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Saturday, December 31, 2011

3.1.7.4. Boulder Trouble - Part Three

Tautan
Golem (Giant Rock Golem) by Ketka-2realife
Retrieved from the source: Castle of Fantasies Gallery
http://fantasy-image-gallery.blogspot.com/2011/04/destroyer-golem-ketka.html

Robert raises his shaky hand, and presses his lips on his mother’s ring on his left little finger – his habit that gives him a psychological effect that prevents him to rush into orcs head-on and keeps his head cool. He thinks again about his mother, father, sister…

And Robert is right. There is an orc among the newly incoming group, and also a blonde, long-haired knight wearing full plate armor and wielding a great Flamberge sword.

Hernan recognizes the knight and bows to him, saying, ‘Viscount Adler von Bachmann. How glad I am to have you among us. I’m Don Hernan y Parvaez Besso Trinidad, loyal aide for our King Jaime of Escudia, at your service.’

‘And I to you, Don Hernan. You see, we passed the wind tunnels and came here quickly, thanks to the directions from a peasant sorceress called Genilda and a red-haired, silly-looking man whom I thought I saw somewhere before. So what do we have here?’ says Adler in a commanding tone.

‘We’re trying to move the boulders here to activate the switches which will open the door to the exit. We can use some more help, though,’ says Hernan. Then, seeing the slightly wounded orc, he says, ‘Who is this orc? He seems abnormally strong.’

Adler glances at the orc quickly without turning his head to the orc, then answers, ‘Don’t you ever heard of him? He is Dar’gum the Relentless, warchief of The Iron Mount Tribe in Gremion, champion of the orcs. I fought him in the Wind Tunnels, and now his lowly life is in my mercy.’

Hernan only stares at Adler observantly, thinking. This man is not only proud and arrogant. He likes to subdue and control others, even a chieftain or a king! The King of Borgia, for instance, is within his influence. I must be extra careful with him. No wonder he has no friends!

Bragl Dar’gum The Relentless has a big, muscly, massive body like Desmond’s. His skin is green just like orcs’ in general, with his boar-like face and straight large tusks protruding from his lower mouth. He has a Mohawk-styled auburn hair, that is rather odd for orcs in general, but it suits him real perfectly, adding to his real tough look. But judging by the expression on his face, instead of being brutal and ‘relentless’, his face somewhat shows wisdom and tenacity. In spite of all his massive appearance, he seems to have received a sound beating. With a swollen eye, and newly made blade wounds all over his body that proves that Adler really kicked his butt. He is wielding a giant double-blade axe with a spear between the axe blades on his back. This impressive weapon is named il Khâtl J’nadh in Ancient Elvish, meaning J’nadh’s Decapitator. The axe once used by a great orcish warchief, Bragl J’nadh to conquer half of Barc’vadon and establish the orcish realm of Gremion 200 years ago. But later, Bragl J’nadh was decapitated in his sleep by his offspring, Bragl Uvak’ghul. What an ironic end for a king, to die by his own weapon and his own son!

Then, turning to Dar’gum, Adler ‘commands’ again, ‘Dar’gum! Rally your comrades and get them ready to push the boulder over there on my mark! That includes you too, elf guides!’

Dar’gum only answers with a grunt and walks towards the boulder with his fellow orcs and other hunters in Adler’s contingent. While the supposedly ‘real’ real leaders of the group, the noble-looking elf guide and the female dark elf guide follow grudgingly behind Dar’gum.

‘HALT!’ Hernan signals Sheena’s team to stop pushing. Now both boulders are exactly near the switches with runes. Ideas of timing and ‘organized power management’ keep running in Hernan’s mind. Okay, now the next step.

‘Desmond, take half of your team to push the first boulder.’ And when about equal number of men on each team is on its position, Hernan yells again, ‘Levitate… and PUSH!’

The hunters push the boulders and drive them until they perfectly fit on the rune switch. Then the magicians release their levitation tractor beams, and the boulders drop at once with a thundering crash, pushing the switch to the bottom. And then a rumbling sound comes, and the stone door to the exit is slowly lifted up.

And then Hernan sees threads of light begin to crawl on the boulders like glowing worms, from the bottom to the top. He reacts upon that sight.

‘Pirate girl’s right! The elementals are RECHARGING! To the exit, quick!’

Robert, supported by Andreas, Carolyn and Iris walks into the next room, followed by other hunters and champions. They all go hastily, jostling against each other at the doorway. Then the recharging process of the boulders is complete, now the threads of light are glowing all over the boulders. The boulders begin to transform into earth elementals again, and as their transformations are complete, the giant brutes immediately get up and walk away from the switches. The giant stone door comes crashing down, crushing two poor hunters like scorpions trampled by a behemoth. And some unlucky chaps are trapped inside the previous room to battle the two elementals once again, with a much lessened chance of success. The hunters’ screams of fright and death fill the air.

‘Poor souls, they are,’ says Carolyn, hearing the deathly screams behind her.

‘Better worry about what’s ahead now. Look,’ says Iris, ‘More boulder troubles ahead!’

Carolyn looks ahead of her and shrieks, ‘Eek! You’re right!!!’

Indeed, most of the hunters successfully went through the door, but in this room they are not safe yet, not safe at all. The room is somewhat longer than the previous one, with sturdy stone bridges and slopes in it. It looks like a harder work is just ahead. And adding to their horrors, the room is guarded by not two, but three earth elementals: as big as their two previous comrades, and as brutal.

No need commanding the hunters to use their ranged attacks on the earth elementals again. This time Iris shoots three times before she hits bull’s eye (in this case, a rock golem’s eye). Looks like this time the elementals are much tougher to shut down. It takes about three straight shots on each eye to drain their energy.

Robert’s strength is nearly completely restored now, and he is determined to help. Too bad my crossbow is broken when the golem hit me. Now I can only depend on my kiliji and Fire Slash to fight the golems.

On the other hand, Andreas and two other healers are busy dragging the victims to a corner and apply Vitali and Viavitali spells on them. Whenever a victim is dying and beyond help, Andreas makes The Holy Ankh, The Mark of Vadis in front of him and prays for his soul.

‘Vare Jokul’me Tyral!’ Agustina casts a Frost Arrows spell that targets an earth elemental when it tries to block another shot from Baxter from another direction, and two of those magic arrows hit straight into its eye. The earth elemental is not shut down yet, but having diminished his strength the elemental clobbers here and there desperately on a final rampage. One of its blows comes directly towards Desmond. With his Megaton Impact blow, Desmond displays his tremendous prowess by hitting the stone fist directly with his great maul. Amazingly, not one of them is pushed back by the impact of that single blow. The elemental’s right fist and the maul just stay there against each other, unmoving.

The earth elemental immediately delivers another blow with its left hand, but Kyflynn’s Soul Splitting Drill into its eye stops it midway. Sparks emit from its eye, and it changes into its shutdown state – in boulder form.

The rest two elementals are finally subdued by the hunters, whose efforts and drive for survival equal the champions in every way.

‘Ah, so many victims this time too,’ says Hernan with a sigh. ‘And look! There’s an orc down.’

Everyone sees Dar’gum with his dead orc companion on his lap.

‘Lokh’tar. Gush’tar. Kraal jughn nu il shlo drakhl. (My friend. My brother. May death bring you a new beginning).’

Those are Dar’gum’s parting words in ancient orcish, showing his care and honor upon his brethren. There are words in ancient orcish that are used also in ancient elvish, so the elves can somehow understand Dar’gum’s words, and put their hands on their chests with respect. A minotaur shaman offers to cremate the victims, including the dead orc. Dar’gum agrees. And then the shaman performs a quick fiery disintegration spell on a pile of dead hunters including Dargum’s orc friend.

Feeling that the hunters have had enough rest, Hernan speaks up, ‘Thanks, Akh’mal of Thalag’dhega for cremating the fallen. Now we must move the boulders again. Now split into three groups. Robert will lead group one, Sheena, group two, and Kyflynn, group three. And as usual, Lord Adler, please do whatever you will to help them or anything else.’

Adler responds to this butt-licking request with a slight nod, and he readies his Ulcergash for any necessary action. Had the words came from a commoner, Adler would attack him on the spot. It’s I who should be in command, not another, he thinks.

Meanwhile, thanks to the levitators, although their number has been decimated by the deaths and those who were left behind, the hunters only need to steer and push the boulders – it’s still an easier job than to push the boulders outright. But having to maintain contact and concentration is proven to be very, very exhausting for the levitators, even the spell-casting elves.

Suddenly, a spell thread is broken. Sheena’s group, with weaker and fewer levitators than other two groups only depends on Iris to maintain control of the boulder. Now that the contact from Iris is broken, the boulder shifts out of control, and stumbles over the bridge where it was being pushed. A hunter gets knocked over by the boulder, falls on the ground floor below, and the boulder falls on him.

‘GYAAAAH!!!!’ It’s too late. It all happened so quickly. Iris is thunderstruck, and falls on her knees. Tears begin to roll from her eyes.

‘Oh, no… it’s… it’s my fault… I was… too tired…,’ says Iris in a broken tone.

‘Stop! Stop at once!’ says Hernan as soon as he sees that incident. The hunters stop pushing at once. Then Hernan and Carolyn move towards Iris and try to cheer Iris up.

‘Actually it’s my fault,’ says Hernan. ‘It was not wise to split you up into three groups like this. I should’ve made a more creative plan, so this wouldn’t have to happen. So, I’ll let Lord Adler supervise from now on.’

‘Oh, no, Don Hernan, please don’t,’ Carolyn interrupts. ‘We’d rather let you supervise than that big-headed baron moron.’

‘It’s viscount, my dear.’

‘Whatever. We are too exhausted, and we can’t expect anybody to give a better advice than this one. Even if “the miracle thinker” Rael’charon is here now, I doubt he can generate better ideas.’

‘Yes… please lead us,’ says Iris.

‘Thank you. And you,’ Hernan turns to Iris, ‘Cheer up and get a rest. Success and failure are in our hands, not just you alone.’

Hernan then turns towards the hunters and yells, ‘People! Let’s get this moving! Now that was my fault, so if anybody wants revenge for that poor soul you can settle it with me now! If not, please excuse me because I need to help pushing this boulder!’ He points at the fallen over boulder and moves towards it. Almost at once, Robert walks weakly towards the boulder, followed by his party members and all other champions including Dar’gum, except Adler.

And for the first time in his life Robert seems doesn’t mind being side-by-side with an orc. The pushes and levitations resume, and now the hunters can steer the boulders more easily because the three groups merge into two groups and move the boulders two by two. After about two hours of trial-and-errors, finally the three boulders are set near the floor switches.

Robert raises his shaky hand, and presses his lips on his mother’s ring on his left little finger – his habit that gives him a psychological effect that prevents him to rush into orcs head-on and keeps his head cool. He thinks again about his mother, father, sister…

And Robert is right. There is an orc among the newly incoming group, and also a blonde, long-haired knight wearing full plate armor and wielding a great Flamberge sword.

Hernan recognizes the knight and bows to him, saying, ‘Viscount Adler von Bachmann. How glad I am to have you among us. I’m Don Hernan y Parvaez Besso Trinidad, loyal aide for our King Jaime of Escudia, at your service.’

‘And I to you, Don Hernan. You see, we passed the wind tunnels and came here quickly, thanks to the directions from a peasant sorceress called Genilda and a red-haired, silly-looking man whom I thought I saw somewhere before. So what do we have here?’ says Adler in a commanding tone.

‘We’re trying to move the boulders here to activate the switches which will open the door to the exit. We can use some more help, though,’ says Hernan. Then, seeing the slightly wounded orc, he says, ‘Who is this orc? He seems abnormally strong.’

Adler glances at the orc quickly without turning his head to the orc, then answers, ‘Don’t you ever heard of him? He is Dar’gum the Relentless, warchief of The Iron Mount Tribe in Gremion, champion of the orcs. I fought him in the Wind Tunnels, and now his lowly life is in my mercy.’

Hernan only stares at Adler observantly, thinking. This man is not only proud and arrogant. He likes to subdue and control others, even a chieftain or a king! The King of Borgia, for instance, is within his influence. I must be extra careful with him. No wonder he has no friends!

Bragl Dar’gum The Relentless has a big, muscly, massive body like Desmond’s. His skin is green just like orcs’ in general, with his boar-like face and straight large tusks protruding from his lower mouth. He has a Mohawk-styled auburn hair, that is rather odd for orcs in general, but it suits him real perfectly, adding to his real tough look. But judging by the expression on his face, instead of being brutal and ‘relentless’, his face somewhat shows wisdom and tenacity. In spite of all his massive appearance, he seems to have received a sound beating. With a swollen eye, and newly made blade wounds all over his body that proves that Adler really kicked his butt. He is wielding a giant double-blade axe with a spear between the axe blades on his back. This impressive weapon is named il Khâtl J’nadh in Ancient Elvish, meaning J’nadh’s Decapitator. The axe once used by a great orcish warchief, Bragl J’nadh to conquer half of Barc’vadon and establish the orcish realm of Gremion 200 years ago. But later, Bragl J’nadh was decapitated in his sleep by his offspring, Bragl Uvak’ghul. What an ironic end for a king, to die by his own weapon and his own son!

Then, turning to Dar’gum, Adler ‘commands’ again, ‘Dar’gum! Rally your comrades and get them ready to push the boulder over there on my mark! That includes you too, elf guides!’

Dar’gum only answers with a grunt and walks towards the boulder with his fellow orcs and other hunters in Adler’s contingent. While the supposedly ‘real’ real leaders of the group, the noble-looking elf guide and the female dark elf guide follow grudgingly behind Dar’gum.

‘HALT!’ Hernan signals Sheena’s team to stop pushing. Now both boulders are exactly near the switches with runes. Ideas of timing and ‘organized power management’ keep running in Hernan’s mind. Okay, now the next step.

‘Desmond, take half of your team to push the first boulder.’ And when about equal number of men on each team is on its position, Hernan yells again, ‘Levitate… and PUSH!’

The hunters push the boulders and drive them until they perfectly fit on the rune switch. Then the magicians release their levitation tractor beams, and the boulders drop at once with a thundering crash, pushing the switch to the bottom. And then a rumbling sound comes, and the stone door to the exit is slowly lifted up.

And then Hernan sees threads of light begin to crawl on the boulders like glowing worms, from the bottom to the top. He reacts upon that sight.

‘Pirate girl’s right! The elementals are RECHARGING! To the exit, quick!’

Robert, supported by Andreas, Carolyn and Iris walks into the next room, followed by other hunters and champions. They all go hastily, jostling against each other at the doorway. Then the recharging process of the boulders is complete, now the threads of light are glowing all over the boulders. The boulders begin to transform into earth elementals again, and as their transformations are complete, the giant brutes immediately get up and walk away from the switches. The giant stone door comes crashing down, crushing two poor hunters like scorpions trampled by a behemoth. And some unlucky chaps are trapped inside the previous room to battle the two elementals once again, with a much lessened chance of success. The hunters’ screams of fright and death fill the air.

‘Poor souls, they are,’ says Carolyn, hearing the deathly screams behind her.

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