The Dark Legion's army marched to within arrow-shot of the fortess-like wall of Dakron Academy, then stopped. Their ranks, seemingly unending, were truly legion. ELITE Lord Goliath Mortlock, General Commander of the ELITEs of Dakron Academy, smiled grimly. Everyone throughout the many Realms knew Dakron Academy students were easily the equals of 20 fighting men not so trained. The fact the Dark Legion had mustered a force to outnumber Dakron Academy's own by a thousand to one showed just how afraid the Dark Legion was.
An emissary rode forth and paused before the Academy's gates and raised his voice.
"Academics! The gates of Dakron have stood for eons beyond remembrance; you have the chance to make sure they remain now. Surrender your arms. Stand to and be allowed to live. For surely, if you stand against us, there shall be not one of you with his head upon his shoulders by nightfall!"
As was his habit, Lord Mortlock replied, "I shall take your position… into… consideration."
At that moment, a young ELITE Initiate, Tyger Dallas pushed, elbowed, and stomped his way to the battlements. Tyger Dallas was a bit of a mystery, even to the ELITE leadership. He was a six-foot, 300 pound, broad-shouldered young male from the now-conquered Allied Kingdoms. His frame carried lean, startlingly strong muscle. Upon his forearms and backs of his hands lay odd stripe-like colorations no one had quite been able to explain. Lord Mortlock knew Tyger to be superbly skilled in the obscure "Heronmark" sword style, a technique used and favored only by those who guarded Magi.
Tyger snarled, "Your terms… are unacceptable." The young ELITE-hopeful snagged a pennant lance from the battlements and hurled it at the emissary. The mounted speaker dodged the clumsy throw, but he could not escape Tyger's next words so easily.
The man looked to the battlements. "You DARE Challenge the Dark Legion?! May the Darkness deal with us, be it ever so severely, if even a drop of INK lays upon a speck of parchment within this battlefield by nightfall!"
As the emissary turned to ride away, Tyger ignored the ELITE Lord who was about to punish him, severely. Standing at the edge of the wall, Tyger drew his +VLFBERH+T blade and cried out to the army within Dakron's walls.
"Arise! Arise, my brothers! For they who shed blood with me this day, whether man or woman, shall forevermore be my Brother! Stand fast, and fear no darkness! Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter! When the blast of war blows in our ears, imitate the wolf: Stiffen the sinews, summon hard-edged rage! Death! Rise now, rise now! Set your teeth and snarl in fury! Let every spirit stand to his full height in Challenge! Shield shall be shaken, spear shall be splintered, a sword-day, a red day! Be example now to men of lesser spirit, and teach them how to wage war! Strike down your every foe with the wrath of your forebears! Rise for wrath! Rise for ruin! Rise for the world's ending, ere the blood-sun rises!!"
Not sure how to respond, the Dakronites simply shouted in reply. Smiling, Tyger again shouldered past the huge ELITE Lord, and stood at the wall's outer edge. Sheathing his blade, he roared, "I am a student of the ELITES, wielder of the blade of +VLFBERH+T. Your Legions will not avail you, Lord of Darkness! Turn back before you are destroyed!"
Tyger drew his blade and leaped from the wall, shouting, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!"
With the last word, Tyger landed, driving his blade into the ground as he did.
Minions of the Legion, and indeed many Dakronites upon the fortress walls of the Academy, testified later that it seemed a bolt of lightning had struck. There was a huge peel of thunder, followed upon its heels by a titanic shockwave that pounded against the Academy's 20 foot thick walls like a tsunami wave and hurled several hundred soldiers of the Dark Legion to their backs. Another thousand were staggered to their knees.
Tyger's shout lifted like a bell as the gates of Dakron opened behind him, "FOR THE ACADEMY!"
Shouting like madmen, the ELITES and the rest of Dakron Academy's forces surged onto the battlefield.