Needz moar storiez!
Here's another one--I'm really uncomfortable writing battles. Any advice would be much appreciated.
No One Likes A Paladin
or: Since When Can The Elf Fight?
With the undead unable to follow us, it’s just Sulderis and Maga to keep any assailants away from Moroch and I. I hope the Elf is up to it; he’s been twitchy since he had a discussion with a couple Drow back at the Grim Procession. Maga seems tough enough, anyway.
We enter the left door at the end of this short hallway. Inside, it’s what I’d expected: a cathedral. Row upon row of pews; the floor decorated with the same square-and-diamond pattern on the doors. Still Hallowed. Still—
“Prepare yourselves, foul necromancers! Your stain will not sully these aged walls!” The brass voice calls out from the opposite side of the room, and then immediately come the sounds of hurried feet and more shouts about “evildoers”. Paladins. Terrific.
Sulderis jumps a couple of pews, sending his light ahead of him so we can get a good look at three heavily muscled men with wolflike heads, clad in white and gold. Archon paladins. Of course they are.
At least I know how to deal with archons. As their leader engages Sulderis, I draw the symbols in the air and force the words of power from my throat. The oppressive Hallow makes it feel like my mouth is full of potatoes and my hands swimming in mercury, but I force the spell through to completion. The walkway next to the Elf sizzles and flares with blinding energy as a fiendish grizzly bear roars into being next to him, blocking the archons’ path to the frailer members of the team.
Not that that matters, of course. These savages have no idea how much trouble they’re in for against one bear. The leader does engage with the grizzly and the Elf, but the two others disappear, reappearing between Moroch and I with a thunderclap.
Startled, I stumble back, into the side wall, and fumble for a bit of gauze in my spell pouch. I’ve no intention of going hand-to-hand with these sword-wielding brutes, so as Moroch turns to run back the way we came, I complete my transformation into a harmless mist, and drift gently upwards out of reach to watch the battle unfold.
From my vantage point between the two rooms I watch Maga chase the two archons following Moroch—growing up as a slave to the trolls doesn’t leave much room for fear, I suppose. Moroch beats a hasty retreat to the skeletons in the next room, taking occasional hits from the archons but keeping his feet and wearing them down thanks to a fiery shield I’m not familiar with. Sulderis and the bear soon overpower the paladin fighting them, and as Moroch finally gets behind his skeletal monsters, Sulderis comes tearing out of the church toward the two remaining archons.
They blink away from him, past the skeletons and next to Moroch once again, but Sulderis catches one on his blade mid-spell, and only a messy lower half of that archon arrives to block Moroch’s escape. The last archon, surrounded now by all the skeletons and the bear, yells some defiant challenge, but he barely has time to swing his blade before a Missile barrage from the Elf puts him down for good.
I should find out what’s eating at him, maybe aggravate it. Whiny as he is, it’s making him a better fighter.