The Path of Redemption (Daegna'ar)

The Path of Redemption As the King of Faomori was giving his speech, Eireen’s eyes filled with tears, her heart started pounding painfully echoing through her chest, and inside her head brewed a storm. All the things promised by the prophecy of Ba’aelzathar and Sahmael were all she has ever wanted, the culmination of her life’s work. But it did not seem like the right choice, if anything it felt like a sweet nothing. It is Daegna’ar who came here to get her, he gathered a legion ready to sacrifice everything at her expense.

She knew what she had to do, there was no other right answer to this. She threw Sahmael’s hand off her shoulder and walked up to the edge of the parapet, as tears streamed down her face. Sahmael threw his confused gaze upon Ba’aelzathar, to which the great warlock only shrugged and gave a look in response as if saying that even with their crafty lies, she saw through them.

Daegna’ar saw Eireen approach the edge and realized what was about to happen.

Knowing that the Lord of Dis would not allow her to leave alive, Daegna’ar sent his augmentations into overdrive and took off towards the gates of Dis across the bridge.

As he was running towards the inevitable fight with the cavalry on the other side, he ordered the engineers to target the gates with the siege gun, and as soon as Dr. Holmes jumps the parapet, they should redirect onto the walls at the sides of the gates.

The barrage shook the battlefield, easily melting through the gates, collapsing the entrance, and cutting off any reinforcements from Dis. The cavalry outside the gate started to shift away from the gates, to avoid being crushed by the debris. During the distraction, Daegna’ar was able to slice through the first line of the Dis army with the mighty force of the enhanced Darkir-Tungu. Following Eireens jump, Sahmael filled with rage and viciously screamed at the guards to get Eireen, and flew up into the air. Ba’aelzathar began sending out sigils with further orders to the generals, he had to do it quickly before the parapet caved and he would become buried by rubble. When he flew into the air following Sahmael’s path, he turned around to see the carnage the siege gun have caused. The gates were melted and the debris caved in blocking the way out of the city. The following barrages blew up the walls, further burying the pathways out of the city from this side. It will take time to reroute the reinforcements for Sahmael’s army now.

While Ba’aelzathar and Sahmael were figuring out their bearings, Daegna’ar was cutting through the army of Dis, leaving absolute carnage behind him. Upon noticing how effectively the blue demon manages to progress toward Eireen through the cavalry, Ba’aelzathar with his warlocks began to shroud cavalry around Daegna’ar with a black mist, making it impossible to see past.

The flying demons of Dis finally reached the siege gun, and during the fourth and last blast, it got hit and the shot struck off the mark, landing on the eastern watchtower in the wall, slicing it clean off, opening a whole new path to the city through the wall.

Fighting the cavalry, Daegna’ar noticed that he is seeing less and less around him as if his surrounding enemies were wrapping him in some sort of dark clouds. But striking through these clouds he slew his enemies, so having his bearings towards Eireen, he continued slashing and bashing through the army towards her. As he was fighting the enemy cavalry, he noticed that it was parting in two ways, surrounding him in the dark mist, making him more and more lost.

This made Deagna’ar sure that if he doesn’t hurry, this fight might be his last. As he was cutting through the crowd, he ordered the Kenshi Corp. heavy gunmen to open fire directly on him. This will help create a line for the troops to move in and create a safe exfiltration route for Eireen. As the last of the defending riders fell to the ground and the mist in front of Daegna’ar let up, he finally saw Eireen, covering in the debris of the gates. She was shaking, realizing that her actions brought them to this point and they could be struck down at any moment.

While the heavy gunmen were firing upon the fight at the gate, the Infernum soul infantry was gaining territory and had already been halfway across the bridge, to fortify the extraction route for Dr. Holmes.

Daegna’ar finally reached Eireen, pulled her out of cover, and went up the wall debris with her, finding a secure spot for her, and started to deflect the strikes from the dark mist that were falling upon him and Eireen, along with any bullets that finally started reaching them. This meant that the corridor is being formed, and they are about to get the demoness out of this mess.

Unfortunately, the siege gun was destroyed in the flying demon attack, however, it was not as bad as it could have been. The fortified special forces tasked with defending the laser gun managed to hold off the attackers for long enough to get four shots off from the laser. And after the gun fell, they were able to safely escort the engineers out with minimal losses, while melting through the flying demons in staggering numbers. Until Sahmael landed directly at the open portal.

Sahmael was slaying everyone in his path, he looked upon the portal, realizing that it works on pure energy, not magic. He sliced through the rift gates with his mighty sword Vur Chavvui, and the portal to the other world closed, leaving half of the machine going through it in Infernum, and half in the world it came from. Personnel moving the machine through suffered a similar fate, some losing limbs, some half their bodies. The sliced up were left to suffer their fate without mercy. Now that the portal was dealt with, the lord of Dis could enjoy his time on the battlefield, slaying his enemies with vigor and sickening delight.

The forces in the backline were devastated, they were not expecting a backstab of this magnitude and the surviving personnel and soldiers were trying to get away from the fight and regroup, taking severe losses. Meanwhile, the whole time Ultec Robotics observers were still watching the battle unfold, reporting all of the developments back to their superiors in Cutieland, expecting orders to join in the fight against Sahmael, yet no such order was given.

As soldiers fled the backline encampments, they radioed in for support, which made Daegna’ar aware that he must go back to protect the portal and the AA weaponry, or they will be overwhelmed by the flying demons very soon. He left Eireen with his closest Faomori guards at the bridge forward operating base and headed toward the portal encampment.

Halfway across the bridge, the camp became visible once again and Deagna’ar saw that it was swarmed with flying demons going in for dive attacks into the camp in groups, while the AA weaponry was doing absolutely nothing to defend the positions. Looks like the sheer amount of these flying demons helped them to get to the guns before they all were annihilated. The upside of that is the huge losses those flying demons endured.

As Daegna’ar was approaching the camp, he regrouped with engineers and soldiers willing to go back as a counter-attack and try to take back the camp, and repair the AA guns.

Approaching the first AA gun, Daegna’ar ordered the soldiers to open fire on the flying demons, while he will cover the engineers that will be repairing the disabled AA. The flying demons figured out the plan after the initial bloody blitzkrieg and rerouted their efforts to attack the engineers. Daegna’ar was able to hold them off long enough for the engineers to repair the AA gun, and as soon as it went back online, thunderous shots pierced the air shredding the flying demons into pieces. The aerial soldiers of Dis were forced to back off from the area to minimize their losses.

Daegna’ar ordered for a crew to be made up to send them to the southern AA gun and repair it as well. With this area clear, it would be not as dangerous as this encounter and they could do it without him covering them. Leaving a squad of nomads to guard the AA gun he could get back to searching for Sahmael on the battlefield. Daegna’ar made his way to the area where the portal gateway was set up and as he got close enough to see it, a few hundred meters ahead, he was greeted with a morbid sight. The surrounding area was littered with corpses of his soldiers and Kenshi Corp. scientists. The gateway frame was slashed through with one clean cut. And with his back turned to Daegna’ar was Sahmael. By the looks of things, he was sending out battlefield updates to his generals using the sigils.

Daegna’ar unsheathed Darkir-Tungu, which buzzed with Eerie energy. To which Sahmael turned around, wielding the Vur Chavvui sword. Daegna’ar jumped at Sahmael, slashing at him with a wide and heavy swing, but missed, as Sahmael soared into the air, readying a counterattack at the blue demon. Daegna’ar blocked the aerial attack with Darkir-Tungu. In retaliation, the King of Faomori unleashed a series of fast attacks with his sword, which forced Sahmael to back up, deflecting the blows with Vur Chavvui. With each deflected blow, Sahmael’s sword went dimmer and dimmer, cracking little by little, the ancient sword couldn’t withstand the power of the enhanced Darkir-Tungu. Understanding the danger of losing his weapon, Sahmael went to the skies again, fleeing the fight.

Meanwhile, the army of Daegna’ar was giving back the battlefield at the gates of Dis, it had no support anymore, and could not sustain the battle without protection against aerial sweeps from the flying demons. The engineer teams were making a makeshift bridge across Styx to the gaping hole in the wall where the watchtower was destroyed, and as soon as the forces got back across the bridge to the encampment across the river from Dis, the mortar crews started bombarding the main bridge. There was a need for time to regroup and to get that time, it was decided to retreat and prevent the army of Dis from retaliating by pushing out across the river.

Watching the battle unfold from above, Sahmael realized that without the support of their champion, Daegna’ar, the army of invaders would not stand a chance against the thousands of warriors of Dis. A plan was brewing in his mind, to behead the army of Daegna’ar, without their leader, they would perish quickly, they have nowhere to back up now without that portal device. The primordial was the key to winning the battle. Daegna’ar proved that he will risk everything for her. But how do Sahmael and his forces get the primordial in their custody again? Daegna’ar made sure that she would be safe enough from attempts at capturing her under the Elite Faomori guard.

The bridge finally caved in, taking the hundreds of heavy troops of Dis with it to the depths of Styx. Knowing that the bridge collapsed, the mortar crews redirected toward the gates once again, shelling the army trapped between the collapsed bridge and the melted gates of the city.

No matter how hard the army of Dis tried to retaliate from the walls of the city, amassing enough demonic bowmen was impossible, Daegna’ar’s sharpshooters and heavy gunmen were making sure the walls remained as empty as it was possible at all times. Sahmael was not expecting the invaders to put up so much resistance in battle. Something must be done before the city succumbs to panic and the forces abandon their posts.

As the makeshift bridge was taking form and Daegna’ar’s forces seemingly fortified their positions, a group of warlocks flew over the breach in the wall, with Ba’alzathar in front. They were under protective sigils, bouncing off projectiles, lasers, and explosive rounds. The warlocks flew over the river, as they got closer everyone noticed that the whole group was channeling some sort of energy through their bodies, all interlinked by the current of that dark energy. The warlocks flew close to the mortar crews and unleashed a powerful surge of energy at them. The equipment crumbled and bent under the force of the surge, and everyone around the equipment fell with agonizing screams, pleading for mercy.

But Deagna’ar realized quickly that this was not the goal of the warlocks. They went past the mortars and were approaching the Faomori guards protecting Eireen. He took off in the same direction, he had to protect Eireen at all costs.

When the warlocks reached Eireen, Ba’alzathar started casting an incantation, and a surge shot in her direction. Daegna’ar jumped just as it was about to hit the Faomori guards and Eireen, taking the surge onto himself, he was ready for the excruciating pain to shoot through his body, but it never came, he didn’t understand what happened. But there was no time to comprehend what just happened, Eireen started screaming in agony behind him, as she started to lift off the ground. She was shrouded in the dark energy surging through the warlocks.

As the attention was momentarily shifted towards Dr. Holmes, the aerial soldiers of Dis struck down out of the ashen clouds. The 200 flying demons bashed and slashed the distracted enemies on the ground. The screams and discord of the battlefield caught everyone off guard, and the retaliation of Daegna’ar’s forces was panicked and all over the place. The ground forces shot at the attackers sporadically, barely doing anything to fend off the surprise attack, shifting their focus from warlocks onto the flying demons and back. But Daegna’ar knew what was about to happen.

He flung Darkir-Tungu at Ba’alzathar, easily piercing the protection the sigils provided, and hitting the warlock directly in the chest. He was defenseless now, and he was fine with that. His goal was to save Eireen and he did just that. The Great Warlock with the sword sticking out of his chest fell to the ground, releasing Eireen from his grasp. Confirming he had hit his target, he sharply turned around and grabbed the blade aimed at his heart. He wasn’t fast enough to stop the blade from piercing but had enough time to redirect it into his thigh, firmly grasping the blade with his cybernetic arm. The sharp pain radiated from the wound, Vur Chavvui hit him in the augmented side of his body, but the pain was still excruciating. Daegna’ar knew that if Sahmael would get another chance to strike him with the blade, he would not miss this time. They struggled for the blade, in a macabre tug of war. Sahmael headbutted the blue demon in the face, which caused Daegna’ar to loosen the grip on the blade. The Lord of Dis was finally able to get his blade free. He brought the sword back, winding up another strike, and as he did that, he was struck with a bright flash. Eireen took hold of Darkir-Tungu and struck him as hard as she could with the enormous ancient blade.

Sahmael’s black blood stained the ground and he stumbled away from Daegna’ar, dazed and confused by this turn of events.

As he was regaining control of himself, Daegna’ar sprung to Eireen, grabbed the sword, and put her behind him, expecting Sahmael to swing back in a fit of rage. Daegna’ar thought right. The Lord of Dis, enraged, swung his sword at them, but Darkir-Tungu easily bounced the swing back. Vur Chavvui rang out against the deflection. Regaining his focus, Sahmael flew into the air, he was done fighting Daegna’ar. It was time to end this once and for all. Sahmael started circling Daegna’ar, poking and prodding the King of Faomori at different angles. He knew that Daegna’ar couldn’t keep up with his dexterity for long, mostly due to the injury inflicted on him. Thankfully the exoskeleton was holding up to the barrage of attacks and made it possible for Daegna’ar to fend off the flying menace.

As the battle raged on, no one noticed how a considerable force started to move in on the battlefield from the nearby hills where the Ultec Robotics observers were laying low since the start of it all. The flying demons started falling by the dozens. The 3rd party was able to clear out the airspace above Daegna’ar’s base fast, while still being very mobile. Now the panic ravaged the forces of Dis, they were losing numbers, and quickly. Daegna’ar realized that they are being helped and turned back to Sahmael, he pounced at the leader of the Infernum army. Yet, he missed, as Sahmael flew up into the ashen clouds once more, sending out command sigils to his generals.

The Ultec Robotics forces were patiently waiting for the order to help Daegna’ar’s army, yet no such order came. Their commander, Drago Sicinai, fed up with the passive neglect from the suits back home, closed the portal, cut off all communications with the home base, and ordered his troops to move out towards the battlefield. They had to help Daegna’ar’s army. Otherwise, it was impossible to predict what is to come of this if the forces of Infernum learn about portal technology.

Sahmael took rule over the warlocks, ordering them to conjure new bridges over Styx for his army to make the final push and surround the base of operations of Daegna’ar’s group. As the bridges were materializing from the dark energies, the opposing forces were trying to bombard and destroy them any way they could, yet it was for nothing. The conjured bridges warped and bent under fire, but didn’t get destroyed. And the forces of Dis started pouring in over the three bridges, constructed by the six warlocks. Giving up on the idea of destroying the bridge itself, recon gave new information to the heads of command, emphasizing the role of the warlocks in the bridge's durability. Thanks to that information, Daegna’ar’s army decided to send a few long-range rocket barrages at the warlocks, hoping that it will do anything, and thankfully, they managed to hit two of the warlocks with the rockets, and one of the bridges collapsed, taking with it hundreds of demon warriors into the depths of Styx.

Yet this was far from the end of this fight. The forces of Dis tightened around the base like a noose, forcing both the Ultec Robotics and Daegna’ar’s army into the middle of the base around the destroyed portal.

There was no other way out of this bloodbath but through the portal. While the frontline was slowing down, it was a temporary state of affairs, as soon as it gave in, they would be overwhelmed. Eireen went through the damages to the portal and concluded that it is possible to fix it and restore its function. The only downside is that there is not enough power to feed the portal long enough for them to sustain it from the other side. Dr. Holmes offered a solution, a risky one, but not much else left to utilize in a dire situation as this. She asked for the battery pack for Daegna’ar’s exoskeleton’s life support – it was large enough to open the portal and sustain it for enough time to get through and power the gateway from the other side. This meant that the King of Faomori had to step away from the fight and be on the sidelines, guarded by his trusted Faomori, with his life fading from his body with every passing minute. Drago also offered parts from their portal tech to be used for repairs, as the portal they have been using was dwarfed in comparison and wouldn’t be a good extraction option.

To prevent the forces of Dis from figuring out their plan, and lack of Daegna’ar on the battlefield, the combined army started excessively using smoke grenades and drone attacks to keep the frontline busy. But without the King of Faomori on the frontline, the losses were piling up faster and faster.

Giving the go-ahead, Eireen started the extraction of the batteries from Daegna’ar’s exoskeleton. As he was on the operating table, he looked at Eireen with soft delight, he was happy, finally. As the battery was pulled out, his healthy eyes went into the back of his skull, and the exoskeleton went into a state of emergency and powered down all systems, placing Daegna’ar into a coma, to conserve all energy possible. Seeing that Meldave'er, one of the remaining warlocks cast a channeling spell, to sustain his king’s life.

Sahmael knew that victory was near. The interlopers are cornered and had nowhere to go. They are surrounded and losing numbers fast. It seemed like fire pits opened up on the battlefield. The smoke and smog heavily covered the frontline. But the smoke pillars dissipated and started anew. This was not how fire pits behaved. It was some sort of a smoke line. Daegna’ar’s army was hiding something! Perhaps, they fixed the rift to their world! He immediately sent orders to push the frontline at all costs toward the location of the gateway.

The portal finally opened and the evacuation started, Daegna’ar’s legions' scraps with the Kenshi Corp. counted slightly less than two thousand soldiers and personnel, they all should be able to be accommodated within the Soranus-13 complex. Leaving behind robots to fight the onslaught of the army of Dis, the Cuties were retreating towards the rift to extract. Line by line, they gave back more and more ground to Sahmael’s forces. They were now surrounded, with robots barely making a dent in the oncoming hordes. As the last of the soldiers got into the portal, Eireen, Meldave'er, with the help of Drago placed the stretcher with Daegna’ar’s barely living body onto the mechanized bears and walked through the gateway. On their way out, Drago shoved an explosive charge timed to detonate shortly after they’ve walked into the portal, closing it off from the Infernum army that was charging at them. The horde of Sahmael’s army was trembling on the ground as they got closer and closer. But they still were behind the smokescreen.

The charge went off, and then Sahmael knew that his hunch was right. Enraged, he ordered for the portal remains to be untouched, as they had to be studied.

The battle was over. The interlopers fled, taking his primordial with them, destroying his chance at great power over Infernum and beyond.

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