The Silver Tower Chronicles Adventures in other worlds, other times, and other realities

14Aug/13Off

Enzi’s Irregulars #0059

The battle at the base camp raged on as Enzi dashed towards the mechanic's station. A lot of potential allies were missing. Many of the Nuvroci Rangers were out on patrol, including Lunaris Justis. Medeus Tarim was still in the encampment and was fighting to save Cassius. He still did not have everyone's full trust after the incident with the corrupt artifact, but hopefully this battle would prove that the elimination of the dagger had cured his psychosis.

The person Enzi missed most in this battle was the Agonish Magehunter, Beren Gendar. He had gone off alone to investigate some strange magical occurrences, though the Feergrus did not know that. Enzi merely had to deal with the fact that Beren was not there to aid the general. Lightning streaked past Enzi's right ear. It was too close for comfort. The Storm Queen was lashing out in all directions, cackling with mad glee. It was a frightening sight.

The Feergrus man wove and dodged his way over to where the base camp's three golems sat. The Ravaleian mechanics were huddled in a corner where one of the mercenaries from the Rava Coast Trading Company was busy yelling at them. The mercenary was trying to cow the mechanics into serving the mercenaries as if it was for the good of Ravalei. Enzi's fist ended the conversation as it connected with the surprised soldier.

“Sorry for the violence,” Enzi said, “I would hide out of the way if I were you. Death flies through the air today.”

The golem mechanics scurried off out of the fray as an arrow from Eurysa helped clear their path. The gorgon was harp-eyed. Her support fire for Enzi had saved his life more than once as he had made his way to the mechanics. Only now, looking back over the path he had taken, did he see the bodies of those who had tried to stop him. The Feergrus man also saw the brilliant coordination of the Nuvroci troops led by General Cassius Tessium.

They had quickly gathered and formed battle lines against the far more chaotic lines of the Ravaleians. Syrian Dow had disappeared. Enzi hoped he had escaped, though he missed having the extra manpower for this fight. He was still an officially wanted man now, that would have caused the general a great many problems down the road. The encampment obviously had enough problems for the moment. The biggest, however, might be the Storm Queen.

Electricity crackled across the young Ravaleian girl's whole body. The teen unleashed blast after blast like an unstoppable fountain of energy. Everything Enzi knew about magic told him that this went far beyond what any mage should be doing with magic. As she tapped further and further into her reserves, the chances of a catastrophic failure increased rapidly. Enzi immediately began looking to see what was near her location. If her spells failed, she could easily obliterate everything around herself.

Assessing the situation, Enzi dove back into the fray. He saw one Ravaleian leap at the Storm Queen from behind. Before the Feergrus could yell out a warning the man stopped dead in his tracks as he hit a wall of magical force surrounding the teen girl. Electricity coursed through the man's body and he dropped like a sack of lead. The girl was smart enough to protect herself from harm. Enzi wondered if perhaps she meant to go all out until her spells backfired. The Storm Queen was certainly moving towards the largest concentration of foes. Her spells were fired off to the sides, away from what Enzi assumed was her main target.

It was a bold move, but also a desperate one. It showed Enzi the depths that the young teen was willing to go to in order to avoid being controlled. He imagined it was the start of a fierce independence. That was something that could easily be taken too far. She already had the potential to become a monster. He hoped that this was not the catalyst to cement her path. The dark road was a terrible one to tread down. Few that walked that path survived. Those that did were well known for the great evils they inflicted. Even those that died often left a wake of death and destruction behind them that would not soon be forgotten.

***

Dellin Garm floated into the vast city of Calal. The ghost returned to the manor that had once been his own in life. The custodian kept the place clean and knew about Dellin's spirit form. That caretaker would be quite surprised at what happened this night. The caretaker was an aged Ravaleian. He was not the ideal host, but he would do for the moment. The spirit passed into the old man's body. Dellin used his new-found power and seized control.

With control of the body, he began to write letters. He needed to find a youthful body to inhabit. Then he would make sure the company fell into that man's hands. Being able to write would make this much easier. While no one would listen to a mere caretaker, these notes were written with the secret knowledge that Dellin held. Very soon he would gather allies to himself He would make the Rava Coast Trading Company extremely powerful, growing it beyond anything anyone could have imagined.

Yet he had a few issues to take care of first. The mercenaries that attacked needed to be dealt with. The Storm Queen also needed to be eliminated. Now he could set his plans in motion. If something should happen to whatever body he was inhabiting, he would always have a backup. If it got old or weak, he could move on. It was far better than what he had expected. The world now sat in the palm of his hands, just waiting for him to grasp its riches.

***

Gharaf Targata's profits had suffered at first when the war began. No one came to Center Point. However, he knew the smell of opportunity. With the resources of Unity behind him, he had begun to supply the troops on the southern front. He and his allies had begun their work to convert key players to their cause. Having a general or a rising star as a proponent of Unity was a big deal. They did not want word of their organization to spread too far. Those in power would see it as a threat. Those who learned of its ties to the criminal underworld might find their presence undesirable.

It was not an easy balance to find. One of the key points was the emphasis on the benefits. A secret society that could help make sure that only the right people came to power. The kind of people that would work to unite the countries under one cause. They had made significant progress in their goals. The new agents that Gharaf cultivated would help slowly spread the influence of Unity throughout Doulairen. As they grew, secrecy would be harder to maintain.

Already there were several loose ends that needed to be dealt with. Enzi's Irregulars still survived. Gharaf had heard of their deeds in the north. He had made sure that information about them fell into the hands of the Cleanser known as Naphar Bura. He had not made any moves yet, the war had his full attention. Gharaf knew that the war could not last forever. When it finally ended, Naphar would make his move. Assuming that Enzi would even survive that long. Terrible things happened in a war.

***

The Ravaleian mercenaries had finally began to muster their forces. The loss of their commander had been a mighty blow. However just as they gathered, the Storm Queen swooped in on their position and her power flared. The explosion was tremendous. It knocked most people off their feet. A lot of the warriors closest to it were torn to shreds. That act seemed to have finally crushed the Ravaleians until Enzi saw a terrible sight. The ground rumbled as huge figures emerged from the smoke.

It was the golems. The mechanics had been swayed after all. Enzi wondered how the Rava Coast Trading Company had pulled that off. There would be time for questions later, assuming anyone survived. The Ravaleians quickly rallied with their new allies. The Nuvroci along with the Irregulars might have been able to take down the two wooden golems. They might have been able to take down the stone golem. The three golems together along with the Ravaleian mercenaries seemed an insurmountable foe.

The Ravaleians seemed to be in mood to negotiate now that they had the upper hand. Things were going to get ugly. Enzi sighed. He had not used his hybrid form in front of the soldiers, but he knew he would not have any choice but to go all out for this battle. As the smoke cleared, Enzi saw the Storm Queen laying on the ground. Miraculously she was still in one piece. Enzi wondered what kind of protections it took to survive such a blast. It did not matter, however. She was obviously unconscious and no longer of any help.

Aldebaran grunted as he saw the new foes enter the fray. His fur was already matted with blood and sweat. Usually bovine did not noticeably sweat, but obviously something in the creation of the minotaur gave him a more human reaction to severe exertion. Eurysa had run out of arrows. Any potential supplies were far out of reach. It was time for her to use her abilities, much the same as Enzi's need now that the situation was dire. Ritter was engaged in a hard battle with some of the more heavily armored Ravaleians.

His hammer was quite effective against them. The Halz deflected many blows with his shield. He did not tire as easily as the rest of the group, but even he saw that it was only a matter of time. He remembered the last battle with a golem. The minotaur remembered it in a very different way. He had missed much of that battle, but only because of how badly the golems had wounded him. Mayitso dashed through the ranks of the enemy, avoiding the golems. The lycanthrope would have trouble harming the constructs, but Mayitso's natural toughness might be one of the few things to save the group.

Kava, of course, was the only person in the area enjoying herself. The vodyanoi was prancing through the battlefield, leaping from foe to foe while hacking with her hatchets. The smell of blood filled the air as did the wailing of the wounded. It was the kind of thing that made Kava grin widely. With a maw like hers, such a grin was rather disconcerting. She reveled in the fear of her foes. She was not match for a golem, however. She was deadly against unarmored foes, using her precision to damage them in the most horrendous of ways.

All of this talent meant nothing against the forces arrayed before them. Eurysa's gaze was useless against golems. Only Ritter and Aldebaran had a chance of damaging them. The Ravaleians knew they had an advantage and they pressed it. General Cassius Tessium made them pay for each inch that the Nuvroci gave up. The golem advance pushed the front line further and further back. Soon the soldiers and the Irregulars neared the back wall.

It was time for the final battle. The skill of the general had meant that few troops had been lost as they pulled back, but no amount of tactical skill would prevent the slaughter to come. They had been backed into a corner. They would bare their teeth like a wild animal. They would fight for a chance to survive. Enzi did not see any chance to survive, but he could not stand to just let someone else win. As the Ravaleians and the golems advanced he took a deep breath. He worried about the dragon. Who would stop such a foe once those that knew of it were slain?

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