them forward. The effect was that the ships were almost a part of the air and didn't burn fossil fuels. It also gave them blinding speed through almost any sort of atmosphere. The only problem was that the Imperial interceptors worked the exact same way.

    "Alright, lets find those bastards and send them to Gehenna."

    Back in the depths of space Breakwater was having a ball. The platforms were really slow to lock on and their shields couldn't stand up to multiple hits.

    "Fathom 12, watch your six. That platform almost locked on."

    "Sorry BW, I just wanted to see that last platform I shot go boom."

    Breakwater pulled his interceptor up to lock on to the platform lining up Fathom 12. His twin laser cannons made short work of the platform. He watched the reports coming in from the Victory. She had unloaded most of the Sabre's crew, while the Valorous guarded her back. Commander Madden had drawn away the Imperial battleship in the Deva Wing.

    Breakwater pulled further back to see how the Deva Wing was faring against the bigger ship. He switched on his monitor and enhanced the view with his scope. The image came up just as the Valorous rocket toward the battleship fire all weapons. Madden knew his tactics but the corvette barely scratched the battleship and Breakwater closed his eyes, as the Valorous was destroyed.

    "Damn it!" Breakwater flipped on the Comm and got his pilots attention. "Fathom Left, break off from the platforms. That damn battleship just destroyed the Valorous. We are going to try and cover the Victory if we can."

    The Comm was silent, as the pilots responded without a word. Most of them had friends on all these ships and they knew the risk. But knowing the risk is different then finding out you friends had just died. The interceptors of Fathom Left ignited their engines in formation just as the Sabre turned and made its ramming run against the battleship.

    They cheered as the not so crippled corvette dealt a fiery blow to the battleship crippling it. Then the Comm went silent as a sight worse than death appeared on the scope.

    "Oh crap, crap, crap, crap," Breakwater's mother would forgive her son for his wicked tongue, if he lived to see her again.

    "Are they what I think they are?" Fathom 4 sounded like he was going to be sick.

    "They are," Breakwater couldn't believe his eyes. Three Pirate Brigade warships teleported into the system in triangle near the crippled Imperial battleship. Dozens of Brigade dragon wings swarmed out of the fighter bays of the lead carrier. Breakwater knew the ship, had prayed never to see it again. The Warlock and its two battle cruiser escorts began to open fire on the remaining League vessels. Thul Gulokas had come to Toril.

    End of Book One

    [Bwah-ha-ha-ha... ]
    Last edited by Knightfall; Thursday, 5th September, 2002 at 11:36 PM.
    Robert Blezard

 

  • #12
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    Ignore Horacio
    Great great great!

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    Ignore Knightfall
    Originally posted by Horacio
    Great great great!
    Thanks! But just you wait. I've got the Prologue for Book 2 done and should have part one finished before next Monday.

    Edited out the stats for Thul...
    Last edited by Knightfall; Thursday, 12th July, 2007 at 08:16 PM.
    Robert Blezard

  • #14
    Not a single rank in knowledge: tactics or profession: commander or ANYTHING? Pretty poor general it would seem then

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    Ignore Knightfall
    Ok, this didn't take as long to get done as I thought it would. If I keep writing at this rate I could have part two of Book Two done before Saturday. But don't quote me on that.

    Book Two - The Battle of Toril

    Prologue

    Grand Duke Kupric read the reports coming in through his ansible from the outer edges of the Domain of Golion with disgust.

    His domain, the domain of the copper dragons of the Dragon Empire, was becoming a battle zone for Emperor Mezzenbone. Kupric looked out the huge glassteel windows of the Ducal Palace at the majestic peaks of Meneer. Hundreds of beautiful towers and temples, as well as other grand structures covered the peaks of the Irunath Mountains in every direction.

    Kupric couldn't enjoy the beautiful structures today. Not when another world on the edge of his domain stood on the brink of annihilation. Of course, Breka hadn't been in his domain or he surely would have intervened. The Iuvare system lay on the other side of the invisible border with the Domain of Altara.

    The white dragons had done nothing to protect the world from the predator, Thul Gulokas. Kupric hadn't even bothered trying to appeal to Grand Duke Nimgroth's sense of honor. The White Wyrm hasn't any honor. He had allowed the Dark Son to enter the Iuvare System uncontested and destroy Breka.

    Well this Amaunator system was in his domain and he wasn't about to let the Emperor's dog destroy it or weaken it so the Emperor could claim it as a protectorate of the Imperial House of Mazorgrim. Of course, Kupric didn't have any real proof that Gulokas worked for Emperor Mezzenbone. The Dark Son wasn't stupid and neither was the Emperor. It didn't matter. Kupric was positive that Thul Gulokas was the Emperor's dog. And he planed to spank that dog out of his domain.

    "Yes," the great copper wyrm uncurled his massive body raising his head high above his elevated throne. "This time, my Emperor, you go to far."

    Grand Duke Kupric tapped the gigantic, floating ansible in front of him going over in his mind how he would word the message to his fleet captains. He hoped they would get to the Amaunator system in time to save the world called Toril.

    "May the Mother watch over and protect them."
    Last edited by Knightfall; Wednesday, 31st October, 2007 at 07:02 PM.
    Robert Blezard

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    Ignore Knightfall
    Part One - Darkness over Toril

    The Commander of the Dragon Brigade was not pleased. The remains of the Centurion floated through the dead of space. Pieces of the destroyed Imperial battleship were falling out of orbit and would soon enter the upper atmosphere of the world in front of him.

    Worse still was the sight of the two starships that had destroyed it. Thul Gulokas raged inside wanting vengeance against those that defied the Empire. He studies the two vessels as best he could from the bridge of the Warlock. He couldn't believe that these two vessels defeated an Imperial battleship. Then Thul noticed the remains of another ship orbiting the world known as Toril in the distance.

    It hadn't been as large as the cruiser and carrier that still posed a threat. Then the large half-dragon noticed the remains of a fourth ship intermixed with that of the Centurion. Even a trained eye would have missed it at first. The vessel had obviously rammed the Centurion. Yes, that was what destroyed it.

    "Crewman 1," Thul's deep, grating voice boomed across the bridge for all to hear and fear. "Status report on the enemy ships."

    "Sir," Thul's second-in-command responded his voice steady and firm. "Scans indicate that the carrier is heavily damaged. It is dead in the water but still has some weapons. Torpedoes and several of its plasma cannons still function.

    The cruiser seems intact. Our scans cannot penetrate its shields. Both vessels appear to be old, refurbished Imperial models. The cruiser appears to have been upgraded substantially. It is definitely a threat, Commander."

    Thul knew crewman 1 wasn't overstating himself. The drow man was very good at his job, which is why Thul chose him to be his Second. The drow man knew his place and accepted it. He had little choice and Thul knew the drow man resented him for it.

    "Status on the two remaining Imperial ships." Thul didn't move fixing his gaze upon the cruiser through the glassteel windows of the bridge. "What clearance level do they have?"

    "Both of the Hammerhead dropships have deployed, sir. The Imperial Legions are already on the surface. The landers have not returned to the Hammerhead skeletal frames still in orbit. They have minimal clearance, Commander.

    The Centurion's weapon platforms have all been destroyed, as well. There are dozens of Imperial crewmen near death in the void of space. They're fading fast. Should we save them Commander?"

    Thul didn't think it would matter. They would all die anyway but he was honor bound to try to save loyal Imperial sailors. "Very well, but make sure any of the survivors have high enough clearance before letting them out of the infirmary. If they don't, tell them they're prisoners of the Pirate Brigade."

    "Yes sir. There was definitely more resistance here then reported."

    Thul couldn't drag his eyes from the cruiser. He knew it from somewhere. He was sure. "Find out everything you can about that ship. It's name and the name of its-."

    Then Thul remember where he had seen it. Only one of the resistance ships had escaped from the Iuvare system, the Victory. "Crewman 1, that ship out there is the Victory."

    "Sir," Thul's Second wasn't convinced. "Are you positive, Commander? There hasn't been any sign of the Victory since Breka. Surely pirates or the Cleash destroyed that ship years ago."

    "I am positive, crewman." Thul raised his voice in anger. It wasn't like his Second to question him in front of the crew. If it had been anyone else, they would be dead. "And where the victory is so is my old mate.

    Order the Firewurm and the Spider Eater to take the carrier! They are to capture it intact and bring me the captain alive. We will take the Victory and I will have my revenge!"

    "Aye Sir!" Thul's Second barked out at the bridge crew of the Warlock. The crack crew responded in record time. They knew the Commander would kill anyone who seemed unsure of the task at hand.

    "Launch all dragon wing fighters and tell them to take out the enemies fighters. And hail the captain of the Basilisk." Thul knew there was a spy onboard the Hammerhead dropship and wouldn't take any chances.

    The Warlock began firing on the Victory just as the two battle cruisers turned towards the wounded Deva Wing. Thul watched it all unfold before his eyes. He would have his revenge. "There isn't anywhere for you to run to this time, Arassil. I have you."

    * * *

    Commander Davis Madden knew he was in trouble. The two Imperial battle cruisers would make short work of Deva Wing without help. And the Victory would be hard pressed against the Warlock.

    "Lieutenant Railer," Madden turned towards the dwarven sailor just as the first barrage of plasma fire slammed into the hull of the ship. The ship lurched tossing several of the crew onto the floor. "Defense status!"

    "It's not good, Commander. We have minimal weapons left and no shields. And the teleport suppressor is offline."

    "That's all we need," Madden helped one of his crew up. The man was badly burned when his station exploded. "Divert all auxiliary power to the suppressor and the shields. Prepare the crew to repel boarders. How many arcane spellcasters do we have?"

    "Barely a handful, Commander." Railer was punching buttons frantically trying to get the shields operational again. "We won't be able to counterspell in all sections. I am ordering them to the engine rooms and the bridge."

    Just then, two Brigade sorcerers teleported onto the bridge escorted by five Brigade sailors in full body armor.

    "Oh crap," Madden unholstered his laser blaster firing towards the enemy sailors. "We've got company."

    The bridge crew of the Deva Wing all ducked for cover bringing their weapons to bare on the Brigade boarders. In an instant, the bridge was aflame with blaster fire. Two Brigade sailors went down in a flash while Madden and his bridge crew hung on for dear life.

    An instant later, three of the Deva Wing's own arcane spellcasters stood on the bridge in a triangle around the enemy. They all spoke in unison attempting to counterspell the magic of the two sorcerers. Madden knew it wouldn't be in time. The League Commander dove across the bridge rolling onto his feet behind cover near the Brigade spellcasters. He fired once hitting the first sorcerer directly in the chest. His second shot went wide of other sorcerer glancing off some sort of shielding spell.

    Railer worked at his station regardless of the danger. He was still trying to get the suppressor up and running. Two Brigade sailors were aiming in his direction.

    "Railer, look out!" Madden's warning came too late but he was pleased to see the blaster fire impact a force field that Railer erected around his station. The two sailors fired again hitting the force field. It was slowly being drained. "Ensign Bavre, cover the Lieutenant!"

    The half-elf officer, on the other side of the bridge, fired twice in the direction of the Brigade sailors. They stood there unmoving as the blaster bolts flew by. Then another of the enemy sailors turned his weapon towards Bavre. He fired and the console in front of the ensign exploded. The half-elf was knocked back into the wall and laid there unmoving.

    "Damn it!" Madden jumped out from behind the console he was using for cover running towards the third remaining Brigade sailor. He tackled the sailor and the two of them went down in a heap.

    A human ensign, named Badier, ran to where Ensign Bavre laid pulling him behind cover. The rest of the bridge crew opened fire just as the sorcerer's spell went off. Several of Madden's men were held in place by the sorcerer's magic, while the two enemy sailors went down in the burst of laser fire.

    "I've got it!" Madden was glad to hear Railer's voice as he struggled with the enemy sailor. "The suppressor is online!"

    The Brigade sorcerer was trapped. He went down in a flash from Badier's laser pistol and two magic missiles from the nearest League spellcasters. Madden knocked the armored sailor's head against the floor five times before the man passed out.

    "Damn, that was close." Madden stood up over the fallen man resisting the desire to shoot him. "Take this bastard into the conference room and hold him there."

    Two of his crew dragged the man off of the bridge, while a third covered the armored foe. Just then several explosions rocked the ship.

    "Railer," Madden was tossed against the wall of the bridge. "We need those shields! Now!"

    "Got it," Railer sounded tired. "But they won't hold much longer."

    "Ship status!"

    "Reports are coming from all over the ship. Heavy damage in the fore section and decks four and five are gone. There are armored Brigade sailors on every deck but security teams are holding them off. The engine rooms have been sealed off. They won't get in unless we lose the suppressor again.

    "We have two plasma cannon operational but I'm going to have to work to get anything out of them. Torpedoes are offline."

    "Great. Just great." Commander Madden walked to the center of the bridge activating the ansible that would allow him to call for reinforcements. Luckily, it was undamaged. "This is League Commander Davis Madden to Command Headquarters. We are under attack by the Pirate Brigade. I repeat we are under attack and outnumbered. Send reinforcements immediately! Command code authorization. Elf - Dwarf - Ogre - Ogre - Chimera. Davis Madden."

    "Commander, the Brigade carrier is heading for the Victory." Ensign Badier was going over the reports coming in from the League cruiser.

    "Don't worry about the Victory, ensign. She can take care of herself. Now somebody find out where the hell Arassil is and contact Fathom Wing. We're going to need them."

    * * *

    Kelemvor's Avatar stood in the center of the city of Waterdeep. He was using his godly might to project a shield over the city protecting it from the bombardment of the Imperial fighters and hover tanks. The battle across Faern wasn't going well. The Pantheon was protecting the major cities but dozens of others had been destroyed killing millions. Kelemvor was doing everything he could just to protect Waterdeep and keep track of the dead in his Realm in the Outer Planes. Milil was proving to be a valuable Scribe of Death.

    "This is insanity," Kelemvor spoke the words through his mind to Shar who protected the city of Calimport thousands of miles to the south.

    "Agreed, Lord Kelemvor. What should we do? I'm barely holding on and Cyric hasn't been any help. Maybe we should surrender to this Dragon Empire? Better to be absorbed into their culture then be annihilated."

    "While I agree that is an option, Shar. It is the last option. After all, the Mulhorandi have promised to help us."

    "Then where are they, Kelemvor?" Milil was writing names down in the Book of the Dead as fast as he could. Soon the dead would overwhelm him even with part of Kelemvor's godly essence in him.

    "I do not know." Kelemvor doubted for the first time since becoming a god. The Imperial onslaught continued across the continent.

    * * *

    Breakwater couldn't believe his eyes. The Warlock was heading straight towards the Victory and the other two Brigade ships closed in on the Deva Wing, pounding her with plasma cannon fire. Everything was going wrong.

    His Comm crackled and the voice of Lieutenant Railer came across the speaker. "Deva Wing to Fathom Leader. "

    "This is Breakwater, lieutenant. "

    "Where is Fathom Leader, Fathom 2? "

    "Lieutenant Rodani took Fathom Right into the planets atmosphere in pursuit of several Imperial interceptors, Sir. I haven't heard from him since. I'm taking Fathom Left to cover the Victory, Sir. "

    "Negative, Fathom 2. The Victory can take care of itself. We need you here, right now. Commander Madden is deploying our ground forces onto the planet's surface and we need you to cover the dropships. "

    "Understood, lieutenant. We'll be there in less then ten. "

    "Make that less than five, Fathom 2."

    Breakwater could here the urgency in the lieutenant's voice. He ordered his pilots to burn their second afterburners. The small fighters rocked through the depths of space towards the carrier.

    "Sir, we've got enemy fighters at three o'clock!"

    "Damn it," Breakwater saw them coming at the last second. Over a dozen sleek dragon wing fighters crossed their trajectory from right to left taking out 2 Fathom fighters before anyone could react. "Those suckers are fast! Fathom Left, split up. Take at least on wingman with you. Everyone rendezvous back at the Deva Wing. Fathom 12 and 4. You're with me.

    "I'm with you, Fathom 2." Fathom 12 banked with Breakwater's fighter with Fathom 4 on his other side.

    "Right with you, cuz." Freddy's voice crackled through Breakwater's speakers. "We've got your back."

    Breakwater lined up one of the Bridge dragon wings and fired. Direct hit. The fighter exploded and the three League fighters passed through the debris field unscathed.

    "Ye haw, " Fathom 12 launched his last rocket into another incoming dragon wing. "That's gotta hurt!"

    Breakwater noticed that his scope showed no more dragon wings in the vicinity. The other fighters of Fathom Left had worked together well taking out the lightly armored dragon wings.

    "That was to easy."

    The fighters came back into formation at the coordinates Breakwater had given them to rendezvous near the Deva Wing. The carrier's dropships detached from the underside of the Deva Wing.

    "Alright boys!" Breakwater banked his fighter to take up a lead position at the front of the dropships. "Defense pattern Black Beholder. Let's get them there safe."

    The fighters of Fathom Left took their places in the caravan of ships.

    "This is General Bartleby," the voice came over the speaker of Breakwater's Comm. "Glad to have you fighter jocks with us. We can use the extra firepower."

    "The honor is ours, General."

    The caravan of fighters and dropships fired their engines all at once rocketing towards Toril.

    * * *

    Reports were coming into the Warlock from the Firewurm and the Spider Eater. The initial assault on the carrier had been repelled and the ship now had its teleport suppressor back online. The carrier had launched its small dropships, which were being escorted by interceptors.

    The dragon wings that Thul had sent to destroy the interceptors hadn't succeeded. He was furious. These resistance fighters were well trained. He wouldn't underestimate them again.

    "Crewman 1," Thul addressed his Second who stood just behind the large half-dragon. "Send the rest of the dragon wings after those ships. They are not to get through. Understood."

    "Yes Commander," Thul's Second watched as plasma bolts from the Victory glanced off the shields of the Warlock. "The captain of the Basilisk is now demanding to talk to you. He wishes to discuss terms of our surrender."

    "Stupid," Thul wondered how someone obviously as dumb as this man was became a captain in the Imperial fleet. "Put him through."

    "Yes Commander."

    Thul stepped in front of the bridge's Vid-screen just as the image of the captain of the Basilisk came on. He was a fat, little human who looked more like a merchant then a Imperial captain.

    "Well that explains it." Thul didn't like the way the man scowled at him. "I understand you want me to surrender, human. You're either very brave or very ignorant."

    "Don't talk, pirate. Listen." The fat Imperial captain wheezed when he talked. "This system belongs to the Dragon Empire. You are in violation of more Imperial laws than I could list in an hour. If you surrender now, I won't have to call upon the other four Imperial ships orbiting night side of the planet. Your answer, pirate."

    It was a good bluff. The captain wasn't as stupid as he looked. Of course, he couldn't have known that Gulokas would know the number of ships in the system.

    "My answer is that your ship either has a traitor to the Empire onboard or you have allowed him to land on the planet with the Legions. You are expendable."

    The Imperial captain looked confused.

    "Bridge gunner, destroy the Basilisk."

    "Yes sir."

    The Warlock's plasma cannons roared through space slamming into the Basilisk. Its shields were useless against the Warlock's weaponry. The Warlock, of course, had the Imperial ship's shield frequency. The Basilisk's skeleton frame exploded in a ball of fire and light.

    "Now destroy that other Hammerhead. After all, we must keep up appearances."

    "Yes sir."

    The Warlock destroyed the Scorpion in a barrage of torpedo fire.

    Thul's Second shook his head in resignation. "Such a waist, Commander. Those were good Imperial vessels."

    "Agreed." Thul refocused his attention to the Victory out the glassteel window of the bridge. "Now, I want that ship!"

    "Yes Commander." Thul's Second saluted his commander and captain. The man barked out more orders to the bridge crew.

    The destroyed dropships fell out of orbit burning up in the atmosphere. The skies of Toril burned in Thul Gulokas' reptilian eyes.
    Last edited by Knightfall; Wednesday, 31st October, 2007 at 07:01 PM.
    Robert Blezard

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    Ignore Horacio
    Wow!

    Really good, Knightfall!

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    Ignore Taboo
    Like Horacio said... "WOW"

    It just keeps getting better and better.
    Please visit my story:
    From Slaves to Heroes in the Making

    And the Heroes of Haven:
    The Heroes of Haven

    Visit our webpage: The Heroes of Haven

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    Ignore Roderick
    That`s exactly, what I wanted to do to the Realms ever since I picked up the Dragonstar Setting. Great work!

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    Ignore Knightfall
    Originally posted by Roderick
    That`s exactly, what I wanted to do to the Realms ever since I picked up the Dragonstar Setting. Great work!
    Roderick, I know what you mean. After I picked up the Starfarer's Handbook, I was like "Wow, the possiblities are endless."

    Part two will most likely be done by this coming Saturday. I do have some health issues that must come first, though. Damn bronchitis!
    Robert Blezard

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