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Sensing a Pattern

Jak’s Journal

The Mournlands, Eyre 13, 998 YK, continued


We are finally leaving Whitehearth! I am the only one conscious (other than our House Orien driver), and I think the only reason my friends are alive is because of him.

We only rested briefly, and as soon as Jin and K’ehleyr were conscious again, we headed back through the tunnels to explore. Gib was sure there was loot to be found, and we did find some interesting things. Or rather, what my comrades chose to do with some of the things was interesting.

We found a room containing some well-made arms and armor, a few vials of oil for bladed weapons, potions for healing and restoration, jewelry and (judging by the squeal of delight from Jin) a wardrobe of very exciting fancy clothes. Never mind that all the outfits were dresses; Jin happily folded them and put them in his backpack, sure he’d have a use for them. I got a nice longsword— I rarely use such a heavy weapon, but I am glad I have it right now.

Another room had ten dead humans in it, most of which had keys such as the ones we’d been using to search the foundry. It was really creepy— the bodies were still warm and we had to check to make sure they weren’t actually breathing, even though we knew they’d been dead for years.

And finally, the room where the sphere of fire was rolling around— surely that would contain wondrous treasure! We now had two arcane scrolls of Resist Energy, and two potions of the same. I cast the scroll spells on Gib and K’ehleyr, with the understanding that Jin and I would take the remaining potions only if things weren’t going well for the other two— we assumed they could deal with the fiery thing easily enough. We were wrong! After a mere 10 or 15 seconds of K’ehleyr and Gib testing the sphere for vulnerabilities (Gib from inside of it), Jin couldn’t help himself and ran into the room, potion forgotten. So I followed him, altering the song I was using to allow me to swallow my potion without missing a beat. I hit the thing a few times, but it was clear that we couldn’t hurt it. It wasn’t hurting my ensorcelled friends, but singed Jin pretty good— lucky for him there was a huge pool of water in the corridor. Unfortunately his armor and clothes were lost during the incident.

What I saw next was pretty disturbing, but suffice it to say Jin was able to don one of his (her?) fancy dresses without it needing to be altered.

Worse, Gib and K’ehleyr had managed to burn off their own clothes (though they also “drowned” the sphere of fire in the pool). K’ehleyr attempted to put on one of Jin’s frilly dresses with her newly-acquired chain shirt, and Gib decided this was a “pants optional” day. Is it any wonder we were caught off guard?

We headed back to the ladder to the surface, and noticed that all the wolves and Failin were gone. We guessed (correctly) that Failin had asked the wolves if they were “ready to go,” and then helped them to the surface. We hurried out to see if he was still there.

He was, slumped over the steering mechanism of his land cart. A voice that was familiar to my friends whispered to “hand the third schema over” and we’d get to live. We were surrounded by six Emerald Claw soldiers, four skeletons, a spellcaster and, apparently, their vampire lord Garrow.

I handed one of the duplicate diamond-shaped schemas to Gib, and he hustled off to give it to the vampire. The voice whispered, “You have the thanks of Garrow and the Order.” The same voice said, a moment later, “Kill them.” And the spellcaster and vampire disappeared into the gloom on horseback.

Things went south very quickly. I sang a haunting melody that obviously agitated the members of the Emerald Claw, though their own master must have scared them more, as they all attempted to riddle me with bolts. Gib had disappeared into their ranks, no doubt with plans of an ambush, but I did not see him again during the battle. I was between K’ehleyr and Jin, neither of which were in any shape to fight, and both went down quickly from the blows of skeletons’ scimitars. A voice in my head told me to flee to live another day, but there was no way I was leaving my friends. K’ehleyr was closer, so I grabbed her and dragged her back to the foundry entrance, hoping to use a healing potion on her (and knowing it would not work properly outside in that preternatural gloom), but I could only get as far as the entrance when all the enemy appeared to turn and follow me! Lucky for me I’d been inside before and the tunnel leading in was not wide enough for more than single file entry; I ran to the ladder, climbed down to the area of perpetual darkness, and waited for the enemy one at a time.

It was several minutes of clinging to the ladder and stabbing blindly upwards into the darkness with my new longsword when I finally heard the last living person fall past me to their death below. The skeletons didn’t make an attempt to follow me down, though I managed to get a few smacks at them with the blade as I would come back up to goad another Emerald Claw into following me to his death. I am so grateful now for the time we spent learning to work while climbing and clinging to ship rigging— it saved my life!

At last, no one was following me down anymore, and I returned to the surface, fearing what I would find. The Host be praised, Failin had been faking dead after the cart had been peppered by the Emerald Claw’s bolts, and waited till I took enough of the enemy out of view, then went and stopped the bleeding on my dying friends. He must have destroyed a skeleton or two as well. This time when he asked if I was “ready to go,” I was more than willing to say yes! We’ve bundled up Gib, Jin and K’ehleyr for the trip out— if they don’t wake on their own by the time we hit the mists, I’ll dump those healing potions down their throats.


Posted by Kristin on December 5, 2005, 15:10 | Jak’s Journal