Sunday, 13 May 2018

Thy Soul to Keep, Part 7

The Soul Vortex

In an improvised laboratory in one of Wörtbad derelict buildings, Kalyustar stood in front of a cluttered desk. Scrolls were spread on both sides, held in place by half-empty vials, candles, a wax block and iridiscent rocks. In the center, a small brazier blazed with blueish-green light. The Skull swayed in the heat, held by thin ur-gold chains. Under the Skull a silver funnel sat on a tripod, its narrow end inserted in a tiny hourglass. Kalyustar held his open hand and the top of his staff above the table and started reading from the scrolls. A chilled liquid hoozed from the Skull's sockets and pooled into the funnel. There, it turned into tiny crystals and flew into the hourglass.
'That is, Soulchemist, a Token of Time, taken from the Olshovilaag. Pity you captured so little of it'.
Kalyustar removed the funnel and placed the stopper on the hourglass, sealing it with the wax.
As he was contemplating the Token of Time, blood gushed from the Skull.
'A soulstorm approaches, Soulchemist! And that meddling Witch Hunter is still not here to stop you from harnessing its power'.
Kalyustar had been warned, as an apprentice wizard, of the dangers of the Portent known as the Bloodied Skull. And yet, he heeded not the counsel of his old masters.

The soulstorm rose, an howling vortex of energies carrying with it the the flotsam and jetsam of lost sky-ships. It slowly drifted through the woods, approaching the edge of Wörtbad.

Kalyustar was ready for it. He had posted men around him to ward off any intruder. Holding the Bloodied Skull in front of him, he started to syphon the power of the storm into it.

A thundering explosion and the shouts of an ogor barely caught Kalyustar's attention. Kapitán da Leeva and his crew emerged from the woods and slammed into the mixed Marksmen and Fencers patrols.

Kalyustar turned the Skull towards the largest group of orruks and skeletal hands erupted from the ground, leaving the Greenskins at the mercy of Fernando's Fancy Fencers. But where da Leeva fought, the men were falling like autumn leaves.

Kalyustar levelled his staff and eldritch energies engulfed the Warboss. The glaring of a trumpet signalled the charge of Karol's Cuirassiers.

Kalyustar held the Skull high and the soulstorm energies darted all around, cracking the soil and revealing a strata of blood-caked skulls. A score of orruks fled in panick. Even the Kapitán retreated.

Then, the energies of the soulstorm vaned for a moment as the Black Void passed through the Harrowmark sky, feeding onto the sorcerous energies. Da Leeva took his chance and charged Kalyustar.

The wizard just witstood the onslaught. He let the soul-energy flow once again from the Skull. The skeletal hands returned, pinning the Warboss. Kalyustar run through the howling vortex, crushing the Token of Time to seal his own wounds.

The Curaissiers continued their advance onto the orruks' flank. With glee, Kalyustar willed the ground open again so that the greenskinz run into a pit of cackling skulls. The orruks' rout was complete, only da Leeva still held his ground, glaring menacingly at Kalyustar through the swirling soulstorm.

'Into the mausoleum, Soulchemist! It is not worth risking what you have harvested.' Once again, there was wisdom in the Skull's words. Pushing the cold iron gate, Kalyustar disappeared into the darkness.

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