Last Stand of the World
Chapter Fifteen: Sand Goblin Tribe
Davern watched as the two giant beasts squared off with one another, unsure of what to think. He supported Asaa with one arm; until she was able to hold herself upright again. Then took his arm away, giving her space, but still standing close enough next to her encase the behemoth Sand Wyrms' call sent her reeling again.
"Ryli, what's your take on this?"
"The Shaman and The Summoner are brothers, rivals, and the leaders of the tribe even before one was "controlled," they were at each other's throats, albite a little more diplomatically, and never to the detriment of our people as a whole.
'They're twins, and no one knows who was born first, so their father decided to make them both joint leaders. if you ask me, it should have followed tradition and made The Shaman the leader and The Summoner his subordinate; maybe all this trouble could have been avoided."
"I see." Davern watched as the battle raged; they were just tearing chunks out of each other.
"Not now though, now they don't care who they hurt. Well, The Shaman might, but he's infected to he's just bearly hanging on somehow, but I don't think he has much longer, it's just that the other's haven't noticed yet."
"Your Shaman is infected too?" Davern turned to her with an incredulous look on his face.
"Yes, he's been infected just as long as our Summoner, but he's doing something to fight it, or more of us would have gone to the pits." She rubbed her arm, shifted, and he could tell that she wanted to change this line of questioning.
The battlefield's momentum began to wane; it wasn't as if The Shaman could give The Summoner the Sand Wyrms anyway. Asaa, looked over at the Shaman and then back at Davern, "should we stay to the original plan?"
He nodded, "I don't see why not, I'm sure that those two would have told him how we took out the others the first time, and he can probably tell that you've already used potions in the cavern, I think that he is using this as a stalling tactic."
She paused, looking thoughtful, "You could be right." Then she looked out over the vast sea of men that she'd given the sleeping and other potions to, "what should we do with them?"
"I don't know. Have them help take down the more difficult targets like we planned?"
She nodded her head and lifted her arms, and the last of the potions flowed into the air, out onto the breast in golden swirls.
It tickled his cheeks as they danced by; he closed his eyes, enjoying the sensation. It would be almost pleasant in the stifling cave; if he didn't know what the cause was and what would happen to the recipients down the line.
He opened his eyes and looked towards the battle that was more for show than anything else. He knew that the two of them weren't really trying to hurt the other. If they were, there would be more damage by now. What their ultimate goal was, was something he'd yet to determine, but he knew that he wasn't about to let a horde of goblins stop him in the middle of a mission, especially one involving his kid brother.
Davern channeled mana into his eyes and tracked the goblins on the floor; to see if there was anything odd going on. He could see a faint trace of some kind of a thin grey dirty line of something connecting them, but he didn't know what it was; it sort of looked similar to the degraded mana that the Nullar created, but stable. It must be used to connect them and make them do as it wanted, but didn't that make it a spell?
But the Nuller nullified magic... Just what on the Gods planet was going on here? His eyes widened as he took an expanded view of the caverns, and he took a step back, blanching the whole place throbbed with that same dirty mana. He didn't have a better word to call it. Lines dove in and out of it, shooting far and wide like a network connecting to something but to what he didn't know.
His palms dampened, and he licked his lips. "Hey Asaa, I think we've got a bigger problem than we thought."
"What do you mean? Are the goblins planning something?" She said, turning towards him and dropping her voice.
He just shook his head and said, "I think I understand now why that old snake of yours was so concerned about us finding that whatever library and going on that quest."
"I'll explain later; I'll I know is that we'd better hurry. Something is powering up in here. I'm not sure how long until whatever it is doing is done, but I can tell that a massive spell is about to go off."
"But we are in here with the Nuller,"
"I'm aware of that, I don't think that the Nullers, are everything that we've been lead to believe, I think from what I'm seeing here that they are something else entirely and we've somehow lost that information, or..."
"Or someone has made sure that we've lost that information." He released the spell, and then they moved forward, towards the center of the battlefield. He didn't feel like using kid-gloves anymore; anger at the situation poured through his mind, heart, and veins. Not quite losing his head, but close, he powered up one of his massive AoE spells and launched it into the middle of the nearest pack of goblins.
The floor beneath them liquified and swallowed them until they were knee-high, and then it solidified again; he quickly moved from spot to spot, casting over and over until he felt winded, and the howls of the Sand Wyrm were the only ones left on the field.
"Really, Zerkorg using a human to do your dirty work now? What can't fight your battles by yourself?"
"It's not him that's using me; it's me that's using him," Davern said. Landing in the center of the two, "I've had about enough delays out of you, and if you want your precious Wyrm to last through the day, I'd shut the hell up." He shot a fireball at the ground, near the Wyrm's body, leaving a crater to emphasize his point.
The creature shrank back, upsetting his rider on his stand, covered in a brocade of bone and ric rac. He swayed, losing his balance before falling to his knees. His headdress toppled to one side, making him look almost comical. He looked up and snarled, "Zerkorg, I should have fed you to the beast first if this is how I was going to be repaid."
"You know, Zroldruk, because you said that, I'm not sure I feel so horrible about the decision I've come to make. I can't fight the venom any longer."
The Summoner scrambled to his feet on his platform headdress, swaying, "Really, then why all the posturing, and how come you are letting a human-run wild in our territory?"
"Human, there was much I'd wanted to say to you, but I've run out of time. I can only do this now and hope that trusting you with Ryli and the others is the right thing to do."
"Yes, there's something that I need for her to do, something that I've been keeping from her."
Davern triggered the mana spell to his eyes again so that he could watch The Shaman; as he spoke, something about the way he spoke about being out of time didn't sit right with him.
After he activated the spell, he could see the thin grey lines that streaked across the Shamans' face begin to grow thicker. He held his peace and listened to what the Shaman had to say. Understanding now why he'd said what he had.
"When it is done, Ryli must find the library. She must find the answer. I'll shield her, and those two friends of her's from the spell, but only because they have a connection to you, and Dugger told me what you did for her today. There will be a bag; give it to her; she must never lose it if there is a hope for us to live on. I realize now that I've been so negligent that even waiting might have cost us too much. He sighed, shook his staff, and there was a subsonic roar behind him. If you keep talking to that human, I won't let you off, Zerkorg,"
Sometimes Zroldruk, I wish father had just made you The Shaman and left me alone. You could hear an unbearable forlornness in his voice, a sadness as if the weight of his world was on his shoulders and he'd failed.
"What are you talking about?" The Sand Wyrm shifted under him restlessly. He thumped it in the head with impatience.
"Nothing, Brother, I just want you to know. I never hated you; I just wanted us to get along and rule our tribe in peace." The Shaman sighed, then raising his staff up in the air, he began to float on top of his beast.
"As a Shaman of the Sands. I call to you o' Earth. Your children are in great pain and in danger. As a Shaman, I call you. He began pulling power from within the earth and within himself, turning into a golden beacon and spreading outwards.
"As a Shaman of the Sand tribe, I bind the Summoner within the Earth; as the first link. Seal!
"Zerkorg, what are you doing, NO!"
A force pulled Zroldruk up, a golden band formed between the brothers pulling them off their mounts, drawing them closer to each other.
As a Shaman of the Sand tribe, I bind the tribe within the Earth; as the second link. Seal!
As a Shaman of the Sand tribe, I give the tribe a Guardian; to help the Guardian, I give her companions and form the third link of Heart. Seal!
As soon as the last words left the Shamans mouth, Golden lights shot through every inch of the cavern into each and every goblin there, even Ryli, Dugger, and Gabs. They all Rose up, floating towards the center of the room, shrinking smaller and smaller until they were nothing but pebbles, and then suddenly there was an explosion of light. All the pebbles rushed towards Ryli, and a deep golden-colored bag appeared in her hands while Gabs and Dugger kneeled before her like they couldn't raise their heads.
She looked at her hands, confused, then all around the suddenly darkened caverns. A tear trickled down her face, "Davern? What did the Shaman say? Just what is going on?"
Davern opened his mouth to answer her, and a shiver crawled up his spine. A subsonic boom echoed through the cavern. The ground shook, and a loud smash hit the ground near him. "Um, Ryli, hold that thought. I've got to deal with something first. I'll be right back." He said and raced off to deal with the suddenly ownerless titans that had been left behind by the goblins. Could this day really get any worse?