|As less and less time remained until the portal closure, the nature on the other side of it seemed to grow in fury in its attempts to oust the unwanted visitors extrinsic to its time. It wasn’t very hospitable from the very first day, as Abu-Bakir had chosen to open the portal into the time of the most notable cataclysms throughout history; however at present time it resembled hell itself. The heroes and the lords of the Empire demonstrated unprecedented firmness and courage to battle the Sentinels of the Past in such harsh conditions, craving for the Warlord’s orders to fall back. Grammith however remained silent and kept looking into the distance…|
“Sir, we need to leave!” One of the guards addressed Grammith trying to shout the hurricane down.
“We aren’t leaving without him, I thought that was crystal clear!” The Warlord objected firmly, as a peal of thunder resounded the nearby lands.
“What if something happened to him?!”
“To Abu-Bakir? Dear me!” – Grammith scoffed. – “As if something bad ever happens to him... Besides, my elite detachment of imperial regular army is escorting him!”
All of a sudden the wind dropped, and the space about them started to compress visually. When it seemingly reached minute size, shrinking down to a dot, a bright magical flash blinded all those who were present. Seconds later when Grammith could finally regain his sight he discerned the materialized silhouette of the one he had been expecting.
Abu-Bakir quickly hid a small walnut-sized object in his satchel and, without wasting the precious time, rushed toward Grammith and over to the portal. "We're out of time, let's get out", he muttered as he was passing the knight.
"One second here!", Grammith seized Abu-Bakir by his forearm and turned him to find himself face to face with the wizard. "Where in the world are my people?!"
"What do you mean?! They are not back yet?" Abu-Bakir inquired raising his eyebrows. "I sent them back to the portal over an hour ago!.. Hey! Aren't those them?"
Both Court officials gazed at the foot of a hill where a mounted vanguard was passing.
"They are, but that is just one group! Where are all the others?"
As soon as the mounted group came alongside, Grammith questioned a lieutenant while still holding Abu-Bakir's arm firmly, ignoring the latter's desperate attempts to drag him toward the portal.
The lieutenant saluted Grammith and reported, "They left with Abu-Bakir's henchman through the other portal, my warlord, sir!"
Grammith immediately turned to Abu-Bakir, slightly irritated, expecting a clear explanation, leaving unobserved the obvious inconsistency in his lieutenant's words.
The wizard, his jaw dropped, stood in bewildered silence, blinking rapidly. It took him some more valuable time to recover the faculty of speech. As he did, he yelled with indignation: "What other portal, soldier? What henchman, titans squash you?! I am no military man to have a henchman!"
The lieutenant, startled and confused, stammered trying to mutter an explanation. Grammith patted him on the shoulder with his other hand, comforting him a little. "Ugh, he bore your seal, Abu-Bakir, sir! He was cloaked in black mantle, had a beard, and carried a staff in hand. He told you sent him, sir wizard. That's when the earth split open, and we found ourselves separated. He opened a portal, pitch black, darker than earth and sky around us, and sent everyone on the other side inwards! We were cut off on this side, so he told us to return here. Then he just stepped in, and the portal was no more Sir!"
The Court wizard exchanged looks with the warlord, drawing his hands to sides, implying there was no fault of his. A series of underground tremors reminded them about the fading lifetime of the portal. There was no time left to find out the truth or locate the missing soldiers. Abu-Bakir rushed toward the portal accompanied by Grammith and his men, as a strong, paralyzing apprehension started spreading out slowly inside him. Despite perfect planning and timing of the expedition, a group of Empire soldiers counting all known factions was going to be left behind...
Lords and ladies, the third expedition into the Past is finished. Unfortunately, it is too early to speak about its results, because not everything went according to plan. For now, it is too difficult to say whether any changes hapoened to the Survilurgs, but nonetheless, the Empire homages all those who selflessly answered to the call and provided cover on the other side of the Portal of Time.
Curious thing, an uncanny dark tower was suddenly found on the Blindfold Tournament grounds. No documentation could explain when or why it had been built.. or has it always been there? Games with time may lead to unexpected consequences... In any case, the Warlord has announced the start of the 12th Blindfold Tournament Plus to explore its powers.
Every lord and lady who won at least 7 combats in the Portal will earn a memorial artifact adorned with trophy crystals of time. The durability of these artifacts depends on the total amount of victories in the event.
The best 10 clans will be accounted gold from the Empire treasury. Traditionally, the lists of 50 most prominent clans and 50 most distinguished heroes will be commemorated in Empire history:
|#2301||I legion of Elfius||1512.0|
|#4370||Великие стражи Империи||1176.0|
|#7705||† Angels & Demons Ψ||1171.3|
|#5063||Братство Огненного Дракона||1048.0|
|#2302||II legion of Elfius||972.7|
|#2303||III legion of Elfius||949.3|
|#1512||† Nekropolis †||890.0|
|#1597||Южная Гвардия ||849.7|
|#5588||XI legion of Elfius||796.7|
|#5349||Долина Магов: Орден Серебряного Василиска||771.7|
|#825||Matrix of Worlds||763.0|
|#6055||Братство Героев: 3-й Дивизион||710.7|
|#493||Говорящие с Ветром||696.3|
|#3305||Украина. Величие Запада||661.7|
|#5390||Лига Свободных Джентльменов||625.7|
|#823||Legion of Honor||623.3|
|#2304||IV legion of Elfius||587.7|