Monday, 28 August 2017

The Harrowmark Run, Part 5

Retrieve the Fallen

"Damn you and your greed!" shouted Kalyustar at his liutenants "See where it took us?". The three mercenary captains stood silent, the freshly bandaged wounds reminding them of the beating they took from the Ogresuns. "Let's move now! We have some Realmstone to find, if those orruks didn't already get there".
"Well, Sir..." intervened Lucius Scopos.
"What? If it is gold you want, you'll have it once we have the Realmstone!" a faint purple glow lit Kalyustar's mask from the inside.
"No, Sir... but... one of my men is still missing. I lost him in the storm".
"You, incompetent simpleton!" the purple glow flared stronger, filling Scopos with an unnatural fear. Still, Kalyustar battled the urge to drain the man's soul with his new powers. The wizard knew that, second to gold, mercenaries respected a leader that cared for his followers. "Very well, let's comb these woods. But pray this is the last time you slow me down", the purple glare slowly faded away.

As the Free Companies prepared to move, a chilling howl pierced the Harrowmark gloom. The incorporeal shapes of the White Lady and her retinue flickered into view, advancing through the crooked trees.

"Fernando, through the Gate! Karol, ride around it! You two look for our companion. The rest with me!" cried Kalyustar. A few crossbow bolts felled the White Lady's Deadwalker servant.

Lyrd Radclyffe and his squire galloped to a clearing, where a lumpen shape laid on the ground. Screaming spirits floated to bar Karol's way.

"Men, get the Spirits, free Karol! I'll deal with the Riders!" Kalyustar spurred his steed and turned Lyrd Radclyffe into a golden statue. In a flash of greenish light, Fernando emerged from his trip through the Haunted Gate, ready to charge Radclyffe's squire.

A chilling laughter rung through the wood as the White Lady stumbled upon the fallen Marksman.

Kalyustar and Fernando charged, the Fencer falling but buying time for his master to banish the squire. In a blur of speed, the White Lady was upon Karol. The Spirits flew away to guard the fallen man.

Kalyustar rode for the Spirits, battering them with magic and finally despatching them with his staff. The White Lady unhorsed Karol, only to find herself surrounded by the Gilded Hand infantry.

The wizard stood firm, waving counterspells to stop all of the White Lady's fell incantations. And then, he latched into her withered soul and drew some of it into himself.

Weakened and robbed of her magic, the White Lady struggled against the infantrymen. More soldiers piled in, pinning the revenant where she was.

The taste of blood lingering in his mouth, Kalyustar felt a deeper connection with the land around him. A thick mist started to gather around him and the Marksman. He ordered his men to fall back. Now their companion was safe it was time to resume the search for the Realmstone.

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