In the short span of a month the war brought victory and defeat on many fronts. Despite the loss of a number of wizards, many of which were captured, we have been able to hold various defensive bastions in Argumand. One of which is Liriath. Although the great protective barrier that was erected still holds, cracks are visible in the magical dome and it’s only a matter of time until it fails. The few people that remain to defend it are all that stand between the armies of Alfarand and certain defeat. Garalith has mentioned that the capture of wizards is unprecedented and may hint at something far more devious. We still can’t pinpoint what that is though. News reached us that the coordination of the enemy battalions suggests they may be getting help from someone in Argumand. “To betray us in such a manner is disgraceful”, said Garalith. I was worried about the coming battle, “Do you think we’ll survive the next assault? It feels like a losing battle. The more wizards they kill or capture the lower our chances of stopping them”. “Do not lose hope, we have been in difficult situations in the past. We will pull through”, he said with an air of determination.
The battle I feared came faster than I thought. The Alfarand army was relentless. Their usage of their mechanical constructs had been increased from previous assaults. In the very first minutes of the battle, the barrier collapsed and the full force of the battalion rained down upon the defenders. To my surprise a magical bolt of energy exploded near me. There is a wizard on the enemy’s side. Garalith looked at me and yelled, “Stay on your guard!”. As I sidestepped an advancing spearman I prepared to unleash a wave of flames to surround me. The fire quickly repelled most of the soldiers and burned a number of them. Another fireball to the side, an exploding bolt of lightning and rising stone spires made short work of the group attacking me. Meanwhile, Garalith is dealing with an enemy group of his own, but they are mostly constructs trying to hold him down. I noticed, but before I could run to his aid an energy blast landed behind me and pushed me forward with great force. When I landed, I turned to see the betrayer. A wizard, completely cloaked in dark robes. I watched as his hands crackled with more energy, he was preparing another attack. This time I was prepared and redirected the energy back at him. His reflexes were swift enough to deflect the energy away. The cloaked figure said, “Clever, most just try to blindly attack. You merely redirected my attack and now stand there, stunned. Did you think other wizards wouldn’t side with Alfarand?”. “You betrayed us! Betrayed Argumand! Why?!”, I tried to remain calm, but I was worried about Garalith and the other defenders. “Betrayal? Boy, I am one of the few who still remember the days before the war. The old governments of Argumand feared the power of our guardian and killed it. Now look at what we’ve become”, the wizard said. For a second I was unsure whether to believe him or not. “How can I know you’re telling the truth?”, I asked. “You will see soon enough. Prepare yourself”, he replied as he took a new stance to launch a volley of destructive spells. My only response was to defend myself using all the knowledge and experience I gained in my time here. I also used a bit of what I learned in the fights I saw when I was growing up. With a few swift moves I was able to get close and shove the wizard back. He thought I would use magic to attack, but my strength had built up from the reconstruction of the village. He nearly fell back and seemed impressed. Before I could take another step, one of the constructs leaped from behind the crowd that had now gathered and restricted me. When I extended my awareness of my surroundings I noticed that the battle had already ended. Garalith had been captured, as had I.
In a short hour we were marched to the portals in the fields. I was dreading what could be on the other side. Perhaps now I would see the truth with my own eyes. Garalith was scared, I could feel him trying to reach out to me. Whatever was restraining him had blocked his magic. The same was happening to me. This construct that remained attached to me had cut me off from the flow of magic. Nothing else to do, but wait and see.