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Oliver D. Bernuetz's Stories

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Whitewall - The Dead Sea Returns

Even here deep within the Tor they could hear the Storm outside.   Followers of Orlanth exalted in the sheer fury of the Storm.  Broyan and his followers had summoned every wind they could find to do battle with the Bat and the Storm that had resulted was immense.  Lightning bolts, thunder blasts and driving rain were mixing with icy blasts of snow and sleet.  Dry deserts blasts bearing stinging sand mixed with hail.  Even the stone buildings were shaken.  Followers of Ernalda and other gods were frightened or rendered near helpless by the Storm's sheer fury.   Most had fled to the safety of Asrelia's Treasury but Scathach the Iron Shrew had collected all the people remaining who couldn't withstand the Storm's fury and led them to the relative safety of the caverns below the citadel.  There they waited for the battle to be over.  Some had voiced concerns over the stability of the Tor itself in such a Storm but Scathach had badgered those people into discussing other topics.   The people sat and sang songs and waited.  The grim warriors stood and felt useless since they could neither fly nor be flown over to the Bat like Broyan's warriors.   There just hadn't been enough umbroli available to carry them all over.  They had been adamant in insisting on some role but Broyan had finally silenced them with orders to protect the remaining non-combatants and defend the citadel should the Storm fail.  This they had accepted though they loathed to miss the big battle.  The Storm was mighty enough to drown out most of the Bat's screeching but enough could still be heard to make everyone uneasy and nervous.  Many saw visions or imagined strange things.  Meloise, Broyan's leman, was the first to notice the water though.  At first she thought it was her imagination, the cavern walls often dripped with water but when her dress started getting soakedat the hem she realized that the water was much more than normal.  She cupped some and tasted it.  It was salt water.

She turned to tell Scathach and the Humakti war leader but before she could speak she heard the sounds of magic and conflict.  She craned her head to see what was going on.  Two of the Humakti were engaged in battle with long tentacles that were snaking along the floor from deeper below the citadel.  Their blades seemed to have little effect but then one of them changed his magics to a more effective kind and shouted out his discovery.  "They're undead!"  Soon the other warriors were engaged in battle as well as sea creatures or perhaps the ghosts of them started coming up the tunnel.  The war leader called for a fighting retreat and they were forced higher up in the Tor.  As they went the water steadily got deeper and Meloise wondered what was going on outside.

Kagrada Rollasdotter urged her ewe higher into the sky.  The sky rams were in their element.  They stayed close together and manipulated the lightning to great effect.  She had never seen so much lightning in one storm before.  The mighty bolts they were controlling slammed into the Bat again and again and each time tentacles or eyes were blasted off or a priest or some other defender died.  The wyver riders had tried to fly up to the Bat's defense but they couldn't stay in the sky. It took all the Ram Riders could do to stick together in the turbulent air.  Broyan and his band had been on the Bat for some time now and the battle had raged all over the Bat.  She couldn't see what they were doing but she hoped that they finished it off soon as time was running out.  Too many of the Ram Riders had succumbed to a blast of chaos goo or had been sucked into one of the Bat's mouths.  She chanced to look down and was shocked by what she saw.  Down below the Tor was surrounded by a Sea.   The waters even lapped at the new Lunar positions and she could see Lunars battling sea monsters, things that couldn't possibly still exist.  The Lunar fortifications around the Tor had been long washed away.  Then her attention was dragged back to the Bat. Broyan had done something to it and it was much smaller than it had been when it had attacked.  It shrieked again, so loudly that it could be heard over the Storm and she had to cover her ears at the horrible sound.  Her ewe fell from the sky in its terror and her fall was only stopped by the timely rescue of Ortossi Orlkarlmansson on his sky bull.  She was horrified by the crazed look in his eyes though.  He pointed at the citadel.  She turned to look.  The Bat was falling out of the sky!  It fell and landed on the Beacon.  The tall tower of ivory was driven up into the Bat's chest and it toppled over the wall of the Citadel taking the Beacon and part of the Wall with it.  It tumbled down the Tor and landed in the Sea with a huge splash.  It disappeared under the waves.  Broyan and his band she saw circling safely in the sky though.

Recovered somewhat Kagrada watched as the waves strained to tear the Tor down and do battle with the Storm.  Slowly the Storm slowed though and as it slowed the Sea started receding.  Slowly it drained back to whatever Hell it had come from and disappeared.  It left every plant dead and the ground covered with salt though. Of the Bat there was no sign. 

Last updated October 07, 2016

Glorantha is a trademark of Chaosium, Inc. Gloranthan material on this page is copyright ©1997-2016 by Oliver D. Bernuetz or by the author specifically mentioned on an individual page. Glorantha is the creation of Greg Stafford, and is used with his permission.

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