|The original Dragon Riders from Mount Mallevarte. Image source: Layoutsparks.com|
The great city of Freidle, the Capital of Borgia is the last stronghold of this land to withstand the conquest of the Dark Forces. Half of the city was built on a mount, with impressive buildings carved on the foot. It’s a natural fortress against all attacks – except from within. Throughout the history, only inside coups could cause chaos inside. That’s why it’s called Freidle, City of the Free.
However, people in the city today are in unrest. Tension and worry fills the air, especially on the city walls. A number of soldiers stand guard, watching far and wide for any sign of enemy attack. Some knights also watch with them, and – to ease their worries a bit – two Paladins of Light also help, plus a massive firepower from the Skyship Aurora.
‘I hope Dejan can reach them in time, and I hope our messengers to Arcadia, Escudia and Thyrine will return too, with reinforcements,’ says Carolyn, the pink-haired sorceress with lots of tension on her face.
Lavennia Iris the green-haired elf archer, another Paladin responds, ‘Not to mention the one we sent to Grad. Boy, we need their help very much if we are to defend Borgia. The enemies – they outnumbered us five to one!’
‘A somewhat precise calculation, if I may say,’ says Heinrich, a stout Borgian Knight with unshaven chin standing guard there too. With Lord Adler gone to war in Lore, our thirty thousand troops are no match for nearly two hundred thousand dark creatures!’
Carolyn continues, ‘Plus, we’ve lost two strong allies: Res’marth and Father Bernides in Merida. With only you and me here, we won’t last a day under the storms of that demonic horde.’
‘So, what must we do now?’ Iris cuts to the point. ‘We can’t just stand here, waiting like lambs for slaughter.’
Carolyn gets an idea and speaks it out.
‘Actually, there are two more allies we can call upon: the Borgian Dragon Riders and the Arcadian Griffin Riders. Since the Angels of Yvais are still under attack and cannot help us, the riders are the closest and the quickest ones to come for aid.
Unfortunately, the griffin riders are still recovering from the last battle, and the dragon riders, once a proud, great clan have been decimated and dishonored during Mandrach Urganon’s rule. Now they hide like hermits, living a humble life in desolate places and never participated in anything ever since.’
Iris asks, ‘So, how can we find them now?’
Heinrich replies, ‘Rumors have it that the Dragon Riders Clan has a hideout somewhere in Mount Mallevarte, Southeast Borgia. The Clan occasionally holds its secret meetings there.’
‘In that case, I’ll go to them,’ says Iris. ‘My horse can run faster than any horse, and I’m sure I can persuade them with my charms,’ brushing her hair to the back.
(Mount St. Michels - This image is to illustrate the mountain city example only)
‘This is no time to joke, Iris,’ says Carol, poking the elf with her elbow.
Sir Heinrich comments, ‘Haha, we can use a bit of entertainment to loosen up this tension. But time is of essence. Very well, then. Iris will go and ask the dragon riders for help, and Carolyn, I suggest that you go back to Airship Aurora and fight from there. If things don’t go well, you can withdraw to Arcadia to defend your country.’
‘But...’ says Carolyn, to which Heinrich talks on.
‘Truthfully, we are very grateful that the Paladins have helped us fight all the way from the border, so we withdrew smoothly and concentrated our army here, in Freidle. You two also helped evacuate the citizens as well. We’ll handle this war from this point on, holding this line of defense. Thank you, Lady Carolyn. Thank you, Lady Iris. May Vadis guide you in your struggles.’
‘But, Sir Heinrich,’ Carolyn still insists on protesting. ‘You don’t know how terrible the Dark Forces are, and their leaders, Arachus and the Succubus Queen – they are very powerful. Believe me, we have faced them, it’s way more than you can handle.’
‘That’s why we devised this last resort strategy we have discussed with you about. If all else fails, we shall use it, no matter how great our sacrifice will be. So please, follow the plan to make us all focus in our fight. I have nothing more to say. Go about your tasks, please.’
Taking a bow, Heinrich excuses himself to inspect other sections of the parapet. Iris dashes off to her mission, leaving Carolyn alone with Chiel, her pet micha.
‘Well, here we are again, little one. Alone, just the two of us,’ she says, stroking the flying mouse-like micha’s fluffy fur.
‘Chi, chii...’ Chiel answers lovingly.