It wasn’t hard for Randall find where sheyba was: simply look where all the priests with the tattered and freshly singed gowns were running away from and head in that direction. The crash of furniture and deafening roars only removed any doubt to the obvious.
Growing up, Randall had gotten into enough fights with Sheyba that he’s learned his tendencies. He gives into his rage and attacks randomly and with no restraint. On this day, he is as angry as he has ever seen him. Sheyba hates losing things, and moments ago all the brothers heard they had lost their brother in battle while retrieving a magical item for the Church of the Silver Flame. Immediately, Graeme knew how Sheyba would react and told Randall to handle it. Over the years, Randall has gotten ever more efficient at combating casters of all kinds. Then again Sheyba is no ordinary mage.
When Randall knew he was coming upon Sheyba’s location, he huddled behind his shield, lowered his shoulder, and began to pick up speed. By the time he reached sheyba, he was already in full sprint. A stream of blue fire erupted in his direction. The geyser of arcane energy slammed hard against the large metal shield, dispersing radially in all directions. With his body safely positioned behind the shield, Randall barreled forward unhindered. Using Sheyba’s breath weapon as a beacon, Randall could continue rushing forward without poking his head from over his shield. Even though he was wearing his signature onyx helm, he knew it would do little in the form of protection in the face of this type of attack. It didn’t take long for Randall’s shield to make contact with its target. Thick steel met soft flesh and the the arcane volcano immediately came to an end. You could hear the wind’s fast exodus from Sheyba’s lungs as the impact sent him off his feet. His flight backwards came to a crashing halt when his body bounced off the wall behind him. His body went limp and landed on the ornate carpet the way a hunting dog drops a pheasant in front of its master.
Randall let his shield fall to the ground, tearing apart the silver filigree carpet where it landed. The priests demanded that everyone wear soft leather slippers when walking these halls to preserve the value of the rich carpet. When they see the damage done to both the carpet and the wall tapestry, they will be beside themselves in anger. The thought of it carved a large devilish grin across Randall’s face. The coarse gasping for air coming from his beaten up brother returned him to the situation at hand. "Why worry about dessert when dinner is on the table,” he thought to himself.
He could see Sheyba attempting to string words together in between short sharp breaths. Randall immediately tensed as he realized sheyba may be trying to verbalize an incantation for a spell. Quickly turning his head, he could see he was already a good distance away from his shield on the floor behind him. If Sheyba really was casting a spell, he would most likely not reach his shield in time. He snapped his head back at Sheyba, took two steps towards him and lunged with all his might. The distance he covered was immense as he braced himself for impact. He caught a little bit of Sheyba’s shoulder as he landed to his immediate right. Randall’s left arm snaked around Sheyba’s own as his powerful legs locked onto Sheyba’s right arm. With his right hand he grabbed the back of Sheyba’s head and pulled. With Sheyba crucified on the floor this way, Randall was safe from getting hit by Sheyba’s breath attack and preventing him from casting a spell.
It was only then that he could finally see Sheyba’s face. It was like all the water in his body was pouring from his eyes. The only part of his face not drenched in tears was his mouth, there icicles formed where tears met his frost magic. Turning his ears towards that icicle beard, Randall could now hear the whispers coming from Sheyba’s mouth.
“I’ll …. I’ll kill ….. them .. all… they kil… killed him….”
It’s true. Xagyg is dead. Randall hated hearing those words. That’s why he was happy to be given this task. Something that would take his focus away from the reality of losing his brother. A reality that was being whispered into his ears piecemeal and there was nothing he could do about it in the position he was in.
Trying to block out the emotions bottled up inside him, he began to lose focus. Sheyba used the momentary opening to whip his head to Randall so they were almost face to face. Sheyba opened his mouth wide, almost too wide for human standards. Wide enough that you thought you could see his soul through the depths of his gaping maw. And it was from there that a blue flame sparked to life. And it quickly grew, and grew, until that flame was born violently into the world.
Any swordsman that has earned a few scars in combat will tell you that your body reacts to an attack long before your mind has fully understood what was happening. Randall was hardly out of his daze before he had already jerked his head back and twisted his body. Avoiding the attack by a mere few inches, his onyx helm was not as lucky and was blown off his scalp, clanking to the floor a few feet away.
Never had Randall been so close to Sheyba’s flame before. His eyes were seeing a fiery inferno but his skin was feeling an icy blizzard. It was beautiful. It was terrifying. Like lightning, instantly creating a paradoxical battle of serenity and terror in a man’s heart. And just like lightning, it was gone before either side could be declared the victor. But it wasn’t thunder that replaced the light display; it was the pain filled shriek emitted from Sheyba’s lungs. Randall jumped to his feet alarmed. He never heard Sheyba do that before and didn’t know if he should brace himself for an attack or run to his brother’s help.
Doubled over himself, Sheyba was grabbing his left shoulder frantically. Randall realized what had happened. While maneuvering away from the breath attack, Randall’s death grip on Sheyba’s arm popped it clean out of its socket when his body twisted. An all too familiar feeling in Randall’s chest was beginning to well up and almost come flooding out, but that was quickly repressed and buried in depths of anger. He gave Sheyba a vicious boot to his ribs, “You see what happens! Look what you made me do! Next time know how squishy you really are and cower when you see me, then things like this won’t happen”
Everyone knew Randall was his cruelest after he already hurt you and won, always making a show of his victory. In reality, it was a diversion to hide the concerned look on his face that disappeared before it ever materialized. Concern that Randall would never admit to himself, let alone anyone else. It didn’t take long for the brothers to learn to quit a fight long before their fate was sealed.
“Why are you doing this, Sheyba? Don’t you know Graeme and Yohan are going to fix this?”
An attempt to respond resulted in heavy coughing and gasping for air. All he could do was scowl and shake his head in disapproval.
“You think these selfish punks are gonna do us any favors huh?”
A small nod was returned in agreement.
“I don’t care what you think about these idiots. I told you Graeme and Yohan went to get Xagyg back. And if you don’t trust those two I’m gonna have to beat some more sense into that stupid dragon wannabe skull of yours.”
Randall extended his arm for Sheyba to grab.“I’ll make a deal with you. If by some twist of the prophecy they don’t get Xagyg back, you and I will both tear and burn this church down, brick by brick, until the only thing left is a silver hole in the ground.”
Reluctantly, Sheyba grabbed Randall with his right hand and was hoisted onto his shoulder.
Randall started to look around. “Now let’s find one of those monks you almost killed and make them heal you back to normal or I’ll bash his head in.”