Friday, March 25, 2011

Lum, Chap 2

A few days of travel have passed. Revikh has angered me, he has no honor. Leaving us to fight, while he rests and watches and acts like a noble in a slum. Among the Tribes he would be taught a lesson, likely with a boot to his backside.

It is not long into another day before we hear yipping and barking from the woodline. There we see gnolls. They are not many, so we will kill them.

I call the beast to me, and charge to meet my dog-faced foe. I swing the ivory morning star, its magic fire ignites. I feel the crunch of a smashing skull, see the gnoll’s face distort and the life leave its eyes as it falls. Rel shoots his bow, but misses bad. He hits trees. I crush the rib cage of another gnoll, and see a purple light blast one to dust. It is Ivy, and her power.

The elf misses again, as I smash another skull. Drakha breathes the flame of the dragon at the last. We have no time to rest, as a large pack of gnolls comes to view, emerging from the woods. Maybe 40, maybe 50 gnolls stand ready. Fun!

I stand my ground, rage in my veins. I lay about me, killing with each strike that lands. Purple lines of power pick foes from my back, as Ivy adds her magicks to the fight. Arrows fly into Drakha’s foes, Relowen has remembered how to shoot as he begins to find targets among the horde. Drakha breathes flame again, and gnolls flee.

More fall to us, to my weapon. I roar in their faces, enjoying their fear. Lum crushes, smashes! I call out to my ancestors! The gnolls flee into the forest, and my rage carries me after them. I take two from behind, their heads lolling around on broken necks. Then arrows strike me, hurting me, clearing my head. My left arm hangs at my side, two arrows sticking from it.

I take cover, hearing my companions behind me. I hold my hand up to stop them, and we see many, many gnoll archers and warriors. We withdraw, and so do the gnolls. It is best for both of us, as I see an arrow sunk deep into my thigh. My rage had blinded me to the pain, and it rushes through my nerves now like a wave. We regroup, and Drakha works healing magics on the worst of our wounds. I take many wounds when the rage calls.

We take what little valuables the gnolls possess, and move on. It is late day when we come to a village. We ask about provisions.

These villagers have no honor! Farmer thinks Lum is a fool! A gold coin for five potatoes? Treachery! “Is potato THIS big”, I ask, holding hands out like carrying a baby. “No” the villager says. I glower at him, and flex my muscles.

“Then more potatoes” I say. He gives me eight potatoes.

We make camp, and I hunt. I enjoy the hunt, the stalk. It is not long before I return with a boar, and begin stripping it for meat. There will be bacon in the morning.

I am awakened from sleep in the night. Fire! Pain! I roll, making sure I am not still burning. I look up, seeing skeletons approaching. One is a mage, and throws fireballs. He is the one that awoke me, and I will make him pay. My rage comes without me seeking it, and I charge.

My first strikes find only air, in my rage I have misjudged my foes. The skeletons are more nimble than I thought. It takes only moments to find my stride, and I begin to smash. I take chunks of bone from my foe with each swing. I do not feel pain, but I know that I am being cut by their swords, that I am bleeding.

The magic of Relowen’s arrows takes the caster down, moments before I finally smash my foe. They are powerful skeletons, only six of them giving us a challenge worthy of the Silver One.

I step to assist Drakha, crushing, smashing. Ivy and Rel take down the archers, leaving just two foes. I strike with all my might, crushing a spine into powder. One remains, and Relowen kills it before I can smash it. I take a moment to catch my breath, releasing the rage.

There are no more skeletons, and so I return to sleep. The morning comes with bacon, and I eat heartily of it. We decide to travel on.

It is not long before we are met again by Revikh. I demand he answer for his treachery, abandoning us to fend for ourselves after demanding we follow him blindly. He does not, smug and sneering. I charge him, intent on kicking him in his nethers. He uses foul wizardry to halt me and lay me low. He then summons gryphons through some magic device to carry us further on our journey. He is a smug bastard.

I have not flown before. It is good fun, though I grip tightly. I also have not been teleported much, but only moments after landing, we teleport from the mage city to a great fortress floating in the desert. Revikh tells us we will finally have answers, and for this I am happy.

We meet Revikh’s master, Eldrin. He is a scholar, and tells us our crystal items, our riddles, are Divinite. He tells us we faced a demigod, a servant of evil. I demand to know more, but am cut off by cries of an attack on the fortress. The fortress is suddenly besieged by dragons and foot soldiers. Powerful magic to move an army.

We must flee, and the evil one, named Shayan, he leads this army. We leave the defenders of the fortress to their work, and move to escape. We are attacked by invisible foes, someone shouts that they are hellcats, and immune to fire. I pull my greataxe off my pack, and begin to chop about, seeking my foes. One of the defending mages casts some spell to reveal them, but pays for it with his life.

Surrounded, we fight hard. Ivy’s magic, my axe, Rel’s blades, Drakha’s morning star. The battle is hard, and we must fight quickly, there are dragons about. I tear one apart with my axe, see that 2 more have been felled by my companions. Rel falls to the ground on my left as Ivy drops another cat with her magics. Drakha and I step into the last hellcat, chopping hard, and Ivy finishes it. I help Rel up; we move to continue our flight.

A great blast of sound calls my attention, and my jaw drops as Eldrin banishes Shayan somehow. We deal in great power, pawns on the board are we. The kings are mighty. We are given some supplies by Eldrin, and sent on our way to the capital. Among the items he has given us are curious bracelets of magic, if we speak his name into them, he will hear what we say to him. He tells us to summon him if Shayan finds us.

I think about my path. It is no small task to solve this riddle, no small fight we wage.

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