Dreadlords Blood Lost

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Almost as if in answer to the call, the sound of boots began to slowly echo out from down the tunnel behind Aelita and Lumen. Patient steps resounded, and within the shadows of the Undercroft a figure came into view.

Long white hair flowed down passed his shoulders, heavy armor resting on his shoulders, and a sword sitting at his side. A wide smile punctuated his face, and an sort of ghostly blue mist seemed to rise from his eyes, a glow dragging them further out from the darkness.

"Hey kids." He said to Aelita and Lumen.

Striding towards them as though nothing in the world would stop him. His hand rested casually on the pommel of his sword, as though there would never be a need to draw it.

Erodin moved like a lion among sheep, fully intent on walking up to the two Initiates. Though apparently meaning them no harm. "Did I hear you right, Nicolas? Leilwin is dead?"

Amusement flickered through his tone.

"Stop the shit, get us across already, we can talk later." The one who had lead the pack called out.

A scoff escaped the newcomer. "Tsk, always so impatient."

Erodin said to the two girls, and then a pulse seemed to run through those odd eyes.

The air itself twisted for a second, and then within the small room a ghost appeared. Not of a man or a woman, but a strange insect resembling a milipede. Save instead of being just a few inches long, the creature was massive, dwarfing the Dreadlords it had spawned next to.

Slowly, the Ghostly creature shifted, and then began to scuttle forward. Leveraging its own size and weight to move over the ravine and form a bridge.
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Alistair moved quickly through the tunnels, nearing Aelita and Lumen, his marks acting as the perfect tracking beacon. While he wanted to enter a dead sprint, he restrained himself, choosing to move silently. After all, for the time being, they were not the apex predators in these catacombs.

His movements slowed even further as he watched the events through the runic eyes and he cursed under his breath. He knew most of them by mug shots or wanted posters, but the final member of Edric's team to arrive was bad news.

Alistair had killed a 2nd level once before, but that was only with the help of Kristen. Not to mention, not all 2nd levels were the same. Some were better than others...this one was better. Erodin summon that large insect without any struggle, he was in that class of monsters, where power just came naturally to them.

He needed to be smart about this. Get the initiates out first, he could find out what Gilram's Goons had come here for next.

As he approached the area, he clung to the shadows to take a moment and look on with worry. One Dreadlord, two initiates against four Dreadlords...No problem.

His hand slowly moved to the ground as his eyes flashed and he began to integrate with several of the runes in the chamber. With as much stealth as he could manage, instantly a fireball from a side wall shot out at Fell and his group, while stone spikes from the ceiling descended on the millipede.

Alistair wanted to keep them separate for as long as possible. That meant he had to keep them busy. A series of darts coated in some sort of poison shot out from the wall at Erodin. Some of those darts never even made it to the target, given their poor condition.

In quick succession, a voice came from Aelita's eye rune.

"Quick, left tunnel. Move!"

Erodin Aelita Lumen
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She staggered as she and Aelita made it across the light-bridge. Eyes watched Henk and Edric's display. Wariness, surprise, and confusion briefly flickered across her brow. Her chin snapped to Aelita as she sensed the congregation of warmth.

"Aelita, they're he-," lips pressed closed then. Her circular shield shifted as she slid next to Aelita.

Something wasn't right. There was another-

Erodin!” The telepath shouted. “You back there?”

The first thing she thought of was Ysobel. Her short bestie would most likely be thinking of how to commission a painting likeness of the white-haired rogue dreadlord. Even if he was an outlaw. The files Lumen could recall didn't have much about him. Other than his magic almost reminded her a bit of Talus.'

Tension coiled through every inch of her body as he approached. As his magic worked. At the conjuration.


Her shield up and between him and herself and Aelita.

Then chaos. Fireballs, spikes, darts. Alistair's voice!

"Go, go, go!" She yelled at Aelita as she would follow her fellow initiate toward that left tunnel. And as she retreated her magic cast forward, a deep chilling cold seeking to seep and spread within Erodin's very bloodstream. If she could slow him down, maybe he wouldn't be able to control that creature. Maybe it would buy them more time to run.
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Aelita kept her eyes on Henk and Edric. The light on her staff continued to shine. She heard the impassioned words from Henk responding to Edric’s calm voice.

But her eyes widened once she saw the light bridge dissipate on Henk’s command. She silently watched Henk launch himself and Edric off the ledge and into the ravine below.

A relieved sigh poured from Aelita’s lips. She stepped back and the light from her staff dissipated once more. Her head perked up once she heard the words of the newly arrived rogue Dreadlords. She turned her head toward them.

But just as she heard Lumen’s voice, Aelita’s peripheral vision caught a glimpse of Erodin. She snapped her head toward the rogue Dreadlord. In a knee jerk-like response, Aelita brought her staff back up in a guard. She shifted over toward Lumen.

Then, chaos ensued.

Alistair’s runes activated. Fireballs and spikes. Darts. Ancient traps springing to life for the first time in ages.

Seeing Lumen casting a spell, Aelita reached over and grabbed Lumen’s collar. She pointed her staff toward Erodin.


A flood of white light spewed forth from Aelita’s staff. It had the potential to blind and disorient those ahead of her.

Then, Aelita would try to drag Lumen along with her once again – this time toward the tunnel Alistair called out to go into.
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The Dreadlords moved with an impeccable swiftness. Reacting to the wards just seconds after Alistair released them.

Each of them moved swiftly in turn, wordlessly moving to handle one of the problems on their own with each in turn. The man in armor stepped forward, his palm extending outward as a ball of fire launched towards the four of them.

An inferno tore towards them, and is it came closer the fire seemed to buckle and waver within the air, suddenly dragging and almost pulled inward. A single glance over the chasm and the two Initate's would see the flames sucked into the Dreadlord's palm, dragged into himself before he suddenly turned and hurled the flame into the hall opposite where the flames had come from.

Not knowing if Alistair was there, but guessing that perhaps he might be.

Another of them stepped forward, his hands flickering outward. Dozens of strange ethereal string springing from the tips of his digits. Catching onto the stones falling stones. His body wrenched to the side, hurling the rocks against the far wall with a thunderous crack.

Erodin didn't move as a dozen darts launched towards him.

A ghost suddenly sprang into being besides him, a girl, no older than Aelita or Lumen. Her face twisted and contorted in pain as dozens of the dart lanced into her. A soundless scream leaving her mouth as the last dart struck her, and she began to fade. "Clever littl-"

Aelita raised her staff, and a flash of light suddenly burst into his eyes.

"Kress-shit." Erodin said raising his arms over his eyes, blinking more than a few times as he tried to clear his sight. The Rogue Dreadlord took a step forward, fingers snapping around the hilt of his sword, eyes still blinking rapidly when suddenly he felt a chill run through the whole of his body. "I was going to let you live."

His voice twisting in anger as the blue wisp around his eyes began to wrap around the whole of him. "But now, you fucking little cu-"

"Erodin, let them go!" Nicholas voice rang out again, the team of four Dreadlords darting across the back of the ghostly milipede before another attack could be launched, running directly towards the tunnels entrance.

Not slowing as they reached the other Dreadlord. "We're leaving."

Erodin's jaw tightened, teeth gnashing together as he blinked a few more times and glanced down the hall. His ire turning to his own ally. "Speak to me like that again, Nicholas, and I'll pin you to the fucking wall with this sword. After which, I'll ask my wondrous wife to show you what someone with true talent can achieve."

His blade slid back into it's scabbard, emphasizing the words as the milipede spanning the chasm faded away.

Nicholas seemed to tense at the words, but said nothing more, passing by Erodin as he shouted out into the Undercroft. "Until we meet again, Kids!"

He called, turning and following the others down the hall towards the exit.
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Alistair had to press himself to the wall barely avoiding an incoming fireball that was sent his way. They did not even know where he was and they still managed to nearly kill him. He was careful to keep his breathing calm and then shuffle back into the tunnel.

He had purposefully sent the girls down a tunnel that quickly connected with his own. As he saw them finally make it on their path to safety, a small sigh escaped his lips. A part of him wanted to go meet up with them in person, but he froze when he heard that the rebels were planning to leave.

It was growing more and more clear that he was not in a position to stop them from leaving, but he could at least make their life a living hell while they walked out.

Alistair watched their enemies leave and he once again brought his hands down to the floor. With a strong flash of blue energy around his hands and a large gasp, he activated most of the defensive runes along the enemy's path, along with a few branching ones.

That...might have been too much. Most runes had their energy sources when they were crafted, but it did take energy to wake an old catatonic rune. Waking up a few runes, no problem. Waking up this many was enough to make his vision blur.

He just grunted in annoyance as he began to stumble back in the direction where he expected Aelita and Lumen to be.

Aelita Lumen Erodin
Aelita didn't need to encourage her much. Lumen ran with her, casting glances over her shoulder even within the safety of the darkness of the cavern that swallowed up their retreat. Voices trickled down from the opening. That old guy didn't sound too happy.

Probably just needed a nap.

"Quick thinking back there," she breathed to Aelita. "But we have to fi-," hand went to the hilt of her sword but didn't draw it out as she sensed the presence before she saw who it was. Even in the lowlight of the tunnel, there was no mistaking that gait and hair.

"Alistair," Lumen whispered and ran over to the commanding dreadlord. Forever the paladin and protector, she went to his side and offered him her shoulder to lean on. "Are you hurt?"
Not too long from their flight, it became clear Aelita did not need to drag Lumen along. Aelita let go of Lumen’s hand as she ran down the tunnel. Her head tilted back.


She laughed as if a child playing tag.

Then, they found Alistair stumbling through the tunnels. Aelita followed Lumen. Looking at the exhausted Alistair, Aelita procured a vial from her pouch and popped the lid. She then offered it to the Dreadlord.

The vapors coming off would smell of turpentine. But, it would be just like a popular potion used to provide magical energy and a boost of stamina – or at least some. Initiates regularly got the lowest quality potions compared to what Dreadlords could acquire.

Henk and Edric fell into a ravine,” Aelita told Alistair, “There are others behind us.
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By the time the sixth defensive rune went off, Erodin was starting to get bored.

Credit where credit was due, whichever one of the kids had activated the damned things really had been rather clever. One of the traps had even managed to take a large chunk out of Nicholas' thigh, which had admittedly been very funny, but the end result was still the same.

Though the Rogue Dreadlords were slowed, they were not stopped. In the end they all 'decided' that Erodin should send one of his more powerful spirits forward to clear the way, and after a short moment of bickering he did just that. Manifesting the centipede once more and sending it skittering forward through the ancient halls.

Darts, explosions, and half a dozen other runes triggered as it scuttled relentlessly forward. Pieces of it's ghostly form ripping free until eventually the last rune went off and it's wispy form faded into the ether once more.

"You lot owe me." Erodin contended as the five of them stepped finally out from the tunnels beneath Vel Draza and onto a short plateau. It reached several meters around, and then dropped off into a stark cliff. Wind howling even as the white haired Dreadlord continued to berrate his fellows.

"I had to go to the Wylds for that thing." He continued. "Surprisingly, more difficult to take than ev-"

"Erodin, please. Just get us out of here." It wasn't Nicholas that spoke this time, but one of the two women.

He let out a long sigh, shaking his head as he snapped his fingers. The air shimmered once more, flickering and pulling together as a massive creature began to take form. It was larger even than the centipede had been, appearing as little less than a giant wing. The ghostly sky ray came into being, and the Rogue Dreadlords stepped onto it's back, slowly kneeling down to shield themselves from the wind. "Oh. What happened to that brat you brought with you?"

Erodin asked, not receiving an answer as the Ray began to soar away.
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Alistair heard their movements before he finally pulled his head up and saw the two initiates. He sighed in relief as he slumped, before catching himself on Lumen's shoulder. Neither of them had died, which was the main point. While Alistair understood the need to lose lives when absolutely necessary, he was not willing to do that when still did not even have an exact idea of what the rogue Dreadlords had been after.

"Not hurt. Just tired." He explained with ragged breaths as he graciously accepted Aelita's vial. It certainly helped, but Alistair still needed a moment to recompose himself.

Suddenly, the Dreadlord's eyes lit up as he got a faraway look in his eye. It only lasted a moment before he cursed under his breath, and an annoyed look grew on his face.

"The two idiots that fell will more than likely survive...As for the rogues, they are gone. Taking with them whatever they came here for."

They had completely loss this fight. Besides killing one rogue Dreadlord, they still did not have any information on what the rogues had taken.

Alistair forced himself to stand up straighter as he took a moment to look around.

"We should get back above ground. We will send a message to Vel Anir, calling for reinforcements. We will give a thorough report on the incident and then specialists can then search the catacombs to determine what was taken."

He said all this was a touch of resentment, not to the initiates but more to himself. As much as he loved escaping death by the skin of his teeth...He hated losing.

Aelita Lumen
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