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AuthorInner conflict
At Sublime Arbor night was coming. Sun already was descending and daylight was slowly fading. In his chambers holy knight and lord Rohan Arora was praying to his God. His heart was heavy and mind filled with chaos, when shadows of his private chambers started to grow even darker and air was filled with electricity.. Magic! Startled Rohan was reaching for his sword, when some entity entered the room from shadows.. Death Envoy. Hooded skeleton filled with dark and unholy magic. Deadly foe able to kill anyone with just his stare.. and his stare was centered on Rohan. Rohan lost none of his composure, grabbed his sword, but one gesture from that unholy creature made him drop the sword. That creature held a parchment with seal of dynasty Rohan swore loyalty to. The hollow voice of the creature spoke " Lord Rohan, your warlord demands you on the battlefield yet again. " Confused, Rohan took the parchment from skeletal hand of that unholy creature, broke the seal and started reading. " Dear Rohan. The time has come to prove ourselves to the cause of defending the land we call now home. Armies are amassing around us and we have been tasked to defend our safe haven. I hope your armies are ready to join me on defending northeast sector. Yours sincerely, PooDelivery, Warlord under command of Basion the Immortal. "

PooDelivery. That name brought dark feelings into the heart of Rohan for long time. Necromancer, who came into Sublime Arbor to seek shelter. Rohan loathed those unholy creatures from his youth and yet he was beside them at battlefield on numerous occasions. Since then he started questioning his loyalty and even his faith. Not only fighting along those.. abominations, but now being under command of him? Why his highness Basion let this happen? And not once, twice, but ten times! But what was more worrying, was what happened other day on the battlefield. There were army of necromancers and army of elves. Rohan as true leader took the stand alongside his men and led them in combat. Battle was cruel and merciless. Situation looked hopeless, when Rohan knelt in prayer " Oh thee lord of the light, please grant your servants strenght to overcome the peril because your will is unlimited. " He saw in his vision legion of elven bowmen ready to fire into his lines. He finished prayers hastily, but what happened next.. division of Liches had sent their unholy projectiles towards elven ranged units. Projectiles landed and when dust had cleared.. there was.. nothing.. those elves .. evaporated.. and land underneath them was bare of any life.
This vision combined with circumstance started to slowly claw his soul.. should he.. would he.. was it even possible? The one whom Rohan swore his body and soul to actually grant strenght to those who he was against? That was impossible. That was blasphemy even to think about! Yet.. it happened. After the battle even when it was victorious, Rohan felt different. Confused, betrayed, broken. Took him a while to compose himself and get over it pretending that was just coincidence. But those iron claws were clawing even more. Now months have passed, Rohan fought battles with many of lords of the land they called home, but none made such an impact on him like the one he saw this..

Death Envoy was slowly fading into shadows. Rohan took no time to rest, donned his armor, took his sword and ran to stable to take his horse. He instantly knew where to go and rode his horse to the location. At location he saw tent, where PooDelivery resided. He greeted him with cold stare " I assume that i should formally apologise for interrupting your prayer, but war knows no time for respite. " " Neither does your war material, lord Poo. " Poo looks at Rohan with his cold stare and says " We both came together through rivers of blood. Our lord was grateful and commoners praised your name as their saviour. My name was omitted, yet i feel no grudge. But from your heart i f
.. But from your heart i felt despair. It would fill me with joy if i was on the other side of the battlefield. " " Leave your talks for later.. lord Poo! " Calling this abomination lord was against anything and now it was nagging at him. But he understood his duty and oath to the banner. " What do we have against us? " Asked Rohan.

" South south west was spotted army of barbarians. South west west army of knights. " Told the cold voice of necromancer. " I recommend you not to lead your troops from horseback. " Rohan had wished to ride horse into a battle, but understood the consequences. After a battle, where he suffered a defeat alongside Poo, he was saved by a miracle when his dead horse which has fallen unto him had actually saved his life. Even thou Rohan wished those invaders would end him because of his inner turmoil, but his god denied him his request and let him suffer till this moment. But there is no time now. Rohan looked at map and watched as Poo had placed markings of units advance. " Clearer view we will have at moment we reach the battlefield. We have to stop them here on these plains otherwise we will be pushed back to a valley and there they will decimate us. " " Understood. Your ranged.. units to be close my mighty crusaders. My shield will keep them.. working longer. " " Understood, lord Rohan. "

Rohan was still in doubts, when Poo still looking at the map, told him " I see your conflict. Why has your god placed you alongside his sworn enemies? Why you holy knight lead your men alongside the unliving creatures over and over again? It is simple. We both are sworn enemies, we know each other quite well. I am sure that on the battlefield you will crush me anytime, but you know also my strenghts. I know yours. And we have a common cause. We both sworn loyalty to his Highness Basion. He gave us shelter and he holds no prejudice against anyone of us. We should not hold prejudice to each others as well. I know of your questioning of your faith. i have seen the deeds your god did to my troops. I know about the Liches, i know much more than you would confess and believe even it happened. Since you chose to lead your troops from the front, i at back of the battlefield saw the whole battle and saw what all happened during all of our joint battles. God has given you the sign.

As our lord holds no prejudice, you should not as well. Because if there is a prejudice, there is a conflict. if there is conflict, there is no sanctuary. Tell me, would you like to see our sanctuary to be ruptured by conflict? " " For sure not. This is my home, my haven. I swore loyalty because i found my home in here and i will die for this piece of land i call home. " " And this is what makes us brothers. " Rohan looks at Poo, Poo looks at Rohan and Rohan finally speaks in understanding " As i who blessed by the god of Light. " " As i who have been given insight into the Death magic " " I will fight for Lord Basion and land he rules with all my men, life and strenght " " I will fight for Lord Basion and land he rules with all my material, life and magic " " That shall be my oath. " " That shall be my oath " Both men in unison, when Rohan finally smiles " Lord Poo, thank you. " " No time for sweet talks lord Rohan, your troops are waiting. " And with heavy stone lifted from his heart, Lord Rohan leads his men into a battle yet again alongside Lord Poo who up to this day was his sworn enemy and leader of abominations which he called his army, but from now on Lord Poo is brother and his army of undead creatures to lord Rohan is now known as allies.
Part 2: Trial by fire

It was a dawn, where there was a knock on door of fortress at Sublime arbor. Young elven noble Cronical was standing with his men and unicorns. " Whatche doin here, pointed ear?! " Guardsman snarled. Young elf replied in noble and calm voice " Me and my men seek shelter in your lands. My army is tired after long march and our journey has been long and dangerous. " Guardsman looks at his men and says " Ye can come in, but if ye do any mess, i shall chop ye ears from ye noggin cut down by our executor. " Elven noble acknowledges the threat and enters the city. It looks like there is something going on. People are restless and there is uncommon chaos. Armies are marching through the town. Armies of demons, barbarians, knights and necromancers led by their respective lords. Young noble stops one of lords " Noble Sire, why all the parade? " " There are armies forming in the vicinity and plan to raid this city. " Cronical looks shocked. Then asks " What can i do to help? " Elven lord looks at him and his men " Can your men fight? " Cronical looks at his tired men " They are tired after a long march, but they can. " " So follow us. " " As you wish, sire. " And then Cronical and his army follows the march.

The army group stops about a mile away from city, where all commanders assemble in one tent. Necromancer PooDelivery, holy knight Rohan Arora, Demonic commanders BobEsponja and Warrior the MMII, barbarian leader Igles and elven commander Cronical. Necromancer starts his speech " Armies go from 4 directions. North, south, west and east. We are practically surrounded. Alltogether our armies are outnumbered 3 to 2. It is not impossible, but it will be a tough encounter. we have messaged few our allies, but received yet no reply. So, plan is that me and his Holines Arora will hold the northern front. Commanders Igles and Warrior will hold western. Lord Esponja will hold the eastern with help of our elven ally. " All eyes set onto Cronical.
Cronical looks at everybody and in his eyes there is a hesitation, but he composes himself " It shall be done, mylord. " Necromancer nods at young elven commander. Little that he knows that this is his first battle. Those errands from mercenaries guild or hunting various creatures could not count as battles. It was massacre, but it had to be done, because these creatures threatened his homeland for eternity. Cronical knew he had the higher ground in these fights, but now he is not so sure. First time he commands an army against other army. Alongside someone he sees for the first time.

" So, after your respective fronts will turn as victorious.. " necromancer cuts the silence " I demand you to not chase fleeing, but turn your armies as fast as possible towards south, where we will try to engage enemy who hopefully will not get too close. Understood? " All lords nod in agreement and meeting ends.

However Cronical feels more uncertain every minute. As lords leave the tent, there is only lord Esponja and necromancer. Necromancer looks at Cronical " You came into this land to seek shelter yet your first step leads at battlefield, what a cruel twist. " Cronical nods in agreement. " Fear not, lord Esponja will not let you fall. " " That is not what i fear. I fear that i will shame myself in your eyes. " Demonic lord looks at young elven commander and says " I will not let you ashame yourself and if, we are in it together. " That did not help much, but at least gave a little comfort to Cronical.
Minutes dragged like hours and hours like days when joined elven and demonic forces reached the eastern side. Eastern side laid at beginning of great desert. Hot sun beating down on both troops. Demonic were basking in the glow while elven were uncomfortable. Long march and lack of rest were taking their toll, but the glimpse of hope that after this battle they can rest, filled them with determination. Cronical hoped that this battle will end soon. He prayed to his elven deity for his troops and joined his troops at battlefield. Far in the distance they could see armies approaching. Demons.. demonic armies led by two lords. He knew well, that demons are tough. Hunting demons was always difficult, but now he stood against two armies of demons. His heart started beating faster when those armies got closer. " Keep your army close to mine. " Esponja told him. Cronical nodded. Combined demonic armies were getting closer..

And then Cronical gave order to his trusted blade dancing veterans to move forward. esponjas demonic hounds followed their steps. However at back lines there was sight of demonic pentagram forming. Bastards! They will gate themselves into line of elven archers! " Archers fire at succubi!! " Archers started firing, their deadly arrows have foun their target, but then succubi started firing back. Their flaming projectiles were devastating. Cronical saw his bowmen die to the last man by their deadly fire almost in instant. His heart skipped a beat, but he had to stay focused. Then he felt a dark magic forming.. air started resonating and there was a loud clang in the area, where his advancing blade dancers and unicorns were.. that dark magic was attempting to shatter their defenses. This is not good!
And then it came. Demonic leapers. They started leaping like locusts and centered on unicorns. Unicorns were hit by them, but thankfully they managed to evade the most deadly force and struck those fiends back heavily, nearly halving their mass. After leapers, there were nightmares, which took oportunity and started advancing followed closely by hell hounds. " Blade dancers advance!! Kill those dogs and nightmares!! " Cronical yelled. His men ran thru the lines and started closing on those demonic creatures. One moment later and they swept thru their lines like hot knife thru butter. Cronical felt great relief, when Esponja said " Do not feel comfortable yet, the toughest part comes soon. " Cronical nodded in agreement, when he started advancing on succubi. Those were firing yet again but their target were Esponjas shooters. He saw one division attended only by hell horses. he saw the opportunity and sent there his blade dancers. Those fueled by their success struck yet again.. and division of succubi and horses shared their fate with those leaping fiends. Demonic lords started retreating, but it was too late for them. Cronical and esponja had already the high ground and ran them two miles. But then.. " Hold on! South! We have to go south!! " Yelled Cronical. Esponja replied " Southern front is open.. " They summoned remnants of their armies and scurried south.

Were they too late? Was this victory at naught? Those thoughts ran through Cronicals head. They saw big smoke column rising from south. This was not good. Their march changed into a haste...

When they reached south, they saw combined dwarf army decimating rest of dark elves and undead. " Oi Pointed ears wanted bit of fame today eh?! " Cronical was greeted by Cool Knight " Is it over? " " ya sure its over mate!! Smashed like a rock before their mages even squeaked sumfin from their gobs! "
Cronical saw the carnage dwarven forces made out of attackers and felt a bit sick, but satisfied. He was not late and he has proven himself. Later that day at assembly at throne room Cronical was accepted as one of the nobility and defenders of Sublime arbor. He was decorated by warlord Poodelivery, the necromancer, who planned the defense. Poodelivery also said at the end " For next time i shall remember that i shall seek help not only in royal palce, but also outside the city.. " nods at Cronical " But also send messengers to all pubs around. " Nods at Cool Knight and Legend Bouc, the dwarven saviours of the southern front.
Majestic...
Part 3: Hard to say goodbye

It was another morning in Sublime arbor, when commander of elven troops, lord DetherocEvil stood up from his bed. It was long and sleepless night for him. His red eyes looked at rising sun and for the first time he cursed upon the red circle rising above the land.

Yesterday he led yet another defense. Armies amassed and threatened yet again to raid and pillage fortress. DetherocEvil and other commanders rallied his troops and marched towards their enemies. He held the line with PooDelivery, well known in these lands as necromancer, and newly appointed warlord. Troops were near the battlefield and there was a time for preparations. Usualy Detheroc did not go through troops inspections, he had other things to do, but today he made an exception. He saw young merry elf. He looked just like him. Young, merry and eager to fight. Instantly he found liking in this young one even thou words they spoke, were some of formalities.

Later that day there it was.. bloody battle, which ended up in decisive victory for PooDelivery and Detheroc. Dead were lying across the battlefield. Detheroc suffered a lot of casualties, but thanks to Poodeliverys dark magic it was not fatal. He walked amongst the dead.. and then he saw him.. young elf, to whom he found liking. He was lying there with arrow stuck right through his elven heart. He saw Poodelivery marching through the battlefield, when he saw the body of young elf as well and looked upon him. " Humm.. his stature looks great, he shall serve in my army as bowman. " Detheroc snapped " How dare you even to think about it!? "
PooDelivery looks at detheroc confused " My Lord, my army suffered casualties too. As you have seen, army of enemy is consisting mostly of troops which do not suit my requirements, so i have to replenish my troops out of any possible source. " " Not my troops! Not my fallen! They deserve proper burial! " " Lord Detheroc, in my army they are more useful than six feet under or burning on a pyre. " That cold logic shocked Detheroc and he had to walk away.

However his thoughts twisted over the course of the night. He actually started thinking about his troops differently. He considered them just names on the conscript list, but since that day they were actually becoming real persons. That young face woke him up. He knew that they are like him. They fight for what is dear for them, they like to sing, dance, show off.. no longer names written on the conscript list.. and that realisation came hard like a hammer on the anvil. With that came the realisation of how many of those persons he lost.. how many men he let die.. he could not sleep with this, so early morning when sun disturbed him from the sleepless night, he walked outside of the castle and went to the barracs.

There he saw in necromancers den PooDeliverys liches completing skeletons and raising them as his troops. He saw ghouls eating away the flesh so those bones would be bare. That made him sicker even more. He turned and ran away. He nearly ran into dwarven sentry, who " What th c.. oh yee pointed ear, watch ye steps! Imma walkin here!! " Detheroc could not muster even reply or scold and ran to the castle. He ran into Rohan, who looked at him " Lord detheroc.. you look terrible.. what happened? " Detheroc looked at Rohan. His holiness Rohan made him falter, he sank to his knees and started crying. Rohan started comforting him, when Detheroc started talking " So many men died. All these years and i realised just now how many men i let die.. in vain! " " They did not die in vain. They laid their lives so we could live.. " Yet Rohan could not comfort him enough. Detheroc was in a bad shape. Rohan brought Detheroc to his quarters and poured him glass of wine. Even thou Detheroc would probably drink whole bottle, he took the glass and downed it in an instant. He calmed a bit, when he said " lord Rohan.. i have to confess because i have sinned.. "
" I am listening.. " replied Rohan and Detheroc started talking " I have sinned terribly. All these years i have taken my men as just numbers and names on a parchment.. another day another recruit.. another meat to the meatgrinder.. and then i saw him.. young merry elf.. he was just like me.. charming, young and innocent.. as i thought i was.. and then ater the battle.. his innocent face lying on the battlefield.. his body cold.. and he.. gone.. i hate myself.. i have been so blind.. those numbers and names on the papers.. those have been people.. real people.. with lives, families and loved ones.. and i just led them like cattle to the slaughterhouse.. over those years.. and then i saw how Poodelivery just sorted fallen and.. i cannot do it anymore. " Rohan listened to him and told him " It is hard to realise the awful truth war brings. I know you feel terrible. But know this, that those who serve under your command, know the burden. they know that you cannot guarantee them safety. They know that death can come for them anytime. I confess that for some time i secretly adored you for your ability to save a lot of yours by your brilliant tactics. You are great tactician. And now god gave you the sign to improve yourself to be a better commander. " " But.. how.. " " Every leader has to cope with losses. For me it is tough as well. I know for every man i lose, there is family without father. Yet those men knew their burden and knew what can happen. For that i admire them, for their bravery. I know that PooDelivery hunts rogues in woods or scavenges battlefields to fill his numbers. He also was desperate he came to me to ask if he can use my fallen to fill his ranks. I know that demonic warlord warrior the MMIIth has to hunt in nether plains for creatures to fill his army. Wizards of Merlin have to work overtime to construct new mechanical creatures. everyone has a burden of casualties. Once Merlin said to me ' Its is not to cry that rose has thorns, but to relish in the fact that between those thorns grows a beautiful rose. ' "
Detheroc listened to him, bit tipsy from the wine and said " Lord Rohan.. but i dont know if i can come over it.. it hurts.. " " It hurts every time, but it will fade slowly. Think about it. " With that he lefr detheroc thinking.

Next day Detheroc woke up early and ran to necromancers den looking for Poodelivery, who was inspecting new skeletal archer troops. " Lord PooDelivery, i am here demanding remains of one of my soldiers. " Necromancer looks at him and asks " Which one in particular you seek? " " The one we met our eyes on the day he fell. " Necromancer looks at him, when he says " He has been burned at pyre. His ashes were scattered with the others who died that day defending our land on the valley of heroes. " Detheroc looks at him confused and then says hastily " Oh.. thank you.. " before running the graveyard, where is the valley of heroes, the place where ashes are scattered. Detheroc kneels and starts whispering " I am sorry for being blind.. you woke me up, young one without a name.. i am deeply grateful and i will remember you. I will remember all of you, my faithful ones. I will not let my rank overcome my conscience. " Then he saw a beautiful butterfly to rise from the ashes and flying to the rising sun. Detheroc looked at butterfly, smiled and shed a tear. He has been forgiven.
Part 4: Different approach

" Dear lord, we are yet again in a war with invaders. We need your service once again. " First two sentences brought wide smile upon face of Igles, barbarian chieftain. He knew, that he will have a great fun again. Killing those stupid and weak invaders. This will be great fun! He wasted no time. He took his axe and his commanders horn and blew it to rally his savage creatures to follow him. They wasted no time as well. They were born to fight and they were willing to prove it. The army of goblins, orcs, ogres and mountain beasts yet again descended from mountains and marched towards the battlefield.

The battlefield was dry plain and he stood alongside elves. ' Elves.. phuh.. lets show them how barbarians fight! ' Igles held no respects towards his fellow commanders. In his mind they were all inferior. He even had not known how Basion even defeated him in combat and therefore had earned his position as his supreme chieftain, but he had to honor the tradition. The old tradition this that the strongest dog has the claim on land and life. Igles had to swallow his pride because he had to fight over those years with various fellow commanders of various races. Now he was standing on the battlefield accompanied with elves. Enemy armies have arrived.. wizards. ' Oh those.. they will learn, that the greatest magic lays within my hand.. and i will gladly give em taste of it.. by spllitin their skulls with it! ' grasping hard his axe, he gave the command to attack. Little that he knew, that it was what wizards were counting on.. and not even a split second later barrage of lightnings came from the army of wizards and charging barbarian troops started fallin dead like insects. Igles started getting furious. He commanded cyclops to start barraging them with stones, but this met with mixed success. Wizard troops were too tough or too agile to land a hit. Elves however had more success with killing those pesky wizard troops and Igles was even more furious. When the battle ended in decisive victory for igles and fellow elven commander Detheroc, Igles just commanded the rest of his alive troops to march back to mountains. He was furious not because he lost. But because he was shamed by lowsy forest elves! He knew he will have new army soon, but the shame that he was bested by elves, was greater that he could bear. And he knew what he will do.
There was a noise in demons den in Sublime arbors barracs, when demonic commander Warrior the MMIIth received a messenger " Dear lord, that barbarian commander is in your pits again! " Warrior rolled his eyes " Again using his charms on my succubi? " He stood and walked towards pits. He found Igles where he thought he would find him, in succubi lair. Igles was drunk and spent. Warrior sent his men to take the barbarian to palace and take care of him.

Next morning Igles woke up. He was in palace, in bed, that startled him. " Awake are we? " He heard a voice of Warrior and stood up. " Again playing with my succubi? If i was not your ally, i would gut you. But on the other hand where i would find such good genetic material for offsprings you have already fathered. Anyway.. i took clemency into listening to you when you slept.. and i found it quite amusing.. " Igles got angrier every minute. " Bested by elves.. nearly bested by wizards.. " Warrior continued " You are great commander. Your troops are strong, yet you easily fall for magics.. " " That was just one single occasion!! " Igles yelled and took his axe ready to leave, when Warrior said " Might come another.. our enemies vary. Might come another of those.. and there will be no elves to save you.. and you will have to again into mountains to persuade more tribes to join you. " " So what?! " " If it is what you seek, that you can leave, but there is way to bring more carnage upon the battlefield than you can even imagine... " Warriors tempting voice started to hit the right string and Igleses anger subsided to form a question " What kind? " " Dark arts and dark magics.. " Replied Warrior. " I am a warrior, i am not some cowardly voodoo caster!! " " Me neither yet dark arts helped me and my troops to create more carnage than you could ever imagine. And i am sure that your army would be even stronger with help of dark arts. " Igles looked at Warrior and then left. Angry.. but contemplating the idea Warrior have planted in his head.
Back in mountains Igles was hard at work. he had to locate and persuade tribes of orcs and goblins to join him. He had also found lair of behemots, wheree he had to catch few of these creatures and subdue them to his will. It was tough assignment, but it had to be done if one needed his army to be strong. And he knew he needed, because the shame he was living with, was unbearable.

After few days, when his army was again at reasonable numbers, he had tohe courtesy to think. He was angry again when he again recalled the shaming defeat he suffered. He also thought about Warriors words. Dark arts. He is not a wizard, not a caster.. neither looks Warrior.. he met him and had a duel with him. He was a formidable enemy, yet beatable. He had to find him again. But his army is one of fighters.. should his army adapt as well? And how his army will see him as one who casts? But in some tribes casters especially shamans are in high regards.. so recruiting would be much easier.. but Igles was born fighter, not shaman.

Later that night there was sole wanderer, who entered the city and walked into barracs. Igles wandered into barracs and was met with necromancer PooDelivery, who was practicing some of his magic. He knew necromancers. Their troops are weak.. but they can stand up yet again.. irritating stuff. And some of them are even impossible to hit, weapons and projectiles just fly through them like they were made of air. PooDelivery sets his eyes upon the barbarian " Oh, lord Igles, what matter has made you to visit us? " Igles looked at him " Where is Warrior? " " Probably in his quarters resting, shall i wake him up? " " Nah, i come at day! " PooDelivery looks at Igles, who is ready to leave, and says " If your matter is really important so you had to come here at night, there should be no hesitation or even time delay into solving it. Probably i can help. " Igles stops and looks at him " You know dark arts? " Poodelivery says " I do. "
Igles sat with PooDelivery in his necromancers den and PooDelivery asked him " What made you to think about dark arts? " Igles replied " I was shamed by elves of that Detheroc weakling!! He humiliated me in front of my armies and ancestors!! " " Ah.. i understand.. the recent battle, i already know about it from the reports. Your army suffered a lots of casualties. Enemy wizards have targeted you while elves have taken advantage of the situation.. sometimes direct approach is not the one which you seek. I know that you were born fighter.. " " On the blood of my ancestors i swear that i was!! " " Yet not all can be solved by the force. Even i had to adapt. i was like you. I relied solely on my troops and their might. If i saw some of them faltering.. " PooDelivery snaps his fingers " I raised them.. but they got weaker and my mana was faltering as well.. so i was trying to find a way to help my troops differently.. and dark arts helped me a lot. " " How? " " It is not about mindlessly filling numbers when they start to fall, but it is about making your enemy weaker before your army even touches them. Imagine what it would be when you had powers of darkness on your side.. " Igles smiled " Those wizards would be laying dead.. and my troops would be feasting on their rotting corpses.. " " But every power comes in price. I had to sacrifice part of my power in raising my troops, what you shall sacrifice? " That made Igles to think. He looked at PooDelivery and left. Went to mountains again. It brought more hesitation. For the first time he was blessed by second thoughts before making hasty decision. He had to give up some of his strenghts to obtain dark powers.. was he ready for this? And was he even wanting this when he knew in what price it comes?
There came yet another call to arms weeks later. Igles was still in conflict and hesitation if he will succumb to the temptation and sacrifices some of his powers or will he stay the same as he was. He rallied his troops and went to the battlefield. This time he was positioned alongside Poodelivery and his undead armies. Poodelivery told him " This time there is time for redemption. Again came wizards to claim it as their land. we will show them no mercy. " Igles was instantly furious. Wizards! Lets crush them! But then again wizards started first with barrage of spells. Iglesses troops were again first to take hit and they were hit hard. However Poodelivery started chanting and something happened.. Igles took notice even thou he was once again angry about the situation, but he saw it. Did wizard troops just get slower? There was dark aura around them, which chained them down. Igles took no hesitation, ordered his troops to crush them one by one. Wizards troops were visibly weaker, but still strong, when PooDelivery again started cchanting and something flashed.. their armor got weaker.. that was fatal blow for them. Barbarians just slaughtered them while undead took care of the fleeing. Igles looked upon PooDelivery, who said to him " This is what dark arts obtain. As i have said the other night, there is price which comes with it. " " I know.. but i am not sure if it is worth it. " " You have seen for yourself. Your troops made an example of those wizards. Mine were just playing second fiddles. " That was undisputed truth. Undead were in fact just covering Barbarians back when it was needed, but barbarians did all the spearhead. Igles looked upon the battlefield and said " When alone, i trust my instincts as warrior and as commander. And i trust my ancestors to guide me. But when with allies, if it is in your powers, lend me a hand you, dark artist for that i have chosen my way. " PooDelivery says to him " I will pass your request, commander. "

There is old barbarian proverb. If it does not go by good means, hit it harder. Igles has chosen his path, but learned that there is a different approach. Maybe later when his strenght starts faltering, he will reconsider, but now..
Part 5: Disciples path

At commanders post there were standing PooDelivery, commander of undead and DetherocEvil, commander of elven troops. Their armies waged a battle against combined forces of necromancers and barbarians. Armies of both warlords however were making an example of those savages. Detheroc smiled " Those will not come again. " PooDelivery remarked " Some of them maybe, but under my command on our side. " But there was a flash behind their back, when portal opened. Thru portal came young wizard Cool Knight, he was ghastly pale " South line broke up! Barbarians and wizards have broken thru our line! " PooDelivery looked upon young wizard. " Where is lord Rohan? " Young wizard replied " He is holding what he can to stall them.. he gave me order to get to you as soon as i could. " PooDelivery looks upon Detheroc " Run, my friend, run south, your army is faster than a wind and in better shape than mine is. Detheroc nodded and rallied his army to immediate hasty march towards south. There was no time to waste. Young wizard nearly broke into tears. PooDelivery looked upon him and asked " What happened? " " I.. I do not know.. they just went straight into my lines.. i could not hold them off and Rohans army was too slow to reach me.. " " Fear not.. we will stop them before they will do any damage. Let us ride to the castle together.. "

It was somber ride for young wizard. He saw smoke rising up from southern parts of the land and he felt immense guilt. For the rest of the day he was checking for news of fate of lord Rohan. There came the message, that lord Rohan is alive, but wounded. Attackers were stopped, but there was slight damage in perifery villages. Attackers had to be stopped there, but Detheroc did the best to stop them before they could do more damage. However that did not comfort young wizard at all. That night was long and sleepless one. He wished to be an asset, but now he felt, he was a liability, he felt it for a long time. He once had battle alongside PooDelivery and thanks to PooDeliverys undead his weak wizard army did not fall victim to swords of knights and arrows of elves. He heard stories of great wizards Merlin and Tony who just by a slightest snap of their fingers could turn whole armies into dust. He wished to become one of them.. but that was becoming a dream in his thoughts now.. impossible dream..
Next day Cool was at attendance of nobility, where whole defense was discussed. Rohan was there too, healed, but still white and new battle scars on his face and body. PooDelivery spoke " Your bragging at the situation table turned against you, your holiness. Your god gave the sign to not underestimate your enemy. " It was delivered in light tone and in same tone Rohan replied " I shall overcome. However i take full responsibility, i was too slow to reach my wizard comrades. " " Enemy luckily was stopped early, so there was only minimal damage. Your armies reduced their numbers so there was no problem to stop them. Damages from the assault were already repaired, so let us move from the subject. You all did the best you could and we prevailed. " Cool was just sitting there. He heard what was said, however he was paying no attention. In his mind there was a turmoil. He felt himself be responsible for what happened. He stood up and left in the middle, he had to walk on a fresh air and let himself to calm down. He was followed by eyes of all lords attending the meeting yet no word was spoken when he left abruptly.

Cool thought about it all he could change the approach and did so. he spent time in magic library to learn new ways to improve his spellbook, also spent time in his army dwellings to construct new mechanoids to fill his army. He had to find a way to be an asset, because he was feeling more and more uncertain about himself. But then came what he dreaded the most.. another call to arms. He was not feeling ready, but he knew what is his duty. He rallied his new army and responded by attending the meeting at rally point outside the city. During the march however he felt more uncertain and more scared of what will come. Will he fail again? Will his army fall again and be demolished by some savages?
At rally point all nobles attended the meeting, when PooDelivery spoke " Southern line will be held by me and Warrior the MMIIth. Eastern line by lord Drawaft and lord Cool. Western line by lord Legend and lord Yashu. Northern by lord Igles and lord Merlin. " Then spoke Cool, his uncertainty came over him " As for western line, there should be someone who shall support me.. i.. my army is not entirely ready from the last battle. " Warrior took the stand " I shall go with you, or our necromancer Poodelivery. His army is formidable enough to cover our troops. " PooDelivery talked " That is quite a good point, lord Warrior. Then i shall take the western line while you take the line with lord Drawaft. " But then Merlin spoke " As for my experiences, lord Cool should be accompanied with lord Legend or lord Yashu. " Warrior however replied sternly " None of that. " PooDelivery ended the whole argument with " It was pointed that my army should be in with lord Cool, i shall be the one who accompanies lord Cool. " Merlin was not persuaded but said " As you speak, but hold no grudges against me if your judgement turns poorly. " PooDelivery replied " That i am aware of, your excellence. " The meeting ended and lords rallied their armies to march to their respective fronts.

During the march Cool looked upon PooDelivery. He fought alongside him once and saw his powers. He felt amazed by his powers of crippling enemies by his dark arts and his army which was strong and mobile enough to help in need in every corner of the field he wanted. He never saw him use necromancy, but his powers made sure his army did not need to be raised. No words were spoken, but Cool felt more uncertain, when they entered the battlefield.

They were at the battlefield, green plains, when they saw the enemy army.. wizards and demons. PooDelivery looked upon enemy army and there was a sign, that something is not normal. PooDelivery noted " Demonic army looks frail in my eyes.. i feel that is a trap.. " His judgement was proven right, when the enemy attacked. Enemy wizard attacked with force by his spells and started decimating combined wizard and undead troops of Cool and PooDelivery, when there was worst to come. Demonic leader was mage as well and joined the fray. It was a massacre. There was fire and lightning storm raging on the battlefield. Cools wizard troops were desperately trying to hold the line while undead of Poodeliverys were delivering serious blows to wizard and demonic troops, but the force of the enemy was too strong. PooDelivery and Cool saw when unit of Sphinxes, last ones holding the wizrad lines was hit by lightning and pershed, when PooDelivery looked upon Cool " Go and get someones attention. I will hodl the line as much as i can. " Cool terrified " But.. but.. " " There is no time for second thoughts. Go find help. " Cool looks upon the battlefield, his dead army and says " I will do.. " creates a portal and flees meanwhile PooDelivery stays.
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