Three Days Before Last Post
Rayna and her good friend Rheon had been sent on an ambassadors mission to Rockneck Camp, a place where dozens and dozens of criminals of all kinds gathered in one place to discuss plans that they very carefully kept a secret. Hundreds of hide tents dotted the nearby landscape. Fur-clad men and women, elves, orcs, and humans alike all had come to the camp to seek refuge from the law.
Rayna's goal here today was to 'ask' the bandits to go their seperate ways; the Empire had become increasingly worried about the amount of activity in the recent months. Almost as though they were planning something. Rayna and Rheon both knew this would most likely end in conflict: bandits were not paticularly known for their skills in espionage, and so they both had come prepared to unleash their magicks upon the horde of criminals if need be.
Rayna approached the tall, muscular, elven man who appeared to be in charge of the horde. Bonfires burnt around them.
Rockneck Camp was situated far in the East, near the city of Tyhme, populating a large grassy plain that used to be inhabited by wildlife of all kinds before the bandits came along and constructed a massive war camp there.
The tall man glared at them, his pointed ears sharp and attentive, his eyes travelling to the circular symbol of the Empire on their robes. Rayna’s hands unconsciously began to hum with magical energy. The man chuckled.
‘Servants of the Empire, eh?’ remarked the chieftain. ‘You’re the third load of them this week. The others haven’t come back, have they, girl?’ laughed the man. His face was half concealed by a heavy, brown beard and massive eyebrows. His cheeks were decorated with long, jagged scars, and his skin was covered in dirt and wounds.
‘No, they have not. We simply assumed they had been unsuccessful and simply had decided to stay longer in order to talk to you about the situation. But…’
‘What have you done with them?’ asked Rheon, his elderly voice low and soothing. His long, silver robes which were decorated with elegant purple swirls swirled around his ankles, and he gripped his great oak staff with his crippled hands. ‘We do not want this to come to a fight. In the name of King Umfrey, you must leave this place along with your horde. At once.’
‘We have no intention of leaving,’ said the chieftain slowly, as though carefully considering his next words. ‘You are mages, aren’t you? Powerful ones, at that, I can tell by your robes. Your battlemages. Sent by the Empire to…’
Rayna shook her head quickly, realising that the big man was thinking. ‘No, no, nothing like that. We battlemages may be trained in the arts of combat, but we do not go out of our way to cause conflict. We merely want you to return the other ambassadors and to pack away your belongings and leave. Travel north. The king commands it.’
‘The king has no power over me,’ laughed the chieftain. He began to back away slowly, and then he grabbed a metre-long battle-axe that was propped up against a nearby tent. ‘MEN!’ he roared, his voice loud and booming. ‘To arms, to arms! The Empire wants us dead. We will fight back! They will never take us down!’
All around Rayna and Rheon, bandits were roaring and dropping food from their filthy hands and picking up weapons instead. The two battlemages readied their staves.
‘I had hoped it wouldn’t come to this,’ said Rheon, his voice barely more than a whisper. And with those words, Rheon’s staff swirled in his hands, blue bolts of lightning shooting from it and hitting into the surrounding bandits, who dropped to the ground, twitching, and then going still.
Rayna gasped, and fired a magenta orb of magical power from her hand into one of the dead bandits. The bandit stood up, his eyes glowing white. He readied his sword, which has fallen when he had died, and took up arms against his old allies.
Rayna continued to resurrect the fallen, while Rheon made sure there were more than enough corpses to choose from. However, the horde began to close in, roaring with rage, and Rayna ran right up to Rheon and held tightly onto his arm.
‘Rheon, we’re going to die!’ she screamed, blasting a gout of flame from her staff into the crowd of bandits, lighting a few on fire, causing them to scream with agony and roll upon the burnt grass.
‘Calm, young one. I could wipe them all out in a second if I wanted to. It would just waste my energy. I would rather save some power so I can teleport us home,’ said Rheon, waving his free hand at a bandit, who’s head promptly exploded into a hundred small, fleshy pieces.
‘DO IT!’ shrieked Rayna. ‘I’ve got enough to get us home. DO IT NOW!’
Rheon sighed as the horde inched closer. Very well. Hold on to my arm.’
The horde screamed with rage and charged towards the two battlemages. Rayna began to cry and clung onto Rheon’s thin arm. Rheon raised his staff, and brought it to the ground with force.
There was an ear-splitting bang, and a shockwave of pure magical power emitted from the bottom of Rheon’s stave. The shockwave travelled outwards in a circle, reducing every bandit it touched to a pile of flesh and bones. Rayna began to laugh feebly through her tears of terror as the shockwave travelled outwards further, destroying all in its path. After a few seconds, every bandit was dead, staining the ground crimson. All the tents had been violently torn down by the magic, and almost everything was on fire.
‘Take us home, Rayna,’ moaned Rheon, who was kneeling over a pile of skin, retching and wheezing from the effort the spell had taken. Rayna nodded. She grabbed Rheon by the back of his robe, and with a crack the two of them vanished on the spot.