The Isle of Dread

Four days later, they had made it back to the tar pits not far from where they had landed. Everett had finally awoken, but he was still week and could only move half as fast as everyone else. The days had been rough on them though. It seemed as if the entire island was closing in on them, so they forced themselves into a continuous march, sleeping and eating very little. The days seemed to get hotter and nights colder. Every muscle in their bodies ached, but they dared not stop in their retreat from the cursed island. When they were on their ship, then they would rest.

But they had not passed the tar pits when Viper was flung to the ground by an unknown source. Steel rang as everyone unsheathed their weapons, but there was nothing there to fight. Viper’s head flew back with a “crack”, as if something kicked him in the face, and blood shot out of his mouth. Everett and Stalfor descended on the invisible attacker, but their weapons only hit air. After a failed swing, Stalfor was punched in the temple and then his legs went out from under him. Everett tried to come in to help, but he was stopped short when something slammed into his stomach, knocking the breath out of him.

Gandalph ran away from the scene and climbed up a tree. He watched as the invisible stalker attacked Marina and Greegan at the same time while the two of them just tried to keep a defensive posture. He thought about summoning his stone giant, but knew that if the warriors of it’s own size couldn’t catch the attacker, then there was no way that his lumbering giant would be able to find it, and if he somehow lost concentration while controlling it, the giant would turn on him and they would have to deal with two monsters. He looked through the items he had in his backpack, wondering if there was something else he could do. He found the bamboo flute, and thinking that he had not yet tested it to see if it was magical, he decided to play it. If it wasn’t magical, maybe this would at least distract it.

Viper, Stalfor and Everett, still exhausted from their forced march, tried to surround the invisible creature as it beat the stuffing out of Greegan, while a ridiculous happy-go-lucky tune played in the background. Once again their swords only bit into air, and Everett was greeted by a punch to the side of the head. He fell to the ground, holding his head in pain. The happy flute song vexed him deeply and he yelled for Gandalph to stop it. The invisible opponent easily dodged Stalfor and Viper’s attacks and made its way to Marina. The cleric screamed as she felt herself being lifted up to be thrown into a nearby tar pit. Just then, Everett’s sword began to glow and he heard a voice in his head say, *I will save you*.

Everett’s sword then shot a ray out from its tip, hitting the invisible stalker, and revealing its location. Stalfor’s sword also glowed and shot a similar ray at it, and the party could now see that the invisible creature was half humanoid, with a cyclone for legs. Stalfor charged headlong into the monster and tackled it, causing Marina to hit the ground hard. Everett, Stalfor, Viper and Greegan surrounded the monster, and attacked from all sides. Although the creature was fast, it couldn’t block all the attacks at once, and finally, Stalfor snuck his sword into its torso, stabbing it all the way to the hilt. The monster, having come from the plane of air, did not bleed, but instead fell to the ground dead, and faded away like mist.

The magical swords that Everett and Stalfor wielded had come from an abandoned wizard’s school that they had explored a year earlier. When the blades had been found, they were glad to be taken from the loneliness of their existence there, but at the same time, they followed the command of their former masters, the Grey Robe, not to reveal their identities to anyone else without command. Everett and Stalfor had used the blades in many battles between then and now, but it wasn’t until now that the swords knew they would parish without the aid of their powers and the swords would once again be left alone for years on end. They explained all this telepathically to Everett and Stalfor, who laughed in surprise and elation. The two graciously thanked them saving their lives and from that day forward the magical blades spoke to their wielders telepathically on a regular basis.

By on May 30, 2001
Last modified on June 9, 2016

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