“Did you see it?” Alustriel didn’t care at all about the mess her soldiers were in, instead turning and staring at Elminster with the most serious face she’d ever made.
“Yes…” Elminster took out his pipe, but he wasn’t in the mood to enjoy it, “Black robes, purple eyes, and the purple-rimmed black badge… The Goddess of Shadows is back…”
“The Lady of the Night, Shar…” Alustriel grew fearful and troubled at the prospect of having to face the being who once competed with her mother.
“Mm… She’s also built a new Shadow Weave, and although it isn’t spread everywhere and can only support rank 9 spells at the most, it’s still a great attraction to all the wizards below the legendary realm…”
Elminster knew well how rational the wizards were, about their realistic mindset. They were weak in faith from the start, and that had only been amplified by Mystra’s death. The loss of their powers was sad and humiliating, causing many to enter deep despair. Some ignored the teachings of the gods to commit suicide!
And Shar had come to them in their darkest moments, organising the shadow wizards into a group. If they joined, they could regain their powers!
People only treasured what they had once they lost it. Learning that it would not be easy to gain their power again, those who become shadow wizards grew more devoted and passionate. Their kind could even conduct trades with demons and devils for power, subordination to Shar didn’t even need a moment’s thought.
Even Elminster would have been shaken by the idea of joining the shadow wizards if not for the fact that he was already at the peak of the legendary realm. Had he lost his powers with the destruction of the Weave as well, he would have made the same choice. Of course, that was if he hadn’t offended Shar by his closeness to Mystra.
“These spatial fluctuations… They already have legendary wizards?” Elminster frowned.
“They came to stop us from destroying the colony. They’ve joined up with the Magi…” As a peak legendary wizard with the blood of a Goddess of Magic, Alustriel had a lot of information channels in this regard, far more than the others at the same level.
“The shadow wizards have joined the Magi… Does that mean Shar defected?” The fact weighed down on the father and daughter far more heavily than anything before it. Magi and gods defecting had never happened since the two races had first made contact. If Shar had joined the Magi, it would cause great pain to everyone in the World of Gods.
“Those who disobey the gods will be punished by the Celestial Hall.” No matter how weak his faith was, external factors forced Elminster into becoming an absolute devotee.
“I hope so as well… Anyway, this attack exposed our shortcomings. We need more guards, and an emergency plan…” Alustriel was tired, “Please invite Saladin here, we need to combine our armies immediately, or at the least keep in contact. We can’t afford another attack…”
Alustriel had just ignored the hatred between the humans of the north and the orcs, throwing away her reputation and the trust of her men with this invitation. The appearance of the shadow wizards obviously had great impact on the Silverymoon Alliance.
Two days later, the combined army of humans and orcs finally arrived at the swamplands. The purple silt here was putrid, streaks of green mist wafting in the air to form endless hallucinations.
The insect colonies caused the complete destruction of their environments, turning the lands into a poisonous swamp that was a haven for the bugs.
“With how fast it’s growing, the broodmother will wake up soon…” Elminster pointed at a scene captured by a spell within a temporary tent, a look of concern on his face, “Once the broodmother matures, the drones and workers will begin invading the surroundings. They will breed much more powerful bugs, or even another broodmother… All information points to one thing; if we can’t stop this right now, our chances of success are nil.”
Alustriel and Saladin were watching from a round table, seated upright alongside human and orc officers. The subordinates were staring at each other in silence, sparks of anger in their eyes.
“That’s certain. If we fail this time, the environment here will be wiped out. Plants, animals, water, food, orcs, humans… We’ll all be killed as the bugs continue to make more and more broodmothers and start new bases…”
Alustriel continued slowly, “If this continues, the entire prime material plane will be gone. I ask you… No, I BEG you… Please let go of past hatred, and focus on the fight for the future!”
“I agree with the queen,” Saladin looked at the orc leaders, “If you disobey, I’ll behead all of you and shove your heads up your asses!”
With the great pressure of the Lightkiller Bugs bearing down on them, as well as Saladin’s authoritative power, things worked out quite well. The orc leaders acknowledged his words even faster than the humans.
“How much time do we have left?” Saladin looked at Elminster.
“Twenty hours, maybe less…” Elminster blew out a few white rings of smoke.
“Then let us begin right away. The Lord is ready to descend.” Numerous runes appeared on Saladin’s body, “He’s promised to give us more power, sending an avatar to help out in the operation.”
“Thank you, for all you’ve done!” Alustriel stood up and bowed deeply.
The army prepared itself quickly under the great pressure.
“Wizards, prepare! Breeze!” Elminster took charge of the wizards, having them gather all the wind elemental particles around them.
A gentle breeze swept past the region. With the help of a giant formation and his own legendary might, he amplified the wind as he fused all the minor spells together.
“The product of hundreds of years of study into the arcane… Legendary fusion spell— Tornado!”
Strong gusts of wind quickly formed a tornado, blades of air howling as it sucked in everything around it. The storm swept across the huge swamp, dispersing the green mist and sending the endless water flying into the sky.
Once the tornado dissipated, Alustriel appeared in front of the swamp.
“Mass Summon Earth Elementals!” A ring of brown light shimmered in her hands, pulling the elemental particles and teleporting several earth elementals to the prime material plane. The elementals roared out as brown energy particles gathered into a spell.
Transmutation: Dirt to Stone!
The assistance of the many elementals allowed a large amount of brown light to cover the swamp. Soft rotting mud began to condense, hardening into granite. It forced the bugs out of the mud, into a final battle.
Loud buzzing resounded from numerous pairs of wings, a horrifying green cloud of insects approaching their position. From weak bees to powerful beetles and terrifying longhorns, the sheer size of the army caused a great commotion amongst the troops.
Standing tall amongst the insects were numerous wizards, all dressed in black robes.
“These bastards, they came to help the colony!” Alustriel flushed with anger. Even if she’d known they were working together, their actions had stepped past her line.
“You’ve done a great job, leave the rest to me!” Saladin stood up, moving to the front of the
“In the name of the Lord, please grant me power!” An enormous hammer with violet lightning around it appeared in Saladin’s hands, an unseen power showering down upon him that caused his body to grow in a split second.
*Rumble!* The very next moment, the strongest of orcs had become a towering giant! This was the legendary spell, God’s Descent!
*Boom!* The earth shook with every one of the giant’s steps, countless streaks of lightning crashing down from the sky as the Thunder God’s Hammer grew to match its owner.
“You bloody bugs, I will slaughter you all!” Saladin shouted, swinging the hammer down.
Purple lightning swept across the sky, covering almost everything in the region. A streak of silver shot through the darkness, bringing light and hope as wave after wave of insects were burnt to the ground. Many of the shadow wizards were wiped out by a single barrage.
“Attack!” The Mounted Wolves roared, charging into the deepest regions of the swamp as they followed the new path.
“CHARGE!” The humans were red-eyed with fury as well, fighting for their lives.
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