Story

Ambush at the Docks


Silverwolf had been on level three for a few hours. Searching the Lost Lake for gems and other treasures to take back to the Temple for her sects coffers. That she was trying out a brand new pair of crocodile boots, was instrumental to searching the murky bottom without needing to surface for air.

She liked the adventure of testing newfound magic and items in the field. It gave her an inner calm and oddly, a sense of peace, when she ran into and vanquished one or more of the denizens in the dungeons lower levels.

"I need to dry off," she tried saying underwater. Giggled at the bubbles and muffled sounds that came instead and headed for the ruined eastern docks. Casting a protection from cold on herself, Silverwolf watched the water evaporate as warmth spread throughout her body.

She sat down to look over what she'd found and have a snack of cheese and wine. The far off sounds of fighting echoed around the cavern while she used a spark from a lightning spell to set fire to a pile of Hobgoblin bones and rags, illuminating the area.

As Silver bit into the cheese, she heard the slap of many leather-soled feet and clatter of heavy armor approaching from the east. "Dang!" Mumbling around the cheese and quickly drank from the wine bottle.

A Knight came running past, "Make way! They are too many!" Diving into the lake with a graceless splash.

Readying a stun spell, Silver saw the battered warrior was her good friend and mentor, WhiteKnight, of the KOM order. Smiling broadly, she called to him, "Milord?" He ducked under water briefly and came back up with water pouring from his helms visor in sheets. "WhiteKnight? What have you brought this way?"

"Them!"

Silver followed his pointing finger and gasped. No less than eight Hobs and Gobs ran past, skidding to a halt at the docks edge not ten feet from Silver. The creatures were so totally focused on WhiteKnight that they hadn't noticed her yet and were cursing a blue streak at WhiteKnight.

"Sil! Get in the water!"

"Oh, is that all?" Calmly she increased the spell strength. "Hi fellas," she waved at the evil group. "Guess what . . . . ?"

As one, the Hobs and Gobs turned their heads, seeing her for the first time. Their eyes narrowed, then grew wide when they saw the glow about her hands.

"Silver, get in the water!" WhiteKnight repeated. The group roared, charging Silverwolf, who finished the spell and cast with practiced ease. " . . . You're about to die for your evil sins," she answered for them.

In the blink of an eye, the charging creatures were stunned. Falling to the ground in one large heap.

"You okay, WK?" Casting Heal at him and giggling again.

"Show off," he grinned in reply, climbing from the lake. "They almost had me, Silverwolf. Guess it's what I get for coming down alone."

"Hm . . . Do you want these, or shall I finish them?"

"Ah, go ahead. You zapped 'em first.

"Thanks. A little lightning should work wonders." Her hands moved in a sinuous pattern as she invoked the spell. Both watched as tiny sparks jumped around the metal clad enemy. Sparks that built into a swirling cloud near the ceiling of the cave. "Hold your ears." The clap of thunder followed her lightning bolt. "Phooey, do they ever stink."

WhiteKnight laughed. "A bit of over kill, don't you think, sister?" looking at the charred remains of what had been a dozen, or so monsters. "Going to be a mess to search all that."

"Not a problem, Sir KOM." A quick raise dead spell was cast and all that remained was the smoldering armor, weapons and items that the horde had been carrying. "Voila!"

"Neat. No muss, no fuss. I like that." WhiteKnight bowed with a flourish. "Did you Banish them?"

"That only works on the undead, my dear Knight." Silverwolf laughed and curtsied in reply, "Always wondered what would happen if I did that to them. Raise the dead. Heal the wounded and all that Thaumaturgy stuff."

WhiteKnight shot her a startled look. "You mean . . . They could have . . . We might be . . ." he was at a loss for words.

"Calm down, WK."

"YOU RAISED THEM?"

"Well, yes. They were stinking up my picnic spot."

A groan escaped WhiteKnight's lips. You could have brought them back. Ever think of that?"

"Yes, I did," sitting once more near the fire and taking up her cheese and wine. "Join me in my snack?" She offered.

"Silverwolf, you are far to cavalier about this." Accepting the wine, he took a deep draught.

"No, no, my friend. Thaumaturgical research suggested such results would occur." Replying around a bite of cheese, she took the wine back. "It is just that no-one has ever recorded having tried it before." Another giggle followed her disarming smile.

"I see," though he really didn't. "Well, I am off to find Xavier's death pile again." Donning his crested helm, WhiteKnight started east again. "Thanks for the drink."

"But your treasure, Sir KOM?" Silverwolf pointed with the wine bottle. "You've yet to take your pick."

WhiteKnight looked at the assorted pile a moment and shuddered. "Your kill. Go ahead and take it.

"My, my." Silverwolf laughed. "Now who is being cavalier?"

WhiteKnight smiled wryly. "I've gotten a revelation, milady."

"Oh Gawd, now he has gone Thaum on me." Laughing again. "Then again . . . We do both fight for similar Gawds. Speak to me of this revelation, oh mighty knight."

"The beasts where Xavier died are too numerous for me to fight at one time alone. If you . . . "

"No-o-o-o-o! Oh no, no, no, no!" Silverwolf interrupted. "Cavalier I may be. Foolish I am not."

"Hear me out." Silverwolf waited and he continued. "I'll go back to the lair and get as many of them as I can to chase me back to here. Then you zap them and I'll go back for more." Smiling broadly, he leaned on the sword hilt. "What do you think?"

Wrapping the remaining cheese and putting it back in her sack, she looked up at him. "A bit un-chivalrous, isn't it?"

WhiteKnight's face fell. "Well, rite then! Hope you remember that when you speak at my pyre."

"Sheesh, WK. Settle down, will you?" Another giggle and a sigh as she stood. "I didn't say no. How'd such an impulsive warrior as you become a Knight anyway?" She teased.

"Woo-hoo!" Dancing a little jig, WhiteKnight whirled around twice. "Be right back." He dashed off forthwith to find their prey.

Sighing again, Silverwolf went to the secret door, WhiteKnight had entered and spiked it open. "Give a shout." She yelled into the blackness, then turned and searched the pile.

Moments later the sound of pursuit came again. Only much louder this time around. Rushing to the spiked door, Silverwolf placed herself against the wall and invoked her Stun spell.

"Here they come!" WhiteKnight ran full tilt past her, making a dive for the water again. Three Trolls, six Hobgoblins, four goblins and a Wight were all yelling as they passed by. Silverwolf gave a loud whistle after they skidded to a frustrating stop to glare at WhiteKnight.

The Wight took one look and saw what was coming. His burning eyes registered surprise as Silverwolf cast.

Silverwolf almost felt guilty about slaying so many at once and in such manner. Then reality set in when she remembered all those dead and gone to just such tactics used by the monsters. She banished the Wight to the lower regions of hell and performed the purifying raise dead on the rest.

"Good shot, milady. I'll be right back with more." They repeated the trick twice more with great success. Treasures were fast approaching weight that even magically enhanced strength would have trouble carrying.

Then disaster struck. WhiteKnight failed to return at the appointed time. Silverwolf waited for twice as long, hoping WK was all right. Thinking ahead, she pushed the pile into the water near the dock in case she had to pull her recall ring.

As she tossed the last of the items in the lake, a mob of Hobs caught her by surprise. She was slammed against the wall with stunning force, ruining her spell and dazing her. Drawing the longsword by reflex, Silverwolf managed to keep the beasts from killing her off.

"Back, you spawn of darkness!" Cursing and kicking ashes from the dead fire into the Hobgoblins faces, she made a break for the water. Knowing that none of them could follow her. "Catch me if you can," she shouted, casting heal on herself. Then she counted their numbers. "My Gawd! There's over twenty and more on the way."

Trolls, Orcs, Goblins and even an Evil human Mage came from the southeastern door. A volley of arrows sailed her way and she ducked under the surface again, readying her crossbow. Popping up, she let loose at the human, hitting him in the thigh and ruining his spell. Then back down to reload as another volley sailed her way.

"Cripes! I hope WK missed this bunch," she said to herself. Moving south a little, she popped up and fired at the Mage again. Hitting him in the chest solidly. Back down again and a little further south, Silverwolf started a Blind spell. "This really is too much, WK." Up again and cast the spell at the archers as they fired. One arrow grazed her scalp and several more hit her in the chest, but were stopped by the dragon scale armor. Nevertheless they still hurt.

Unfortunately, the Mage had stood outside the spells area of effect and was unfazed by her spell. "Yikes, fireball coming!" Back down and a move back to her original position. The water roiled and broiled where her head had been.

Up and fire at the Mage. "Dang!" Back down again as she missed with her last bolt. Silverwolf hugged the wall of the dock and slowly put her head up. Using the blinded mob as a shield, she invoked her Death spell. Looked for the Mage and tried to cast at him from the crowd. A Troll stepped in her line of sight as the spell was let loose and dropped dead on the spot.

"Come out, come out, little one," snickered the Mage, chanting another fireball. "Let's have some fun."

Turning her F/I ring around, Silverwolf grabbed the ledge and heaved out of the water, invoking Lightning. "Gladly, you mater of Kobolds!" Dodging the wild swings of the blinded mob easily, Silverwolf kept an eye on the Mage at the same time. "Feeling lucky today? You might get some of your fiends here at the same time you hit me with your Fireball."

The monsters were Blind, not deaf. Hearing that caused a wild panic in their ranks when they tried getting away from her voice. Some fell into the lake and drowned. Others stunned themselves on the southern wall of the alcove. The rest wailed for mercy.

Silverwolf stayed near the largest concentration of them, building her strength and manna in the spell. "Well?"

Grinning broadly he laughed back, "They matter naught to me! I can always find more to help me."

"Stupid Mage. I'll carve that into your dead skull for the rest to read." The Blind spell was about to wear off. If this Mage didn't shoot soon, she'd have to disenchant the Lightning spell, or be consumed by it herself.

He moved fast, backing a step and completing the fireball. Feeling the air warm rapidly, Silverwolf knew he would cast it in a line along the docks and water. Slaying all others at the same time he hoped to get her. As he set loose the Fireball, she cast the Lightning and flipped backwards over the water.

The air around her exploded in flames and concussion, knocking her further out into the lake than she had planned. Her F/I ring was working overtime cooling her body and equipment from the purging flames.

Silverwolf heard a thunder clap to her south east, about where she guessed the Mage to be. Then the water closed around her and she made her way south and east back to the docks. "I need a rest from this work."

With the last of her Manna, Silverwolf healed herself and climbed from the lake. "Sweet Mother . . ." she gasped, surveying the carnage and slumped against a wall. The magical flames had consumed all flesh and bone in the area, leaving the empty shells of armor lying about a thirty foot square area.

Spying a strength potion, she grabbed it up and drank greedily of the sweet liquid, feeling new vitality coursing through her tired limbs. Silverwolf kept her word to the now dead Mage. Dragging his corpse to the docks edge, she searched the body and found seven Knights rings. Tears fell from her eyes as she put them in a sack.

Stripping the Mage, Silverwolf cut the head off, dumping the body into the lake. With her dagger, she carved his final words into the charred skull, took up a greatsword and walked to the center of the alcove. Slamming the swords blade between a crack in the flagstone floor, Silverwolf hung the skull from the pommel and spit upon it. "Rest in hell, moron."

She took her time looting the dead. Adding only those items of high value to her own sack and pushing the rest to where she had previously cached the earlier treasures. When she was done, she looked a mess. Soot covered her from head to toe. Her robes were okay, but her regular clothing was all but gone, causing the armor to chafe uncomfortably.

"WK," she whispered sadly. "I hope it was worth it to you my friend." She pulled the recall ring and was wrenched from the dungeon and dropped into the town staging areas locker room.

Shouts from long time friends greeted her on returning. Then silence when they saw her somber face and the seven rings she placed on the table.

From behind her came a familiar smell of mint and sage as a soft voice spoke in her ear, "Buy you a drink, milady?"v "WK!" Whirling around she hugged him fiercely, kissing his cheek and leaving soot marks on his face and armor. "You're alive!"

Laughing heartily, he lifted her at arms length. "But of course I am. I got jumped by a horde and had to recall out."

Suddenly Silverwolf's eyes narrowed and she slapped him. "How dare you!" Then ran to the lockers, hiding her tears.

"Sil . . ?" WK followed her.

"You could have had the Oracle page me . . ." A sniffle escaped her lips. "Or let me know you were still alive. Even sent someone down to . . ."

He reached around her and opened his hand. "I had to find out if you would like this first."

Silverwolf saw the largest diamond anyone on Kesmai had ever found. "Oh, WhiteKnight." Giggling she threw her arms around him again. "Does this come with a ring too?"

"Sure." Grinning broadly, he swung her around in a small dance.

Everyone in the room laughed with them, knowing the celibacy vows each had to take for their chosen profession.

"I'll make sure those get back to Herman," pointing at the rings on the table. "Thank you for bringing them back."

Smiling up at him, she simply replied, "It's what I do."

The End . . . ?

Submitted by Silverwolf