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

18Dec/13Off

Enzi’s Irregulars #0077

Naphar Bura was cleaning his weapons when an odd man approached him. Naphar Bura was a Kurrot, powerfully built for one of his race, though still slightly more wiry in build than an Agonish man of similar athleticism. Naphar wore the white robes of a Cleanser. White was the color of monsters and evil men. It was a symbol of the foul things that Naphar fought with a slayed each day of his career. The man that approached was Gharaf Targata. Gharaf was a Ravaleian, a race that often leaned towards ostentatious displays.

Gharaf, however, was not wearing anything too extreme. He had been busy making good trade with the armies of the southern front. His manner reminded Naphar of a rat. Gharaf seemed like a schemer to the Cleanser, but the Kurrot had dealt with far worse people than Gharaf. The Ravaleian had at least been useful over the past two years. He had provided a lot of useful information to the Cleanser on opportunities to eliminate foul creatures that threatened the human race.

“The time is upon us,” Gharaf said with a vile smirk, “You will not believe what wandered into camp the other day.”

“Oh?”

“A gorgon, a minotaur, and a dwarf.”

“What of the Feergrus, the vodyanoi, and the lycanthrope?”

“No sign of them, but my sources tell me they spoke with General Crowe Spencer.”

“The high commander of the southern front himself? That is most interesting.”

Gharaf nodded, “It seems they continued northwards with many of the force's best archers. They seek to slay a monster. The goblinoids have a secret weapon they have been preparing. They say it is a dragon.”

“Impossible,” Naphar said as he spit at the ground, “If such creatures are anything but myth, they can not be controlled.”

“Supposedly it is but a young child. One raised by the goblinoids for many years. I imagine it is a lie, and merely some abomination raised up by the Tarvoni working with the noseless mouth breathers. It does not matter either way. The monsters will fight each other. All of them need to die. I knew you would want to know that all of these monsters have converged.”

“Yes. Thank you for this information. It seems the opportunity has come to end this threat to humanity once and for all. With only half of these monstrous allies together and with a dire fight against this so called dragon, the threat of these monsters will finally be ended. I will let them fight each other, then the survivors will be eliminated.”

Gharaf smiled, “Good. They have lived for too long and caused too much strife. It will be nice to have one less problem to deal with in this world.”

***

The waiting was the worst part. Several of the best archers in the southern front had joined Eurysa, Aldebaran, and Ritter in a forward camp. Daily forays into the Goblinoid Lands by scouts on horseback kept the front appraised of any activity by the goblinoids. Thus far it had been eerily quiet. The three monstrous mercenaries suspected that meant the attack was coming soon. The goblinoids were likely gathering their forces and readying for the final assault.

This would be the moment that changed the course of the war for better or worse. Eurysa felt the balance of the arrows tipped with Halzium. Whoever had made them knew what they were doing. The gorgon archer was glad that such a precious metal had not been given to a lesser craftsman to make the arrows. They needed every advantage they could get. A dragon was a considerable foe, even if this was only a young drake. The arrows might not do much, and Eurysa was worried that suck small barbs would not slay the beast.

Even if they could knock it to the ground, the gorgon wondered if they could even slay such a beast in melee. Aldebaran was stronger than any human, but even that might not be enough to wound the drake. Beyond that, there was also the worry about the rest of the goblinoid army. If the goblinoids had their whole army with them, along with Tarvoni summoners and whatever monstrosities had been brought forth by their foul magic, then it would be a fight that the few people at the advance camp could not possibly win.

Hopefully the goblinoids would send the drake as their vanguard, leaving time for the military to defeat the dragon before it could do too much damage. Even alone, it was possible that the drake would be too powerful for the advance force to defeat. Hopefully it would give the soldiers at Grafenthal time to modify the ballista to use against the beast, assuming the dragon did not destroy it first. The more she thought about it, the more Eurysa believed that there would only be one chance to defeat the dragon.

She wished Mayitso was there. He would be greatly helpful once the drake was grounded. The gorgon could not imagine what was taking the lycanthrope so long. She did not want to believe that Enzi had delayed Mayitso more than was necessary. The lizardfolk had been a threat, but certainly the Feergrus military could handle it with the assistance of the lycanthropes that came to their aid. They could not possibly need Mayitso any longer. He had to be on his way by now.

***

Disguised as the Feergrus man called Enzi Cala the Rakshasa named Devis Lane smiled. The lycanthropes had been extremely successful at fighting the troglodytes. Devis had been able to keep the soldiers of Feergrus out of the battles and had kept Mayitso busy commanding his brethren. He had done his best to muddle how much time had passed, keeping Mayitso too busy to think about his friends, and distracting him with something else when that failed.

Devis knew it could not last forever, but knew that it no longer mattered. It had been over a month since Aldebaran, Eurysa, and Ritter had left for the southern front. There was no way that Mayitso could arrive in time to help in their battle now unless the dragon came much later than expected. The Rakshasa would try to keep him as long as possible, just in case. Devis need that dragon to do as much damage as possible. He hoped that it tore through the Agonish front lines. A weak Agon would make a Feergrus alliance much stronger.

Mayitso approached Devis, transformed into his human form, “Should I be leaving now? My friends need me.”

“No worries,” Devis said, “You have plenty of time. I need you for one last great offensive. A great queen of the lizardfolk has gathered a huge force to defeat your brethren. They will need your aid to survive. Do this and we should finally have the break we need to survive this war.”

Mayitso transformed into his wolf form and snorted as he turned away. Something about Enzi had begun to rub him wrong. It had been getting worse over the past month. He had a hard time imagining that Enzi would deceive him, especially after the many long years they had worked together, but it was getting hard to deny that Enzi was delaying him. Mayitso could only hope that Enzi was right. He wanted to be there to protect Eurysa from harm when the dragon came. He prepared himself to lead the lycanthropes into battle one last time.

***

The creature soared through the air, free of the caves it had lived in all its life. The cool blew felt terrific as it soared through the sky. It had learned much from the goblinoids that had raised it. It had learned why the caves were its home. The humans hunted those that were different from themselves. The goblinoids had been forced to live in a small area of poor quality. Rage filled the young dragon. Freedom felt so good. Now it would destroy the humans and claim its own freedom. In the process, the goblinoids would be free as well.

In the light of day, the drake looked over its body. Its mottled skin was varying shades of dark olive green and black. It would be excellent camouflage in the swamps, which supposedly were its home. The goblinoids had told the dragon that they had rescued it from humans that had hunted its kind in the swamps. They sought out the helpless eggs to keep the dragons from continuing, since the humans were too weak to face an actual dragon.

The drake swooped, dove, and climbed back through the air. It needed the practice. The time had finally come for the assault on the human forces. The goblinoids had formed a mighty army and marched southwards. The dragon flew overhead, ready to act as their greatest weapon. The drake would pay off his debt, giving a life to the goblinoids for the life they had saved. It would also feel good to slay a bunch of the evil humans that would work to destroy helpless eggs.

The drake soared ahead of the army, scouting out what was ahead. Then he saw it. A small camp of humans had come out away from the war front. It was a perfect target. The dragon felt a sense of elation. It would finally get a chance to unleash terror upon the greatest evil in the world. An evil that would oppress all those that were not human. The drake had even heard of how the humans fought each other over the minor differences across their race. The Tarvoni had helped the goblinoids.

The pale mages had been hunted for being different as well. Their pale skin marked them as evil in the eyes of many other humans. Their ability with magic annoyed yet others. Their tales had only proven to the dragon that the humans needed to be humbled. Perhaps then a more noble culture like the Tarvoni could lead the surviving humans to become a better race. If not, then genocide was always an option. It would be a sweet justice to inflict genocide upon a race that was so genocidal. The drake wondered if that was irony.

It swooped down towards the humans, expecting to watch them scatter. The humans did move, but they formed groups and took aim with their bows and crossbows. The dragon felt mirth at the thought. A hail of arrows flew up towards the beast. The arrows scraped against his scales and flew off. A few hit directly enough to bounce off the drake's armored hide. It was as the goblinoids had said, the humans were no threat. The dragon gathered up all of his rage and hate, as well as his acidic bile.

The drake felt power well up within itself. The dragons were innately magical monstrosities. It unleashed the power of its magic as a blast of concentrated acid. The goblinoids had called it a breath weapon, and while it blasted out as a cone from the drake's maw, it had little to do with breathing. It was a magical ability, and like any magic it caused some drain on the magic users stamina. As a dragon, however, such drain was of little consequence. Even as a drake, his endurance was leagues beyond any mortal.

The effects brought a sense of elation to the dragon. The spray of acid smothered dozens of human soldiers. The screams of pain and suffering brought great joy to the dragon. They did not last long, however. Those struck by the acid did not live long. The drake was instead treated to looks and scream of horror by those who had witnessed the carnage. The sharp eyes of the dragon also spotted a few odd creatures with the humans. One seemed to be some sort of snake woman, another was a cow man, the third looked like a short and strangely proportioned human made of stone.

The drake was surprised to see humans and monsters fighting beside each other. However, the young dragon had seen many monsters summoned by the magic of the Tarvoni aiding the goblinoids. These were obviously just more magical creatures that needed to be slain. Anything that aided the humans had to be destroyed. The dragon lazily came around for a second pass, enjoying the helpless creatures skittering about beneath him. He unleashed another blast of acid on another group of humans, melting them. The drake felt that the battle had been won. There was nothing that could stop him now.

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