488 Bone Prison

    Alfie and Edi watched wide-eyed as Nix's Emerald Fury aura enveloped him.  With no effort, the solid rock beneath him became like water under his bone feet.  Effortlessly he and Pon spent several minutes making the inside of the cave much larger.  The heat intensified and Nix vanished beneath the rocks.  Pon watched for a few seconds before turning back to the task at hand.  Carving out shelves and bunk spaces was no problem now that he was a Skeleton Fire Mage.

    /Skelly: Pon: Why are Skeletons so calm?

    /Skelly: Nix: Cuz nothing gets under our skin.

    /Skelly: Pon: Heh... Why don't Skeletons like spicy food?

    /Skelly: Nix: We don't have the stomach for it.

    /Skelly: Pon: Damn you!

    Nix slowly sunk deeper into the rock, after several meters he started moving horizontally.  "Oi... There's an underground spring down here."

    Pon's skeleton face peeked over the edge of the glowing crater.  "That going to be a problem?"

    "Nope, just saying.  Once I hollow out enough space for a prison, I'll use my flame blades to make a wall ladder up the side."  Nix glanced around the molten room, the excess lava was flowing slowly into the pocket of water with a steady hiss.  He made a rough square 6x6 meters and then created a basin for the water to funnel through. When he finished the drain was smaller than his hand.

    Alfie sat near the entrance of the cave with Sasi and Edi, the heat from the interior of the cave had become too uncomfortable for anyone not versed in fire.  "Are those two always like that?"

    Sasi nodded.  "Nix is for sure, I've only met Pon a few times.  No one is stupid enough to mess with either of them."  The demon skeleton scanned the perimeter, she missed her family; they almost always did their missions together.  "Maybe my brother will come soon."

    Edi glanced at Alfie but didn't say anything.  They sat in silence for nearly an hour before Nix and Pon exited together.  Nix put his hilt away and took a seat next to Sasi, almost immediately the tiny demon jumped onto his lap.

    "All done?"  Sasi's fanged expression would definitely have been a big smile if she still had her lips.

    Nix nodded and patted her smooth skull.  "Going to start crafting, the cave should cool down fairly quickly."

    Pon sat next to Alfie, facing outward.  "Melted those rocks together that were stacked near the entrance, single file entry from now on."

    Nix nudged Sasi off of him and began scooping up the dark covered mud from nearby.  "There are sixteen Burroughs with multiple precincts in each one.  Each Burrough has its own graveyard.  Through careful planning, we'll get reinforcements from the Sandcrab precinct once we take over a few more sections."

    Edi watched him while he worked, he spilled a handful of empty rifle shell casings onto the ground beside him.  "Is there a question in there?"

    Nix shook his head without looking up.  "Sorry, thinking out loud.  Don't pay me any attention." The Inferno Leader blocked out the rest of the group and focused on the new crafting ability.

    Welcome to the [Golem Maker Interface]  Current Crafting Level:1

    [Basic Golem]=[Composite][Bond Type][Elemental Source]

    Composite: This refers to the material the golem is composed of.  [Basic Golem] requires Rock, Wood, or Ice.

    Bond Type: This refers to the material that glues the composite together.  [Basic Golem] requires Twine, Clay, or Sap.

    Elemental Source: This is the driving energy that powers the golem.  [Basic Golem] requires Fire, Water, or Ice.

    Nix stood and searched the immediate area for fist-sized rocks.  After gathering a few dozen he sat back down.  "Let's see... Three rocks for each leg, two for the torso, three for the arms and one for the head; that means fifteen altogether."

    [Craft Queue: Basic Golem][Composite: 15 Rocks: Granite]

    Nix got up again and found several large chunks of ice, melting them into the dirt he started forming round balls of mud.

    [Craft Queue: Basic Golem][Composite: 15 Rocks: Granite][Bond: Clay: Black Silt Base]

    "Good... That's good."  Nix picked up one of the empty rifle shell casings that he had dumped on the ground.  His hand glowed with emerald flames for a few moments before he placed the casing in the queue.

    [Craft Queue: Basic Golem][Composite: 15 Rocks: Granite][Bond: Clay: Black Silt Base][Elemental Source: Superheated Steel Core]

    [Do you wish to craft a Basic Golem?]

    Nix nodded to himself.  "Yes."

    Golem Making has risen to 2.

    Nix grinned at the knee-high stone golem.  It only had two commands, move forward and move backward.  It took three shaky steps before collapsing and falling apart.  "Not bad... I need more material."  He looked up to see his four companions watching him."

    Pon gave him a thumbs up. "That was actually pretty awesome."

    Nix shot him a grin and jumped up.  "I'll gather a bunch more stuff, so I can put a long queue together."

    Six hours later, Nix was forced to move inside because of the growing darkness.  He had worked tirelessly and managed to raise his crafting level to 20.  The next project on his hud called for items needed to make an Intermediate Golem.

    Nix sat by the fire while studying his hud.  Alfie was out on patrol, once he returned the Spellsword would do his first scouting.

    [Intermediate Golem]=[Composite][Bond Type][Elemental Source]

    Fortunately, you could make an Intermediate Golems using the same components as a basic, the result would use more materials and create a more streamlined version.  The drawback was that using basic materials wouldn't improve your crafting skill.  Because of the lack of general materials, Nix decided to mix and match as best he could.  He melted down several pieces of armor and gathered several small accessories that possessed minor elemental enhancements.  Luckily, ice enchanted rings were the most common drop from the enemy.

    [Craft Queue: Intermediate Golem][Composite: 4 Steel Bars][Bond: Clay: Black Silt Base][Elemental Source: Ice Enchanted Ring]

    [Queue 30 Intermediate Golems?]

    "Yes."  Nix glanced up when Alfie entered the cave.  "How'd it go?"

    Alfie shrugged slightly.  "No kills, they seem to be hiding from me today."  He tossed Nix the stealth ring that he used since the group only had three; Sasi didn't need one. "Be careful."

    Nix caught the ring and slipped it on.  "Sure."

    "Take three of these!"  Pon carefully handed him three basic grenades.  "Works just like it should, pull the pin and release the plunger.  Three seconds later ** is gonna blow up, haven't had the chance to test their strength.  These won't be very strong."

    Nix placed them in his inventory.  "Keep at it, I have a plan to combine our efforts."

    /Skelly: Pon: I'm on it.  Go kill some **.

    /Skelly: Sasi: Careful Nix!

    /Skelly: Nix: Hold down the fort.

    Nix picked through the miscellaneous armor stacked against the wall and found some boots and leather armor.  "Good enough." He stepped into the darkness a few moments later and activated his stealth.  Unfortunately, cold boots and icy paths weren't conducive to silent walking.

    /Skelly: Nix: I'd give anything for my **ing sound suppression camo.

    /Skelly: Sasi: Walk on your tiptoes, it helps a bit.

    /Skelly: Nix: I'm gonna steal a pair of better shoes.

    Nix dropped stealth ten minutes later when a three-man patrol stepped onto his path.  His emerald strands lit up the night as they wrapped around the necks of his enemies.  Instead of using his sword, he slammed them onto the ice multiple times until their bodies were like ragdolls.  After releasing them he searched the corpses, two ice-enhanced rings, and pair of black leather gloves.  He slipped the black gloves over his bone hands and continued on his way.

    Two hours later, after dispatching two more patrols, Nix knelt on a ridge overlooking the Ice Invader HQ.  After spending several minutes studying the routes of the camp patrolling guards, he moved directly into their path and then fell in step behind them when they walked by.  The perimeter patrols were done in pairs, the two that Nix trailed were more content with chatting than actually keeping an eye out.  He stayed with them until they walked close to the center of the camp.

    Nix waited next to the entrance of the tent while studying the area's layout.  A burly looking guard stood directly in front of the commander's doorway.

    /Skelly: Nix: So close, where's my luck tonight.

    /Skelly: Sasi: You okay?

    /Skelly: Nix: Yes.

    "Want some?"  A voice called out from the campfire, a few meters from the guard Nix was watching.  The camp cook was gathering up the remains of the pot that had been hanging over the flames.  "Otherwise it's going to the dogs."

    The guard nodded and trotted toward the fire, without pausing Nix slipped quickly into the tent.  A figure rose up in front of him,  he struck out with his fist and then tackled the person to the ground.  After a brief struggle, his arm choked the person unconscious.  Nix quickly patted down the commander and then relieved him of his life by pushing his emerald blade into the base of the skull.  The moment he did, a loud wailing filled the air.


    Wind finished off the last of his dinner and leaned back in his chair.  Getting Hyai to cook for them was the best idea Semmi had ever come up with.  "That was good!  Thank y..."  He interrupted himself when a glance at the Key showed that it was active.  "NEZ! SHARL!"

    Two women rushed into the room an instant later and stepped onto the first two pentacles.

    Wind watched the key go inactive and cursed loudly.  "Step off Sharl!"

    "FUCK!"  Sharl stepped out of her circle, her eyes watching as Nezbit disappeared from sight.

    /Inferno: Wind: The key went active, we were only able to send one.
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