As we continued to advance deeper into the cave in search for the infamous many eyed being that the hags sent us after, I knew then that this was not a task that was to be taken lightly. The cave was dark and of course it had a multitude of traps set for the wary adventurer.
We managed to make it around a series of traps to open a door into a chamber which held four large statues. Something told me then that this really wasn’t a good idea, but of course we had to advance. How else were we going to accomplish finding what was to be found.
The moment I walked into the room, the eyes of one of the giant statues turned to watch me. Somehow, I knew that living stone would mean a lot of trouble. We all nearly died when all four statues awakened and moved off their dais. They began to beat the living crap out of us. We strategically retreated with them pounding on us, until we managed to get them separated. Then we managed to pick them off, but not without great difficulty.
When we ran, Armek darted into an unexplored section of the cave. We knew that we might have to go after him once our part of the fight was done. He had lured one of the giant status to chase him. We had not heard any screaming or cries of help, in his direction. The lack of sound could have been a good or bad thing, since I knew he was good at hiding. But then again, we had been embroiled in our own battle at the time.
We moved forward cautiously into the next area of the underground death trap we were exploring, only to find a large room with a pool in it. The statue, that had been chasing Armek, was standing to side of the room, in the pool of water. In the center of the room was a tiny strip of land reminiscent of a small island. Armek was crouched down behind several statues that littered the small strip, well hidden from prying eyes. If it had not been for my training, I probably would not have seen him. Something was not right about those figures. There was a soft luminous glow from the flora and fungi on the walls that cast an eerie dance of darkness in places. I felt a shiver roll up my spine.
I continued to keep myself hidden in the shadows and inspected the cold stone sculptures. They were different. They were very detailed and looked like the wary adventurer, that had been frozen in time. Some with surprised looks forever etched on their faces, some holding up weapons appearing to try and look away from something bad. Once again a chill rolled over me and the hair on my neck stood on end. Perhaps the large statue was not the only thing in this room.
I thought of legends of medusas and stone gazing creatures and immediately pulled out my disguise kit fishing for the small mirror that was packed within. I wasn’t sure if it would help or not, but at least it was something to comfort me. Signaling to the rest, we attacked the statue.
To our own dismay Armek stood and began firing upon us. He had joined up with the statue and was trying to kill us. Damn that goat boy. I knew he had been acting a bit funny ever since that werewolf issue. We had gotten him cured of that issue, or so we thought. The unfortunate thing about the situation, was that if we were going to survive without Armek being on our side and healing us, we would have to eliminate Armek from the equation.
Pulling back I coated an arrow with poison. It wasn’t any poison, it was the purple worm poison that we had gotten so long ago. I felt the side of my thumb press against my cheek bone as the string was drawn taught. Slowly exhaling, I released the bow string. I felt the reverberation as the weapon loosed the arrow that had been precisely aimed. I prayed as it flew through the air, that the arrow would strike true. I didn’t want it to kill him so careful aiming coupled with judging the damage the poison would cause was paramount.
This is where my true mastery of my killing arts was challenged. The credentials I never discussed with the others. I knew they understood some of what I could do, but I have never used the poisons before around them.
The arrow struck true. I watched as it sank deep into Armeks chest, just above his heart, slamming his body back from the sheer blow. The shot was not enough to kill him, but it delivered the poison swiftly to his heart. Armek paled and his body slumped to the ground. Did I misjudge the potency of the poison? I felt my legs take over and I was sprinting toward him.
Armek has been a true friend and I wasn’t sure if I had killed him or not. My fingers fumbled for the antidote that was held in my side pouch. I had it uncorked before even reaching him. My heart pounded wildly as my mind was trying to reassure it that I hadn’t killed him. I didn’t even pay attention to the fight that was unfolding in the chamber.
Alana had pulled the giant to her and was battling it when the large eyed creature began its assault. It was the thing that had raised my hackles from the moment I had entered into the room. A large eye upon a tendril was attacking us with magic spells. Not sure how that worked, but this was what we were here to face.
A voice whispered in my ear as I approached Armek. It was telling me that I needed to be a friend to Ibrixti. I shook my head to clear it of the whispering and I felt the tiny wave of magic roll off my skin. I poured the antidote down Armek’s throat and prayed, as it trickled past his lips, that he had enough life left in him for it to work. I dragged his body to Advar, who was busy casting his own spells. We had to get out of this room. We were not prepared to fight this creature. We were all injured and incapable of surviving such a fight. so once again we worked on a strategic retreat.
I thought we would be successful in getting out of the room and then Alana dropped in front of the giant. The stone beast hit her so hard that she nearly fell into the thigh deep water. I was just fate that she was hit hard enough that it threw her back into the stone hallway. She was still breathing but now I had no other choice. Advar was hurt, Armek and Alana was down. I thought about fleeing, but I could not leave my friends behind. I turned to face the creature and plunged my sword deep into it’s stone flank.
Advar moved swiftly, used a healing potion on Alana, and managed to wake her from her daze. She grabbed Armek and we all began our retreat. The entrance seemed miles behind us and we had to escape the oncoming eyed beast. I held back a moment and then took off following suite. The muscles in my body screamed at the demand I placed upon them. The giant eye was following swiftly behind. It had ten large eyes on tendrils that sat upon a large circular body that sported a gigantic eye centered on that body. Lights and magic flew from each of it’s tendrils like a fiery rain from the abyss. They all seemed to be aimed toward Alana.
She evaded like she had the blood of a thief coursing through her veins. I have to admit I was very impressed. We pulled ahead of the slow moving creature and as we exited the cave, Advar was holding a portal open for us to jump in. Without thinking twice we all entered and found ourselves within a large mansion. I wanted to kiss Advar for his ingenuity and magic ability, but at that moment I was too exhausted to even stand. I slumped against a wall as Advar closed the portal opening and stated we were all safe for the time being and to get some rest. Damn that goat boy and damn those hags. All for the love of my brother.