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[Sombra War] Fire and Sword (Closed)


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The first wave was taken care of too easily. All the same, they couldn't have gone ignored. Most of the steam charges were out of the picture, but that was fine. They served their purpose well enough. They were wasted on the cannon fodder, saving crucial mana, arrows, and energy for the main force. The Equestrians were still at fighting strength. 

He wasn't going to think about how the first wave they just decimated were likely. There was too much at risk to waste time and energy worrying about what could have been right now. 

Especially now that everything was on fire. But he had seen where the light originated. The arrows ignited once they left the downs, giving him a brief moment to spot their respective owners' position in the trees. Luckily, Reveille had taken cover with most of the forces at the first barricade, and once everything was on fire, most of what remained of the first barricade's forces seemed to be bolting to reinforce the second position. But so long as those archers were still in play, it was going to be rinse and repeat until there were no barricades left. 

Reveille stayed behind. He was going to give those archers a taste of his own fire. Lucky for him, the archers had to be in a fairly open position to fire such a volley and not set the area around them ablaze. Laying low, he kept an eye on where he thought he saw the first fire arrows come from. He saw more arrows fly from the general area, but these ones weren't on fire. No illumination. He'd just have to go with the spot he saw the first time. He grabbed two powder grenades from his saddlebags, making sure to keep himself as close to what cover was left as he could. He wasn't going to run. Not yet. If he could buy some time and cause a significant distraction, that'd be a well-needed boost for the garrison in town. 

There was plenty of fire around him, but he feared getting too close to any open flames, or even spreading ones. He'd make a pretty big boom if anything was ignited on him. So he had to elect to still use his cigar. Giving it a puff to burn the ember at its end, he held the fuses to it and lit them, the sparkling cords starting to burn down. Popping up from cover while he had a window, he used his Earth Pony strength to arc those grenades far, one after the other, toward the position to the right where he believed one group of archers were. With the length of the fuses and the distance he had to throw, it would be unlikely they'd have time to throw them back if they hit their mark.

He doubted they were going to just rain on them with fire and arrows until there was nothing left. They had already shown their hand with a line infantry attack, even if it was to whittle down initial defenses. That, and Sombra's officers were too proud. They'd want a taste of blood for their soldiers. He tried to stay in cover, but with fires spreading, there was only so long he could hold this position with what few soldiers remained. 

Either way, let them come.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Though making no outward sound, Naj internally cursed.  The arrival of a second enemy infantry group , from her perspective suddenly emerging from the woods like a pack of stalking predators, forced a delay.  Dropping from above now, while it would undoubtedly sow confusion for a moment, would leave the changelings right in the middle of this new group and then further surrounded by archers.  As much as Naj hated the let the archers fire on her allies, she wasn't willing to risk her own troops like that.


Naj waited a bit longer, until the second infantry group came to a halt a little ways ahead of the archers.  She took a breath to steady herself, forcing down the errant fears and doubts that flitted about her mind, before making signalling to her own group to keep silent and attack..  Then, she leapt from the tree.


She landed directly on top of her target, using gravity and the weight of her armour to add extra force to her strike.  The hapless archer crumpled beneath her, which was just as well.  She didn't have time to really assess the situation, doing anything other than immediately striking the next target would cause her to lose momentum.  Which she did, the next archer having a little more warning after seeing what happened to her compatriot, but it still only took Naj a feint followed by a few precise blows to bring her down.

Around her Naj could hear the cries of alarm sound of blows dealt, signs that her changelings had followed her example, but only having time to notice that before a more immediate threat presented itself.


Naj would have expected it to be the turning of the infantry group to face the threat that would have driver her back.  Instead, it was a small metallic object hurtling through the air to land in the midst of the archer division.


Naj finally abandoned silence.  “To the trees!” she called out, then fired off a few bolts of magic to suppress any immediate pursuit and maybe bring down one or two more foes, before running back to the woods herself just behind her changelings, one or two of which were supporting comrades who'd suffered return hits.


Now Naj would need to wait and watch.  What she did next would depend on what their enemies did.  If there was pursuit or Sombra's forces were left in disarray, the changelings would make a fighting retreat through the woods, circling around to eventually make it back to friendly lines.  If the attackers pressed on toward the barricades on the other hoof, Naj's best course might be to set up for another guerrilla strike.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Dunder's hindlegs were straining, he had ducked his head back behind the cover as the enemy continued their assault. Clutching his sword, he waited for an onslaught that never came. When his comrades became entangled with the wave of enemies, the pegasus stood, sword at the ready only to have no enemies before him. The survivors of the charge were either fighting elsewhere along the barricade or already dead. The traps' effectiveness boggled the pony for a moment. Only a brief one for an arrowhead stuck right to the barricade in front of him. The tip instantly flashed and burst into flame.

Dunder's instincts pulled him back behind the cover of the barricade which was now ignited and withering away, the logs splitting and cracking from the force of arrows and the  growing fire. He clutched his sword, scared to peek or even move as the arrows began to rain down. When the first volley hit, ponies already began to retreat to the second barricade. When Dunder saw, he snarled his teeth, "Where are you going? We need to hold this ground for as long as possible!" Of course, to no avail. The archer's brainwashed process struck too much fear into the hearts of the defenders.

The pegasus knew he had nowhere to run. And those left felt the same way. They also knew that every inch given to the enemy was another inch that would need to be fought for again. And every second the enemy got closer was another second that those Dunder held dear would be in danger. The gravity of his comrade's cowardice began to set in, pushing away his own fear.

The pony looked up at the bellowing smoke of the burning barricade. Then he looked down at the bandoliers of glass firebombs that his comrades had left. without giving a second thought. He started to sling as many as possible onto himself. At least, until the weight of the bombs wasn't too cumbersome to fly at a brisk pace. He also opted to leave his sword, saddlebag, and helmet to help him relieve some of the weight. He still had on his chestplate, firebombs, and buckler and parrying dagger.

With those he had, he took off into the air, using the smoke as cover. He pierced the grey clouds until they started to dissipate. With the concealment of the smoke gone he looked down to see where the enemy archers hid while zooming off to get back into concealment of the trees. While moving, he could hear explosions going off. Targets of the elite's grenades!

With that he faced the source of the explosions and set off, wings flapping furiously. By now he was probably already seen, so he would need to hit and run very quickly.

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It started out like a metallic screeching, but it was no metal. It was the aether giving away, giving life to what should not be. Pulling itself from the earth a few hundred feet away was a golem of earth and stone, animated by powerful magics. It's bellow could be heard all the way in town and across the expanses around it. It puleld itself up further from the ground. Huge rocky hooves stomped and trampled, destroying the forest around it. Anguished cries of a creature that should not xist pierced the day as it became fuly aware, and Twilight's programming kicked in. She made it see not normally, but through the aetheral plane. Equestrians were visibly different from the soldiers of the Crystal Empire on the aetheral plane. By denoting what the Golem was to attack- those with a different aetheral signatures on the same plane, unlike Changelings who existed on a separate- All she had to do was give it the goal of killing all sapient life not Equestrian on the plane, and- well- the work would be done.

After the soul shattering scream came the charge. From where it had pulled itself the twelve foot high quadreped galloped through the woods, knocking down trees. It picked one up in its mouth as it charged past the barricades, ignoring the second group of ground infantry and instead charging the archers. It impacted with the force of an earthquake and ravaged the area. It stomped and trampled, swung a tree in its mouth, batted away, crushed, destroyed, and eliminated. Underneath its power all things were fragile and in its rage was contained the necessary speed and awe to render even a battle hardened veteran stunned with fear. Ponies died quickly, swiftly, painfully, horribly- and that was just the first group of archers. The second group turned their arrows on the golem and did little but get its attention. It looked their way and tossed its tree with a mighty whip of its head- the tree went flying into them and with such speed as to tear a half dozen more trees out of their roots. It charged into them and continued its rage-induced attack.

Between the Golem, the grenades by that brave pegasus, and the changeling attack, the archers stood no chance. And without them- that advance would be annihilated. 

While the golem went about its bloody work, there were other concerns. The first barricade was on fire. Troubling development. Not unexpected. Casualties were light thanks to the shielding, but the barricade would be down within a few minutes. They would resist this second wave of the enemy before falling back. But many in the first barricade were now falling back- the flames were licking at them, reducing their courage. They told themselves it was to flee to a more defensible location, but it really was to save their own necks. A few had remained- but they needed more. "Remain in your positions, Equestrians! Fall back when ordered!" She bellowed, her voice echoing with magical enhancement. She turned to the enemy infantry, and went about ensuring their slaughter.

Quick mathematical equations where one part had already been solved. Her eyes closed- as they charged, she made sure to space out what she was teleporting in. Had to ensure the proper coverage without injuring the Equestrian defenders. In a flash, three large tree logs appeared in the middle of the enemy pack. Some ran into it, and in some places the charge stopped or ponies attempted to hack at them. It mattered not. A moment later, they glowed a dark purple briefly before a white flash of an explosion. The tree logs detonated with a magical explosion, shattering the logs from within and sending thousands of of pieces of wooden shrapnel in every direction. In the midst of her the enemy charge, the explosion wreaked bloody havoc, tearing her enemies into pieces and reducing a proud charge into a broken and shattered stumble. Many were killed. Many more were wounded, and what few were unhurt may still have been thrown to the ground or magicshocked by the attack. 

The time to strike was now. "Engage and eliminate them- once this wave is done, THEN we abandon this position!" Impassively, Twilight's spear went to work. Twilight's horn lit up, and the three-section spear on her back was levitated in front of her and attached to one another. And then it vanished. As the enemy approached, it reappeared above them and was thrusted down twice at two enemies. It then vanished and appeared behind, thrusting itself four more times in rapid succession. To the front, rear, sides, from above and from below, it vanished and re-appeared an struck at vulnerable parts of the enemy. With laser precision and with an enchanted spearpoint, Twilight watched her enemies fall with the spirited desire of a pony of peace wanting to see this bloody work end by being cruelly and obscenely efficient. 

She wasn't worried about the attack of the mind controlled puppets. No doubt they were being taken care of in just about any manner. But if they could eliminate this group while the archers were being obliterated, they could fall back enough to fortify the second barricade. That Golem wouldn't last forever, nor did she prepare a siege worth of logs, but if Kopis wanted to break through this position she would need to do more than send such token forces. 

Once they had a breather, she needed to get some things done. She needed a runner- somepony who could help them see what was happening back in town. If preparations weren't going smoothly, this engagement was dreadfully pointless.

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“So... you think that toy of yours will win the day, my poor little pony?” Kopis watched from her pocket-sized crystal orb as events unfolded. First, grenades and the Battlemage’s golem completely wiped out the archers on the right flank. Regrettable, but they’d done their job; the First Barricade was in flames, and the morale of its defenders were draining away. While the golem’s carnage ensued, the infantry unit in position climbed over the low ground and attempted an advance, but the Battlemage and a pack of traitorous changelings greeted them with more violence. The Legionnaire charge lost momentum before it had a chance to reach the First Barricade. Dazed and knocked off their hooves, they’d probably only offer token resistance before the REA defenders completely repulsed them.


“Too bad you’re not as smart as you think you are.” To have summoned a golem this quickly meant Twilight wouldn’t have time to imbue it with much intelligence... a flaw Kopis would readily utilize to her fullest advantage. Already, a twisted battle plan was germinating in the acolyte's mind; one that’d use the pony’s supposed strength against them while keeping Legionnaire pressure relentless.

After all, it was only a matter of time before Battlemage Sparkle’s magical strength was utterly spent.




The time came for the REA to face death from above. Under orders from Kopis, two more platoons moved into position... her airborne raiders. Consisting of brainwashed pegasi soldiers along with a few or so aerion warriors (also enslaved), they were kept separate from the other raiders so that pegasi units could entirely advance from the air whenever needed. And this battle was just such an occasion.


One airborne platoon was infantry; 55 warriors. They were to hug the ground as they flew forward — in line formation — towards the First Barricade... and buzz the golem in the process (while dodging its attacks obviously). Following behind was an archer platoon of 65; the last archer force remaining in the Vanguard (the pitiful remnants of the left flank were busy retreating, rendered combat ineffective). The aerial archers would fly higher in the air than the infantry, high enough to be out of range of surface-to-air arrows as they too flew forward in a line.


Unlike the last wave, there would be no concealment for the Legionnaire fliers. The ash falling from the heavens would make their aerial movement slower and more sluggish than usual (ironic given that the Enemy caused the culpable firestorm over to the north)... but the same would be true of the REA’s own fliers if they dared take off to face the airborne threat. Furthermore, the falling ash would sting the eyes of those on the ground if they gazed up too far at the sky.

Thus, the REA has one chance to thin out the numbers of airborne Legionnaires before the Enemy is fully in position.....





  • 1 "Fresh Recruit" Platoon - DESTROYED (100% casualties)
  • 1 Archer Platoon (split in two) - IN RETREAT (75% causalities; right flank destroyed)
  • 1 Infantry Platoon - ADVANCE HALTED (50% causalities)
  • 1 Airborne Infantry Platoon - MOVING INTO POSITION
  • 1 Airborne Archer Platoon - MOVING INTO POSITION
  • The rest of the Vanguard is still hanging back
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  • 1 month later...

Though not coordinated in advance, Naj's ambush turned out to be part of a deadly two pronged attack.  Just as the changeling battlegroup was starting to pull away from the enemy infantry, the Equestrian mage started tearing through their numbers.  Having just been forced to turn about to deal with the sudden threat from the rear, they were now unprepared to respond to an attack from the front.  From what Naj could tell, the end result left them ravaged, and even the flaming barricade should be able to finish the job of mopping them up with the ponies it had.


Which was just as well, as not only would the changeling group only suffer more if the stayed in place long enough to assist, as they started to move back towards the Equestrian lines Naj spotted another threat.  The enemy had sent two groups of flying infantry, which were now travelling overhead towards the fading barricade.  Naj knew she couldn't challenge them directly, of course.  Even if she trusted in changeling superiority in the air, which was at best far more condition than these circumstances would allow for, there's no way she could challenge over a hundred ponies with only eighteen.  They needed a plan, they needed to reconnect with the main Equestrian force, and they needed place for the wounded to recuperate so they could get back in the fight if needed.


Still, with a little effort Naj's forces might be able to thin the numbers or cause some confusion, even or perhaps especially while retreating.  She divided her force into three groups.  The two wounded and those carrying them would continue on ahead to the Equestrian line.  Then, a group of six would act as harassers, taking potshots with magic bolts and being more evasive while moving back toward the Equestrian lines through the trees.  Maybe the changelings could bring down a few targets before they could attack the Equestrian forces still at the barricade, or disrupt their formations.


Really though, that group was being the bait.  The final group, made up of all the remaining changelings including Naj herself, was going to be the trap, retreating alongside the bait group but putting effort into keeping hidden as they did so.  Hopefully the enemy would see a small isolated group, and send just a few forces to bring them down, at which point the remaining changlings would ambush them yet again.  If the enemy happened to send a larger group, well, Naj's life would get suddenly more complicated, but they could probably be lost in the trees, and the diversion would surely buy the Equestrians time to react.

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  • 1 month later...

If his run was effective, Dunjder would not know. The stallion couldn't risk a moment to look back. All alone as he weaved through the trees back to the first barricade, where he expected to find his comrades valiantly still holding the line after successfully repelling the pitiful assault of the mind controlled warriors. The stallion pulled his wings close, plummeting, then galloping to keep up the momentum of his flight.


As he galloped, he could hear the yelling and screaming of battle and he could smell the corpses burning on the tinderbox of a barricade. He kept galloping, heading straight for the rear end of the assaulting infantry platoon.


The stallion drew his sword. Still high off the adrenaline rush of making his way deep into enemy lines he was unable to make a better decision. The pony drew his sword as he got close enough.


The sword was gripped in two hooves, allowing better, swifter control as he made his first strike against the neck of an unaware mind controlled pony.

Then a second strike against the chest of another. Then a third... and a forth. Soon he was in the middle of the enemy line, cutting swiftly and precisely. Every cut was deliberate, and charged with hate. Hatred of the invaders, and hatred of the cowards who ran instead of fighting.


He still slashed and beat his way through the enemy until he broke through the enemy to rejoin his comrades.

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The battle continued with all of the ferocity that it warranted. The disorganized enemy who had been broken and still charged found themselves facing a more ordered and superior defense. The enemy was ineffective in many ways and it allowed Dunder, an Equestrian of great bravery and courage, to make his way to the barricade. Parts of it were starting to fall, but it would still take a bit for Twilight to consider it indefensible. Especially when there was still much work to do. Her spear continued to work, sometimes ranging deep in the enemy lines as it went and out material space, attacking from many angles at enemies who had no idea that they were to be attacked. One by two by three they fell, and the defenders of the first barricade did everything they could to eliminate the attackers.


But eventually they would have to abandon the first barricade and that time approached rapidly as she saw airborne forces deployed. That was an ill omen, but not unexpected by any stretch of the imagination. The magical logs would be used to great effect, but they were simply moving into position. She had time to worry about the survivors oin the ground. Her spear worked quicker than before, its enchanted tip piercing any and all armor as easily as one could fear. The enemy continued to drop until, finally, the ground elements shattered and fled. Twilight took a deep breath and scanned, looking for a runner. She needed somepony to go to town and inform her of the preparations there.

Dunder would do. He was highly skilled. "I need somepony to run back to town and inform them that we are holding up our end of the bargain. Inform me of developments. When you return, return to the third barricade. Go now," she said with the smooth and calm voice of command before she turned to those who had remained. "The enemy attack has been repulsed! Move back to the second barricade!" she bellowed, and her orders were followed. The barricade started to filter out, which gave Twilight more time to process events.


Her golem was finishing up the archers and looked around for new targets. It swiped uselessly at the airborne threats- no, she needed it somewhere else. It only had limited time and it would be a waste for her to devise strategies to take out the airborne threats with him. Instead she searched on the aetheral plane for powerful signatures. This would include the leader of Sombra's army. She then highlighted them in the creature's mind and sent out a search and destroy order. The golem bellowed and charged away from the battle and towards Sombra's lines. It had almost no chance of killing Kopis but no doubt a few other targets would be hit, as well as those who tried to protect them. It would hopefully delay additional reinforcements and prove a sobering reminder to the enemy that the Equestrians had long reach.


In the more immediate battle it wasn't hard to see Naj's plan. It was a smart use of force. She mapped out the enemy movements. Her attack would take into consideration the Changeling's movements so as to not interfere with their plan, and maybe even help it by blinding them to other movements. Her horn lit up and those same magical logs appeared in the sky, but their 'timer' was much shorter. They exploded amongst the airborne infantry and archers and sent shrapnel flying everywhere. The enemy was spaced out more in the air but wore lighter armor and had a much greater surface area to hit thanks to spread wings. 


The explosions turned a few into mulch and sent many tumbling down to the earth with fractured wings and bodies. The explosions destryed views of the barricades for a moment but left Naj's bait in clearer view as a result, hopefully baiting them into Naj's trap. After a dozen more explosions ripped through the sky Twilight took a deep breath, sweating heavily. She reached into her saddlebag and grabbed an aetheral enhancement tablet while one of the rings on her horn lit up and started to melt into her horn. She bit into the tablet and allowed the aetheral tablet to flow. After a few seconds, she teleported to the second barricade, appearing in a flash of purple with some dark orange now tinting the sides.


"Prepare defenses!" she said, magically keening her eyes towards the archers as she prepared a shield for the defenders.

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