The Sun in the Mists"What do yo mean you've lost him?", the darkness of Duskhaven's night retreated from Engrin's smouldering body.
"You promised his oath would be fulfilled at the end of the battle", Tark's rage pushed the night further back.
"And if he died, you owe us his body", Durbak's runes flared as he advanced towards the cornered Mistweaver Saih.
Mist seeped into the ruined building and suddenly there was a miststeel blade under Durbak's chin.
"Viserhyx, what a pleasant surprise!", sarcasm dripped from Laelanyel's every word as the Caengans halted, the air around them shimmering.
"I'll get you your Runefather, sons of Grimnir. In exchange, I only ask you lend me your blades, as I've agreed with him", the creaking of mistbows accompanied her words as more Shadowkin materialised out of the mist. "Is this a fair deal?"
"It is, aelf", replied Tark, smouldering rage sending sparks flying all around. "But mark my words. Fail to return Aef-Grimnir to us before Hysh rises again, and the whole Caengan lodge will be after you".
The Sun of Xereus had risen as soon as Mogrum had lost control of his ritual and the scrimshawed bone had vanished into dust. Now, the Sun was moving onto Duskhaven town square, chasing the darkness with its cerulean light.
The Cleavermaws huddled in a ruined inn, for once silent and glancing sideways at the Sun.
The Gloomfen Hunters entered the town, ready to claim the Sun for themselves.
Vyserhyx's Stalkers moved out of the building, two trails of fogs heading for the opposing warbands.
Laelanyel approached the Sun, the Caengans taking defensive positions around her.
Narlek Swiftblade emerged from the mist and slashed at Bosun Higgs, only to find himself clubbed unconscious by Harad's cannon.
Bekliel tried to hold the Gloomfen Hunters at the entrance of a narrow alley. Yet the aelfs broke through him like a surging tide and flowed into the town square.
Arrows flew from both sides and the air was filled with shrill Khainite cries and booming Zharrgrim warsongs.
Under the cerulean light, aelf and duardin bodies littered the cobbles.
Iyshak materialised in time to see the Cleavermaws leaving the shelter of the ruins and moving onto the square.
Laelanyel felt the bestial mind of Mogrum reachign for the Sun. Its skull visage turned slowly around, falling on a Khinerai and on the Caengans. And then, she found herself surrounded.
The Mistweaver gasped, her lungs filling up with mud summoned by the Hunters' Tidecaster. Staggering, she let her shadegheist ravage the Gloomfen Hunters and the mist take her through the Erebusia Gate.
Harad's cannon boomed, sending Iyshak tumbling down from the balcony he was shooting from.
Laelanyel emerged from the Sunken Gate. Still half-drawn, she did not see Mogrum and his lads falling on her. The Mistweaver found herself pushed against a wall parrying Mogrum's bladed totem-staff with her mist staff.
As she lunged forward, her dagger aimed at the orruk chest, her lungs contracted again and she fell flat on the ground, coughing mud.
The Weirdnob Shaman growled in frustration, his prize taken by the Tidecaster's magic. Now that both duardins and aelfs were gone, his boyz pushed the Dead Man's Chest forward and prepared to capture the Sun.
Laelanyel crawled away. When she felt safe, she removed her mask and wiped the salty mud from her lips. Once again, she was left with nothing, a queen without a crown. And yet, that crown had been so close... as long as Aef-Grimnir was by her side. Much as she hated to admit it to herself, she needed the Runefather. Especially now that the stern gaze of a whole lodge was set upon her.