Nice day, isn’t it…

Nadril looked out over the fields towards the Manor, the sun shining down on the towers. Gargoyles could be seen flitting in and out of the belfry. Everything was much greener than before, slight rains feeding them after the long darkness of the now-lifted curse. Still, there were still a few more clouds than there should be.

“If you send them in there, they’ll be more dead bodies than necessary.”

Ja glowered. Even though his angelic ancestry helped to hide his feelings, Nadril could tell he wasn’t happy with either answer. “We can’t waste time on a drawn-out sweep-and-clear. We’ve got other things to do. War is looming, and we still don’t even know much about what is happening outside the lands of Tegal.”

“Or why none of us have been summoned by our “betters” for other duties, even though the Heart of Darkness is destroyed. Or why the followers of Orcus want this land. Or how much further the caves extend past the manor and village.”

“You just want to get your hands on more trophies.”

“You just don’t want to be bored. There are still more answers in there than out here. Even your church runs on money, and something tells me that we’re going to need what that money can get us.”

Ja’s disgust was imminent. “You should be above that by now, Nadril. We’re fighting for something much more than that…”

Ja trailed off as he looked down. Nadril had pulled himself up to his full 25 inches of height, with a fire in his eyes that Ja knew better than to lock horns. “That beloved army of yours, the one that is so willing to march off and die at your command, needs food in their bellies, a solid roof over their heads, and the steel to keep it all in their possession. If we’re going to protect what’s left of the village, we need to get back in there and finish what we started! Unless your boredom outranks all that God and Duty stuff your church is always spouting off about, show that your balls are good for something more that proving your immunity to diseases. Sinlith needs that cleared so this area has a solid seat of power, and the villagers needs to know that they are finally as safe as they’ve been promised.”

Ja glared. Brinna still hovered in his mind, and his previous indiscretions didn’t need to be rubbed in his face. Especially since there was no way to amend things one-way or the other now that she was one of the Mighty Fallen at the gates of Tegal. Right or wrong, he was stepping close to the line.

Nadril smirked, his eyes narrowing. “Don’t make their deaths for nothing. Don’t make these villagers fear the dark again. And don’t you ever suggest that my greed overpowers my concern for those I’m promised to protect. That even counts for all those pretty little boys down there in your monetary.”

They both stood in the guard tower for a few, looking over the lands and the manor. They had argued before, and would probably do so a lot more before their time for the Great Veil came for them. But this one went farther than either of them had intended.

The sudden rush of heated air made took them aback as the wave spread out around them. The tower shook beneath them as the air above them exploded into a hail of fireballs, answered by the sizzle of electric arcs. Screams of anger in the all-to-familiar Draconic tongue blasted curses back and forth. Clearly, the intended targets was not the village, but between the combatants directly above them.

Ja looked down, a slight smile on his face as he drew his sword. “Nice day.”

The grin across Nadril’s face grew as his spell faded him from vision. “Yup.”

Tegal Manor Stage II