Medievia Mudslinger

May 6, 2001

Savage Natures - By Orkan

I awoke that morning with an uncanny feeling of foreboding. I was quick, in all likelihood too quick, to brush it off as an unrestful night in the wilderness. The sun was just rising in the west, casting a warm hue across the golden-spired Castle of Medievia. Its beauty almost overcame me, as I gazed at the swirling towers that seemed to be reaching for the heavens. Although I sneered derisively I refrained from spitting.

On this particular morning, both my mind and body still seemed to be exhausted from the prior night's labors. With some amount of difficulty, I eventually managed to shake myself completely awake, if resentfully, to face the challenges the day would present. I uttered the words of a familiar spell and my surroundings faded from sight.

The world faded back into view, and I found myself in the all-too familiar Castle Square. Directly in front of me stood the grotesquely beautiful steps leading up to the Castle. For nothing more then the sake of obtaining a little humor I conjured up several fireballs, and hurled them up the stairs. I watched them hit the drawbridge of the castle and burst into a spectacular show of flames. It was directly after casting my third blast that I saw him: my arch-nemesis Dreppen.

Reacting out of pure animal-like rage and hatred, I altered the course of my last fireball and sent it hurling with incredible accuracy at him but to no avail. The gods protected him from my onslaught as they do all people too cowardly to enter into specified dueling areas. While I realized that my attacks would do no damage to this deviant, I still attacked with a hatred fueled by his constant mockery of my existence. He stood calmly as the fire sprayed around his body, and even had the temerity not to flinch when I ran at him with my flaming dagger outstretched.

He watched me with a scornful smile as I wasted my energies and this only served to make my mood worse. Within a few moments my rage subsided and I paused before him, waiting for his reaction. He turned to walk away as if I were nothing and I stared at his retreating back with shock. I decided on the only course of action I knew he would react to.

"Have you enough honor to face me in a duel to the death?" I called to his retreating back. He span on his heels and smiled broadly.

"Gladly, Milord Orkan... I welcome the chance to loot your valuables once again. You have lost before and will lose this time as well."

"Much has changed since our last skirmish. You will find that your superior knowledge of the arena will no longer do you any good whatsoever." I had taken every chance I had since our last encounter to challenge opponents in the dueling arena and had made sure I took note of its layout.

"Dost thou think that is the reason behind thy loss? Thou art a bigger fool then I once suspected, Milord," he replied with a mocking smile.

His last comment enraged me, and once again, I hurled a flaming ball of fire in his direction. This response caused Dreppen to begin laughing. "The simple fact that you continue to attack me in this area is enough to prove my point"

"We shall see," was my barely controlled reply.

"Let it be done," Dreppen stated. With that, he focused his energies and flashed into the realm of the mind known as Medlink. I was quick to follow, and once again the world surrounding me became blurred. The area I found myself in now was as familiar to me as the dueling arena itself, for I had visited often. I quickly made my way along the well trodden path to the dark, bleak room that was the entrance to the duel area. Dreppen was waiting for me and was even so bold as to appear slightly bored.

I formally imposed the challenge upon him. It was readily accepted and the battle started.

Adrenaline coursed through my body as I began to move through the arena, searching for Dreppen; attempting to find which door, around which corner he was hiding. I focused my powers and remained still for a few seconds, peering into the distance. Seeing him just west of me, I sneaked up and plunged my flaming dagger into his back. It made an awful grating sound as it slid against the hole in his steel armor as I withdrew it for another strike, but Dreppen fled off like a hare. I could hear spidery language of magic being chanted in the distance and knew he would be repairing his wounds. I ran down the corridor after him, but before I found him once more I felt the force of his strongest spells. He had been waiting for me to chase and was ready. Within the space of a few short seconds I was battered severely as Dreppen threw everything he had at me. Spell after spell continued to roll from his tongue as I feebly attempted to counter with my few weak spells and slashes of my dagger. I had never before witnessed such such incredible power as this Arch Mage nearly overcame me.

Panic overtook me and I fled from the area - I traveled quickly through the maze of darkness to seek refuge. At last, I found it... the only room in this desolate realm that would offer some slight protection. Within this room the effects of magic were absorbed by some unseen force, and returned in a magnificent display of sparks. Leaning heavily on a nearby wall, nearly out of breath, I began to rest and heal myself. Within only a short time, I was near fully regenerated and stood up, again ready to face my foe. I began scouring the arena for traces of his passage and, after some minutes, I found it. An almost invisible footprint, impressed in the silty layer of sand that covered the floor, indicating that he had traveled along it.

I was quick to pursue him. Upon rounding a corner, I saw him leaning against a wall, waiting patiently for me to arrive as if he had been expecting my arrival for some time. Enraged at his derisory attitude towards the threat I posed, I began to ferociously attack with a vicious combination of spells and slashes with my sword. In-between the casts, thrusts, and dodges of his pathetic attempts to mangle me with his own weapon, I managed to sweep his legs from under him a time or two, disabling him to the point that he only had time to cast a few spells as he struggled to regain his composure.

The spells he did manage to cast, however, were more than enough to make me regret the attack, and we both emerged from the brief skirmish near death. My mind, so overcome with eagerness to do what I had thought before as near impossible, was slightly clouded and I decided to pursue Dreppen without taking time to heal myself. If I could manage to sneak up behind him and again plant my dagger into his back, I would be able to accomplish my goal: to kill him. Staying to the shadows I began following his tracks leading to the west.

Rounding a corner I came face to face with Dreppen who was grinning wickedly. Fear struck my heart like a spear as I saw the pure black aura surrounding him; an aura which could mean only one thing. He had cast the spell of malediction. He had but to release it at me, and I would be killed instantly as his bolt of pure magic would near tear my body into two.

As a last desperate defense, I cast the best, and possibly only, spell which would be able to save me from his spell. "Vas Flam Hur!" I chanted, and with my last energy surrounded me in a burning shield of pure magical fire. The dread that shone like light in Dreppen's eyes was painfully obvious as he realized too late that in killing me, he himself would be destroyed. The bolt of magical black energy enveloped me and I felt myself sinking into the void of hell. As my legs fell out from underneath me, the last thing I heard was Dreppen screaming in anguish as he was burned in my shield of fire which had reflected his attack back upon him.

This battle, as it happened by either fate or a cruel, twisted god playing with the lives of mortals, ended up as a draw. With my last few conscious moments before slipping into the black void of death, I formed a prayer in my mind, begging for life once again. My prayers were answered in a cruel way. The gods, as is their wont, sent a necromancer to turn me into the living dead. Grim resolve set within my undead mind that if someday I again had the chance to breathe, Dreppen would die.

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