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Kar Loremin backed closer to the grimy walls of the Monsters Lair.

"Accursed fiends, return to your graves!" He swept his sabre forward in a wide arc, cleaving in two a number of Skeletons which were advancing towards him. They fell to the ground in a pile of bones, the magic which gave them movement dispelled.

But still they came. No less than eight more ran from the adjoining room.

Kar backed up further and felt his back press against the wall. He was destroying the Skeletons, that was sure, but not quickly enough. For every one that he killed, another two appeared as if from nowhere. He though quickly about possible tactics that he could use.

"Coric, throw me one of your potions, quickly!" .Kar shouted across the room to his fellow Warrior.

"Have you got 75 Gold?" inquired Coric, crouching down behind the barrels in the adjacent corner.

"75 Gold? Here I am surrounded by Skeletons - " Kar's sabre sliced through the air, bringing destruction to another Skeleton, "and you want to know if I have 75 Gold?"

"These ingredients are imported from the lush forests of Lustria. They don't come cheaply I'll have you know. How can I continue to purchase the herbs I need if I have no money?" Coric rummaged around in his backpack, adding strange herbs and spices to a flask.

Kar thrust his left hand into the pouch at his belt and drew out a handful of coins. "Here, catch." He threw the coins across the room at Coric, then punched a Skeleton in the face with his gauntlet.

Coric caught the Gold and began to count it.

"For Sigmar's sake, Coric! Count the blessed money later! Just give me the potion!" Kar ducked as a Skeleton's sword flashed overhead, and kicked out, knocking the Skeleton's feet out from underneath him. Kar brought his sabre down and cleaved the fallen Skeleton's rib cage in two.

"Finished!" Coric stoppered the flask and heaved it across the room to Kar, who deftly caught it. Clasping the neck of the bottle with his left hand, he uncorked the flask with his teeth and emptied the contents down his throat.

"By all that is holy, what ungodly things do you put in these?" gasped the Witch Hunter as he used the empty flask to smash an advancing Skeleton's face in.

A moment later the Witch Hunter's clothes began to stretch, almost splitting their seams. He felt his muscles bulging and decided to try out his new found strength.

There were but five Skeletons remaining, all forming a half-circle around Kar, preparing to assault him together.

Clenching his sabre, Kar swung it towards the Skeletons from the right side. The sabre cut into the bone of the first Skeleton, throwing it off balance. While it fell, Kar used the butt of the sabre to destroy another's skull. He then brought his foot down upon the first Skeletons pelvis, crushing it into dust. Feeling like he could take on another dozen undead, Kar continued his sweep of destruction, cutting through another's knees and then pulverising it. The last two Skeletons, hearing a noise off to the side turned their heads. Coric's head appeared from behind the barrels, then just as quickly disappeared when he saw the Skeletons approaching.

Kar grabbed one of the Skeletons by the arm and jerked it towards him. The Skeleton turned, overbalanced and fell into his comrade. The two collapsed onto the dungeon floor and tried to rise, but Kar's boot put an end to that action. He twisted his boot until the bones shattered, then kicked the remaining bones into the corner.

The battle over, Kar sheathed his sabre and straightened his clothes, the effects of the potion having worn off.

Coric rose from behind the barrels, counting out the money Kar had thrown him earlier. "Thanks for the money Kar, it's all here." He said, pocketing a few coins and stowing the rest in his backpack.

"Great, I'm so pleased" muttered Kar looking around the room. He spied a small leather pouch in the far corner protruding from underneath the broken bones of a Skeleton. Heading over for it he crouched down and pulled it from beneath.

Coric hurried over. "What's that you've got there Kar, hmm?"

Kar pulled the drawstring of the pouch, and let the contents spill into his hands.

"3 Gold!" Kar tossed the money on the ground. "I fought off a horde of Skeletons for 3 Gold!"

Coric scooped up the money and deposited it in his Gold pouch. "With this I can buy a stick of cinnamon from town." He picked up the lantern and headed for the archway.

Glancing around, and seeing that the coast was clear, he beckoned for Kar to follow.

Suddenly Coric reeled back, grasping his right shoulder. A small dart had embedded itself into it. Blood poured from the wound, and although it in itself was not life threatening, the fact that the dart had been coated in a poison was.

Kar leapt forward, pistol at the ready. Raising it out in front of him, he spied a small figure in a black cloak skittering away down the corridor. "A Skaven Assassin!" he whispered.

Getting the figure in his sights, he mouthed a prayer to Sigmar, and fired.

The figure crumpled to the ground at the end of the passage with a sharp squeal. Satisfied, Kar turned his attention to Coric. Grabbing the end of the dart between two fingers, he pulled.

Coric gave a cry of pain - the dart was barbed - before lapsing into unconsciousness.

Kar dragged Coric over to the wall and propped him up. Searching through his backpack he realised he had no bandages, provisions or healing potions, or anything else that could heal his fellow Warrior.

Suddenly he remembered Coric's potions, and grabbing his friend's backpack began to rummage through it.

There were none.

Muttering to himself, he remembered Coric's Alchemical Kit. Searching, he dragged out a small pot, a flask, a wooden spoon, and many small stoppered jars and placed them on the ground in front of him.

"Coric my friend, I don't know what you've got here, but I'll see if I can make you some sort of potion..." he trailed off, not having the faintest idea of the correct ingredients.

He emptied an entire jar who's contents appeared to be water into the pot, followed by a reddish powder. The contents of the pot bubbled.

Kar grabbed a blue jar, and raised it to his nose. It smelt like manure, but he tipped it in anyway.

The potion turned a bright blue, and began to give off a vile smelling smoke.

Kar covered the lower half of his face with his scarf and continued to mix the potion with the spoon.

"This isn't working," he muttered, a sign of panic beginning to creep into his voice.

Coric began to writhe in agony, crying out in his sleep for the King to save him. His face was flushed, and beads of sweat trickled down it onto his clothes.

"Poor fellow, must be delirious. I have to help him." In frustration, Kar unstoppered the remaining jars and emptied their contents into the pot. Giving the now red, viscous liquid a strong stir, he picked up the pot and slowly drained the contents into the flask.

"I sure hope this works," he murmured, bringing the flask to Coric's lips. He managed to get a portion of the liquid down his friends throat, and then sat back and waited.

Seeing the jars littering the floor, Kar gathered them up and threw them into Coric's backpack, hoping that his friend wouldn't mind he had used all of their contents.

Coric murmured and his head rose from his left shoulder where it had been resting. Slowly his eyes opened and he looked around.

"Hmm, what a nice rest that was." He looked at Kar, sitting on the floor beside him. "Oh, you've had one too, how nice." He rose to his feet and it was a moment before he got his bearings. "This way I think," he said, heading off down the passage.

Kar was mystified. The potion seemed to have cured him, but at the same time erasing his memory of the last half hour. He slung his backpack onto his back, checked that his pistol was back in its holster and set off after Coric.

Catching him up, the two strode side by side. Coric spotted the dead Skaven Assassin in a heap at the end of the corridor.

"Poor chap, I wonder what happened to him," he said glancing at Kar.

Kar shrugged.

Rounding the bend, the pair came to another room. A blue circle pulsed on the floor, its concentric rings glowing from dark blue to light.

Coric glanced around the room. On the far side was another archway similar to the one they had just entered by. Against the left wall were piled a number of crates. Anxious to see what they contained, he headed towards them.

Kar's hand shot out, grabbing hold of Coric's robes. "Wait, it could be a trap!" He slowly looked around. There were many areas of dark shadow - perfect for Monsters to be lying in wait.

Suddenly from the shadows leapt a dozen Skaven. Angered at their comrades death they had prepared an ambush for the two Warriors.

Coric retreated back around the corner, yelling to Kar, "You deal with them, I'll start making some potions."

With a sudden thought, Kar muttered "Ah yes, I've been meaning to speak to you about that..."


Alchemist story by Andrew Brockhouse.