A Stick in the Stones

Majvoc slung his bow off his shoulder and let loose an arrow at an approaching Earth spirit.

Nothing. The steel arrowhead shattered on impact and left nothing but a shallow scratch on the creature's rocky skin.

'Well that's not a huge surprise,' said Majvoc as he dived out the path of the monster's charge. He ducked behind a large crystal outcrop, leaving the path. The others too were fending off the Earth spirits, and having as much luck as Majvoc. They were pushed further and further into the depths of the crystal field. And then they heard a most terrible sound.

The gate crashed closed.

Not that they could see the gate, it was still hidden in the winding labyrinthian pathways, but they knew what the sound was. And as if to seal their fate, a single lonesome horn blast of the Dwarven guards echoed around the cavern walls.

'This is the end of us,' snarled Balar as the crystal he was hiding behind was smashed apart by an Earth spirit.

'What gives you that idea?' said Majvoc as he notched and fired another worthless arrow.

'To me!' bellowed Ifran, an axe in hand. He stood outside a rocky outcrop that was guarded by a wrought iron portcullis.

'I'll create a distraction,' said Balar, as he came back to back with Majvoc, 'You make sure everyone gets in.'

'You better come back,' smiled Majvoc, dodging the swipe of a rocky fist, 'I still need to be paid.'

Balar said nothing but dashed away in the opposite direction of Ifran. He swung his axe at the crystals, shattering them into a thousand pieces. It caught the attention of the Earth spirits, who charged after him.

But everyone was still scattered across the crystal field, they wouldn't know where Ifran and safety was.

'Luna!' shouted Majvoc, waving an arrow at her, 'Firework! Now! Some fancy magic-y stuff.'

'This isn't really the time-' began Luna.

'Just do it!'

Luna gave an exasperated sigh but she whispered under her breath and tapped her staff against the ground. Majvoc saw some faint magical whisps dance around his arrowhead. Not quite as impressive as he had in mind, but it would have to do.

He aimed it at the ceiling and let it fly.

As the arrow reached its full height, it disappeared with a tremendous bang and a shower of sparks and colour. And where his arrow had once been was now a giant ghost-like version of Luna, smiling and pointing at the cave where Ifran was beckoning.

Well, hopefully, that got everyone's attention.

Majvoc and Luna ran to Ifran and bundled in behind the gate. Others too eventually made it, all except Balar.

Majvoc looked back and saw the bear of a man being tossed across the crystal field by an Earth spirit. He flew as if he weighed no more than a pebble, but he crashed hard into the ground.

'Balar!' cried Tiella.

Balar started to run but so too did the Earth spirit.

Balar was within 20 feet of the cave, Ifran ready to slam closed the iron gate. The Earth spirit was nearly on top of him, raising its fist to come crashing down. Balar pushed himself to run faster, but he just couldn't outpace the monster.

Balar gave one final glance into Tiella's eyes before he shut them and prepared for the worst.

He felt a rock hit his back.

But it didn't break it. It hurt, it hurt a lot, but it wasn't what he expected. He stopped his blind run and turned around to open his eyes. The Earth spirit lay in pieces, with its crystal heart shattered on the ground. A single arrow lay broken beside it.

Balar looked up to see Majvoc shocked at his own luck. But they didn't have long as another Earth spirit would surely find them again. Balar ran into the cave within a cave and Ifran shut the gate.

<OOC - What do we find in the cave within a cave? A weapon to fight the Earth spirits? The remains of a Dwarven town? Something dark and dangerous? A way out?>

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