A Desperate Manuever

The last time we saw our whiskered warriors, they had found the throne room where the Time Changer was kept. Unfortunately, the Enchantress, Predator, and the Witch Doctor got their hands on the Time Changer first. The Enchantress smashed the ancient relic, harvesting the center crystal to power her scepter. She then deeply enchants and empowers the Witch Doctor. She also destroys the crystals on the walls, revealed to be magic locks preventing the resurrection of the most loyal dwarven warrior laid to rest behind the walls. With the Witch Doctor now in command of an elite dwarven army and the Enchantress’ scepter powered by a powerful ancient relic, our heroes are surrounded, out-numbered, and over-powered. But they are not alone…


……………………………………………………………………………………………


The Enchantress’ head snaps to the source of the remark and there stands the Hero, his foot on the banister, twin swords in hand, grinning from ear-to-ear. Behind him the Inventor looms in his exoskeleton, the Scribe had his short swords drawn, the Barkeep was slipping on his brass knuckles. The Distiller stood to the side, flexing a walking stick between his hands. The Enchantress nods at the Witch Doctor who bellows a savage hollow howl, his undead army answering with a howl of their own as they began to charge.


The Hero, the Barkeep, and the Inventor leap off the walk into the fray below, followed by the Distiller and the Scribe. The Inventor uses his torch attachment to clear out a place for the groups to land, and as soon as their feet hit the floor they begin to fight their way towards the other heroes. 


Captain Crimson, the Marksman, the Wizard, Dr. Wolf, and the Gunslinger tighten their circle, closing in back to back. The Marksman quickly changes out an arrow from his already-loaded crossbow as the horde of undead dwarves descend upon them.


“I hope you have something special in there,” mutters Captain Crimson.


“We’ll see,” replies the Marksman.


A lightly-armored dwarf, much faster than the others and advancing rapidly towards the circled heroes, catches the first arrow right between the eyes. The Marksman turns and fires the second arrow at a congregation of undead dwarves standing between them and the charging heroes. The arrow strikes a large, hammer-wielding dwarf and explodes, knocking down several nearby dwarves, throwing shrapnel and viscera in all directions. All that remains of the dwarf is his smoking boots.


The Inventor seeing his opportunity to rendezvous with the other heroes pushes forward, torching a path through the undead dwarves. A single ax-wielding dwarf rushes the Inventor but gets blasted away from the Inventor’s pneumatic hammer attachment. The Hero and Scribe protect the flank of the mechanical exoskeleton slicing dwarves brave enough to try and close in. The Distiller and Barkeep have climbed onto the mech’s back. The Distiller is swinging his walking stick and the Barkeeping his fist, knocking any dwarves that climb up on mech off.

The Enchantress sees this and begins to cast a destructive spell. The Wizard sees the gathering energy and realizes what he must do. He fires a quick energy burst at the Enchantress, drawing her attention and her ire.


The Gunslinger picks 10 of the oncoming dwarves and drops them all with his rifle, working the lever at lightning speed. All the charging dwarves fall simultaneously. He then switches to his pistols, dropping dwarf after dwarf with an individual shot. He realizes, however, that he lacks the final bullet needed to gun down another incoming dwarf. The Gunslinger quickly tries to reload but the broadsword-wielding dwarf is closing fast. The dwarf raises his sword and the Gunslinger begins to wonder if he will be able to load the bullet before that sword crashes down on his hat. And after his hat, his head.


*CLANG*

*SLLLLLKKK*


A single saber parries the broadsword followed almost simultaneously by the sound of a sword cutting through the fleshy neck of the dwarf. The Hero stands over the fallen dwarf, then looks back at the Gunslinger with a look that clearly says, “You’re welcome.”


“It’s good to see yer still kicking. Great to have you back,” laughs the Gunslinger as he reloads his pistols and rifle. He racks the lever on his rifle and is off again. The Hero looks over and sees Dr. Wolf engaged with an undead dwarven swordsman. Dr. Wolf almost seems to be toying with the swordsman but soon grows weary of the exercise. He blocks an outside slash by the dwarf and then pairs a quick and graceful slash across the chest with a heavy back-handed strike, decapitating the dwarf.


“I need to get some lessons from him sometime,” says the Hero, marveling at the grace and lethality of Dr. Wolf’s form before rejoining the fray.


While the rest of the heroes may be holding their own, the Wizard realizes he is in a losing battle. His magical attacks are but mere annoyances to the Enchantress, while deflecting her offensive spells takes everything the Wizard has. 


The Enchantress is impressed with the Wizard’s resolve, but then looking around realizes what the Wizard’s play is. The piles of fallen dwarves are growing exponentially as the heroes prove to be a valiant force indeed. While the Enchantress has been invested in the one-on-one magical duel with the Wizard, the heroes have been decimating her forces.


“Clever,” purrs the Enchantress as she turns and fires a bolt of energy at an unsuspecting Marksman. The Wizard sees her attention turn and is able to intercept her attack with an energy bolt of her own. 


Captain Crimson sees this and, taking into account the still formidable horde, realizes that the Wizard and the rest of this fellowship will not be able to hold out for long. Then he notices the ceiling and the tower built into it. He makes his way to the Marksman, cutting a path through incoming dwarves with his massive pirate blade.


“Marksman!” calls Captain Crimson. The Marksman sees Crimson and begins to fight his way over to him. When the two meet, they go back to back, able to talk while repelling the onslaught of undead warriors.


“Marksman, we cannot hold out forever and these dwarves just keep coming. Even if we defeat them, the Enchantress is too powerful. We can’t let her leave this place,” begins Crimson.


The Marksman considers this. “So you have a plan?” he replies.


“Of course,” says Crimson as he hands the Marksman what looks like a half-stick of dynamite.


“Use this to signal the ship to fire on the tower, it can collapse the ceiling and bury the Enchantress here,” explains Captain Crimson.


“How will we escape?” asks the Marksman incredulously. 


“I’ll start cutting an escape route, you just get off that tower and get off of it fast. Now GO!” yells Captain Crimson.


The Marksman takes a hard look, chooses a path, and raises his crossbow...

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