Sunday, July 15, 2012

Obscured By Clouds: Chapter 3 - Battle In the Sky

3 – Battle In The Sky

As Brazi soared upwards, Katlin had noticed dark shapes approaching the Feigh cloud from north. Keen eyes detected creatures with wings bearing down on the Feigh. Perhaps there were 10 of them, perhaps a little more or a little less. The Feigh seemed to have sensed their approach and they turned to face outwards, palms facing out to form a ring around the cloud.
Cornelius has been nodding agreement with Brazi but rose quickly to his feet as he heard Katlin's words of warning.
Description: C:\Users\Public\Pictures\T&T\flying goblin.jpg

Katllin snarled and shucked off her garment (which is designed to be easy to get out of). Then there was a brief moment of eye wrenching shift change, and she became a 180 pound panther! She rose into the air, testing her new power of flight, and joined the hovering Brazi who was checking out the approaching goblins with his sharp bat eyes (bats actually see very well). He grasped his staff like a cricket bat and took a couple of warm us swings.

The Hellkat flexed her formidable claws and showed her impressive fangs.
As the Hellkat and Manbat left the cloud craft, the winds picked up and the rain lashed down. Visibility became poor as darkness enfolded the world about them. Brazi was an experienced navigator of the air currents even in such turbulent conditions but Katlin was not and struggled to master her new power against these grim circumstance. She rose and then plummeted, desperately striving to make the necessary adjustments.

Cornelius Allen had seen 6 goblins homing in on his new friends, two from above and two from each flank. It was clear that they would soon have to fight an aerial battle – possibly a one-sided battle if the Hellkat could not come to terms with the art of flying and the wizard failed to stand against the bitter elements. The goblins had no weapons that they could see but their talons looked razor sharp and the tails ended in a heavy ball which it was easy to imagine whipping down like a hammer on an anvil. They must live their lives in the air and could be expected to be masters of this element.

Brazi saw that the goblins needed their wings to stay airborne. He also saw that they sought to gain altitude to attack from above. "Target their wings," he squeaked to Kat and Cornelius Allen. "That is their weakness. "Hold That Pose will make them fall." He grabbed Kat's scruff and the wizard's belt, and squeaked, "Now! Fly up with all your might. We must rise above them, or be at disadvantage!" The Manbat's  mighty wings now laboured to assist his magically acquired flight powers to take the trio up above their assailants.

As the goblins approached Brazi bombarded the leaders with his very high pitched echolocation squeaks (which are painful and disorienting to some creatures). Being careful not to let his powerful tough batwings strike his friends he prepared to play cricket with goblin heads and wings with his staff.

At the same time Kat let out a Hellkat scream intending to scare the hraka out of the goblins.  It was a truly terrifying sound.

Cornelius Allen succeeded in casting his Hold That pose spell under the pressure of the threat to his life from the winged goblins. He then concentrated on flying and avoiding Brazi's wings, as did Kat before she screamed. The spell took its grip on the innermost of the goblins attacking on Cornelius' side. The fiend frooze in mid-flight and instantly plummeted earthwards. Its companion made no attempt to give help. Cornelius Allen yelled out at the top of his lungs 'Eat dirt, buster!' and shook his fist with one finger sticking out.

Both Kat and Cornelius were able to stay away from Brazi's fearsome wings and felt comfortable in the air with their magical flight capability. The high pitched echolocations emitted by the Manbat appeared to leave the goblins unphased but the Hellkat's scream caused the five attacking goblins to recoil just for a brief moment before they attacked again. Cornelius Allen had never heard the like of Kat's scream and could not help but look at the puma.

Two goblins clawed at Brazi, seeking to avoid his wings and the staff but he had caught a favourable current and was above them. They worked effectively together to offset the altitude advantage the Manbat had, moving deftly about him. It was certain that they appreciated the threat his cricket bat technique posed and they were on the backfoot.
Two more goblins focused on the puma who they could see was a less competent flyer, notwithstanding their assessment of her fangs and claws as a match for the ferocity of her scream

Cornelius Allen had Hold That Pose ready again. As he took in Brazi's instruction, he launched his spell at a goblin, screwing up his handsome features in the effort to get the spell right now he was outside the safe confines of wizard school.

Both Kat and CA now had to be concerned about the obviously lethal wings their friend possessed. To be struck by the down sweep of one of those gargantuan monstrosities would not be good for one's health. They both found the magical flying gift of the Feigh to be comfortable as they lifted up from the cloud craft. Were they confident enough to fly without Brazi's support?

As the great Manbat sought to find a current to take him higher, the goblins closed in. Their grinning faces spoke not of humour but of malice about to be unleashed. They screamed as they came, no doubt hurling insults at these creatures who were with their prey. Those who had any knowledge of the goblin language would have made some sense of their taunts and curses but would have found this to be a harsher, more gutteral tongue than their earth-bound cousins spoke.

Katlin hurled herself on the goblin pair like a buzzsaw! Try to imagine being in the woods and hearing that screech and then seeing the wide fanged jaws and two terrifically clawed paws coming at you like a buzzsaw! Then you get some idea of the attack of the Puma Lady. Sheer feline maternal rage at creatures which killed her babies! She bit and slashed with forepaws, grabbing them and raking with the hind feet claws, a manoeuvre that disembowels one hapless victim. She saw the goblin wings as targets of opportunity, wanting to see how well they fly with a shredded or broken wing. Attacking their wings also gave this highly intelligent monster a way to keep clear of their claws. The Hellkat was very fast even in this alien element.

The first goblin had badly misjudged what would be coming at him. Seeking to claw Katlin, he was overpowered first by her claws, which broke his leading forelimb, and then by the jaws which seized upon his second arm, allowing her to shake him like a rag doll. His eyes rolled in agony. The second goblin rushed in from behind, using his brother’s misfortune to provide and advantage. The goblin slashed with talons much less lethal than Katlin’s but nonetheless with the potential for death. Even whilst she continued to crunch and shake her hapless prey, she spun in mid-flight, whirling the goblin’s body round as a whining, shrieking shield. Largely successful in the manoeuvre, the big cat took spite damage to her left shoulder as the goblin backed off,  awed by the beast he was battling.

Brazi fell on his goblins like a thunderbolt, so comfortable in the air. The skill coupled with the ferocity of the Manbat’s violent attack was too much for the goblins to deal with. After fending off a series of blows, Brazi crunched his flailing staff down on one of the goblin’s wings, shattering bone. It was six and out for the goblin. It fell helplessly from Brazi’s reach, screeching piteously. The second goblin was now much more cautious, feinting left and right, seeking an opening in the batsman’s defences. Brazi played a straight bat and the goblin began to back off from his opponent. Brazi’s staff continued to whirl in a blur of motion and it was clear that the goblin did not fancy contact with the hard wood whirlwind with which it was presented.

Cornelius Allen saw how well the battle in the air was going for his companions and decided to take out the goblin swooping down on him. With a carefully focused finger, the young wizard lined his foe up and unleashes a TTYF .  The goblin howled, blasted backwards by the flash of khremm-charged energy, it’s head smoking from the destructive spell. Knocked off balance, it dropped below the Feigh craft-cloud, spinning hopelessly towards Planet Earth far below.  Cornelius Allen permitted himself a smirk of satisfaction and then checked on his fellow fighters, the Feigh and the other goblins.
He saw that his companions were adept at taking care of themselves and, as the large group of goblins formed a tighter ring about the cloud, ignoring their three falling minions, the Feigh had begun sending out an inflating ring of white light towards their conquerors.

Both Hellkat and Manbat had taken the measure of their foes, and found them wanting.
Kat had also added the fury of being wounded to her normal volcanic wrath, and she was beginning to get the hang of this flying thing. With another petrifying scream of Cougar rage she hurled herself at the remaining gob. Brazi had been cautious until now, but, with a thunderous flap of his mighty wings, he too took the attack to his remaining adversary.

The retreating goblin was not quick enough to elude the Manbat. The staff whirled and scythed in a blur of destruction before landing squarely on the outclassed goblin's skull. Its eyes rolled and its tongue flopped out as the cracking of its skull resounds through the air.
As Kat flung her feline form at the other retreating goblin, one of the band further away had been preparing a different sort of attack.

Taking a leaf out of Cornelius Allen's book, the puma felt the steely grip of another Hold That Pose spell, The cowering goblin's look of terror turned to a twisted smile as the HelKat began to lose altitude - fast!

And the young wizard? He saw two goblins heading towards him armed with spears. That didn't look too good…

Peripherally, all the combatants were aware of a ring of cloud substance, formed and sent out by the Feigh, transforming its shape from a circle to that of a cylinder, enveloping gradually all bar the larger group of goblins who had kept a watching brief over this battle.

Brazi could not bear the risk of Kat falling to her death. Calling to the wizard to follow him in haste, he banked his wings and dove like a hawk after the falling Hellkat. He would use the wings to accelerate his pursuit if needed.

He did need to - Kat was falling like a stone. The Manbat swept away from the goblin cringing as he eyed him up with violent intent and swooped down after the puma.

Cornelius Allen noticed that the goblins were retreating as the Feigh cloud-cylinder formed. He supposed they didn't want to get enclosed by it and he made a mental note to ask the angel-folk about if he lived through this. Desperately hoping that the ruse would work, the wizard yelled "Dragon Breath' at the top his lungs and cast Call Flame against the two goblins with the spears. He sure hoped they wouldn't see through his ruse, faced with the Feigh magic and the threat of dragon fire backed up by real heat scorching their faces!

It worked as far as one of the winged fiends was concerned but its partner in slime cast the flint-tipped missile before dipping its wings and high-tailing it out of there. The goblin wasn't subtle about his intentions and he was hampered by his hair -which he had just discovered had caught fire. The wizard was going to have to get out of the path of the spear before trying anything else.

Brazi's quick reactions enabled him to rescue his love in his strong, big hand, effortlessly taking the puma's weight as he spread his wings again to stop his descent. Gliding smoothly, he then turned on his back to see what or who may be following him. He tucked Kat's limp form under his left arm, holding the formidable staff now in his right hand. As he looked up, he saw two of the goblins coming towards him with a net spread between them.

The wizard meanwhile twisted desperately but the spear flew straight and true on its deadly flight. He was able to do no more than spin as the projectile took him in the left shoulder. Cornelius Allen could not suppress a cry of pain and then saw blood spreading across his armour, through a rent in the leather. He dropped to his knees and screwed up his face in concentration as he tried to stay conscious. Fortunately the Feigh protective cylinder had thwarted the intentions of the goblins but Cornelius Allen wondered in his pain if it could last long - surely if it had great duration the Feigh would not have been cast out by these creatures.

The goblin wizard's spell lost its efficacy now and Kat began to stir in her beloved's secure grasp.
Brazi, seeing the peril of being netted, grasped Kate to his broad chest, squeaked "Hold on, dearest, this could get rough!", and began to manoeuvre vigorously, much like a normal bat will do in pursuit of some insect treat, his huge wings flapping furiously, and his staff held ready to help fend off the net, or strike those trying to cast it over him. At the same time he worked to gain altitude or fly above his pursuers (which would make netting him more difficult) and return to assist Cornelius.

The intentions of the Manbat were sound but reality proved to have sharp teeth. The goblins were encumbered by the net but this was a form of hunting they practiced regularly. Brazi was not so experienced at flying whilst holding a reviving puma - but then who was. The goblins were not about to give the advantage of altitude to the Manbat and they were circumspect about his vicious staff. Despite his determined flapping and torturous feints and twists, the goblins jockey themselves into position to wrap the net round their prey. Kat could do little but scream her Hellkat roar at the goblins.

Cornelius Allen had tried to rise to his feet but the effort was too much for him with the blood loss rapidly draining his energies. He toppled headlong into the cloud cylinder the Feigh had created about them and him. He sprawled in the soft material, head out in the open air, lashed again by the cold, harsh rain. Cornelius Allen saw the danger his two beast friends were in and, with his last reserves of his will, cast a final spell before blackness engulfed him...

The Oh Go Away spell took its grip on one of the net-casting goblins and he spun and fled in sheer panic, yanking the net with him and his fellow off balance with it. Lightning forked down through the black skies and, at this, the goblin leader sounder a trumpet of retreat. The trailing net was within reach of Brazi's clawhands now.

Kat was revived enough to fly, but a little unsure of herself.  Brazi wisely let her go.  He saw his chance to grab the net and use it to his advantage and when he did do, he reeled the goblin in like a fish on a line. The creature was too stupid to let go.
The other goblins flew off, not concerned much about the loss of their net and even less so about their companion. Kat then noticed Cornelius Allen disappearing back into the Feigh cylinder. She was absolutely soaked now and beginning to feel the effects of the cold, way up here in the sky. The thunderclap which then sounded drowned out the goblin's howls. Lightning illuminated their part of the sky, revealing brown streaks now appearing in the Feigh cylinder. She also noticed that their cloud was losing altitude.

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