Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Hey y'all! This here story is much, much late. I finished it AT our Dungeons and Dragons night. On another note, there has been a group starting up a futuristic version of the game, with space pirates and aliens rather than dragons and demons. I might create a character for those games, so watch out for Passage of the Planeswalkers: The year 87,032A - or something along those lines...

The sight was curious to behold. Every Planeswalker knew that sorcerers were the ones who could keep the many Gates of Llisseth open, but never had they seen one quite like this fellow. He was standing on one leg, his nose almost brushing the ground as he examined what appeared to be a very ordinary patch of rocks. His other leg was extended, barefoot and his big toe dipped beneath the surface of the gate he was stationed at, effectively keeping it open. Mulch, Tarloch, Rathalohse, Lereahl, Jet-Ulfgar and Mange could only stare in confused silence as one-by-one they stepped past him and into the swirling magic of the portal.

There was an odd feeling to the magic as the companions pushed their way through it. It felt as if they were pushing aside a very large, very heavy door. When they had shaken off the remainder of the buzzing white energy, they looked behind them to actually see one swinging shut.
The room was huge and completely square. There were doors identical to the one they’d just passed through on each wall. Keeping in the theme of the huge room, the furniture was also extremely large. Not just that you could consider the cupboard to be roomy, or the table luxuriously large, but they were too big for the travellers. The furniture was made for giants. On the opposite side of the room, there was cliff-face sized curtain on a rail covering an enormous bed, behind which they could hear a deep rumble. Mange, ever bold, leapt with unusual grace for such a tiny figure carrying a bizarre number of weapons, and landed neatly on the huge bedside table. He grasped some of the heavy cloth of the curtain and pulled it back. There was a slight rustle and the deep rumble stopped. Mange had woken the giant sleeping there. He rose with alarming quickness and Mange leapt back down to join his friends. The giant’s skin was a shade of blue reserved for a cloudless winter sky, and he was dressed in the finest robes they had ever seen upon anyone. He didn’t seem angry as he stared down at the six companions – just a little confused.
“What are you doing in my rooms?” came his deep, booming voice. The others looked around at each other, a little lost for words. Finally Lereahl stepped forward, clearing his throat.
“Uh, well, good question-” He was cut off however by Jet. Up until this point, the dwarf had been entirely consumed in consuming a vast mug of ale he had brought with him. Upon noticing the giant, he stopped drinking, raised his large spiked shield and charged him with a fierce battle cry. It did not matter to Jet that they were negotiating quite nicely, for he had a hatred for giants and instinctively wanted o fight them on sight.
Jet’s charge was impressively massive, enough to send the eighteen-foot creature toppling over onto its back in shock. The giant sat up a little in surprise, but then his expression turned to one of anger. With a quick hand movement, every living thing was suddenly floating in the air. It was the strangest battle they had ever experienced. No one could get close enough to hit the giant, and they were all slowly spinning and rotating in the air like grotesque ballet dancers. Mange was the first to overcome the disadvantage of weightlessness. From his pack, he pulled a large glass bottle filled with what looked like plain drinking water. He pulled the stopper out and dumped it on his own head. The cloak that he wore immediately wrapped itself around the halfling, changing colour and shape until a large manta ray hung majestically in the air. The water had obviously been taken from the ocean, activating the strange abilities of the cloak. In this form, Mange was able to flap slowly through the air and nearer to his target. It was the oddest thing to see tiny, scrawny halfling arms bearing a great flaming sword pop from an invisible fold in the manta ray’s belly and slash wildly at the giant. Mange flapped gently out of the way as the giant roared and withdrew a huge morning star from beneath his robes.
Tarloch was near the back of the group. His dinosaur companion, now taller than a man and generally quite intimidating, was squawking unbecomingly and scrabbling the air as it slowly turned upside down. Tarloch himself was concentrating hard on the giant’s weapon, his hands out and soft, powerful words on his tongue. There was a slight hiss of steam as his spell caused the morning star to heat up, but the giant only flinched and kept a hold of it.
Rath was peppering the creature with as many arrows as he could. It was a big enough target, but firing while floating was majorly disorientating. This was due to the fact that with each release, the force would cause him to do a little back flip in the air.
“I am so not helping you guys!” snapped Lereahl. He glared as an arrow whizzed past him. His arms were folded as he drifted through the air. He had been unamused when Jet had attacked the giant so rudely, and as such, was boycotting the fight.
Tarloch had continued to mutter his heat spell and the morning star had finally grown so got that the giant had released it with a growl. Jet took advantage of this, using the great weapon as a ladder to get close enough to do some damage. He yelled as he launched himself at the giant, crashing into its chest with his deadly shield. Mange backed him up, swooping in on manta ray fins and slicing at the hand reaching for Jet. There was a spurt of blue blood and the giant’s little finger went spinning away.
“No! That was the source of my magic!” cried the giant, watching in dismay as the pinky pirouetted away. Then he seemed to shrink in on himself. The life left his eyes and his skin went taught and gaunt. The magic holding them in the air vanished immediately and they and the giant’s corpse fell crashing to the floor. They picked themselves up slowly. Jet grinned and put a foot up on the fallen giant’s arm, like a hunter with a downed beast, and took a great swig of ale. Lereahl dusted himself off, still staring daggers at the dwarf.

“Whoa... What just happened?” asked Rath. They had just finished collecting all the treasures they’d found hidden in the giant’s room and decided which door to go through next. Upon pushing it open, they had all experienced the same sensation. There seemed to be something like a heat blur separating the two rooms and upon crossing it, they found themselves going slower than things that moved on the other side.
“A time paradox...” whispered Lereahl in awe. “It feels like we’re going slow, but really we’re moving normally. It’s the things on this side that are moving fast to us,” he explained to Mange. The barbarian scratched his head slowly and shrugged. There was a screech that made the six Planeswalkers look up. Swooping down from the distant rafters were five strange, incorporeal creatures. They swirled around the companions, shrieking in airy, high-pitched voices, lunging and slashing at them.
“What are they?” called Mulch, fending off a smaller one.
“Ghosts?” offered Mange, slashing at one. The sword passed through the humanoid-shaped heat blur and seemed to rip a hole in it.
“No! They’re not ghosts! They can be damaged!”
“Air elementals,” grunted Jet, throwing himself onto one of the swirling creatures, buffing it out of existence with his shield.
Rath and Lereahl were steadily emptying their quivers at the creatures. Rath was hitting them dead on, puncturing small holes in whatever membrane held the elementals together. Lereahl however, was frustrated at having not hit one yet.
With a great yell, Jet threw himself at the last air element, crushing it into wisps of fine breeze as he stumbled through it, and landed awkwardly in Tarloch’s arms. The buff, tanned man looked down at the surly dwarf with a look of surprise. Jet just glared at him and got back to his feet.

The next room was filled with noise and machinery. All over the walls were pipes and joins and hissing steam. Levers, bells and valves, whistles, dials and gauges, clock faces, timers and even a cuckoo bird adorned what could only be described as a doomsday machine. The thing took up nearly the entire room and seemed to exude an air of hostility.
“Well,” said Mange.
“Huh,” said Rath.
“Oooh!” said Mulch and ran forwards to pull a lever. The others rushed after the pants-less gnome, all yelling at her to stop. But they were too late. The lever was pulled and suddenly the room was full of angry green laser beams. The group cried as they leapt to avoid them.
Angry and slightly smoking, they converged on the gnome.
“What do you think you’re doing?” yelled Lereahl.
“The lever was shiny – I had to try it,” mumbled Mulch.
Lereahl sighed in exasperation. Behind him, Rathalohse was reaching for a valve. There was a strange look of apprehension and wild excitement on his face. He had been a bit like this ever since the Italian Hobo Incident. The resulting fiddling gained him a fireball to the face.
Lereahl had to drag the two meddlers away from the machine.
“Stop playing with it! Haven’t you figured out that it’s dangerous yet?”
His words were drowned out however as Tarloch accidentally brushed a strange brass button. The machine around them began clanking horribly, groaning and straining gears. Lereahl stared at in horror. All of a sudden, there was a huge clang behind them. They whipped around to see that from a large pipe above, a literal ton of gold bricks had fallen. There was absolute silence from the group.
“Let me push that button!” yelled Rathalohse, leaping forwards. He punched the brass button, looking expectantly at the pipe above. Instead, a large blast of fire came billowing out from a nearby spout, singing him again. He stumbled away, embarrassed and coughing ash. Jet was the one to increase the gold pile when he accidentally leant on a blue lever while taking a sip of ale a few seconds later. The clanking and groaning of the machinery produced another, identical pile of gold right beside the first, rendering them all even more speechless.
“Okay people. That is a lot of gold. I think it’s only fair that we should split it evenly among the group. We’ve always done this and I think we should continue,” said Mange. The tiny barbarian’s words were slow and you could see the greed in his eyes.
“No way!” roared Jet, stumbling forwards toward the pile of gold he’d caused. “This is all mine! I braved this ridiculous, menacing slot machine! You want some gold, then push your own buttons halfling!”
Mange glared at the dwarf and raised his sword.
“I’m taking my gold,” he said menacingly.
“Come and get it,” snarled Jet with a smile. The tiny barbarian leapt at the dwarf.
Mulch looked at the two fighters, terrified. In the blink of an eye, she had disappeared between the cogs and pipeworks, hoping that she would be protected in there from the vicious duel. Tarloch, however, looked from the fighters, to the gold, back to the fighters and then to the gold again. His mind made up, he reached over to the nearest part of the doomsday machine and began wrenching bits and pieces off. Cogs and scraps of metal were soon turned into a small cart, into which Tarloch loaded all the gold and ran off with. Lereahl, Rath and the dinosaur followed.
Mange swung and missed. His eyes grew wide as his fiery blade merely skimmed the dwarf’s armour. Jet seized the advantage and smashed the halfling with his shield. Mange screamed as he swung again, dancing around behind the dwarf, but Jet was so stocky and so covered with armour that the blade merely clanged off again. Jet wheeled around, his spiked shield crashing down again and again and the barbarian was knocked to the ground, panting. Mange lifted himself onto his elbows, looking dazed. Jet stood over him, breathing heavily, but smiling beneath his bushy red beard.
“’Twas a good fight,” he said gruffly.
Mange sighed but agreed and let the dwarf help him up. Amazingly, the fight had cooled both their tempers.
“We’ll think of some fair way to split the gold up, don’t worry,” Jet said. Mange grinned.

They caught up with the others in the next room. There was a strange paradox in this room too. As soon as Jet and Mange stepped through the doorway, they found themselves falling towards the ceiling. They grunted and stood up, reorientating themselves to the new gravity. They were all now standing on the ceiling as if it were the floor. All except for Tarloch, who was staring up at them from above – or was it below?
“Why are you still up there?” Jet called.
“Strange effect of being druid. Tarloch is not affected by some things,” he said, shrugging. The doomsday cart, its gold and his dinosaur companion had followed the others, making him look a little disgruntled at being left all alone on the ceiling. They had not much time to contemplate this strange turn of events for they were soon set upon by three of the biggest, strangest looking birds they had ever seen. They were seven feet tall, flightless and each had two long, scaly pairs of legs. Their beaks were long and full of sharp teeth and their oily feathers were murky shades of brown and deep, blood red.
“Achaierai!” called Tarcloch in fear.  They drew their weapons immediately. Not much scared the druid, but if he seemed frightened by these odd birds, then so should they be.
Mange was the first to attack, but failed miserably after tripping over a gold bar. He fell to the ground, a little distracted by the shiny yellow ingots.
Jet whacked one of the creepy birds, sending it stumbling backwards. He smashed it again and black tar-like blood and feathers went flying everywhere.
Tarloch meanwhile was now slowly floating down from the ceiling. His dinosaur companion was calling worriedly up to him in between nipping at the achaierai, and as such was not doing very well.
Mange had got back on his feet and was now dealing the birds swathes of damage. One of them attacked Jet savagely, but he happily turned and mashed it into a pulp.
When the battle was done, the six companions turned and surveyed their surroundings. They seemed to be in the middle of a very large, ornate public garden that strangely, was completely dead. There was not a green twig or a blooming flower anywhere. They all agreed to take a break to clean the horrid black achaierai blood off in the public bathroom visible through the bare tree branches.

Tarloch’s dinosaur was now pulling the enormous cart full of gold. Rathalohse was sitting on the top of the mound, grinning like an idiot. It wasn’t cheese, but it still made him ridiculously happy. The cart also now held two enormous golden dragon statues. They had found them in the dead garden and pulled them from their plinths.
Pushing the next great door aside, they were faced with a dark, misty room. There were pipes on the walls, giving the place the appearance of an old warehouse. In the middle of the room prowled two huge bulls that looked to be made completely of metal.
Tarloch’s dinosaur, now very happy that his master was on the correct side of the room, leapt forward to attack the beasts. Fiery venom spewed from his jaws, showering the charging bulls. It was not very effective.
Jet was next, running at the nearest charging bull, his shield held low and sturdy. There was a resounding clang as the two collided. Jet’s strength and leverage was greater and the metal bull was turned on its side. Jet leap on top of the creature, grinning victoriously. His expression changed though as the bulls roared, releasing a cloud of acrid green gas from their hollow forms. The gas spread eerily through the room and there was a moment of stillness. Jet, still atop the bull he had downed, made a strange, strangled noise as tendrils of stone began rapidly creeping up his limbs. Before they knew it, he, Torlach’s dinosaur and Rath, who was still sitting in the gold cart, had turned entirely to stone.
The others retaliated with fury. Torlach tried to hit the creatures, but was too distressed by the death of his dinosaur friend to shoot straight. Mulch executed an incredibly sneaky attack and arrows pierced the metal bulls with deadly accuracy until finally, the two great metal beasts lay dead, leaking wisps of that horrid green gas. The companions sheathed their weapons and looked dismally at their petrified friends.
“What are we going to do about them?” asked Lereahl.
Torlach stretched his fingers. He was feeling a bit more powerful after fighting these
“Torlach might be able to undo it, but not sure how much energy he has,” the druid said slowly. He raised his hands first to his beloved dinosaur and concentrated hard. The magic trickled slowly over the stony hide, returning life and colour to the reptile. It leapt happily at its master, who smiled broadly. Torlach then turned to the other two statues, and tried to work the magic again. Colour curled over the stunned looking ranger and he sat up, alive and alarmed.
“What happened?” he asked, looking in confusion at the two dead bulls. “How did we win so quickly? All I remember is that gas…”He trailed off as he saw the rest of the group levering the stone statue of Jet into the cart with him.
“Oooh…” he said, understanding.
“Torlach is sorry. He has not enough magic for gruff, red-bearded one,” said the druid, collapsing next to his dinosaur, who licked him supportively.
“Don’t worry. I’m sure we can find a sorcerer in Planeswalker City to un-stone him. He’s a tough dude. He’ll pull through it,” said Mulch, patting the stone. The others nodded and began preparations to teleport back to the city. Rath, who was still in the cart, looked thoughtfully at the petrified dwarf and wondered where he could find a chisel…

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