The Fortress Team followed Hanjar to the north and found the Fortress. Orbak sent Jeefef and Malnar to do some scouting alongside a male Gryphon. Hanjar sent his best scout with them, and they checked out the whole area, only darting in to get more details when it was determined to be safer. Malnar observed the symbol on the banners. It was similar to the Realmfleet Symbol, yet different. It was an equilateral triangle with a circle on each vertex and a circle in the center. Once they had scouted for long enough, they returned to the main team. “There are snipers at each tower along the wall, three in each,” reported Malnar.
“I found rather large Trolls in each of the four tower inside,” continued the Gryphon.
“And the symbol looked a lot like the Realmfleet one,” finished Jeefef.
“Not to me, it didn’t,” interjected Malnar. “Daddy, the triangle’s sides weren’t made of hands in a handshake, the vertices were all circles instead of one circle, one square, and one triangle, and there was a circle in the center.”
“…The One Ruling Three,” growled Orbak.
“So, the Overlord is flying the banner of Intrag, are they?!” Orbak then punched his fist. “Well, they’ll learn how big of a mistake THAT is!”
“A mistake?” asked Hanjar.
“By law, anyone foolish enough to fly that banner is spitting on the progress my family has made since those barbarous times!”
“And you view this as an affront to your person?”
“Oh, boy, do I!”
“…Then you should focus on the Overlord. We’ll hold everyone else off.”
“…I think I’ll take you up on that offer.”
“How should we do this, Daddy?” asked Malnar.
“I want all flight capable people to bombard the sniper towers. The four towers surrounding the central one house units called Defenders, working as the last line of defense for the Overlord, should the walls be breached. Fliers, keep the snipers busy so our strongest can breach the gates. Once we do, join everyone in keeping the Defenders busy. I’ll be going after the Overlord. Once the Overlord’s behind bars, the fortress is yours, Hanjar. You may pick whoever you wish to be Overlord.”
“…Agreed.” Hanjar then offered his front right foot. “…You DO shake hands to signify agreements, do you not?” Orbak then took Hanjar’s foot, and they shook.
Everyone gathered at the gate as the snipers aimed their weapons at the team. Orbak looked around, then called to the Overlord. “Let the Overlord come forth!” he demanded. “Let justice be done upon him!” They all waited for half a minute before the fort’s gate opened. An Elf man on horseback came out and made his way to Orbak. The horse was nose-to-nose with Orbak as the Elf dismounted. “…Nice horse,” muttered Orbak to the Elf. The horse snorted as the Elf approached the Under-king.
“I am the Overlord’s Emissary,” he introduced himself.
“Since when do Overlords have emissaries?” asked Orbak.
“Since the fort is going to be a new castle for a new country here,” answered the Emissary. He looked out at the team. “Is there none in this gang with the authority to treat with me? Not you, Orbak. It needs more to make a king than fancy trinkets or a rabble like yours. Any hick from the country can make such a group.” Hanjar gave the Emissary a Look. The Look was so intense that the Emissary stepped back as if a sword was being drawn at him. “I’m a herald and ambassador! You cannot harm me!”
“And we won’t until your errand is done,” assured Orbak. “Unless, of course, your Overlord sees sense.”
“It is YOU who fails to see sense! You and your fellows! Can you not see that fighting Oyed will only lead to our extinction?!”
“And treating with him won’t?”
“I see you refuse to understand. Very well, I will simply give my Overlord’s terms.”
“And they are?”
“The Gryphons must surrender these lands utterly. Any who do not leave must pay tribute to us in order to continue living here. This fortress will be rebuilt into a castle, and it is here the Overlord shall be King of these lands.”
“You demand too much!” snarled Orbak. “Tell the Overlord this; he and his forces are to abandon the fort and these lands, never to return! I will not have a symbol of oppression flown in any Realm!”
“Even one your family concocted?”
“ESPECIALLY one my family concocted!” He converted his scepter into sword mode, causing the horse to whinny and rear up in fright before abandoning the battlefield. The Emissary dashed back into the fort as the gates opened just enough for him. A door outside the Central Tower’s balcony opened and the Overlord stepped out. It looked like a two-headed Troll to everyone, but he was far enough that it was hard to make out any details.
“Moruk nak kanit!” roared the Troll’ left head. As it spoke, it felt like the words were slicing into everyone’s ears. “Kanuk lak eltak! Morkut rak gahatan!” Once everyone recovered, Hanjar turned to Orbak.
“What was that?!” he demanded.
“Ancient Black Tongue,” explained Orbak. “Only members of the Emboramii family know it. Either one of my family’s taught the Overlord, or he’s not really two-headed.”
“What did he say?”
“…I’m one of those Emboramii’s that don’t know it; the language’s a pain in the ass to learn.”
“I’m rusty at it,” muttered Malnar. “I’ve forgotten how the noun-declension and verb-forms work. I still know the basic vocabulary, so I could understand his barebones meaning. From what I could glean from the vocabulary, he said something along the lines of ‘You made a mistake coming here! We are stronger than you! You will die horribly!’ Gotta admit, he’s quite the wordsmith when it comes to Ancient Black Tongue.”
“Remember the plan, everyone,” Orbak called to the team. “I will handle the Overlord. You focus on the Defenders.”
“Define ‘Focus’,” snarked Hanjar. Orbak raised his blade to signal that he was going to give an order.
“CHARGE!” he shouted. The instant he did, a hidden Gryphon army flew out of the rocks and started bombarding the fortress.