Upon returning to the lab and sleeping on the horrid events of the night before our characters find themselves even more confused than before.. Olias has limited function of his powers while on the island as well as no vision of the island itself, only the reef lies within reach of his correspondence.
Boltier and Olias spend their first moments awake planted securely among the LCD glow, in any attempt to locate or find any information of this mysterious island. Using the coordinates of the reef they use GPS imaging to view the surrounding location and find that no island is visible, nor is there any record of ANY body of land within 40 miles of this location, for which Olias is certain of.
Finding themselves even more tired than the mortals, Vlad and Harken strike out as the sun looses its glow behind the mossy oaks of the cajun bayou. Vlad’s memory may not serve him the best, but his hunger is still as sharp as it ever was.. with the taste of blood in the air, he makes his way straight to the herd of humans he keeps on retainer.. as they approach the Arena to the southeast of the city, they can see the trails of smoke from buring barrels and the hordes of humans standing huddled around to warmth and protection.. the arena walls stand at least 40 feet, made of the pure rubber and scrap of the earth itself.. automotive frames, tires, metal beams, and even bones make of the sheer walls of the arena..
With only limited sight of the Island and its surrounding areas, Olias and Boltier decide the best course of action is to return to the island and investigate once again! Olias retrieves his tablet from his bedside table and returns with the full coordinates pucnhed in. They make one last glance at each other before Olias slams his finger against the EXECUTE button lingering on the screen he holds in his palm..
After only a moment Olias and Boltier find themselves once again on the reef they had come to know the night before, this time only standing knee deep on the tide and the sun barely peeking its head over the horizon as it disappears completely. As they both stand on the reef they both seem dumbfounded at the fact that only the open ocean lies before them, save for very distant stretchs of land that even Olias cannot discern from any other. Olias “hops” his teleports into a “seven-league stride” capable of reaching far enough to investigate without ever touching the water below.. But as he completes his final “jump” he is slammed against an unseen force and falls into the water below to find it only a few feet deep, and as he stands and takes a step forward the island comes into view!
The village lies ahead, but seems empty from this distance, at least they hope, and the extensive jungle lies to the west, towering far above the other structures on the island.. with a mental flex Olias lets Boltier know that he has successfully gotten back onto the island, for as far as Boltier can see, Olias has disappeared into the ocean itself. With no other choice but to swim, Boltier lowers himself into the ocean and begins the 100 yard swim to the point where he lost sight of his companion.
As he swims Boltier notices a swell in the water around him, as Olias lays eyes on a HUGE crocodile bearing down on Boltier, and closer than either of them would like.. Boltier turns and finds himself only feet from the creature, and seeing it at eye level, on its our terms, is more than enough to make any man loose his cool, but he held his. A whirlpool forms just under the huge beast as he lurks his way closer to Boltier and it sucks the creature down as Olias’s beam of light completely teleports the massive predator the only location he has access to at the moment, besides the lab, which happens the be location of his companions!
Vlad and Harken sneak up the group of humans because although, some of beings are at least aware of Vlad’s intention if not his presence, the others would go insane at the sight of him lunging forward and simply ripping throats to suck the blood from lifeless bodies. Vlad sneaks up ever so slowly, so as not to arouse suspicion among the group. As he reaches out within inches of the prey and the onlookers, Vlad snatches a healthy looking man and drags him back towards the wooded swamp towards the south, but in the chaos, no one even blinks an eye toward the lose of one of their tightly huddled circle.
The blood that the man’s body provides is a much needed release from the hunger that had begun to take hold on them both. After a moment of letting their fresh feed settle they wipe the blood from their lips and decide to investigate the inside of the arena. With the fading fading light the suns faint yellows reds and pinks at their back, Vlad & Harken, make their way toward the gates of the huge complex, but as they move closer the entire fabric of reality seems to rip around them and a huge amount of water falls down upon them. In a frantic haze, both realize that not only has an avalanche of water been thrown down upon them but a gigantic crocodile is found slashing and rolling in a panic of a new surrounding. The croc rips limbs from bystanders and Vlad & Harken move back slightly as the carnage ensues. Harken, with a great struggles holds his hands chest high and slams them into the ground as blood comes oozing from his ears, eyes, and nose. The earth below the croc simply gives way and he drops helplessly into a 15 foot deep pit, so serve as a cage for the raging beast, who is still hissing and ravaging the earth around him.
As they enter the arena, it is found relatively empty, aside from general staffing and the last few remaining bystanders who hurriedly scurry off to the spectical of the croc held outside the gates. As the two enter the main floor of the arena, a strange looking man, turns the corner of the one of the many balls of twisted and broken scrape that provides the “contestants” with cover. His garb is tattered, dirty, and rustic, but his eyes only focus on the piles of scrap. As Vlad and Harken walk closer to the man, they can hear that he is actually speaking to the scrap piles.
His voice cracks from the pure dryness in his mouth, “but how would you…… oh.. i see.. but then.. what about” Vlad and Harken walk directly to the man and wait for a moment before interrupting his seemingly on sided conversation. “Oh…” the man turns to the pile of scrap and motions to hold, “we will continue this later my friend”, and he turns back to the two companions and smiles, “how may i help you fine sir’s?”
The two are taken back by his disregard for his insane behavior, but ask him what this place is and who he is none the less.. His responses are broken, slow, and filled with disapproving glances back at the piles of useless rubble. He explains that this is the arena and that the best warriors from miles around come to face his gladiators as well as his expansive collection of beasts. Vlad’s intrigue is plainly shown on his face as he arrogantly boasts his abilities and readiness to face any obstacle that Rusty could place in front of him..
But arrogance is something that Rusty has become to accustomed to over the years of running the arena and he simply speaks a word toward the pile of ruble he is now leaned up against and a huge door on the adjacent side of the arena slides open with the loud clanking of chain and metal bouncing from side to side in the pit of the arena..
Out of the now fully open door fly’s a mediocre drake, throwing it’s head to the sky and screeching to the heavens its locks its gaze on Vlad & Harken after another hushed command from Rusty directed towards the pile of scrap. The drake charges the undead companions only to meet the hand of vampiric power.
Vlad quickly dodges the oncoming attack as Harken’s eyes glaze over with blood as he draws much more power from the magic flowing in his veins that had ever been intended for such a “young” vampire. As his eyes completely cover in a thick red blood, the ground beneath the drake suddenly shoots forward nearly crushing the drake mid-stride, and then pins it to the ground on which it stands..
Rusty’s cool, calm and composed attitude quickly changes as he steps in between the two companions and his injured beast. “Now now, I can’t have you destroying one of my main attractions,” he says with a smile.. he approaches them both with no less than respect in his eyes.. “Anytime either of you want to compete and make some money in the arena… (he steps back to the piles of scrap and argues for a moment) …I’m sorry….anytime you want to compete and make some money please come back, our gladiators will surely fall, and our wallets will surely fill with warriors such as yourselves!”… and with that, Rusty tends to his injured beast and leaves Harken & Vlad to explore the arena alone.. They visit the on-site weapons depot, pick up a few new items, and head back to the lab before daybreak..
After dealing with the crocodile Boltier simply swims over to Olias, who is half seen, and half not… as he stands half on island and half in the shallow waters surrounding it. Boltier finds his footing and pulls out his now dripping pocketwatch and looks through the glass top cover, scanning the island for any recognizable lifeforms.. to his surprise, he detects a HUMAN, in the tower in which they had both been locked in the night before! In a curious attempt Olias pulls out his tablet and also to his surpise, he is able to teleport once more on the island.. Appearing at the foot of the tower Boltier and Olias scan the surrounding area and the tower itself.. the rusted iron door that Boltier had turned to dust is strangely back in place and in one piece before them!
A man stands only feet from the pair as they appear. His eyes are wide with confusion and his voice is cracking with fear, as he slowly walks away, speaking ever so slightly under his breathe, “…you.. you, shouldn’t be here… you must leave.. the hunt… they will kill you all..” and with that last bone chilling statement he turns and run into the woods, leaving only a trail of bent and broken twigs and leaves in his wake.
The iron tower door, found to be locked, stand sturdy and in better shape than it had the night before prior to Boltier’s transmutation. With little effort Olias unlocks the door, which slowly swings open. And as they both peer into the darkness ahead of them, a shuffling sound reaches them and makes it’s way toward them.. Suddenly, a wolf of gigantic size rushes through the door, his torso so large that he must turn to EVEN FIT through the frame of the stone door.. Olias and Boltier think quickly as they both run past the beast and into the tower, shutting and locking the door behind them. Once again, the pair find themselves in a darkened tower, unsure of their surroundings. Also, just as before, a rustling sound seems to bounce from all walls of the circular tower.. Someone, or something is moving inside the tower!!
The pair make their way to the all to familiar hatch that leads to the upper level of the tower.. Once both have climbed up a level they both stand focused on a dark figure slumped-over and looking from side to side in a frantic attempt to recognize his surroundings or his captors. Olias & Boltier grab up the unknown figure and take him down to the second level to investigate in the less failing light shot through the bars of the iron door.
Immediately upon reaching the dim light both Olias & Boltier silence their prisoner, who by now, has become apparent is bound and tied, and look for the beast they had released only moments before.. with no sign of the wolf, they bodly step out of the tower and make their way to the tree line. As they crouch in the edge of the trees Boltier snatches the hood from their captors head only to sit eye to with a wide eye’d Stephens staring straight back at him. Olias, keeping his eye glued to his surroundings watches as hordes of wolves stampede into the tower, each one originating from it’s own direction, some even breaking the treeline so close to the pair of mages they consider themselves lucky not to have been found out!
The pair both holding onto Stephens as they quietly walk into the treeline force themselves not to shudder at the sound of a wolfs howl, so loud and piercing, that it forces them to look back.. They both run, with Stephens still in hand, into the woods, only seeing burs of fur and spit as they look back. The wolves are chasing them! At least 25 wolves tread the earth with every ounce of strength in them in an attempt to catch the two thieves who, as far as they know, as trespassers and infidels on their island!
The tree line breaks as the wolves make headway toward our pair of mages, as the darkness of the canopy falls away, Olias & Boltier, in full stride, stand before a shear cliff, at least 200 feet below the churning waters break upon the rocks leaving only white surf and chaos in its place. Without a second to think or even make a true decision Boltier, Olias, & Stephens all jump! The wind ripping through their clothes, and the spray of the ocean reaching ever closer Olias reachs into his pocket and presses the HOME button on his tablet and prays that his magic will not fail him now!
Moments later, the two companions as well as their captured, are standing, panting, sweaty, and tired in the middle of the lab. Vlad and Harken standing, simply waiting for the explanation of tonight’s adventure, as they most obviously had a story to tell..
Regardless of Vlad and Harkens intrigue all that filled Boltier mind was revenge! He sat eye-level with Stephens, pulls a knife and begins to question him as he raises the blade to press firmly again Stephens’ neck, drawing only the slightest amount of blood as he does so..
With rage filling his every being Boltier can hardly contain his anger and Olias is more than aware of this, as he simply transports Boltier from this main room to his office to cool down and think more on his situation before beheading those who have done him wrong..
With adrenaline still pumping and the sun slowly rising, the undead as well as the mages find solice in a good “nights” sleep and a containment cell for Stephens, whose fate is yet to be decided….
::: TO BE CONTINUED :::