Rime sent a spray of blood into the air as Tyrin slashed a throat out of an Espagnian soldier. This city was far more fortified than his reconnaissance had led him to believe. Two of the ICEY-130s were downed, and the other two would have to retreat soon or face the same fate. GroundRunner had done a number on the heavy archers on the tower, but a seemingly endless stream of shockamancy was still firing from it. A few more ICEY hits, and the tower would fall, but it was all up to fate now.
A mental check on his units showed of the forty mixed troops dropped, ten kieshus and eight tinuit infantry were alive. GroundRunner had disappeared, but Tyrin was sure the mighty Jade Eye was still alive. Tyrin himself had several stinging wounds, but he would be fine. He couldn't see any other enemies nearby, so he made a sprint for the tower. Several near misses by arrows indicated that there were still some archers around, but he left his troops to handle them. He felt pulled into the tower, like someone had a string attached to him and was reeling it in. This feeling pulled him down the steps into the dungeons below. It was dank and musty. He was slowly pulled down the hallway to the third cell on the left. He carefully opened the door, and saw GroundRunner, suspended in the air by some sort of blue energy, barely conscious.
"Don't....." He said as Tyrin approached. "...trap...."
A familiar laugh from behind made Tyrin turn, Rime at the ready. In the doorway was the carnymancer he had faced off against all those turns ago. This time, his gaudy clothes were replaced with a black robe, similar in most ways to the Jade Eye's garb.
"This is too much of a prize. First, the chosen one, and now the real prize walks into my trap."
"Surrender now and I won't cut you apart bit by bit." Tyrin said, levelling Rime at the carnymancer.
"Oh, my dear Regus, why would I surrender to you?" His eyes glowed red. "Its my duty as a deletionist to remove you from existence. And I will delete you." He raised his hands and lightning shot from them. Tyrin intercepted it with Rime, the mighty sword absorbing the energy.
"My name is Tyrin." Tyrin sent the energy back at the carnymancer. The force of the blast sent him through the doorway and broke the door across the hallway.
"I see you have found a useful trick..." he said, slowly climbing to his feet. "Tricks are my department." He threw his cloak at Tyrin, blinding him momentarily. As he threw the cloak to the ground, the carnymancer was running down the hallway towards a masonry wall.
"Wrong way, carnymancer." Tyrin said, following him. "There is no way out there."
"For me, there is always a way out." He reached into his pocket and threw something at the wall. Black paint appeared all over the wall in the size of a tunnel. The carnymancer disappeared into the paint, like it had been a real tunnel instead of a drawing. Tyrin reached the wall seconds later, but it was indeed solid stone. He cursed, and as if on queue, the city became an IceVale city.
Tyrin returned to the cell and released GroundRunner from his restraints. He would survive, and be good as new in the morning. For now, they had to regroup and rearm. The carnymancer knowing that he was here meant a lot of bad things would be coming their way. Jackson approached leading a handful of Espangian archers he had captured. "Sir, does the general need assistance?"
"No, he will be fine." Tyrin sat down heavily on a bench in the cell, the weight of the near future weighing heavily on him. "What is the status of the city?"
"Banged up, but not horrible. The air assault means the outer walls are more or less intact, they took some stray ICEY shots. The Dungeons are untouched..." He looked at the broken door across the hall. "Almost untouched, and the tower is damaged but still intact and at full juice."
"How is it at full juice, its been shooting all day."
"One of the prisoners said the carnymancer changed the rules so that one particular air defense spell didn't cost any juice. That's the only spell that was being fired."
"I'm not sure it works like that, but we have a tower with full charge, so I won't question it. Casualties?"
"Twelve dead kieshus, three badly wounded, five lightly wounded. Twelve dead stabbers, four critically wounded, four badly wounded, including myself. Two ICEYs were shot down, but one may be recoverable. Crew survived on both. The two left in the air are badly damaged, one lost its pilot, the other lost its chief gunner. GroundRunner's fighter and golem are both okay."
"Very good, Jackson. Get the defenses ready for a counter-attack."