Hork rose to his feet, slowly and with no small amount of effort. Leaning on his cane, he crossed to the manse’s window, peering outside at the gathered crowd gazing skywards. A frown spread across the old dwarf’s face, and he made his way outside. Above, the Thunderous Mountain was silent, the storm clouds that had enveloped it for centuries now gone.
“He did it!”
“The aurc did it!”
The crowd turned as the priest made his way down to the gathered masses. “Hork! Hork, the storm! Matuk must have made it! Ha-ha! The green bastard did it!”
Hork cast his gaze up to the great mountain, its slopes now much clearer in the afternoon sun. As he opened his mouth to speak, there was a great rumble from above as a wave of dark grey clouds blanketed the sky, and the heavens opened.
Amongst the cracks of thunder, Hork thought he heard laughter.
Rain battered hard on the roof outside, echoing and reverberating around the senate hall. In the chamber, the discussion quietened with the sudden onslaught.
“Strange, for summer.”
Baron Aquilius, youthful, handsome and with a tousle of blond hair, stood in the empty chamber, clad in the Republic’s traditional military garb. Across from him was a balding senator, wizened with age. The Baron continued. “Still, strange seems to be the new normal, these days.”
“Rather,” said the senator, pursing his lips. “As for my proposal?”
“I shall keep it under advisal. Such a move may…upset the delicate situation we find ourselves in. Arkelis and Verium are…precariously positioned. Shouldn’t wish to give Francisco or Amelia an opening.” Cicero smiled. “Thank you, senator.”
The senator bowed, before leaving the chamber.
“That will be all I require from you,” the Baron whispered to himself.
In Karan Taul, cracks of lightning cast the palace interior in flashes of bright light, and in dull grey when they subsided. The glass building had lost much of its usual splendor with the grey blanket overhead. Valasar stood outside its gates, beholding the city below. The rain was refreshing on his scales, but he was wary of the storm’s source. In the palace behind him, Greenfangs and Dragonknights alike mobilized for a war footing.
In Alathor, Mondracon and his ministers concluded their meeting, filing out of the office as rain began to batter the streets of Redcrest. They stood transfixed, watching the spectacle through the keep’s open door. The scorch-marks on the courtyard floor, and the remnants of an astral gate, swelled to prominence on the wet cobbles.
In Rell, flashes from the storm outside illuminated Baron Amelia’s war room, where her and her advisers leant over the continent’s map, determining their next moves. Below the city, a great beast of shadow and darkness slumbered without care.
In Belos, a fallen king, sustained by dark energies and darker pacts, paid the storm no heed.
And in Apocalypse, a Seal was broken and a Horseman rode once more.