Sunday, January 20, 2008
This chapter was co-written (meaning pretty much totally written) by Gurok and is from his point of view. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you Gurok for helping me write again. It feels good. You're my hero yet again. <3
For some reason unknown to me Jenjen and Alison were busy rolling around in the sand laughing and didn’t seem to notice when a nearby group of fisherman started pulling serious weapons out from under their ragged looking clothes while watching us menacingly.
“It’s an ambush!” I shouted. “To the back of the cave!”
We all scrambled to take a defensive position but it was a cave not a fortress. The best we could do was duck behind the corner of the bend and try to take stock of the situation. “Jenjen, take Alison through the portal to Tavnazia get her safely to the stronghold. We’ll catch up with you there after we handle this.”
As I saw Alison about to protest I spoke before she could speak. “Ali, you can’t move as fast as you used to so we need to buy you time and protect this baby. I’d prefer to be by your side every step of the way but this is our best option. Not like Kjarbo and I can’t handle ten bandits.” I saw her worry and gave her a confident grin.
“Don’t take too long.” She snapped back trying to hide her distress with venom.
I could see her struggling with the facts but she didn’t argue. Even in her current state she outran the mithra easily and disappeared into the vortex. I like to think it was her confidence in Kjarbo and my ability to handle ourselves that made it so easy to run away when things got too dangerous for her.
As soon as they had gone through, the group outside began to move toward the cave from behind the trees and rocks outside the entrance. I gave Kjarbo cover and he began casting gravity on our attackers. Answered with a volley of arrows I barely managed to block I called to my partner, “Something is very wrong with this.”
“You mean something other than the fact we are outnumbered five to one?” Kjarbo responded quickly.
“Yes, they are moving in formation. Bandits aren’t normally this organized... I don’t like this. Can you lay down some offensive spells and buy me some time?”
“Sure can try… what are you thinking?”
I replied simply “Getting help.”
I got on my linkpearl and scanned to see everyone’s location. We we’re in luck. Two of my best were in the area. Konamy, my second favorite thief in all of Vana’diel and Dkrchris a dark knight I had barely beaten in a fight once before. We almost killed each other and it was just for fun. He could do damage like no one else I knew and Kona was capable of using mithra reflexes and daggers to an extreme. “Dkr… Kona… I need your help and FAST.”
“Sure G, what’s wrong?” Dkrchris replied.
“Long story after you help, short now: I am pinned down in the Tavnazian portal cave by around ten bandits. I’m with a red mage named Kjarbo. They are organized better then they should be and they have archers and a mage. The two of us will not last if they attack intelligently and if we don’t stop them... Alison is in a lot of trouble.”
Konamy spoke up first “Be there in less then a minute Gurok. Hang on.”
Kjarbo had been casting spells and I could smell the fire and ozone mixed with some other dark arcane taint. “Nice work. Thank you.” I said. As he smiled back as an arrow that whistled by me hit him in the forearm. I dragged him back behind the corner, snapped the shaft and pulled it through as he grunted in pain. “There you go, heal that.”
“OWW! Next time please warn me before you do that.” He protested to distract from the pain through gritted teeth.
They had entered the cave and were moving fast. Five elvaan men armed with swords, three men with bows and at the back a female mage in dark robes.
“You ready?” I asked. Kjarbo is a great guy for a red mage. He fights with his heart and would give his life to protect his friends. I have a lot of respect for that but at that point I really wished he wore heavier armor.
“As I’ll ever be.”
“Let’s kick their teeth in.” I rushed out shield in front, head low and sword held back. I slammed into three of the elvaan with everything I had sending them sprawling. The archers fired and I could hear arrows shattering on my armor and the cave walls, all except the one that got through the space between my chest plate and shoulder pauldron.
Kjarbo locked swords with one of the other two and I could hear the deafening crackle echoing off the stone walls from his enthunder spell as they hit. The mage was focusing her energy with her eyes tightly closed and never saw the butt end of the scythe that knocked her out in one shot. As she collapsed I could see the proud grin on Dkr’s face as he looked at Konamy and said, “See that? One shot!” He moved in fast and used a spinning scythe technique to cut down the other swordsman as he tried to get behind Kjarbo.
Konamy was dodging arrows with speed and shadows to keep two archers busy. I kicked one of the fallen Elvaans in the face hard enough to hear the jaw crack but the other two had regained their feet. Kjarbo rushed past me to help Konamy as Dkrchris took up the fight with his swordsman, blocking a strike with the end of his scythe and sweeping him off his feet with the blade. I didn’t see but I could hear the sound of the scythe striking through armor, bone and ground.
The other two Elvaans flanked me and I managed to block the one to my left with my shield but the other knocked my sword from my hand, which was steadily going numb and weaker from the arrow stuck in my shoulder.
Kjarbo had slept one archer and Konamy was pouncing on another as I saw the third take careful aim on her. I grabbed the Elvaan to my right by the throat and picked him up hurling him back into the archer taking aim on my mithra friend as the arrow went off landing his shot into the chest of the archer Konamy had her hands on. Dropping him to the ground to die she looked a bit annoyed to have her prey stolen so unexpectedly.
Dkrchris had just gotten his scythe free of the ground and the body when he shouted “G, look out!”
The Elvaan on my left cut my cheek open with a well-aimed slash causing me to drop my shield. I quickly punched low to the groin and with a metal gauntlet. The sound was… rewarding. I grabbed his tiny skull and head-butted him with my helmet. He fell to his knees and I hit him again in the back of the neck with both fists for good measure and picked up my shield.
Kjarbo was immobilizing the final archer and Konamy was fighting a slow moving elvaan that Kjarbo must have gravitied. She slipped behind him and kicked out his knee, quickly putting a blade to his throat and saying with all the menace a Mithra can muster “Drop the sword now!”
Dkr spoke up “I’d listen if I were you. She REALLY likes to watch stuff bleed.”
As I walked towards the last conscious member of our opponents I saw his cloak had torn away and underneath was the armor of San d’Oria. I realized all at once “They are Sandorians. This was a setup… Ali and Jen are in danger.”
The dark haired Elvaan spoke up with contempt. “You are right galka. We outsmarted you and controlled your every move. Your group could not hope to outmaneuver the brilliant knights of Sandoria.”
Every bit of rage I had been holding back for weeks bubbled to the surface. “If you all were so smart… you’d have known when to keep your mouth SHUT!”
Konamy let go just in time as the edge of my shield came down across his head harder then I’ve ever hit anything before and the blood sprayed across her and Kjarbo. Fantastic ideas of what I would do to the body next raced wildly through my mind but Kjarbo interrupted before I could follow through. “Umm, Gurok… we need to get to them. Now.”
I paused only briefly to take a deep breath and regain myself. “You’re right. Nice work, let’s go. Dkr and Kona, thank you.”
“No worries G we’ll stick with you guys for a bit to make sure everyone is ok.”
We rushed the portal afraid to think of what we might find or not find on the other side. I hit the ground at a run and raced out into the field. I couldn’t see her. I had to find foot prints or something that could tell me if she had headed to the safe hold or been picked up or worse, hurt, by the knights. I called her on my linkpearl but I got no response. I tried not to panic but the furious urge to break things was building in my head to the point of nearly blurring my vision. I would find her and someone would die for this.