The Chronicles of Callera - Whyte Tyger
Lightning cackled about her, but Callera realized the woman above her was not attacking. Her head lifted from the ground, to see the woman weaving about on her feet. Callera quickly rose to her feet, to reach a hand to the injured sorceress, before being admonished by the lightning shield.
The sorceress cried out from between clenched teeth, "Help me..."
Callera once more tried to grab the woman, to stench the blood flow, but felt the lightning pushing her hand back. "I cannot help you while that shield is up!"
The sorceress began screaming, and Callera noticed the lightning was ripping the woman's wounds open further. The Amazon, not knowing what else to do, slammed her fist into the other woman's face, knocking her out cold.
The lightning dissipated. Callera grabbed the woman, to stop her from falling and injuring her head, and lowered her to the ground gently.
The Amazon grabbed one of her greater healing potions, and ripped the stopper out with her teeth. Pouring only a slight amount of the liquid onto the sorceress's wound, she saved the rest to send down the injured woman's gullet. The auburn-haired woman gagged on the substance, but swallowed it nonetheless. Color began returning to her skin.
In a few moments, her eyes fluttered open, and she noticed the Amazon kneeling over her. She made a move than that Callera would never have expected.
The harem girl hugged her. The Amazon was not terribly sure what to do in response, but patted the girl on the back comfortingly.
"You saved my life!" cried the woman, not yet releasing Callera.
"Yes, well, I am terribly sorry for stabbing you in the first place." Callera tried to sound as reproaching as she could, never having 'accidentally' stabbed someone with a large weapon before, and as such, unaware of how to apologize for it.
"It's ok. Mistakes happen." The woman hugged Callera a bit tighter. "It's good to feel a human's touch again. And such a good-looking human at that..."
Callera panicked, and thrust the sorceress away from her, unnerved at her giggling. "Madam, that is enough."
"Yes, I suppose so." With a wry smile, the woman held out her hand for Callera to help her stand. The Amazon did so, while looking about for her lost trident.
Across the room she found it, still smoking, and half melted. She tried picking it up, thinking perhaps Fara could repair it, but as she did so, it collapsed in half, turning into liquid metal in her hands.
Sighing, she rose, and looked to the woman she had 'saved'. "I suppose you are Scheherazade?"
Smiling, the woman's eyes twinkled as she looked the Amazon over. "Indeed. And you are?"
Caught off guard, and unsure of the tone in the woman's voice, she was hesitant to answer, "Callera- Er, we need to be heading back then. Jerhyn sent me to find you, and having done so, we should be going to town." Callera began to reach for a town portal scroll she kept nearby, when the Sorceress surprised her once again.
"NO!" Her voice thundered across the room with the force of dozens of thunderbolts.
"Jerhyn sent me for you, and now we need to-!" Callera tried to haul the woman with her, but Scheherazade proved to be quicker, and escaped her grasp.
"I am down here for a reason, and I don't care what 'Jerrhy' says, this place will continue to be haunted until someone does something about that mage!"
Confused at her excuse, Callera stopped trying to grab the sorceress, and instead stopped to listen to her.
"Some time back, a mage came through here claiming to be Horazon, the Great Summoner. I implored 'Jerrhy' not to let him through, knowing the Mage couldn't be Horazon, but he didn't listen to me. I believe that whomever this Summoner was, he sought the great Journal of Horazon. This Journal contains many recipes for summoning vile demons, including the information required to summon a Lesser Evil from Hell itself!"
Intrigued by this bit of news, Callera asked, "What other information might be found in this Journal?"
"Well who is to say what Horazon felt was important enough to write down, but likely some of the more momentous events in his time would be there; the uprising of the peasents of Kingsport; the fall of the Shadow Wolf Tribe of Barbarians; the imprisonment of Baal, the Lord of Destruction; the-"
"Baal?" The amazon asked, truly knowing this was no mere coincidence.
"Aye, Baal was imprisoned in the deserts of Aranoch, and Horazon was about at that time. I think he may have even been present for the ceremony, but I am not entirely sure."
"I need to see this Journal." Callera began walking off towards one of the exits from this room, but felt a stopping hand from the sorceress.
"It's that way." Scheherazade was pointing towards another of the doors, and Callera turned about to head in that direction. Scheherazade followed her.
"Where do you think you are going?"
"To the Arcane Sanctuary, and Horazon's Journal with it?"
"I should think not. I have come and found you, and now you will return to Jerhyn with the message that I have done so. This is no place for a woman like you."
"A 'woman like me'? Child, I am your elder, and clearly the more powerful of the two. You could not even approach me in that antechamber, just as no creature in these halls have been able to. Why do you think I am the last of the harem girls?"
"It doesn't matter, the point is you are a harem girl. Also, I didn't need to approach you to apparently fell you. Were I not so penitent, I wouldn't have saved you would I?"
"Child, I am a sorceress of the Zann Esu clan, and able to defend myself, let me assure you. The only reason I was injured by you in that berserker rage of yours, was because I thought you may have been a fellow adventurer, and not in fact an enemy. Had I known you would've stabbed me, I would have flayed the skin from your bones long before than."
Callera laughed out loud at this proclamation, while heading further down the hallway. "Hah, Sorceress of the Zann Esu clan? And what would a Sorceress be doing in these halls as a harem girl?"
With a lewd smile, and a wink, she retorted, "Enjoying myself. And also gaining my way into this palace, so that I might find the 'Arcane Sanctuary'. You don't think Lord Jerhyn let's just anyone in, do you? I did need to prove myself to him..."
Frowning, Callera pushed open a doorway before her, and pushed aside a discarded blunderbore corpse. "I don't know, it sounds like he was awfully trusting with this Summoner, and the Mage before him."
"Ahh, Everett Call. Yes, but in 'Jerrhy's' defense, we both thought well of the man. He was purportedly doing much good with his Order, and came seeking to find the Journal, to destroy it, not for any nefarious purpose."
"So you weren't aware that he housed the infernal soul of Diablo, Lord of Terror then?"
Admonished, Scheherazade shook her head silently. "No, I am afraid we didn't. Not that I think 'Jerrhy' would've listened even if I had known. He never did seem to listen to me."
"You were a 'possession' of his, of course he wasn't going to listen." Callera and the sorceress approached a stairwell that headed further down through the palace's basement, and they prepared to descend.
"Yes, but if ever there were a man I would like to be possessed by, it would be Lord 'Jerrhy'. And, if we are to head to the Arcane Sanctuary, you will need something other than your feet and hands to defend yourself with I am afraid."
Frowning, Callera looked around, to see if there was not a discarded pike or spear about, but seeing none, prepared to cast her 'town portal' spell, before Scheherazade stopped her. "What about that thing?"
Callera looked to where the sorceress pointed, and saw the sheath hanging from her waist. The sheath containing the Runeblade Azurewrath.
Arriving at the gateway to the Arcane Sanctuary, Callera held Azurewrath out before her, it's cerulean glow very dull, to diminish the attention they brought to themselves. Scheherazade had only a slight spark coursing throughout her hands, and was not as aglow as when Callera first noticed her.
As they entered, chaos swirled all around them. Spinning, mind numbing chaos. Everywhere Callera looked, things didn't quite seem to make sense. Stairways that lead to an area high above them, were somehow located beneath them. The more the Amazon tried to fathom it, the more her head hurt.
Sensing her companion's distress, Scheherazade grabbed Callera's hand, and squeezed it, bringing her back to her senses. "Don't think about it. It was no secret that Horazon had a sick sense of humor, and this place will only drive you mad if you comprehend its own set of laws long enough."
They set off then, now aware of how eerily quiet the place was. Seeing as how Jerhyn believed the evils in his palace had come from this dimension, it sure seemed devoid of life.
Soon however, their unspoken questions were answered. All about the pair were the tossed about bodies of goat-men and vampires. Something had come this way, and slaughtered them quite violently. Yet there were little signs of struggling from the creatures.
After travelling with such things as a backdrop for about an hour, Scheherazade pointed out an elevated platform that had numerous stairwells descending up to it. Magic flared from atop the platform, and even though Callera could not see what was on top of it, she knew that was their destination.
Climbing the stairways quickly, Callera and Scheherazade soon saw the mage known as the Summoner standing over a magic tome, laughing maniacally.
"OH GOOD, SOMEONE ELSE IS HERE TO WITNESS MY SUCCESS!" Yelled the mage in a loud voice, causing Callera to wince after hearing nothing but her own footfalls for so long.
"Mage, abandon this quest, the Journal of Horazon is not meant for the eyes of the uninitiated!" Scheherazade called to the Summoner, though it would appear her demands would not be met.
Just as Callera suspected, they would not be. The Summoner started weaving about his hands in mesmerizing ways, all the while glowing with eldritch power. He began the first signs of a summoning. "CHILD, I AM THE SUCCESSOR TO THE GREAT HORAZON, AND YOU SHALL NOT SPEAK SO TO ME!"
Scheherazade sent forth a bolt of lightning at the mage, but saw that it was only absorbed into his body, his body now being a conduit for magical energie. The ground before him began to crumble, and then fell out from its place, leading to a burning, fiery pit. Something was trying to crawl out of the pit.
Callera made her move, jabbing Azurewrath into the mage's thin frame, but found it did little harm to him. Scheherazade called from behind her, and she spun about to see a mighty demon between her and her companion.
Standing easily twice Callera's height, it had red skin, with great horns sticking out from the sides of its skull. Giant fangs stuck out from its maw, dripping bile, and its ebony talon's seemed to grow longer from its hands by the minute. Corded muscles stretched, and its wings spread out far and wide, shielding Callera's view of the Sorceress completely.
"By Starlet, what is it?" Callera yelled, while readying her sword to attack the monster.
"A Balrog, one of the stronger minions of Hell! Summoner, send it back now, you cannot control it!"
Indeed, the Summoner seemed to be trying to gain control over the demon, but to little avail. A terrified look came over his face, before the balrog reached its red hand around the mage's skull, obscuring it from view. With a slight squeeze, blood and viscous goo oozed out from its clenched fist. The balrog let go of the now headless mage, who fell to the ground, lifeless.
"Foolish mage, not even Horazon could have controlled me, had he read that incantation aloud. He however was smart enough never to try." The balrog laughed in its guttural voice, before reaching for Callera.
Not willing to be as easy a target as the mage, Callera held Azurewrath before her, and felt relieved to see the demon's hand retract from its pure light.
Hissing, the balrog bared its fangs at the girl, before spinning on its hooves, and nearly decapitating Callera with its wings in the process.
Speaking over its muscular shoulder, "That Runeblade may protect you child, but it cannot protect this youngling."
Callera heard Scheherazade scream, and she ran after the demon.
Jumping into the air, Callera grabbed hold of the demon's wings, and started slashing at them with her blade. Despite how frightened the beast was of the sword, it did little damage to its leathery skin.
He continued to approach Scheherazade.
Slicing through the membranes on its wings, Callera was proud to hear the balrog's cry of pain. The balrog stopped then, before reaching a claw full of talons back to grab at the Amazon. Plucking her from its back like one would a spur from leggings, it prepared to toss her over the side of the platform, to the chaotic emptiness around them.
Lightning flared about Scheherazade, before ripping through the demon's arm. Callera fell to the ground, still clutched in the detached hand and forearm of the demon. The balrog looked in shock at the stump of an arm it now possessed, and began a sprint to the sorceress.
Callera wriggled her way out of the demon's arm's deathlike grip, but knew she couldn't reach Scheherazade before the balrog did.
She should have place more trust in the sorceress however. Just as she had had problems doing, the balrog couldn't approach the woman. Lightning flared up to zap the creature every time it tried. Scheherazade however seemed unable to cast any spells while maintaining this spell shield.
Callera continued freeing herself from the detached arm, with renewed vigor. Yanking free with a triumphant cry, Callera retrieved Azurewrath, and dove at the balrog. Stabbing the Runeblade with all of her might, it tore through the back of the demon, erupting from its huge chest.
Milliseconds later, lightning shot through the demon's chest, from the front and out the back, creating a huge dripping hole in the center.
It fell to the ground, dead. Callera's sword fell with it, and got stuck in the floor beneath.
Scheherazade smiled to Callera, before dissipating the lightning around her.
"Now where is
this cursed book we came looking for?" Callera asked, while retrieving