Mar 12, 2012

Origins of the Founders: Live to Fight

The first explosion went off just as Crikk and Ragnar reached the village perimeter. “That should get the undead’s attention.” Ragnar said aloud.

                “Indeed.” Crikk replied, “Focusing the attention of the undead onto our pretentious allies will give us just enough of a tactical advantage that we’ll be able to do significant damage to the enemy’s numbers.”

                A band of Zhaitan’s soldiers shambled nearby toward the sound of Ziggy’s mortar fire. Ragnar nudged Crikk, which almost knocked the Asura over, and pointed at the targets. Crikk glared at the Norn for touching him in such a manner but nodded his consent. Ragnar gripped his daggers tightly, then focused and felt the connection to his unholy power grow rapidly. Ancient and unspeakable images assaulted the Norn’s mind. Through the swirling storm of necrotic sights, Ragnar focused on a specific symbol and with his thoughts began to create it over and over. He pointed, and suddenly the same mark began to draw itself on the ground with an eerie green light. Once completed, the light faded but left an almost burnt version behind in the dirt. The Norn grunted and the Asura began to do the same, only this time a sickening red light traced a new symbol into the earth. 

                “Traps have been placed.” Ragnar said in a whisper, “Now let us give these undead something to play with…”

                “I am well aware of our plan of action.” Crikk shook his head and replied quietly, “I do not need your insistent commentary and dialog to narrate our every step.”

                Ragnar made no notion that he intended to reply, or even that he heard the overbearing Asura in the first place. No, Ragnar had his steel gaze pin pointed on a few fresh corpses just beyond the undead troops. He called on the same power as before and chanted a few demonic words under his breath. An almost iridescent cloud hovered and swirled around the newly dead. As if being born, twin bone minions clawed and scratched their way from within the still warm bodies. Ribs cracked and snapped as one forced its way up from within the chest cavity. The other tore away meat and organs as it erupted from a villager’s stomach. Their human skull like heads twitched and contorted as their rat like bodies shook with each movement. Not but a moment later, the earth began to crack and give as a white claw surfaced, and with it came the attached bone fiend. This undead devourer skittered around and snapped its razor pincers loudly. The undead troop turned its attention to the newly formed guests. All five of the soldiers drew their putrid weapons and advanced. 

                “Before you even think it Ragnar, I am quite aware this is ‘our time to strike’, as you would so simply put it.” Crikk said. 

                Ragnar managed a grin. “Then let us not keep them waiting.”

                The Norn stood and with a mere thought, commanded his own undead minions to advance on Zhaitan’s soldiers. Quick as a rodent, the small bone minions darted left and right, moving in and striking then retreating just as fast out of harms reach. They clawed and bit and the undead soldier’s legs, wearing them down bite by bite. The bone fiend on the other hand took a more forceful approach. It leapt at the closest victim, tackling it to the ground with a loud thud, and continuously skewered it with its twin tails. Within moments the soldier was littered with multiple stab wounds and laid there motionless. Ragnar and Crikk both emerged from their cover and joined the battle, pinning the enemy between themselves and the minions. 

                Crikk planted his feet firmly and smashed the bottom of his staff into the ground. He raised his claw like hand and suddenly thrust it forward. A small green explosion burst around his wrist and a green ghostly mirror image of his own hand shot forward through the air. It hit one of the soldiers clear in the chest vanished within, then a moment of terror and pain washed over its face. Crikk let another ghostly hand fly, and then another, and another. The small Asura was unrelenting in his assault. 

                Ragnar on the other had taken a similar approach to the battle as his bone fiend did. He charged in with his duel daggers and began cutting and slicing. Swords and daggers sung the song of battle as Ragnar held his own, dodging, blocking and attacking. One of Zhaitan’s minions took a broad swing at the Norn and almost took his head clean off. Luckily he had the sense to roll back out of the way. The enemy kept coming and Ragnar was getting a bit tired. He quickly took his dagger and made a quick cut along his own chest. He touched the blood as it came out and made a demonic gesture toward his attacker. Pain washed over its eyes as it moved toward the Norn, but a sudden limp caused it to slow its pace. The bone fiend capitalized on the situation and launched itself onto the undead’s back, clawing and stinging on the way down. 

                Crikk mumbled his own necrotic words. Suddenly the earth trembled slightly as a stone circle rose from the ground. It filled with a warm red liquid that seemed to pulse a vigorous energy. Ragnar felt it flow over him, and he felt refreshed. He looked down and saw his own self inflicted wound seal before his eyes. He looked over to the Asura and gave a nod of thanks. Crikk just snarled at him and gestured back at the fight. With the combined effort of Ragnar, Crikk and the minions, the battle was over within minutes. 

                Meanwhile, Verd was knee deep into his own fight, with Sirona and Galzar close by. The explosion brought great destruction to the undead, but it also brought a lot of reinforcements. The Norn Warrior swung one of his axes over in an arc bringing it down with a sickening squish atop one of the minion’s heads. With his off hand, he swung the other out wide catching a couple minions across the chest sending them staggering back.  “This is what Norn stories are made of!” Verd yelled with a blood thirsty grin.

                Galzar evaded a few attacks from his assailants and quickly countered and pressed his advantage. He struck with feline quickness as he stabbed one of the soldiers numerous times in the chest all within a heartbeat. It fell backward motionless. “Verd,” the Charr roared back, “It’s only a story if you are actually able to share it!” Galzar ducked a swinging sword and within a blink of an eye was gone. The undead, confused, turned their attention to Verd. As soon as they had, Galzar appeared from nowhere leaping through the air and impaling his twin daggers into the meaty flesh of the undeads shoulders. The Charr rode the body down to the ground and rolled forward, slicing at the legs of another nearby. Its leg’s unable to support the weight, fell over and was quickly dispatched with a flourish of steel to the neck. 

                “Let’s make sure we make it out of here to tell that tale, yes?” Sirona cried back. She was surrounded, not by enemies, but by other Sirona’s. She launched wave after wave of ether bolts from her scepter at enemies, at the same time unloading shot after shot from her pistol. Her clones she created mimicked and mirrored her every move and shot. The undead minions had no idea which to attack, so even began attacking their own kind out of pure confusion. Sirona was holding her own quite well, but off in the distance more enemies were spewing from the shoreline. 

                Another explosion rocked the area near them, sending undead flying and the group stumbling. Verd glared back up the hill. In the distance Ziggy raised his hands and shrugged. The Norn turned his attention back to the fight. “One of these days he’s going to kill one of us!” Verd shouted out loud. He flicked his axes downward, and blood flung from it splattering the sand beneath. He charged forward and much like an Elementalists tornado began to spin faster and faster. He extended his axes outward and moved toward the closest group of enemies. The minions were unprepared for such an attack. They tried in vain attempts to block or counter, but were left at the mercy of the razor sharp blades. Many fell, some moved away, most were focused on the display. 

                Galzar took advantage of the distraction and pressed his attack. He charged a nearby group and vaulted himself into the air over their heads. He stwisted and spun above as he reached out, cutting and slicing anything in reach. Again and again, he jumped and sliced, twisting and cutting. It was a bloody mess, but the Charr enjoyed every moment of it. Sirona and her clones mowed down more and more enemies, but they just kept coming as if the sea were bleeding the minions out of an open wound. “They are endless!” Sirona shouted, “We can’t win this one, we need help!”

                “Crikk and Ragnar are close by, they’ll be here shortly!” Galzar yelled back.

                “That’s not enough!” Sirona retorted, “Look!” 

                The Sylvari and all of her clones pointed toward the shore. A large figure was beginning to emerge from the water. Its massive body loomed upward as it took heavy footsteps forward. It’s dead skin wrinkled and blue, while seaweed and crustaceans adorned its body. The body was huge and even looked bloated, as if it could pop at any moment. The creature stared at the group, its intention quite clear. 

                “Verd!” Galzar shouted at the Warrior, “Sirona’s right! We’re in over our heads, you included!”

                “What do you mean?” Verd said with confusion, “We have them right where we want them!”

                “We can’t handle whatever that is that just came out of the water!” The Charr answered back.

                Verd finally saw what all the commotion was about. It indeed was huge, gigantic even, a worthy fight for any Norn. The battle with that thing would end up being its own great tale. The Warrior’s eyes lit up, and Galzar saw it.

“Don’t you dare Verd!” The Charr snarled, “It will kill you! It will kill us all!”

“We need to get out of here now!” Sirona exclaimed. She shot one of her ether bolts high into the air. The Slyvari let off a few more rounds before sending her clones charging head first into the masses. As they reached the hoard, the clones suddenly shattered and exploded. Mass confusion spread through the undead throng as they began to attack one another. “Hurry, we don’t have much more time!” She yelled. 

Crikk and Ragnar rounded the corner of a building close by. They had the same expression as the rest of the group, it was time to go. Ragnar had managed to acquire a few more minions and sent them to intercept the hoard as well.  Sirona saw them and instantly glared at the Norn Necromancer. Crikk waved her look away and pointed back up the hill. The young Mesmer huffed and began to withdraw. Verd on the other hand was following close behind the minions, axes prepared, ready to carve his name into Norn history. 

“You idiot!” Crikk screeched, “You’re going to get us all killed with your deathwish!”
Ragnar and Galzar both began to charge after the blood thirsty Norn. “We’ll get him!” Ragnar shouted.

“This is just wonderful…” Crikk said to Sirona as he jogged up, “Instead of one acceptable casualty, we’ll have three…”

                Suddenly a high pitch whistle pierced the air. Another mortar shot hit and exploded just in front of Verd. The Warrior was hurled backwards. “Not again!” Verd shouted as he flew back and smashed into Galzar and Ragnar. All three of them crashed to the ground, rolling back in a ball of body and limbs. Galzar kicked and shoved both Norn’s off with a growl, and quickly got back to his feet. Ragnar also managed to get back to his feet, but Verd knelt wobbly on his knee. The Charr looked down at him and placed a clawed hand on his massive shoulder. “You alright Verd?” The Thief asked. 

                “His well being is not a priority at this moment!” Crikk yelled at the Charr, “Pick him up and carry him! The battle is lost and it is time to strategically retreat!”

                Galzar and Ragnar both grabbed one of the Warriors arms and began jogging back, Verds heels dragging in the dirt behind. They all ran back to the hill, while Crikk used his Necromancy skills to place a few more traps, buying them a few more precious moments to safely flee. When they reached the top of the hill, Ziggy was already packing up his mobile mortar station. The human looked up and saw everyone was accounted for. “Whoa!” He said with surprise, “You all actually made it out alive.” Sirona glared at him for a moment and continued past toward their rendezvous point.  

                Ziggy shrugged and finished packing. Galzar and Ragnar walked past to, shaking their heads with Verd in tow. 

                Crikk walked up to the Human. “You know… for a bookah, that was a pretty tactical thing you did back there. You saved his life.”

                “Verd is entertaining, thought we should keep him around a little longer.” Ziggy said with a slight smile, “But don’t go spreading it around, I have an image to uphold.”

                “Sure you do bookah,” Crikk laughed, “Sure you do…”

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