As our caravan crossed the plains that divide Mithaurian and Technokrest, more than once were we able to spot unknown raiders in the distance. Some of Albano’s assassins split from the group in order to ambush them through the flanks. It wasn’t long until we lost track of them. They never flared as they had promised once the enemy was defeated. The smaller party that remained started moving as fast as they could in order to reach Technokrest’s gates and find shelter. There was no construct already at sight when we perceived two clouds of dust speeding towards us from both sides. Our mounts at full speed couldn’t take us farther from them and the enemy party seemed to outnumber our small party by far.

I had an impression those raiders were both mount and soldier at the same time. They had long tails and gigantic fangs, and their skin was made of thick scale, seemingly solid rock. Their front paws were strengthened by claws and could easily overcome the assassins’ spears reach. Our caravan leader took the group to higher ground, set his assassins around our wagon and slowed down to assume defensive position. Maybe standing still they would be able to outbid those creatures.

The enemies spread around us and proved us not only outnumbered but also at unit-to-unit combat disadvantage. The Mithaurian general told us to take hold of their fastest mount and flee west. They would thrust forward making way for us and we could trample any enemy troop that stood in our way. We would reach our destination a few miles ahead. If only we had had the chance…

The enemy took initiative and struck towards us at a such speed we could barely react before they were few feet away from us. That was when a low frequency noise came from above and all I could see was a horde of creatures climbing through the air like something was covering the ground we stood in. Blue, pink and purple sparks appeared at specific points their claws touched. We were covered by an energy shield.

A few seconds later there was another noise. A huge one. Three harvesting drones equipped with state-of-the-art machine guns opened fire against anything that moved. The barrier worked fine and we were kept safe, but to our bewilderment the bullets did nothing but scatter our attackers. That of course provided us with time enough to regroup and carry on, now accompanied by flying guard as well.

Upon our arrival at Technokrest’s gates we were welcomed by Danta’ar, a Technokrestian elder, who was recognized by his fellow citizens as a leader, even though there was no government in that country. They were ruled by science and logic. At least that’s what they were known for bragging about . Their sense of fairness was extremely accurate, and their inhabitants had the highest morale amongst all of Myridian’s civilizations. Their work division was that of an equal amount of daily work per person. It did not have to be much, since they were aided by the highest known technology. They were a people of peace. There was no crime and the weapons we had seen back at the journey were the first ones they had developed in centuries.

“Greetings travellers. I am Danta’ar. Let’s waste no time. I see two Verge escorted by a Mithaurian army… So you are friends. We’ve also traced tons of Starun energy being dragged by your little knife. That’s got to be good news! You must be here for the forge. Let me take you to it. You can introduce yourselves as we walk.”