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Soul Stone - Part Two

Freddie Freeman
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"Awaken him, Edele." Ruien stated.

"I still says we head east." Kalamaar argued.

Edele was already working on Arinar. Her right hand, lifted a foot or two above Arinar's face, began to shimmer and flash with an unearthly light. As the shimmering grew stronger in intensity, Kalamaar had to shield his eyes, which were accustomed to the dark, subterranean atmosphere of his mountain homeland. The surroundings of the trio began to become devoid of what little sunlight was left, as Edele seemed to be harnessing and manipulating the very essence of the sun. With a great, climactic flash, Arinar was awake, alert, his eyes missing their pupils.

"What's going on? I cannot see!" Arinar exclaimed.

"An... unfortunate side effect." Edele explained, flushing.

Arinar, wide awake, started, "A curse upon the elves and a curse upon their magic! Why didn't you just shout in my ear to wake me?"

"That would not have worked. You were in a deep coma." Ruien explained.

"Who are you?" Arinar asked.

"We are mercenaries of the Sylvan Wanderers. I am Edele T'landrias, and this is my brother, Ruien. The dwarf here is Kalamaar Ironforge." Edele explained.

"Your wife hired us to find you. If you'd just forget about your blasted stone, we'd be basking in the greedy glory of our shiny coins!" Kalamaar exclaimed.

"My wife� always worrying about me." Arinar sighed, "Is this blindness permanent?"

"I should say not." Edele stated, her voice tainted with doubt.

"Arinar, we need to know where to go to look for this object of yours." Ruien said, impatiently.

"And," Kalamaar started, "we need to know what we're looking for. At least, I personally think that'd help. O' course, these elves here probably don't need to know, on account of they're perfect beings and whatnot, and can surely read your thoughts, much like my third-cousin Stilare, after his brains were removed through his rear by a Mind Flayer, I reckon." Kalamaar said drunkenly, having finished a newly discovered flask of dwarven ale in one of his pockets labeled "emergency use only".

"Ignore the dwarf." Edele sighed, calmy.

"I already told you, it is a stone. A very special one. It has... sentimental... value. It was given to me by my father." Arinar said, tiredly.

Kalamaar picked up a large, misshapen rock from beside him and threw it at Arinar.

"There's your blasted stone, merchant." Kalamaar said, falling flat-faced on the ground.

"Please," Edele started, ignoring the dwarf's drunken stupor, "be more specific, friend."

Edele's disciplined, emotionless face and her firm, yet soft, tone inspired Arinar to speak further.

"It is crystalline, yet it is not. You can see through its outer surface down to its core, which glows and pulsates. It is shade of pale white on its surface, which... turns to black at its center. A very... deep... shade of black... such as is not seen in this world." Arinar explained.

"This sounds like a very amazing stone, indeed." Ruien said, intrigued, "Is it magical?"

"No, it is not." Arinar snapped.

"Do you have any idea in which direction the orcs traveled, Arinar?" Edele asked.

Arinar, cringing still at the fact that he had lost the stone, the stone that he was entrusted to escort safely to its destination, bitterly put in, "East, maybe west. I already said-" Arinar was cut off by Ruien.

"Try harder." Ruien said in a harsh tone.

Arinar, pointing his heads towards the sky, tried to remember anything he could regarding the direction in which the orcs went upon stealing his stone. A great burden rested heavily upon his shoulders, and his mind was beginning to regain its cognitive process. He knew what was at stake, what would happen if this stone with "sentimental value" was never located.

"I am sorry. It was dark, and I barely remember anything." Arinar choked, his pale, white eyes filling with tears.

"This is obviously an extremely valuable object to you, Arinar." Edele said, stricken at the sudden show of emotion, which she considered a human weakness.

"Yes... yes. You have no idea, my elven friend." Arinar replied in a deep whisper, "I wish I could point you in the right direction."

Ruien, grasping his scrying amulet in his hands, started, "If only I could be sure my amulet would point us in the right direction of this item you seek..."

"A scrying gem?" What's wrong with it?" Arinar asked.

"Whenever I gaze into it, my view is clouded by a dark haze. I can sense that the haze is almost... sentient." Ruien explained.

Arinar knew full well what caused the haze. He knew that the stone, or rather, what was inside the stone, did not wish to be found by this meddlesome trio. He could only hope that the orcs were far enough away from Ruien's amulet by now that he would be able to scrye with it effectively.

"Perhaps you should try it again." Arinar said, hesitantly.

Ruien, stunned by Arinar's response, began to rub his amulet between his thumb and forefinger. As he chanted something in ancient elven, the gem began to glow. Its dull, off-white color became as intense as a full moon, and it began to shiver slightly.

Ruein, brought into a trance, his gaze fixated on his amulet, was watched intently by Arinar who was amazed at the entire procedure.

After a few moments, Ruien snapped out of it. His eyes refocusing, he looked at Arinar.

"You were right. I now know which direction we should take. We travel northeast. How did you know my amulet was once again functional?" Ruien inquired.

"Lucky guess." Arinar said, eager to change the subject.

"Should we take him with us, Ruien?" Edele asked.

"By the mangy chest-hairs of my illegitimate mother! I'm not carrying him for our entire journey!" Kalamaar added in, raising his head from the grass.

"I though you were passed out, dwarf." Edele snapped.

"I was." Kalamaar explained, his head sinking back down into the soft grass.

"We can't just leave him here, Kalamaar Ironforge." Ruein started, glancing at the allegedly "passed out" dwarf, "Arinar, can you walk?"

"Yes, and my vision seems to be returning, I believe. I was unconscious due to a head blow, if I recall correctly." Arinar explained

"And," Arinar started, "I would only be a burden for you. I have a friend, a woodsman, that lives not far off from here -- he will give me a place to eat and sleep until you recover my stone. It would be wise for you to accompany me, to restock your supplies."

"We have no time for that. We must get going." Edele said.

"Perhaps it would be wise, sister. The dwarf finished the last of our water and rations." Ruien replied, scowling at the drunken dwarf.

"Do as you wish, but make haste with your decision; my stone must be found as soon as possible." Arinar said.

"Of course." Edele sighed.

And with that, Arinar trotted off into the forest.

"How does he know he won't be attacked by the orcs?" Edele asked Ruien, after Arinar had gone a good ways into the forest.

"I don't know�" Ruien said, focusing in the direction Arinar went, along with Edele.

"Wake the dwarf," Ruien started, "we should get going."

"To the woodsman's cabin, or northeast to find the stone?" Edele asked.

Migrate Wizard: 
First Release: 
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