Component 09: A MYTH AND LEGEND
Buster Ironheart tightened his grip, ready to crush in the skulls of the two Moonbearer Orcs. They approached, both with obsidian battle-axes drawn. The angry Dwarf waited, his knuckles going white.
“I don’t have all day, ye know,” Buster growled.
“How you know day or night?” Budge asked.
“Matter not!” Weiggs chuckled.
The pair came on both swinging their weapons inward from different directions.
“DIE!” they both cried out.
One would not think a dwarf could dodge well—and they would be right. Buster thrust his hammer forward intercepting both attacks, stopping them in mid-swing as sparks flew.
“He good,” Budge said.
“So he good? No matter!” Weiggs yelled as he broke away from the block and spun around thinking to chop into Buster’s back, severing his spine.
Buster whispered a single word, “Shuunt.”
The axe continued its death-bringing swing and Weiggs wore a grin of pure glee as it connected with the Dwarf’s cloth covered back. The axe did cut through the cloth robes of the Belltower Dwarf, but that’s where it stopped. Weiggs tilted his head more confused than ever. The blade of the axe didn’t cut into Buster’s back. It was the Dwarven heavy sounding laugh that scared Weiggs into backing up several paces—his voice seemed to echo through the cave and rebounded off the walls.
As Budge still held his place, Buster thrust the hammer into the unsuspecting Orc’s gut, who flew back a score of feet, straight through a stalagmite, shattering it into thousands of tiny pebbles. The poor fool didn’t even have time to grunt in pain. Buster spun to face Weiggs who still was confused. The Orc looked down at this weapon, then back at the Dwarf as if he couldn’t understand his weapon had done nothing.
In truth, no weapon on Anhsook could break through the Diamond Body spell. Buster decided it time to show the stupid Orc his folly, so he grabbed his robes and let the top half fall, leaving him naked from the waist up.
Ironheart may have been a priest, but he was a Warpriest! One who fought in the War of the Ten. It may have been 100 winters since Buster saw true battle, having taken of a life of peace in Citadel Belltower, but he still practiced his battle spells daily.
Weiggs stared at the muscular chest of the Dwarf, it wasn’t just that he was built like an Ox, it was that Buster’s skin shined like it was made of diamond—and that is exactly what his spell had done; turn his skin into diamond. But what Weiggs didn’t know was that Buster’s spell would only last sixty seconds at best. So with pure rage, the Dwarf charged. This time, Weiggs lifted his axe and HE was afraid.
“Oh my stars!” Lavina cried as the trio walked through the morning air.
The joyful Half-elf skipped ahead of her Elf and Forge companions. She popped another plump Juca-Berry into her mouth even though she had ten inside already.
“Cheesh are joost the beeest!” she said with a full mouth.
“What was that?” Angon asked, “It didn’t sound like the Origin language.”
“Shoory!” Lavina laughed and swallowed all the berries at once, “I meant to say, ‘These are just the best!”
“Perhaps,” Gavin suggested, “We should have an intervention. You’re addicted, Lavina.”
“I am NOT addicted,” Lavina said, seconds before she shoved a new bundle of berries into her mouth, this time a dozen at once.
“Lavina really seems to enjoy those,” Angon said, looking at the Gavin.
Gavin nodded then fell forward with an exasperated sigh, “Enjoy is understatement of the season.”
Angon watched Lavina spin, twirl and skip around in circles, all the while staying just ahead of Angon and Gavin.
For what must have been the fiftieth time since dawn, Angon pulled out the Compass Stone. The thin blue light shot forward once again and angled to the South West. He could not contain his excitement. Somewhere, not too far away was a key to unlocking the secret of his past; his origin; the purpose of his very existence! The Forge literally was trembling with unbidden anticipation; so much so that he forgot for the moment about the spectacle of Half-Even beauty, Lavina Mistystar. However, that would only last for a few more moments, because then the girl skipped up to Angon. If he had not been looking down right then he may have trampled over him as if he were no more than an insect.
“Lavina!” Angon gasped, as Lavina bent over, twisting her head to look up into Angon’s face.
His eyes could not help trail to her open cleavage.
“Annnnngon?” Lavina said in a playful tone, popping another berry into her mouth, “Guess what?”
“W-what!?” Angon asked, snapping out of her hypnosis.
“You’re my friend, tee hee!” she giggled and spun back around, skipping on ahead.
“This is the last time I am ever giving her Juca-Berries!” Gavin sighed, letting his palm cover his face.
Angon gave a small laugh, “I think this is beautiful.”
“Come again?” The Gavin asked.
“I-I mean the way she acts!” Angon corrected, “The ability to be so happy and carefree. It does not come this easy to me. Nor it appears you either.”
“Only children are this happy,” Gavin said.
“But she is not a child,” Angon said, looking at Gavin who stared, watching Lavina prance around motioning with her hands for them to hurry up.
Gavin scratched his chin, “No, no she is not. She is an exception.”
“What do you mean?” Angon asked, “Why is she so different?”
The Elf hesitated for a moment, and then finally conceded.
“Because Lavina is a Half-Elf,” Gavin said, “Her father was a Sol Elf, and her mother…”
“What was her mother?” Angon asked, very curious now, “What is her other half?”
“…Barbarian,” Gavin said at length.
“What is a Barbarian?”
“I knew you would ask that,” The Sol Elf rolled his eyes.
“I do not know,” the Forge felt he should defend himself.
“I know, I know,” Gavin waved his hand in dismissal, “A Barbarian is a race of people… they came from the Seven Clouds.”
Angon stared at Lavina in awe. For some reason he knew of this place, somewhere deep in his mind, and even though he knew, he let the Gavin speak.
“The people from the Seven Clouds, were once known as Angels, but their Goddess cast them out of their world and sent them here as punishment. They lost their wings but were able to retain their beauty and some of their natural magical powers,” Gavin said, “Lavina’s mother was a Barbarian… her father was an outcast from our Sol Elf society—perfect mix I guess. So she naturally has the energy of both races combined. She’s something else.”
“How did Lavina come to be with the Elves?” Angon asked.
“She was born in Sencia at a church, that ironically worshipped Kentalia,” he continued, “And her ‘father’, the man who adopted her, I should say, brought her from Sencia to Windale.”
Angon’s mouth was opened in awe at the story.
“How did you come to know her?” The Forge asked.
“I am her father’s best friend,” The Sol Elf responded, “I always have been. We fought in the War of the Ten together.”
“A war…” Angon breathed.
“Yes, and her father changed after that war, so he adopted Lavina and I have stood as her guardian the past 20 winters.”
“The story was intriguing,” Angon said, “Thank you, The Gavin.”
Gavin rolled his eyes, “Please, just Gavin. And maybe I will stop calling you Gargoyle.”
“I would like that,” Angon said, as he watched Lavina’s bare feet as she danced between the flowers, never seeming to step on a single one.
It was only moments later that she froze, and leaped backward as a boulder crashed in front of her, bounced and continued into the distance. She cried out in terror and pointed to the north where Angon and Gavin both stared in shock. A hideous looking creature was walking their way. It stood taller than three of the Forge combined and had a warped face with a nose where one eye should have been, and a mouth cocked at an angle.
“What is that?” Angon breathed.
Gavin drew his bow and cursed.
“Fetter, it’s a damned Plains Giant” he said.
Angon stared at the creature unsure of what to make of it, but he already knew it meant them all harm, especially when it picked up and hurled the next boulder.
Buster ran at the Orc, with his hammer, the Hellsmasher at his side. The massive head of the weapon tore up the floor of the cave as the Dwarf brought it up in a vertical arch. Weiggs was barely able to pull his head back from his usual slouch. The energy of the Hellsmasher caused the flesh on the Orc’s nose to bubble and burn. Weiggs screamed and grabbed his face with one hand.
“Ow!” Weiggs growled and swung at the Dwarf with his axe, but Buster’s arm came up and blocked the Obsidian blade.
The Orc was once again confused—he really did not understand the Diamond spell. Buster slammed his head forward and head-butted the Orc as hard as he could. For Weiggs, the world went white with a blast of stars. The crunching pain in his forehead was so bad he nearly fainted and his brain rattled around causing even greater confusion.
Buster lifted the hammer, ready to bring the attack down onto his Orcish foe. But it was then a chain wrapped around his arm and the Hellsmasher flew from his hands. The mighty Dwarf turned his head and glared at Budge, the Orc who held a long chain.
“You no kill Weiggs!” Budge said, with a stupid look on his face.
Oh how Buster wished the Diamond Body could be used more so for offense. Still, he was no stranger to feats of strength.
Buster wrapped the chain around his arm a few more times for good measure and then pulled with all his might. Budge, who stupidly still held the chain was lifted off of his feet and brought hurling toward the mad Dwarf.
“Take this ye damn ugly Orc!” Buster roared.
He brought his fist forward and the tough diamond knuckles collided with the fragile jaw of Budge. Orc met Dwarf Fist and Orc lost. Budge bounced on the ground, rolling and splashing into the dark lake.
Before Buster could celebrate his victory over the one filthy, smelly Orc, the other was back on his feet and grappling him the unsuspecting Dwarf under his arms. Buster struggled to get free but it was no use—he was strong, but not stronger then the Orc holding him. Weiggs laughed and whispered into his ear.
“Where you pretty spell now?” Weiggs asked.
Buster realized it was true—the Diamond Body spell was already wearing off. He could feel his skin softening, becoming thin and weak once again.
“Fetter!” Buster cursed, and then struggled even more.
“What wrong?” Weiggs asked, “You no escape?”
“Why do I need to escape?” Buster asked, “I’ve got ye right where I want ye.”
“Huh?” Weiggs questioned.
Buster lifted his foot and stomped down onto Weiggs’ foot, and the Orc howled like no other. As soon as the Orc’s grasp weakened, the Dwarf had enough leverage to bring Weiggs forward and throw him straight ahead and into the murky lake.
The Belltower Dwarf smiled at the thought of how a Deep Murke would wrap its tentacles around the Orcs at any second and drag them down into the depths never to return; oh yes, the Underworld lake Kraken would make them into a late night snack—if it were even night; Buster couldn’t tell he was so deep underground.
Gonzeelda heard one splash. Her voluptuous lips spread into a smile, perhaps Budge and Weiggs, as incompetent as they were, had finally thrown the Dwarf into the lake. She wouldn’t have to be concerned about a pesky Dwarf sneaking up behind them for a stealthy kill—but who was she kidding! Dwarves didn’t have it in them to be stealthy!
When the Orcess heard the second splash her smile flipped into a angry frown. Her pair of mates were so incompetent they couldn’t handle a single pint-sized man!? She growled and leaped to her feet.
“How can they be so stupid!?” she hissed as she began stomping toward the battle, a purpose in each and every footfall.
Gonzeelda grumbled as she walked around the perimeter, past a broken stalagmite, and then finally past another. She stopped and looked around. There was no sign of Budge, Weiggs or the Dwarf. Had the second splash been both falling in? Had all three fallen prey to the denizens of a deep lake?
She shook her head and gripped the scythe tightly. She could feel the presence of the Dwarf once again. But where was he?
“Come out, little Dwarf,” Gonzeelda muttered, “So we can play.”
Even though Gonzeelda put a seductive tone in that final word, she had a strong feeling the Dwarf wouldn’t fall for such trickery.
“Come out, come out, wherever you are!” Gonzeelda continued.
Buster kept his back to the stalagmite located near the wall. The female skank Orc was only a few feet away, turning herself in circles, trying her hardest to find the Belltower resident. Now that she was much closer, he could feel the immense power of that scythe ten times over. It emanated not just a deadly magic, but it was giving off clips of knowledge. Buster could see images in his mind of what the scythe had done—it had sacrificed a child. He could see the boy, who looked like a young Elf with horns coming out of his forehead. Was he a half-minotaur? It was a strange combination, but not the strangest he had ever seen. He had once seen a green Dwarf and could only assume it was that of a goblin or Orc mixed with a Dwarf. He nearly vomited even thinking about it.
“Dwarfy, warfy.” The Orcess continued, “I’ll give you a nice, long and juicy kiss.”
Bile climbed into Buster’s throat. Was she really so pathetic this was her only tactic!? Visions all the while continued to feed into Buster’s head. He then heard a voice in his head.
“Angon…” a deep scruffy voice whispered, “Angon, I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”
What was this? Was the weapon sentient? Buster suddenly felt the need to spear the scantily-clad Orc and take the scythe and use it on her, ending her filthy existence and finding out more about this weapon.
“Angon,” the voice spoke again, “I did not mean to use Soul Rupture on you—the circle should have been enough with the Philosopher’s Stone and its amplified power.”
That set a ticking off in the Dwarf’s noggin. He had heard of a legendary item called the Philosopher’s Stone. It was said to have the properties of the gods themselves. Had someone found it and crafted this weapon? Or was it really used on the poor terrified child named Angon.
The Dwarven curiosity within Buster took over at that moment. He needed to get that scythe, the Soul Rupture and learn more—hells, since he found the Orcs in Sheeva’s passage, perhaps it had something to do with Sheeva herself. He had been led right to this weapon for a reason.
“Alright then,” Buster whispered, “Moment of destiny.”
The Dwarf spun around from the stalagmite, roaring in pure anger as he pictured the poor half-breed child. Buster leaped into the air, hammer brought back behind his head. The Orc woman turned to look over her shoulder as he brought Hellsmasher down.