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Michael-TLH

The Darakan Chronicles, Part 2

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As the enemy soars skyward, Robert is already reaching into his arrow bag for a reload. His hand seems drawn to a smaller bundle and with barely a moments hesitation, he pulls it free and notches it smoothly to his bowstring.

 

It's been a while since the young man shot something flying overhead but senses and skills honed more and more finely have no problem adjusting. The bow is a part of him, as strong as any sinew, bending as fluidly as any water flows, storing all the strength of his back and arms, harnessing it and translating it, feeding it to the tip of steel on the shaft of ash, all his body's power concentrated in the arrows head.

 

"Flame" he whispers, cool and steely as if even too large an exclamation may upset his balance and his aim, and the shaft is loosed.

 

Already, he is reaching down to reload.

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Her Alertness awakened to its fullest through her magical link with her companion, Jesset knows much is transpiring - and quickly.

 

Almost casually, Jesset buries the tip of Saeowyn in the earth to hold the weapon still while she casts her most potent spell...that Saeowyn has to pass through the neck of an arrow-felled opponent in order to be sheathed in the earth is no coincidence, but neither is it a matter for thought.

 

Instead, the Cyan Elf's rare features tense and relax in a moment of preparation, then her entire mind is given over to enacting a magic that shifts her awareness to a higher plane. Though it might take only seconds, the act transforms the Skoli in a way only foreshadowed by her practice-castings in libraries and lab-chambers. Navigating a maze of mystic lines of power, her senses lance through the final moment of casting-consciousness into a transformed world where everything she once knew - everything she has seen or heard or touched - is only a skeleton compared to the fully-fleshed world she now finds herself in.

 

The magic surrounding the companions now takes color and form to the Wizard - and the demon above her has its aspect revealed. No longer able to conceal its powers and power from its horned enemy below, it knows not what danger it is in. For now there is a mage-general where once a scout stood.

 

And yet, the demon in its rage could scarcely care the less...

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--Begin--

 

If it failed once, the Fates rarely conspire to let something fail another time. Eldon closes his hands together once more, harnessing devestating power before focusing it once more at the opposition. Waiting for the right split-second, he unleashes another bolt of lightning at the flying enemy. The powerful spell must be aimed carefully, for it cares not if friend or foe is in its path, the bolt hungers for a target, and will unleash its wrath on any foolish enough to be in the way.

 

Were the Companions not in the heat of battle, they would see that this tiny creature had been trained in the arts of war magic by the Elves, but why would the nigh-immortal Shining Host train such a strange, small man like this?

 

--End--

 

--LSH

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Seeing the tremendous number of Wards and enhancements on their foe, Jesset has only one choice: to turn her special focus on abjuration against the flying demon by targetting him for a rending not of his body...but of the very fabric of magic woven about him like layers of clothing.

 

Now that I know what Majiks you HAVE, let's see what I can do about Dispelling them! You won't teleport to safety if I can help it!

 

"Hold a Moment!" She yells to her comrades, hoping nothing triggers the Demonic Wizard's Contingent Structure...unless it is first unravelled, her companions might succeed only at insuring their greatest foe's SAFETY.

 

I do not want to fight this one again!

 

Once her Dispelling is done, she shouts again to let her companions know the moment has passed...

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Stern gives a determined nod to the sun priest and hurridley dons his gauntlets once more. The paladin whipsers something to his wounded wardog, grips Karamor tightly in both hands, then quickly rises to his feet.

 

Assessing the airborne battle unfolding before him, Stern sheaths Karamor on to his back and reaches for his mighty composite bow.

 

Time ta test this weapon in battle...

 

Hastily loading an arrow, the mighty Aegis draws the heavy bowstring back and searches for the lone black elf firing its crossbow from the ground outside the campsite. Despite his exceptional strength, Stern's thick shoulder muscles strain against the natural stiffness of the powerful weapon. Pulling the arrow into a firing position, he looks for his intended target as Robert's words of encouragement echo in his head...

 

Steady Stern, steady and release!

 

SK

 

 

Edited by Stern Kestrelmann

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Adia and Mykayla continue to dart around the flying creature Dear gods, it looks like, but it can't, can it? Pushing that thought back Mykayla concentrates one harrying the creature and keeping it from casting any more magic. Then with a sudden inspiration she remembers a spell that doesn't require her voice and begins to weave a pattern of dancing lights in front of the creature.

 

LT

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Hammer whines and licks her master's hands. As healing flows into her, the wound in her side closes, but something is still not right with the faithful dog, for her breathing is still labored and harsh.

 

Far above, the enemy of the companions grins and looks down, the two little pseudodragons continue to harass him, but are too quick for him to be effective. As a flaming arrow skips off the shield directly in front of him, he snarls and with a flap of his wings speeds toward the archer. Opening his jaws wide, a stream of yellow-green acid jets forth.

 

Another arrows flies from Robert just as the acid coats him, the pain is excruciating as it eats away at exposed flesh. Luckily for all, this arrow flies true and hits with a burst of flame that lights the night.

 

Following closely on the flash from Robert's enchanted arrow, one of the tiny pseudodragons stops and hovers, it's little claws moving quickly. A prismatic pattern develops in the air, but the creature ignores it and focuses on Jesset standing below and beginning to cast. Drawing in a breath of air to breathe again, it falters as a bolt of lightning arcs down from the sky, slamming into it from behind.

 

Tumbling in mid-air the creature crashes into a tree, one of it's wings ruined beyond repair. Following it's crash, Jesset does not hesitate as she finishes the final passes of her spell. Like a net settling over him, she watches with her arcane sight as his protections begin to fade, one after the other.

 

Her smile of triumph is cut short as two figures step out of the shadows near where the creature has fallen.

 

Warrick, his face slack and dazed, drops to the ground with a quarrel in his side, as an elf, this one a beautiful male with long golden hair, pulls back his hood and grins fiendishly at the Companion.

 

"Well, well, well, Kittycat... you surprise me."

 

It is obvious to anyone looking at the skoli and this new elf that they share the same blood.

 

"Unfortunately, for your friend here, you didn't surprise me quite well enough. I will leave and take my apprentice with me. He'll make an interesting zombie, don't you think? I know that nothing I can say will dissuade you from following me, sister..." he says, sneering.

 

"But as you do, you will watch your... friend... suffer and waste away. His passing will be MOST unpleasant..."

 

Stern grabs his bow and fires, but the arrow misses it's intended target, ricocheting off a glittering magic shield hovering invisible in front of the elven mage.

 

"You would make an interesting zombie as well, Aegis of Rockfist." Quickly he reaches down and touches the fallen half-drow, half-dragon and with a single word the two disappear.

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The hard jolt of hitting the earth summons Warrick's consciousness back to the fore. Irritation dominates his emotions as the Scout preferred to pass out and die quietly, but Fate has decided to make him aware of his suffering. The feverish skin of his face burns hard against the cold clay overwhelming his thoughts. Even the arrow in his side seems somehow distant or in the past as all his sensations are attuned to the burning throughout his body.

 

Like a distant grassfire the sickness within him spreads from deep within his organs and pushes outward. His flesh seems to betray him as it tries to hold the entire ailment inward where it does its greatest harm. Never has he been so aware of his organs before but now they each swell and slosh as bodas filled with still-fermenting new wine. Each cries out in protest to his mind but his body's natural defenses are overwhelmed. Rotten eggs flavor his tongue and though he wishes in some remote corner of his mind that he could vomit all the wrong out, he knows he lacks the strength even to do that.

 

Black leather-gloved hands claw the earth seeking to retaliate in some way but much of his will has surrendered. Death, come then swiftly.

 

His first thought is to cry out to his love but a part of his mind calls out for Mykayla, who has offered him so much aid in the past. Perhaps she would have a cure...would know what to do...or mercifully slit his throat. Distracted and unable to form a complete thought his mind wars as to whom he should call out for. Is it wrong to call for Mykayla before Jesset? Can anyone help? Will they? Do I really have any friends? Can one such as I, guilty of so much, be of consequence to others? Am I already dead and in Hel's grasp? Did I drop my rapier? Did Mykayla leave? Will Robert kill me if I call out to her? Should my last word be for Jesset?

 

On the fevered mind rages, but one natural instinct, present in all, honed and refined in a few, and demanded of a Scout of Searoad erupts through the haze. 'You are not to yield, worms! Death is not your abode; the shadows are! YOU DO NOT DIE! YOU SERVE! SEAROAD BEFORE DEATH!' Memory channels instinct; training forms action.

 

"STERRRNNN!!!!"

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The Aegis of Rockfist lowers his mighty composite bow after watching the arrow deflected and begins to load another but then stops as the nightmarish combats ends in a horrid scene.

 

Black dragon elves? Jesset's brother? Robert burned by acid n' wha' in tha name o' St. Marcus have they done ta Warrick!

 

"You would make an interesting zombie as well, Aegis of Rockfist." Quickly he reaches down and touches the fallen half-drow, half-dragon and with a single word the two disappear.

 

Before Stern can react to the threatening words, the elf and the dead black elf beast are gone in the blink of an eye.

 

Stern, glances at Robert and takes two steps toward him, but then hears the usually reserved and disciplined rogue cry out to him in a way that makes his skin crawl.

 

"STERRRNNN!!!!"

 

Stern, tossing his composite bow on ground next to where Cuchulain is working on Hammer, sprints toward his fallen friend.

 

"SEE TA ROBERT, HE'S BEEN BURNED!" Stern calls to Jesset as he moves to Warrick's side.

 

Wha' have they done ta him?

 

Kneeling next to the wounded rogue, the giant paladin places a firm hand on the scouts back and whispers, "I am here Sir Warrick, rest a' we'll get ye feelin' better in no time ma friend..."

 

Again, Stern calls upon the divine powers of St. Marcus, but the answer to his own question is grim indeed.

 

Disease... Undead plague... St. Marcus help us..

 

SK

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Coming in from her flight, Mykayla shifts back to elven form even as she lands. She quickly cans the battle scene, her eyes assessing the scene. Then with quick strides she moves to her mount. Opening up a saddlebag she grabs a blue velvet pouch, and removes a vial of purple liquid from it. Moving to where Cuchulain is tending Hammer she hands it to him. “This will chase the poison from her veins.” She then quickly turns and moves towards Robert, having seen that Stern going to Warrick. She helps him ease to the ground taking the wand of healing from her belt she uses what charges she needs to ease Robert’s wounds, until Cuchulain see to them. “There, beloved, rest easy. Cuchulain will be here soon.” She tells him as she cradles his head in her lap.

LT

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"Stern! Thank St. Marcus. What have they done to me!?? My face feels afire and my insides are bloated. My skin has gone ashen and dark spots are upon it. If he has made me undead, Stern, I beg you, end my misery."

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--Begin--

 

Eldon sighs as the battle has finished. Floating to the ground, he releases the flying spell and drops the last handspan to the ground. At this point, it shows how small the creature is. He hears the shouts for help, and the acrid stench lingering in the air. As fast as his legs can move, he runs over to the critically injured. "What can I assist with? " he asks with sincerity. Schooling his features to not show his revulsion, he willingly gives his help. Those with apothecary training can instantly tell he would know nothing that would aid the man, but his wish ti assist is genuine.

 

He takes off his capacious hat and says "I might have something in here that would help. Cloth? A bedroll? anything?!?"

 

Before he can reach in, the biggest, fattest tabby cat comes barreling out of the hat, stepping lightly away from the others, the massive feline takes a moment to ponder the world, and clean its paw. The Hin turns to look at the cat. "Not now, Fuzzbucket! Someone's hurt!"

 

--End--

 

--LSH

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Robert watches the 2nd shaft strike true, then realises that either the fast approaching enemy can see him through his invisibility or he is planning to strike a large area. Before the message to move can reach his legs the attack has hit him.

 

In a degree of pain but still able to stand and fight, he is nevertheless glad that he doesn't have to. He takes Mykayla's assistance and lowers himself to the ground, accepting the healing she gives him.

 

"What happened to Warrick?"

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Stern can sense a powerful disease flowing through the rogue's body, but has niether the knowledge nor the skills to understand or cure it... It is evil. This all the young paladin of Rockfist is certain of...

 

Stern settles he gazes back to Warrick as the rogue squirms in agony.

 

Black elves? The myths are true, they do exist... St. Marcus give me strength to prevail...

 

"Stern! thank St. Marcus. What have they done to me!??

 

"I do not know ma friend, but we shall find out n' rid ye o' this affliction, know this ta be true..."

 

"...My face feels afire and my insides are bloated. My skin has gone ashen and dark spots are upon it. If he has made me undead, Stern, I beg you, end my misery."

 

Stern whispers firmly to Warrick, "No' on me shift ye silver-tounge bandit... They'll be no one endin' anythin'! Now ye jus' lay still n' I'll have Jess n' Father Cuchulainn have a look at ye..."

 

As Stern begins to stand, a small child-like creature floats down from above and on to the battle ravaged campsite.

 

What can I assist with? " he asks with sincerity. Schooling his features to not show his revulsion, he willingly gives his help. Those with apothecary training can instantly tell he would know nothing that would aid the man, but his wish ti assist is genuine.

 

He takes off his capacious hat and says "I might have something in here that would help. Cloth? A bedroll? anything?!?"

 

Before he can reach in, the biggest, fattest tabby cat comes barreling out of the hat, stepping lightly away from the others, the massive feline takes a moment to ponder the world, and clean its paw. The Hin turns to look at the cat. "Not now, Fuzzbucket! Someone's hurt!"

 

Stern instinctively draws his greatsword and stands ready over the prone body of the fallen rogue.

 

More trickery... A child wizard? This is a trap and illusion! He is not evil Stern, just a child!

 

The paladin takes one step toward the child-like stranger, a twisted look of confusion on his unshaven face.

 

"Tha battle field is no place fer children! Now ye get on home boy 'afore ye get yerself killed!"

 

Stern looks to Jesset, then over to Myka with a bewildered stare. Finally, he returns his steely blue gaze back to the child-wizard standing before him and waits for a response...

 

SK

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