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185 Drauger Knight to...Queen of Ice!

 Dave watched the appearance of Delvina and her interaction with Drahma from the sidelines. After Delvina disappeared with the vortex, Dave walked over to Drahma.

"What happened?"

"This place is now a mostly unused base, the members of the Black Skulls are no longer here in numbers. But I may have found a lead on Vreek, the one directly responsible for the genocide of my race, so all was not lost. Kis'Shtiengbrah, I can no longer accompany you on this venture, I need to return to the legion. Delvina will have answers for me soon."

The giant waved a hand and space tore open. He walked through and disappeared from the dungeon. The Anti-Bully charm dropped to the ground where he'd disappeared, Dave picked it up.

Anti-Bully Bauble [Monster-Type]

Summon Drahma to help against attackers

2/3 uses remaining.

Bound to Death Stroke.

Only usable by Death Stroke when Undead.

'Huh, it still has two more uses. I wondered if this Drahma 'visit' was going to count against me or if he decided to come on his own.'

Dave pocketed the item and looked at the exit. Jura was almost hopping from foot to foot.

"My queen is near! We must hurry! We must save her!"

"Alright, old man. Let's go, Lone. We still have a dungeon boss to take out!"

Dave crossed several squares to stand before the massive iron gate. There was a small keyhole in the door, but otherwise it looked impregnable.

"Hey, I have a question," Lone spoke up, "Drahma broke all the other gates for us. But he took the level boss, who had the key to this gate, with him. How do we get the key to open this thing?"

Dave stopped, dumbfounded. He thought for a moment.

"Good question, I have no idea. ALFRED!"

Dave's vision turned black and white and Jura became absolutely still, frozen in stasis. A distinguished looking older man wearing a swallow-tailed tuxedo jacket appeared in front of the two players.

The butler looked around and fixed his monocular on Dave, "What is the problem?"

"We can't go through the gate. There is no key to open it," Dave said.

The butler's eyes turned white as he started searching through the combat and event logs. He shuddered as his eyes returned to normal.

"This would not be an issue if you had not summoned the giant. But no matter, it did create a 'bug' in the game mechanic. Here," the old man made a grasping motion and handed Dave the silver key that suddenly appeared in his hand.

Dave took the key from the old man, a smirk on his face at the pompous AI's lame theatrics. Alfie could have just put the key in Dave's inventory, or unlocked the gate, or gotten the same result any number of ways. Instead, the AI imitated a common street-magician's trick. That they were in a virtual reality made it an abysmally lackluster feat.

The butler's eyes held no expression as he regarded Dave, but one side of his mouth rose enough to show teeth just before he disappeared.

Lone did not miss the expression.

"Why do I get the feeling that ALFRED was not happy to see you?"

"Who knows. He's a moody one," Dave replied, shrugging carelessly.

He used the key to open the gate revealing a long flight of stairs behind it. Statues of frozen knights lined the walls of the stairwell .

"My brothers..." Jura almost sobbed as he moved close to one of the knights, "Soon, soon you will be free."

The temperature dropped as they descended, Lone had to drink another Frost-Halting potion to negate the temperature drop.

The stairway opened onto a square room with four large pillars supporting the ceiling. Thousands of intricate runes were carved into the stone floor, all converging toward a transparent crystal sarcophagus. In the sarcophagus was a woman in a sparkling white dress. Her eyes were closed, a serene expression on her face, like a sleeping beauty of legend. A delicate crown made of filigreed ice lay on her long dark-blue hair and she held a scepter made of crystal and blue ice in her crossed hands.

"My queen!" Jura rushed to the tomb and knelt before it weeping, his emotions obviously overwhelming him. "Finally, I can set you free!" The old man took the true ice crystal that Lone had given him him as a part of her legacy quest when they first met and opened the small lantern at his waist. The Ice-flame poured over the true ice and melted it in an instant. The blue flame turned milky white.

Jura mumbled some words and poured the flaming mixture on the tomb. The small flame spread over the tomb. It fused with the ice and started melting it.

"Lone, do you think there's something strange about this level?" Dave asked.

"Strange how?"

"There's no boss. Doesn't that mean the queen is the dungeon boss?" Dave's eyes were inspecting every corner of the room as he spoke.

"But the queen is friendly. Jura assured us that she has not been corrupted. So how can she be an enemy? Maybe the real boss will jump out." Lone looked at Dave who was absorbed in thoughts.

The draugr's eyes squinted, he was looking at the base of the tomb. The converging runes dimly lit up the moment the Ice-Flame covered the queen's tomb.

Dave moved to the kneeling Jura and placed a hand on his shoulder, "Jura! Stop what you are doing! Something's not right!"

The old man slapped Dave's hand away, "Avaunt you blasphemous perversion! I have waited centuries to release my queen, you will not stop me!"

Dave's vision swam and he found himself gazing at the entire hall in a third person point of view. He could see his character standing with Lone's near Jura.

"Cutscene?" Dave mumbled, then heard Lone's voice "Yeah, we can even speak while it's running. Oh, look the queen's eyes are moving!"

The queen's eyelids trembled. She opened her eyes and lifted one hand from her chest and touched the sarcophagus lid. When she made contact with the lid, ice cracked like a spiderweb and shattered into bits and shards.

The Ice Queen stepped out of the crystal sarcophagus. As her foot touched the floor, the room shuddered, the runes on the ground shone for a heartbeat, bright gold, then the light rushed to gather under her feet.

Jura covered his eyes with his sleeve, when the light was gone he stood and bowed elaborately to the woman.

"My queen! Finally I've succeeded in setting you free!"

The queen's ice-blue eyes turned crimson for a moment, but Jura didn't to see it.

"Shit! That's not good!" Dave now fully expected the brown stuff to hit the fan. "Fucking Jura. Lone, get ready, it looks like the queen IS the dungeon boss, we're gonna have to rock this queen's world."

"Damnit!" Lone cursed. Her Legacy quest had just gotten more complicated. "Yeah, don't worry, Davey. I'll be ready."

The queen looked down at Jura coldly, a disdainful smile on her face. As Jura rose from his courtly bow, the queen swung her scepter into his chest, sending him tumbling across the room. When his body smashed into the wall, ice grew out from where the scepter had hit, covering him and freezing him to the wall.

The cutscene ended and Dave's point of view changed back to first person.

Dave quickly inspected the queen to see what they were going to be dealing with.

Ice-Queen Nashandra [Weakened]

Level: 300

Tier: Epic

Damage: 30,000-35,000

HP: 500,000

MA: 15,000

DN: 15,000

Skills:

[Absolute Zero] Passively saps heat from the atmosphere, causing a Freeze status effect. Frozen targets will take 200% increased Damage from the first attack that hits. All of the ice queen's spells shorten the time to become Frozen.

[Ice Spear Barrage] creates a magic circle that conjures 30 ice shard projectiles in rapid succession. Each ice shard does 1000 ice damage.

[Ring of Frost] freezes an area with a 10 meter radius rooting all targets within. Targets take 12,000 ice damage.

[Ice Sovereign] the queen periodically summons an ice soldier to battle for her.

Lore:

The Queen of Venhime, the lost kingdom of ice. A mighty ruler that lost her powers when the the Black Skull Order captured her. The Queen made herself untouchable when she spelled herself inside the Icy Sarcophagus to foil the order, but they laid a spell-trap on the floor around her. If the queen is freed and steps on it, she will lose her sanity and become a killing machine.

Dave backed away rapidly, "Lone! I'll tank, you move back and spam your crowd control!"

Dave swapped his Sword Stalwart gauntlets for his shield and Flamberge. He used [Stampede] to charge at the queen, she was a caster, so it was best to get inside melee range and stay there.

The queen stomped down as Dave charged. [Stampede] granted him crowd control immunity but he still took damage from her [Ring of Frost].

[-6,000].

Dave crashed into the queen doing [-15,888] damage. The [Stampede] also Staggered her for two seconds giving him time to strike twice with his sword. Then Lone hit the queen with a [Penetrating Shot] arrow, stunning her for another second. Dave struck again with [Decimating Smash] stunning her once more. Dave bashed her with the tower shield adding more duration to her stunned status effect.

More heavy damage values appeared above the queen as the two players continued to chain their crowd control Skills. Dave attacked and evaded with a [Double-Edged] and [Vertical Slash] combo then re-engaged the queen with another combo, [Immortal Apparition] and [Death Surge].

Dave's Stun rotation allowed him to rack up the ten successful attacks needed to proc his flamberge's armor-shattering passive. The Ice Queen staggered when her armor broke, then she screamed and swung her scepter creating a white circle that flung ice shards at Dave like a machine gun.

Dave rolled away from the staccato attack and kept moving, running as a barrage of shots followed him. The shots that struck the floor and walls instantly created swathes of ice, cracking and crumbling the surface of the stone.

Frost accumulated on Dave's avatar, the accumulated freezing effect making him sluggish. When Lone struck the queen, he took the opportunity to swap his shield and sword out for the Sworn Stalwart's gauntlets. He activated [Aura] and a surge of fire erupted, canceling out the queen's freezing effect.

"You used up a lot of your Stun skills early in the fight Dave!" Lone said. She nocked an arrow and shot [Bombarda] at the Ice queen, staggering her and canceling the queen's [Ice Spear Barrage].

"It was worth it, her armor is shattered now, so my damage numbers will go up," Dave said with a grin.

Dave dashed toward the Queen and shouted, "Let's dance, bitch!"