The Good, and the Bad and Ugly

The skirmishes had been waged, and the sentries were growing tired. But the Verd'iin had been able to fight off the Ferrow. Or at least keep them at bay so that they could not move much past the border villages of the forest. Gaia forbid.

Aran Tei'ron had successfully led his people to a minor victory, if even a temporary until they could figure out the goals and desires of this new foe.

The Ferals used to be the stuff of legend, the stuff of nightmares, and the stuff thought extinct. But they had proven to be real. And the somehow-related Ferrow were now the controllers of the ferocious beasts, and using them for more and worse things than the Ferals did long ago.

Tei'ron had a meeting with one of his advisors and the timing could not be better. Or perhaps worse? "Come," he said at the rap on his door.

The advisor entered, accompanied by two sentries and a mystic. That was not a good sign. "Vendui, aran," he said, as they all bowed.

"Suilad, mellonae." Tei'ron stepped closer, realizing his daughter was not present when she usually was at these meetings. "You bring news?"

"Yes, aran. Another skirmish." The sentries nodded in agreement with the king's advisor.

"But it's been weeks. Why now?" The king was confused.

The mystic stepped forward. "They have begun disgracing Gaia and Verdua... by sacrificing themselves, aran." He paused, troubled by his own words. "Through magic or mundane means, they have managed to make themselves into... fireballs. It is marvelous, if not damnable."

Tei'ron shook his head and turned to gaze out one of the courtyard open slots. "Self sacrifice to kill a few of us." At least entire villages were no longer being wiped out now. "The concern now is fear, which is a much stronger weapon than fire or a blade."

====================

Xagan turned back to the one in front of him, sweat dripping off both of them, blood dripping off the one on his knees. The face on Xagan was a cross between anger, fatigue, and joy. Most would call it insane, but for the Ferrow it was reveled.

"My lord, please..." the Ferrow begged.

Xagan backhanded the beaten one with the force of five soldiers, causing spittle and blood to splatter outwards. He was forced to remain on his knees by chains and could not fall down to rest. "Do not speak."

The king of the Ferrow paced a bit, massaging his hands and knuckles, eventually reaching for a mug of ale. "You had one job. Or rather, you had two jobs. And you did NEITHER."

Xagan took a large drink from the mug, emptying it. He then immediately slammed the metal cup into the man's face, causing his jaw to dislocate and more blood to splatter. An audible "ung" could be heard yet again.

"I will give you mercy, but in the form of death." The king gave a nod to one of his soldiers behind the one, who swiftly drew his sword and sliced off the man's head. The chains fell, and the body limped onto the ground and the head rolled a few feet away.

Xagan breathed in deeply and exhaled. The Ferrow tried to remain civilized, not unlike their whispy cousins, the Verd'iin. But over the years, brutality replaced civility as the true measure and practice of alignment and trust. And the Ferrow had all embraced this new behavior.

"My lord, even if one fails, we have had a success, and there will be more to come." The soldier next to the killer spoke with confidence and pride, and the king seemed to respect that.

"You are right. We will have more to come."

One of the sorcerers stepped out of the shadows, a Feral sitting calmly at his feet. "And they will fear us more than they did before."

Xagan nodded and grinned like a child. "Indeed, They will understand the grit and will of the Ferrow is not to be tried." He kicked the dead, headless body on the floor. "And they will feel terror when their precious princess Fei'lanni burns like this one was supposed to."

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