"if it were the Blight I may have approved of it; however, we are faced with a new, even more brutal and cunning enemy than our age-old one... the enemy could be watching us right now... until we have further reinforcements we must all stick together, and limit the risks we take, at least until we know more about what happened here," Ardur answered. "Alright, everyone spread back out, and if you see anything that may be important bring it to my attention," He ordered.
"As you command, sir" Cyterius responded with a salute before turning to Nischa. "Summon the rest of the unit, I want us spread out with eyes covering as many angles as we can" He told her. "Fine but if I miss anything good, you owe me" the girl replied. Cyterius rolled his eyes as Nischa left with a chuckle.
Over the course of two hours, the Luna Falcons had set up around the treeline in hidden spots, spread among other Inquisition scouts, so that if any of them had spotted anything of note they could immediately tell Cyterius and Ardur, as their perception was a cut above their peers given how early they had begun their training in the art of scouting and tracking. The Elven Inquisitor Lanathil had already taken the initiative of checking the woods for any signs of a force passing through but strangely found none, and Samson and the others corroborated that after Nischa had brought them through. It was odd, and the sense of wrongness about the whole affair was putting Cyterius on edge An attack from the inside. No traces of outside forces supporting them. No trace of anyone leaving either. But no signs nor noises so far to say that whoever attacked is still in the city... What are we facing here? He wondered with concern as he continued observing from his lookout point above one of the trees, wearing his Falcon cloak to hide the shine of his armor in case there were any enemy scouts on the walls, which there did not seem to be.
He flinched slightly when he heard the distant sound of horses approaching from behind them, but relaxed when he remembered that Anora and her reinforcements were supposed to arrive by now. Still he decided it best to err on the side of caution and ensure it truly was their allies arriving, so he quickly climbed down from his perch and went deeper into the trees. Upon seeing that several of approaching humanoid figures had the symbol of the Inquisition, he gestured at them to guide them towards their main position where Ardur was situated so that they could immediately report in to him. Cyterius accompanied them as they reached Ardur and listened in on their conversation, explaining why Anora was not with them as they had expected her to be.After which, he gave everyone present their tasks.
"Spread out the soldiers evenly along the line, we will move forward on the city shortly," Ardur began before gesturing for Cyterius to approach him. "Cyterius, prepare your friends, as the main body of soldiers approaches I want your unit to find a way onto those walls, stay hidden and be ready to strike if need be, go" He commanded.
"It will be done," He responded as he turned away while their leader spoke to the others. He put his hands up to his mouth and let out a high-pitched bird whistle which was his practiced way of telling the Luna Falcons to regroup with him. He stood patiently and awaited their arrival in the main area when suddenly a booming voice echoed in his mind, causing him to grimace as he put a hand up to his head in confusion.
"Finally... Come, now, soldiers of the Inquisition," It demanded in a raspy, eerily ghost-like voice. It suddenly shifted into a whisper however as it continued. "step out from the shadows and into the light... let me see those who offer their prayers to me," it finished as everything became silent once more. "What in the gods' name..." Cyterius muttered, disturbed by what he, and everyone else had seemingly experienced. He knew of the powers of magic and how they could bend reality to a spell-caster's will, but such a feat as speaking into all their minds at once was something he had only heard of in fairytales and legends. The implications were far from comforting.
"Cy! What just happened?! A familiar voice called out as Nischa arrived, with the rest of the Falcons following behind. "I think everyone heard that voice, where did it come from? Samson asked him urgently. Cyterius wasn't sure how to answer.
They heard Ardur's voice ring out from nearby however Inquisition, move out!" He ordered as the thump of dozens of armored feet began shaking the ground. Cyterius turned back to his unit. "I don't know what just happened, but we should be wary of our enemy now more than ever. We have orders: Find a way for our soldiers through the walls and that's all we should be concerned with right now. Falcons, on me!" He commanded with a gesture as they began running to one of their army's flanks to draw as little attention to themselves as they could during the approach.
"Good, good..." the voice whispered again. "MY CHAMPION AWAITS YOUR PRAYERS" the voice bellowed suddenly "MAY YOUR PRAYER BECKON LOUDER THAN HIS" It finished in a booming echo. "Ignore it and focus, everyone!" Samson called out to the other 5 Falcons, as always the glue that kept their group together. "We need to find an entry point as soon as-" He began but was suddenly cut off when loud thumbing began to shake the ground beneath them. "That's... not our army is it? Valena, the Falcons' resident archer said. "No... It's not," Cyterius answered as they scanned around for the source of the tremors. From what they could tell it came from within the walls of the City of Ash. Their group stopped just a little way ahead of a group of Archers on army's right flank, with the gates further to their left. Their hands all gravitated towards their weapons as they awaited what horrors would emerge from within.
Their questions were answered when an ironclad giant emerged from the ruined gates, no chinks or gaps in the armor as far as anyone could see. Covered in the flesh and guts of its victims while holding an impossibly large axe. It let out a deafening battlecry as it began to run at them.
"MOVE! Everyone to the right flank!" Cyterius ordered as they distanced themselves slightly from the main force that the giant was coming to meet head-on, hoping to keep themselves from engaging it until it was the best time to do so. "How do we kill that?!" Darius, their group's assassin and stealthiest member asked in what came across as a harsh whisper. Cyterius had no answer to give, having never seen nor heard of any creature such as this. But knew if they did not think of something fast their whole army was in danger of being completely routed.
From the side, he overheard River's long explanation, and stopped to listen but remaining tense to move on a whim as their foe rapidly closed the distance. Kharne immediately spewed out a jet of acid on the giant the moment River told him to. As far as he was hearing, their only option at the moment was to buy time until they had a solution.
"Valena, Percival, stay with the Archers and fire in unison. Samson, Nischa, Darius, you three are with me. We'll circle the edge of the battlefield and make for the gates of the city. Once that monster reaches our forces, we'll draw its attention and kite them into the ruins. It's strong, but not strong enough to bash through the stone of the walls. We can lead it on a chase through the ruins if necessary" Cyterius ordered as they split off and began running, hoping their allies could make the most of their time. "We're going to play tag with that thing? And you tell me I'M the one who has crazy ideas?!" Nischa retorted but followed anyway along with the rest of the team, trying not to draw attention to themselves until it was their turn to kite the giant