The messages from Khymeria came at night. It was time for the allied forces to leave the Burning lands and head for what they hoped to be the final battle. It would take them at least three days to reach the outskirts of the city. Grom walked with his men as they left the town. He looked back one more time. He had lived through many battles with the blight. Yet this mission felt different. He wanted to come back home but knew that they had to win the next battle. His hand squeezed tightly on his pickaxe.
“Mighty Grom you look a bit uneasy”
Lyanna had been spending more time around Grom than he liked. While her presence did bring a strength that enjoyed but he was not used to being around someone that smiled so much.
“I told you not to call me that Lyanna, I am not a mighty hero.”
“That is something a hero would say, Sorry Grom but you don’t get the write your own legend. We do and you have been a key part in every victory over the blight”
“So was Darth, yet you don’t praise him all the time.”
“Well, that guy just isn’t any fun Grom. So, for now, you're stuck with me.”
Darth looked up hearing his name. He saw Lyanna talking to Grom. She was taking a linking to the Kobold warrior. He was sure that seeing someone so small and brave made her feel better. He also figured she talked so much to help forget that her home had been destroyed. The blight had taken so many cities in the splinterlands but only Anumun had been abandoned. Mortis was close when we struck a deal with the Fire clan. She thinks that her people look weak. But they faced more than us. Anumun was a hub of food and trade. With it broken the rest of the lands would start to weaken. He didn’t see why the others did see that. Darth wondered if it was time to talk to Zintar. To let him know who he was. For now, he would wait to see how the plan worked out. He headed to help Grom out. Lyanna always seemed to leave when he was around.
Alric read the letter from Azmare. They had lost a few more cities and things were getting bad but just a few days ago they stopped attacking. This was a good sign. The blight had lost the battle to the dragons a few days ago. If they brought their forces to Khymeria to destroy them. They would find the alliance there to defeat them. As long as they made it time. Zintar and Malric had there men ready. They have proved to be expert Summoners and leaders. Lyanna walked up towards him.
“Does Aggrodius need to worry about you Lyanna that Kobold seems to get a lot of attention from you.
“Don’t be silly Alric, I just need to remind myself that there are normal people here fighting with us. You could learn something from talking with someone besides a summoner.”
“Aye I guess, Reports are in that the blight seems to be amassing forces. It looks like they might have taken the bait.”
Lyanna felt some joy in that. She wanted revenge for her homeland and people. The burning lands had changed her. Training with the other Summoners and spending time with the simple soldiers. She has been inspired again. They would defeat the blight in this battle. It would be the start of the end.
Malric gave the finale order and the last of his troops started moving. The army was big but not as big as you would think. But he knew their power was in the Summoners. Most clans only had two or three people that could use the skills in battle. This army had eleven. He couldn’t wait to see the battle. He might just have ride a Phoenix into battle this time. They were on the move and soon they would reach Khymeria.
Peakrider saw the sun come up. They had sent out their fastest messagers last night. He hoped that win the sun rising the Alliance forces would be on their way. His shoulders had been holding back the blight. With the help of the dragons, they had pushed them back. But he had felt uneasy this morning. It was like the monsters of the blight to back off as they had. Something else was going on and he watched the enemy line for any sign when Neb Seni appeared next to him.
“You are as fast as they say Dragon Summoner.”
“Your men did well last night. But something is wrong and I am not sure what.”
“So you can feel it also?”
“Yes they are planning something and I think it is going to happen before our friends arrive. We should get some rest while we can.”
Peakrider agreed and they started to head back to the castle when the horn off attack sounded. They turned around and headed back to the lookout. In all his years he had never heard of beast-like he saw peaking above the trees. For the first time, his shield felt a little heavy. He could feel the power building up in Neb Seni. He looked at the little man and was impressed. His clan was legendary and he didn’t disappoint. He started to summon his strongest units. It was time to hold the line again. Until the others arrived.
A fog crept out of the forest it was thick and smelled of death. The soldiers in the front became uneasy as it passed around them. Peakrider tried to calm his men. He summoned Angels and saw the dragons in the air. His men started to stand taller. A smile came to his lips and then he saw the monsters come out of the woods. In the fog, it was hard to make them out but they looked different than before. Their eyes seemed to have a purple glow to them. Their skin was dark and rough. Most walked on four legs but some soldiers mixed in the ranks and the first Giant came into view. The Dragons roared from above and the first burst of fire headed for the mass of troops. The Fog lifted from the ground and met the fireball above the troops. It was just gone. Peakrider could feel the fear, taking hold of his men. He rode around rallying them as the first best hit the front of his line.
“Neb what was that?”
“I don’t know but without the dragon fire, we could be in trouble. I am going to summon some fighters but I need some time”
“I will give you some time”
With that Peakrider sent a message to Kiara. They had to protect Neb Sani while he summoned the other dragon troops. He brought a group of Knights up from the rear to guard him. He saw the front lines starting to crack and could see Kiara had her had full keeping the support units in a line. This was getting bad. The Dragons still circled above trying to fire into the fog. Yet each time the magic just disappeared into the fog. Then the fog seemed to reach into the air and grab them. The beast fell to the earth in the middle of the blight horde. He could see them still fighting will their claws but they became overwhelmed. He didn’t know what else to do so he charged the front line to support his troops. He had to hope that Neb had another trick left.
Neb Sani felt the dragon die. It was not something he had felt in his life. It was true that they could feel it in their blood. He was already weak when it hit him and it wasn’t helping. The Golden Dragons had been so strong vs the blight. He had been a fool to summon so many of one kind. They had learned from the last battle and had a counter to the magic fire. He could see both white Summoners failing to keep up. The line was cracking they would be pushed back if he didn’t do something soon. He didn’t see a way he could win this battle anymore but he could try to give them time. Forgive me Gloridax I might never return.
Peakrider looked back as two monster dragons appeared these ones where fighters he had heard of chromatic dragons before but it was another thing to see them. Men cheered as they dragons hit the battlefield and started to push back the blight forces. Yet a dread rushed over him. That power he had felt before was gone. He rushed back to where Neb Sani had been and saw him on the floor. It wasn’t that he had died he could see the man breathing. Yet when he looked up at him he could see the fear in his eyes.
“I am a Summoner of Gloridax no longer I am sorry. That is all I can do. Try and protect them and you might be able to hold them off.”
With that Neb Sani passed out. Peakrider had heard of Summoners using up all their power. All young students were taught to know their limits. He was sure that this man knew his limits and had passed them anyways. He ordered a few men to take him back to the castle and turn to the battlefield. He had to take advantage of the gift his people had been given.
He sent out his orders the Defenders of Truth would make sure they cast protect on the dragons. The armor smiths and healers would focus on them all others would have to survive on their own. Knights and Paladins would try to clear out the smaller troops. The dragons would have to focus on the giants. He could see the two of them fighting on now. They were winning but he had seen at least four more of these monsters. They had to find a way to kill them faster. Archers the archers need to support them. He gave the orders and the first volley from the peacebringers hit home. The beast was distracted enough for the Dragons to finish him. Down the line, he saw it break. A giant had pushed through and was knocking down part of the castle walls. He could see the defense doing little yet another giant had already engaged the dragons. He didn’t know if he could separate them. But before he could decide one of the charged at the giant at the castle.
“Protect the Dragons!!”
A light came from the castle. About time he showed up. Tryus was young but he was strong. He was older to keep summoning the support units and guard the castle but he could see now that he wasn’t going to let his home be destroyed. Giant clay golemes rose from the ground around the giant and helped the Dragon in its fight.
Peakrider turned back just in time to see another Giant start helped him the other. He knew this was bad. He could see it destroying the support units. He felt that he was reaching his own limit. But how could he hold back when a strange had given all for this fight. He knew what he needed to do. Air Elementals started to form around him. He used all the power he could without losing his gift for good. They attacked quickly to support the dragon that was fighting two giants. Their winds pushed away the fog and the battle started to turn. He saw the giant at the wall fall and the Dragon still standing. It was heading back to join the other Dragon that was engaged with the last of the two giants it had fought. Peakrider started to think they could do this. When he saw them. Five more giants came out of the fog. They all rushed the units around the Dragons. The fight was over they had lost. So much power the blight had shown them. Where did it all come from? He knew the others wouldn’t make it. He had to sound the retreat. He saw his knights stand with pride while held the lines as long as they could. The Dragons used their lives to give his men a chance to escape the castle. They headed the direction the allied forces were coming from. Their only chance was to unite with them and try to come to take their land back. Peakrider tried to stay but in the end, he knew that they would need his power in the next battle. A few miles out from the town he looked around at what was left of their army. He could see the castle burning in the distance and the fog covering the land chased them out of it.