217 House on Fire part two

    [Thirty miles South of the Gladis Hub: 2100 hours]

    A half dozen white tents blended in with the ice-covered landscape of the Northern Polar region.  Hyai had taken out four large rocks and superheated them before placing them in a steel pot.  It was as warm as any campfire.

    Cyan shared a large fur blanket with the Innkeeper, the Chief Acolyte was far from being cold. "He would have run through here sometime before the first morning.  He started at sundown and ran through the night so that he would be strongest when the temperatures were the coldest."

    The pilgrimage had to face quite a few difficulties during the day. A wandering group of Aquarions jumped out of the snow and attacked them within an hour of their start.  Mid-Day saw them stumble onto a rare White Polar bear, outside of Morti, it was the biggest bear anyone from Inferno had ever seen.

    Wylie was snuggled up close to Banz, the Ice Temple champion wasn't cold but she pretended to be. "He carried his water and alternated between walking and running.  There was no real rest, nor did he possess any talents for Ice or Fire at the time. "

    Hyai had gotten to know several of the acolytes during the long day.  She was surprised to learn that Nix regularly dropped off clothes and supplies for the Temple.  She shook her head in amazement, all of these women had come from King Brahm's harem.  "Hopefully, he's somewhere nice and warm right now."


    Nix moved to the next pillar's room, a female Aquarion was drawing herself a bath when the door opened and shut quickly.  The first indication she had that anything might be wrong was when a half-dozen strands of Gemini flame punched through her chest and yanked her backward.  She disappeared through a breach that Nix opened up.  He took a few moments to ransack her room before moving to the next.

    As the Gemini Temple Lord, he had decided to use the 3rd level instance as a prison of sorts.  The Breach he opened should be the courtyard right in front of the pyramid... probably.  He took out the leather pouch that Darsi had given him and took out another Black Hand artifact.

    The other three pillars remaining on the floor were tempting targets, but Nix decided not to push his luck.  He reasoned that if he killed everyone, then he wouldn't be able to set the house on fire.  He placed fire traps on the walls opposite of the three pillar doors.  The first floor of the House should have a binding stone, "damn it... Why am I doing ** the hard way?"

    The first floor of Greater Houses held the Foundation member rooms and one other very interesting item,  The House Binding Stone. Nix had never seen a binding stone, but he assumed it would look like a gating platform.  You could port into the house from just about anywhere.

    The binding stone ended up being just what he thought.  It was a large round stone about three feet across and six inches thick.  He was tempted to try and move it, but it didn't budge when he made the attempt.  Nix went over his plan.  Open a breach behind the stone, and then use balefire to set off the traps on the second floor.  That would set off a chain reaction that should spring the ceiling traps he placed on the first floor.  When the Foundation member rushed out of his room, Nix would slap a Black Hand on him and send him through the breach.

    Nix muttered quietly to himself, "it's a good theory. I don't even want to think about how many different ways this could go sideways."

    [Summons: Ducky]

    Nix held a finger to his lips, indicating stealth.  "Watch my back."

    [Create Breach: Gemini Temple: Lower Level]


    A gentle wave pushed outward in all directions from Wind's shoulder, and then all hell broke loose.  Zeryn's eyes widened in horror, a deafening shriek burst from her lips as she ran mindlessly for the door. Beta and Chiba were so surprised that neither responded for a moment.  Pon guessed what would happen when the King showed up and he kicked a table in front of the door to block it.


    Zeryn and four of her friends were pulled into a whirlwind of fire, their screams of terror, however, did not subside.

    From the way that Chiba reacted to the mages presences, all of Alpha Team understood that she was the primary target.

    [First Strike]

    Semmi has scored a Critical hit on Zeryn.

    [Critical Chain]

    Wind has followed up Semmi's attack with a critical hit.

    [Critical Chain: Balefire]

    Pon has followed up Wind's attack with a critical hit.

    [Critical Chain]

    Semmi has followed up Pon's attack with a critical hit.

    [Critical Chain]

    Wind has followed up Semmi's attack with a critical hit.

    Zeryn has been mortally wounded.

    [Double Backstab]

    Beta has scored a double critical hit on Zeryn.

    Zeryn has been slain.

    The death of the Aquarion Mage only took a few seconds, the tavern was already in flames by the time the mass hysteria wore off an instant later.

    Chiba's silver sword flashed and removed Bikto's head.  The scarred face Aquarion that accompanied him was cut in a half dozen places, nothing he tried had any effect on the incoming attacks.

    He cursed when the silver blade pushed into his chest, the ugly old woman was leering at him. "We'll be back you ugly old bitch."

    Chiba sliced open his throat and turned her back on him.  "I'll be waiting."

    Beta looked around the room.  The bartender was already using his water magic to put out the flames, the bodies of the dead were already disappearing.  "We should leave now.  They'll be back right away."

    Semmi nodded and grabbed Pon's hand, pulling him through the door while she scolded him.  "We need to run Pon, we might not do so well in the rematch."

    Wind followed Beta through the back alleys, she was very fast for such a small person.  "What about damages to the Inn?"

    Chiba kept running but spared a glance over her shoulder.  "The first rule of Solomon City Tavern fights, the loser pays the damages."


    Nix gripped a handful of Black Hands in one fist, his other hand glowing with Gemini flames. He estimated where the trap on the second floor should.  "Here goes noth..."

    He was interrupted when an Aquarion woman appeared suddenly on the binding stone, her face was a mask of terror. Her confused eyes didn't have time to reason out the situation before Nix slapped a Black hand on her shoulder and then punched her in the chest.  She disappeared through the breach without a sound.

    Five more people appeared in quick succession on the stone, each of them had the same terror-filled look.  Nix treated them all the same way, slapping the artifact on them and punching them through the Breach.

    The door behind him opened suddenly, the man stepped out of his room ready to fight.  His hands glowed with magic, one-half step forward and the shape-charge that Nix set blew a large hole in the floor.

    Nix sent a dozen strands of Gemini Flames through the mage's unarmored legs.

    [Air Burst]

    The barbed ends of his strands expelled air, causing the Mage's legs to blow apart.  Nix jumped across the hole in the floor and tossed the unconscious man into the breach before he could die.  It was only after he released him that he remembered he was out of Black Hands.

    [Stun Shot]

    An arrow slammed into Nix's chest, knocking him down into the hole his trap had made.

    Eri Dale has stunned Nix.  The ranger drew back her bow for a second shot.

    Eri Dale has been charmed.

    Nix gasped for air while he lay on top of a pile of rubble in the Houses basement, it only lasted for a few seconds.  "Jump down Ducky!."

    Ducky jumped into the hole, followed by the ranger who was completely naked.  Several explosions rocked the house in quick succession; a moment later the second floor turned into an inferno.  Nix grabbed Ducky by her hand and ran toward the far end of the basement, away from the heat.

    "We have to leave now!"  Nix stopped next to a large shelf of small clay templates.  "Those look important.  Ask her what they are."

    "What are those items on the shelf Eri?"  Ducky's voice was soothing, her honeyed words made the Su'Dhassi Ranger smile.

    "Blood Bonds.  We use them to keep track of members."

    Nix started stowing them in his inventory as fast as his hands could move.  He summoned his red scimitar and stepped toward Eri.

    Ducky placed a hand on his arm. "She's not one of them Nix."

    "Fine, she can find her own way out."

    [Create Breach: Gemini Temple: Sanctuary]

    Nix and Ducky stepped through the breach an instant later.  The Water Witch breathed a sigh of relief when the heat when back to normal.
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