The Provinces of Veterumterrum

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Chapter 19

A Devil in the Moonlight

Kruzco

Kruzco came too with a ringing in his ear. The last thing he remembered was Riker running from behind the mausoleum. Then there was a loud noise and something hit him on the head. Perhaps it was debris because he found himself buried beneath it. When he emerged, he found Azariah and Vylasgarden doing the same. Before them was a mound of rubble where the mausoleum use to be. “I bought us some time, we need to go!” Riker shouted, but just as he finished the rubble began to avalanche from the top. “Let’s go!”

The others got to their feet but not before the Nekodarz emerged from the rubble, now three times the size it was before and wielding a great sword imbued with magical fire.

“No…” Vylasgarden whispered to herself. “We can’t let it leave this tomb!” she screamed as she charged toward the Nekodarz and slammed into it causing it to collide into a wall. Kruzco charged second with his ax but found himself grappled by animate vines that came from the ceiling. The vines wrapped themselves around Kruzco’s limbs restraining him like a constricting snake. They even managed to gag his mouth as he struggled to free himself. The creature used its superior strength to throw Vylasgarden off of it, but just as it stood to its feet, it was knocked over again by a bolt of magic that came from Riker’s flute from which he held like a wand. Azariah came behind Riker and threw a dagger between the Nekodarz’s eyes throwing its head back with the blow. The creature slowly lowered its head and meet its ghostly eyes with Azariah and Riker. It pulled the dagger from its head and muttered gutturally. It then opened its mouth as a gust of chilling wind bombarded the two of them and sent them flying across the room.

The Nekodarz came at them with its magic sword, bringing it down on top of Riker who strummed his lyre to cast a block spell that ricocheted the sword out of the creature’s hand and into the rubble. The Nekodarz screeched with an agonizing pitch that caused Azariah to cover her ears and grit her teeth on the ground. As the Nekodarz scrambled for the sword, Vylasgarden had just finished freeing Kruzco from his vine restraints. He pushed her out of the way and charged the Nekodarz again with ax in hand bringing it down on the Nekodarz’s back before it could collect its sword. The Nekodarz screamed in⏤what Kruzco hoped was pain. The creature toppled over on one knee which gave Riker the opportunity to jump up and pierce the creature with his rapier in its neck, causing it to bleed black ooze from the wound.

“Its vulnerable! Give it everything you have!” Riker screamed dodging the ooze. Azariah came and ran up the Nekodarz’s back and delivered a critical stab to its head with her second dagger and Vylasgarden began firing arrows from a distance into the creature’s body with her short bow. The bombardment overwhelmed the Nekodarz enough to coax it into a gaseous form.

“Oh, no…” Vylasgarden said to herself as the gaseous creature circled the room taunting them with its ghastly moans. “We cannot let it escape!” she cried out.

“How do we trap it?” Riker shouted as the creature flew over to the magical sword.

“Don’t let it possess the sword!” Vylasgarden shouted as she dove for it but a bolt of lightning struck her from the hole in the ceiling; the shock blew everyone else back into the walls. Kruzco fought for consciousness as the Nekodarz transmuted back to a humanoid shape and lifted the sword from underneath Vylasgarden’s smoking unconscious body. It seemed to be controlling the weather to some extent because another bolt of lightning came from the sky and struck the Nekodarz, but instead of harming it, it became empowered. Kruzco finally fell under when he watched the creature stagger away out into the wilderness.

Part III

Thy Kingdom Come

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