The brute and the bone"We must get it back to the magmahold" Tark repeated firmly, holding the lump of ur-gold in front of Aef-Grimnir's stealy eyes. "It took me much effort to put it together. I will not risk loosing it now we are so close to home".
The Runefather wondered for a moment how the Karl had been able to gather the precious metal, considering the number of times he had been nursing a sore head after being blasted with cannon fire. But he could not deny him. Grimnir's body needed to be secured.
"And this will not come to pass" he replied "Engrin, escort the Kinless and inform my son Garn that I am on my way back".
Aef-Grimnir paused, letting his kin savour that revelation. "But do not tarry, none of you! We are still oath-bound to the Lady Laelanyel and those orruks are up to no good".
"Aye, our Lord!" the Slayers replied as one and strode through the Erebusia Gate.
Aef-Grimnir walked back to the chest the orruks had left behind. He could feel the magic of the Realm flowing through it and towards the Wizard's Mansion. Next to it, was Laelanyel.
"It is done", she said. "The Hunters will guard the other locus on the faylines. With their help, I will stop that accursed Shaman from whatever he is trying to do. And you, Aef-Grimnir, will kill him. Do that, and as we agreed, your oath will be fulfilled!"
The Cleavermaw's guarded all the entrances to the Wizard's Mansion. Their ogor was on look-out duties, his cannon trailing back and forth. Mogrum's booming voice rung loud. The ritual had begun.
Aef-Grimnir advanced cautiously. He knew the orruks would have come for him. Laelanyel stood back, syphoning away energy from the chest and hurling it at the Wizard's Mansion in bolts of pure darkness.
The Gloomfen Hunters leapt forward, their Tidecaster holding the locus of power. Their arrows clattered armlessly against the crumbling walls, but that kept the orruk down long enough for the Idoneth to charge.
Mr Deadwood took Ledger and a couple of deckhands with him and rushed for Aef-Grimnir. Just where the Runfather wanted them, on the sharp end of his axe.
Mogrum's ritual chanting boomed out again, waves of Waaaagh! energy filling his boyz and his Shaman assistant. Green lights flashed from his eyes, the boyz choppas fell with uncanny precision and strength.
The Tidecaster stared wide eyed at the orruks' brutality and called for a retreat. As the Idoneth stepped through the Sunken Gate, a pulse of green energy flashed out of the bone clutched in Mogrum's fist. The Cleavermaws cheered loudly.
"Damn traitors!" Laeanyel's scream turned into a tide of shadegheists that engulfed the orruks fighting Aef-Gimnir.
The Sunken Gate bubbled again and the Caengan strode forwards, throwing axes flying at the Cleavermaws.
Aef-Grimnir slammed Mr Deadwood down and prepared to move into the Wizard's MAnsion.
The ogor lept down from his look-out post to get a clear shot. Tark, once again, stood in the path of the grapeshot salvo.
Bosun Higgs then lead the charge as the Shaman channeled more of the Waaagh! seeping from Mogrum into searing beams.
Soon, the Cleavermaws were in control of the locus of power. But that was not enough. Through gritted teeth, Laelanyel wrested away more energy from the chest and sent it harmelessly into the sky.
A weedy grot spyed Aef-Grimnir through a crumbling wall and screeched for help.
The ogor was the first to respond, loosing a salvo on the Runefather and then slamming bodily into him. The rest of the Cleavermaws moved back into the Mansion.
Aef-Grimnir's runes flared bright, giving him the strength to fight through despite the wounds he had suffered. He felled the ogor and barged through the orruks and onto the upper floor to face Mogrum.
Laelanyel poured a hail of sorcerous bolts onto the Weyrnob and Aef's axe rose and fell. But the energies of the scrimshawed bone kept Mogrum safe. Screaming, the Cleavermaws rallied to protect their captain.
Aef-Grimnir launched himself once again against Mogrum, nearly pitching him off the floor. And then, the Runefather disappeared into the press of green bodies.
Laelanyel saw bright flames burst and then gutter as Mogrum's voice faltered. A shiver run along the fayline on which the Mistweaver was standing. In the distance, an ominous glare started to pulse and grow.