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A single talonthunder arrow whistles innocently through the air, before striking true and splitting the sky open with a sharp “Boom!” Noah shields his eyes from the bright explosion, and when the light dies down he sees his father, astride his massive falcon far above, reach slowly for another arrow. All round the battle ally and foe alike freeze, some in awe, others in terror. The king draws the arrow back, surveying the bloodied sky, and calmly lets loose another shot. 

The sky collapses to chaos as Alesia’s invaders, the Nameless, push the bat-like creatures they ride to flee. Noah urges his own steed up toward his father, and the great raptor beats its wings at once. He turns away from the next flash of light as his father shoots two more Nameless down, then casts his eyes across the clouds. Most of the Nameless are urging their steeds to dive away from the King but a few desperate fighters have decided to charge him!

Noah urges his raptor even faster, drawing an arrow back himself. He aims at one Nameless ascending to his left and brings him down with practiced efficiency. His father, using the famed silver Sunbow of Alesia, can shoot further than any other archer, so he’s set himself far above the battle. From there he can rain talonthunder on all corners of the struggle. The Nameless flying toward him have realized their only chance of winning rests with getting to him before he can destroy their swarm.

Below them sits the captive border city Granvar. Fog rolls in off of the ocean, beginning to blanket the town’s towering, ancient buildings and proud stone wall. Alesia’s flying warriors, the Staka, have journeyed north to free the city so Nameless cannot stretch their fangs any deeper into Alesian territory. These thousands of soldiers, astride their great eagles and falcons, had been confronted by far more Nameless than they had expected. King Nomris had been forced to reveal the Sunbow, and use the land’s most valuable weapon, talonthunder. 

Now Noah fires another two arrows toward the Nameless rising to confront his father. Their awful steeds, the Haran, dodge nimbly, but one of Noah’s arrows meets its target. The rider cries out as the arrow strikes him, and this draws the King’s eye. King Nomris quickly sizes up the situation, and swiftly fires one, two, three arrows at them! A ball of heat and light roars through the sky as his arrows hit almost simultaneously! Noah raises an arm to shield his eyes once more, and by the time he has lowered it he’s level with his father.

King Nomris looks over at his son, ever the eager warrior, and smiles ruggedly. He only wishes his other son, Niall, was here to fight beside them. But Niall and his brother were very different young men, and Nomris had come bitterly to accept that. Now he scans the sky, taking note of the vanishing Nameless and the Staka eagerly pursuing them. With a sigh of relief he puts away the Sunbow, which can be disassembled into two identical swords, and picks his wooden bow up once more.

Nomris motions to Noah, astride an identical falcon to his own, and together they descend toward the city. The King frowns now, however. They may have triumphed today, but the Staka have become too reliant on talonthunder. How long will he be able to keep its treasured formula safe? Is he, even after all these victories, leaving a doomed kingdom to his sons? Nomris’ face is wrinkled with worry as he and the Prince ease their steeds into the fog below.

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