Sark slowed the cart and shouted, “Darcie, aim better than that!”
Darcie shouted back, “On it!”
The gnome up top dropped a new ball in the launcher, spun a crank to pull back the heavy cord, and fired again. This time, the ball struck the bone golem in the left shoulder. It exploded, and bone chips flew everywhere as the remains of the arm fell to the ground.
Darcie shouted, “Woo! Got him!”
The party piled out of the sides of the carriage. Tazzi, Azgoth, and Vorn exited on the left side, while the others moved out the right. A shadow hound surprised the group on the right as it sprinted at Daela. Zuggar grabbed her cloak and pulled her behind him as he blocked with his shield. The large black hound slammed into the reinforced wood and metal device, and the dwarf slid back from the charge.
Tazzi’s familiar floated in front of her face and pointed a rough arm off toward the cart. It mooed at her. She squinted, and saw a small dark shape floating through the air toward the party. She held out the necromancer’s staff walked forward, exerting her control over unliving creatures.
The wraith moved toward her, pushing against the magical energy she projected, and then slowed to a stop. It floated in the air, fighting against her will. Vorn nocked an arrow and pointed it at the wraith, but Tazzi shook her head and said, “I’ve got this one held. I won’t be able to affect the large undead, it’s too big.”
The ranger nodded, turned slightly, and loosed an arrow at the large golem. The arrow struck one of the many bones comprising the torso. It shattered a few bones and stuck out of the undead, but had no visible effect on it.
Azgoth drew his greatsword from the sheath and cautiously moved toward the monster. It walked toward him, and the thump of another ball being loosed from the launcher on top of the carriage sounded. The ball struck the golem’s abdomen on the side, exploded, and half of the bones comprising the abdomen flew in all directions.
The warrior threw one arm in front of his face as small shards struck him. Azgoth gritted his teeth and touched his stoneskin tattoo. He activated it, and his skin became dark gray and granite-like.
The golem stumbled after the explosion, recovered its stance, and moved in at the tattooed man. It was slower than he was, and Azgoth moved to the left side to swing at the undead’s torso. The magical sword glowed as it sliced through the air, and cut through several bones. The warrior attempted to dodge as the monster swung its large fist at him, but it struck him in the right shoulder. Bone chips flew from the impact with his stone body, but the impact was strong enough to knock him back onto the ground. Small cracks appeared in the stone where the golem’s fist hit him.
Vorn loosed a second arrow at the undead. It also hit, but did little damage to the bones, and he dropped his bow and drew his longsword as he moved in.
On the right of the carriage, Zuggar kicked the large shadow hound back from him, and swung his hammer at the black beast. It avoided the swing, and his hammer thudded into the ground. The hound jumped at him again, and he barely held his shield up in time to block it, but the beast knocked the bearded warrior onto his back.
Nara drew her rapier and flanked the dog-like creature. She swung at it while it was distracted by the dwarf’s attack, and caught it in the haunch. It growled menacingly at her, but then turned back toward the dwarf. The beast used its weight to try to shove the shield out of the way, and Daela stepped forward, brandishing her symbol of life. Golden light shined brightly from her hand, and the hound backed away from her and the dwarf, pained by the life energy she projected.
Brin watched the animal below carefully for a few seconds, drew his dagger, and dropped onto the creature from above, stabbing with the blade has he landed on the shadow hound. The blade impaled the right shoulder of the creature, and it stumbled back a few steps before Nara stabbed it in the side with her rapier.
Tazzi felt her control take over the small wraith, and the floating undead stopped its mental struggle with the young necromancer. She glanced at the other two attackers and huffed when she realized that the wraiths life-draining touch would have no effect upon either the hound or the bone golem.
The thump of another ball being launched came from the carriage, and the missile flew high. It missed the bone golem and exploded several horse-lengths from it. Chunks of dirt and grass flew into the air. Darcie swore again and reached for another ball.
Azgoth rolled to his feet and swung at the large undead as it came at him. They struck each other at the same time; the warrior hit the golem in the rib cage. It was so over-packed with ribs from various creatures that the greatsword cut through several of them, but did little damage.
The golem punched the warrior again on the right shoulder. More cracks appeared in the granite skin, but the stone protected against most of the damage of the blow. Behind the golem, Vorn swung his longsword in a two-handed swing at the golem’s abdomen. The non-magical sword sliced through a few bones, but caused minor damage.
Vorn swore, “We would do better with blunt weapons here.”
Azgoth nodded as he dodged a punch and swung his greatsword, slicing the monstrosity again in the damage abdominal area.
Tazzi tried one of the new spells from Ryzzan’s grimoire – a spell most often used to disintegrate flesh from the bones of a body or undead, but that might weaken the bones of an entirely-bone creature. She summoned her magical energy, caused a mix of heat and the chill of death around her, and spoke the arcane words as she moved at the creature attacking Azgoth. It was focused on the tattooed man, and she easily touched it in the torso with the necromancer’s staff. Cracks spread from the point along the bones in the area, until many bones in the torso were covered with spider web cracks.
On the right of the cart, Brin and Nara threatened the shadow hound from two directions. Daela kept the light of life aimed at the animal, and it moved slower as it snapped at the halfling. The acrobatic rogue rolled to the side. Daela’s fae lynx leaped out of the carriage and hissed at the undead canine.
Both Zuggar and Nara struck the beast as it extended itself, and it moved slower as it turned and bit at the dwarf. Its head banged against the shield, and it growled menacingly as it bit and snapped at the dwarf. Brin dove at the creature’s back and embedded another dagger into the body before he rolled back out of the way.
The shadow hound spun and bit at the rogue, allowing the others to strike at it again. Both party members hit, and Brin dropped to the ground just under the large animal’s black-fanged mouth before he rolled to the side. It snarled and snapped at him as it followed his movement.
Another thump came from the carriage, and another missile hit the bone golem, this time in the center of the torso. The weakening of the bones caused the explosion to send a mass of bone shards flying at the three attacking it, and the golem fell to the ground in a mass of disorganized bones. Wisps of black smoke rose from the remnants as the last of the necromantic energy binding it together dissipated.
Tazzi fell onto her backside, bleeding from numerous places where the shards struck her. Azgoth was unaffected by the bits of sharp bone, as they merely bounced off his stone skin, and those flying at the undead ranger mostly embedded themselves in his studded leather armor. Those that struck an unprotected spot flew past, his now-bone body presenting less of a target for the shrapnel.
Darcie shouted in victory. “Gnomish artillery, woo!”
The shadow hound was slowed by the many attacks, and the three on the right finished the evil creature off before the others had a chance to join them. Tazzi stood, wincing from the pain. The newly controlled wraith hovered near her, watched closely by Moo.
Vorn held his sword in front of him and watched the wraith floating near the young woman.
Tazzi held up one hand, “It’s okay, I’ve got control of it.”