[STORY] --> Awaken - Part 33 - Designs and Delays
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Part 33 - Designs and Delays
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Part 32 - Enchantments and Engagements
Silgren had never seen a water-wisp elemental before apart from depictions in old texts. He motioned to the group to take a left at the intersection. “We're going to use the houses and freshwater barrels to our advantage,” he advised the group, “so don't bunch up... we don't want to give them too large a target.”
Keeping a low profile, the group moved behind the house to the back and took up defensive positions. Silgren used a series of barrels containing fresh water to conceal him, while it served as a sturdy surface to steady his aim. Mayval did the same, taking up a position behind a stone well with a wooden roof cover. The overhang provided a reprieve from the rain, which was getting progressively worse. Hartelos took up his position behind a modest stack of firewood that the town's folk in this area shared.
“Silgren...” whispered Yavahne, now crouched alongside the wall behind some wooden crates of mulch, “just across the way there's two of them.”
The group readied their weapons, aiming. “Mayval, Hartelos... you two take the one on the left,” directed Silgren, “I'll deal with the one on the right.” Silgren's target moved out from behind a small tree, giving him his best possible shot, and then he squeezed the trigger.
Part 33 - Designs and Delays
The magical bolt left the crossbow with impressive speed and struck the water-wisp's outer layer, embedding itself half-way. Moments later, the wisp exploded violently in a fury of lightning and jagged pebbles. Bright, shimmering water splashed everything within the vicinity and then quickly evaporated in a spectacle of blue light. The other target tried to react by sending out a blast of icy water indiscriminately at the nearby tree. The young tree snapped in half, the bulk of its' leaves shredded. While the wisp was distracted, apparently confused, Hartelos fired off an arrow. The water-wisp had its' defences ready and hardened its' outer shell with a finger's width of icy armour. The arrow pierced the fiend and was lodged in the creature, forcing it to emit an aqueous shriek and a muddy groan.
“Mayval, you're next up! Hit it!” called out Silgren, while he forced the serving string back into the latch then loaded another bolt to be ready for his next shot. Mayval let her bolt loose upon the watery fiend and struck it nearly dead center, but the result was the same as before.
Silgren now understood that he'd have to activate the magic himself, remotely. The distance was nothing to be mocked. Now the fiend appeared to be headed their way along a meandering path. Silgren thought that he required a better line of sight, so he stood up slightly. Now that he could better detect the imbued magic, he began concentrating.
“Silgren, what are you doing?!” asked Yavahne, gesturing feverishly from off to his right while remaining concealed. The fiend had detected Silgren, and in a hostile display, flickered its' magical blue glow. A jet of water and ice shards launched at Silgren before anyone could even react, but Silgren was ready first. One after the other, the magic within the projectiles was released. The first one shredded the icy armour into glittering steam as the surface membrane rippled violently, then the second one burst the water-wisp wide open. Freezing water spewed from the creature, who then veered hard into a tree trunk before collapsing into a quickly dissipating puddle. A bulk of the fiend's magic evaporated mid-air after it'd burst, but a series of violent thuds had Silgren raise his forearm to protect his face. The group fell silent as they stared at Silgren in disbelief.
“Are you injured, Silgren?” Mayval inquired, panicked.
“No... I don't appear to be,” he responded, relieved. The group shared in a mutual sigh of relief. Silgren reached over the barrels, which were now leaking, and dislodged an ice shard that was still dissipating its' energy back into the environment. Each of them took note that it was almost the size of a large dagger, but before they could get a better look, it was entirely gone.
Further south were a few more houses along another path. Yavahne moved up to get a closer look. Despite the heavy rain, she was able to spot a grouping of water-wisps who appeared to be focused on one house in particular. A clearing with trees, large patches of waist-high grass, and muddy puddles stretched between where the group was, and where they needed to be.
“There's more of them up ahead,” reported Yavahne, signalling to the group. “Five of them, maybe more...”
Silgren and the others met up with her, making sure to keep low while they looked across the way using the house like a hunter's blind. “They're flickering... maybe they are aggravated,” noted Silgren.
“That's a good sign then,” added Hartelos, “it could mean they haven't located the survivors.” He patted Silgren on the shoulder and then lead the way into the grass, bow at the ready. Silgren and Mayval followed close behind with Yavahne keeping a short distance back to keep an eye on their surroundings.
Aside from having to walk carefully through puddles and avoid slipping in the mud, they all made it through unheard because the rainfall drowned out most noise. The watery fiends were too occupied and didn't suspect a thing. Upon arriving at the edge of the tall grass, they each crouched very low and examined the area. On the left, three wisps patrolled outside a charming, two-story stone dwelling. On the right, a modest, one-story log cabin that appeared to have been blasted multiple times with magic. Smoke billowed from the chimney. Some of the logs were split in half, leaving holes in the walls, and massive splinters littered the lawn among overturned and broken barrels.
“You mentioned at least five of them, right Yavahne?” asked Silgren.
“Yes, the others may have gone around to the front of one of the buildings,” guessed Yavahne. “We should try and lure them out and away.”
Silgren nodded, “Hartelos... shoot your arrow off to the right. You're aiming for the main path... preferably a large puddle.” He began to focus on the magic within the arrow while Hartelos prepared the accuracy of the shot. “After they're distracted, we'll both move quickly to the stone house and sneak inside.” Silgren looked to Mayval and Yavahne, handed Yavahne his crossbow and quiver, then advised them of their roles, “You two, hold this position and be ready to create more diversions.”
With everyone aware of the plan, Hartelos fired an arrow at the path. It landed near the edge of a puddle, and with Silgren already prepared, he activated the magic within it. A flash of light enveloped the area momentarily but was quickly obscured by an explosion of water. A hail of water, mud, and rocks rained down all over the main path. The water-wisp's promptly reacted, flickering in anger and curiosity while converging on the location. The two they couldn't see emerged from behind the log cabin and arrived first to investigate but found nothing aside from a crater in the path. When the other three joined them, the first two raised the intensity of their magical blue glow and held it. The others joined them and matched the glow's brightness.
“Hold!” instructed Silgren, suspecting their behaviour wasn't entirely copacetic with the plan in place. “What in the Twelve are they doing?” Silgren scanned the area - his heart sank, and he pointed past them. It was then that they all noticed that off to the far right, across the path to the south-west, a gathering of six, seven, or more wisps scattered about the area. This second grouping of wisps had increased in brightness to match and held it. This appeared to be some manner of response. The glow pierced through the obscuring rain, enough to be visible from afar, and it became apparent they were on their way over.
Part 01 - Message to Orvus
Part 02 - The Lake Beckons
Part 03 - Night of Rest
Part 04 - The Tomb's Secret
Part 05 - The Deep Gouge
Part 06 - Dismay Down Deep
Part 07 - Orvus Restores Order
Part 08 - Magic Sans Scroll
Part 09 - Clear Path Provided
Part 10 - Trace The Key
Poem 01 - Immortals of the Aegis
Part 11 - Eigin Rooted Magic
Part 12 - Ancient Koaj'kah Magic
Part 13 - Elemental Wisp Infestation
Poem 02 - Elemental Call Song
Part 14 - Kogg's Aerial Ace
Part 15 - Fiendish Fiery Foe
Part 16 - Water Wisp Woe
Part 17 - Home Sweet Home
Part 18 - A Blessed Breakfast
Part 19 - Ships At Sea
Part 20 - Gifts And Favours
Part 21 - Tea By Flame
Poem 03 - In Verlys Valley
Part 22 – Command The Flame
Part 23 – Verge Of Discovery
Part 24 – Guispira Of Algen
Part 25 - An Alchemist's Toil
Part 26 - Seek The Symbols
Part 27 - Mayval's Farewell Gift
Part 28 - Sea's Horizon Quartet
Part 29 - Solidarity in Silence
Part 30 - Breakfast Before Dread
Part 31 - Rest and Reaction
Part 32 - Enchantments and Engagements
Part 33 - CURRENT