CHAPTER 11 : HEX
A Little warning before reading:
story contains some violence (swordfighting, hunting) and bloodthirst
Once upon a time there lived a princess in a small and prosperous kingdom.
Eeny was born with curly red hair and bright green eyes. Since the kingdom
was small, she grew up sheltered by it's benevolence and was loved by it's
inhabitants without a doubt of her natural station. On the other hand,
Eeny sometimes wondered about her life. She and her best friend, a short
blond firecracker of a girl by the name of Sansan, often talked about
adventures. About braving the unknown and going where you wanted to go,
free and unburdened - well, except maybe for what you might eat for diner.
And although Sansan talked about leaving on one at some time, Eeny knew
that she as the princess would not be allowed to go. With clear precision
she knew her life would lead to a marriage, probably to a nice enough man
since she trusted her parents, and they would marry, have children and
rule the kingdom until they died. Not a bad life per se, but not very
exciting either. Still, it didn't hurt to dream.
But life doesn't always go as you would expect it to. Around the time that
Eeny turned 23, disaster struck her kingdom. Reports came of a troll
raiding the streets at night. At first it had only invaded the very edges
of the kingdom, a sleepy farming town where it had killed and eaten a
couple of sheep and wrecked some sheds. But slowly and surely it had
gained confidence, venturing closer to village and it's sleeping
inhabitants, until finally it had broken into a house and had raided the
pantry, broke down the walls and furniture. The troll had even ventured
inside the house, where the townspeople had courageously kept their stand,
using fire to drive it away, but sadly also causing a fire to start that
left half a dozen houses in ruins. It was only then that the true face of
the danger had become known. Before that, the townspeople had believed
that the forest wolves were to blame for the vanished sheep, but now they
knew better. A messenger was dispatched that reached the castle in a mere
hour, waking the servants, the king, queen and princess and anyone else
who was at it's premises.
"What's wrong good man?" asked King Ishidor.
"It's a troll." the messenger shuddered and collapsed.
Stricken and pale, Queen Yuna gasped and took a step back, "It's
happening", she whispered.
"What is?" Eeny asked, yawning and rubbing the sleep from her
"The prophecy." Queen Yuna said, "When I was born, a witch
prophesized that a great calamity would befall the kingdom during my life.
This must be it."
The king turned to his wife and daughter, "I won't allow it," he
said, "Who was that witch?"
The queen hesitated for a moment, "I believe it was old lady
"The old lady who lives above the bakery?"
"The very one." the queen nodded.
2. Visiting the Witch
Sansan brimmed with excitement. It was maybe half an hour later and they
were headed to the town bakery. That it'd only taken half an hour to get
the royal train on the road could be called a small miracle indeed. Sansan
grinned at Eeny and said:
"Now this is an adventure. Going out in the middle of the night to
visit a witch."
Eeny reciprocated with a weak smaile, "I just hope she can help us.
Having a troll on the loose is dangerous."
"Yes I suppose that's true." Sansan shrugged, "But some
hero will take care fo it for sure."
"Right." Eeny answered, feeling a bit better with that thought.
Sansan looked out, happy to have comforted her best friend a bit and
watched as darkened scenery move, the clicking sounds of the horses hooves
and the whir of the wheels adding background noise. The main street they
were on was quite and had ample light, but narrow alleyways led to
darker, secluded places.
The carriage slowed down and Sansan sat up straighter. If anyone suggested
she'd stay behind they didn't know what was coming for them. Luckily
no-one seemed to believe the old witch was dangerous and Sansan climbed
the stairs right behind Eeny. A messenger had announced their visit and
the old witch, gnarled and wrinkled, was already waiting for them. She was
dressed in a simple brown gown and wore a large quartz crystal on a cord
around her neck. Candles were burning and a large crystal ball stood on a
table in front of the witch. Sansan glanced left and right, committing the
scene to memory. As a student of the arts, she was interested in all
things magic. Even if witches were a different type of magic-user, Sansan
was interested. Maybe she'd just add to the ambience a little... She
concentrated and the flames of the candles grew a bit bluer. The witch
noticed and looked at her, deep in thought, but then grinned.
"Your majesties. Ladies and Gentlemen." Lady Darkwand spoke,
"I was informed that you'd be coming about the prophecy. I was the
one who received the word, but I can do little about it's workings."
"We've come to ask if what is happening in the realm is the
manifestation of the curse." Queen Yuna said.
"Trying to define a curse or hex is always difficult. Saying it is so
might even have an adverse effect, pulling the curse closer. I would not
dare to state something that dangerous." the witch said, adding,
"I can maybe inquire what or who might be able to aid in defeating
this evil beast.
"If you would." King Ishidor bid.
Humming softly, Lady Darkwand closed her eyes, clasped her hands over the
crystal ball that began to glow with an inner light. With a soft whoosh,
the candles flared and died. Only the light of the crystal ball remained,
casting the appartment in a cool purple glow. The witch's eyes turned up
and as she stopped humming, she started chanting:
The troll seeks to
to feast on blood and dine on our despair,
to ward it off we must envoy
a sacrifice of strength and virtue fair.
5 Heroes must be sought
A princess, a wielder of flame,
A warrior, a dwarf and tracker brought
to wager a bet on this game.
Travel through the forest to it's lair,
Pursue it to the dark spire,
where the sacrifice will open the air
To this you must aspire.
The candleflames returned and Lady
Darkwand slumped on her chair.
"What does it mean?" King Ishidor asked.
"Not Eeny..." Queen Yuna gasped, "Why a princess? Why must
our girl go on this dangerous quest?"
"Where will we find these 5 heroes?" King Ishidor demanded to
the witch who was only starting to recover.
Lady Darkwand coughed, wheezed and then spoke: "I can say no more
than that the lady princess will attract the right people to her. Why, she
already has a wielder of flame right beside her."
Sansan gasped and yelled: "Cool! I can come on the adventure!"
3. Forming the party
Nill looked up at the sound of commotion at the gates. It was an unusual
time for such a loud disturbance, dawn being only just upon them. She got
up, stretched the stiffness of a night watch on an uncomfortable wooden
bench away and strapped on her sword. Nill believed in doing her work, and
though the commotion seemed to be on the inside of the gate, it wouldn't
do to leave it unchecked.
She went out and entered chaos. A lot of warriors were out and about,
talking, shouting and generally obstructing the way and disturbing the
peace. Taking a deep breath she boomed:
"Quiet! Single file. Now!"
Drilled, most of the warriors complied. Nill went to the closest one, a
young spear-warrior, and asked: "What's the deal?"
"A messenger came in the dead of night and spoke of a troll in the
farmlands. Rumors are that a party of heroes has to be formed to defeat
it." the young man said, stars in his eyes.
Nill took a few seconds to think and then decided that sending the
warriors home would not work. In stead she took command and yelled:
"Acting like a bunch of rifraf won't impress the king, Return to the
barracks and ready for inspection."
Nill remembered the warrior on evening duty mentioning a messenger, he
hadn't mentioned the message though. Maybe tongues had been loosened in
Readying herself to join the others after the next warrior on guard duty
had come, she hoped to get some more information. By now the city was
awake and rumours of a beast, sometimes a troll, sometimes a direwolf,
sometimes even a dragon, were all over the city. So much for accurate
information. In the barracks though, a notice was posted that the king
would visit later that day. It was a good thing she'd send everyone to
prepare. They needed to make a good impression if the king was
Not really interested in the troll and what it meant, Nill'd rather stay
in the city, she didn't pay much attention when she turned the corner and
ran straight into a pair of girls, slightly younger than she was herself.
Taking a quick assessment of the situation, Nill extended her hand to help
the redheaded girl up and at the same time avoided the tiny blonde one as
she tried to do the same, her cap becoming a true threat to Nil's eyes.
Deftly avoiding blindness, Nill asked: "What are you doing here? This
is no place for girls."
"Aren't you a girl?" the blonde girl asked.
"Well, I am a warrior." Nill said, "I'm allowed to be here.
But I don't know you and I've no time to babysit."
"We don't need babysitting." The blonde pouted, "Come Eeny,
"Ok, Sansan." the redhead said softly and added: "Thank
you." to Nill as they left.
Before Nill could wonder who they were, she came across Deux, an older
warrior and one of the rare non-humans in the town. He seemed to be in a
hurry and only stopped to say:
"Make sure you attend the king's visit as well. All warriors are to
"I really don't want to have anything to do with a troll." Nill
said, "They won't miss me."
"That's up to you." Deux shrugged and went on, "But you
just ran in to the princess so your cover's blown."
Cursing, Nill went to prepare for the inspection.
Half an hour went by before the
call came to assemble on the training grounds. Nill assumed her position
in the ranks of sword-fighters and watched as King Ishidor and Queen Yuna
took their places on a dais in front. Sitting beside them were the two
young women, proving Deux hadn't been lying. She listened as a short
speech was given about the troll, it was indeed a troll, that had appeared
and the party of heroes that was to be formed.
Surprisingly, the redheaded princess, Eeny, and the tiny blonde who'd been
introduced as Sansan, a magician, followed the king as he inspected the
troups. Nill was certain they'd pick one of the larger male warriors,
feeling a small twinge of annoyance until she remembered she actually
didn't want to go on this quest.
They stopped in front of Deux and surprisingly asked if he was free to
join the party. Nill had expected them to ask for a show of skill or a
battle to see which warriors were strongest. Though Deux was a good
warrior, able to fight with the spear and axe, he was older than what
would be considered the prime years for a warrior. But since he was a
dwarf, those terms were relative. Deux accepted, what else could he do
after all, and the three royal visitors started moving again.
And then they were close to her. Unintended, Nill made eye-contact with
the princess and felt it. A small surge of energy. Remembering how the
princess had reacted in the hallway, Nill realised not going to the
inspection wouldn't have made a difference.
"Your name?" The king asked.
"Nill, your majesty."
"We have our warrior." the blonde girl said excitedly,
"that leaves a tracker."
"I know someone." Nill said, figuring that if she was to go on
this crazy quest, she'd better make certain she'd be in capable company.
Quart might be unsocial, he was the best tracker available and he owed her
so he would come.
4. Bar-hopping and a Night at
Deux listened as Nill explained that she would only agree to go if they'd
take Quart as their tracker. Deux had heard talk about the man, but not
much. Quart generally seemed to like to keep a low profile. Maybe that was
why they headed for a seedy tavern in one of the shadier parts of town. By
dwarf standards it was just a little rowdy, but it seemed the royalty got
quite a shock. Deux couldn't help but smile when the king gasped, the
princess clutched her robe a little tighter around her body and the
ever-excited Sansan gawked like she wanted her eyes to roll out of their
sockets and go explore on their own so she could get twice the
Nill went straight to her target and sat down next to a nondistincthuman
with brown hair, brown eyes and a lightly tanned skin. Tawny was a word
that came to Deux' mind. Resting his body against a wall and scratching
his beard, Deux could imagine the guy was able to disappear in the forest.
Not a bad quality for a hunter, but they needed an able tracker.
"Quart, I've come to ask for that favour." Nill said.
Eyeing the royalty weary, Quart asked: "What do you want?"
"I need you to come track a beast for me."
"That's not unusual." Quart answered, leaving out the obvious
question in his eyes.
"You'll be serving the kingdom." King Ishidor picked up,
"Nill assured us you are the best."
Deux smirked as the king also left out the fact that Nill would not come
if Quart didn't agree. No use in scaring the hunter in backing off from
the task. Also, no talk of the troll yet. Deux felt he should at least
give the hunter all the facts.
"Are you confident enough that you would track a troll?" he
asked getting angry looks from both Nill and the king.
"What? Just giving him the proper information."
Quart stayed silent and considered.
"Who is going?" he asked.
The princess stepped up unexpectedly and said: "The group will
consist of Nill, Deux, Sansan, myself and you if you should agree."
She looked him straight in the eye and Deux saw the energy hit. Having
experienced it himself, the sight was still unusual. Somehow that frail,
redheaded, pampered princess had a mental strength that didn't go
unnoticed. And maybe some merciful greater being had bestowed her with the
power to give them a fair chance in this crazy quest. He'd been told of
the witch's prophecy but wasn't one to believe in curses, hexes and fate.
On the other hand, they were here, weren't they?
"I'll join you." Quart said, clearly having his doubts about the
2 young women joining, "but with this you'll owe me" he told
"That's only fair." Nill agreed.
Eeny packed her bag feeling not up
to the task. She knew what to pack for a diplomatic mission, she knew what
to take for a state banquet, but what did you pack for a trollhunt in the
woods? Pants she assumed, not that she had any... She did have a warm coat
though, so she packed that. The witch had given her the large quartz
crystal she'd worn during the prophecy, telling Eeny it might come in
handy since it held some healing and cloaking power. Eeny had been wearing
it below her dress ever since. She would use all the support she could
"Are you ready?" Sansan asked.
"No." Eeny said, "But I don't think I can put it off.
Though I could use some pants."
"I've got you covered." Sansan said, holding out 2 fleece
leggings, "I use these when practicing since dresses are too prone to
catching fire when you conjure flames with all the ruffles and lace."
"Thank you." Eeny sighed, "What else can I pack?"
"I've got the list ready, remember, we used to daydream about
"I'd almost forgotten."
"First on it is food, I guess we got our priorities straight. Let's
head to the kitchen!"
It was late in the day when the
party assembled in the castle hall. Nill was dressed in brown leather
pants, a linen shirt and light leather armor across her chest, shoulders
and underarms. She packed her sword, daggers and a small backpack that
held only the essentials. Deux had his axe with him, favouring it above
his spear since the troll would be a strong opponent. He wore a metal
helmet and his hair and beard were braided do they wouldn't get tangled in
the woods. His backpack was bigger and he also carried a shield on his
back. Quart also intended to travel light. He had the clothese on his
back, a short sword strapped to his waist and a small satchel with his
hunting tools. Eeny at least didn't feel left out wearing pants and a
simple shirt, even if it was silk, and she carried a bag with money, food
for at least 3 days and her spare clothes. Sansan also wore pants, topped
with a short dress and her everpresent wide-brimmed hat and cape. She
carried her wand though Eeny had never seen her use it before. Her
backpack contained extra clothes, more food, cutlery and a length of
King Ishidor welcomed the guests and said: "Tonight you can stay here
and tomorrow a royal guard will escort you to the forest. After that, I'm
sorry to say you'll have to venture out on your own."
The queen behind him let out a tiny sob, managing to not burst into tears.
Hugging her, the royal couple took their leave and left the party-members
to get acquainted. By now all of them had been riefed on the prophecies.
"I don't like that talk of sacrifice." Deux said, "It makes
us sound like lambs being led to the slaughter."
"It also says it's a bet, which makes me feel we can get out
alive." Sansan said, ever the optimist.
"Do you know about this Dark Spire, Quart?" Nill asked.
"I don't." he answered, "But it might be cloaked."
"Or hidden like the faery realm." Deux added, "The forest
hides a lot from human eyes."
"You would know." Sansan said, "What's the Dwarf kingdom
Deux laughed loudly, "I'm sworn not to tell, but I bet you'll find it
"I will certainly try."
"What are your thoughts, Princess?" Nill asked.
"You can call me Eeny, we're all in the same boat anyway. I don't
know. I don't even know what to expect from tracking, let alone the big
quest. But strangely I'm not afraid. Just calm."
"Being calm is good in the face of danger, but don't be fools you
two, if it gets bad, run, hide and let us fight." Nill lectured,
"It's a help to us too if we know you're safe and away from
"Let's head to bed and rise early. Quart mentioned he wanted to leave
at dawn." Deux added.
They wished each other good night and went to their respective chambers.
5. Venturing into the forest
Quart breathed in a large gulp of air and almost tasted the different
trails in it. There was the scent of rich forest soil, just a hint of
pineneedles and composting leaves, and a faint alcohol from berries that
had fallen now that autumn was turning into winter. Soft birdsongs and the
scurrying of small animal feet rang faintly in his ears. Quart loved the
forest and immediately felt at home. But work had to be done. Opening his
eyes he scanned the forest for signs. They were very close to the town the
troll had been sighted in and now it was up to him to pick up it's
Honestly, going after a troll with 2 fighters, a tracker and 2 palace
girls, even if one of them could use fire magic, felt like suicide. But
he'd been unable to refuse since he'd understood the princess would go on
this quest regardless. And refusing a request from Nill had been nearly
impossible as well. After all she'd one day helped him significantly when
the deer-trail he'd been tracking led him to a bandit hideout. That place
had been magnifically concealed and he'd learned quite a few new tricks
from him. But without Nill he'd never would have made it out alive.
Suddenly his eye fell on a small disturbance of leaves and broken twigs.
It was amazing how little trail the troll had left considering it's size,
but maybe the villagers had been so frightened the troll had appeared
larger in their eyes. Quart decided to take a closer look.
"Over there." he said and started walking.
Deux followed and sniffed, "That is troll stench."
"You can smell them?"
"I can. The prophecy did ask for a tracker. And I don't mind the male
company." Deux explained.
Quart shrugged and checked out the trail, "It's well used."
"Must be with this much stench."
"But the troll is small."
"Don't underestimate the small ones. They can be just as vicious. A
lack of prey might have brought it out to the town and a hungry troll is
twice as dangerous."
Nill joined them and said: "Quart can take the front, Deux takes the
back and I'll be in the middle protecting the girls. That seems like the
most logical set-up anyway. Anyone got suggestions?""
"Works for me." Deux said, and Quart shook his head.
They'd followed the trail all day,
keeping a steady pace as Quart looked for disturbances in the plants and
Deux kept his nose ready for hidden trails. The troll had put up quite a
few of these and a couple of times they came to a dead end where the troll
As light began to fade, they made camp.
"This is where it gets dangerous." Nill announced.
"Why?" Eeny asked.
"Trolls petrify in sunlight. So during the day they're either
harmless or hiding in a cave or den. But at night they're free to roam. We
don't know just how far away it's den is. If we're close the chance of an
attack is more than likely." Deux said.
"Then what?" Eeny asked.
"We set it on fire!" Sansan called.
"We set guards, is what we do." Nill announced. Two awake at all
"Wouldn't one be enough so the others could rest?" Eeny asked.
"We need one to keep the troll at bay and one to rouse the
others." Nill said, "That's assuming one of us alone is enough
to keep the troll at bay for a short time at least."
Quart spoke up, "I've used this place before. We're surrounded by
dense growth or stone wall except for the entrance that acts as a funnel.
One person should be enough."
"On the other hand, if the troll gets in, there's no way out."
"If the troll is weak to sunlight, I can try to blind it."
"Do you smell troll in here, Deux?'" Nill asked.
"Then we assume it doesn't know this place. First watch will be me
and Eeny. Second watch Deux and Sansan, Third watch will be me and Quart.
Deux grudgingly agreed and took up a sleeping room close to the entrance,
making sure the two girls slept near the mountain wall.
6. Evil's perception
Itsutsu woke as the sun went down and night fell on the forest.
Immediately he felt the presence of the five intruders. They were close
but not upon him, meaning his decoy trails had done their work. The failed
raid two nights ago was bound to have a consequence so he wasn't
surprised. Maybe the small number of hunters was cause of some puzzlement,
but Itsutsu didn't linger on the details.
Stretching his bunched-up body, he silently crawled out of the crag he'd
petrified in, blending in seamlessly with the surroundings. The forest
seemed to hold it's breath as birds and other creatures grew silent. Most
nocturnal animals knew better than to make a noise in his vicinity. With
winter fast approaching a lot of animals were going into hibernation
anyway, meaning slim pickings for the troll.
Feeling the hunger pull, Itsutsu followed the scent of humans, spiced with
something unfamiliar and made his way closer to the party of heroes.
Making a statement never hurt. Maybe he'd leave one to flee... or maybe
he'd just throw a part out of the forest into the meadows. Wasting food
was such a sad thing to do after all. But he'd never been fond of headmeat
and could probably spare one of them as warning not to mess with him.
Coming to the entrance of the camping ground, Itsutsu sniffed. 4 humans
and something else, something more pungent and older. Also some stench of
magic, but faint, nothing to be afraid of. Itsutsu had difficulty getting
a read on the scents but blamed the pungent smell of the unknown being for
that. It was unlikely that the humans had animals with them so it must
belong to some of the other humanoid races. Elf maybe, or beastman.
Certainly not an undead. Itsutsu had come across those before so he'd know
Listening carefully he picked up 2 different voices. Rather highpitched.
Females? or Juveniles? The latter seemed unlikely. Itsutsu's mouth started
the water at the thought of female meat. That usually was more tender and
fat. Though if the females were warriors it wouldn't differ much.
He crept inside, intent on listening more so he'd get a better read on the
situation when a sudden burst of light blinded him and awoke the sleeping
Nill jumped to her feet, "What happened?" she yelled, Deux
immediately right beside her, axe in hand.
"Sansan was that you?" Deux hollered.
"No", her sleepy reply came.
"It was the witch's crystal." Eeny replied at the same time,
"It's supposed to cloak and heal."
Before more could be said, Itsutsu was upon them. Using his ears and nose
to make up for his diminished sight, he lashed out at the first prey he
got close to. His claws scraped metal and as the witch's crystal's power
waned he clearly detected he was up against a dwarf. They weren't tasty,
having a bitter aftertaste to them, but this one possibly posed the
biggest threat so he needed to be taken out.
"Sansan, light the place!" Deux yelled, "After that flash I
need light to see."
Sansan spoke an incantaction and two balls of flame appeared in her hands.
The glow was soft but enough to see by. The troll was bigger than they'd
have expected by it's trail and it was immediately clear to Nill and Quart
that they'd not make it. Quart looked around as Nill took up a stance next
to Deux. Sansan was concentrating, seeming about ready to fling one of the
flaming balls to the troll though it wouldn't do much damage. Eeny was
holding a dagger at the ready, but again that would not do damage. But
behind them something had changed.
"There's a tunnel!". Quart hissed to the girls, "Follow
Looking back over his shoulder he yelled at Nill and Deux, "Fall
back! Tunnel!" and hoped the troll would not be able to fit through
Itsutsu screeched as the axe hit
him. His hide was not yet pierced, but he'd be bruised and battered. Not
that it mattered, he'd kill the dwarf for sure. The angry human female
trying to stab him with a sword was less of a threat but she was annoying
enough as she sometimes found a more tender spot to stab at.
Using his brute strength to ram the dwarf, Itsutsu was met with more
metal. Deux had wrangled his shield free and it now hung in between the
the troll and the tunnel that had appeared magically when Sansan had
created the light. If she'd been allowed to make the fire as she'd
suggested, they might have discovered it before. Nill didn't fancy going
down a tunnel without knowing where it led but it was there only option.
Letting her eyes adjust to the darkness again, she asked Deux:
"Can you hold of the troll as best you can? I'll lead you through the
"I've a better shot at it than you." he told her which she
grudgingly had to admit was true.
Step by step they fell back, following the tunnel to wherever it lead.
7. The dark spire
Sansan lit the way, pointing a floating light orb to hover right in front
of Quart as ventured out. The tunnel was narrow but not claustrofobic.
Which was maybe a bad thing as it looked that the troll might be able to
follow them. But the air wasn't stale which meant there'd probably be an
exit somewhere down the road.
"We're going up again." Eeny noticed.
"Maybe we're nearing the exit." Sansan said, thinking it better
lead to somewhere safe.
Behind them they could hear the troll advancing. The clang of metal on
stone and the calls rang through the air. Muffled by the turns they'd
taken but not that far away.
"I could wait and cast that bright light." Sansan offered.
"No." Quart said, "Maybe when we've cleared the
"Remember Nill told us to keep ourselves safe." Eeny
"Hey! I see stars!" Sansan exclaimed.
Quart nodded and led them out into the night air. Looking closely he
decided to take the girls left of the entrance where some boulders had
fallen, sheltering the area and providing some cover.
"Hide there and hit the troll with the light when it leaves the
tunnel." Quart instructed them as he went back to the tunnel
entrance, sure that by now Nill and Deux would be exhausted. Fighting with
the short sword would put him at a disadvantage though. But maybe he'd
have enough time to create a diversion.
Left alone, Eeny looked around,
trying to help while Sansan concentrated on the tunnel and Quart. It was
only then that Eeny noticed the tall, thin building standing only a about
a 100 metres away. It was constructed from a dark stone and seemed to
sprout from the forest and mountains like a huge stem. There were no
windows or doors to be seen but this could only be the dark spire they
were instructed to find.
"Sansan." She called.
"What? I need to focus here, it's a big spell." Sansan called.
"I've found the spire."
"Oh hell....What do we have to sacrifice again?"
"Power and virtue fair." Eeny reminded her friend, "but I
have no clue how to do that."
"I can zap it with a fireball." Sansan suggested.
"That seems to be your answer for everything."
"Hey, they're pretty powerful."
At that moment Nill plunged from the tunnel, Deux only a hair's breath
behind her. Quart had crawled higher and pushed with all his might at a
boulder, hoping to trap the troll or even kill the troll by dropping it in
front of the tunnel. Sadly his attempt failed and the troll broke free of
the tunnel, gaining the range of movement it needed to use it's brute
force in the fight.
8. Of blood sacrifice and
Sansan cast her spell and a bright flash of light, mimicking the sun's
strength, lit up the area. Eeny shielded her eyes, trying to get to one of
the fighters to tell them about the spire. Quart, had gotten down from the
mountain but was too far away. Nill was engaged in battle while Deux,
who'd unfortunately looked up was blinded. The troll seemed to be stunned
but not petrified as they'd hoped it would be.
Eeny ran toward Deux, tugging at him to follow her, "We need to lead
it to the spire!" she called.
Getting out of his daze, Deux hurried behind her, calling for Nill to do
the same while Quart threw his short sword like a dagger to distract the
beast, hopping into the woods as quick he could to get away.
Itsutsu roared when he heard the voices of the tender female so close by
and tried to follow her scent, still blinded from the fading fireball. The
barrage of hits stopped as Nill also turned to run toward the spire.
Getting closer, the tower loomed above them like a giant needle. The area
around it seemed to be metal as the sound of their steps took on a strange
clanging echo. Right before them was a single pedestal and an empty arch
behind it, like those in the castle gardens to lead the rose bushes.
Sansan had indeed started hurling her fireballs at the troll now that she
had open ground and no-one was in close contact to the troll. They
appeared to do some damage, but the fire mage was tiring fast after the
drain on her power by that great light spell. Deux had recovered his sight
and closed in to fight again, only to be struck by the troll in the head.
He fell down, his bloody nose touching the ground.
Eeny felt a shift in the air. A whisper of sorts seeming to call for more.
"Sansan! Hit the pedestal with a fireball." she called, hoping
it was enough, meanwhile taking out the small dagger she'd taken and
cutting the palm of her hand, letting the blood drip on the metal plating
below their feet.
A wind picked up and whispers seemed to be around them. Nill didn't notice,
focused as she was to take on the troll while Deux recovered his footing.
Stabbing and retreating she hoped to lead the troll away. The troll
lunged, pushing her and it through the opened arch portal...
Nill and the troll vanished suddenly. Deux called out and rushed to the
gate, as did Sansan, both being pulled in by the force of the magic. Eeny
gasped, looking around and seeing Quart run for the portal.
"Stop! You don't know where it leads." she called, following him
and grasping his jacket just as he took the first step and then they too
were gone. Leaving the spire humming silently as it enjoyed it's
Nill and Itsutsu portaled to Koshi
Eeny and Quart portaled to the Vella
Deux and Sansan portaled to the
Stories continued on their
STORY - [NILL] [EENY] [DEUX]
[SANSAN] [QUART] [ITSUTSU]