Into the heart of the story Chapter 4 = The dark powers
The Light Warriors prepared to leave the elvin capitol of Qualinost, the destination was a near abandoned castle to the northwest, it was the only lead to finding a powerful creature who had stolen a magic item of great importance, the evil dark elf known as Astos had stolen a powerful magical orb and was causing trouble wherever he went, he was the target of the Light Warriors.
They left the gates of the grand city, unaware that eyes watched them wherever they went, Astos had magical spirits who watched them day and night and they were playing right into his hands, yet he was an opportunist, the Light Warriors could get something for him that lay beyond his power, a crown that was guarded by a cabal of powerful wizards who were protected from his magic, perhaps they could defeat the wizards and bring back his crown.
Fighter held in his hand the peace treaty signed by the king of Corenia and the mayor of Pravoka, there original mission was to bring this before the Elvin king, but they all felt that if the prince had been awoken then they would have a better chance of starting an alliance.
Astos laughed a cold hollow laugh, his own genius amazed him and with his own ambition there was nothing he couldn’t do.
Part 1 = the eccentric king.
The journey overland was never a good thing for the light warriors, monsters and bandits roamed the plains, yet Thief’s knowledge of escaping had managed to save them from the claws of powerful beasts, if ever the Light Warriors were threatened then Thief knew a way out.
The journey to the elvin city had taken its toll on him, yet his people had accepted him due to the responsibility that he had taken on himself, although they seemed to greet him as if he was some distant relative and not a member of the Elvin society, but one thought that had stuck in his mind was the elvin kings attitude to him, it was strange how he seemed to almost recognize Thief, it was something he had dwelled on.
Fighter didn’t want the group involved in any fights until they saw the king, if Astos was still lying around then they wanted to be at full strength to fight him.
After two days journey they could see the castle in the distance, it wasn’t as big as Corenia castle or as beautiful as the elvin castle, yet this was a frontier castle, which must have dealt with constant attacks by all sorts of creatures, the Light Warriors had checked the grounds and they seemed to be clear, nothing had taken the castle.
When they were sure it was safe they opened the great wooden doors at the front of the castle, the inside was desolate, it was almost as if everyone who had left just took everything that they needed and ran, bats flew overhead and rodents ran free, this truly was an abandoned place.
They could hear a shouting coming from ahead of them ''Hello, is anyone there?.”
They followed the noise upstairs to a large room, it was furnished with tapestries but they all seemed to be damaged, there were portraits on the walls that had been defaced, at the end of this room was a bronze throne and sitting on it was a small man with a long black beard, he was wearing a crown that seemed to be a wooden bowl with jewels painted on, the man seemed to be smiling.
''So, I suppose you have brought my crown to me, have you killed the despicable Astos, do you have it, do you have my crown.”
The Light Warriors looked at each other, Fighter looked confused when he spoke '' erm no, we don’t have your crown, we have come because we heard that a
dark elf has stolen it and we are on his trail.”
''The dark elf!'' the king screeched, he stood up and started to punch the air '' I fought him, my useless guards ran away and alerted the people, they all decided to leave because they thought the place was cursed, I could see the look of fear in the things eye, I was whooping its skinny hide with my bare hands, but the cowardly thing grabbed my crown and ran for it, I chased it and chased it, but it ran into the a cave to the south, I couldn’t dare go in there, its full of monsters and ghosts, that dark elf is probably dead I reckon.”
The Light Warriors stared at him, he was mimicking fighting a monster with his hands, he had an insane glint in his eye, and he finally stopped and fell back into the throne to catch his breath.
''What are you doing here, where my subjects, where is my crown, get my crown damn it'' the king suddenly said with increasing volume, he stood up and pointed at Fighter ''you have a sword, get my crown back, get that elf.”
Fighter turned to the others and said ''Maybe we should leave'' the others nodded ''we will get your crown back your majesty.”
The king seemed disgruntled ''See that you do or I will have your heads, i will raise taxes then burn your crops, now go, your presence tires me.”
The Light Warriors turned and left, they waited until they were out of the castle and finally one if them spoke.
''I can see why his people left, he’s totally mad'' Fighter said, looking at the castle over his shoulder.
''So what do we do, obviously Astos has been here, I think he took the crown and his presence broke the kings mind, if I was stronger I may be able to heal him'' White Mage said, she too looked at the castle.
Thief sighed ''I think we should check out that cave the king was talking about, maybe he is there, and if it’s full of monsters and ghosts then maybe Astos is trying to build an army.”
They were far from the castle when they sat down to discuss what to do; Thief pulled his map from his backpack ''I don’t see any caves mentioned on this map, maybe he was making it up.”
Black Mage stood up, gathered his energies and said aloud ''TCELES''
He stood in a trance and five minutes later he awoke '' There is a cave, it took me a while to find but it is there, it will take a few days of travel but we should make it there without trouble, the land is barren and rocky, I also believe we should go, we need to find Astos and fast, he is still on this land but he will not remain for long, we cant let the trail get cold.”
Fighter sighed, time was running out, they needed to get Astos, if they couldn’t get to him then could they be worthy of saving the world, Astos was evil but he was the lesser of evils, if he could evade capture then how could they even have a hope of facing the true evils that plagued the world.
''Then we should go, if anything we can say that he is not there, if we have to search this land and the seas then we will, he will not escape us'' Fighter said, he clenched his fist, all this secrecy and running away had annoyed him, he wanted to fight this creature blade to blade, not chase it halfway across the continent.
The others nodded in agreement, they gathered there equipment and left, before they did Black Mage looked at the castle in the distance; he stared for a few moments and then followed the others.
Part 2 = No rest for the faithful
The journey to the cave was tense, it was all Fighter could do to not shout at the sky, the frustration of letting Astos escape was getting to him, he wanted a straight fight, to win or die. The others felt equally nervous; this could make or break their destiny.
When the cave came into site they were thankful, at least now they could accomplish something, the outside was surrounded by marshland, yet it stopped about twenty feet away from the entrance in an almost circular way, it was like the cave itself was generating the mess. The cave entrance was flanked either side by pillars, on the pillars were runes, Black Mage recognized them as an old human dialect, time had however eroded most of the writing off, he could only make out three words clearly, 'duty', 'last' and 'guardian’.
Fighter and Thief drew blades, White Mage summoned a ball of light to lead them into the darkness, Black Mage studied the runes more closely, nothing more could be gleaned, he told the others what he knew.
''This reminds me of stories of an ancient civilization of humans who were ravaged by a magical plague, this may be one of the last tombs'' Black Mage said as he brushed away vegetation that had grown on the pillar.
White Mage bowed her head ''I also know of the tale, the order of the white mages could not help the poor people of this land, perhaps I can bless this place, calm the sprits of those who died without faith.”
Fighter took a step back from the cave ''What if we catch the disease that killed them.”
Black Mage shook his head '' Even the strongest mages can only make powerful effects such as plagues last a short while, it probably dissipated when its purpose was completed.”
Thief looked in the direction of the cave '' We elves can sense an imbalance in nature, this place has a feeling of peace, yet I also feel that something is still in there, perhaps its Astos'.
The four gathered there courage and slowly entered the cave, the ball of light led the way into the darkness.
The walls seemed rough hewn at first, then they smoothed out into corridors, bone white walls that ended in a great double doors surrounded by an arch, on this arch were more runes, White Mages light flew around the runes, Black Mage studied them for a few minutes and then gasped out loud, the other three turned to regard him, little shocked Black Mage, he started to read the writing.
''If ye come seeking treasure then death will be your reward, if you seek knowledge then truth is what awaits you, for you have entered the halls of King Banedon, last king of Veran, the kingdom lost to time.”
The gravity of where they were hit them, the tomb of a king.
The doors were made of stone yet were not locked or trapped (at least in Thief’s opinion), Fighter pushed the doors open with ease, stale air and dust hit them like a blanket, coughing and spluttering they could hear noises coming from the corridor ahead, voices came from all around them.
'' Leave this place, the cold awaits you, leave, we cannot control our hunger for long, the heat of your bodies calls to us, leave before the warriors come, they will make you one of us.......LEAVE THIS PLACE.”
The voices stopped abruptly, a maddening silence followed, the Light Warriors moved closer together, Fighters knuckles went white as he gripped his sword handle tighter, the ball of light illuminated the corridor ahead, and there was nothing but a straight walk as far as they could see. The corridor simply carried on, it didn’t seem to end.
White Mage pulled her holy symbol of Odin from her robes (the Red Cross); she held it in her hands and then held it at arms length facing the corridor, a silvery light flowed from her body.
''Undead live in this place, powerful numerous creatures, they have been waiting a long time for life to come to them, I must free them from the shackles of darkness that bind them, come my friends, we have work to do'' White Mage pulled her silver war hammer from her sleeve and held it at her side, she walked further down the corridor, the light growing with each step.
The four moved deeper into the tomb, the only sounds were that of each other, the corridor continued for another few minutes until they came to another stone door, identical to the last except this had a large rune in the centre, Black Mage identified this as the number one, Fighter pushed this door open as well.
On the other side the corridor opened into a room, five stone doors were spread around this room, and each marked with a rune (the numbers 2,3,4,5 and 6). They moved slowly into the room, nothing happened.
After a quick discussion they decided to open door number two, Fighter pushed the door and found it to be stuck, Thief and Fighter pushed, no more luck, Black Mage prepared to try a spell to break the door when Fighter took his blade and prised the door open, this time a different smell hit them, the smell of death.
In the room there were two large stone coffins, they seemed to be undisturbed, above them were more runes, Black Mage studied them for a few moments and translated for his friends.
''The soldiers who buried the king, they remain in this place to guard him, even in death.”
Thief studied the runes for a moment ''Didn’t that voice mention something about warriors.”
Fighter hefted his blade, Black Mage studied the coffins '' These have not been disturbed, I doubt that anything remains but dust, let us try one of the other rooms.”
The third, fourth and fifth room had the same things, undisturbed coffins and the same message, the last door opened to another corridor.
This corridor leads to another chamber, yet they could see something in the distance, a shape of a man.
They moved further to investigate this, the light flew down the corridor and revealed what was at the end, and it was a statue.
They came into the chamber, there was a set of stone double doors leading off and in the centre of the room was the statue of a man, it was on a pedestal and stood high above the Light Warriors, the man had a long beard and moustache, wore a suit of chain mail and held a sword faced down, on its head was a crown, on the pedestal was more runes, once again Black Mage translated.
'' This is the last monument to the great king Banedon, he died forsaken by Odin, he watched his kingdom fall and crumble because of plague, yet he kept his faith, he saw his queen and his heirs waste away and yet he kept his faith, when the plague started to take his health away he kept his faith, only on his death bed did he see the truth, he saw that the world belonged to Chaos, with his last breath he cursed Odin and from there he was awakened by Chaos, this is the tale of king Banedon and this is the last monument to him and his people.”
When he finished White Mage wiped a tear from her eye, she knelt in front of the statue and held her holy symbol tight, she started to mutter prayers to Odin, she put her hand on the pedestal, she started to cry, Thief moved forward as if to comfort her, yet he stopped, he knew she needed to do this by herself.
''Master Odin, why did the light die from this place, why did you let these people suffer so, why did the white magic fail them, why did you let this happen'' she wept softly, and then a loud noise interrupted them.
A noise that sounded like stone grating against stone, it was coming from all around them.
A chill voice swept through the room ''I warned you, now you must pay the price of ignorance.”
The four stood back to back, a banging noise came from the stone doors ahead, and shapes appeared from down the corridor from where they came.
Fighter held his sword at arms length, he pulled his shield from his shoulder and prepared for battle, Thief pulled a dagger from his boot and waited with two weapons, Black Mage prepared a spell, yet most striking was White Mage, a silver aura flowed like a shied around her, she prepared her most potent spell, a spell that would destroy most Undead outright.
The man like shapes moved into sight, the doors behind them burst open, battle had begun.
From the corridor came five skeletons dressed in tattered chain amour, each held a two-handed sword limply at there side, when they came into sight of the Light Warriors they lifted their swords and unleashed an unearthly scream, standing in the doorway was a skeleton like the others except its bones seemed to be bleeding, it held two swords also dripping with blood and wore a more complete suit of amour than the other skeletons, it locked its empty eyes with White Mages and together they charged.
White Mage shouted ''Move into the light my friends, I will deal with this,'' her silver aura spread from her into a circle around her.
The others moved into the light and the skeletons stopped, they paced slowly around the edge and seemed to be indecisive about attacking, then the blooded one started to focus on the aura, black energy flowed from the more powerful creature and started to push against the silver light of White Mages power.
White Mage looked at her holy symbol and then at the skeletons, she felt Odin’s presence in this place, even if the spirits of the dead had shunned him, she shouted the words to her most powerful incantation.
''From Asgards realm his lance Gungir strikes, Harm.”
From the top of the aura a shape appeared, a shape of a man dressed in shining plate amour, in one hand it held a large sword that shone blue and a lance in his other hand that shone golden, the shape had a long grey beard and a single gleaming eye, on its head it wore a helmet with dark antlers crowning the figure, all who saw this knew what it was, it was a magical representation of Odin himself.
Without delay the figure threw its lance among the group of skeletons on one side, the lance struck the floor in the direct centre of the creatures, the skeletons only had time to emit another scream before an explosion of light that came from the lance enveloped them all, the lance slowly faded and all that was left was the ash of the skeletons.
The figure then turned and pointed its sword at the bloodied skeleton standing before it, a beam of light shot from the sword and struck the creature, knocking it backwards.
The figure looked down at White Mage and smiled, it then faded away, the aura went with it, leaving the Light Warriors unprotected against the bloodied skeleton that remained, the thing stood up and only seemed slightly scorched, it hefted its swords and started to move forward again, it didn’t get far however as it didn’t hear Black Mages chanting.
''The power of fire burns to my will, IMIX hatred magic.”
From his outstretched hands a ball of fire shot it flew into the skeleton and exploded, the creature sank to the floor surrounded by flames; it collapsed in a heap of bones, never to move again.
Thief was shaken by all this '' White Mage, that wasn’t really him was it .”
White Mage seemed unusually calm ''no, that was merely the way the spell manifested although I think it was more powerful than normal, perhaps he did influence the spell somewhat.”
Then they heard more noises, from in front and behind of them, Fighter checked the doors that the bloodied skeleton came from, he could see a few shapes approaching from the darkness of the corridor.
''Thief, you stay back, they are approaching from all sides, White Mage, Black Mage be ready with your spells but don’t use them all too quick, our only chance may be to break through them to where Astos is, I am sure he is behind all this, lets go'' the light from the ceiling moved down and circled the group.
They ran down the corridor ahead of them and soon two more of the normal skeletons came into view, Fighter turned and said ''leave these to me.”
The others slowed down while he ran ahead, the light following him, these skeletons held rusted Morningstar instead of swords, Fighter held his shield in front of him and ran straight at the closest one, he felt the skeletons smash against his shield as he bowled the first one over, he turned and smashed the second ones skull with a well aimed strike, the one he knocked over tried to pull him down but he carried on striking it with his shield until it finally stopped moving.
Fighter stood up and the others caught up with him, they carried on there run and passed more crypts, they could hear the doors being pushed open from the inside, all around them they could hear the footsteps of the dead, closing in on them.
They came into a large round chamber with six different entrances (one of which they came through), and at the end was a large set of double doors made of bronze, the doors were covered in strange magical symbols, the Light Warriors stopped in the chamber and knew instantly that the door was there destination, Black Mage studied the symbols quickly, the others moved around him in a semi circle.
They could hear footsteps coming from all of the corridors, Black Mage started to read out what it said on the door '' beyond this chamber lies the king, enter at your own peril for while there is those still faithful to him then his memory will never truly die.”
From the six corridors a horde of skeletons marched forward, led by bloodied ones, screeching commands at the lesser minions, they counted at least fifty approaching them.
Fighter and Thief started to push the door desperately, they didn’t stand a chance against those odds, the door was sealed tight however, Fighter started to rush the door, the skeletons closed in.
Black Mage stood apart from the other Light Warriors and said '' get back, I will stop them.”
Black Mage summoned the energy for his strongest spell, it may just have been enough to stop the creatures coming towards him, the others were amazed at his concentration, he didn’t even seemed scared, then he shouted the words to his spell.
'' The centre of nova, Kossuth Demon rage.”
His hands were held in front of him, he then parted them and pointed them away from his body, white hot flames shot from his hands, and then he clapped them together, surrounding the group a wall of fire shot up and sealed off the corridors, the skeletons stopped and backed up.
''The fires wont last long, we have to get those doors open fast'' Black Mage said, he went back to checking the symbols.
Fighter tried to pry the door open with his sword, the door however wouldn’t budge, Thief couldn’t find any locks or anything similar, the doors seemed stuck.
Black Mage prepared another spell, White Mage saw the flame barrier start to drop, she prepared a spell in case the Undead broke through, and Black Mage finished his spell.
''The power of lightning bends to my command, Zeus blade magic.”
A single bolt of lightning flew from his hand and struck the centre of the door, the door finally creaked open slightly, an impenetrable barrier of darkness awaited them on the other side, the flame barrier burnt out and the Undead entered the chamber.
Fighter stood back and said ''Get in, i will follow and shut the door'' the Light Warriors ran in and Fighter went last and pulled the doors shut just as the claws reached for him.
He breathed a sigh of relief in the dark, and then White Mages light appeared in the room and lit up the area they were in.
''Welcome Light Warriors, welcome to your doom.”
Part 3 = Faiths reward
The room they had entered was the largest they had been yet, all around them lay chests with gold and silver, tapestries of considerable age and suits of armour and weapons that didn’t seem to have aged a day since they were made, at the end of all the treasure was a large stone sarcophagus flanked by five statues which had rather unexpected appearances.
One depicted a knight dressed in full plate armour holding a large double handed sword in front of itself like a cross, one of an old man dressed in long flowing robes with arcane symbols emblazened on it and the staff it was holding, one of a man wrapped in a cloak, his face slightly obscure, the only visible part of its body were two hands holding daggers, the fourth statue was of an old woman dressed in the robes of a cleric of Odin, she held a Morningstar with a head shaped like the sun, the last statue was a figure completely obscured by robes, its face hidden behind a stone hood.
The Undead continued to strike the door behind them, Fighter and Thief grabbed some of the suits of armour and propped them against the door, White Mage approached the sarcophagus slowly, and Black Mage put his hand on her shoulder to stop her ‘‘We don’t know if it’s a trap or not, there may be traps to dissuade grave robbers.”
White Mage saw the logic in his words and helped Fighter bar the door, Thief took the lead and checked the way for traps he tapped the floor to check for pits, the ceiling for falling traps and the walls for the hundreds of things that could have killed them in an instant, when he was satisfied and the door was sealed the four approached the tomb together.
There was a silver plaque in the middle of the lid but it was covered in thick dust, White Mage began to wipe it away while Black Mage pondered the statues, it couldn’t have been a coincidence that they statues seemed to represent older, more powerful versions of themselves, he reached out to touch the mage statue, perhaps it was a message from the past, maybe people from the kingdom of Veran had foreseen their coming, maybe the statue had power that it could impart to him.
As he was about to touch it White Mage called him ''Black Mage can you read this.”
He pulled back his hand and observed the ancient writings; he studied them for a minute and then translated for everyone ''The last resting place of his royal highness the king Banedon of Veran, forsaken of Odin.”
They stood in relative silence (the Undead still pushed against the door) and finally Fighter spoke up ''so are we going to open the coffin then, I mean we need the crown don’t we.”
White Mage nodded, Thief checked the sarcophagus for traps, he gave the all clear and him and Fighter moved to either side and started to lift.
Black Mage was still preoccupied with the statues, he couldn’t fathom why they were put here, perhaps they were dear to the king, maybe they were some sort of guardian, his curiosity was overwhelming, and while Fighter and Thief were lifting the lid he touched the statue of the mage.
A chill wind swept through the room, the Undead from behind the door started to howl viciously, the other three turned and saw Black Mage touching the wizard statue, the statue was shaking, the other statues started to shake, Black Mage seemed transfixed, White Mage dragged him off, the statues began to be break apart.
A loud crack echoed throughout the room, all the statues had broken except for the absolute obscured one, that had started to glow, then it started to float silently into the air, Fighter and Thief jumped back and could only watch as the statue seemed to take form, the stone began to turn into cloth and flesh, it was coming alive.
Black Mage seemed to regain his senses, the statue lifted its head and he saw its features clearly, he started to panic when he realised what it was, he was about to strike it with a spell when suddenly a blast of energy erupted from the statue, the Light Warriors were knocked form their feet.
The figure had become whole, it floated and landed softly onto the sarcophagus, with a slimy, three fingered hand it lifted its hood for all to see, instead of a mouth the creature had several tentacles wriggling anxiously, its head was large and domed and its eyes were white and nothing else, all the Light Warriors could hear a voice speaking directly into their minds.
''Welcome Light Warriors, you have awakened me, I am the sorcerer who blighted the lands of Veran, I have been waiting a long time for those such as you to find me and your greed reached out to me, you have made a mistake in seeking the crown of king Banedon for I am Meythil, an Illithid of great power and your journey has reached its end''
Meythil suddenly trusted his arms out to either side of his body, he shouted a word in the language of magic, four ghostly apparitions of himself erupted from his body and flew silently alongside him, the Light Warriors could hear five voices inside their heads.
'' Welcome to your doom.”
The five images began shouting different words in the language of magic, Black Mage didn’t recognise the spell Meythil just cast, he wasn’t sure if the images were just to confuse them or if they had some power of their own, he could only guess as he cast a spell at the image in the middle of the others.
''The power of lightning bends to my command, Zeus blade magic.”
A bolt of lightning shot from his hand and hit the image, the image flickered and faded away, the other images were surrounded by a sudden burst of light as they finished they own spells.
Four separate bolts of green energy shot from the images and hit each Light Warrior in turn, they could feel their strength seeping away as the images grew larger, their forms becoming more distinct as the life of the Light Warriors gave them form, Fighter could feel his sword grow heavier by the second, he meant to charge the closest image but he fell to the ground as is plate armour seemed to double in weight, Black Mage had run out of spell energy and White Mage wore armour under her robes that was weighing her down as well, none of them could act against Meythil.
Thief however could, he wore very light armour and his rapier and daggers also weighed very little, with a last burst of speed he threw a dagger pulled from his shoe at the image that was draining him, it screamed for a second and then melted away, he could feel his strength returning and he pulled two more daggers from his belt, ready to help his friends.
The beams stopped however, the images raised their hands in unison and a burst of green energy surrounded them like a shield, Meythil voice returned to the minds of the Light Warriors as their strength slowly returned, they felt as if part of them had been taken away, as if some of their spirit had been torn away forever.
“Now you understand my power, I have drained your life-force and used it to create two other versions of myself, with my power and my knowledge, now you understand the powers I command for I have not yet begun to fight.”
The images began to cast spells, Black Mage flicked his wrist and the silver dagger he kept attached on a chain to his elbow dropped into his hand, if he was going to die then he would die fighting, White Mage also drew her silver war hammer as she only had the energy for one more spell, Fighter and Thief were ready with weapons in hand, Meythil was right for the fight had only just started.
Thief acted first as a twin daggers flew at the left Meythil, it suddenly raised its hands as the daggers bounced off a wall of green light that sprung up in front of it, he pulled his rapier and his last dagger from his belt, Fighter leapt onto the kings sarcophagus to strike the centre Meythil, it waved its hand and he went flying back down to the floor, Fighters attempted attack had broken the creatures concentration and it had to restart the spell it was casting, the third Meythil completed its spell and pointed its left hand at Black Mage and its right hand at White Mage.
''May nightmares plague your mind, Sleep.”
Black and White Mage froze for a moment and then sunk to the floor in a peaceful slumber, the third Meythil tentacles twitched in glee, it had stopped the two spell casters dead in their tracks, all that remained were the two melee fighters, he turned and gathered his unholy energy for a spell of destruction, he couldn’t wait to bring the bodies of the Light Warriors personally to Lord Chaos himself.
Fighter got up from the floor and steeled himself for another charge, as long as he kept on distracting the Meythil then they couldn’t concentrate on their spells, Thief also considered this as he threw another dagger at the first Meythil and ran to the others that had bounced of the magical shield, the first Meythil again created its magical shield and once again the daggers bounced off.
Fighter charged at the second Meythil again, but as it raised its hand he changed direction and charged at the third Meythil, it was too busy casting it spell to stop him, he leapt in the air and pulled it to the ground, however it had just finished its spell and it grabbed Fighters shoulders as it finished it.
''Tiamats might empower me, Electric Fury.”
Electricity flowed through Fighters body, gaining power because he wore metal armour, if it had been real lightning then he would have been good as dead, however magical lightning isn’t as conductive as real lightning, although his body was in intense pain he lifted his sword and plunged it into the creatures chest, it cursed him in a language he didn’t understand as his blade cut into its heart, when it stopped moving it slowly began to fade away, he stood up and faced the other two.
Thief split his attention between the remaining two Meythil, he threw whatever came to hand, daggers, his rapier, bits of treasure from inside the room, rocks etc, anything that could stop the spell casting and buy them some time, Fighter pulled his shield from his shoulder and attempted to do the same trick as last time, Methyl’s minds shared a bond however and both Methyl’s shot bolts of energy from either side, Fighters shield caught one but the other blast struck him in the side of the head, his Lefain made helmet saved his life but he was knocked to the ground and dazed, it would take a few seconds for him to gain his balance, seconds he did not have.
Thief had waited for this opportunity, when the Methyl’s had cast their spells they had let their guard down, Thief ran with the unnatural speed common to the elvin race and his last dagger went through the eye of the first Meythil, it let out at a terrible scream and slumped to the floor.
The last Meythil knew he was in trouble for he hadn’t expected the two Light Warriors who relied on weapons to work out his weakness so quickly, he had to attempt something desperate, a spell that he saved only for occasions like this and the Thief with his annoying daggers and stones would make the perfect target.
''By natures hand by craft by art, what once was one now fly apart, Lich Bane attack.”
A wave of absolute blackness fell over Thief, he felt as if his soul was being torn from his body as if hundreds of unseen hands were trying to tear him apart, he lost consciousness through the immense pain, the black cloud dissipated and Thief was lying on the floor, Meythil made a snorting sound, he hoped that the spell would kill him, that would have to do however as Fighter was regaining consciousness.
Fighter stood up and saw that their was only one Meythil left, yet Thief was on the floor (either dead or unconscious) and it was down to just Fighter and Meythil, Meythil had once again burst into spell casting and Fighter had little time to act, he flung his shield away, grabbed his sword in two hands and ran as fast as he could.
Meythil however was only doing the spell actions for show, he knew he could not kill the mad human with a spell so he resorted to other tactics, when Fighter was in range he lashed out with his mind, Fighter froze were he stood as his perception switched from his body to his mind.
He didn’t know what was happening, one moment he was in the tomb the next he was in a barren landscape with a black sky, there was nothing for miles except Meythil standing with his arms crossed, Fighter felt a chill wind sweep around him, and it was no illusion.
''You should feel proud human, it has been a long time since I resorted to crushing an enemies mind, welcome to the mindscape, the place that wizards of the mind battle and where anything is possible, it will also be your undoing'' Meythil voice echoed all around Fighter.
Meythil form grew, his body grew to the size of a building, his skin and robes took a silvery sheen as his body turned to steel, his fingers became like large swords dripping with blood, his eyes burning with an unnatural fiery glow, Meythil laugh echoed around Fighter as he lifted his sword defensively.
''FOOL, YOU THINK PALTRY WEAPONS COULD HARM ME HERE; SAY YOUR PRAYERS TO ODIN LIGHT WARRIOR FOR THEY WILL BE YOUR LAST''
The giant Meythil launched forward with a speed unbelievable or its size, Fighter closed his eyes and accepted his fate, waiting for the bladed hands to crash down and destroys him.
He heard a sound like that of a catapult crashing into a wall, then he heard Meythil voice shout out in anger.
'' WHAT IS THIS, IT CANNOT BE''
''It can be creature because you mind is weak and now we are free'' a strange human voice came from above Fighter.
He opened his eyes and saw hundreds of white figures holding giant Meythil hands down; they had surrounded him and had bound him in chains made of solid light.
''You thought by containing our spirits that you drain our power, we however have been draining power from you, prepare yourself for oblivion Mind Flayer'' the human voice shouted again.
''NO, YOU ARE MY THRALLS, YOU CANNOT TURN AGAINST ME NOW, NOT WHEN VICTORY IS AT HAND'' the giant Meythil cried in desperation.
The white figures parted and a figure that Fighter recognised strode forward, it was the same as the statue he saw in the main hall, then it hit him, this was the soul of king Banedon.
King Banedon pulled a gleaming sword as if from nowhere, flew in the air above Meythil head and lifted the sword to strike.
''Odin'' The king shouted as he plunged the blade into Meythil head, Meythil form grew more indistinct and soon his form had disappeared, the white figures began to sing in prayer to Odin as their forms also melted away, soon all that was left was Fighter and King Banedon.
The king floated down and stood in front of him and held out his hands and motioned for him to gram them.
''Greetings Light Warrior, I am the last king of Veran, this mindscape is crumbling so I will be brief, on my death bed I never turned to Chaos, Meythil merely forced my body to say those terrible things, in anger Meythil took the minds of me and my people and fed of our spiritual energies to keep himself alive over the ages so he could fight you all, however we knew his thoughts as he knew ours, we have known of your coming for a long time, so we prepared ourselves for this moment, to finally destroy our tormenter and give ourselves final rest.”
Fighter was at a loss for words, these people must have been in Meythil mind for hundreds of years.
''Your path is one fraught with peril, I know of Astos and I know you must face him, in my tomb there is my crown, it has no power yet it may make Astos believe that you still don’t know his identity, I will send you back to your body before I go, now concentrate.”
Fighter closed his eyes and fell into what felt like a sleep, when he awoke the others were still asleep, he was on sitting on the floor and in his hands he held a golden crown, he then heard a voice inside his head.
''May Odin’s light guide your path.”
That night the Light Warriors camped in the mouth of the marsh cave, the Undead had returned to their rest and the place felt eerily at peace, Fighter explained what had happened and what they must do.
White Mage bowed her head in silent prayer; Black Mage stood up and faced the direction of the castle where Astos waited.
''He is still here, he is waiting for us to return the crown or perhaps he is laying a trap for us, no matter for we will make him pay for stealing Matoya’s power and poisoning the prince, together we can do it.” Black Mage said with an unusual glint in his yellow eyes.
''Together'' they said in unison, for even if they fight or fall they would do it as friends, together.
Far away an evil being laughed in glee, its moment of glory was at hand, for he knew the magic of the ancients and the battle skills of the Elvin rangers.
The Light Warriors, together or alone could not hope to beat Astos.