Chapter 16: Fire Above, Ice Below

As soon as Haldor steps into the Vor Pride bastion, he is surrounded by orcs. A lot of orcs. Warriors, archers, mages... especially mages specialized in fire and ice magic, the pyromancers and cryomancers. Haldor is quite strong against cold attacks, but he is not very armed against fire attacks. Usually, he is the one who fries monsters... but now he's the one who is on fire.

Surviving in these open areas is really hard, but the reward is really worth it. Haldor didn't go very far in Vor Pride bastion, but he has already found many artifacts. The Blood of Life, a strange potion that is able to resurrect the dead (unfortunately, it doesn't work on undead). The Star and the Moon, twin daggers that he could probably sell for a good price. The Robe of the Archmage, radiating great power. The Dragon Shield of Smaug, made from the scales of a golden dragon. Haldor also found nice items: a great elven-wood staff, granting him a good boost to his spellpower and mana energies; a pair of gauntlets of criticals, granting him a boost to his spell criticals.

On the second block of the Vor Pride bastion, Haldor meets a group of orc pyromancers. Totally on fire, he barely manages to escape. What could be worse than a group of those pyromancers? The response comes quickly in the form of orc *high* pyromancers. Fireflash, fire blast... and not a single drop of water to extinguish the fire. At least, they are susceptible to ice and lightning...

And then he finds him, the master of this bastion. Vor, Grand Geomancer of the Pride. An old orc, surrounded by a multicolored aura, master of the natural elements. Haldor needs to stay away from his devastating spells. Using the environment at his advantage, Haldor manages to freeze Vor, hurting him with mana and lightning, and retreating behind a wall to rest. After repeating the process a few times, Vor falls on the floor...

Haldor searches Vor's belongings and finds a jeweled crown, the Crown of the Elements, and a strange orb, the Elemental Orb of Command.

Suddenly, a voice in Haldor's head booms:

"Haldor, this is High Sun Paladin Aeryn. I am communicating with you through a telepathic link set by the Anorithils. I have some important news for you. The staff you were looking for has been located."

"Where?" asks Haldor.

"Our patrols spotted a group of orcs that were heading to the desert of Eruan, in the south. They were guarding something that looked like the staff you described. You should go there and investigate."

"Thank you, my lady. I will go there immediately."

Haldor leaves the Vor Pride bastion and heads south. On his way, he spots the entrance of two other Orc pride bastions... Rak'shor and Gorbat. Maybe he'll have time to clear those bastions before going to Eruan...