Monday, March 22, 2021

365 Day's Writing in the Void: Prompt 4 part 21

Last Stand of the World

Volume 1


Chapter Twenty-One: Trapped

    Davern sat holding the power stone, threading his power in and out of it, cycle after cycle, breathing in and out, in meditation. Something niggled at the back of his mind as he breathed out, expelling a breath of putrid air.

    He didn't know why, but ever since he'd come to this underground tunnel system, he'd had a vague feeling like he'd forgotten something, it nagged at him like his life depended on remembering it; he didn't know what it was, he sighed, and pushed the last dredges of the venom into a seal and breathed out, once he'd contained them all and bound the seal.

    He would worry about it later. There was nothing he could do, about vague feelings he couldn't pinpoint; right now, he had to focus on the path ahead and take it one step at a time, and the next step was adding a little power to the ward as it began to fade, and regaining the strength he lost.

    Davern pushed his hands against the ground and let his mana flow into the wards he set, just to strengthen them a little. He'd felt the constant bombardment against them for about an hour, but it had lessened as time had passed, and now there hadn't been any in quite a while. He didn't know if she had given up or was up to other devious things to harry them when they came out of the hut.

    He leaned towards the latter, he didn't put it past her to set more traps and such, or maybe she'd finally found a quiet place to curl up and take a nap. He began to think about the issue of the "controlled" and what the situation with Gabs could mean for them. He really wished that he could have a visual record of her shift. 

    He sighed, rubbed his face leaning his head back against the hut wall, then opened his eyes and looked at the snake girl curled up next to him. Her sleeping form was just as lovely as her lively and awake form, but with a quiet stillness that intrigued him just as much.  

    Her glistening Azure scales shone against the fading lights still entwined around them, she'd set the main holder down, but the tendrils wrapped around her tail, providing more light. It was a very ingenious design. It didn't interfere with the user's movement and provided ample light to see within the tunnels, though Asaa said that usually, these tunnels were filled with light. 

    He rubbed his chest then looked down at the band on his wrist. Was it really true that his emotions were his own? He sighed and looked around; he guessed that he would just trust his gut and put it aside for now. 

    Just after that, he focused mana into his eyes and looked at Dugger and Ryli. They both seemed to be recovered okay and should be waking soon. He breathed a sigh of relief; as much as he wanted to be a good guy and help people out, he really needed to get on with it and try to find where that bloody Nuller had taken his brother. His guts burned with rage for a moment before he took a deep breath, and quiet his heart, getting angry wouldn't solve anything. 

    Asaa stirred awake beside him, rubbing her chest, "are you alright?" She asked groggily. 

    Davern looked over at her, noted her hand motion, which so often mirrored his own, in the last few hours. "I'm fine. Did you sleep okay?"

    She rose up, resting on one of her coils, yawning into a fist, and nodded, then looked at the power stone that rested further within her coils, "seems like there's still a little left for next time," and put it away. She rose up to her full length, flipped her tail out a few times, stretching, bringing her arms up over her head, then went over and checked on Ryli. "She should be waking up soon."

    He stood up and stretched, the silken fabric brushing the top of his knees; he smoothed it out and then walked over to Dugger and nudged him, "I know you're awake."

    Dugger glared up at him, then scanned the room, and didn't seem to see what he was looking for. Then he glared more intensely at them, "where's Gabs?" 

    "Well, what do you think, Asaa? Maybe we should have just let him die?"

    "I don't know, maybe. Considering his first question isn't to ask how Ryli is, but to ask how the person is, who cut him up and tried to drug him into being her slave."

    "What do you mean Ryli was hurt?"

    Asaa moved aside so that he could see Ryli's form on the ground. "What the hell happened? What did you guys do to Ryli?"

    "Maybe, having his ears cut off did something to his brain?" Davern activated his mana eyes just to make sure that Dugger wasn't being "controlled." Nope, he was just being a grade A ass. "Listen, dirt for brains, your little girlfriend stabbed Ryli and ran off while we were trying to save your life. Ryli risked her life to save you. Why don't you show a little more respect."

    Dugger grabbed his ears and tugged a little, then hissed. It still hurt. "I'm sorry, I'm a little confused, and my memory is really fuzzy. I know Gabs was here, and she wanted something from me, and then when I woke up, you guys are here, and Gabs is gone." 

    Asaa came over and laid a hand on Davern's arm, "Davern, he's telling the truth, that potion she gave him can cause memory loss, among other things. We're lucky that he remembers who we are at all. Which might only be due to the spell The Shaman cast."

    "Fine, then I'll explain it to you. Gabs decided she didn't like the fact that you don't like her. So she was going to make you like her by using some kind of potion; I'm not really sure what the effects are. Asaa can explain it later. 

    'The gist is that it would have made you either love her or do whatever she said. But before it could work, she needed to break down your mind a little, so she carved you up and mentally tormented you. 

    'When we got here, she had just started to deliver the potion, Ryli saw it and tackled her. Asaa knows alchemy and tested what she gave you then made an antidote. While I was healing you and she was making the antidote, Ryli was dealing with Gabs, we heard a scream and turned around, and Ryli had been stabbed, and Gabs had ran away. 

    'I went to look at Ryli, and she'd been poisoned. Asaa finished healing you while I stabilized Ryli and then came and dealt with the toxin. After that, we held out here while Gabs bombarded us with bombs and whatever else she could find. For the last hour or so, it has been quiet. We've been waiting for you and Ryli to wake up so we can leave and find out what she's up to. I'd say that about brings us up to current what about you, Asaa?"

    Asaa nodded, "yes, I believe so. We are not sure where she has gone, we are quite sorry for what has happened to you, but we have done our best with what is available to us."

    There was a moan behind them, and the three of them turned. "Did you catch her?" a gravely voice croaked out.

    Asaa slithered over and checked her forehead with the back of her palm; "I'm sorry we were trying to save you."

    "I expected as much. How is Dugger?"

    "Not mind-controlled, but a real pisser at the moment," Davern said, kicking the seat that Dugger sat on, tilting it a little. 

    "Hey, watch it!" Dugger paled and grabbed the edge of the chair to keep from toppling out of it. 

    "Davern?" Asaa came over, but Davern stopped her with a slightly raised hand. 

    "Well, Dugger got anything to say?"

    He looked at Davern blankly for a moment. When he threatened to kick his chair again, he looked at Asaa and said, "thank you, Asaa, for saving me from Gabs' potion," and then at Davern, "thanks for healing me up," and finally he looked at Ryli, looked down and flushed with embarrassment, "Thanks Ryli."

    Davern clapped him on the shoulder and smiled. "Now that that's final, let's get the stuff you came to get and get out of here. We've wasted enough time." 

    Dugger gingerly stood up then stiffly moved around the room. He gathered the stuff he needed and then looked at the beast bag at his waist again, then up at Davern. "How did you know? "

    "About the wyrms? Or about you being the next Summoner? I didn't, really. It was just an intuition. Most goblins your age and status can't just talk directly with The Shaman and have him actually listen to you and come. 

    'That and Ryli, but we'll talk about it later. Now, get your stuff; if you need to store some stuff and don't have a way to store it, Asaa has a storage band that can store things. Until you get where you can get your own."

     "I have one; it's just not very good."

    Asaa huffed at him under her breath, "you have one too." 

    He pretended not to hear her, though everyone in the room heard, and wondered why he wasn't responding, or acknowledging the fact that he had one too. 

    It didn't take Dugger long to clear the room; though he couldn't take everything like Asaa could, he could still take the things necessary for him as the next Summoner so that his tribe didn't have any broken links in the chain of knowledge. 

    He thought for a second and looked at Ryli, and then looked at Davern, "you know Davern, I might not need to take you up on that offer, but the Shaman doesn't have a successor at the moment, so we need to take the stuff from his hut so that we don't lose the knowledge there, I don't have any room in my bags, do you think that Asaa would mind storing them for me until I can find the successor."

 Davern shot a look at Ryli, who was looking out the door, then at Asaa, who caught the drift.

"I don't mind, Dugger. I'll go and clear it out on the way out of the village."  Though she did roll her eyes at Davern and stick out her tongue. 

    Davern shook his head and waved his hand, collecting the wards. He looked at them then clicked his tongue; they wouldn't be useful anymore, so he set them on fire to destroy any trace of his blood left within them.  He cast a last look around then glanced at Dugger; "you ready?"

"Yeah, I still need to go to my hut to grab a few things, but other than that, I've got everything."

    Just as he went to step through the door, Ryli snagged him back by the collar and tossed him back into the room. "What the hell, Ryli?" 

    She just shook her head and bared her teeth at them, in a grim semblance of a smile, and pointed with a small thin finger at the ground in front of the door. "I don't know what was going on while I was asleep, but it seems like we'll be having a really nice time getting out of this mess." She said with a sarcastic lilt to her voice. 


Authors note

I'm going to be on hiatus for a few days. I'm going to handwrite the last arc of the book. To get a backlog built up, and isn't so exhausting. Thanks for your patience take care.


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Saturday, March 20, 2021

365 Day's Writing in the Void: Week Three Wrap and check-in


Week Three 


 I feel pretty drained this week; mostly, the story isn't going the way I want it to. I had hoped that it would be done by now. What I'd thought was a quick little story turned out it isn't and is actually a quite large world, which is fine. I needed something to hang the library story on.

    I figured out how to use bloggers' obnoxious word processors better.
I must say it is very obnoxious, but once you know how to use it, it is manageable. Though it does slow down your writing, which is annoying because if you don't write in it, there are so many glitches to fix that it gives a headache. I'd rather just write in it and deal with the writing speed decrease. 

    I've been participating in live youtube writing sprints; some are more effective than others. I, however, think that I'm going to go on some downtime after next week. 

    My medical condition is acting up pretty bad, and I've had pretty bad vertigo all this week. I missed Monday and have just felt off the whole week. 

    Well enough whining. 


    The wrap-up is 10 chapters 16, 872 for the week drafted words, only on prompt 4 this week, though I did have some plot ideas for prompt 3, which I added to the notes for when I started working on it again. 

    Prompt 4 is up to 35, 409 words. I've gotten to the halfway point. I just need to get them past a few more obstacles, and we should be in the home stretch unless some pesky plot issues pop up that I wasn't expecting out of nowhere. 

    I hope that you guys are enjoying it.

    Take care. 

365 Day's Writing in the Void: Prompt 4 part 20

Last Stand of the World

Volume 1


Chapter Twenty: Tortured 

    Ryli and the others looked at each other and began sprinting when they heard the start of the conversation. They were still a ways away from the hut and could only imagine what she was doing to Dugger by the conversation, and it didn't sound pleasant. 

    Ryli was the first one in the door, just as Gabs was forcing a vial of something past Dugger's lips while he was shaking his head side-to-side to avoid the potion. Blood oozed from wounds, his ears, and different parts of his body. It is evident that she'd been taking her anger out on his body before she moved onto her last step and used the vial of potion on him, and whatever its effects would be, only she knew. 

    Ryli flew into the room and tackled Gabs to the ground, knocking the vial aside. Asaa snagged it with her tail before it could hit the ground, and Davern went to Dugger and began to stabilize his more apparent wounds. 

    "Is Dugger okay?" Ryli called out.

    "I don't know." Davern replied, "Asaa, how is it? What kind of toxin? 

    "Well, I need a few minutes. I don't think he has ingested much, also from a visual investigation, I think I can counter it."

    She closed her eyes and brought out a book. Then a table and several beakers and put in a few drops of the solution inside. She swilled it around, sniffed it, then sent thin tendrils of mana inside before brightening and pulling out several more things, flipping through her book and muttering to herself. 

    "I think I've found it. Just give me a few moments if you can stabilize him, Davern?"

    "I'll do my best. It's not like that's not what I've been doing," he said as he refocused. He didn't know what the girl had been up to unless; the objective had been to wear out the man's mind and make him more susceptible to the potion that she was trying to give him. 

    "How could you do this to someone you like?" He murmured, and cast a quick glance at the lamia beside him, then focused back on the job at hand. Even when he didn't know if she'd been an enemy or not, he hadn't thought about putting her up. He poured more healing mana into his hands and knit the skin back together. Then focused on the places that she'd burned with something. 

    He hoped that they could come up with something that could repair them so that he wouldn't be horribly scarred. It wouldn't be fair to him; he was a decent guy who was only trying to do the right thing.

     Davern sighed and reattached Dugger's severed ears. He was definitely not bringing that crazy girl back with them to the guild. 

    He paused as he thought of something, no that can't be right. He stilled his hands for a moment and thought about it. That spell that The Shaman cast should have made her a subordinate and unable to hurt the other parts of the pact; not without serious repercussions., could something be interfering with The Shaman's spell, he wondered. He began to work quicker on Dugger's healing. 

    He couldn't kill her, it might disrupt the spell, but maybe he could bind her? he would have to watch. He looked over at the scuffle and paused; thick grey lines ran through Gabs. A "controlled"? 

     Well, that would explain a few things, but why wouldn't the old Shaman know? Wait a minute, didn't Ryli say something about some "controlled" you just never knew until it was too late.  He kept his hands moving and looked at every other person in the room. 


    He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw that Asaa was clear of lines, her mana fresh and young, not tainted even by life, well that was weird in and of itself. He'd consider what that implied some other time. Right now, he needed to make sure this little guy didn't die. 

    "I have it. Asaa said and swayed over, bringing a small vial to Dugger's lips. He fought it. 

    Davern snapped, "you want her to win?" 

    Just then, the noise from Ryli's side increased; she screamed and rolled away, clenching her side, and Gabs ran off before anyone could stop her. 

    Asaa's hand paused, "keep giving it to him. I'll go see to her. We'll just have to try and take care of both of them and worry about Gabs after we've seen to their wounds." 

    She nodded and continued feeding him the potion after he'd calmed down. She then applied a thick healing salve; to his face, ears, and along were the open wounds that had been on his body to repair the damage; and heal the burns that were left. She then administered a high healing potion, along with Devons mana treatment should suffice in recovering all of his wounds and send him into a deep sleep to recuperate; he moaned a little as he settled. 

    "Asaa, I think you need to come, see this. I'm pretty sure that this blade has poison on it." Davern called. 

    Asaa hurriedly finished what she was doing with Dugger and came to his side. "How is she even able to attack Ryli? She's a subordinate under the spell, well that... the thing is, Asaa," Davern leaned forward and looked over at Dugger before whispering in her ear, "she should be, 'controlled.'" 

    She pulled back and looked at him, "Are you sure?"

    He nodded, "Yes, I can see weird lines on them with the mana eyes spell. I think that the Nullers' venom might be overriding the Race spell; I just don't know for how long it will last or what the consequences will be. l

    "Well, let's put it aside for now. I need to sort out what kind of toxin she's put on that blade." Asaa worked quickly ascertaining the type of poison on the knife and administered an antidote to Ryli. Then she put away her Alcamey supplies; and went back to check on Dugger. 

She lifted his eyelids and went back to Davern, fiddled with her hand for a moment, then spoke. "Um, Davern, I, um, I think we should take a break here. At least for a few hours.  Even if we are in a real hurry, these guys just aren't able to move, and we don't know what else she's doing out there right now." she swayed back and forth, her tail whipping around nervously. 

    Her words were punctuated by violent shaking as an explosion landed near the building. Davern came to stand beside her and put his hand on her arm to steady her. "I guess we know what she's out there doing now. She's setting off explosions."

    He went back and took the ward he'd made from Ryli and himself, "Asaa, can I have your ward?" 

    She handed it over. "Sure, here. What are you planning?"

    "Well, if we can't go anywhere for  a while, we might as well get some sleep."

    She gave him a funny look.

    He looked right back, "I don't know about you, but I've been going nonstop since morning. I was traveling in the desert, then there was a battle with the Nuller, getting wounded, and well, you've been with me for most of the rest, so I'll save it.  

    'We've got two wounded here that have to process healing mana and potions, which both take time to work if you can't activate your own mana and help speed up the process, so we have to wait.

    'I'm burnt from constantly burning through and overusing my mana plus this damn venom keeps flaring up. I can't seem to fully get rid of it. So I'm going to ward the hut to give us a few hours of peace.

     'Maybe the Nuller sensed the large exodus of goblins and activated the last 'controlled' to figure out what is going on. I'm not too sure. Anyway, I'd better get this set up before crazy sets something off on top of us, then we'd really regret it."

    He walked to the three corners of the hut and made a triangle with them at the center, then empowered the wards and activated the second power within them. They joined together and formed a dome over them, it wouldn't last as long as it would have if they were individual wards, but if they were separate wards, they wouldn't be as strong, so he guessed there were pros and cons to both uses. 

  He sighed, tired, and slumped against a wall; so he could watch the others, then he had a thought. "Asaa, I know you've probably given all of your power stones to Azer, right?"

    "Yes. I've prepared the beast bag for him and any of the others we might find. Why?

    "I have several power stones in my gear. I can replace them with it if you allow me to use one now.  The power in a power stone is cleaner and safer than downing mana potions."

    Yes, I'm aware," she thought about it for a moment. "Alright, although we can't guarantee that they are still with your gear, you will be able to pay me back after you return to the guild. 

       I'm sure your guild will compensate you for your trouble and maybe reward you if you bring back evidence?"

    "Evidence? He paused, "I hadn't thought of that."

    She looked at him like he was dumb, "for a smart man, you can be very dumb sometimes; if you don't have evidence, no one will listen to you about the boogie man."

    "You're right," he sighed.

    "Don't be so down. We'll collect everything you'll need to prove it. 

    She smiled at him and took out a good-sized stone for him, paused, and then pulled out one for herself. "You don't have to pay me for this one. I just remembered that I've also used quite a bit of mana, and like you said, we can't absorb the natural mana right now." She looked around. I wondered what it is that causes the 'controlled'?"

    Davern thought about it, "it could be anything, but it's probably being infected by mana corruption." 

    "Then why aren't all of them corrupted?" She asked as she came over and coiled up next to him. 

    "I don't know; maybe there is also a secondary factor. It could have something to do with the night they were taken captive. Ryli said that she didn't remember much from that time. Because she was too young, but goblins breed and grow fast, which is probably why they were captured.

 "Yeah, I wondered how old she is?" Asaa asked.

    "She is probably less than a year, but she'll be a hobgoblin before long if I'm reading the signs right. " Davern said. 

    "What? Why do you say that?" Asaa asked. 

    "Only the higher goblins begin to feel Mana, and Ryli already does, not to mention I think she's the next Shaman of her tribe."

    "Why? She passed the stone from hand to hand then looked at the small girl curled up on the floor.

    "Because he's hiding something. Because he made her The Guardian. Because she has magic," and he looked at Dugger, "Because of the next summoner. He's had no problem since the moment the call was made if there were being more analytical. He'd been protective of Ryli even before that, more protective of her than Gabs. If he didn't know something, I'd be surprised."

    She handed him the stone, "thanks. let's try and get some rest while we can."

    "Alright," she coiled around the power stone and shut her eyes and began meditating. 

    He cast one last glance over the occupants of the room, shifted closer to her, and closed his eyes, with his hands around the stone, focusing on the power within it. 


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365 Day's Writing in the Void: Prompt 4 part 19


Last Stand of the World

Volume 1


Chapter Nineteen: Scavengers Way

 Davern turned to Ryli "any suggestions?"

    "Well, a few, actually. The Summoner's Prissy Princess may have cut off the main access tunnels, but she hasn't taken out the scavenger's tunnels. If she knows where they are, I doubt she even has a clue some of them exist.

    'I don't even know what I've done to her anyway." she murmured under her breath and walked towards one of the nearby walls. They weren't far from a few access points anyway and shoved a basket out of the way, motioning for them to follow her. "Here, down this way. We need to hurry before she blows something else up."

    They moved through the side passaged, crouched over until Davers face was almost in his knees; "you know this isn't the most comfortable position, right?"

    Ryli looked back at him, standing completely upright, and smiled, "well, who told you to be so big? the next turn is just through here," she said, ducking around a corner and crouching next to a wall slapping a series of patterns with the flat of her palm.

    Davern looked back at Asaa, "hum, why does that look so familiar?"

    She flicked him with her tail and huffed. 

     He ducked out of the way. "Hey now, I'm just joking; stop with the tail already." 

     She stilled her tail. "Does it hurt?" she asked in concern. 

     He just grinned at her and winked.

    "Oh, you, erg." she whipped her tail, but this time didn't hit him with it, and he smiled, getting a little closer as they waited for the wall to open. He snagged it out of the air and gave it a few brief swipes with the pad of his thumb. 

    He leaned in and whispered in her ear, just don't hurt it knocking into things. Then he released her when he noticed her skin had shifted to a pleasing shade of rose, and he walked away. If he'd had a tail, it'd be twitching high in the air, pleased with himself. He rubbed his fingers together; yep, her scales felt just as pleasant as he remembered. 

    Davern got serious and focused on Ryli. "Do you know where Dugger might have gone?"

    "He probably went to the summoners' house to get his practice supplies, and then he might have gone to his house to get some of his stuff, but he might have gone looking for her first."

    "Alright, we'll head there first. Do these tunnels head that way?"  

    She paused for a moment as if to think and then said, "Well, most of them do, but you can't get near The Summoners or The Shamans house in them. You'll have to come out near the middle of the den and then try to make our way up unseen by her. It will be a pain if she's activated any other defenses."

    The tunnel had opened while they were conversing, and Ryli peaked her head out and looked both ways before waving behind her and them to follow her. They slipped in and out a warren of tunnels in much the same way until they finally came to one, and Ryli held up her hand; this is the exit that leads out into the open. I don't know if she knows about it or not. It's likely that she doesn't, but she was my friend, and it's possible that she's seen me exit it once or twice if she ever paid attention while I was doing my job."

    "So, you're saying she could have blocked it or trapped it."

    "Could have, but I'm not sure if she's that smart; she probably thinks she's pinned us in and can do what she wants. Though she might have set the dens defenses to go off if there are any intruders. That she isn't too stupid not to do."

    "Well, nothing for it then, but to chance it. I'll take point. You and Asaa stay behind me. That way, I can make a shield; even with the baubles I made, I don't need to waste them unnecessarily."

    They nodded in agreement, and Ryli moved back behind him after hitting the sequence to open the door. 

     Davern looked out into the dimly lit area. He could see crud huts, made of whatever could be cobbled together, tattered strips of leather and tufts of grass, glued together with bits of mud and sand.  Several huts had rows of long rawhide thongs with bone beads knotted on them, covering the entrances.

    He activated his mana eyes, and looked around, not that he thought it would do much good, goblins didn't tend to use many magic traps, but it might help him detect slight disturbance and avoid them. He also cast a low-grade shield spell that would protect them against projectiles and fire damage. 

    He snuck out of the door and noted that there were still bubbling cauldrons and spits roasting, some kind of animals, over the central fire. The Shaman must have dropped everything and just come when Dugger and Gabs had come to tell him about what had happened. 

    They moved past it and with signs; Ryli pointed the way to several larger huts at the far end of the encampment. He swore they were out in the open and quite a ways from them.

    Davern paused, scanning the ground, looking for anything that had been disturbed, and Ryli tapped his arm, pointing out several places indicating where she knew there were traps.

     Asaa produced a potion and with a gust of wind blew it out across the open camp; the fine dust caught and exposed several lines as thin as spiders silk, almost invisible to the naked eye, that crisscrossed the open spaces and lead to a series of different triggers, and various traps.

    "Good one, Asaa," grinned at her, then went back to studying the landscape, perking his ears to hear the faintest sounds. 

    "Which one is The Summoners' house? Ryli pointed towards the larger and more ostentatious of the two larger huts. He knew that the guy had an ego. Now he could see where his supposedly shy daughter got her attitude. Even if it wasn't hers, she would still feel stilted because she'd had the best even in these troubled living conditions. 

    He knew that goblin dens didn't always look like this either. Depending on the tribe, goblins could have rather sophisticated living quarters, but they'd been beaten down like the other races,  living in squalor. He wondered just how much each of their histories had been lost. 

    They'd been moving forward at a snail's pace, careful not to disturb the filaments or trigger any traps. They'd carefully avoided most of the traps and were almost to The Summoners hut when they heard a commotion, and one of the livestock got loose and began rampaging through the camp.

    They froze, then heard Dugger, "I told you, I don't feel that way about you Gabs, now let me go. The Shaman made his decision for a reason, I'm sure once you know it everything will be okay."

    "Why are you always taking her side!"

    "I'm not! I just think you're being unreasonable."

    "Unreasonable? I'm being unreasonable? A filthy Scavenger was just handed everything we've worked for and you think I'm being unreasonable? Well, I'll should you Unreasonable."

     "Gabs? What are you doing? Put that down! No! STOP. Arrg..."

    "Is that unreasonable enough for you?"


    "Open your mouth. I'm going to give you a little something my papa said might help me. I said I wouldn't need it, but you know what. I think I don't care anymore. All I hear out of your mouth is, Ryli this, and Ryli that do you even care about me? Now open your mouth."

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Friday, March 19, 2021

365 Day's Writing in the Void: Prompt 4 part 18

Last Stand of the World

Volume 1


Chapter Eighteen: Boxed in 

    Ryli looked after her friends, and a few tears streaked unobtrusively down her cheeks. She wondered where it had all gone wrong; obviously, Gabs had been holding some kind of hatred for her long before The Shaman had made his decision. Did Dugger also feel the same and hide it just as well?

    A hard, heavy hand slammed down on her head and ruffled her hair, "don't let it get into your head, people say things out of jealousy they don't always mean, and Dugger, well, that kid seems to really like you, so don't go doubting everyone on account of one person." Davern said and then knocked her under the chin. "Now buck up, we really need to go; things that were said can be sorted out when you need to; give her an earful later after everyone has cooled off."

    She nodded her head and swiped her hands under her eyes before whipping them on the sides of her pants, "the path is down this way." She said, getting in front of them and taking them down the quickest way to the end of the tunnel avoiding all the traps.

    They were nearing the end of the first corner when a large explosion concussed near her and knocked her back and into a wall. She heard crazed laughter. "Really thought you could take everything that's mine, Ryli?"

    She stood up and shook herself. "At this point, I really wish there was a way to transform her into stone as well." She held her head. A small trickle of blood oozed through her fingers and headed back towards Davern and Asaa. "I know another way, but I'm not sure if she's trapped that way as well."

    Asaa, took out a cloth and dabbed the wound, looking over to Davern, "what do you think?

    "I can put a small shield around us to protect us from small blasts like this if she intends to harass us. I'm not sure what she hopes to accomplish by doing this. If she doesn't straighten up, I don't care what Dugger says; I'm not sure if I'd trust her enough to bring her with us."

    "Well, I'm at that point right now," Ryli said, straightening up. "Thanks, Asaa; I appreciate the help.

"Actually, I have a better idea, but I'll need a medium to run it, and it will last on its own without me having to keep powering it. Asaa, do you have anything to write within the bond?"

She looked at him, a little funny, "you know you don't have to keep asking for everything. You saw me put the entire study in there. Why wouldn't I have paper? Besides, I know you know how to get in there yourself..." she said handing him the paper and a brush and ink. "

    Davern turned aside and looked around the tunnel for a moment, acting as if he hadn't heard her. She flicked her tail at him. He deftly turned, avoided, and looked for a few small pebbles. Finding them, he tore off a few strips of the paper, and then, dipping the brush into the ink, he wrote a few runes down each side. Then he pleated a few pieces of the paper together around each stone and pricked his finger, dropping a bit of blood on each.

    After it was done, he closed his eyes and murmured a spell while holding them in his hands until they felt warm to the touch. They began to glow a soft lavender when they did so and slowly went dim again.

    He opened his eyes and handed one to each of the girls. Here, put it somewhere on your person. If something attacks you, it will deflect it a few times. It's not much, but it's better than constantly running a shield.

    "Thanks, " Asaa said, reaching out and taking it.

    He gripped her fingers lightly and passed it over. "As you said, no 'thanks' are necessary," he smiled at her. Then handed the second one over to Ryli. "Besides, I wouldn't have been able to make them without the materials you provided from your bond.

    "That maybe so, but you have one as well," he just smiled at her and didn't respond to that comment. Just then, they heard something collapse behind them. Damnit, "just what is Dugger doing?" Davern looked behind them at the wall of dust that billowed out from the collapse and poured towards them.

    "I'm beginning to think either he is on her side, or she's done something to him."

     "What do you mean? Ryli asked in a quivering voice.

    "He wouldn't let her just get away with this, would he?

    "Well, no." Ryli looked worriedly towards the nest, and her feet began subconsciously to turn in that direction.

    "Well, there you go," Davern said.

    "But doesn't she care about him? Ryli argued as if that last grasp at straws would change anything.

    Davern sighed and patted Ryli's shoulder, "Dugger had just told her he didn't see her that way. You know the old saying about a woman scorned.

    "You don't think she really hurt him, do you?" Her eyes pleading with him to tell her anything but bad news. She didn't think she could take another blow right now.

    "Hurt him?, not exactly, but I can guarantee he isn't going to like where he is." Davern grinned at her with a weird glint in his eye.

    Asaa, smacked him with her tail, "enough quit teasing her." She turned and looked at Ryli.

    "Ryli, your race doesn't have any way to change a person's mind, do they? Like with a potion, or something? Asaa asked.

"I'm not sure why." She was perplexed as to why the lamia was constantly hitting Davern with her tail. She heard that they only did that with their mates. But she knew Davern had only been in the tunnels for six hours. She shook her head, bigger fish at the moment.

    "Well, if there is, that's probably what she's up to, and all this is just a distraction, to keep us busy while she does it, then both your friends will turn on you. Asaa said rather matter-of-factly.

       "Davern? Do you think that's possible?

    "Quite possible, and I'm also quite sure that that old shaman of yours left Dugger out of that spell for a reason, not so sure about Gabs, but Dugger for sure, and if he is the old Summoners heir, that makes sense."

    "Well, if that's the case, we've got to save him," bloody hell if it's not one thing, it's another. I need to save my brother. That's why I'm down here, but I'm sure Dugger is closer because your little nest is right here, and that damn Nuller is deeper, which is the only reason I'm helping you out of this mess.

    "But I swear to the gods if one more thing comes up!"

    Asaa, whipped him with her tail shush you'll jinx yourself, he shut his trap, and just as he did, an explosion came from in front of them. That devious little shit had boxed them in. Well, two could play at that game. He thought with a gleam in his eyes.

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365 Day's Writing in the Void: Prompt 4 part 17

Last Stand of the World

Volume 1


Chapter Seventeen: True colors

Ryli looked down at the deep golden bag in her hand, nodded, and stuffed it into her tunic close to her heart. Then tied the second bag at her waist; she hoped that the beast wouldn’t be too upset not getting as prominent a place as the whole of her tribe. 

She swallowed, brushed her hand over face, and scrambled after Davern, waving towards Dugger, “c'mon, we don’t have a lot of time. Let’s go, you two.”

Dugger shook himself as if coming out of a trance and followed after them, “you’re right, but do I really have to carry this nasty thing?”

“Yes!” everyone coursed as one. 

No one really noticed an odd glint in Gabs eye as she trailed after them. She’d wavered a bit, kicking her foot, in a low, almost inaudible, and petulant voice, “no one asked if I wanted to go along.”

Ryli looked back, “what did you say, Gabs? Hurry, okay, it’s a long way to the front of the area where they kept us.”

“Nothing Ryli, I guess you’re the boss now, huh?” She smiled sweetly.

Ryli paused and turned to her, “What do you mean?”

“Never mind, we’re in a hurry, aren’t we? We don’t have time. So let’s just go.” Gabs pushed past her and began walking next to Dugger as if she hadn’t just been unhappy smiling up at him.

Ryli looked after her, confused. Something about the situation didn’t sit right with her. But like she said, they didn’t have time. She walked to the front of the line next to Davern, "So, how long have you been stuck down here? Do you know the way out?"

Davern subconsciously rubbed his right wrist. "I can get out any time I want," he sighed. "The problem is that I need to find someone, and they've been taken by the Nuller, so I need to move quickly. As for how long I've been here...he paused, roughly six, or so hours, I'd say." He picked up his pace and continued walking down the dark tunnel with Asaa beside him, her undulating form casting odd shadows on the walls whenever she shifted her tail.

Ryli stared after him for a few seconds, mouth agape, "what do you mean you've only been here for about six hours.

"I haven't been here that long, just since this afternoon. Asaa, on the other hand, has lived here her whole life, so she knows the tunnels pretty well."

"But, if you've only been here since this afternoon, what kind of information could you have shared with us to escape." Gabs huffed at him from Dugger's side.

He paused and glared back over his shoulder at her; like I said, I can escape anytime I want. I have a spell that will send me out of here this moment; if I chose to cast it. I also said, Asaa has also been here her whole life, so we had plenty of information to share."

"Gabs, it's okay. I'm sure that they could have helped us escape." Ryli stepped in, trying to mediate, lightly touching Gabs arm.

"Well, sure, he has a spell that can send him away, but how does that help us?" Gabs shrugged off her hand, "and besides, who asked you to get involved with them anyway? If you hadn't, nothing would have changed."

Ryli pulled back her hand, slightly trembling, "what are you talking about? They saved your life."

"No, actually, if they hadn't been there, my life wouldn't have been in danger in the first place. I f I hadn't seen their lights, I wouldn't have ran away, and besides, all he did was shout, it was Dugger who saved me."


"Yeah, he was the only one strong enough to pull me to safety. What, did you think your stupid invention saved me?" Gabs sneered at her and flipped her braids back behind her shoulders.

   "I don't understand where this is coming from, Gabs, aren't we friends?" Ryli went to move towards her again, but Gabs pushed her away.

"Friends? I don't understand why The Shaman made some trash scavenger The Guardian of our entire race, instead of me. I don't see the benefit in following around this human, so what if he can cast a spell and leave. How does that help us? Also, why did The Shaman suddenly pick you, and what is this library?"

"That's enough, Gabs!" Dugger snapped at her, then dragged her to the side, so she wasn't in Ryli's face yelling at her.

She rounded on Dugger, "What, you can't tell me you're happy with this arrangement after the conversation with my father?"

"Gabs, I'm sorry, but your father changes the moment he became 'controlled' he no longer had the best interest of the tribe in his heart; if he ever did."

"Just what is that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing, Gabs," He said, turning away and not quite able to meet her eyes.

"But you were chosen to be his successor when I failed..."

"I'm aware of that, but even if I became a summoner, I still wouldn't be the tribes' leader."

"What, do you mean?"

"Our tribe had two chiefs, only because of their father's folly, and he should have made a hard decision, and we've paid a dear price for it."

"So, you've always agreed with Ryli? That The Shaman should have been the Chief?"

"I've always agreed that our tribe should have had only one Chief."

She bit her lip and twisted her waist, looking up into his eyes, "you know what my hopes were for us?"

"I'm aware." He looked away, not quite meeting her eyes.


"I'm sorry, Gabs, but that's never what I intended." he wrung his hands then messed up his hair, growling in frustration.

"So you think it's okay that he just arbitrarily chose a scavenger to be the tribes' guardian rather than you or me, one of the rightful heirs?" She glowered at him, her demeanor becoming steadily more argumentative.

"I think...Gabs, I think if you'd listened to what he'd said, The Shaman hid something about Ryli from the tribe. We need to find out what it is and help her solve the quest to heal our people and cure them of the venom that caused them to be 'controlled,' I think that's more important right now than who will be the leader in the future.

'I also think that I couldn't have saved you without Ryli's help, and while you might not have ran off down that passage because of the light if the human hadn't shown up, our next mission objective was that passage, so either way, we would have gone down there so in a way it still holds that he saved our lives."

Gabs' face started to scrunch up, and she was about to retort with another comment.

When a gruff voice interrupted, and Davern broke into their conversation, "look, little brat, we don't have time for your tantrum. I never said I couldn't take you with me. Also, your Shaman tasked me to take Ryli to the library, so I really don't care if you come or not."

Gabs' small face crumpled into tears, and she looked between Ryli and Dugger before fleeing into the darkness of the tunnel ahead.

Dugger looked over at Davern, "I know you have something urgent to take care of but was that really necessary?"

"Yes, she's holding us up to throw a tantrum because The Shaman gave Ryli the job and not you or her. So she'd treating Ryli like crap. We don't have time the Nuller has my brother, these tunnels are being flooded with a large amount of toxic mana, and I don't know how the Nuller breeds, so there might be lots of little Nullers the deeper we go, so I don't have time to baby a petulant little goblin girl who's mad that her uncle didn't pick her over someone she considers beneath her. So the short answer is yes, it was necessary.

Dugger shook his head, alright I have some stuff I have to gather before I can leave. I'll try and find her and meet up with you further into the den. Sorry for the trouble that we've caused."

"I don't blame you. You've been nothing but helpful; I'm sorry I've got a short temper right now. I'm just rather worried about this situation, and I need to get back and report it to the guild before it's too late to instate countermeasures."

"I understand. I'll see you guys soon, Ryli take care until I return." He waved and followed Gabs into the darkness.

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