Two dwarves hung from a rope stretched across a cavern. They were clinging on for dear life while a human and an elf pulled them across on a ferry style setup.
“Oi, can you speed this up a little?” Lukren yelled. “It’s getting toasty here!”
Sorley pulled on the rope again. “Pitons aren’t made for this. They’re resisting the movement. If we go faster, we risk breaking the rope. You don’t want that.”
“Aye, but it feels like I’m turning into a roast duck here!” Lourek started inching his way forward to speed up the process. “All that’s missing is the sauce!”
Helena rolled her eyes and sighed. She tugged on the rope with Sorley then called out, “if you move like that it’s harder to pull the rope!”
The movement stopped and Lourek cursed silently under his breath, waiting for the rope to take him to the side of the crevice.
After a few intense minutes, the two dwarves were standing on the same side of the crack as Sorely and Helena.
“Okay. I’ll go get the other two pitons. I’ll be quick.” Sorely started to climb the wall, leaving Ember behind so he wouldn’t need to worry about her.
“Make it quick. Lourek and I are going into the passage. I don’t want to stick around here for much longer.”
On the opposite side of the cavern, a green head poked around the entrance to the tunnel. “They’re here, alright. Looks like the human is coming back across. Let’s attack him then.”
The ice wolf pawed silently, ready for a fight.
Sorely made his way back across the top of the cavern quickly. He climbed down the wall and made for the pitons.
Watching from the other side Helena saw Krakust and Evryn sneaking up on Sorley. “Sorley! Behind you! It’s Krakust!”
With a quick twirl, Sorley turned to face the orc and the ice wolf. “What do you want from me?”
“To know how you got here.” The orc growled. “You aren’t from Domhan. You’re from another realm.”
Lukren poked his head out of the tunnel on the side where Helena was. “Did he say not from Domhan?”
“Aye, he did.” Lourek too poked his head out. “What does that mean?”
Ember turned to the dwarves, “not now. Can you do something to help Sorley out from here?”
“No, we only have melee weapons. No bows or crossbows.”
Orby, Helena thought to her familiar, can we hit the orc or wolf from here?
No, they’re too far away. You can send me over to help, maybe.
The green light that was Orby started floating across the cavern. The light was dimmer than before, but still noticeable.
Ember noticed Orby and thought to Sorley, looks like Helena is sending Orby to help. I don’t know what it can do to help.
Tell her thanks. Sorley stared Krakust straight in the eyes. “No, I’m not from here. I’m from Earth. My family sent me here as a last resort to keep me alive. Some orc and its dog aren’t going to keep me from breaking my promise to my mother.” A purplish flame appeared in Sorley’s hand. “If you want me, you’re going to have to fight me.”
Krakust pulled a wicked blade from his belt. “Oh, so you don’t want to die? Well, you decided your fate when you and your elf friend shot me with flames before.”
Snarling Evryn started inching forward toward Sorley.
“Tell me what I want to know, and you will die quickly.” Krakust took a step forward. “How did you get to Domhan? How do you travel between realms?”
A small grin appeared on Sorley’s face. “You think I can do that sort of magic myself and you approach with a blade? If I could you would already be defeated.”
“I’ve dealt with magic users before, boy. They can be dealt with.”
That’s right, Sorley thought to himself, keep talking. Give Orby some time to get here.
Krakust walked closer to Sorley, cautiously. “So, are you going to stand there all day, or attack me?”
About to form a reply Sorley felt a strange sensation on his back then a presence entered his mind. Orby?
Yeah, it’s me. Sorry, didn’t have time for a warning.
The purple flame in Sorley’s hand grew larger and gained green highlights. “I think now is the best time.” Sorley shot the flame, but not at Krakust. The flame went right for Evryn’s side where the flameskull had hit her before.
Surprised that the human had decided to attack her first Evryn wasn’t able to avoid the flame. It hit her side where the burns were still fresh and shot pain through her body. She staggered under the blow and scampered backward.
Rage appeared in Krakust’s eyes. “You will be paying for that, human.” He rushed forward with his blade pointed at Sorley. As he did so Orby passed back out of Sorley to in front of him and sent out a blinding flash in Krakust’s direction.
Step to the side! Quickly!
Sorley stepped aside as Krakust, unable to stop his momentum, went over the side of the chasm. At the last moment, he was able to grip a protruding rock but dropped his blade in the process. There was a dull thud as the metal hit the magma and Helena saw it sink beneath the molten rock.
Ignoring her pain Evryn ran forward to Krakust, trying to see if there was some way she could offer help.
Should we leave him and go back to the others? Orby asked.
You go back. I need to get the pitons still. Sorley motioned towards the two pitons nearby.
Orby bobbed in response and started floating back across the crack.
The pitons pulled back out of the rock without too much trouble and Sorley took one close to where Krakust was. He drove it into the ground and attached some rope to it. He coiled the rope then looked at the ice wolf. “Use this to save him. I’m going back to my friends.” He turned back to the wall and started climbing.
Wasting no time Evryn took one end of the rope in her mouth and pulled it over to Krakust.
“Stupid human. You should’ve killed me.” He carefully grabbed the end of the rope and started to pull himself up.
“No, I made a tactical decision. When next we meet we will be on the same side.”
“I doubt that greatly.”
Sorley finished the climb to Helena and the dwarves. Without a word he picked up his pack and started walking to the cave. Ember started following beside him.
“Well, shall we go?” Ember asked when the others didn’t start following.
“Uh, yeah. Let’s go. I have some questions, though.” Lourek started following Sorley. “What’s Earth, first of all, and exactly how did you get here?”
“Aye, I wish to know that too.” Lukren started following behind as well.
Helena smiled slightly to herself. Good job, Orby.
Thanks. You know, Sorley is tied to something powerful. I didn’t really do anything to his flame attack, I just strengthened the connection.
That would be the person he talked about being in his vision.
She’s strange. Like an elf but not an elf. She didn’t talk to me, but I felt her gratitude when I helped.
Interesting. Helena started jogging after the dwarves. There was a noticeable incline in the passageway. She hoped they would reach the surface soon.
– – –
Gormaliev smiled at Aliziyah. “Looks like Sorley has some interesting allies. That light elemental knows a little something about connections. It made it easier for me to connect with Sorley. I usually wouldn’t care at the strength, but with there being so few Aelfsons these days I appreciate it.”
“It may have consequences. If the connection is closer to that of a familiar now he may have a lifespan that lasts until you die…or break the connection.” Aliziyah was curled atop a mossy stone. “How do things go on Earth?”
“Well, the Aelfson line survives on Earth for another day. I don’t know how things will go, the future is too cloudy. I don’t know how long the people will last, and every day the danger grows. The inquisitionhas already wiped out a line of warlocks of the great old one. Only one though. I put all my eggs in one basket long ago. Now I have to deal with thatdecision.”
“At least one of the eggs is in a separate basket now. Sorley.” Aliziyah stood next to Gormaliev. “And my daughter is with him. She will keep him safe.”
“Yes.” Gormaliev petted Aliziyah on the snout.“If all else fails they may yet survive.”