Aldous Vs. Gelt

Aldous could hear the footfalls nearly upon him as he stuffed an old magic scroll in the same magic pocket of his robe.

The Crimson One stepped into the room and saw the red-skinned tiefling man looking over his trophies and relics. "The infamous Soularous has fallen to me. So what chance against me, pray tell, do you believe you have, demon thief? Surrender, and I may grant you life as I did your master…

“Master?” Aldous snickered, turned and smiled at the golden masked wizard. “Soularous is my sibling, actually. In mortal terms, my younger brother. If he was not so habitually reckless he would have easily killed you. Me on the other hand, you might say I'm the cautious sort. I don't jump into anything unless I've thought it through first. Prepared myself. So if you really think you can get the better of me, one of the Nine Lords of Hell, you're very much mistaken. But of course...” He smiled wider. “You're also very much welcome to try as well. After doing what you did to Soularous I know you can't help but be feeling quite mighty indeed. Allow me to disabuse you of this over inflated sense of your magical prowess...”

Not so inflated as you have been led to believe,” Gelt replied. “Destiny is with me. I will claim all of Aeran and forge an empire that will stretch around the world-

“Yeah, yeah. Over the millennia I've heard it all before, too many times from too many would-be conquerors like you...”

You have not heard it from me,” Gelt spoke, staff tapping the ground as he came to a stop.

“Yeah, yeah…” Aldous held a hand up and made a hand puppet gesture of ‘blah blah’.

Your brother’s power is now my pow-

“Right then.” Aldous interrupted, “If you think you are so unique and think you can take on all comers, like with my impetuous brother, but I guess it's a waste of breath for us to talk any further. Oh, well,” Aldous said, instantly conjuring an enormous disembodied hand that slammed Gelt into the wall with the strength of a frost giant. “If you want to fight...” The hand seized Gelt and flung him like a rag doll even harder into the opposite wall. “Then you’ve got one...” The hand grabbed the wizard again just as he bounced off the opposite wall, and rammed him upward through the ceiling, sending a cascade of shattered wood and masonry spilling down around him. “I haven't had a chance to cut loose in more than a century and this could be rather fun, but not for you...” Aldous said, shaking his limbs to loosen up, his grin curling into a Cheshire smile.

“Sorry about this Soul,” he said, waving his hand, sending his brother home for a time. Severing the link to Gelt, he finished, “I’ll bring you back when I wrap this up.” he sent to his brother mentally.

Soul didn't answer, his mind was lost for the moment, going through his past experience with Draken's deceased mother. The demon needed to refresh himself, and he didn't mind waiting to come back.

Looking up through the newly carved hole in the tower Aldous saw Gelt rocketing back to terraferma, stepping out of the way and awaiting impact. Though this wasn’t what occurred. Gelt suddenly stopped, as if another hand had plucked him from free fall at the last moment, and he floated a few inches off the ground, slowly lifted and regained his footing. Aldous cocked a quizzical eyebrow “Hmm.” Before Gelt was able to speak again, Aldous posed a question. “We both know this fight, should we continue, will cause a severe amount of damage. So I ask you considering my brother is gone and your little spell over him is broken. Do we call this a stalemate, you leave his son alone, leave Varland be, and we pretend today didn’t happen, or do we fight and take it elsewhere so as to not destroy everything here? Because though I hate to admit it, you’ve got some really interesting things sitting around and I don’t want to sift through the rubble to find them.”

Gelt stared at him. "Finally," the Crimson One stated. "One that has reason. But I will see the full extent of your power, brother of the fallen king. Show me the strength of the Abyss!" He exclaimed.

It began not as a flash of spells but as a test of wills. Gelt brought forth his own sharpened will as Aldous brought his hellish attention to bear. It was imperceptive to the naked eye as the two stared at each other. But to their view, a swirl of forces came to their call as strands of the Weave were pulled to each one. Cumulonimbus waves of power rolled over each as Aldous tapped into the Abyss and Gelt called upon the power of his abode.

Their wills crashed with a barely perceived distant booming. Aldous bared clenched teeth as Gelt leaned more on his staff of power, a rattling wheeze leaving his mask. The very ground began to quake, items trembling on shelves and in display cases as nigh god-like power roiled and crashed against one another. The sheer force of will sparking between the two, caused the air to hum and heat.

Stone began to crack, mortar crumbling under pressure. Glass shattered with strength unimaginable. Then it happened.

It may have been Aldous to have won the battle but the result was predictably the same. Both were flung by the rebounding waves, impacting walls and sliding to the ground or rolling upon the dark stone some distance away. Neither moved for a moment.

Gelt was the first to stir. His crimson gloved hand grasped his staff that had rolled in front of his sprawled form. The power reverberated back into him. Aldous snapped his eyes open, springing to his feet as Gelt raised the pronged ends. "Fulmen," evoked the wizard. The lightning bolt cracked from the tips and sought Aldous.

Shield, thought Aldous, Infernal lettering swiftly appearing in his head. He swiped wordlessly in front of him, just as the bolt struck. It impacted and Aldous felt the pinprick of phantom pain. Gelt had power behind his spells; it was indeed impressive of how much this mortal had gained in magic. Aldous smiled his cocky grin, curling his fingers on his hand as he gestured again.

He too had power.

The wizard had regained his feet as Aldous pushed his hand out. The shield spell changed to a lance of force. Gelt felt the power coming and flicked his open hand. The lance diverted into the wall to his left, tunneling a good fifteen feet before it dispelled.

The Crimson One retaliated with a mighty ice spell, sending a torrent of freezing cold wind at Aldous so that ice formed on his skin and open hooded robe, spreading over his face and down his bare chest with amazing speed, swiftly turning him into a glistening statue.

Cracks that glowed like magma spiderwebbed across the surface of the ice sheet and Aldous broke free, shaking off the lingering frost. “Brrr. It’s been a long time since someone was strong enough to do that.” Aldous said as a dark mist started from the soles of his feet and poured out into the room filling it till the room was full of blackness. Casting darkness in the room, he blinded Gelt; swallowing up any light, natural or magical, the sphere of darkness encased all.

Gelt simply stood in the darkness, putting both hands upon his staff. He evoked a different spell this time. A spell devised by a wizard by the name of Evard, one who delved deep into the magics of conjuration, of both contemporary and shadow magics. From inside the darkness, black tentacles were formed and given random, grasping life by the Weave as they snatched at the dark air. Three tentacles found Aldous as Gelt backed away blindly.

The snap of fire and spell told him where he was. "Fulmine ignis," he spoke, crimson glove raising in the pitch black. Three fire bolts fired as rays towards the sound but fortunately missed his opponent.

The flames whizzed past Aldous missing by inches. Hearing them smash into the wall behind him he let out a bone chilling cackle. Even to someone as hardened as Gelt would have to admit it was unsettling. “I can do that too!” Aldous shouted at the wizard in the dark, a web of flames etched itself across the floor, and snapped up like someone cracking a whip. Missing but licking the edges of Gelt’s armor just enough he felt the tremendous infernal heat. The power was enough to dispel the tentacles that reached blindly, dissipating them into black mist.

Gelt did not let his fear settle in at the laugh. Now, he roughly knew where he was. He evoked power once more, this time with the spell faerie fire. Even in supernatural darkness, he would still "see" the outline of magic. Aldous, unknowingly at the same instance, casted the exact spell as well. Both revealed each other even as they bounced wills once more.

Gelt had seen enough, readying two spells. The first was casted, a wall of force between him and Aldous. The second was a dispel magic, banishing darkness with a swiping of his hand. With sight now returned, Aldous smiled. "Peek-a-BOO!" He exclaimed, eldritch blasts erupting from his hand. He raised an eyebrow as they hit the invisible wall.

"Enough," Bathlazaar stated, waving his hand to dispel his own spells, save for his last casted. "The power of the Abyss is true and awesome. You will need it in the coming days. I concede this day to you."

He gripped his staff in his right hand as he looked hard at the tiefling. "Be warned, I am not the enemy of this land. I seek to remove the cancer that has plagued the kingdoms. With Soularous' emergence, I have predicted the divine will intervene to take up battle once more. They will inevitably destroy much in these old hatreds, these feuds. We shall know if I am incorrect. Thus, I have not failed."

Aldous gave Gelt a performer's bow, deep and full of flourish. “I never wanted our fight to come to damaging blows. I simply followed my brother here to prevent a cataclysm, and to let him vent his anger over your conflict with his son.” he explained, “I leave this to you, but if you truly want to root out the cancer turn your eyes east and deal with the woman trying to commit genocide.”

And with that Aldous turned to the door. “I trust you to not shoot me in the back,” and with a flash, he was gone.

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