Adam, The Crag

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Adam scowled at the walls of Nell’s Crag. It was built into the side of a cliff, guarding the pass through these mountains, and was the most strategically important fort in this area. And it had never been captured.

Until today. He’d ordered the attackers to move in in four waves against the star-shaped walls, to climb them if possible and to break the doors down if not. The Crag was protected by an artefact that prevented its walls from being harmed with magic, and taking it was going to be costly. But important. The Empire needed this fort.

But something was bothering him about the walls.

“Have they changed the fortifications?” Adam asked, scowling at them as his troops advanced. He’d only been here once before, but the walls looked different to him, somehow.

“No, Emperor,” said Darius, his strategist. “Scouts report they’re the same as they always have been.”

“Hm,” said Adam, still frowning. “They’re not. Something’s wrong.” They were the same height, the same width, the same number of murder holes, the same crenelations on top, but they were different. “Call off the attack.”

“Emperor, are you sure…”

Adam turned on Darius. “Do I ever say things I’m not sure of? Call off the attack. Something’s wrong. It’s a…”

A crack sounded through the air and the walls of Nell’s Crag collapsed, raining stone downwards on Adam’s troops. The air filled with screams and crashing and Adam watched in horror as the fort fell to pieces, each piece landing on his forces.

And behind the walls were…more walls. “They built a second set of walls,” Adam whispered. “Just to knock over on us.”

“How could they have done that so rapidly?” Darius asked. “It’s impossible by hand.”

“By hand, but not by magic. The spell that protects the Crag doesn’t protect the rocks around it.” Adam smiled, a grim one. “Olya. They’ve given us the tools to defeat them.”

His sorceress nodded, and soon all the rocks and rubble lifted from the ground, hovering. A silence fell.

Crashing followed it as the stones from the false wall began to pelt Nell’s Crag, over and over again. Until the walls started to crack, and crumble. And what was left of Adam’s forces was able to penetrate the fort. The victory cry raised to the heavens, extolling the power of the Emperor.

Yet another battle won with blood. And soon the whole world would be red.



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