October 31, 1999
What the scout saw might not alarm a fully trained adventurer, but the scout didn't have much experience with creature he saw. A tall creature with curving black horns was advancing along the road towards the base, with dozens of ghostly dogs following it. Flanking the Demonic Lord were 5 lesser Demons, all a dark red in color. As the scout hit the gong, the Demon Lord looked up and sensed that it had lost the element of suprise. It began a barrage of shockwaves of power at the scout's tower base. After a few hits, the tower crumbled, and the scout screamed as he fell into darkness.
A few minutes later, a group of clan members appeared in the center of the town. They quickly rushed to the entrance, and laughed when they saw it was merely a Demon Lord. One, the leader, wrote a mental note to chastise the scout for bringing them all to stop a minor hassle. As the group moved into attack formation, the demons stopped, and let their dogs rush forward to take the initial confrontation. As expected, the hounds were torn apart as the earth shook, fire rained from above, and acid sprayed into them from the front. The Demons looked on with amusement as their pets were destroyed, and then the five blood red Demons attacked. After a longer battle the Demons were destroyed, and the now bloodied group of defenders prepared to take out the leader. To their suprise, the Demon Lord laughed and then vanished in a whirlwind of fire.
Frustrated by the escape of the Demon Lord, the group of adventurers started digging through the remains of the tower. Uncovering the dying scout, they used an array of healing magics to save him. The leader of the group decided not to chastise the scout after all. The poor warrior wouldn't have been able to handle an attack of that size, and without warning the clan the entire town would have been destroyed.
After posting another sentinel in the other tower, the group retired to the clan hall. There, amid rounds of stout ale, they humoured the unlucky man. He had done right in ringing the gong, and they decided to bring him along with them, to help further his training. Without warning, the other gong rang in their heads. Pondering what could be wrong now, the group rushed back to the entrance. The unholy sight they saw would forever be blasted into their souls.
The first thing they saw was...it. Obviously the leader of the hordes, the awesome creature really had no definition. Horns sprouted from the head, and giant black wings spread like a fan behind it. An inhuman muscular structure, and glowing red eyes all made for a monster impressive at even a tiny size. This beast, however, was taller than the scout towers of the base, and it could breath fire, as well. Then they noticed the literally hundreds of... things ...moving all around the leader's body. Dozens of Kobolds, rogues, cut- throats, and other assorted humanoid scum were in the front. Behind them, a full two hundred Trolls were preparing for the attack. And, closest to the leader, a teeming collection of demonic things. The scout, always sharp-eyed, noticed that, riding just ahead of the leader, was the Demon that had attacked earlier. Now riding a night black stallion, the Demon Lord was suited up in full platemail, and was wielding a massive black sword. It was at this point the scout fainted.
The leader of the defenders, steady till the end, sent out a mental broadcast to every member who had anything to do with the clan. He estimated the horde to be about an hour away, mostly due to the demonic leader's slow movement. Then, for reasons unknown to him, the entire army stopped. Not questioning his good luck, the man sent his group mates into the portal, to get help from every clan allied with them. Wishing that the kingdoms of old were still around, he started to channel his magical energies into a barrier around the entry to the town.
Minutes later, six other clans had been alerted as to the awesome force threatening their allied clan. From all across the continent, massive groups of adventurers all made their way towards the seemingly doomed fortress. Rumor spread like wildfire, and mercenaries, curious people, and those with a good heart also made ready to depart. As the first few groups arrived, he dispatched them to go gather more people. Every single able-bodied man and woman on the continent would be needed to combat this new army.
Half an hour later, the messenger arrived. Alone, the lesser Demon asked to speak with the fortress' leader. As the creature was alone, it was allowed passage to the leader of the human forces where it witnessed the arrival of half a dozen hard-looking mercenaries, attracted by the thought of treasure. The Demon was brought to a room where, surrounded by an honor guard of massive humans clad in plate, it saw the ruler of the fort. Now, in a golden suit of magical plate, he sat in the command room of the entire building. The Demon stated its leader's demands - the army wanted all the gold in the entire fortress, or they would attack in three hours. The leader, angered by not being able to kill all of the initial attack force, answered the demands by decapitating the Demon in a single wide slash.
As the humans in the complex prepared for war, the unholy army started to chant and all throughout the area evil groans, shouts and insults could be heard. The defenders of the citadel began organizing themselves into large groups as it looked like battle was imminent. All the mages and clerics in the entire area started a well rehearsed plan designed to augment the shield their leader had started - similar shields sprang up all around the outside of the fort. The entire perimeter of the fortress was surrounded by an array of shimmering shields, each one capable of repelling the vicious monster horde for a time. Now recovering from the use of so much magical power, everyone in the fort rested and prepared the protective spells they would need so much. An hour later, the horde began to move again, but the sound was muffled by the crackle of the many shield walls. Inside, the clerics were pleading to the gods for a weapon capable of destroying the monster's leader. The gods, aware that the only hope of survival for the area would be in their help, sent a magical sphere of positive energy. The sphere would explode on contact with the leader of the monster forces, but it would wipe out whoever delivered the device.
As the first waves of monsters began to attack the shields, a living wall of powerful warriors, three deep, guarded the only entrance (and exit) to the complex. Shimmering white auras surrounded them all, and those that could prepared a magical spell to wipe out the first few attackers. Above these, waiting at some of the thin windows in the stone walls, groups of mages started to channel their mystic energy for a devastating wave of raw magical power. Behind both groups, clerics stood, ready to keep the fighting groups alive and well. And hiding throughout the compound, including a large group standing by the warriors, stealthy assassins readied their long knives to help thin out those monsters that survived the magical blasting.
Less than half an hour later the shield walls finally collapsed. A screaming horde of humans and Kobolds rushed towards the fort, while the Trolls and Demons stayed with their awesome leader. The Kobolds never made another step as they burst into pieces from the unthinkable power that erupted at them. Shockwaves of energy literally exploded them as they charged. Covered in Kobold blood, the bandits, rogues, cut-throats, and other human scum continued, although many of them fell to a second, weaker wave of power. Those that remained started to attack the warriors, when throughout their ranks, many were killed by an assassin's blade. The warriors charged forward to assist their stealthy comrades, with the clerics following a short distance behind. Although the remaining brigands were all killed, a good number of defenders fell as well. Those left fell back to regroup and heal, while the combat mages prepared another volley of shockwaves.
Twenty wide and ten deep, the Troll legions marched forward with precision. Protected by their Trollish clerical and magical assistance, the lead warriors were all that fell when yet another group of shockwaves struck their ranks. However, the attack was effective at breaking the incredible ranks held by the Trolls. The fast-moving Troll fighters quickly outran their helpers, and the human defenders were able to kill the disorganized Troll assault group with minimum losses. Obviously shaken, the demonic legions sent in their spectral hounds ahead of them, yet the clerics, previously mostly inactive, were able to shake the hundreds of creatures to pieces before the monsters ever reached them. Falling back again, the human legions prepared for the lethal final wave. Elsewhere, a different preparation took place.
Clad in a magic ensorcelment, the lone thief was the second in command of the entire human force. He had just received the sphere that could kill the demonic leader, and, having been promised a return trip from his death, he was ready to go. Jumping from a high window, the invisible rogue quickly ran towards the giant hell-beast.
As the combat mages sent a final magical burst at the advancing demon hordes, the Demon Lords responded with a counter-wave. Sparks flew everywhere as the opposing magical attacks struck, and a giant furrow in the ground was opened up. The human warriors, flanked by clerics and thieves, charged forward to meet their deadly foes. Blood flew everywhere as humans and demons died by each others attacks. At the rear of the demonic legions, the original Demon Lord rallied its troops, until it saw the human leader come out, riding a pure white horse. The Demon Lord charged its horse around the melee as it went to meet the human leader in a final battle. Elsewhere, groups of Demons broke through the external defenses and started attacking the interior of the town. Here and there walls and buildings collapsed, destroyed by the fighting.
Meanwhile, the lone rogue was very near to his target. The giant creature still hadn't sensed him, and he prepared to deliver his lethal package. On the battlefield, the two leaders - human and Demon - charged each other. Each was thinking of the glory of killing the other, and as they struck each other's swords for the first time a spray of sparks showered the area.
Circling around for another try, the human prayed quickly to his gods. They were surely watching him, for so far the human army hadn't been wiped out. As he readied his sword for another slash, he urged his mount forward. Across from him, the Demon Lord did the same. As their blades met blinding light surrounded them, and the two swords shattered. Now only armed with his dagger, the human prepared to meet his end. His opponent, although without weapon, was far from unarmed as his natural claws and talons made formidable blades. As they dismounted and ran towards each other, the human leader put all his hope behind the power of his knife. As they met, the Demon hugged him in its terrible grip, seeking to crush the life out of him while rending at his armor. Within seconds the human could not stand any more and he cried out in pain and looked into the face of his foe. He noticed, then, that the Demon was spitting out black blood, and had relaxed its grip. Looking down he saw that his dagger had pierced straight through the Demon's black heart, killing it. He collapsed, near to death, and prayed that his fight was not in vain.
The great Demon beast was displeased. It had watched most of its vast army be destroyed, by mere humans no less. While it hadn't expected the sheer number of humans, it had certainly expected more from its followers. It looked on with displeasure as the Demon Lord fell, when it heard an object whistling towards it. It turned around just in time to see the little bright ball, before the sphere exploded with raw magical energy.
The second in command was hurled far away by the force of the explosion, but just before going unconcious, he saw there was only a large pair of scaley legs standing where the giant creature had been. He woke up much later, surrounded by a group of clerics - their magic had brought him back from death and he was taken to see his leader. Meanwhile, the priests busied themselves saving the souls of the many brave people who had given their lives.
The leader, heavily bandaged, was smiling as his helper was brought in on a stretcher. They had done well, and had crushed a lethal force of monsters. The bards would sing for many years of both their brave feats, but for now, they worried only about the future. Whatever had created the unholy leader of the demon armies, it could still be around, waiting. And next time, it would send more.