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Soul Stone - Part Eleven

Author: 
Freddie Freeman
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
276

"Perhaps," Ruien said, "but this seems to be the obvious choice. Stand back, all of you."

Erana, Edele, and a staggering Kalamaar moved back a few feet from the intrigued mage.

"Et Al," Ruien yelled at the door. Suddenly, the runes etched upon its metallic surface began to shimmer and glisten. Light emanated from their creases in brilliant hues of yellow and white.

"It has begun," Ruien whispered.

At that instant, a faint, orange mist began emitting from the creases of the runes. It swirled in a haze in front of the party, beginning to take shape. When it was finished, the clear figure of a Djinni could be made out. It bore a striking, red-velvet turban on its heads and baggy, silken pants on its legs.

"Who has disturbed my eternal slumber?" it bellowed.

"It was him!" Kalamaar exclaimed, pointing to Ruien.

"We seek entry to this palace, kind Djinni. We are ready for the test," Ruien explained.

"What makes you think you are worthy? Sevenfold like you have perished without passing this test successfully," the Djinni replied, laughing.

"We have no choice," Ruien said.

"Very well. Each of you must answer my riddle, solve my enigma, before you can gain entry. If either of you fails, you will all perish," the Djinni explained.

"We understand," Ruien assured.

"What? I don't agree with this one bit!" Kalamaar protested.

"Quiet," Edele whispered, placing her hand of the dwarf's wide mouth.

"I am ready," Ruien said, "I shall go first."

"As you wish," the Djinni nodded, "you are in a cave. A group of mindflayers surround you. Their huge, double-bladed battleaxes shine brilliantly off of their steel-plated, reptilian skulls. They are intent on killing you. What do you do?"

Ruien crossed his arms and began to think; however, it was only a moment before he came up with the solution and cursed himself for nearly blurting out the wrong answer.

"Mindflayers don't have steel-plated, reptilian heads. Therefore, your scenario is irrelevant," the elf scoffed.

"You may enter. Who is next?" the Djinni asked.

"I am, blast it," Kalamaar said, destroying a sand castle he had been working on.

"Are you ready?" the Djinni demanded.

"O' course," Kalamaar replied.

"There are six weapons lain out in front of you. One is a dwarven battleaxe with a emerald-lined handle. It catches your eye and you decide to use it. What shall you hunt with it?" the Djinni asked, hoping the dwarf would fall into his clever assortment of words.

"Any half-wit, two-timin' ogrespawn knows that dwarves don't use pansy elven emeralds for linin' the handles of our battleaxes. We only use stuff like rubies, silver, and gold. Looks like I'm just a bit smart for you, eh stupid?" the dwarf remarked.

"You may enter. Next," the Djinni said, scowling at the dwarf.

"It may as well be me," Erana said, glancing at Edele.

"Are you prepared?" the Djinni asked.

"As I'll ever be, I suppose," Erana replied.

"A deer is wounded in the forest. It is searching for spade-leaves to regain its strength. You catch site of it from your perch in an oak tree. How will you kill it?" the Djinni questioned.

"Spade-leaves are a poison, not a regenerative," Erana replied, sighing in relief.

"You may enter," the Djinni said, "Who is last?"

"I am," Edele said.

"Prepare yourself," the Djinni commanded.

"I am ready," Erana replied, trembling.

"You are searching through an ancient library. It is snowing outside. You catch sight of a book; an ancient tome of lore. Inscribed upon its spine are letters in black that emanate an immense aura of evil and power. It beckons you to open it," the Djinni explained.

"...I open it," Edele said, not finding anything wrong with the sentence.

"It is cursed. You are sucked into an abyss of torment. Goodbye," the Djinni cackled, transforming back into an eerie mist.

In an instant, everything went black.

"...where the heck are we?" Kalamaar said, opening his eyes. He could see nothing in front of him, and his head hurt something fierce.

"I do... not know," Ruien replied, moaning.

"Let me find that darned tinderbox," the dwarf said, opening his pack and feeling around for the small box of tinder, "ah, here we go."

The dwarf struck a small flame upon the underside of his boot. As fast as he had struck it, he blew it out.

"What did you see?" Ruien asked.

"Eyes. Lots of eyes," Kalamaar replied, "glowing eyes... the eyes of foul fiends of the abyss. There were also lots of teeth... teeth dripping with elf-blood."

"Edele! We must defend ourselves," Ruien said in a high whisper.

"Actually, all I saw was some skeleton and a door. But there could've been eyes... and teeth... if you squint and are drunk like me, you can sort of make them out," the dwarf explained.

"Kalamaar, you are an idiot," Ruien said.

"So, where to now?" the dwarf asked.

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