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Author Topic: Episode Ten: Part One  (Read 89 times)

Description: A thief's End

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Offline James Mapes

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Episode Ten: Part One
« on: Thu, 12 Oct 2017 - 14:44:40 »
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  • Episode Ten: Part One

    Gaeolin wiped down his sword, the smell of the blood generating an awful taste in his mouth. Inigo looked on a nearby table, eyeing a flask of glowing blue liquid.

    “What... Is this?” He swirled it around. The potion flared with a light not unlike the 'ghost' they killed. Gaeolin sheathed his weapon.

    “I've no idea. Just... Don't drink any of it.” Gaeolin sifted through a nearby bag. There was nothing but a few bits of insect and mushroom. There were a few books as well, one of which was thinner than the rest, bound by moleskin. The bosmer tilted it open, skimming the slanted handwriting. His expression progressed through curiosity, irritation, and finally settled on something close to pity. “He's Wyndelius. That treasure hunter Wilhelm told us about. He was looking for a claw.” He turned to his companion. “It would seem there's a puzzle door here. Poor fool went mad trying to find the key.”

    Inigo scratched at the patch of fur that bristled on his neck. “Well, after two years of living in a place like this, I'd be as nutty as a fruit bat as well.” He jumped as the sound of the muffled thunder rumbled the tomb. “Can we please get out of here?”

    Gaeolin nodded, tucking the vial of spectral potion into his bag. Perhaps it would be worth something to someone. The pair began to head back to the entrance. The elf paused, eyeing the still closed door. Something stirred within him, almost begging him to look beyond. In the back of his mind he could hear a voice. It was like a whisper, coming from no where in particular. 'Bo ahrk siiv Drem, Sizaan Kiir.' He took a few steps, fingers reaching for the iron of the handle.

    “What are you doing?” Inigo broke him from his thoughts.

    Gaeolin pulled his hand back. “I don't know. It's like I need to go...” He made to push open the door. Before he did, he noticed the trap wire. Drawing his dagger, he grabbed the line with care. The rope made a snapping sound as it was cut. With a push the doors opened. Not five feet beyond stood a second set, this time made of wood. His boots splashed in a puddle underfoot.

    It was dark beyond the oak doors. Dust rained from the ceiling as the thunder from the storm threatened to bring the very mountain down. Gaeolin strained to see. Inigo's eyes shone through the shroud of black. He whispered from behind. “There are brazers along the walls. We could light them if you wanted.”

    “Stay here for a second.” Gaeolin took a few steps forward, summoning his voice. His eyes flashed as he let lose his power. “YOL!” A wave of dragon fire rushed down the corridor, the unspent fuel in the vessels bursting to life. The glow of firelight began to reflect off of the stone walls. Inigo looked dazed, his eyes assaulted by the sudden brightness.

    “You could have warned me...” He blinked several times. “Couldn't you have just lit them like a normal person?”

    Gaeolin shrugged. “Maybe, but I thought it would be faster this way.” The bosmer missed the look he received. He drew his sword, taking in the ancient carvings. Inigo lit a torch in one of the fires. He handed it to his friend as they reached the end of the hall.

    “Well...” Inigo stared at their next obstacle. A great stone door, clad in ornate carvings. At it's center sat three rings. At the center of these rested a large button. Holes were carved into it, along with the image of a dragons claw. “The aforementioned claw?”

    “Yes... It would take forever to get in here without it.” He sheathed his weapon. “I suppose there's nothing more we can do at the moment. Let's get the journal back to Wilhelm. Then we can get some sleep and decide on our next move.”

    The Inn was a welcome change of pace. It was also mercifully dry. Gaeolin could feel the water running off of him after their dash across the town. As he'd thought, the rain was worse than anything he'd seen this year. His shoes squelched the entire way to the counter. Wilhelm took his cloak to hang by the fire.

    “You made it back!” Wilhelm poured them each a drink. “I was afraid you'd been killed by the spirits of the tomb.”

    Gaeolin pulled Wyndelius' journal out of his bag. “We didn't find a spirit, but we found a dark elf with this journal.”

    Wilhelm held out a hand. “Let me see that.” He flipped through the tome, scowling. “It was all just a fabrication by the Wyndelius character? I can't believe we were so stupid!” He slammed the book down, making the pair of them jump. “Sorry... I'm just ashamed to have been blindsided like this.”

    Gaeolin sipped some of his mead. “He was a con artist. It was his business to trick people.” He looked at his reflection in the wine bottle on the counter. “Honestly, I feel bad for him. He locked himself in down there... For all this time Wyndelius was alone. He searched for treasure, but found only the dead, and the cold of a crypt that no one would ever visit. He saw to that by running the townsfolk away from their ancestors. Had he only lain low, someone would have gone to leave an offering, or to pay respects somehow, and he would have been free.”

    Wilhelm scoffed. “Maybe free enough to go to jail for grave robbing.”

    The bosmer shrugged. “Better imprisoned than to lose your mind. As you read, near the end, he actually thought he was dead.”

    “Well, the least I can do is give you something for taking care of him.” He ducked down beneath the bar, returning with a bulky object, wrapped in burlap. “If you won't take it as payment, consider it a gift.” He removed the cloth, revealing white gold, molded into the familiar shape of a dragon claw. The claws themselves were polished sapphires, shimmering with the light of the fire. Their host held it out to them. Gaeolin tried to push it back.

    “No Wilhelm, we can't accept that. It's part of your towns history.”

    “My family has held this claw for centuries. My grandfather said it was the key to a power that the heroes of old held in reverence. He told me as a boy, 'Wilhelm, someday a warrior will prove his worth to you. You'll know when it's right.' I know he meant for me to give this to you. If anyone deserves to unlock this secret, it is you.” He thrust the claw at the elf. “Take it, friend.”

    Gaeolin took the bauble, still not comfortable just taking it. “Um... Thank you.” He wrapped it back up, placing it in his knapsack. “Could we please re-rent our rooms. I want to rest before we head out in the morning.”

    “Sure thing, I'll even wave the fee tonight. Sleep well.” With that he made his way to turn the logs on the fire. Inigo stretched with a mighty yawn.

    “Well, that was enough for me today. I'm getting some sleep.”

    “Goodnight.” Gaeolin remained in his seat, turning the events of the day over.

    The words in his head, that had called him to the door... They gnawed at his mind. He felt restless, knowing that there was something beyond the stone rings that barred the way. He felt the weight of the claw on his shoulder strap, his hips rebounding the impacts of the bag with each step to his bed. He laid on the furs with a sigh. In the next room he could hear Inigo snoring. He grinned, thinking of the cat's tail mishap in the dungeon.
    He really hated those crypts, and made no secret about it. Honestly, it was unfair to him to take him to them so often. Inigo had reasons to fear the undead. Who was he to make him face these terrors?

    Suddenly, Gaeolin felt a cold sweat come on. He felt his heart beat faster, his mind running wild. The restlessness became unbearable. He could have sworn he heard a voice... It was in his head again, though this time he knew not what it said. It made no sense to him, but roused him as if the lords of Oblivion themselves were on his heels.

    'Geinwovahzen... Dez saraan Ni.'

    He slid on his boots, quietly gathering his gear. His sneaking skills shone wonderfully as he crept passed his companion's room without a sound. Outside, the rain had finally stopped, stars shining down through breaks in the clouds above. A cold wind coursed down from the mountain. For a moment, Gaeolin swore he could hear the beating of wings above. He drew his bow, looking up.
    There was nothing. Just a glimpse of Secunda, illuminating the village in a magical light. He stalked to the mausoleum, his footsteps splashing slightly in the now much larger puddles. He crouched down, checking behind him to be sure no one followed. He grasped his weapon tighter, swinging the door inward.

    'Fate waits not...'
    In every moment, there is a story. In every life, there is an adventure. Seek them with honest conviction.


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