Belisar looked down at his hands. The illusion was impenetrable. As far as he could discern, he was an Eladrin Knight astride a phantom steed. His companions were equally convincing.
They hovered inside the storm. The Rocs which patrolled Winter’s army were busy engaging the enemy on Haven’s walls, and so their troupe had entered the unnatural blizzard unchallenged.
The eye of the storm was clear before them. The Prince’s general, Anadon “The Tyrant”, casually directed his forces from the center of the eye, where he could monitor the magical artifact that generated the unnatural weather. The Blizzard Sphere, a swirling orb of ice and glass, more magical than physical, hovered a few feet in the air over a black stone dray, drawn by four frost giants. The cart was ancient, obvious in it’s primitive construction, a single axle held it above two huge wheels of stone and wood.
Belisar glanced around the area. There were few of the Fey in the clearing around the Sphere. He guessed most of them were already up against the walls. He could hear the rumble of something in the distance, pounding hard enough to make the ground shudder. Anadon gestured to his left and a small cluster of fur clad berserkers charged through the eye towards the wall.
Even over the howl of the winds, they heard Anika’s Sending
“The Prince is occupied.”
That was their signal.. It was time to make their move on the Blizzard Sphere.
Ash peeled off to the rear, hoping to approach Anadon in his blind spot. The others, relying on their illusions, hoped to approach him unchallenged.
At first, Anadon did not appear to react. When they got closer, he turned toward the larger group and then quickly scanned around him. Seeing Ash alone at his rear, he started immediately for the sphere to protect it, yelling orders to the giants. Winter Knights they might appear, the general knew them to be out of place.
Belisar and Ash both charged him, intending to cut him off so that Baern could inspect the sphere. Anadon was not easily thwarted, and the giants also bore down to intercept the wizard. When Baern landed, it was within reach of all four giants. But the canny dwarf already had his staff in hand, and from the back of the flying steed he launched a maelstrom of confusion into the area covering the dray. The Frost Giants, not known for their towering intellect, found themselves turned around, and retreating rather than advancing. Baern invoked his fire-shield spell and flames licked around his feet. Each time a giant struck at him, the fire would react, torching them, and the zone of confusion would send them off in another direction.
Klaw hovered nearby, calling on the Great Panther Spirit to aid his companions. As he always did, Tecum’seh appeared in the thick, harrying their enemy. Athelia, one of the three aspects of the Mind of Time, took station in the air on the other side of the combat. With a wave of her staff, she lifted two of the giants into the air. For a second they floated there, bewilderment on their dull faces. She flicked her wrist and flung them twenty feet into the other giants and they tumbled together.
Ash stood upon the back of his steed, his full-blade in both hands and a feral gleam in his shifter-eyes. Without a cry he stepped into the sheer air a dozen feet from the ground, and flickered from sight. From the shadow to Anadon’s rear, cast in the wan morning light, he rose again, sword swinging like a scythe. Within the arc of the blade shadows stirred, like ink in water, and swathed his target in a persistent fog. Ash had placed the Raven Queens mark upon him.
Anadon ducked the strike, then ignored Ash at his flank. A chilling gale rose around him. His black armor glistening and crackling, lines of frost tracing a web across it’s surface, he stepped into the wind and it carried him into the air and away and to Baern. The general swept the winter court blade from it’s sheath and across where the wizard’s head would have been, but Baern dropped to one knee, his Staff rising up to deflect the attack. His Fire-shield engulfed the icy blade, singing Anadon’s hand, but the eladrin was undeterred.
Baern needed help, and fast.
Ash vanished again, exploiting his divine connection to Night to appear behind Anadon. While that mark remained, he would never be more than a step away from those welcoming shadows. Even the generals keen senses would be hard pressed to locate him within them.
Belisar landed next to Baern, completing the Circle’s two-pronged assault.
“In the name of the Raven Queen — judgement is at hand!” he bellowed, forcing Anadon’s attention.
The two devotees proceeded to harry the general, keeping him from the wizard, while the others concentrated on the giants.
Baern reached out to the Blizzard Sphere, his stubby fingers tracing the runes which appeared on it’s surface when he opened his inner eye. The script was ancient. An ancestor of elvish before the elves existed. Before Corellon became a God. The sphere itself was not nearly so old, but knowing the power of those glyphs, Baern hesitated. There was no time! No time for study, no time to estimate what might happen when .. if .. he unraveled those bindings. He wracked his mind, rummaging through the corners of his memory, delving deep, searching for that image : a diagram of arcane symbology, a treatise on Eladrin High Arts, a footnote in the Catalogue of Esoterica.. anything.