B10 – NIGHT’S DARK TERROR
06 FYRMONT OF 1005 AC
XITAQA, INSIDE THE BROKEN TOWER.
My heart is in my throat, yet my instinct tells me that all this is wrong. My two companions before me a few steps. We are forced to proceed along the narrow and dark underground passages in a row. I sense the moisture oozing from the walls and, like invisible hands, touching me in body and soul. It’s wrong and I know it. Why did they want to to go down there? The Yellow Wizard is defeated, on the run. Stephan Sukiskyn, for which we have undertaken this long journey, has been freed. Damn: why did he want to go down in the basement. I’m exhausted, worn out, and I have exhausted all my magical resources. I follow them, I follow the light cast by their torches, attracted like a moth, but my whole body, my mind, scream to go back. Why? What’s down here?
“WHAT THE F%&K !!” I hear him growl in its common obscene language. The light of his torch illuminates yet another corridor. Why is it so dull? Why does it seem to face a gelatinous wall of water? Oh, Zirchev! Why is the wall of water moving?
– – –
After entering the broken tower and defeating the big winter wolf, set to guard a large and irregular room dominated by an old fountain, we had a look around. Everything seemed to hint that this place was inhabited and that our ultimate goal was very close. A pair of side passages seemed to lead to dead ends: a musty library and a dungeon lost in the darkness. The most logical way forward seemed to be the wide spiral staircase apparently leading to the upper floors. It had been an unanimous consent to proceed in that way. After going through what seemed to be a dorm, we went up again and it was here that we ran into the Yellow Wizard. He was there, gaunt and thin, his face sunken and an evil stare, still unaware of our presence and threatening a young man with a long curved knife. Later we would have discovered that he was Stephan Sukiskyn, Pyotr’s brother. Brannart and Tiberius rushed in pursuit of the fugitive while I healed the young. The rest of my companions was rather taken aback by the sudden appearance of a huge bull-headed brute.
A muscular and powerful giant, armed with an equally huge double ax. Puffing from the big wide open nostrils, the long curved horns sliced through the air to his every attempt to gore, drooling hatred, with bloodshot eyes and his mighty biceps twitching at every blow. Adrik took a direct hit and ended up crashing by one of those powerful blows and only thanks to the healing power of my staff I have been able to save the life of my friend of Highforge. The little gnome began to target it with bursts of crackling blue energy while Dan repeatedly skewered its hips in a deadly dance around it. When it was over, the giant landed and dipped in his own blood, I rushed to the young Sukiskyn. He had passed out but at least he was alive. We were there on time. Dan and Glimreen also went into the pursuit of the fugitive Golthar but when I reached them I learned that he had managed to escape from the tower, with its illusions and the magical power of flight. We will have seen him again, I was absolutely certain.
– – –
When I emerged from a breathless race at breakneck speed that had brought me up from the basement to the Golthar magician room, at the top, intact floor of the ancient tower, I found Dan, Adrik and Glim, talking serenely with the young brother of Pyotr. I stopped out of breath holding on to what was left of the jamb of the wooden door. I guess seeing me they may have thought they were facing an undead spirit, as pale and upset as I had to look.
“What is it kid?” Adrik wanted to know immediately. He was always so kind and paternal towards me. Even Dan was on his feet, as lightning. The only one who seemed not to understand exactly the situation was Glimreen, which looked at me with wide open eyes, full of surprise as a child in front of an unexpected event. I remembered the images of the gelatinous wall and its long tentacles darting toward Brannart. Then the rustling behind us and the second wall of water advancing straight to me. I could still feel on my body the gentle touch of Tiberius’s hand, grabbing me by the shoulder, pushing me aside and standing between me and the creature. “Go … Marjana. Run away!”
In my mind I could still feel the echo of my footsteps echoing through the corridors. Their screams. And then the silence.
“They are dead. They are dead!” And copious tears began to fall down my face as I fell to the ground in pain and discouragement.
The ones that are still alive …