The room was eerily quiet. The ground and walls were crafted from an impeccable white marble. There was an uncomfortable sheen in the room. Light reflected off the stone in odd angles. In the center of the room towered four large pillars of similar stone. Etched in the pillars were dozens of odd, runic symbols. The script appeared to be from an age long past, almost alien.
Embedded towards the center of each pillar was a large crystal, dormant for the time being. In the center of the room, three figures stood with their backs facing each other. As if waiting, as the party entered, all three individuals turned to face the newcomers.
The first was a pale, human woman. Her face was covered with a dark gray hood that hid her eyes. She wore a set of rough, beat-up leathers. Two shimmering daggers hung off her belt. A bulky-looking velen stood next to her. His body was covered in ornate, embroidered armor. The armor was heavily dented above his stomach. His eyes were concealed by a thick helm. A stout shield and longsword were held in his arms. Finally, the third took the form of a lanky enlil. Clutching a heavy tome in his hands, burn marks covered his faded, blue robes. Arcane baubles decorated the front of his outfit, and blindfold covered his eyes. Their skin took on a sick, gray color. Flecks of flesh rotted off their disfigured forms.
As the intrepid adventures stepped into the room, the three of them turned to face the newcomers. A high-pitched whirring echoed through the chamber, the crystals whirring to life. Within an instant, the entire room was bathed in a blinding light.
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:: 3 ::
The bullets struck the arcane veil. The energy cracked like heavy glass on impact, but the wall remained sturdy. The third shot whirred harmlessly away, deftly evaded by the vanishing rogue. Aeria’s halberd slammed into the wall with a screech, the metal grinding against the abjured shield. Cracks ran deeper through arcane protection, but it appeared to barely stand. She could see the energy rippling out from the paladin’s sturdy tower shield.
The silver light emanating from the pillar shimmered off Keydis’ blades. An airy voice echoed from an open gash across the enlil’s throat.
“Et confractus ruina!”
A thin pillar of marble erupted from the ground in front of the wizard. Her right blade caught and pierced through the protective layer, inches short of striking the target. By leveraging her inertia, her second strike pierced cleanly through the caster’s right shoulder. The arcane energy gathering in his hand temporarily fizzled from the interruption as he stumbled back. As she withdrew her blade, a queer foam began to bubble out of the wound instead of blood. Evaporating into the air in front of the arcanist. A nagging disorientation grew; the acrid smell intensifying.
However, before she could fully identifying the source, a deafening break echoed through the room as the northwest pillar shattered. While Aelflead’s quick thinking sought to catch the caster off-guard from behind, the untimely appearance of Keydis complicated the outcome. The chunks of white marble buffeted against the wind, slowing their motion forward. Two of the larger pieces veered off course and slammed into the ground; however, the third blindsided the young warrior.
The paladin slammed the tower shield into the ground. The sheer force wedged it vertically, the barrier continuing to project forward. He drew and imposing, silver longsword. It arched brilliantly down towards Aeria, radiant energy crackling along the blade. In perfect step, the paladin retreated. Momentarily, the paladin and caster were back-to-back. The paladin continued to step back, while recoil from Keydis’ attack caused the caster to retreat. In perfect harmony, the two weaved around one another, exchanging positions.
Away from this litany of movement, an unnatural shift of dust caught Cassius’ attention. The human rogue reappeared suddenly next to him, twin silver daggers drawn. In a deft move she stabbed forward at the mage with her right. Cleanly, she cut the strap connecting small vial attacked to her belt with her left before throwing deftly throwing the second dagger. It flew forward, ricocheting off the southern wall to strike Aeria from behind! The black, powder-filled, vial smashed against the ground, a cloud of impenetrable darkness erupting outwards concealing Cassius, Diamantus and herself from view.
:: 2 ::
The din of shattering glass echoed through the room. The barrier crumbled under the force of Aeria's attacks.
A crescent engulfed in energy arced through the air. In such close proximity, the Aeflead's arm met the paladin’s blade. A ribbon of blood spurted from her arm, as the attack was deflected away from the caster. In a continued, clean motion, the longsword met Kedyis’ jagged blade. Striking Aelflead had slowed the force behind the sweep, not enough to completely stop the laicar’s attack. The paladin stumbled onto his back foot as the blade barely penetrated into his armor. The imp’s attacked coursed through him. His body spasmed from the blast. Recovering through his sheer constitution, his focus shifted back towards the brash spurii. Energy radiated through his blade. Sparks shimmered across the edge, as he brought the heavy blade down on Aelflead’s head.
Unperturbed by Aelfead’s assault, magical power crescendoed through the casters fingertips. What once were sparks now completely engulfed his hands in a crimson glow. The howling vortex subsided from the pillar, the energy instead arching towards the southwestern pillar. The ground began to shake violently. With a deafening crack, the ground sundered between the southwestern and northeastern pillar. The widening fissure threatened to trap individuals within its earthen maw. With almost lackadaisical efficiency, the spellweaver turned to face Aeria. Telescoping portals opened a few inches in front of her, white energy swirling within each.
A powerful blast of wind roared out of the portals, seeking to throw Aeria into the growing fissure.
In the meantime, shadows danced through the cloud. Though blind as the others, the rogue still operated with an assassin’s efficiency. Drawing another dagger, this was adored with multiple runes. She gestured forward, as if to throw it but held it firmly in her grasp. Dozens of spectral blades formed around her, before firing outwards in a devilish rain!
For those watching helplessly from the outside of the smoke cloud, the piercing energy blades erupted with deadly intent. The smoke shifted as suddenly two copies of the thief burst from the shadows in opposite directions. One headed towards the eastern wall, while the other sought refuge behind the southwestern pillar.