Story Corner: The Siege of Igna

Estelle was panting, the last wave of destroyers was a lot harder than she expected.  Lann, the asura thief that had gotten them into this mess, wasn’t doing too well either.

“What did you say we were here for again?” she asked.

“I told you,” Lann replied, “we’re here for the destroyer wurm Igna and its core.”

“For?”

“Never you mind that,” he snapped while heaving, “just get the core and I’ll make sure you get what you want.”

Yes, what she had wanted, Estelle reminisced for a second. It wasn’t always easy to trust Lann, partially because he was Asura, but especially because he was a thief.  Estelle didn’t harbor any particular hate towards the Asura, but something about Lann jumping around spinning twin daggers just didn’t seem right.  Not to mention the diminutive race didn’t have the best reputation for honesty.  Then she felt it.

“We’re here for Igna, right?” she asked.

“Yes… I’ve told you multiple time al—”

Just then, a towering wurm of fire and brimstone emerged, encrusted by earth and molten rock.  The sheer surfacing of Igna from the earth heated the air around it and set nearby trees ablaze.  The ground cracked, melted within itself at the sheer presence of the firey wurm.  Ashes and smoldering smoke filled the blue sky.

“I think Igna’s here for us.” Estelle gawked.

“Indeed.” Lann’s face was twisted in a way only an Asura could express; whimsy with a hint of madness.

Igna, though just appeared, didn’t notice the pair of elementalist and thief.  It seemed more concerned with its surroundings, the sun above, the flowing clouds, the despicable green, and all things that was not within its master’s design.  It especially expressed a likeness of hate in the direction of Rata Sum, the Asura capital.

“Take the back!” Estelle shouted, “I’ll distract it for now so you have a chance to rest.”  With that said she charged herself with the energies of fire and raised her scepter.  Almost instantly, Igna lite ablaze in fire, its attention now turned to the source of such simple magic.  Lann backed off, putting both of his daggers away and pulling out pistols of enchanted silver.

With Igna’s attention focused on her, Estelle quickly attunened herself to the magic of earth, her affinity with elemental magic granting her and Lann a layer of magical shielding; though she hoped it would never have to come to a time where they were taking hits from the giant wurm.  Igna reared its head back to strike Estelle underneath.  It slammed with titanic strength, but to no avail: the elementalist had dodged out of the way and already had a protective layer of small rocks around her.  In the distance Lann shot at Igna, unloading bullet after bullet, some in quick succession some in a carefully calculated manner so to cause small wounds on the monster from which the destroyer’s elemental lifeblood flowed out.  Furious, the wurm decided to charge up a breath of molten earth.  Seeing the impending assault, Estelle quickly attuned herself to air, swept in swiftly, and with a flash blinded Igna’s eyes.  The shot of magma ball missed as it was shot, flying deep into the distance and cratering a local hill.

Taking advantage of the shot’s recoil, Estelle quickly charged herself with the power of fire, her veins filling with magical power.  Pride be to Balthazar, as she summoned what can only be described as a fiery shard of earth as big as a dragon’s tooth above the destroyer.  “Watch out!” Lann shouted as he shot a black powder towards Igna’s eyes.  The massive creature seemed to have gone into a deep frenzy just as Estelle was summoning the fiery tooth, if not for the thief’s blinding powder Estelle could have been hit by the wurm’s flailing.

The shard dropped, exploding in hundreds of fiery fragments.  “Well I’ll be damned to use fire against a destroyer,” Estelle mumbled.

“I can’t be that ineffective, the transetheric omnilateral theory still holds, that creature should still take force damage.” Lann snapped.

“Right, I think I’d rather shoot pure missiles of pure force, but you take what you get.”

Igna swept down towards Estelle. “Not a time to be talking,” she shouted.  Dodging out of the way, with a quick flick of her hands, the shape of a bird formed from her magical fire and flew towards Igna.  Estelle dodged again as Igna bit down at her in desperation.

The battle was long and the destroyer didn’t expect the meager creatures to be so hard to kill.  It had lost a lot of blood, or at least what counts as blood to a destroyer.  The fiery bird flew towards Igna and exploded, only to reform and fly back to its summoner.  Igna took damage from the force of the explosion, exasperated and weakened from the fight—or perhaps it was the poison laced bullets from the asura’s pistols.

“I think it’s time you got into the fray,” poked Estelle.

“Alright, alright, just let me get to it.” Lann switched to his daggers and activated one of two signet rings he was carrying with him.  His wounds healed rapidly as magic wove wounds closed and renewed his health.  Quickly activating his other ring, the thief disappeared only to appear right by the destroyer, daggers aimed at locations he knew would damage the creature the most.  Envigorated by the magical phoenix, Estelle dodged Igna again, and attuned herself to water magic, sending a wave of regeneration around her.  While she still held the destroyer’s attention, Lann began picking at the thick carapace with his daggers, revealing the tender lava flesh underneath.

When Igna realized what was happening, it was too late: it wouldn’t have time to reharden its carapace.  Lann jumped spinning, daggers in hand, striking with the precision of a surgeon, slicing at the destroyer flesh.  In one last effort of desperation, Igna finally managed to strike something—at least partially.  Its bite had missed the tiny asura completely, but the resulting aftershock had knocked Lann to the ground.  It wasn’t the first time Lann had a theory of the Eternal Alchemy turned against him, but he still wished that force damage didn’t hurt so much.

“Once more with feeling!” his elementalist companion shouted as she shot out a trident of water.  The following explosion was almost pleasant, as the splash of magical water soaked into Lann and healed his internal injuries.  Taking a stand, Lann jumped again, striking the same spot before as it gushed destroyer blood.  Thank goodness he wore magical gloves that warded against fire.  Thus the battle was over.  “Not too bad eh?” Estelle remarked with a relieved smile.

“Not as bad as your cooking, bookah.”

“You’re the one that ate without tasting it first.”

“Carve out that core won’t you, so we can leave.”

“Human cooking wasn’t that bad, at least it wasn’t quaggan cooking.” Lann thought.  Quaggans tend to be too nice, not spicing up the food in case they offended with the flavor, if any flavor at all.  Lann stuck out his tongue at the thought.