“Come on! Hie!” Iluchus screamed, racing like never before.

“What do you think our chances are, Visech? Visech?”

She looked back.

Visech groaned, “I’m sorry…” A hole where his eye had been bored all the way through the back and Iluchus caught a flash of light through the wound as her trusted advisor fell from the speeding carriage and broke apart on the ground.

She snapped her head to the direction of his assailant and spotted Shedakor. The morehl general grinned at her, the morehl who never misses. Rage welled up within her—a red fury that commanded her to kill the enemy.

He was aiming for Visech… to hurt me… to kill me slow, one piece at a time! She knew it was the lava elf way and her mind vied with her heart. One urged escape, and the other wanted vengeance.

Her heart won.

Iluchus roared and whirled her chariot around, charging for the devious morehl. Enemy soldiers swarmed around them, choking her speed until she arrived at her wicked counterpart on the opposite side of the conflict.

As elven rapiers tore her beloved steed apart, Iluchus snatched her spear and falchion and hurdled over the enemies. Rage fueled her and, like a bladed whirlwind, she hacked enemies apart as if some sort of battle-goddess had possessed her.

She worked her way through the expendable warriors and closed the gap with her enemy. Visech will be avenged!

Shedakor snarled, challenging Iluchus. Her soldiers flooded towards her, providing support and unsure if they still routed or decided to make a last stand.

Morehl forces were equal to the task, opening wounds and trading blow for blow. Both men and elves fell, watering the ground with the blood of both races.

The cocky elf pulled his flintlock and drew a bead on the queen. He looked up at the ridge where Sshkkryyahr presided over the battle. She smiled down at chaos, reveling the abject brutality that such a conflict resulted in: a foul kind of worship dedicated to her Death god.

He traced her eyes, and they seemed to flit from him to another warrior on the opposite side of Iluchus. Charbann. Hewielded the fancy blade inlaid with his family crest and chopped down human after human.

The new recruit from the Obsidian Grotto’s ranks pressed in on the far side, separating Iluchus from her support. “War is chaotic,” Shedakor whispered, concocting and rehearsing his defense. “Accidents happen.”

He took aim again and pulled the trigger.