Rebuilding Brangmar – Pt. 8

Aram quickly woke up Throbor and helped him into his armor. The gargoyles were nearly upon them when they finished.

“So, you know of gargoyles. Do you know anything that can help us fight them?” Throbor asked, directing the question at Tribst.

“Hmm…” Tribst thought quickly. “No, I don’t. If we had more time I’m sure I could find something, or Erin could cast a spell to learn of them. For now, we need to fight. Here they come!”

The gargoyles didn’t just land in the courtyard, one of them attacked on the way down. It was able to sink its talons into Tribst, but Erin got an attack off on it as it tried to make off with him. Tribst was dropped hard, and the gargoyle’s left hand was missing some fingers.

Annoyed at being grabbed Tribst shot some force magic at the gargoyle, causing some chipping to appear on its body. “I’m not some lizard for you to snack on you treefting piece of shast!”

Erin stared wide-eyed at Tribst for a moment before sheathing her long sword and grabbing her short bow. She shot the gargoyle that had attacked Tribst, increasing the chipping on its body.

Three of the gargoyles rushed forward and attacked Aram and Throbor. Throbor was able to interpose his chisel between himself and a gargoyle while Aram’s shield was only able to help him with one. The one that hit him left a large claw mark in his left side.

The fourth gargoyle, the one Tribst and Erin had damaged, flew back over to Tribst. It attempted to slice at him, but used its left hand and missed with the remaining fingers.

Aram sliced at the gargoyles around him with his sword and hit the one on his right. Chips appeared where it had been struck.

Gripping his hammer in one hand Throbor swapped his chisel out for another hammer. He struck at the gargoyle before him, trying to crush its wing between his hammers. The gargoyle blocked one of the hammers, only taking a glancing blow.

Tribst pulled out a dagger and tried to bury it in the chest of the gargoyle beside him. He was able to sink it into a chipped area, but it didn’t stay there.

Switching back to her long sword Erin gripped it in both hands. She ran over to the gargoyle and tried to slash at it. She missed horribly, rethinking her weapon choice.

Seeing an opening in Throbor’s defense the gargoyle battling him ducked under his arm and circled around behind him. He struck at Throbor’s back, leaving large, raking claw marks in it. The back of Throbor’s leather armor was ruined.

The two gargoyles fighting Aram buffeted his shield with attacks but were unable to hit him. In the midst of the blows, Aram shoved the uninjured one back and struck at the one he had hit before. His sword pierced a wing, causing it to crumble and fall off.

“Aim for the wings! Cut off their escape!”

Spinning around to face the gargoyle that had just raked him Throbor focused a searing energy into his right hammer and brought it down on the gargoyle’s left wing. The wing shattered into pieces leaving the left side exposed. Throbor side-stepped and brought his left hammer to bear on the gargoyle’s exposed side.

As the hammer connected with the rocky skin cracks appeared along the left side of the gargoyle.

Tribst watched in horror as the gargoyle that had been attacking him turned to take a bite at Erin. It took a chunk out of her shirt as well as her side. Responding instinctively Tribst once again shoved at the gargoyle with his dagger. This time he was able to find its heart. The gargoyle turned into stone, then shattered into pieces. “Stone to stone.”

Seeing the gargoyle turn to rubble in front of her Erin decided it would be prudent to heal herself. She said a small word of power and the wound on her side started to knit together ever so slightly. She then moved forward to help Aram with his gargoyle problem.

Erin continued to grasp her sword with both hands but this time aimed her strike before she swung. The injured gargoyle was able to dodge the worst of the attack, but more chips and some cracks started to appear on it.

The gargoyle that Erin had hit let out a powerful and horrible screech. The gargoyle next to it, the only one with both wings, took off for the edge of the city. Unable to do anything to stop it Aram took another swing at the one next to him. It shattered into pieces.

The Gargoyle on Throbor slashed again, this time missing entirely. It was met with two hammers to the face, crushing it to dust. Throbor dusted himself off and handed some blue ash to Erin. “Here, finish healing with this.”

“Thanks.” Erin took the offered bag and started rubbing the ash into her wound. “I hope we don’t meet them again. They weren’t hard to kill, but they sure hit hard.” She took a fistful of the ash and started rubbing it into Throbor’s back wound. “Here, you need this as much as I do.”

Tribst took a small handful from the bag and rubbed it into his shoulders. “I don’t know where they’re going, I’m just glad they’re gone.” He pulled another handful of blue ash from the bag and gave it to Aram. “For your side. That looks nasty.”

“Well,” Aram said after their wounds were attended to, “the sun is already rising. Should we just continue out of this city for now?”

“Sounds good.” Erin stared at her exposed side under the torn leather armor and at Throbor’s exposed back. “Maybe we should keep an eye out for better options on armor.”

Throbor looked around at the ruins and saw pieces of metal everywhere. “No, I have a better idea.” He removed his leather armor and handed it to Erin. He looked less intimidating in his cloth clothes. “I think Tribst can help make you armor with that. I’m going to forge out my own later.” He started to collect scraps of iron from around their campsite. “I can make you a set too, Aram, if you want some better armor.”

“In that case, Erin should take my leather and Tribst should fashion himself something more protective. My size is similar to Erin’s” He didn’t start taking off his armor. “For now, however, I will keep my leather. If we get in a fight I want to be in the thick of it with protection.”

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Rebuilding Brangmar – Pt. 7

The ritual wore off and the four adventurers found themselves able to speak Gaelic. It was strange. They knew the language as if it was their native tongue, and yet they knew they had previously had no knowledge of the language.

“So, this is weird. I have to keep myself from falling into Nordic, but I can speak this tongue as if it were the one I learned from birth.” Throbor ducked to avoid some low-hanging debris. “Are we heading out of this ruin or exploring it?”

Aram hopped over some discarded boxes with something rotting in them. “There’s nothing more to do here. Let’s move on. I don’t want to run into more of those Teblats…oh, that’s what they’re called.” Continue reading

Terra Incognita – Chapter 9

Terra IncognitaHelena was about to throw fire again when Orby made her slow down. Wait. Focus your energy through me. Don’t quick cast if you can avoid it. Slow your breathing. Speak the word fire in draconic. Use that to focus.

Relaxing slightly the glowing in Helena’s arm focused into her hand and manifested in a green flame as she spoke a single word in draconic. She threw the flame at one of the shadow skeletons, causing the shadow to appear to bleed. Continue reading

Rebuilding Brangmar – Pt. 6

Tribst, the salaman, walked over to Throbor who was scooping up some Blue Ash and pulled out a few pouches from his small pack. He began to scoop up some of the ash as well.

Erin watched for a moment then turned to Aram. He was also watching them scoop up the ash. She grunted to get his attention then pointed at the discarded adventuring materials he had dropped. Continue reading

Terra Incognita – Ch. 8

Lourek started pacing. Lukren had been gone for eight minutes and the dwarf was getting restless. “Should we wait two more minutes? I think we should go.”

Helena leaned against the wall and slowly stood up. “I think it would be best if we started moving. If he’s not in trouble we’ll meet up with him.” She paused as Sorley helped her finish standing. “If he’s in trouble getting there quicker will only help.”

A light became visible in the direction they were headed. It seemed to be coming towards them.

“Maybe that’s him now.” Sorley pointed at the light, torch in hand.

The soft plodding of fox paws started as Ember began to trot towards the light. “I’ll check it out.”

“Be careful.”

Ember looked back and nodded at Helena. “Of course.” Then she scampered forward, torch left behind.

– – –

The light wasn’t torchlight. But it also wasn’t one of those flameskull things. Ember watched as a small creature seemingly made of green fire floated slowly toward where Sorley and the others were. She tried to remember what the thing was called, but all she could think of were will o’ wisps, which this thing certainly wasn’t.

As it passed by Ember hid in a small crevice in the rock wall. The floating orb of light paused and seemed to notice her. It bobbed down to her eye level and floated there. Ember felt like she was being scrutinized by the light.

A small voice spoke within Ember’s mind. To Ember telepathy was something that only conveyed emotion or uncomplicated thoughts, but this was full on speech. What are you, little creature? You are no ordinary fox.

Ember tried to think back to the creature. I’m not. What are you?

I’m a light elemental. Call me Orby. The light did a little circle. I’m searching for Helena. Do you know where she is?

Before it could be stopped the image of Helena appeared in Ember’s mind. It showed her walking towards them.

Thank you. We can wait here then.

Ember nodded, uncertain if she had made a mistake or not.

– – –

Sorley felt the confusion in Ember’s mind and started walking faster.

“Oi, slow down. I can’t keep up.”

“Sorry. I’m getting confusion from Ember. I don’t think it’s Lukren that’s ahead. He didn’t have a torch with him anyway, did he?”

Lourek started moving more swiftly down the tunnel. “Well, I’m going to look for him. You can deal with whatever Ember found.”

Orby and Ember watched as Lourek walked past them at a quickened pace. He barely glanced at them as he continued forward.

Who’s that? Orby asked, floating in the direction Lourek had gone for a few feet then stopping. I think I saw another one earlier. He wasn’t in that much of a hurry though.

That’s Lourek. The one you saw before was probably Lukren.

Strange names.

Ember shook her head. So’s Orby.

Fair.

Ember looked in the direction Lukren had come from and saw a torch coming closer. She focused on Sorley and tried to think to him like Orby was to her. Can you hear me?

The torch paused for a moment in the distance then started approaching faster than before. Could we always talk like this?

Ember hopped a few times, excited that she discovered a new layer to her connection to Sorley. I have no idea. I found the source of the light. It’s a light elemental that’s named Orby. It says it was looking for Helena.

– – –

Helena watched as Sorley’s face twisted into confusion then into excitement and back into confusion. He turned toward her and his expression became a questioning one.

“Do you know a light elemental that calls itself Orby?”

The name seemed familiar to Helena, but she couldn’t quite place it. “The name seems familiar for some reason. If I did know a light elemental, it was before…”

Sorley nodded. “Can we walk faster?”

“Yes, I think I can go a little faster.”

– – –

So, how do you know Helena? Ember asked. She was slowly walking in the direction of the torch-light and Orby had started to follow behind.

The elemental bobbed along, almost seeming to dance. I knew her when she was very little. She’s a dracomage you know. Dracomages bond with elementals. When the orcs attacked I was too small and weak to help her. She may not remember though. We’ve been apart for so long.

How long? Ember wondered why Helena wouldn’t remember. She was surely no older than Sorley was.

Forty years maybe. I can sense your confusion. Elves live a long time.

I think I knew that, on some level. Ember remembered Sorley’s lessons with his mother on the history of non-humans. It just never clicked.

Sorley and Helena paused in front of Ember and a floating orb of light. The two seemed to be having some sort of conversation and Ember bumped into Sorley.

“Oops. Sorry. Wasn’t paying attention.” Ember looked up at Sorley and Helena. “This is Orby. Orby this is Sorley, and this is Helena.” She pointed at them with her snout.

The green light floated up to Helena and floated near her wound. A wisp of light reached out and touched the bandage. Nice work. Seems to be healing nicely. Everyone was able to hear the elemental. I suppose I have Sorley to thank for the bandage? Orby floated up to Helena’s scale impression arm. Ah, a quick spell cast. Seems recent. That might be why I sensed where you were.

Helena started at the green orb. It was the same color as the fire she had conjured before. “Do I know you from somewhere?”

In response the elemental flowed into her arm and the scale pattern receded slightly. I am your focus. I can slow the scales, but only slightly. If you cast like you did before too often you will start growing scales. Helena, you vowed you would never grow scales. You didn’t want to be a battle mage.

The reminder of the vow brought some memories flooding back into Helena’s mind. The block had the taste of her mother within it. “Times change. I was merely ten when I made that vow. Mother blocked my memories. Though she couldn’t block the ones of The Leak.”

“We can’t hear it anymore. It’s only talking to you.” Sorley slowed down with Helena. “Can you still continue or do you need a moment?”

Before Helena could respond cries of agony echoed down the tunnel. It sounded like Lourek and Lukren. “Let’s go.”

I see memories of another rend. Is it in this cave?

Not now. We need to focus on the dwarves.

Very well.

– – –

Lourek came upon Lukren who was fending off a small, undead creature. It looked similar to a skeleton except that it had dark tendrils seeping from it. Lourek had heard stories of this creature before. It was actually two creatures. One was the skeleton, the other was a shadow. Working together the two could take down more prey.

“Careful Lukren! That’s a shadow-skeleton!” Lourek rushed forward to help.

Lukren glanced back to see Lourek. “I told you ten minutes!” He smacked the shadow-skeleton with the flat of his blade. “Also, I know what it is!”

Lourek pulled the daggers from his back and closed in on the creature. Together the two dwarves made swift work of it.

“Well, Flaskheart. That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

“Aye, brother. Not bad at all.”

“Don’t call me brother!”

“Then don’t call me Flaskheart!”

The two dwarves broke into an argument, yelling at each other in dwarvish. While they were distracted another shadow-skeleton appeared from the darkness and sent tendrils of darkness toward them.

In unison the dwarves cried out in agony as they took massive damage. Their shadows started to disconnect from their bodies. In the dim light they were unable to tell what was happening at first. When they realized the predicament they were in they saw torchlight coming around a bend in the corridor. Sorley, Helena, and Ember stood in shock of what they saw, but they swiftly moved into an attack formation.

The arm where the faint scales were still visible on Helena glowed a strange green light as she pointed at the shadow-skeleton.

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Rebuilding Brangmar – Pt. 5

Throbor’s head was a little fuzzy after taking some of the damage from Erin’s attack. Carefully getting to a standing position Throbor caught the attention of the strange dogs again. The three of them turned to face him. The fourth, which seemed to have been the leader, was turning into a pile of blue ash. Throbor lashed out with his hammer, hitting one of the dogs atop the head. When he went to make another attack he realized that his chisel wasn’t in his hand. “Shit.” Continue reading

Rebuilding Brangmar – Pt. 4

Carefully climbing the slope of a downed spire Aram took point and Throbor took the rear. If anything appeared in front the warrior would catch it, and if anyone were to slip the jotuun would catch them.

Aram made it to the surface and looked around. All seemed clear and he gave a caution sign. Then he also gave the clear sign. Cautiously he pulled himself onto a stable part of the cobbled road and helped Erin up. He nodded to her and turned to survey the area more thoroughly as she helped Tribst up. Continue reading