Montgomery turned and lead his troops along with the newly stacked caster and warlord back through the castle, there was little to no resistance apparent in his route directly from the outer gates to the throne room as thousands of lead soldiers had followed him through and were now spreading out through the castle. Stepping out into the courtyard he found the bears exactly where he had left them, entangled in a hippiemancy spell. Said spell had sprouted thick vines from the ground and wound them tightly round their legs. The mancer had assured the Warlord that the bears were secure, so Montgomery had moved his troops on leaving only enough to provide distracting charges which would keep pulling back at the last moment thereby keeping their minds off of the vines at their feet.
“You know what to do,” Montgomery said to the Shockomancer and turned to an approaching lieutenant surrounded by runners, “report”
“The ”Aryans are broken sir the castle is essentially ours, the only problems are some high level units and the three” BOOM “two remaining battle-bears but the hippiemancer says he can maintain the restraining spell” BOOM “ but I don’t think that will be necessary.”
“All the units turned to barbarians once the Overlord was croaked.”
“I guess that means Strykes Intel was on the shmuckers.”
“I guess so. Very good, you have the Command secure the castle and form up the barbarians, I give you authority to swear them in, begin repairs and consolidate our forces I want a strike force ready for me by next turn to march on the Prince be sure to leave yourself sufficient forces to clear the outlying area and strongholds I am officially promoting you to Field Marshall
The lieutenants eye’s bulged, “Sir!?”
“Oh come now you’ve been ready for a command of your own for a long time now and we both know it, at this rate I’ll be retiring into an old sides land and leaving you as Chief Warlord. Now if you’ll excuse me I have a dungeon to clear out.”
Leaving the spluttering lieutenant behind him Montgomery re-stacked with the Shockomancer who was looking nearly as exhausted as the Healomancer had. As they descended into the dungeon he felt a warm against his left leg, drawing his sword its stats showed as having a low level fire damage bonus. Looking up he noticed the entire stack had received a similar boost, he stole a glance at the shockomancer who now looked just as exhausted as the Healomancer.
As he exited the stair well into the dungeon he immediately noticed that something was wrong. The high level Knights he had sent to clear the dungeon had seen a great many things and fought countless battles under his command but he had never seen their faces turned that ashen colour or their feet shuffle in that uncomfortable way.
“What is wrong, what have you found”
Their captain stepped forward, “torture chambers and victims. Hundreds of them”
Montgomery took a minute to absorb this then turned to the Shockomancer, she was staring at the floor with a blank look. “It might have been their looks or their stats, they might have spoken out against the kings way. A true Aryan stands tall and dashing with high stats and proudly marches for his side. Or so the king would have you believe, any sign of weakness or disagreement or if you simply bumped the wrong person on the wrong day. The Warlords and courtiers would come down here for fun and sport…”
“Is this why you wanted to clear the dungeons yourself, did you think you could hide this.”
“No of course not, but many of the victims are warlords or units with specials. If not handled properly they will attack anything that moves believing it to be another tormentor, many will have no minds left to break.”
“Because one amongst them is a Caster. And you most definitely don’t want him to remember he was juice”
“What would you have me do, you never mentioned what you wanted in return for this. For the betrayal.”
Her head came up sharply, “Betrayal implies loyalty, you take a stroll down on of these seemingly endless corridors to hell, and then you can talk to me of loyalty. Duty compelled me to do what I did and I would do it again if I found another pit such as this.”
“I ask again, what do you want.”
“The others will have become barbarians with the kings death but the casters loyalty is unusual, he hasn’t taken a side in more turns that I care to cast my mind back but he would follow me to the ends of the Erf and back.”
Montgomery looked into her eyes, “You and he, are very close?” She nodded. “Will he join our side if you ask him?” Again he nodded. “What do you require?”
“Fetch the Healomancer, we shall prepare him for travel. I will require transport and escort to somewhere safe, preferably tranquil and a thinkamancer. If he is to be asked to join us his mind will… his mind will have to be… repaired.”