The Magic Beans – Page 20



Knowing full well how venomous are the fangs of the Wolfwere, Perilous Jack arms himself with the Clay Shield and draws the Rune Sword.

The Wolfweres advance, changing as they go into their hybrid forms, so they can better wield their powerful claws against the warrior.

The first Wolfwere is upon him quicker than he can react – the monsters are fast! – and he is driven back, only the Clay Shield keeping the snapping fangs from his throat. The Rune Sword glows ferociously, and as Jack struggles to break free, the blade brushes the side of the savage Wolfwere. The creature vents a terrible scream as the magic blade sears its flesh, and it falls back howling. There is no time to celebrate; already two more of the beasts are upon him.

Jack strikes one a stunning blow with the edge of his shield and thrusts at the second, sinking his blade deep into the Wolfwere’s belly. To his astonishment the creature’s savagery overcomes even the terrible pain inflicted by the magic blade, and it clamps down upon his sword arm with powerful jaws. Jack buffets the dying creature about the head with his shield until finally the jaws relax in death. Yet the damage is done; the creature has bitten through the thin chain protecting his forearm and drawn blood. The surviving Wolfweres draw back and bare their fangs in triumphant grins, howling their exultation to the unnatural night.

Yet the blood flowing from Jack’s injury is not flecked with green foam; neither do the edges of the wound glow with unnatural light. No spasms wrack him, no anguished howl breaks from lips torn from their human shape. Jack is injured, but nothing more – thanks to the magic of the Clay Shield.

Seeing that his pets’ venom has had no effect, and that one of his Wolfweres lies dying, the Ice Ogre bellows angrily in the tongue of Goblins, recalling the remaining Wolfweres to his side.

Jack swiftly downs a Potion of Healing to stop the bloody flow from his arm and as an additional precaution, draws a Fire Flower from his pouch, displaying it clearly to the Ice Ogre. The two antagonists eye each other from their respective mushroom caps. At last, with an angry snarl, the Ice Ogre turns away, barking commands at his Wolfwere pets. The pack follows their Ogre master into the shadows of the TowaShroom trunks. Soon the howl of the Weres is a distant echo.

Jack lingers to examine the nearby CacheStones, gaining six StarSteel for his trouble.

Remove a Potion of Healing from the Pouch of Ghrul and add six StarSteel. Turn to 28.