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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spectrum: Chapter Two 2/5

   Eventually the Bramblers were defeated, and they stepped into a final portal that took them to the base of the Opal Mountains. Niay warned them that from here on, things were about to become very dangerous; they had to stay on their guard.

   Their trip up the mountain was long and arduous. Whackoons, Jackkoons, and Fangflies swarmed them from all sides. Enormous Rock Golems rose up from the ground and tried to smash them with their massive stone palms. Slippery Gold Vipers lashed out from unexpected cracks in the ground, snapping with their venomous opal teeth. Bright colors and unusual rocks distracted them. A rockslide nearly obliterated them all, forcing them to take a new route through a cavern populated by throngs of Glass Bats and Rock Golems. Fragile floors shattered underneath Clara’s high heels, dumping her down into caverns filled with Gold Vipers.

   Without Niay, they never would made it through this violent and distracting area. Niay’s skill with a whip allowed him to use it to swing across gaps and pull down distant stalagmites, and Ken’s Hammer was such a powerful tool that Seles could use it to smash rocks that had fallen in their way. Pyre’s Acupressure proved a literal lifesaver, as did Seles’ amassed collection of Flower Seeds. And Clara? Much to her astonishment, she found that the ephemeral powers of her Magical Rod made it the only weapon effective against the colossal Rock Golems.

   It was a difficult journey, but eventually they made it to the top of the Opal Mountain, where they saw a most unusual sight: a tall house running around on chicken legs! They chased the house around the mountaintop, splitting up and trying to catch the thing, but it was too quick for them. Finally, at the end of her rope, Clara screamed for the house to stop—and it did, nestling down much like a hen on her eggs.

   This was even odder than seeing the house to begin with, but they had no time to ponder its meaning. They leapt for the house and made it into the front door.

   Agatha was inside the house, but she was, to put it mildly, uncooperative. She brought the chairs around her table to life and used them as a distraction. The chairs were insignificant combatants, but they bought Agatha the time she needed to escape outside. While Seles and Pyre smashed the chairs into kindling, Clara chanced to see a treasure box near the stairs that contained a tuft of Kitsune Fur.

   Pursuing Agatha, they found her outside, surrounded by the Mandalan Army. King Merope was at the head of his soldiers, sword drawn. Cackling, Agatha used fiery magic to strike down the soldiers; the king managed to evade the spell’s burst, but many of his soldiers were killed instantly. Her cackle becoming insane, Agatha opened the folds of her robe to release five flaming Corposant Eyes, which surrounded her and lifted her into the air. She opened a magical portal underneath Merope, teleporting him to an unknown location—possibly the bottom of the sea, or the heart of a volcano!—and then turned her magic onto Seles and his allies.

   Levitating under the power of the Corposant Eyes, Agatha flew across the field wrapped in a cloud of darkness, continuing to cackle. However, she was nothing more than a distraction. The five Corposant Eyes roaming across the mountainside were the true threat. Each Eye could strike with electrical tentacles or cast a spell called St. Elmo’s Fire, which would attack one target with flaming lightnings.

   Pyre used her Acupressure to keep everyone’s health up, but her abilities were not enough; she and Niay had to keep a close eye on everybody and administer Flower Seeds constantly to ensure that none of their allies perished. Meanwhile, Clara and Seles ganged up on one Corposant Eye at a time. Although the Eyes were quick and powerful, they were not at all durable, and it was easy to finish them off once Seles had knocked them down with his arrows. It was a fast and furious fight, but it finally ended with the victory of Seles and his allies.

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