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   Chapter 10 No.10

An Enchanting Tale By AaronDennis Characters: 15674

Updated: 2018-01-10 12:02

S'maash scrutinized the ancient, nord carvings. He wondered why Shalidor's Insights were located in such an ominous place. The ruins appeared much older than Shalidor, meaning either the former Archmage had settled in Labyrinthian, or his works were moved to their current location for further study, yet it was irrelevant; he was there to retrieve the insights.

S'maash did his best to skulk about. With his enchanted equipment, he made no sounds as he stepped over rubble. Slowly, he descended the depths of Labyrinthian. After rounding a corner, he saw his first obstacle, a lone skeleton with an ancient, nord, great sword in hand; the wicked blade was rusted over. The creaking of bones was unnerving. S'maash watched it for a second. Blasted undead.

Knowing skeletons were generally weak, the dark elf held hands poised for an overcharged fire bolt spell. He let it fly across the room. The orange ball of magickal fire lit up the area before crashing into his adversary. The skeleton was blown to little bony bites. S'maash dusted his hands on his armor and bobbed his head a bit in a jaunty manner. Simple enough.

He creapt over to the smoldering bones and pushed them around with his boot. With plenty of time, and no more enemies, he was free to gaze about the massive room. A steel grate sat at the center. The walls were lined with black tombs. Rotted shelving lined the far wall. There wasn't much else to see, but there was certainly more to trek.

The elf pressed on, skulking. Moments of silence eased by before he entered a new area, a roughly hewn corridor. It was very tall and carved from the native, brown stone. In both sides were nooks; housings for the dead. S'maash cautiously observed one of the mummified corpses. It appeared desiccated. Otherwise, it was fairly intact.

The ancient nord wore rotted, leather equipment with bits of rusted steel protecting vitals. Suddenly, it shifted as it let out a groan. S'maash jumped in the air from surprise. The draugr came to stand with an ebony, war axe in hand; magicka radiated from cold, blue, undead eyes.

"Back to Oblivion, creature, " S'maash yelled and fired another, overcharged, fire bolt.

The draugr was staggered upon impact, but quickly recovered, charged forwards, and swung wildly. The burning of magickal fires obscured the draugr's sight, though, making it easy for S'maash to duck from blows. Still, the dunmer received a slash unto the shield on his back. The impact sent him straight to the ground. He scrambled away to the other wall and let loose a fire bolt from each hand. The draugr burst into flames then fell to a knee. It died…again.

The clamor of battle had drawn the attention of other draugr in the long hallway, and they came barreling in, brandishing their ancient weapons. With little time to spare, the elf casted iron flesh with one hand and flame cloak with the other. Soon as he did, spurts of magickal flame danced around his being. The draugr did their best to deal damage, but S'maash back peddled as he poured out gouts of flames from his fists. Two draugr fell, but one kept the pressure coming.

It held an ancient, nord sword in one hand while firing ice bolts from the other. The bald, bearded, brute then yelled at the top of its lungs.

"Fus Roh Da, " echoed in a breathy shout.

The beast's voice was so potent it rocked S'maash, causing him not only to stumble, but to lose concentration, effectively breaking his spell. By the time he recovered, the draugr white was on him, slashing away. His weapon had a slight hook at the tip of the blade, resulting in moderate damage every time he swung.

The elf took a severe bruising from the potent draugr. After a slash cut the hair from his head, S'maash drew his sword. Fear gripped his heart, but rage gripped his fists.

He swung madly at first. The swings nearly took all his breath, but the assailant was brought to a knee, which provided the wizard an opportunity to snatch his shield. He brought it across his enemy's jaw from his left, edgewise. With a swing back from his right, he brought the broad side of the shield across the monster's face. With a final, overhead blow from his sword, S'maash killed his opponent, who glowed purple for just a second; the soul trap spell had taken effect, filling one, black soul gem.

The elf sat to catch his breath. He had never struggled physically so much in his life. In a way, he understood why his brother and his friends loved being a part of the Reyda Tong, yet the battle had been no joking matter. He shook his head, put his weapons away, and held his hands up to dual cast healing. Seconds later, his wounds were numb then gone. He pressed fo

quished his blade for sparks, a lightning spell, which also drained the enemy's magicka reserves.

Then, the draugr reached down and grabbed S'maash. Frightened, the dunmer let go his shield, took the draugr's leathery face in his hands, and blasted it with more sparks. The monster's head exploded from the spell.

Gravely injured, S'maash rolled his travel pack off his shoulders. With great pain in his midsection, he moved slowly to retrieve healing potions. With a belly full of the red liquid, he was restored to fighting condition, so he gathered his gear, and dusted himself off, but found his shield had been destroyed in the melee. He sighed, casted iron flesh, and went back up the stairs.

A final enemy stood at the center of the burial chamber. It wore black armor, a helmet with horns, and carried a malevolent-looking, ebony, war hammer. Blue eyes brought unto the elf a sense of dread. The draugr death lord opened its foul mouth to release a powerful shout.

"Fus…Roh Da, " it yelled in a breathy voice.

A vocal blast nailed S'maash squarely in the chest. The thu'um sent him reeling. His back smashed against the lever pedestal in the puzzle room. Luckily, his travel pack absorbed some of the impact. As he recovered, the death lord brought his hammer down. Fierce pain accosted the elf's shoulder, and fear gripped his heart.

Terrified of dying, he held a firm gaze upon his enemy, wrapped his hand around the flat of his blade, and with both hands on his weapon, he pushed back against the death lord's hammer; they struggled a moment. S'maash kept the enemy's weapon from doing more damage, and he kicked at the monster, but the draugr overpowered him, sending him to the ground. In the mix, he cut his left hand on his own sword.

Suddenly, S'maash found himself rolling all over the dusty floor, trying to evade numerous, relentless, hammer blows. In an attempt to keep distance between himself and the Draugr, S'maash ran around the lever pedestal, playing a game of sabre cat and skeever; the death lord chased him, and S'maash ran around the pedestal. Then, the draugr moved the other way, and again, S'maash ran around the pedestal.

He knew it was ineffective, but he was horrified. His only option was to continuously run in circles; all the while, he peppered the undead beast with frost breath. It took minutes, but the enemy slowed. Finally, its legs froze over and for a moment; it was unable to move. S'maash capitalized. He recoverd his sword, and by keeping the pedestal between them, he was able to take swipes with his blade and freeze the monster with his other hand.

The draugr struck him again, but the slowed swings weren't effective. Finally, the enemy took a knee. S'maash ran to him, grabbed his blade with both hands, and hacked the draugr to pieces. He didn't stop until the undead warrior was dismembered.

Completely exhausted, the wizard plunked to the ground, his face beaten and bloody. With heavy breaths, he dropped his sword to dual cast healing. Refreshed, if achey, he stood and reentered the burial chamber, thinking the fight was over. It was not.

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