The Story of Seryth, Chapters 29 through to the Epilogue

Chapter 32: Seryth knew the elves' rebellion would only spread. He had to cut the leak off at its source. After ordering the army to set a new, better concealed camp in the hills, he rode hard for the Temple of Elune. He intended to get his message to the archdruids there first. If Fordrellon was concerned with Seryth's fall to corruption, just let him see how he liked it if he were accused of it as well.

Though Seryth was proud of his lie — spinning up a story of Fordrellon and his elven allies falling to demonic corruption — he was somewhat less impressed by the outcome. The archdruids, on hearing about Fordrellon’s plight, became determined to try and rescue him. Barely asking Seryth for his opinion, a green drake picked him up and flew him out to where Seryth reported having seen Fordrellon last.

And so Seryth spent the next few days combing the forests for Fordrellon and his followers. He found more demons than elves, and lit into them with a fury the green drake could appreciate. He wasn’t sure what he would say or do if they happened to come across Fordrellon face-to-face, so Seryth continued to mislead the archdruids, pitting them against the multiplying demonic forces instead.

Jalinde joined them a day or two later, and she, too, seemed glad for where Seryth was directing his energies. He artfully neglected to tell her about the battle near Black Rook.

Despite his best efforts to lead them astray, the archdruids’ forces found Fordrellon after a few weeks of searching.

Seryth impressed on them the paladin’s danger, convincing them to stick to an air assault with drakes and hippogriffs. It was in this way he hoped they would never get close enough to Fordrellon to hear his words and so see how Seryth had lied.

When the drakes cleared the trees, Seryth saw Fordrellon’s camp spread out below him. Not expecting an attack by their nominal allies, they hadn’t even bothered to conceal themselves from above. A few of the elves even came out of their tents to cheer for them.

Fordrellon was among them, dressed in his full magical plate armor as if to welcome the archdruids to a military meeting. Seryth pointed him out to the dragon he rode, and he felt the dragon’s ribs expand under his legs as it took a deep breath.

Then another quel’dorei strode out of the commander’s tent, taking a stance up beside Fordrellon.

“No! Stop! Turn around, turn around! Something’s wrong!” Seryth shouted.

Too late. The dragon bellowed out a burst of green energy from its mouth, that impacted Fordrellon, his tent, and the other elf like an infernal meteor. The other drakes followed suit around them, and all Seryth could see was green light and fog wherever he looked.

Shaking, he directed his dragon away — to go after some stragglers he saw fleeing the camp, he said. When trees blocked their view of the ground, the dragon touched down and Seryth slid, nerveless, from his saddle.

Seryth hadn’t only been responsible for Fordrellon’s death. He had also just murdered his foster father.

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