So, we’re going to do a few teasers throughout the month. All of these will be coming from Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age. I will do my best to avoid spoilers, but know that some might slip out since this is the finale. Enjoy.
Nyder politely nods his head before cursing and angrily tossing the notebook across his workshop. Hopping to his feet, the gnome pulls out a long piece of paper and begins drawing a design to replace the spell that he accepts is beyond his abilities. He can feel the Baron watching his every move, but does not let the attention get to him. Being a master at his craft, it takes him five minutes to finish the preliminary sketch and get a general idea of what he wants the invention to do. Checking the main device’s design, he makes adjusts to make sure the new piece will work with the completed parts and not force him back to the planning stage. Writing a list of supplies, he whistles for a pair of long-winged demons to glide down from the rafters. The faster creature snatches the paper from Nyder’s raised hand and soars out the front door with its partner only a few inches behind. Once outside, the pair increase their speed to the point where they burst into the distance and leave an echoing boom in their wake.
“I see you are making excellent use out of those Kulbra Demons,” the Baron states while getting to his feet. Drawing a rapier from behind his back, the warlord looks down the blade to make sure it is straight and clean. “Do not go too far with this creation, Lord Fortune. I want your beast to capture our enemies instead of killing them. They still hold the Compass Key, which is one of the final pieces to my freedom. Such a childish trick that Gabriel has played on us all with that wrinkle. The champions need the Compass Key to reach me while I need it to escape this curse. It is as if my old friend wanted us to avoid the final confrontation when that is the only way the prophecy can end. Neither me nor my enemies wish to dance this deadly waltz for eternity.”
“I’m not exactly clear on how this works,” Nyder admits as he pours himself a glass of purple wine. Offering a goblet to his master, he is surprised at the quick refusal. “Why can’t we kill the champions and bring the Compass Key here? You only need the artifact and not those holding it, especially since they succeeded in purifying the temples. That means the Compass Key is fully charged, right?”
“This is where we always tend to differ on how things should be done,” the smiling immortal says, putting away his weapon. Walking through the table like a ghost, he puts a gloved hand on the gnome’s shoulder and maintains a tight grip. “Imagine me arriving in my new kingdom and telling the rest of Windemere that the champions are dead. Do you think they will believe me even if I show them proof? Anyone can fake severed heads and my power is too much for any mortal to pierce such illusions. My kingdom would be plagued by an unbreakable doubt. Those who are close to my enemies would spread rumors about their survival in order to undermine my authority. Even the belief that a new hero would arrive is enough to create dissidence and spark a revolution. It is wiser to defeat the champions in battle where everyone can see them die with their own eyes. Besides, there may be more to their journey here than either of us are aware of. Gabriel is not out of tricks yet.”
Knowing not to press the conversation any more, the gnome bows to his master and finishes his drink. “This is why I follow you and not the other way around. My mind prefers quick solutions and I don’t always take future factors into account. If I thought more like you then I wouldn’t have been redesigning the Weapon Dragons so often.”
“You did that because you enjoyed the thrill of creation, my good friend. Like your father, you are not a talented liar,” the Baron replies with a smirk. Feeling the tension drain from his muscles, he places a glass circlet on the table and taps it until he feels it is the right size. “Please put this on before facing the champions. It will protect you from Dariana’s powers by deflecting her telepathy to someone else. To be honest, I hope that they avoid your factory and you remain in the shadows. Yet, I feel that you will be forced to face the champions before my battle. Know that I will not punish you for retreating because I do not want you to die. My kingdom needs wise and loyal men like you, Lord Fortune, so take care of yourself.”
“I’ll watch out for voids and run at the first blank moment,” the inventor promises before putting on the warm relic. A shudder runs up his spine at the gentle sensation of an invisible cloth draping itself over his head. “Do you want me to send a report to the castle once the construct is done? I know you can scry, but I don’t want you to waste any power. It’s very important that you be at full strength when the champions arrive.”
“Thank you for your concern, but I will be somewhere that you cannot reach.”
“Where are you going?”
“To the place where Gabriel believed I would remain for eternity.”
Delivering a punch to the open air, the Baron creates a crimson portal that is fringed with white mist. A wave of heat and the stench of demons wafts through the opening, forcing Nyder to cover his nose. The faint image of a statue-filled ballroom can be seen within the core of the portal, which stretches toward the Baron. Waving away the ephemeral tendrils that stretch for him, the immortal crosses into the Chaos Void and returns to his former prison. With a startling shriek, the gateway implodes and only a tiny spark falls to the floor. Nyder backs away as the ember sputters and fades away, leaving him with the vision of an ancient castle that is dripping blood from every stone.