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Unread 12-12-2009, 06:29 PM   #2
Green Spanner
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Green Spanner is a name known to all, except that guy. Green Spanner is a name known to all, except that guy.
Default Part 2

But he was not one of Laymaar’s. Calder could tell that just by looking at him, and the way he stepped menacingly towards them. But that could only mean that Laymaar was not the only one there who had mastered the true power of necromancy…

Yulmen brandished his sword threateningly. “How dare you enter the presence of the all powerful Laymaar unannounced?!” he snapped. “You would do well to cower before the Brotherhood!”

Yulmen never changed. The undead stranger was unperturbed and merely smirked. Calder looked around him and realised why, and let out an embarrassing whimper.

“And you would do well to realise that your group is surrounded by archers, warlock.” Said the stranger, motioning for his undead allies to step forward, just enough to intimidate the group; Laymaar, however, didn’t even blink.

“Who are you?” He said flatly, looking up at the stranger for the first time. “What is your business in our territory? Who is your master? Speak.”

The stranger laughed, though there was no humour in it. Calder couldn’t help but think that he wouldn’t be coming out of this encounter alive.

“Your emotionless bravado is amusing, especially as you’re hopelessly outmatched.”

Yulmen seemed to take this personally. “We are warlocks!” he yelled. “We hold powers that many could only dream of! How dare you mock the Brotherhood?! How dare you?!”

The stranger sighed. “Your emotional bravado is amusing, especially as you’re hopelessly outmatched.” The undead archers aimed their bows in a threatening manner. Rollim seemed to be sizing up each of them, waving his sword in a threatening manner at the undead soldiers, who aimed their arrows at him in response. Plesic kept his distance, but still held his sword at the ready in case any of them tried anything. Yulmen, however, was still concentrating on the stranger, and he was positively seething.

“Enough of your insolence and disrespect: now you will feel the wrath of the Brotherhood of the Demon!”

He said a brief prayer to Ignicious before charging towards the stranger, sword in hand, letting out a bestial cry. If Calder was not so transfixed as to what was going to happen, he would have been suspicious of the fact that the archers did nothing.

Did this stranger have a chance? Yulmen was usually little more than a festering bag of extreme boot-licking loyalty towards Laymaar, but he could be fearsome when angered. Calder had never seen him as angry as he was.

Quick as a flash, the stranger’s sword was drawn, and easily blocked Yulmen’s strike. Plesic looked set to help him, but the bows strained threateningly around them. Yulmen and the stranger exchanged blows, until the latter, with a kick, sent Yulmen reeling backwards.

“If you must know, I am known as Lifebane.” He said with a smile. “Do you know why I’m called that?”

“Lifebane?” said Calder.

“S…seriously?” added Rollim.

Lifebane sighed. “Yes, Lifebane. You heard it right.”

“Lifebane. That…you’re going with that are you?”

“I feel it’s a name well earned. But you’ll see that soon enough, I assure you.”

“Yeah, but…Lifebane?” said Calder. “Couldn’t you…um…”

“Couldn’t I what?” said Lifebane. Even with such a ridiculous name he was still intimidating, and so Calder decided to shut up.

“Couldn’t you change it to something that isn’t quite so shit?” finished Rollim, his urge to be a dick overruling his common sense.

“Rollim…” warned Plesic. It was nice to know that Calder was not the only one with common sense in their group. Yulmen was holding back, though he could attack again at any moment, whilst Laymaar hadn’t moved. He appeared to be sizing up their main opponent, who was approaching Rollim. Rollim raised his sword as if to threaten Lifebane, who seemed unperturbed.

“Never annoy a guy whose name alludes to the fact that he can cut you into ribbons without sweating. Probably not rule 1, but definitely high up there, wouldn’t you say?”

“Don’t ignore me!” screeched Yulmen, more than a little bit pissed of from his apparent humiliation. He began to charge at Lifebane, but the archers tensed their bows once again.

“You’re going to be, how you say, considerably more riddled with arrows if you don’t calm down, boy.” Said Lifebane. Yulmen gritted his teeth, but not even his hot-headed fervour made him want to challenge the resolve of those undead archers.

“Now then.” Said Lifebane simply, bearing down upon Rollim. Rollim raised his hand, concentrated for a second, and sent out a fireball from his fingertips. Lifebane managed to raise his shield and blocked the blast, though his shield was badly scorched.

“I liked that shield…” he said sadly, though Calder couldn’t tell if he was serious or not. Rollim charged at him, thinking he had an opening. He did not, evidently, as Lifebane parried his blow, and struck back with his own. Being undead, he was not disadvantaged by fatigue, and so was not feeling the effects of a long tramp through the forest like Rollim. It was only a matter of time before Lifebane could find his way through his defences.

And indeed, it didn’t take long for Rollim to mistime a strike, which led to him having a bleeding stump where his hand had once been.

“Arghle! My hand!” he screamed. “You bastard! I’ll kill you! You fucking bastard! I’ll fuck you up! I’ll fucking kill! I’ll fucking fuck fuck!”

“That’s not very nice.” Said Lifebane, and promptly decapitated him.

Rollim was dead, but Calder couldn’t bring himself to care. Did that make him a bad person?

Oh gods, of course not.

Yulmen, however, did care. “You killed a warlock of the Brotherhood! You will answer for that!”

“What are you going to do? Kill me? I’m sort of already dead, if the corpse-like stink didn’t tip you off…”

“There are far worse things I can do to you than kill you.” Said Laymaar. He was crackling with magical energy, preparing to unleash an onslaught of spells upon Lifebane and his archers. “I have now seen your skill, Lifebane, and I tell you, that you are not match for me!” Calder gulped. He was glad he was on Laymaar’s side.

“And here’s me thinking you had forgotten how to talk.” Smiled Lifebane. “You think you’re all powerful don’t you? That’s actually adorable.”

Laymaar smiled, which was much worse than his usual scowl. It was the kind of smile that could cause a serpent to flee in fear. “I am more powerful than any man! I am Laymaar, leader of the Brotherhood of the Demon, servant of the glorious Ignicious! You think you and your puny archers can even lay a scratch upon me? You pale before me! You are the one that is adorable, Lifebane!”

Lifebane’s brow furrowed. “That’s your fearsome speech? ‘No, you’?”

Laymaar let out arcs of lightning from his hands, which struck the archers either side of him, who fell down…double-dead? Was that what it was called when you ‘killed’ an undead? Calder didn’t know. All he knew was that shit was getting real. So real…

Lifebane wasn’t intimidated. In fact, he just seemed all the more amused. “Very well.” He said, getting into his action-pose, “We shall see just how powerful you are, little man…”

The two adversaries stood, one brimming with magic, the other holding his sword, still dripping with blood, at the ready. Calder, Yulmen and Plesic were kept in check by the archers who had not been zapped to…double-death, and had tightened their circle around the three of them. Yulmen waved his sword angrily, whilst Calder and Plesic were more restrained: any wrong move, and all three would be dead. Lifebane and Laymaar were to face each other one-on-one.

Lifebane was as good as…double-dead…

“Prepare to feel the power of Laymaar, master of necromancy! I am the lord of death!”

“I’m going to have to disagree with you there.” Said a deep new voice. Everybody stopped what they were doing, with only Lifebane and the archers seemingly having any idea as to what was going on.

“When did you get here?” said Lifebane. The warlocks followed his gaze to another stranger. This one was pale and gaunt, but evidently not undead. He was tall but not overly so, so that he loomed rather than towered. His head was practically little more than a skull wrapped with skin, hairless but for a pair of black, bushy eyebrows and a goatee, silver flecked with black. His eyes were what got Calder’s attention though, as they glowed with a sickly light that illuminated nothing. His thin lips were twisted into a slight smile, the whole effect making him look almost kindly, but mostly unsettling.

Calder tried to gauge just who or what they were dealing with, but nothing about him rung any bells. He could practically see the magical energy flowing off of him, radiating off of his body and making Calder’s skin tingle. Whoever it was, he was a powerful mage. Not even Laymaar had the power that he seemed to have.

His attire was nothing Calder had seen before either, consisting predominantly of a breastplate made of a golden material, a strange symbol consisting of a four-point star with two crossed swords behind it engraved on the chest, and an orange cape that went down past the new arrival’s knees. The rest of his clothing seemed to be a dark grey shirt-trouser combo, with black leather gauntlets and boots. A belt straddled his waist, with two long, thin scabbards attached. The new stranger was armed as well. Just great…

“You also dare to insult the mighty Laymaar?!” spluttered Yulmen, who had gone bright red. “You have the sheer audacity to insult a man whose powers could bring armies to their knees?!”

“Yes.” Said the newcomer simply.

Yulmen had had enough. Something inside him evidently snapped, and he disregarded Lifebane and the archers, charging towards the stranger and screaming like a man possessed. Calder couldn’t help but watch: the stranger was barely paying attention, whilst Yulmen was angrier than he had ever been in his life, and channelling all that rage into his sword. Even Laymaar watched curiously, though it was more than likely he was sizing up the newcomer as he had done with Lifebane.

What happened next, Calder had no idea.

One moment, the stranger had no sword, the next, he held a long, thin blade in his hand, and had sliced it in an upward motion. It had cleaved right through Yulmen, whose blood flew from the sword and his brand new chest wound, splattering onto the ground. Against Lifebane, who had dispatched Rollim with little effort, Yulmen had managed to at least hold his ground, but against this newcomer, he hadn’t even got that far. He didn’t even have the chance to block.

He fell, lifeless, to the ground. That was two from their ranks that were no more.

The stranger seemed disturbingly aloof. “Who are your friends Lifebane?” he asked nonchalantly.

“Some prick and his prick friends.” Replied Lifebane. “Look, why are you here?”

“I came to say hello. Hello.” The stranger waved the Lifebane. “But seriously, I came to check on your forces and their progress. Have you found any sign of the Orb?”

“There’s a lot of wilderness to get through. I’m not even su…”

“The Orb?!” interrupted Laymaar. This seemed to get the stranger’s attention.

“Oh, how rude of me. I am Necromar, leader of the undead army. You’ve met Lifebane and…is that archery force 7?”

“Archery force 8.” Clarified Lifebane.

“Jolly good.”

“Necromar?!” said Laymaar, showing more emotion than…well…ever…

“Master, what is all this about Necromar and an Orb?” asked Plesic, asking the question that Calder was too scared to ask.

“But if you are Necromar, surely…the writings…” said Laymaar, though probably more to himself.

“The writings?” Necromar mused. “Ah! The Books of Death! I trust you have them? I assume you are no stranger to the art of necromancy then.”

Books of death? What were they talking about? Were they the secret to Laymaar’s mastery of necromancy? But that meant that Laymaar was keeping secrets from the Brotherhood! The vow of Ignicious contained a clause that there would be no secrets between them!

If he wasn’t so pant-shittingly terrified of Laymaar, Calder would’ve been angry with him.

“So how did you get your hands on the books? I lost track of them after that whole me-being-sealed-away tomfoolery…”

“I will tell you nothing.” Said Laymaar. Necromar shrugged.

“Not my business I suppose. I take it you are searching for the Orb of Omnipresence?” Laymaar said nothing. “Well I’m afraid you’re search is going to be fruitless, as I just so happen to be searching for it as well.”

“What orb?” asked Plesic.

“Oh dear, has your leader not been forthright with you?” said Lifebane nastily. “Man, who can you trust nowadays?”

Plesic and Calder approached Laymaar, though Calder was keeping his distance, just in case. “What orb are they talking about, master?” asked Plesic, keeping his tone as neutral as possible so as to not provoke. Laymaar straightened up, turning to face his servants.

“You have heard me speak of ‘the Ritual’, you have seen me cultivate the soul-batteries.” He said mysteriously. “Ignicious has spoken to me! He has told me that all we need is the Orb that is hidden in these wilds, and we can free him from his prison! He will be free to enact vengeance on those who sealed him away, and we will be granted more power than we can possibly imagine!”

“And what, pray tell, is to stop your demon master from turning on you when you have outlived your usefulness, which will probably be not long after he is summoned?” asked Necromar.

“Don’t listen to him!” said Laymaar. “We will be rewarded for our service to Ignicious!”

“Or you’ll be killed horribly.” Said Lifebane.

Laymaar began charging his magic again. “It is regrettable that the glorious Ignicious is unable to lay his wrath upon you himself, so I’m going to have to do it for him!”

“Is that so?” said Necromar, cocking his head to one side.

“You’ll see soon enough.” Said Laymaar darkly, and let lose with a stream of magic; fireballs, followed by lightning, all in the direction of Necromar. As the smoke began to clear, the shape of a non-vaporised Necromar became clear. He bore a look of concentration, and his hands were outstretched before him, the magical onslaught having been mostly absorbed. With a quick motion, he snuffed out the remaining magic that had gathered there.

“Impressive.” He said, the smile not having left his face since he arrived. “You have a talent for magic that is quite rare. I can respect that.”

Laymaar was panting, the attack having taken a lot out of him. Necromar, on the other hand wasn’t even fazed. Though he was exhausted, Laymaar drew his sword regardless.

“Why do we have to resort to violence?” asked Necromar sweetly. “Why can’t we resolve our grievances using our words?”

“They started it.” Said Lifebane, his arms crossed.

“Did not!” Calder blurted out, though he wasn’t too sure why, as it could have only got him into trouble. There was a brief pause, whereupon Plesic placed his head in his hands.

“Ok, are we ready to move forward like adults?” asked Necromar. Laymaar straightened up, but kept his sword pointed at him.

“What do you have in mind?” clearly he was wary of Necromar, but didn’t want to try anything whilst he was still not at maximum strength.

“A gentleman’s competition perhaps?”
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