[Lr] Week 345: Mangled Endeavor

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Beaks

Wacky Woohoo Pizza Sadness Man
Feb 16, 2008
2,113
12
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Caelitium (⏆6000 per)
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I am using a Novice level spell from the Aquilla school (Aviate, 100 Vigor, 1 target, 1 jump) at its lowest level and tier of efficacy. It is an intrinsic casting and no material components are listed. Chase is trained in the Aquilla school, so unless I'm mistaken this would be in effect a cantrip for them. If I am incorrect in either my assumption or application of this spell please let me know. Thank you.

A great number of things happened at once.

The blacksmith's hammer came racing in a wide arc towards the runner's skull, causing Chase to move more on instinct and reflex than coherent thought. An awkward step-and-a-half backwards brought the runner hip to hearth with the oversized man's forge, and as the recognition became clear in the runner's mind their left hand shot into the satchel on the same side, withdrawing the tightly wrapped bundle of ammonium nitrate purchased that same morning, and hurling the whole thing into the waiting mouth of coals.

If the forge was still warming up for the day or wasn't burning hot enough, the reaction wouldn't do more than make vapor that would douse the flames. If it was running hotter-

The answer to the runaway thought was made plain before the runner could even finish it. An ear-splitting, bone-jarring, and sense overwhelming boom erupted from the forge like some long-sleeping evil finally deciding to crawl out of hell itself. White-hot coals and broken shards of wood and masonry cut through the air in a chorus of tiny screaming hisses, and black and copper-colored smoke filled the room and the lungs of those inside it instantly.

Chase's senses returned to find themselves lying flat on the floor, with a hundred new little aches and agonies vying for the runner's sole attention. Coming to standing once again on shaky legs, Chase moved quickly to where they believed one wall was and felt blindly for something to lend direction to the escape. The wind had been knocked free of the runner's lungs in the blast, and they were struggling to hold what remained of it. The smoke from the substance wasn't inherently lethal, but it could make the process of breathing rather difficult... to say nothing of the superheated air in the room.

Once their fingers made contact with a wall, Chase reached out to the familiar.

"Crib!"

"I'm here, use them." The croaking reply held an edge of worry, but it would have to wait. If Cribbage was worried, Chase was terrified. Both were luxuries for after they escaped. If they escaped.

Desperately shaking away the thought, Chase opened the link between the two of them and saw through Cribbage's odd little eyes. The squash-faced little monster had gone to the floor to make the most of visibility for the runner, and Chase was thankful. Even in chaos, Cribbage could always be counted on to do the most reasonable and beneficial thing for the job.

Fighting the changed perspective in vision and what they hoped wasn't a concussion, Chase ambled through a hallway now choked with the temporary pollution of reddish black clouds and nearly tripped over the familiar in one of the back rooms in The Happy Hammer. Scooping up the tiny creature Chase felt their way to the worktable where Cribbage had located both the note and the material.

Hurriedly dumping the metal and note into the satchel, Chase felt about for an exit. Their fingers landed on a shutter that had been closed, and just as quickly they worked to open it. The sound of water hissing against fire somewhere behind them was followed by a bellowing shout into the choking fog.

"GUARDS! GUARDS! I'M BEING ROBBED!"

Without waiting to hear anything else, Chase pushed open the shutters and half-leapt, half-threw themselves out into the clear air of the Ruby. Rolling with the impact they sprinted in the first visible direction without heed to who might see or attempt to stop them. Somewhere behind them Chase could hear new voices shouting commands.

"Over there! Stop!"
"We will open fire!"

Paving stones shattered and jumped behind the runner's feet, a sign that the threat wasn't an idle one. Chase darted between buildings, into alleys, onto lower rooves, all the while praying, willing the voices and shots to fade away.

But they didn't. If anything, they increased in both determination and number. The first two voices had been joined by a dozen-or-so more, and the gunshots were getting closer. The guards had to contend with aiming not to injure bystanders or risk the shots traveling into houses or businesses, but Chase couldn't count on that forever.

"I need to get higher, somewhere where other people won't get hurt!" The thought was accompanied by a jump against a nearby wall, followed immediately by the runner using the foothold to spring up onto a red-tiled roof. Not waiting to see if they had been spotted, Chase ran on.

"This is not the time to go getting a conscience!" The raspy little croak was right of course, but that didn't mean the runner had to like it.

"No. Do you hear me?! No!! I have lost almost everything in the last week, I am not going to start letting my work get other people hurt!" The words echoed with an odd mixture of self-determination and the budding start of what was going to be a doozy of an anxiety attack. "Not today, not ever!"

No. Escape now, panic later.

Metal and leather soles clattering against the baked red clay tiles of the rooves behind them, letting Chase know that their pursuers were just as intent on removing bystanders from the equation. Another round of gunshots echoed in their wake, followed by a sharp blossom of red-hot pain beneath the runner's right back shoulder. Stumbling slightly and gasping slightly, the runner continued forward towards the outer edge of the district.

"Chase, the rooftops are going to end." Cribbage's tone was warning, even if the warning wasn't needed or wanted.

"I know." The pain in their side was tingling, but not as much as it should have been. Just over a hundred feet ahead the rooftops ended, leaving a wide open space between the buildings and the wall that separated the Ruby from the Aequor district.

"That means-" The croak was cut off hurriedly. Only fifty feet left.

"I know!" A numbing and warm wetness was spreading under their right arm. Ten feet.

Before the familiar could interrupt again, Chase leapt into the empty expanse.

"Glide al-ong. Wind c-carries me hence." Just ahead a piece of the air began to shimmer and artificially harden as the runner intoned the words.

"Un-caring."

The incantation finished, and the runner's feet fell flush with the piece of dense air and pushed off it in less than a heartbeat. The shouting and gunshots continued behind them, but the sounds were lost to Chase in that momentary sense of flight. The numbing ache in their bones and spreading sense of disconnection in their right side were momentarily forgotten as the runner sailed over the dividing wall.

"Crib, we did it..." The words sounded dreamy and faraway, which wasn't nearly as alarming to the runner as it should have been.

"Chase, we can't-"

The runner half-rolled and half-crashed onto a paved footpath that bordered the watery edge of the Aequor Nidus, and continued to stumble down the path in uneven bleeding steps. The familiar's hollering croak echoed from somewhere far away in Chase's mind.

"Chase... have t.... stay with.... now!"

The runner's own mumbled reply sounded just as distant, like some far-removed speaker yelling at them from the mouth of a long tunnel.

"Doesn't... hurt... anymore, Crib."

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