Hunter droped into a low crouch
and extended his gloved hand towards the soft patch of earth. His fingers
touched the dirt, then he brought it up to his face, as if to smell it.
Deciding that was not enough, he removed the glove. He pressed his fingers
into the soft earth once more. This time, he brought it up to his lip, tasting
it. Grimacing in satisfaction, he rose to his feet and drew a knife.
We have little time, he whispered
to his friend, taking the knife and cutting a thick vine. He put the severed
stem of the plant to his lips and drank greedily.
The rain forest was thick -
nearly impassible this day, especially with the heavy fog. They would need
to move quickly if they hoped to reach a sanctuary.
Noah, our only chance is the
cliffs up ahead. Letís just hope the creatures cannot climb.Ē He informed
his mage friend, finishing up the last bit of drink contained within the
Aye, letís not suffer the same
fate as the dwarf. Noah replied. Hunter merely nodded.
They trekked on, making their way through the strangely impassible terrain
of the forest. Several times did Hunter call a hault, only to find a small
mammal or a bird as the source of the noise, instead of a hideous creature
with tusks. The cliffs Hunter spoke of were not far away. He had noticed
them before they entered the forest on the other side.
Suddenly, a shuffling noise sounded to the east of them, then to the west,
then to the south. Hunter swore vigorously, spinning around to survey the
creatures that emerged from the bushes. Damn, he cursed again. Clever bastards.
He looked at the creatures for a moment, realizing there was absolutely
no hope. They were preparing to lunge. He slowly drew his gleaming blade,
then whispered softly to Noah. Go...
The mage was too much in shock
to comprehend the words that came from the rangers mouth. They sounded all
jumbled, and all Noah could do was look at the creatures. Froth foamed from
their black lips. They looked like a mess of razor claws and needle teeth.
Small red spheres marked the place which must have been their eyes.
The ranger shouted louder
this time. Go, now! And with those final words, he leaped into a deadly
dance of blades, teeth and claws.
Noah ran. He didít think,
he just ran. He ran until his lungs burned, and his breath came in short,
He came upon the cliff sooner than he had expected, much to his relief.
It was a troublesome climb to get up on the ledge - that is, a troublesome
climb for anyone other than a mage. Whispering a few soft words and making
a gesture with his hands, the mage felt magic course through his veins.
It was the feeling he lived for, the feeling he would one day die for, but
hopefully that would not be today.
Pressing his hands to the
sand colored rock wall, Noah began to climb, ever so steadily, like a spider.
Once he got his feet on the wall as well, he moved at an incredible speed
for one climbing up a vertical rock ledge His hands and feet seemed to fix
themselves to the wall, and he could maneuver as well as if he were on flat
Reaching the top of the vertical,
Noah stood on flat ground and took a look at his surroundings. The cliff
continued to climb on upwards, although not quite as steep as the ledge
he just experienced. The cliff was made up of roundish, smooth rocks. They
had the color of sand, but seemed quite solid. Here, Noah could see the
vast rainforest he, the dwarf and Hunter had entered just hours earlier.
It was beautiful. Lush and green, with birds scatted about. But he knew
what lurked within, and dared not venture back, no matter what happened.
Deciding he had wasted enough
time, Noah cracked his knuckles and got ready to climb the next ledge. He
hoped he could climb over this big rock, make his way down the other side,
and manage to skip going through the forest again all together.
Why have you trespassed? Noah spun around to face the source
of the voice, but there was nothing there. Iím over here... Again,
the voice sounded from behind him. He twirled about. Nothing. Here... Thoroughly
convinced he was perfectly mad, Noah spun about a third time.
Leaning against a rock, he
saw an old man with a cane. He was perched right near a cave. The cave,
Noah could have sworn, had not been there before.
Come to steal my treasure,
have you? he rasped at Noah. Yes? I thought as much, he snapped, not even
giving Noah a chance to speak.
N... no. I donít want any trouble. You see, my friends were killed short
moments ago by ravenous creatures, and I was just - The man cut Noah
off in mid speech. Now my monsters are beasts, are they? he was beginning
to sound quite angered.
Honestly, I donít want trouble.
If you could just show me the way off this rock... I didn't catch you name?
spoke Noah, trying to sound as polite as possible. There had been enough
bloodshed for one day.
Magellan. And now you insult me by calling my home a rock. I say, what is
the matter with you boy?
Iím frightfully sorry. I will
be on my way, then. Noah started for the next ledge. STOP! the manís words
boomed like thunder. You shall perish, Noah. How did you know my na -?
The man seemed not to care
what Noah had to say. His eyes rolled up in the back of his head, exposing
just the whites. He chanted the words to a spell, but Noah knew the words
to a lightning bolt spell all too well. The young mage spared not a second,
and dropped to his knees and tucked his head down. The lightening bolt crackled
loudly, and passed harmlessly over Noah. The static electricity made his
hair stand up. The blue-white burst of energy struck the side of the cliff,
cracking it open and sending debris in all directions. It rebounded, and
nearly struck the caster himself, sending him off balance. The bolt went
right on by, somewhere off into the sky.
Noah managed to get off a quick
spell before Magellan could act. An arrow made entirely of acid shot from
his palm, streaking through the air, seeking out its target. With a crack,
the arrow erupted on contact with Magellanís leg, splashing hot droplets
of corrosive acid all up his side and down to his knee. The old wizard screamed
as the acid slowly ate away at his flesh.
Looking up, Magellan realized
there were five people standing where only one stood a moment before. That
bastard had cast a mirror image spell, making four exact duplicates of himself.
It was impossible to tell one from the other. Right down to the movements,
they were the perfect mirror image of the caster.
Thinking quickly and raising
his right hand, the old mage whispered a single word, and from each of his
fingertips, shot a red ball with a white core, of pure energy. The five
Magic Missiles shot forward, seeking out their targets slowly but surely.
The missiles spread out, each seeking a target of it's own. Four of the
illusions disappeared, while one crouched over in pain from the blast of
Magellan managed a wry smile,
thinking himself very clever. He became a little too cocky, and Noah punched
his fist out at the old mage, but he was near twenty feat away. Magellan
felt the force of the punch, nonetheless, tenfold. Noah had on his hand
a Ring of the Ram, a magical ring with a sort of telekinesis.
The blow of the magically
enhanced punch struck the mage in the face. Blood splattered as the force
broke his nose and sent his skull into the rocks behind. His skull hit the
rocks with a sickening, dull thud, but it was not enough to kill him, or
even render him unconscious.
As he sat there, sprawled
out on the ground, he whispered the words to yet another spell. As quickly
as he had appeared the first time Noah had seen him, he disappeared. It
only took a second to figure out where he had teleported to. Noah fell to
the ground from the immense pain. Magellan had one hand on Noah's shoulder,
and was electrocuting with a Shocking Grasp spell. Noah collapsed into a
heap on the ground.
Magellan took a few steps back,
then cast yet another spell. Four orcs materialized out of nowhere, and
immediately headed toward Noah.
The young mage had a summoning
trick of his own, one he had been saving all this while. Holding out a ring
with a fiery stone, Noah whispered a command word. Suddenly, what looked
like a man on fire was swarming the orcs. The elemental tore the orcs to
pieces in a matter of seconds. With one wave of his fiery hand, he melted
an orcs eyeballs from it's head. A jelly like substance rolled down it's
cheeks as it pleaded for a quick death. Leaving all four orcs in smoldering
ashes, the elemental went straight at Magellan. But the wizard had tricks
of his own.
Magellan shot his fist into
the air, as to expose the ring he wore. He spoke a command word simmilar
to Noah's. From the ground directly in front of the fire elemental, rose
a massive heap of dirt with eyes. An earth elemental.
The earth elemental extinguished
the fire elemental with one sweep of it's massive maw, then it proceeded
forward, straight towards Noah, who still lay on the ground in pain.
Magellan looked at Noah. "Farewell."
He spoke in a monotone. With that, he vanished. The massive mound of
earth picked Noah up by grasping his head on either side with a clump of
dirt that might have been recognizable as arms. With one swift motion and
a cracking noise, the elemental crushed the mage's head in his hands. A
pinkish ooze seeped from the cracks in the elementals hand.
By: Calvin Cockell