Warlock Episode 4
Flashback to last episode
Mendel: After a long day of travel, Class Red finally reached the village of Graywood. The village was almost hidden by the forest, with some houses built directly into huge trees. As they walked down the main road through town, the townsfolk stared at the group, unsmiling and unfriendly. Nova tried to smile and greet a few of them while Briar led them to the local tavern where they had booked a few rooms for the night. Instead of the jovial and festive greeting they received the day before, they were met with cold glances.
Ren: Jeez, talk about a warm welcome… These people are giving me the creeps.
Nova: Yeah, everyone is staring at us.... Do I have something in my teeth?
Briar: You’re outsiders, people don’t trust you.
Nova: Even though you’re with us?
Briar: Well…I don’t trust you either.
Ren: Yeah we kinda got that *sigh* I’m gonna see how their grub is.
Mendel: Ren stepped over to the bar to ask for their menu.
Briar: You’ll be staying here tonight, I’ll be back in the morning so we can leave. Be ready at 7 am sharp. I expect you to be well rested
Mendel: With a self-confident hair toss Briar exited the tavern.
Xarion: *sigh* I’m gonna have to have a small chat with her
Felix: Well if it isn’t the Devil of Oakvale himself!
Mendel: Felix Goodfeather, Legacy: Beast Speak
Xarion: Felix! I thought you might still be out here! I thought you’d be bored of training new recruits by now.
Felix: And I thought you’d drive all your students away by day two.
Nova: Well, it’s day three and we’re still here so far.
Felix: Ah, one of your young proteges! You must be Briar’s teammate.
Nova: Teammate isn’t how I’d describe our relationship so far.
Felix: She can be a little bristely, but she’s doing her best, I know that much. But you know all about that!
Nova: I don’t actually.
Felix: You haven’t heard about her? I thought she’d be famous in Oakvale by now.
Nova: What did she do?
Felix: After her mom left, she had to prove herself to everyone. She’s done a lot around here; defended Graywood from a band of raiders single handedly, helped strengthen our border with Stoneshale, even increased crops from the area tenfold. Fed a lot of hungry mouths with her legacy. She’s had to work hard to distance herself from her mother.
Nova: What happened?
Felix: She went X. That’s what we call rogue sorcerers. She was the strongest one in the region by far. In fact, this whole forest was created in a matter of seconds from her legacy. But she killed a bunch of recruits and vanished. So you can understand why Briar isn’t the most friendly. She lives in the shadow of something terrible her mother did. But her heart is in the right place.
Xarion: I hand picked this team myself because I thought you three had the most potential. So don’t worry, she’ll warm up to you.
Ren: Yo guys! Everything is vegetarian here! They have like, nine kinds of salad!
Nova: Fiber is an important part of any diet!
Xarion: Ren, meet Felix.
Ren: (ignoring Felix) I wonder what kind of protein they use around here? I hope tofu based lentils do not agree with my stomach.
Felix: Nice to meet you, too, Ren. Xar, mind if I have a word with you? (Pronounced Zair)
Xarion: Sure thing. Nova, order me something without peppers, I can’t stand them.
Mendel: They walked over to the bar.
Felix: I’m glad you’re here, we’ve had six recruits disappear in the last month, and I think I’ve seen a Stoneshale uniform in the distance a few times. I’m worried they might be making some kind of play.
Xarion: Hmm, they don’t seem that bold. At least, not that I’ve heard. An X?
Felix: Could be. I don’t wanna take any chances. Think you could stick around a few days? Having a level 13 around might help put us at ease.
Xarion: Sure thing, I don’t mind starting classes out here.
Felix: Maybe you can teach the recruits a thing or two as well.
Ren: HOLD IT! Who is the chef!
Tavern owner (Gumbo): That would be me, got something to say?
Ren: You bet I do, you call this soup? I’ve had water with more flavor! What did you use as a base?
Gumbo: *sigh* Everyone's a critic. Look kid, if you think you can make a better dish be my guest but we don't have any meat here so it won't be some walk in the park.
Ren: Please, you think I’m just some kind of meathead? I could cook CIRCLES around you with table salt.
Gumbo: Oh yeah?
Xarion: Sigh, I’d better go take care of this, I’ll bring them up to the training center tomorrow morning.
Felix: You’re a lifesaver, thank you so much.
Ren: WHERE DO YOU KEEP YOUR SPINACH
Gumbo: WHAT ARE YOU BLIND IT'S NEXT TO THE SCALLIONS!
Nova: I can’t believe he is actually doing this right now.
Mendel: After a half hour of heated discussion from the kitchen, Ren and the tavern chef emerged from the kitchen. REN presented the group with a plate stacked high with Spring Rolls
Ren: Now this is how you cook up some plants. Bon Appetit suckers.
Gumbo: Wow, this is actually pretty good, kid.
Ren: HA! No one out cooks me. Nobody!
Nova: (internal) I take it all back, it's worth it to listen to all Ren’s constant yelling as long as I get to keep eating his food. This is heaven.
Xarion: Alright, change of plans, we’re staying here a few more days.
Nova: What, why?
Xarion: Everyone else is gonna be in some stuffy classroom in a few days, wouldn’t you rather be in the great outdoors?
Nova: I mean, yes, but you dodged the question.
Ren: Sounds great to me, I get restless indoors during the day.
Nova: (thinking) I think you're just restless all the time Ren.
Xarion: Get some rest, training starts tomorrow morning. Follow the trail signs towards the mountain, we’ll be starting at the training center. I’ll let Briar know about the change in plans. Oh, and wear your uniforms.
Ren: Finally! A chance to relax with a good fight.
Mendel: The next day, Ren and Nova walked the path outside of town to a small clearing at the foot of the mountains. It was a beautiful summer day cooled by a light wind coming off the rising peaks. A training field with an obstacle course, target dummies, and observation towers filled the space. A stone dormitory and administrative building
Nova: This actually might be pretty nice!
Ren: Yeah there is nothing like the feeling of a fresh breeze to get the blood pumpin.
Briar: I hope we do this quickly, I’d like to get to proper lessons as soon as possible.
Mendel: Said Briar suddenly appearing behind the duo.
Nova: Gah! Where did you come from?
Ren: Warn someone before you pop outta nowhere! What are you trying to kill me?
Briar: No, though apparently it would be quite easy *snickering not threatening*
Ren: You smug little-
Xarion: Students! Behave
Mendel: He shouted also appearing out of thin air.
Ren: Holy Hell! Don’t you people say hello?
Nova: Seriously! Stop scaring us!
Briar: Hah. Of course low level students have low level perception.
Ren: Low Level my ass, We’ve just got a little something called manners that you two seemed to have missed.
Xarion: Let’s get moving, we’ve got a full day ahead of ourselves!
Mendel: Xarion led the three of them to the middle of the field. Out of the corner of her eye, Nova could see some students peering out of their dormitory windows.
Xarion: Hope you got some rest, today we are going to start our training by taking a base assessment of our skills so that we can track our progress. It’s important for a sorcerer to know where their strengths and weaknesses are so they can know how to improve and compensate for those things.
Ren: Strength huh? Now you're speaking my language.
Briar: It’s astounding how little you seem to think. Guess we don't have to guess at your weakness.
Ren: OK that’s it! Can I fight her first!?
Xarion: Actually no. Lucky for us, we can knock out a few tests at once. I’ll assess your strength, dexterity, and constitution in 30-second, individual sparring matches.
Nova: Wait... you want us each to fight YOU? That doesn’t seem fair! You’re way stronger and older than us!
Xarion: Thank you for volunteering to go first, Nova. It’ll be just like your sparring class in school.
Nova: (thinking) That was my worst class!
Xarion: Don’t worry, I’ll be holding back. I’ve seen your grades.
Nova: Well that is- HEY WAIT.
Mendel: Xarion rushed at Nova, with a speed like she had never seen before. Nova managed to jump out of the way of his advance, but before she could begin to ready her own attack, she was knocked prone by Xarion’s swift, second attack.
Briar: Ugh, of course I’d have her in my class. Though it’s nice to know we have a strong instructor
Ren: Ha, sure she may not be able to keep up with that kinda speed yet, but if you think Twinkles is some weakling you’re in for a hell of a shock.
Nova: [coughs] THAT was holding back?
Lady: Ooooh, too slow, you’re going to need to work on that.
Nova: I know!
Ren: Know what?
Xarion: I think that was enough. Briar, you’re next.
Mendel: With a smirk on his face, Xarion snapped his fingers and was suddenly right next to Briar, about to attack.
Briar: VINE BIND!
Mendel: After teleporting, Xarion finds a vine wrapped around his right arm, preventing him from moving. Immediately Briar leaps back.
Briar: You think I haven’t picked up on that little trick already? You have a habit of keeping your right hand up after you’ve used Dimension Door, and you always attack with your right hand first.
Xarion: [Thought] Not only does she have a remarkable control of her legacy, but she’s observant as well. She’s good..
Mendel: Xarion spent the rest of the 30 seconds looking for openings to land one hit on Briar, she was able to gracefully dodge and deflect all of his advances.
Nova: He barely even got close to her!!!
Ren: *tsk* sure it’s effective, but where is the fun of fighting when all you do is defend!?
Xarion: Nice work, Briar. Okay, Ren, it’s your turn.
Ren: Finally!! One on one is where I shine the most. Gimme all you got, and see if it’s enough to keep up.
Xarion: Alright I’ll give you a nice close ranged brawl
Mendel: Xarion teleported behind Ren and flung a barrage of punches at his torso, however Ren started to dodge effortlessly, almost too fast for Nova to keep track of. Ren was moving in a style that Nova had not yet seen him use. Instead of moving in his typical head on fashion Ren had begun moving in sporadic movements. A combination of jumps, leaps and dodges kept him in constant motion almost like a dance. Suddenly hitting Ren became like trying to hit a single snowflake in a Blizzard. Xarion was keeping up with his movements but couldn’t land a single hit.
Nova: Woah he’s moving around more than a monkey!
Briar: He is remarkably fast and flexible….not that it would help him against me.
Ren: Dizzy yet? Now comes the fun part!
Mendel: With his rapid dodging Ren began to mix in attacks on his own. Rather than just throwing punches, Ren was also mixing in a series of kicks, using his full body to unleash a daunting amount of attacks from every angle. Xarion was able to block the first punch as well as the second. But suddenly Ren’s leg was flying towards him and far too fast.
Ren: Phoenix Foot!
Mendel: The Heel of Ren’s boot, lit red with flames, landed solidly right between Xarion’s shoulders. Sending Xarion to the ground with a hearty thud.
Xarion: Ooof, right in my spine, maybe I shouldn’t have held back so much.
Mendel: Ren had used his kick as a way to springboard off his opponents back, and land solidly on two feet, cape billowing from the motion.
Ren: Hey Dex, what does that stupid scorecery ranking say about me again?
Mendel: A small single hand sized scroll flew out of Ren’s knapsack, and into his Palm.
Dex: Ren Desserthorn, Level 3
Ren: Ha, told ya so, next time I wanna see you go all out. I’m gonna use you to get stronger hehehe.
Nova: WOAH. What’s that? And why does it talk!
Briar: My interest is piqued as well.
Ren: Was I the only one who actually went to the stupid orentation??? They gave us a ton of weird crap.
Dex: According to school records Briar Nightshade was excused from Orientation and Nova Ravenwood was accepted into the school after the ceremony had taken place.
Ren: I feel like I have to explain everything around here. This is the Scrolladex, it is able to show and use any information stored in the school library. All you gotta do is ask it something and it tells you all you need to know.
Dex: It's a pleasure to meet you students.
Nova: SO COOOOOOL!
Briar: hmmm…this would be useful to identify natural flora and fauna…
Xarion: Nice work, everyone. From that I can tell you that you ALL have work to do. Nova, you need to work on your strength, but also keeping cool under pressure. Briar, you have remarkable dexterity, but I believe that’s compensating for your constitution... your combat style prioritizes defense, but you have to attack eventually. Ren, your strength is astounding, especially for someone your age.... Actually you did very well in the physical category all together. You have... other areas that need work.
Ren: OH YEAH NAME ONE WISE GUY!?
Xarion: Like your attitude. I know you’re a good kid with a good head on your shoulders, but your people skills could use work. Yours too, Briar.
Briar: Tsk. I think my attitude is just fine.
Xarion: Nova, this is the one place where you actually excel. Great work.
Nova: AWE YES! Wait... HEY-
Xarion: Now, I think we need to test your teamwork. I’ve got a good idea of what you can do individually, but a good amount of your work in the future is going to be team based, so I need to gauge just how much work we have on our hands.
Ren: What, are we all gonna fight you?
Xarion: Exactly! Don’t worry, I won’t go all out. But I want the three of you to work together to land a single blow on me.
Ren: Just one? I just did that on my own a few seconds ago!
Xarion: But this time, I’ll be using my myst to boost my abilities! So take this seriously, come at me with everything you’ve got!
Ren: In that case!
Mendel: Ren smashed his fists together, lighting them both up with sparks and threw a punch as fast as he could at Xarion, but it stopped just shy of hitting him. A nearly translucent barrier shimmered in the sunlight.
Ren: A shield spell?
Xarion: By all means, Ren, begin the test.
Nova: Ren, hang on, we should make a plan or-
Ren: (excited) Now we are talking! I wonder how many punches it’ll take to break this thing!
Mendel: Ren unleashed a barrage of punches, all of them striking the shield with no effect.
Xarion: The danger of attacking alone is you open yourself up to counter attacks.
Mendel: Xarion clapped his hands together and thunderous energy erupted from him, knocking all of the students back from him.
Sounds of students getting knocked back
Nova: I thought you said you’d be holding back!
Xarion: I am, that’s a first level spell!
Briar: I can handle this. VINE BIND!
Mendel: Briar stands there, arms up. Nothing happens.
Briar: GAH! My vines aren’t pushing out of the ground, what’s going on?!
Xarion: It’s important to be aware of your surroundings.
Nova: Look, the dirt! it’s been turned to stone!
Mendel: In the few seconds it had taken the students to stand up after his last attack, Xarion had placed his hands on the ground and transformed the area he was standing into solid stone.
Xarion: Your vines are strong, but I think they would work better if someone distracted me first.
Ren: Oh I’ve got your distraction right here!
Mendel: Ren once again rushed at Xarion with a flurry of punches and kicks, but Xarion easily dodged all of them.
Xarion: Better, but you did it backwards.
Nova: Briar, we have to come at him at the same time, if you go-
Briar: Are you going to dazzle him with some sparkles? You’ll just get in my way. If I can't attach my vines to him directly I'll just show him the thornier side. THATCH MISSILE.
Mendel: Briar had summoned a cluster of vines around her, and on her command the thorns on those vines began to shoot out like little missiles aimed right for Xarion….and also Ren!
Ren: Hey Ms. Daffodil, watch where you’re aiming!
Briar: WHAT DID YOU CALL ME!!!
Xarion: Pay attention to me, I’m your target!
Ren: grrrrr Fine, let’s see your shield take this! Taser Grip OVERCHARGE!
Mendel: Ren’s fist lit up with a blinding amount of electricity as he swung toward Xarion’s head. Before he could even realize it, Xarion’s left hand caught it.
Xarion: Mind if I borrow this?
Mendel: The electricity quickly left Ren’s fist, and had reappeared...in Xarion’s right hand. He swiftly hit Ren in the side, shocking his whole body.
Ren: How the hell did you-
Briar: That’s it, I just have to cut off his visibility, now, Spore screen!
Mendel: Briar reaches into one of the six small pouches on her thighs and releases a handful of spores into the air. Suddenly, hundreds of small mushrooms fill the field and release a thick purple fog made of spores. Xarion and Ren disappear into the cloud.
Nova: YOU JUST BLINDED REN TOO!!
Lady: It’s obvious your teacher is the superior sorcerer, you need to find a way to get your classmates to work with you.
Nova:(internal) I know! I’m thinking, but everything is moving so fast and I can’t come up with anything! Briar won’t take our help, and Ren just keeps attacking head on, how are we...WAIT. (external) Ren, come here!
Mendel: Ren dashed out of the spores, coughing.
Ren: This better not trigger my allergies.
Nova: Ren are you ok! That looked brutal!
Ren: Yeah, it's a good thing he can only take my own elements, I built a resistance to those years ago.
Nova: Ren, I have an idea.
Ren: Ha about time, I’ve been waiting for you to hop in, lay it on me.
Mendel: Nova began to whisper her plan into Ren’s ear. Meanwhile, Briar continued shooting thorns into the cloud of spores, unsure if she was making contact with Xarion. Suddenly, she heard a voice from behind.
Xarion: If you can’t see your enemy, that's a disadvantage for you, too.
Briar: You’re so predictable, Professor
Mendel: In an instant, a massive venus flytrap emerged from the ground behind Briar and snapped shut.
Briar: It’s over, Professor, you shouldn’t be able to move in there.
Mendel: As Briar turned around to examine the plant, a bolt of energy struck her in the back, knocking her down. Briar winded noise
Xarion: And you need to make sure you keep your ego in check. An overconfident sorcerer is easy to trick.
Mendel: Xarion stepped out of the spores unscathed.
Xarion: You should know better than to fall for a minor illusion of my voice.
Ren: And you should know better than to take your eyes off me! Iced
Mendel: Ren began to assault Xarion in a rotating barrage of ice and electric punches, and every punch was once again stopped by his shield.
Xarion: This again? I admire your persistence.
Ren: Heh, thanks for not taking your eyes off of me, Teach!
Mendel: As the last of the cloud of spores began to clear, Xarion could see that Nova had taken a stance directly behind him.
Xarion: (Internal) From behind? How did she—- ah I see She was hiding behind Ren’s cape in order to sneak behind me, ha, Finally, it took them long enough.
Ren: Now! blast him Twinkles.
Nova: Astral beam!
Mendel: A beam of energy shot out of Nova’s hands directly at Xarion. As it approached, he put up his left hand to block it’s path. As it connected with his palm, the energy seemed to be absorbed into it, disappearing from view.
Nova: Damn it! How did he do that?
Xarion: That’s enough! The test is over.
Ren: What! But we haven't hit you yet!
Xarion: That was just part of it, I wanted to see how long it would take for the three of you to work together. Nova and Ren, nicely done. If I didn’t have my legacy, you surely would have hit me. Briar, you are a talented sorcerer, but you can’t do everything on your own.
Briar: Yes, Professor .
Ren: That was all Twinkle’s idea, teach, I can’t really take credit for anything.
Xarion: That’s what part of being a team is all about. It’s about fighting with all of your abilities, not just your strength. That was an impressive blast, Nova, I see your confidence in your power is increasing!
Nova: Thanks Xarion, but it didn’t work against the bandits. Why is my power so inconsistent?
Xarion: Because you keep doubting your abilities. Now stop beating yourself up and let’s take a break.
Mendel: The four of them walked over to a shady section of trees near the entrance of the training field to relax. As they walked, Ren and Nova began immediately recounting their favorite moments of the fight, but Briar solemnly followed behind
Xarion: Before we keep training, I’d like to know what the three of you have in mind for the future. Why are you a sorcerer?
Ren: Why? Ha sorry if you're looking for something noble there Teach. I just love fighting. I want to fight as many strong people as possible. But to fight strong people you gotta get stronger, so here I am.
Xarion: Specific goals are attainable goals, I hope I’m there to see some of the legendary matches you’re going to have. Nova, what about you?
Nova: ...My dad and my brother were both incredibly powerful sorcerers. Ever since I can remember, I’ve dreamt of being just like them. I WILL master this power and make my family proud.
Ren: You’re gonna do great, kid, I have a feeling that-
Mendel: In that instant, an explosion of fire erupted right where Ren was standing. A vortex of flame shot into the air, and when it subsided, all that remained was dust and ash. A slender man with bright red cut into a short bob stepped out of the smoke, his eyes had serious bags under them as if he hadn’t slept in weeks.
Nova: Ren, no!
Flint: *yawn* Well that was easy, I can’t believe you gave the bandits so much trouble! You, with purple hair, you’ll be coming with me. But first, let’s take care of your flammable little plant friend.
Briar: Nova, run.
Mendel: Briar launched a vine at the man, but he caught it in his hand, and ignited it.
Flint: Sigh, all of you small fry are so boring. Can’t you just realize I’ve got you beat and die quickly?
Xarion: I’d appreciate it if you would treat my students with some respect.
Mendel: The three looked up to see Xarion and Ren on a tree branch, Xarion’s hand on Ren’s shoulder. Ren had a healthy layer of ash over his body but otherwise seemed unharmed.
Ren: You asshole, you singged my cape! Why don't you try that again and I'll show you some real fire you punk!
Flint: Hmm… They didn’t say anything about a tiefling, who might you be? Another recruit? I’ve toasted a few of them already, I don’t think I’ll have any trouble with you.
Mendel: In the blink of an eye, Xarion appeared behind Flint.
Xarion: Personally, I like to fight with a little more cover, but you seem like you might harm these trees, so let’s take this somewhere else.
Mendel: And with a snap of his fingers, the two of them were in the middle of the training field.
Flint: How the hell did you, shit, I musta been too distracted. The next time you touch me, I’m melting your arm off.
Xarion: I’m not a recruit if you couldn’t tell, I’m a teacher. And do you know what the worst thing about being a teacher is?
Flint: What, having to stand all the time?
Mendel: Xarion began to unclasp the metal gauntlets on his hands. They fall to the ground with a crash, clearly weighing upwards of 100 pounds.
Xarion: It’s the fact that you never get a chance to go all out.
Nova: Next time on Warlock. The battle between Xarion and Flint heats up as Xarion finally gives a glimpse of his full power. But will it be enough to stop the blazing villain?
Ren: Damn, I hate missing out on a fight.
Briar: Are you trying to go from medium to well-done?
Ren: Big talk for someone who has kindling for a power!
Nova: Uhm, maybe this ISN’T the best time to be arguing? Episode 4: Equilibrium. On Warlock