If you are a sensible city-state, and have decided to launch a preemptive strike against a nendrai at your gate (whom you have on the exceedingly reliable information (of a young boy chatting with a watch-shop clerk) (but supported by the news from down-trunk and a variety of other physical evidences) is planning to assault you to get a very expensive watch) … why, of course you will bring out all the most terrific thunders in your armory of wonders.
There was fire, of course, for Flokin is the most aggressive of the Noun Gods, and Its material is the excellent material for causing injuries and widespread woe. Jinteros, at various times in the battle — I am not going to describe the battle linearly, but subjectively — provided both simple but quite sharp explosions of fire, and terrible salamanders of living flame who raised steel spears against Vae, as well as their own actinic radiance.
There was lightning. Lightning is a traditional accompaniment to fire. Not because it is as dangerous — it is not. But fire is well-known to be the most dangerous of the Nouns. So any sensible wizard or nendrai will protect zirself thoroughly from fire, taking extra precautions. Lightning, being less dangerous, is less the subject of careful attention and safety measures. So, perhaps, it will injure where fire will fail.
There were needles of metal. The salamanders had some of these — which is an exotic variation — but some of them were animated on their own, and perhaps some were the weapons of other creatures. This aspect of the battle, I suspect, was the work of my half-great-half-uncle Thazavirza. If zie can make watches out of metal, zie is a far better smith than I am, and even I could arrange for animate metal needles to poke the eyes of enemies, and pry their scales off, and generally provide them with smallish but very achey and hard-to-block wounds.
There was a veritable tsunami of animals. Bears and krango, giant mosquitoes and elephants, jacks o’hooks and ferrets. All created especially for the occasion. So many of them that quite a large army — two or three dozen soldiers, say — would have had to pay some attention. Or, should the tsunami be uncorked inside a city’s walls, so many that the populace and even the buildings of the city should suffer greatly and many of them die.
The vegetable part of the attack was the opposite. The vegetable materials that the attacking army (viz. Vae, Windigar, Quendry, Ochirion, and Feralan) used failed them, or turned against them. Puffs of pepper were blasted into their eyes, and the grasses became vines that entangled their legs, and everything vegetable in nature was generally fairly awkward in ways that are actually not very impressive considering the fury of the rest of the attack.
And a pile of well-armed and well-armored prime warriors teleported out to confront the invaders with sword and quarterstaff and shield and rapier and bow and trireme and arrow and clubs and all manner of pointy and blunt weaponry and general ferocious fightiness.
Other substances were brought into play here and there, in lesser degrees that need no introduction.
Vae was totally in her element.
The broadsheets from Jinteros doesn’t exactly agree with Vae on what she did in retaliation. Broadsheets are broadsheets (and hence generally marginally accurate and heavily biased towards their city). Vae is Vae, the same creature who lied to me about Brondigance, and when she is inaccurate she is usually biased against herself (for good reasons). I will cite my sources. You will figure out what is true, so I do not have to.
The one thing that both sources agree on is that, somewhere early in the battle, Vae transformed the wind in the area to a gigantic floating banner reading “The I beg your pardon; I am simply trying to buy a watch for a friend.” I don’t think that the boardsheet could stretch that truth too much; the sign was legible from hundreds of miles off.
Vae says that she first put a few of her own defenses on her prime companions, and then teleported them to a convenient spot sixteen miles off where they could watch the battle in safety. The broadsheet omits the first but includes the second. A bit of magic analysis confirms Vae’s side, where her concept of “a few defenses” should have been enough to get them through a whole duel-war or a month-long stroll in the Verticals without any trouble whatever.
Vae says that she turned a mighty Herethroy warrior inside-out, taking her out of the battle and tormenting her. The broadsheet says that she ripped the lower right arm off of one (later regrown by the Jinteros healers).
Vae says that she stunned a Cani wizard who kept casting very aggressive fire spells at her, by means of thumping his head with a log. The broadsheet says that she disembowelled him. In either case he was quickly removed from the battle.
Vae says that she turned the wizard’s liver into a terrible wind that blew away most of the animals. The broadsheet doesn’t particularly know what she transformed into what — it just says that she produced a terrible wind etc. (But: “How did you get his liver without disembowelling him?” asked Phaniet. “The perhaps I extracted it from his unconscious body by means of claws?” said Vae uncertainly.)
Vae says that she trapped three of the warriors in a pocket universe, in which mitred daemon mandrills harangued them with an extensive discourse upon Vae’s insidious plans (viz. buying a watch) while the warriors hewed them to bits. The broadsheet describes it as imprisonment in a dimension of torment and agony.
Vae says that she spent a long time trying to simply talk to her enemies, mostly complaining that she hadn’t attacked them yet and they weren’t behaving nearly as politely as her friends in Vheshrame or even Eigrach. The broadsheet lists a vast range of ferocious fire elementals, rampaging walls of serpents, silver haloes of spirit stealing, voracious giant iguanas, excellent prismatic sprays, and other traditional ferocities from the nendrai. I suspect that both are right, and that Vae was tossing traditional attack spells around, barely realizing she was doing so, while she was trying to have a calm conversation.
In any case, Vae and the broadsheet agree that the actual injuries inflicted on the Jinterans were few and easily healed.
If Jinteros inflicted any significant injuries on Vae, neither side noticed them. Though they did chew through the greater fraction of her protections.
The End of the Battle
Warrior: “Have at you, foul beast! We shall spend our lives and sorceries to the last drop of blood and cley before you shall have the tiniest timepiece!”
Vae: “And if I bring the lozens to buy it, shall I not be allowed to purchase it?”
Warrior: “Your illusionary lozens shall never cozen us, insidious monster!”
Vae: “Not illusions, but real lozens … or trade goods, for I’ve more of them than lozens.”
Warrior: “Never shall you breach our city walls!”
Vae: “Not a bit was I trying to! The my prime companions and friends were going to do the actual shopping.”
Warrior: “None of us shall in the least amount fall for your trickery!”
Vae: “And how fare my prime companions, anyhow?” She scried on the mountaintop.
Windigar, Ochirion, Feralan, and Quendry were all dead. Jinteros had, of course, noticed the teleport spell. Some fraction of Jinteros’ weaponry was redirected to point at them. The protectives Vae had put on them, while sufficient for any purpose I have ever experienced (say), were not capable of withstanding Jinteros’ best weapons. The children had used up all their bound healing spells in a few instants. They had been dead for nearly the whole battle: some minutes.
Healing spells can only restore life for a few minutes after death.
Not that Vae actually has healing spells.