Medievia Mudslinger

November 29, 2000

Malediction - By Kalysto, revised by Capiam

The bumpy wagon ride was really starting to get to him, making his bad mood worse.

"Dammit!" he shouted angrily as the wagon rolled a particularly rocky area in the road. He had almost finished a scroll he had been scribing for almost a week and one bumpy section of the road had caused him to slip, making the parchment filled with powerful arcane runes look like a child's scribbling. He screamed in frustration at no one in particular, and hurled the worthless parchment into the nearby woods.

"Go on a trade run," he said. "Enjoy the beautiful wilderness while making money," he said. "It'll be easy," he said. "Damn you Capiam! What a waste of a week. Why does this stuff always happen to me??!!"

It is well known that sometimes the gods of Medievia have a rather twisted sense of humor, and as he stood on the top of his wagon, flailing his arms and complaining to the world, an arrow streaked by, tearing a hole in one of the sleeves of his voluminous red robes. He stared at the small aperture in disbelief, unable to comprehend how his luck could possibly have gotten worse.

Then anger flashed in his eyes, and he gritted his teeth in fury as he scanned the area for the kobolds that he knew were encircling his wagon at that very moment.

"You picked the wrong mage, on the wrong day," he growled.

As the kobolds emerged, one by one from the woods, he stared each of them down, with hellfire in his eyes, slow and painful death in his thoughts. The largest one, apparently the leader, faltered under Kalysto's deadly gaze, and stuttered,

"G-g-give us g-gold and n-no one gets h-hurt."

The glowering mage's stare turned his face into a visage of death, and filled the fearful creature's mind with thoughts of untold pain and torture beyond belief. But the pillar of fury, standing on the cart, maintained an outward facade of unnerving calm, and as he slowly raised his hands, the kobolds saw imminent death, as Kalysto quietly uttered two words: "Acid Blast."

Later, after he had stacked the bodies in a heap and burned them with a fireball, Kalysto was feeling much better. He wiped his brow, sweaty from the work of dragging all the bodies to one area for cremation. The battle had been short, with many of the pitiful creatures shrieking for mercy or fleeing in terror rather than fighting back, but he had hunted down most of the scum that got away. He climbed back into the wagon breathing heavily, and took a long drink from his alchemy jug.

"Still," he thought to himself as he climbed back into the wagon. "the battle was well worth the physical exertion."

Even at best, Kalysto was one of the least physical beings in Medievia, but killing kobolds made him feel better, and as he started the wagon moving again, he chuckled to himself as he realized there were creatures with luck worse than his.

Back in the City of Medievia, Kalysto was roaming the mages quarter looking for pastries, when his younger brother Capiam stepped out of a magical portal in front of him.

"What's up Kal? How'd the trading go?"

"At first it seemed a disaster, but it got better after I ran into some kobolds."

"Oh? Since when did kobolds make a trade run better?"

Kalysto told his brother the whole story, and Capiam laughed uproariously.

"See? I told you it'd be worth it!"

Even though Capiam was younger than his brother, he was easily a thousand times the adventurer Calysto was and had already mastered all four adventurer classes and attained the rank of hero. Capiam had a zest and enthusiasm that Kalysto lacked, and was popular with people both inside and out of his clan, even though he had a few quirks. Such as speaking in strange tongues, blathering phrases such as "K", "Tr", "DoF", "Ct" etc, and several others that confused people who didn't understand his jargon. Kalysto, however, preferred to take things much, much, much slowly, and while he had a few friends, he was clanless and generally just one more unknown face in the crowd.

After sharing a quick meal with his brother, Capiam left, presumably to fight the forces of darkness or some such, in one of the many bastions of evil he frequented, such as the Warrens, Toshi, or the Catacombs.

As Kalysto finished up his meal, he watched the young adventurers come and go. There seemed to be so many these days. When he had finished, he entered the portal to his guild. It had been a long time since he had visited and was well received by his guildmaster and others he hadn't seen in many months.

He strode purposefully to the area where mages study their arcane arts, and walked over to the area where the sacred books of magic were kept. He slowly ran his fingers over the spines of the ancient texts, searching for the one he wanted.

"Frost shards, mana shield, acid blast, plague, shockwave, ah! Here it is, Malediction."

He carefully removed the fragile book from the shelf and started looking through it, making notes and copying important formulas and somatic components, and gestures into his spellbook. After having completed his transposition of the powerful spell, he replaced the tome back in its allotted place on the shelf. He then found a quiet spot and settled down to overlook his notes and memorize the spell. When he thought he had it, he went into the practice room to test out his newly acquired spell. He went through the complex motions, drawing runes in the air and speaking words of power, and when he had gathered the required energy he finished the spell.

"Malediction!" he cried out.

Nothing happened. So he tried it again, with the same result. Confused by this, he called over his guildmaster, Abinonius, to observe and inform him of his error.

The guild master told him to repeat his casting, and after a moment of deep thought, he looked at Kalysto.

Becoming impatient, Kalysto asked, "Well, what am I doing wrong, master?"

"Well," he replied. "All your somatic and verbal components are correct, but your material component is questionable."

"Material component? What material component? There was nothing mentioned in the text..."

"That is because it is inferred rather than stated outright. Kalysto, when the Malediction spell is uttered, it has the potential to do massive harm, withering nearby plantlife and knocking over people, animals, and even trees. When the Malediction is spoken you condemn the victim with your magic. You release an enormous curse of pain and death upon it. The gods have decreed it is to be used in only the most dire of situations. As you cast the spell, your feelings are examined, and if your entire heart and will is not in the casting, it will fail. A malediction is an open condemnation and statement of hate, therefore if you don't believe the target must be destroyed, the gods will not permit you to cast and your spell will fizzle."

"I don't understand."

"It is a very complex concept, but I have faith in you. Go into the next room and meditate on it, I'm sure you'll reach enlightenment eventually."

So Kalysto thanked him, and walked into the hall.

Kalysto roamed the street, his frustration easily observed by any casual passerby in his manner and face. Normally, meditation was one of his strong suits. He prided himself on his ability to clear his mind and focus in a situation. After hours of meditation however, he could not seem to quiet his mind and concentrate. Both the spell and his instructor's lesson had managed to elude him and that managed to both frustrate and disturb him.

He stalked around the city, but could not seem to find his favorite pastry shop, Incredible Edibles. He sighed and gave up, walking into the nearest shop he saw, Storm in a Teacup, only to discover that they were out of his favorite pastry. Kalysto didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the persistent cloud of bad luck that seemed to pursue him relentlessly, wherever he went, however his readily apparent frustration, combined with this new stroke of bad luck, did make him consider casting a fireball inside the shop.

While he was considering blasting a fireball at ground zero, he was contacted telepathically by his brother who wished to speak with him in Medlink. Using the innate powers of every Medievian, he shifted to the dimensional plane known as Medlink, created by Vryce as a haven and common room where adventurers could relax and socialize peacefully. After he arrived, his brother led him to a quiet room off to the side filled with fish in glass tanks.

"You wanted to see me?" Kalysto inquired.

"Yeah, I was wondering if you wanted to come to the catacombs with me?"

"Me? In the Catacombs? Come now, don't make me laugh, you know I'd get chewed up in a second there, what are you trying to do, kill me?"

"Nah, you'd be fine, me and a couple of friends are going and we've got room for one more, so since we haven't done anything together in a while, it would be cool if you came. If you're not busy that is."

"Well, I guess."

"Tell you what, I'll even give you my share of the eggs"

"What!?! Are you sure?"

"Of course, I just don't really need them that much anymore anyway, so you may have them if you wish."

"Count me in."

"Great. The entrance to the catacombs has appeared in the woods around Horneg's Keep, call a dragon and I shall meet you there."

Then he vanished back into reality. Kalysto shifted back into the pastry shop and went outside to summon a firelizard to persuade a dragon to aid him.

After he landed, Mattrim and Taikus, two of his brother's friends, adventures of great fame greeted him.

"Your brother is already at the entrance, let's go."

They began casting and opened a portal to Capiam, leaving Kalysto alone, tapping his foot waiting for them to realize he had not the powers of a cleric.

He knew he would be summoned in a moment, and sure enough he was suddenly somewhere else. Mattrim, Capiam, and Taikus were standing before a rough-hewn rift in the ground, allowing entrance to the catacombs.

"Sorry about that, we forgot you weren't quite at our level of skill yet," said Taikus.

"Come on, we're wasting time, lets go," urged Mattrim.

The descent into the hole was hellish for Kalysto, who was huffing and puffing by the time he had reached the bottom. After he caught his breath, he wiped the glistening sweat off his face with a scraped hand. He noticed that the three of them were standing there impatiently, not even having broken a sweat.

"Well," he gasped. "I'm okay, huff, huff, lets, huff, go."

Mattrim and Taikus rolled their eyes, and looked doubtfully at Capiam, who only smiled. Capiam started chanting, and at the conclusion, Kalysto felt his stamina increase greatly.

"Okay," said Capiam "Now he's ready."

Kalysto had been in the catacombs only once before, when he was new at adventuring. Some heroes had thought it might be a good practical joke to form with a newbie, bring him to the catacombs, and leave him to fend for himself. The experience was frightening, and horrible, and he hated every minute of his time there, however, like the scholar that he was, he took notes. He knew what cave weeds, thought slugs, and cave coral were. He knew to avoid tornado golems, watch for sludge mephits, and not pick fights with hermits. Reminiscing about his previous excursion into the catacombs made him remember about the precautions he should take, and he quickly rummaged through his bags looking for a repaerdnim root, which he ate quickly.

He knew how good his brother and friends were, but he was amazed at the speed through which they traveled through the twisting tunnel. Everything was going splendidly, and Kalysto's mind reeled at the number of large, strange-looking eggs he recovered. However, after a time, his brother's spell wore off, and Kalysto had trouble keeping up.

Soon after, he was huffing and puffing again. And he slowly fell farther and farther behind the group, until they were lost from sight. He tried to call them but could not summon any volume while out of breath. Understanding the great danger he was in, Kalysto took steps to protect himself, making his skin as hard as stone, and casting dweomers to let him detect invisible enemies, surround himself with a shield of fire, and a shield of force comprised of his magical power.

He shouted for the group to come back, but the darkness seemed to swallow the sound, and he received no response. Kalysto realized that it would be safer to keep moving than stand still and wait to be found. He attempted to teleport, but he seemed to be too far underground for it to work. As he slowly wandered through the dark caverns, trying to maintain silent and hidden, he occasionally shouted for his brother into the darkness, but the only response he received was his echo.

After a while of wandering through the darkness, Kalysto began to give up hope.

"Damn you to the nine Hells, Capiam! Where the hell are you!" Suddenly, he felt a blade viciously plunged into his back. Kalysto, alone in the dark, screamed once in pain and terror.

Further up the tunnel, Capiam and his form heard a piercing shriek penetrate the darkness.

"What was that!?" exclaimed Mattrim in surprise.

Capiam had a sinking feeling, and sure enough, when he quickly scanned the area, his brother was nowhere to be found.

"Damn! That must've been him!"

"Oh come now, Capiam! There are lots of other people here, that could've been any one of them!" said Taikus.

"Taikus is right, besides, everyone knows he can't handle the combs himself, he probably shielded his room and waited for us to summon him."

Capiam wasn't listening. He knew his brother was in trouble, the same way he knew how to move his arm. It wasn't a conscious realization, more like a strong feeling. Knowing his brother might already be dead, Capiam quickly phased to him, discarding caution that a mist mephit might attack through his rift.

Luckily, the mist mephits must have been looking the other way, for he escaped without pursuit. As he emerged from the portal, he saw his brother laying unconscious on the ground, bleeding from a wound in his back. His brother was dying.

Quickly, Capiam hurried over and laid his hands on Kalysto. As he began chanting, a white glow appeared on his hands and transferred to his brother, healing him and closing the terrible wound.

"Capiam? What happened? Where's the mephit?" Kalysto mumbled.

"Oh damn!" Capiam cursed in alarm. Too late, he tried to dodge, but he felt a dagger plunge not once, but twice into his back. However, Capiam was bigger and stronger then his brother, and he was wearing drow chainmail rather than flimsy robes, so the wound was not near as devastating as it was to his brother. Capiam turned around and sliced the creature to ribbons with his frostreaver, taking some nasty wounds on the process.

Capiam turned to check up on his brother who was groggily standing up, when suddenly he felt a huge fist slam into his stomach. Jumping to his feet, he spun towards the tornado golem and managed to quickly dodge and parry the rest of its attacks, but his heart sunk as he saw there were not one, but two tornado golems engaging him. Knowing full well he could not escape with his brother in tow, he strode into the fray, trying to buy time for his brother to escape before he perished.

Kalysto, paralyzed with fear, watched as his brother strode forth to defend him from the monstrosities. His brother could have taken one at full strength, perhaps even two, but with those nasty wounds and bleeding cuts he was as good as dead. Having used his magic to heal his brother, he could not summon the energy needed to use either battle or healing magics. He fought bravely, and dealt the two foes many wounds, but finally one of the golems landed a monstrous kick, hurling his body across the cavern, ribs shattering as he hit the far wall.

Kalysto's mind exploded, "Nooooo!" His earth-shattering scream ripped though the darkness, annihilating the sudden silence. His brain refused to believe what his eyes told him he saw.

"You scum! You shall pay for this foolish mistake!" he shrieked, and proceeded to let loose with his most powerful spells. He screamed out the arcane runes, moving his hands with blinding speed and let fly not one, but three shockwaves in rapid succession, shattering one to pieces.

"You're next", stated Kalysto with the deadly calm that was characteristic of his fury. His mana resources replenished by the death of the first golem, he turned to face the second, which had turned to flee. Once again Kalysto sent shockwave after shockwave at the fleeing tornado, but this one was not so injured and it appeared that the golem would escape after all. Seeing the monster seemingly unaffected by the powerful spells only infuriated Kalysto more.

"You will not escape my wrath!!" he screamed at it.

Filled with the kind of fury and rage that would topple mountains and cow gods, Kalysto purposefully moved his hands with deliberate slowness and enunciated every syllable as he pronounced the final word.


Kalysto laughed evilly as the black cloud surrounding him gathered, and flew where he had pointed. A black bolt of pure magical energy flew towards the panicked golem. The resulting blast disintegrated the golem into a pile of dust, and continued onward melting a tunnel half a mile long though the rock.

"Eat that, you worthless scum!" he said while breathing heavily from casting the powerful spell, and ran over to his brother's body.

"Capiam! Capiam!" he cried. Suddenly, two shimmering portals appeared as Taikus and Mattrim stepped out.

"What happened?" asked Mattrim as he bent over Capiam, hands moving swiftly.

Taikus looked over at the far wall and shuddered, saying "Um, what's that?"

"Help him!" begged Kalysto. Taikus spotted Capiam's battered corpse, and he moved over to help Mattrim prevent the necromancer who would be arriving shortly from taking Capiam's soul. Working quickly, they both grasped a gem of souls as a ruby ray shot forth from the stone to strike the corpse. Capiam's body jerked suddenly as life returned to him and he sat up.

He smiled and looked at Kalysto, saying, "Thanks Kal."

Then everything went black.

Kalysto blinked and opened his eyes. He was back in the magic proof meditation room. It had all been a dream, a trick of his mind.

He looked around and noticed a circle of people standing around him. The wall he was facing was destroyed. The walls were supposed to be magic proof so mages could practice without bringing the building down, yet this one seemed to have been blasted to pieces and melted to slag, like the wall in his dream.

His guildmaster was suddenly in front of him, smiling.

"You are now learned in this area."