Money Makes the World Go Round - Part 12
(Previous Chapter: http://www.erfworld.com/blog/view/50860/money-makes-the-world-go-round-part-11)
Several things happened at once as the egg came to a halt. Parson, upon recognizing the device, charged forward. The Casters, stabbers, and others in the plaza all let loose their fury at the column the archon had dived behind, chunks of stone flying away into the city, even as the thing itself was reduced to so much slag, glowing in a variety of colors that almost made it beautiful to behold, had the target still been behind it.
“Drachma! Shield!” shouted Parson, and the Moneymancer knew the order for what it was. Luckily, his contract with Gobwin Knob allowed the debiting of the side’s treasury for his action, as he drew the shmuckers, and quickly created the desired item, using his connection to Parson to give it to him without the hefty Warlord having to do something like catch it out of the air. Instead it just appeared on his arm, and reacting with a speed that belied his size, he dove forward, the Shield of Mirrors turned around so it fell and covered the whole of the item on the ground.
A few seconds were spent in almost silent anticipation, before the egg hatched in an explosion that mixed many different disciplines together. Had the thing been uncovered, it would have destroyed much of the plaza, possibly even croaked the units in it, but thanks to the shield’s protection, the blast was focused downwards instead, limiting the damage it did directly to a single small crater that wasn’t even a foot deep.
Indirectly, the blast propelled Parson upwards almost a dozen feet, in an arc the carried him straight into a pillar. He struck it with a force, and one could hear the crack of bones as his shoulder shattered upon the stones. Before he even hit the ground, however, Pierce, the Healomancer of Jetstone, rushed forward at some silent order from his King. The old Caster was casting before he was even close to the Warlord, touching him and giving him a drink from his hand, which healed Parson of all his injuries, getting him back on his feet. It had been one minute since the attack had begun.
That next phase began a moment after Parson was on his feet, as the archon reappeared behind her sister, the brunette, and her guards. She brought her pipe weapon to bare against them, and pressed a finger lever in the thing, which caused a deafening series of retorts to come forth from the weapon, as well as metal looking bits. The metal things tore through the guards, croaking them almost instantly, and encouraging everyone to get out of line of sight with them.
Drachma shot off another golden shower, his magic forming into a bolt of shining light that blasted out at the archon, along with the Dirt, Croak, and Doll doing much the same. Sadly, this drained what little juice Ace had, and while the all four bolts hit, the archon’s clothing tanked the blows, ringing metallicly as the four colored beams struck. She then retaliated, firing blindly into the crowd, while dragging her still groggy sister away, the two vanishing as the Foolamancy took hold again.
“My Lord,” said Sizemore as he moved up with Parson, slamming his Erfmover shovel into the ground, and causing a small wall to appear around his warlord, the King, and all the Casters. With it not being their turn, the archon’s couldn’t fly, as that would be moving hexes. Unfortunately, one could hear the cries and terror as more pipe attacks tore into the guards beyond their defense.
“I’m fine, really. Still, I didn’t expect Charlie to have guns. Tech levels like that really skew the campaign setting,” he said, rubbing his shoulder.
“Hamster, now would be an ideal time for one of your ideas,” said Wanda as she brandished her Pliers, reinforcing the walls around them as best she could with a shot of her own magic. It wouldn’t hold long, however, as one could already see small bumps appearing in the dirt, where the metal things must have been slamming hard into the other side.
“Macro strategy won’t be of much help right now, and besides, I doubt guns are the last of Charlie’s tricks. No, simple is the way to go now, and that means hitting them with everything we’ve got. Tramennis, how many units do you have in the city?” he asked, and the King didn’t hesitate to give a figure.
“However, most of those are on the outer walls right now. It will take some time to bring them here,” he added, Parson nodded.
“Better to have them and not need them. Bring them here, we’ve got to crush them, maybe try to grab the rifle or something away from them. If their weapons aren’t specific to them, we can end thi-CRAP!” the last was a shout as another egg flew over the wall, landing in the midst of them before they could do much.
“Sizemore, bury it then take down this wall and bolt!” cried the warlord, and the Dirtamancer followed the order, a dome of dirt appearing above the weapon, before he undid the wall. Rather than being in the opposite direction from the egg’s flight, he chose an angle to the side, and the reason for this became obvious once they were out, as the other archon was standing right where that hole would have opened, had they gone that way.
“Hit her!” ordered Parson, and seemingly at his command, every unit, Jetstone or Gobwin Knob, in the plaza struck out. Blasts of magic, thrown spears, and even a few hurled stone went in her direction. Even if they didn’t hit, the metal things would hit a bit of debris, and be driven off course, as the crowd of targets ran towards the columns. Luckily, the archon ran out of whatever ammunition she was using, having to pop a metal tray from the bottom of her pipe, and slamming a new one home quickly, but not before everyone was out of range, Parson himself diving with Tramennis behind his throne.
The archons went after him, stalking him slowly now, not taking chances. Oh, they were fired at, and it was obvious they were taking damage, but Parson seemed to be the sole object of their desire to kill. Even a spear piercing one of the archon’s legs seemed only an annoyance, getting a few bits of metal in return, that sadly, croaked the unit to hurl the weapon. Magic blasts were dodged, or blocked by the archon’s clothing, which must have been of very good quality, given how much punishment it was taking.
“Got you!” shouted the first one to round the throne, but rather than finding Parson, she found the King of Jetstone, grinning himself as he held up his own weapon, the zapper gun Ace had made for his father. A bolt of shockamancy lept from the weapon, and with a crack, it slammed into the beautiful face of the woman, sending her back, even as she instinctively fired. The metal bits flew fast and wild, her sister quickly diving so she was behind her, holding her up.
When the smoke cleared, the two were standing together again, one missing almost half her face, and the other twisted into a grimace, probably from the smell of burning hair and flesh. Neither gave ground, however, their eyes whipping around just in time to see Tramennis and Parson dive around behind one of the pillars on the opposite side of the plaza, as an entire stack of stabbers gathered between them, with hundreds more rushing into the fray.
“For Charlie, we live, for Charlie, we die!” shouted the uninjured one, the redhead, and she drew out of one of the eggs from inside her shirt. Bringing it to her mouth again, Drachma watched as she took a pin in her teeth, and pulled at it. The action looked like it actually broke one of her teeth, but the pin was dislodged, and she quickly threw it across the plaza towards her targets, the stabbers trying to knock the thing from the sky, even as Parson and Tramennis scrambled away.
Just before it passed him by, Drachma stalked forward, his wide frame not slowing him down in the slightest as he took aim, lining up his false arm with the thing in the air, and then shooting out the hand. Fingers, designed for delicate tasks, stretched out, grabbing the offending weapon, while Drachma focused his magic. Spinning, he whipped the cord connecting his hand to his arm around himself, and then let go as the arc of the things flight placed it back towards the two archons, two eggs appearing in place of the single one.
The move was quick, fast enough that neither of the woman had time to react at all. Instead, each felt the egg, the Gren Aid, slam into their torsos. The archons were thrown back by the force of impact, their hands tightening despite this on their weapons, before the eggs hatched, and the plaza was filled with shrapnel, fire, and the smell of burning clothing. Out of the flames flew the croaked archons, each coming to a sliding halt just beyond the columns, while Drachma allowed his hand to slam back into place.