I always did curse myself for my abysmal sense of perception, and bad luck as well. The one time where the scouting reports were actually right and there were Flame Legion in the region, I was assigned to it. At this point my only hope of salvation was Garfas and Thoc, but that possibility was becoming less likely as I was tied up and transported further east of the Plains of Ashford. We had been walking for over an hour, occasionally stopping to take a break. Two charrs were escorting me, both clad in a dark armor. Obviously they were the more stealthy types; the fact that they also didn’t make a single noise throughout the entire trip was a clue too.
Eventually we reached the side of a cliff, Several more flame legion were positioned by the entrance of a cave along with the corpses of a few trolls. It looked like they had cleared the place out as a temporary hideout. I gave a brief glance behind me, a small part of me hoping for the impossible… then I felt the rope around my neck tightened as it was violently tugged and I fell off my feet. I crashed into the floor and slid on the dirt, feeling the small rocks on the ground digging into my robe. “Keep up!” roared the charr in front of me finally deciding to speak. Now was not the time to rebel, I got back up and continued the path.
Once we arrived into the cave I was shoved aside, one of the charr was holding a knife to my face as I slid down the cave wall and sat on the floor. Throughout this entire ordeal I did my best to remain stoic, not to show any emotion, but it was becoming difficult. My act was just a mask, I was angry, furious even. I was angry that I had let myself be captured so easily, that this could be my last moments of life, that my last moment with my friends was an awkward silence with them. I didn’t want it to end so soon, I wanted these flame legion to pay, I wanted to fight back, I wanted to live. But living through this did not seem very likely…
“So what did you find?” Asked one of the charr (I assumed was the leader) to the one who had the knife at my face. “Looks like a grunt,” he said. “Iron legion by the looks of it. Ash would have spotted us and blood would have put up more of a fight. Cub didn’t even see us coming!” Don’t call me cub…
Their leader drew closer to me, only now did I notice how large he was. He neared his face to my own, the nauseating smell of burnt fur wafted into my nostrils. “Well aren’t you a short one,” he said as he reached for the rope that bound my mouth shut. With a flick of his claw it was torn apart, but I did not speak. “So, my scouts tell me that you were all by yourself. What’s a tiny iron legion like you doing all by your lonesome?” I wanted to lash out and bite his face off, or perhaps claw at him with my magic. If only my hands were not tied behind me. “The weather is nice outside,” I said with a glare. “A good a time as any to go out for a walk don’t you think?”
The charr backed away with smile on his face, he glanced back at his subordinates as he gave a chuckle. “I like him,” he said, and then suddenly his fist came down and struck me across the face. Square on the center of my muzzle, my head bounced back against the cave wall. My nose was bleeding and it was getting hard to focus. Then came another punch, this one was hard enough to have me seeing red. The hulking charr was once again face to face with me, his hand slowly traveling towards my neck. “Let’s move on to something else. You’re iron legion, right? Surely you know something not many people know, you sound like the smart type. Maybe we can strike a deal, you give me something that we’ll find useful and I’ll keep you as my pet.”
I softened my gaze, and released a sigh. “I don’t know anything that you would find important.” I said simply. The grip on my neck was starting to tighten. “I’m sure you can think of something, cub. Don’t disappoint me.” My body was tensing up, I was very aware of how hard it was becoming to breathe. “I…” The charr’s grip relaxed. “Yes?”
“I think I have something…” I said.
“You do?” The hulking mass of stupidity grew closer, expressing definite interest. Then I spat as his face, a glob of saliva and blood slowly trickled down his face as I saw the rage growing in his eyes.
“Is that enough information for you?”
It was difficult to recall what happened next, it had all melded together into one large cluster of repeated punches, mostly towards my face. At that moment, I became a punching bag for him to take out his anger on. After it was over, I was in shambles. My face was swollen, blood covering my eyes, I could barely stay conscious. At least it seemed that the charr was done pounding me into a pulp, he rounded towards the deeper areas of the cave, from which I could see some more glimmers of light. “Kill him,” I managed to hear. Suddenly I found a knife once again by my face, and through the corner of my eye… a glimmer of yellow twinkling in the darkness.
“Where the hell were you?” I managed to say.
“I was standing close by as our boss beat the snot out of your snarky ass,” said the flame legion as he drew closer. Then I saw a large blade pierce through his neck and the life drain from his eyes.
“He was talking to me,” said Garfas as he appeared from behind the charr and shoved his corpse aside.
A wave of relief came through me as I felt two large arms help me get back on my feet. I eagerly accepted their help and began to lean on the white mass in front of me. I could barely see through my eyes, but I knew Garfas was doing his best to not touch any of my wounds. “I’m sorry I didn’t come earlier, cub.” Said Garfas. “It took us a bit to track you down. Now look what they did to you.”
“A mere scratch,” I dismissed. “Granted a painful scratch, but a scratch none the less.” I could tell that my nonchalant disposition was not helping diffusing things.
“There are more of them,” I said.
“Thoc took out the ones by the entrance and I took out the two in here.”
“There’s one more,” I said. “The boss from the looks of it.”
“Got it,” Nodded the white charr. “Stay here and I’ll—”
“No,” I said finally regaining my footing. I could barely stand, but I could still use my magic. “Cut the ropes, this one is mine.” I faced away from Garfas and offered my hands to him, I quickly felt the ropes around my wrists. I held my hands in front of my face and rubbed the areas where the ropes had dug into.
“You’re crazy if you think I’m letting you take him on alone,” said Garfas. I rounded towards him and his angered look turned into surprise.
“You’re welcome to come and enjoy the show,” I said as a green glow escaped my eyes and a ball of emerald magic materialized around my fingertips. With an excited grin Garfas joined my side. “Then let’s go!”
We both walked through the only other path the cave had to offer. The light began to grow brighter as we both realized that it led to an area that overlooked the entrance of the cave. Out by the edge we saw the leader of this pathetic excuse for charr. The rage in his eyes ever present. “This is just based on observation,” I said. “But I think your group is dead.”
“…Yeah,” he snarled. “Sure looks like it. And now you brought your bodyguard to finish the job have you?” I stepped forward
“He’s just here to watch,” I said raising my hands in front of my face, balling them into fists. “I will be your opponent.”
“You?” The charr released an uncontrollable guffaw as he sized me up.
“I realize that you are probably quivering with fear at this point,” I said. “So let us strike a deal. If you surrender then I will keep you as my pet.”
“Don’t make me laugh, cub.” I pointed a thumb towards Garfas.
“Only he is allowed to call me cub, you on the other hand, you’ll have to be made an example of.”
There were no more words after that, only the battle. Without further delay the charr lunged at me, reaching for the jagged blade hanging from his waist. I stood where I was and waited, until the very last second. All I needed to do was pivot right as he was about to strike, just like how Garfas taught me. At that moment the charr was now behind me, and he had just walked into the mark I had placed. In a split second I saw a series of small magical blades spring from the floor and rend through his flesh. The shock in his face was clear. I made sure the spell was powerful enough to render his legs useless, then I continued my onslaught.
With a snap of my finger the next spell materialized , the ground underneath him began to grow dark as it crumbled. Suddenly a series of skeletal arms reached out and started to pin him to the floor, the shards of bone dug into his skin. I knew at this point that he was a dead charr, he would lose consciousness in a matter of minutes and bleed out soon after. But I was not done.
I walked around the defeated charr and looked into his eyes, the pleading look in them begging for mercy. I simply replied by shaking my head. “I’ve never done this spell before,” I said. “But now seems like a good a time as any, don’t you think?” As I gathered my necrotic energies I built them up into my lungs. My chest began to burn as it were filled with a noxious gas, then I expelled it all onto my opponent. I could tell that the pain the spell caused me was tenfold for the charr. I could see him writhing on the floor as the poison dug into every exposed area of his body, as it sliced through his eyes, as it burned off his flesh. I puffed out one last plume of poison from my mouth, thankful to rid it from my system.
I stumbled back as I realized that the spell took more out of me than expected, however I felt my friend catch me before I could fall.I rounded towards Garfas as I heard the screams of agony, I gerked my head as if saying, “let’s go.” And with that we both began to make out way out of the cave. “Cub, I’m not gonna lie. That was a bit scary.” “Thank you,” I said with a chuckle. I then leaned on the charr as I felt my knees getting wobbly.
Once we met up with Thoc, we all agreed to head towards a safe location before we discussed the incident. Afterwards, Thoc extracted a first aid kit and began to bandage my wounds as I explained what happened. By the end of my explanation most of my head was covered in bandages and disinfectant. “Well I think we can all agree that the mission was a success,” said Thoc. “We should return to the citadel, and report in.” Garfas and I nodded in agreement. With that we all stood up and faced the citadel.
“Before we go,” I uttered, all eyes were on me now. “I just want to say something.” “What’s up, cub?” Asked Garfas. “All day I’ve been wondering what I had to keep me going,” I said. “And I guess, nearly dying back there made me realize how much I like living. I admit, I don’t have any special goals or anything. I don’t aspire to be anything noteworthy. But I found that so long as my life has you two, then for the moment… that’s good enough for me.” Suddenly I felt Garfas swoop in and hoist me over his back. “Woah!” “Hang on, cub!” said the white charr happily. “I’m carrying you all the way to the Citadel and you have no choice in the matter!” With a shared laugh the three of us began to make out way back home.
Edited by Jalinar