Sergeant Nerath paces atop the northern wall surrounding Fallcrest, “They should have returned by now.” he mutters to himself.

“Runner incoming!” shouts a guard watching the gate.

“Get him inside, NOW!” Nerath orders as he descends the stairs off the wall. The runner is a newly enlisted soldier with quick feet and sharp eyes Nerath had sent out an hour ago to return with new of the adventurers. “What news?” Nerath asks as he approaches. The runner collapses inside the gate, a massive arrow through his chest and another through his arm.

“All dead sir. To a man.” The runner gasps out as he struggles to maintain consciousness.

“No…” the word falls out of Nerath’s mouth.

“Trebuchet, sir. They have a trebuchet.” The soldier’s voice trails off as his eyes shut and his breathing slows.

“Sir, we have movement on the road.” The top of the wall beckons out to Nerath as he watches the life drain out of a boy who has seen too few winters.

His duty compels him back to the top of the wall as the dawn breaks in the east. The scattering sunlight reveals the Orcs on the march down the road. Thousands upon thousands, the land runs dark. An ominous shadow moving inexorably toward the northern gate. In it’s midst a trebuchet and carts loaded with ammunition. Knowing it to be his last dawn, Nerath soaks in the sunlight and glances back at the city.

“Send word to Markelhay. We are overrun. Send the women and children out of the southern gate if it be clear.”

“We’re surrounded Sergeant. They watch the gates and the river crossings. They mean for their to be no escape.”

A massive Orc, a full head taller than the others steps through the shattered northern gate and into Fallcrest, battle axe slung across his back.

“All resistance has been neutralized save the Wizard’s tower, Kyrosh”, we will leave him for you, the underling snarls a pointed grin and leads the large Orc off.

“What of the Inn?” Kyrosh demands as they pass by the Silver Unicorn Inn.

“We have found nothing sir.” Wisara is being restrained by an orc, she had clearly been “questioned” thoroughly.

“Burn it to the ground.” Kyrosh says in passing as he continues to the tower.

A ring of Orcs in full battle gear surround the Septarch Tower, though from a distance. The burnt bodies of Orcs lay strewn around the tower within the Orc perimeter.

Kyrosh strides through the ring, halfway to the door a fireball bursts around him send from above. The fire cascades off of the Orc has he makes it to the door without breaking stride. Reaching the door he pulls free his battle axe and reduces the door to splinters. Ascending the stairs he arrives at the top of the tower to face a weary Nimozaran.

“Bring me the egg.” Kyrosh commands.

In response Nimozaran unleashes another fireball so intense that the heat singes his own hair. Kyrosh is again unmoved by heat and destruction as it washes over him.

“As you wish.” Kyrosh regrips his axe and strides toward the elderly wizard.

Kyrosh emerges from the tower, sweaty but unharmed. “Search it, bring me the egg.” The soldiers file in breaking down doors as they move through the tower.

A bald man in a black cape stands outside, waiting. “Well, where is it?!” his impatience boiling over.

“A moment if you will, Kamroth.” Kyrosh stands imposingly next to the man. A short while later an orc runs out with a leathery looking white egg wrapped in a cloth.

“It is very cold still sir.”

“Most excellent,” Kamroth steps in front of Kyrosh to receive the egg. “You have done well. I have what I need.” He lets out a ghastly sound, to which a similar call is returned. A black dragon descends to the ground next to Armos Kamroth. Climbing atop the beast, he turns to leave. “I will be in the keep if needed. See to my new work force, Kyrosh.” Armos sweeps his arm to indicate the city at large. “Tiamat has much work she needs done.”



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