The Great Power

An Unexpected Stop

The entire party was dropped unceremoniously onto the ground in the middle of a large field filled with the smell of ozone and burning hair. It takes only a moment for you to realize that this is not your intended destination. Crackling bolts of lightning mark the sky in the form of a large star. This is no ordinary lightening.

The electrical field emanates from five large metal poles arranged in a wide circle across the field. What looks to be water wheels are attached to the poles by some sort of crude wooden structure. But instead of water turning the wheels, the loud clanking mechanisms are moved by goblins running along the inside of the wheel, driven by the meanest of the bunch armed with whips. And speaking of goblins, there are lots and lots of them all over the field. By the looks (and smell) of their camp you can guess that they have been here a while. Luckily, the noise of all these creatures combined with the clattering of machinery has masked your fall so that none of them have noticed your unexpected entrance yet. However, there is someone here that has noticed your arrival. In fact, it appears he was expecting you.

A man of at least twice your height stands patiently before you, a wicked looking broadsword strapped to his back. His skin is the color of stone and blends in with the plates of armor that cover his body. Blood red eyes gleam out from the slits in his helmet. This was no accident, but a trap purposefully arrange by none other than The Warrior, eldest of the Great Power’s children.

“I’ve been waiting for you.”

His words roll out with like a boulder crashing down a hill. The background noise of goblins pauses for a moment, as all of them notice you for the first time. Even the lightening seems to hang in the air, waiting for someone to make the first move.

The pause is broken when a particularly ugly goblin begins jumping up and down, screaming what you can only guess are curses in your direction. The entire throng of goblins spring to life in a rush of sound as armor is donned and weapons are drawn. Even the task masters driving the wheels increase their beat. Prepared or not, the horde is coming for you.

As they horde charges towards you, a spell is attempted. But as you gather the familiar power around you to be shaped into your spell, the hair on the back of your neck rises. A crackling bolt of lightning splits from the grid above you and strikes the magic itself. The blow knocks you off your feet and the power is lost to the void.

You have just enough time to dust yourself off before the first goblins reach you. You kill the goblins in the first wave, giving you enough time to try another spell. Bracing for a bolt, you once again gather the power around you but this time no lightning bolt. Instead the magic wraps you in a protective shield, just as expected. So it doesn’t catch all the spells, you realize; typical goblins craftsmanship. It won’t be easy, but between a wizard and the sorcerer there should be just enough time to knock out those wheels before the situation turns ugly.

A familiar fireball forms at your fingertips and you quickly fling it towards the nearest wheel before the lighting can find you. The fireball strikes the wheel dead on in a fiery explosion that tosses wood and goblin parts everywhere. Your companion is not so lucky and she shrieks as bolt strikes her down. Only four more to go you think. Only four more to go, what could possibly go wrong?

About this time, a few select goblins hurl glass vials filled with acid, flammable liquids, hardening slime, slippery oil and even urine, creating a chaos affecting friend and foe alike. The battle turns into a whirlwind of exploding vials, dying goblins, lightning bolts and explosive spells. Finally the goblins back off, leaving you smoking, out of breath and covered in things you‘d rather not think about amidst the rubble of the five wheels. With the dissipation of the lightening field, the situation is finally looking to turn in your favor. At least it would have except for The Warrior. How had you forgotten him? He had not moved the entire time you had fought the goblins. If he hadn’t spoken when you first arrived you might have mistaken him for a statue.

“My turn.”

With a flick of his wrist, the massive sword was out of its sheath and arcing towards you with a speed that catches you off guard; you didn’t even see him move. Cariejust manages to catch the mighty blow in mid-swing. The force of the blow almost knocks her off her feet. She has just barely enough time to bring the sword to bear on his follow-up attack. The two swords meet with a sickening crack and a spider web of fractures radiates across Carie’s blade. This time she is knocked to the ground, the sword held in a guard position only by instinct. Again the giant hammers Cariewith a tremendous blow. Pieces of the sword scatter everywhere as the blade shatter and Carieis left holding only a broken hilt. A mighty backhand sends her flying and in the same movement sweeps his blade across your midsection.

You slip back into consciousness, the pain of your healed wounds still a dull ache despite the magic that kept you alive. The last thing you remember was his sword, huge and dangerously fast, coming toward you. The power hadn’t gathered fast enough and the blade sliced through flesh, bone, and enchantments alike. Through sheer force of will you had managed to hold onto your spell before slipping into the darkness. Judging by the pile of dust next to the sword (and the fact that you’re still alive), you’d guess the spell was successful.

Goblins flee the area in droves as the small fires started by the battle spread across the field, fueled by the burning pyres of goblin technology. Smoke clogs the once clean air and darkens the sky. If you don’t leave soon, you’ll soon be cooked alive.

As you gather quickly gather up fallen equipment and supplies, you notice that all the goblins’ equipment bears the seal of the Iron Ring. You can feel the heat of the flames as the blaze continues to spread. There isn’t any more time; you have to leave now. Your companions quickly gather inside your sphere of influence. Drawing your power into familiar patterns you initiate the teleport home. Hopefully, you’ll actually end up there this time.

Comments

dramatization, dramatisation [ˌdræmətaɪˈzeɪʃən]
n
1. (Performing Arts / Theatre) the reconstruction of an event, novel, story, etc. in a form suitable for dramatic presentation
2. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) the art or act of dramatizing

An Unexpected Stop
lrdodge

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