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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, '11, 4:09 pm
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Some unknown force, I know not if what fear or awe, kept us in our vantage point as we watched Oraki and his guards bang desperately on the large bronze gates of Hazatak, only to be denied entrance and shelter from the marauding foot soldiers of my father. Soon the prophet, bless his soul, fell to his knees and began pleading silently with the heavens. After a few moments, and just when Ahun’s armies were about to fall upon Oraki and slay him with but the faintest of effort, something happened.

The skies became dark, as if the sun had suddenly refused to give our world its light anymore. We all looked up and saw that heavenly army above. Hundreds of giant rukhs, those enormous birds of legend, covered the sky and were flying towards Ahun’s armies. The carried in their gigantic iron talons large, heavy objects, like boulders and elephants. The green, red, and blue-skinned djinn stood with their mouths agape at the sight that unfurled. Layla quickly fled from the chariot in Oraki’s direction, while I sought out Ahun.

With a thunderous Crash the rukhs began dropping their burdens upon my brother’s soldiers. I panicked and ran from one side to another, as the huge slabs of rock crushed dozens of men at a time. I screeched in fear and jumped out of the way as an elephant struck the ground beside me, rolling several dozen cubits and flattening more djinn in its wake. Hundreds more soldiers were scooped in the sharp claws of the rukhs, carried to great heights, and made to fall to the earth. Others were snapped in half by the rukhs’ powerful beaks.

I did my best to avoid the carnage, trying to find Ahun and warn him to call of his attack; as powerful as he was, he was no match for the power of the gods that resided in Oraki. I saw the mud of the banks of the river that flowed into Hazatak come alive and take the form of armored men, much like Sharen here. The golem engaged the scattered djinn in personal combat. Their mud bodies withstood the powerful blows from the soldiers’ curved blades, which were returned with strangling and buffetings. At the same time, enormous serpents rose up from the desert sands and began devouring the scattered remnants of Ahun’s army.

I shuttered in horror at the bloodbath that was the fate of Ahun’s military forces. However, nothing could’ve prepared me for the terror that gripped my heart when I saw Ahun. He was engaged in combat with Oraki. Sparks flew as the prophet’s obsidian-black shamshir struck against my brother’s enchanted makhaira. My brother fought savagely, hurling the blade at Oraki’s throat, wishing for nothing more than to sever his head and parade it around the land as a warning to anyone who might dare to desire the Layla. And yet, the man Oraki withstood every blow, deflecting it with the deftest of movements. I stood still, too mesmerized by the dance of death of those two men to come to my senses and beg my brother to stop the futile onslaught.

Suddenly, the familiar, distorted forms of Ahun’s chief officers, the afrits Primus, Secondus, and Tertius, materialized before us. Their undulating bodies threatened to leave any mortal man dizzy, should he be foolish enough to stare at them. The raised their rippling limbs and called upon the forces of the elements to blast Oraki with powerful winds. The lone fighter stood amidst the storm that beat upon his side, struggling to block the continuous blows from Ahun.

I finally came to myself and screamed, “Brother! Stop this madness! Layla is here! Layla is here!”

Unfortunately, the roaring of the winds drowned out my voice. I started running in my brother’s direction, but was startled by the sudden apparition of a familiar figure: It was Ruh al-Akir.

“Foolish woman!” he bellowed. “Thou hast sought to frustrate my plans!” He produced a long scimitar from the scabbard that hung menacingly from his side. “I shall slay you, just as the prophet and your brother will soon slay each other.”

“Demon!” I shrieked. “Thou art not the prophet’s brother! Reveal thy true form!”

Ruh al-Akir said nothing, but charged in my direction, his scimitar raised. Thinking quickly, I called upon my fairy powers and thrust my arm into the air. Ahun’s makhaira, which had been thrust at Oraki, flew out of its trajectory and into my hand. Oh, if I had only used my powers like this before! I lunged forward and, evading a swing of the demon’s blade, plunged the weapon into the king’s heart.

The King of Lashkhutan’s face been to twist and contort. The human skin on it began to melt off, revealing a horrid blue, skull-like face. What foul demon I had defeated, to assume the form of a deceased man in order to work mischief in the kingdom. The demonic being began to harden and crumple into a pile of blue dust, which was blown away by the swift desert winds.

Unfortunately, my bravery brought consequences with it. My disarmed brother found himself unable to face any longer that great man Oraki. He sent his officers after the prophet, who fled to where his horses had been tied. He removed four copper pots that hung from the animals’ saddle bags and opened them. Muttering words that the afrit feared, Oraki invoked the power of the gods and each of them was sucked into one of the pots. Ahun, who had picked up the blade of a fallen soldier, ran after Oraki. I was too far away to stop them, and thus watched the awful sight of my brother, Ahun, being trapped and sealed inside the copper pot, along with his generals.

I ran desperately over to the prophet and faced him, begging him to spare my brother. Layla appeared amidst the carnage and spoke to the prophet, addressing him with respect. “She speaks the truth, dearest Oraki. We have all been the dupes of the forces of darkness.”

The man of excellence who stood before us simply shook his head and sighed. “It is unfortunate that things have ended this way. The pots in which your brother and his commanders have been sealed were blessed with an enchantment that they could not be opened for 1000 years.” Turning to me, he said, “Please forgive me, dear Princess Aliyah.”

I turned to Layla and screamed, “Where were you? Why didst thou not end the fighting between Oraki and my brother?”

Layla’s face turned as pale as the full moon. “I beg thy forgiveness, Aliyah. I had hoped that the residents of Hazatak would open their gates to Oraki and buy us some time to reason with your brother. But when they refused to let him enter, I was overcome with wrath and I entered the city and slew every one of the city’s treacherous inhabitants. Only their automatons remain as a warning against the consequences of apathy.”

I then addressed Oraki. “Please, let me take the pots back to Dali-e for safekeeping.” Then, shifting my eyes to the Queen, I pleaded, “Dearest Fairy Queen Layla, I beseech thee that thou grant me a two wishes, as compensation for your actions.”

Layla nodded.

“I ask that thou grant me eternal youth and sleep for a thousand years. I will wake up my brother can be released once more.”

And thus, upon my return to Dali-e, I placed the four pots at the top of the tower where I had found Foren. I then retired to my quarters and a deep sleep came over me.

When I woke up, it was but a few months ago. I released my brother and his commanders. To my dismay, the memories of the battle were fresh in their minds, and they declared forthright to exterminate the mortal race in all the land. I descended to Elesvaram in an attempt to warn the kingdoms of my brother’s impending wrath, but was subsequently captured by the king of Divya.

That, my dear friends, is my story.
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