Friday, November 13

An unexpected twist of fate… (Original Fiction by Xan)

“Shhh…” Beasley cautiously made his way back up the winding slope of the cave back to the adventuring party who were lumbering down the slight incline. “There are at least three of them just about fifty yards down. Looks as though we have a wizard and his bodyguard.”
Zander pulled his hammer out of the strap on his belt and strapped his large wooden shield to his left arm. Solcloud tried to pull his sword out without it singing as it cleared the scabbard; he too had his shield out and at the ready. Mayvn just shrugged his shoulders and made sure his crossbow was loaded and his lute was tuned. Beasley extinguished the torch in order for the entire party to sneak up on the unsuspecting wizard. He began to creep back down the cavern towards the slight light now emanating from the other unsuspecting group.
As they all rounded the bend, a light could be seen and standing on the edge of the light was a man looking their direction. “They’re just down this tunnel.” He whispered back to the other three in his group. “We shouldn’t dally; one of them has sneaked up on us and knows we’re here. All except for me. I walked right past him. We must get them before they get us. It is, after all, all about winning.”
Beasley signaled his group to stay put with an extended finger over his lips. He could see the wizard already had something in his hands to quickly cast a spell. His bodyguards consisted of two very large armored ogres. Beasley made his way down the tunnel once again trying to be very quiet as to not alert the other rogue again of his presence. He made it to the wizard and his bodyguard and ran past the thief. With a slash, he cut the rogues leg, just under the knee. He let out a yelp of pain as the others in the party turned towards the noise.
Zander and the others rushed into battle, catching the rest of the party with their backs to them staring at the downed rogue. Solcloud, with sword in the air charged at the first ogre. Before the ogre could block the swing, Solcloud buried his sword deep in the ogre’s right arm. It just winced and looked at the paladin with a glare and threw his arm to the side, flinging both the paladin and his sword against the cave wall. Zander mightily hammered the ogre in the shoulder, but the strike hit the armor and glanced off. The ogre roared, with his great sword swung, and connected. Zander’s shield was too slow to deflect the sword. It cut Zander’s arm straight to the bone on his left side. Zander grimaced, did not hesitate, swung his mighty hammer again at his kin, and made a huge dent in the ogre’s shoulder plate knocking the big thug to the ground with a thud. Mayvn stood at the edge of the battle, lobbing bolts with his crossbow into the fight while composing a song of the ensuing battle. One shot held true and dropped the ogre that had so ferociously threw Solcloud like a rag doll. Mayvn cheered at his accomplishment, looking for the fallen paladin, but he was not where he was thrown. Solcloud had closed the gap on the wizard and began to swing with his sword. Zander, after several attempts to drop his kin, finally landed a solid hit to the ogre bodyguard’s chin, breaking its jaw and sending several teeth flying as it fell to the ground like a mighty oak tree.
“Where’s the halfling?!?!” He bellowed to the others.
Solcloud was preoccupied with attacking the wizard and did not answer.
Mayvn looked around and shouted out, “Where is the other dark fellow?”
“DAMN!” Zander shouted as he ran down the tunnel, following a trail of blood presumably left by the rogue after Beasley had slashed him in the leg. He rushed down the tunnel with the din of battle fading behind him; he heard the panting of his small friend growing louder along with clashes of daggers. “I’m coming Beasley, hold on!” With renewed vigor, Zander ran towards the battle.
“Zander!” Beasley shouted back towards his friend in complete panic. “Help me!”
The giant rounded a bend and saw Beasley and a man dressed in black locked in a fight to the death. The man had one hand on his gash bleeding on his leg and the other hand had a dagger in it, slashing at the poor halfling. Beasley was countering all the assassin’s moves but he was tiring quickly. Without hesitation, the large man swung his hammer at the assassin while his back was turned. With lightning reflexes, he pulled out a separate short sword with his bloodied hand and countered the mighty swing of the giant. The unknown assailant looked back to the giant and glared through his black mask. “You won’t strike me down that easy, half-breed!” His eyes went wide and he let out a groan. He looked down and noticed that he had let his guard down and let Beasley have the opportunity he needed to stab him through the chest.
“Don’t ever insult my friends!” Beasley scowled at the assassin as he fell to the ground. He spit at the dead body on the ground, panting with exhaustion. “Now that is what I call an equal in battle. Zander, if you hadn’t come to distract him we could have fought for hours.”
The giant smiled with a look of consolation. “I’m just glad you are OK. Let’s check on the others.”
“Wait! Give me a second to see if he has anything of worth on him.” Beasley greedily looked to Zander. “A man that good should have a whole clutch of great gear.”
“I thought you weren’t a thief.” Zander chuckled. Beasley just smirked and went about searching the body.
The two opposite friends walked back up the cavern towards where Mayvn and Solcloud were awaiting their arrival. Mayvn was searching the bodies.
“Let me do that sir.” Beasley shouted to the bard. “After all, I am the thief.” The thief started with the wizard and found a great ring with the head of a troll biting an emerald. He smiled and started searching the wizards other pockets. “I think we shouldn’t go too far right now. I just found a Ring of Trolls on this wizard!”
Solcloud walked towards the body of the wizard and kicked him. “That would explain why he was so hard to kill.”
“Exactly!” Beasley pointed to Zander. “I gave him the one I found on the black one back there. They give you healing abilities just like trolls. The large gash in Zander’s arm from that ogre will be gone within an hour after wearing that ring. I suggest you have this other one.”

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