29 Apr 2003 This is a co written story by myself (Etsalin) and an associate in my guild on Brell server who played the indomitable Ruric.(with an excerpt from an additional writer added neohex doing a small skit for his iksar) The names in the story are of from the game Everquest, characters played by fellow players and some Ficticious NPC names taken from actual NPC surnames found in their respective racial locale's. Years of play with a great group of folks across the states I think is what makes mmorpg's so inviting and enjoyable. Hope you enjoy the reading. Warning, this is not a short story.
Storyline "Coven of Lore" the beginning
Neohex Lorekeeper looked up from the table where his wife sat as Seprentor Nevermore entered the tavern. The bar was empty except for the bartender and a barmaid who were friendly to Neohex. To be a bit more specific, they were friendly towards his wife. To the casual observer Neohex looked like any other wood elf in Greater Faydark forest, but he was a bit more. His shirt was of a finely cured silk and his leather tunic and pants were made from the finest cured hides available. Black leather boots and gloves matched the finely tooled belt about his waist. Yet his eyes were the most telling trait, eyes that showed strength and wisdom beyond his apparent lack of years.
In contrast his wife made him look a beggar. Belladawna Lorekeeper was a high Elvin lady who wore robes of the finest blue silk with jewels of exquisite cut lining the hem. Her blonde hair was pulled back and clasped by a pearl hairclip, and she wore bracelets of exquisite jewels as well. A merry light shown in her eyes as if she had a prank to pull and no victim to play it on. Yet she had a kind heart and had a good reputation with many locals.
The storms outside raged and rain sloughed off of Seprentors Rangers cloak as he placed it on the rack at the tavern door. Belladawna ordered another round of ale as Seprentor made his way to the table. His finely polished chain armor glinted in the firelight as he placed his silver spear against the near wall. Finely crafted daggers and a long sword hung from his belt and several more daggers could bee seen from the tops of his boots as well.
So, who else is coming, and where are we going? Said Seprentor after taking a pull from his ale. Neohex glanced at the door and shrugged. Two more and we are going to Friona Vie to deliver a message to the emissary there. Seprentor frowned. Friona Vie. Dont we need a boat to get there? Nope. Said Neohex. We are porting over soon as the others arrive. Seprentor shook his head in confusion. I thought the druid ringers were being surrounded by giants at the time? How do you propose we port in without getting squashed?
Simple. Said a new voice from the door. We dont port in at the druid rings.
Standing in the Doorway, dry, as day without a drop of water on him, was a Dark Elf Wizard named Ruric. Years ago there had been a funny incident with him coming into the bar but he was moderately accepted there now. The bartender liked him enough that he even stopped putting poison in Rurics beer. Ruric looked younger that his actual age, which nobody seemed to know, and he always seemed to have a handy gadget handy in the loose fitting robes. His shock white hair was pulled back into a ponytail and contrasted sharply with his black/Purple skin tone. There are the wizard spires a few miles from the druid rings. They are not guarded quite so heavily. We can port in there and make our way to Friona vie from there.
Seprentor nodded. A bold plan Neohex. How do you propose we get past the giants on guard at the Friona Vie valley entrance? There were a hundred or so last I herd. Neohex again nodded his head in Rurics direction. Our esteemed colleague is supposed to be getting us a guide through the Frontier Mountains. Ruric nodded back at Neohex. Indeed I have. Our noble friend Tithom is with him now outside. Our guides name is Sakir. I warn you he is a bit rough around the edges though as well as a bit anti social. We felt it best if we left him outside. Ruric leaned closer to Seprentor as he took a drink from his mug and whispered with a wink. Besides I didnt want his beer Poisoned. Seprentor Laughed so hard that beer came out his nose causing him to choke. A rousing round of laughter ensued after that with Ruric voicing claims of innocence at the same time trying to clean a still laughing ranger.
Loud singing and a riot of noise from outside distracted the still laughing crew. The commotions only grew louder as all moved to the door to investigate. The sight that greeted them was truly a sight to behold. The usually Pristine clean Tithom was covered in mud and had his shirt off as was his wont when a bit tipsy. In one hand he had the tail of an Iksar Shadow knight and a bottle of Brells best brew in the other. The Iksar was spinning in circles trying to get the tipsy dwarf to let go of his tail and the stout dwarf was hanging on and spraying the Iksar with booze and laughing like a Dry bones skeleton.
I guess he is showing Sakir the new Amulet that summons beer we got for him. Said Ruric with a grin. Belladawna shook her head in disbelief. I cant believe Tithom is drunk. She said. We are getting ready to go on a dangerous quest and he gets drunk. Ruric patted Belladawna on the back in reassurance. He cant be too drunk, only his shirt is off, besides he needs to grab all the tail he can get.
After getting Sakir and Tithom settled down and everybody gathered together Neohex turned to Tithom. Lets buff everybody up in case we have to fight. Tithom nodded and began to cast spells of protection over the entire group. Neohex also buffed the group with Sprit of Wolf and Regen spells and Belladawna cast a few damage shields around the group. After the buffs were done Ruric gathered the group and began to cast his port. Get ready. This may really suck. Said Neohex.
The first thing Ruric saw when His portal spell finished was several pair of large boots. The last thing he saw for quite a while after was a large fist swinging down.
The first thing Neohex saw as he recovered from porting was Rurics body flying through the air and crashing into some trees. This is not good. Neohex said under his breath as the sickening sound broken bones reached his ears. Neohex immediately began to cast a spell at the distracted giants. Seconds later all three howled in pain as swarms of stinging bees stung at the giants faces. Neohex began to cast again as Tithom ported in. See to the Wizard! Neohex shouted as another swarm of bees attacked a nearby giant. Tithom looked around on confusion. In the tree beside me! Shouted Neohex as he began to draw the giants away from the portal spires. Another cast and all three giants were running after the nimble wood elf in enraged fury.
Tithom looked up a tree and saw his friend hanging from a limb. Broken arms and legs could be clearly seen in the limp form. Muttering to several derogatory comments about the frailty of wizards in general and one in specific, Tithom began to cast a greater healing spell on Ruric. He noticed that the thunder of giants running in the distance seemed to be going further away.
Seprentor, Belladawna, and Sakir all ported in at nearly the same time. Neohex is having a bit of trouble south of here. Said Tithom. Three giants are chasing him. Seprentor and Sakir started running to the south where the sounds of giants howling could be herd. Belladawna looked around in confusion. Where is Ruric? Tithom casually pointed over his head. Oh My. Said Belladawna. That must have hurt. Give me a second and Ill summon a pet to get him down.
Neohex looked behind him at the three giants chasing him. He smiled a little smile as he cast another spell. The three giants became entangled in roots that sprang up from the ground. The giants roared in pain as giant thorns pierced their feet, slowing them down form a run to a limp. His smile quickly faded though as three more giants emerged from the trees to his right and started running towards him.
Tithom look up in admiration at Belladawnas summoned pet. Now thats an impressive pet. Belladawnas summoned pet looked like a Hill Giant. With a mental command from the pretty mage the giant pet lifted the injured Wizard from the tree and placed him on the ground. Giants really did a number on him huh. Said Belladawna. Yup. Said Tithom. They really whopped him a good one. Hope he wakes up soon. Belladawna looked around. We need to catch up to the others before they get too far away. Ill have the pet carry Ruric for us till he wakes up. With another mental command belladawnas pet gently picked up the sleeping wizard and the three of them walking to the south. Ill bet Ruric screams like a little girl when he wakes up. Said Tithom as they walked off. Belladawna winked at him mischievously. Ill bet he does too.
Seprentor and Sakir came upon the rooted giants with no sign of Neohex around. Sakir fell upon one of the giants with a fury. With his two handed sword he cut great swaths out of the giants hide. Huge drops of flesh dropped and splattered over his scaled body. Easily dodging the giants attempts at hitting him he swing his sword with a mighty blow, disemboweling the giant and dropping it dead. Seprentor attacked his giants with more finesse. Drawing his bow back to full, he aimed on the run and released an arrow. The arrow landed in the giants left eye and buried itself deep in the brain. As the giant was falling backward Seprentor ran up its belly and leaped off at the last Giant, swords flashing in the morning light. 30 seconds later the last giant lay dead at his feet.
Neohex was getting tired of running and casting spells. His endurance was near its limits. He hoped the others were doing well, or at least better than he was anyway. He swung to the west for a mile then he went north again in hopes that the others could help him out a bit.
A high pitched, terror filled scream echoed form the north, followed by large amounts of laughter filled the still morning air where Seprentor and Sakir stood over the bodies of the giants. Sakir and Seprentor looked at each other in confusion. That sounded like a girl. Said Sakir. Lets check it out. Said Seprentor. After running for a quarter of a mile they found quite a sight indeed. Ruric was standing in the open hand of belladawnas pet giant shaking his fist and yelling at Tithom and Belladawna, both of whom were rolling on the ground with laughter. Tears streaming from her eyes Belladawna tried to explain but could not for her laughter. Tithom likewise was laughing too hard to explain. Ruric continued too shake his fist and yell at the both of them as Sakir and Seprentor approached.
Neohex broke into the clearing where the rest of the group was gathered. He didnt have time to ponder why Ruric was in Belladawnas pet giants hand. He was a bit too busy running from the giants that were tailing him to see why Tithom and Belladawna were on the ground. He had just enough time look confused before the giants broke into the clearing. Tithom was immediately up and running at the nearest giant. Hammer swung overhead ready to come crashing down on some giants toes. Seprentor and Sakir rushed into the battle as well weapons at the ready as the giants rushed in.
But it was Ruric who arrived at the giants first.
And it was not by choice.
Belladawna, seeing her husband exhausted, attacked the giants without hesitation. With a mental command from Belladawna, her pet attacked the giants with the nearest weapon available. Belladawna looked on in horror as her pet threw Ruric at the incoming giants.
It was the off-hour, or would have been anywhere else but a Dwarven city. In Thurgadin the Ice Dwarves, like any other dwarf, enjoyed their brews well into the night. In the Tavern Hall of Thurgadin one particular dwarf stood out from the others. Probably because he had blonde hair and beard and a warmer skin tone that lacked the frost bitten hue of his fellow dwarves. Nipeerc sat quaffing ale as he wiped down his weapons from his recent raid into Kael the nearby giant fortress. Only dwarves were present and being well into his 4th hour of drinking Nipeerc was laughing as hard as everyone else at the strange humor only dwarves know. Then a silence fell over the room and a strange warmish breeze wafted in. Nipeerc looked over his shoulder toward the door and sighed. Standing inside the room was a giant cloaked figure. At he is least a giant by dwarf standards. The fair skin and pointed ears identified the newcomer as a high elf. A very tall high elf whose head nearly brushed the ice covered ceiling. The elf shrugged his shoulders and his cloak unbuttoned itself up to the neck clasp and folded itself back over the shoulders revealing a burgundy robe that was glowing with a menacing aura. The crystal blue eyes contrasted with the almost white hair seemed to carry living thunderbolts dancing in them. A few quick strides brought the elf to where nipeerc was putting his weapons in their holsters and packing up his gear in his knapsack. Conversation started up again around the room and Nipeerc looked up shaking his head. "Ya just had to make a big entrance didn't ya." The elf sat for a moment while Nipeerc finished packing his things and shrugged. Nipeerc sighed again. "SO ELFY..." Nipeerc exclaimed slapping the elf hard on the back. He didn't get to finish the statement as the elf slammed into the table and broke the chair. This caused a riotous uproar of laughter to break out among the watching dwarves only to turn to sighs and grumbling when the onlookers realized that the elf had never hit the floor but was floating comfortably a few inches above it. "You take the fun out of everything Etsalin." The High elf Etsalin rubbed his shoulder ruefully and smirked at Nipeerc. "Wizards, unlike warriors, do not consider it fun to fall flat on our faces from a drinking bout." Nipeerc grinned back, "I know one who would." Etsalin made a face, "real wizards not dark elves, ruric's nuts anyhow and so are you... I assume you got Neohex's message." Nipeerc still shaking his head downed the last of his mug of beer. "Why do ya think Im here an not killing Giants in Kael? Not too bright fer a wizard are ya." Etsalin grinned, "You ready to go?" Nipeerc checked his things once more while Etsalin tapped his toes impatiently. "Yep.. all set." With that Etsalin stood up and touched Nipeerc's shoulder and began an incantation. Several of the other dwarves in the tavern began to look sour as the incantation continued, but it soon ended and when it did the High elf Wizard and the Dwarven Kaladim warrior were both gone.
Meanwhile, in the desert of North Ro by the tunnel that leads to the common lands under the mountain range stood a large boulder. Then the large boulder moved and Gremley realized it wasn't a boulder but an ogre with an itch. "AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!" the gnome necromancer named Gremley screamed as a cold wet nose pressed against the back of his neck. "Kabeker come over 'ere," the ogre rumbled. The summoned pet dutifully obeyed its master, for the ogre was a powerful Shaman named Ratagain. Gremley, still recovering from being goosed by a dog, stamped over to the huge ogre. "Yo Rat why'd ya have to do that with the dog?" Ratagain shrugged, "me not tell him do nothing me jus say he keep watch out. Him do dat, I no teach him to cold nose liddle necromancers." "Besides," a new voice piped in from the tunnel entrance. "You deserved it for being late." Gremley made a rude gesture at the human leaning against the archway to the tunnel. Endevor was a human monk, fast and deadly, his martial arts were both a wonder to behold and a sight to fear. "If I'm so late then why aren't you two already gone to meet up with Neohex?" Ratagain wasn't paying attention and seemed to be contemplating a beetle crawling in the sand wondering if it would reveal an omen. Endevor just shrugged and split the air above Gremley's baldhead with a spinning kick. "Who knows, maybe Etsalin got hung up somewhere." Gremley huffed, "bah.. he probably got lost" Endevor chuckled, as did Ratagain who's deep chuckle startled Endevor and Gremley both. Suddenly a resounding boom echoed over the sand. "I wonder what that was, Gremley pondered out loud. Ratagain squinted into the distance looking for a portent. Endevor fell over as if struck by a fatal blow. Gremley glanced down at the monk and sighed. "One of these time's your going to do that and it'll be real not fake and we won't know the difference," the gnome remarked. Endevor didn't even twitch. Then Kabeker began to growl. Ratagain stood up and watched the sand intently wondering if the giants had crossed through the oasis and were indeed heading toward the tunnel. A large force of them had been seen in South Ro desert guarding the way into the swamp. Instead he saw a small shiny blob rolling his way. "What dat?" Ratagain asked. Gremley focused for a second, "HEY YO... it's Nipeerc... DUDER whasssup" Gremley shouted. The figure rapidly dissolving into a heavily armored and armed dwarf waved back and puffed his way to a stop at the entrance. At which point Endevor leaped up into a spin kick and screamed. Gremley leaped straight up leaving his shoes and robes suspended so to say in mid air. He shortly returned to them as the last bit of his meager hair fell to the desert floor. Nipeerc, Ratagain, and Endevor all fell over laughing at the sight of poor Gremley trying to catch his breath. The laughter was broken by a faint musical chanting as each felt a touch to the shoulder and Etsalin appeared his invisibility broken by the drawing of power and the whole party still smiling disappeared.
Deep in the halls of Felwithe, Legillus a high elf cleric of Tunare completed the memorizing of his newest healing spells granted him by Tunare for his grand service against the orcs of Crushbone who controlled much of Greater and Lesser Faydark forests. He passed out of the study and into the main hall that lead to the main assembly area for the clergy of Tunare. He passed over the noisy rooms beneath where the Paladins of Tunare, the martial might of Felwithe, were training, and walked into a smaller private chamber where he offered his devotion to The Mother of All and asked her blessing in the bold adventure he was about to undertake. Legillus felt more at ease now he left the Temple and navigated the streets of Felwithe to the main gate where he expected to see his escorts arrive shortly. The time had to be right or the gates would not open for them as had been decreed by the King. Just off in the distance he could make out the fires of Kelethin as the wood elves carried on their lives in the solace of the higher trees of Faydark. Then a certain bright light caught his eye off to the left toward the strange obelisks where wizards performed their teleports. Suddenly a copious amount of Lightning fell from the sky and a large explosion broke the silence of the early morning. Legillus could see the orcs running about in confusion as more lightning flashed from the sky disordering their ranks. Then, just in time, a contingent of Wood elves came sweeping past the orcs, firing arrows into their ranks as they passed, and joining them from the opposite direction were a strange sight of an ogre, gnome, dwarf, and human. The company entered the Gates and the gates closed. Lightning fell a little longer from the sky before everything quieted down. Legillus ran down from the upper turret of the main gate and ran smack into the back of Ratagain who happened to be standing in the doorway. "Sowwy," Ratagain rumbled as he ambled out of the way. "You's needs ta watch where you's runnin." Legillus looked incredulous for a moment but quickly recovered and counted everyone there. "Where's Etsalin?" Everyone shrugged. "Last I saw he was heading toward Kaladim," Nipeerc remarked. "That's the opposite way to Felwithe from the Wizard Spires," exclaimed Legillus. Gremley shrugged, Endevor practiced some moves and Ratagain began to scratch again. "He'll turn up," Nipeerc said as he searched for a comfortable place to sit. Don't get too comfortable Nip, we'll be off shortly. Legillus blinked at Etsalin. "How'd you get in the gate?" Etsalin rolled his eyes, "I am a Highelven wizard you know." And as if that explained it all Etsalin changed the subject. So everyone got Neohex's message? Everyone looked a little confused. "Yeah I got it, but it said nothing about Felwithe," Nipeerc replied. Murmurs of agreement passed between Endevor and Gremley. Ratagain was too busy scratching again to comment. Etsalin indicated Legillus, "He's why we're in Felwithe at the moment." Everyone looked at Legillus. "What" Legillus replied staring back hoping nothing embarrassing was stuck on his armor. Gremley shuffled over and poked Legillus in the knee. "fresh meat.. oooh.... I like fresh meat." Ratagain snickered. "So why wasn't I told about him," Nipeerc asked. "Perhaps because you're just a warrior who can't go anywhere with out a wizard to take you there," Etsalin replied cackling with glee. Everyone groaned. Etsalin cut short his laughter, "well are you ready?" Everyone double-checked their gear, and Legillus began to call up on Tunare to protect the party showering everyone with magical protections and enhancements. Ratagain called forth many animal spirits and each gave their strengths to the party. "So where are we going" Gremley asked. "Didn't you read the message all the way through" Endevor asked. Gremley rummaged around in his pockets soliciting a chuckle from Etsalin. "It won't tell you Gremley you didn't miss it, I've been told and maybe Nip here. We're headed to the continent of Kunark, more specifically to Fironia Vie toward the outpost. Neohex with a small party is on their way there now and there's a third party who left before us as well to mark the way so we know how to get to where we need to be," Etsalin explained. "No one knows where we're going," Legillus exclaimed. "Oh I know where we're going," replied Nipeerc. "But the way I know has been blocked by Giants and who knows what else. Likely there's a ranger in that advanced party Etsalin mentioned who found or marked a safer way for us to travel." Legillus breathed easier and finished his last spell. Etsalin cleared his throat, "OK, Everyone gather around and listen up. I'm going to port us into the Emerald Jungle." "Isn't that spot guarded Ets," interrupted Gremley. Etsalin sighed, "not from last report I received. If it is it should be lightly guarded." Legillus nodded in affirmation. "To get back to the briefing though," Etsalin remarked pointedly looking at Gremley. "We're to head from the port in spot up to the high plain and into the field of bone. From their we are to cross into the swamp of no hope and head to the crossing into Fironia Vie and await there cloaked till contacted." "Wouldn't it be better to NOT go into the swamp of no hope," remarked Nipeerc. "Trakanon's teeth is much safer to traverse." Etsalin shook his head, "No... the way into Trak's teeth is blocked, a scouting party from the outpost at Fironia Vie barely survived the encounter with the froglock regiment parked there." Gremley groaned, Endevor whistled, Nipeerc sighed, and Ratagain's tummy rumbled. Everyone looked at Ratagain. "Me's Hungry das all, when we gets a goin?" Etsalin grinned, "Now too soon?" Ratagain stood up, "mees ready to smush an bash tings." Etsalin nodded as did everyone else. "Then we're off." A short incant later the whole party disappeared again.
As usual Etsalin dropped into the Emerald Jungle first. He looked around and saw nothing out of the ordinary having moved forward a little bit knowing the rest would show up shortly. Endevor and Nipeerc arrived next practically at the same time, both moved off to either side of Etsalin. Legillus dropped in after Nipeerc. "WOW.. Look at this place.. it's like OOF!!" Etsalin, Nipeerc, and Endevor turned around to see that Ratagain had arrived. And not only that but he'd arrived right on top of Legillus who'd failed to move off the port in spot. Endevor was trying so hard to keep from laughing he was turning purple. Etsalin shook his head and grinned. "Um... Rat?... You might want to get off our cleric so he can breathe," Nipeerc remarked trying to keep his voice even. "OOPS, mee's sowwy, you's no stay's in one spot when you's teleports," Ratagain admonished a sputtering Legillus. "Is bad for you you's pale elfy not very sturdy an can't take ogre bashin too gud." Legillus stood shakily then and started picking out the leaves and twigs from his mud caked armor. Finally Gremley arrived and landed on top of Ratagain's head. Seeing where he was Gremley began to dance around on Ratagain's head and shoulders. "Eh... you's stop doin dat grem afore me's grabs you an stuffs you in me bags." Gremley just cackled gleefully and hopped down. "Everyone pipedown something's nearby" Nipeerc warned. Ratagain, Gremley and Etsalin all began to cast spells immediately. Ratagain and Gremley vanished as did Legillus, Endevor fell over and Nipeerc readied his bow. Etsalin began to cast another spell and Endevor vanished. After another short incant Nipeerc vanished. Then casting a shorter spell on himself he saw the ghostish bodies of his companion's cloaked in invisibility. That's when he heard the crunching of twigs under a big foot approaching closer. Moving quickly behind a tree he cast the same short spell on everyone in the party. Satisfied everyone could see each other he indicated a tree on the nearby Cliffside and ran for it. The rest followed as did the two giants who had come to check on the port in area. "Just keep running" Etsalin shouted. Turning around Etsalin cast a spell and glowing ghostly shackles rose up from the ground and entangled the Giant's legs slowing them considerably. Etsalin turned back around and saw everyone up ahead at the tree he'd indicated and ran past them motioning for them to follow. Up they went when something touched Etsalin's mind like a whisper... 'you're not invisible silly.' Etsalin stopped dead and looked down, and sure enough he was solid as a tree. Shaking his head he quickly cast invisibility on him self and proceeded toward the Field of bone. Sure enough as they made their way out of the woods there were markers placed along the way to show them where to go. They made it to the field of bone and from there the markers seemed to disappear. "Well now what wizzie" Gremley remarked. Etsalin concentrated a moment. "This way," he replied. Everyone sighed and followed the Wizard as he made his way onto the field of bone. As he gained confidence on where he was goin he ran faster. Ratagain had seen to it that everyone had Spirit of wolf cast on them and soon the whole party was running like a pack of wolves across the plain. Unfortunately both the living and the restless dead inhabit the field of bone. Before they were half way through the field everyone had lost their invisibility due to an undead sensing their life force and canceling the fragile cloaking shield surrounding them. However, unable to match the speed of the party, the skeletons soon lost the feel of the life force that had disturbed them and began once again to roam aimlessly about. This was not good though, for the party soon found the way blocked by a patrol of froglocks. "There's no place to hide out here and there's no time to recast invisibility before they see us," Gremley pointed out. Nipeerc pulled out his swords and Endevor cracked his knuckles. Etsalin shrugged with an odd glint in his eyes, "Then we take first strike and even the odds." With that the sky began to darken and terrible words began to pour from his mouth as lightning danced about his robes collecting condensed air and freezing it. Ratagain rumbled something and the first froglock staggered back as vengeful spirits slammed into it knocking it and a few other of its companions down. Legillus mumbled a prayer and made a symbol with his hands and another froglock wavered as the stun spell took effect. Gremley raised a pile of bones into an undead minion and bid it join the fray with Nipeerc and Endevor who'd gone charging into battle. As Nipeerc and Endevor closed with the froglocks though they were thrown into the air by a magical force. Nipeerc came down hard but managed to roll to lessen the damage. Endevor landed almost lightly and shouted, "They've got a wizard with them!" At this moment Etsalin roared out a word of Command in his long incantation and a massive ball of ice flew down from the sky breaking into massive shards as they struck the froglock wizard full in the chest. The wizard's green skin shone for a moment as magical shielding tried to fend off the magical strike but the power of the ice comet was too much and the froglock wizard felt numbed as shards of ice tore into it. Staring daggers at the High elf wizard the Froglock began to invoke a conflagration to consume the impudent elf. With an evil glint in his eye Etsalin barked out a short command and with a small gesture struck the froglock with a clash of mana stunning him and interrupting his spell. Nipeerc then rolled into the froglocks hacking and stabbing with his swords roaring a Dwarven battle cry as he hewed the arm off a froglock warrior and stabbed the throat of another. Leaping over him Endevor landed with both feet on the stunned froglock Legillus had hit with a spell, and with a deft movement of his hands snapped it's neck before doing a jump spin kick into another froglock warrior. Ratagain had summoned his spirit companion again and commanded the canine creature to attack with the skeletal minion of Gremley. Ratagain then began to bulge even more and grow fur as he began to change shape into a great Bear. Gremley meanwhile took the time to target the one froglock who wasn't occupied and cast a spell of darkness on it. The froglock began to slowly make its way toward Gremley but Gremley only cackled as he invoked a great fear to overcome the froglock. The froglock couldn't resist the urge and turned to flee but could only manage to walk from the fray as the spell of darkness hampered its attempt to run. Gremley grinned and caused a burning poison to enter the retreating froglock's blood, and then added another poison on top of that and watched in satisfaction as the poisons ate away at the froglock's vitality. Gremley used his dark powers then and converted some of his own vitality and turned it into magical power. Feeling ill and a little weak Gremley then smiled and sucked the remaining life out of the running froglock and felt his strength renew as the froglocks eyes glazed over in death. Nipeerc and Endevor both were amazed when a Gargantuous Bear rumbled into the Froglocks biting and snarling. The Froglock wizard seeing his patrol being beaten began to cast a gate spell. Etsalin had already guessed his move and began to cast a spell. Etsalin finished faster and the Froglock wizard screamed as it was bathed in a torrent of fire. The froglock fell over smoldering. Nipeerc and Endevor finished up the last two as Endevor flipped over one froglock warrior and kicked him face first onto Nipeerc's waiting sword point. As the other warrior turned around to swipe at Endevor, Nipeerc disarmed it of it's short spear and Endevor landed a Thunderous Kick to the creatures temple dropping it like a bag of mud. Legillus stepped forward and cast a spell, which invigorated everyone, then cast another that closed all the wounds Endevor and Nipeerc had suffered in the battle. Gremley stared at the bear a moment. "You would look good on my floor Rat." Everyone snickered, including Ratagain. Etsalin spoke up then, "nah.. he still smells bad, Nip, check the bodies for anything valuable, lets move out, we've still got the swamp to run through and the froglocks will be expecting this patrol to return. Refresh the necessary spells, regen, spirit of wolf, talisman, Legillus I could use a bit of Tunare's blessings as Ratagain's talisman's smell as bad as he does." Ratagain, Gremley, and Endevor chuckled at Etsalin, Nipeerc just shook his head grinning as he finished checking the dead froglocks for anything useful. "Well we're all set, though our powers aren't recharged," Legillus remarked. Etsalin shrugged and recast invisibility on everyone. "We will have to make do till we reach Fironia Vie, we can't afford to stop once we enter the swamp." Nipeerc agreed and everyone nodded. Gremley piped up, "do ya have to invis us though I mean sheesh I liked gabarer he was a tough one." Everyone rolled their eyes at Gremley. "Lets go, we're burning daylight" Endevor replied, and with that everyone took off for the swamp of no hope and Fironia Vie beyond.
Etsalin concentrated a moment while entering the swamp and smiled to himself, so far the advanced group's where they need to be. Then he frowned. But neohex's group... they should be almost there by now, yet the Giants aren't disturbed from their posts yet... Etsalin gritted his teeth... too late to stop now...
Ruric was having a bad day. He had bad days before, but this one was really bad. First giants swatted him as he was porting his friends in. He thought that he was fortunate that he didnt remember much of that. Then he woke up to one of Belladawnas pranks that scared several years off of his life span. And now he was flying through the air at a high rate of speed towards another group of giants. He hoped that he didnt remember this either. Actually he hoped he lived through it.
Tithom herd the crunch of broken bones from above and ahead of him and the bellow of a giant in pain. He wondered what had happened when a familiar form of a limp wizard dropped right in front of him, tripping him and sending him flying between the legs of a waiting giant.
Neohex stopped by stunned Belladawna and turned around. He winced at what he saw. Ruric was flying through the air on a collision course with a giants head. The wizard struck with a sickening crunch and bounced off the giants broken nose, right in front of charging Dwarf. The wizards body tripped up the dwarf who lost his grip on his hammer. The dwarf went flying through the legs of the giant, landing on the far side. Tithoms lost hammer struck the giant in the groin and the giant slowly toppled over, grasping its hurt parts.
Nice hit honey. Said a marveling Neohex. Never seen a giant taken down that way before. Belladawna looked through her fingers that were covering her eyes. Hope Ruric isnt hurt too badly. Neohex cast a minor healing spell on Ruric and smiled at his wife. I am sure that he will be fine with a little rest and lots of Brells best brew. Neohex surveyed the rest of the battle. Sakir, Seprentor and belladawnas pet were finishing up the other two giants with ease and Tithom had retrieved his hammer and was making hash out of the downed giants head.
Tithom finished bashing in the giants head then went to the downed Ruric. Hmmmm. He mused out loud. Doesnt seem to be in too bad of shape. Tithom began casting a healing spell on the sleeping wizard, a few seconds later Ruric opened his eyes. Am I dead? Asked the groggy wizard. Tithom shook his head. Nope, not dead my friend. Ruric closed his eyes. Is Belladawna dead? Tithom paused before answering. Nope. Not dead. Ruric stood up on unsteady legs muttering about injustices in the world and why did the gods curse him with goofy friends. Thanks for the heals my little friend. I think I could use a little rest before we continue.
Seprentor looked to the west. A light breeze was blowing from that direction, a light breeze that smelled of giant. We may have to wait for the rest. More giants are coming in from the west. How long Seprentor? Asked Neohex. Im not sure, five to seven minutes maybe. Tithom quickly began casting endurance enhancement spells on the group and Neohex and Seprentor began refreshing the Spirit of Wolf spells on the group. Which way Sakir? Asked Neohex. Sakir looked around and took his bearings. East for half a day then north. My brother should be waiting for us there. Neohex nodded. Lets move out.
Three hours later in the dense forest of the dread lands Neohex stopped for a short rest. Seprentor had ranged ahead and had left a subtle mark on the direction they were following indicating to the druid that they should stop here. After twenty minuets or so, Seprentor came slipping quietly thought the underbrush and up to the rest of the group. We may have a problem or two. We havent lost the giants behind us, they have increased in numbers as well, and seven or so of them now, and the valley we need to cross ahead is blocked by many more. How many more? Asked Neohex. I count al least a dozen. There may be others on the far side I cannot see through the valley. Replied Seprentor. Hounds to the hunters. Quipped Tithom. They are driving us towards the valley in hopes of flushing us out of the underbrush. Neohex nodded. It does seem that way. Is there any way we can delay those behind us without drawing the others down onto us? Seprentor shrugged. I wouldnt know how without sacrificing one of us to the giants. Belladawna shook her head. What do we do then? We cant fight 20 plus giants all at once and survive. Tithom looked at Ruric, who suddenly appeared to have a thought. I think I can provide a distraction for us and get us through the valley. He said as he open his robes and dug around in a pocket. We need to get a bit closer to the valley for it to work though.