Despite his warnings, you have ignored Thanatos. You are now in a floor controlled by a follower of Thanatos, and this is your final warning. Death here will have consequences.
I received the same popup that the raid did upon entering the level, letting me know they were here. About time, I hadn’t been following their progress past floor nine, and I was getting bored out of my mind. “You ready bud?” I asked Inkler, patting his side. “Looks like they are finally here.” We were hidden well, or at least I thought so. The raid entered the level in a small antechamber, facing a door with a Thanatos motif. Once they entered, they would find themselves in a massive chamber absolutely full of draconian statues in various poses. Of course, some pedestals were empty, and there were plenty of traps strewn about.
I heard the door creak open, and the raid enter.
“Someone’s obsessed with himself.”
“I dunno, I kinda like all the statues. They’re so lifelike.”
“Enough with the statues, remember we could be attacked at any moment.” The last voice must be that Whiskers guy, keeping the raid on track. I was going to have to figure out exactly which one he was, as he is definitely going to be a primary target. From the sounds, they were making their way down the aisle I had left them. It was wide enough for six people to walk side by side, and led straight to an ornate throne.
“Look at that throne, someone’s definitely overcompensating.” One of the rangers said. I didn’t move, letting the raid get just past me. Sitting in the throne was a shadowgheist, tapping his foot in boredom. I really wished that they had the ability to speak, but I was destined to be disappointed. It could, however, serve as a distraction. Slowly standing, it glared at the raid as they all immediately dropped into defensive stances.
“Confound the thousand senses, and leave them adrift in the timeless void. Stumble in the deepest darkness, that no vision may penetrate. [Deo Noct]!” I tried to chant as quietly as possible, but several members immediately heard me and started looking for me. The ranger in front wasted no time and fired at the shadowgheist.
“[Light arrow barrage].” Ten arrows peppered the gheist, and it dissipated in a cloud of shadow. Too late for the raid, my orb of shadow landed in the middle of the raid and expanded to include everyone.
“Let’s do it Inkler!” I shouted, charging in. We had thirty seconds of free attacks, and were going to make the most of it. I knew the healers would probably be protected by some bodyguard skills, but they didn’t have enough to protect the mages too. Inkler tackled a guy with golden robes from behind, biting down on the back of his neck and giving it a savage twist. With that down, he targeted the druid who was foolish enough to have a nightliger skull on her staff. He chomped down on her wrist, and severed her hand at the elbow with his [Reality slash].
“[Reality slash].” I used my own slash to take down a mage with a hammer and brown robes, figuring that he would be an earth mage and possibly able to detect some of my traps. Running through the raid, I tried to decapitate druid with green robes using [Keen edge], but I didn’t quite get enough of his throat in my hurry. “Damnit. [Twin oblivion dragons].” I kept moving, needing to be out of visual range by the time the spell wore off, but I fired the spell targeting the already weakened neck to ensure my kill. That gave us three kills for sure, oddly matching the three who were obviously healers. Once I was three statue rows back, I used [Hide in shadows] to cloak myself.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH MY ARMMMMMM!!!!!!” The druid screamed, realizing that it was spurting blood at a prodigious rate.
“What the hell? Someone heal Lucy!” The leader yelled, spurring the healers into action. They didn’t bring her arm back, but did manage to heal the bleeding and bring her back to full health.
“Damnit, what the fuck kind of spell was that?” One of the tanks swore. “I’ve never had my senses just gone like that.”
“At least they had the sense to give us a message about it and a timer.” A druid responded. “Damn, lost three with that one attack. Whatever the boss is, they have some incredible burst damage.”
“Yeah, well they can’t keep popping spells like that. It’s gotta have a long cooldown. Let’s get these guys back up and we can start hunting this bastard down.” The leader said.
I sat back and let the raid do their thing. They were about to have a bad day, as each healer went and stood in front of a body before casting the resurrection spell. As the bodies were brought back to life, spectral reapers appeared behind each of the healers.
“What the hell is that?” Someone shouted, but it was too late. Each reaper slashed through the neck of the healer, instantly killing them.
As the bodies dropped, the reapers spoke as one in a ghostly voice, “This is your warning. Death has a price on this floor. Should you wish to bring another back to life, you will take their place.” Warning given, the spectral reapers disappeared.
“Oh no. No. THIS IS A BULLSHIT RULE!” Someone yelled. “Come out and fight like a man! Let’s see just how tough you really are!”
“Calm down Grandelf.” Whiskers said. “We’ll get him, but first we need to figure out how we are going to bring our healers back.”
“Yeah, who’s going to pull the short straw.” Someone chuckled. “Not it!” He said, placing a finger on the side of his nose.
“Cut that shit out, we aren’t doing it like that.” Whiskers snarled. “Unless you think he’s just going to sit back and let us discuss this without attacking? No? Good. Now, any volunteers?”
Two raid members in heavy armor stepped forward. “If we can’t see him, we can’t stop him.”
“Thanks Goldguard, Shieldwall.” Whiskers said, handing them each two scrolls. “Anyone else? Thanks, Back.” He said, handing another of the armored folks two scrolls. “Everyone spread out a bit, but I want the tanks around the edges. Try not to let him get through.”
I pulled out my crossbow, and got ready to cause mayhem. As soon as the spectral reapers showed up, I pulled one of many hidden levers that would activate the strobe light enchantment. I had paired it with several sound enchants that simply blared loud horn noises. As everyone immediately ducked down, I shot one of the disoriented healers in the heart with one of the flesh ravager bolts. Ten seconds later and the alarms and flashing lights had stopped.
“Damnit, someone rip this bolt out of me!” The healer snarled.
“I got you.” One of the heavily armored folks said, kneeling next to the healer. “I’ll pull on three. One. Two. THREE!”
The aftermath was absolutely beautiful. The bolt ended up ripping open a Gaping Wound, and it must have ripped out one of the important arteries near the heart as the healer had bled out within five seconds, far faster than anyone could react due to the shock. In fact, the tank was staring at a bit of artery still stuck on the hooks on the end of the bolt.
“What? OH GODDAMNITALLTOHELL!” The leader screamed, turning and kicking over one of the statues. “What is that? An arrowhead that causes damage if you pull it out? New rule everyone, push any bolt you get shot with through the wound to the other side before you break off the head. Unless you want to die that is.” Once again a tank stepped forward to take a healer’s place in death, and I slipped further backwards into the statues before I started circling the raid. I didn’t want them to find me too easily.
Not a bad opening assault, I had whittled the raid down to 22 members without even getting hit. That seemed like it was four deaths too high, but I wasn’t going to complain. “[Detect trap].” One of the scouts activated a skill, and I smiled as it caused the lighting to change to the red from earlier in the dungeon.
“Not this again!” Several people groaned, and they started hunting me through the labyrinth. Grinning, I got a crazy idea. I summoned a shadowgheist, and armed it with two of my corrupted bolts. It got sent to the opposite side of the raid to wait for an opportunity.
It only took a minute for the opportunity to arrive. While searching, someone stepped on a trigger trap. This simply caused a statue to rotate and face the trap, but the raid was so high strung they immediately retaliated.
“[Shield bash]!” The nearest tank smashed it with a shield, crushing the statue. The statue then exploded outward, catching three raid members with a poison cloud. As they were coughing, the shadowgheist charged into the middle of the raid to cause a ruckus.
“I see him! [Hunter’s mark]!” One of the rangers shouted, drawing everyone’s attention. It was far too late for the berserker and paladin though, as each one took a downward stab with a corruption bolt through the shoulder, and the clone snapped off the head of the bolt within the wound. As a plethora of spells and skills descended upon the poor clone, one of the scouts at the edge of the formation took a mana enhanced decapitator bolt to the back of the neck, killing him. Unluckily it wasn’t the one the leader constantly questioned, but a kill was a kill. I melted away again, not wanting to draw the attention of the raid just yet.
“Ugh, someone wanna cleanse this poison from me?” The tank who smashed the statue asked.
“I got you.” One of the healers said, walking over. I saw the other two tending the ones who were stabbed with the corruption bolts, and sat back to watch.
“What the hell is going on?” A healer snarled. “I cleansed the poison. Why the hell are you getting poisoned again?”
“I don’t know! Just cleanse it and be done with it.”
“I ALREADY DID! FIVE SECONDS LATER AND IT’S BACK!” The healer snapped, obviously losing patience. “SO WHAT DO YOU HAVE THAT IS POISONING YOU?!”
“I DON’T KNOW!”
“ENOUGH!” The leader yelled. “Smiter, where did the thing attack you?”
“Stabbed in the shoulder with something. Did the same to Eric.”
“I’m constantly getting poisoned too.” Eric agreed.
“Alright, it must be something in the wound then. Let’s check it out, healers keep cleansing as you can.” The leader said, walking up to the berserker. To my surprise, the ranger headed over to check out the paladin. Damn. Do it now? Or wait a while? Now, while they are distracted.
“Raging light, obliterate all before me. Blur away all form, leave nothing behind. Save [Whiteness].” Shooting a white sphere into the middle of the raid, it exploded outward into raging swirls of magic, enveloping most of the raid.
“[Dancing shadow steps].” I targeted the druid who Inkler had removed the arm from earlier. “[Keen edge].” She heard me, and twirled to try and find me but I was already teleporting behind her. Six attacks came from six different directions before the white sphere dissipated, and I used my final teleport to move away. “[Oblivion sphere].” I sent one last magic attack at the druid, who had no idea where the attack was coming from.
“Not that damaging of a spell.” Someone commented.
“Hey, I’m not getting poisoned anymore!” The paladin noted. I smiled, glad that the spell had destroyed the bolts I had left in the members. Let them worry that every attack will cause poison like that.
“Why the hell am I getting durability notifications?” One of the berserkers shouted. Everyone started milling about, and I smiled as I felt Inkler get bored and decide he was going to have some fun. He snuck toward the raid, picking his target. One of the mages had drifted toward the side, and wasn’t paying attention to her surroundings.
“Hey, what the hell happened to Lucy?”
One question was all it took. Inkler darted forward, biting down on her leg and dragging her off. As she screamed, the raid turned to look before charging after them. Fools. Inkler was heading toward the heaviest concentration of traps, following the route only we knew that was untrapped. Once he reached the middle of the field, he left the mage and safely made his way out.
“Stop! There’s going to be-.” The raid leader didn’t yell fast enough, as traps started going off. Stone weapons from statues would try and crush whatever was setting them off. Stone tiles sunk to reveal poison tipped needles ready to impale feet. Though I didn’t get any deaths, it slowed them down and let Inkler get away.
“What in the heck killed her?” A tank asked as he stood over the body of the mage.
“I don’t know.” Whiskers said. “She only has the one wound on her leg, but that’s all.”
“Think whatever bit her had a poison bite?” The last of the druids asked.
“I’m not sure.” Whiskers said, as I watched while people were milling around nervously. One of the tanky types was hanging by the healers, and I could tell that Inkler was interested in him. It must have been all that white and silver armor, it was just too shiny. Inkler felt it had to die. I gave him a slight rub, wanting him to hold off for a second. I couldn’t talk to him, but I could make a small model of what I thought he should try. In front of him, a small armored man made of shadow as formed, along with a hunting cat behind him. The cat darts forward, between the legs of the tank and flipping him up and onto his back. I could feel his amusement, and he slunk off to take out a tank.
Normally, this wouldn’t work. Simply slamming him onto his back would at best knock the wind out of him. Except for the hidden statues along the edges. As soon as the raid entered, they started pumping out the same aerosolized Death’s Knell poison that they found earlier in the dungeon. Even with all 40 working together, they had only covered about a foot and a half from the floor with the deadly gas. Just enough that if someone were to be knocked down, they would inhale it. That’s what got Ice Queen just now. Not Inkler’s bite, but by dragging her around she had no choice but to inhale the poison. Gaining more poison levels would take time, as I had purposely designed the walls so that they resembled a funnel. The lower parts would fill up fairly quickly, slowing down as the gas levels climbed. If I really wanted to screw them over, I could always just play the waiting game, but that would take at least an hour and a half. Where’s the fun in that?
While Inkler was creeping forward, I was going to give him another distraction. The sharp ranger was my target, and I dipped a silencer bolt into a vial of Death’s Knell. Bought from the drow, I had four left for use. From the angles, he would have most of his back towards me after Inkler attacked. I felt his anticipation through our link, and the exact moment that he launched himself forward.
“Wha- OOF!” With a clatter of metal, the tank was unceremoniously dumped on his ass.
“Citadel!” One of the healers cried out.
“[Hunters mark]!” The ranger’s skill drowned out the sound of my crossbow firing, though I immediately moved away a bit. Damn, they managed to mark Inkler, though I managed to tag the hunter in the kidney. As he grunted in pain, he dropped to a knee. Too bad for him, he couldn’t shout out a warning and the healers were concentrated around their tank. I smiled as the ranger died before he could down a potion. I don’t know what they did, but poisons were absolutely brutal.
“Wait, is Citadel dead?” A healer asked, nudging him with a foot. “That’s ridiculous! He got knocked onto his back!”
“Any wounds on him?” Whiskers asked.
“No! That’s the thing. He slammed into the ground, then his life just plummeted.” The healer responded.
“Hey guys, King is down as well.” A berserker said, holding up the bolt they pulled from his back. “Looks like a silencer bolt that has been poisoned.”
“Damnit, I knew we never should have taken Lolth up on that offer.” The druid spoke up. “Yeah, getting a poison boost is great, but what good is it if we can’t even hit the son of a bitch? Has anyone even seen the text describing what we are fighting?”
“Calm down Mixalalalot, we’ll get him.”
“I won’t calm down damnit! We piddled away our chances when we took the boost from Lolth to our poison damage received! Do none of you remember that this guy was supposed to be an alchemist? He’s probably got a bigger selection of poisons than Blackthumb had, the traitorous bastard.”
“I remembered, and made a judgement call.” Whiskers spoke, though I was intrigued. Weakness to poisons? “We have enough poisons to nullify the regeneration of an evolved ice giant. If we get a few stacks on him, he stands no chance when they are this much more powerful. We just have to get him pinned down.”
Oh bless Lolth! bless her mischievous, cruel heart! She cut a deal with them to boost their poison damage against someone immune to poison! I had to fight to keep from giggling at how they had shot themselves in the foot. Sixteen on one was still far too much for me to take on, but I felt a lot better about my chances.
“Hold on a second everyone, I want to check something.” Whiskers said, pulling an empty vial out of his pocket. He lowered it next to the floor before capping it. Clever bastard. “Damn, just as I thought. If you get knocked down, don’t breathe. This room is filling up with poison gas.”
I activated the voice enchantment in the room, that let me sound like I was talking through the statues. “Impressive that you figured it out so swiftly.” My booming voice caused a few people to jump, but not Whiskers.
“You wouldn’t be willing to tell us just how long we have, would you?” He asked.
“It wouldn’t hurt, as you won’t be around long enough to see the end that way. Counting time we have already used, there’s roughly an hour before the gas reaches the top of the statue heads. At that point, you will all die.”
“And you’ll be hiding in some hole? That’s not very sporting of you.”
“Sporting? The only sporting going on is how it’s open season on the raid, and I’m aiming for the kill limit.” I ended the enchantment, not wanting to keep talking. With only one guardian and two tanks left, things were looking up.
“So. Here we are, sitting in a room slowly filling with poison gas. The boss is happy to sit back and watch us die, and we’ve lost nearly half the raid. What’s the plan, bossman? Sit still and die? Or do we go hunting and continue getting picked off one by one?”
“Chill out.” Whiskers growled at the druid. “We’ll hunt him down. Brosef, can you create a light bright enough that this damn strobe light is useless?”
“Sure. Call forth the light of day. [Sunlight].” A bright ball of radiance appeared above the raid, pretty well negating the strobe light effect. Damn bastards, they were going to make things hard. I bit my thumb, thinking. With that light, could I lose them fast enough? Yeah, I can. Loading a normal crossbow bolt, I looked over my targets. Maybe I could get one of the healers? Yeah. The guardian was hanging near the male, so I targeted one of the female healers. The shot took her in the shoulder, and I stood there waving at the raid just to get their blood going.
“There he is! [Stone coffin]!” I fought the spell with my own stone manipulation, giving me just enough time to avoid being trapped as I turned and started running. I was zig-zagging between the statues, letting them keep an eye on me but not long enough to target with skills. I turned and paused on a straightaway, wanting to see the next trap in action. One of the berserkers with axes stepped onto the magic circle, and a pulse of paralyzing magic hit him. Of course, with his momentum, he went sprawling forward into the poison gas. I took off once again, smiling at the easy death.
Now the part to seal my escape. I couldn’t use shadowgheist, the skill was still on cooldown. I could make a shadowy form with shadow manipulation and send it careening through the statues as I stood still on an empty platform. I put my normal weapon into my inventory and pulled out a stone spear, adopting the same pose as the statue of Khaliss back in town.
The scream and grating of stone let me know another of the traps had activated. It was a simple one, it just tilted the floor a bit. Just enough to hopefully trip someone and let them fall to the ground, letting the poison finish them off. I smiled as the raid continued on past me, chasing shadows.
“Goddamnit! Where the hell did he go?” I could hear shouts of frustration, and I went back to the traps to see what I had gotten. The tilt trap had gotten the last ranger, a very pleasant surprise. Now to go back and start picking off squishies. I loaded a silencer bolt, dipped it in Death’s Knell, and started stalking the raid once again. First up was the light mage. As they argued and tried to find me, I started off with a spell that I had learned while in Lucifer’s mansion.
“[Iron maiden].” The healer from earlier was captured in the stone coffin filled with spikes, her screams of pain gathering immediate attention. Of course, when everyone looks at the distraction, even for just a second, it is a good distraction. The bolt took the mage in the lower back, and I melted away once again as he dropped in death.
“[Stone manipulation]!” The earth mage saved the healer, prying open the coffin while one of the tanks caught her to prevent her from falling to the ground. That was about the point they noticed the light mage was dead, as the light above everyone went out and we were left in the strobe lights.
“Brosef!” Someone shouted, but again they were far too late. The mage was dead. I saw the leader activate a stealth skill, but it wasn’t about to hide him from my mystic vision. Through our link, I could feel Inkler getting annoyed. He wanted at least some sort of battle, and was getting antsy. Looking things over, it was 13 on 2 and we would have a surprise pincer attack bonus to our initial move. I reloaded and gave him the go ahead, and prepared my assault as well.
Inkler launched himself at the tank with gold and silver armor, always wanting to take out shiny things. The unexpected assault took him in the back, knocking him face first into the dirt. At the same time, I charged in from the opposite side. “[Twin oblivion dragons].” I wasn’t going for a kill, just a gentle maiming. The dragons encircled the knee of a paladin in white armor, removing the lower portion of the limb in the explosion.
“AAAAH!” He managed to scream before I shoulder checked him and sent him sprawling for the poison to finish off.
“[Ice beam]!” One of the mages targeted Inkler, even though she couldn’t quite see him. I felt his amusement as he redirected the beam towards the druid.
“Hey, watch the friendly fire!” He shouted, barely dodging the spell. I was still moving forward, closing in on a berserker with a greatsword. He tried to cut me in half with a rising swing from his hip.
“[Dancing shadow step][Keen edge].” Again I targeted the back of a knee, and the berserker actually helped by trying to swing all the way around and hit me with an overhand strike. He was left without a leg to stand on, and toppled over to his doom.
“[Midnight’s kiss][Storm of blades].”
“Gah!” I rolled forward and out of the range of the attack, cursing myself for not keeping up with the teleporting of dancing shadow steps. I had several cuts from the poisoned blades of the assassin, and my eyes widened in surprise as I saw him charging me!
“[Marked for death]! You’re mine!” He snarled, tackling me to the ground and holding me down. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Inkler running around, keeping the others of the raid off me. He apparently liked my limb removal method, and had taken out a berserker in the same manner. I winked at the assassin on top of me, before taking an exaggerated breath in.
“You made a bad bargain.” I smiled at the horror on his face, before I used stone manipulation to have to fists shoot out from the floor and punch him in the stomach. In pain and out of breath, I easily rolled him off of me and held him down until he was forced to breath in the poison. I rolled to my feet, checking out the situation. Inkler was making great use of the strobe light, dashing back and forth. If I didn’t know any better, I would assume he was teleporting in random directions. The druid and earth mage were closing in his escape routes, while the two remaining mages tried to slow him down so the last guardian could hit him. I guess they assumed that Mr. Whiskers would be able to take me out.
My first target was the earth mage. I first raised a block of stone right next to his feet, then casually walked up behind him. While he was distracted with Inkler, I unleashed a haymaker into the side of his head with my hammer. The blow staggered him, and he tripped over the stone block. “[Stone grasp].” I summoned a band of earth around his chest, holding him down just in case, but he stopped struggling fairly quickly. Inkler needed a distraction, as he was finally hemmed in. I couldn’t help but smile as I started to sing.
“All seven and we’ll watch them fall. They stand in the way of love and we will smoke them all.” Everyone froze to look at me, Inkler actually put a paw over his ears. Guess I just can’t sing.
“[Ice lotus].” One of the mages targeted me, while Inkler tried to get around the guardian in front of him.
“[Dancing shadow steps].” I barely avoided getting trapped, appearing next to one of the healers. “[Rocket slash].” The flinch from my appearance saved them from a decapitation, but they did get a slash across the throat as I disappeared again, only to show up behind the female mage who tried to ice me. “[Reality slash].” I took her across the back of the knees, and though I didn’t manage to remove the limbs I did cause her to flail about as she fell down, though it caused me to lose the chain of jumps from shadow steps. Targeting the last mage, I shot her in the stomach with a silencer bolt. It wasn’t fatal, but it would end her participation.
Unfortunately, the distractions had let them whittle away at Inkler’s health, and he was nearing critical. “[Binding shadow chains].” I wrapped up the guardian, just as he was about to deliver a finishing blow to the top of Inkler’s head. He took the opportunity to escape, charging straight at the druid. He didn’t have a skill to use, but when a cat tall enough to head butt you in the chest decides to tackle you at full speed, there isn’t much you can do. It proved to be Inkler’s final hurrah, as he got a whiff of the poison gas when he tripped over the druid’s body.
Not wanting a healer to get the bright idea to sacrifice themselves, I headed toward the nearest one. “[Lance of light].” An attack to the stomach had them bending over in pain, and I ran the rest of the way and slammed into them, sending them reeling into a statue. As he rebounded off, a hammer to the knee finally did the job of tripping him up and sending him to his doom.
“[Arcane binding circle]!” I mentally swore as a column of blue light encased me. Turning around, I saw the smirk on the mage, as she held up the silencer bolt. “This is a rather nasty piece of work. Course, now that we have you pinned down, you won’t last long.”
“Oh?” I asked, laughter in my voice. “You’re going to take down the final boss in the dungeon with what, two healers, a mage and a guardian?”
“After this attack, you won’t be laughing.” She snarled, and started chanting.
“[Dark bolt].” To my surprise, the bolt shattered against the inside of the binding circle. It repelled any physical attacks as well, and I caught the smile of the mage as the guardian sauntered over.
“No attacks can cross the barrier. You’re trapped until we come in to get you.” He said, and it finally clicked about my predicament. There was only one way to break the circle, and that was to attack it from the outside. Nothing could pass outside from inside. Unless you could manipulate something already outside of the barrier.
“[Cloying darkness].” The spell caused a sphere of shadow to wrap around the mage’s head, blocking her sight. While it was completely intangible, if you can’t see you can’t cast a line of sight spell.
“What? Get this off of me!” The mage went into a rage, and I chuckled at the confused expression of the guardian.
“So what’s it gonna be Mr. Guardian? Hope my spell runs out before hers does? Or are you going to take the initiative and attack me while I’m pinned down?”
“Get him Scratch, we’ll keep you topped up.” One of the healers said, and I saw the clan click into place for the guardian.
“[Shield rush][Bone smasher].” His initial attack knocked me onto my back, and I saw him winding up for an overhand smash with his mace. That wasn’t going to be fun, so I had to do something to interrupt him.
“[Light bolt][Stone grasp].” I fired my spell at his face, but he dodged it. It was enough though, as he had to abort his attack and I was able to roll a bit. I made it to my feet as he smashed the hand holding him with his mace. He turned to face me, and I flung a pyrophoria potion at his face. He blocked with a shield, but that’s all the opening I needed. “[Twin oblivion dragons].” Wanting to avoid the shield entirely, I targeted his ankle. I let the spell strike, then charged in as he was stumbling and tackled him, sending us both sprawling.
“Hold him down Scratch! We’ll keep you alive!” I heard the healer shouting, but it was going to be too late for them. We tussled for a few seconds, but he was breathing heavily and they couldn’t purge the poison fast enough.
“[Incinerating bolt]!” Just as the guardian succumbed, I got blasted by the mage. I stumbled to my feet as she kept a barrage of different spells coming in my direction. Dodging between statues, I finally got to a point where I could counterattack. Only I wasn’t going for the mage.
“[Dancing shadow steps].” I appeared behind one of the remaining healers, and used three of the steps to attack from different directions. Then I switched targets, heading over to the other healer. “[Keen edge].” Again I targeted the legs, but didn’t get an amputation. As the healer dropped to a knee, I teleported in front of them and hit them in the face with my hammer, knocking them backward. Sure, by this point I was blatantly abusing the poison in the area but I didn’t really care. If they couldn’t adapt, that was on them.
“[Stone coffin]!” The mage got me before I could escape, but it was with a non-damaging spell. “Why won’t you just die already!” She screamed. I chuckled as I used stone manipulation to force open the spell holding me, slowly stepping out.
“Because I have something worth fighting for. Can you say the same?” I asked. “[Cage of light].” I caught the mage inside of a cage, letting me close the distance. “[Oblivion sphere].” I launched a sphere at her, breaking the cage around her and hitting her in the stomach. As she went to counter what she thought was another tackling charge, I veered off towards a surprised healer.
“[Repelling wave].” The mage spent a spell, but I was nowhere nearby. The healer tried to dodge me, but I needed no special techniques or spells. I wrapped her up in my arms and dove to the side, taking us both to the ground. I could see the panic in her eyes as she held her breath, but I could finally hold her down. “[Stone manipulation].” I couldn’t form the nice stone hands to hold her down, but a crude stone circle around her waist was possible.
“And then there was one.” I said, looking at the mage as she downed a mana potion. “One mage versus the final boss. Think you can handle this?”
“[Hydro armor].” She didn’t want to banter, instead summoning a sphere of water to protect herself that quickly reshaped itself into a suit of armor. “[Stone skin].” Well, this was shaping up to be a brawl. Good thing I had wasted enough time that I could cheat again. The half hour cooldown was finished for shadowgheist, but I didn’t have enough mana to use it!
“[Binding shadow chains].” I used the majority of my mana to prevent her from escaping, rushing in as I sent the rest of it into the head of my hammer. “[Mana shockwave].” I smashed her in the face with my hammer, sending her stumbling backward into a statue. As the stunned mage stumbled forward, I hit her in the solar plexus with the hammer. As she doubled over, a gentle shove sent her sprawling to the ground, where her gasping for breath let the poison take her down swiftly.
Lament, Light siders. For the raid has fallen. Keep watching, and we shall see what the Progenitor Tyrant has in store for this world.
Bio: I'm a chemist that gave writing a try, and loved the results. Everything is mostly for fun right now, though I might try and get some things published eventually. Certain traits of my daughter have made it into bits of my stories, and she sometimes keeps me company when we both have trouble sleeping.