Chapter XV: Fralgarzener Strikes

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Fralgarzener stared into the half filled cauldron. He was very upset, and the Goblins knew it; they cowered before him. The room was nearly dark save for an eerie green glow set off from bunches of luminescent fungi set in large wall sconces throughout the room. The strange glow made the wizard look that much more sinister.

“I want a division of troops diverted from the Chapel region toward Mahhrain the dwarves will have to keep. I can finally see what they are up to, no thanks from any in your so-called army. Also, send down another division from Ma-Tuk-Al down the Ga-Nok on barges – I need them here quickly.

“What of the defense of the city, Wise One?” asked a mammoth goblin, much larger and impossibly more sinister looking than his companions.

He lifted his hand, sparks jumping from his fingertips. He composed his anger; it was no use losing a strong commander just because he hated him. “Do not be a fool, Targ. Not one being in all The Land will venture into your forsaken cities right now. There is no reason to. Here and Mahhrain is where any attacks will come. I want the entire peninsula swarming with your best troops.”

“Yes, master, your will be done, ” said the gigantic goblin leader averting his eyes from the great wizard. The Tormentor was in charge of the entire hoard of troops that patrolled Kaleb’s Claw and Gol-Morda and he was not at all used to being talked to so forcefully. His High Goblin Warrior Captains would pay for that later. 

But Fralgarzener wasn’t finished with him. “I swear if anyone even gets near the gates of Gol-Morda, I’ll gut every single commander – starting with you.”

“Yes, Master,” whispered Targ through his clenched teeth.

The goblin commanders quickly filed out. They knew there would be a price to pay from Targ, and that was not an enjoyable prospect, however, it was still better than staying with Fralgarzener.

The wizard was now alone again – the way he liked it. He put a pinch of a rare root into the cauldron and peered into it again.

“Those whelps and the witch have become more than a nuisance. They have actually mustered a major force. The elves and trolls would have been bad enough, but I can’t believe those stupid priests are actually going to do something. It’s time to get serious. Now that most of the whelps have split from the witch, it will be far easier to get rid of them – I only need to contact a few friends in the Wilders. Yes, I’ll first slow down those stupid priests and then take care of the Princling once and for all.” 

He put another pinch into his seeing cauldron and stirred. He looked down, seeing the small company striking camp. “And if that wench thinks to catch me unprepared for her visit, she’s oh, so mistaken.”

***

Another eight uneventful days passed and Djar, Cookie and Omag were well into the Great Plains and now making good time. Djar thought they could cross the Astabor just south of the Marg and be far into the Durn in a week to ten days. 

“I wonder what’s going on with Zack,” said Cookie. “Too bad we couldn’t send a familiar to check on them for us.”

“I’m sure they’re fine. And that reminds me, do you think that crow could have been from Dymorla?”

Omag slowed his march. “I be thinking the same thing. If no, why didn’t the wizard do something before now.”

Just after he said that, an enormous raven flew directly overhead, casting a huge shadow. This time, however it didn’t land – or talk! It turned a bit, adjusting its course toward the East Wilderlands, and, more specifically toward The Black Forest and Demon Hunt.  

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