November 19th, 1432 A.E, In the eastern Downs
Connacht shaved his head entirely. While this complied with the Emperor's command, Connacht remained stubbornly defiant to his new liege. Yet, true to his word, Emperor Leitrim granted him charge of a company of Llancarfan soldiers two hundred strong.
For three long months Connacht trained his men; not a day went by that the company did not conduct their grueling exercises. When a soldier questioned why they trained on mental and physical conditioning over swordsmanship, Connacht merely uttered, "When you fear death, your sword becomes useless. When you fear nothing, the world fears you."
During marching drills outside the city walls, a fellow company was surprised by a horde of Myrkridia lurking about in the dusk. Panic stricken, the company dropped arms and fled. Hearing their cries, Connacht and his company raced to their aid; laying into the Myrkridia with fearless abandon. When the sword blows stopped falling, the field was littered with dead Myrkridia... and not one of Connacht's men had fallen. The word of their achievement spread, and the so called 'Devil-Slayers' were toasted by the Emperor at their imperial feast.
By grant of the Emperor, the Avatara enclave appointed one of their own as an observer to the Devil-Slayers. His name was Myrdred. Freshly initiated into the ranks of Avatara, this was his first command. Young and frail, he hardly resembled the adept sword-wielding sorcerers of the Avarata. Yet, flowing within his feeble body were powers merely dreamt of by the most powerful of his order. Myrdred's astute assessment of battle strategy slowly earned him Connacht's respect.
On the eve of Harvestide, a scout returned from the Downs with grave information. He had witnessed a group of Myrkridia far from their lairs, dragging fresh corpses into a pile. A strange-looking Myrkridia approached the mass of bodies, making arcane gestures and growls. Then the bodies began to move once again... but this time with a will not of their own.
Myrdred recognized that the necromancer must be a Myrkridian Pack-Mage; a beast only rumored to exist in tales from ancient times. If the Myrkridia were traveling in the open and had the ability to raise an army of thrall, they had to be found and destroyed before the full force of their army become ready. Connacht and his Devil-Slayers were sent into the Downs to search for and slay the Pack-Mage.