The click of the woman’s heeled boots echoes through the corridor as she marches along it. With a look of cold fury on her face, she storms through the castle, ignoring the yelps of servants that scramble from her path. Rounding a corner, she comes to a set of heavy oak doors. With a wave of her hand, the doors blast open with such fury they slam against the wall chipping the stones. Stepping through she enters a large antechamber and walks towards a giant of a man sitting at a table. Seeing him sitting there, tankard of ale halfway to his mouth fills her with even more fury. Brandishing a handwritten note, she yells at the man as she approaches closer.
“Commander Marcus! What is the meaning of this? You had no right to interfere! You…” Finishing his drink he slams the cup down onto the table. The sound stopping the woman mid-sentence. Pushing his chair back, Marcus gets to his feet and turns to face the woman.
“Arch-Mage Natalia please calm yourself. I believe I had every right, My Lady.” At his words she loses her composure, throwing the scroll to the floor. Marching up to him she pushes him back into the edge of the table and renews her shouting.
“Your men had no right to bar the occularium. And on top of that, you had my mages thrown out of the tower.”
“Enough!” His shout startles her, making her step back a few paces. Sighing deeply he takes a deep breath before continuing.
“As we’ve yet to hear back from my man on the situation, I’m sure as hell not about to let you use that infernal contraption to rain fire down on the populace. We still have no idea of the situation. For someone so new to your station, you seem very keen to start making foolish decisions.” Taking a deep breath in she advances on the commander once more when a voice comes from beside them.
“Wow. You guys should get married or something.” Jumping in fright, Natalia turns, lightning crackling along her arms as she does, to find a man’s head floating in the air on a flat surface.
“Dante, you idiot. I could’ve blasted you. How long have you been there?.”
Smiling a mischievous grin, he waves at the man now leaning against the table shaking his head.
“But you didn’t. Long enough. When’s the ceremony?” At the woman’s glare, the young man holds his hands up in defensive gesture.
“How’s it going commander? So Nat. I see they made you Arch-Mage. Guess the board really is going senile.” Stepping forward into the light, Marcus address the young man in front of him.
“That’s enough Dante. What have you discovered?” At the older man’s question, a serious look comes over his face.
“Well. You’re not going to like it. Me and Gina tracked a small band of orc across the plains of Amarong. They’ve been sacking villages as they go, and not bothering to cover their tracks. When we came across Haverton Bridge, we found a straggler. And what he said was interesting. One sec I’ll get him to tell you.” Moving away from their vision, they can hear him grunting and swearing in the background. A moment later he returns, dragging an orc by the neck. Pulling a dagger out he places it against the creature’s neck.
“Tell them, what you told me.”
“You get nuthin from me, stinking human.” With a sigh, Dante holds up his blade.
“A little help Gina. Seems our friends need some persuasion.” A second later the flames wreath the blade. Holding the orc around the neck he pushes the blade against the creatures back. The sound of sizzling flesh comes through the portal and a moment later the orc starts screaming. Breaking after a moment he cries out loud.
“Fine. I talk. I talk.”
“Thank you. Now tell them what you told me.”
“The big bosses be calling all da tribes to the north. To the Eda Valley. Some new big chieftain is in charge now. But foolish humans will not stop orcs this time. We too many. Your land will burn.” At his last words, the orc starts cackling. Pushing him out of view there’s the sound of gurgling and Dante comes back cleaning his dagger.
“Sorry about that. So as far as we can tell, all the orc are heading to the valley. Someone has rallied them. You know what this..” His words cut off as a crash and a roar erupts from out of view. Removing the bow from his back, Dante draws out an arrow and knocks it. Pulling the string back, lightning crackles around the arrow before he releases it. The sound of an explosion echoes through the room and for a moment Dante’s face is lit up.
“Gina run.” As he disappears from view, the window winks out of existence. Turning from its empty spot, Nat looks at Marcus.
“If the orcs are rallying it can mean only one thing.”
“Aye. The demon gate has been opened and the Dread Lords have returned. Gods have mercy on us.”