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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Box Deal - Part Three

Myrnn Tyranna was lying on the cold, stone floor of the cell that she had called home for the past several days when she heard the calls of alarm coming from the upper levels of the cult’s compound.  She managed to summon the strength to sit up against the wall, although the chains that bound her hands and feet would not allow her to stand, she doubted very much that she could have even if she were free of them.  She opened her weary eyes to look out of the small, barred window in the heavy, wooden door that kept most of the light out.  Her drow heat vision was the only thing allowing her to see anything at all she knew.  Other races would be nearly totally blind in this situation, but she was from the Underdark and although she had spent most of her more than two centuries of life on the surface, the legacy of her race once again serves her well. 

Myrnn heard Brathus come out of his chambers across the common room and head toward her cell.  The overwhelming feeling of dread at the thought of another encounter with this particularly cruel priest of the Cult of the Dragon begins to well up within her.  Her bones start to quiver and ache at the thought of what he will do to her this time.  Myrnn had never known fear like this.  She was helpless, completely at his mercy.

“Soon you will see all your fears pass away.  They have come to carry you home my love.”  A voice sang sweetly in Myrnn’s ear.  The voice was welcomed with sobs of joy by the weakened and battered dark elf.

“Goddess…”  The whispered prayer of gratitude escaped Myrnn’s dry, cracked lips.  It was perhaps the most heartfelt prayer she had ever offered to her dark elven goddess, Eilistraee.

The sounds of battle erupted from the common room just outside of her cell.  They were here fighting to save her.  Brathus was no easy opponent though, and his pets would undoubtedly be called to their master’s side to defend the vile man.  The booming sound of thunder soon crackled through the air and shook the heavy door to her cell.  The priest’s blue dragon pets had indeed arrived to protect their master and were sundering the air with blasts of their lightning breath. 

She sat in the dark listening to the furious battle occurring just beyond the door to her cell for what seemed like many moments until, at last, the death roar of a dragon split the air.  The sound was as sweet as any song from Eilistraee, Myrnn thought.  Soon after another agonizing roar from a mortally wounded dragon filled the common room and just as quickly faded to silence. 

“Head mistress Tyranna!”  Aelar called out just after the silence had taken hold.

“Here…  I’m here.”  Myrnn gasped as she tried once again to stand.  The chains still held much too firm to break in her weakened state.

A torch soon thrust through the small window and Aelar peered into the small, dark cell to see his former head mistress on her knees pulling desperately against the chains that bind her to the floor.

“She’s here!”  Aelar shouted excitedly.

“Keep looking for the boxes, they have to be here somewhere.  We’ll get the her out.”  Murook said to Boucher as he rushed over to where Aelar stood by the heavy, wooden door.

“Aye.  Them boxes won’t escape the nose of a dwarf!”  Boucher immediately ran into the side chambers to search for Fredregar’s boxes.

Murook bashed the strong door for many moments with little success.  He searched for something heavier to use as a battering ram.  Aelar peered into the small window again while Murook was busy searching.

“Mistress!  Did they keep a key anywhere that you know of?”  The elf asked the drow woman in a desperate tone.

“There is a key… but I know not where.”  Myrnn’s weak voice came from behind the heavy door.  “If you cannot get me out… you must leave me and save yourselves.”  She said meekly and Aelar heard the despair in her voice.

“NO!  We’ll not leave you.  We will all travel out of here in an instant.  We need only be touching.”  Aelar exclaimed.  The instant the last words escaped his lips his form begins to quiver then suddenly bursts forth into many locusts.  The tiny creatures hop and flitter about and slowly make their way through the bars set into the small window of the heavy door.  Moments later Aelar reforms inside the cell and kneels down to help his former teacher.

“Even if I can’t free you from your chains, you will leave with us I promise.”  As he finishes, Aelar pulls out Traveler from his pack and holds it up so that Myrnn can see it.  A weak smile creeps onto the drow’s face at the sight of the artifact that she knows well.  

“We need only to find Fredregar’s boxes and then we’ll be out of this wretched place.”  Aelar says as he smiles back at Mrynn.

“Under the altar… just outside.  Push from the side.”  Myrnn looked up at the elf and her smile grew wider.  Aelar smiled back at her and then jumped up to look out the small window.

“Push that altar on the side there!”  Aelar shouts at Murook who is still trying to fashion a battering ram.

Murook looked up instantly to see a slender finger sticking out of the small, barred window and pointing toward an altar to some evil god that was set along the back wall only a few feet from the cell door.  Murook called for Boucher immediately and quickly started moving toward the altar, but he stopped suddenly when he heard the loud crash against the large double doors that they had passed on their way here.  The doors were heavy and strong and just then it occurred to Murook that Boucher’s idea to stop and lower the locking bar into place was a good idea.  Indeed it was probably the only reason that they had not been overrun yet.  

Boucher joined him at the altar and both started pushing on the side that Aelar’s protruding finger was pointing to.  The altar looked heavy but it slid easily aside.  So easily in fact, that both Boucher and Murook tumbled to the floor with an unceremonious thud.  They had judged the altar to be solid stone and it should have been very difficult to move, but this altar was designed to be pushed aside with one hand to reveal the hiding place below.  There, set into the floor were two shining, metallic boxes.  One a shallow rectangular shape, the other almost a perfect cube, yet both of them no more than the size of a small back pack. 

The crashes coming from up the hallway and around the corner told them the strong, double doors had been breached and it was only a matter of seconds before they were overrun.  Myrnn and Aelar were still inside the cell and there was no way to open that door in time.

“How can we get you out?”  Murook said now realizing that they would not have enough time to free Myrnn before the cultists were upon them.

“You don’t have to.”  Aelar said calmly.

“Then how’re we to get outa here?”  Boucher huffed as he glanced at Murook who was pulling the massive axe from across his back.  Boucher too, readied his mace and set his shield in place on his left forearm.

“Just grab my finger.”  Aelar said as he pulled Traveler from his pack.  “Grab hold of my foot Headmistress and you’ll be out of those chains in blink of a beholder’s eye.”  Aelar smiled at Myrnn as he stretched his foot out toward her.  She grabbed hold and hoped the elf was right.

“I gotcha.  We just need be touchin’ for the thing to yank us outa here.”  Boucher rushed over as he spoke and grabbed Murook by the arm to pull the half orc back toward the cell door.  He held Murook by the arm and grabbed Aelar’s finger and then shouted.  “Go elf!” 

A slight rush of air was all they felt as they appeared in the entrance hall of Fredregar’s underground laboratory.  Aelar still standing in an outstretched pose with one finger extended and one foot held out toward the figure that now lay on the stone floor beside them.

“How bad is she hurt?”  Murook said rushing over to Myrnn to check her for injuries.

“Lemme see to her.”  Boucher shouldered the big half orc aside and went to work with his healing magic.  “She’ll need a place to be restin’.”  Boucher smiled looking up to the others after a few moments of chanting.

“She’s going to be ok then?”  Murook said hopefully.

“Aye.  She’s a strong one.”  Boucher said happily.

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