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183 Lines in the snow...

 The mingling of frost and fire created an explosion strong enough to shake the entire stadium sized cave. It blew all three combatants in different directions.


The enormous damage value appeared above Dave's avatar, half of his body was frozen in ice. Drahma had taken damage as well. But the serpent was wailing and coiling in pain. Half of its gaseous body had been dissipated by the explosion and its skull was charred black.

Dave stood and seeing Drahma's 'Paste-Maker' lying nearby, he picked the heavy pole up. Drahma was just getting to his feet so Dave shouted "Drahma, catch!" He used all his strength to heave the pole like a spear. Drahma grabbed the pole out of the air with one hand, whirled it and then brought it down, aiming at the snakes head. As the pole descended it grew larger and presumably heavier. The pole crushed through the snake's skull and into the ground underneath, cratering the hard packed ground. The snake's body turned to a pile of snow and ice, wisps of vapor wafting away from it.

Level UP!

He'd reached level 292!

He ignored the loot and joined his friend, "Drahma, are you alright?"

"Yes, the calmed me, I was not thinking straight, Kis'Shtiengbrah. Where is this place?"

"It's the Frozen Abyss dungeon. The old man with us said that this is where the Ice Queen was imprisoned. The Black Skull Order 's doing. We am here to rescue her."

"The Ice Queen? She entrapped Du'Rhaza. Why are you helping her?" Drahma asked.

"My elf friend, you remember her?" Dave looked over to where Lone and Jura stood.

"Yes, the lady of the elves. It is good to see you again. So, the reason you help the Ice Queen is for your friend. I understand this, just remember where your duty and loyalty lie." Drahma said. He didn't want to see an undead influenced by the sovereign of another race, especially an enemy of the legion.

"Don't worry, we have the same goal. The Black Skull Order had been using this dungeon as a base. We should find some of them here and if we don't the Ice Queen will likely know something about them."

"Excuse me, Giant," Jura joined their discussion, "You said my Queen imprisoned one of the undead. But my queen never never had any dealings with the undead."

"The lich Du'Rhaza claimed the Ice Queen imprisoned him," Drahma said.

"When did that happen?" Jura said.

"About twenty years ago."

"That doesn't make sense, the queen was captured by the Black Skull Order more than two centuries ago," Jura said.

Dave frowned. If she was a prisoner at the time, then who captured Du'Rhaza?

"Could the Black Skull Order have been controlling her?"

"No, They've never had control of her. When she fell into their hands she used powerful magic to put herself in a never-melting ice tomb, denying the Order the chance to gain anything from her. But they still leach the power from her every day," Jura said.

"You said that only True Ice could release her. Maybe the order found some True Ice." Dave said.

"My queen can only be released using True Ice combined with the Ice-Flame and an incantation. There is only one Ice-Flame in existence. I was entrusted with the Ice-Flame and I have been trying to rescue her ever since she was imprisoned,"

"Du'Rhaza could have been tricked into thinking the Ice Queen trapped him. Let's just keep moving, we have two more levels to go through."

"Kis'Shtiengbrah, I shall go first and clear the path, I do not want to see you come to harm." Drahma's body reddened, his body heat increasing. Steam rose from his skin. He strode across the room and went through the door.

Lone turned to loot the snake.

Suddenly she screamed!

"What's wrong?!"

"Look!" Lone showed Dave.

Skill Book

Arctic Aura

100 Mana/second

Does 0.5 % of user's own HP in Ice damage within a 10 meter radius, slowing enemies and decreasing their stamina regeneration. If an enemy is [Frozen] the next attack shatters the target doing 10% of their current HP in flat damage values.

"Nice! That's like my infernal Aura skill. You should learn it," Dave said.


"This is your quest, I'm just helping. And I already have my own aura ability. What about the rest of the loot?" Dave asked.

"Nothing great, just bones and crafting materials."

"Ok, let's follow Drahma."

At that moment the door to the elevator opened and the chaotic, rambunctious tinkle of trolls tumbled out. They moved toward the three and danced around them hooting and howling. One of the trolls even had a wreath made of plant vine on his head like a crown.

The red-maned troll moved toward the serpent's remains and stood in front of the snow. With his back to everyone he started swinging his hips around and wiggling his behind. The other trolls hooted gleefully and joined him, soon they were all lined up in front of the snowdrift swaying and swinging their hips, participating in the strange 'ritual'.

"What are they doing?" Dave asked curiously.

"Awww, look they're dancing together. That's so cute!"

"You don't want to know," Jura said with resignation.

The troll's weird dance ended and they rushed en masse through the exit after Drahma. The clamor faded away with them.

"They really are a cute bunch of fluffies," Lone exclaimed.

Dave looked at her and rolled his eyes again.

'They are TROLLS, what is wrong with her?'

"Hey, is it starting to stink in here or is it just me?" Dave said, his eyes were watering.

He turned to see Jura putting a handkerchief to his nose, he pointed at the snowdrift.

Dave approached the snow and saw a bunch of yellow lines in the snow. He looked uncomprehending for a moment then the lines resolved into a crude sketch of a draugr, a giant, an elfess, and an old man with a grumpy face.

"THAT is one of the reasons groups of those troublemakers are called a tinkle," Jura said from behind his handkerchief.

"Awwww! The fluffies are artistic!" Lone gushed.

Dave just held his nose and made a sound of disgust.

The three followed the trolls beyond the boss room's gate. They went down a flight of stairs and emerged into a stadium sized dome. A blazing sphere hanging from the ceiling lit the space as bright as daylight. Dozens of pillars supported a platform that took up most of the cavern. The platform looked like a giant chess board, ice squares alternated with empty space. In the center of the room was a single large square of ice. Above the chess board hundreds of corpses hung upside down from the ceiling, suspended by rope.

Drahma was already halfway across the platform, standing in the middle of the 'chess board' on the large square of ice. Dave could see from he was fighting something.

"Dave, do you see that?" Lone pointed.

There was an irregularity in the pattern of the 'chess board.' The ice squares were missing from the nearest portion of the platform, instead of alternating it was all empty space.

"Drahma and the trolls must have gone through and broken those ice squares. Probably walking on them makes them crumble away. We will have to take a path around that area if we want to get to the other side."

The three jumped onto one of the ice squares on the edge of the platform and leap frogged toward the side corner. Looking down through the empty squares they could see the ground far below the 'chess board,' it was covered in sharp glittering spikes of ice. Human corpses and the remains of monsters littered the bottom, the spikes piercing through them.

"That's a long way down," Dave gulped.

They paused on the corner square to take stock of their position. Moments later, they heard a cracking sound from the direction they had come from. The square they had jumped from shattered apart and dropped away.

Just as they were going to jump away to the next square, a corpse dropped from above and landed like a sack of grain on their square.

This corpse was covered in bandages like a mummy, it shook and shuddered then stood up.

"It's an undead, it shouldn't be an enemy," Dave said confidently.

But just as he finished his words. The undead ice mummy howled menacingly at Dave. Its name tag was red.