Varis blinked. He was alive, but how long that might last was doubtful. That bracer, whatever magic...
Varis drew his sword with his right hand, reaching into a belt puch with his left as he did so, bringing out the small chunk of catalium he was given so long ago.
The councillor you must defend. When Red attacks, aim for the right arm.
Varis blinked. How could he not have seen it before? He looked up at Barbant, approaching slowly, switching his sword to his less comfortable left hand, clutching the "no-magic" chunk tight in his right as he stepped slowly forward towards Barbant, aiming carefully. Varis was merely average in throwing things, he wanted to know he had the best possible shot at the bracer on the Red Assassin's right arm.
DHarem stared blankly at Varis, not at all understanding his plan, seeing the bard swap sword-hand.
All this time, Barbant was advancing on Karrain, sword raised, ready to strike.
"To hell with this."
An arrow thwacked and rebounded off a magical shield around the assassin. A second followed. But the third, despite being deflected, bypassed the force absorption, and Barbant was flung to the floor beside Varis, dropping the Redblade.
"Quite right." Karrain refocuses his mana, hissing a new string of Anathemum, this time directing spikes of mana directly at the floor around Barbant, magical force shield or no gravity would still take its toll on the assassin...or at least on the masonry that would strike him. With a final control word the Sacrelarch sends his power down into the spikes, having them detonate.
The stonework literally cracked around Barbant as the mana splits the solid rock, throwing up some dust, and causing the transparent energy shield to waver, yet hold. A groaning from the depths of the rock could be heard by a discerning ear as the small impact on the surface dealt huge damage to the lower levels of stone.
The force of the explosion helped the assassin leap to his feet with ease. Faster than humanely possible, his hand slipped to his belt and tossed a small... spike? at Dharem, who stumbled back against the table. Then, grabbing a bottle from his belt with his right hand, he lifted it up, preparing to smash it on the floor... what little remained of it.
Varis took his chance, throwing his sword blindly forward at the assassin - meaning it as far more of a distraction than a genuine attempt to do damage, before almost divine forward, hoping to the Lords once more that this worked, throwing his entire body into an attempt to slam the Catalium chunk against that bracer on Barbant's arm...
A small "tink" as the rock and the bracer made contact.
A small shock as the sword rebounded off the energy shield and Barbant fell to the floor, Varis on top.
A "smash" as the bottle exploded on the floor and the two figures slowly began to disappear from sight.
Then a ground-rumbling - "SHORP"? - as the Catalium nugget exploded in Varis' hand and a shockwave erupted. The invisibility effect vanished from the two floored fighters, the bracer popped off the assassin's forearm with a "clank".
The Blade of Ranef's red energy blade faded away, as did the arcane remnants of Karrain's weaved mana. Most of the bottles and tools quickly disintegrated around Barbant's belt, and the two healing potions at Varis' also fell to the effect of the chunk.
Varis gasped, doing his best to drag himself up onto his knees, and attempting to stand, sword drawn. His blade felt like lead...an exhaustion that Varis seemed to be feeling alot lately...
"Councillor..." Varis trailed off as he stood. In all honesty, he wasn't sure what else to say, to do. Now would be the chance to kill Barbant right here, right now, just as he did the Smythian. There was no doubt that he could, but should he?
An'Jantar frowned, "I have seen many people, many friends, fall to the blade of this man. I have heard the screams, and nearly paid the ultimate price myself..."
He sat down on a chair in front of the floored Barbant, now held in check by Bon, bowstring taut.
"By Tithuanan law, guards and councillors in this sort of situation should take assassins to a prison. Mercenaries have no such limitation, thankfully, and are free from prosecution for killing would-be assassins, particularly those assassins that advertise themselves plainly as such. There is no doubt that Barbant is an assassin, as he says so himself."
"Yes, I am. The greatest assassin of all!"
"As I was saying, Varis. Mercenaries have almost literally a licence to kill."
An'Jantar closed his eyes, and a huge spike formed of Magic from Within drove itself into the assassin's chest with a huge crunching noise, killing him before he could open his mouth.
"I think you'll agree with me that this parasite is better as he is now."
"It seems that time has not improved Anchor...nor mellowed it." Karrain shakes his head, turning from Barbant to Thomas. "...already we have lost two good men today, if we are going to face this threat then we must at least match the rate of attrition they inflict upon us. That means finding this Khan...then ramming the information he gives us down whoever's responsible's throat...hard."
Come on, buddy... We'll have lost half of the group before this is over.
"DHarem!" Varis cried, cursing himself for forgetting about him in the heat of what just happened. Running over, Varis frantically searched through DHarem's belongings, bringing out a labelled vial of each antidote. Stumbling slightly, Varis ran back over to his friend, handing him each of the antidotes to drink himself.
"Here. Don't worry, things will be fine. Drink those while I get this thing out of your leg. Come on..."
Varis moved lower, carefully arranging himself to see if he could grasp and pull out whatever projectile it was without harming DHarem further...
DHarem gulped them down, shuddering at the clearly bad taste, as nothing seemed to happen.
The small projectile was a sort of caltrop, obviously laced with poison down to the circular metal core. The spikes emanating, eight in total, each had a sort of tiny metal sheath on them, as a one-way valve system. On sticking into something, it would release the poison through the opened spikes. The poison was obviously heavily concentrated, judging by the size.
Unluckily enough, DHarem's robe wasn't thick enough to stop the spike from sticking into flesh and bloodstream.
The poison seemed to cripple him entirely, and leave him almost paralysed on the floor. Bon nodded, and said "Great Runner venom. He should be fine, but it'd be worth giving him the other vial of Runner antidote, in case."
As for the spike... with care, Varis was fully capable of pulling it out with his fingertips.
Posted on 2011-09-29 at 19:46:56.
Edited on 2011-09-29 at 19:47:17 by Darren
Varis placed the spike on the ground beside him, holding his hand out, unwilling to leave the side of his friend. It sickened him to see DHarem so crippled by something so deadly, but he had hope that their antidote would be sufficient.
After a brief rummage, Bon passed the vial to Varis, who poured it down DHarem's throat. Colour almost immediately seemed to return to his cheeks, though it would take a short while for the full effect.