- thanks in large to his latent ability to heal.
As he ran, he pondered on his situation… Why was all this happening to him?
It had all started with the recent plague of hellbeasts - before, he had
been a ranger, a particularly good ranger it must be said, but still just a
Then these hellish beasts had entered his life - and his terrible streak of
luck had begun. Well, at least he still had his projectile construct -
still with some power left, he found as the Shuriken impacted with the head
of a hellbeast in his path. Crispy Godspawn, how he hated these things!
The steam engine contained within his construct needed replenishing - he
felt he had three shots left. The services of Bordran Olaween would be
needed to increase the capacity - hopefully, they would have time in
Prendersbard to see his old friend.
They made good time to the stables and found two magnificent shrebberidders
in full tackle.
"These must be those left by the demonic assassins!" cried N'one, "I fancy
they'll not be needing them."
"Dynamic Rocks!" exclaimed Twado, "What a splendiferous idea!"
N'one and Svana hauled Luna up on to the three seater Crubbin atop their
beast as Lobsang and Twado both leaped on theirs.
They had heard nothing of any pursuers, but with assassins, generally they
were not heard, until you were dying and you heard their customary
The assassins chose the wrong moment to appear at the doors of the stables,
for two of their number had their heads crushed by the double-hinged legs
of the shrebberidders as they left the stables.
"GAAARGH!" bellowed Lobsang, with glee and much humour as the newly formed
group thundered into the distance.
Mork was not a happy fellow, there had been
slim pickings this morning. He mourned in a piteous way as he peeked out
from under his blindfold for likely 'customers'. Beside him stood a small
hand-written sign saying "pity the blind". Mork swivelled his fully
functioning eyes, the streets were practically deserted. There was a
strange breathlessness to the air.
"Might as well wet my lips with a glass of Vledd," he grinned to himself,
as he packed up his bits and bobs.
In moments he was skipping down the street, heading to the "Dog 'n' Biscu".
He came to a group of people milling about and pointing at the sky.
"Excuse me sir, but is this a play?" he enquired of a well-dressed young
man, who was gesticulating wildly.
The man looked down in puzzlement… "Hey, aren't you the blind cripple I
gave three Crisos too, not half a bell ago?"
"Me sir? No sir. I can see perfectly," Mork nervously pulled his hood down
to obscure his features.
"Well, something is coming from the desert," the man said, trying to pierce
the shadow of Mork's hood, "Look for yourself…"
The edge of the village led onto sparse and rocky scrubland, the wide
expanse of the open desert could be clearly seen. A large dust storm was
forming, towering in the air. Like a vast fungus, it seemed to be expanding
at a remarkable rate.
In the centre of the storm, a crackling ball of blue light seemed to be
growing in size and lancing blue lightening at the ground.
Mork started back in fear, that thing wasn't getting bigger, it was coming
straight towards the town at an incredible rate.
"Demons!" someone cried.
"Call the warlocks!"
In a remarkably short time, the town's warlocks were gathered in a circle,
and had started chanting and throwing knuckle-bones. As far as Mork could
tell, the orb would be here within a 5th of a bell. Mork wanted to run and
hide, but his leg did not appear to function. His left eye began to twitch
After great deal of chanting and envocation, the three warlocks raised
their arms and screamed. Suddenly a shimmering half-sphere of distant light
surrounded the village. The ground began to vibrate and the crowd scattered
as the terrible blue orb reached the outer homesteads. The sturdy building
made to withstand the strongest sandstorms disappeared in a spray of
shattered stone, mangled steal and sand. The debris formed a circular
maelstrom around the orb. In a flicker, the sphere of crackling blue energy
tore through the defensive barrier as if it were paper; simultaneously the
three warlocks died, as their heads exploded from the feedback.
The ground bucked from the shockwave of the orb's passage, shredding houses
and shattering cobbles. Mork screamed in pain as a falling beam crushed his
legs. The wind howled through the remains of the town with such force that
it stripped the skin from the corpses.
The Cholan did not even notice the village as it tore its way westwards;
it's mind was filled with thoughts of the coming hunt!
They thundered on, heading for the cold and
foreboding Safo range. Twado was feeling more and more confidant by the
minute. This was more like it. This was something he understood. It almost
took him back to the good old days at his
parent's shrebberidder breeding vats.
He kicked his shrebberidder