Chapter 14: Dyonicos, Graxber and the Fall of Lima

Dyonicos

As Voln and Kavak marched with their vast army out of Kiwani and towards Herophet, Dyonicos turned his thoughts to Lima and he fashioned a great army of half-men and half-dwarves, who were dark and foul beasts and served only him, and he called them to arms against Graxber, who was now the lord of Lima. Many of the dwarves there in Vä would not answer his call, for their hearts were still loyal to Kavak, who was their creator. But so also did many betray Kavak, for they now served Dyonicos, and they rallied under his banner and prepared for war alongside the foul beasts of his own creation. And Dyonicos called to the men of Vä and Lima to answer the call of their creator, Voln, and attack Graxber and those that followed him. But as the hearts of men were so challenged, so the strength of Shylar was awoken within them and they struggled within themselves.

So it was that the hearts of men were divided and many heeded not the call to arms against Graxber and the dwarven realm of Lima and instead choose to fight for him, for their hearts were strong and good, while others came to the call of Dyonicos, their hearts black and their minds now bent to the will of their creator. So civil strife erupted in Vä and Dyonicos was at first taken back by the betrayal of men and saw in them the weakness of Shylar. Yet many that had served Graxber in Lima now also turned on him and civil strife erupted there also. Soon, Dyonicos and Graxber took control of their own estates and led their troops into war with the other and there was a great battle at the foot of the mountains, which was their home, and there dwarf fought dwarf and man fought man and from the bowels of the earth came many harpies, who had served Sarax but now came to the call of Dyonicos.

And into this great swirling melee came Orphus and the elves who had long been hidden in the forests of Kiwani, waiting to fulfill the orders of their mistress, Shylar, who had sent them there. But now they stood on the edge of the battlefield, as yet unrevealed, and the air was filled with harpies and the battleground with dwarves and men and there seemed no way of knowing who was good and who was not and Orphus was bemused by the madness of the scene that was before him and ordered the elves to fire their bows against those he supposed to be the enemy of Kavak and a great volley flew into the melee and many fell to the ground, their time ended.

Graxber looked over the confusion of the battlefield, for which he struggled for mastery, and knew not who stood with who or whether things were going for or against him. Harpies swooped down from the skies, raking at their foes and the clash of bronze rang in the air alongside the screams of men and dwarves. And as he watched the tragedy that was before him, so his heart bled for he saw his brethren die at their own hands. Thus was a rage awoken in his heart and he mustered those that were around him and they threw themselves into the battle and drove against their foe, who retreated before him. So was it that Dyonicos, who stood and watched the scenes of massacre with pleasure, was shook and thought that things might turn against him, but then, from the woods that surrounded the carnage, came a rush of arrows which filled the air and fell upon Graxber and his charging cohorts and many were felled and the charge halted. Dyonicos thought this some trickery of his mothers, but would later laugh when he would discover the truth and that it was through Shylar's own hand that he had been so served.

Orphus continued to have the elves rain down their arrows onto those he thought the enemy, not aware that the points of their weapons did strike against those that Shylar had sent him there to help. So it was that Graxber was driven back and forced to send a large part of his force against the foe who rained death upon them from within the trees. So the elves of Shylar, under the command of Orphus, and the dwarves of Graxber met under the canopy of the green of the forests and there was much bloodshed on both sides, until Orphus, with his foe now up close, was made aware of his error and knew that its reversal was beyond him and then called the elves to retreat, even though they were not defeated, and he took them away from the battle, in shame.

With Graxber's army split, the forces of Dyonicos now drove against him and all was lost. His ranks were smashed and the bodies of dwarves and of men were piled high and the field, once green, had turned red with the blood of the dead. With those that remained, Graxber was driven back into Lima and its great gates were closed and they prepared for siege. And for Dyonicos there was much rejoicing, for the battle was his and that night there was a great feast in the halls of Vä and the following day, he marched his army to Lima and there prepared a siege of the city.

And for many days and nights did the armies of Dyonicos sit at the gates of Lima, until there was starvation and disease within and many died. But still the greats gates held firm against the enemy and there was still much resistance, but inside Graxber was now in despair, for his realm was filled with death and his enemies hemmed him in. So it was that he called to him all the dwarves of Lima and in the Great Hall of Kavak did state his intention to leave Lima and Kiwani and return to the halls of his father, Canath in Damarkan, and that he would not return. But there were many who refused to follow him, for Lima was their home, not Canath, and that Kavak would surely return and lift the darkness of their days.

So those that would follow him left Lima with Graxber and made to Canath and were the first dwarves to tread the lands of Damarkan and there Graxber did see the Veshwe in the gardens of Henipur, whose likeness was as of those who had caused his defeat in Kiwani and he told Shylar of this and she knew of Orphus' mistake and called for him to return, but could find him not, for he wished not to be found.

And in Kiwani, Grism was now the lord of Lima and all the dwarves who lived there and he took those that would follow him deep into the bowels of Lima and beyond, where they awaited the fall of their great city and the evil rule of Dyonicos. And left in the great halls of Lima were men who were stout of heart and had resisted the call of Voln and those dwarves that had remained to defend their city. Thus did they make ready for war, despite the fear that was in their hearts, and they gathered themselves in readiness and when the gates of Lima were smashed open, Dyonicos found not the army of Graxber, as he had expected, and instead was faced with a leaderless army of men and dwarves. And in the halls of Lima did the two armies embrace in a bloody battle and Dyonicos was shocked by the strength in the hearts of his enemy, for he had thought to brush them aside but now found they put up great resistance.

So was the army of Dyonicos forced into retreat under the ferocity of the assault and once outside the army of men and dwarves broke and made for their freedom, scattering in all directions and as fast as they could and Dyonicos sent the men of his army against them, to chase down the humans and destroy them, for they had betrayed the call of Voln and that a price was to be paid. And with the army that remained to him, he entered once more through the gates of Lima and into its great halls and all of Lima was destroyed in a frenzy of rage as Dyonicos sought out his brother and foe and tore down the city until it was a shattered ruin and all that was beautiful was gone and all that remained was destruction and Dyonicos gave up Vä and led his army into the bowels of Kiwani, where he had found the dwarves of Graxber scattered and had learnt of his return to Damarkan and that Grism was now master of those that remained and was hid.

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