Mar 15, 2012

Tales of Tyria: Chapter 12 - Fight

If you missed it, here's a link to the previous Chapter.
As Skoldur raced towards the edge of the platform and the precipitous drop into the pit time seemed to slow for him.  One week ago, he had been at home wondering why Bear would not bless him.  Three days ago he had been in Hoelbrak trying to get answers from the Shamans.  One day ago he had found himself trekking through the mountains with a sentient plant.  An hour ago he had been fighting a human who was now a fellow captive.  And just a minute ago he had seen something flitting through the trees that had stirred something inside of him.  Then he had heard the voice in his mind telling him that the deception was complete and now was time to spring the trap if only Skoldur would ackowledge his true self.

That was when he had had the epiphany that Bear had not abandoned him, Bear had merely been deferring to Raven.  For it was Raven that had claimed Skoldur for his own so very long ago.

Now, Skoldur was leaping into the air, a couple hundred feet above the bottom of the pit.  He couldn't fly as he still had two Norn legs, but the wings that his arms had turned into provided him with enough gliding surface that he could safely float down to the bottom without worrying about the landing killing him.

He spied the weapons shed that Karthis had managed to tell them about and angled his flight path towards it.  Skoldur had expected that the Charr would fire on him with bows, guns or even magic, but so far the Charr were all so stunned at the sight that he hadn't had to dodge a single projectile.

He landed at the door, took one look at the lock and struck it with his beak.  The lock gave a little, but still held so he pecked at it again and this time it broke.  Skoldur fitted some feathers into the handle, pulled the door open and rushed inside.

Meanwhile, Skoldur's companions had launched into action as soon as they saw him move.  Naimh had used her staff to channel the power of the Air into a protective, electrical field around them.  One foolhardy Charr had rushed towards them, only to have the field singe his fur and then stop his heart.  His gargled scream gave the other Charr pause as he collapsed dead on the deck.  Karthis had been standing behind Paulina and raised up his left foot to her tied hands.  Together, they managed to use the claws on his foot to slice through the rope binding her hands.

The field that Naimh had summoned was quickly fading though.  She yelled out "Don't look!" as a warning to her comrades and then flung a glowing ball of white energy from her staff.  It landed in front of the Charr guards and exploded in a blinding blaze of electrical energy that burned the two closest Charr and singed a few others.  All the Charr momentarily stopped to rub the stars from their eyes and this pause gave Paulina the time she needed to undo the poorly tied knots on Karthis' wrists.

Once freed, Karthis picked up the sword that had rattled to his feet when the first Charr went down.
They were now forming up a ring around the threesome.  Naimh was preparing to unleash more destructive power when a Charr raised a rifle and aimed it at her.  Before it could fire, Karthis moved so fast that he almost seemed to teleport to the Charr, which he gutted with a quick upward slice from the sword.  A second Charr was also readying a rifle, but he suddenly tripped forward as the weight of a giant spider came crashing onto his back.  The Charr struggled only for a moment as the spider bit into the back of his neck with its poisonous fangs.

"Clicky!" yelled Paulina, who was obviously overjoyed to see her pet and companion.

Naimh finished her spell and suddenly the ground beneath the Charr who had brought them suddenly began to heave and tremble.  The patrol was knocked to the ground and then impaled as spikes of earth thrust up.

Fiendstone had recovered his wits by now and had clambered onto the top of his throne.  The remaining guards formed up a protective phalanx in front of him.  The two sides paused to face each other.  On one side were a half-dozen armed and armoured Charr.  On the other side were an unarmed Human, a Charr with a sword, but no armour and a very fragile looking Sylvari that had singlehandedly laid waste to over a dozen Charr soldiers in a matter of seconds.  The very large spider scuttled over to join the motley crew.

The plateau was broken as one of the Charr suddenly doubled over, clutched it's gut and began vomiting.  One by one, the other Charr guards were overcome with the same violent illness, dropping to their knees, then all fours and overcome with convulsions that wracked them from horns to tail.
As the heroes watched, the dead Charr suddenly lurched to it's feet and launched itself at it's former companions.  The sickened Charr could barely defend themselves against the claws, horns and teeth of the animated corpse.

Distracted by the commotion, nobody noticed the Asura appear at Naimh's side.  She only became aware of him when he grunted "I see Zojja has been reduced to teaching parlor tricks to plants."
Naimh was used to the utter lack of respect that Asura showed to all non-Asuras -- and most other Asuras too, she reminded herself.  So she returned his greeting by saying "I bet you've been wanting to teach those Charr some tricks of your own for a while now, huh?"  Grokk snorted and muttered "Indeed."

"Enough!" bellowed Fiendstone.  A gout of flame erupted around the undead minion and it finally lay down dead, again.  "You wanted a duel? Come face me Karthis!" roared the shaman as he leaped down from his perch.

Karthis motioned for the others to stand back as he cautiously advanced towards the target of his revenge.  The two Charr circled each other, slowly getting closer and closer.  As the shaman was about to turn his back on Naimh, Grokk and Paulina, he made a gesture with his left arm and a wall of fire burst up, forming a small arena with just Karthis and the Shaman on the inside.

With her view of the two Charr obscured, Naimh finally became aware of the sounds of gunfire, roars, screams and general pandemonium drifting up from the pit.  A flood of concern washed over her and she rushed to the edge to see what was happening below.

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