The extraplanar portal’s swirling maw appeared a day ago, near the meditation pond. Shavarath’s legions began pouring out, bearded devils and roaring orthons with tieflings and other foul creatures of that accursed plane.
It was Ryncletica that spotted the invasion first. Applying the Diversion technique to slow the surprise attack by drawing the invaders to a false hate-generator, she was able to alert others to help before she become overwhelmed.
The many students swarmed the glade and were able to push back and stop the initial invasion for most of the day and night.
A second portal arrived early the next morning.
“There are too many, teacher Syncletica!” Quintessica shouted to me, her mystical quarterstaff a blurred spinning shaft of fire and force that slammed into several devils. Lynncletica protected Quin’s back, stunning and Jading enemies, knocking them back with a seemingly endless applications of the Drifting Lotus.
“Who did you piss off?” shouted Kiricletica in Ryncletica’s general direction. Those two always blame the other for fights that go badly as a matter of sport.
Szyncletica, our shuriken master, stood where she could see both portals. Her arm whirled in a continual deadly spiral through the air, spitting shurikens to destroy anything that escaped the portal perimeters. I stood behind Szyn to kill what few enemies could bypass her star attacks.
Kiricletica and Ryncletica teamed up with younger students at the second portal when a third portal appeared.
I halted myself from gasping and kept my focus, assaying the situation as the old master taught me, hoping I would draw the same conclusion I would if he stood here.
I decided. We were a disciplined and skilled monastery. But we could not fight this storm–only weather it.
I dispatched a handful of enemies while working back towards the main doors of our home. “Ninja team: Diversion at each portal on my mark,” I shouted. “All others, prepare to retreat. We are cloistering!”
With little else said, the three ninja instantly separated and sprinted to a portal, cutting down anything in their path as the hordes closed in and the other monks ran to the dojo.
Quintessica knew what I needed. First to enter the dojo, she dropped her staff, sat in the center of our large shrine room and began her meditation.
I counted to 30, then shouted “Mark!” to the ninja. They applied their Diversion techniques almost simultaneously, drawing all the enemies towards their intimidating dummy duplicates while cloaking each ninja in shadow to aid their escape. If their timing had been too far off, more than a few demons or devils would have spotted our ploy and teleported at the retreating students or even inside the dojo itself.
Ryn and Kiri were at the door fastest, running hundreds of meters in a few seconds. Szyn ran backwards, picking up any stragglers not attracted by their false fighters. A few wounded students moved slower to shelter and I and Lynn ran out to pull them in.
More than a few small glowing soulstones littered our glade-turned-battlefield. We couldn’t save them now.
As Szyncletica entered, I shouted, “Now, Quin! Seal the dojo!” Lynncletica and Ryncletica disappeared with a couple of others to close and bolt every door and window.
An ominous hum grew near my hand as I began to close the last door. Several shuriken from Szyncletica and two others flew by my face a hairsbreadth away, killing a devil trying to enter through the waning crack of the door.
As they were trained to do, everyone else sat in concentric circles around the meditating Quintessica and began to meditate as well. Quin groaned a bit as her focus reached its peak and her consciousness moved out.
A sudden cold warmth spread through us all, amplified by the circle. The energy quickly enveloped the entire building in a what would look like a scintillating and impenetrable green globe of energy to anything outside. Candle flames throughout our home that glowed an encouraging white-orange now turned blue, burning and sparking in fits and starts. The air hung about us, lifeless and stagnant.
Quin sat motionless, her skin stony as a rest shrine. Something about her body shifted to my eyes, as if she became translucent as well as unfocused, phasing between a here and a there.
“Globe of Jade,” Quintessica once called it–an emergency technique she learned in her esoteric Mystic training that pulled our location into two planes of existence simultaneously, making it impossible for anyone standing in any one plane to enter as long as the meditation lasted.
The hellish legions of Shavarath could not enter. But, sealed inside like figures inside an ornamental globe, no one inside our home could leave.
Lynncletica moved to my side. “How long do you think we can last here?” she whispered.
“As long as we must, Lynn,” I said. “As long as we can.”
That dramatic tale of my dojo of Monks trapped by Shavarath armies is my more enjoyable way to tell everyone that my game computer is offline for the moment, felled by the demons of overheating.
I share it as my work computer and am hopeful to have it repaired or replaced soon. I’ve got a few general posts stored up to publish while I cannot play.