Mortog and the tracker's group meet and Darcey tells Dargus her plan to beat Keldron.
| Dopey's Brother: A Prophecy rises Chapter name
Darcey arrived at work that morning, to find everything in chaos. There was fruit everywhere along with debris and chunks of rock. She saw a city guard talking to a shop owner and when he saw her, wrapped things up quickly and came straight to her.
"Where were ye last night around six Mrs. Nimbledoldt?"
"I's with Dargus, what happened here an where's lisa?"
"I think ye know Mrs Nimbledoldt." He told her eyeing her with suspicion. "Did ye have an argument with Lisa?"
"No, Lisa an I's got along great, in fact she is one o' me closest friends, where is she? I want to talk with her now!"
"I's afraid dat won't be possible, not now, an not ever."
Her heart dropped through her stomach. 'No, no, it can't be.' Her heart cried out.
"Where is she!? You's be tellin me now!"
"I's sorry, but this be an ongoing investigation an I can'no be tellin ye anythin."
"I's be needin te know, where be me friend?!" She cries out after him as he simply walks away.
'Dis be all me own fault. Me wantin me boy home an safe, but what lengths do I's have te go through te make sure he be bein safe.' She clenched her teeth and knew. 'He's me boy an I be goin te any length te get him home alive! Snaznock better come back wit good news.' Her head screamed.
She cuts in front of everyone to see a gurney with a sheet full of blood draped over it. She ran over to it almost knocking a guard to the ground. He was quicker though and grabbed her arm. It was a different guard this time, one that looked compassionate and caring, but she had to know. He firmly held her shoulder.
"Ye don't want te be seein whats under dare, let me assure you. Please don't." He looked at her with nothing but sympathy behind his caring grey eyes. He let her go. She looked back at him with a pleading look on her face and turned to walk slowly to the gurney which was now being left alone as they were preparing the wagon to put it in. She walked up to it and put her hand gently on the head of the sheet. She turned and looked back at the guard who was still standing there. She turned and put both of her hands on the sheet and hesitated. 'Do I's really want te know if this be her? I's have te find out.'
She gently pulled the sheet down, it stuck to the blood soaked head, but when she finally looked down her heart stopped for just a few beats. There wasn't much left of her face but it was Lisa. She took two steps back and bumped into the guard. He spun her around and held her against him. She held on to him for several moments as hot salty tears fell from her eyes. She felt him nod and then heard the gurney being loaded into the wagon. She looked up at the guard who just looked like he was so sorry. He was so much different than the other guard who came traipsing in just after she looked up at him.
"Let her be, fer all we's knows she be da one who did all o' this, an she just be checkin te make sure it be done properly."
"How dare ye! She be me friend, and a good and true one at dat! I wanna know who did this an so help me, I's-"
"Ye's do what Mrs Nimbledoldt? Ye be killin him too?" He asked her with a chuckle. She went to go after him but the guard held her fast and she knew why. She let him hold her back but then slowly turned around and walked out of the mangled fruit stand. As she walked away she heard them talking.
"An why ye gotta go tormenting da girl like dat? She just saw her friend wit half her head blown off."
"Ye just don't get it, she be da cause o' all o' this, including da bombing da other night."
At this point she didn't care, she just wanted to go somewhere and be alone. 'Da banks, I's hope nobody's dare already.' She was planning on going down to the banks later on today anyway. That's where she and Dargus made out the last time. She had a fondness for that place, this relationship was new, it was fresh, and so she liked all the places that he made her feel special; but now she had something else more important on her mind, 'I gotta get me girls te safety. Tonight!'
"Day be pretty strong te kill off two undead skeletons like dis." Graggum says as he kicks the pile of dust in the middle of the narrow room. The other dwarves in the room just nodded and looked at each other in an almost fear-like state.
"Dis jest happened. Maybe an hour or so ago, we not be far behind 'em now. If'n we keep goin we's be catchin up wit 'em soon. Let's be goin but be carefull and Tranvock, no threatening moves he be getting a powerful group wit him."
"So where are you all from, c'mon spill it, spill it, please come sit down." The little man said as he went off into another room. He led them out of the tunnels and into a narrow passageway to a larger room with tapestries and expensive rugs and the furriest furniture any of them had ever seen. He was quite surprised at how remarkably soft and comfortable his green chair was, he also wondered what manner of beast had green fur. Surveying the room he thought, 'This be a pretty inviting house, fer bein down here anyways.' There were fancy tables, like his father used to make back home. 'I's wish I be bein back home right now, I could be usin a good 'ol fashioned meat sandwich right about now, an maybe Telis's company fer da night.' As soon as he thought about her he looked over at Ryuul and thought about what it would be like in an intimate conversation with her. His feelings were conflicting. His other four members of the group sat in similar comfortable looking seats, except for Jackel who refused to sit. Mortog figured it was because he didn't trust what the little human was up too.
"Well, well," The little man came back into the room with a large tray of fruits, meats, cheeses and bread all the while giggling and bobbing his head. 'I's guess I can have me dat meat sandwich now.' He thought chuckling to himself. "So tell me where are you all from? Wait, wait, let me guess." He paused for a moment closed his eyes and tilted his head. "Citadel Camfor, am I right, but not you pretty little lady, no, no, no,no, not you you're from, let me guess. . . The Rigone' forest?"
"Very good! How did you know all of that?" Ryuul rightfully asked.
"Magicians intuition my dear, magicians intuition." He said giggling. "Please eat, eat. I'm sure you all have little rations left, so eat up, I have more for you to take with you on your journey."
He was a short little guy, for a human that is. He looked like the typical mage, he wore a robe, had a pointy hat with a ball of fabric at the very top. And of course, he walked with a wizard staff; it had a glowing metal sphere hanging in between two pieces of wood. The top piece of wood seemed to just float there, holding up the sphere by a small chain.
'What a weird little man.' Mortog was thinking at the time, but he stood over the large platter of food and made himself his sandwich.
"Please eat, this is a safe place, you can take your armor off and my hand servant can wash your clothes for you if you wish."
"You be waitin just a minute, why should we trust ye, we's only just met ye, We's don't even know yer name and ye expectin us to disrobe our armor an clothes?" Jackel pointed out as he picked up his bow that was leaning against the mantel of a huge fireplace.
"You are absolutely right, where are my manners. My name is Bob and I'm an arcane, light wizard. I wish nothing but a warm welcome to you all. I have two rooms set up for all of you, I have been expecting you, I just didn't know it would be this soon."
"Wait, ye be expectin us, how can dat be?" Mortog asked. Everyone looked at Bob with suspicion now.
"Why, the prophecy of course. The prophecy told me of your arrival, I have been down here waiting for you for several years now. Or at least I think it's been several years, It's hard to tell with no day or night and those awful Harpies were making it very hard to see the sun or stars. Thank the Gods you took care of that problem for me."
"An here I's thought ye were this great an powerful mage? Why couldn't ye just get rid o' em yerself?"
"To be honest with you, I was afraid of them." He said with his head down. "I have never seen anything like them. You don't know how many people I've seen get drug down here just to get eaten alive. I wasn't about to be one of those people, no chance for me to fall prey to those, those creatures if they never see me right?"
"So ye never passed em? How'd ye get down here then?" Branthony asked.
"I found another passage at the other end of these catacombs."
"I knew's there be another way outta here!" Branthony exclaimed.
"Yep, but it's tricky, the wrong path could lead to instant death. That's why you need me."
"So ye can be tellin us da right way te go, right? What do ye want in return, or are ye just dat nice o' a guy?" Mortog asked.
"Yeah, ye be goin through a lot o' trouble makin us feel at home here with da food an da rooms an stuff." Branthony chimed in.
"Your right, yes I do want something in return, I was hoping that you would get me a very special ring that is in one of the chamber here in the catacombs. We can talk more on that tomorrow, now, eat up and allow my servant to wash your clothes for you?"
"We's need te go out an have a little chat afore we go deciding te stay here an partake o' you's wonderful hospitality." Mortog waves at the others to follow him down the passageway to a smaller entry room.
"Okay guys, I's don'na know what the deal is here but we can't get out'ta here unless we do this guys job."
"It sounds simple enough, but I'm wondering what's in that chamber stopping him from going in there himself." Ryuul told them.
"True enough, he's bein awfully nice te us, he must really want dat ring." Branthony said.
"Doc, what ye be thinkin?" Mortog asked him.
"I's think ye be crazy doin this quest te begin wit, but if'n yer tryin te get yerselfs killed, by all means, go fer it."
"I's be thinkin it be all up te ye, this bein yer quest an all. Ye make this call."
"Thanks Jackel." His tone was less than enthusiastic. "I's be thinkin dat we can handle whatever be in dat chamber, an besides, what if dare be more in dat chamber? We aint even be checkin it out yet."
"Okay let's do it then." Branthony said. "We's got two healers, they be bein able te heal us from across da room, right guys?"
"To an extent and remember Doc's is still getting used to his abilities and I'm not sure how powerful I am just yet."
"Well this may be yer chance te find out." Mortog reassured her. "We all work as a team an we can do this, I's knowin we can." Mortog just looked over at Jackel waiting for his response.
"Ye knows how crazy I's be bein, let's do this!"
"Good, he can tells us all's about it tomorrow when we decide te do it, we just be tellin him we still be thinkin about it. Lets see how bad he really wants this thing." Mortog said. "All in agreement?"
"Aye." The dwarves all say at once.
"Whatever you say Mortog." Ryuul added. She didn't sound too happy that they were going on this little side quest and Mortog knew it, but he knew he was good enogh to handle whatever they couldn't.
"Relax, everythin will be alright, think of it as practice fer more dangerous stuff dat we may find once we get out'ta here."
She just shook her head. 'I've a bad feeling about this' she thought.
They all began walking to the main living room together.
"I's think we should take this little passageway." Graggum said as he led the group up a narrow passageway into a small entry room. He puts his fist in the air and signaled to everyone to stop. He crouched down and motioned for them to stay. He crept his way forward until he could hear what they were saying.
"I's think we be needin te sleep on it until at least da mornin." One voice said.
"That's quite alright, you do what you need to do." Said another.
He crept a little farther up until he could see who was talking but not be seen himself. With a nod to himself he crept back to his friends as silently as he could until he got to that little entry room.
"Dat be them. There talking with what looks to be a human wizard. They's plannin te do a side job down here it sounds like. It doesn't look like anyone is in a fightin mood right now."
"See, I's told ye we' be findin them." Snaznock said. "Now, no fightin, sounds like they don't want to right now anyways, but mark me words they will if they have te. So let's not make em want te raise any weapons, ye know they be havin dare sights trained on us da minute we walk through dat entrance."
With silent prowess they all head to the doorway that lay ahead of them. They can hear them talking. They stopped and snaznock put his hand out for everyone to stay put. He was going to make first contact. He walked up to the doorway and stepped through it interrupting what Mortog was saying. Mortog stood up in defiance within a second's time.
"What are ye about?" Mortog said demanding an answer.
"Oh good! Your friends are here, well come on now, come come, show yourselves and come out and get some food."
Graggum was the first to come out looking for the food tray.
"I's ask again. What are ye about?" Saying it a bit slower.
"We's here on behest o' King Keldron, he wants us te bring da book back. We's not plannin on doin dat. He wants yer head, we's not be doin dat either. If ye are da prophesized ones then we be here te help ye." Snaznock told him.
"Except fer Thodec, our cleric. Ye killed him!" Came a voice from the back of the group.
"Knock it off Tranvock!"
"I aint killin no fellow dwarf, not yet anyway." Mortog said. "Now how did ye find us?"
"He's da greatest tracker in all da citadel, maybe even da world." Graggum said with sarcasm in between bites of a meat and cheese sandwich.
"That doesn't matter now, all come in and sit down, we can all talk." Bob said, but nobody moved. Mortog looked around and saw his team ready to go into battle now if they had to. Ryuul had her staff out, Branthony had both of his swords poised and ready and Jackel had an arrow pointed straight at Snaznock's head. He looked to the other side and saw Graggum stuffing his face, Tranvock with his sword at the ready and Halgic mustv'e been some kind of mage because he had just put some kind of spell on either them or the crew. Looking back he saw Doc doing the same thing.
"Stop it! stop it! you're supposed to be friends!"
"Where does it say dat?" Mortog asked without looking at him.
"It's in the prophecy, that your two groups will get along nicely and work well together."
Graggum put his food down and was reaching for his axe, but then not, then reaching for it, then not. He really didn't know what to do. He just knew he wanted to eat.
"Clearly we have ye Snaznock, you be bein shot with an arrow afore yer friends could get anythin off. So what do ye say we's figures this out like dwarves an not kids."
Snaznock waves his hands for everybody to lower their weapons, Mortog looks behind him and just nods and his crew lowers their weapons as well.
"Splendid, splendid, let's all sit down and have something to eat and let you guys get to know each other." Bob said stepping in between the two groups. They sat on one side of the room while Mortog's group sat on the other.
Mortog, yer mother says te tell ye te come home but she knows you won't so she wanted Graggum here at least te accompany ye, an I's be sendin Halgic wit ye as well."
"Wait. What?" Halgic looked over at Snaznock with a little bit of shock in his eyes. "I's not be signin on fer dis, we's supposed to git da book an try te find da artifact ourselves."
"Yeah, but da situation be different now. I believe these kids are da chosen ones."
"So we gotta pay fer it?" Halgic clearly did not want to go with them.
"Yeah, we's don't need no more in our crew, we be doin just fine on our own, besides dis be my quest." Mortog said.
"Well kid, there's now a whole citadel dependin on ye. Ye's got te find dis artifact fer our people, and even fer da humans an elves. We don't want te be at war wit anybody, and surely not da humans or elves. Keldron wants all dat. Some say he's not workin alone either. I's hear a lot o' rumors bein able te be invited te all da big exploratory meetins an all." Snaznock told him. "Jest like I's knows dat Telis was da one to tell da city guard where ye were. Maybe she be cohersed into it. I's not fer knowin. I's jest be knowin what me be knowin."
"Well, no matter, They aint comin wit and dats final." Mortog waved his hand to make his point.
"Sorry, I's leavin them here wit ye. I have te report back te king Keldron dat yer not te be found an dat ye possibly dead, killed by da elves an day already had your body."
"I's game." Graggum says, "Don'na worry Halgic, I's be protectin ye."
"I's not be needin- I's don'na want- You's comin anyway aint ye?" Mortog said reluctantly.
"Aye but we won't be hinderin ye, think O' us as extra muscle. Ye got a lot O' people lookin fer ye te succeed my friend."
"Yer not my friend Graggum!"
"Not yet, but ye's grow te like me, I's do dat te people, I's grow on 'em." He says with a smile then takes another bite of his meat sandwich.
"Fine. They can come."
"Splendid! Splendid! And I got to see a friendship blossom on top of everything else." Said Bob.
"But ye's gonna tell me everything ye know about da book an da prophecy afore ye leave."
"Ye bet!" Snaznock said. "What Do ye already know?"
They talked for hours and when they were finished everyone went to bed to get ready for the next morning. This was going to be a real test of their abilities, they just don't know it yet.
The Cherub was darker than usual and there were many more people there when Darcey showed up, he was sitting along the back wall just where he wanted to sit, though she had to look for him at first. There were murmurs all around her, 'Everyone knows who I's be. I bet there all talkin bout me.' She thought as she walked through the pub. Mead filled her nose as she sat down next to Dargus.
"I's got ye a mead, da one ye like." He told her.
"Thank ye." She told him. "How soon can ye get me family te saftey, did ye hear bout Lisa?"
"Yeah, an dat aint da only one dat happened today either. There was a cave in at da mines, thirty three people were killed an about twenty more unaccounted for. It looks like an explosion of dare minin equipment dat caused da cave in."
"Yeah, no, ye need te gather me kids tonight, I's may have just lost me husband, I's aint losin me kids too. An this madness seems te be gettin closer te me. Lisa was a dear friend, an I seen her wit half her head blown off." She said with tears in her eyes.
"I's have never seen ye so emotional as I have these last few days, ever since the courtyard incident, tell me what happened, exactly." He said with all intensity in his voice; this was not the time for romance this was serious.
He listened to her every word very seriously and when she got to the end she told him how it ended.
"He pointed straight up in da air an then put his finger te his nose, looked straight at me an pointed directly at me an laughed. Dats when I's be gettin out of dare as fast as I's could possibly go."
"Apparently not fast enough." Dargus said. "An yer right, we need te get those kids safe tonight. I's just hope it no bein too late."
"What do ye mean." She asked.
"If he be targetin yer friends an family, he may already have his sights set on yer kids but we won't know until somethin happens an by dat time I's afraid it may be too late."
"So they may be screwed either way then?" She almost yelled. She was loud enough for some of the patrons to turn and look in their direction, but quickly returned to their own conversations.
"One thing's fer certain, they know where you are at all times, so we's need te kiss and hold hands across da table like lovers would because we want to make 'em belive that you an I's are just having a sensual rendezvous. I need te get to yer kids, er, me contact needs te get 'em. Da only way this is gonna work is if they keep watchin us, er should I say, you."
"How are ye gonna contact yer guy while were here?"
"Don't turn around but there's one O' my guys in this pub right now. He's going to come over here in a minute and try to start a fight then just walk away after I's gives him this note tellin them tonight's da night te move yer kids." He said and then scratched his head and the other guy came over and started yelling causing everyone to turn around and look at us. Dargus passed the note successfully and no one was the wiser. Then he left the bar.
"I's not going to see me kids fer a long while is I?" She asked with tears streaming down her face. She knew what she was losing when he did this. Now it was in motion, if she left now she would probably still miss her kids.
"Now this be extremely important. Ye must go te da guard an report yer kids as missin. Ye have te be convincing dat yer truly worried bout them."
"What ye don'na think I's be worried bout 'em now?"
"I's be knowin ye are hun an dat's why we's havin te act right now. Rise up an kiss me."
She rises and leans across the table to kiss him and sits right back down still with a worried look on her face.
"Can ye at least try te look happy?" He begged of her and she smiled just a little bit. "Now, what be yer plan?"
"Oh me goodness, I's completely fergot bout dat." She said as her eyes began to light up again. "I's be thinkin this could work, but even if it don'na work, we can't have anythin bad happen te us."
"Okay then, tell me."
"Okay, we's summon a demon te kill him er do some other magical thing te him." She said with a momentous amount of excitement. Now she really did have a smile on her face as Dargus sat back in the booth and pondered her thought.
"Ye know it be pretty dangerous to summon a demon." He told her. "It can backfire completely ye know, but I's also see da good in da plan. I's will bring it up to my boss an if'n he be thinkin it's a good plan then we be bringin it up te yers. Again we can work together, but i's can see it workin."
She smiled brimming with pride at the thought that it would be her plan that would be used in defeating King Keldron. Then her thoughts betrayed her and brought her around to her girls once more.
Melron stood up after finishing his lunch; his servants would soon be there to clean up his table. It was time to go and see Master Kecktrik about his hand to hand combat lessons. But when he got to his arena room he saw someone else in the room with him. 'A new sparring partner? This could be fun.' Even though Melron was a pacifist, all dwarves loved to fight.
"Good afternoon Melron. I has a surprise fer ye today. No hand te hand combat today."
"What are we doin instead?" Melron asked.
"Were gon'na learn what kind of magic ye know." Master Kecktrik told him.
"I don'na know any magic." Melron insisted. "Why ye think I's got any magic in me?"
"Because yer brother is a powerful mage an ye have te have at least some, it be in yer blood; So Trapper her is going to try to get you to do some magic that all mages can do. Ye up fer it?"
"Well yeah, I's can sure try, I don'na know if'n it be workin er not, but I's be tryin it."
"Good." He said. "Trapper." He gives Trapper a nod.
"Now every mage has a list of spells they can do without having a particular school."
"Yes, a classification er catagory O' spells."
"Okay," Melron looks at him with questioning eyes.
"Lets try some basic spells, these should just be thoughts that you channel to become real. You can't just will it to be, you have to concentrate on the thought."
"Can I use fire?"
"Yes, why don't ye try an light dat test dummy over there on fire." He tells him. "Now concentrate on tha-"
"Ye mean like dat?" Melron asked just after the dummy caught on fire. "Can I's put it out to?"
"Well, I's never been asked dat question afore, try it." Trapper just stood there as the fire slowly went out.
"Ye bein a natural kid." Trapper told him. "We's gonna have ye doin all da cantrips afore ye know it."
"What bein cantrips?"
"Those are spells dat every mage knows, there are some offensive ones an some defensive ones, as well as a few that aren't either. Were always discovering more cantrips. These spells are basic, like throwing a fireball or, as ye's just seen, lightin stuff on fire."
"I's be teachin ye some O' da basic ones an then teach ye how te discover 'em on yer own. Dat way ye can make yer magic yer own. Let's get started."
Phaebeus sat there in his red shirt and black leather pants and grabbed his crystal necklace and hung it over a crude hand drawn map of the land surrounding this particular citadel. He chanted his magical chant and let go of the crystal, it hovered in the air glowing a faint blue color. The crystal began moving and landed somewhere off the map and on the floor.
'Well shit! That's no help. They must not be close enough to the citadel to do any real harm yet.' He thought to himself. 'I guess it's time to go and finish off Beltron.'
He hiked all day for it took that long to set up the scrying process. He climbed over walls, walked through old buildings he even had to climb over a statue that was laying in his way. 'Stupid dwarves.' He finally caught up to Beltron and Jadus. They were in the middle of battling three large spiders. 'Good maybe the spiders will kill them off for me.' He watched as Beltron threw a fireball and hit the spider dead center of its face, when the fireball dissipated the spider was still there. 'This should be fun to watch.'
"Fire has no affect on these things!" Beltron roared.
"No shit! These are fire spiders, watch yourself they spit fire! " Jadus said tring to hack the leg off one of the creatures.
Both creatures freeze and Jadus knows exactly what is happening so he takes this opportunity to try doing some real damage. He knows that as soon as he attacks one of the creatures it breaks the spell on that creature so he has to move quick if he wants to take down both creatures in one shot. He knows he can't possibly take out both spiders at once so he'll have to make do with one spider for now. He gets up on the back of the spider near the top of its eyes where it hides its brain and he jams his sword deep into its skull. The creature roars for a very short period of time as he sees a fireball headed straight for him. He had to dive out of the way quickly; he was unable to retrieve his sword.
He heard the screams of another creature and took a look around the dead spider to see the spider battling a large cat shadow. Beltron had done it. He had been trying to cast this spell for a long time now and couldn't get it to work right, the last time he tried; it was a small puppy that he had summoned. But now, the cat seems to be drawing the spider's attention away from him. It spat fire and tried to kick at the cat but it wouldn't stop leaving gapping claw gouges in its fur. It bled fire that's why Jadus wasn't going up to retrieve his sword; it had probably melted by now.
Jadus now only had one sword, 'We better find an armory soon.' Jadus wished to himself. He looked up to Beltron and worry immediately took over his mind, he was casting a spell and right away he recognized to be a protection spell, this one was of custom making, Beltron had made this one specifically for such a need. It blocked magic and physical attacks as well as things like luck spells and the like.
He braced himself for another battle while watching the astral cat kill the spider. That was fun to watch but what was on the horizon he did not know.