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The Purifiers

September 05, 2015

demoIn the Millennium of Purification, a group of Elves and Dwarves join forces to purge the world of the dark magicks they themselves once helped unleash. Is there a chance to make up for their sins of the past and restore order to the world? Find out in the serial fan fic: The Purifiers.

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September 05, 2015

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The Purifiers

Chapter 4: The Monsters Within (Scene 3)


Shooter keeps his arrow notched and on target. "I don't think so. I'm not here to take demands from you."


The strange Dwarf, with his long white beard braided down the center stands defiantly. "Whether you give me the axe by choice or by force is irrelevant. The end result is the same: The destruction of all rune weapons."


K'Ulnar takes a step forward. "You claim to seek destruction of all rune weapons and yet you wield one yourself, do you not?"


The enigmatic Dwarf looks down at the rune hammer within his grip. "Aye, I do. I do not understand how, but I know the Ruiner's fate is linked to mine own. When I enter into that final slumber, so too shall it."


Mancer readies his axe. "Then let me send you there now."


"Hold on," E'Sarinn shouts as he holds out his hands in between the two sides. "We may yet be able to work something out." He looks to the challenging Dwarf. "I would rather you a friend than foe. We too seek destruction of foul magic. Your Ruiner could be useful. Would you not consider joining us instead of fighting."


"It is true, I have no desire for conflict. Resolution without bloodshed would be preferable." The Dwarf closes his eyes and lets out a deep breath. "Very well. I will travel with you and help you to the best of my abilities. All I ask in exchange is ..."


"The destruction of the rune axe?" K'Ulnar readies his shield. 'Forgive us if we decline, will you not?"


"Forgiveness is easy," the Dwarf says as he lowers his head. "Acceptance, on the other hand, is not. But I will say a prayer on your behalf."


The ears of Pax flatten against the wolf's head, body lowering and tail dropping between the legs. Pax lets out a small whimper that turns into a bark. Haven kneels down next to his companion gently stroking the coat. Fenix says, "Wow, that bad, huh?"


Bastiel glances at the scene. "What's wrong?"


Fenix says, "Weren't you listening? Pax said it clear as day."


"I don't speak wolf," answers Bastiel.


"So like you mortals, always self-absorbed," rants Fenix. "I took the time to learn your mortal language, but do any of you take the time to learn wolf. Nooooo ..."


Haven continues to stroke the fur of Pax, his hands a settling effect. "Most Elves and Dwarves lack the ability to speak and understand wolf."


"Really? Wow! I mean ..." Fenix crosses her arms and glares at Bastiel. "Seriously, I wonder sometimes how your races ever managed to survive more than a week."


Bastiel sighs. Haven looks at him and says, "Pax is scared. That Dwarf has great power, and a threat far unlike any we've yet faced. If we fight, I don't know if we can win this one."


Bastiel grunts. "That bad, huh? Will Pax be able to function at full capacity?"


"I don't know," answers Haven. "Instinct to run is a powerful thing. Staying in the area is difficult enough right now."


Bastiel nods. "All right then. Best stay back for now. If he's as great of a threat as you say he is, then someone not fighting at full strength will only get in the way." He looks at Haven with an intense glare. "No matter what else happens, protect your pack."


E'Sarinn turns to Kendroll. "If this does turn violent, stay with Haven and Pax. Observe from a distance, try to see if you can determine any weaknesses about our opponent." His attention shifts back to the praying Dwarf. "H'Dargoyn, " he says, without ever turning to look if the Elf is even nearby. "I know you dislike direct combat. So please, just stay back and protect Z'Xen. I have no desire to see her involved in a conflict or stained by its blood."


H'Dargoyn stands beside Z'Xen. He glances over at her and sees the slight trembling and the goose bumps along her neck. "Do not fear." His voice soft and soothing. "I will not let anything happen to you."


The Dwarf wielding the Runier raises his head. "Strategizing while I prayed for you to see the wisdom of my words, and for your souls should you not. All for the sake of one rune weapon. Such loyalty to a thing which enslaves a disembodied soul. It must've served you well 'til now."


K'Ulnar smiles and shrugs. "If I said it never aided me once, would you be surprised? Still, what is it they say, friend of a friend?"


"I understand. I respect your decision and, because of that, I will try to convince you no more." He holds out his rune hammer and pointing it towards Mancer. "But know that I will not be deterred."


Mancer takes a giant step forward with rune axe in hand, but then K'Ulnar steps in front of him. "If his Ruiner can destroy rune weapons, perhaps it best you wait until he is disarmed first?"


The giant doesn't respond, but his massive leg steps back again as he stands at the ready awaiting with rune axe in hand.


Shooter takes initiative and releases his arrow from its captivity. The Dwarf brings down his hammer, breaking the arrow in two in mid-air. With one hand he catches the half with the arrowhead before it can hit the ground. With his other hand he continues to hold his rune mallet out as he swings it around him in a full circle, not even coming close to hitting anything other than air.


Then the body of Shooter slams down to the ground. Every muscle of the Gnome quaking, his hand still clutched tightly around his bow. From the distance Kendroll looks puzzled at the picture, and then suddenly darts a look at Q'Uetel. "Did you just cast a spell?" His tone hurried and his words rushed out.


The Dwarf answers, "He did. And from the look of things, I'd say Increase Weight?" He looks at the pinned Gnome. "Must've went all out. All that pressure crushing down on him might just kill him if it doesn't end soon."


Q'Uetel stutters, "B-But how did you --?"


"The Ruiner can destroy magic cannot otherwise be broken. Did you think a Targeted Deflection of a simple spell would be beyond its reach? You incant your invocations too loud, makes you easy to identify amongst the others. A Wizard who can blend and be discreet is a far greater threat."


Q'Uetel grunts, then throws his cloak back as he raises his hands to his side. "You underestimate my power. My magic is all I need."


With a flick of his wrist the Dwarf sends the arrowhead on its way, piercing straight through the exposed hand of Q'Uetel. He screams out in pain as blood drips out from the wound, soaking the wood of broken shaft embedded in his palm. "A Wizard in pain cannot cast spells, your power made obsolete."


A spiked chain whips passed the head of the Dwarf. Glancing at its source he sees elder Bastiel. "Chains can be effective, but ..." He swings his long handled mallet skyward and breaks off an overhanging branch. The branch falls onto the length of chain which instinctively coils around the large weight. "They're only effective while still moving and difficult to control. That makes them easy to disable."


E'Sarinn attacks with his scythe. The Dwarf easily parries with the head of his weapon as he guides the scythe off to the side. During the parry the Dwarf lowers his body, dropping below the concussive shield attack aimed for his head by K'Ulnar while at the same time further directing the scythe off course and into the ground. E'Sarinn drops down into a roll to avoid being knocked off balance or overextended with his weapon.


Coming up from the parry the Dwarf turns and swings the hammer for an attack which is blocked by the shield of K'Ulnar. Not wasting any time, E'Sarinn thrusts his scythe towards the fleshy side of their current opponent. Using only the tail end of his weapon's long handle, the Dwarf deflects the blade to the side and follows it up with a quick kick to the gut of E'Sarinn.


The Dwarf scans at K'Ulnar and his shield. "Not even a dent. An indestructible shield I gather."


K'Ulnar smiles. "It is a very special shield full of surprises, would you not agree?"


"I would," answers the Dwarf. "I should expect no less from a Dervish."


"Though not many would have noticed, so perhaps you too are special and full of surprises, no?"


The Dwarf surveys the battlefield. Bastiel is busy untangling his weapon from the fallen branch. Meanwhile, the steel giant with the rune axe and four others continue to hold back from a safe distance for now. Rock seems to be holding back for now. He's grinning and looks like he's practically salivating, hard to tell his motivations. E'Sarinn and K'Ulnar are preparing for their next attacks.


Dodging the scythe attack and evading the shield butt, the Dwarf comes around with full power into K'Ulnar. The hammer slams into the shield with a loud thud and knocking K'Ulnar off his feet, sending him flying back. Standing in the path is E'Sarinn who tries to catch his falling Elven teammate. The two go crashing to the ground together.


The Dwarf begins walking towards them. "Impressive. That attack was designed to hit your shield with enough force to break the arm holding it. Yet you managed to roll with the impact at just the right moment. Few have such skill. Still... " He lifts his hammer and prepares to bring it down.


Rock cracks his knuckles. "Oh yeah, enough holding back! You look like too much fun. I didn't fight you while they were involved, but you look freed up now. Heheh."


The Dwarf turns and faces Rock, bringing his rune mallet down with all his might. Rock catches the head of the hammer with one hand as the force drives him down to one knee. His hand trembles and his muscles bulge. Then Rock begins pushing back, forcing the hammer up and finally throwing the Dwarf off balance. Rock throws a punch which the Dwarf easily evades, followed by another punch which the Dwarf blocks with the handle of his hammer, the impact forcing him back a few inches.


After avoiding a few more attacks the Dwarf sees his opening and brings his hammer around into the side of Rock. The hammer hits hard, but not as hard as the fist of Rock into the Dwarf's face. He stumbles back, pausing to wipes the blood from his lip. "You let me hit you on purpose, didn't you? Just so you could hit me."


Rock smiles. "You moved around too much. It was bugging me. Besides, I wanted to know what it felt like to be hit."


"Incredible strength and amazing resiliency, relying on raw power and thriving on battle: Dominator."


"I've been called that, and worse." Rock chuckles.


The Dwarf examines his opponent. "You are tough, and I commend you. But I can ill afford to lose. You will fall with my next attack."


Rock appears invigorated by the declaration. "Is that so? Well come on then! Let's go!"


The Dwarf attacks with his rune mallet, and Rock doesn't even try to defend himself. Instead he just comes down with a head butt to the Dwarf. As their two heads literally bash into each other, the run hammer also slams into the chest of Rock.


"Is that the best you got?" Rock challenges.


The Dwarf snaps his broken nose back into place with his thumb. "Not the best," he answers as he stares at the rune symbol now emblazoned on the chest of Rock. The symbol glows with magic energy and Rock hunches over and screams out in agony. "But the pain ward I placed on you should be sufficient." Rock begins straightening himself up again. "The fact you can still move, let alone stand, is a testament to your will. Still, you are in no condition to fight any longer."


"I'll be the judge of that. You also said I'd fall from your last move, but here I am!" Rock charges.


The Dwarf sighs. "You are correct." He easily steps to the side and levels the hammer into Rock without any resistance. "Brave, but ultimately foolish. Now you must endure twice the pain." A second pain ward now marking Rock's flesh, he hits the ground. He struggles to stand again, but this time to no avail.


E'Sarinn looks at their opponent. "This is not right. We should be allies, not enemies."


Bastiel breathes heavily beside him. "Right or not, if you don't start fighting like your heart is in it none of us may survive."


Kendroll stands not far behind them, keeping his distance as requested. "If he is what I think he is, then I don't know if we stand a chance regardless."


E'Sarinn turns his head slightly to the side, but never takes his eyes off the rune wielding Dwarf. "And what is he?"


"His mastery of all weapons, his understanding of magic, and his ability to fluent use of the rune weapon's physical and magical properties," Kendroll muses. "He can break down all of our attacks because I think he's a --"


"No," interrupts Bastiel.


Kendroll responds, "But he fits all the legends, all the stories I ever heard during my training. Had their kind fought during the war things may have ended very different."


"True," says Bastiel. "But we saw the last of their kind at the end of the war. Those that didn't die had that power sealed away. None of them should exist any longer."


"And what if just one escaped?" asks Kendroll. "I have recently come to learn not all Dwarves did what they were supposed to do."


Bastiel gives a deep sigh. "Youth can sometimes see things elders set in their ways are blind to. You may be right."


E'Sarinn says, "While the Elves did not allow women to fight, I thought all of your people fought in the war. All except the --"


"Exactly," adds Bastiel. "And if there's even a chance he is what we think, then as great of an ally as he could be --"


E'Sarinn stands with a renewed purpose and readies his scythe. "He can be an even greater threat."