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Chapter 38: Woad Rage

Chapter 38: Woad Rage

Everything in the Tech Support Forum was caught up in the rush of water. Riibu--still invisible--and the nymphs climbed onto an empty crate.

After the surge subsided, Ephesos bobbed to the surface. He held his crickets above the water in one hand and treaded water. Jumpin' Salmon swam by and splashed him.

"Hey!" Ephesos wiped the water off his face and looked around. "Where's everyone else?"

"They must have gotten swept into the Announcements Forum."

"And the perfected rat?"

"I don't know. Let's hope it drowned," Jumpin' Salmon said.

Something grabbed Ephesos's foot, threatening to pull him under. Whatever it was let go. A moment later, Randomizer surfaced, coughing and spluttering.

"Hi!" Jumpin' Salmon said.

"You're just lucky I managed to close the door outside before you all opened the door to General," Randomizer said.

An upturned table with several rats on it floated into the forum. The rats attempted to paddle away from the Spiderwebbers.

Randomizer pointed at them. "Spray..."

Ephesos pulled his hands down. "Leave them alone. They won't harm us."

"Say, is the water going down?" Jumpin' Salmon asked.

"I hope so. It means that Ocean Bound is working," Randomizer said.

"I'm not even going to try to puzzle that one out," Ephesos said.

The crate with nymphs and Riibu as passengers bobbed into the Announcements Forum.

"Let's see how the others are doing," Randomizer said.

They swam into the Announcements Forum. Zephyr Tempest was floating on his back with a stunned expression on his face. "I'm wet."

Jumpin' Salmon splashed him. "Now you're even wetter."

Filth Finder and Garbage Gatherer struggled through the water and grabbed the floating crate.

"Children! You're safe!" Filth Finder said.

Riibu slipped off the crate without being noticed and entered the Geneforge 4: Rebellion Forum.

Ephesos swam towards that forum as well. "Come on!"


Thuryl, Slartucker, and Stareye reached the cave with the ruined summoning machine. The four rats were right behind them.

Thuryl pointed to the tunnel at the far end of the cave. "That's where the perfected rat came from." He led the way down the tunnel into another cave full of machinery.

Slartucker looked around. The door to the vat the perfected rat had been created in hung open and the power spiral controlling it was dark. A larger power spiral was connected to a control panel. There was also a pylon guarding the control panel. It charged up as it sensed the presence of the Spiderwebbers.

"Get back!" Slartucker said.

The three of them retreated into the tunnel as the pylon released a bolt of magical energy where they had been standing.

"You take care of the pylon and I'll mess with the control panel," Stareye said.

"Right." Slartucker stuck his head into the cave. The pylon fired again. Slartucker ducked to avoid the blast. Then the three of them ran for the control panel while the pylon recharged. They ducked behind it as the pylon fired again. Thuryl and Slartucker jumped back up immediately. Thuryl hacked at the pylon, creating several large cracks in it.

"Udder destruction!" Slartucker yelled. The spell caused the pylon to explode in crystal fragments and goo.

Stareye stood up and began messing with the controls.

"Well? Can you weaken the perfected rat?" Slartucker said.

The four rats stood unnoticed in the tunnel.

"Did you hear that? They're going to disable the perfected rat!" one whispered.

"I thought we didn't like the perfected rat."

"We don't. But we don't like the humans either. I think we should let the perfected rat kill them all. Then we can disable this machinery and kill the perfected rat."

"But that means we have to kill these humans first."

"Yes. We all know what do to, right?"

Stareye adjusted a knob on the control panel. "I believe so. Just let me... hey!" One of the red rats knocked Stareye flat.

"Udder destruc..." The other red rat tripped up Slartucker.

Thuryl drew his sword and killed one of the giant rats. Stareye got back up and crushed the red rat under his heel. Slartucker got the last two rats with his udder destruction spell. They looked around for more rats but saw none.

"That was kind of pathetic," Slartucker said.

"What do you mean by 'kind of'?" Thuryl asked.

Stareye played with a few of the controls. The power spiral suddenly went dark. "Ah! There we go!"

Most people had been carried into the Geneforge 4: Rebellion Forum, where the water spread out until it was only about knee deep. The perfected rat was the first to recover. It killed Archmagus Micael. Zeviz cast bind foe and stumbled back as the perfected rat lunged at him. The water made the webs especially gooey and the perfected rat had trouble freeing itself. The other Spiderwebbers reclaimed their weapons and looked at the perfected rat uncertainly.

"Do we try to kill it or what?" Marlenny asked.

"I have a better idea!" Andraste waded towards it and bashed it repeatedly over the head.

Arancaytar said, "Well, knocking it unconscious will..."

"No!" Tyranicus yelled.

"What?" Arancaytar asked.

"At this rate, the perfected rat will delay the release of G4. And if G4 is delayed then Nethergate 2.0 will also be delayed. I can't let that happen!" Tyranicus dropped his javelins and pulled off his shirt.

"Wait, what are you doing?" Arancaytar asked.

Tyranicus smeared woad haphazardly over his upper body, drew his sword, and splashed towards the perfected rat.

"Tyran, the perfected rat is still immortal. You don't stand a chance!" Arancaytar called after him.

Though severely dazed by the blows, the perfected rat pushed Andraste away. She fell into the water. The perfected rat raised a paw to cast a spell.

It halted suddenly. The glow surrounding it faded slightly. "It can't be!" The perfected rat hasted itself and ran for the Announcements Forum. Tyranicus changed direction and raced after it.

"The rat is mortal. Finish it off!" Drakefyre said.

Tyranicus was right on the perfected rat's tail now. It knew it couldn't afford to kill him. It had to escape immediately, before the other Spiderwebbers caught it. It dodged around MagmaDragoon.

Student of Trinity slung a rock at the rat but missed. "The rat's going to escape before we can bring it down."

Jumpin' Salmon, Ephesos, Randomizer, and Zephyr Tempest waded into the forum, blocking the perfected rat's escape route.

"Out of my way!" it squeaked, preparing to cast a spell. Zephyr Tempest, Randomizer, and Ephesos all prepared to cast spells as well.

The perfected rat didn't realize it was running straight for Riibu. She stuck an invisible foot out. The perfected rat tripped over it and fell with a splash.

"For the sidhe!" Tyranicus ran the rat through and then leapt back to avoid being clawed.

Everyone watched anxiously as the perfected rat staggered half-way up before collapsing.

"Is it dead?" Riibu reappeared a safe distance away from the rat.

"Yes, I think... gah! What was that for?" Tyranicus ducked out of the way as Randomizer cast spray acid on the perfected rat.

"I just wanted to make absolutely sure the rat was dead," Randomizer said.

Ephesos carefully inspected the perfected rat. "It's definitely dead."

The Stew Boy looked down. "Hey, the water's only to my ankles now!"

"Good," Drakefyre "Then there's still a good chance we can clean everything up in time for Geneforge 4's release."


Zorro watched as Ocean Bound continued to suck up all the water. He decided to see how much of the lake was left, so he entered the second-story room and looked out. To his surprise, most of the water was gone and it seemed like it was dropping. "But... but where is it all going?"


The water had flooded most of the Avernum Trilogy Forum by now and began to flow into the Blades of Exile Forum.