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Author Topic: Concerning the Orcish Slave Trade and Priestesses  (Read 9571 times)

Amadseer

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Concerning the Orcish Slave Trade and Priestesses
« on: November 15, 2013, 01:22:41 PM »
Concerning the Orcish Slave Trade and Priestesses
A published letter from The Wanderings of Amadseer the Cursed



And so I found myself squatting in the overgrown vegetation of the Darkfenne, next to the Warlord Arhnoot, peeking around a misshapen tree trunk at a strange procession making its way through the swamp.

A column of chained and manacled orcs stumbled along through the gloam, led and flanked by a band of women and men, each wearing impeccable outfits fit for court. While the orcs were bare chested and splattered with mud and slime from their boots to their necks, these fine fellows were as clean as if they had just rolled out of a bath.

But that wasn’t all.

Arhnoot tapped my shoulder. “Mage,” he whispered, pointing.

Near the end of the column, was a woman, chained and manacled as well. Her ruined tunic draped across her breast and arms, but the back had been torn down to the waist, exposing her bare skin. Roughly a dozen large spiny purplish-green mana leeches hung there, pulsing as they siphoned off her connection with the Voltaric aether.  The woman’s face was hollow and haunted, her pale white skin dark around the eyes and at odds with her brilliant red hair. The golden Crescent Celestia on her vestments marked her as a servant of Asyra. I suspected she had never been so fervent in her prayers as she was now, walking toward her impending doom.

Behind her was another strange site — a floating disc with a grey-veiled body laying prone upon it. Whether it was asleep or dead, I could not tell from my vantage point. But from the fact that two finely dressed women walked on either side of the body, it seemed clear enough that of all the objects in the procession, it was the most important.

Arhnoot was grim. And smiling. (How do orcs do that?)

“I had hoped that reports of the orcish slave trade were no more than stories and spite. Seems they aren’t.” He took a hard look at the procession, now getting closer to our position, then turned his single unpatched eye on me. “I know you’re no fan of the Bloodwave Amadseer, but no one deserves this. Whatever this actually is. I’ll be having some answers shortly.” He turned to face me. “Are you in?”

“Not to put a damper on your moral outrage, but there are eight of them, two of us.”

“Think of the poem you can write when it’s over.”

“It doesn’t have to be a poem. And anyway, stop bringing up my curse. Did you want my help or not?”

“So you’re considering it then.”

I sighed. “Did you have something specific in mind?”

****

Arhnoot inclined his head to me slightly, the Bloodwave salute. May you find Akiro’s favor. Time to begin.

I crouched low as he broke from cover with a roar, his longsword drawn. For a moment, a heartbeat, the procession stopped, all parties trying to wrap their brains around the probability of a heavily armored orc crashing through the brush, weapon drawn. Then the stillness was broken, and chaos ruled the swamp.

The well dressed men and women snarled — snarled?! — and rushed to engage Arhnoot, all except for the two women flanking the draped body on the floating platform. As they ran past my position, I rolled out and away from the tree, and Teleported myself across the clearing to the other side of the procession.

As I phased in, I saw the beginnings of our plan succeed. The first of the slavers triggered a hidden pit, and tumbled down into and its waiting spikes. The others broke off their run as they tripped on jagged caltrops Arhnoot had summoned into the deep, fetid mud. But the Warlord was ready; his left hand traced a green afterglow as he quick cast, his right hand sweeping down and around with a Whirling Strike at each of the three surprised slavers. His blade made a deep keening as he swung it around and down, as if channeling the wrath of some locked away soul.

That was all the time I had to take it all in before I started dealing with my portion of the plan.

The orcs were already beginning to bolt, now that their slaver overseers were preoccupied with my companion. However, chained together as they were, they weren’t moving very quickly, nor very gracefully. Still, their efforts were enough to yank the Priestess to her knees, and beginning sliding forward in the filth. With no time to lose, I quick cast a Force Hammer at the heavy chain tying her to the rest of the procession. The links shattered apart, spraying the area in a geyser of mud and water. The Priestess rolled on her back, trying to scrape off the mana leeches that were still there, stuck to her flesh.

By this time, the female slaver had left her post of guarding the draped body, and had run up to the ruins of the chain. Now that I could see her face up close, I wondered how such a beautiful woman could end up as part of a group like this. Deep brown eyes and full lips, and an impressively curvy figure. Then I noticed something I hadn’t before — she had no dagger, no sword, no throwing knives. Who would traipse through the Darkfenne without some kind of weapon? Unless…

It all clicked about the same time the slaver’s lips pulled back into a terrible grin, her teeth extending into sharp points. The whites of her eyes turned black, her deep brown retinas to a deep, blood red. She was still impressively curvy, but found I was caring less and less about that.

“A Vampire!” I yelled, hoping that Arhnoot could hear. “They’re vampires Arhnoot!”

“Sucks, doesn’t it?” he yelled back as continued his attack. (Orcish puns. *groan*) “Also, they know you’re there now. So well done.” I spared him a quick withering glance; he was crouching on the ground, holding a newly summoned shield over his head with one gauntleted hand. A split second later, a Hail of Stones erupted from a rift in the air overhead, obscuring the area and the vampires that had surrounded him in a blanket of dust, death and rubble.

No time to process that. Back to the attack at hand.

The Vampiress struck at me, her fingernails now grown long, hard and black, like the harpies of legend. A split second later, I could feel the blood begin to pump and flow down my face, just below my eye. The she-creature was fast — a split second before, and that would have been a ruined eye.

I spun my staff up, and with both hands checked her hard across throat. She stumbled back a step, toward where the priestess was struggling to regain her feet. They both went down together in a tangle of flesh and mana leech. I saw my opportunity.

I cast Quicksand on the Priestess, watching the ground beneath morph into a viscous muddy goo, trapping her, holding her fast, and tugging her down. With a growl, the vampiress quickly rolled to the side to avoid being in the spell’s effect. She stood up, obviously pleased that I had foolishly trapped her prisoner instead of her.

But I am Amadseer, a Wizard of the White Spires, master of Earth and Voltari, and champion of over two score sanctioned Arena Battles. And cursed or not, I don’t miss my intended targets.

With that, I called on the power of Elemental Earth magic, creating a powerful Earthquake at my feet, cracks and chasms extending outward and toward the rubble that had once been the other Vampires and Vampiresses.

All the ground that is, except for a tiny spire of of stone and quicksand that extended upward from the maw of the chasm, keeping the Priestess safe, unmoveable, and more than a little freaked out. The startled reaction on her face was more than a little satisfying.

Along with the mana leeches, the Vampiress dropped from sight, her yells echoing weirdly on the stones.

Then seconds later, she rose up from the breach, levitating through some magical means I could not determine. Her look spoke volumes: of her superiority, of how she could not be stopped by a earthquake trip, of how I would soon be a snack.

That’s why I cast Hurl Boulder on her head, crushing her under its weight. Well that, and I needed a bridge for the Priestess to get clear of her quicksand pinnacle and back to solid ground. Two birds, one stone.

I released the Priestess, and skirted the chasm. Ahead of me, the Hail of Stones had been damaging to the Vampires around Arhnoot, but had not been enough to kill all of them. One male vampire and one female vampire still stood, visibly wounded (although their clothes were still magically pristine.). Arhnoot had unsummoned his shield and was once again wielding his demonskin blade.

My mana was low. This was going to have to play out the old-fashioned way. I took a deep breath and prepared for action.

Arhnoot feignted left, and then came around with downward slash at the male Vampire’s head. The creature pulled back and spun, kicking hard at the side of the Warlord’s knee. With a grunt, Ahrnoot stumbled to his right, giving the Vampire the change come in close for a rake and bite on the orc’s neck. As his teeth sunk into Arhnoot’s skin, the creature’s wounds started to heal, his wounds closing up as I watched.

I should probably learn to focus on my own fights, rather than spectate others. My vampire attacker levitated upwards, kicking and connecting with my staff. Thrown off balance, I was unable to fend off a flurry of rakes from her black fingernails, or a bite from her fangs. Now bleeding, she was on her way to full recovery.

Arhnoot was hurt, that much was clear. He had taken considerable damage himself to lay down the Hail of Stones , and he had vanquished several vampires already. Still he fought on, but the occasional strikes from the Vampire erased his slowing successes.

My Vampiress was keeping me busy, but I had gained back enough mana to put up my Voltaric Shield. If I could keep her at bay just a little while longer, I’d be able to summon the strength I needed to change the odds in my favor. Betweem bites and attacks, I scanned the rubble for the perfect place to act.

I found it.

I danced around a large boulder, and let the Vampiress follow, raking my Volraric shield and sending off sparks of Arcane energy. As she spun around for the next attack, I cast a Force Wave, pushing her backwards over the stones and into the Spike Pit that  Arhnoot had sprung earlier. Without time to react to the blast, she hit the spikes on her back, adding another victim to the trap. Have I mentioned how much I love Spike Pit?

But Arhnoot was in trouble. The Vampire had  backed him between a large boulder and a tree, and pressing his advantage hard. Blood streamed liberally across the Warlord’s face and arms. Backed into a corner, the advantage of his longsword was negated; with no room to swing, he was forced into ineffective thrusts and half parries.

I was out of attack spells. I assumed he was as well. My mana bordered on non-existent, just enough for my Shield. But there was no time for other-thinking the situation. I bounded forward, hoping that I could distract the Vampire enough to free up my old rival.

Then the clouds opened up and a beam of pure holiness — brighter than sun at midday — crashed down from the heavens, striking the Vampire in Pillar of Light. Blinded, the creative stumbled back, unable to get his bearing in the afterglow. Then, a fist of force snapped closed around him, rendering his struggles futile.

From behind us, the Priestess approached, her tunic a ruin of mud and ripped cloth, her red hair tangled and wild. Her closed fist glowed with the upkeep of the Force Hold.

She glowered at the Vampire, then turned her gaze on Arhnoot and myself. There was anger there, and fear, and uncertainty. But mostly, there were questions. “I think some answers are in order,” she aid.

“I couldn’t agree more,” said Arhnoot, his eyes firmly fixed on the trapped Vampire.

From my angle, it looked like the Fist squeezed just a little tighter.

Which is to say, that there are many diverse and interesting things in the world, none of which are comparable to the might and power of the Arraxian Crown. Those who would trifle with the power of Warlocks must forever learn this fundamental truth.

--Amadseer the Cursed, Wizard of Sortilege


Amadseer is a Wizard of Sortilege, driven by Dark-compulsion to wander the land, following a string of highly humiliating Seeking Dispels (and accompanying jeers) that he successfully cast in a public duel with the Warlock Telas Vane. Now, unable to help himself, he writes of his travels wherever he goes, the creatures he encounters, and the lore with which he comes into contact. Such is the nature of his compulsion that he must publish all of his missives, and end each work with a short paragraph singing praises to the Arraxian Crown, and warning all about the follies of underestimating a Warlock.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 06:35:18 PM by Amadseer »

sIKE

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Re: Concerning the Orcish Slave Trade and Priestesses
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2013, 02:47:14 PM »
Love it!
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Sailor Vulcan

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Re: Concerning the Orcish Slave Trade and Priestesses
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2013, 05:41:05 PM »
Great!
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Amadseer

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Re: Concerning the Orcish Slave Trade and Priestesses
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2013, 05:33:17 PM »
Has anyone ever cast Quicksand on a friendly creature in order to protect them from the area effect of an Earthquake during a game?

I found the loophole on the cards (quicksand gives a creature the immoveable trait, immoveable creatures are not affected by the earthquake), and built the battle around that scenario, but it would be interesting to know if it has ever really been done during an actual match.

Sailor Vulcan

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Re: Concerning the Orcish Slave Trade and Priestesses
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2013, 06:08:51 PM »
You could also use tanglevine for the same thing, couldn't you? Since it also gives Unmovable?
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Amadseer

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Re: Concerning the Orcish Slave Trade and Priestesses
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2013, 08:48:11 AM »
I think so. This kind of trick may not be really useful or common now, but I suspect that in the future when Archmage variants are released and you need to protect your team mates (or their creatures) from area attack spells, they'll  become more widely used.

Amadseer

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Re: Concerning the Orcish Slave Trade and Priestesses
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2013, 06:08:47 PM »
Added the embedded pop-up images for the spell battle.

IronLegionnaire

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Re: Concerning the Orcish Slave Trade and Priestesses
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2015, 01:00:37 AM »
I loved the way you revealed the identity of the "Westlock-like" procession as vampires - very clever!

These stories are so great; they are my favorite Mage Wars Fan Fiction yet! :D

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Boocheck

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Re: Concerning the Orcish Slave Trade and Priestesses
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2015, 03:26:51 AM »
NICE! Really deep!

I hunger for more :)
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Re: Concerning the Orcish Slave Trade and Priestesses
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2015, 06:55:57 PM »

I loved the way you revealed the identity of the "Westlock-like" procession as vampires - very clever!

These stories are so great; they are my favorite Mage Wars Fan Fiction yet! :D

--IronLegionnaire

This is in the world and lore topic, not the fanfic subtopic.
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