• Published 1st Apr 2016
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Group Precipitation - FanOfMostEverything

Stories set in the Oversaturated World, some silly, some less so.

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War Sometimes Changes, by Void Knight

The white-and-gold banner of the Leanaí Beach snapped in the winds as battle drew nigh. From her position in the front ranks, Sleá Rinceoir could see the barbaric War Hounds drawn up in their own ranks across the field beneath banners of black and red. Or at least she could see most of them. That particular warband was known for their large contingent of dog-aspect soldiers, who were surely already lurking beneath the ground, waiting to spring up in ambush.

Of course, that came at the cost of other aspects. Though the War Hounds had a slight advantage of numbers, they were dangerously short of unicorn aspects, and Sleá was hopeful that that would give her side the edge in this battle.

Suddenly, the trumpets rang out. Sleá and her fellow earth-aspect infantry burst into a charge. Ahead of her, Sleá could see the War Hound infantry do the same, while behind them dozens of figures rose into the air on wings of light or capes of translucent magic. Though she couldn't see them, Sleá knew that her own side's fliers were doing the same. Arrows began to rain down on both sides, while fliers armed with sword or spear charged forward to meet in the air above, just as their land-bound counterparts were doing below.

At the last second, Sleá checked herself, digging her heels into the ground to stop her charge as she jabbed downwards with her spear. Though her target was a fellow earth-aspect, and judging from the quality of his gear a fellow veteran of many battles, Sleá's mark granted her just that extra bit of speed and coordination. His sword flashed down to bat away her spear, but he couldn't deflect it far enough. The point of Sleá's spear impacted his leg, punching through armor to cripple the limb.

A moment later, a blinding flash of red light exploded in Sleá's face. She jumped back and twisted, jabbing blindly with her spear. A blow crashed against her arm, and though her armor turned the worst of it she knew she couldn't take another hit there. But already her eyes were recovering, and she could see well enough to twist and catch the incoming sword-stroke on her spear. She retaliated with a point-blank jab, but her opponent was able to turn the blow with the shield in her other hand. The sword flashed out again, and Sleá caught it again on her spear. Then a rock struck her opponent's unarmored head, hurled down by one of the hovering Leanaí Beach pegasus-aspects, and she crumpled to the ground.

Finding herself momentarily unengaged, Sleá spun around to briefly take stock of the situation. The main infantry battle had degenerated into a mass of different duels, with both sides having taken heavy losses. The War Hounds had a slight edge there, but it was far from certain. The War Hounds' dog-aspects had indeed tried to take out the Leanaí Beach casters, but it was for that exact reason that the Leanaí Beach had held back most of their unicorn-aspect infantry, and the diggers couldn't overcome the combination of magical and martial skill. Unfortunately, the War Hounds were winning dramatically in the skies. Leanaí pegasi were plummeting to earth, and the War Hounds fliers had already begun to switch to a bombing role. Indeed, it had been a misaimed War Hound rock, not a Leanaí projectile, that had just ended Sleá's battle.

Sleá spun and charged back towards the casters. The War Hounds' dogs needed to be put down immediately so that the Leanaí mages could lend their aid elsewhere.

It was a perfect stroke. The dog never even heard Sleá coming, and her spear took him right in the center of his overly-muscled back, dropping him in a single blow. A second dog spun to face her, only to be taken down by a sword blow from the Leanaí he'd been dueling a moment before. Without missing a beat, Sleá continued her charge past the downed dog to confront a third. He swung with one of his two hand-axes, clearly expecting her to block. But instead she stabbed, trusting her armor to take the blow. It did. Her opponent's didn't.

The fight in the skies began to turn. Though they heavily outnumbered the remaining Leanaí pegasus-aspects, the War Hounds fliers were sitting ducks for the Leanaí unicorn-aspects. It wasn't long before the War Hounds broke and fled, escaping the field with perhaps a third of their number.

A second volley of trumpets signaled that the last "living" War Hound had left the field. All across the battlefield, the dead began to climb to their feet, exchanging congratulations.

Sleá Rinceoir, real name Dancing Clogs, grinned happily. LARP had become so much more fun ever since the Saturation!

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