The Heretic of Wyre
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  1. #1

    The Heretic of Wyre

    Before the next phase of the campaign got underway, a few loose ends had to be tied up. The characters basically had six months of in-game down-time to play with, to come up with rationales for their munchkin ideas (just kidding, fellas).

    Eadric had decided that he'd had enough of being a Paladin, and was heading for a Divine Disciple. He already met the prerequisites, and felt that it would reflect his Messianic status in opposition to his own church. He also figured he could wait another level for his fourth iterative attack, and instead wanted to pick up a bunch of domain spells and the ability to communicate telepathically with Celestials.

    Mostin wanted to research some spells, and build a gadget or two. Otherwise he was headed for a Diviner 6 / Alienist 10. He desperately wanted to get his Intelligence up to the magic number of 26, as that would get him an extra 8th level slot.

    Ortwin, in an act of pure, unadulterated munchkinism, for which there is absolutely no excuse, had decided to take a level of Ranger. He wanted a cool new off-hand weapon, and had already decided to blow his 18th level feat on Improved TWF. After the encounter with Feezuu, Ortwin decided that he liked melee more than anything else, and henceforth was going to concentrate on becoming a death machine. Rob can already smell those Epic levels.

    Nwm was perfectly happy to remain a Druid (Good for you, Dave. Stick with it!) He also had oodles of XP left over, even after he'd levelled, so I agreed to let him make some magic items. As the lowest level member of the party (now 15th), I was prepared to cut him some slack.

    Nehael took a level of Druid, and then a level of Contemplative PrC. Demons don't normally advance by character class, but she's hardly typical of the crowd. Besides, as Lombard pointed out in the previous thread, I like Contemplatives.

    With these ideas in mind, I present the first part of the continuing story.

    **

    Ortwin Alone

    The evening after Eadric’s departure, Ortwin of Jiuhu brought a set of drawings to show Mostin the Metagnostic in his chambers.
    "I’m having this commissioned," he informed the Alienist. "It’s a pick – similar to those used by knights. You know, light, one-handed, good penetration and all that. Can you enchant it for me?"
    Mostin scowled. "No," he said.
    "You can’t or you won’t?" Ortwin asked.
    The Alienist sighed. "I always found the construction of enchanted weapons to be a rather vulgar art, and even the finest examples invariably end up in the hands of unappreciative hooligans. I never applied myself to the technique."
    "Hmph," said Ortwin. "Do you know anyone who would do this? You’ve mentioned the witch Mulissu. Would she be willing?"
    Mostin laughed uncontrollably for a few moments, before regaining his composure and shaking his head. "Even were she capable – something I doubt – Mulissu’s most precious asset is time itself. That is the one thing she is most reluctant to sacrifice. This is true of most wizards to some extent: there is so much to do, to discover. A mountain of gold would not persuade Mulissu to undertake this project, when she could instead be unearthing the secrets of flachenblitz or plasma vortices. What enchantments did you have in mind?"
    "Speed and Thunder," Ortwin said, "And enough punch to hit a Balor."
    Mostin’s eyes goggled. "Are you fabulously rich or something? Have you any idea how much something like that is worth?"
    "Two tons of gold, give or take," Ortwin said calmly.
    "Pah," said Mostin. "Gold is simply a convenient measure. It has no real value when compared to magic. Take your sword, your cloak and your armour. That is how much such a weapon is worth."
    "I am willing to surrender my Iron Horn and my Winged Boots," Ortwin said. "I haven’t used them for a year at least. They would cover some of the value."
    "A third at most," Mostin sighed. "The mage Idro, who dwells near Jiuhu, would be capable of enchanting this pick to your specifications, but he will demand a higher price than you are able to pay. Anyway, why have another weapon? Your scimitar is sufficient."
    "It’s a style thing," Ortwin said.
    "Ahh," said Mostin. He genuinely understood the Bard.
    "This is important, Mostin," Ortwin said.

    After liquidating his assets, Ortwin was taken by Mostin to see Idro in his tower, deep in the forest of Nizkur. After negotiating with several charmed servitors, the duo were shown to the topmost room in the tower - cluttered but comfortable, with a variety of odd items including homunculi in jars scattered around. Immediately, the Bard disliked the reclusive wizard, but hid his distaste beneath a veneer of glib charm.
    "An Iron Horn, Winged Boots and a bag of emeralds to the value of twenty-eight thousand gold crowns," Ortwin said in a matter-of-fact way.
    Idro swallowed in reflexive greed.
    "What do you want from me?" Idro asked drily. "I have nothing to match these items in terms of value – and understand that the Horn, although potent, is nothing more than a curio from my perspective. I have no use for it."
    "I wish to engage your services. Mostin informs me that you are accomplished in the art of enchanting weapons. This project will be your magnum opus in the field. You will leave an indelible mark on the history of the craft." Ortwin spoke smoothly and confidently. "These are the specifications." The Bard handed his draft to the aging wizard.
    "Hah!" Idro exclaimed after glancing at the paper. "You’ll need more than these baubles to cover the cost of this."
    "I am open to suggestions," Ortwin grinned.

    Idro thought for a moment, and then smiled wickedly.
    "I have a rival in these parts, an enchanter named Troap," he said slowly. "He lives in a castle on a bluff within the forest, maybe two days from here. He has certain items which may offset the cost of this endeavour."
    "Offset, or entirely cover the cost?" Ortwin asked.
    "If Troap were to meet with an accident, AND you delivered both his crystal ball and his staff to me, together with the items that you have already shown me, I would consider the debt paid. I would begin work on your weapon forthwith."
    Ortwin considered the offer.
    "If Mostin is willing to act as arbiter in the worth of the items involved, I might be willing," Ortwin said. "After all, I wouldn’t like to think that you are cheating me, Idro." The Bard smiled innocently.
    Idro grunted. Although a stickler for value, he knew that Mostin’s reputation as a haggler was almost unparalleled. He glanced at the Alienist.
    "Sounds fair to me," Mostin said. "Of course, I too will require a fee if my services are to be engaged in a professional capacity."
    "Which Ortwin will pay," Idro said. "I have no need for such advice."
    "Very well," the Bard sighed. He would rather be exploited by Mostin than Idro.
    "Five percent," Mostin said.
    "Two percent, and only of the value of the staff and ball," Ortwin countered.
    "Done," said Mostin, "provided that I get first refusal on Troap’s spellbooks. I will, of course, provide the full market value for any new dweomers contained in them."
    Idro fumed. He had hoped for an oversight on the part of the Bard.
    "Know also," Ortwin said blithely, "that my fee for assassinating powerful wizards is twenty-five thousand gold crowns. In the interests of mutual trust, I am willing to waive this cost, provided that, if the values are otherwise met, you concentrate on enchanting my weapon to the exclusion of other projects that would otherwise detain you. I don’t want to wait ten years to acquire it, only to find that you went senile or died of old age before completing it."
    "Agreed," Idro said.
    "I thought that you felt assassination was evil," Mostin sniped.
    "Nonsense," said Ortwin. "It is a political act. So, Idro - tell me of Troap…"

    **

    Troap was a goblin. No more vicious or unpleasant that others of his kin – which is to say very vicious and unpleasant – who dwelled even deeper in the forest than Idro. He wove powerful enchantments and illusions from his castle and, aside from a retinue of Ogre Magi, shunned contact with the outside world.

    Mostin had flatly refused to aid Ortwin for three reasons. Firstly, the Alienist did not want to gain a reputation as one who bullied and stole from fellow arcanists, whatever their faults – it paid to have an open mind when dealing with most students of magic. Second, to ‘engage his services in a professional capacity’ would have cost Ortwin a good deal of money – and Mostin did not feel that it would be responsible to undertake such a task for free. Finally, the Alienist really didn’t care that much – he had far better things to do than chase after obscure goblin wizards.

    Ortwin saw that Mostin could not be persuaded, and the Alienist returned to Trempa in order to begin research into his permanent ‘Magnificent Mansion.’ The Bard commanded his winged boots to bear him aloft and flew westwards, into the skies above the deepest reaches of the forest of Nizkur. Ironically, he thought, he might also need to use his Horn as well.

    Ortwin’s boots carried him at a good speed, and after two hours the Bard had made nearly twenty miles without incident. He set down in a glade of elm trees and prepared to make camp for the night. This was something he’d missed for several years now – roughing it on his own with the minimum of magical support and bolstering. With Eadric gone for an indefinite period of time – seeking solace in the mountains - Ortwin also felt the need to reconnect with his own roots. He had determined to seek out the Elven community of Histhin, and enter a period of study there. A spell with the Elves – if he could find them* – would be recuperative, and he would master the twin-weapon style they were famed for. His music would be an adequate payment for them – in any case they cared little for material goods.

    After stalking a young deer, which the Bard slew with a single, swift throw of his scimitar, Ortwin made a fire. He quickly but inexpertly butchered the carcass, dressed the meat, and spit-roast a haunch. The choicest portions of the remainder, he salted, wrapped and stowed in his pack. Unused parts of the carcass were left at a safe distance – a mile from his camp. The evening meal of venison, accompanied by wild cloudberries, dried cake and wine, left him feeling bloated but happy. He drew his cloak around himself, intoned an ‘Alarm’ spell, and fell into a deep sleep.

    His reverie was disturbed several hours later by a Satyr, who had smelled the roasting meat and waited patiently to pilfer any items that might be present. Ortwin’s simple ward alerted him to the presence of the Fey, and the Bard swore vociferously in Elven before chasing it off. The Satyr slipped into the woods, but Ortwin did not pursue it – he probably would have done the same thing himself had he been in its position.
    "Go and find a Nymph to frolic with or something," he yelled after it.

    Late next morning, his eyes bleary, Ortwin, flying out of the east, espied the castle of the Wizard Troap. It was a squat, ugly building, built of large blocks of brown stone, which grew from the crest of a rocky knoll. It seemed to be Hermetically sealed. Confident in his own abilities, the Bard drew his weapon and decided to set down upon the roof of one of the four towers. Just before he reached it, however, he was beset by invisible assailants.

    A whistling noise passing by his head, followed by the sudden appearance of a huge, blue-skinned Ogre wielding an enormous sword, alerted Ortwin to the fact that he was being attacked. No problem, the Bard thought, until three more appeared around him. One of them drew blood with its weapon, foiling his cloak’s displacement effects.

    Ortwin pirouetted gracefully in the air, closed with one of the Ogres, narrowly avoided another swipe from its weapon, and with three swift strokes, dispatched it. It tumbled from the sky, fell fifty feet, and landed with a heavy thud upon the roof of the tower.
    "One!" Ortwin announced in his best witty voice.
    One of the Ogre Magi grunted something, and the two others backed off. Suddenly Ortwin was plunged into darkness – obviously they felt that his displacement advantage needed countering. A fraction of a second later, the Bard was assailed by blasts of ice from two directions. Through some miracle of foresight, Ortwin found a gap between the two cones in the blackness, and avoided the ill effects of both. The Bard plunged downwards back into daylight, avoiding the stroke of a greatsword, and arrested his descent an inch above the roof. Above him, a sphere of darkness floated. The corpse of the felled Ogre twitched upon the flagstones, and Ortwin quickly hacked at the neck with his scimitar. The severed head looked indignant, and tried to protest, but the Bard flung it over the battlements.
    "HEEeelp…" the yell faded away.
    It was followed by the sphere of darkness – obviously whatever object that the spell had been cast upon had been thrown aside. But the three Ogres were invisible again.

    Ortwin mused for a second and steeled himself, as two of the Ogres charged down from above. They appeared at the same time as their greatswords did. One missed, but the other hit solidly and painfully. Ortwin leapt forward, ducking under wild blows, and unleashed a frenzied attack upon one of the creatures. His scimitar bit into bone and sinew, but the Ogre still stood. As he wondered where the third Ogre had disappeared to, Ortwin was hit full force by another ‘Cone of Cold’ from one of those in front of him. He reeled backwards, as the other tried to lop his head off with its greatsword.

    Ortwin regained his senses, and calmly and methodically pressed an attack against the uninjured Ogre Mage, his scimitar flicking out rapidly and precisely. As it collapsed, Ortwin grinned, only to watch the other, wounded creature assume the form of a gaseous cloud and begin to move away. Ortwin hurled Githla, which spun through the air and passed through the cloud, drawing ichor as if from nowhere in its flight. The Ogre rematerialized and crashed to the ground.
    "Two and Three, hah!" Ortwin declared, catching his scimitar, although his enthusiasm was somewhat diminished. He quickly doused the bodies of the three Ogres in oil and set a flame in them, all the while looking around suspiciously for the remaining creature. It did not reappear.

    After tending to his wounds, Ortwin surveyed the roof of the keep, and looked over the battlements down at the walls. Odd. No doors and no windows anywhere in sight. Guessing that it was an illusion, the Bard mustered his will in an attempt to disbelieve.
    Nothing changed.
    Ortwin sighed, and began to systematically search the tower upon which he stood, tapping lightly with a dagger in concentric circles from the inside outwards. With no results.
    He moved to a second tower and vainly repeated the process, and then a third. After a few minutes, the Bard located a loose flagstone, around a foot square.
    Hmm, he thought.
    Ortwin gingerly pried the flagstone up until it was ajar, keeping his face averted. He shot a glance towards the gap beneath the stone: there seemed to be a shallow depression. Ortwin grinned happily, lifted the flagstone out of the way, and looked in. Two levers, and between them, on a tile, some graven writing.
    BANG!
    Sh*t, thought Ortwin, brushing soot and debris from his face. I should’ve seen that one coming.
    Each lever, he noticed, was set to the central point of three positions. That made nine possibilities. Obviously, this was the "off" position of whatever they determined. But jointly or singly?
    Hmm.
    Oh well, the Bard thought, and pulled the left-hand lever towards himself.
    There was a faint ‘clunk,’ like a well oiled gear moving, but nothing else happened.
    Hmm. Definitely jointly.
    Ortwin looped a rope around the second lever, and flew twenty feet away beyond the battlements before he yanked it in the opposite direction of the first. There was a grinding noise, and a doorway appeared at the base of the tower, revealing a dark space beyond.
    That wasn’t so bad, Ortwin thought, and cast a ‘Light’ spell on his scimitar. He swallowed, and cautiously entered.



    *Elves are itinerant forest-dwellers and make no permanent homes.
    Last edited by Sepulchrave II; Thursday, 30th May, 2002 at 10:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Is he nuts? Dropping those boots is a bad idea. Still, if Mostin is willing to cast fly on him when they are up against an opponent capable of aerial maneuvers, he should be fine. Fantastic work, Sepulchrave.

  3. #3
    Is he nuts? Dropping those boots is a bad idea.
    As will be demonstrated later, Ortwin concurs.

  4. #4
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    still going strong...

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    A fine beginning to the new thread. Looking forward to more great adventures from my favorite high-level group.

    LB

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    Good to know you'll be continuing with this one Sep!! Great as always....

    Oh, and speaking of Nehael's advancement, I remember seeing another incidence of a fiend gaining levels in a class. See the Standing Stone adventure (by WotC). It has a vrock with a few levels of bard.

    C.I.D.

  7. #7
    Do you mean that Ortwin will be picking up Improved TWF at 18th? Ranger level grants him TWF/Ambi, but not ITWF, so he can't get Greater TWF until 21st level.

  8. #8
    "I thought that you felt assassination was evil," Mostin sniped.
    "Nonsense," said Ortwin. "It is a political act. So, Idro - tell me of Troap…"
    ROTFLMAO!
    Eadric must have had a fit hearing himself quoted this way!
    Last edited by starwolf; Friday, 31st May, 2002 at 03:07 AM.

  9. #9
    Ahhhh...the adventures of Ortwin, the Crazed! Will he survive alone?

  10. #10
    In Trempa

    The town of Trempa, three miles from the castle-cum-palace where the Duchess lived, was a small, walled settlement of great age with quaint chapels and narrow cobbled streets. Its five thousand inhabitants were, for the most part, law-abiding and sedate. They paid their taxes, observed their duties, attended mass, and behaved in a generally responsible fashion.

    It therefore came as a surprise to most of them that their well-regarded and philanthropic feudal mistress, Soraine, nineteenth Duchess of Trempa, had overnight become public enemy number two – the top position being taken of one of her bannermen, the Baronet of Deorham. The townsfolk – led by the influential Clockmakers’ Guild – had a succession of meetings in order to determine the best course of action. The Duchess had made it clear that no-one who felt that her actions had been wrong was obligated to stay – she would recompense them for their property, and guarantee their safe passage from Trempa.

    The Duchess, in her address to the Curia, had been careful to emphasise her abiding loyalty to the crown. Her secession, she maintained, was not a political or territorial act, but a religious one. She was, and would remain, a loyal vassal of the King. She deeply regretted the current situation, but could no longer identify with the label ‘Orthodox’ as long as the current Curia remained in control.

    Assuming the styles of "Post-Dogmatist" and "Transaxiomatic Oronthonian," the first thing that the Duchess did upon her return to her fief was to disestablish the Church and eliminate the Temple’s tax-gathering perquisites. She would not confiscate any wealth or property currently held by the Temple, but, henceforth, all donations were to be made on a strictly voluntary basis. Not only were the disproportionate levies exacted upon the Uedii worshippers – around a third of her subjects – to be abolished, but the Oronthonians were also to be exempted if they so chose.
    Most of the Goddess devotees lived in the most marginal rural areas, and were delighted at the turn of events.
    Her richest subjects, urban Oronthonians, also found that they had ten percent more money than previously. Suddenly, heresy didn’t seem like such a bad idea. Besides, "Transaxiomatic" had a good ring to it.

    The Duchess dismissed the aging chaplain Trilgar from her service, and sent him back to Morne with a comfortable pension. Trempa was too small to boast a Bishop, but its Abbot and his staff were politely given the opportunity to join the fledgeling sect. Most decided to leave.
    Of the twenty Templars stationed there, nine, after speaking with Tahl, elected to stay.

    All were Paladins.

    Tahl was enjoined to assume the leadership of the Fane at Trempa, a responsibility which he grudgingly accepted on a temporary basis. One of his first duties, he decided, was to ride to the Abbey of Osfrith – where Nehael had briefly stayed – in order to speak with the Abbess. He felt that he owed her an explanation.
    To his astonishment, Tahl discovered that both the Abbess and the nuns were almost completely ignorant of events in the outside world. In a private audience with the Reverend Mother, the former Deputy Inquisitor tried to give as impartial an account as possible of what had transpired, leaving out mention of his personal revelations.
    The Abbess sighed. "I suppose that I should tell the sisters, although I try not to worry them needlessly. But with winter approaching, and no funds reaching us from Trempa, it will be difficult."
    "I will ensure that you receive adequate monies from the Fane’s coffers," Tahl offered.
    "That’s sweet of you dear," the Abbess said, "but you are a heretic now – no offense intended. It would look terribly bad."
    "But you accept private donations?" Tahl asked.
    "Of course," the Abbess replied.
    Tahl removed a gold ring bearing a large ruby from his finger, and placed it on the table.
    "There you go," he said. "That should keep you going for a year or two. Don’t worry – it doesn’t belong to the Church."
    The Abbess smiled and picked up the ring. "It does now," she said.

    On the ride back to Trempa, Tahl brooded. This was only the beginning. Things were going to get much more complicated.



    Ortwin Alone - Part 2


    The corridor at the base of the tower was narrow and claustrophobic, and Ortwin gained the impression that it hadn’t been used for some time. Whatever method of entry and egress that Troap and his servitors employed to and from the castle, this wasn’t it.
    Ortwin’s mind raced with possibilities as he cautiously moved forwards, and he was in a state of high alert. Were Troap’s defenses primarily magical or mechanical? It occurred to the Bard that his perceptions might be fooled at any time – Idro had indicated that Troap was an enchanter and illusionist of no mean ability.
    Where had the remaining Ogre Mage disappeared to? Was Troap already alerted to his presence? It seemed likely. Ortwin perceived no magical scrutiny, but he was aware that his own faculties for detecting such observation were limited.
    If Mostin were here, this would be over in five minutes, he considered.

    He reached the end of the corridor – a small, circular, iron-bound door which bore no handle or lock. A meticulous inspection of the surrounding area revealed no visible mechanism by which it could be opened.
    This is ridiculous, the Bard thought. To be foiled by so simple an obstacle.
    He suddenly realized his overdependence on his friends’ magic.
    After due consideration, Ortwin decided that brute force was the only way past the door, and he slashed at it violently. His magic scimitar bit easily through the metal bars and wood.
    It also made a huge amount of noise. By the time that the door gave in, Ortwin felt like a rank novice.

    Beyond the ruined door, there was nothing but a small alcove, empty except for another lever, set in an ‘up’ position.
    Hmm, the Bard thought. He increasingly disliked this place.
    Ortwin looped his rope around the lever, and followed his footsteps back along the corridor, paying out the cord behind him. He exited the tower, stood in the sun to the side of the entranceway, and yanked.
    There was a grinding noise, and the stone doorway to the tower promptly closed.
    Although thankful that he was on the right side of the door, Ortwin cursed. He flew back up to the roof of the castle to see that the levers there had reset themselves. After repeating the entire process, and retrieving his rope, the Bard found himself in exactly the same dilemma that he faced an hour before.
    How exactly did one get into the castle?

    Ortwin mused for a while, and decided that the obvious thing to do was to quiz one of Troap’s servants. He lamented the fact that he’d been so ready to kill the Ogres, and wished he’d spared one for questioning. He’d forgotten his most basic lessons, and become complacent and lazy.
    And too dependant on magic, he thought again.
    The Bard wondered how thick the walls were, and whether sound would penetrate into the interior of the castle. Perhaps some taunts were in order.

    So Ortwin flew down to the base of the wall, alighted, and began to walk around the circumference of the castle, looking up and singing. His ditties ranged from subtle satirical jibes at goblins, to vulgar insults directed at Troap, which suggested that the Wizard had Elven blood, and that his pox-covered face ensured that he would never mate with the pigs that he was so attracted to.

    On his third circumambulation, whilst passing the north wall of the keep, Ortwin noticed a purple pellet streaking towards him. He quickly ducked aside as a ball of violet fire exploded on the ground next to him, singing his hair but causing no great discomfort.
    The Bard looked up to see a small block of stone slide back into place and merge seamlessly with one of the larger sections of the wall.
    Ha! He thought, and flew towards the source of the attack at top speed. He struck it with his scimitar as hard as he could, holding the weapon in both hands. A stone brick two feet square cracked slightly, its outline against the larger block revealed. He slashed at it repeatedly, and it slowly began to crumble.

    There was a click, more gears moving, a grinding sound below him, and Ortwin glanced down to see a wide section of the wall had opened up. The largest Wyvern that Ortwin had ever seen burst out and took to the air.
    Ortwin headed straight towards it. As it lumbered through the air in attempt to orient itself, Ortwin darted past it and into the chamber from which it had issued, even as the section of wall was closing behind it. Its sting, six feet long at least, flicked out and missed the Bard by inches.

    Ortwin tumbled in, pulled himself erect, and inspected the chamber – illuminated by his glowing sword. It was heaped with rotting carcasses, offal and faeces, and the Bard suppressed the urge to vomit. Aside from the false wall, there was also an iron door with a barred window. Ortwin dashed over and looked through. Beyond, was a torchlit corridor.
    Yes! He thought.
    He reached through the bars, groped down and felt for the lock. It felt pretty standard.
    The section of the outer wall was opening again, and as he pulled a pick from his belt, Ortwin could hear the thunder of wings approaching from outside. With his right hand frantically and blindly working the lock, the Bard held his scimitar in his left as the huge maw of the Wyvern appeared and lurched towards him, rank and foul. Due to his cloak, it mistook his position and snapped around empty space.
    The lock clicked, and Ortwin yanked the handle, rolling through to the opposite side of the corridor. The Wyvern’s tail lashed through the doorway, and struck the wall, knocking a torch from its sconce. The Bard quickly moved out of the way.

    Regaining his composure, Ortwin grinned cockily before he was struck full force by an empowered ‘Lightning Bolt’ which made his teeth shudder.
    Fifty feet along the corridor, six goblins stood, weaving in and out of each other.
    Ortwin sighed. "Not that old chestnut," he said, leaping forwards. He struck one of the images and it promptly disappeared.
    PUT DOWN YOUR WEAPON a voice boomed in the Bard’s mind.
    Ngahh! Ortwin shook off the attempted spell. "Not bloody likely," he said.

    Five ‘Magic Missiles’ appeared instantly from the interweaving illusion and pummeled Ortwin. Undaunted, he struck out again three times. Two more images vanished, but now the remainder all seemed to be bleeding from a cut on their respective left arms.

    The Balor Ainhorr appeared behind Ortwin, filling the corridor with flame and darkness. The Demon brought its terrible Will to bear upon the Bard.

    Gods, thought Ortwin, that has to be an illusion. But Ainhorr remained, and blood ran from the Bard’s temples and he trembled, before the vision disappeared.
    "GET OUT OF MY MIND!" He screamed, lashing out at the cluster of goblins in front of him. Two more figments evaporated under his attack. Now only two remained. Each held up a glass prism.

    Motes of light appeared in the air around Ortwin, flashing in brilliant hues and patterns.
    Mmm, pretty colours, the Bard thought.
    They started to move back down the corridor towards the door through which he’d come.
    Mmm, they’re so pretty. I must follow them.
    Ortwin shambled off, and then vaguely remembered that there was a Wyvern on the other side of the door.
    Ngahh! He shook off the spell.
    As Ortwin turned back to face Troap and his illusory twin, another ‘Lightning Bolt’ crackled towards him. This time he ducked in time, and it fizzled past his head.
    Ortwin hurled his scimitar and charged down the corridor in pursuit of it. It whistled ahead of him, striking the remaining illusory goblin and causing it to vanish. As the Bard closed on Troap – the real Troap, he thought – the Wizard waved his hand at Ortwin, grinned, and disappeared with a ‘pop.’

    Ortwin caught Githla, and seethed.

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