Gender: Male Age: 53 Location: Las Vegas, Nv
We were sitting outside after a late morning storm. Winter was coming and it was beginning to get cooler. We had looked but no raw star silver could be had short of Scarlet mountain or Finagore. Dusty, a new elven ranger cleared his throat, “since you are thinking of going to Dawn’s Step to forge the sword you could go to Farintine.”
I looked at him as Aveine frowned, “I thought Farintine was destroyed?”
He shook his head, “there was a lot that was destroyed but not all. Those that took the Farintine Heart back said most of the galleys are intact.”
I nodded and looked at Aveline, “it would have star silver ore?”
She nodded, “we would have to go through the galleys and deep into the mountain but star silver is there.”
I sat back to think and looked at her, “you don’t want to go?”
She smiled, “it isn’t that I don’t want to go. We left there for a reason.”
I smiled, “your people left there.”
I looked across the square before sighing, “it would be closer to Dawn’s Step.”
I looked at Aveline, “you need a proper sword.”
We had talked of this and she smiled, “and you think you can make a great weapon.”
I thought of the magic inside me and nodded, “I can make a sword.”
She nodded, “tomorrow morning.”
When we left in the morning it was overcast and windy. We could both smell the rain in the air. Before we were out of the pass it was pouring and it didn’t stop as we went across the north plains. By the time we reached the marsh before Dawn’s Step it had been snowing for a week. It made traveling through the marsh much harder.
I could feel a change as we moved through the giant trees. There was a sense of something not right and the forest was a lot quieter. We were almost to the city when we found the orcs. It was a small group and they were frightened. It looked like they had come from the north and were escaping from something.
We waited until they were close before using our bows. Unlike other times they didn’t even try to fight and only fled to the south faster. Aveline was frowning as I returned from making sure those we had hit were dead, “they did not act right.”
I agreed and looked after those that had continued to flee. We walked into the empty city and could see a few signs of something large that had been here. We checked the large forge and the bins of coal before making camp. Aveline drew a map while we huddled and Farintine was only three days to the north.
When we left it was once more snowing and we could barely see ten paces in front of us. The first couple of days there was thick forest in the mountains with smaller game. The last day we kept seeing burnt trees or scorch marks. I thought of lightning but it still seemed strange. When we saw the huge elegant doors of Farintine it was mid afternoon.
We looked in and put our things to one side in what looked like a guard room. We went out to hunt for dinner and brought back a couple of rabbits. We cooked dinner in the guard room using an ancient fireplace and then rolled out our bedroll beside the fire. There was plenty of wood someone had left, probable those that had returned the Farintine Heart.
We had closed the ancient door but could hear if anything moved beyond. We were up early and had to wait for the sun to rise before leaving. We used an ancient star silver lantern from the guards room and added chemicals. Moving through the long abandoned halls and galleys had us trying to be silent.
There were huge crystal chandeliers with intricate chemical lanterns. Faded tapestries hung from the ceilings and walls. Star silver weapons hung on walls and tempted us. It wasn’t long before we were in narrower halls that led deeper into the mountain. Several hours later we came to caverns that had collapsed and began to hunt for ways through.
After that we would find ways collapsed or blocked. We made camp in a tiny area beside an underground stream. When we woke it was more of the same for what felt like most of the day as we went deeper into the mountain. We were moving through a collapsed cavern when one wall dropped and the floor seemed to shatter.
Aveline dove right and caught a huge rock and hung on. I leaped for a huge rock and landed as it suddenly dropped through the floor. I tried to ride it as it fell and then slid but when it began to tumble I jumped. The next moments had me bouncing from one sliding boulder to another. It was after I had fallen from a long drop that I hit and everything stopped.
It was dark and I hurt everywhere as I slowly began checking myself. I heard Aveline yelling above and a long ways away. I yelled and searched in my pack by feel for a tiny piece of candle. It took a minute to light it and then I started looking around. Everything around me was sparkling and I saw thick veins of star silver ore.
I turned around and stopped moving when I saw the black orb that seemed to pull at me and push at the same time. I felt a chill pass through me as I kept looking at it. I put the candle on a rock and moved a little closer to see the orb better. The rock it was on tilted and it rolled and fell. I reached out to catch it and froze when my hand caught it.
The world exploded and it felt as if I went with it. All I felt was searing pain and I thought of Elvenhome and the gods as I screamed and kept screaming. Suddenly the pain was gone, or rather put aside. I was someplace that glowed like the inside of thick fog. I heard murmuring voices and looked around as more of the fog peeled back.
Standing above me were huge tall figures that would make a giant seem small. One turned and looked down and my mind screamed as it was filled with a thought, “you should not be here.”
The others focuses on me and I screamed at the sudden pain. It vanished as quickly as it came and a women was suddenly in front of me, “how did you...”
She looked at the stone and hissed before reaching for it. She hesitated, “a price for a price.”
I looked at her as her thoughts filled my head and thought of Aveline. She smiled but I cleared my throat, “help me make her a sword.”
She nodded and lifted the stone out of my hands. Suddenly the dark was back and I struggled and my eyes snapped open. In the flickering light from the candle Aveline was bent over me. I sighed as my head pounded and she gave my cheek a pat, “quit sleeping.”
I smiled and struggled to my feet. I looked around but the black orb was gone. Aveline hissed and I looked at her as she held up my bow. Even in the dim light I could see the crack. I shook my head and gestured for her to leave it. We pulled out another tiny lantern and mixed chemicals before I began breaking off chunks of ore.
I filled my pack with as much as I thought we needed before we left and started searching for the way out. We slept twice, the last time in a room carved into the side of a hall. I was beginning to worry when we walked into a large galley with racks of old weapons. Aveline hissed and I glanced at her, “what?”
She was looking around, “this is the royal guard armory.”
I looked around and headed to one side towards a closed door. I set my pack to one side and we opened the door and peeked in. Aveline pulled a star silver lantern and mixed chemicals still in its base. When she returned the lantern to the wall bright light filled the room from mirrors in the ceiling.
I looked at all the weapons in the racks before moving to one rack holding bows. One stood out, it was solid white with vines and leaves carved into it. I was afraid it would snap when bent but it held. I looked for string and grinned when I found one made of star silver. I slipped the string into a pocket and took the bow.
I stopped beside the door and looked back before reaching for a white spear. The shaft was a little taller than me with the blade and point another pace long. Aveline hissed as she looked out into the galley. I followed her out and listened as she walked towards the center. She spun with her eyes wide and looked at me before turning to run.
A roar seemed to shake the galley as what I first thought was a wyvern charged out and after her. I dropped the bow and shifted my grip on the spear and my mind spun. I lifted it and turned as I pulled it back. I knew I wouldn’t be able to kill the huge creature but I had to stop it and give Aveline time to escape.
I aimed behind and just below the ear and threw with everything I had. I felt my magic as it seemed to surge and then I fell. I struggled to stand as the creature crashed to the galley floor. It began thrashing around and convulsing as it died. I pulled Reaper as I moved towards it, “AVELINE!”
I was careful as I moved around to the head. I blinked when I saw the head in the dim light. It wasn’t a wyvern but by the description I realized it was a small dragon with unformed wings. The spear I had thrown was buried behind the jaw and angled into the skull, there was barely a hand span of the shaft showing.
I moved back and sat before falling over as my head began pounding. When I opened my eyes Aveline was sitting beside me and a bright lantern lit the galley. She looked at me and shook her head, “how did you do that and why?”
I moved the blanket she had put over me and sat up with a groan, “I don’t know how. I just put everything into throwing the spear.”
I stood and looked across the galley floor at the huge creature. I shook my head, “I am tired of being underground.”
She grinned and turned to tuck the blanket into her pack. She lifted the lantern and I checked the new bow she had tied to my pack before putting it on. The halls were carved with reliefs of trees and animals. It was an hour before Aveline stopped in another tapestry filled galley. I followed her look to a set of elegant door, “what is it?”
She grinned, “the workshop of the jewelers.”
I grinned as I crossed to open the door and lift the lantern. Sparkling colors shone from benches and shelves and display cases. I looked at what looked like a small ivory carved chest and reached out to touch it. Aveline chuckled, “carved from a single dragon tooth.”
I grinned, “I left a few behind.”
I looked around and then set the lantern down and began to collect jewelry from displays and cases and shelves. Aveline helped and we put everything into the chest and once it was full I closed the lid and lifted it. We closed the door and left and a little later found a set of stairs leading down. It wasn’t long before we reached the huge entrance galley and the main doors.
It was dark out so we returned to the guard room and started a fire. I slipped out to hunt for rabbits and when I returned Aveline was taking one of the huge crystal chandeliers apart. She grinned as I shook my head and went to start dinner. In the morning I used two ancient shields to make a sled before we put packs and our treasure on it and left.
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