The Dragon Queens

Chapter 2

Turian landing zone just outside Frostreach

The first thing that lieutenants Adrian Victus and Saren Arterius noticed about the planet they had landed on was the city. Massive spires of crystal, stone, silver and gold rose gracefully from behind a large wall formed of dark grey stone interspersed with watch towers every km and standing over 50 feet tall.
“Why in the name of the spirits would they have a wall?” Saren asked Victus, who shrugged.

“Maybe it’s left over from an older time? Some of the cities on Palaven have old walls” Victus offered but Saren shook his head.

“No the wall is too new, and from the looks of it it’s fully manned” he pointed to where he could see armoured figures scurrying along the top from in between the crenulations in the walls top and towers.
“Makes you wonder what kind of creatures live here to make them need a wall that big” Victus mused and shuddered, “I don’t want to know” Saren told him firmly.

Their conversation was interrupted by a sound that chilled their blood, a loud sky shaking roar came from inside the city. Little were they to know that General Williams had just finished giving his speech and the cheers of the legions, dragon wings, giant units, Nightingales, Eyes, thieves, assassins, mages and every other fighting force in the city were what they were hearing.

“Spirits what is that?” another solder cried as everyone in the hastily set up compound glanced at the city nervously, clutching their guns tightly. There came a cry of “Look!” and everyone turned to see a collection of massive beast lift off from inside the city.

They took to the sky roaring out their displeasure against the intruders and immediately from the surrounding hills a collection of aliens began sniping from the rocks and trees nearby. Cries of shock and pain rang out as bullets and honest to spirits arrows rained down on the startled Turians. The arrows moved just slow enough to pass through their kinetic barriers whilst their bullets shattered their shields in one shot only to be followed up by another projectile loaded unbelievably fast.

Then the beasts were overhead, dropping spheres that shattered on impact and spewed flames about them. It appeared to be a viscous gel that stuck to what ever it hit. Melting armour and flesh under its intense heat.

“Suppressing fire!” yelled General Desolas who had already unslung his assault rifle and was firing in the direction where several arrows had come from. Quickly the Turian’s lauded discipline and training reasserted itself as they began to fire towards the sources of projectiles in the hills. Turrets turned their attention to the sky, the tracer lines lighting up the dim evening light and the thunderous sound of anti air guns firing.

Then just as swiftly as it began, the firing stopped and the creatures in the sky had vanished. After a few tense moments, several units were sent towards the locations where the snipers had been with the other troops covering their approach.

They found nothing. No bodies, no blood spatters from where they had dragged a wounded comrade, not even any foot prints. Nor were they aware of the six dark brotherhood assassins who followed them back to camp.

Turian field command post

“I don’t understand it sir” the scout reported to Desolas. “There were people there and yet there is nothing to show for it. They killed 74 of our people and we hit no one.” The scout’s shoulders fell; it had been like this ever since the attack.

Moral was low from the idea that they could be fired upon again, all found themselves glancing warily at the sky, but no one would could think of a way to stop them.

“What about thermal cameras, did they detect anything?” Desolas asked “no sir, according to the cameras we were shot at by ghosts, though those beasts in the sky rated to be incredibly hot. Center of a fire hot.” Replied and disconsolate tech who had just come from scanning all the video twice.

Again none of them knew about the assassin who hung from the celling recording their entire conversation to bring back to Frostreach to be translated and analysed. “Very well we will need tanks to breach those walls of theirs, but I doubt that they will just sit back and allow us to smash down their very pretty wall” there was a weak chuckle from the others but Desolas would take it for the small victory it was.
“So we will send in a covert operations team to secure a stretch of wall for us to blast through, dismissed” he finished, watching as his officers left, unknowingly taking the invisible assassin with them. Once free of the close hallways, she turned and began sprinting toward the city undetected, leaving 5 of her shadow siblings to complete their other tasks.

Unaware that his secret plan was on its way to his Nirnian counterpart, Desolas brought up his omi-tool and called in his younger brother Saren. “Yes?” came the answer “Saren I want you to lead a covert team to that wall and secure a stretch of it quietly so we can either get the tanks in or send our men over the top”.

There was a moments silence before his brother asked “why can’t we use on of the ships orbital canons to destroy the wall?” Desolas sighed “because at the moment the only ship with a big enough gun is still engaged with their fleet, they’re putting up one hell of a fight. So unless you feel like waiting for them
to finish or for another one of those sneak attacks we use tanks. Is that clear?” he demanded.

There was silence on the other end before his brothers voice came again “understood we’ll head out in 20 minutes.”

“Make it fifteen” Desolas told him before adding quietly “be careful.” “I will” came the quieter reply before his brother signed off going to collect his team.

Frostreach, control center

“General one of the brotherhood operatives has returned” one of Williams’ subordinates informed him leading in a small lithe figure in black and red stealth armour.

The general looked up after thanking his aid and dismissing him before he turned to the assassin, only speaking once the door was closed. “Thank you for aiding us dark one” he said formally. The assassin’s visor partially depolarised showing a pair of dark amber Bosmer eyes.

“No thanks needed general, the Night Mother herself has commanded that we aid in expelling these intruders” she said, for it was a she he now realised glancing at her figure. “I sent the audio file to both my family and your techs. We have some of the best language and code breakers in the Empire so I thought it prudent” the assassin informed him respectfully, bowing her head a little in acknowledgement of his rank.

The general nodded familiar with the high value that was placed on independence in the brotherhood and happy that his techs would have help from such a resourceful group. “you should also know that I saw them going over a schematic of the outer wall and highlighting the southeastern stretch. I believe you should reinforce them and to activate the wall wards sometime in the near future as I have no doubt that they will attempt to infiltrate the wall. It’s what I would do” she finished pointing to the corresponding section on the General’s own tactical map.

“Thank you, you may return to your siblings and prepare for the attack.” Williams told her stoically, already running the timetable through his head and wincing at how long it would take to activate the wall wards to full power.

The assassin bowed and left. Three hours later saw the translating matrix completed and uploaded to the entire defence force and the tech division hacking their way into the Turian’s communications. But two hours saw Saren and his team standing at the base of the wall near the southeastern corner with their best climber readying sets of hand spikes to climb the wall.

“Quickly and quietly once you get there lower the ropes for the others and if need be, kill any alien you see.” He told the climber. The burly Turian nodded, his mandibles clamped tight to his face in a grim expression. With a quick nod the climber signalled he was ready and turned his attention to the wall. With a powerful trust forward he jabbed the spikes in and began to climb.

The stone was much harder than he had thought meaning their climber had to use more strength to get the spikes to stick. By the time the rope man reached the top he was exhausted. Peeking over the top of the wall he looked around and saw a guard with his back to him walking to the next guard post 20 feet away and another one with its back to him as it patrolled to another spot on the wall.

Silently he slid up and over before securing the rope around a crenulation and throwing it down to the rest of his waiting squad. That accomplished he stalked quietly up behind the patrolling guard and broke its neck and heaved its body over the wall to the ground below. He proceeded to tied and throw seven more ropes to his team. Once these were secure he drew his rifle waited for his team to join him.

Shortly after, the squad was all assembled on the top and Saren took control again. Using hand signals to lead them to the two guards who stood watching over the dim forest. Swiftly they came up behind the two of them and broke their necks silently and pulled off the aliens’ helmets to record an appearance for Intel.
“Spirits” one of his men breathed “there’s more than one.” It was true one of the solders look very Asari like only with pale pink skin and short red fur atop it’s head and a pair of rounded ears. The other had deep green scales, a heavy muzzle filled with sharp needle like teeth with horns and feathers sitting atop it’s head. A thick, powerful tail with a flat paddle style tip for swimming and was armoured like the rest of its body completed the image of a powerful aquatic predator.

“Never mind, that we have a mission” Saren hissed at them and the continued to secure their stretch of wall before finally sending the all clear to the 15 tanks who sat ready at the edge of the forest, with active camouflage hiding them from the casual observer.

Frostreach outer wall

The walls shook as another barrage of tank shells smashed into the wall, blowing away massive chunks of stone in the titanic wall. “Auri-el! What was that!” demanded wall sentry Jason Hammer-heel as he picked himself up from where he had fallen when the wall began to shake.

“Azura strike me if I know” his shield brother Stares-At-Clouds replied as he grabbed his sword and looked around. His armoured tail twitching an agitation as he swivelled his head toward the location of the blast.

“By the gods, the wall!!” the wall had blown inwards massive chunks of stone either vaporised or strewn out in an Avalanche of rubble and dust. Hammer-heel rapidly activated his helmet radio “Command, this is wall sentry Hammer-heel of the southern quadrant. The wall has been breached I say again the wall has been breached” he barked over the connection.

The alert sounded, claxons began to ring throughout the city as legions leapt into action arming and settling into their positions ready to fight the Turians till their dying breath. A moment of silence,
like the calm before the storm.

Then the low rumble of tanks was heard followed by a continued barrage of mortars along the top of the wall picking off where the wall turrets were attempting to return fire. A collection of tanks rumbled through the opening they had carved through the wall, blasting away chunks of masonry to widen and smooth the way for more troops.

Behind the tanks came the Turian foot soldiers. They poured through the gap with the tanks covering their entrance into the city. They began establishing drop back positions and turrets the moment they entered the city. Determined to hold their new foothold.

It was when they enter an open square the bordered the wall that they first met resistance. A hail of projectiles flew at them. Accompanied by larger ice spikes that skewered the men they hit and damaged the tanks.

Fireballs and lightning bolts rained down on them as solders heavily armed and armoured charged forward wielding swords, axes, spears, maces and handheld shields with deadly intent and fearsome skill. Strange and horrific creatures made of fire, ice or stone floated impassively along side. Raining down elemental fury upon the intruders.

Seven foot tall creatures dressed in frightening black and red armour appeared from thin air and tore through the aliens with savage glee, shouting out challenges and laughing darkly as they slaughtered their foes.

If this scenario had been proposed to the Turians 40 hours before that they would be engaged in an urban battle with a group of primitives wielding archaic melee weapons and loosing. They would have been laughed out of the army.

Yet now they were fighting for their lives in a small a square against one of the legions of Nirn. Unfortunately for the legions, it was then that the Turian fleet achieved orbital dominance. The last of the Imperial ships fell in flames and scattered debris, selling themselves dearly and taking many of their opponents to their flaming grave in orbit.

Sadly, this defeat left the city below vulnerable to the Turian cruisers that now settled overhead like portents of doom. Waves of gunships poured from the hangers, diving through the atmosphere and engaging the dragons that flew to meet them.

Gunshots and shouts filled the sky, mangled wrecks fell with town wings, melted hulls and frozen jets. Lightning struck from the clear sky but the numbers outweighed the few dragons. Orbital ships made of gold hued metal aided, weaving and dodging through the sky to bring their own justice for the death of their comrades in Aetherius.

Sky above Frostreach, Shanxi

Varasha Dasar swore fiercely as she hauled on the controls of her Dartwing fighter. The golden craft spun up and away, dodging a glowing stream of projectiles from the blocky alien craft. The dark sky above the dark city was lit sporadically by the shots and shouts of the areal combatants that warred for dominance. The blue fire of Atherius engines contrasted the orange flames of the aliens’ thrusters, making them another marker to fire upon.

She twisted her agile fighter in a twisting barrel roll, the acceleration pressing her hard into the molded pilot seat. The enemy fighter swept into her sights and she fired a magica bolt with a vicious snarl. “Green Team this is green leader. Fire on those gunships! Red will handle the fighters” the command barked over the channels.

“Green five acknowledging” she answered, turning her craft from the spiraling corpse of her foe.

“This is Dovah wing six. We are making a run over their landing zone” Vahnahviing, Wing six leader reported. Three dragons pealed away from the battle, launching storm shouts at the alien landing zone, weaving through the turret fire directed at them.

“Yol….Tul Shul” echoed a shout near her. She used the brief delay to flip up and away, leaving the new fighter after to face the blast of fire that engulfed him. She wrestled with her steering yoke, her feet pressing her engine peddles with skilled precision, twisting past the debris of a falling Dartwing. She noticed the flickering orange lights of orange team on the damaged wing and swore.

“We need more fighters! Send in the reinforcement wings!” she called to her leader and saw the acknowledge light blink as she dove down, raining bolts across an incoming bomber. The glowing blue shots stitched across the dark grey hull, causing metal to boil and burn. The bomber flashed as it died but she was already turning her attention to the next fighter.

Above her she saw red nine fall, the pilot ejecting and snagging a ride on a passing dragon, the Argonian swinging into the saddle like depression in the dragon’s armour. She knew the magnetic clamps on both sets of armour would hold them together through the most dangerous maneuvers. The shoulder mounted canons on the dragon came to life and new bolts joined the fight from dragon back.

She turned her attention to her new prey, ready to add to her tally. This one was good, they duel through the sky, dodging dragons and ships, fire and fury. She pushed her fighter to its limits, dancing through the wind like the Dartwing that gave her craft its name. Her ship shuddered and alarms began ringing as her ship was struck by bullets, the staccato thwacking punctuated by a frantic beeping.

She swore violently and performed a dangerous forward flip, coming scarily close to the ground with her belly facing the sky. In another second she was up and facing the back of her pursuer. She could see the thrusters in his craft beginning to make the adjustments that would turn him to face her.

“Not today!” she growled pulling the triggers. Blazing blue lights stitched up the back of the fighter, reducing it to flaming slag as it fell.

Arcus Tallor cursed as he dove his fighter forward. These aliens knew their areal combat, then again with those giant beast raining fire, ice and lightning down upon them, there was little wonder of that. Their narrow golden fighters wove, flipped and danced through the sky in sharply graceful movements that frustrated the Turian pilots. “Spirits damn them!” another in his wing roared as he tried to get a lock on the fighter with orange lights that spiraled away with graceful twists, frustrating the target lock. He growled and dove away as another barrage of those frightening blue energy bolts swept past him and impacted the ground below him.

“Iiz Slen Nus” one of those beasts roared and the fighter next to him fell, encased in ice, its engines dead.

“We need orbital support!” he cried into his comms as he dodged and swerved away, now locking into pursuit on a golden fighter with green lights along its wings and cockpit. It swerved and twisted but he was not letting this one get away.

Then it’s pilot pulled a startlingly stupid move. It dove forward, flipping and coming up behind him. He had a moment of shock before his fighter burned around him.

Kavira Greensky square, near southeastern quarter.

“Here they come” the legate called to her troops, gripping the hilt of her longsword tightly. The legion tightened their defenses, preparing to engage. A rumbling proved her correct as a procession of tanks began to roll into the square they had chosen as their stand point.

“Mages, fire” she roared, her sword slicing through the air in command. A large volley of destruction magic raced across the square to strike the tanks fireballs melting armour, lightning fried the circuitry and ice spikes punched through the deactivated tanks to kill the gunners. Frost poured forth and encased unfortunate Turians, freezing the tanks in place.

Unfortunately, the tanks returned fire. Their shots impacting the wards that had been erected with generators buried within the legion’s ranks. Three shells impacted the left most flank in rapid succession, causing the ward to fail in a burst of arcane smoke and sparks.

The next bombardment hit the legionnaires who ducked into a tortoise formation. Sadly, many didn’t make it. Those directly hit were torn apart despite their wards and armour. Others were hurled away, smoke and sparks trailing from damaged armour and wards.

“Take out those Hircine damned tanks!” screamed their legate over the terrible sound of dying Men, Mer, and Beastkin. Her legion complied with cold efficiency, Ice spears, Fire storms and blizzards swept forward while grenades packed with dangerously explosive alchemical materials were hurled forward.
Her grenadiers aimed well, rocket launchers roaring out their defiance in the form of Magica enhanced rockets the detonated in flashes of blue and green fire. Large shield bearers stepped in front of their partners, wielding massive shields enhanced with localized wards to protect from retaliatory fire while the Grenadiers reloaded. Now returning to rain terror and fire down upon the Turian forces.

The advance guard of 5 tanks was finally destroyed ant the cost of three Grenadiers and their Shield partners, but the bombardment had stopped, now leaving the legion free to retaliate. Behind the tanks came the aliens.

Their armour was so strange. A dull metallic blue with what appeared to be a crest on the back of their heads whether decorative or physiological it was impossible to tell, and double jointed knees. Boxy rifles fired rapidly with loud bangs, far cry from the softer, icy popping of the Nirnian rifles. Armour wards flared under the onslaught of tiny metal grains and some broke when the didn’t get under a shield soon enough. The shields closed in a wall with the second row forming a slanted roof. Behind, Archers and mages arrayed under the protection.

“Fire” the legate commanded and the they complied. Magic, Stahlrim bullets and arrows arced out from over and around the shields. The dark sky grew blacker as clouds of arrows were loosed. Some clattered off of hardened plating but others stuck in softer joints, crippling and wounding. The poison on many of the tips
setting to work.

Larger bolts from crossbows and heavy sniper bows punched through shields and thinner plating with terrifying sounds. Downing Turians or causing hair raising screeches of pain. Others shuddered under electrical shocks delivered from the arrows while others were roasted inside their hermetically sealed armour.

Magic smashed into their ranks, aided by Stahlrim bullets that drove the aliens to take cover behind the mangled wrecks of their tanks, leaning out to take shots at the legion when they could. “Covering fire, legion advance!” was the next command. The shields locked together tighter and the secondary raised shields shifted to allow small slits to watch out of.

They marched across the square chanting the battle cry of the 36th legion, the troops at the rear beating their shields with their weapons to instill fear. With deliberate steps, they marched across the square toward the astounded aliens who, after a brief pause had increased their rate of fire at the approaching tortoise.

When they were only ten metres from the aliens the legion broke into a jog, picking up speed and maintaining the wall with startling discipline that spoke of extensive drilling and training.
The armoured juggernaut slammed into the Turian’s lines dissolving on impact into a century of a hundred, heavily armed and angry Nirnians who began to deal death at close range. The Turians staggered under the initial shield bash, many killed with swift stabs around the edge of the shields and then ground under boot as the legion advanced.

The aliens had no experience with this type of fighting and folded, desperately traying to gain distance to use their guns. Shotguns roared out, many rounds splashing futilely against the tower shields, a few stray pieces finding gaps only to be halted by flickering blue wards.

Turian blood stained the cobble stones and swords of the legion as they split apart to begin hunting the scattering Turians. A few managed to regroup and the new arrivals refused to close the gap, taking shots at the legion from a safer distance, many working together to overwhelm a legionnaire’s armour and wards.
A few brave souls dove into the fray, shotguns and assault rifles barking and hissing as they were fired till they overhead. Some even using them as bludgeoning tools to get room from the rampaging warriors.

Whispers of dread were born in this battle, caused by the horrors that were seen. For the Turians were unprepared for the Dremora, Atronachs and familiars that were conjured into their midst. Fear that would be handed down by the survivors on the Turian side.

Saren found himself going toe to toe with a burly, 6 foot tall warrior a massive Warhammer. It too, like its fellows wore golden armour with a strange crystalline structure in some places and a helmet with a visor in the shape of eye slits and a crest made of metal.

He dodged the alien’s swing and only barely managed to avoid to flames that sprayed past him from the warrior’s outstretched palm. Everywhere was chaos the sound of weapons on the Turian armour, the barking of mass accelerator weapons, screams of the wounded and dying, howls, snarls, roaring flames, booming thunder, crackling electricity, explosions, and a creaking blasting sound as men were flash frozen.
This made the battle cries and feral howls of the aliens all the more frightening. The worse was the chanting, even the warrior in front of him was doing it, chanting “FAS RU MAAR, FAS, MAAR” and alternating it with roaring battle cries. It ran at him, hammer held aloft, ready to crush his skull.

Those three words filled the air and seemed to almost have a life of their own, pulsing over the battle field as warriors not on the field bashed their shields with their weapons. He fired his rifle at the alien as he snarled curses at it from behind his helmet then grinned as it fell, it’s shattered helmet showing long blond fur, golden skin and pointed ears.

He had no chance to celebrate though, a burning pain stabbed into his left shoulder. His arm went numb and
all he could feel was the fire in his shoulder. Turning he saw a massive almost 7 foot tall specimen of the aliens standing behind him holding a crystalline great sword that glowed red and was covered in Turian blood.

He turned a little and saw his left arm lying on the ground as he screamed from the pain of his wound. The giant lifted his sword again preparing to behead Saren where he stood. When he stiffened letting out an audible grunt before falling to the ground revealing Victus standing behind him holding a stolen sword that he had just used to run the giant through. Saren blinked then felt a blast of something hit him from behind, knocking him unconscious.

Kavira Greensky Square after Imperial retreat
Desolas looked around the square and sighed rubbing his forehead plates. This battle had been a nightmare. True they had driven the aliens out, but the number of Turian bodies left here was disheartening.
Bodies were everywhere, those of the aliens littering the ground outside of the blast zone from the orbital shots. The stone buildings were shattered and burned. Shards of furniture reached up out of the rubble like the limbs of the drowning.

Shrapnel dotted remaining walls and his men had begun to clean their new foot hold, dragging the bodies into piles and setting the Turian dead in neat rows to be recorded and sent for cremation. They would burn the aliens’ bodies in massive fires later.

How was he supposed to know that the damn primitives would charge at them with swords? Not to mention that they were a coalition of different races, already he had sent selections of the different species back to the landing zone to be examined by his scientist. The sheer number of wounded Turians had disturbed him, though not as much as seeing his younger brother being sent back with one arm severed and his armour fried, the cause of the latter most likely from the hand sized scorch mark on the back of his armour.

He shook his head again, swords he could handle but the other things they were doing… a few hours ago he would have called them impossible. But now after having dodged lightning bolts and fire balls that they seemed to be able to call up at will, or those terrifying Asari shaped creatures made of fire that floated around and exploded when they died.

He was at a loss at how to counter them, add to that the feeling that he was being watched all the time, and you had an extremely big headache. Desolas squared his shoulders in determination. He was a Turian damn it all and he would take these primitives to task and prove Turian supremacy. He turned to his men.
“Set up a perimeter and get ready to begin taking the city. Spare no one, civilian or military. We will show these aliens what it means to anger the Turian hierarchy!” his men cheered raggedly and began forming up. Desolas turned back to his console, ignoring the blood soaked square as he began ordering in

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