Lord of the Hive
The Dravanian Forelands
The Smoldering Wastes
Loth ast Gnath
You are prepared, then? Hold here, Forename. When next the Gnath come, we offer no resistance.
Surrender, intruders! There is no escape!
Enough! We surrender! We throw ourselves upon the mercy of your god!
They seem eager to proceed. Good. When they take us before their lord, pray leave matters to me. If what I know of summoning rituals holds true, I shall be well placed to act.
...Hmmm. Mark the sound of the river rushing through the ravine behind us. Passing loud, is it not? I imagine the noise would serve to mask our escape should we need to withdraw temporarily. But you are prepared, are you not? I do hope so. If I were to be dragged away for sacrifice while you were haggling over the price of potions, I should not be amused.
Though I dismissed Master Alphinaud's concerns, I confess that I did wonder how the Gnath might treat their prisoners. Happily, it would seem they are not wont to harm sacrifices─nor even to disarm them. Plainly, they imagine their god invulnerable. The plan goes better than expected...
Try to escape and we will break your fleshy legs.
The time is come. Let us bring an end to this unpleasant business.
Thok ast Thok
Now we have but to wait...
O Lord Ravana! Master of the Sacred Blades! Wrath of the Colony! Conqueror of the World! Hear our prayer! Pray grant unto Your devoted children the gift of Your divine presence!
All strength to the colony. Speak and I shall listen!
O Glorious General! We have captured intruders, and would make unto You an offering of their life's blood...
These feeble fleshlings dared to invade Gnath lands?
Hear me, Lord Ravana! My companion and I did not come to contest your children's territory. We wished only to learn the reason you wage war against the dragons.
Thou wouldst flirt with death merely to satisfy thy curiosity? Wherefore should the glorious conquests of the Gnath concern thee so, Elezen?
...Ahhh, mayhap thine own kind's struggle against the wyrms fareth poorly, and thou art desirous of a pact.
We crave no alliance, Lord Ravana─only peace. We would bring an end to our war with the dragons. Yet so long as they remain embroiled in this conflict with your children, our goal shall remain out of reach. Never before have the Gnath risen up in such numbers, and never yet with you at their head. Why do you lead them to war?
Thy question hath no meaning. To live is but to fight. Long have my children waited, gathering their strength in the shadow of thy ceaseless conflict. The Gnath would see the Dravanians slain, and their territory secured─and by such fervent prayers am I now given form and purpose.
As I feared, your very existence is an obstacle to our goal. Since you are so fond of fighting, we challenge you, Lord of the Gnath! And should we emerge the victors, I would have you swear to withdraw your soldiers from Dravanian soil!
Gahahaha! Thou art bold indeed to risk thy fleshy hide so readily! Very well. I, Ravana, fourfold master of the blade, do accept thy challenge! But should I emerge the victor, I would have thee swear to serve in mine army till thy last breath is spent! Do you accept!?
I do! And I believe the first bout is mine!
What is this!? A god clad in flesh!?
Is aught amiss, my lord? Thou wilt not break thy word, I trust.
Mine oath is unbending as steel, little goddess! Thy ruse will but add to mine enjoyment!
I thought myself...stronger... Mayhap with more crystals...?
The Wrath of the Colony is undefeated! Victory to the Gnath!
<pant> <pant> Forgive me... I was...overconfident...
Be thou god or maid, thou art nothing to me! ...And what of thee, mortal? Art thou warrior or craven? A warrior, then! Good! Mayhap thou wilt provide more sport than thy feeble companion!
Dance to the song of ringing steel!
Furious as a blaze!
Unyielding as the earth!
Take wing, ye souls of war!
Rejoice in the glory of combat!
Thou hast bested me...
Thus doth the sacred rite of combat proclaim the victor...
I lay my blades at thy feet, child of man...
You do not disappoint, Warrior of Light. Would that I had your skill in battle. ...I do begin to see why so many place their faith in you. For all his savagery, I do not think Ravana one to break his word. Provided the dragons do not trespass upon Gnath lands, they should have little to fear of the primal's biting blades. We have done well, have we not? Come, let us return to Vidofnir and share these glad tidings.
Once more you achieve the impossible, Bringer of Light... But with every mortal heart that succumbs to fear and fury, another voice is joined to the chorus beseeching divine succor. At their bidding, warring gods will shake the firmament, and your world will be consumed in the swelling storm of chaos...
The Smoldering Wastes
Never since we first fought have I seen you draw upon the full extent of your power...and never from afar till this day. You were a marvel to behold,Forename. Well...'tis time we rejoined our companions. They will be eager to hear the tale...and to continue our journey.
Loth ast Vath
The antmen's god is fallen, then? Impressive, Warrior of Light.
Are you unharmed, Forename!? What of Lady Ysayle? Forename! Lady Ysayle! Thank the Twelve!
...“Lord Ravana,” you say? How curious that the Vath never mentioned his name... And you are quite certain he will keep his word?
There was honor beneath his savagery. That we survived the encounter at all was a miracle─a miracle I must attribute to Forename.
Never did I doubt you, Warrior of Light...unlike some. You were gone so long that Master Alphinaud here nigh lost his wits with worry. Fretting like a maid for her sweetheart, he was!
Estinien! Was that truly necessary!?
Hahaha... Not truly necessary─but certainly true.
You are unkind, Estinien. For all his experience and intellect, Alphinaud is still but a boy.
Ahem! What matters is that the primal is banished, and our promise fulfilled. We should return to Vidofnir without delay. Lest you forget, this was but a means to secure an audience with the wyrm Hraesvelgr. Nidhogg's minions will not be halted by idle chatter! Come, now─we must make every moment count!