The Saga of the O.G.
Chapter 12 - The Canadian and the Jew
11 days, 11 hours, and 11 minutes later, -Dolynick knelt before the Arreat Crater and scooped some of the hot earth into his hand. It was volcanic-glass in composition, warm to the touch, and it glistened when moved. -Dolynick dropped it and hastily wiped it from his hands.
"Why on Sanctuary do people insist on living near places that get this hot?" he complained as he removed his cloak and rolled it up.
"Because not everyone wants to have an address that involves crossing a glacier to get to, dude," JellzRoc quipped. Pensfan laughed and muttered to himself,
They surveyed the area together.
"Where did you and Melkor enter, Jellz?" -Doly asked without taking his eyes off the Mountain of Arreat. JellzRoc pointed to a specific spot about a quarter way up the side of the slope facing them. -Doly covered his eyes with his hands like a pair of binoculars and looked towards the location that JellzRoc had indicated. He thought he could just make out the outline of a stone door, though there was no sign of any recent use.
"Positive," Jellz snapped back.
"Ok then. Pens, I'm going to be utilizing a Vanilla Variant of Meteor called Molten Impact. It burns hotter than most meteors, which means we will have more time in between each cast to regenerate some Arcane Power, but not that much time. The downside of course is that each one of these Meteors has a native cost of 50 Arcane Power. I'm wearing all the correct pieces of gear and..." he reached back and removed a staff from his pack, with half a Sun atop it. It sizzled and smoked as if it was just pulled from a Blacksmith's Forge, "...I do have The Grand Vizier. When I begin, I will be relying on your...mechanics, to fuel my Arcane Power needs."
Pensfan scratched his head and wore a look of doubt. -Dolynick noticed his hesitation.
"Somethin' you'd like to tell us, Pens? Speak now or for-"
"-Globe Doctor has been patched out."
-Dolynick's eyes widened. His mouth fell open a bit.
"What do you mean, Globe Doc has-"
"-It's patched out, -doly."
"When did you learn this?"
"Two days ago."
"Why didn't you say something?" -Dolynick was visibly agitated.
"I did not want you to lose hope in our friends," Pensfan shrugged his shoulders and slumped. -Dolynick looked up the mountain again. For a long while, no one said anything. Finally, -Doly spoke.
"Krede's Flame will be necessary, it seems," he resigned as he dropped his pack from his shoulders, and stuck the handle of The Grand Vizier into the ground. He dropped to his knees and began fumbling through his things. He removed a ring from his hand and quickly hid it away in his pants pocket. He then placed a large, golden ring on his right hand. He closed everything up and looked at his companions with troubled eyes.
"Krede's Flame," he began, "will require that I consistently take fire damage in order to restore Arcane Power. It is the most painful and sacrificial method for regaining Arcane Power."
"Krede's Flame is a forbidden item by the OGs," JellzRoc explained to Pensfan, "no one wears that thing. It's self torture. -Doly, there has to be some other way for you to do this."
"There is no other way," -Doly sighed, "The Jew is gonna owe me for the rest of his life, though. That's sorta kinda worth it. Jellz? Will you do the honors?" He put The Grand Vizier securely on his back. Somehow, it seemed connected to his being by more than just the crude sling.
JellzRoc nodded solemnly and began stepping away from -Doly, "I'd back up if I were you, Pensfan...and Pugsfan." They quickly obliged.
-Dolynick closed his eyes and reached towards his target with his right hand open. He then closed his hand and drew it in towards his waist.
Pensfan looked to the Heavens but saw only stars of blue and white, with the exception of one single red star. As he focused on it, he realized that it was growing in size, rapidy. It was the first of -Doly's Meteor volley finding its way from above.
The Molten Impact smashed into the side of the Cleaved Mountain, issued forth from the Heavens with the ferocity of Hell. Great smoke and dust was flung into the air. The ground beneath them shaked with a terrible, thunderous groan. Nevertheless The stone of the Fell Enchanted Door seemed barely affected.
"Again!" Pensfan urged -Dolynick.
"This is cheese grater business; I'm sure of it," -Doly moaned as he now began repeating his casting animation over and over again.
One after another, the meteors hammered the enchanted door on the slope of the mountain, and one after the other, the enchanted door seemed to rebound their forceful strikes.
"Is this even working?" JellzRoc asked. He was standing to the right of -Dolynick, about 10 feet away. -Dolynick spoke in a rushed and quick compressed fashion, in between each cast.
After a dozen or so casts, he nodded towards JellzRoc.
JellzRoc pushed his wrists together and extended his arms in -Doly's direction. Soon, a ring of flames circled his body, much akin to the appearance of electrons circling a nucleus.
JellzRoc's eyed ignited. Issuing forth from his hands, missiles of flame snaked forth, seemingly intelligent in their own right, arcing immediately outwards and curving towards -Dolynick.
When the first missile impacted the side of -Doly's body, he quickly recoiled in pain, his teeth clenching as his face put forth an expression of pure agony.
But move, he did not.
For -Dolynick knew what was necessary in order to break the Cleaved Mountain. And in this unfortunate case, it would require his own sacrifice, at least in part, to save the life of his friend.
And so, over the next several minutes, the 'nadian endured the consistent pain and suffering of JellzRoc's Flame Ward. It burned his skin something fierce, but ultimately afforded him the "luxury" of limitless Arcane Power.
On the 88th strike, two things occurred in an almost synchronized fashion. The Fell Enchanted Door finally gave way to the intense impacts and heat of -Dolynick's Vanilla Molten Impact, and -Doly collapsed to the ground. JellzRoc quickly ran over and yanked Krede's Flame from -Doly's charred and mutilated hand. He fumbled in his pocket for a ring of another type, and crudely shoved it onto Doly's hand, before helping him turn to a more comfortable position.
"What's the ring, Jellz?" -Doly sputtered through a still clenched jaw.
"Rogar's," Jellz whispered, and then smiled, "give it a few minutes."
Jellz stood up and looked up the mountain.
"Well Penny, and, uh...Pugg-y, -Dolynick has done the impossible. We now need to go find the Melk and Lasers and save them from that weird smoke hand."
22 minutes later, -Dolynick stood up and collected himself. He had healed physically, though his mental disdain for Fire would continue until his oldest years. The small rescue team then began their perilous journey up the slopes of the mountainside. The climb was treacherous, and they only eventually found themselves standing at the entrance to the Fell Enchanted Door, which lie in shambles. They stood there motionlessly for a few moments, listening only to the sounds of their own breath. All of a sudden, a crumbled stone from the door shifted. JellzRoc instantly blasted it with Disintegrate. The stone spun in place, but was not destroyed. -Dolynick laughed.
"88 strikes to the face of the Fell Enchanted Door, and you STILL think you can Disintegrate it, Jellz?"
"Well why did it move?" Jellz asked, in a true non-sequitor fashion.
"Because, this door, like the pillars in the Forum, was constructed by Kulle and Co. This door will forever try to reassemble itself, as long as it can."
"Why would Zoltun Kulle build the Barbarian's an Enchanted Door, though?"
"I don't know, but we should be extra careful, especially now since we can assume there is more than Barbarian ancient magic at work in this mountain..."
The three climbed over the rubble and stepped into the dark. JellzRoc lead the group. After all, he had the most experience in the Cleaved Mountain, having been there most recently.
"And here is where I decided to turn on Storm Armor. Melk said that was a good idea." JellzRoc held up his Echoing Fury and pointed in the direction they were heading.
"And it was a good idea," -Dolynick began, "assuming you could control it. But...I'm seeing some breakables and other inanimate objects that have clear signs of lightning damage Jellz, so maybe," -Doly reached out and lowered the end of JellzRoc's Echoing Fury while smiling, "we'll take our chances without it this time."
"Suit yourself," Jellz said and shrugged his shoulders. Pensfan seemed relieved, somehow.
At last, the three of them reached the stone door leading to the room with the Resplendent Chest that Melkor and JellzRoc had originally found. Each of the Heroes entered cautiously, making little to no noise, as best they could. There was no way to help the breathing noises coming from Pugsfan, though, and -Doly thought to himself that it would have been best to leave the pup back at his place. Pensfan interrupted his thoughts.
"This way," he hissed as he walked into the shadows. The darkness enveloped them as the moved forward. -Dolynick and JellzRoc both summoned Sparkflints. For awhile, this allowed them to see in the dark. The darkness continued to thicken somehow, until even the Sparkflints provided virtually no visual aid. -Doly cast a magic missile forward. The darkness swallowed the purplish orb almost instantly.
"The very air is enchanted," he warned the others, "even for me, and I prefer D3 Dark..."
"Hey what's that?" Pensfan suddenly asked. They were all of them now so close together. It was the only way to not lose track of one another in the dark depths of the Cleaved Mountain.
"What's what?" -Doly asked.
"That light over there...can't you see it?"
Off and to the left a small line could be perceived in the darkness. The group carefully made their way towards it. As they closed in, they realized that there were other lines of light attached to it, vertically. A door, perhaps?
Pensfan approached the "door" and rested his hands on the center. He put his ear against it and listened.
"There are definitely voices coming from within," he whispered to -Doly and JellzRoc, "Jellz, look under the door and tell me what you see."
JellzRoc got down on all fours and looked under the door. Inside, he could see an old man chained to a wall. He seemed to be pleading with someone. Next to him, a Demon Hunter sat in a chair, his hands bound behind its backing, and his feet chained together. Most of the room was shrouded in shadows. JellzRoc turned his head so he could hear the old man speaking.
"...If I am doomed to die in this place, why won't you tell me who you're working for? What are you afraid of?"
"I am but a servant of the late Zoltun Kulle. But he is no more. The OG's may be bountiful and plentiful, but in becoming as such, they have grown to be pretentious. You think you are loyal to one another, and you may be, but at the expense of all those who live and breathe around you. You think you own the Hallowed Halls of the Forums, but you will learn soon enough, that you do not. But I dare not speak of it. Now...you die."
From the shadows, a Construct emerged.
"Construct. Look -Doly," Jellz whispered.
-Dolynick lowered himself and peered under the door. Indeed, a Smoldering Construct was in view. -Doly always found these foes to be cleverly engineered, considering how old they must be. Essentially, Constructs were robots that resembled large bony insects. They seemed to be fueled by the type of elemental energy that they also utilized as their primary damage dealers. This one, to -Doly's nauseated dismay, was a Smoldering Construct, which meant: Fire. The Construct emitted a quick burst of black smoke, followed by the telltale signs of a fireball cooking within its tentacle-like arms of metal.
Inside the room, the old man spoke, "Whenever you guys are ready. I'm pretty sure I'm about to be incinerated!"
The sealed door was suddenly blown open. JellzRoc stepped inside and blasted the Construct with Disintegrate. It melted under the intensity of his beam. Pensfan ran over to the Demon Hunter.
"Are you allright, Lasers?"
"Cut me free!"
As the Smoldering Construct's blasted parts flew back into the depths of the room, -Doly realized that this room was actually far larger than they had originally anticpated.
And it was filled with Constructs of all types. Dozens of them.
"Well...fuck," -Doly spat, "This Melkor is gonna owe me forever."
Lasers had been set free. Him and Pensfan entered a 2-man "dance" of sorts, where Pensfan held a few Constructs in place, managing to somehow Fear the soulless Constructs while Lasers riddled their bodies with holes from rapidly fired projectiles. They could not move.
Meanwhile, -Doly approached the old man, chained to the wall.
"Geez Melk. What the hell happened to you?"
"I fell victim to an aging curse. It's dark magic, and I'm not even sure it fits well into this genre or franchise. But that's what happened. And now I'm incredibly old. And if I don't get far away from this place, I believe I shall become the very Dust that JellzRoc and I came here looking for. So what do you say you save the questions for when we're far from here, eh?"
"Even at the precipice of destruction, you're still a wiseass," -Doly chuckled as he pulled a Spectral Blade of Ice from seemingly nowhere. He cut the chains in one swift circular motion. The old man collapsed onto -Dolynick.
"Yeah, turns out, I'm like...actually old. So, in the words of Yodatoy:
-Doly obliged old man's weight and turned to JellzRoc, who was busy assisting Lasers and Pens. He fired a Glacial Spike into the locked down pack of Constructs. One of them ran out of the pack. It fired a poisonous glob back at JellzRoc. Lasers turned and fired a bolt and decapitated the Construct. Pensfan snapped at Jellz.
"Get that Echoing Fury out of here. We don't need you breaking the lock!"
JellzRoc was surprised by Pens' sudden change in tone. But as he looked on, he could see the magnificence of Pensfan and Lasers' strategy. Lasers was a blur, vaulting around the room, nailing bulls-eye after bulls-eye on all of his targets. Jellz wondered how Lasers could ever have been captured in the first place, with moves like that.
-Dolynick finished carving an exit with Convergence in the wall, much as JellzRoc and Melkor had done the first time they had been here. He was finishing up cooling the sides down with Ray of Frost when Pensfan and Lasers killed the last of their foes.
"We did it!" Lasers exclaimed as he stopped his frantic movements for a moment.
Pensfan stood up and ended his Fear lock. He looked around suspiciously, "The treachery of Zoltun Kulle is seldom fully quelled. We must be cautious."
One by one, the companions helped each other into the exit tunnel. Pensfan was the last to climb in.
As he did, a sudden yank on his ankle had him drop on his face. He spun around in time to see a dark hand, seemingly made from pure smoke grasping at him.
Pensfan instantly disappeared. A scuffling was heard. He then reappeared outside the tunnel, in the room ,with a phial in his left hand, and a cork in his right. He quickly muttered a few incantations that were unintelligible to the others. The Hand flexed its fingers as if in pain, and slowly found itself being "drained" into the phial. Once it was fully contained, Pensfan corked it. He placed it in his waistcoat. Lasers helped him back into the tunnel.
"You're bringing that....thing with us?" Melkor asked in a repulsed fashion.
"I'll be sending it to Beed, for analysis."
"You know BDF? Uch, why Beed?" Melkor seemed no less repulsed.
"Because, he is a genius when it comes to these types of mechanical analyses. He is revered among the Witch Doctors. We celebrate all Intelligence Classes and their masters."
"-Doly is just as good. Or apo."
"Ahh, I've had enough of your adventures, Melkor," -Dolynick yelled back from farther down the tunnel, "and frankly, I don't want that thing in my house."
"apo is retired," JellzRoc chimed in.
"Fine," Melkor resigned, "send it to BDF. But I'm not going there myself. He will have to mail me the cure."
"As you wish, sir."
"Sir? I'm younger than you," Melkor snapped. They all laughed a bit as they made their way out of the tunnel.
To Be Continued...
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