His head still ached. Though tough and fairly good at survival, Drathlaen was surely no healer. The black and blue forms upon his skin would surely cause him agony until he reached the temple. His thoughts swirled with confusion. How could anyone even know about his journey? Only the clergy should know of his important mission. Certainly the object he carries is not sentient. So what then? The only conclusion he could make was that perhaps it was a coincidence and that they were, in fact, looking for something else.
The mage was stirred from his thoughts as his keen eyes caught a glimpse of something in the snow. He landed near to it and dipped his hand into the flakes. It was a small onyx box: his small onyx box and a treasure very dear to his heart. It was always kept close in the folds of his robes. The troupe he encountered earlier must have gone this way. Now it would be his turn for an ambush. The wizard sprang to life, vitalized at the thought of the things to come. With the enactment of his battle spells, he disappeared into the falling snow; "Let the games begin."
* * *
The undead were within a circle of trees nearby. They were apparently making a mess of Drathlaen's things, and he had a lot of things. The warlord was situated against a tree, obviously irritated. In the blowing wind they had almost no warning of the descending mage. The warlord felt some magical energy and stood upright. Listening intently, he heard the chanting on the wind. He tried to warn, "Get back!"
Just then a dark burst of negative energy filled the area! Two of the skeletons crumbled to dust from the meager spell. Though barely touched by the blast, the warlord felt the tug of the energy and began casting a spell of his own. Two zombies clad in armor growled at the sky just as the mage came into sight. Slowly drifting toward them, he was noticeably completing another spell. Both zombies leapt to the sides in a double attempt to get around the spell and to encircle the wizard. With a magical echo Drath uttered his final word sending a prismatic spray into the crowd. Warm beams of light disintegrated two more skeletons and a zombie, while everyone else was hit with odd and random effects.
The warlord likewise completed his spell allowing him to move at his normal speed again and rushed forward. His troops were all trying to move toward the onslaught by now, but he knew he had to try and interrupt it if they would last long enough to land a blow. He reached into his belt and produced four throwing daggers, throwing each with deadly accuracy toward the mage.
Drathlaen's next burst was nearing completion and he continued his precise incantations. As the daggers neared him there was a burst of snow and ice as each was crystallized and halted on his cold shield. Just as the flurry ended, so did his spell. Drathlaen stretched out his hands with an explosion of dark energy. The two zombies on his sides were simply knocked off their feet, while the rest in front of him felt the full power of his rage and fell to the ground limp.
The warlord threw his shredded outer garments to the ground and screamed. "Someone knock the damn wizard down!"
The two zombies flanking Drath immediately swung into motion. Drath could tell that one more spell might drop the warlord long enough; he had to complete this one. The zombies were coming from opposite sides, and though it really shouldn't work, Drath had to try it. He kicked one of his feet to set him adrift in a backwards motion. He almost wondered if they would hit each-other, but they weren't that stupid after all. While one of them was completely dedicated to his bash and fell head first into the snow, the other leapt gracefully with a spinning slash of his sword. Though an effective attack, it seemed like he was cutting through a snowman with all the snow and ice that flared from the cold shield. It was not enough to interrupt the mage, however. Drathlaen finished his spell behind the flaring cold shield, and a huge blast of cold radiated from his fingertips. The cone engulfed both drones and the warlord with bitter cold and chunks of ice.
Through the cloud of lingering snowflakes the wizard descended through to the warlord who was knocked over and trying to move his legs. Drathlaen hovered over the beast. "You can't kill me wizard, I will come for you."
"Then I will delay you." The frostweaver began a delicate incantation while twitching his fingers. The warlord began to growl. It increased to a howl as Drath's enchantment became stronger. Frost crept up the warlord's body, emerging from his armor at his neck. He howled in pain as the frost engulfed his neck. However, all sound halted as the frost encased his face. The many facets glistened in what light there was. Though it burdened his heart to destroy such a work of art, his victim was undead, after all, and he didn't want anymore followers while on this mission.
Drathlaen's eyes crackled with energy as he raised his hands with another incantation. Through the blizzard a loud crack was followed by a powerful lightning bolt which struck the crystalline statue with enough force to completely shatter the ice statue.
Now satisfied, he gathered the remains of his belongings, dropped a few gold to the snow and sped off into the blizzard. He did surely not end the source of his trouble. Whoever was in control would not send a small band of undead next time, and it would be best to finish the task at hand as soon as possible.
From within the leafy folds of one of the trees a shadow melded into the form of a tall man in fur cloaks. His slender face stared off into Drathlaen's direction. His words were swallowed by the storm, "You will run out of tricks one day, outcast."
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~Drathlaen Winterfyre / Dronak / Sselir / Serae / Cerona / ... and my very happy [8th] shaman Bijo and her tiger! ^_^
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