We were clustered behind a wall near the massive doorway leading to the lair of Lord Marrowgar.
“Alright, listen up,” Azmuth hissed, raising a gauntleted hand. “The Highlord’s scouts and King Varian Wrynn’s SI:7 reported in with information concerning Lord Marrowgar. He’s an undead construct created from the bones of thousands of vanquished adventurers like us. He seems to absorb everyone he kills, making him larger and stronger. Notice the distinct lack of corpses or bones. Those are incorporated into his frame and absorbed.”
“But he’s huge,” Brutusk remarked. “How many people has he absorbed?”
“That’s unimportant at this point,” Adialetha replied flatly.
Azmuth nodded. “Agreed. As Adialetha mentioned before, Marrowgar makes bone spikes erupt from the ground, impaling a random person every time. The spike must be destroyed and the impaled person healed, otherwise that person is dead. He also makes cold fire erupt in a line on the ground. These can, and should, be avoided. And then there’s the whirlwind…”
“Reports vary on this ability. From what we can gather, Marrowgar turns into a whirling dervish of bone, fire, and steel, moving quickly from one end of the room to another. Every time he stops, he shoots 4 rows of cold flame in the 4 cardinal directions. He stops around 3 times, so there’s a lot of cold fire on the ground. The whirlwind lasts for a few seconds, then he goes back to using his bone spikes and occasional cold fire.”
Azmuth turned to Avierra. “Orders?”
Avierra grinned. “You’ve been doing great so far. Your call.”
Azmuth chuckled. “It’s your funeral. Jarvisius and Bladewisp, you’re on bone spikes. Your ranged capabilities give you the best shot at taking the spikes down quickly. Avierra and Mal will keep Marrowgar busy. Calimdan, Jizal, and I will stay just beneath Marrowgar, where the cold fire can’t get us. Brutusk and Hotohuri will stay with the melee and keep us alive. Adialetha will stay with the ranged.”
“Once the whirlwind starts, anyone in Marrowgar’s path will scatter. Each healer will take a third of the room and stay there, making sure everyone in that area gets healed. Everyone runs and everyone avoids the cold fire.”
Mal raised a hand. “Can I have his axe afterwards?”
Azmuth sighed. “Any relevant questions?”
Jizal was standing right by the door, clutching his sword in both hands and swaying from one foot to the other. “Jizal…” Azmuth called testily.
The young retribution paladin turned. “What? I was just… surveying the battlefield.”
“Wait for Avierra and Mal to engage Marrowgar,” Azmuth reminded him. “We don’t want a repeat of… Well, you know. Just stay behind them.”
“Pfft, I never have any fun…” Jizal moved away from the door dejectedly.
I threw my pet wolf Lobo a treat even as I chewed on more blackened dragonfin. I was addicted to the stuff. Oh, did I never mention Lobo before? Lobo is my pet wolf who I rescued from a Horde training camp when I was still a young hunter. He was supposed to be a Horde wolf mount but being the runt of the litter made that impossible. I brought him out of there and trained him. He’s been my faithful companion ever since.
I patted him on the head as he chewed on his treat. Pretty soon, he’d be chewing on Marrowgar. I unlimbered my bow and made sure my magical quiver had plenty of arrows.
“Let’s go,” Avierra said. She incanted and called on the Light for strength even as she rushed into battle, closely followed by Mal. I quickly put up a hunter’s mark on Marrowgar, outlining him in vivid red, while ordering Lobo to rush in and attack.
Marrowgar roared in anger. “This is the beginning AND the end, mortals! None may enter the master’s sanctum!”
He swung his axe at Avierra. The paladin met the axe mid-swing with his sword, stopping it cold. The monster screamed with fury. “The Scourge will wash over this world as a swarm of death and destruction!”
Jizal, Calimdan (in cat form), and Azmuth followed in Avierra and Mal’s wake, magic, steel, and claw scoring against the undead behemoth. Jarvisius and I stayed near the door, within easy reach of both our other companions and Marrowgar. As planned, Hotohuri (in tree form) and Brutusk went in with the melee while Adialetha stayed with the ranged.
I quickly fired arrow after arrow, hands blurring with the sheer speed of drawing, nocking, and releasing. Jarvisius, a few yards away, cast spell after spell, his trusty demonic companion Zignar right beside him throwing fireballs into the fray.
Abruptly, Marrowgar reared up and roared. “Bound by bone!”
A spike punched up from the ground, impaling Jizal. “Jizal impaled!” Azmuth warned.
Jarvisius and I switched targets and hit the spike with all we had. Arrows and fel fire smashed into the stone spike. In a few seconds, the spike crumbled to dust and Jizal landed on his feet, Hotohuri throwing a healing spell on him to allay any lingering effects. He went right back to swinging his sword, hardly missing a beat.
Marrowgar howled. “BONE STORM!”
“Scatter!” Azmuth shouted, even as he leaped back and ran to the room’s periphery. Everyone else followed suit. Marrowgar whirled in place, axe held outward, before swinging first to the left, then to the right. I ran, first right, then left, before disengaging and leaping backward, sailing over 2 intersecting rows of cold fire on the ground. Even as I was moving, my arrows never stopped flying, tracking Marrowgar wherever he went.
When the whirlwind ended, Avierra and Mal again rushed forward to engage, closely followed by the rest of the melee and the 2 healers. Rinse and repeat, I thought to myself.
“Stick around!” Marrowgar shouted mockingly. Another bone spike erupted, this time impaling Adialetha. Again, Jarvisius and I turned to pepper the spike with arrows and spells. In short order, the spike crumbled and Adialetha cast a healing spell on herself for good measure.
And so it continued.
The bone storm hit us twice more and both Calimdan and Jarvisius were impaled over the course of the fight. I felt the scorching cold of the cold fire on the ground to ensure Jarvisius was freed of his bone spike in time.
After moments that seemed to last lifetimes, Lord Marrowgar crumbled into a horrendous pile of smoking bones, his axe buried under the rubble. At the last, he simply whispered, “I see… only… darkness…”
“I hate this guy,” Mal observed, panting. “He can keep his damned axe.”