I came into a place void of all light, which bellows like the sea in tempest
- Dante, The Inferno, Canto 5
The Battle of Zar Vorgul
Vymar swatted the Rainlander's spear-tip away with the flat of his sword and took off the Salszi's head with his axe. Another came at him, screaming prayers to his gods as he lunged. The norseman sidestepped his attack and buried his blade in the soldier's heart, his sword biting hard through armored scales.
It was anarchy on the northern wall. A scene from Hell.
Towers wrought in the shape of feral Salizsi gods, their eyes flaming above gaping iron maws, disgorged an endless stream of Rainlanders into the melee all along the parapets.
Cannons thundered from Salished firing positions in the vast, dry plains beyond the walls. Zar Vorgul's thick stone ramparts cracked and buckled under the barrage, then- surreally- reassembled themselves, healed by enchantments weaved into them at their construction.
Drathan rockets screamed as they arced over the battlements, bursting over the Salished hordes in fiery stars raining shrapnel and flames and ichor-poisoned fumes.
The dawn air was thick with arrows and bullets and dust and smoke and insects driven mad by spellcraft; the sun glowed angry and dull red, half-hidden in the haze. The mingled reek of blood and sweat and gunpowder was nearly overpowering, with a strong, sour under-note of spent magic.
Vymar was fighting at the mouth of a siege-idol, where a mixture of Beast Kings and Cowards Men were meeting the Rainlander assaults with fury and steel. A Drathan master stood perfectly still among the defenders, eyes closed. Vymar had seen him kill at least two dozen enemies with his bare hands in the quarter of an hour since he'd arrived on the wall. Their bodies lay torn and broken at his feet. Even in the thick of battle, Vymar had a peculiar sense of foreboding...he wondered why the wizard was here, precisely- what was he waiting for?