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Icewind Dale 2 -- A Sorcerer's Tale.

Discussion in 'Creativity Surge' started by el timtor, May 28, 2005.

  1. Silverstar Gems: 31/31
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    This is amazing, your imagination makes IWD2 look like a much better game and all of a sudden I wanted to play it..just for a little! :shake:

    Post more! :thumb:
     
  2. el timtor Gems: 13/31
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    She was slumped against a large rock, longbow across her knees. Twenty paces brought sorcerer and Battleguard to her side, both noting hastily bandaged wounds, some of which still dribbled blood into the snow. Cyrus noticed the clasp of her tattered cloak bore the waves-and-cliffs symbol of the Targos Guard. Faint puffs of steam from cracked lips showed that she lived, but barely.

    Barda knelt close, murmuring invocations to Tempus. A few of the woman’s wounds closed. Her prayers increased in volume and fervor, but to no effect.

    “I’m sorry, Cyrus. It seems I’m a better warrior than a healer.” A big tear rolled down her cheek, fell, and was lost in the red-stained snow.

    Cyrus flashed an affectionate smile and gave her arm a squeeze. “Your skills in both are without question, little Barda.” He continued to rummage in his rucksack, coming up with a roll of leather whose pockets held several vials. “Ah, here we are.”

    He selected a vial of blue-green fluid, worked the stopper loose, and dribbled some into the wounded one’s mouth. Her hand came up, pushed weakly at the vial, urging him to give her more. As the last of the healing draught went down, her body convulsed and she breathed a long, racking breath. Blood stopped flowing, wounds began to close, and her eyelids fluttered open.

    “Water…,” she whispered.

    Barda tipped a water skin, from which the woman drank slow, measured sips. After a time, she sighed and began to speak.

    “I thank you for your aid. I am Ennelia. Are you the vanguard from Targos?”

    “We are,” replied Cyrus with a nod. “I am Cyrus Bell and—“

    “Ennelia! You’re the scout Lord Ulbrec talked about!” exclaimed Barda, startling the other two. A moment later her delighted expression dissolved into a puzzled frown. “But I thought there were two of you…”

    Ennelia bowed her head, speaking in a tearful voice. “My partner and I found this place a tenday ago. As you may know, we alerted Ulbrec, then returned to continue our reconnaissance. The fortress is northeast of this spot, but there are frequent patrols, and many lookout towers.

    “Braston and I snuck past two towers east of here in search of an easier approach to the keep. We found a gate, perhaps a rear entrance. Before we could investigate further, we must have been spotted. Warning drums sounded, and before we could retreat and cover our tracks, a patrol was upon us. I thought Braston was behind me as we fled.

    “He hung back so that I could escape. The last I saw , he was being dragged back to the fortress. I managed to hide here, but until you came along, my wounds were too severe. I couldn’t do anything for him…”

    She wept freely, her body shaking.

    “Tell us of Braston,” prompted Cyrus, his tone gentle.

    “He is a scout, as I am, and…and…my husband. I’m certain he is still alive inside that horrid place, but…”

    “Then we’ll have to go in there to save him,” muttered Barda, then started as she realized she’d spoken her thought aloud. “Won’t we?”

    “If he is still alive, we will free him,” promised Cyrus. The sorcerer stuck his head above the rocks, looking about. “Barda, help me get Ennelia over to that cave. We’ll shelter there until nightfall.”

    They hoisted Ennelia between them and began to move. “We’ll get a fire going, then a meal,” said Cyrus.

    “Cyrus, could I have two meals? I’m a big girl, you know.”

    “Yes, Barda…”
     
  3. Silverstar Gems: 31/31
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    Wow you really have a talent there, no doubt about it. Keep writing until the Severed Hand please!

    And I liked Barda addition! :thumb:
     
  4. Succubus Gems: 1/31
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    [​IMG] Wow, you're a really talented writer. I love it. :thumb: I'd love to see some more.
     
  5. el timtor Gems: 13/31
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    Last one for "this year". Thanks to all of you for reading! :thumb: Happy New Year to all! :beer:

    -------------------------------------------------

    Barda poked at the embers of the fire and burped contentedly. “Where did you learn to cook, Cyrus?”

    Sitting next to her, the sorcerer picked his teeth with a splinter. “I was a soldier before I mastered the Art. I learned that if you’re inventive, iron rations day after day aren’t too bad. “

    Cyrus tucked a leather pouch back into his rucksack. “A few spices don’t hurt, either.”

    He stirred the embers, then looked at his companion. “We’re fighting the Horde in a few hours. We should get some rest. I’ll take the first watch.”

    “Cyrus…” The look on Barda’s face showed she was NOT thinking about sleep.

    As her arms went around him, Cyrus mused Why are they always ready when I’m tired, and always tired when I’m ready?

    *

    A ball of fire blossomed, vaporizing the upper third of a watchtower and the orc archers occupying it. The flash illuminated everything in stark relief against the snow, including the orc warrior racing for the alarm drum.

    The drums, when sounded, would bring down a squad of goblin lancers riding huge wolves. Cyrus and Barda took care that no one could get to the drums, especially after Cyrus was nearly spitted on a wolf rider’s lance.

    “Cyrus! Get that one!” shouted Barda. Her axe rose and fell in steady rythmn, bodies falling all round her. Blood covered her armor, only a little of it her own. “I’m rather busy!”

    Cyrus Bell’s left hand swept out, quintet of magic missiles spitting forth. Two flashed past the runner to shatter the drum, the other three pulped the orc’s head and upper torso. A feral smile lit his face as he turned back to the melee, the Heart of Cyrus Bell flicking out to open an orc’s belly.

    The smile died on his face when he looked past the falling orc. Pounding across the plain toward them were a trio of trolls, backed up by several goblin shamans and a big orc in witch doctor’s robes. And were those ogres running behind the witch doctor?

    “Ah, Barda, I think we are going to be MUCH busier.”
     
  6. Succubus Gems: 1/31
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    [​IMG] Excellent cliff-hanger there. :thumb: You paint a very vivid picture with your words. I love it! Can't wait to read some more in the new year. :grin:
     
  7. el timtor Gems: 13/31
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    The Heart of Cyrus Bell smashed into the witch doctor’s flank, crushing ribs and organs. The dying orc reeled away, the spell it was weaving falling apart into sparkling threads of random energy.

    Cyrus Bell saw a flicker of movement to his left, turned, and beheld a huge green hand coming toward his face.

    The world tumbled, slices of cloudless blue sky alternating with views of blood-stained snow in gut-churning profusion. Then there was a bone-shattering impact, a bright white flash, then all-consuming darkness.

    *

    I cannot be dead. I’m in too much pain.

    Cyrus levered himself out of the snowbank in which he’d lain. He stood, one hand brushing snow from his face, the other fumbling out a healing potion.

    Skin of Stone is a useful weave, he mused, but the body still hurts after it wears off. Oh, well—less scars to mar my roguish good looks…

    The din of battle was noticeably absent, the only sounds being the sigh of the wind and Barda Ironheart singing a victory hymn to Tempus.

    Off key. Very off key.

    He watched the big Battleguard’s axe rise and fall, reducing a fallen troll to quivering chunks, which she drenched with liquid from a flask in her other hand.

    Barda dropped axe and flask as her hymn reached a crescendo, held up a lit torch, and swept it downward in a bright arc.

    Time stopped for Cyrus as his gaze focused with unnaturally sharp clarity on Oswald Fiddlebender’s sigil on the flask as it fell next to Barda’s left boot. Barda, you idiot! That’s not lamp oil! He opened his mouth to shout a warning.

    A sun-bright flash, a thump more felt than heard, and a howling Barda flew through the air and crashed down in front of him. Smoking gobbets of burnt troll rained down around them. Cyrus’ mouth snapped shut.

    A smile quirked his lip, a chuckle escaped, followed by peals of laughter that doubled the sorcerer over for several minutes.

    “Cyrus…”

    Barda’s voice, dripping with menace, gave him pause. Blinking his eyes free of tears, Cyrus straightened up. His gaze traveled from her feet (bare, the explosion having literally blown Barda out of her boots), all the way up her snow-flecked and fire-scorched armor, to her fiercely glowering face, crowned with a skewed helmet. She looked like a battered, worn-out (though very angry) war goddess. With no eyebrows.

    Cyrus’ mirth exploded anew, his laughter only stopping when the world spun again, and the snowbank was no softer than the first time he’d been thrown into it.

    [ June 23, 2006, 03:41: Message edited by: el timtor ]
     
  8. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    What was in the bottle then?
     
  9. el timtor Gems: 13/31
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    Oil of Fiery Burning.

    I figured you wouldn't get the really destructive explosion because Barda Bubblehead had poured it out over a fairly wide area...

    Once again I plead artistic license (as with many of the other improbable (read: not happening in-game) things/events that happen in this story.

    Hope you all still enjoy it, though...
     
  10. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Good stuff.
     
  11. el timtor Gems: 13/31
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    Barda was busy searching the fallen Orogs for loot, so Cyrus decided to investigate a tunnel that branched off the main chamber. Fifty paces in, a voice called out “Phaen!” in badly accented Common. A large goblin was walking toward him, squinting in the dim torchlight. It gibbered several more phrases, in Goblin. Cyrus muttered a spell that would enable him to understand the greenskin.

    “Phaen!” it called again. “You’re back, so we must have taken that town, right? Got anything to drink for your old friend Vunarg?”

    Realization dawned on the sorcerer. I’m wearing Phaen’s robes, and in this dim light… He held out a skin of wine as the goblin approached.

    “Thanks.” The goblin took a deep pull, swallowed, smacked his lips, savoring the wine. Suddenly its eyes widened. Whipping out a scimitar, the goblin jumped back two paces. “You’re not Phaen! You wear his robes, but you don’t stink like him!”

    Cyrus shrugged, letting his hood fall back. “I never said I was. Phaen’s been worm food for several weeks now, as well as everyone he brought with him to take Targos.”

    “That means Caballus and his two idiot brothers are dead too,” muttered Vunarg, more to himself than Cyrus. “And their entire clan? No big waste there.

    “So what about you, humie scum. What are you doing here?”

    “I could ask you the same about your Horde.”

    “It’s not my horde, but I have an obligation to be here. I really ought to be killing you though…”

    “Why? We’re talking, sharing a skin of wine, being civilized. Why bring up killing?”

    “You’ve got me there. Are you surprised, humie? Just because I’m a… what do you call the Geblii… a goblin… doesn’t mean I don’t think. I am responsible for Clan Vunarg, my clan. We must eat and hunt and war. Here we don’t do any of that. Here we just wait.”

    “Why don’t you leave?”

    “Because I am a Gebli. We Geblii gather in hordes and kill bloated pink-skin humie scum like you…”

    Just not right now, thought Cyrus. As if you could.

    Vunarg was still grousing. “I am angry about getting kicked around by the orcs and bugbears. We’ve not gotten much food, and we have yet to see battle. Back home on the plains, we at least got to hunt and fight with the other clans.”

    “Then leave,” Barda cut in. “Or be crushed under our boots.”

    Vunarg blinked in surprise—despite her stature and plate armor, he hadn’t noticed her until she spoke. “Do you really think you can defeat the orcs and bugbears, woman?”

    “Yes!” replied Barda, her tone defiant. The Horde will be crushed! Now leave, or be numbered among the dead!”

    “Barda…,” groaned Cyrus, rolling his eyes. So much for getting out of this without a fight.

    “Your armored companion has spirit, mage!” chuckled Vunarg. “Is she as spirited OUT of her armor?” The last was followed by a wink.

    Barda’s expression promised bloodshed and mayhem, but she kept her place at a look from the sorcerer. Thankfully not noticed by the goblin, Cyrus’ expression cried Please put up with this—I’ll make it up to you later…

    He turned back to Vunarg. “Take your clan home. You’ll be away from the bloodshed to come, and you can hunt and fight and be free.”

    Vunarg cackled agreement. “Capital idea! My people would be happier, and we can torch the Mokrul Clan village like we’ve always wanted to! All right, humie scum, you’ve convinced me. To the Hells with this lot, we’ve got a village to torch!” He held out the nearly empty wineskin. “Farewell, bloated pink-skins!”

    “Keep it, Gebli scum." As if I’d drink from that after YOUR lips touched it. "Have a good life.”

    As Vunarg slipped past the two adventurers, Cyrus noticed a pair of red eyes glinting further down the tunnel. A Barghest slid out of the shadows and approached.

    “You have excellent negotiating skills, human,” hissed the Outsider. “Might I interest you in what you would call ‘a little job’?”
     
  12. Shrikant

    Shrikant Swords! Not words! Veteran

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    I hope you aren't writing this as you play along. That would make it an awfully long game.

    Nice chapter, and you seem to have got rid of the droll fighting before you get to the negotiations. Good.
     
  13. Silverstar Gems: 31/31
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    Oh boy I have missed your writings, and now I have started playing IWD2 again after two years, you give me great inspiration, thank you! :)
     
  14. el timtor Gems: 13/31
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    @ Shrikant

    Not really... I take notes of conversations and suchlike and make thing up from there.

    @ Silverstar

    Thank YOU, my friend. I never expected my meager scribblings to have that effect on anyone...

    Here's a bit more:

    “I’ve brought your message, Yquog,” spoke Cyrus, holding out the roll of parchment. “And you’ll be happy to know that Kruntur still draws breath.”

    The Outsider shrugged, head moving back and forth as he began reading. “No consequence to me…,” was the reply, trailing off as he perused the missive.

    “You wouldn’t be willing to share, would you?” deadpanned the sorcerer. He had attempted to read it, but the tanar’ri script seemed to twist and flow every time he looked, earning him nothing but a headache.

    “It is from my masters concerning—,” Yquog’s head snapped up, spearing Cyrus with blazing eyes.

    “Have a care, human!” he hissed. “I still hunger for living flesh!”

    Yquog scooped up a scabbarded longsword and flung it toward Cyrus. “This is what remains of the last human who asked me too many questions. Consider yourself paid, and get out of my sight before I forget myself!”

    Cyrus caught the reward and sketched a sweeping bow. “Happy to be of service, Yquog. Fare thee well.”

    *

    “Did he pay well?” asked Barda. The Battleguard had been waiting in the adjacent chamber, insuring nothing snuck up and caught them unaware.

    “Mmm-hmm,” murmured her companion, sitting down next to her. Cyrus wove a thread of power about the weapon, seeking anything baneful. Satisfied there were none, he unsheathed the sword.

    The blade shed a pale blue radiance, the steel seeming as fine and new as the day it was forged. Unlike the Heart of Cyrus Bell , which was single edged and slim with a stabbing point, this was a broader blade, double-edged, with a less prominent point. Cyrus felt the enchantments in the metal and knew this blade would strike true and deadly. Curiously, a thin film of ice rimed the blade’s edge.

    Barda giggled when offered the new blade. “To pick my teeth or pare my fingernails, maybe? No, sweet Cyrus, THIS is a Battleguard’s only weapon.”

    She waggled her axe at him for a moment, the paused. “But since you're offering things,” she continued, her voice lower, “your expression a little while ago said you would ‘make it up to me later’ if I didn’t squash that slimy little Vunarg creature…

    “Later is now , Cyrus.”

    “What? Here? Barda…”

    [ July 06, 2006, 02:23: Message edited by: el timtor ]
     
  15. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Great stuff. Keep it up.
     
  16. Shaitan

    Shaitan Always forgive your enemies; it annoys them so

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    Good you're back, keep it coming
     
  17. el timtor Gems: 13/31
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    A fireball exploded in a crowded corridor, incinerating a mass of goblins.

    Waves of extreme cold lashed a troop of orogs, freezing them into statues that shattered when they fell.

    An orc witch doctor watched, gaping, as his mirror images disappeared under a barrage of arcane missiles, seconds before a gigantic axe chopped him in two.

    Death had come to the Horde warrens in the guise of an armored juggernaut and a spell-hurling terror, and nothing escaped.

    “Look at them run, Cyrus!” crowed Barda as a pair of orcs and an orog dropped their weapons and fled down the tunnel. “They are broken! Victory is ours!”

    Cyrus nodded, absently waving a hand toward the fleeing humanoids. A streak of flame darted after the trio, followed by a flash, a rumble, and a belch of smoke scented with rock dust and cooked flesh.

    “CYRUS!” shouted Barda, grabbing his shoulder and spinning him round to face her. “Why? They were no longer a threat to us! They—“

    The look in his eyes stopped the Battleguard mid-word. She had seen temple statues with livelier expressions. Her skin prickled when the sorcerer spoke.

    “They would have come right back at us as soon as they found their courage again. I give them one chance, Barda. One. Either they kill me, or I kill them. If we allow them to escape, they’ll just gather another Horde and come back even stronger.

    “I show them the same mercy as they would show the Ten-Towns.” A brief vision of a flaming arrow, an explosion of flames, and Kaitlin Silvertongue’s anguished face weeping tears of blood surfaced in his mind and was quickly blinked away.

    “Wh…where are you going?” queried Barda in a wavering voice as her companion turned and started down the corridor. “Don’t we have to go that way?” She pointed in the opposite direction, where the cavern sloped upward and faint hints of sunlight could be seen.

    Cyrus stopped, turned, and regarded the hand that Barda held out to him. “Yes we do, Barda. But there's a passage back this way we missed. Wouldn't want to have anything sneak up on us..."

    [ February 24, 2007, 19:11: Message edited by: el timtor ]
     
  18. el timtor Gems: 13/31
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    "This is your final warning," hissed the dragon-woman, poking Guthma in the chest with a taloned finger. "I grant second chances to so very few. Count yourself fortunate."

    Guthma beat down the urge to slap the offending hand away. To have done so would have been fatal. The massive bugbear was the Supreme Warchief of the Horde, but the one before him was much more highly placed.

    "Targos will fall, Sherincal," he rumbled, massive fists clenching. "This I vow."

    Sherincal's only reply was a haughty sniff as a portal of light irised open behind her. She spun, forcing Guthma to step back or be buffeted by wings and tail, and stepped through. The portal vanished, taking the dragon-woman with it.

    "Targos will fall," repeated Guthma, "and-."

    His sentence was cut short by a tremendous explosion that shook dust from the ceiling beams. The big goblinoid smelled smoke and cooked flesh, and his eyes widened as a pair of humans ran through the corridor intersection opposite where he stood.

    "Arm yourselves, fools! We are under attack!" he roared, dashing for his quarters and thanking his gods that Sherincal had departed when she had.

    *

    Cyrus Bell's sword rang as he parried a hobgoblin's axe, the shock numbing his arm. From his left hand sprang a hail of glowing orbs that pummeled the goblinoid and tumbled its corpse several bodylengths down the corridor. Beside him, Barda Ironfist planted a boot on a fallen orog, wrenching her greataxe from its shattered chest.

    "Cyrus, I think we should go that way," suggested the Battleguard, casting a meaningful glance down the corridor.

    "Should we?" replied the sorcerer, massaging feeling back into his numbed arm. "I recall the last 'We should go that way' nearly got us killed!"

    "How was I supposed to know it was their dining hall?" she shot back.

    "Oh, I don't know--maybe the sight of several score greenskins stuffing their faces might have given you a clue, Barda!"

    If looks could kill, the one she cast his way would have struck him stone dead, causing Cyrus to hold up a hand in apology. "Very well, you win--after you, milady..."

    *

    Guthma's footsteps shook the floorboards as he strode through the fortress, retinue in trail. The air was thick with the smells of smoke, fear and death. "Faster, scum! The humans must be found before they burn this place down!"

    A sudden thought struck him: They seek to free the other human--the spy we captured!

    "To the cells!" he barked, breaking into a shambling run. "We cannot allow them to rescue their spy!"

    *

    "Well met. I gather from your appearance that you are not my executioners..."

    The man they had found was badly beaten and clad in rags, but his head was unbowed, his eyes gleaming with mirth.

    "Are you the ranger Braston?" queried Cyrus, working with lockpicks at the man's fetters. "I am Cyrus Bell, my companion is Barda Ironfist.

    "Ah, there, that should be much more comfortable," he added, as the shackles opened.

    "Yes, I am Braston," replied the ranger, rubbing at chafed wrists. "I was on reconnaissance for the Ten-Towns when I fell captive. I only hope my companion was not lost."

    "Ennelia will be so happy we've found you, Braston!" exulted Barda, scooping him up into a bone-crushing embrace.

    "Is my...Ennelia...safe, then?" gasped Braston, unsucessfully trying to squirm out of Barda's iron-sheathed arms.

    "Barda, please release him," groaned Cyrus, rolling his eyes. He waited until the ranger had regained breath. "Our mission is to stop the Horde's attacks on Targos. Can you aid us?"

    "You will have to slay Guthma, their leader. He oversees this operation with an iron fist."

    "Where is this Guthma?" asked Barda, hefting her axe.

    The entry door to the cell block exploded open, a massive form filling the portal.

    "He would be right there," answered Braston, not a trace of irony in his voice.
     
  19. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Excellent! Glad to see you're back!
     
  20. el timtor Gems: 13/31
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    Thank you, O Feathered One. It's good to be back.

    __________________________________________________

    "Who are you?" roared Guthma. "Not that it matters. Neither you nor your spy will leave alive!"

    Behind his words Guthma was puzzled. Only two? And to cause so much havoc? Impossible--there must be more of them about.

    One of the humans, a mage by his attire, spoke.

    "You must be Guthma. It doesn't matter who we are."

    The mage spoke with courage, but Guthma knew any skinny spell-thrower would fall with a good blow or two. The armored one with the axe (a female!) bore watching, however.

    "Yes, dead one, I AM Guthma! It is by my hand that Targos has been laid waste!"

    Much to Guthma's surprise, the mage laughed. "Laid waste! Your pathetic attacks have done nothing."

    What? He lies! He speaks so just to unsettle me... "You cannot fool me, human. Your port is destroyed, your wall in shambles. Doubtless you are only here for revenge, and to rescue your little spy, neither of which you will achieve!"

    "You are the fool, Guthma," spoke the female. "Tempus' shield has protected Targos, and his axe has felled many of your Horde!"

    "Enough!" Red rage boiled inside Guthma. These three would die, and their hides would hang on his trophy-wall. He charged with a roar, mace held high.

    Crackling bolts of lightning leapt from the mage's hands, sending excruciating pain through Guthma's massive frame and incinerating his followers. The bugbear's vision blurred, and he dropped to one knee.

    Guthma swung his mace at the female, a weak blow that was easily avoided. There was more pain, accompanied by a red haze and the salt taste of his own blood as her axe buried itself in his side. The blow slammed Guthma against the wall, and his slow slide to the floor gave him time to see his bodyguards die by the mage's spells.

    He felt the axe bite into his neck, then nothing.

    *

    Cyrus sat by the fire and nursed the last drops of wine out of the wineskin. Across the ravine burned a bigger fire--the funeral pyre that was the Horde and its fortress.

    Snow cruched as Barda walked over from where the tents were pitched.

    "Couldn't sleep?" asked the sorcerer.

    The big woman snickered. "No. Ennelia and Braston are...celebrating...their reunion, and they're..."

    "Noisy?"

    "Yes. Just as well, though. Run with me, Cyrus."

    "What?" His head snapped up, in time to see her cloak fall and her legs flash past the fire, her feet kicking up a spray of snow.

    He blinked the snow from his eyes and beheld her moon-silvered form standing out against the snowy ground on which she ran.

    "I promised that I would run with you. Silly of me to forget," he murmured.

    The sorcerer jumped up with a whoop of laughter and pelted down the trail after her.
     
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