Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Sword That Wasn't There

Qova was chanting at the top of her lungs while the Snake also intoned his dark curses.  He suspected they were cancelling each other out, since neither seemed to be doing any good against the horde of undead in the hallway.

By the time he stopped, the rank stench hit him, and he flinched and doubled over slightly... trying to fight off the nausea.

Qova hurled.  She had never smelled anything like that in her life, and prayed never to do so again.

Arbiddance struggled to keep his calm as bolts of white energy streaked from his finger tips and slammed into the advancing corpses.  He considered drawing his wand of frost, but knew too many allies were in the area of effect.

Zombies had overtaken Hern.  He barely kept them at bay with savage swings of his blade.  The Grinning Prince deftly wove an intricate pattern of swords as he rended creature after creature.

Qova rose to her feet, slinging spittle from her mouth as she blankly looked up in time to see a shadowy shape with a hideous smile and exaggerated talons flying toward her... followed by another.  The second one fell to the floor as it was swatted by the Snake's staff.  She screamed as the first one took her back down to the floor and tried to tear her throat out.

Arbiddance launched his second volley of magical missles into Qova's attacker.  Bits of the creature flew away, but it continued its attack with manic energy.

Hern slew the last of his opponents and regrouped.  He turned to the Prince just in time to be slammed against the wall by an obscenity once a living person.  It swiftly worked its mouth open and close in its efforts to reach his throat, and Hern began to retch at the creature's rank smell. The Prince killed its twin and ran to help his fellow brother in arms.

Up the hallway, the armored figure laughed at the spectacle of our heroes struggling to defend themselves.  His laughter was cut short by a sharp blow to his back, and he found Ariya Thule clinging to his back and leaning back for another blow.  He reached over his shoulder to pull her off and slammed her to the floor.  Ariya was stunned.

The armored figure drew from his belt a sword hilt, and... as he pulled it back for a stroke, Ariya could see the subtle shimmer in the air where the sword's blade should be.  The figure slammed down as if to cut her in half, but she barely rolled out of the way and on her feet.

The Snake had beaten his opponent into some semblance of stillness and turned to strike the wraith attacking Qova.  Arbiddance hustled to her side and plunged his dagger into the creature's back.

It shrieked an inhuman noise and rose from its prey to face its new attacker.  The Snake slammed his staff into its back, and the undead fled from the melee.

Hern and the Prince finished their mutual opponent and turned to the armored figure.  Pushing past Ariya, they joined battle from opposing angles.  the figure took their blows and brought its unearthly sword down on Hern.

The fighter screamed.  Not only was his sword shoulder badly cut, he also felt as if a piece of himself was ripped away into the darkness.  He had an insane vision of seeing what he would normally see coupled with an exterior view which rapidly faded to black.  He brought his shield up for protection.

The Prince deftly cut two more blows into the figure though it paid him scant attention as it drew back for another attack on Hern.  The Prince desperately tried to parry the blow, but his blade cut through the "blade" of his opponent as if it wasn't even there.  Hern screamed as the figures sword cut through his shield, his arm, and into his chest... and then he collapsed.

The Prince twisted in his stance and brought both blades into the side of the figure.  It grimaced from the strikes and stepped back to take stock.  All of its undead minions were either destroyed or fled from the scene.  One intruder was dead, and two were on the floor, but it was still greatly outnumbered.

So it spoke.  A foul word... spawned from the deepest and most evil reaches of hell itself.  A word with but one purpose: to defile and destroy.  The Prince collapsed... blood flowing from his eyes and ears.  Ariya passed out.  Arbiddance was flattened and knocked out.  Qova closed her wet eyes and drifted away.

The Snake of Oiendun still stood... blood streaming from his eyes and ears.  He pulled a small globe from his robes... no bigger than a large marble.

"Fuck you," he growled at the armored figure, threw the globe at him, and laughed as the figure was enveloped in black flame.

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