Wednesday, 24 September 2014

A musk of dread and desperation filled our barracks as we were paralyzed in our minds of what to do. The Citadel did not want us to to commit yet a third murder, with two guards in our front door, magically sealed every crevice, crack and opening. A final attempt by our new wizard, whom I felt deeply sorry for as he was dragged into this whole commotion.
    Somehow, someway, he opened the backdoor using his magic. A small hope fluttered in all of us as I managed to physically lockpick the door. The wizard was the first to sneak out using a spell of invisibility, I felt a sense of only pure fear as that if we were caught attempting to sneak out, We would be denied the right of ceremony to execution, only to die on the spot. He slowly opened the door to freedom only to be surrounded by a flurry of archers wearing cat goggles which are able to counteract any illusion spells. We slammed the door in haste, not wanting to be shot. A voice from the hallway stopped us in our tracks. Panic overtook us as the voice could be anyone out for our heads, we all scrambled out. I ran towards the monk's room and locked the door.
    Hoping my friends had found a way out, I slowly leaned against the wall betting for a bit of an eavesdrop. A bit of me was relieved when the voice was just the rouge of team Charlie. The rougue has said that he found incriminating evidence of team Alpha, and it seems deeper than the deep dark ocean. Supposedly team Alpha is working for the surrounding kingdoms, and all they want to do is bring the downfall of the Citadel and kingdom.
    He wants to help stop the execution, he can help us by getting  only one item from their base, we had a choice of a spell in which we all could telepathically speak to him and us without the single movement of our lips. A hidden ring that allows the user to cast spells without saying a word, a ring that is hidden with a small blade to cut the rope when it is bound to our hands, another ring that can give us all tremendous strength to break free of our nooses, and finally a spell that cast a black smoke screen that makes vision to see through impossible except for those who cast it.
    After much debating, the final choice of our item was the telepathic spell. We don't have any spells that as of our past experiences, the blade ring won't give us enough time, the ring of strength is not enough to get us of there, and the black smoke screen would only last a little while before we get executed. Talking is not a skill we're good at as shown at the court three times. He could help us on what to say and get us out of this slippery situation. He then slithered back into the vents in which I have not noticed they were ever there for the past five years I have been there. A long time passed with each minute closer to execution, soon enough the rouge came back with the item that we considered the gate to our freedom, and our lives.
    The crowd that was about to witness the execution of an entire barrack was in mixed feelings, some felt guilty that they let us die, some were proud and loud about our soon to be deaths. This crowd was particularly big since there has never been an execution of an entire barrack and wanted to see us choke on the rope. I could spy the other barracks within the crowd, all but team Alpha, I thought they were the ones who wanted our necks hung the most but yet they were not there? "Any last words?" the guard said to the dwarf, monk and wizard as I stood beside with hands tied and feet stood still.
    I felt some heat radiate onto my body, maybe it was the sun just coming out of the cloud. But when I stared a bit on the sun, It dawned on me, It was moving closer, and it was not the sun. Everything and everyone was blinded and deafened by a combination of pure intense heat, light brighter than the suns and fear by this fireball larger than anything, paralyzing everyone.
    I opened my eyes, still nearly blinded and unsteady looking at the chaos, most of team Charlie and Delta were missing members, body parts and heads with nowhere being unscathed by this ball of fire. As the ringing in my ears subsided, A small snicker was heard behind me. The entire Alpha team was there with a horde of an army waiting to rip fresh blood. "Run!!! You're gear is in the fruit stand of the market, and get to the teleporter!" is what I heard from the rouge within my mind. I locked my eyes on to the long field which held the market behind the once huge crowd, now reduced to bloody gibs.
    As hastily I untied the bounds around my hand and dashed towards the battlefield which now had all kinds of monsters attacking with the teachers and some of what remains of the teams fighting back. Dragons roared and soared above as they fired relentless fireballs raining death. I wanted to avenge those who died, but alas I was totally defenseless. I hear the sound of fire raging towards the ground and it finds its target, the monk. What is left of her smoldering body is burnt, black flesh was somehow still breathing. I dragged her by the arms to reach the market before we were subjected to more deadly flames.
    The cleric reached us and casted a life saving healing spell on the monk. Now she was no longer burning and we could move faster. We ran up to the lonely fruit stand that contained our items and our livelihoods. I felt something extremely hot before blacking me out, I woke up by the cleric who yet again me before the burnt flesh would take over me. With the Alpha team on our tails with no sigh stopping, we dashed with all our force to the teleporter. Captain Greenwood was already there at the white pedestal that surrounded the pillars of teleportation, telling us to come quickly. Something was off about his tone though, it felt... different, and I saw him in the field fighting off creatures and telling us to go to the teleporter. Regardless of this, we had no time. When we reached Captain Greenwood, he transformed, something we despised.
    The wizard of team Alpha cleared the illusion that he was Captain Greenwood and cast a spell of paralyzing, yelling out that we were fools, somehow no one was actually frozen or paralyzed. Rage emminated from all of us and projected it onto the wizard, attacking with all our might. The grandmaster and owner appeared seemingly out of nowhere, now the wizard copied the exact looks of him and soon became a fight so quickly we could not judge who is who. We all struck at one of them, hoping that it was the wizard. One fell down and slowly melted away to be revealed as the wizard.
    The Grandmaster ushered us to move as quickly can be to the pillars, since Alpha team and its army were right up to the steps of the teleporter. Right as they were about to attack us, we felt our selves become part of the world, fading away. We did not know where we were except for the fact that it was extremely cold and snow surrounded as far as the eye could see. We peered around, and saw the entire Citadel alight and burning below us. It wasn't just the Citadel though, all of the kingdom was under attack. And from that moment from now on would be very different forever.

A sense of dread casted over the whole company, we could feel the eyes of others staring down at us as we walked the halls that once welcomed us now dead in their eyes. Every single possession of ours that gave each of us our individuality were stripped of us along with the armour in which we fought zombies, swam in deep dark waters and singed with fiery lava.
    I tried to sleep that night feeling uneasy and rewatching the events that unraveled that earlier the day just made sleeping a task only short-term amnesiacs could have done. My ears were perked up in ever the case of what happened on the night of the murder could repeat, sending us down to death row.
    Hearing the tiniest of a whisper outside the window of the dwarf, my throat sank throughout my entire body. It was Alpha team's whispering behind the magically sealed window. Creeping to the window, what I heard of was that two Alpha members were threatening somebody that would let out their secret of cheating. A spine chill ran down my body, another murder was about to happen.
    I pounded on the window yelling that we could hear them, it was futile. They responded that we were ''next'', what I could hear were the muffled screams and dragging of somebody who dared to cross the boundaries of team Alpha. It slowly dawned on me of what will happen, a stomach sinking pain absorbed me as I stood still with one thought. Execution. The dwarf screamed only the heaviest of sleepers would trek through, waking up everyone. We gathered at the front door discussing on what to do, a small glance at the main door made me realize that it was not sealed or locked in anyway.
    I looked through the door as quietly as can be, then the ranger decided to go out. Much to our surprise, the entire Alpha team was there! In a flash they fled leaving a huge blood puddle that gave a copper scent and a dagger that was placed there to surely blame us for the atrocity that happened. A flash of events blurred past of what I could remember that somehow the dwaf got stabbed by one of our members in a lame attempt to frame Alpha team, with our wizard and ranger running down the hallway to get Captain Greenwood, leaving behind bloody footprints. I barricaded our main door with furniture to prevent Alpha team from invading. Soon, Captain Greenwood and the entire army had been summoned to our door, sending us yet again to the court, I have a feeling this will end in death.
    The courts showed no mercy to us, prosecuting all of us and shooting down any of our arguments that could save our lives. It didn't help that two of our members were running away with bloody footprints and a stabbed dwarf topped of with me barricading the door with sofas and tables. Ruled guilty with a dose of execution tomorrow, I let out a sigh and felt more hopeless.
    With our heads hung low and Team A's held above all the others while in our soon to be empty barracks, a hope came out, Captain Greenwood. He was suspicious of team Alpha since they have broken all previous records and seemingly perfect, nobody is perfect. He actually believes us and our innocence, we just needed to get some evidence to show that it was not us who murdered the poor souls. We voted our results and the result was we were going to have a vote with the other teams to get our sentence reduced, at least a chance has been given to the underdogs.
    This was the third visit to the courtroom, with different intentions this time. All the teams were summoned upon us in order to determine the fate of our lives. We used compelling arguments to convince the teams of our innocence, how we could not have stabbed the team Charlie member as our doors and windows were magically sealed. We had been stripped of our weapons showing that we could not have stabbed anyone and we had worked with team Charlie, why would we stab their backs?
    Despite all logic and reasons, Alpha team managed to convince the other teams that we were unworthy of life, no dreams that have been held such high and crushed that you could feel the ominence and silence of us. With team Alpha declared the winner and us not even worthy to breath the same air we share, we are here in our barracks, no future, just death.
The intelligence test was unlike any of the other test, no zombies, drowning, or snakes, but just a written test. Unfortunately, we bombed it with whopping sixty percent. Although we passed the engineering part with flying colours. As a pity gift, we received a book of engineering. We decided to give it to our newest member, a half-orc wizard, somehow the book would be of use for him.
    Rumour had it that Alpha team was cheating, like we never knew. The new guy on our team said that Alpha team had tried to convince him to join their team by giving him cheat sheets at midnight at the northern window for the Wisdom test tomorrow. A bard from Charlie team wanted in to take Alpha team down by being with us. This was our opportunity, to strike down those who have mocked us, the taller they are the harder they fall. We told Captain Greenwood of the plan that was going down. I decided to sleep through as our Wisdom test was tomorrow.
    In the morning my hands had been tied by the guards, confused about what's happened. Apparently the bard from charlie team snuck out at midnight when he was nearly caught by Captain Greenwood. He came into our dorm to hide for a while as the guards searched, he left after they were gone. Captain Greenwood was questioning us why there were footprints on the railing and balcony. He noticed dripping from the roof and started to investigate it. It was blood from the dead corpse of the bard. We would be brought to court for the murder in which we did not do.
    In court we were bound with our hands on our backs with no weapons. A bit humiliating. We would be tried for the murder of the bard. The dwarf and the wizard were chosen to be our saviors in this time of peril. But everything they tried to show that was contradicting was shot down. There was no doubt that we were losing. We were guilty and as the punishment of choice were being debated the dwarf suggested execution. Who in the right mind would say that? Luckily the judge thought that it would be too cruel. We would be locked in our barracks with nothing until the wisdom test is finished, I want to punch the dwarf now.
We were lead to an open grass field that was boring and plain at first sight, in the field were these two puddles for our constitution test. Somehow, these puddles led to an underwater dungeon which had been flooded with water. We had been tasked to retrieve four coins in the depths of the water somewhere in "corners". With nothing else to do but dive for coins I jumped in the water, I looked for a corner. Lo and behold there was one! A whole chest of them, I decided to take four coins to pass the test much more "quicker". I returned back to the surface to give the coins back to our cleric and once again dive in. I swam in the opposite direction along the wall only to hit a corner with nothing. I had a feeling that something was behind me... I looked back and saw two pairs of glowing eyes! Cobras! I was underwater, nothing at all could be done, I made a feeble attempt of trying to fire an arrow at the two snakes, but alas I was underwater. Then, something happened.
I woke up back at the puddle with two snakes at the puddle. Did they save me only to eat me and agonize me? I slowly placed my feet in, they did nothing. I took no chances and immediately shot one with my bow. The cleric came up to check on me, he also yelled at the snakes very loudly. Nothing we did seemed to get a reaction from them as they just went back down into the water. Not wanting to waste time at all I dove once again underwater. A small black abyss caught my eye making me swim above it to see anything, something did catch my eye, snakes!
    Those same snakes stared at me with blank eyes and unmoving bodies. I slid past them to see if I could provoke a reaction on any of them, but they stood still and above the abyss. I'm sure they were just protecting their nest, hopefully. Checking any corner of the dungeon, inside a pile of rubble held a strange blue potion.
     Having a sense of slowly deflating lungs I immediately took an entire swig of this... thing. A surge of energy burst through my lungs. I could breath! Underwater even! Determined to find the last coin, I looked thoroughly and indeed found it. Before attempting to return to the surface, something struck me odd as I glanced at a doorway. A natural cavern was through the door, but it was shimmering blue.
    Testing to see if it was safe, I picked a random bone from a long gone human corpse to throw it within. I was wrong, very wrong. Almost instantly blue creatures that were similar to snakes came out by the dozens! I couldn't afford to lose the test so I started to swim my way back further than my body could think of. Those blue creatures were as fast as lightning! As I was about to surface, One of them gripped around me preventing any movement. The dwarf dove down to rescue me, but that was a lie. He took the coin and just left me there. All alone.
    We were teleported instantly without any warning to our barracks. Like always, Captain Greenwood was disappointed. Alpha team's miraculous perfect score which included friendly snakes and chests of coins once again showed how good they were.
Another test. Like last year, this time its dexterity. It was the same place where the zombies absolutely destroyed us, but this is different. We're not just dealing with archers on buildings now, we have lava... We all started on the roof of the building we tried to cower in before, but that was last year. Archers were perched on all of the other buildings aiming down their sights. I gazed and saw a humongous turret manned by one of them, we would be in serious trouble if it shot us!
    We all had one plan. Take down the turret. One by one we took down that turret, but more archers did backflips onto it, commanding the turret. Everytime I tried to shoot something, I missed! I didn't land a single shot! One archer attempted to shoot me, Luckily I proned down and it hit that halfling bard right in the eye! He lost his balance and fell into the lava. I had a feeling that it should have hit me instead... The turret shot something like big at us, it landed and hatched into a spider! I tried to kick it down to it's fiery death, but I forgot that spiders can use their webs. It stuck on the side of the building like gum. The ranger somehow summoned an eagle, which soon was subjected to becoming delicious chicken by the archers. One by one we defeated all the archers and actually passed a test without failing!
The night was eerily dark, with these strangers some how, we need to survive waves of zombies coming toward us as our first exam. Out of the edges of the boundaries, we heard moans and silently panicked,the zombies surrounded the perimeter. I managed to shoot one in the damned eye, except it didn't do a thing! It just slowly mangled across the muddy ground. we just stood there in the middle of the open, I wanted to go into the buildings. But that idea became all but possible as the zombies became crowds, and the crowds became hordes, and the hordes brought death. As far as my eye can see, all my allies were screaming their throats out as flesh became meal for the already dead.
    I needed to retreat, a fallback plan. I dashed to the door of and old rickety house trying to ignore the screams of fallen comrades, the table was a perfect hiding space that I could wait until the commotion died down. I hear someone open the door, thankfully it was the something... a monk. We locked the old door and blocked it with an old useless chair. The door looked like the slightest breath of a creature could knock it down. shuffling noises concentrated on the door, then banging, then full on door breaking! The zombies piled in numbers that only a mathematician could figure out, it was so packed in the house I don't think the zombies could have noticed me. Then, all zombies dropped like dead flies.