Dark Wizard, Cursed Part Nine

Chapter 8: Champion of Shades

By the Dark Wizard I serve, I The Champion Of Shades, Will Not Let You Pass” The frigid knight hollowly boomed.

The knight cut an imposing figure, clad head to toe in frostbitten armour. The armour was old, but not terribly ornate. A metal lobster tail coat extended behind it. The breastplate had a worn rune of shadow etched on it, a winding pattern that slipped into itself and was perfectly symmetrical. The helmet covered the knight’s face with a beak-like visor, above which his white eyes balefully shone. A pair of swirling horns extended down the sides of it, and the strong wind blew a tattered rag of a plume. His gauntlets and feet were clawed.

Perhaps more interestingly Leshac saw, by the light of the cave entrance, that the knight had no shadow.

The Knight wielded a fearsome weapon, a lance of swirling midnight. Leshac saw the weapon instantly for what it was. It was not a master piece or a wonder, or even the most magical of weapons. Its’ shape was not anything particularly strange, just a lance in the form most common to Nortrieln. A long pole of metal, which ended in a point, and sometimes had one bladed side, The grip was long, allowing for one or two hands, and a padded spot for bracing against the waist or shoulder. The guard above the grip splayed outwards.

This was a Nortrieln common style lance, and it was in many ways an unwieldy weapon, only good for a horseback charge or thrusts. When magic or enough strength is involved, such considerations are moot. In Nortrieln however, the lance was a weapon of monster slayers, used for piercing thick hides of large foes, stabbing others from the skies and for sweeping aside hordes of smaller monsters, the fact that it could double as a tent pole or any number of things helped too.

Nortrieln was not a land where honourable knights jousted, it was a land of hunters, slayers and great monsters, all struggling to survive in the howling merciless winds.

So, Leshac had seen what sort of magic this lance had, and he knew that though it not be a wondrous weapon, it was a lesser paradox armament. The Lance’s surface was a deep dark of night, but within that lay dying sunlight, always dying sunlight. This lance held within it a power of night and day. A paradox armament of whatever level, was always something to be feared; the disruptive force of two semi-conflicting sub-elements was not to be underestimated.

The Frigid Knight silently thrust his wavering lance forward, twilight shimmering around it.

Leshac almost made the mistake of jumping into a shadow as a thrust of sunset burst past him, temporarily obliterating or distorting any shadows.

Leshac did not like this situation one bit. The Frigid Knight had the clear advantage, being at the mouth of the cave entrance, and Leshac needing to get out. The tunnel was more narrow than the one in Darnuth too. On top of this, the Frigid Knight was using a weapon was particularly effective against Leshac.

Leshac leapt onto the cave ceiling, clinging with his new spidery limbs, as more dayend blasts rippled through where he was previously, gouging deeply into the icy ground. This really was troublesome. That Knight could just stand then and bombard Leshac with magical lance thrusts. Leshac decided, that however he intended to deal with the knight, he’d need to get closer.

Leshac was beginning to regret changing to a frost spider-like form. Sure, he could dodge well enough, but he was good at that anyway, clawing at the knight with his spindly limbs was going to do nothing. He knew he needed to get closer to the knight, which would be problematic in of itself, but there was the puzzle of what to do when he got there. Being cut off from using shadows in this fight was really making things hard. That and Quil still being asleep, for that matter, Leshac was amazed that she hadn’t been woken by the battle.

For the moment, Leshac concentrated on evasion, moving forward and studying his foe. The Frigid Knight was jerky and mechanical in its’ movements, as if it was having trouble moving its’ limbs. There was a nice gap of time between when it would thrust, and when it pulled back to prepare for another thrust. Leshac hurried up the tunnel, leaping, spinning and generally twisting around the knight’s attacks, he was worried at how the tunnel was going to hold up, given all the punishment it was taking from the lance’s paradox magic.

With that, Leshac began to see one way that he might win the battle. Flipping and grabbing hold of the ceiling, he dodged a thrust, and then while the knight was still preparing to thrust again, scuttled right above the Frigid Knight. Without thinking, the armoured champion thrust upwards, Leshac tumbled out of the way as the ceiling caved ice and rock down on the knight. Leshac forcefully wrenched the lance from its’ clawed fingers.

As the Frigid Knight rose, Leshac brought the lance straight through its’ head. As he thrust, Leshac felt a feeling of doom, as if somebody had walked over his grave. There was a hiss from the armour, and just as the sunset blast ripped through the helmet, something dark and shadowy slipped away. The helmet was utterly destroyed, but when Leshac looked at the armour, he found that it was empty, there was no body to be found.

So, Leshac stood above his conquered foe, holding a shimmering paradox armament of night and day, which held dying sunlight within, and could not help but feel as if something was not quite right about that whole encounter. Quil, finally woke up with a small yawn.

Bwuh? What?” Quil said, looking at the remains of Leshac’s fight in confusion. “Uh, what happened here? I mean, I dealt with the spiders, but what did you get involved in? Oh, nice lance.”

Leshac thanked her for dealing with the spiders, and said that he just had a small fight with some sort of guardian at the exit. He also commented, that yes, it was a nice lance. Leshac took out his dragon-waycharm. It was perhaps glowing ever more fitfully.

Leshac and Quil left the icy caves behind them, walking out into a howling blizzard. Quil clung tight to Leshac’s hood. They were clearly quite high up above the clouds, though some snow-laden turquoise trees could be seen in the distance, barely. Quil closed her eyes for a moment.

Well, looks like we are up one of the mountains nearby Darnuth, so that is something at least.” She opened her eyes.

Leshac moved about, the direction the waycharm shone was up the mountain.

Long climb ahead, and this weather, I hope the waycharm lasts, we could get lost and fall” Quil said grimly.

Leshac simply nodded, and slowly striding through the winds, began to look for handholds to climb upwards

A long climb indeed.

Author: SnowyMystic