[Vfw-times] MK Winter assault part 37

COkane8116 at aol.com COkane8116 at aol.com
Sun Sep 30 22:23:15 CDT 2001

 Sorry for the delay but my computer completely crashed and I'm presently 
using another computer till mine is fixed. But I did save ALL my texts. So WA 
is safe! Thank God my read/write CD drive failed last!


   Here is an exciting part. Enjoy!


   Daria took one last look around the corner and pulled her head back. 
Nothing had changed since the last time she had seen them. A wooden door 
stood in the center of a large room. Behind that door was the anteroom to the 

   In front of that door a score of lutins were standing, eating or gambling. 
 Daria noticed four dire wolves lounging in a corner. Sitting amidst the 
lutins was a short lutin dressed in finely made, red robes. He was holding a 
large staff in one hand and a dagger in the other. That lutin was a shaman, 
the staff was a sure marker.

   Standing off to one side separate from the lutins were six humans, all 
male and dressed in armor. A tough looking bunch of rogues they were talking 
to each other and trying to ignore the lutins.

   Daria looked down the corridor, the members of her team were waiting 
there. Jessica stood next to her, nervously preening her feathers. Behind her 
Garulf stood calmly waiting. Morel was next to the bear, seated on the floor 
with his back to the wall, eyes closed. Both were old soldiers and it took a 
lot to phase them. Brenner poked Morel with a paw to wake him up. The soldier 
stood up and soundlessly stretched his limbs.

   The girl looked at her team one last time to be sure they were ready. 
Everyone was ready, they had gone over what was going to happen in great 
detail. Misha and his people were waiting down the hall, waiting for the sign 
to begin the attack. That sign was when Daria used her key to block that 
wooden door. Once that was blocked, the killing would start. That thought 
startled the girl. She looked at the gold key. Until now it had never 
occurred to her that she didn't know how the key worked. Did it contact Kyia 
directly and she did what was needed? Or maybe it worked the magic by itself, 
without Kyia having to interfere.

   Suddenly the sound of stone grinding and sliding came from around the 
corner interrupting her musing. "What happened to the door? It just 
vanished," came a concerned voice from around the corner.

   Jessica brushed past Daria and stood in full view of everyone. The bird 
spread both wings out and shrieked loudly, "TI FU LANITAW." And the she 
brought her wings together. A cold blast of air suddenly swept down the 
corridor and a from the tips of the hawks wings razor sharp icicles shot 
straight into the waiting lutins.

   Bradfox stepped next to the hawk with his bow in hand and loosed an arrow 
into the enemy. The shrieks and shouts of dying lutins came to Daria 
intermingled with the thumps of arrows, javelins and axes sinking into flesh.

   In a moment David joined the woman and the bird, his arms moving with a 
blinding speed as he threw knives into the fray. Daria joined her teammates 
in the open corridor. The scene that greeted her was pure chaos.

   A cold frost covered the floor and walls. A quick glance showed her the 
still ice covered form of the shaman and many lutins and wolves. Humans, 
wolves and lutins were screaming, and tripping over each other as a hail of 
arrows, and spears ripped through their ranks. Five lutins led by a short 
human charged straight at Daria and her team. Without thinking she brought up 
her own bow and put two arrows into the man's face. He crumbled to the 
ground, but the lutins kept coming at her.

   Suddenly Garulf pushed past her his axe held low to the ground. The bear 
swung his weapon in a great upward arc and two of the lutins were cut down. 
The keepers as a group rushed forward right into the midst of the lutins. 
Swept up with them was the woman who was their leader.

   A horrible, confused melee broke out in the hallway as keeper and 
attackers fought each other. Somehow she dropped her bow and drew her rapier. 
She saw Morel fighting three lutins at once, cutting the arm off of one in an 
instant. Nearby Brenner drove his spear deep into a mans chest pinning him to 
the wall. A lutin rushed the tomcat who let go of his spear and lashed out 
with his claws shredding the monsters face. There was the panda named Kershaw 
slamming his heavy mace down on a lutin. The creatures head exploded on a 
spray of blood and gore that covered everyone. She caught a flash of Jotham 
as he drove two daggers into a lutins throat. Daria lost all sense of what 
was happening and concentrated on just staying alive. She parried a blow from 
a lutin and stuck her blade into the green creatures stomach and it fell to 
the floor. Starling swooped down out of the shadows above and sprayed a lutin 
straight in the face with a blast of flame. The creature was fully engulfed 
in a moment and ran screaming down a hall. He made it only a few paces before 
an arrow put him out of his torment and his burning corpse fell to the 
pavement. The flames adding a ghastly light to the battle.

   Someone shouted Daria's name and she looked up in time to see a huge wolf 
coming straight at her intent on killing her. As it leaped she saw the long 
dagger-like teeth that would rip out her throat. Without thinking she brought 
her blade up and the point went deep into the creatures chest. Daria 
staggered backward as the huge animal fell to the ground at her feet, dead.

   She stared at the great beasts still body as a pool of blood started to 
form underneath it. That such a huge creature could die so quickly was a 
surprise to her.
   "Check to make sure they're all dead," a loud voice said startling her 
back to reality.

   David came up to her and touched her on the shoulder. "Are you all right?" 
he asked in a voice filled with concern. All she could do was nod.

   Misha came up to her his great axe in both hands its blades had a crimson 
gleam to them from the fresh blood. The vulpine looked at the still corpse of 
the dire wolf. Then he bent down and pulled out Daria's blade which was 
lodged in the monsters chest. He wiped the blood off the blade onto the 
animals fur and handed it to Daria. Numbly she took it and sheathed the blade.

   "Nice kill," Misha said calmly. "Neatly done."

   The woman couldn't answer at first but finally stammered, "Thank you."

   Next to her Brenner and Finbar were checking the dead. "Now Brenner, 
always be sure to stab every dead body just to be sure they're actually dead 
and not pretending," the ferret said. "Never assume an enemy is dead until 
you've checked him."

   The cat nodded and pushed his spear into a dead lutins stomach. "This one 
is dead."

   The ferret nodded and then turned to Misha. "All dead." 

   "Now comes the second part," Misha explained. "Clear the dead away from 
the doorway and prepare for the ambush."

    Daria watched as the Keepers calmly dragged the bodies of the dead away 
from the area in front of the doorway. She saw Kershaw drag the corpse of a 
tall human by the feet. She wondered who the body had once been. Was he 
married? Did he have a wife and children? She tried to look at his face but 
what had been his head was just a bloody mess. As the panda pulled the body 
past her Finbar calmly walked up and casually dropped something onto it. It 
was a bloody lump about the size of a mans hand. With a shiver of horror she 
realized it was part of the dead mans head. The ferret turned and walked off. 
Kershaw never broken his stride, but kept on pulling paying not the slightest 
notice to the addition to his burden. It was all done so casually. Like it 
was merely a sack of grain he was pulling.

  Daria sagged against the wall as she felt the bile rise in her throat. 
Horror, pain and disgust raged through her mind as she fought to keep from 
throwing up.

   "Don't fold on me now Daria. You can be sick later, we've got too much to 
do right now," the fox said sternly.

   "I'll be fine. I've just never fought a dire wolf before," she said.

   Misha placed a bloody paw on her shoulder and stared into her face. She 
found herself looking into his eyes. She found them full of warmth and 
concern. "This was your first battle?" her asked softly almost like a parent 
talking to a child.

   She nodded. "I've been in a few skirmishes with lutins, but I've never 
fought humans except in training. And I've never even seen a dire wolf."

   "You did good, girl, very good. Not many people kill a dire wolf."

   "Thank you. He just seemed to jump onto the point."
   "Nonsense," Misha countered. "He jumped onto the point because you held it 
correctly." He slapped her on the back. "Well, now you're a full blooded 
warrior and a leader. Now we need to get ready for the second part. When I 
give the word you're to drop the stone blocking the door and open it."

   Cheered by the encouragement the fox had given her Daria stood a little 
straighter and smiled. Gone was the fear and pain. She looked to where the 
door to the armory had been, it was gone. There was just a blank wall where a 
few minutes before a large wooden door had been. The key had worked. She 
looked around her and saw the others dragging the dead bodies out of sight. 
In a few short moments the only signs of the quick and brutal deaths of some 
forty living beings was gone except for a few blood stains.

   "We'll open the doorway into the armory and then give a shout of alarm," 
Misha ordered. "That will bring anyone inside running out to help. When that 
does we hold our shooting till we have a large group standing in the open and 
them we'll cut them down with missiles. Anyone left we can finish off with 

   "Sounds good to me," Bradfox said.

  It took a few moments to arraign everything. The keepers returned to their 
initial hiding places and waited for the door to reappear. Daria found 
herself again at the corner peering around. This time she was ready. She had 
retrieved her bow and nocked an arrow. "Kyia put the door back please and 
open it," she said out loud.

   The door just seemed to blink into existence, one moment it wasn't there 
and the next it was. The door opened, there was a loud shout and a score 
lutins poured through into the hallway. With weapons ready they looked around 
in bewilderment for their comrades. 

   "NOW!" Daria shouted and loosed and arrow that sank into a lutins chest. 
In a moment all the keepers were shootings. Spears, axes, arrows and daggers 
filled the air.

   The lutins panicked. Scattering in all directions trying to escape the 
deadly hail but there was nowhere to escape to. Daria watched with cold 
detachment as the missiles ripped through their ranks.

   It was all over in moments. As quickly as it had started the fight ended. 
Dead lutins lay scattered on the floor, some still writhing in their death 
throws. There was a loud bang as the door to the armory closed again.

   Stepping over the dead, the Keepers converged on the armory entrance door. 
Brenner tried the handle but the door didn't open. "It's locked."

   "I can open it," David said. The tall ant came forward and stood next to 
the door. He held up a slender metallic rod. After a slow breath a glimmering 
pin prick of light appeared at its tip. Taking this he drew a complex design 
on the hard wood above the lock. Next he felt along the edge of the door, 
pressing against it at several points. It would give a little to his strength 
when he pressed. Near the top, one press didn't move the door at all. After 
another deep breath he traced a sigil there as well.

   "Everyone please step back." The ant took a position against the wall next 
to the door as the others moved away from it. Daria heard the insect mutter 
something under his breath and the mark next to the lock glowed brightly 
before a small gout of flame spewed from the keyhole, followed by the 
sizzling splat of superheated metal. Again the ant muttered something, this 
time the rune at the top glowed and there came a grinding snap as the hidden 
bolt was drawn as if by some phantasmal hand.

   The insect stepped in front of the door and kicked it open. He dropped 
suddenly and rolled to the side as a pair of arrows flew out passed his head.

   "It seems someone still feels like fighting," Garulf commented.

   Bradfox leaned into the doorway and loosed two arrows in quick succession, 
then ducked back as an arrow narrowly missed his head. From inside the room 
came a gurgling noise. "Not anymore," was the dry comment.
   "I'll go first through the door, followed by Jotham and Kershaw," Misha 
ordered. "Finbar, Georgette you guard the door." Misha was about to step 
forward when the insect placed his hand on the Fox's shoulder. "How large a 
room are we talking here?" Misha was slightly impatient. " Main room's maybe 
thirty feet square. Why?" The insect spread his mandibles in his version of a 
grin and held up a small metal ball covered in arcane markings. "You do still 
remember how to use this don't you?" Misha's eyes widened as a sly grin 
spread across his face. 

   The ant calmly tossed the sphere to the now jubilant fox. Misha stepped 
back to the doorframe. Daria was about to turn back towards the door when she 
saw David snap out his staff and begin running his armored hands over its 
shiny surface. Where his hands touched fiery lines began to glow.

   Daria turned just in time to see Misha hurl the ball through the door. 
Another arrow greeted this new intrusion, but Misha had already pulled back. 
The almost cheerful sound of that small ball bouncing its way into the room 
slowly came to a stop. A lutin made a perplexed sound and Daria saw Misha's 
grin intensify as he shouted out " Huyria Kormun! " There was a deafening 
bang and a blinding flash of light from the doorway. A wall of flame shot out 
of the door and into the corridor. A huge, thick cloud of smoke billowed 
through the doorway as the flames died away.

   Misha was through the door in an instant his battleaxe already swinging in 
an arc. David and the others followed the vulpine into the smoke. Daria took 
a deep breath and rushed through the door.

   The acrid smoke stung her eyes and made her choke and cough.  A strange 
sight greeted her. One wall of the room and a good portion of the floor was 
charred almost black, here and there a burning corpse could be seen. After a 
moment she retreated back to the hallway for a breath of fresh air. Soon 
Misha and the others joined her, coughing and choking.

   "Wow, David. That's some neat little toy you have there," Jotham said 
between coughs.

   "Yes," David responded. "A little too indiscriminate, but a very good 

   The keepers had to wait ten long minutes before the smoke dissipated 
enough for them to re-enter the anteroom. Their next entrance to the room was 
calmer. Nothing recognizable greeted Daria when she came through the door. 
Various charred lumps were scattered around the room some had to have been 
furniture, others were more human shaped.

   Misha slowly walked around the room examining everything. "About ten 
lutins I estimate."

   She noticed Finbar and Kershaw standing in front of a section of wall. 
"The doorway to the outside is completely gone," the ferret commented.

   "Your key worked perfectly," the panda added.

   Daria smiled. "Kyia would never let us down."

  "Great," Misha said as he continued his tour. "That will make it all the 
easier to defend." The fox paused in front of an iron door, his battleaxe was 
strapped onto his back. 

   Daria recognized the metal door as being the one leading into the armory 
itself. She walked over to the fox and stood next to him. Both stared at the 
metal door. Soon everyone had clustered around the vulpine and the woman.

   "This is where it gets nasty," Garulf said ominously.

   The fox nodded. "This is knife work," he said and drew a dagger and long 
sword. "Close in fighting. We'll split into two groups; Daria's and the 

   "Is that wise?" Daria asked. "No telling what's waiting for us inside."

   "No choice. The place is too big to cover with one team," the fox 
explained. "Finbar, Jotham, you two guard the door. Anyone you don't 
recognize comes towards you, kill them."

   Daria pointed to Brenner and Bradfox. "Both of you stay here with Finbar 
and Jotham."

   "One final word of warning," Kershaw said. "Keep together. Don't let 
yourselves get split up. If you get lost, head back to the door."

   "Good point," Misha agreed. Then he looked the group over. "Everyone 

   With a few nods as an answer Misha took hold of the handle and pulled the 
door open.  This time no arrows came flying out, instead total darkness 
greeted them.

   "Not good," Finbar muttered under his breath.

   "What happened to the lights?" Brenner asked.

   "What were the lights in there?" Weyden asked. "Lanterns?"

   "No," Morel answered. "Magic globes were placed around the room."

   "I can see the shattered remains of one near the door," Daria said, 
peering in.

   "Safe to say that who or what is in there prefers the darkness," Misha 
said in a quiet voice.

   "I'll light a lantern," Garulf said and started rummaging through his pack.

   With a slight nod of his head Misha led his team into the inky blackness.

   "Wait," Brenner asked, "Don't you need a light?"

   Danielle paused at the doorway. "No, a light just gives away your 
position," she said and then walked into the darkness after her friends.

   "What do we do?" David asked. "Do we take a light or not?"

   The woman leader thought on that for a moment before answering. "Jessica, 
David can you create light?"

   Jessica nodded and the insect agreed. 

   "Good. As we move along we'll create light. Brighten the place as we go." 
Daria looked at the blackened doorway. "What ever is in there, doesn't like 
light. The first rule of warfare is pick your battleground carefully."

  End part 37

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