• Published 6th May 2015
  • 5,634 Views, 427 Comments

Never Broken - Torgaddon

A shattered and broken soul, Spike has spent the better part of the last two thousand years in never ending battle in the dead world of Ginun. Now, he must return to Equestria to protect what is most precious to him, but also face his shame again.

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Siege Breaker

Spike in full armor (edited an image to work with what i needed). Enjoy the chapter.

Nerg'Cathal ground the teeth of his two mouths in frustration.

How was this happening? The invasion had been going for the past three days without a single problem or any form of organized opposition. He had enjoyed battering the shield of Canterlot Castle over time, seeing the despair grow on Celestia and Luna's faces, tasting the growing fear of those ponies still hiding under the fading security of the castle.

Now, it was all going awry.

Another series of booms came from the castle's ramparts, followed by whistling through the air as fifty projectiles peppered his army, crunching through armor and daemonic flesh. One of the projectiles obliterated the skull of a three horned mutated ogre fifty paces from him.

Swearing, Nerg'Cathal walked towards the still twitching corpse. He extended one of his six obese, rotting arms and shuffled through the ruptured flesh of the carcass and retrieved the projectile. It was a ball of gromril iron, roughly the size of a pony head, inscribed with a sigil.

Like a quake, Nerg'Cathal's obese body began trembling with frustration as he recognized the sigil.

How in the nine hells had the Legion of the Damned known of the invasion?

How had they entered Canterlot Castle without his knowledge?

Why were they here?

A stomp of cloven feet diverted his attention. One of his lieutenants, an eighteen foot tall, ox headed giant of muscle and rotten skin, gurgled.

"My lord, we are ready to send another regiment of dead-pike to attack the shield"


The giant shivered, overcome with fear at Nerg'Cathal's outburst, and, for all his size and mass, scampered like a frightened child to do his will.

Nerg'Cathal continued to grind his yellowed jagged teeth, even the act of inspiring fear and obedience into his own warriors, something that had always calmed him, unable to shake the foreboding feeling that had overcome him.

With unnatural dexterity for one so obese, he ran towards the middle of his amassed armies. There, shackled in unholy chains and silent, stood the two former rulers of Equestria, Celestia and Luna.

Their once pristine coats, now dirtied and mud-splattered from the road, their once beautiful flowing manes, now lank and ruffled. But it was different. Before, their eyes had been empty, overcome with the pain of seeing their precious Ponyville and Canterlot burn, yet now, with the attacks from Canterlot Castle, their eyes had lit with new hope and wide, proud smiles adorned their faces.

Seeing them, Nerg'Cathal shook with barely restrained anger.

"Well, well, aren't we in a good mood?"

The two princesses said nothing, continuing only to smile and look towards Canterlot Castle.

With a roar, Nerg'Cathal grabbed the heads of the two Princesses and lifted them.


With that, he turned the two princesses towards the back of the army. There, like the carcass of a primordial beast, lay a monstrosity of iron and bone. It looked almost like a cannon, the front part sculpted in the shape of a leering, grinning monstrosity. All along it's surface, gigantic, unholy runes pulsed with a sickly green and, upon it's top, an enormous cauldron bubbled with a sound like the death rattle of a thousand dying warriors.

All around it, a hundred gibbering, feather robed cultists, dressed in obscene colors chanted and wailed.

A procession of thrashing and screaming daemons were being dragged towards the cauldron, lifted over it, only to have their chests and bellies ripped open and their lifeblood and innards fall into the cauldron. The empty, drained carcass would then be taken to the front of the gigantic cannon and thrown into it.

"That, my dears, is the Flesh Giver. An ancient weapon from the early days of Ginungagap. The soul of a greater daemon powers it's engine and currently two thousand elite daemons have been sacrificed to it."

He turned the two recumbent princesses to him and looked into their eyes, enjoying the sight of their fading smiles and growing despair.

"Once that number reaches three thousand, it will have enough power to reduce your entire Castle to dust, shield and all, with one shot."
He dropped the two Princesses and began grinning.

"I will make you learn your place insects, at my feet".

Twilight awoke to the sound of explosions and cheering.

Immediately, she recognized the magical signature of the shield around the castle. It was wavering. Without a moment more, she added her own strength to the shield, stabilizing it. With a mental check, she covered the cracks in the aethyric shield and, once everything was stable again, she pushed the process of shield maintenance to a subconscious part of her mind.

"Think she's done?" a familiar voice from her left spoke.

"Oh, would you leave her do her work Rainbow? You know she needs to keep the shield up." another, softer, timid voice spoke.

She turned to her left, only to be greeted by five pairs of eyes. Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Applejack, Pinkie Pie and Rarity all stood there, smiling.

"Oh girls.. wait... why am I on a bed?" Twilight asked suddenly feeling her face become warm "Don't tell me I ..."

"Fainted? Yeah" laughed Rainbow Dash.

Seeing her friend's red face though, she added "Don't worry, Rarity did that too, and you woke up in half an hour, faster than she did, anyway".

"Oh for Celestia's sake, how long are you going to hold that over me?" Rarity asked indignant.

"Give it a few years".

"Uhh..where are the others?" began Twilight, remembering the scene that had caused her black out.

"Don't ya worry none sugarcube, the rest of the ponies are in the main hall with the other refugees and the CMC are with Cheerilee and Granny Smith right now, along with all the other fillies".

Twilight simply stood there, relaxed, knowing the others were safe, but still, not wanting to bring up the subject she knew was on everyone's mind.

"Was...is that armored giant... really...who I think it is?"

The girls started looking at each other or playing with their fingers, clearly uncomfortable.

"Uhh, yea Twi' Spike's really grown, ain't he" said Applejack, trying to lighten the mood, but failing miserably.

"My goodness" started Twilight "How can somepony change so much in one year?".

"Actually it's been more like two thousand years for Spike" began Rainbow "Apparantly he's been fighting for the last two thousand years in this like, living Hell outside of time"


"And he's become like, the warleader of the Legion of the Darned or Damned, something like that"


"His second in command told us he's like the strongest most vicious fighter of his entire race..."

"RAINBOW" the other girls said in unison


Rainbow looked at Twilight only to see that she was just staring into empty space, obviously trying and failing to process the information.

"Oh...damn. Uhh... soo...yea, Spike's....grown up".

Twilight shook her head, forcing herself out of her dumbfounded state and looked at the girls.

"Where is he now?"

"He's on the ramparts sugarcube. He and his warriors have been attacking the daemons since we got here".

Twilight raised herself off the bed and began straightening her clothes and hair.

"Let's go, I want to talk to him".

"Um... Twi', I know you've got a lot ta' say to him, but remember, he saved mah sister and all our friends. Without him, they wouldn't be here right now".

"I know. All I want from him, is an explanation"Twilight added, starting to walk towards the ramparts.

Fifty Draka, each armed with a dragon-flame hand cannon, pulled their flintlock triggers at the same time, with typical Draka discipline. The roaring dragon sculptures that made the front part of the twelve foot long hand cannons spewed fire and smoke and fifty gromril iron balls flew through the shield and smashed into the daemonic army. In twenty seconds, they were ready to fire another salvo.

Spike, Shagga, Goromandy and Mika'il all stood cross-legged and peering over a map.

"So there we have it, elder brother" Goromandy continued. "We have a hundred Shield-siblings, fifty Drak'aviri shock troops and fifty Val'Drakar hand-cannons".

Mika'il began "The other half of the Legion is at the Mouth of Madness, however the numbers we have now would be enough to allow us to defend the castle indefinitely".

"No, we need to attack" said Spike sharply and looked to Shagga.

Shagga explained "The daemons are preparing a massive strike with the cannon they have behind their armies. I can smell the winds of magic coalescing into that point. We cannot allow them to use it. We need to attack".

Mka'il and Goromandy both grinned. "A suicidal charge against over thirty thousand daemons and artillery with the field advantage on their side? It will be a glorious doom."

Mika'il added "Give us ten minutes to engage the enemy elder brother Spike. Once we have gained their attention enough, you will have enough time to flank their right side and slaughter your way to the cannon, as per standard Two Fang maneuver".

Spike looked at Mika'il and Goromandy a gleam of pride appearing in his otherwise cold, stern eyes. "Not this time brothers, this time we use the Piercing Claw maneuver, this time we fight side by side, shoulder to shoulder, and we tear our way to the cannon together".

Manic grins split the faces of Shagga, Goromandy and Mika'il. It had been over three hundred years since they had fought shoulder to shoulder with the Darraor in the Piercing Claw formation, and they would relish this opportunity.

"Shagga and Goromandy, you lead the Shield-siblings, Mika'il, you lead the Val'Drakar canoniers and I will lead the Drak'Aviri shock troops.

Prepare, we start in half an hour.

My orders, we kill them all and break the siege of Canterlot".

"Strength and Wisdom, Blood and Doom" said the three Draka as they rose to prepare.

Spike began to rise from his cross legged position, but a voice stopped him.


He sighed and slowly turned to regard a small, tear-eyed Twilight.

"Twilight I..."

That was all he could say before Twilight flew seven feet into the air and latched onto his massive chest plate, only to begin a confusing display of hugging him or uselessly smashing her comparatively tiny fists against his chest and face.

"I'm so glad you're still alive...how could you leave like that?...you're back, you're back... two thousand years? really? two thousand years? and you could not even write once...thank Celestia you're still okay..."

Spike did not move during it all, merely let Twilight vent and wear herself out.

After a few minutes, Twilight became still, her face and entire body, buried in Spike's cold chest armor. Her small left hand remained on Spike's massive head and caressed his disfigured lower face. She raised a puffy eyed face and watched Spike's lipless face.

"I'm glad *sniff* you're finally back".

Spike still only stood there, his massive hand, larger than half her entire upper body, slowly patting her back. He set her down as the other five girls came closer. They had all stood there in silence and let the scene play out.

"Alright, alright, I'm done now" said Twilight panting heavily.

Rarity knelled beside her, drawing a large handkerchief and beginning to wipe Twilight's face and eyes.

"There you go darling, it's good that you got that out".

Twilight laughed a little bit, obviously slightly embarrassed at her outburst. She looked with puffy red eyes at Spike.

"Sorry about that, but in the end all that matters is that you are back. We can be a family again".

A deathly silence fell as Spike dropped his eyes to the ground.

"We can be a family again, right Spike?" Twilight asked again, her smile beginning to falter.

Spike loosed a deep sigh and bent to retrieve his Kabuto horned helmet and his facial mask.
"Tell the other refugees to prepare, my forces and I will begin the attack soon and after we break the siege and retrieve the Princesses, we will escort you all to the Crystal Empire".

"Spike please...we can be a family again right?"

Spike did not answer. He turned from them and merely added
"Prepare to open the shield once me and my forces have gone through the main portcullis"


Twilight had grabbed the hem of his "Horo" overcoat and was squeezing the fabric in her small hands. Her entire body was trembling and the other girls were looking with desperate eyes at Spike.

Without turning, Spike explained.

"Forget me Twilight. All of you, forget I have ever existed. I am a Draka of the Legion of the Damned. My only purpose is to find a grand doom and restore my honor in death. The Spike you knew, he died the day he tore at Sweetie Belle's throat".

It was not the information, it was the finality with which Spike had said it that hit the girls like a cannon ball. By the time the girls regained their composure, Spike had already left the parapet and was heading to the gigantic portcullis of the castle, where his army awaited him.

Twilight's knees gave and she turned into a mess of trembling and desperate crying.

"Ah...Ah don't get it? Why would Spike say that? Ya' can't tell me after all this time he's still thinking about what happened that time. Nobody cares 'bout what happened, we're just happy he's back. He can't be that stubborn to want to die for a mistake he had no control over" Applejack said with a perplexed look on her face.

Still crying, her entire body shaking with hiccups and tears, Twilight explained.

"The book I read sad that Draka are … sniff... fiercely proud and the only way they would forgive... sniff... themselves of a shame or a mistake is by dying a honorable death. Why Spike? Why would you want to leave us again?"

The girls stood in silence, with only the sound Twilight's cries and sniffles to accompany their shattered spirits.

Spike moved with purpose. His heart ached. It hurt more than anything had ever hurt before. He had never thought he would ever have to break Twilight's heart the way he did.

But he had to do it.

It was better this way. Let it hurt him, he can take it. He can take all the pain.

Let Twilight hate him, let the others hate him, let them forget about him. He was Draka and Darraor of the Legion of the Damned. He had been reborn before the altar of the Legion, in order to die in glory. He cannot, he WILL not let them waste their tears over him. If they hate him, if they forget about him, they will not cry when he leaves or dies.

Yes, it's better this way. Let him be the bad one. If only to spare Twilight and the other girls more pain, he is willing to be the bad one.

The courtyard of the castle was a massive open space. Large enough to fit a thousand royal guard rank and file and five hundred war chariots. It had ever been the pride of Canterlot, the great courtyard and the portcullis and it's golden gates, a marvel of architectural genius.

Once it had been a place for grand open Galas and amazing displays of pony military discipline, yet now it was almost desolate, nothing more than a testament to the abhorrent atrocities that this war had visited upon Equestria.

Wherever one looked, they could see only groups of depressed ponies, hands and feet covered in bandages, once colorful and impeccable coats of fur now lacking color and covered in dark bruises and cuts in the process of healing .

Still, the ponies gathered. Their eyes drawn to the gigantic warriors that marched towards the great portcullis.

Two hundred and one giants, garbed in black gromril steel armors marched in lockstep towards the gates, purpose in their strides, pride, joy and battle lust obvious on their scaled faces. Two hundred and one warriors marched with joy and yelled oaths, to what seemed like a suicide assault.

And yet, as unnatural and mad as their joy appeared to the ponies around them, nopony could deny the effect their presence had. The sight of such utter disdain in the face of death filled the spirits of those watching and made them add their own cheers to the sound of marching armored giants.

As one, the Legion of the Damned stopped before the great portcullis, as it slowly started opening, the great mechanisms within the gate houses, groaning with the strain of opening the great gates.

A first row of shield and spear, one hundred warriors, all garbed in heavy armor made the first line of defense and attack, Shagga and Goromandy directing and bellowing orders from the middle of the row. The shield-siblings, shoulder to shoulder, formed the impenetrable shield wall that the enemy would break upon.

The second row, fifty truly gigantic Draka, each one a full head taller than the Draka of the first row, garbed only in lower plate armor, kusazuri chain mail kilts and plate gauntlets, but otherwise bare chested and bare headed, stood ready in a loose formation, readying their great curving blades, giant axes and ornate mauls. The Drak'Aviri shock troops were ready to feast on battle. Leading these giants was Spike, standing head and shoulders taller than even them, in full ornate armor, his eyes alone, a pair of cold green dots shining from the depths of his Kabuto horned helmet and facial masque.

The third row, led by Mika'il, fifty Draka of slimmer build, wielding great hand-held cannons, shaped in the form of roaring dragon heads, made the long range Val'Drakar flintlockers, the expert, eagle-eyed marksmen of the Legion of the Damned.

Beyond the gates and magical shield lay in wait thirty thousand daemons, over twenty thousand undead and too many changelings to count. The air smelled of a grand battle and the chant began.

As one, the two hundred and one grinning Draka Legionnaires began singing a deep rumbling chant. The Chant of the Damned, the Song of the Doomed.

Chant to listen to, to get the mood that follows

Spike felt right. The smell of steel and bared blades. The sound of armor and straining muscles. The hum of chanting voices. The atmosphere of approaching battle.

It felt right. it felt like home, it felt like family.

His chest heaved and deep voice boomed as he added his own voice to the chant. As he sang along with his warriors his mind and heart cleared and soul filled with pride for his Legion. His family in death.

Lo, do mine eyes see my doom.
In the depths of daemon gloom.
Lo, do mine eyes see death and pain.
As I promise blood shall rain.

Lord of Death, Ullail, hear our cry.
To take our souls in death, you shall try.

Our Ancestors beckon and we see pride.
On the Skull Road, gladly we shall ride.
O, Ancestors of Old, hear us howl.
In death with us, we take enemies most foul.

Lord of Death, Ullail, hear our cry.
To take our souls in death, you shall try.

For when all is Pain and Dread.
The Legion marches forward.
For when all is Doom and Horror.
The Legion marches forward.
For when all is Blood and Steel.
The Legion marches forward.

Forward, ever forward.
On a mountain of Iron and Corpses.
On a sea of Blood and Tears.
On a world of Pain and Terror.
The Legion marches forward.

We are Steel.
We are Doom.
We are the Legion of the Damned.
And we ever march forward.

With a final groan the gates opened completely and the magical shield in front of the gates opened. Spike flung his head to the sky and let loose an ululating howl.
As one, the Legion surged forward, passing through the gate and shield, to meet already advancing line of daemons.

"Gahahaha" bellowed Nerg'Cathal and turned to the two Princesses.

"It seems I won't need to use the Flesh Giver, the insects of the Legion are running to their own death".

Savoring the look of despair on the faces of the two Princesses he yelled the order to charge.

Fifty dragon-flame cannons roared and billowed flame and smoke, sending large gromril iron balls flying mere inches from Draka heads, only to surge beyond and tear through daemonic armor and flesh. Expert Draka marksmanship meant every shot counted for four or five daemons or ruptured undead by the tens.

Daemonic war engines and artillery spewed forth stone, flesh and black flame, only two break against the impenetrable wall of the shield-siblings.

Howling daemons and shambling undead lurched and ducked under their own artillery fire, only to break upon Draka shields and be skewered by their spears.

With a collective snarl, a hundred Draka shields rose up and fifteen foot, long bladed spears thrust forward, downing three rank and file of dead-pike, even as Spike and his fifty Drak'Aviri shock troops jumped on the raised shields and, using the shields as leverage, launched themselves in a sea of daemons, becoming whirlwinds of bladed destruction in the middle of screaming daemons.

Spike alone did as much damage as his fifty Drak'Aviri combined, his great Odachi "Karasuma" leaving trails of blood and entrails in a display of raw brutality and perfect technique. The fifty Drak'Aviri, a mass of ululating and howling Draka, roared with pride and battle lust, goaded and inspired by their Darraor's strength.

Salvo after salvo of cannon fire tore through daemons, Draka discipline sending balls of iron into the enemy even as the Drak'Aviri whirled the dance of death, not touching an inch of Draka flesh, yet always, without fail, breaking daemon and undead flesh and bone.

Thousands of lobotomised changelings fell from the sky towards the Legion, only to be rendered to nothing more than charred husks by the collective flame of a hundred advancing Draka shield-siblings.

As one, shields rose again and Spike and the Drak'Aviri returned behind the shield wall, leaving a field of broken daemons and crushed undead.

This was the Piercing Claw. A three stage assault that kept the Legion moving forward, even as they tore through anything that moved.

This had been the third daemonic assault that had been crushed under the Legion's boot, and they were slowly and surely advancing towards the artillery placements.

Nerg'Cathal yelled in frustration and brought one of his six rusted great axes down on one of his daemon's heads.

"Why have you stopped? Send another charge. Send them all".

A daemon lieutenant stammered a response.
"My lord, we have send all we could, nothing can break through the Legion, and we keep battering them with artillery assault, but it is of no use".

Sickly yellow froth burst from Neg'Cathal's mouth as he tore through the screaming lieutenant's belly. His wrath somewhat subsided he turned to the Cult Hierophant.

"How much longer until the Flesh Giver is ready to fire?"

The Hierophant shook and quickly blurted out.

"Seven hundred more daemons my lord".

"YOU WORTHLESS SCUM, MOVE FASTER" he yelled as he turned to his five remaining lieutenants.

"Send in the Corpse Lords".

A deep rumble shook the ground as ten, fifty foot tall, gigantic abominations made of what looked like a amalgam of corpses, iron and rusted chains, rose from the daemonic army and began charging towards the Legion.

The great slabs of iron that made their teeth shuddered, drooling old blood in place of saliva, and the house-sized hooks and cudgels that made their hands thrashed in uncontrolled fury as the Corpse Lords charged through the no-man's land between the two armies.

"Kazhalaa" yelled Mika'il and fifty Val'Drakar cannons shot a simultaneous salvo, tearing the first Corpse-Lord to rotten pieces of flesh and iron.

"Vashala'Alir" Shagga and Goromandy bellowed as a hundred shield-siblings and fifty Drak'Aviri drew breath and, raising their right hands to their mouths and activating the Draken Runes on their forearms, let loose gouts of red hot flame. Guided by the magic of the Draken Runes the gouts of flame rolled and compressed until they became fireballs, each as large as the Draka who had cast it and, with a collective roar, one hundred and fifty Draka loosed the flaming missiles.

Four more Corpse-Lords disappeared as one hundred and fifty fireballs tore them to flaming smolders and dust.

"Sa'an'ishar" Shagga called for "Shield and Spear" formation but before the Legion cold form, Spike, Darraor of the Legion, opened his way through the shields and walked before the shield wall.

Drawing a breath, he lifted his own right hand and loosed a gout of pale green and white-hot flame. Like the others, the same Draken Rune on his forearm guided the flame to roll in on itself and compress, except it grew until it became three times the size of Spike's already massive body.

Spike loosed it and the flaming ball flew straight and true, scorching the earth and cracking the stone behind it.

A Corpse-Lords disappeared upon contact with the flaming missile, it's massive body reduced to ash by the monstrous heat before the fireball exploded upon contact with the last four Corpse-Lords, with a boom that shattered every window of the already far away Canterlot Castle.

When the dust settled, only the few flaming remains marked the passing of the last four Corpse-Lords.

The Mane Six took their hands from their heads, their ears still ringing from the sound wave that Spike's exploding fireball had caused.

"Holy shi..." Rainbow began.

"Wha'? Ah can't hear a thing your' sayin' RD" yelled Applejack, rubbing a finger in her ear, trying to stop the ringing.

"Wowie Zowie, is that really Spike?" Pinkie Pie added, her mouth agape.

"Oh...Oh...my, they are all quite impressive, I've never seen someone fight like that before" Fluttershy said, staring in disbelief at the canvas of war unfolding before her.

Twilight could only stand there, mouth open and eyes wide. She had never, not even from the royal guard, seen such a display of discipline and fearlessness. The Draka were truly formidable. It was one thing to read about them in a book and another to see them in real life.

Moreover, never in her wildest dreams, would she have thought that Spike would become so strong. He truly deserved to be named the strongest of the Draka.

Yet, also, she had never been more frightened of him.

Was this really the Spike she had grown up with?

Shagga roared loudly as she brought the edge of her shield on a daemon's knee, cracking it and then pierced it's skull with her spear. The battle had been going on for an hour and the Legion had finally reached the artillery placements. Here, the fighting was at it's most brutal, the desperate daemons, fighting like the possessed, trying to defend the artillery.

The shield siblings pushed forward, even as Spike and the Drak'Aviri tore through rank after rank of daemons in front of them and the Val'Drakar gunners shot for the artillery.

"Shagga, Val'Vasili" a roar came from behind her. At the edge of her eye she saw the horribly wound Draka of the Drak'Aviri sock troops that had spoken. The Draka warrior was horrifically wounded, two large gashes across his chest and belly, a hand over his stomach, trying to keep his entrails from spilling out, and bleeding from a dozen more cuts across his body.

Shagga nodded quickly, mutual understanding coming between the two warriors and she lifted her shield. The Draka charged under her shield, whopping and howling and, grabbing his great ax with both hands, began tearing through a dozen daemons, even as his guts spilled out of his stomach, effectively cleaving his way to one of the black flame daemonic war-engines.

Four daemons fell on the lone Draka, driving him down to a knee, in a frenzy of stabbing swords and spears. But the dying Draka had done what he had intended to do. He had cleared the way to the war-engine. He turned to Shagga and ginned wildly. Opening his mouth and raising his hands to the sky he laughed loudly, while the daemons kept stabbing at him.

"Ancestors, my shame has been atoned,upon the Skull Road I now come".

Shagga's heart overflowed with pride at the redeemed Legionnaire, while also filling with sorrow at the loss of a battle-brother.

"Mika'il" she yelled.

In one fluid motion, Mika'il rested the dragon-flame cannon on Shagga's shoulder and pulled the trigger. The gromril-iron ball hit the unholy crystals that powered the war engine and it exploded with a loud crump, engulfing the laughing Draka and every daemon around it in a torrent of black flame.

Shagga threw her head back and let loose an ululating howl, marking the passing and redemption of another Draka of the Legion. The rest of the Legion took up the howl and doubled the viciousness of their attacks, hoping to find their own glorious dooms.

This had been the thirty-seventh Draka who had died, and Shagga knew she and everyone else in the Legion would mourn and honor their passing after the battle.

At the sound of the ululating howl, Spike threw his head back and howled himself, honoring the fallen Draka. Without looking he slashed upwards with his left hand, his Odachi "Karasuma" bisecting a eighteen foot tall corrupted minotaur, in two separate halves.

Immediately he switched the blade to his right hand and beheaded three smaller daemons with one strike, and then launched a storm of slashes, carving through a dozen heavy armored daemons in half as many heartbeats.

Spike knew his "Blood Madness" was under control, even though he felt the veins on his forehead thicken and pulse with anger at the loss of so many of his battle-brothers and sisters. He was proud of them nonetheless. They had died with honor, as he himself hoped he would die, but he knew he would still feel their loss.

Yes, the Madness was kept in check, no threat of it attempting to overcome his mind at the moment, however something else bloomed in the depths of his stoic and unwavering heart.

It was the joy of battle, the sheer ecstasy that only coming blade to blade with an enemy could offer. Spike sliced through a nightmare steed and it's daemonic rider in one fluid motion only to continue it by impaling a dog headed daemon through the skull, helmet and all. Spike slightly shook his head and cleared his mind. He could not allow himself to fully enjoy battle at the moment, he had to keep himself free of distractions for now.

It was paramount that he eradicate any threat to the girls right now. Anything else could and would wait.

"Elder brother"

Spike turned his head to Shagga.

"The daemon's general is heading towards the great cannon, we will hold the line here. End him."

Without a word, Spike raised "Karasuma" in a two handed grip as his muscles and veins swelled with strength, and brought it down in an explosion of force, the blade and cutting wind, brought by the power of the strike, ripping through two dozen daemons and opening his way to the six-armed obese monstrosity that was the general of the daemonic army.

Shagga watched Spike tear through the daemons and charge after the daemon general. She would take no chances. With quick silent hand code, she signaled two Drak'Aviri and Goromandy to follow and offer support to Spike.

She refused to allow her Darraor to stand alone. He had done enough of that. The Legion would always be here for Spike.

Nerg'Cathal ran towards the great cannon as fast as he could. He was done with this. All of it.

Whether the Flesh Giver was at full strength or not, he would fire at the Legion and obliterate them completely. Of course many daemons would be caught in the blast, but such was the nature of war.

The sound of howls behind him made him turn to see four Draka running towards him. Three were a mile away, and the largest one of them all, and judging by his incredibly ornate armor and size, probably the Legion's leader, was almost half a mile from him.

He smiled to himself. He should at the very least enjoy himself a little bit before ending it.

Turning abruptly he charged towards the giant Draka with the odd looking armor and horned helmet. With a chuckle he drew his six great rusted axes, one in each of his six rotten hands.

With a mental chant, he activated the unholy runes sown within his bulbous putrid flesh and increased his speed tenfold.

Yes, he would enjoy this, but make it quick, he would rip the insect's head clean off...

With a sudden shudder down his spine, Nerg'Cathal felt it. The closer he got to the giant Draka, the more he felt the sense of imminent danger, gnawing at his very survival instinct. The animal part of his brain told him something very clear and simple. This Legionnaire was dangerous, very dangerous, moreso than anything he had ever faced before.

Muttering a curse, Nerg'Cathal changed his strategy. He would kill the other three Draka, behind the giant one, first. Mentally chanting another spell, fifty feet from Spike, Nerg'Cathal blinked out of existence for a few seconds only to appear half a mile behind Spike, in front of Goromandy and the two Drak'Aviri.

With an almost casual flick of the wrist, he slashed with three axes at the first Draka, a brown scaled, white maned fourteen foot mountain of muscle, landing three strikes against the Draka's raised greatsword. The three strikes battered the Draka's defense and scored three deep cuts aganst his muscled abdomen.

Without skipping a beat, Nerg'Cathal pulled on the three axes, disarming the Draka and hamstringing him with a slash from his fourth ax.

As the roaring Draka fell to the ground, he launched his fist catching Nerg'Cathal in the face, breaking a few teeth.

With a roar Nerg'Cathal chanted his preferred spell "Nergui Makah Akui" - "In the name of the Rot I tell you, Putrefy".

Where Nerg'Cathal's axes had hit, the Draka's flesh began to rot at a horrific rate. The rot quickly spread and in mere seconds, the Draka's entire body had become a rotten carcass.

Yet something had been wrong. The Draka had neither screamed nor despaired. Instead in his final moments, the Draka had started laughing like a maniac and had begun yelling something in Draconian that almost sounded like a death-chant.

A roar from his left awoke Nerg'Cathal from his reverie, as another of the Draka of the Drak'Aviri, a tall, thin, white-scaled female with midnight blue hair launched herself at him. Like the Draka he had just killed, she was only armored on her lower body and arms, a studded leather tank top and myriad of tattoos being the only thing that covered her chest and breasts.

Nerg'Cathal licked his lips with a rotting tongue as he brought all six axes to intercept her large, rune inscribed mace. Rusted splinters flew from the axes and Nerg'Cathal smiled.

"Oh my dear, such a shame...Nergui Makah Akui"

As soon as he had spoken the spell, the rusted splinters that had fallen from his axes flew and pierced the female Draka's exposed flesh. Like the Draka before she began rotting fast and was dead in seconds.

Nerg'Cathal scowled. The female Draka had also died laughing. He did not like this. There was no fun in killing something that accepted death. Where was the fear, the despair?

A shuffle from behind him made him turn in time to slash at a long bladed spear and divert it's trajectory.

The third Draka, a large, stocky creature in full armor armed with a large tower shield and a spear grinned at him. He pointed his spear and spoke in muddled Daemonicus.

"Rotten fruit, tell fucking Abyssal Gods, Goromandy send you to them".

Rage bubbled in Nerg'Cathal's head. How dare this insect address him?

With an enraged shriek, Nerk'Cathal launched a flurry of blows from his six axes, every attack connecting with the large tower shield the Draka wielded and, within seconds, the shield began rusting and split in two.

"Gahaha, let me educate you insec..."

Nerg'Cathal's insult stopped short as Goromandy thrust his spear beyond the obese daemon's defenses and stabbed him through the neck.

"Is all, rotten fruit? You bore Goromandy".

Froth covered Nerg'Cathal's mouth, even as his wound closed, putrescent flesh reknitting itself in moments.

"Hierophant, NOW"

A few miles away, next to the great canon "Flesh Giver", the Cult Hierophant heard his master's shout, both real and telephantic, and reordered the flow of magic drawn by his cultists, in order to do Nerg'Cathal's bidding.

Sickly yellow light burst alive around Goromandy and, with a blaze of light, Goromandy's helmet and chest armor disappeared, only to reappear near the Hierophant's feet. The Object Displacement Conjuration had been a resounding success.

Too angry to mock or savor this, Nerg'Cathal brought all six axes smashing against each other and produced a small could of rusted shards.

"Now you're precious armor won't protect you against my shards".

Goromandy stared for a second, then opened his mouth to a booming laughter and threw his spear. With nonchalant backhand from one his axes, Nerg'Cathal rusted and broke the steel spear to bits.

Still laughing, Goromandy drew his curved sword and, like a maniac, charged straight through the cloud of shards.

"Imbecil...Nergui Makah Akui".

The shards flew and pierced Goromandy's flesh. Immediately his flesh began rotting, yet with all that, still laughing, Goromandy still charged.

With a curse, Nerg'Cathal slammed all six of his axes into Goromandy's flesh.

"Just die you...."

The curved sword flashed and cleaved through Nerg'Cathal's face cutting a deep gash into his skull. With a howl of pain and anger, Nerg'Cathal grabbed the still laughing and rotting Goromandy by the head and raised him into the air. He brought the dying Draka down and smashed him into the ground in a spray of blood and already rotten flesh.

Goromandy had laughed all the way.

Nerg'Cathal bellowed to the sky. Again, he had been denied the savoring of his victory. Again, his enemy had died with no fear, only joy and pride.

"What the hell is it with these damn insects, I will be denied no longer..."

Animal instinct rather than knowledge made Nerg'Cathal raise two axes above his head as Spike slashed down. His Odachi tore through the two axes and sliced deep into Nerg'Cathal's shoulder.

Nerg'Cathal stiffeled a shiver of panic. There were no roars or howls from this Draka, this one was as silent as the grave.

A savage punch in his gut from Spike, lifted the two ton obese daemon off his feet and sent him flying six feet away.

Nerg'Cathal half-rose on his knees, puking half digested food, Spike's steps sounding closer and closer.

"Get up rotten fruit" the deep guttural voice of Spike spoke, as solid and cold as a gravestone.
"I would have you die slowly".

Author's Note:

Hello all,

Sorry it's been so long, found myself knee deep in commissions and had to work a lot (not a valid excuse i know but i'ma try nonetheless:twilightsmile:).

As always, if you like what you read, feel free to like, follow, all that good stuff, but more importantly, leave a comment or some feedback/criticism/input.

More grimdark coming soon.

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