The Absalom Chronicles

Illoquix's end

Salvo

By the time I got off the ground and wiped off the tentacle slime, Whitt was gone. She had been in the window next to me, but no one had seen where she went. We pressed up the tower quickly- if she ran she was safe for the time being, and if she was captured we had no time to lose. At the top of the decaying tower rest a makeshift throne, and Illoquix was perched on top looking calm and smug.

There was hesitation. The others seemed to think that there was something to say to this monster. As if there was some parley to come to. A bear pays no attention to the buzz of bees as it rips apart the nest and devours the larvae. That’s the way life is. If the prey is weaker, then it’s prey. We have to prove that we’re anything but.

Tired of attempted conversation, I opened fire at it. Some kind of invisible wall stopped the bolt mid-flight. Hiding behind the hidden barricade, it began summoning creatures. As we killed off the demons, my heart sank as Whitt suddenly appeared, just a few feet from the throne, sword at the ready. I wanted to yell at her to get the hell away from that thing, but she was still in disguise. Hopefully it was working. Ophelia began using magic to harass Illoquix from our side of the wall. It’s private sanctuary turned to a prison when it was filled with clouds of blinding dust and choking fog.

As we searched for a way through the wall, it dissipated and the fog flew back at us. Illoquix teleported out of the cloud, and summoned two beings of ice and lava to keep us at bay. By then, we had been fighting for too long, and fatigue began to sink in. Ophelia continued her dance but I could tell it wasn’t the same. The magic was gone, and she was just going through the motions. We were all running out of steam by the time the elementals were destroyed.

Illoquix teleported again, and this time rocked the tower with an explosion. I was lucky enough to be carried to safety by an eddy of air, but Ismael was dead center. When the smoke cleared she was laying on the ground motionless. The others ran to her aid with magic and potions, and I interposed myself between them and Illoquix, ready to shoot should it attempt the same trick twice.

It didn’t. With its arachnid legs and a bladed arm, it flew from the wall and tried to cut me down. Our dance lasted long enough for the others to bring Ismael back. She went from knocking on death’s door, to ripping it off its hinges and swinging it with all her might. With no hesitation she was back in the fight, fierce and determined as ever. I don’t know where she gets her resilience from, but I wish I had half of what she’s got. As the rest of us joined the battle, our numbers began to overwhelm Illoquix. Whitt found an opening and dealt the final blow, piercing it’s third eye with her sword. Life faded from Illoquix’s ‘body’ and we broke apart the gems it was constructed from.

We weren’t really sure what to do from there. Was it really dead? Could it even truly die? All I knew was we had to destroy all the gems we came across. Illoquix’s influence in our world comes from them, and we can’t take anymore chances. We tossed Illoquix’s body and the gems from Numaria into the magma left behind by the elemental. Some of the gems rose from the flames, glowing different colors, and began to speak. They told us that though we defeated Illoquix, others were going to seek out our world and finish the job he started.

…shit. They didn’t even give us time to feel good about this victory.

Alduin started trying to slip away, protecting that damn gem he wears on his head. He wouldn’t listen to reason, denying any threat the gem posed and claiming it made him feel good about himself. He wears the very symbol of the thing that hired half the city to abduct Whitt and wants to destroy our world, and expects us to be OK with it. I won’t let his Dwarven greed and stubbornness threaten our lives. From here on out I won’t listen to a word he says, because I have no idea if they’re his own. I don’t even want him near us while he still has that thing. We must be constantly wary, for however long he wears that gem he is not our friend.

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