Friday, February 21, 2014

Flashback: Minion of Death

Tyrus allowed the campfire to burn low however the wizard could still make out small, mischievous flames dancing around the remaining glowing embers. It reminded him of Thay, his homeland and of his spell-power that has been rendered dormant- until that is he acquires a spellbook. Much like the gunslinger without proper ammunition, Tyrus was without his own resources. His temper flared in sync with the burning embers. This cosmic injustice fueled a simmering rage inside him, an eager wrath that made Tyrus feel powerless and insufficient. He promised himself he would never-ever be reduced like this again. Never in life.

Overhead a shooting star arced is mercurial trail over the small camp.  On the other side of the low fire Tyrus could see the meteor’s brilliance reflected in Shar Auvryndar’s purple eyes as the drow regarded the astral phenomena for the first time. Resting comfortably at Shar’s side was Meaghan while Sanford casts a long shadow along the tree line with his sleeping mass and by Tyrus’ side was the drowsing Blain who lied curled around his empty guns.
“I thought your kind were light sensitive.” Tyrus remarked bitterly to the drow, like every other remark from the Thayan as late- it was laced with contempt.

Shar’s violet eyes rose to meet the Thayan’s eastern brown ones, “I am sensitive that I, in fact slow us down during the daylight hours my friend, so each day I commence to task in order to adapt fully to the surface realm; my sight being just one sense that I must exercise. I have spent my entire life until now in the light-less realm. Truthfully the only times I've ever visited the surface was in Waterdeep at night and even then the stars were a painful glance.” Shar said at length.                                                                                                                                                                                    
“Yes, then throughout the evening Meaghan is overcome with tremors and encumbers any significant travel at night.” Tyrus said now thoroughly disgusted, it was no secret Tyrus loathed their situation. “This town came just as our supplies were near depleted.” He finished under his breath.

“Meghan and I said we would be responsible for each other so that no one else had too; our circumstances are compatible like that…” Shar seemed to want to say something else but allowed his gaze to settle on the dull red campfire.

Damin’s Wrath!” Tyrus cursed under his breath. If only he had his… Hell any spell book he would not be obligated to these maddening extra watches.

“How old are you drow?” The Red Wizard asked always keen to learn about his… companions; but before Shar could answer Tyrus’ question the campfire, the stars and the forest around Tyrus winked out as magical darkness enveloped the camp. At first Tyrus thought this a trick from the drow but he detected quick shuffling of movement from all points around him. Tyrus unrolled his Red Scroll and took defense. 

Sitting very still, Tyrus listened for attackers and from the darkness came a voice “Praise Death’s Mistress feeble ones; her ascension drawith nigh and you will help in her climb!”

It was a like the wavery voice of a mad-man, it was not one of his companions. Suddenly the darkness was defeated and the amber glow of the fire and the camp returned; looking around Tyrus could see their encampment was now surrounded by undead; they began to grab and pull at Tyrus attempting to subdue him. Two of the walkers, a man and a woman, looked to be ten years deceased; another larger human wore a helmet that had arrows protruding from it but that did not seem to hinder the creature. A fourth Tyrus noticed was a one-eyed orc and the other two undead were knolls, a skeleton and a zombie.                                                                                                                         
Stepping into the low radiance of the fire came two men, one an obvious death priest adorned with bent black bells, bleached white skulls, and death symbols while the other man was dressed in red robes with black cabalistic symbols on the trim and had a shaven head common to Thayan necromancers.

“I am Nhar-Del the fearless and this is ‘Death’s Hand’ Belathein, we have come for the skull-born. The rest of you may yet live a bit longer, but Death’s Mistress has revealed her will to us and it is Tyrus Skullstorm.” said the death priest pointing cryptically at Tyrus. Immediately his mind jumped to the skull-shaped birthmark on his forearm, it burned suddenly with an inner fire.  

“The skull-born,” Belathin repeated manically.

At once Tyrus watched as Blain and Sanford, roused by the chaos, drew their marvelous weapons as Meaghan dove for cover; but Shar, Tyrus noticed, was nowhere to be seen.
“Ah Ha! You tempt your fate!! Ha-Ah?” Nhar-del said laughing in reaction to Tyrus’ companions. “I have assassins concealed in the trees, fools! Each with crossbows drawn on you all- all save for one.” He finished smiling madly at Tyrus. “Now throw your weapons down and surrender or I will give the command and have them rain bolts upon you.” With this command he raised is arm ready to drop it to signal the archers.

Lord and Lady Deceased and arrow-face moved to detain Tyrus while the one eyed orc and the two undead gnolls moved to the others to collect their weapons.

Slowly both the gunslinger and the barbarian appeared to surrender their weapons when from the shadows a fan-shaped violet glow enveloped Nhar-del upsetting the death cleric’s ambush. Acting on the surprise Sanford and Blain instead brought their weapons to bear, poised to attack.

Belathin tittered and rung his hands together as he gathered his magical energies and condensed them into a beam of intense heat. Pointing at the big barbarian he released as a ray of scorching fire burning Sanford across the abdomen. The barbarian grimaced briefly but redoubled his tactics.

Blain Brightmantle stepped deftly away from the gnoll skeleton he swung his axe high and brought the wide blade down on the creature’s skull, it was not however enough to put it down earning more consideration from battle hardy Melairkyn dwarf.

Sanford stepped toward the one eyed orc walker and cut a grotesque line across the walker’s left side with his grey blades emptying the creature of its rotting entrails. The maneuver tactfully put him in harm’s way of the knoll zombie to draw its attack away from...

Meaghan drew a dark dagger, one Tyrus thought looked a lot like Shar’s adamantine dagger, and came stealthily at Tyrus who was still being grappled by Lord and Lady Deceased and arrow-face. Tyrus braced himself for the coming betrayal, it would be so easy, but instead Meaghan spun the dagger about and buried the adamantine dagger into the head of Lady Deceased which vanquished the creature.

The remaining two, Lord Deceased and Sir Arrow Helm continued to harry Tyrus trying to dragging him off to certain doom while the other three turned their hungry malevolent gazes on the others.

The gnoll zombie swung wide for Sanford who neatly avoided the blow while orc one-eye slammed its bony fist across Sanford’s seared left side causing him to roar in pain.
Staggered by the axe blow the gnoll skeleton clumsily dove for the dwarf striking him high across the chest; the attack brought the undead inches from Blain’s face. The dwarf coughed at the reek coming from the undead.

As battle revolved around him all Tyrus writhed and kicked just to keep free from the walker’s grip when he saw three violet bolts of magic shoot forth from the canopy of darkness striking center mass on the wide-eyed and surprised…

The cleric reeled, but despite the magical missile attack Nhar-del moved tactfully closer to Sanford, whereby he called upon Death Mistress channeling dark negative energy throughout the camp. Wracked with a cold painful embrace Tyrus watched helpless as Sanford collapsed unconscious to the ground while the others, save for the cursed drow, likewise writhed in agony from the negative waves of energy.

Confused and in pain from Nhar-del’s divine channeling, Belathin the Mad turned to the forest looking for
the archers, “Attackkkkkk!” but what he saw instead was a silver-haired drow with a wand leveled directly at him. Producing his own wand, Belathin sent his own lines of magical tracers streaking toward the drow only to watch them ricochet harmlessly aside. “Daahhyyuu!” he screamed.

On the other side of the camp Blain undaunted attacked again, bringing his axe wide striking the gnoll with skull crushing accuracy dropping the skeleton with one vicious blow. This gave Blain time to tumble closer to Nhar-del and Belathin.

Meaghan ignored Tyrus’ peril and instead moved to help the fallen Sanford who was grievously hurt but still moving. She knelt next to his body she placed her hands on his body healing his wounds. This surge of life gave Sanford enough energy to quickly stand to reenter the fray.

It was at this point Lord Deceased, Sir Arrow Helm, the gnoll zombie and Orc One-Eye ignored everyone else and turned their full attention on capturing Tyrus. At last it was finally enough, Tyrus was pinned- if only he had his magical spells. His rage surged.

Shar Auvryndar with wand in hand raised both of his outstretched arms, when he did this hundreds of small rocks and pebbles rose up in defiance of gravity then came raining down when he thrust his arms down with quick a motion. The uneven stones and sharp rocks blinded and scrapped deep cuts in both Belathin and …

Nhar-del reeled from the barrage of stones and at once began vocalizing incantations to heal his blinded eyes. Blain, taking advantage of the distraction, turned his axe head around and clapped the cleric hard across the back of the head. The cleric fell unconscious narrowly missing the smoldering camp fire.

After seeing his magic missiles deflected aside, Belathin changed his tactics and again drew upon elemental flame to empower his evocation but this time in the form of an intense ball of fire. After uttering the last syllable Belathin threw his fireball at the drow. His aim was true; the fireball arced toward its target however the spell’s potency fell well short of overcoming the drow’s natural resistance to spells causing the spell to explode harmlessly around Shar in a brilliant flash of light and flame.  

Seeing Tyrus’ peril Blain moved, brought is axe about and removed the gnoll zombie’s arm from its shoulder- thankfully it was the arm that held the wizard who continued to struggle.

Sanford bounded across the camp, his blades poised over his head at just the right angle so that when his grey blades finished their downward arc Orc one-eye became Orc no-head.

Meaghan grabbed Tyrus helpin him escape as walkers fell in number around him, he was at last free. Exquisite anger rushed through Tyrus as he stood and charged with his hands outstretched toward the treacherous Belathin. Leaping over the fire and the unconscious Nhar-del, Tyrus bore into the rival Thayan wizard like a lance of pure wrath.

In his hands was a wizard Tyrus thought- he would have a spellbook and Tyrus would have his knowledge and Belathin's power. Tyrus grasped Belathin violently around the neck and began to strangle the man, oblivious to the yielding pleas from Belathin and from the objections of his own companions- save for Blain, he understood. Tyrus could not hear them anyway, all he could only see was red rage and the potential within his grasp. 


Gordzilla said...

“Damin’s Wrath!” Tyrus cursed under his breath. If only he had his


Gordzilla said...

Orc one-eye became Orc no-head.

James Caruso said...

yes he did