Monday, March 12, 2018

Page 1588

((Triple Monday -- Page 1 of 3))
The worm chose that moment to roar more loudly and piercingly than it ever had previously, making the whole enormous chamber tremble.

Hector was far enough away that the sheer force of it didn’t knock him back, but he could see rubble around the beast being blown away, and even at this distance, he still had to stop running so that he didn’t trip and fall on his face.

The worm wasn’t moving while roaring, though. So Hector figured it was as good a time as any to go in.

He charged toward it, mace held straight ahead of him, and loosed another beam of radiant white. He intentionally aimed to only graze the beast, and indeed, that was what he achieved. The light sliced into the right side of worm’s head, and a sliver of dark sludge went flying away from it.

Hector pursued that sliver like it was a wild animal. And it basically was. It splattered against the ground but didn’t stop moving for an instant. Its many black droplets quickly reformed into one and started squirming its way back to the rest of the worm.

Hector trapped it in a box of iron from ten meters away, but he didn’t have the luxury of getting to see how well the iron held, because the worm was again way too close to ignore. He used a haphazard platform to flip himself out of the beast’s quaking path. He was about to return his attention to his iron box, believing that he had bought himself a few precious seconds while the worm was busy trying to turn itself around again, but he was forced to reassess the situation entirely when he sensed the giant worm split itself apart instead.

Thirty or so horse-sized worms were suddenly swarming him.

There wasn’t time to react with anything that required actual thought. It was gut impulse only.

And his gut came up with the good old spike defense. Tried and true and stronger than ever before. Iron exploded out from his armor in every conceivable direction at once, skewering some of the worms and displacing others, filling so much of the chamber that he couldn’t even see or sense anything with the Scarf of Amordiin anymore.

The Scarf required the free movement of air to work, he knew, and the spikes were so numerous and densely packed that he’d completely encased himself and the Scarf in iron.

And perhaps even more unsettling, it grew immediately quiet, as well. No more rumbling. No more crashing. No more sloshing--or at least, not as much. After a moment, he realized that he could still hear some sludgy movement on the other side of his wall of spikes. He could feel the vibrations in his iron, too.

The worm definitely wasn’t dead yet. Not that he’d really expected it to be.

He didn’t want to undo his work yet, however. Not if it meant he’d just get swarmed again.

Can you tell what’s going on out there?’ he asked Garovel.

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