Chapter 5 (part 2) – The Front Line

This entry is part 12 of 15 in the series Rise of the X-Syndicate

Zuxana swung her sword horizontally, effectively separating a dwarf’s body from its head.  She then turned to the right, stomped down on a fallen gnome and jumped to the air, slashing at a human paladin.  The blade bounced down the human’s plate armor and found some flesh around her hips.  The cut startled the paladin, and as she turned to face Zuxana, a blade came into her side, causing her body to go limp and drop to the ground.

Zuxana knew the blade very well, it belonged to the orc Kwandu, one of the great warriors in her guild.  She quickly met his gaze, and turned her back to him.  He did the same and moved his back against hers.  Back to back, both talked while fighting off Alliance soldiers.

“How do things look from your end?” She asked, stabbing a human warrior in the arm.

“The explosions took everyone by surprise, things are a lot less certain now,” Kwandu’s gruffy orcish voice responded.  He looked down at her leg.  ”You’re hurt.”

“Nothing that can’t be taken care of latter,” she answered.  “Any idea what caused the explosions?”

“The Rogues got caught while they were ganking the healers.  As they fled, some saw Alliance soldiers putting explosives on the head of their ballista arrows,” he explained, sidestepping a large metal hammer, then slashing his sword diagonally.

“Do we know if there are many explosives left?” Zuxana asked.

“Yes,” answered Kwandu, “many…”

***

As a mage, Hallpass’ role in battles was quite simple: stay back and use ranged spells.  The explosions, however, had changed the dynamic of the battle, and he was now fighting for his life.

A large, well-armored Night Elf was standing before him, grinning and wildly swinging his mace forward, each time missing the mage by a few inches.  Surprised he was still in one piece, Hallpass hopped backwards and cast an ice spell, freezing the night elf’s feet in place.  He then concentrated on the night elf’s weapon, increasing it’s temperature and making it fume and glow red.

Unable to bear the heat, the night elf let out a scream and dropped his weapon to the ground.  He then pulled  a small dagger out from under his armor, freed his legs and leapt forwards, hectically slashing at the undead mage.  In return, Hallpass pulled out his own dagger, but was knocked to the ground before he could do anything with it.

As the night elf stood above Hallpass and readied his dagger for a killing blow, a large golden wildcat threw itself upon him.  The night elf struggled to free himself from the beast, but was hit by an arrow in the arm, then another in the leg, and finally, a third one in his skull.  His purple body went limp and fell forward onto Hallpass.

The mage felt his bones crunch and snap as the heavily armored night elf crushed his body.  He was glad he was undead, since he hardly felt pain anymore, and struggled to free himself from the night elf’s heavy body, although he wasn’t nearly strong enough do to so.  He was relieved when a large green hand suddenly grabbed hold of his neck and pulled him to his feet.  The hand belonged to Varathron, and Orc Hunter and fellow member of  the Razorwind Guild.

As Hallpass brushed himself off, he noticed a small dagger wielding gnome running up from behind the Orc.  The gnome leapt into the air and let out a high-pitched scream which, although was meant to be intimidating, was actually quite amusing.  The mage smiled and snapped his fingers, which caused a fireball to manifest itself around the gnome.  The high-pitched war cry stopped, and the gnome’s roasted body instantly fell to the ground with a thud.

“Well, I guess we’re even now,” Hallpass said, looking down at the bodies of both the night elf and the gnome.

“Just stay back and do your caster thing cloth boy,” Varathron answered dryly.

The Orc turned his back to the mage and commanded his large wildcat, which he had named Momo, to attack an incoming female dwarf.  With claws like butcher knives slashing at her, and an arrow fired by Varathron that was now whizzing to the side of her neck, the dwarf didn’t stand a chance.

Hallpass looked at the Orc with a grin.

That ungrateful

His thoughts were interrupted by something he saw through the corner of his eye.  At first he couldn’t quite make it out – his vision had deteriorated greatly when he had become undead – and by the time he recognized the shape of a ballista arrow, it was already to late.

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