“Alright. Air, check. Food, check. Water, check.” Rhork lists things he is going to conjure once he finishes running for dear life. Whatever chases him keeps pace with his frantic footfalls, his mind failing to comprehend exactly how he is able to run in the first place. Another snap of what is obviously a hungry maw bites clean through the fluttering turquoise robes trying its best to trip up the young, terrified mage. Back to making a list to stave off the ‘overwhelming’ part of his fear, he figures.
Several more serpentine roars sound and Rhork doubles his pace with each new addition. After a few moments he too joins in the chorus of what will likely be his death.
“NEW PLAN, NEW PLAN!” He tugs the strap of his pack, pulling it painfully tight to his torso before gripping the staff at his back. He pivots on a step, concentrating a blast of arcane energy at the ‘boom’ end of the stick. A pulse of dense magic surges forward and definitely hits something. In the flash of light, all Rhork can see are teeth, lots and lots of teeth. He did manage to chip one of the smaller ones though; small victories still count. He continues the spin, using the momentum from the spell to propel safely away from another lunge.
A high pitched screech signals an attack from his right. Four sharp claws rend through Rhork’s arm, the sleeve of his robe continuing to come apart until falling off completely. Rhork levels his cane where he thinks the attacker is and lets loose another surge of arcane energy, this one building off of the remnants of the last. The larger blue flash reveals deceptively sharp claws and the same razor lined jaws, though no actual body is revealed.
Thankfully, the situation begins to catch up with him. A moment of realization threatens to peel his attention from a third screech above him, approaching at an alarming rate. Rhork’s direction changes southward. It seems what controls his movement here is restricted only to his perceptions of it. With the aerial ambush no longer a top concern, he concentrates. Beside him appear three copies of himself who change direction, each sliding off into the darkness. The copies do exactly as Rhork intends, almost as if they share his train of thought, or something. Each of the three holds up a hand to create a blue light above them. Their fear induced yelling also serves to distract the shadowy pursuers from the real mage.
Rhork slows his descent after confirming nothing is close behind. It is more like a gamble though. He has no real way to know without some sort of light to inform him. At any rate, the reprieve is enough for Rhork to think; a task made phenomenally easy when not inches from a stabby, chewy death. He opts to sit, put fingers to face, and think. The first thought is to be as quiet as possible and not move an inch. It seems to work, even as the small blips of light in the distance go out, bellows of rage at the cheap trick following.
Rhork reaches his conclusion. I’m fucked. More frustrated screeching resounds from seemingly everywhere as the creatures scour the darkness for their dinner of questionable taste. Conjuring his list from earlier is out of the question. Too much light will attract them, so he wracks his brain in search of something he may have missed. They don’t really pay any mind to the air he continues to conjure, nor to his magical aura, he notices in hindsight. So that’s good, at least.
A bright flash of light silhouettes Rhork’s form and he nearly has a heart attack from an understandable resurgence of adrenaline. At this rate he will be too exhausted to actually do anything about the situation. Hazarding a look behind him, he sees nothing. As he begins to turn back though, another burst illuminates the darkness. He swears he sees a flash of turquoise in the center of it. Hold on a minute… Rhork peers into the darkness and extends his magical perceptions toward it.
No way. No friggen way. His senses are accurate, even after another check. A thought dawns on him and he scrambles from his resting place. None too soon either as a familiar chorus of screeches reach his ears, one in particular yell out of fear stands out. He begins to move toward the area of the first foreign flash, or at least where he believes it to be. Glancing over his shoulder he spots three orbs of light flare to life, each going off in a different direction. If what he thinks is happening actually is, then there may be a way out. The key to a new, desperate plan is in finding the exact spot he now searches for.
Resuming a decent pace, a growl rumbles a foot in front of him. He is found, though instead of turning tail to run, he sticks to his lessons and snaps a finger. Invisible to the eye, a confident smirk spreads along his face as he makes a wide sidestep, ending in a roll.
Rhork’s smirk falls. While invisibility does have its benefits, the major downside is the shift in the caster’s ability to perceive his surroundings. Before him lumbers a vaguely canine form, elongated at the chest and limbs to end at a dribbling maw of serpentine fangs. The skull of the beast is visible, lacking no skin or fur or scales. Only vapor trails of shadow energy drift from its form, their idle movement obscuring them. Much to Rhork’s horror, the beast turns to face him directly. It lunges forward, though Rhork was already up and running. It appears his spell changes his entire perception of the environment. Forms and shadows have a sort of thickness and density where he did not notice before; the most immediate conclusion being that those spots are more of these creatures. The one behind misses Rhork’s leg after his pace slows for just a moment, thoughts racing through his mind.
Another more curious phenomenon catches Rhork’s attention. A small shimmer of light appears briefly just before the same flash from earlier occurs again. He changes his course while swinging his staff in the beast’s direction to send a wave of force instead of a full-on arcane blast. The near invisible attack staggers the thing long enough for him to put distance between the two of them. Hope surges through him as he begins another spell, this time deciding to anchor it where his first attempt to teleport began: his bedroom.
Just as he predicted, the shimmer appears. Rhork lunges forward, releasing the energies of his spell as he soars through the nothingness. Looking back, he notes the shadow beast is well on his way. The beast will miss the chance to take him down as his spell to utilize the small fissure succeeds. This time, he forces his eyes open and for a split second sees himself emerge from the small rend in reality from his, at that point, haphazard casting. He finds himself back in his room sprawled on the wood floor, not caring to tend to his wounds. Being alive and out of there is all that matters, not time-space relations, not what those creatures were, not even the fact it has been two weeks since his teleport attempt. A series of bangs resounds from the ceiling, his tutor yelling for him to quiet down.
For the first time, Rhork is thankful to hear the old man’s voice.