Viewer discretion is advised due to gory violence! Undead! Swords! Death! Beware!
Magna sat staring at Mortis. He stared back.
She felt dread at the pit of her stomach. They had been fighting the denizens of evil. The undead had come to her home and killed her father. Her twin brother lay dying. Soldiers and servants had died in that fight.
And here sat an undead creature right before her, who had been traveling with them all this time. The undead were trying to kill them all! Mortis had saved them so many times.
"You've been traveling with me all this time." She said out loud. "An undead. Why? You could have ended us all in our sleep! Why are you here?!"
"Because you are family." Mortis moved his head slightly. It was not a confident gesture. Maybe if he had eyebrows or malleable skin on his face she would be able to discern what he was thinking.
She stared at him. The revenant seemed to be somewhat downcast. He had saved them and fought the undead... but what if he was just pretending to be on their side?
"I wanted you to see me eventually." Mortis said. "I knew it would be hard. Adrian knew about it."
"Adrian is on his deathbed." She said, her eyes tearing up. "He is on his deathbed and I have failed to heal him. Here we are, stuck in this place!"
"Forgive me. I meant your uncle." Mortis said. "You have not failed yet Magna. Adrian is of the blood... I can feel him... he is OK."
"People always get their names mixed up." She conceded. "You have spoken about that before, that you are bound to us?"
"Indeed." Mortis said, looking up at her. He seemed more confident. "I am bound to you." He indicated to the sleeping wolf with its head in her lap. "You have a shapeshifter as a friend who was raised by the King of Ghouls. Many would consider them both evil. Especially your priest back home."
"Yeah, the High Priest Darius would tell me to distrust everything you have to say right now." She said. "But my uncle called him a fool on many occasions. Often within the High Priest's hearing."
Mortis chuckled. It was a strange sight. He had no lips to form a smile, instead he just bobbed up and down with his mirth. "Our world has darkness all around, not all of what is branded darkness is evil."
She stared at her left hand. "What about me?"
"What do you mean?"
She did not know how to place it. There was the sword... there was the light, but there was also rage. "I keep having these dreams of..."
"Hark! Who goes there!" A shout rose interrupted her. Magna and Mortis turned to see an armored figure striding toward them.
It was the woman who had come through the portal before. Her armor was somewhat battered and it leaked blood on one of her arms. Behind her came two other figures. The hulking warrior assisted the woman with the purple robe. The mage could barely stand and was missing an arm.
"Oh no." Mortis said softly. "This is trouble. Stay down."
"Trouble? Who are they?" Magna whispered fiercely to him.
"Fools." Was all Mortis had time to say.
"A creature of undeath!" The armored woman exclaimed. "Yet another evil in this land we must face!"
"Please! We do not seek to fight." Mortis said. "We are travelers..."
"I smell death magic!" The muscular warrior yelled, setting the mage down on the ground, he took out his hammer. "Let us slay this one Kern Fenix, and free the child. Glory to the Temples!"
"I agree Gorox Maxus." The armored woman said, raising her trident above her shoulders. "For the Temples! For Jidan Kai!"
The woman took one step forward...
"Ah, hells..." Mortis said, drawing his blade.
... and threw the trident straight at Mortis. The weapon flew gracefully through the air, twisting slowly. Mortis drew his other hand across the air before him and the Revenant Knight's armor shimmered into place on the Knight's body. There was a brief blur across Mortis' head but the helm did not take. Mortis stepped to the side of the attack and his hand shot out, grabbing the trident's shaft.
"Stop! We mean you no harm!" Mortis tried to say.
The massive man was charging towards them now, his hammer drawn back over his head. The armored woman was close behind him. Suddenly the trident was no longer in Mortis' hand, it was back with the woman who had thrown it.
Mortis ignored the feat and braced himself for the charge. His hand shot out with a palm facing forward. A wave of red energy crackled forth from the armored revenant. The muscular man slowed down with a scream, his hammer fell to the ground as the man clutched his legs.
The woman, Kern Fenix had not slowed her advance. Mortis seemed taken aback as the woman closed in with her attack, stabbing with her weapon. Mortis managed a parry and the trust was followed by another.
"Die foul hellspawn!" Kern Fenix yelled. Her weapon's reach and speed made it difficult for Mortis to do anything except defend himself with his sword.
"I take that as a grave insult madam!" Mortis yelled. He blocked a thrust with his left arm, and a trident prong stabbed through his forearm. Pulling the trident towards himself, Mortis used the flat of his blade to wallop the armored woman on the head and she collapsed in a heap.
The trident vanished and Mortis stared at the hole in his armor and arm.
"Mortis!" Magna yelled and tried to stand up. The world spun beneath her and she struggled to keep upright.
Mortis looked up at the warning and had enough time to move to the side so the hammer blow did not strike his bare skull. The hammed rammed down into the knight's shoulder, severely denting the pauldron but also disarming Mortis at the same time.
Mortis stopped a second blow by checking the attack on it's back swing, preventing the barbarian from striking. The muscular man did not seem to slow a second when this happened and kicked out with a leathery boot that smashed Mortis off his feet.
The man named Gorox charged forward with his hammer high. A mass of fur barreled in from the side, knocking the big man off his feet.
Derric regained his feet and put himself between the man and the knight.
Friend! You leave alone!
The muscular man stood up slowly. His hammer had not slipped from his grasp. The man's broad features were set in a grim scowl. He took a deep breath. "More magic. By Vallox Kai, I will claim the heads of two hellspawn today."
"Stop it!" Maga tried to yell, but her energy was drained.
Not hellspawn! Child of the forest! Derric's massive wolf form snarled. Mortis managed to stand up in the meantime. He retrieved his sword and stood next to the massive wolf.
"We are not enemies!" Mortis said once more.
A wave of green fire rolled forward behind the hulking barbarian. The wave opened and closed around the man, so it did not touch him. The fire stood still for a moment and through the flames, they could see the woman with one arm walk forward to stand with the Barbarian. The other woman had regained consciousness and was slowly getting up again. The Trident had materialized once more.
In that time Magna had managed to painfully shuffle her way to her friend's sides. Mortis could have killed them, but he resorted to preserving their lives instead.
Mortis raised his hand to ward off the magic, then stared down at his hand again. "I have burned through my blood magic."
"Blood magic?" She asked.
"It's how I get my power." He answered and raised a hand. "Before you say anything. I cannot get more from you now. You have lost too much blood for me to use yours."
Magna shuddered. I don't know if I would have been alright with offering that much.
The other party seemed to be discussing their next plan of attack while the green flames burned on the ground between them.
A blast of blue flames arched over Magna's head and struck the wall of green flames, it tore a hole into the wall, but instead of breaking through, the blue flame spread and consumed the green flame.
"What the hell do you think you are doing?!" Came a weak yell. Magna turned and saw Adiran, the mage had a scowl on his face as he helped an injured Helga forward. "What are the Temples of the Kai doing here?"
Magna looked back at the other three who all seemed suddenly unsure of themselves.
"You found us Adiran!" Mortis exclaimed.
"Of course I found you!" The mage's beard bristled. "Even if I was a blind goat I would have been able to find you! You lit up the sky for leagues in every direction. You have put us all in incredible danger."
"I defeated a Ghallopod." The knight said defensively.
"And that means that there will be more!" The Mage replied. "We must flee! Come!"
"Excuse me!" The armored woman said. "We were having a battle against that evil duo! We were saving that girl!"
Adiran let Helga rest against Derric for a moment and strode forward without fear. "Fools! You are Temple initiates, aren't you? Overreaching pups!" The old man began pointing at the various persons. "You are a spear maiden of Jidan Kai, a marauder of Vallox Kai, and a bright-mage of Hiral Kai..." He looked left and right at their faces and then at the grounds around them. "Where is your fourth? You lot always travel in fours. Where is the Endor Kai initiate?"
The armored woman hung her head. "Lost."
"Dead." the big man said.
There was silence for a moment. "How?"
"What?" The woman named Kern asked.
"How did you lose the initiate?"
"We fought the monster... with the tentacles and the spiders..."
"Ghallopod." Adiran interrupted. "Go on."
"The creature's spiders caught him, bit him full of holes. The big... uh... Ghallopod then devoured him." Kern hung her head. "We have failed our trial."
"Come. Better we flee in numbers then. He will be back." Adiran promptly turned his back on the trio and walked towards Magna, Mortis, Derric and Helga. "I think Derric must carry the girl. I will help Helga."
"But what..." Morits began, still looking to see if the other three were going to fight. Derric lowered himself and Magna climbed on to the wolf's back.
"Less talking, more running!" The mage said, picking up speed. Helga seemed to managed a bit of a jog and did not complain.
"What do you mean he will be back?!" Yelled Kern after them. "Mage!"
"Less talking!" Adiran yelled over his shoulder. "More running!"
Well that was a lot of fun. Enjoy @lex-zaiya!
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