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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