“This looks eerily familiar,” said Jandyr, glancing around the chamber.
“I agree,” said the Wizard, glancing around the floor.
“Of course it looks familiar, I already bloody told you it’s an ancient Dwarf design,” shouted Short-arse angrily. “Long corridor, funnel invaders left and right. Sound familiar?”
The Elf and Wizard stared at the Dwarf blankly.
“Don’t know why I bother…” she muttered.
Trogdar had wandered off to the right-hand doorway and was gently setting the lantern down. As Jandyr set off to follow him, Short-arse held out an arm across the Elf to hold him back.
“Best leave him for a minute, he had a rough night’s sleep so he’s… doing the secret knock,” she whispered conspiratorially.
“I must say, I’m fascinated by this secret knock,” Jandyr replied innocently, “I’d love to see it some time.”
“By all means,” said Short-arse, gesturing to the frantic Barbarian. She grinned as the Elf strode over to Trogdar.
“Could I just..?” began the Elf.
“BLOODY ‘ELL!” screamed Trogdar, jumping in the air as he turned towards Jandyr and falling heavily against the wooden door.
“I didn’t mean to intrude, I was just curious,” said Jandyr with a puzzled look on his face.
“Well warn a guy next time will you?” said Trogdar, his face flushed with blood.
At that moment, the door opposite burst open, and 6 Orcs came charging out, bellowing war-cries. Behind them came another Orc similar to that in Skabnoze’s lair, heavily armoured and twice as bulky as the others. He ordered the other Orcs to follow before making his way towards Short-arse.
“He’s a Big 'Un,” said Jandyr knowingly.
“Not as big as me,” replied Trogdar.
“No I believe that is what they call…” said Jandyr in haste.
“Oi! Greenskin!” cried Trogdar, causing several of the lesser Orcs to turn in surprise, “Leave that Dwarf alone!”
The Orcs turned and with a throaty roar charged at the Barbarian, who swung his sword in a complex weaving pattern around him, causing them to stutter in their charge.
An arrow whistled past the lead Orc as his eyes opened wide in fear. “Will you stop that!” exclaimed Jandyr to Trogdar, annoyed at another wasted arrow, “You’re a danger to us all!”
“I’m just perfecting me new technique!” shouted Trogdar, his arms and sword a whirling cavalcade of death. “It’s for when I get interrupted and can’t get worked up enough!”
“Well you’re working up the Wizard and I just fine!” replied Jandyr crossly, his Elven robes taking punishing blows but protecting him from the worst of the Berserker’s efforts.
The Orcs were backing away now, confused by the unconventional methods of the hulking Barbarian.
“FREEZE THEM!” cried Trogdar, beginning to feel the strain of his aerobic exercise.
“What?” said the Wizard, momentarily distracted by a luminous purple fungus.
“FREEZE THEM!!!” grunted Trogdar, his teeth set in a rictus grin.
“Oh, errr, can’t be done,” said the Wizard.
“Why not?” asked Jandyr, loosing another arrow.
“Because the Winds of Magic have…”
“Oh for fu…” began Trogdar as a chill wind blew out the lantern. There was a pause for a few seconds before the lantern was relit. As light returned the room was completely still, both warriors and Orc alike having ceased their battles.
“RAAAARGH!” cried Short-arse, surprisingly the first to react and beheading the Orcs who had foolishly turned their backs to her while confronting the rampaging Trogdar.
Trogdar opened one of his tightly-shut eyes and peered around the chamber. “That it?”
From behind, a tremendous groan of wood and stone sounded and echoed through the vaulted chamber. A large door, disguised from the front as a solid wall of stone crashed open, releasing a horde of Orcs, their war-cries bellowing and vicious. A hail of black-barbed arrows followed in their wake, shot by a line of Orc archers standing along the far wall of the revealed antechamber, their toothy grins visible in the flickering torchlight.
The first Orcs barrelled into the helpless Wizard, driving him onto his back in a mass of flailing limbs. Their wicked swords began stabbing at the helpless form relentlessly.
The others drove on like a tidal wave, meeting the Barbarian and Elf in combat and pressing them back against the walls. A relentless stream of arrows continued through the doorway overhead, occasionally finding their targets.
Still the Orcs came, finding whatever room they could in the mass of muscle to press outwards and around to the Orc big ‘Un and Dwarf, still locked in a combat which had left them both weary and bloodied.
“Green filth,” muttered Short-arse, her jaw clenched as she hacked at the Big ’Un. It reared up and raised its sword high above its head in an effort to deal the fatal blow, exposing it’s belly for just a split-second beneath thick armour. Short-arse took the opportunity and swung her axe horizontally, cleaving the beast in twain and carrying the stroke into the advancing horde.
“FREEZE!” came a sharp cry from floor-level as the Wizard drew from the returning Winds. His flailing arms and legs covered in razor sharp ice, carving through his assailants and leaving bloody red ruin.
The press of bodies finally beginning to subside allowing Trogdar and Jandyr to force their opponents back, freeing themselves to make swift work of the now outnumbered Orcs.
Trogdar bent over double, sucking in great gulps of air. “I’m bloody knackered!”
“We’re not done yet, human,” said Jandyr, tensing his bowstring and returning an arrow at the leering archers.
Trogdar took a deep breath and stood up straight before letting out a great sigh. “Right, let’s ‘ave ‘em.”
“RAAARGH!” Before he took his first step, a blur of motion shot past him as Short-arse charged into the antechamber, screaming for vengeance.
“I can’t help but feel she’s upset about something,” said Trogdar as he watched the carnage.