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Born of the Reach - Part XVIII

Started by Harlwystyr
Post #156387

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Daggerfall Covenant

Snarling flames whirled severed halves of high elves to the cellar floor and in a matter of seconds melted them away to greasy smoke and then nothing at all. In the wake of their obliteration the magic sighed, slowed, and all together disappeared, leaving the Trahaearn Coghland and Halwend Thorne standing with grim faces.

The half-ring of knights and crown mages stared at them in stern, wary confusion; blades, crossbows, and staves now raised. In the far reaches of the cellars, behind them, new radiances blossomed as more sorcerers arrived. The defenders of Dagerfall cast quick glances at one another, stirred, and seemed about to speak... but for long, tense moments, as Captain Fralena winched, stretched, and found her feet, making weak sounds, no one spoke.

Amid the room of rubble and gleaming magic, the tall, gaunt form of Harlwystyr suddenly tensed, and he raised one bristling brow and peered around, as if remembering something. His eyes went to the pile that had buried Dwyna.

Oh, Stendarr. Oh, bleeding, merciful Stendarr.

Headless of shouts calling on him to surrender or identify himself and lay down all arms, the Old Meddler knelt by the great pile of shattered and tumbled stone that reached to the very toes of his worn old boots and muttered a very old spell. Some of the rocks before him started to glow, and he spat a curse that made the knights running up to him with drawn swords at the ready gape in surprise.

The old wizard planted his feet, shook back his sleeves, and raised both hands to begin weaving a spell - so the onrushing knight did what he was trained to do: bellowed to try and disturb the mage's focus and reached out with his blade to strike aside one of those hands and so ruin any gestures of magic.

He and his companion were promptly surprised to see the old man dropping into a crouch and whirl to face his attacker. The blade passed harmlessly over one robed shoulder, and the wizard reached out, taking a hold of the knight's swordarm by the wrist and uttered a spell, and the warrior became paralysed.

"There's the one who caused it!" a crown mage howled, aiming his staff. Harlwystyr threw himself aside without having the time to behold who his accuser was, and the staff-blast seared stones and sent the other knight into a shouting scramble for cover.

Harlwystyr rolled behind a heap of tumbled rubble and snarled out a spell that lifted most of the stones around him - plus the lone and by now completely flabbergasted knight - down the cellar in a bone-shattering hail that left the advancing knights strewn on their backs, cursing and groaning.

Ignoring them, and finding that both Halwend and Trahaearn were gone, the Old Meddler managed to stand and peered at the front edge of the rock pile, now much reduced by the diminished of his magic. There! A bloody, leather-clad shoulder could be seen from under three large, wedged rocks. Harlwystyr lowered himself to take a hold of one of them, heaved with all his strength - and succeeded only in making it wobble a few inches to one side.

Gasping in defeat, he grimly cast another spell, this time picking up the stones as if they weighed nothing at all, and did this without the slightest possibility for them to slipping down to harm Dwyna.

She lay sprawled and senseless beneath a thick coating of dust, one leg obviously broken, one arm a floppy and many-times-shattered thing, and...

He winced, dragged that broken body as gently as he could out from under the stones floating by magic in the air, and wove his fingers to cast a healing spell.

Wielding it slowly and sufficiently enough, he persisted only long enough to discover that she was still alive and not faltering. To do this properly, he'd have to devote all of his concentration to the task, leaving him defenceless and pressed against his daughter - not a wise thing when more angry defenders of Daggerfall advanced upon him.

So instead, he wove a quick illusionary spell that shrouded him in the likeness of Dwyna - farewell, bearded old lawbreaking mage - and got down beside her to cast a few more healing spells.

When a company of knights and crown mages arrived in a thundering of boots, it was the work of but a moment to let the floating rocks fall and crash among them, while he lay still alongside the obviously injured Dwyna.

Knitting and mending, drawing back blood here and teasing aside shattered ends of bone there... Slowly he worked his way through her broken body until he was satisfied she'd live. He could do the rest better at his tower, where he could nurse and coddle properly instead of fighting off crown mages with every breath.

Booted footsteps could be heard, along with much panting. Harlwystyr looked over his shoulder and saw a knight lurching toward him over the rubble-strewn floor in as much haste as possible.

With a sigh, the wizard got to his feet, picked up Dwyna - ignoring the knight's sudden shout - and translocated himself and his daughter to Crosswych.

The knight staggered to a halt, staring in dumbfounded rage at the spot where the two identical women had just vanished, right under his nose.

"Bloody Daedra and accursed luck!" he gasped wearily, staring around in wild frustration. Blistering, accursed... damned luck!"


Theodore Lewynth was whistling softly as he went up the cracked and worn flagstones that led to Harlwystyr's tower. In his dripping right hand he held eight large slaughterfish, fresh from the river. He knew of the Old Meddler's weakness for seared slaughterfish.

It was high past time that the scribe prepared Harlwystyr's dinner, and-

The slightly overweight, balding man came to a sudden halt, his left hand raised in alarm.

On the path ahead - that had previously been empty of any signs of life - now stood three female figures.

Three identical figures, one of them carrying a limp, senseless duplicate who was covered in dust and blood and whose clothes were torn.

Theodore stared. Aye, all three were the same slender, muscled woman in tattered leathers and boots, with long black hair, green eyes, and a face like a gentler version of Harlwystyr's.

Both of the women who were not unconscious were staring at each other in obvious surprise - unwelcome surprise.

Then the one carrying the third knelt quickly, snapping, "Stay back, Theodore!" and set down her burden. She started weaving a spell while still on her knees.

The other was casting a spell too, obviously intending to intercept her double by blasting her into Oblivion.

Theodore raised his free hand to cast a spell as he broke into a steady march, asking himself why the gods had cursed him with such luck.
This post was last modified: March 18th 2014, 03:17 AM by Harlwystyr
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