Chapter 2: History.. Page 14

Posted: June 13, 2007 in Good Reads

Chapter 1: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6, Page 7, Page 8, Page 9
Chapter 2: Page 10, Page 11, Page 12, Page 13

They proceeded with extreme caution. Max, being a dwarf, was in the fore. He had the best darkvision, and could detect instinctively the gradient rise or fall of a tunnel. He was also an excellent judge of stone, which made up the walls of the passage. These abilities would be helpful in leading them the right way.

At his side, Eladred had his recurve longbow and arrow readied, his keen eyes ever alert for danger. Behind him, Paplo sighted his loaded crossbow between the pair. Wykka carried the lantern in his left hand, his right hefting an axe.

For two hours, they ventured steadily deeper into the mountain. The shuffling of feet and the jingling of amour became deafening in the pervasive silence…

‘Halt!’ cried Max, suddenly.

‘What is it?’ hissed Eladred, his eyes darting this way and that, searching the darkness for enemies.

‘I need to take a piss,’ the dwarf said.

The elf mouthed a rather creative string of profanities, in response.

 

An hour later, they had come to parts of the tunnel complex in which the original stonework was discernible, under a millennia of dirt.

‘Looks dwarven,’ Max commented, stopping to admire the masonry, ‘The Ice Queen certainly knew who to entrust, when she constructed her Citadel. Observe the perfect fit of each stone block…’

‘Yeah, yeah,’ Eladred said in a disinterested toine, ‘Let’s just get on with it. We need to get to Ishar’s throne room, and take a prominent piece from the infamous gargoyle carvings on the walls. Then we can report back to the King of Delysia, and collect our gold. More importantly, we’ll be out of this dismal pile of rock…’

‘Rock!? You have absolutely no appreciation of good dwarven stonework, do you?’

‘I would appreciate better, in the comfort and safety of my bedroom, if you catch my drift.’

There was really no arguing with that.

 

They rested awhile at a fork in the passage. Although cold and miserable from the long walk in the semi-darkness, they did not risk a fire. In these tunnels, smoke and the aroma of cooking would reach father than light. Wykka brought out dark bread for everyone, flavoured only with a small chunk of cheese.

‘So far so good,’ Eladred said, as he washed down the meal with water from his skin, ‘No nasty monsters. Not so much as a scurrying rat to skewer.’

‘That worries me,’ Max said, thoughtfully, ‘We haven’t even seen an insect in these tunnels. It’s unnatural. What could be scaring them away?’

Eladred stared at the dawrf. ‘Oh great. Now he has me worried too.’

 

                                                                to be continued…

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