|Picture by Andra-MutantKitty https://www.deviantart.com/andra-mutantkitty/art/Pissed-off-elf-38745450|
Go to the Bard’s village, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. We’re on day 2 and I’ve seen more corpses than a gods damned undertaker. And, gods, the smell. You can smell rotting shit for five miles. No wonder the Bard left.
So there we were before this massive mausoleum. We heard a witch’s horrifying cackle and then the cemetery grounds began to heave and shift around us. Three great mounds of grave dirt, with rotted roots for sinews and broken tombstones like gnashing teeth, arose around us.
The goliath barked out some words to his god in his guttural, brutish tongue, and, oddly, a sheep made of crackling energy answered his call and head-butted one of the grave dirt monsters. Taking up his hammer, the goliath joined his minion, striking at the creature with a wicked crack of thunder. Meanwhile, that handsome elf we met back in the village nocked and fired an arrow at another of the mounds. Watching his nimble fingers play along the bowstring sent a shiver down my spine.
Just then, a bolt of bluish light lanced down toward the Bard from atop the mausoleum, where the witch had been waiting for an ambush. The Bard’s tongue was faster though and, with a quick word of magic, an energy field sprung up around him. The witch’s beam of light washed over the shield and dissipated. With the witch revealed, the big warrior, despite his heavy armor, clamored up the wall of the mausoleum and threw his hammer at the witch. He’s got shit aim though and the hammer sailed way over the dead bitch’s head. The dwarf took up his own hammer then and gave the grave mound next to him a good bash.
The Bard pointed at me with that stick he’s always going on about and I felt a kind of tingle. Then he climbed up the side of the mausoleum next to the big warrior. As I watched him climb up, I realized I was still eye level with him. I looked down and nearly dropped my bow when I saw I was floating twenty feet above the ground. Fucking crazy Bard could have warned me he was gonna do that. Snapping back to reality, I fired a couple arrows at the mound the goliath was beating with his hammer. Then the grave dirt monsters took turns pounding the shit out of the dwarf. Not that he minded, he’s more or less a pile of rock himself. Certainly moves like one at least.
A night fog began to roll in. Towards us. From different directions. With no wind...Not fog! Wraiths! A whole bunch of wraiths surrounding us. Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit!
The goliath struck another blow with his hammer but then doubled over in pain from some kind of rotting magic that stuck with him after being hit by the mounds. I think the same thing happened to the dwarf but I can’t tell. His expression never changes. The dwarf grumbled a prayer and a wave of healing energy spread out from him. It was a good thing too since I had five of those damn wraiths swirling around me, taking swipes. That handsome elf fired some more arrows at one of the mounds while the warrior marched toward the witch and lashed out with his sword. I couldn’t heard the clang of metal though because the Bard called down a spell of silence to blanket the area around the mausoleum. Good thing too, don’t want that dead bitch cackling spells at us all night.
The Bard dodged between a pair of wraiths, drawing his sword as he leapt, and stabbed at the witch. His aim was a little off though since he took a swipe from one of the wraiths on his way. More of the wraiths gathered around him and then he went down. Meanwhile, the warrior and the witch traded blows, the warrior striking with his glowing sword and the witch lashing out with her twisted, skeletal hands. A few of the wraiths streaked past the dwarf, raking him with their ephemeral claws, and then the grave mound engulfed him whole. I fired a couple arrows at the witch but I had to dodge a couple wraiths clawing at me and the shots went wide.
Just then, the goliath roared and a massive boom of thunder echoed through the graveyard directly below me, sending a shock wave through the mass of wraiths and grave mounds all around us. The wraiths, their wispy bodies disrupted by the shock wave, appeared diminished. And one of the grave mounds outright shattered from the force of the thunder.
The witch, hearing the thunder and realizing the Bard’s silence was disrupted, grinned and croaked some arcane words. Gesturing toward the warrior, a bolt of dark energy crackled from her outstretched claw and struck the warrior, causing him to stumble and fall. Meanwhile, a number of wraiths gathered menacingly around the hooded elf as he struck out with his bow.
Then something odd happened. The mound that had engulfed the dwarf shuddered, lurched to a halt, and slumped forward. It then seemed to rise up and, with one earthy hand, punched two holes at its front, side by side, and then made a slash underneath. It looked like…a smiling face? It then turned toward the other mound next to it and, just as it was about to clobber the goliath, the smiling mound tackled it. Slightly confused but taking advantage of the momentary reprieve, the goliath called out a prayer and summoned a wave of healing energy and I saw the Bard and the warrior both stir.
From the ground, the Bard spoke a word of power and there was a loud crack like a whip that engulfed the witch, causing several bones in her skeletal form to crack and sunder. The warrior, jumping to his feet, lashed out with his sword, damaging the witch’s decrepit form even further. Focusing all fire on the witch, I took another couple of shots, striking her in the shoulder and torso. Then the wraiths, shrugging off the disruption from the goliath’s thunder, swarmed again, and the Bard and warrior slumped to the ground once more. The goliath too, though stalwart and formidable, was brought lo by the wraiths.
Sensing victory nearly in her grasp, the witch began an unholy chant that made the hair on the back my neck stand on end. Power gathered around her and the air grew colder as her magic swelled. As her spell began to take form, the elf raced up the smiling mound to gain a vantage, causing his hood to draw back as he did so. As he nocked an arrow, a streak of dawn’s first light fell upon him, lighting his mane of golden hair, long and luxurious down his back, though shorn and cropped close at his brow, and he appeared like some kind of fiery eladrin. As he released the arrow, I couldn’t help but swoon and begin to cream my knickers. The arrow flew straight and true, striking the witch squarely in her jaw just as she was finishing her spell. Her final word of power disrupted, the dark energy swirling around her imploded, shattering her skeletal form into dust. With a nightmarish shriek, we saw her wispy spirit float down into the crypt below.
The wraiths, unbound with the witch’s destruction, dissipated as dawn broke the horizon. The two grappling grave mounds both crumbled and broke asunder. The dwarf, covered in dirt and the dust of shattered tombstones, shook himself loose from the remains of the smiling mound.
We tended our wounds and gathered our strength under the grace and protection of the sun, knowing that with nightfall, we would need to enter the crypt and battle the forces of evil and death once more. For, as the Bard would say, two witches, a coven doth not make. Or some other such useless poetry.