The Heroes in Full Retreat

The Heroes in Full Retreat

The last time we saw our hairy and heroic fellowship, the Marksman climbed the tower in a desperate attempt to signal a barrage from the Mystic Wave. The Predator noticed his movement and gave chase. The Marksman continued to climb, evading and deflecting the Predator’s accosting arrows. The Marksman finally made it to the top of the tower and engaged in a mortal duel with the master assassin. The battle was fierce, and the Marksman suffered a severe rib injury, but the Marksman emerged victorious, thanks to the magical instruction provided by the Wizard. The Marksman remains standing as the battle rages below…


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The Gunslinger rips a volley into a wave of oncoming dwarven warriors. Crimson cuts down a couple of dwarves straggling behind. The Scribe parries a spear from a charging dwarf and drives his blade between the helmet and the shoulder plate.


*SHHHHHHH PPPPP LLLLLLLLLLL AAAAA TTTTTT*


The Gunslinger, Captain Crimson, and the Scribe turn around to see a battered mass lying on the ground, draped in a dark gray cloak. A jingling sound echoes off the walls of the tower. A long shard hisses through the air and slices through the middle of the body lying on the floor, stopping upright in the middle of the battlefield. The Scribe winces at the macabre scene, as the Gunslinger and Captain Crimson look up the tower, shrug, and charge back into the fray.


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The Marksman peers over the edge, watching as his nemesis lay defeated below. His side is throbbing, the broken ribs sending ripples of pain coursing through his side. The Marksman places his hand on his side and concentrates, sending healing golden sparks showering that sink into his tunic. The Marksman feels a dulling of his pain and the movement of his ribs as they realign, but the pain is still there and debilitating.


The Wizard had given the Marksman lessons in various kinds of magic, but you can’t become a master spellcaster overnight. The Marksman knew basic healing spells, but didn’t have the expertise to fix his side as quickly or completely as the Wizard. This spell, however, would allow him to move around and function, but the Marksman realizes that the injury would hamper him. He walks across the platform to the signal flare and bends over to pick it up. He winces, but picks up the flare. He stops his healing spell briefly to snap up a flame to light the flare. The flare burns, smoke billowing from in-under the roof of the platform. The Markman watches the Mystic Wave, watching for any sign that they have acknowledged the flare. There were several moments of silence. The Marksman began to consider whether the Mystic Wave would provide any sort of fire support when brief, rainbow-colored bird streaks across the sky. 


Then a whistling pierces the air, almost as if the sound was trailing the bird traveling faster than the speed of sound itself. However, the whistle dies as a projectile slams into the tower, shaking the whole structure. The Marksman steadies himself and walks over to the tower’s interior and stares down. It’s a long way down, and the continued bombardment is going to make descending the framework treacherous.Three more rounds slam into the tower and the Marksman decides it's now or never and leaps onto the railing below. 


The Marksman descends the tower infrastructure like a mountain goat crawling down the side of a cliff. The Marksman turns to jump and as he begins to leave the beam, a shell explodes against the tower wall behind him. The Marksman flails through the air wildly, crashing into a wooden beam. The impact drives all the air out of the Marksman and his side explodes with searing pain. The Marksman pulls himself up onto the beam. He turns to see how much further down he has to go. He’s nearly there, but the pain blurs his vision. Despite this, the Marksman realizes that survival means pushing on.


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Crimson looks up, hearing the crashing of the Mystic Wave’s barrage screams to the others.


“WE HAVE TO GO, NOW!”


Captain Crimson cuts down a couple dwarves and fires his massive pistol into the crowd of dwarves. The 102 mm slug cuts through several of the undead, clearing a lane to escape from the direction they came. Crimson charges the gap, sword swinging. The Hero follows, a whirlwind cutting down everything in sight. The Gunslinger continues cycling his weapons, dropping dwarves left and right. Dr. Wolf, recovered enough from his previous injuries, reverts back to his wolven form, charging back into the fray. The Barkeep follows behind. An undead dwarf steps forward to challenge him, but a single swift punch with his special gauntlet knuckles crumple the warrior’s helm like a tin can. The Barkeep follows this by using the knuckles to punch through a wooden shield, grabbing the undead warrior by the collar of his armor and tossing him into other dwarves who have taken up the pursuit. The Scribe and the Distiller bring up the back of the group, the Scribe using his twin short swords and the Distiller using his staff to hold off attackers from the back. 


Three larger dwarven warriors advance on the Distiller. The Distiller grips the staff tightly, bowing it slightly. Suddenly he releases the tension, sending the end of the staff to crash into the first warrior’s head. The Distiller quickly turns and drives the butt of the staff into the second dwarve’s face, sending him crashing to the floor. He quickly spins, sweeping the final advancing dwarf with the staff. The dwarf falls to the floor and the Distiller quickly flexes the staff, then releases the pent up energy. The staff smashes the skull of the dwarf in the helm.


The Scribe stares at the Distiller in awe. The Distiller turns to see this and replies, “We’re monks, we do know how to defend ourselves. We had a lot of free time in the monastery.”


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The Enchantress did not like how this was going at all. They were escaping, and no matter how powerful her attacks were, the Wizard continually intercepted them before they reached a hero. She was through with the games. “This pesky Wizard will be dealt with,” thinks the Enchantress as she summons a massive fireball.

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The Wizard and the Inventor are separated from the rest of the heroes and the Inventor feels a sense of panic. The Inventor’s exoskeleton was great but damage sustained during the battle was making his machine run slower. The Inventor was thankful the Wizard came to defend him from the Enchantresses spells, without his protection he would be a sitting duck. 


“If only I had thought to add more armor to the backside of the legs,” laments the Inventor.


“No time for ‘if only’, Inventor. We must keep moving forward,” encourages the Wizard as he blasts a line of dwarves heading towards them. The Wizard has been defending the rest of the heroes from the Enchantress’ attacks. She was powerful, but he had enough power to at least deflect or redirect the spell. The Wizard, however, was growing tired and he wasn’t sure how much longer he could keep this up.


The duo continues to move towards regrouping with the others, as the Wizard sees the Enchantress charging a fireball. He follows her gaze, as she quickly flicks it towards the retreating heroes, trying to catch them unawares. The Wizard quickly sends a bolt of energy to deflect the fireball, but realizes the fireball fades quickly as it flies towards the other heroes.


The Wizard turns to see a blast of green energy racing towards him from the Enchantresses staff and braces himself for annihilation. However, the Wizard hears an explosion and feels the floor begin to move. He opens to see that the Inventor had stepped in front of him to take the blast. The exoskeleton lays on the ground smoldering. The surrounding floor begins to crack and tremble, opening up. The Wizard tries to hold his piece of the floor together while also holding the Inventor back from the hole opening up in the crumbling throne room floor.


*BOOM*

 

The Mystic Wave’s barrage collapses the top of the tower, sending it hurtling to the floor below. A large piece of the platform crashes through the floor. The Wizard falters, falling into the hole along with the Inventor...

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