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Sol Invictus - Part 1

Posted on Mon Jun 10th, 2024 @ 9:25pm by Erik Magnus Lensherr & Connor Bruin & Bobby Drake & Iris Walker & Jade Farwynd & Bliss Hawkins & Levi Rousseau & Jason (Jace) Adams & Ethan Hale & Aurora Summers & Kennedy Kelly

Mission: Episode 4: The Savage ConneXion
Location: City of the Sun People | Savage Land
Timeline: September 17th, 1990

On the river bend opposite from the well-beaten highway traveled by troops and wagons pulled by prehistoric creatures, a small gathering took place. A week's worth of logistical preparation had come into play now with the ragtag survivors of the United Tribes hidden in every hollow and tree branch sturdy enough to hold them. The leaders who commanded them now formed a makeshift war council on the cusp of their assault. Now Ka-Zar had summoned the X-Men to share the battle plan.

"It is decided," Ka-Zar said. As the Lord of the Savage Land and champion of the United Tribes, he had led the council. "I shall lead a rescue team with the X-Men through the Sacred Caves to find Akeem." The former Sun King Akeem had been dethroned by Zaladane after her power had become enhanced and she was no longer satisfied with her role as High Priestess. "We will liberate him and bring him to the Throne Room to the east of the City."

Nodding to Connor, he continued. "Those X-Men who do not accompany me storming the city gates and claiming the Throne Room will rescue King Akeem. Those with me will serve to draw Zaladane's attention away from the Sacred Caves and the Temple of the Sun overhead. All who are capable of flight should fly directly to the Temple and lay siege to it."

After explaining the objectives, Ka-Zar swept his eyes across the gathered war chiefs and the X-Men who would be his fellow champions. "The main force must secure the Throne Room so that King Akeem can be crowned once more. Spy reports say the Sun People will rally to their true king. After the return of the king and the downfall of Garokk's idol in the Temple of the Sun, there will be no validity to Zaladane's reign and the Savage Land will be free once more. Any questions?"

Kennedy frowned at the simplicity of the plan. For as long as they had been waiting to make their next move it was a little disheartening to hear that the next step was simply to go in and smash stuff. There had to be more to this location, otherwise Ka-Zar would have done this ages ago. "What is Garokk's idol? Why is it so important that it needs to be taken down? If it was just a statue someone would have removed it a long time ago."

It was a fair question and Ka-Zar realized he had neglected to take the X-Men's outsider status into account. "Garokk is the Sun God of the Savage Land. As his high priestess, Zaladane laid claim as Empress and set herself above all kings and chiefs. If his statue is torn down, then it will be a strong blow that Zaladane may never recover from."

"HOW WILL WE ATTACK THE CITY GATES?" Connor asked. "CITIES HAVE GATES TO WITHSTAND ATTACKS."

Ka-Zar actually grinned. "There's a reason we have had you practice mounting beasts. The gates will fall under a mounted cavalry attack which will push all the way to the Throne Room. Shanna and the other beast masters are preparing them even now."

"Oh I'm not going back into a cave," said Jace. "Sacred or not. I've had my fill of those. I want to knock some stuff down and make big rocks into little rocks."

"You can ride with me to the Temple," offered Bobby. "Just like at Niagara."

"That'd be cool. Heh, literally," said Jace. "Thanks, Bobby. It reminds me a little of a slip 'n slide, but with ice."

“I’ll go with you.” Aurora looked towards Bobby and Jace. "I can be of use getting into the temple.”

Ethan stood nearby the flyers but said nothing, his face nothing but brooding.

“You will be with me then.” Prince Archaeo addressed the team that was taking to the sky. “We can expect the Pterons to attack and the Sun People are known for their archers. But your biggest threat is Sauron appearing.”

The Aerian Warriors shuffled their wings and bristled their feathers at the mention of Sauron but Archaeo ignored them and continued. “Sauron can absorb the life force from his victims. Mutant life is especially potent and he becomes exponentially stronger from it. A group of mutants flying through the sky will be an undeniable temptation for him. He will use all his resources to try and claim one of you, including his hypnosis. Your team will need to be especially vigilant of Sauron in addition to all the other adversaries attacking our forces. My warriors will defend you but you must be aware of the additional threat you face.”

"Sauron took damage from Artemis in our last encounter," Ka-Zar pointed out. "He is not invincible. But Prince Archaeo speaks truly. Do not let Sauron catch you off guard."

Aurora nodded. She wasn’t planning on becoming one of Sauron’s victims. “Understood.”

Jade listened and nodded, "I will assist with the caves. Even without sight, I can find my direction via blood."

“And if worse comes to worst, I’m very sneaky,” added Iris. I’ll go with the rescuers, too.”

The ground rumbled as a herd of dinosaur mounts were led to toward them. Beast handlers began sorting them by size, speed, and strength for selection.

"Do you insist?" Magneto arched an eyebrow. He had agreed to join the charge against the city gates and help take the Throne Room, but at his current power levels he couldn't provide much more than terrifying the enemy of the sight of him and maybe a last ditch attempt to avert total disaster should things go wrong.

"If you want to fly, then no one is stopping you," Ka-Zar said plainly.

"Except myself." Magneto sniffed. "Very well. Give me a tall one where I may be seen clearly." He looked at Levi. "Perhaps your winds may create a compelling ruse to project myself at full power."

Though he said nothing, Levi at least seemed amenable to the suggestion. Playing decoy at the head of an attack force wasn't how anybody pictured this scenario ending.

Connor had already abandoned the team huddle and began running circles around a brontosaurus. "COME ON, BLISS." he said through his device while his face beamed with glee. "WE CAN RIDE TOGETHER."

“I’ll storm the city gates.” Kennedy made her way over to the massive phorusrhacid that she had taken from the Swamp People. It had been explained to her that simply letting it go would have doomed it to die as prey, so she had been caring for the riding bird over the past couple weeks. At first, she had been uneasy around the phorusrhacid. There was a reason they were called ‘terror birds’, at almost 3 meters tall with a razor sharp beak and powerful hind legs the animal could have easily maimed her. But after a few days of hand feeding the bird, it no longer looked at her with murderous contempt.

“Explosions and city gates feels like a better choice than explosions in a cave.” Kennedy effortlessly mounted the riding bird which in turn began to scratch at the ground in anticipation.

"Your artillery will no doubt serve our assault well," Ka-Zar said to her before turning to the rest of the others.

"The nearest entrance to the Sacred Caves is down the next fork in the path before the city gates," Ka-Zar said loud for all to hear. "Caveman has volunteered to lead that team along with Shanna to find King Akeem and escort him to the Throne Room. Leave your beast mounts outside the cave entrance. They will be collected."

Jade nodded, "will do."

"To war!" Ka-Zar shouted and let out a battle cry. The armies of the United Tribes clapped their hands and shouted together as one. The war for the Savage Land would reach the City of the Sun People.

 

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