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COMPONENT 14: ICY TOMB
Buster Ironheart could not set down the body of his goddess. His beloved Sheeva was gone and he did not know what to do—he did not think he could live in a world without her. Who cared that he would no longer be able to ask for help with daily decisions? Who cared that he could no longer pray for spells? The Belltower Dwarf certainly didn’t. All he cared about was that the only love he had ever felt in his life was now lost on empty space—A soulless body that rested in his arms.
“Me Sheeva!” Buster sobbed again, putting his bearded face to hers.
He kissed her head, and closed his eyes, holding her body so very close. Even though she was known as the Ice Goddess, she was still very warm—and he could feel that warmth slowly leaving her body.
“Blood Tomb…” Buster said with a sudden rage.
Eyebrows furrowed, the blue-beard gritted his teeth and growled, sending spittle flying. It was their fault. It was the gods damned Blood Tomb. Somehow they had made their way into Sheeva’s Ice Halls, her realm amongst the stars. How that was even possible, he did not know, but he believed the late goddess’ words. She had said the Blood Tomb had stabbed her.
“How could it be ye…” Buster growled, “Ye disappeared in the War of the Ten! Ye were supposed to be gone!”
But even though Buster said those words, he knew it in his heart. The Blood Tomb hadn’t lost that war—they had just vanished for an unknown reason. It was just when the nine great kingdoms were about to lose on all fronts—that was when the Blood Tomb army just vanished off the face of Anhsook Del Iris.
If the vile cult had returned it meant trouble for the Nine Lands. Far more trouble than he wanted at that moment. But Buster was conflicted on his duty. He was told to find the Soul Rupture and take it to the great alchemist Sheeva spoke of, but he also knew he needed to head back to Citadel Belltower and tell the High Cleric of the Blood Tomb’s return.
“Oh I don’t know what to do, dammit!” Buster whimpered, and then cursed violently as he closed his eyes and focused on his thoughts—making a decision was not his strong point.
“How about you die?” Came words from a very familiar, Oricsh voice.
Deep chills ran up Buster’s spine, and it wasn’t from the cold.
“What hit Budge?” The squished Orc whined from underneath the pile of bodies.
“I’m asking the same question…” Gavin answered the Orc from within his own daze.
Angon was the answer they both sought. Angon had fallen atop Lavina, Gavin and Budge. Lavina was out cold, and Angon, well Angon was so confused he did not know which way was up and which way was down.
The Forge’s head lulled about as he stared at the frozen ceiling, and thoughts danced through his head like little willowisps.
“Get off!” Budge snapped finally, “Budge can’t breathe!”
“Neither can I!” Gavin cried.
Lavina was squashed between the Forge’s back and Gavin’s front, her mouth muffled, so even if she were conscious, she would not be able to protest.
“Huh?” Angon mumbled, his eyes still looking around and taking in the strange bright-as-snow surroundings.
“Get off of us!” Gavin shouted, and smacked Angon in the back of the head.
The force of the blow snapped Angon back to reality. His eyes widened and he rolled off, landing with a great thud, and causing snow to pop up into the air.
Gavin carefully pushed Lavina to the side, and gasped, taking in a deep breath. He still lay on top of Budge, whose skin had now gone from green to violet with lack of air.
It took a few seconds, longer than Budge would have liked, but the Sol Elf noticed a sharp pain in his lower right back.
“Fetter!” Gavin cried, and leaped to his feet, rubbing the spot furiously, “What in the Abyssal Bat Maws was that!”
It didn’t take the crafty elf long to figure out the obvious. His violet eyes narrowed as he locked onto the Orc. It was dressed in that same red cloak as the ones from Triden’s Gate, as well as wearing the black chain-link armor. On the ground next to him lay an obsidian battle-axe.
Moving in a flash, Buster kicked away the axe, and then kicked the Orc in the side. The unfortunate recipient curled into a fetal position, and whined.
“What that for?” He cried, nearly in tears.
“For being an ugly, dung-eating Orc!” Gavin shouted.
It was then that Budge had a moment of clarity. He looked up at the tall, golden-haired elf, then off to the side to see the auburn-haired girl, and finally to see a standing, gigantic man in a suit of armor.
“This not good.” Budge whimpered, and then scrambled away.
Gavin’s foot hooked the Orc’s knee, causing him to fall onto his face in the snow.
“Lemme go! Lemme go!” Budge pleaded.
Lavina sat up suddenly and looked around. She spotted the Orc and screeched, crawling backwards until she bumped into Angon. Again she shrieked, and scrambled. Before anyone could intervene, Lavina had her back to Budge.
Orcs were never the smartest of creatures, especially not this one, but inside that cracked skull of his, and idea poofed into existence. Budge grabbed the girl around her chest, and pulled her close, slapping the blade of a dagger right to her throat.
“One move!” Budge said, “Jus’ one move and she die!”