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

13Nov/13Off

Enzi’s Irregulars #0072

The ferry crossed the river slowly. The priestess had certainly been surprised at the warriors that Devis had brought with him. However, she had quite agreed that such monsters would be useful in combat. She had sent a pair of the templars to help make sure that the transfer across the river went smoothly. They had ensured that the locals kept their distance. The less that the Feergrus were seen associating with Enzi's Irregulars, the better. It would not help if their image was tarnished by the proximity to criminals.

Devis imagined that more than enough had been done to minimize any impact in Agon. As the ferry reached the other side of the Ago River, the disguised Rakshasa smiled. He was now in the land where he had the most control. He expected things to progress smoothly and quickly. He led the Irregulars westward, headed for the city of Ta'afar. From there, they would have to take the roads. The badlands of Feergrus made it difficult to travel overland. The roads would be quicker and safer.

The ferry's drift upriver had placed them about one day's walk from the city, walking through the farmlands. Devis felt comforted to see the workers tirelessly tending the fields. The workers were mindless undead, under the command of whatever necromancer controlled the area. While outsiders were often frightened by the undead, Devis could not understand why. The undead were mindless after all. They only did what their controller commanded them to do. If they were uncontrolled, they would merely do nothing.

They were harmless unless commanded to harm something. They were as safe as any tool could be. It was a way to continue to use the few resources of the land. Even in death, the people of Feergrus could continue to provide aid. When the bodies were damaged beyond the ability for necromancy to animate, they still were useful as fertilizer to continue the cycle of life. It was the way of Feergrus. It was also why the creation of intelligent undead was illegal.

The humans of Feergrus were supposed to live by the tenets of their religion, which included the necessity of death. This tenet of the religion, of course, had been put in place by Lord Glanar Dale for good reason. It was easy to keep the humans in line if they did not have a long enough lifetime to see what the Rakshasa were planning. This was one of the things that made the Ahk Separatists so dangerous. Their leaders were intelligent undead, some of which had been around since the creation of the nation.

These elders knew how long Glanar Dale, Karrum Tamb, and Devis Lane had been around. They had good reason to fear the three Rakshasa. To some, that might make the Ahk Separatists heroes. The vile deeds they performed only proved to Devis Lane what he had long since learned to be true. No one group could be considered good. In the hands of a human, power only ever seemed to corrupt. It was why the Rakshasa planned to rule over the humans.

In a position of power, Lord Glanar Dale could control the human populace and keep them focused. To Devis, such a goal was preferable to any flawed human civilization coming into ultimate power of the lands of Doulairen. It was a goal that Devis would work to bring to fruition. He would do whatever it took. It did not matter to him if his acts were evil, they were acts towards his greater purpose. His ultimate loyalty was to his country. He did not care how outsiders saw his actions.

The walk to Ta'afar was quiet. One of the good things about the mindless undead is they were never curious. None of them got in the way of the group. None had any cares that six monsters walked past them. It was a long two days of walking, but the next morning they entered the city. With a brief stop at the local temple, Devis had word spread of his mission. The path to the border of Vashim would now be a clear path. The Shadow Guard would make sure of that.

With that, the travel moved quickly as they headed southwest. Four days after entering Ta'afar, the group reached the city of Shabestar. Following that, they traveled four days westward to the city of Ardishai. Finally they traveled southwest from there for four more days to reach the capital of Feergrus itself. The mighty city of Adazar sat before Enzi's Irregulars. The spires of the city glistened in the morning sun. The mighty star in the sky called Feras slowly made its way eastwards after its rise from the western horizon.

“I have a few places to visit while we are here in order to make sure we are welcome in the battle we are headed toward. We have been pushing hard, so get some rest before we head off again. It will be at least six days to the next city this time. You might want to pick up extra supplies while we can. We will be passing through the Brackenwater Barrens. That place can be rather dangerous and if we are delayed, I would hate to run out of supplies. It is hard to find anything edible in the barrens.”

Devis left the five monstrous mercenaries on their own, confident they would have no problems. The Shadow Guard would keep the locals in line. The Shadow Guard had long served Devis well. They were his spy network throughout the country. They took care of things while Devis was busy handling the things outside of the country. The disguised Rakshasa made his way to the main temple. It was the home of Lord Glanar Dale himself. Devis Lane had quite a few things to report.

Entering the temple would normally be difficult, as the templars that guarded it would be suspicious of strangers. A simple pass word, however, got Devis past the first guards. Such a thing would not work to reach the next part of the temple, but that was no longer an issue. Now that he was out of sight, Devis returned to his standard Feergrus form. Making his way through the temple as himself was far easier. Eventually he arrived at the inner sanctum, where Lord Glanar Dale resided.

“All goes well with the plan to stop the troglodyte invasion,” Devis stated.

Glanar was in his Rakshasa form, his white fur and black stripes seemed quite regal to Devis, “That is good Devis. What of the situation in Agon?”

“Our man Roukaan Pallis is now in place as tutor to the prince. After all is settled, I will visit again to ensure all is going well.”

“Good, it appears all is moving according to plan.”

“For the moment. I wanted to report in before I continues southwards.”

“Thank you for your news. I have little to tell you. Things have been surprisingly quiet with the separatists. I would have thought they would have made a move while our forces were busy with the lizards.”

“That means the distractions by my Shadow Guard have been working. I will have to complement them on their work. Even without me they have been showing considerable skill in manipulating the enemy.”

“Be careful Devis, we do not want them to become too clever.”

“It is no worry, my lord. When an asset is too much trouble, it can be easily eliminated. On that note, I have finally disposed of Enzi Cala. His use came to an end.”\

Lord Glanar dale nodded, “Good luck on your mission. Soon this war will be over and our position in the world will be improved.”

Devis nodded and excused himself. He made his way out of the temple, changing back to his disguise as Enzi Cala along the way. Devis met up with the Irregulars, finding them well supplied for the next leg of the journey. The trip southwards was surprisingly quiet. The Separatists liked to hide in the Brackenwater Barrens and the Rakshasa was pleasantly surprised that they remained quiet, even against a small group like Enzi's Irregulars. When he had taken care of the troglodyte problem, Devis would have to find out what his Shadow Guard had been up to. He was quite impressed.

Devis and the five monstrous mercenaries reached the town of Amarah without any problems. From there it was a four day trip to Dargaz, a town that sat on the southern border of Feergrus. Finally the long trip was over and Devis could begin his master plan. Just by asking around town, he heard of several small skirmishes between the templars and the troglodytes. The real war had not yet begun, but the lizardfolk had been massing for months.

“Well, now we at at the war front once again,” Devis said, “The enemy masses and prepares an attack. Not just against us, but against everyone they consider human. This also includes the lycanthropes. As they have seen some of the priests of Feergrus transform into our panther shape, they believe the lycanthropes like Mayitso are the same. It is because of this that I have a terrible favor to ask of you, Mayitso.”

“You wish to bring his people into a war?” Eurysa hissed.

“They are already a part of it, even if they do not yet know it. I hate to ask, but it would be better if the fight included all the parties involved. The lizardfolk will fall back easier with a concerted effort and a large show of force. Only you have enough speed to get there and back quickly. Only you know the way, The rest of us can hold off the assault until you arrive. Can you do it? For us? For your people?”

Mayitso looked at Eurysa for guidance and the gorgon hissed, “Enzi may be right. The lizardfolk might not be hitting hard here because they are already hitting your people. You should at least talk to them and find out what is going on.”

The lycanthrope nodded and began running off into the forest. Devis smiled, all was going according to plan. He already knew that the lycanthropes had been attacked by the troglodytes. At least the lycanthropes thought that it was the troglodytes. Some of the Rakshasa's best agents had worked to plant that evidence. The chat that Devis had with the Shadow Guard when he first entered Feergrus had confirmed their success. It was possible that other conflicts had happened as well, those would merely be icing on the cake.

Devis and the remaining Irregulars moved on to meet up with the scouting forces for the Feergrus. Devis needed solid information on where to strike the troglodytes to keep them from going on the offensive. Finding them was rather easy. Devis had a good idea of where they were camped. One of his Shadow Guard had been placed with the scouting group, and that agent made relations with the scouts quite easy. Devis had been expected.

“Welcome to Enzi's Irregulars,” one of the Feergrus scouts said in their native language.

“Greetings, Devis replied in Infernus, “We are here to offer our assistance.”

“We are in need of it,” the scout said, “Our forces are spread thin. We have been trying to identify where the first strike will come, but the border is quite long. Scouts have found the troglodytes all along the border, but have not found their plan. Attacking along the whole border would be suicide.”

“They were scouting us, much as we scouted them,” the disguised Devis stated, “They are a cunning foe. Now that my team is here, we can hopefully figure out their plan. We have an expert on the lizardfolk with us.”

Understanding Infernus perfectly well, the Vodyanoi grinned. Her frog-like mouth made her smile frighteningly wide to a human's eyes. The fact that she had vicious looking Pedicellate teeth made things all the more frightening looking. They looked vicious, like a row of long sharp fangs. The teeth of a vodyanoi were longer than the average amphibian, but the vodyanoi were much larger creatures.

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