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Posted by on 1997 Dec 9 |

I Stand Alone To Defend the Crossing

(Crossing, Zoluren: Moliko 352)

I couldn’t help from overhearing the tale of the recent attack on the Crossing by the young gentlemen in the corner. Though his story is accurate, it leaves out the details of what occurred. Therefore, I feel obligated to tell my tale to those that will listen.
The Crossing NE gate seemed to be the target of many malicious groups a couple nights back. In not more than one day the gate had been assaulted by a group of Dragon Priests, a group of Cyclops and Giants, and a group on which this tale will focus. But first, I must set the stage for you. So lets go back to the end of the Giant invasion.
I was sitting in TGSE conversing with many of my friends when I heard the cry from the NE gate that it was yet again under assault. I quickly located the person that had gwethed this warning as I have run to the seen of too many cries for help to find nothing more than a few roots left by a hapless forager. In this case, the cries were true. I told my comrades on TGSE that the cries for help were true and immediately ran to the Gate.
I arrived to see a One-Eyed Giant and Gelv Cyclops just inside the Crossing. They Had Broken Through Our Defenses! Whether it be my life or not, they shall go no further I cried. I immediately cast two spells which lulled the creatures into a slumber like state. As I expected, the sword wielders advanced, the bowman strung their bows, and I reached into my pack to grab my spear. The cyclops fell quickly, but the Giant seemed to continue sleeping no matter how many times we punctured it. It deserved to die simply for the awful noise it made while it snored. Finally, and I wish I could claim it was skill but I must admit it was luck, I dealt the death blow when my spear scratched his hand in the slightest way. How the death blow can be such an insignificant wound I shall never know, but I must assume it was virtually dead before hand.
A little embarassed, I received many congratulations as I searched the kill and gathered up the bounty. I shared many of the boxes (as there were ten boxes in a bag the creature held) with the others in the vicinity and kept the loincloth for myself (after it was returned by an honest youngin that had picked it up to keep it from harm).
I returned to the TGSE to revisit when my friends. As I was walking there, I noticed a distinct lack of activity within the Crossing. It began to dawn on me that there were far fewer people in the Crossing that I had seen in a very long time. As I asked a passerby why this might be, I was informed that one of the "portals" by which many people enter the Crossing had been shut for a mysterious reason.
As I reached TGSE, I found it to be empty and all of my friends had left (by choice or due to this "portal" thing I could not tell). As I tried to determine what to do next, I heard a cry for help over the gweth. This time it was not an invasion, but a group of adventurers that had lost many of their companions to this "portal" and were in mortal danger in Guardians. The last of the more heavily trained people in the crossing immediately made their way to Guardians to give assistance. I remained in TGSE to open a Moongate so that the rescuers could escape and not need to be rescued themselves.
I was waiting for my assistance to be of need when I heard the strangled death cry for help from the NE Gate. It appeared that it was under attack again.
Knowing that I was one of the last defenders in the Crossing that was not in Guardians, I ran to the NE Gate to give any assistance that I could. Thankfully, they had not broken through the Gates but were just outside. I did not hesitate when I saw that it was a Darvenger. I immediately put it to sleep as I had seen the effects of their lightning bolts in the past.
I looked about and saw about 8-10 people sitting outside the NE Gate. I expected to see the events of earlier that evening reoccur. I waited for the bow strings to be strung, the swords to be swung, and grabbed my spear to do whatever I could. As I readied for the battle, I looked about and saw that the other 8-10 people had been hypnotized or in another way enchanted. They continued to forage for herbs and widdle new longbows as the Darvenger slept next to them like a dog in front of a fireplace. I was truly confused but threw my spear none the less. I am not as skilled in the Spear as many other are as I took it up as a hobby at the last festival merely to win a pin. Therefore, my spear bounced off the tough exoskeleton of the Darvenger without the least of a wound.
This scene continued for about 5 minutes until I ran out of Mana. I could not hold the creature asleep any longer. It awoke and appeared very irriated. It began to kill those foragers and widdlers one by one and I was helpless to stop it. I cried out on the Gweth for help, but the Rescuers in Guardians said they would not arrive for at least 10 minutes. I ran to the WM guild in hopes that others might come to the aid of these strangely enchanted people before they all fell victim to one Darvenger.
As I approached the War Mage Guild my heart sunk. Outside the War Mage guild were two more Darvengers and a "Dwarf-like Creature." They were already advancing on the 6 to 8 War Mages that stood outside their guild. Now, I am not a War Mage, but many of my friends are and I realize that few creatures can stand up to a fully trained War Mage. I chuckled that a mere three creatures would attempt to take on so many of our skilled practictioners. Slowly the creatures advanced on the War Mages and I sat back to watch the Lightning and Fireballs consume them. As the first person fell to the Dwarf-like creature I realized that something was terribly wrong. The war mages did not prepare their arcane incantations, but rather continued to focus on the runes that were in their hands. Did they think these simple magic toys were going to stop creatures like this?
I once again yelled for assistance on the gweth and was told that the reinforcements were mere moments away. I used the last of my mana to put the Dwarf-like Creature to sleep but was forced to flee as the two Darvengers began to focus on the only prey that seemed willing to put up a fight.
Knowing that I could no longer take on this many creatures on my own (see commentary at the bottom), I prayed to Damaris that the Rescuers would arrive soon. I felt the death screams of the remaining war mages and felt powerless to help.
Just then a few of the rescuers arrived. Praise Damaris! There were now about five of us and our confidence was bolstered by the presence of recognizing the prowess that each of us possessed. We decided to try and save the few that remained at the War Mage Guild as all were now dead at the NE Gate.
We strode before the guild and found that we were too late. The Dwarf-like creature and the Darvengers had already killed all that were present. They looked at us and thought they had found some more easy prey. The moons had blessed me and I was back at full strength. I immediately put the creatures all to sleep to prevent any stray lightning bolts from frying any of us. I believe it was Kobril (though it my have been Kupoko as I always get these two confused) was the true sword arm of the day. As I held the creatures vulnerable, he let fly blows that a bard should have witnessed to include in a song.
One by one our group slew the vile creatures. We then walked to the NE gate and killed any more of them that we encountered. As the last of the invaders died, it was as if the magic on the dead bodies had been lifted. We could hear their spirits crying for help and asking what had happened. Some of the dead spirits in their delirium even accused the rescuers of having been the ones that slayed them.
Despite this ingratitude, we tried to aid the deaders as best we could. Realizing that my skills were of little help with the dead, I ran to the Academy to see if my father Jorim was still trying to locate the Shadow Clan as has become his obsession. Sure enough, he was there studying a book and unaware of what had occured (his gweth was lost to the volcano recently). I asked him to come help the dead. He did so with almost a religious vigor that is true of most honorable paladins.
I know little of what happened after this, but other told me that Jorim put the Glyph of Warding around not less than 15 dead that were outside the gate. Tomale, the cleric, tried to rejuvinate as he could, but there were just too many dead. Many of the dead were so tired of their spirits existing in the void that they thanks Jorim for his assistance and immediately departed.
Though tragic, this was the most adrenaline that I have felt in the Crossing in a long time. Although I could not save the people, I was able to keep the creatures outside the gates until help arrived. I count this as a victory for the Crossing, however small.
by my Mind and Hand
Joshuah, Son of Jorim and Esibo
As a personal note, it was very difficult for my soul to watch so many die before me knowing that only one month before I could have easily dispatched all the creatures on my own.
I don’t know what I did to the Moons to lose their blessing, but my offensive spells such as Burn no longer carry the same death wielding power that they once did. I have encountered Darvengers before and dispatched them simply by focusing the eye of the one of the Blessed Moons on them. Now, they moons no longer here my call and I cannot dispatch even the most simple goblin if I use all of my power and learning.
Sweet Beautiful Moons. I do not know what I have done for you to Forsake me, but your most humblest servant throws himself before you and asked that you once again hear his calls.