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Soul Stone - Part Twelve

Author: 
Freddie Freeman
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
277

"...even my elven eyes cannot pierce this foul darkness," Erana said, awakening from her unconsciousness.

"Mayhaps we should find a more permanent light source," Ruien commented, lifting up his staff.

With a flick of his wrist and a quick verse, the tip of his staff was aglow. It was a calm, blue, moody light, as opposed to that of a torch.

"Now, where exactly are we?" Ruien asked, squinting his eyes.

"And more importantly, is there liquor here?" Kalamaar added.

"I feel our plight would be lessened were you dead, Kalamaar," Ruien scoffed.

"What's that? Quit talkin' out yer arse - I can barely understand you!" Kalamaar teased.

Erana, her vision blurry, slowly arose from the cold gravel of the room.

"You answered the Djinni's riddle incorrectly, Edele? I would've answered the same... it seemed to be the only solution," Erana said.

"Yes, but I am afraid it must have been... a trick question," Edele sighed.

"Either that, or you were meant to fail," Ruien added, rubbing his chin.

"Whatever the reason, we are now... somewhere else. Is this truly an 'abyss of torment' as the Djinni claimed?" Erana asked.

"I think not... that is a spiritual plane, and we are obviously still in our bodies," Ruien deduced.

"Aye," Kalamaar began, "now, let's get out of here!"

"I shall inspect this door you spoke of, Kalamaar," Ruien said.

"Do what ye want, elf," the dwarf snorted, "I'm going to take what I can from this here pile o' bones."

Ruien, his oaken staff supporting his frail elven body, treaded over to the door. It was carved of obsidian, black and cold. Upon it was the symbol of a dragon's eye.

"Interesting," Ruien said, "the slit in the eye... it appears to be a keyhole."

"Hey, is this it?" Kalamaar asked, holding up a rusted, copper key, "I found it in them bones. Poor guy was probably in the same situation as us... maybe he ran out of water... or worse - liquor!"

"Give me that," Ruien ordered, snatching the key away from the dwarf.

Ruien thrust the key in the eye slit, turning it effortlessly.

With a click, the mechanism released and the door slid open. A faint growl emitted from the darkness beyond.

"Uh oh," Kalamaar said.

"Brother, I think whatever is beyond yonder door is what felled this poor soul," Edele pointed out, nodding at the skeleton.

"Close it!" Erana said.

The growling grew in intensity. It was low and guttural, filled with bloodlust.

"Dwarf, assist me!" Ruien shouted, forcing the door with all his might.

"Always bein' ordered around... no respect!" Kalamaar cursed, charging the door.

The heavy door inched closer and closer toward being closed. As it was an inch or two away from being shut, something from the other side pushed against the duo.

"Get over here an' help, hags, before I sends ye to the bloody Abyss meself!" Kalamaar shouted, his back against the door, feet planted firmly in the ground.

"That would be most wise," Ruien supported.

With that, Erana and Edele ran toward the door and pushed along with Ruien and the dwarf.

"It ain't workin!" Kalamaar shouted.

A set of elongated, yellow claws wrapped around the tip of the door, preventing it from shutting.

"Whatever's on the other side, it sure has big claws!" Kalamaar explained.

"Thank you for pointing that out, dwarf!" Ruien huffed.

The beast beyond the door suddenly stopped pushing. The door slammed shut under the force of the foursome, rumbling deeply.

Kalamaar slid to the floor, panting wildly.

"We... did it!" the dwarf exclaimed.

"It appears we have... excellent," Ruien said, catching his breath.

Suddenly, a the ground began rumbling. Thunderous footsteps could be heard charging toward the door.

"It's comin' back!" Kalamaar wheezed.

Ruien drew back, chanting strange words.

Kalamaar drew his axe, humming an ancient war-song.

Erana loaded a salvo of bolts into her crossbow, magical energy surrounding them.

Edele reached into her robes, bringing out a small, velvet pouch. Reaching inside, she spread a circle of fine, glowing grains around the group.

With a tremendous clash, the door flew past Kalamaar, slamming against the far wall. Standing in the doorway, slamming against the rims as it was too large to enter, was an enraged Balrog.

"By the twisted, shameful remains of me half-brother Gharll, Arch-Troll of the Underdark!" Kalamaar breathed, "'Tis a fearsome beast..."

Ruien dropped out of concentration momentarily, accessing a special portion of his mind to deal with the threat.

"A Balrog? What magicks shall I weave? Ice... Fire? No, Earth!" he thought to himself, "I cannot decide... perhaps I should pray for divine intervention to deal with this demon? I'm no cleric... that may not work..."

With a snarl, the Balrog broke through the doorway. It lifted its huge, flaming flamberg... high.

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