Ch. 4 Titheirith
Over grassy hills and through the green valley Allister, Iomheir, and Macnair rode to the city of Titheirith. In silence they rode all day pushing their horses to their full speed, hurrying to make it in time. Through the night they rode on never once stopping, and as dawn approached they were within a league of the city. Macnair marveled in awe as he saw the beautiful sight of the stone city.
" Titheirith, high city of Men." Allister commented. Iomheir smiled in relief welcoming the sight of his home and saw the flag waving high above the wall. They entered the citadel on horse back and followed Iomheir up the spiraling stairs to the Chamber of Kings. Homes were filled and the city was in good spirits, the people cheering as they saw their prince return home.
Once dismounted, Iomheir led them up the steps to the Chamber of Kings. The chamber was made from white stone and dawned magnificent doors made from the bark of an Ash. Striding into the hall Iomheir kneeled before a noble, stern looking man seated upon the throne. " Hail Kynthelig, King of Titheirith." Allister hailed as he knelt, pulling Macnair down with him. The king smiled and rose from his throne. " Welcome my friends." he spoke in gentle voice, " Iomheir you have returned to me safely, thank you Allister. What news have you my old friend?" Iomheir embraced his father, both men smiling and laughing.
" Father there is trouble in the mountains." Iomheir filled the King in on the details of the past two weeks. " We will further discuss this matter in a short time but for now let us feast for my son returns safe." Kynthelig spoke clasping his hands together and leading them to a table.
Once the celebrations were over Iomheir took Macnair on a tour of his home while Allister spoke with the King. " My friend there is no good news. War is upon Diantherine, by nightfall Goblins will attack. They need aid King." Allister spoke gravely as the King listened. " You know that the Vampires and I do not get along and have not for some time. If they truly want our help then they will ask." The King stated simply. Drawing a long breath, the Wizard spoke calmly, " There is no time Kynthelig, if they do not receive aid the mountains will fall." The King stood and sat back upon his throne
thinking over matters. " It is still day Allister, enjoy the city." With that Allister was dismissed. Iomheir met with Allister near the hall. " My father is as stubborn as Selene, he will not budge." The Wizard only smiled at the young man's comment and smoked his pipe. " Your father only needs a little nudge in the right direction Iomheir. He wants to help but does not want his help to be uninvited." The Wizard said.
Rowan circled above the city until finding perch on a flagpole. Allister whistled to the bird and Rowan landed beside him. Tying a message to the falcon's leg Allister let the bird fly. " Let us just hope he is as fast as he was in youth." Allister said. Swiftly Rowan flew and soon he was circling above the city gates. Hearing the familiar call Keira stuck out her arm as the bird landed.
The Hunter untied the message and grinned as she read it over. " Sky, Zo., it's time." Keira ordered. As Raven and Keira debated with the Queen over battle plans Sky and Zo. snuck around the courtyard and toward the back of a watch tower. Keeping an eye out Sky stayed on the ground as Zo. scaled the tower wall, stealthily making her way to the top. No guards were patrolling the area yet and Zo., with a flick of her hand set the pyramid of wood on fire.
Across the mountains fires were light, signaling to the next post. Within two hours the signals were lit. Iomheir looking out across the plains noticed the smoke and saw the last post illuminate in the fire. Sprinting to the Chamber of Kings, Iomheir burst through the wooden doors and stood in front of his father. " The beacons are lit." he cried, " The signals are lit. The Vampires call for aid." All eyes were on the King, waiting for a response.
Allister grinning continued to smoke and Macnair was wide eyed watching. "And Titheirith shall answer." Kynthelig commanded proudly, " Prepare the army we march for the mountains within the hour." Throughout the city soldiers gathered to the gate and lined up, ready to move out. " ride with me young Vampire." The King commanded of Macnair, " I hope once more our cities can know peace." Allister and Iomheir rode with the King leading the army across the valley.
" It will be at least a day before we reach the city." The King said, " Let us hope the Vampires can last that long." Riding on horse back, the army moved swiftly in the plains hastening to make time. Vast numbers filled the plain and the valley was filled with the thundering of hooves hitting the ground. " So this was your plan." Iomheir said to the Wizard, raising an eyebrow and smiling broadly. " Your father just needed a push. How that push came about is entirely out of my hands." Allister said laughing back. Macnair was in awe of the numbers of the army, he looked at the King in admiration. " Do not be so surprised young prince we have large numbers." the King smiled down at Macnair, "Tell me are the halls still as grand as I remember?" Macnair, overjoyed at the attention from the King, bragged of his home. The King smiling and indulging him more was fascinated from the stories.
Night fell and the clouds released their furry. Rain came pouring down on the army, yet the Men marched forward focused on their mission. " We make camp here." Iomheir commanded, " At first sign of dawn we ride to battle." Tents were set up and food was passed through the camp. Soldiers sharpened their blades and arrows, horses were tied, and the King was put into battle armor. "Tell me is it true that two Hunters are aiding the Vampires?" Kynthelig asked Allister.
The Wizard nodded his answer and the King's face filled with wonder. " Hunters. They will be a great asset to us in battle. They should be able to keep the Vampires going for awhile, at least until we arrive." The King pondered this news stroking his face, then returned to eating a small meal. Allister was lost in though, smoking his pipe, the Wizard racked is mind for any knowledge that could be useful to counter the spell the weather was obviously under. The Wizard realized just now how powerful Forsythe truly was and how much control the general had in magic.
Outside the tent Iomheir and Macnair studied the camp. " This is but a fraction of our army." Iomheir explained, " There are more of us but they are scattered into sections, defending various cities and sending us word." Macnair sighed in amazement the thought of a larger army excited him. " I have no doubt Iomheir." The young prince spoke, " Do you think I will be allowed to fight in this battle at all?" he questioned. Iomheir laughing in wonder of the young lads courage responded.
" I have no doubt that you will be able to bloody your blade at least once young one. We will make a soldier out of you yet." The two smiling and laughed as the rain began thundering down across the land. Allister heard the familiar cry of Rowan and saw a note tied to his leg. Untying the letter, Allister scanned over the words carefully, drew in a breath and let out a small sigh of what could be relief. The Wizard stroked the bird and fed him a piece of meat left from the stew a sense of calm seemed to be about him, and his green eyes twinkled in the light.
Out in the distance lightning flashed and thunder clapped filling the air, in the forest of Theyghoul Forsythe was smiling as the weather complied to his bidding and the storm was becoming more and more ferocious. Phelan paced the halls wondering if this massive army could bring down the city and wondering if his master could win. Forsythe again placed a hand over the orange stone and began to communicate to Asgoth events that unfolded earlier, including the fact that the Wolf heir may still be alive against all possible odds.
Phelan paced the room, afraid that if the heir lived, there would be only one way for his master to take the throne. An all out war between Wolves would begin and Phelan feared that even Forsythe's army could not win, they would need the army or at least a fraction of the forces that Asgoth controls. Forsythe knew this and as he sat, looking at the image of the necklace, a plan, a deadly and sinister plan began to formulate in his mind. It would be the biggest risk of all but if he were to be assured victory the plan would have to be carried out.