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AuthorA Hell of a Side-effect
The night has passed without incidents even though the night watch shift securing the academics' camps in the past vigilantly stood guard all night. However, already by dawn the watchmen noticed several vanguards of Recalcitrant tribes, and the new day started with fierce defensive fighting. The Sentinels of the Past seemed very aggressive, resolute to reach the camp and to put an end to the time-travellers' research along with their lives. More and more armies approached, and Grammith soon understood that there had to be an organised opponent camp nearby, which alerted him greatly, because until then the disarray of the Sentinels played into his hands the most.
Abu-Bakir was also irritated with the sounds of war. Clashes of steel and long wails of battle horns impeded his work, he became very upset begging the warlord to 'ensure some normal work conditions'. Grammith rolled his eyes, but he was accustomed to the Court wizard's whims. He soon summoned a group of trusted barbarians and fit up a scouting detachment.

The scouts were out for several hours already, and Grammith was seemingly worried despite putting an effort to conceal that fact. Suddenly, a little red vortex appeared on the ground within a fiend's leap from their side of the Portal of time. Grammith unsheathed his sword and was about to sound alarm as one of the wizards whistled at him and waved him to step away. The size of the vortex increased swiftly, and soon, one after another, barbarian heroes and creatures appeared within its bounds. They were the members of the scouting detachment; they all seemed frightened and started blurting out the narration of what had just happened discordantly, vying with each other in describing something about no sign of a camp of Recalcitrant tribes, and some gruesome bloodthirsty monsters never seen before. Grammith grew gloomy and yelled at his men to restore order, then named a hero to deliver a proper report on what happened.

Apparently, the entire group had been ambushed by lurking creatures. Brown-reddish skin and pointy spikes, claws and teeth; wicked growling and insane laughter - all these features clearly indicated at demonic origin of the attackers. Some of the ancient demons had already been seen and fought by the Trilateral war veterans, but even they stated that far more terrifying abominable monsters of incredible size had shown up there. Being severely outnumbered, the heroes found themselves forced to use the portinite orbs. Oddly enough, by observation of an honoured barbarian, the breaking of orbs made the demons go completely reckless.

The warlord frowned. He disliked metaphores in general and was about to ask how reckless would be completely reckless for an ancient demon, but some unusual commotion behind him made him turn around. The next moment, Grammith rushed towards the wizard field lab.
An infernal monster, acute spikes decorating his body, had managed to fall under the effect of portinite and teleported along with the last revenant. It sniffed the air and addressed a vicious smile at the wizard camp where Abu-Bakir was inspecting the orbs, unaware of what was happening behind his back. The creature hissed and, accelerating step by step, charged at the Academic. Had it not been for the warlord's quick reaction and for his sharp blade, the fate of Abu-Bakir would have been sealed.

After analyzing the events and remembering the rumours about a few episodes before the portal was opened, the researchers opted to test a portinite orb on a volunteer vermin. Much to bitter irony of the warlord, they soon concluded that the substance had an imminent side-effect on all demonic race. While its influence on modern demons was just heady, and yet extremely low and easily surmountable, to all appearance, it would cause fits of rage with the ancient ones. Grammith, promising to Abu-Bakir that his rage would overcome that of hundreds of ancient infernals, left to summon the heralds to make an announcement that from that moment, armies of a new faction, the Infernals, might be encountered among the enemy vanguards.

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