Nothing but the sound of airship engines could be heard. The soldiers stood, their jaws wide open. Shambling to the top of a nearby building is the beast king. Cleaver in hand, he raises it above his head. “In this land the strong live and the weak perish. We have lived here for hundreds of years. We will send you back to hell!” The goblinoid forces roar in tenacity.
spoke again “You have chosen death…” A behemoth cannon fired, cutting off Ruin-Khel’s words. The beast-men forces charged and bloodshed (and stoneshed) ensued.
The beast-king “This is Gelof Car’s doing. He must be stopped! My people can hold off these devils attacks only for so long. Maybe you can stop this at the source. You’ll need assistance.” He whistled and a kobold with a swollen bruise on his face approached. “Go, there isn’t much time!”
The team made their way silently through the alleys of the jade city. Fear became entranced by the ancient architecture. He shouted to Rexis to take a look. The rest of the team looked back in horror as the pair drew the attention of jade soldiers. Ruin-Khel could be seen above the roof-line. A bellowing “Fire!” is heard. A mound of flaming wreckage crashed onto Ruin-Khel, causing him to crash onto a nearby building. The scene burst into flames. The jade soldiers were clobbered by the shattering building. The still stood, but a glowing orange “blood” wept from their wounds. The fluid burst into flames at it hit the ground.
Ruck ran forward and lifted a chunk of flaming masonry. He brought it down on top of one of the soldiers. The soldier staggered back from the impact. Fear climbed a staircase and fired a flame bolt at the same soldier. The soldier crumbled into stones that were quickly drenched in flaming orange fluid. (the kobold) climbed an obelisk in the centre of the square. He fired his pistol at another soldier. The jade soldier shattered into countless shards. The last soldier came forward. He swung his polearm at Ruck. Ruck gracefully dodged aside. Rexis walked forward, drawing an arrow. He fired it at the larged crack he could see on the soldier’s body. It hit home, but the crack wasn’t as fragile as expected. Bruno Diaz walked forward, making his way behind the soldier.
Rexis fired at another crack. This one hit a good spot and stunned the soldier. Bruno picked up one of the burning polearms. He brought it down on the soldiers back, crashing through the stone.
Bruiseface, from his vantage point on the obelisk, mapped out a route across the rooftops to the palace. The team climbed the stairs and made quick progress towards the palace. The fighting continued below. A 15-foot gap separated the rooftop and the palace wall. The palace wall stood slightly taller. Bruiseface took hold of a rope. He climbed down the building and over the palace wall. Thankfully it was deserted of soldiers. Bruiseface tied the rope to a statue and the rest of the team made their way over.
The palace was easy to enter. All of the guards were fighting in the streets. The palace was eerily silent. It seemed to block the sounds of combat outside. Bruiseface scouted ahead. At the base of the staircase, Bruiseface saw an orange glow coming from above. The team ascended the staircase. Arch shaped windows let light into the stairwell. Ruin-Khel could be seen clutching an airship, climbing aboard. He had received several wounds from cannon fire and crashed airships. Flaming orange liquid spewed from several wounds.
The team heard footsteps descending from above. A hushed voice said “Come quickly! Gelath Car is insane. You must stop him!”
Bruno demanded “Come out!”
A robed figure descended the stairs. Outside, the behemoth airship could be seen rapidly descending. A large boom and an intense wave of heat flooded over the palace. The palace rumbled, cracked and began to fall apart. Strangely, the palace beneath them fell away, leaving the tower floating above the ground. The stairs started to crumble beneath them. The team ran up the tower as it crumbled behind them. The cracking caught up to Fear. The robed figure threw a rope over for Fear to catch. Rexis approached the figure.
The robed figure cried out “Stand back!”. Rexis stood back. Holding the rope in one hand, he drew his sword. He demanded “Hand over the jar, or your friend dies.” He released his robe to reveal… the greatest archer in the world, Von Cleft!
Rexis called out “This is between you and me! Let him up.”
Von Cleft rejected his offer. “I’m afraid I do business before pleasure. I have a job to do.”
Bruno “And what is your job?”
Fear began climbing the rope. Bruiseface crept up the stairs.
Von Cleft replied “My job does not concern you, except for the one petty issue of an item I think you know about.”
Bruiseface crept all the way to Von Cleft. Von Cleft stabbed his sword into the ground and began to pull he rope up. As Fear came close to Von Cleft he grabbed hold of the ledge. Von Cleft took hold of his sword again. Bruiseface bit Von Cleft’s hand, but landed his teeth into the sword’s hilt.
Von Cleft rebutted “I should have known you would act dishonestly, again.”
Rexis snapped “I can’t talk off silly bets while my friends are in danger.”
Von Cleft kicked at Fear. Rexis lunged at Von Cleft, taking him to the ground. Von Cleft threw Rexis off and stood up. He jumped off the staircase and latched onto Fear. Bruiseface jumped off to the safety of the staircase. Fear held on for grim life. Bruno thrust the polearm at Von Cleft’s grinning face. Von Cleft let go and fell briefly before he grabbed hold of Fear’s ankles. Bruno released the polearm, letting it fall at Von Cleft. It passed by him harmlessly. Rexis stood at the edge of the staircase, drew back his bowstring and offered “It doesn’t have to be this way Von Cleft. Drop the sword and we’ll settle this like archers. You’re in a far less comfortable position to argue.” Von Cleft rebutted “Ha! I doubt you could hit me!” Rexis let go of the string. The arrow created a third nostril. Ruck grabbled hold of Fear’s collar to support him. He leaned over Fear and threw a dagger at Von Cleft. Thee dagger brushed past him. Bruiseface scampered across Fear and down his back. He gnawed at Von Cleft’s face. Von Cleft swung, throwing Bruiseface off balance. With Ruck’s support, Fear let go with one of his hands. He made his way to his flame gun and took aim. Fear pulled the trigger. Von Cleft’s moustache was forcibly removed.
Rexis casually descended the staircase. He drew his bowstring and shot at Von Cleft’s arm. Simultaneously, Von Cleft released a gun from his arm slide and fired at Rexis. Rexis fell to the ground and rolled down several steps. Behind his cries of pain, everyone heard him shout “Kill him!” Fear contemplated the predicament and realised a static inertia field was holding the tower afloat. Fear let go of his gun, adjusted all dials to maximum, and grabbed his gun again. He fired three shots straight down, singing Von Cleft again. As he fired the second shot, one of the vents burst and the gun lost pressure. Bruiseface bit at Von Cleft’s wrists. Von Cleft noticed the shiny object, the tracking beacon, dangling from Bruiseface’s neck. He says, loudly and clearly “Emergency code four-five-seven-delta!” Ruck and Bruno lifted Fear back onto the staircase. They both kicked at Von Cleft as he came into range. Von Cleft swung away from Ruck’s foot and into Bruno’s. He lost his grip and plummeted into the smoke before.
Fear checked that he was still carrying the jar, which he was. He also disabled the flame gun before it caused any more problems. He attended to Rexis’ wounds, bandaging them the best he could.
Outside the tower, the battle was not going well. Ruck’s bloody dagger landed by his foot. Rising up near them was an airship with the insignia 457D.