Nomad leapt from his throne, landing catlike on the stone floor, cape flying madly. He flew at me, staff whirling, magic firing and sparking at me. I stumbled backwards, unprepared for the onslaught. My years of adventuring stood me in good stead: I reflexively entered a defensive stance and called upon Saradomin for aid. Filled with sudden confidence, I sprang forward, my whip flicking into Nomad’s face, causing him to recoil.
“Let’s make this more interesting!” he cried. I cursed again; I’d lost any chance of surprising him and ending the fight quickly. I heard a clinking sound around me and turned to look as around me fell oddly-spiked metallic spheres, each with a single glowing circle. I’d better watch my step, I thought as the evil-looking orbs stared at me, pulsing softly. I’d have done better to keep my eyes on Nomad, who had taken the opportunity to strike me from behind. I staggered, narrowly avoiding the spheres, and dragged myself upright against a pillar. The sheer power! I’d fought against some of the most powerful beasts I could find on Gielinor, but nothing could have prepared me for being hit by Nomad. His spell had driven the confidence from me and when I looked, he was stood, idly watching me, toying with his staff, thoroughly unscathed. Despair set in. How could I possibly hope to defeat such a powerful being?
“My wrath is inescapable.” He seemed almost disappointed, as if killing me would deprive him of some form of entertainment. I edged along the pillar, letting its smooth surface support me for the time being. Nomad chuckled, beginning an incantation. A cyan orb swirled between his fingers, crackling with barely controlled energy. I was a strong mage myself, but the effort required to summon such a spell would have killed me three times over. Yet here he was, bringing such power into being with a mere twitch of his fingers. I stared at the spell struggling in his grasp, still moving along the pillar until my fingers reached the edge. It would be easier, simpler, more elegant, were I to give myself up to it and embrace death. Nomad smiled again, the expression flicking over his face, the first flames of a raging inferno. He hurled the spell.
I dived desperately beyond the edge of the pillar, landing heavily. Still I felt the impact of the blast, dizzying me, making my head spin. I peered out from behind the pillar and shook my head. Four Nomads? How badly had the blast impaired my vision? They didn’t swim into focus, instead sharpening into four distinct shapes. Four Nomads.
“Let us see how well your senses serve you!” they chanted, the echoes pounding further into my throbbing head. The four apparitions hurled magic at the pillar, none seeming bothered by my concealment. It was a game, and it would all end soon. I leant against the pillar, grim and weary. I was a survivor, always had been, but I couldn’t see a way out of this one. Not with an insane sorcerer ready to destroy me the second I left cover. And he’d get bored soon and drive me out. Laughter. He was cackling, knowing the same as me, that this could only end soon, and in his favour. I stood, grimly determined. I would face him at least, and leave him with a mark of our encounter. As I was about to step out, something gripped me. I struggled, but was unable to move. A teleport? I was being rescued! Hope lifted in me, I willed the spell to work.
It did. As I arrived at my destination, I looked around and my heart sank in despair. Nomad was standing next to his throne, smiling victoriously. I was locked in an icy embrace, frozen, unable to move. I kicked and writhed, but could not move. My fighting amused Nomad yet further. “Let us see how much punishment you can take!” he cried gleefully. He began chanting, a complex, ugly, garbled mixture of syllables that grated on my ears and caused me to panic. I thrashed wildly in my icy prison as Nomad’s voice rose to a thundering crescendo. I broke free, but too late. A wave of magic shot towards me, hitting me square in the chest. For a split second I was in agony, electrified by pain that seemed to strike the very core of my being. Then… nothing. My eyes faced Nomad as I slumped forward onto the cold stone floor. The final thing I heard, ringing in my ears as my soul slipped into the abyss, was Nomad’s contempt. The final word spoken over my body, as I died.