Level 09 ~ Feanthar cont’d

“The Demon Hunters of Kakarus were caught completely by surprise by an evil god and his army of demons, and yet it took a full day for them to fall.” King Cortez continued earnestly, “What this says to me is that even as a god he is not all-powerful. He can be fought, and with preparation I believe he can be defeated!”

Feanthar could sense a change in Andrew. Even talking about fighting a god was quickening his own pulse, and he could already tell Sheya was against it. But Andrew, seemed to be paying more attention now, like some dormant part of himself had been pulled into the conversation. Vixie didn’t seem to be paying much attention though, instead listlessly watching the new moon outside.

“What are you thinking?” Andrew’s voice seemed level, but Feanthar was sure Andrew was excited in his own strong-silent way. Of course, as a Demon Hunter he probably had a much more personal interest in this foul deity.

King Cortez nodded to Andrew, “This god, Letemra, has by all accounts a massive army of demons at his disposal. But I believe if we rally all the mages, fighters and miracle workers we can, and execute a coordinated strike, we can defeat him. The plan is contingent, however, on procuring cold iron weaponry for the entire army; so we can even harm the fiends in the first place.”

“How do we do that? I don’t even really know what cold iron is, let alone where to get it.” Feanthar asked, willing to appear foolish if necessary to figure out their situation.

“Cold iron is a metal that naturally dampens the effects of magic and miracle, and is particularly inimical to the chaotic energies within demons. Since the Fall of Kakarus there is only one place I know of in this world where the secrets of working cold iron are still known. The metal can only be shaped at low forge temperatures.” King Cortez explained, and Feanthar didn’t feel at all foolish for asking though, granted, the situation was maybe a little too serious for anyone to have stopped to judge him now that he thought about it. “The Goldstone Dwarf Clan in the World Forge Mountains have long been our allies, and possess the secret of working cold iron. I commissioned weapons from them months ago, but some time ago they ceased all communications and the men I have sent to investigate have not returned.

The four of you clearly possess uncommon power and ability. I implore you to climb the World Forge Mountains and discover the Goldstone Dwarves and, if they require it, help them. I am prepared to offer you in exchange 10,000 gold coins each, and of course to cover the expenses of any armaments you would like to commission from the dwarves yourselves.”

Feanthar knew Andrew was interested, and of course he himself couldn’t ignore this plea for help. But so generous a reward was surely enough to guarantee Sheya and Vixie’s interests as well, “Of course! We all have to work together if we’re going to defeat so powerful a foe.”

“Why not just send your army?” Sheya looked coldly at the king, and to Feanthar’s dismay didn’t sound at all enticed by the money…

“I would, but with Letemra’s minions already infiltrating the country I’d prefer to have manpower available to deal with them. And I’m not sure whatever’s holding up the Goldstone Clan is the sort of problem that can be solved by an army.”

“And if the dwarves are already all dead?” Sheya didn’t give Cortez an inch, and Feanthar could see even the king wince a little at the prospect.

“We can only pray that is not the case.” Cortez had earnestness to his voice that let Feanthar know that, like him, the king was a man of strong faith.

“We’ll set out first thing in the morning.” Feanthar assured the king, even if he had to go alone this was too important to ignore.

Feanthar hadn’t noticed when Lady Azalea left King Cortez’s side, but looking around he noticed she was over talking to Vixie. Vixie seemed surprised, but then smiled and said something back. It was strange, the whole trip to Cair Noren it had been easy to hear where Vixie was but tonight Feanthar discovered that when she wanted to Vixie could be even quieter than Heaven’s Staff, which only he could hear in the first place. It was a silence she shared with Lady Azalea, and it was one Feanthar hadn’t encountered before.

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