|All necessary preparations to the coming ritual had been completed and it was the time to realize the plan now. It was surprisingly easy to sneak away from the expedition camp this time, much easier than Abu-Bakir had expected. Getting lost in the shadows of hundreds of the Great Treefolks that had filled the neighborhoods, the court magician accompanied by the small detachment got to the intended place, a small deserted glade surrounded by multiple trees and few crystal structures, without any hassles or unnecessary attention.|
After drawing a strange intricate pattern consisting of ten demonic runes Abu-Bakir took a deep breath, made one step ahead, and settled down in the very center of the pattern. "Bring them here!" - magician said loudly and decisively, and approaching steps of golems heard from afar, and the rumble of them drowned out even the unstoppable crazy laugh of three captured dementeds that the golems dragged along. Few moments later three pairs of the steel wallopers placed themselves on different sides of the court magician, and he waved his hand without thinking twice, giving his assistants a sign to start the ritual. Three magicians immediately got their daggers, approached the captured demons from the back without any words, and ran the blades over the demons’ throats, thus finally stopping their annoying laugh. Their blood sizzling and seething when contacting the ground started to slowly spill over in all directions, but as soon as Abu-Bakir pronounced a few strange words in demons’ language, it immediately turned toward the center of the drawn pattern filling in the outlines of the unholy runes. Suddenly, the air became hotter, and a strong gust of wind followed. "Escape!" - ordered the court magician, and his assistants ran away immediately, while the golems got their swords and prepared for possible threats. In just a moment the whole space within a couple of dozens of steps from Abu-Bakir outside of the drawn pattern was engulfed in an infernal flame quickly filling the air with acrid black smoke. A deafening roar was heard after that followed by a rumble of golems flying in all directions. The magician applied some protective spells to himself, squeezed tighter the handle of the staff and he dispersed all the smoke with one sharp movement, revealing to his eyes the view of the "guest" summoned during the ritual. It was a huge demon several human heights in height, whose arms and body were almost completely covered by magma growths. Noticing Abu-Bakir, the monster immediately bowed its huge head, decorated with three pairs of smoldering horns, and gave a snort of contempt, “greeting” the magician with a terrible mixture of noisome smell and hellish heat.
- I’m disappointed, - the demon’s voice suddenly sounded very low and very measured, echoing frighteningly throughout the area. - Even the poorest of my younger brothers impressed me much more than you, Destroyer.
- What do you know about me? - keeping outward equanimity, asked Abu-Bakir.
- The world is on fire ... Chaos is everywhere ... Empires will turn to ashes ... - the demon said with a share of pleasure and anticipation in his voice, - Great destiny awaits you.
- What else did he say? - another question sounded from the lips of the magician.
- No, no, no ... - the demon objected, moving a little away from the magician, - These games will not work. I know why you are here. But it must be earned! - he growled menacingly and immediately unleashed a powerful blow on the magician with his massive paw.
A column of ash and smoldering sparks shot upward from the impact on the ground, but it never reached its goal. Teleportation is capable of getting ahead of not such blows. The magician himself appeared a little further away, near a large crystal sticking out of the ground - and immediately pointed with his free hand at his opponent, giving the detachment a signal to attack. A dozen more golems and twice as many gargoyles rushed towards the demon, attacking him from all sides. But steel swords and stone claws only bounced off the living armor without causing much harm, while each subsequent attack of the infernal creature incapacitated several opponents at a time. Finally, having crushed most of the attackers, the demon cast a glance at Abu-Bakir and, sweeping away everything in its path, rushed at him. The magician himself continued to calmly stand still, not taking his eyes off the giant rushing at him, which only further angered and provoked him. The whole world darkened in the eyes of the demon - only he and his goal remained, which was already a few steps away from him. A blow - and the magician simply disappeared into thin air, like a phantom. A moment of bewilderment - and another blow on the surface of a massive crystal suddenly looming before the demon's eyes. "Now!" - suddenly, from somewhere behind, the voice of Abu-Bakir was heard, which sounded in the head of the collapsed creature as if it was heard from under the water column, spreading a painful echo in the corners of his consciousness. Above the semi-conscious monster's body, three magic punchs appeared, summoned by the assistants of the court magician, and then they fell one after another on their target, first creating a crack, and then completely breaking the strong magma shell in the chest area. Between the chaotically flashing images in front of the demon's eyes, a triplet silhouette of Abu-Bakir suddenly appeared with a crystal dagger in his hand. Bending over the defeated enemy, the magician with all his might thrust the blade into his very heart, watching as the ritual weapon was filled with the energy of the original all-destructive malice. In the head of the court magician, various bad thoughts and distorted interpretations of his principles and ideals immediately began to flicker chaotically. The magician's grip even at some point weakened a little, but his will nevertheless turned out to be stronger - and he again came to his senses, suddenly seeing the clear gaze of the demon looking directly at him. "This is my contribution to your legacy," - the infernal creature uttered at last, bursting into painful and smoothly fading laughter. Throwing away all doubts, Abu-Bakir, with a sharp movement of his hand, pulled out the blade of the dagger and in the usual way poured the stolen energy into a pure crystal of time. Then he threw it into his bag and headed swiftly towards the expedition camp, until all the local savages came running to the sounds of the battle that had ended. And yet, the magician could not escape from one glance, because as soon as he with the remnants of his squad moved away a little to the side, a raven's gaze rushed to them, which calmly sat on the dying horn of the defeated demon.
Lords and Ladies! The life of the Portal of Time is over, and our journey into the past has come to an end once more. Warlord Grammith, on behalf of the court magician Abu-Bakir, thanks everyone who responded to this call, and steadfastly ensured the safety of the scientific expedition. For the hardiness and bravery shown, everyone who managed to collect at least 700 crystals of time will be awarded with a special unique artifact. Its durability depends on the number of crystals collected!
All Lords and Ladies who have won at least one battle are entitled to a gold reward for their contribution! The exact amount depends on your number of wins, your combat level and number of crystals of time collected. Make sure to visit the Portal of Time page to collect your reward.
All Lords and Ladies who collected at least 250 crystals have been rewarded with 1 to 20 parts of the Heaven shield. The parts number too depends on the number of crystals collected.
The names of the best 100 Lords/Ladies are to be forever recorded in the Empire’s history
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