|Artist Unknown - If Identified, please let me know - http://www.misucell.com/WDF-158230.html|
The sound of the kobold being crushed under the weight of Magna was sickening. Worse yet, it came down cleanly on top of his head and split it like an overripe melon, spraying its contents across Braum and the other kobolds. In a heartbeat, the creature was snuffed out of existence only to be replaced by two more of the little dragon-kin, their blades flashing and searching for purchase beneath his steel hide.
Fortunately, he didn't have the time to think about the implications.
With his shield in his left hand, he knocked away a spear that was aimed for the slot in his helmet, bashing the beast backwards. A half moment later, a sword came from his right, seeking to cut out his knees from below him. That monster met the still gooey head of his hammer and was sent sprawling, its ribs shattering beneath the blow.
But for each one blown away, more seemed to seethe from all around.
And for each one that appeared, a blow landed on his armor. A blade slipped beneath a plate. A wound was cut into his flesh. And he fell back, bellowing in rage as much as pain.
"ANYTIME NOW!" Braum roared and spared a half second to glance back at the summoner at the top of the stairs.
None of the kobolds had been able to surge past him. Those few that had were brought down with utmost ferocity and their broken bodies now littered the way, blocking others from making the journey easily.
But they still needed more time.
The eidolon could clearly be seen in the runic circle now. The summoner's eyes were open but where irises would normally have been, Braum could make out nothing but a hollow, iridescent glow.
And so he fought on.
One kobold was kicked square in the chest only to be trampled by its compatriots.
Another was sent sprawling by a well place shield blow.
He had just taken out several of the little blighters in a great swing of his hammer when two things happened. First, he felt the bite of pain and the warm outpouring of blood as a spear slipped into a crack in his armor. The hard ridge of the blade bit into his flesh and rested just between two of his ribs, lighting his chest ablaze with pain and causing him to let out another bellowing roar.
Second, a group of kobolds uncovered a very functional, very deadly-looking ballista some hundred yards away.
For half a moment, Braum just stared. Through the haze of the pain and the shock of the massive bow-and-arrow like machine, he felt himself just go numb. Had it not been for his steel, he likely would have been killed in that moment of surprise.
It was only when the ballista started being aimed towards Ember, the still unfinished summoner, that he was brought to his senses.
"HEY!" he bellowed, trying to get their attention.
But they weren't looking at him. They were getting ready to fire.
And he had to do something.
Using his considerable bulk and his massive tower shield, Braum plowed through the kobolds that were still in front of him. He moved through them like a bulldozer and ran as hard and fast as he could. He still had one problem...they were too far away and he had no ranged weapons.
Think, Braum, Think. I just need a moment. Just need...
He laughed out loud as the idea hit him.
While he might have simply used some of the debris lying around him, Braum didn't want to slow down and possibly be caught by the horde that was now following on his heels. Instead, he quickly sheathed his hammer and reach back into his bag.
A moment later, in a single, seamless motion, Braum drew out the cast iron pot that he'd taken from the priest's room and threw it for all he was worth.
The great, black cauldron soared with an elegance and grace that no cookware should ever really see, particularly when thrown at another person. It struck true. The lead kobold, a little monster slightly larger and more scarred than the others who was just settling in at the controls of the war-weapon, didn't even see it coming. The pot hit dead on, slammed him to the ground, and lodged itself to the little dragon-kin's head with a resounding KLONG!
It struggled and screeched and clawed at the pot, trying desperately to get it off, but by the time he and three others had managed to pry it from his crooked skull, it was already too late.
A wall of steel and blood and fury descended upon them, hammer first, bellowing in a rage that even the Dwarf had not known up to this point.
He roared and screamed and swung his weapons, decimating everything in front of him. While many still fought on, some began to back away in fear of the ferocious display that Braum was putting on. Bodies were broken, the ballista was crushed, and, just as more of them decided to back away in favor of their lives, a new threat emerged.
It started low; a soft grumbling that quickly built up to a rushing boom. But half a moment later, the entire far end of the room lit up with arcs and bolts of blue and white electricity that shot this way and that, shattering stone and violently tearing a crater out of the platform where the now complete eidolon hovered; its deep blue eyes narrowed and sparking with energy.
With Braum in front and the Eidolon behind, the kobolds turned tail and began to run, but it was already too late. The sound of lightning and thunder from the magical beast coupled with Braum's screams of defiance and rage drowned out their cries; the only thing louder being the sound of Ember's laughter as he watched the destruction from his perch above the stairs.
(Alright, so I misjudged the length of Part 7. There's only one more entry into Dragon's Maw before we switch back to a few other pieces. Promise. ;P )