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Posted by
Dec 14, 2006

Edited on
Dec 14, 2006

"So what ever happened to going to your house to get a new weapon?" asked Blade, who was leading the way when he suddenly recalled what Otho had been saying the night before, "And why did we suddenly decide to go visit Zorgyn this morning instead?" Silence reigned for the next couple moments, causing Blade to turn around.

"Well?" asked Blade, trying to get an answer. The dwarf still didn't respond.

"You saw how awesome I was with SplintEdge here," gloated Blade proudly, fingering the hilt of his "sword", "So why?"

"Hang on!" shouted the OgreFlail suddenly, "If ya keep shoutin', I'm gonna have some trouble thinkin'."

"You can't remember?" asked Blade, thinking about how dumb his companion sounded right now.

"No," responded said companion honestly, "I can't remember. It's almost like someone was talkin' to me in my head, tellin' me we should go this way." At this response, Blade decided he wasn't going to get a straight answer, turned around, and kept walking forward.

"Maybe it's fate..." mumbled Otho under his breath.

"Hey, hurry up or you're going to fall into another hole!" shouted the boy as he realized his companion was no longer following.

"Hold up! I'm coming!" yelled Otho in response as he started jogging to catch up.

The two travelers journeyed further and further into the darkness of the cavern, the makeshift torch and their instincts their only guide. Their intuition (and the age old bones engraved into the floor) told them they should return, but their adventurous spirit (and their realization that they couldn't climb back out the way they came) told them to push forward. Five minutes would past before the duo would make a truly remarkable discovery.

"It really was fate..." gasped Otho in awe as he stared up at the great double doors. Let me rephrase that: the great double doors that were inscribed with the very same mark implanted on Blade's chest.

"Look at this!" exclaimed Blade cheerfully, looking at some runic characters inscribed under the mark, "Jalyur sema kitar, Nibrou lazive wir! Your wrath will be heard, Lord of Blood, Nibrou!" Curious, Otho walked over to Blade and inspected the letters himself.

"Impossible! This is ancient Arkorian! Even I can't read stuff like this an' I'm a dwarf!" gasped Otho.

At this point in time, the double doors began to open, the previously bearable scent of decaying flesh was multiplied in strength by at least a hundred times, and a roar could be heard from inside. Of course, that wasn't the only of the duo's troubles. One hundred feet behind them, hidden in the shadows of the dark cave, Hohort drew his crossbow and expertly aimed at the back of Blade's neck..

Posted by
Dec 21, 2006

Edited on
Dec 21, 2006

As the doors began to open, Otho offered a further insight into the runes "Lad these are no ancient runes, they look to have been burned into the ancient metal of the door and are crafted by no such tool the dwarves ever used...they almost look to be made by a finger."

The dwarf stepped back as the doors finally opened against the wall "Blade be on your guard, we are not alone."

The pair trudged through the ancient portal, towards what appeared to be the burnt-out remnants of a once mighty stronghold. Just as Blade was looking around, he felt a searing pain course through the mark on his back. Instinctively, he threw himself to the ground as the bolt passed overhead, so close he could feel it cut the air as it passed over him.

"Run boy!" Otho yelled, throwing his torch back through the gates, plunging the area into a semi-darkness cut by a shaft of natural light from the surface. Blade, showing some common sense did as the dwarf commanded and sprinted towards the ruins of the stronghold, closely followed by Otho.

"Dark take them!" exclaimed Hohort, "this will not be easy" he stood up. "Do not be hasty" Hohort's previously silent companion stated, as he held up a finger and uttered a word of power. The runes glowed blood red and the massive doors grinded shut

Posted by
Jan 14, 2007

Blade ran headlong through the dark, his breath coming in ragged gasps as he tired. Otho was beginning to catch up with the lad as he suddenly fell face-first onto the ground. Having been born under the ground, Otho had no problem stopping to help the boy up "Are yeh alright laddie?" he questioned.

Blade sat up, the metallic taste of blood on his lips. "I split my lip, but I'm ok" stuttered the youth, climbing to his feet. "Where will we go now?" he asked the bearded dwarf. "Why we will go straight up of course,now stay still and let me tie this rope to yeh so as not to be seperated in this dungeon".

Firmly secured, the two set off, Otho in the lead further into the abyss..

Posted by
Jan 21, 2007

One hour later, Otho was getting worried. His keen, dwarfish sense of the underground had not failed him, in fact it was the source of his concern. Rather than heading upwards, toward the surface, as he had initially hoped, the path he was following was winding its way downward. "Can't be long now!" he lied to his young companion, adopting a tone far more cheerful than he felt. Initially, Blade had been somewhat frustrated by the rope connecting the duo and repeatedly tried to adopt a quicker pace, only to be pushed back by his dwarf guide. But he was unaccustomed to underground travel, and the stale air, rough terrain, and pitch blackness soon forced him to adopt a pace much more to his shorter companion's liking. Now the boy was lagging behind slightly, and, Otho imagined, probably beginning to feel a bit discouraged. It was obvious, at any rate, that young Blade was getting tired, as he had ceased the steady conversation he had been maintaining some time ago. The silence didn't bother the dwarf much, however, as it gave him time to think.

Someone was trying to kill them, this much was obvious. Otho had felt a nagging sense of danger ever since falling into that hole, but it wasn't until now that this apprehension grew into a certainty- if he and Blade weren't careful, they would die. Unfortunately, the path he was following didn't seem to be leading anywhere and was getting narrower by the minute. In fact, the OgreFlail realized, nothing had gone right for the duo since he had fallen into that hole. That hole was really starting to bother Otho, now that he thought about it. How was it that neither of them had seen it? It wasn't exactly small. For that matter, how had Blade missed it completely, despite having passed the exact same spot mere moments before? And the hole itself, what was it? The walls were far too smooth and uniform to have been made by any sort of beast. But then, who made it? And why? It was almost as if...

A cold shudder interrupted Otho's thoughts as a cool cross breeze hit his face. He had been waiting for this, air movement meant an opening, and an opening could be their way out. And indeed, it did seem as though the path ahead were lighter, but rather than rush for the opening as he had been relishing doing for the past hour, the dwarf stopped short. The chill he felt was not from the damp air, but rather a foreboding, a confidence that he definitively did not want to move on ahead.

"What's going on?" inquired a small voice behind him.

"I think we've found an openin'," responded the dwarf slowly.

"Well then, what are we waiting for? Let's go." Something about the tone of his voice implied that Blade was not nearly as eager to move on as his words made it seem. Apparently the sense of danger Otho had been feeling was not lost on the boy.

"Somethin' tells me that movin' ahead may not be in our best interest," the dwarf muttered.

"Well, we don't have much choice, do we?" Blade countered, sounding a bit more confident now. "The way we entered is sealed, and anyway it took us an hour just to make it here. We don't stand much chance turning back, so we might as well move forward." The boy still seemed a bit uneasy, but he was also determined. And more, he had a point.

"Okay," the dwarf agreed, "we move on." At least they wouldn't be forging ahead unprepared. Otho readied his mace, Blade drew out SplintEdge, and they headed for the light.

They rounded a corner and the narrow path suddenly became an open cavern. A dim light was streaming in from above, most likely from a crack in the ceiling. As he blinked his eyes, adjusting to the sudden presence of light, Otho thought he saw movement, but when his vision returned to normal, there was nothing but rocky walls adorned with random markings. Blade walked up behind him, ducking the dwarf's instinctive swing of his flail. "Sorry lad," he apologized, "you'd better keep close. There's no tellin' what awaits us here."

From a fully concealed enclave, several feet above, a pair of eyes tracked the duo as a calculating mind prepared to strike

Posted by
Dec 15, 2008

It wasn't but a short hour that the travellers arrived at a stout stone bridge, that while it at one time arched over a deep river, the times of any great rains were long gone, leaving only ample underbrush and a fickle trickling stream. "Walk cautiously but with purpose here man-child, scheming's afoot."

"Fear not, man-of-little-measure," Blade scoffed "while this overgrowth may reach your shoulders, gaze down upon it with ease."

A hint of orange caught Otho's eye. Without warning a small fox dashed out to the path ahead of them, turned, hissed, and scampered off towards the bridge. "Scheming, Otho? The fox's dastardedly plan seems to be of little-" A arm as thick as an oak tree shot out and snatched the wild canine. From the bridge's shadow there was a quick yelp and the sound of crushing bones. Otho extended his arm to his side to halt Blade from making a rash move and to the dwarf's relief, intial shock won out to adolescent wonder.

After an eerie silent moment, a pale granite tinted foot exhumed itself from the darkness, followed by the rest of the collossal bridge hermit. "Oi, looks like I have passers by my property, I says," spoke the troll as he flossed his teeth with the tail of his latest snack.

"How'd he fit under that bridge?" Blade asked the dwarf beside him."

"We trolls be rather limber folk, ya know," answered the troll still a good ways away, "and pretty good listeners at that." The grey giant lifted a rather large log and used it as a makeshift cane to lean forward on. "Now, let's talk about my payment, shall we?" He proposed as he smacked his lips and nodded his head

**** This story is still being written. You, too, can contribute to it by writing the next installment. ****

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