((Apologies for not posting the 3.0.x AoE guide. This is probably the next best thing, though!))
Wimzig was trapped.
He had expected himself to get into this particular situation. He peered outwards from the mine, and saw a band of kobolds setting up camp in front of the cave’s entrance.
A surveying party, he thought to himself.
There were seven, maybe eight of them, from the looks of it, and to simply try to sneak through was an unwise idea for the mage. In moments, the group would start their rounds towards the mine and discover him anyways. There was no getting around the fact that he would have to face the entire group by himself.
In the heat of the moment, Wimzig formulated as precise a plan as he could. Considering his limited arsenal of spells, he re-examined the opposition one last time.
None of the kobolds were armed with ranged weapons, he noticed. If they were going to take him down, it would only be with mining picks. They weren’t bright either. Wimzig assumed that they would all chase him in some uniform fashion, eschewing any form of organized pursuit.
With those facts in mind, he settled on a surefire strategy to escape.
Wimzig closed his eyes, sensing the flow of the arcane around him. He concentrated the flow to his outstretched arms, forming circular orbs at each of his palms.
With his specialty in the arts of frost magic, he concentrated on the energy that had formed, and finally imbued the orbs with deep cold. Casting his spell, the energy spread around the tiny gnome, forming a thin protective sphere, laced with ice.
This sudden burst of magic drew the attention of one kobold standing outside, who had noticed a sudden flash of light blue emanating from the nearby mine. He wandered towards the entrance in curiosity.
Wimzig immediately ran out of the mine, zipping by the one who had wandered, immediately grabbing his attention.
“Intruder!” The Kobold initially reacted and began to give chase to the gnome.
Wimzig continued to pump his stubby legs as he shortly reached the remaining group. He ran a full circle through the group, grabbing the attention of the entire band.
“You take no candle!” said one.
“You die now!” said another.
As expected, the entire camp of kobolds, including the one who had initially wandered into the mine were now pursuing the ice-laced gnome. They begun their chase with short-sighted killing intent, but was halted by an unexpected maneuver by their enemy.
Wimzig stopped in place and began to concentrate. He visualized a ring around him, and channeled the surrounding arcane energy throughout the area enclosed by the ring.
Just a bit longer, he thought.
The group of kobolds had closed on him, and began to swing their pickaxes at the gnome, but to no avail. The energy of the icy orb surrounding their target braced the impacts of their makeshift weapons.
“Harder! He die now!” said one.
“He no take candle!” said another.
A few more seconds, and the energy of the orb gave to the repeated impacts from repeated swings. But it was too late. Wimzig cast his second spell. A concentrated blast of arctic energy spread out from him, hitting each kobold. The impacts were not damaging, but managed to freeze each one in place.
Wimzig immediately stepped back in time as his initial barrier spell wore off, and began to concentrate at a spot of land approximately twenty or so yards away from him and the group. He visualized himself standing on that spot, and in an instantaneous blink, he was already there.
The kobolds remained rooted from the knees down, their close-range weapons no longer a threat to the distant gnome. They struggled in place in an attempt to break free, but failed.
Wimzig turned back to the group, and sensed the arcane energy emanating from the open environment. He mentally drew a series of leylines, and channeled the arcane energy into a circle above the group of kobolds. He channeled his spell, imbuing the arcane flow with ice once more.
A torrent formed above the hapless group of kobolds, as they began to be pelted by a violent, yet concentrated blizzard. The sheer impact of the pellets shattered their icy shackles, freeing them. Their sights still set on the source of the cold pain, they forced themselves towards the caster.
Wimzig continued to concentrate on his spell, channelling the remains of the surrounding energy into the storm. The kobolds continued walking towards him, albeit very slowly, as if hampered by the cold. By the time they had reached the mage, they were terribly damaged by the spell, and had but a tiny opportunity to have their last whacks at the gnome.
But Wimzig had anticipated their actions, and immediately cast another quick spell around him. A second short blast shot out from him to the now nearby kobolds, freezing them in place once again.
Estimating the amount of energy he had left remaining, Wimzig elected to strafe away from the group instead of using his instant travel spell. Once he had obtained adequate distance, he began to mentally form another circle above the group.
Now in a new area of the field, he redirected more arcane energy into the lines above the group of kobolds. He cast one final spell, forming another blizzard, this one more violent than before.
The storm pelted relentlessly at the kobolds, once again binded by ice. Unable to defend themselves, they were critically wounded by the miniature blizzard. Simultaneously, the eight corpses collapsed onto each other, making a neat pile.
Exhausted, Wimzig lazily walked towards the pile, taking out a long stick of wax from his pockets. Examining it once more, he concluded that the item he had held was of no value, and was not the relic that he was looking for. He tossed it onto the heap of dead kobolds.
“Fine,” he muttered, “you can have your damned candle!”