“For New Silverymoon City, for the Alliance, and for the people of the north!” Even as Leylin was facing the orc gods, Queen Alustriel was garbed in her seldom-used armour as she riled up the troops in front of her, “The war for the north has come!”
“Ouh! Ouh!” The troops let out a warcry as they banged their swords against their shields.
With how slow armies travelled it would take a few more days of travel to reach the battlefield, but that didn’t matter at all. Alustriel was currently boosting her troops’ morale, and under Elminster’s lead several high-ranked wizards had already ambushed several orcs along the borders.
With Silverymoon’s strength and the backing of several legendary figures, their powerful spells would teach those orcs an unforgettable lesson! Alustriel’s chest was bursting with excitement and pride…
“YOU’RE DECLARING WAR?” Gruumsh roared in rage at the two greater gods before him. He’d found out about the events in the prime material plane instantly.
Tyr spoke slowly, “This is it, you’d better choose to retreat right now.”
“Stalling me here and sending your avatars to defeat my pantheon… Indeed, this strategy will deal me a heavy blow. Was it that God of Massacre that told you this?” Gruumsh immediately understood the situation. “He is indeed a crafty and evil god, with no qualms about not keeping his words…”
“Indeed, that’s why we don’t plan to let him go. However, that will come after we defeat your lot,” Mystra said in a deep tone, the powerful Weave appearing behind her back.
The orc gods had been thrown into disarray by the avatars that had just descended upon the Moonwood. What was originally supposed to be an ambush had become a catalyst for a grand war, and it wasn’t something they had prepared for. They couldn’t help but take a second look at Leylin whom they’d ‘trapped.’
The battle in mid-air was extremely interesting. Several orc gods had encircled Leylin, but surrounding them were the avatars of Mystra and Tyr. These circumstances could lead to the deaths of any avatar present here with the slightest misstep, and that would result in grievous injuries to their main bodies. The orcs didn’t dare act recklessly.
Leylin’s grin grew wider as he surveyed the scene that he’d crafted himself.
His first interaction with Gruumsh had told him that the orcs wouldn’t give up on Malar. The werecreatures could rely on the orc pantheon. That was why he’d attracted Mystra and Tyr with the curse on Eric’s bloodline, so he could meet them and come to an agreement.
However, this agreement hadn’t been easy to reach. Leylin knew both his ‘allies’ hated him to the core, and he was sure they planned to attack him together with the orcs in one go. How would they let go of an avatar of a lesser evil god?
Knowing all this, Leylin didn’t hope for much from the situation. It was enough that they’d deal with the orcs for him. The quartet would take the attention off him until they were wiped out.
“This is the plan of the Lord. They will first attack the avatars of the orc gods, stopping any experts from aiding them,” Cardinal Karal said to Rafiniya and the remaining paladins.
“How about that God of Massacre?” Rafiniya frowned.
“He’s promised to engage with the orc gods for now, so he’s useful for the Lord’s plans. Our goal is to deal with the orcs before we kill him,” Karal replied.
This war concerned the lives of countless inhabitants of the north, and with this excuse of dealing with the orcs first the alliance with Leylin would be accepted by most of the paladins. The Cardinal represented Tyr’s will, and wouldn’t allow the paladins to harbour any thoughts.
However, this reason that could convince many immediately caused Rafiniya to lose a great deal of faith. Her mind grew weaker and more biased under the devilish influence Leylin had planted within her, and she growled in anger. “Teaming up with an evil god? He’s the main perpetrator of the curse that hit New Silverymoon City!”
“Watch your words, Captain!” Karal’s face darkened. As a legendary priest of Tyr, he would not tolerate anyone questioning the will of his Lord. A thought arose in his mind, ‘It seems like I need to report this to the pope after the war. She isn’t fit to serve as a captain…’
“Yes, Cardinal…” A hint of unwillingness emanated from Rafiniya’s deep voice. She gripped the hilt of her sword so tightly that her fingers turned pale…
At the same time, the divine battle had reached a climax.
“Mage Flame!” A bright light was emitted from Mystra’s fingers as the Weave materialised in the surroundings. She seemed to gain the support of the very world as overwhelming origin force surged forth. With Tyr’s cooperation, the Mage Flame seemed to blaze through the skies as it trapped Leylin and the orc gods within.
“Silver fire…” Leylin looked at the glowing sea of flames, a trace of fear emerging in his eyes. Silver fire, from what he could remember, was the source of all magic in the World of Gods. It was a materialisation of Mystra’s divinity, possessing great destructive might.
“Roar!” Malar was the most irascible of the lot, and he was the first to suffer. Several balls of fire landed on his hands, their temperature high enough to burn even the Beast Claws.
“Damn it, Mystra, why are you this determined?” Ilneval’s expression turned ugly as he watched Malar’s divine weapon being corroded. Some of the silver flames were pressing towards the rest of them.
Mystra’s legendary silverflame had the might to destroy divine weapons and even the bodies of true gods, but it consumed her divinity to burn. Ilneval was stumped as to why she was willing to give up so much divinity to harm them.
“Retreat!” Yurtrus screamed as he unleashed a pale orb of light. Many lifeless souls sprung forth from the orb, creating a translucent barrier.
*Sssii!* The silverflame began to corrode the wall the moment the two came in contact, and the barrier seemed to give way immediately.
“They’ve activated a powerful spatial lock, we’ll need more time to break through…” Ilneval frowned. They were facing the avatars of two greater gods, and even if all avatars were more or less the same in might more powerful deities had more efficient ways to dispense their powers. They still took the upper hand in battle.
On top of that, their low divine ranks caused these lesser gods to be at a disadvantage in terms of the number of avatars and their recovery speeds. The greater gods would be able to overwhelm them in these aspects!
“Why retreat?” Shargaas roared in rage, and his eyes turned bloodshot. He seemed to have lost all signs of intelligence, turning into a primal beast.
“These aren’t just two greater gods. Don’t forget that there’s many more subordinates, what if one of them descends as a Saint?” Ilneval rebuked coldly, causing Shargaas to stall for a moment.
Although it was extremely dangerous for gods to descend with their true bodies, when they did come down they would be at the epitome of power. If Mystra or Tyr gave it their all, several subordinate gods like the God of Wizards Azuth would descend as Saints. None of their avatars would be able to escape, the loss of divine strength from the fight taking thousands of years to replenish.
Ilneval indeed excelled in strategy. He hadn’t been overcome by rage when he was ensnared in Leylin’s trap. He’d instead considered how best to conserve his energy.
“You want to leave now?” Leylin asked as he laughed like a maniac. He was now the one who’d decide if he let them go.
A phantom of the first three Hells surfaced in the prime material plane, and the powerful origin force of Baator expanded Leylin’s massacre domain until it encompassed all the orc gods.
“Are you crazy?” Ilneval asked Leylin. “Even if you give your all in this battle, they won’t let you go either!”
“Of course! I’m aware of that, but how can I just let go of a good chance like this?” Leylin’s voice covered the entire Moonwood, and the crimson glow on his body grew more apparent than before.
“Damn it, this lunatic! Is he a chaotic demon?” Ilneval suddenly felt a huge headache, but he could only think of one way out right now..
“Malar!” he sent, “Hurry and bring your worshippers into the fight! They’ll help out!”
The giant ape had already been scared off by the power of the silverflame. He’d hid by the side, stroking his Beast Claws tenderly. His golden fur had been burnt black in that attack, and he himself had been reduced to a miserable state. Hearing Ilneval’s words, he began to roar.
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