Continued from Part 4…
Algor wiped the blood from his blade as he looked around. Preytus was reveling in the destruction of the village, but Algor felt wrong… like he shouldn’t be doing this, and there was someplace he needed to be. Every time he thought too hard he’d hear the Acromancer’s voice booming in his head and see his skeletal face in his mind’s eye while his head went all foggy so he didn’t think much. He had been traveling with Preytus for weeks from town to town converting villagers to Archfiends to add to the dark army of the Acromancer and killing any who got in their way.
As they “cleaned up” the remaining resistance of the village the ghostly image of the Acromancer himself appeared in the sky “Bring the Archfiends to the Stygian Swamp at once Preytus” his booming voice carried over the fog covered fields making him seem all the more godlike to Algor. As the projection faded Algor and Preytus gathered up the legion of Archfiends they had turned and headed down the road towards the swamps, as they walked Preytus continued instructing Algor in the spells required to slip into invisibility for stealthily entering places where he would otherwise be unwelcome “After you chant the incantation the rune will glow, and as long as it is on your person you will remain undetectable until you…” Preytus’ evil voice trailed off as he looked to the north. Farther on the horizon Algor could make out two shapes coming towards them on horses rather quickly. “Algor, we must get these fiends to the swamps without delay lest we face the Acromancer’s wrath. I will take them to the south pass while you stop these pests from slowing our progress” Preytus hissed as he marshaled the army of fearsome Archfiend warriors to follow him. Algor gripped his sword tightly as he braced himself to attack these travelers, but little did he know that Preytus’ quick retreat was based on fear of fighting Both the mighty Hercules and the fearsome undead Warrior Kry-Sis at the same time.
As the horses thundered closer Algor could see the two riders split up to pass by him and catch up to the army of Archfiends, but Algor wasn’t about to let two lone riders escape his clutches. As they passed Algor shot a blast of slime in both directions trapping both horses in a mass of the goo. The riders jumped from their mounts as the bearded one spoke “ Looks like we got ourselves a feisty one here Kry, up for a tussle?” he said to this companion as he drew his Sword. “ ha ha this strange purple fellow will pay for his evil ways Hercules, and will rue the day he crossed blades with Kry-Sis” the green-skinned man laughed as he clanged his long axe against his shield. Algor realized he was in the presence of the two greatest enemies of the Acromancer, and as he readied his attack he yelled “ I will deliver your heads to my master, and he will reward me handsomely”. As he leapt in the air Algor clashed blades with Hercules as Kry-Sis crept behind him, but Algor shot a glob of slime into Kry-Sis’ face temporarily blinding the all-powerful warrior. As he pushed Herc back with his sword Algor spun to finish Kry-Sis off before he could remove the slime from his face, but he was not fully prepared for how fast Hercules was and a swift blow to his head knocked him out cold. Everything went black, and in the blackness, Algor could see his sister and Toron calling his name. He tried to call out to them, but the image of the Acromancer’s face kept screaming spells that Algor couldn’t understand drowning his words out. Suddenly an old witch’s face appeared in his view, and with an odd comforting chant the image of the Acromancer faded from his view as the witch started to speak to him “Algor, take my hand and return home” She said as her withered gnarled old hand reached out. As Algor reached out to grab her hand he was suddenly awoken with a hefty slap to his face.
As the stars cleared from his view and the image of his family and the witch faded he could see Hercules standing above him “Ok knave tell us what the Acromancer is planning or be run through” Herc bellowed, and as he tried to sit up Algor could feel the ropes binding him as he started to speak “Hercules, I’ll tell you everything. I was a prisoner of the Acromancer, he had a dark control of my mind I promise you… if you could just untie me please” Algor hoped the heroes would believe his story. Kry-Sis laughed as he spoke “do you believe us to be fools boy? Do you think you are the first of the Acromancer’s lackeys to let us believe he was under the control of spells while committing atrocities?” As he said this he gave Algor a jab with his axe. “ That coward Acromancer has possessed many in his evil quest my friend, let us hear what the boy has to say before we condemn him” Hercules exclaimed warmly as he bent down and pulled Algor into a sitting position. Algor told them all about how he was from a planet called Jalldoon, how he was the prince of the Slime Kingdom, and how he and Toron had encountered the strange portal in the woods swarming with demons which had brought him to the Stygian Swamps where the Acromancer had promised to help him get home in exchange for his help, but once he agreed he was put under a spell that clouded his mind and controlled his actions until the vision of the witch had expelled the Acromancer from his head. He told them of the witch telling him to take her hand, and as the enormity of his situation coupled with the horrors he had inflicted since under the Acromancers control hit him all at once he wept.
Hercules pulled his knife from its sheath, and as he started to cut Algor free Kry-Sis spoke up “Do you really think that’s wise Herc? He could be lying to us”. Hercules waved Kry-Sis’ complaints away “This boy is clearly sincere my friend…I know good when I see it, and Algor here is true”. As he started to cut the ropes Algor chimed in “No need for that Hercules!” he said as he took his normal Slime form…a form he had not taken since he had arrived in these lands as the Acromancer’s spell had prevented him from changing shape. “See Kry?” Hercules asked “he could have gotten out of those binds at any time yet he chose to let us keep him until we believed his story”. Algor flexed his body, it felt good to not have to hold his heroic form anymore as keeping a shape put a lot of strain on a Slime’s body. As night fell the three heroes made camp on the side of the road, and as the fire cast flickering shadows on his face Algor wanted more than anything to be home, but he knew he must stay here and atone for the horrible things he had done. As he listened to Hercules telling the tale of his encounter with the Namean Lion Algor drifted off to sleep feeling at least happy to out from the Acromancer’s control.
Continued in Part 6…