Heroes of Istal

Asylum of Terror - Part 6-7

With a thundering roar, Lee grabbed his weapon, lifted it in the air and stood there, in the midst of the three snakes, as a true hero. For a moment there was no doubt his skill was only matched by the power of his allies, nor that his valor would ever fail. His weapon shined bright in the glow of the burning torches and his eyes seemed to long for blood. Before the snakes could react to his roar, Lee allready started his assault by dropping his newly found axe to the ground and smiting any snake in the way. The only problem was… an adventurer should never use an item found here, in the Asylum of Terrors.

Lee’s own voice was the first thing that could be heared. His scream was one of furious hate, but he screamed nonetheless when the axe decided to turn a fraction and, rather then attacking the snake’s body, slicing three of his toes instead. It wasn’t short after that the snakes decided this was the perfect time to go in for the kill. Their poisonous venom filled the room, damaging brave heroes here and there, and poor Lee, who was standing in the middle of it, dropped down, unable to fight anymore.

It was this sight that made the wizard twitch. He closed his hands into a fist, stepped away from the fight and looked down upon the snakes, shouting:
“If we go down, then we go down… in style. Let us be remembered, let us be feared, for this shall be our final stand and I intend to take this whole Asylum with me if I have to!” A glimmer of light exposed the one person that did hear him. Orsik, late cleric, floated towards the wizard in an almost hasty way. It would have been hasty if he still got any legs left to run hasty with.
“Idiot! It is not worth it. You can still live. You can still go outside, bring my remains with you and resurect me. There is no use for you to die here as well.” Warryn closed his fists even tighter, in an attempt to contain the magical powers in it that were trying to escape in an hellish fury, but managed to give a simple remark:
“You are dead. Shut up. I am trying to kill stuff.”
“You are trying to kill yourself! Don’t do it. Think of the loot. You just have to stay alive!” Warrick thought about it for a moment, but his hands didn’t change its position. In fact, the tumult that seemed to arise from it only increased, to a state where sudden flames started to emerge from the sides. If Orsik still had a throat, he would gulp.
“What the hell are you doing?!”
“Doing what a wizard should do,” Warryn grinned. And with those words, the containment was forfeited, the seal was broken and the powers unleashed. In a fragment of a second, the whole room was scorched, every inch of air absorbed by the heat of the flame that erupted. The snakes were thrown against the wall due to the impact of the explosion and poor Elvin, flying around in a couple of butterflies, was simply toast. The fireball was complete. The battle ended as Warryn predicted. With a blaze of glory… or well, at least with a blaze.

Lee coughed. Snails stumbled over the dead body of Elvin. And Waryn just blew hard at his hands in an attempt to cool it a bit down. Those were the three adventurers, the last ones remaining to live in this dungeon. And even that would change within a brief period of time. Their air was running out. In a room like this, after a fireball like that, who could tell what their chances of survival were? A matter of minutes… and even that was an optimistic estimation.
“I should kill you. Right here. Right now,” Lee swore, but instead he coughed one time more. Snail sat next to him and reached for his weapon, but his hand felt mid air. The lack of air already began to ask its toll.
“My round friend here is right. We should kill you. But we won’t. We can’t. Need to get out of here first. We can still survive this if we find a way out.” Warryn, who was obviously in better shape than the rest of them, could only laugh at the sight of them. He enjoyed the damage he had done, which, in his opinion, every wizard should do. It is the damage that describes whether a man is worthy to be called by that title or not. And he clearly was worth it.
“I am just… content to see you still alive Lee. Apparantly you dodged the flames when you got knocked down. Impressive… or whatever you want to call it. Clearly the gods favor you if they want to reward such a failure.”
“I don’t know. Maybe you should ask them when I slid your throat and send you back to your maker,” Lee replied. His fingers curled around his waraxe; the one that wasn’t cursed, but he didn’t use it. He knew he didn’t had the strength to do it.
“Hold your horses all. First thing you three got to do is getting out of here. Don’t waste any time insulting each other; you can do that as soon as you have escaped from this room.”
“Very well,” Warryn answered and summoned a mage’s hand, that quickly obtained the candles Orsik had found earlier on. “We’ll use these.”
“Candles?” Lee snarled, “What are you going to do with them? Light them up and stick them up your…” But before he could finish his sentence, Warryn had already placed them near the wall on the other side. Urging the others to get down, he created a small flame in his palm, immediately regretting for his choice as the heat nullified any attempts made to cool it down, and send the flame towards the pile of candles. The result was… catastrophic.

As soon as the smoke cleared, the three remaining adventurers saw what the “candals” actually did with the wall it was placed next to. Bricks, once placed with utter precision, were scattered amongst the room. The stone itself couldn’t even be recognized. It had simply crumbled to dust. Faded away by the strength of the blast. Snails wiped the stone residu of his face, looking in utter shock at the result, but quickly started smiling:
“I have to agree, you sure know how to fix problems.” He looked delighted at the opening in the wall, and breathed deeply when the air on the other side made its way to his throat. After a few seconds, both the rogue and the dwarf regained their strength. But with their strength they also regained their pride, and especially Lee didn’t forget that it was Warryn who tried to kill them all in the first place. Lee does not like it when people try to kill him.
“You messed with the wrong dwarf for the last time,” Lee spoke and once again, he held his axe in the air to make a finishing blow. But a sparkle of light and a shiver through his spines made him stop. A ghost was speaking to him. And it wasn’t Orsik.
“Guys, where the hell am I? Can’t see no companion butterflies, nor any bees, or wasps for that matter, nor any mosquitos, or dragonflies. I am not my own self am I? Can’t see my feet, arms, legs, fingers, can’t even see my elbow, let me say you that. Am I invisible? Blind perhaps? No I am not blind, I can see you.”
“Welcome back Elvin,” another voice whispered. Lee remembered this one as Orsik’s. “You are, unfortunatly, now staying with me in the realm on the other side.”
“The realm on the other side? Like in the nether world, the oblivion… maybe heaven? Na, like that is going to happen, I might go to hell, perhaps thrown in the purgatory itself, be eaten by the Raven Queen, wouldn’t that be funny… no it wouldn’t, that isn’t the case anyway. What is happening guys, I can’t be like…”
“Yeah, you are dead,” Snails answered and added: “Sorry buddy.” The sparkle of light sparkled a little bit more.
“Bummer…” Elvin said shortly after. Lee nodded, pointed his axe towards Warryn, and seemed very much obliged to the idea of taking vengeance on his behalf. Even though Elvin suggested no such thing.
“You have to agree: your death can’t get any more glorious than this!” Warryn cheered.
“By being scorched to death? Due to an incompent wizard who happens to be your ally?” Orsik replied.
“Incompetent? Didn’t you see the size of that blast?! And he had the honor to witness it!”
Elvin didn’t answer to that, but simply left with a single sob. The sparkle of light disappeared. The druid was gone. And for a moment, the group regretted the loss of their brother in arms. After that moment, the crazed dwarf continued sticking his War Axe into Warrick’s stomach.
“And you also ruined my puppet!”
“That is my head you are talking about Lee…” Orsik mentioned.

Asylum of Terror – Part 7-7



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