As I bursted forth from the vegetation I ran for the nearest hut. I could hear the simple-minded grunts of the villagers under the control of the kopru’s magic.
“Uuuhhhggg?” they groaned questionably, with mouths agape.
I attempted to run past a few of them walking slowly close together, but suddenly I heard the shrill scream of a woman, “Ahhh! Help!”
I knew at once it was Jariah and I whipped myself around only to see her hunters spear her attacker to death in her defense, yelling words of apparent apology as they did so.
I turned back around and continued my sprint, I located the kopru by the fire and for a moment our eyes locked. I felt the brief sense of something in my mind but I hadn’t the time to understand its intent before I hastily swung the orb clutched in my left hand forwards and unleashed a missile of ice hurling towards the kopru.
“Hwaahh!” I screamed as I swung my orbed hand forwards. The missile of ice hissed through the air, traveling across the length of this half of the village, leaving a faint cloud of mist in its wake. Just as the ice was about to strike against my target I saw a mind-controlled villager dive in front of the slithery beast. My missile of ice erupted in a white cloud of sub-zero gas, engulfing the elf and instantly freezing him to death. The force of the impact toppled him over and his frozen body crashed to the ground and shattered into many pieces.
Seeing that my surprise shot had subsequently failed I knew I would need to protect myself (You see I wear no armor, too heavy, I use my mind and my arcane abilities to protect myself. I’ve found in my practice that fire is the best defense, and so I’ve spent much time perfecting a skill that allows my whole body to be engulfed in arcane flames, protecting me, but harming those who wish to strike me from up close).
I focused my energy and sent the flames swirling around my entire self.
Just as I did so I heard the roars of the mind-controlled villagers charging from my side, “RAHHH!”
One stepped back as it felt the heat from my fiery armor. The other, however, dived forward in attempts to tackle me. I stepped to the side, but the elfman latched on to my clothing, the flesh of his arm bubbled as it passed through the intense flames surrounding me.
Before I could react I saw the blood from his chest erupt outwards as a slivery blade pierced through his chest.
“Ugghhaaagg!” retched the elfman, as he was pushed to the side revealing Tristam as his killer.
“God damn it!” shouted Tristam as he pulled his shortsword out of the elfman’s back. He looked over his shoulder at the kopru and shouted, “LET’S GET HIM!”
I noticed that the man that had backed away from my flames was lying on the ground with his neck slit open. Just then I heard the roars of other men, and the pounding footsteps of their approach. I scanned my surroundings and saw that there were at least six mind-controlled savages charging me from all directions. I saw Tristam dash towards one lone elf running between two huts. Tristam leaped up in his sprint, landing heavily against the elf, driving both of his blades into the elf’s chest, yelling “Eeeeahhhh!” as he did so. The elfman went down but Tristam kept stabbing a few more times just for good measure, and then continued running towards the center of the village.
There were five savages closing quickly around me. I summoned my energy and channeled it into my orb. Just before they all reached me I reached my orbed hand into the air and then brought it down towards the ground.
“HUUUUA-WA’DAHH!” I shouted as I brought my hand down.
A cloud of freezing gases spilled outwards in a thick circle all around me. The sound resembled something like a large glass object shattering against a hard surface.
As the mist settled, there stood five perfect ice statues before me. I knew that the temperature had frozen their internal organs as well. They were dead.
Suddenly an allied hunter ran past me and slashed against one of the frozen men, shattering him at the gut area, and splitting the icy statue in half, shattering the top half onto the dirt.
“Raahhh!” screamed the hunter as he began to run off. I noticed the kopru in the distance turn to where we were and raise his hand and emitted a strange noise. The hunter that had broken the ice statue suddenly dropped to the floor. I saw blood swell in his eyes and his nose and ears began to drip blood.
“Uuuuuuhhhh!” groaned the unfortunate savage.
Three more allied savages ran past me in a roaring banter, weapons held out in front of them, screaming “Raaaahhhhh!” as they ran.
They ran directly toward the center of town, driving forwards towards the kopru, who by now was surrounded by several mind-controlled villagers.
The kopru turned to his subjects and began speaking in a strange tongue. I can only interpret it as so: “Orr-rroorr-roooor-raar!” it mumbled.
Instantly most of the mind-controlled villagers surrounding it moved into action and charged at my allied hunters.
I took the opportunity to focus my energies into another skill I have perfected. I sheathed my dagger and focused mind and magic into my orb. I clenched my fist and my orb lit up with blue light. I moved my clenched fist upwards and suddenly, just as I had wanted, a large icy fist erupted from the earth right next to the kopru. It jumped in surprise. I opened my hand and my summoned fist did as I did. I motioned for the icy hand to reach out to grab the kopru, but the kopru slithered to the side and instead my icy hand latched onto another unfortunate mind-controlled villager, this one a woman, and my icy hand instantly crushed her slender elf body. I heard what I can only assume to be a laugh emit from the kopru. A strange guttural laugh. It even pointed at me in mocking. Fucking crossed the line.
I moved to act again but suddenly I felt an immense ringing in my head, and it felt as if my skull was shrinking, suffocating my delicate brain within. My vision dimmed, but I could still scarcely see the kopru clenching its own fist as it meddled with my mind.
Just as the ringing was culminating to its fullest, I snapped out of the mind-lock the kopru was attempting to put me through, and I pushed my orbed hand forward. I conjured the image of two icicles hurling towards the kopru. In that instant my orb was consumed in freezing gas and two icicles shot forth directly at the kopru like two crystal javelins. But instead of them hitting the kopru as I would have liked, they both pierced through two separate charging villagers, both that had done in on my three allied hunters and had moved to protect their mind-master. I gained control once more of the icy hand standing there dormant next to the fire. I forced it to move once again towards the kopru and attempt at the grab, but once more the kopru slipped to the side and laughed its guttural laugh at me as my icy fist crushed another hapless victim. Needless to say I was quite bemused.
“Damn it.” I said to myself.
In that moment I saw the kopru dive to the side and then a blast of fire hit the ground, partially landing in the fire, making the already roaring flames fume higher into the night sky. My icy fist was consumed in the flames but luckily it maintained its form.
There were about six or seven savage villagers still charging towards me, and suddenly I saw a fireball land in their path and it exploded outwards, consuming them within the fiery blast.
Their screams emanated from within the blast and they dropped to the ground amongst a smoky haze, their clothing still burning into their singed flesh.
I turned to the side and saw Jariah standing there, her hand ablaze with arcane fire.
“Fuck!” she snapped in response to killing her people. Suddenly a mind-controlled villager emerged from the shadows and tackled her from the side, snarling and attempting to bite and scratch at her.
“Ahhh!” she screamed as she tried to hold the elfman back.
I reached out and focused my energy forwards into my orb. Suddenly a gaseous air of freezing temperature engulfed the man’s head, and he went limp atop of Jariah. She wrestled the man’s body off of her own and got back to her feet with the help of one of her hunters.
Judging that she was safe for the moment I decided to move forwards into the fray, closer to engage with the kopru. Just then a hunter ran up to me and pushed me aside, to my surprise he called to me in the common tongue.
“Captain look out!” he shouted as he pushed me aside, and stabbed forwards with his spear, piercing another savage in the face.
“Nice! Thank you.” I said as I regained my composure.
The man turned to face me but suddenly another mind-controlled villager appeared from behind him and clobbered him over the head with a woodaxe. The man who saved me from harm dropped like a doll as his head caved in under the force of the axeblade. Blood sprayed all around me but was evaporated as it hit my still burning fire armor. The mind-controlled savage continued to bash his victim’s skull in with the butt of his axehandle.
I pushed my hand forwards and sent a blast of icy energy upon him. I accidentally hit the body of my just slain savior instead, erroneously responding too quickly before I could measure the shot. The mind-controlled savage looked up at me with white eyes and growled, “Rwahh!” and leaped forwards at me. Just as he was about to make contact with me I reached my hand up, aimed directly at his face and unleashed an icy blast into his face. The blast was so violent that his head froze instantly and then disconnected from the elf’s body and smashed against the ground with a shatter. His body continued on for another step by the effects of his momentum and then he arched back slowly and toppled back onto the shards of his shattered skull.
I looked past the corpse to see if I could catch a glance of the kopru, but I saw no perspective of the vile creature. I looked around at the chaos of the situation unfolding before me. I had nearly forgotten about all the hunters that were fighting all around me in my pursuit of the kopru. Jariah was tossing balls of fire in an attempt to push the attacking mind-controlled savages at bay, but the effects of the kopru’s influence forced them to keep charging forward, right into the flames. I could see Tristam, ducking to and fro, slashing deftly at the necks of these sorry villagers unfortunate enough to get near him. All of the hunters I could see were busy fighting off villagers. And the kopru had disappeared from sight.
I ran towards the fighting, moving closer to locate the whereabouts of the kopru.
“Oh shit!” I shrieked as a hunter fell dead at my feet when a large rock struck him in the side of his unprotected head, cracking it open, spraying blood in quick pulsating spurts. I looked up at the fire after gaining a better vantage point, but the kopru was still nowhere in sight.
“AH-lalalala!” I heard from my left, and as I turned I saw a villager charging at me with a spear held in his hands, then he screamed “Urrrraaagghh!” as he thrust forwards at me.
Just before the spear entered my proximity I stepped to the side, the spear moved past my body and I pushed forwards with my orbed hand and a ray of white light emitted into his face. His face was three feet from my hand, and as the white light quickly subsided, his face was surrounded by the freezing gas that had ensued, turning his head into an icy block in an instant. He was in full charge as his head froze and he continued his sprint, right into my hand. I held my arm out stiff, and his head crashed against the orb clutched in my hands, a piece of his frozen skull broke off against the surface of the crystal orb, and his legs carried his body forwards a few more feet before his toppling head tipped him onto his back, shattering the head on the unforgiving ground.
I heard someone scream, “Yaaaaaah-” and I turned to see a hunter standing nearby roaring as he was about to stab his spear into the belly of a villager. But then his roar was cut short when a spear came bursting out of the side of his throat, emitting a disgusting guttural noise. The elfman fell down with the spear still in his neck, and a different villager stood behind him, covered in the slain elfman’s blood.
“Ohh noooo!” I screamed as I saw the elfman fall.
The villager that would have been victim to the hunter’s spear bent down and reached out and grabbed the hunters limp body. The villager heaved with all his might and dead-lifted the elfman’s body. The strength of the elfman villager was surprising.
The hunter’s killer turned towards me with a snarling face. My orb flashed a dull bluish-white color as I summoned a cloud of freezing gas to swarm around the two feral villagers. All three bodies were frozen within seconds.
I heard, “Shit-” and turned to see Tristam slash the throat of a villager and he looked back to me, “We’re losing men!” he shouted as he pointed his dagger towards the escalating battle, “What do we do?!” he asked in a booming voice.
Just as I was going to respond I saw four villagers begin to approach him from different directions, out of his vision.
I moved forward and tried to yell to warn him, but my voice was drowned out by the battling, “Tristam find the kopru, I’ll take care of these guys!” I shouted.
Just then Tristam looked around and noticed he was being surrounded, and he shrieked, “Ooooohh!”
He turned and slashed the throat of the closest villager converging on his position. The other three were almost on him, but suddenly a ring of gas spread outwards from his position, and his charging attackers were frozen in their tracks.
Tristam looked around in surprise and he caught sight of me. The bluish light dimed from my orb as I dropped my hand down to my side. I shouted at Tristam once more to find the kopru, “Alright!” he shouted and then quickly darted off behind a hut.
I looked to my side and saw Jariah loosely surrounded by seven of her hunters, and she was taking pot shots of arcane fire at anybody that got close enough to tempt her. Most of the hunters were lying dead in various arrangements upon the battlefield. The villagers were pressing their attack hard on my allies.
I ran closer into the fray and focused a cloud of freezing air upon two villagers attacking a lone hunter holding the pair of villagers back.
“Awwha!” he cried as he pushed his attackers back with his spear.
My cloud of frigid air erupted just behind the two villagers, barely touching against their skin. I heard the hunter scream something familiar in his native language, and I realized later that he had said, “No Da’loach!”
“Noooooo!” I yelled in anguish as I saw an axe bury into his chest and as the hunter fell his killer continued to axe at him several more times.
Before I could react I faintly heard an echo carry on the breeze over the sounds of the fighting.
“Da’loach-” then another noise, a shrill noise, “Ooohheeeoooeh!” I thought it sounded like the voice of Tristam.
“Shit!” I snapped. I moved next to Jariah and announced myself as she lobbed an overhand fireball.
“Shit is going down!” she yelled as loud as she could into my ear.
“Yeah fucking tell me about it! I got eyes too!” I shouted back, “I think Tristam is getting fucked up.”
“Where?” she said and made a quick scan of the battle.
“I don’t know!” I shouted.
Her eyes caught glimpse of something and I saw her eyelids narrow over her pretty globes, “Over there!” she pointed in a panic.
I looked over and saw a figure behind the great central fire, a silhouette with two blades in hand backing out of the shadows as a greater figure emerged in front of him.
“Awwwhhaaaaha!” I heard the smaller figure scream, and I knew that it was Tristam. His face lit up as the flame’s light illuminated the features of his image, “Ohho shit!” he screamed as he swung a blade forward at the shadowy serpentine figure looming before him.
I closed my eyes for a moment and relinked with the icy hand I had summoned earlier, which was now just sitting idle near the fire. I opened my eyes and moved my fingers in a crawling movement like a spider in the air. The large, icy hand creaked into motion, imitating my spidery fingers, and then I made a grabbing motion when it reached adjacent to the kopru. The kopru was caught by surprise as the hand bashed into its side and wrapped five cold fingers around its serpentine body.
“Oh fuck!” screamed Tristam and then he shook his head and rushed forward, jumping onto the restrained kopru, “Ahhhh!” he yelled as he stabbed down at it with his shortsword.
I could feel the force of the kopru’s struggle within my own hand, as if an imaginary creature was clutched there.
Just then, as I was witnessing my summoned hand and Tristam overpower the kopru, a dim light began to shine through the crystal-like ice that made up the hand. The light grew rapidly and I could feel a heat in my palm. Then the light reached its pinnacle and suddenly my grasping hand busted into thousands of pieces and I heard Tristam shout, “Ohh shit!” as he was thrown to the ground. He landed with a tumble and the kopru stood there erect on its thick serpentine tail.
“Oh fuck!” shouted Tristam as the kopru moved towards him. I reached at my belt and grabbed the rod that Gualichu had gifted me. I used its energy to pull Tristam back along the ground about fifteen feet just as the kopru’s tentacled fingers reached out for Tristam.
“Whoa fuck!” yelled Tristam as he was dragged through the dirt.
I could still see the kopru standing there next to the fire, but I turned away and surveyed the carnage still relentlessly continuing behind me.
My first observation was a hunter that had drifted from the group and was surrounded by five villagers. I took a deep breath and held up my orb. It shined with a bright bluish light and a circle of frozen air whooshed outwards from the hunter. Four of the villagers were frozen before they could effectively attack their victim, the fifth villager was standing behind one of the others and the cloud brushed past him, but it still had an adverse effect on his capacity to move, and the hunter plunged his spear into the villager’s stomach, passing though the body and protruding out the back.
“Thank you Da’loach!” shouted the elf hunter in bad common.
I turned to the side and saw two hunters standing a few feet in front of Jariah, protecting her.
One of the hunters was huffing with fatigue, “Hueh!-Hueh!-Hueh!” as he deflected a few blows. Several villagers were about to overwhelm them, and I prepared myself for another attack, taking another deep breath.
In that moment that fatigue laden hunter let out a dying scream as an axeblade crashed down into the area where neck meets shoulder. He feebly swung his spear out but it only bounced off the arm of one of the villagers and then slipped out of his hands and he dropped to his knees. His partner was trying desperately to fend the villagers off. I focused on them and a burst of frosty mist surged before him and evaporated as it passed over the villagers. Five frozen statues remained in fixed torment surrounding the bewildered elf hunter.
“Whheww!” he sighed as he turned to face me.
Five other villagers split and two began to rush towards the hunter I just saved, and the other three ran forwards at Jariah, who rendered the side of a hut to flaming pieces with a blast of arcane fire, completely oblivious to the three charging towards her.
I turned to apprehend the three before they could reach her, and in that same moment I heard Tristam scream from my side.
God damn it! I have to do everything around here! I thought to myself in that split second.
A cloud of frosty air erupted at the feet of the three and surged upwards. One of the elf villagers jumped over the gaseous frost before it could take him, but the other two had their legs and torso freeze instantaneously, and they fell forward, snapping their bodies in half.
Jariah turned at the last second as she heard the blast of frost and then the shattering of half their bodies.
“Ahh!” she screamed as the remaining villager’s spear stabbed out at her. She attempted to grab hold of the spear and she toppled over and fell roughly to the ground.
The villager wrenched his spear back and poised it over his back to stab once more down upon his hapless victim.
I heard the choked scream of a man in my ears, “Uuuueghhh!” and I quickly snapped my head to the side and saw Tristam’s red face and his neck within the kopru’s tentacled fingers. Time seemed to slow down for a moment and I had to act quickly.
I wrapped both my hands around my orb and focused two daggers of ice to appear on the surface of my orb, I reached out to one of them with my left hand, the chill of it evident against my gloved fingers, and I hucked it like a throwing dagger towards the villager and simultaneously whipped my orb sideways with my other hand at the kopru. The dagger still resting on the smooth surface of the orb shot forwards, flying underneath Tristam who was held in the air within the kopru’s strong hands. Both icy daggers hit their targets.
One pierced through the villager’s chest, subsequently freezing his internal organs, and the other hit the kopru in the broad tail that supports its body. Though, to my bemusement, the creature seemed to not notice or did not care, and it still went on choking Tristam in its slimy tentacled hands.
“Uhhh-” moaned Jariah as she stood up from her recent attack.
“Yeeeeahhh!” yelled a hunter in his native tongue as he smashed the butt of his spear into a frozen villager.
A small group of five or six villagers came from behind a hut and moved towards the hunter, and he noticed them and charged forwards at them. I also heard some rustling from behind and turned to see a larger group, a dozen or so charging towards Jariah and myself
“Aw what?!” I said in bewilderment.
I turned back to the kopru and decided that I needed to end this quick if I was to succeed and free the remainder of these villagers. I closed my eyes and thought of a kopru. I conjured this image of the kopru in my mind to appear behind the kopru choking the poor Tristam. I opened my eyes and my imagination manifested behind the kopru within the shadows. A twin kopru surged forwards silently and reached out and grabbed hold of the other kopru’s neck from behind.
The kopru let out a surprised, vicious squeal and released Tristam’s neck, dropping him to the ground, where he heaved in air laboriously in the dirt. My kopru pushed down upon the back of its twin’s neck, forcing its evil counterpart to the ground. The kopru turned to see a twin of itself attacking, I thought I saw fear in the kopru’s eyes.
I heard someone shriek in panic, and I turned to see the hunter who had charged was in for more than he bargained for with the five attacking villagers, “Oh no!” he had said in his language.
I saw an orange light overcome my peripheral vision and I realized it was Jariah charging up a great fireball to welcome her new attackers. I also realized that there were still some six elfmen villagers heading my way as well.
I ran forwards and stepped up next to Jariah, pushing my back against hers, opening my protective fiery veil on my back as not to burn her. I lifted my orb up and aimed it at the five that were headed towards me, one had averted his charge and joined the others moving closer to Jariah as I had ran to her side.
A curtain of misty ice erupted in the middle of the air around the charging mind-controlled elves, and I was sure I had hit them all. I averted my gaze back towards the still awaiting Jariah.
But then I saw from my peripheral a sudden movement. As I turned my gaze towards it I saw that three of the villagers emerged unscathed by my efforts. One swiped at me with his hands but I put up my arm in defense and before the elf’s hands could even reach me, the thin flames surrounding me ignited his finger and singed them to the bone. A muffled scream sounded from behind his lips, unable to open from the effects of the mind-control.
I spat out a quick word in the Giant language, which meant ‘Protection’. It doesn’t work, but the magic of the word always gives me hope. And in this circumstance, it failed again.
The other two attackers reached me and attacked. One stabbed at me with a sharpened stick. I reached out with my free hand and latched onto the shaft of the makeshift spear. As the end of the spear passed through the fiery veil it caught flame. The other villager swung a stone axeblade down towards me. I lifted my hand up and attempted to use the force of kinetic magic to block the attack but the force of the blow proved too much and it came down and cut the side of my forearm. The hand probably would have been cut off though if not deafened by my arcane skills. His axe handle caught aflame and began spreading down the hilt towards the elfman’s hands. The spear began to turn to orange embers and the end snapped free, but the broken edge pierced into my clothes and pushed shallowly into my skin.
“Oh my god!” shouted Jariah as the six other villagers reached her. One tackled her to the ground as the other five began kicking at her feeble body.
I turned my head to the side as I felt, in my mind, the enemy kopru turn in my kopru’s arms and I watched as it swung at it, but the enemy kopru’s hand passed through my image like passing through smoke. It gave a frustrated screech and turned over. It saw Tristam kneeling nearby, still disoriented by his near fatal asphyxiation. The kopru’s tentacled fingers lashed across Tristam’s face and he went sprawling across the dirt.
Immediately reacting to the attack upon Tristam, I forced my image of the kopru to reach its arm up and drop its elbow forcibly down upon the skull of the enemy kopru. The enemy kopru’s head seemed to lull around in a dazed motion. With that, I released the image of the kopru, which was taking a hefty amount of my concentration, and I focused rather on the matter at hand: I was surrounded and Jariah was grounded. I took the energy from my fiery layer and focused it into a crude scythe in my orbed hand. My orb glowed with a red hot light and I slashed my hand horizontally in front of me.
The pure heat of my makeshift scythe of fire cut through the flesh like a hot knife through soft butter. The skin boiled and the wounds instantly cauterized, but it didn’t matter because two of the three in front of me had their heads sliced clean off. The one who had suffered the burnt hands had lurched to the side, and the scythe passed over his head, burning the flesh away and exposing the white of the skull, which turned black within the fraction of the second it took to swing over his head, and he fell to the ground unconscious and I swung the scythe down and cut his head in half. I whipped my hand back, towards those standing around Jariah.
The one who had tackled Jariah had begun to stand up and move out of the way.
The fiery scythe cut through half of his head, right where the jaw meets the cheekbones. The air hissed as it was burned from his esophagus, and the fiery blade continued, cutting the next elf in half at the top of his chest which made a puffing noise as the air in his lungs expanded and escaped out of the ensuing wound in a short puff of steam. The remaining four died in much the same manner as the others, disemboweled by my fiery blade. No blood was spilt, but all eight were dead.
The distinct smell of burning flesh radiated the air and it reminded me of a cookout, though it was much more gruesome an event.
Just as the heat of the scythe and my fiery protection dissipated and disappeared, I heard a gruff yell, “Ruuugghh!” and then I saw emerge before me two hunters covered in blood from behind a nearby hut. I snapped to attention and turned around and saw Jariah still lying on the ground, and the two hunters moved towards her. The other hunter that I had abandoned had single-handedly slain his five adversaries, much to my surprise and amusement. I turned my body to face where the kopru had been lying and I saw that Tristam had engaged it once more.
A dagger was embedded in the flesh of the kopru’s flank, leaking blood profusely, and it was huddled on the ground. Tristam stood before it and raised his shortsword over his head and swiftly brought it down with both hands.
With lightning speed the hands of the kopru shot forwards and latched onto Tristam’s hands. It looked intently at Tristam’s face and in the ensuing moments Tristam went limp. The kopru let go and began to slither away as Jariah, the hunters, and myself ran over to aid our valiant ally.