“What fools are these that stand before us?” shouted the first man, clearly the leader of the group. He wore a mask, as did his companions – five of them altogether. They all stood nearby a highly decorated pillar at the edge of a radiant and glorious hall, which happened to be rather close, within earshot, and within bow-range to where the more-than-slightly-shiny guards were standing.

“Clearly less foolish fools than yourselves, to raid Sonne’s Thone,” scoffed the lead guard. They each, ten or so of them, stood seven or so feet tall, and formed ranks of by five-by-two or so, if you could call them ranks. Under-use and magical care has kept their armor in rather good condition.

The party of raiders advanced forward, causing the guards to raise their blades, staves, and bows. The raiders, in their turn, scoffed at the shining weapons, “Does Sonne give you power and superiority, or does he rather transform you into glittering can openers?” This received some agreeing jeers from the other four raiders, although only three actually laughed or spoke. The fifth, the farthest back, was actually wandering around, examining the fine works of art on the walls quite intently.

Disregarding the rather insulting previous remark, (which they really shouldn’t have ignored, considering it was a direct insult to their god,) the guards instead decided to have a go at the artwork admiring figure in back. “What does your friend help you with? Does he act as a dog on your heels, weeping at every pot you break?” The artwork admiring raider looked toward the source of this remark, which revealed that he wore a hood and cloak, rather than a mask and helm, like the others. He smirked under the shadow of his hood, and created a rather small, green mark on that particular guard’s head, which only the raider noticed, and went back to admiring the artwork. After all, why would one pass up the chance to rate a god’s private collection?

“So now, shall we get down to the business, then, rather than laugh at each other?” asked the leader of the raiding party. The other raiders, all except the hooded one, looks very slightly taken aback that they were supposed to stop this great fun.

“Oh, very well. May the light of Sonne save your souls,” said the lead guard, with just the slightest hint of sarcasm in his voice, and he began to walk toward the party.

The fight began in the center, width-wise of the corridor, the party holding a nice circle of defense, the four of them, but being surrounded quite quickly. They fought well, and hard, but failed to actually kill the bloody paladins because of the healing powers, and whatnot.

The guards, or paladins, as they should rightly be called, on the other hand, fought to the best of their ability, which was quite good, by normal standards. They certainly had an advantage of numbers, position, familiarity, and demi-godliness behind them, but they were less experienced in fighting than the party.

The fight swirled, the party not going down, and the paladins not going down either. Although it had started some ways from any artwork of actual worth, it began to. Within a minute, or so, during which time the hooded figure had been moving up the aisles of paintings and sculpture towards the fight, with no intent on joining in, the fight had moved toward a sculpture that the hooded man had yet to see. A stray axe from the party cleaved a hand from the statue, and a stray fireball charred the marble face. “Watch the bloody artwork, barbarians!” yelled the hooded man, who primarily restored the statue with a wave of his hand.

A minute or so after the previous incident, the fight had moved down the aisle to where the hooded man was now examining a ridiculous painting of some grey bearded and haired naked, but hidden man reaching down from a cloud toward some buffoon who looked as if he had also been busy doing some naked gardening, but who should take more care with letting reptiles in his trees. The painting itself was exquisite, but the subject matter was quite laughable, and it had yet to really be identified as a historical scene. Virik, for that was the hooded man’s name, was just in the middle of admiring the amazingly well-done hands on the painting when yet another stray axe from the fight severed the cloud-borne man’s forearm from his elbow, and an arrow, his finger from his hand.

This immensely enraged Virik, and he backed up a moment, removing himself from axe-range, thinking to himself where they could’ve possibly gotten hold of so many weapons to drop. Then, he stood and thought for a moment, attempting to recall a couple arcane words. He did, spoke them, and followed it up by saying, “Do you not realizing that that finger was worth more than all of your lives? I’m afraid that I must take them to cover the damages,” at the same time as releasing a rather potent omni-spell, formed into a necrotic miasma that ate away at the insides of his foes, and only sickening his allies (which they rather deserved, from his point of view.)

The miasma dissipated at his word, and his allies would recover, sooner or later, but his current concern was for the artwork, which he repaired with a flick of his wrist. “What was that about that whole, ‘I must take all of your lives to repair it,’ thing if you could simply repair it magically, as you always do?” asked Xerchov, the leader of the now-successful raiding party.

“I like to make my points strong,” Virik replied, while seeking out the half-rotted corpse that wore the small, magical mark on its forehead.

“You never cease to amaze me, Virik,” said Xerchov, while Virik was, at this moment, lighting that particular corpse aflame and teleporting it to an ever-dimension, where it would burn for a few lifetimes. “Now, can we get that ‘source of Sonne’s power’ and get out of here?”

“Fine, fine. Just let me get this silly painting, first.”

- Unwritten History, Volume 1

Nightfall

GinaisHappy wilcrofter