The doors burst open, fire searing the air as the scorched wooden shrapnel from the door flew through the air and skittered across the floor. A figure stepped through the portal into the chamber, surrounded by flames that licked and danced across his robes, his head bowed.
“What the hell?” one of the men in the room cried out, spinning around to see the cause of the explosion, only to receive burning splinters into his eyes. He grabbed furiously at the blinding wound as he cried out in agony and fell to the ground.
“Shynik, you came,” came the sputtering voice of a person who was doubled over on the floor, his words were choked by coughs of blood. “I’m so glad that you…”
That was all Shynik needed to hear from his friend on the floor. He raised his arms up over his head conjuring the flames on his body into a focal point in his palms. By this time some of the men in the room had regained their senses and had begun charging the terrifying flame wizard. It was these poor souls who had the most devastating attack unleashed upon them.
Bringing his arms down in front of him, he fanned his fingers out in the direction of the charging men. From each fingertip, Shynik unleashed a stream of fire that leaped out, headed up by a fiery dragon’s head. Each of these streams found their mark, instantly immolating the ten men who had charged towards the frightful wizard.
“What is happening!?” cried the blinded man, still flailing on the ground.
“Your hell,” came his only response, spoken with such an unnatural tone it was as though the fire and not the wizard before them had said it. He brought his head up, his eyes overflowing with power as fire seeped through his eyelids. The wizard’s eyes snapped open and the entire room became awash with flames, screams, and burning men.
As the flames died down, only two shapes remained, the wizard, now on his knees, and the broken form of his elven comrade.
“Shynik…” the elf on the floor said, tearfully. He pushed himself up enough to get a good look at his friend. His eyes snapped wide in horror when he saw what was left.
Shynik’s form still smoldered from the magical assault he had unleashed upon the room, the very edges of his robes were tattered and scorched. Selrahc watched his friend’s body begin to ash and pile up on the floor. Struggling to his feet, Selrahc willed his body closer to the pile of ash that his friend had become. He grabbed at the ashes, feeling them sift through his fingers as he knelt, sobbing for his friend.
“Why did you have to sacrifice yourself?” Selrahc lamented, as the last of Shynik’s ashes sifted through his fingers and rejoined the pile. He buried his drowned eyes in his hands and wept openly amidst the carnage.
Suddenly, he heard footsteps behind him, another group of men entered the room. Looking around they were astonished by the damage that had been done. They then set their sights on the lone elf weeping in the midst of it.
“You, what have you done?” one of the men inquired.
“Ask again later,” the battered elf replied as he rose to his feet. “So I may include what I’m about to do.”
With renewed strength, Selrahc tore towards the five men, fists ready against their drawn swords. His quick motions helped him to dodge most of the stinging cuts the men threw at him, his body still taking several more wounds, but his demeanor not reflecting any pain. He knocked one man away with a charge with his shoulder, leaving the man behind him wide open. Lashing out with his arm as he closed in on the man, he grabbed him by the throat and crushed his wind-pipe enough to detriment the man’s ability to breathe. Giving the choking man a swift punch to the gut with his other hand, he stole the man’s sword as it flew from his hand.
As he turned to face the four remaining men, he flipped the sword casually in his hand to place it where he was more comfortably able to accommodate it. As he strode towards the men, he kicked backwards once more for good measure, hitting the crippled man behind him and knocking him onto his back, where he passed out from the pain. After his foot lifted off of the man behind him, he lurched forward with unnatural speed, plunging his newly acquired sword into the just recovering man, he had shouldered aside moments ago. A cough of blood and a gurgle of death told him what he needed to know as he acquired a sword for his left hand.
He watched the men in their panicked state, taking it in for a moment, as he cracked a sly grin, but before he could advance he was caught off guard by a draft of hot air from behind him. Turning to see the source, he made sure to keep a sword between him and the men. The magical fires that had nearly smoldered out around the room were raging once more with their voracious flames.
The fire took on a life of its own as it swirled through the air, amassing into the shape of a fiery serpent. The Salamander took to life as it slammed into the three remaining men, extinguishing them with the same ferocity as the rest of the men in this room had been vanquished. As the flames began to die back down again, they took the shape of a man, the streaks of orange and red turned into robes and the plume of blue flame, became a feather in a dark red hat.
“Shynik?!” Selrahc cried out, his voice shaking with disbelief. He collapsed to the floor quickly after.
“My friend!” Shynik exclaimed, rushing to his fallen comrade. He reached into his bag and pulled out an elixir of healing.
Holding his friend’s nose, he got him to voluntarily open his mouth. Pouring a bit of the potion down his friend’s throat, he sat back a moment and watched as several small nicks and cuts closed up and disappeared.