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The Siege of Angliaterra, Pt 3 of 3

In a small, woodpaneled chamber talks between the outer city council and 3 representatives of the inner city occurred. The inner city angliaterrans were small and of unclear ethnic mix. All of them wore tunics of light green, sandals, and what appeared to be a small blue hexagonal crystal or possibly a lens, hanging from a sliver chain around each of their necks. They spoke infrequently, struggling with French, and never raised their voices nor addressed each other. When councilmembers spoke the inner city dwellers merely observed them with wide was unclear how much they understood. They appeared otherworldly and almost monastic. In addition, after the meeting the council members disagreed as to which had been male and which had been female.

As the meeting proceeded, the council members presented the inner city dwellers with all sorts of documents, arguments and diagrams indicating why only a small opening could be made at the base of one of the buildings. This opening would still prevent large numbers of visitors and it would completely prevent any sort of movement of the advanced equipment the inner city people had been asking for. In short, it would ensure that access control would remain in the hands of the council.

Questions from the inner city angliaterrans came forth, and with each question one or more council members would launch into a diatribe or heated oratory, which the inner city dwellers would respond to with the same unwavering stare. Arguments broke out among the council members, anticipating possible rebuttals and counterarguments, none of which the representatives of the inner tried to make. It was almost as if the inner city dwellers were not even present.

Eventually, the council members noticed that the 3 inner city dwellers were standing up and silent. Arguments and discussions died down and eventually there was silence. After a moment, the 3 angliaterrans bowed slowly and slightly, took a few steps backward, and filed out. The meeting was over. The council members understood this reaction as acquiesence.

But they were wrong.

Three days later a group of inner city dwellers emerged and began construction on one of the border buildings on the inner wall (actually, the inner wall itself is cleverly hidden via incorporation into contiguous architectural features of other structures in the city). The small angliaterrans brought forth an odd assortment of unusual tools and levers and began dismantling part of the face of the buiding. Quickly, a very large number of outer city dwellers gathered to watch the unusual people, and when it became apparent what they were doing a knife was produced and one of the little people stabbed to death. When the others calmly, with little evident emotion determined that the angliaterran was in fact dead, they quietly filed back into the building and re-entered the inner city.

After a few weeks a sort of tower could seen to be rising up in the inner city. This immediately caused more council meetings which in turn led to the call for another meeting with the inner city dwellers to discuss the matter. But their was no response from the inner city, and as the tower was constructed with a series of wooden beams, it appeared to be temporary. Outer city dwellers frequently gathered in high places to attempt to glimpse the inner city dwellers and their activities, which were regarded as mysterious and largely incomprehensible.

Over the next several weeks a few more towers appeared, followed by silence. And then, three weeks ago, came the sound of what is often described as a horn, but a horn unlike any other: It was a horn with multiple tunes that alternated in dominance. It appeared to be a minor chord, and the player of the horn could in turn emphasis any one of the consituent notes.

And then came the stone. The stone was an 800 pound block attached to then end of a long tether and launched by a "tower" which was apparently a very large siege engine after all, nominally a "mangonel" or counterweighted 'catapult'. The stone arced up high and then reached the end of the tether. The tether caused the stone to swing outward, into the outer city, and then smash back into the same building along the inner wall, where it lodged itself in the 2nd floor. This was followed by another stone from another tower, and then another and another until the most of the building had been largely demolished. The portion that was part of the inner city wall remained, however, so that the outer city dwellers could still not enter.

Weapons were fired and aimed, but they seemed to have little effect on the inner city dwellers, who were not visible first of all and hiding within their own stone buildings. At the sound of gunshots "construction" ceased. For a time.

That night much of the outer city was awaken by the sound of what could only be more more construction on the part of the iner city dwellers. Awakening to inspect the damage, it became clea that the outer city dwellers had launched more blocks at the portion of the outer city wall directly across from the now-demolished building. As the sun rose, the inner city dwellers gathered around the new gap, finding that the gap now directly faced the rising sun, and that the red-orange rays now penetrated their once dark city and lit up the facing inner city wall.

Looking at the wall, the form of a large archway, perhaps 30 feet tall, could now be seen incorporated into the brickwork. A sense of awe spread through the crowd as it became evident that there had once been a large archway linking the outer city with the inner, and that the actions of the inner city Angliaterrans targeting that border building had been far from capricious.

And then, as the sun grew brighter, a muffled thud was heard, and the wall was thought to shake. This was followed by another thud, and then another, and soon pieces of the blocked archway were falling out. Reports were made indicating that the inner city mangonels were swinging once again, but apparently they were smashing open the gateway from the inside.

Council members started shouting and gesticulating, telling the crowd to obtain whatever weapons they hain their homes, but the crowd quickly recognized the pointlessness of this and grew resistant. At this point, the members of the outer city council were grabbed and shuffled away, and most of the rest of the crowd waited to greet whoever would be coming through that arch.