Monthly Archives: June 2007

At the Junction

After a quick glance round the corner the mage pulled his head back.

“They don’t seem to have been attracted by the fight. Very odd.” Miklos had an idea, “Feldard your crossbow may prove useful. Firstly kindly fire a bolt down the passageway the Siswa vanished into I’d like to see if it too vanishes. Secondly, and this is open to debate, we might be able to draw those fellows down here into our own ambush as they seem to have ignored us so far. Master Feldard could stand openly in the corridor shooting at them until they decide to attack him then we all attack when they get here. Or we could just leave them to it and we head back to the last juction and head left. What do you say?”

“Well I am not here to slaughter folk.” the priest said, “They are not causing us grief, yet. In addition they do not seem to be aware of us or if they are, they are not interested in us. My vote says we head back to the last junction. We can easily double back to check we are not being followed.”

The dwarf thought over the options “While, I second the priests words in that we are not here to slaughter innocents. They may very well be able to lead us to the Rahib. I think at the very least we should check it out. We are here now doubling back seems like a waste of time. Saeth it seems yours is the tie breaker. What shall it be?”

While the elf thought over her reply, the dwarf met the mages first suggestion halfway. Firing off a bolt down the hall the Siswa disappeared would likely waste one of his limited supply of bolts but he did wing down the hall a coin. Just as the elves before it, the coin vanished into thin air.

Saeth watched the coin fade, pondering. “You say these new elves just disappeared, as the coin did?” She stood quietly for a second, trying to find a way to avoid agreeing with the Dwarf. Finally, giving up, she pronounced, “If they can hide on the other side of a magic curtain, it would seem that the Rahib would hide there as well. We should see what can be found with the guidance of these Elves.” She looked at Feldard, silently questioning if he would lead his plan’s realization.

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Shadowy Figures

The treacherous looter dead, Saeth returned the way she came, following the bellowing voice of Feldard. Hopefully that berserker hadn’t destroyed too many of the Elves…

Back at the intersection Maruc wiped the sweat off his forehead. This armour would take some getting used to he thought. “Well we lost them, so the games up as far as stealth is concerned. The Siswa just vanished into thin air.”

Miklos cut in, “They could have been illusions Maruc. But from my studies the caster would have to be in line of sight.”

“Well, Feldard spotted some shadowy figures up the end of that far corridor, so it’s a possibilty. Can you actually die from illusionary blows? These certainly hurt alot.” Maruc said rubbing his side.

“Not easy to answer, that.” Miklos thought for a moment. “Yes and no. If you believe you are dieing you certainly can die, but you would have to be absolutly convinced. But blows like these would probably just make you unconscious. Either way my guess is that this ‘labyrinth’ that the thieves elluded to might be a series of clever teleportation devices or permanent passive illusions like say a wall. Or if we are really unlucky, a floor.”

“Nice.” the priest replied, “Either way we will have to deal with the shadowy figures before we continue. I don’t want them comming up behind us at an inopportune moment. I can’t believe with all that bellowing and fighting that they arn’t aware of us.”

“Quite true. But when we have finished we need to return here and keep to the left hand wall.” Miklos paused, “A word of warning, these shadowy figures may themselves be a trap to lure you from the correct path if they flee at your approach leave them and return here.”

“Ok.” Maruc turned and saw Saeth approach. “Ahh, I see you have returned. Feldard and I are going to convince some shadowy figures that surrender is better than an early visit to their God. Would you care to join us?” Whilest walking back up the corridor, Maruc asked, “Did you catch him?”

Satisfied he had made the best effort at clearing up the skirmish as he could, Miklos picked up his gear and followed after the party.

“You know,” said the mage as he panted up the corridor. “The Siswa robe ruse can still work. Unless they are keeping an eye on us all the time by some sort of Clairvoyance, each time we meet a group of guards we should surprise them. Even now with these ’shadowy figures’. Provided Saeth and Maruc take the lead.” he added.

They donned their Siswa robes once again and made their way back to the hall junction through which the Siswa had disappeared. The shadowy figures in the distance were still there, moving about in the distance.

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What Trickery Is This?!

“What trickery is this?!” the priest glanced around to his dwarvern companion. “Well that’s ruined our chances of surprise. Well at least there is some comfort, they do not attack relentlessly unto death.” Maruc saw Feldards attention was down the northern corridor. “Are you listening to me?”

Then he followed his gaze to the shadowy figures. “Friends or foe, which you think?” the priest grinned in the torchlight, he looked almost maniacal, “My feeling is with the latter!”

For the first time the priest looked down at the blood seeping from between the plates of Feldards armour. “Pull back a moment. I shall call on Halav to staunch that wound.” as the dwarf started to brush him off Maruc cut across his words of complaint. “and none of your tiresome bluster! We are neither of us immortal!”

“Who said anything of being immortal? I’m merely made of sturdier stuff than elves and humans.” As the priest did his laying of hands upon him, Feldard kept silent but obviously felt the efforts would have been best saved for another time. He glanced back along the corridor to the north and then to the hallway in which the Siswa disappeared.

“We should regroup. If that thief was correct and this is a labyrinth, we don’t want to be separated from the rest of the party—especially if there is magic involved.” The dwarf led the way back towards the mage. The shadowy figures in the distance did not approach any closer.

Too busy with his tieing up and body-moving Miklos had paid little attention to the battle up the corridor. He grunted with effort as he pulled the final body into the alcove. He stood back a moment to look at his handiwork. It looked like a tavern’s alleyway, he grinned wolfishly. He turned his attention to the priest and and the dwarven warrior, who were now returning from their failed pursuit of the Siswa.

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Disappearing Act

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Miklos lowered his staff. This was not good, the Siswa would be alerted to intruders because of a bunch of inept thieves that had beaten them into the temple. Well, it was too late now.

The priest leapt forward and struck at the retreating Siswa guard in front of him. He steeled himself against the thoughts that these guards were simply unwilling slaves. Their fates rested in the hands of the Rahib. It was pointless to allow them to raise the alarm.

Feldard, like Maruc, was not about to let the last two Siswa just escape to warn the others. He charged after the two fleeing elves pulling at his crossbow as he ran. It was still tensioned from earlier and he struggled with loading it while in chase.

While his companions chased after their enemies, Miklos stepped over to the fallen Siswa and felt for their pulse. They were banged up, but breathing. He looked up to see how Feldard and Maruc were faring.

They were racing down the arched hallway, and passed a curtained doorway to their left. The Siswa, who were unencumbered by armor, were outpacing the dwarf and the priest. They reached another hallway junction. Feldard raised his crossbow. Straining for a clear shot, he stopped, steadied his aim at the fleeing elf”s legs and fired. The bolt sped towards its target, but just as it was about to strike, the elves disappeared into thin air.
Maruc was in the middle of the hallway junction, with Feldard right behind him. As they turned to examine their new surroundings, they saw some shadowy figures and flickering lights moving around far to the north.

* * * * *

Saeth charged down the hall, intent on her prey. How could they have been fooled by his treachery? As she ran, she drew a dagger and hurled it at the fleeing human. It struck the man, but he kept running, turning the corner in the room with the statue, heading for the temple entrance. She threw another dagger when the bandit came into view again. The dagger lodged itself deep in the thief’s neck, killing him just as he was about to reach the exit.

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Running Around the Temple

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Maruc pressed his advantage and launched himself at the next guard. His bravado sagged as the rest of the guards pressed into the fray. He rather hoped that seeing their comrades fall they might fight off the charm that had trapped them.

The dwarf bellowed a war cry as he turned to face the next Siswa, probably not the wisest thing to do given they were trying to sneak up on the Rahib. But the battle cry gave him the focus he needed to ignore the pain of his wound and continue on in his strategy of knocking his opponents unconcious. He swung up and over, and brought the flat of axe down on the next ensorcelled elf in his path, leaving Maruc and Feldard with two opponents remaining.

Miklos let the thief go. He had no idea where he was going and flying blindly down corridors was going to make his life very short. Saeth however, sprung into action, giving chase. She swung her scimitar at him as she came into range of the bandit, lightly wounding him. The man was fast though, and picked up his pace even more in light of the elven swordswoman’s pursuit.

As Saeth gave chase down the corridor, the two remaining Siswa guards decided their best course of action was to turn and run back the way they came.

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Battle in the Hallway

Feldard turned to meet this new charge, his axe once more at the ready though this time he was cautious to only use the flat of it to bring down his opponents. These were the villagers’ husbands, sons and brothers whom they were here to try and free from the Rahib’s ensorcelment.

The priest leapt forward next to Feldard to defend his flank. His only concern being to stay alive.

Saeth spun as Feldard moved past, and the priest after him—she hadn’t seen the ensorcelled Elves coming up behind her. As the two stood shoulder-to-shoulder, the east corridor was too thin for her to sqeeze by. The group of five guardsmen seemed focused on the pair of adventurers, as they were obviously intruders.

Maruc felled one of the Siswa with his flail. He was striking not to kill, but such tactics were difficult. He hoped the elf was merely unconscious.

Next to the cleric, a Siswa blade stuck deep into Feldard. The dwarf tried as best he could to repress the battle rage that stirred within him as he knocked the guard senseless with the flat of his blade.

The mage turned to the bandit. “Well here is a chance to prove yourself…”

Teikus immediately answered the mage, not with words, but action, as he took the opportunity to sprint away from the battle. Saeth was not surprised at all as she stood, her back against the wall, keeping her eye peeled for the captured looter to try anything funny.

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Wicked Creatures and Spellcraft

“Teikus, you are a fool to think that money will buy your life. If you had any experience of the Faith of Halav Incarnate you would know we would only seek to defend ourselves. You cast yourselves at our weapons then sue for clemency?” The priest shook his head. “In my opinion you should escort us and aid us as you can until we are free of the Temple. What say you my friends?” he said turning to the others.

Feldard snorted and wiped down his blade removing the fresh slick of blood from its fine workmanship. Then he regarded the self-proclaimed thief. “Well… we are one down, what with Nicolai sneaking off and about on his own, likely lost in this labrynith. Mind you, I wouldn’t trust him at my back.”

“Well my friend, indeed we can direct you out of here. But firstly you must disclose to us all you know of your travels. Here I have a piece of paper, draw as best you can the halls you have visited to get your ‘treasure’. Do you know of any great Halls or Dungeons? Try to make the map as detailed as you can. Even a sketchy idea of what lies beyond could be of some use to us. Perhaps there are unusual creatures that stalk the passageways that you have encountered?” Miklos purposefully avoided the offer of cash. As a Magi he was more student than mercenary, but if the others were to draw a fee he would have his share.

Teikus was quite uneasy. He had just seen his cohorts killed before his eyes in a matter of moments. “We had no time to look about and explore, for the Siswa were in pursuit. There are wicked creatures and spellcraft throughout this temple. Every time we reached a hall junction…”

The bandit’s words were cut off as the group heard the sound of footsteps approaching. A group of five Siswa charged toward them from the east. They had their scimitars drawn and their faces bore the familiar trance-like state resulting from the Rahib’s spell.

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