Too Little, Too Late?

The vibration of the stones stopped, but I couldn’t hear a thing… then the concussion blast hit us.  Chucaro wasn’t moved much, but I was tossed about 20 feet.  I shook my head to shake the cobwebs off and then I noticed Wargie.. or what was left of her.   I could still see the warg in her, but there wasn’t much left… she was becoming a demon, of sorts.  I could only stare… has all this been for nothing? Are we too late??

My hearing came back as the demon howled… a bone-chilling howl, to say the least.  I wondered if any of us would make it out alive.

“Take a good look at the magnificent specimen I have created,” Balarbaz said, “it will be your last… kill them!”

The demon crouched as if to leap… I swear I saw an evil smile appear on its face.  Before it could leap, Tracer let fly with a volley of arrows.   The net had it trapped, at least for the moment.  It didn’t last long… swipe, it shredded the net like it was paper.  Without skipping a beat, it was after Tracer and Tregoan… they leaped out of the way as the demon crashed through the wall.. the crash didn’t even phase it as it turned around in a bee-line to Tracer.  As the demon approached the wall Tracer was on, an arrow, glowing white, hit the demon in the side.  The demon stopped and howled in pain… it then set its sights on Sylwith, the huntress who had fired the arrow.  She got between the demon and Tregoan to give him a chance to get away.

The demon crashed through the wall again, knocking stone in every direction.  The group scattered to avoid the chunks of stone flying through the air, while Sylwith somersaulted backwards to avoid the wall.  She was fast, but the demon was faster!  As it nearly caught the huntress in her massive jaws, it was stopped in its tracks.  The huntress landed like a cat and ran for higher ground, giving Tregoan a quick wave as thanks for the quick root.  With Sylwith out of its reach, it howled in fury and turned its attention again to Tregoan… he quickly fired his bow as he ran along the top of the wall.  The demon easily dodged his arrow attack and went straight after the hunter.  He tried to use his quickness to get away, but the demon was quicker… Tregoan was sent through the air as its massive paw made contact.  He hit the ground, but didn’t get up.  Why did some of what just happened seem familiar? I shook my head as nothing came to mind very fast.

I looked down at Chucaro… she was still unconscious, but she was as safe as she could be.  I went stealth and prepared to join the fight.

The demon’s gaze now settled on Winterwulf, who had drawn out his his hammer and axe.  What good are those weapons?  He is much better with a bow! I thought… but then I saw the runekeeper behind him in stealth.  The demon charged the hunter with reckless abandon… then suddenly stopped, caught in the hunter’s trap.  Lightning flashed over the hunter’s shoulder as the runekeeper hit the demon square in the side.  The demon howled in pain and took a step back… it seemed to glare at the runekeeper as it figured out its next move.

Ellenroh didn’t give it much time to think… the blast of lightning that hit the demon would have obliterated most opponents, but not the demon, though it did do some damage.  As Ellenroh raised the stones to attack again, the demon moved towards the runekeeper as if it were lightning.  I cringed as I thought the demon would get to him before he could react to it, but the demon suddenly stopped.. it looked around to see what could possibly have a hold of it.

I saw Sophwen with her sword up as she yelled at the demon.  She bought the runekeeper enough time to form an icy prison in an attempt to slow down the demon.  But it seemed to cost the minstrels… flames could be seen forming around Sophwen and Creami as Balarbaz had his stones raised.   He grinned evilly as the flame spell he cast enveloped both minstrels… I thought they would be charred alive, but the flames never touched them… Creami had blocked his attack with a fire shield!  Balarbaz roared as he cast the stones downward, causing a shockwave to emanate from him in an outward motion.  The minstrels had nowhere to go and got caught in the wave, throwing them against the wall, knocking both out.  In one motion from the dwarf runekeeper, the ice prison shattered.  The demon howled in rage and turned his sights again towards Ellenroh.

In stealth, I ran as fast as I could and hit the demon in its side.  It hit the ground on its side and its momentum was stopped when it crashed against a wall.  It got to its feet and howled in a fit of rage.  Its eyes seemed to glow brightly as it charged me.  When it got as close as it seemed I could let it, I dodged the charge and raked the demon with my paw as it raced by.   The blow would’ve toppled most creatures, but it didn’t appear to phase the demon as it quickly turned and made another charge at me.  I barley got out of the way as the demon got too close for comfort.  I was heavily panting, watching the demon as it slowly circled me.  Without warning, it charged.  I readied myself to dodge the blow when the demon suddenly disappeared.  It momentarily caught me by surprise, but that was all the time it needed.  It re-appeared behind me, and as I turned to face it, the demon hit me with its paw and sent me flying against the wall.  As I struggled to catch my breath and my bearings, the demon was next to me, sending me flying again as its paw hit me against the side.  When I landed, I felt something inside break as a sharp pain lanced through my body.  I coughed up blood as I struggled to get up.  The demon slowly approached, as if it knew it’s prey was wounded and couldn’t fight back.

I thought that since things happened differently than in the dream, we stood a chance… maybe I was wrong…

The others were too far to do anything… it was all they could do to watch in horror as the demon stood over me.   I could feel its hot breath and saliva drip down from its maw as it slowly brought its teeth near my throat.

WARGIE!!!!!” yelled Chucaro as the demon was about to clamp on my throat.  The demon stopped and looked at Chucaro in confusion.  The glow around the demon’s eyes disappeared and it’s ethereal body began to transform before me… back to a warg body, though the biggest warg I had ever seen.  “Mom…” I heard Wargie whisper.

NO!!!!”, yelled Balarbaz, and he launched lightning from his fingers.  The blast hit Chucaro in the side as she went down in a cloud of dust.

Mom!!!“, yelled Wargie as she took a step towards her mother and then yelped in pain as the collar glowed white.  She instantly fell in a heap.

“What a shame…. I thought I had turned her… I was so close.  Oh, well, I’ll just add this to my list of ‘experiments’”, he said as he raised his stones to finish Wargie off.

I tried to move to shield her, but I couldn’t… I felt as helpless as I ever have.  So this is how it ends… I thought as tears started to roll down my face.

“Goodbye, warg… we had some ‘fun’” the dwarf laughed as his bright white stones pointed at the unmoving weapon he had used.

The runekeeper suddenly looked shocked and his runestones lost their bright glow.  As his hands holding the stones fell away from his body, he toppled forward.  Silentknife stood behind him, breathing hard, his daggers drawn and crossed before him.  Before he could take a step towards us, the dwarf’s body let loose a powerful beam of light towards the sky.  The shock caused by the light knocked everyone off their feet.

“You may have won this battle, but the war will be mine!” a voice said as it moved further away.  It was the last thing I remembered before I blacked out.

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