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More trouble!

Nosila’s Journal

Well, Roscoe was determined to tell the elf everything that had happened to us since we met in the bar, but Sprocket got a few questions in edgewise! This place is called Arania, and it’s not part of our world... there is nothing beyond the mountains around us. The place doesn’t have seasons, so no “years”. Although Elzen and Sprocket were speaking in draconic, he’s never heard of a dragon! Which led to the discovery that he’s never heard of or seen any of our races before, either. No wonder he was boggled at the sight of us!

(Sprocket’s muttering about demi-planes or something)

The barrier isn’t normal - nor the suspended state of the rest of the Court. The door thing is normal; if you know where you want to go, it takes you there. It’s not supposed to be random! The elves here haven’t any enemies that they know of, and had no warning that something was going to happen. The only odd event before, was the arrival of another “stranger to the realm”, who looked like an elf - with glowing red eyes. After that, the queen got sick.

We found out that there are some spellcasters in the palace who might have ideas on breaking the curse, and got ready to go back inside. This time, Bryrgar stayed outside to watch our things, while Sprocket, Roscoe and I were to follow the elf to a spellcaster and I’d carry him or her to the wall. We also, finally, checked to see how many languages we knew between us for the next time we get stuck like this. I found out no one else knew Goblin. Now I know what to swear at people in!

(That halfling is enjoying the clothes issue a little too much, methinks. I gave Sprocket part of the long skirt of my gown to wrap herself in after we went through).

My cheerfulness lasted as long as it took to walk back through the magical wall: Elzen promptly turned back into a statue. We pulled him back through, and he had no memory of it. This was a setback, indeed! Still, we got a pretty good description of the chief mage, Haran, and headed back in without the elf. We quickly found out that the doors remained random; I guess you have to be an elf for that trick to work. Still, with three of us opening doors in the entrance hall, we figured to find him eventually.

Roscoe found the study, first. He and Sprocket just had to search the place! I held the door open so as not to lose track of them, and watched the sunset glow through the walls. I wondered, for the first time in a while, what my husband was doing, wherever he was?

As the last rays of light faded, I saw the translucent walls turn dark, and blood red streaks appeared in them. At the same time, I heard shrieks, and saw the sprites’ skin darkening while their fingernails sharpened into claws. Worse, they were finally moving - launching themselves at Sprocket and Roscoe! As they dashed into the entrance hall, I slammed the door, and we ran for the outside carrying only the random books they’d been looking at when the change occurred.

We were glad to get outside with no trouble, and surprised to see that the barrier wall was gone completely. Bryrgar was standing over the body of the elf - which had changed the same way as the sprites. We grabbed our gear and ran for the forest under the light of a full moon. Behind us, we heard Sprocket’s alarm spell go off, then Bryrgar and Roscoe were slashed by invisible claws! I could hear flapping and swung at it, but got slashed for my trouble.

Sprocket caused a sun to appear, but it didn’t scare the invisible sprite monsters off. We gave up on outrunning them, and stood near each other, swinging wildly into the air whenever we heard the flapping of invisible wings. Eventually, we killed enough of them to make the rest fly away. Sprocket dusted one to see that, yes, it was a strangely altered sprite that had attacked. We could hear awful sounds from the castle and couldn’t imagine what was going on inside. These poor beings! How long has this been going on?

Everyone was talking - the mystery of the normal rabbit killed by day, and the other fanged rabbits attacking by night seems to be solved. This whole realm is cursed, but only the elves are trapped in suspension in their castle. We must help them, somehow. Realizing that a good night’s sleep was unlikely, I told them to wake me for second watch, and settled into my bedroll right where we stood. To my surprise, however, we weren’t attacked for the rest of the night.

In the morning, Bryrgar was able to heal everyone up a lot. I found out that Roscoe planned to wait for the sunrise inside the barrier; I hope we’re not going to lose our only elven speaker and reader to this curse. Sprocket put all her stuff inside the barrier and waited outside, while I left everything of mine outside except my kukri, and myself. We did leave the rod outside, too... and the sun rose. Roscoe promptly turned into a statue. Argh! When Sprocket pulled him out, he didn’t remember it at all. He cheerfully told us that we’d have to tie him up at night “just in case”, and sat down to read one of the purloined elven books!

I guess we’ll be off to search the castle again. We have the day to solve this; Ubtao guide my steps!

Posted by Kate on December 5, 2004, 09:14 | Nosila’s Journal