Chapter 1307: Anthony On Tour - Weight of the Mountain

“I’m hesitant about this, Commander,” Morrelia said, standing to attention next to her grizzled leader.

Chyron rose one brow before she turned back to stare at the unthinkable pillar that was Greystone.

“This is not a Legion action, Tribune,” the commander replied, thumbing at her chin in thought. “We don’t even know what they plan to do. Other than a vaguely worded missive, the golgari have given us nothing.”

“We know they are going to do something. There are brathians both inside the mountain, and on the ships. This risks sparking a serious international conflict right when the dangers of the Dungeon are reaching unprecedented levels.”

The Commander nodded slowly as she continued to lean on the railing at the prow of the ship, gazing up at the mountain. Behind, the deck of the ship was filled with neat, ordered ranks of soldiers in full armour.

Several kilometres away, to their left, floated the brathian merchant fleet, at anchor, perhaps two to three hundred metres away from the base of the mountain itself.

“That is a risk that the Empire of Stone is taking on, not us,” Commander Chyron replied. When Morrelia began to object, she spoke over her without turning around. “What would you have me do about it, Tribune? The Noble Circle of Greystone is beholden to the Empire, not to the Legion. I have no power to command them to do anything. Or to cease any action that they may decide to undertake.”

Morrelia scowled, stubborn.

“We cannot pretend we don’t have influence,” she said evenly. “The Legionem Abbyssi has worked with the Empire of Stone for thousands of years, from our very founding. If you were to speak, they would consider your words.”

“You think so, do you?” Chyron chuckled, her leathery face crinkling with humour. “I am no Consul, no high authority of the Legion. I am merely a Commander. Regardless of what I had to say, they would not listen. Besides, are you really so confident that they are doing the wrong thing?”

What could Morrelia say to that? Only she was aware of her intensely divided loyalties regarding the Colony, at least as far as the Legion was concerned. It wasn’t wrong to remove threats that may destroy entire cities once the Ancients rose and pressed them into subservience. If Anthony was wrong, if he was able to be controlled by the Ancients, then how many would die by his mandibles before he was eventually destroyed?

But if he was right? He and the entire Colony would be an invaluable weapon against the monsters. How many would be saved if the ants fought by their side? Millions upon millions.

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If only there was a way to know for sure…

“I believe this is a time in which we should strive for unity as much as possible,” she replied firmly. “Driving wedges between the brathian and golgari peoples will not serve us in the long run.”

The Commander’s eyes narrowed for a moment as she peered up at the mountain. She’d seen something, Morrelia was sure of it, but no matter how she stared, she couldn’t see any change at all.

“You underestimate the unifying power of sheer, unbridled terror. The Noble circle of Greystone is making a wager. If the Legion is correct, and another Rending is coming, then the brathians are not going to care about whatever and whoever they may lose as a result of this fleet. At the first hint of the Ancients rising up the Dungeon, every grudge will be thrown in the bin; no one will be able to survive otherwise.”

“And if we are wrong?” Morrelia asked softly.

“Then they will be forced to pay compensation until they bleed. Regardless, it is a price they appear willing to pay.”

So they were acting. But where? How?

Chyron turned her back on the mountain and looked down on the troops aboard her own ship, as well as those who stood to attention on the rest of the fleet. She cleared her throat.

“Prepare for action!” she roared, her voice ripping through the wind and deafening the sound of the waves lapping against the wooden hulls of the vessels. “Scorpion artillery is to be assembled and mounted on the port side! Mages are to form long range bombardment teams! Move!”

Morrelia felt her heart sink in her chest, but she let none of that emotion play on her face. She merely snapped out a salute and stood to attention.

“Your orders, Commander?” she asked.

Chyron eyed her for a moment before she replied.

“I want you to put together a possible boarding team. It’s unlikely to happen, but if there’s a window, I want you to lead an elite team to that monster's ship and put it down.”

Morrelia saluted again, then turned to perform her duty. A sound came a moment later that froze her in place.


It was deafening, and sharp. From high up the mountain, it rang out, then expanded out over the water like a shockwave, billowing the sails and frothing up the waves.

What in the world?


She saw it this time, a puff of stone dust, barely visible at this distance, that ejected from the mountain in a long, vertical line. The fact it was visible at all… just how much rock had they broken in that moment?


Again, another booming sound, another line of stone carved away. With this detonation, Morrelia began to see what was taking shape on the side of Greystone, and she could scarce believe her own eyes. They were carving away a chunk of their own mountain.

“You don’t have long, Tribune,” Chyron observed calmly, her eyes drilling into the stone high above.




The sharp detonations ceased then, replaced by a world-shaking roar as a chunk of stone the size of a city and weighing millions of tons began to tear itself free from the mountain.

Directly above the brathian fleet.

Morrelia turned, and she ran.

Chapter 1307: Anthony On Tour - Weight of the Mountain
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