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Saturday, December 28, 2013 Castoria Catastrophe - Part Two

Sargathos the Dracolich (Dragon Lich or Draco Lich)

And here they come! A great flock of harpies along with winged demons, imps and giant bats are flying in high speed towards the city! The enemies are fewer from the north and south because the griffin riders intercepted them. But they are still far too many, a great number of them spot Chris and attack! There’s no escape!
            Avariel, I need your help right now, desperation invades Chris’ mind. But, I’ve heard that you were severely injured from your battle with Arachus, so you won’t be able to use your powers in a year or so. Guess I have to rely on my own power alone now.
            Avariel’s telepathic answer comes almost instantly. That’s right, Chris. You’re Vadis’ Heir and the power you need is already inside you all along. Just use it. Unleash the divine power within you.
            Cristophe’s aura grows stronger and stronger. The dark monsters fly closer, and...
            Genesis Supernova!
            Long range rayblasts shoot to all angles and directions, tearing the blue sky with slash-and-thrust hyper combo with great accuracy. The skill displays some sort of a Big Bang, the genesis of universe from one great planet that exploded and scattered, forming stars and planets.
            The beginning of all creations came with an ultimate destruction, and that’s what happens to all who are strong and numerous enough to challenge the Heir of Vadis.
            Chris and Acavela fly here and there, and many monsters fall in their passing.
            CRRASSH! CRASH! CRAKKH! ‘SHAA!!’
            Shrieks of severed monsters fill the air, though many are already dead before they can even shriek. The death count is – for curious minds – hundreds.
            The beastly monsters’ instincts tell them at once to move away and attack the city instead, and Chris just steers his griffin steady in the air after finishing his move.
            However, something tells him to... watch out!
            A Dark Bolt comes very quickly and Chris blocks it with the Shield of Faith. PYAAARSCH! He feels a shiver on his hand and turns his griffin back, facing the opponent who shot him.
            ‘My, my, hiding your face behind your helmet this time, Your Majesty?’ comes a familiar voice from a familiar face, a fiendish foe, the Succubus Queen. ‘You know, how many times we stumbled upon each other already? This must be fate, no?’
            ‘I’d say it’s an ill match, and today I shall purge that illness,’ Chris answers.
            ‘Well, I’d love to, but you see, this time I brought along a friend who is itching to have a spar with you.’
            The she-devil blows a strange whistle, and from the air behind her comes a creature that resembles a dragon with a man-like skeletal face. His body looks strange too, more like a skeletal centaur with skeletal dragon wings. Long thorns cover his body like a porcupine, and his blackened skin signifies a powerful, dark being. His four arms are swiping menacingly with long, beastly claws. One thing for sure, it’s really a huge monster created solely as a killing machine: a fusion of man, dragon and lich – mandracolich.
            ‘This is Sargathos, defiler of the pure, devourer of fleshes. He came all the way from the underworld with multitudes of his minions to help the Dark Overlord get rid of Vadis’ Heir.’
            The mandracolich adds, ‘And now that I’ve found you, my primary target, I’ll gain my satisfaction by adding your head into my collection!’
            Chris prefers fighting the she-devil than this overgrown necro-monster, because he knows the she-devil more, but the opponents don’t give him a choice.
            ‘Well, you two, enjoy your play!’ The Succubus Queen flies away in high speed. Cristophe tries to chase her, but the mandracolich blocks his way, saying,
            ‘I’m your opponent. Trying to run away, coward?’
            ‘Coward.’ Sargathos is going to eat that word as his opponent turns in a blitz and slashes rapidly to chop his head off – and misses! He taunts again, ‘You need much more than that to finish me off!’
            To that, Chris only says, ‘That’s just a warm-up.’ And he zooms again to his foe.
            CLANK! CLANK!
            The mandracolich’s skeletal arms are as tough as steel, blocking each and every blow Chris delivers without much effort. On the other hand, the Heir of Vadis moves extra-cautiously, observing this new foe he never had an info before.
            From that first impact, he knows that he cannot hurt this mandracolich directly. He must first search for a weak point, a way to hit it and exploit it for his benefit. And then he realizes that the mandracolich is observing him as well, aiming for the same thing but with a different method.
            ‘Humph, this is far less than I expected. Vadis’ Heir is a cowardly weakling who knows nothing but hit-and-runs. I really should thank Vadis for choosing this idiot, so I’ll be his nemesis.’
            Chris is about to ignore Sargathos’ taunts when suddenly a question pops up from his mouth.
            ‘I must say mandracolichs are fascinating, strong creatures. I’m just curious, are you one of a kind?’
            ‘I don’t know if there’s another like me in Eternia, but in the underworld, there are some of my kind and I am the strongest one.’
            ‘So, how come you became a mandracolich? Wasn’t that... hard to attain?’
            ‘Is that a trick question? Or, are you considering on becoming a mandracolich yourself?’
            ‘That depends on your answer.’
            The duelists fall silent for a while, just exchanging blows. And then, the size-wise superior duelist stops his attacks and speaks. Chris listens and be on guard.

            ‘Very well. As you can see, a mandracolich is an undead, so that means you must be dead first before you become one. Also, you must do or put something in your body to transform into the shape you want. For instance, to be a headless you must die by beheading. To become a shade you must be a zealot, performing lots of rituals before sinking yourself in the Pool of Souls to separate your body and your soul, whereas your soul becomes a shade. Without doing so, you might become just an ordinary ghost instead.
            In case of a mandracolich, you must drink a dragon’s blood straight from a fresh dragon corpse and make sure you are near a lich or a powerful necromancer whenever you’re slain or dead. So, when you transform, voila! A mandracolich it is. But, the chance is still fifty-fifty, though. So, not many opted to be a mandracolich, except perhaps, the dragon slayers.’
            ‘Were you a dragon slayer, Sargathos?’
            ‘Yes, I happened to be one. I don’t remember my name in the past, but I know I once killed a dragon, drank its blood and ate its heart raw. And then its mother took revenge and killed me in a fight, and a necromancer just happened to be around to convert me. So, here I am, more powerful than I was and I’ll ever be.’
            ‘Hm, do you remember what were the dragons look like?’ Chris asks out of curiosity.
            ‘The dragon I killed was a little red dragon with a white mane and its mother was a gigantic red dragon. Both of them had a unique resemblance: their heads were like eagles, with beaks and all.’
             Chris reacts on hearing that. The mandracolich can’t see the surprise on his face, but his body language shows it all.
            Algaban... and her whelp. The necromancer who turned him must be Zal’fira, and she has been targeting Algaban for years to realize her twisted plan.
            She must’ve been using this man to hunt Algaban’s whelp and sneaked in when the dragon went out and killed the man who killed her whelp to steal some treasures, but failed and barely came out with a few trinkets. She transformed this man into a mandracolich and gained an ally, but their lack of knowledge about dragons made them forget about one big mistake...
            Oh, yes. I know what to do now. I guess I owe you one this time, Robert.
            ‘Hey, are you listening to what I’m saying?’ The mandracolich snaps. Cristophe is on guard all the time and he doesn’t listen to any more of his opponent’s blabbering. ‘Are you a relative of those dragons or what? Anyway, that’s all I have to say. Thanks for listening, but you won’t have the slightest chance to become a mandracolich because I’m going to send you straight to hell, right here and right now.’
            ‘Says who I want to become a mandracolich? I said that depends on your answer, and whatever your answer is, mine is always one: I’d rather die and cross over to heaven or hell than to live a half-life in eternity as a cursed undead!’ This time Chris shows his true potential as a negotiator, and those words really have an effect on the mandracolich.

The winged centaur-dragon-like monster is really angry now. He roars at the top of his voice and shouts, ‘HOW DARE YOU MAKE A FOOL OF ME, acting like a stupid fool?! Now I shall double my satisfaction by beheading you and burn your body down to crisp!’
            Chris just answers coolly, ‘Just shut up and bring it on.’
            ‘HRROOAAAA!!!’ The mandracolich opens his mouth and shoots a big Fireblast at Chris. The young Emperor evades it on time. The fire just grazes the back of Chris’ armor, yet leaves no mark on that divine heritage.
            Working together as one unit, Acavela flies forward, spiralling in high speed as his partner slashes through the enemy with a random combo of Rocky Road of Righteousness. Acavela flies from all angles, following the original sword movements with great accuracy, while the slashes and thrusts become more complex, random and unpredictable.
            The way of righteousness is never an easy one, always full of uncertainties and unexpected turns.
            Still, Sargathos wouldn’t become an alpha mandracolich without a great deal of intelligence, cunning and overwhelming power in the package. So, in yet another timely maneuver, he whips Acavela and Cristophe with his long, skeletal tail. BASSHHH!! The master and griffin are thrown quite a distance. The divine aura protects them from pain and Acavela darts again!
            Chris boosts his aura to the desired level, and this time multiplies the speed of his attacks to a godly level with the Speedy Strikes of Diligence. His sword dances around rhytmically, and the mandracolich’s big limbs can’t keep up with his speed. Chris spots an opening on the mandracolich’s chest and thrusts one-time with added power, but something blocks it. It’s not the lich’s hands or legs, but his tail!
            ‘Now it’s my turn! HROOAAHHH!!!’
            Sargathos blows a big fire! Chris tries to avoid it and flies away with Acavela, but the opponent keeps on pursuing him with that fire breath.
            Hmmm... something’s really odd. The way that monster attacks, he always targets my right, sword-hand side. Hmm, maybe I can use it for my advantage. His own tactic will backfire at him!
            FWOOM! Suddenly, a great claw of fire comes from his back, blocking all exits and BLASSSH!! It engulfs Chris and Acavela. Both griffin and man scream in pain.
            The fire gets hotter and hotter. The temperature rises twofolds, eating away their protection aura, inflicting some damage in process. At the brink of being roast man and griffin, FWIISH!! Chris swipes his sword everywhere, extinguishing the fire around him. The blade of Excalibur emits pure white glow, creating a visual effect of an angel protecting with his Shielding Wings of Love. The sphere of fire bursts until it gradually vanishes, and Chris is free from the torture!
            ‘So this is what hell feels like. Now it’s your turn to feel the pain of Divine Judgment!’
            Saying so, Chris rushes with Acavela towards Sargathos. The mandracolich blows a myriad bolts of fire that spreads and bends like homing missiles, each of them is like an arrow sharp enough to pierce any godly armor. Before any of it hits the opponent, Chris and Acavela disappear!
            The mandracolich keeps on firing and tries to follow his opponents’ movements through his heat-seeking firebolts, and before he has a chance to do so, net of razor-sharp strings of light comes!

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