Jurgen grabbed Wiliken by the shoulders and attempted to rush him toward the exit. Wiliken fought back, shouting about the camel. This time it was Wiliken’s impracticality that saved them. The guests who had attempted to exit had found the doors locked, and yet the guests continued to pour toward the exits, pinning layer upon layer of noble against the solid doors. Wiliken watched as the stone pillars that lined the room began to shake, shedding dust onto Valgaman’s exotic floor coverings and revealing a series of large golems, several of which hacked their way through the cornered prey as if the nobles were served to them on a platter.
The slaughter that followed was Wiliken’s fault.
Despite Jurgen’s curses, all of which were aimed at the githzerai, Wiliken set aside his guilt momentarily and allowed his years of training to kick in. The muscles remember, he thought. He nocked and fired, nocked and fired, nocked and fired, and the oaken bow True Shot earned its name once again. He made quick work of the approaching foes as the massive bulks stomped slowly toward the pair of survivors, never giving an inch of ground. This afforded Jurgen the chance to withdraw an implement from his satchel – Wiliken recognized the crystal orb as Jurgen much touted Skull of Pelagius – and just when the githzerai thought his ally had lost his nerve for battle a snake of grey-green smoke meandered out from the skull. Instead of striking at a golem, the arcane energy collided with perhaps the only remaining noble.
Wiliken understood that that magic that issued forth from Jurgen was only animated in the sense that it was a command given physical qualities and mobility – one wouldn’t have to be trained in arcana to understand this fact – but as the vapor trail first contacted the human, it seemed as if it were confused. Jurgen’s spell struck about a hand’s length from the man’s chest, and what happened then surprised even the deva himself: two images, that of a man, and that of a much larger dragonborn fought, each representation advancing and withdrawing on the same space until finally there was only the one giant warrior. As if the act of shedding his magical disguise weren’t disturbing enough, the combatant began to writhe with obvious pain as boils began to sprout from underneath his scaly flesh.
“What have you done?” Wiliken screamed at Jurgen, appalled.
“I’ve evened the odds,” Jurgen said.
From the boils, which were visible even beneath the party guest’s battle raiment, sprouted fiendish legs, and while the dragonborn was now revealed as nearly the same size as his golem opponents, far less defenseless than he’d seemed as a small human scrapper, he disposed of his adversaries much more quickly.
Wiliken frowned as boils continued to erupt across the dragonborn and knot together into dense disgusting muscles.
“Don’t worry, it’s reversible,” Jurgen said. “I think…”
Turning from the horrorshow Jurgen had enacted, Wiliken continued to press his attack. Enemies that had crumbled before him had begun to reform, pebbles spinning and coalescing into their original form, and Wiliken felt his first moment of fear. The githzerai had begun to wonder if the golems would best Wiliken, Jurgen and Jurgen’s abomination, when a blast of lightning sizzled through the air and connected all of the stone-hewn enemies with a lattice of sparking energy. The golems froze in place before exploding, pulverized by one deadly strike.
When the dust settled, Wiliken saw a figure before him. It was the same man who had rushed the force field prior to the battle.
“Anyone need saving?” he asked.
Wiliken was struck by how many arrows he saw throughout the room. Perhaps more amazing was the fact that each of these arrows had cut down a stone warrior before they were all put down for good. Wiliken’s brain told him that he should collapse, but his body felt strong, virile even. He felt a rush normally reserved for wine or woman, and though he needed to gather his arrows, he badly wanted more battle.
Campaign Stories continues in Wiliken 4.