Freidle is lost.
The Dark has conquered the East and Central Aurelia.
Yet, not all hope is lost. More than sixty percent of the defending army survived, and is now pulling back to Arcadia with full speed. Sir Heinrich Ratzinger and the Borgians’ sacrifice are not in vain after all. Foot soldiers, cavalry, dwarves and gyropters all move as one, plus the Airship Aurora and the Borgian Dragon Riders.
‘The reinforcements didn’t come on time. The elves didn’t come at all, but thanks to you, fellow dwarves and dragon riders, we are saved,’ says Iris as she and the officers sit in the meeting cabin, discussing strategy.
‘That’s because we sent our army right away when Merida was conquered. A threat to Borgia is a threat to Grad as well,’ says Ivor the Beardless, Commander of the Grad Army.
‘I just feel sad about Sir Heinrich and our fallen comrades,’ says Carolyn. ‘I swear, as soon as we reach Hail’varan Plains, we will regroup and take back Freidle by storm. I have sent flyers, runners and my pet Chiel to inform them about our new rendezvous point.’
Iris responds, ‘But now we have to worry. The Enemy is tailing behind us and it’s just a matter of time before they close in…’
Suddenly there’s a knock on the door. A Borgian Knight opens it and a soldier comes in. He salutes and speaks, ‘Aurora far-seers reporting, the enemy is chasing a great, white dragon and both are closing in on us!’
‘Hazmat?’ says Dagmar, leader of the dragon riders. ‘He’s still fighting with Omegron! If he comes here, that means…’
‘Either he has won against Omegron or Omegron is chasing him also,’ says Carolyn. ‘So, what are we waiting for? Let’s go!’
A minute later, Carolyn and the officers arrive on the rear deck near the stern, and a sight turns their faces pale and tensed. Looks like Carolyn’s worst fear has come true.
There, in a distance comes Hazmat the White, closely followed by Omegron the Black and many, many flying dark creatures. Hazmat looks exhausted and injured, overwhelmed upon an unfair fight. Unfair? All is fair in love and war. So, it’s also fair that Hazmat chose to be wise and seek his friends for help.
So, without further ado, the dragon riders, the gyropters and the Aurora turn around to intercept the enemies. On the other hand, Carol gets off-board and leads the ground units to continue the run along the main road to Arcadia.
‘Follow me, quick!’ Carolyn gives out instructions as she speaks, ‘We’ll go through this road straight to Hail’varan Plains. That’s the best rendezvous point to launch a counterattack! Full speed ahead! Don’t let the enemy catch up with you!’
‘Lead the way, then,’ a Borgian Knight responds.
Carolyn looks back. Flickers of fire and dark blasts are like fireworks in the evening sky. Soon, the sounds of battle and flickers get farther and farther. She sighs and doesn’t look back again.
The army walks on during the night with a slower pace, due to fatigue and caution. The crescent moon hides away from sight, behind the cloudy night. As no enemy is chasing, they decide to stop and rest so they will be better prepared if the enemy catches up with them.
Despite being a half-elf, Carolyn is finally overcame by fatigue and sleeps by a tree near the road. She dreams about the man she loves who comes to her rescue – only to remind her again that his heart lies within another woman – Her life is saved but her heart is broken. An enemy horde comes and she turns to fight them alone. She fights with an orc when the orc abruptly says, ‘Lady Carolyn, wake up!’ Lo, it’s a human’s voice! Is this a human disguised as an orc? Before Carolyn can find an answer to that, her eyes go blurry and sees a different view. The orc vanishes, instead a whole lot of them are battling the troops in the woods.
Three orcs charge on Carol, thinking of her as an easy target. Before they realize their mistake, ‘Clustrvoltari!’ Carol’s Chain Lightning spell already electrocutes and burns them into crisp. More and more orcs come, and the undead also fights alongside them. Soon enough, more and more Sylvanians come and the battle intensifies.
An abominable fat zombie (or abomy) hammers his fist on Ivor who avoids it – barely. The dwarf swears a lot as he swings his hammer with all his might, leaps and drops it right onto the monster’s cranium, making a mashed potato out of the abomy’s brain.
‘Friends! Do hit-and-runs! Go to Hail’varan Plains to the west, follow me!’
Carol keeps on relaying that instruction to everyone she sees, to which the army complies. ‘Don’t let them call you cowards! Don’t listen to them! When we regroup, we’ll make them eat those words!’ The soldiers say, encouraging their comrades.
Hail’varan Plains is about two days’ walk from where Carol’s standing now, at this speed. She thinks of nothing else. She moves swiftly here and there, zaps a few enemies with Lightning Bolt, realizing full well that her comrades are protecting her, dying for her, more than her efforts to protect them.
Yet, the troop keep moving on. Screams of their fallen comrades don’t discourage them. The enemies keep on coming, wave after wave, yet they still stick to the plan. Hail’varan, Hail’varan, keep on ringing in their heads. The weapon blows are like music, and with the word, making a perfect harmony.Hail’varan – the place of hope.