“Just One More Blow…”

The Priestess stared at her ruined weapon in blank dismay. The mass of fiery serpents withdrew back into her evolving eye. “You–“ she stammered. “You…”

 

Rintha the Roar-Hunter strode out of the shadows, leather sling dangling from his left hand. His clay-colored face was calm, resolute and just a little sad.

“Walk on to a better life, poor Roarer,” he said softly.

 

As the Priestess seethed, and her followers froze in shock, the others Pilgrims struck.

 

V’vendy drew and loosed her last three arrows, each planting themselves in a Red-Robed Zealot’s heart, drawing out caustic blood that ignited in the air.

 

One of the remaining Red-Robed Zealots rushed at the Lady Ira, shrieking and brandishing his hooked knife. Ira drew her bronze sword and batted the knife away with a flickering slash. Brow furrowed in contempt, she tossed a Seeking Stone into the air. The Zealot fell back, arms raised as the little lead pellet zipped back and forth, battering at his skull.

 

The Priestess turned her burning gaze on Rintha the Roar-Hunter. “I hope you’re happy with what you’ve done,” she hissed. “Take that joy with you to the grave!”

 

A lance of fire shot out from the Priestess’s Evolving Eye, sliding across the ground and leaving molten rock in its wake.

 

“Ah!” Rintha shouted, leaping out of the way. He hit the ground, rolled to his feet and ran as the Priestess sent more blasts of fire his way.

 

Corax prowled forward, claws tightening around his sickle sword. He sniffed at the opponent in front of him, a young scrawny Zealot trembling in his immaculate Red Robes. He smiled at the Zealot, baring white curved teeth.

 

“Stop quivering,” Corax told him. “Stand tall. I’ll make this quick.”

 

Corax swung his sickle blade. The Zealot hopped backwards, dodging out of the way.

 

Corax snapped his snout shut. He slashed with his sickle blade. The scrawny Zealot leaned backward, the sword’s edges just barely passing his nose.

 

Corax swung a third time. The young, shivering Zealot dodged a third time.

 

“Stay still and let me kill you!” Corax shouted, chasing the nimble Zealot around the inner chamber.

 

“Stay still so I can kill you!” The Priestess shouted on the other side of the inner chamber.

 

“No!” Rintha shouted back, throwing himself into a backflip and the Priestess’s fiery serpent snapped at his ankles.

 

The Priestess made a hissing sound at the back of her throat. “Enough of this,” she muttered, and then shrieked at the top of her lungs.

 

An ear-shattered roar burst from her throat, catching Rintha mid-flip and slamming him into the far wall.

 

“Caught you, you slippery chunk of clay!” The Priestess chortled. Raw tendrils of flame flickered out from her evolving eyes, curling inwards on themselves like ferns, whipping back and forth.

 

Uuco the Witness looked up from the prone Zealot he was kicking in the ribs. “Rintha!” He shouted, eyes widening.

 

“I’m going to bake you into a beer jug…!” The Priestess snarled, sending her flame tendrils whipping towards Rintha.

 

Uuco gathered lightening in his hand and flung a bolt towards the Priestess.

 

The Priestess staggered, back arching as blue lightning crawled over her skin and set her hair on end. Her flame tendrils flew off course, striking the rock around Rintha.

 

“You…!” The Priestess seethed, looking over her shoulder at Uuco, smoke rising from her charred robes. “I hate you the most…Witness Uuco!”

 

Uuco sauntered forward, whistling a jaunty tune, winding a finger around his bushy mustache. “I know my medicine,” he declared, “and child, I fear you’ve got a bad case of lightning!”

 

The Priestess’s anger reached a new level: veins stood out on her temple, her teeth ground like sliding blocks of granite, and the flames smoldering within her Evolving Eye turned lurid red.

 

“The Blood of Origin,” she rasped drawing her belt dagger and cutting a nick in her palm. “The Fruit of the Tree of Life!” She pressed her open hands together in a stance of prayer. “Let it Blossom! Let it Blossom!”

 

More tendrils of crimson flame burst from her eye, lengthening and flickering out in the air. They spread and wrapped around the Priestess’s body like bandages, encasing her in a layer of flame.

 

The Priestess leapt at Uuco, swinging a flame wreathed palm down at his shiny forehead.

 

Uuco vanished in a flash of lightning, reappearing behind the raging Priestess. Frowning in concentration, he spat purple mana from his mouth into his palm. He muttered a word and flickered six mana droplets into the air. Where each mana droplet landed, a duplicate of Uuco sprouted from the earth, identical down to the mustache.

 

The Priestess turned around, heat and the scent of pork wafting from her body. “Do you think you’ve mastered the power of a Roarer, Uuco?” She taunted. “One day you’ll lose control–just like all the rest!”

 

Uuco stuck out his tongue. His duplicates repeated the action. “Now, now dear,” he replied. “You’re just jealous of my unlimited power! But Uuco the Witness isn’t Greedy, no siree!”

 

The Priestess shrieked, sending a blast of sound hurtling towards Uuco. two of Uuco’s duplicates were torn apart into purple mist, while Uuco himself blinked away.

 

Uuco reappeared behind the Priestess, lightning dancing around his stolen scepter. “Here!” he shouted. “Have some of my power for yourself!”

 

Sheets of rippling lightning poured from the scepter, sinking into the Priestess. His duplicates mimicked his gesture; lightning shot from their scepters into the Priestess as well.

 

The Priestess struggled and thrashed under the barrage of sparks. She fell to one knee, flesh charring beneath her fiery armor. The last sight her normal eye saw before she fell was downright surreal: an army of Uucos circling her, faces grim and cold as they sent her to the Underworld.

 

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