Ground Zero

Anatoli versus Jumper

You regain consciousness lying on your back. As you struggle to arise, you realize that your clothing is badly burned but you are bruised instead. You are pretty sure you will be one ugly lump of purple the following day. If you didn’t know better, you would swear that you had been in a fist fight against a dozen opponents. At least if the bruising, the busted lip and the way you feel are any indication. In your left hand is the Suelish Staff of command. But it looks different. There are more runes on it. Tons more. And they are are in different styles. Further inspection show that runes near the top of it that originally indicated how many charges you had left are one solid burned out line. New runes run down vertically now. You struggle to your feet and survey your surroundings. You appear to be in a large field, or what used to be a farm. All around you for about 50 yards in radius is a smoldering, smoking landscape. It looks as if Chaos had thrown up on the ground and then been hit by a Meteor_Swarm. Strange multi-headed amalgamation animal remains lie strewn about. About 10 feet away you see 4 glittering gems that seemed to have defied the destruction. Your memory slowly returned. Yes, Soul Gems. They belonged to the members of The Order. Suddenly all your memories come rushing back, along with that vision of a hideous laughtng face. The face of Jumper.

Ground Zero had just transported away via Tarl’s plane shift. You had been left behind, or rather, you had stayed behind. You had been told that if Jumper ever showed up, to chant the signal and The Order would arrive. You trusted her. And They did. 4 Arch Illusionists. Medeekka, the black skinned, white haired illusionist from the Amedio Jungle. Brandolon, the Barbarian from the Corusk Moutains that were home to the Frost and Snow Barbarians, Odo from Suundi, and Al Uhir, from Tusmit. They had vowed to contain those that used the power of Illusion and Phantasm to rewrite reality for such magicks would eventually undo the very fabric of the world. Jumper had mastered this magic but not without a price. He was consumed by the desire to unweave reality and create it in his own twisted vision. What Iuz had done was soly based on Evil. Jumper would be 1,000 times worse.

They Order arrived chanting a binding spell. “In the name of Order we bind thee. By the powers of Chaos we confine thee. In the name of the primal reality, we challenge thee.” Each of the order held a staff. Eldritch energy wafted from them like smoke and formed a circle around Jumper. Jumper cackled.
“Oh goody. The Order has come out to play! I trust that you haven’t bought into their jibber jabber have you Anatoli? I mean, you understand what I’m doing is the most fun an illusionist can ever have right? Who are they to decide what the rules are? Our entire world is about breaking the rules!”

Jumper hopped back on forth on each of his legs as he spoke. A childlike gleam in his eye bellid the leve of sinister intent. His honeyed words hung in your ears and you found yourself gripping your Suelese Staff of Command tightly and whispering a command to yourself “Don’t blieve him. He twists the truth to suit his own reality and cares nothihng for yours.” \ The magic of the staff broke the hold and you were your won person again. Had Jumper just tried suggestions on you? No, that was stronger. Had Jumper just rewrote_your_will! A dread thought surfaced. Jumper’s radius of control of reality had gotten larger. And you were in it. The entire order was. And they didn’t know that it had changed. As the realization sunk in, you tried to warn the others, but it was too late. The Order finished their chants and magicks that they were summoning lept from their staves and struck at Jumper. Jumper held his hands up and said “No.”

The magicks froze in mid flight. Time Stop. Jumper had just stopped time. You fell back on your thief instincts and in desperation you hurled Codexkiller at him. He turned his attention to you and moved his hand as if to swat away the blade. And didn’t. It struck him soundly in the chest. Where it wounded him, he bled purple and yellow blood that seemed to boil as it bled. He screamed and grabbed the dagger to pull it out. As he did so, he lost his concentration and the frozen magicks struck him full force. Beleaguered on all sides by binding forces, Jumper faltered and fell to one knew. He managed to remove the dagger but quickly dropped it. his hand seared from touching the blades. He spat blood and spoke.
“Well it seems the cat has claws and isn’t afraid to use them. And he has chosen the losing side as well.”

Jumper slowly began to rise to his feet. The Order members all started chanting new spells, each one different. You notice at least one of them was trying to pull off a Prismatic Ray, another was doing Magic Missle (illusionist style) and the others were doing other fearsome high level magicks. Jumper slapped his hands together and eight copies of himself suddenly appeared and started shifting around. You thought that Jumper must be really insane if he was going to use Mirror_Image against other illusionists. Then you realized that you coudln’t see through them. Even with your innate skill and nature intelligence, the images were all indistinguishable from the original. He must be pushing it with stronger magics to make it more effective. Probably an Alter Reality. Your mind flashed to something that Medeekka had told you. "Only a fool casts Alter Reality in combat. Its too unstable and can’t be trusted. Another illusionist with enough skill can disrupt it. You focused your will. Started casting a spell and spoke with the Staff of Command at the same time, speaking calmly but quickly.

“Jumper, you will spoil your appetite by having dessert first. Make the meal last longer.”

Jumper raised an eyebrow at you as the runes on your Staff burned bright as the magics sprang to life. Jumper shook his head and then smiled.

Then things get really hazy.

You aren’t sure what happened to the rest of The Order. You aren’t sure why your Staff looks different. And you don’t remember anything else after Jumper’s Very Wicked Smile. All you remember is waking up in this dead zone.

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