Episode 2: Trial of Fire – Part 2
A weary Lidya hobbled her way through a path towards a distant village. Her magic waned and her mana was drying out. She sat, leaning on a large stone. There she slowly lost consciousness.
While Lidya fought against the warriors and the poison, another group of challengers were moving through some of the more treacherous paths. This group had agreed that they would try to reach the portal together. Bound by a long standing friendship, Jayna, Edward, Lorenzo, Anna and James promised they would look out for each other. They come from the same village far outside the Gates of Fernal. As they walked they saw some of the great fire salamanders of the region, which are often hostile, but luckily for them, too far to bother them. This path was riddled with rivers of lava and sulfur vents.
As they moved along a cavern they started to talk among themselves to calm their nerves.
Jayna – So, Edward, what are you going to do when you get to Brensur?”
Edward – “I don’t know yet. I want to prove myself to everyone, including you Lorenzo.
Lorenzo – “Hey, are you going to start with that? We are not even halfway through.”
James – “That’s right and at this pace those salamanders we saw back there will catch up to us.”
Anna – “James is right, we should concentrate on the task at hand, which is to cross this cavern.”
Edward – “Well aren’t we feisty.”
Jayna – “Heat getting to you Anna?”
Anna – “Not sure, I think Edward’s head is blowing some smoke.”
Lorenzo – “Alright, alright, that’s enough. We should be out in… wait. Do you feel that?”
The ground started shaking and from a nearby lava river a group of three salamanders appeared. Lava sprung up from their leap and splashed one of Jayna’s legs. Her magic guarded her from the intense heat, but the stone hardened quickly making it difficult to walk. Anna moved to join Jayna and started using her magic to carefully melt the stone again. Meanwhile Lorenzo, Edward and James drew their axes to mount a defense. While Anna continued her work, Jayna tried her best to channel some of her magic towards the others. She also focused on keeping her heat resistance enchantment active.
Knowing that salamanders are resistant to fire spells, Lorenzo prepares to strike with his heavy ax. Edward and James team up against one salamander, while the remaining one begins to advance towards Anna and Jayna. The salamander lunges at Jayna, pushing Anna away. Edward pivots from his target and moves to support Jayna. He is able to push the salamander away and strike it with his ax. The scales of the beast deflect some of the force of the blow. Edward is sent flying back into a large rock when the salamander hits him with its tail. Then Anna proceeds to cast a blast spell launching the salamander into the lava river. The power in that spell causes the cavern to shake violently. As this happened Lorenzo was able to pin down and then execute the salamander he was facing. When he turns to face Edward he notices that the rock he is now leaning against is breaking apart. The last remaining salamander, startled by all the shaking retreats into the lava river.
Lorenzo and James rush to help Edward who is still stunned by the attack from before. Anna helps Jayna back on her feet and they watch helplessly as the others run towards Edward. The rock then crumbles and he slips close to the lava river.
Pieces of stalagmites are falling from the top of the cavern. A multitude of rocks are tumbling down from deeper in the cave. For the moment, the situation seems hopeless for this group of old friends.