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Angelcynn: The Myrcian Conflict - Act 3 (Angus' Party)

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The following morning

Angus, along with most of the Reliants had been tasked with rescuing Captain Haddock from the north. Malaphar had left a rather unusual impression, and it was safe to say that most of Serge's men were glad to be rid of him for a little. That raised another problem, Angus hadn't exactly made himself very popular with the Reliants, especially Hans and Lars. The terrain soon became uneven and treacherous as they group continued north. Agro seemed to have some idea of how to deal with it, most likely from its master's madness.

Larissa was rather amused by the set up, there was no doubt Doug would be pleased with so many ladies around. It had only been a week or so since Serge had nearly gotten himself thrown out of the Codger, and there he was leading a band of mercenaries. Perhaps he wasn't quite as daft as Larissa had expected? Either way, the Reliants were pleased to be actively involved in a task, many of them had not fought alongside Serge before.

Morganna looked over at Alain, still insistent there was more to him. "I heard that you cast a few spells last battle. I hope they were... effective." she mused, the tales of his prowess hadn't been too tall. "Maybe I'll get to see your magic for myself, I'm certainly looking forward to it."

Hans approached Serge, pointing ahead towards the coast. "That's where we managed to get to, boss. They must have moved the boat, doesn't look like they sank it... no driftwood." he informed. "That wizard said that their hideout was a little north of here, I'm amazed he's got this entire country in his head."

Angus, Serge, Doug and Alain are free to post!

Edited by Shin

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"Yeah...amazed is word for that." Or suspicious. Serge turned his attention to Hans. "If the boat is still in one piece, then I'm pretty sure the crew should still be alive, including the captain." He forced himself a confident looking smile across his face. "We'll get him back, safe and sound."

He looked around. So far, he was surrounded mostly be familiar faces. By people he could trust. Doug was...a bit of an airhead but he had been invaluable in the last battle, and Alain, while he didn't know too much about him, he knew that he was powerful in his own right. At the very least, Morganna had some sort of interest in him, but what else was new with her. And then there was...Angus. Of all the nobles he had to be working under, it had to be him didn't it? Serge well remembered how the baron had tried to send the twins away from him and after the rest of the group on the island, suggesting that they go kill everyone else but him so that they could have some sort of climactic battle or some shit like that. Then, only when the princess announced herself fighting did he even actually try to fight one of the twins in a duel. What infuriated Serge the most, not that he seemed to try and make himself look tougher and smarter than he actually was, not that he tried to leave everyone but himself to the slaughter, but it was that he did this after going up to him on the boat and 'warned' him about being careful with the lives of his mercenaries. This Angus had nerve. A lot of nerve. And Serge did not trust this man's-no, this kid's- ability to lead, much less properly fight. The more he looked at him, the more visibly angry he got, unconsciously contorting his face through anger. Serge shook his head, snapping himself out of whatever rage he was getting into, calming himself down. Whatever happened, when push came to shove, he just hoped he was able to lead his mercenaries to victory without casualty.

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"That I did, Miss Morganna," he smiled. "A shame you weren't there to witness it firsthand, though I do suspect your wish will be granted sooner or later. I doubt these bandits will be willing to give up our captain without a fight," he sighed. Hopefully they haven't killed the man already... "I for one, however, am rather interested in seeing you display your magic," he said, raising an eyebrow at her. "I do hope you recall our arrangement on the boat? I'll be looking forward to your tutelage," he said, a touch of sarcasm layering his voice. Whether Morganna has something to teach him was yet to be seen, but he'd be able to see firsthand what she was capable of soon enough. "That said," he continued, "if you heard about my spell-casting, I'm sure you heard of Malaphar's magic as well? His magic was a sight to behold--far more potent than anything I've conjured up in my entire life," he said wistfully. "I didn't get a chance to personally speak with him, but there's something about him that strikes me as odd. Did you get a chance to observe him? Surely you noticed something as well?" he asked, curious about her thoughts.

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The rough terrain had no bearing on Doug as he flew upon his pink pegasus Agathon. He was scouting ahead to see if he could spot something that looked like a bandit hideout. Nothing really came across his line of vision, so the rider descended down towards the others. His old career as a Reliant seemed like a distant memory after his induction into nobility. The responsibilities of running Dougistan were a far cry from his work with Niko, but that didn't mean he couldn't pass on some sage advice.

Doug landed near Larissa, one of the only two recruits he recognized. Time to play catch up.

"Hey Larissa," Doug greeted, "how's the merc life treating you? It's been really crazy, what with Niko leaving, me becoming a ruler, and Serge taking over. I'm surprised he took the job. He even kept the name! That was pretty ballsy, what with the massacre and all..."

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Serge stopped dead in his tracks. Doug had come down to start what seemed to be a friendly conversation with Larissa, but the last few words of his sentence had him frozen on the spot. "Doug...What do you mean by 'ballsy'?" Serge tried to keep his voice calm as he spoke slowly turning back to face Doug. "What's this about a...'massacre'?" Serge found it hard to say the word. It seemed that his paranoia was finally beginning to take control of him, as he prepared for the worst possible explanation to come.

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Angus scratches his chin, curiosity piqued at the mention of a 'massacre'.

"Wasn't that bad, was it?", the baron postulates. "I mean, we lost Zadkiel, Ermin, an' Jeeves, but for gettin' caught out as bad as we did... well, most of us made it home, eh?"

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Doug scrunched up his face: he knew he stepped in it when Serge started questioning what he was talking about. He knew Niko was keeping their past a secret until things were calm, but he assumed that secret passed to Serge when Niko left. This was awkward. It was made more so when Angus mentioned a previous bout that ended rather poorly.

"No, no. Not THAT massacre," Doug said to Angus. "This one happened way before me and Niko met you guys. I mean, I'm sure Niko told everything to Serge before he left."

Doug turned to Serge to get confirmation.

"You know? He told you what happened in Deira, right?"

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He turned his back at Angus, unable to believe what he was hearing. His self control was slowly fading as his hands began shaking, first at a slow pace, slowly increasing in speed, his eye twitching from time to time as they widened in disbelief. Here were two nobles, nonchalantly talking about the death of several of former comrades as if it was a common thing. ...Was it a common thing. His attention went back to Doug as he spoke about some sort of incident in Deira occurring long before he had even met the two.

He stared at Doug for moments before actually speaking. "No, Doug. No. He didn't tell me this. He told me...He told me that you guys were expanding your influence. That you were in Wyke to see what work you could get." As he spoke, his voice got louder and louder. "Now you're gonna tell me what the hell you mean by this massacre in Deira. Right. Now." Then he turned, pointing at Angus. "And I'll get to you in a second." He turned back to Doug, waiting impatiently.

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"Dick move, Niko"

It appeared Doug would be the one to break the tragic history of the Reliants to Serge and co. He sighed as he began the tale.

"Well, it was back when the Reliants were a much bigger organization. There were like dozens of us. I was only on for a month when we took this last job. Some shady organization tried to coax the leader into backing off. Being the Reliants, we took the job anyways. When we got back to base, everyone was dead. Then we were ambushed. Me and Niko got out and made it to Wyke. We met with Lady Adele and...here we are."

Sensing that Serge was about to blow his top, Doug casually mounted his steed and prepared to fly off.

"So...I'm gonna go scout for this hideout while you're thinking about that. Just wanted to let you know, if you're ever in Deira, might want to...not be the Reliants, in case these people still remember."

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Serge felt that the list of people he could trust seemed to be slowly shrinking. This was what he got. This was his legacy. After traveling all the way to Wyke, he got himself the the title of what was once a proud guild now reduced to this. He walked over to the nearest large rock and punched it hard with his left hand, covered by the gauntlet he wore.

"So, that's it then?" He was furious. He could no longer contain his anger and began shouting. "It was just you two? The entire time?! And you didn't even bother to lead with that?! All you did was just walk into that damn bar and leave me and Larissa everything?! Just so you could be some fancy fucking noble and Niko could go off and do whatever! Did he even say where he was going to you!? He didn't, did he!" He slammed his fist once again on the rock. "I can't believe I even trusted either of you. I should have known as soon as he showed me that...that damn crest that it was too good to be true. I should of known I was just going to be used like this! And now, you've not only put me and Larissa, but everyone I've hired into far more danger than I've even thought of, because some unknown group has some business killing the Reliants! And only now you think to tell me about this?! What the fuck could have been more important than that when hiring us?!" And there was Doug, getting on his pegasus, preparing to scamper away after dropping this on him.

"And YOU!" He turned his attention back to Angus. "You're telling me your group had several people die in your last mission, and all you can say is 'at least most of us made it home'?! Just what the hell our people's lives to you?!" He walked straight up to him, fuming. "And don't you even think I've forgotten for a second what you did in that last battle! How you suggested to those...those...those crazed animals how you would let them slaughter us while you went and took on their own soldiers by yourself! And only when Cassandra got herself involved did you even think about what might happen, and instead not only dueled one of them on your own, but you could barely even stand when I had to come in and save your ass before he sliced you to pieces! And after you told me to be 'careful' with my own mercenaries lives!" Serge drew his own sword and pointed it straight at Angus. At this point, Serge had a familiar wild look in his eye. "You think you can tell me how to do my job, then go and play god with your own comrade's, your own friend's lives?! Do you even care what happens to us?!?" He gripped his sword hard. It took every ounce of willpower he had to not actually cut him down where he stood.

"I'm only going to say this once, kid. If you ever be so cavalier with my people's lives like that again, I don't care what family you come from, I will cut you down like a brigand. You do not command any of my Reliants, you only fight alongside them. And if you keep this up, not even that will last."

He sheathed his sword and turned back to his own mercenaries, finding it hard to face them. "...I can only imagine what must be going through your heads, but right now all I can say is I'm sorry for endangering you like this. I've put you all in far more risk than I even imagined...and I'm not worthy..." He walked ahead, not bothering to wait for anyone to follow him. Serge could only stare ahead into the unknown, scared not only for his life, but for the life of everyone under his command. And it was driving him insane.

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Doug was in fact going to fly off and leave Angus to deal with Serge. Yet in his heart, he figured he better try and smooth things over. He came over upon his pegasus to do just that. He was there to witness Serge continue cursing like sailor. The crazed look in his eye reminded Doug of their first meeting in that pub. It made Doug wonder why Niko hired him in the first place.

But anywho

"Look," Doug said to Serge, "it's not that bad. No one knows who you guys are. There are no original members to recognize. All you got to do is change your group name! Like...I don't know...Serge's Heroes! It's new! No one has past grudges with Serge's Heroes!"

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Angus flinches at the drawn sword, lip curled briefly into a snarl. [He's drawn and still talkin'. This ain't how people get stabbed.] He steadies his face, still on edge, waiting for Serge to say his piece and sheathe his sword. This wouldn't do--not even a bit. First time leading, and already Serge has a deadly grudge? [Th'damned nerve! I stick my neck out and get this shit?] The mercenary turns his back--[As if 'e thinks 'e'd get the last word!]--and his hand reaches down for his trusty... pet. Geoffrey, there, shivering in the saddle. [it's been better to not take up the axe, hasn't it.] A friend could've been dinner, and a monster could've been a friend. Sobered immensely (though perhaps not entirely!) by the cub's presence, he leaves the pair to their own devices. [Hard t'sound like you're talkin' down when that's just what you're doin'.] With a deliberation and gentleness that could only be affected, Angus rests a hand on Serge's shoulder.

"You lived, didn't you?" Fully expecting the mercenary's rage, Angus lifts a hand. "I mean--you had wha', seven people an' a cliff for those two? If things wen' as I'd wanted, anyhow. Apellon did near gut me, which is why I'd keep 'is buddies out of reach 'til you lot ganged up and did 'em in." He shakes his head--as usual, though, Cassandra made things more complicated. "No clue wha' possessed th'Princess, but... eh, shit. How do I say this." Angus kicks one heel into the other, knocking a bit of Agro's own leavings off. A few awkward moments bridge the gap, until the knight meets Serge's eye with a passion born of inspiration.

"Th'name's Angus Kearney. An' it's my divine an' personal duty t'keep you an' your merry band from bloody death." He thumbs all too cheerily at Doug, his own momentum beginning to overwhelm that of the tension Serge brought. "Should've asked him about it; don't think but two others really gave a damn 'bout them Kylander boys. Point of it, I don' gamble lives ligh'ly." Some fiendish part of him couldn't help but tack on [barrin' that one time], but Angus pressed forward. Now that he just might have earned some trust, he could settle the issue at hand.

"An' like it or not, I'm th'one leadin'. Most of th'time that'll be th'same as not, but in a pinch I need t'know your ears work." The baron leans in, still positive to the point of serene. Serge wouldn't try to run him through, and anything else Angus couldn't give a real whit about. "We have an understandin' on tha'? Well, that, an' keepin' sheathed 'til my say-so. Might stab someone importan' that way!" Angus chuckles at his own joke--the understanding came only after the words departed.

[Honestly. Me, important? Already a circus. I'd nearly let Doug take th'reins at this point.]

[...nearly.]

Edited by Terrador

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He sighed back at Doug. "That's a fix for one problem from a list of em, right now. And the name is the least of my worries unless this group is here on the island with us." He sighed again. And then he felt something on his shoulder.

Turning to see Angus, he pushed the hand off his shoulder. "You think this is something to laugh about? The only reason I'm alive is because the Princess stopped you from sending the murdertwins after us! Did you even think for a second what could have happened? That they might kill one of us?! Did you even consider that for a second?"

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In it together

Hans put his hand on Serge's shoulder, looking ahead at Angus with a stern expression. "Nice to know you take the deaths of your underlings seriously, Mother Bear." he said coldly. "Don't know who this Ermin or Zadkiel... or even this Jeeves is, but we don't intend on throwing our lives away to make sure you get home all warm and snug. We signed up with the boss, we knew what we were in for. You do yer part, and we'll do ours. We ain't a bunch o' sheep that you can herd for jollies. Yer might be important back in Wyke, but out fightin' yer just like us. Yer bleed blue at home, but everyone bleeds red here."

The rest of the Reliants seemed to share the sentiment, not one of them seemed frightened or even remotely angry. If anything they seemed more determined than anything else. Lars stepped forward to take over from his brother, almost continuing his speech. "Whoever this Niko joker was, he's a thing of the past. We ain't the relic of some washed up mercenary team. We work for the boss, an' whatever job he takes, we take it with him."

The ladies stood firmly with the axe brothers, Emily was practically shaking in excitement. "You might be the man who fended off a hoard of bears with nothing but a banjo, but Mister Serge is a real hero. If he could build a team out of nothing, he must know what he's doing. I couldn't even dream of taking over a whole mercenary company all by myself."

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"Well, I tried."

Doug's attempt to alleviate Serge's panic attack didn't take. Fortunately, his underlings gathered around him rather than fell apart with him. At the very least, Doug was not the center of their ire.

With that, the rider took off to continue looking out for that enemy hideout.

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Angus shakes his head--Serge really didn't know him well, did he? Nor did any of the Reliants, for that matter... "Nah, I didn'. A bit too busy thinkin' if that fight happened in the open, with those other blighters about, it'd be a far sight worse." He rolls up his right sleeve, revealing a horrendous scar left by the very Wingclipper that Serge now held. "It did, an' it was a circus. It took what might've been a miracle t'get all of us out!" Angus turns, takes a step back, and pivots towards the Serge once again; he couldn't let it lie, not like that.

"I march at th'head of the group for a reason. I charged a giant th'size of two men for a reason." He stands tall, gazing intently at Serge. His repeated announcement comes slowly, and crashes heavily. "Th'name's Angus Kearney. An' it's my divine an' personal duty. T'keep you, an' your merry band, from bloody death." The knight sighs. All this bluster wasn't him, and it certainly wasn't getting him anywhere with the Reliants.

"I've barely a damn clue what I'm doing, honestly. I've only ever had t'be strong, an' just this far from daft." Angus frees a massive sword from his mount's side. He grunts approvingly at its weight, continuing with his back turned. His posture is deflated, but perhaps more relaxed; the imperious look suits a hick very poorly. "Now it ain't just me thinkin' it's my job t'bring everyone back. Worse, I'm the one judgin' for the Crown." The baron turns, hilt rising to meet Serge. "It c'n be done, but I need some faith from you, Commander. Just for th'one fight."

[if he can hold 'is temper, we'll win the day. Come on, man. Give me an "aye".]

Edited by Terrador

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"Serge, was it? I think it would be best to calm yourself and listen to what the Baron has to say," he said frankly, having had enough of this paltry discussion. Why was I the one left to tend to the children? "I would remind you that the actions you take reflect not only upon yourself, but upon your entire company. Cutting down Sir Angus will not serve to improve our condition on the battlefield, nor will it garner you any approval from the rest of our group. In fact, taking such a rash action will further put your men in danger, as it will reduce our strength considerably, or did you not realize? Do not be so brazen as to assume that your personal vendettas will have no repercussions. The love and compassion you show for the men and women in your employ is admirable, but do not stray from your purpose or your rationality."

"So I urge you to listen to what the man has to say, and temper your nerves. Any strategy we make, we will craft together. Any action we take, we will take together. We fight together, we bleed together, we die together. Your men have said as much already. I will not delude you with talks of a safe return, but know that Sir Angus cares deeply for us all, that much even I can grasp. Death is always at our heel, Commander Serge. You can prepare for it, but you cannot stop it. You and yours should know that the best of all. Now let us make amends and return to the task at hand. We've a battle ahead, so let us stop the battle here," he said, putting his hand out to the commander. "Give us your trust, and we will see to it that it is not unfounded. So, what say you?"

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It was clear now that his mercenaries would follow him to the gates of hell, and that didn't exactly make him feel better considering the path he was going. It reassured him that they had his back, but he wasn't exactly looking forward to the responsibility of their deaths should everything go wrong.

With Doug flying off, he was left with the Baron and the mage that had accompanied them, both suggesting that he calm down for the situation. "...Divine duty, huh?" Serge had never been religious, and he wasn't exactly going to start. He took a deep breath. "Fine...Me and my company work with you." He, however, was not going to enjoy it. "But do me a favor and before you make any harebrained schemes, discuss it, or at the very least tell somebody." He didn't bother shaking the mage's hand, not paying attention to it. Right now, he just needed some sort of way to relieve his stress. He walked to the back of the group past his mercenaries, hands in his pockets.

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That's better!

The Reliants seemed happier with the arrangements, although the axe brothers were visibly not keen on Angus. Mumbling something about being on a high horse was vaguely audible but they didn't really continue the discussion. Emily shot Angus a sharp look pointing to Serge proudly. "You should be grateful towards the guy who delivered your first child, he's done a lot for you." she quipped, in sheer disbelief of Angus' apparent nerve. She stepped back to join Hans and Lars, who couldn't quite believe how much she'd taken the stories of Serge to heart.

Morganna slipped towards Alain's side, looking rather smugly at the mage. "I see that's why they call you a diplomat, spells aren't the only magical words you know." she mused. "You remind me of that Malaphar in a way, using his words to charm people to his biddings. It's strange, I haven't heard of him before, I've certainly never seen him at the college. I don't think Emily has either... although she didn't exactly spend very long there. I'm not sure how his magic works... but there's something unsettling about him. He almost seems... inhuman."

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Serge was stopped once again, dead in his tracks. "Emily...What?" He turned back to face the company. He looked back at Hans and Lars with a confused look, unable to process what he heard. He blinked a couple times. Then sighed. "Whatever, nevermind." He just wanted some time to clear his head before he had to stab any mountain people.

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Angus nods in relief, gladly allowing Serge to turn; the last word was almost never worth taking. Instead, he motions the Reliants over to his mount. "Your kit seems a bit ligh' for this; we've got spares in the convoy we won' miss much."

Angus gives a Steel Sword (30/35) to Morganna!

Angus gives a Vulnerary (1/3) to Emily!

Angus gives an Iron Axe (17/45) to Hans!

Angus gives a Vulnerary (1/3) to Hans!

Angus gives a Vulnerary (1/3) to Lars!

"An' Larissa--mind gettin' this to your boss?"

Angus gives a Steel Blade (30/30) to Larissa!

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With the heated discussion over, the group returned to their journey forwards. Oddly enough, the remains of bandits littered the ground, something had happened to them, and it had been fairly recent. Many of the thugs were still bleeding, their blood dripping onto the ground beneath them. It wasn't long before the group soon found out why. Reptilian screeches could be heard overhead, nearly a dozen wyverns had started circling above them.

"Looks like Wyke won't be sending a group to help Raewald invade Deira. Not if the Reliants can help it! Reliants spread out, we've been given a job to protect the motherland!" cried their leader, the wyverns spreading out in all directions. There seemed to ground troops with them, and rather coordinated at that. "Take the castle if you can, there's no doubt more savages hiding in there!"

Emily scratched her head, looking at Serge. "Boss, I thought we were the Reliants? Who are these guys?" she asked. "Did you recruit them by letter? They don't look very friendly to me." The axe brothers knew very well what they were facing, it didn't matter what they were called, they knew a fight when they saw it. "Boss, it doesn't matter who these guys are, they're out for blood. Be careful, those flyin' buggers are pretty vicious." Hans warned.

Chapter 6C - Clash of Reliants

Objective: Defeat Ywain

b3fe7377cac41d1daf7386d5447c1f0b.png

Deploy in the blue zone!

Spreadsheet

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Doug was not pleased that the sky was no longer his domain. The sky was filled with giant lizards ready to rip his face off. Judging from the ground, it seemed they had already done so to the former occupants. Most surprising of all, they also call themselves the Reliants. That was news to Doug; he thought they were all dead. He really hoped Niko wasn't involved in this. He flew down to Serge and co. to set a few things straight.

"OK, full disclosure. I don't think we even had wyverns back then, so I don't know who these guys are. ...You didn't piss Niko off before he left, did you?"

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"No. If I did, I would have told you something." Serge scratched his head. "This place is just full of surprises, ain't it." From the disappearing pale twins, to some guys claiming to be them, he wasn't sure what to expect next. Only that this was going to be an uphill battle. He then cringed at himself for a second. That pun was awful.

"Alright. If they want a fight, we can give em one." He sighed, thinking about how he should have brought Emmet along with them. Too late now... "Well, Mr. Baron. You got any plans? Because it looks like most of them are gonna come to us."

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Now this was certainly an interesting predicament. "Well, I suppose we can consider ourselves fortunate that they got here before us and already had their fight with the occupants of the castle. Let us hope the sea captain is still alive and this battle wont be for naught," he said, turning to the Baron. "I haven't the combat experience required to accurately asses our condition here, but If I may offer a suggestion. It may be prudent to allow myself and Morganna to engage the wyvern riders in combat. I don't believe their wyverns will hold strongly against our magic," he said.

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