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Rated: 18+ · Chapter · Action/Adventure · #2207620
giant spiders and dwarven executions a plenty!
           Gorkan's          Brother: A Prophecy Rises                    Where be Dargus!

Chapter 9

Where be Dargus!


Darcey arrived at the rink ahead of schedule; she wasn't going to miss anything.  She had this idea brewing in her head and wanted so bad for Dargus to hear her.  This plan couldn't implement her or any of the groups in any way.  She was positive that this was a sure-fire way to get rid of Keldron.

She waited and waited; it was long after the meeting was supposed to have happened when she left.  'Maybe they went te The Cherub.  I'll go's dare an look around.'  They weren't there either.  She was now worried that the meeting was over and that they had lied to her or that something bad happened to them.  She started off to the hideout.

'Don'na do anythin' out o' da ordinary.'  She remembered what Thrazzulin had told her about not looking suspicious.  She wanted so bad to go and talk to her but instead decided that maybe it was better to just go home, that's what she would have normally done; but tonight wasn't one of those nights.  She needed to know that Dargus was alright.  She turned and headed toward the stronghold after making sure that nobody was following her.

She knocked the secret knock and said the secret password and she was in.  She waited in the front entrance for Thrazzulin.  She came out from one of the tunnels followed by three other ladies.

"What are yeh about Darcey?  Why yeh bein' here an not at home wit yer family?"

"I's supposed te have met Dargus at da rink, but he wasn't dare.  I's thought maybe he'd be goin' te The Cherub, but he wasn't dare either!  What happened te Dargus?"  Darcey's hands clenched and unclenched as her breath quickened.  'I's hopin' he wasn't captured, I's don'no what i's be doin' without him!'  Darcey's mind screamed.

"Relax Darcey, nothin' bad happened te him.  He be doin' jest fine, this happens all da time, it be bein' a safety measure we all be doin'.  We jest change up da meetin' place at da very last minute.  It's in case dare be a spy among us.  An yeh were not invited te this particular meetin'.  This be about somethin' totally different an we needed te have this meetin' go smoothly tonight, it be imperative."

"Then I's shoulda been dare!"  Darcey yells.

"Dare be no need te put yer life in danger too."

"But I's be needin' te-"

"Darcey, yeh can'no control everythin'.  Yeh don'na even know what da meetin' was about."  Thrazzulin explained.

"She's back Thrazzulin."  Another girl came in to inform her.

"But I's be guessin' yeh'll find out soon enough."

"Okay, we were almost recognized so we had te split up fer a while, we met up at da prearranged backup site an worked it all out.  Our sorceress an their archmage will be da ones puttin' dare lives on da line, who' this?"  The woman said nodding her head toward Darcey.

"This be a very new, very enthusiastic member o' our group."

"Well I aint be talkin' in front o' her."  The woman said, nodding toward Darcey.

"It's okay, I trust her an dat's Darcey by da way."  Thrazzulin told her.

"Great, yeah, yeah, we got it all set up, jest before he orders it, we be lightin' off those barrels an then dare archmage will unlock all da locks, it's up te them te git out o' dare from dat point.  I's jest pray they take da cue.  We weren't able te contact any o' 'em te discuss da plan."

"Oh dear, dat could be most unfortunate if they don'na take da cue."  Thrazzulin said with her head down deep in thought.

"What if we. . . no, or we could. . . no dat won't do either."

"What are yeh on about, maybe I's can help."  Darcey said.  "What's goin' on dat I can help wit?"

"Darcey, this has been in da works fer a week an we can'no change anythin' now, It jest be too late, da plan goes off tomorrow."

"Wait, yer not gonna try an free those prisoners are yeh?"  She asked hurriedly.  "I's bein' able te help wit dat.  What yeh need me's te do?"

"See . . . Very enthusiastic."  She looked over to the other girl in the room.  "I don' know Darcey, what yeh be thinkin' yeh can be doin'?"  Thrazzulin asked her.

"I don'na know, what be da plan?"

"What do yeh think?  Should we let her in on all o' this?"  Thrazzulin asked the other woman in the room.

"I don'na see why not now, she knows almost everythin' anyway."  The other woman said in an irritated tone.

With a heavy sigh and a twitch of her finger she guides them to another room where there are a couple of other dwarves standing around looking at a map, one of them happens to be male.  He looks up as they walk in.

"Darcey."  The man said with a nod of his head going back to talking with the woman next to him, while pointing at different positions on the map.

"Who be him? an why does he know who I am?"

'Really Darcey?  Who doesn't know yeh, you're infamous around here."  Thrazzulin said, the other woman dropped her hands to her sides, rolled her eyes and breathed out a sigh of frustration.


***



"We's should be gittin' close te them by now, don'na yeh think, they's probably slower an us cause they never seen this kind of weather before."

"Never underestimate da power o' enthusiasm of young kids an new things, Graggum."

"Bah, Then they probably be at da citadel by now."  Graggrum responded.

"Remember," Snaznock said.  "We are not te hurt these kids yeh hear?"  They all signify their agreement with a soft moan.

"I don'na care what Keldron says, he's not here now an I aint fer havin' no unnecessary kids deaths on me hands."

"But what if they attack us first?"  Tranvock asked.

"NO!" Snaznock told them.  "This is non-negotiable!  Yeh all know da prophecy fer this kid.  If'n he is da one, than we needin' te be helpin' him, not stoppin' him."

"Yeah, but they stole a sacred text from da library!"

"An if'n they can be pullin' dat off then they can be doin' almost anythin'.  So yeh be watchin' yerself, an Dargus hisself told me te watch out fer Mortog, cause he can learn yer fightin' style in mere minutes an be able te predict yer moves.  Yeh better be watchin' yerself around them, yeh got it Travnock?"

"Yeah, yeah, I's was jest jokin' anyway, they are, after all, jest kids."


***



"So what yeh be hearin' about this 'prophecy'?"  Mortog asked finally.

"Well it seems that you're handpicked by the gods to retrieve the Dragonstone amulet."

"Yeh be meanin' da healin' stone amulet?  Dat's what me book calls it."  Mortog told her.

"My guess is that every race has a different name for it.  The Dragonstone is what the elves refer to it as."

"Well me sacred text calls it da healin' stone amulet but I like Dragonstone, it has a prettier ring te it.  Anyway, what's it do?  Me text tells me nothin' about it, well, dat I's can make out anyway some o' it bein' written in different languages.  Me's guessin' dat all these languages be belongin' te each different race so they all have te work together te git da artifact.  So what else yeh be knowin'?"

"Legend has it that it can heal a broken people and unite them in a common cause and if it can unite different peoples then it could be used to create a large enough army to take over any species on this world."  Ryuul tells him.  "It is said to have enormous power and there is nothing like it."

"Then why it be hidden all this time, why keep it away from da people it be belongin' te?"

"It's probably the price you pay for using the amulet and nobody knows what it is.  See Mortog, magic is never free, there is always a price to pay that the user has to bear. Have you ever noticed how Cleary gets tired after using his magic?  He should also get hungry.  This is the most common price, but others could be worse.  We all pay a price."

"I's be willin' te pay dat price as long it pulls me family out o' shame."

"Just be very leery of what that price could be, this is a very powerful amulet, it will come with a very steep price, just remember that."  She finished her warmed up breakfast meat and picked up her staff.  "I'm going to spar, care to join me; I need to get in my workout for the day before we head into the catacombs.  I want to be ready for anything.  So bring your axe or your sword, whatever you feel like you can beat me with.

Mortog looked over at Branthony confused. 'Why would she jest abruptly end dat subject like dat?'  Jackel was getting his daggers ready for combat if he needed them.  Mortog thought about it for a minute and decided to go with the sword.  'She's a young elf girl, how good could she be?'

She stood at the ready holding her staff out in front of her like a walking stick.  Her knees bent a little and she shrank down just a bit, her outstretched hand bidding him to attack.  He tried a simple swing to her left side, the side without the staff.  The staff moved from one hand to the other in an instant to block his attack.

"Is that the best you got?  I need a challenge for my workout in the morning."  She taunted.

He lunged forward feigning a straight stab then twisted to bring the sword high and down at an angle.  She anticipated his move and countered it easily without even taking a step back.  In fact the next three moves he made she blocked easily, then she made a move that, in his arrogance, he missed.  She put her stick in between his ankles making him fall to the ground as she twirled the staff around to further humiliate him by totally disarming him.  There he was, beaten by a young girl, an elf no less.  She jammed her staff into the soft grass next to Mortog's head and looked over at Branthony.

"I's can still be givin' yeh a challenge little missy, I jest be warmin' up te yeh, didn't want te hurt yeh is all."  Mortog tells her feeling embarrassed by the defeat.  'What is it about this girl dat has me at such a disadvantage?'

"I think I'm going to let you rest, besides, I want to spar with all three of you this morning, you had your chance, in a real fight, you'd be dead already."  He hadn't really thought of that, but this wasn't a real fight.  "Maybe you can give me a better challenge, Branthony."  She looked at him with a rigid stare; she really wanted to spar with him.

Mortog, looking mortified sat down to watch his former nemesis face off with this highly skilled elf, noting to himself that he needs to take his axe next time to the sparring match.  Now he could watch her moves and win the next time they sparred.  'Dats not happenin' again, stupid foolish mistake is all.'

Branthony got out onto the field with Ryuul and stood there in the defensive stance with both of his swords at the ready.  He didn't underestimate her and let her make the first move.  At one point in time he thought he had disarmed her only to find that her foot had caught the staff and when she ducked his attack she flipped her staff into her hand twisted it knocking both swords from Branthony and swung it around knocking him on his back with a staff pointed right at his throat and his swords not even close to him.  He was done.

"Better, now let's see what our Mister Jackel has for me."

"Bah I's jest be an archer is all."

"Can you handle your bow as a staff, or maybe those daggers at your side aren't just for show."  She challenged.

"All right darlin'."  I's can try an beat yeh, but I's knows when someone better enters me arena."  He stepped up to her and in traditional fashion, he bowed to her, something the younger two failed to do.  They both got into position, her with her staff pointed down but towards him.  She started the attack and he immediately moved his decorated bow to block, but cut her with an arrow as he sliced it down.  She drew back, feeling the wound on her shoulder.  She smiled and looked back at him.

"Finally, a real challenge."  She put her staff back up at the ready as he did with his bow as a slight smile curled her lip.  They battled for what seemed like a half an hour.  They thrust and blocked and spun around, both of them trying to catch the other off guard.  They were both real good at anticipating each other's movements.  He was a lot better at using his bow as a staff than he let on.  Mortog was thrilled to watch this little sparring match; after all, she had humiliated him right off the bat.  As he watched he realized that not only was Jackel good at staff fighting, but so was she.  They might do well to have a mage in the group, especially one that fights like that when needed; and he liked her attitude and it didn't hurt that she was easy on the eyes.  Jackel loosed one of his daggers and cut her hand right across the knuckles making her drop her staff as he kicked her in the chest knocking her flat on her back, there she lay with a foot on her chest and an arrow to her throat.

She lay there on her back with her head held up so that the point was touching her Adams apple in pride.  He pulled his foot off of her chest, put his bow down to his side and reached his hand out to help her up.

"You make a real good sparring partner, where did you learn to fight like that?"  She asked him still laboring to breath.

"Oh, they teach yeh a thing or two at our schools in da citadel."  He said with pride.  Mortog looked on knowing he could do better but thought against it because he wanted each team member to think they were useful.  "Plus I fergot I wasn't actually fightin' fer me life until yeh looked up at me from under me arrow."
"Well, I'm grateful that I did then."  She chuckled.
Mortog, branthony and she were all somewhat humbled at Jackels performance and now Mortog knew what kind of fighter Jackel was and what he could do if prompted to do so.

"Is everybody ready te check out these catacombs?"  Mortog asked the group.  "An who be gittin' da torches so's we can see?"

"I've got that, it's one of my innate abilities but I haven't ever had to use it, so let's take a regular torch also,"  Ryuul tells the group.

Mortog was out in front with his shiny double-bladed axe leading the way.  Ryull's light orb made it bright enough for all of them to see what was ahead.
After about an hour of hiking in the dark, damp and moldy smelling cavern, the dirt floor suddenly opened up to a larger chamber where there were unmarked graves built into the walls.  They appeared to be human upon closer inspection.

"This must be where da Harpies lay in waitin' fer us."  Branthony reasoned.  He looked over to his right and saw another small room with a doorway only wide enough for one.  "Hey guys, I think I's found another room, maybe dare's stuff in dare, can I's gits some light?"

Ryuul walked over to the room and the light spilled in like daylight.  They could see everything and there were all manner of items and weapons and packs, lanterns, bedrolls.

"They must've lived out here in these nests along da wall over dare,"  Mortog stated while pointing to the opposite side of the room.  "An stored all of da people's belongin's in dare, let's see if dares anythin' good.  Maybe a good quiver or arrows in dare fer yeh Jackel."

"There are magic weapons in here, I just can't pinpoint where or which ones they are."  Ryuul told them.

"How yeh be knowin' dat?"  Mortog asked sounding a bit skeptical.

"It's just one of the skills I have, I'm a druid and all druids can detect magic."  She explained.

"Aye an apparently all clerics too, cause I's can sense them too."  Cleary grumbled.  Ryuul just looked over smiled and nodded.

Branthony had already begun going through some of the items in the room.  "They must've been lurin' people in here fer a very long time."  He said as he was rummaging through the assorted items.  "Dare be lots o' stuff in here."

Mortog found a larger backpack with a sword sheath on either side of it for easy access and a spot to tie up his dragon's breath axe.  He thought about giving it to Branthony but decided against it because he wanted to find two good swords to use in battle if he needed to.  That's okay because Branthony found himself a good pack with a better bedroll than the one he had.

Jackel found a quiver that seemed fancier than his so he traded it out, just because he thought it looked better.  He also found a large decorative staff that he brought outside for Ryuul to take a look at.

"Yeh be thinkin' it be magical darlin'?"  Jackel said as he handed it to her.  She took the staff into her hand and found that it did have a better weight to it, but as she looked at the carvings a little closer she could've sworn she saw them move slightly.  Thinking that it was only a trick of the light she let the thought slide.  She decided that she liked the weight of the new staff better than her old one.  She walked out into the room and performed some practice maneuvers with it and the balance on it was perfect.  Her other one rested silently against the stone wall getting ready to be left all alone.

Before the boys could find their swords, if there were some magical ones to find, Ryuul, made a noise outside the room.

"Guys!"  She said getting into a crouching position, looking through her spells in her mind.  "Get out here now!"

As they exited the room, they saw two giant spiders standing in front of the exit tunnel.  They had maneuvered from another tunnel to the exit tunnel to block their escape route.

She had already tried her level five charm animal's spell and apparently spiders aren't considered animals.  'This new staff will be useless here, so what kind of spells can I use?'

Cleary sat back inside the room and put a protection spell on three of them, he left Jackel alone to put a luck spell on him to better his aim, not that he needed the help.

Jackel knocked an arrow that he pulled from his new quiver and fired at one of the spiders; it hit it in one of its many different eyes and a small explosion erupted from the arrow sending that spider and the one next to him backward a tad.  'Dat be awesome!'  Jackel thought.  That spider took aim crouched one of its legs and raised another one to shoot a ball of acid at Jackel, who jumped in the air just in time, as he did he took out another arrow and fired it again at the same spider and again it erupted in an explosion on one of its other luminescent eyes.

Mortog and Branthony took up spots in front of the other spider and prepared for battle, but the spider seemed to just stand there.

"What da hells?"  Mortog yelled.

"I dazzled it, just kill it now!"  Ryuul said.

"Were goin' te have te have a little chat later."  He said that and both Branthony and Mortog attacked at the same time.  Branthony, bringing one sword behind his head pointed directly at the spider's eye, reached out and stabbed the creature causing it to rear backward.  Mortog lifted his axe high above his head, pushed off the dirt floor to jump trying to get above the spiders head to perform a downward chop at the thing.  He connected but it wasn't enough to kill the monster.  All he managed to do was piss the thing off.

One of its six legs connected with Branthony sending him into the far wall and landing him in a pile of bones on the floor. Just as Branthony went to get up he heard a hissing noise and when he looked up, saw a globule of something heading straight for him.  He jumped to the side to avoid getting hit when some of the splatter hit his armor and started to burn.  He struggled to unlatch the burning breastplate to take it off.  Once clear of the breastplate he looked down to see that some of the soft leather armor that rested below his breastplate had been singed and almost burnt through.  'What do I's do?! I's has no armor! Maybe dare be some in da room over dare, I's hope da torch still be in dare.'

Meanwhile, Jackel was still firing arrows into the creature by the door backing him into the passageway.  He decided to try a ricochet shot directing an arrow onto the floor directly below the creature and into its belly, hopefully hitting its heart.  He knocked, drew, and let loose the arrow.  It hit a rock at the exact spot he was hoping it would hit and the arrow went straight into the belly of the beast but the explosion happened at the first point of contact, the rock beneath the spider.  At the same time he had to jump out of the way of an incoming acid spit that hit right in front of Cleary causing severe burns all over his body.  He was standing right behind Jackel and casting protection spells and throwing small stones at the creature with his only known offensive spell.  Jackel had no idea he was even there, in fact he forgot all about him.  When he let out a yell Mortog was in the middle of disabling the lead spider by taking out his leg.  Mortog turned fast to see Cleary rolling around on the ground screaming in pain.  The spider right in front of him knocked him into the wall and spit.  Mortog had no idea if he was able to dodge it in time or not, he was blind with rage, he went after his spider with a vengeance and with his axe held high he slid underneath the spider and caused its guts to spill out onto the floor behind him.

Ryuul heard the screams and took a look behind her to see Cleary on the floor, she quickly threw her lightning bolt, not having any idea if it had hit or not, and ran back to help out her new friend.  Luckily being a druid she was able to cure major wounds, so after finding something to wipe the stinging acid off of him she went to work curring his massive wounds.  He would no doubt have many scars from this attack to show off when he got home.

Lightning struck the last spider and Mortog heard a hissing sound as it turned to face him.  Mortog ran forward hoping to throw the creature off when its mouth exploded in fire.  Jackel came in with his daggers to try to do exactly what Mortog was hoping to do; together they were able to gut the second spider as well.  Mortog got up from the ground and ran over to where Cleary lay in pain, where Ryuul was tending to his wounds.  Jackel looked back and saw Mortog running over to his friend and decided that he needed to collect his arrows; after all, there was nothing he could do about it now and he didn't want to be the immediate receptacle for his rage.  If only he knew that Cleary was behind him.  He collected all but one of his arrows, the one stuck under the creature's belly.  He only had seven arrows so he needed to look through that room and find more, but first he needed to go see how Cleary was doing and if Ryuul was as good as she seemed.

"How is he?!"  Mortog yelled.  "How is he?!"

"Quiet, let me work."

They all stood back as she worked to heal Cleary's wounds.  There was no doubt in anyone's mind that he was in pain, though he wasn't screaming at all.  Branthony even came over; armor less, to see how Cleary was doing.

"How did this happen!?"  Mortog yelled looking right at Jackel.

"I's-I didn't know he was behind me, I's  jest moved out of da way is all.  If I's be knowin' he be behind me I's be takin' him wit me."  Jackel said with the utmost concern on his face.  Mortog pushed him backwards, grunted and turned around to watch as Ryuul made some of his scars disappear.  When she finally stopped, she looked absolutely exhausted.  She knelt down on the ground on her hands and knees unable to get up.

Cleary sat up at last looking at his hands and his lack of armor, then looked at Mortog, smiled and said, "Did we's win?"

Mortog bent down and gave Cleary a big squeeze of which Cleary winced in pain.

"Yeh still in pain?"  Mortog looked at him in bewilderment; then he turned a glare to Ryuul.  "Yeh's finish healin' him now!"  He yelled as she stayed on her hands and knees as she was so weak she couldn't even sit up straight.

"Yeh be leavin' her alone Mortog, she done all she can fer me's right now.  I know, I's can be doin' da same thing as her, but not as good, she be way better an me."  Cleary said with his hand out trying to stop Mortog from getting too mad at her.

"She be needin' te eat, in fact, we both be needin' te eat.  I's glad we packed everythin' up te bring wit us, now go an git us some food, makin' sure yeh let her eat first, she be spent!"

Mortog and Jackel went to collect the packs with the meats in them.  Ryuul got some meat from Jackel and at the same time Mortog made sure to give Cleary his food.

They would both have to sleep for a while before the crew could move on.  So while the two ate and were tended too, Branthony went back to the room looking for a breastplate that he could wear.  There was more than enough armor in the little room.  He had his choice of damaged and weak armor to choose from.  He wasn't looking for anything special, just something he could wear for now.  According to the map, they think there is a small village up ahead in the hills somewhere; he figured he can get whatever armor he finds here fixed and paid for with some of the loot and coin they can find in the room.

Meanwhile Mortog was investigating the room where the spiders came from.  They had backed one of the spiders right into the tunnel they had come from and the passageway was now completely blocked off.  The light in the room went out and had to be reignited by Ryuul but she was in no condition to use her magic again, at least until after she got some sleep.  And if the light was any indication, she had just fallen asleep.

Suddenly a light went on in the room that Cleary was in.

"Yeh might want te grab yeh some torches an light them before I's goes te sleep.  Hurry!"  Cleary said sounding very weak.
They all went and got torches, there was now light again in the chamber again.

"Where'd them spiders come from anyway?"  Jackel risked the question.

"Me thinks from this other room over here, it seems da only likely place, they wasn't in here when we first got in here.
"Mortog said.  They both walked over to the room.  Once inside they saw all manner of corpses and bones strewn about.  What looked like a nest of some kind was in the corner furthest from the door.  They saw no indication of any other spiders, besides all the cocoons lined up at the top of the room.  There was an orange-ish gold colored mace lying in one of the tombs with its master.  Mortog went to go look at it.

"I's wouldn't be in such a hurry te desecrate graves in here jest yet, Mortog."  Jackel said with a grim look on his face.  So Mortog pulled his hand away from the mace and backed off.  Jackel went over and studied the piece.  "Yeh see this?"  He said pointing to a hole in the back of the tomb about fist size.  "This mace be trapped, It looks like if yeh had taken this mace, yeh'd be in some trouble.  This also be an old trap, a design I has never seen before.  So this could be anythin' includin' da way into a secret chamber, but because this is such an old trap, I's not even sure the trap would even go off or dat any kind of secret door would open, but I's wouldn't try it Mortog.  Let's jest get back into da other room."

"Mortog!"  Came Branthony's voice from within the treasure room.  "I's be findin' somethin'.  Come take a look."

Mortog took his torch and went into the room with Branthony.  Five swords were Laid out before him.  Each looked very different from the others.

"Why yeh be wearin' a woman's armor?"  Mortog asked Branthony.

"Cause it be da only one in da room dat fits me an it not be havin' any damage on it."

"Well it suits yeh."  Mortog said with a grin.  "I's bein' sure Ryuul be gittin' a kick out o' it too."

"Ha ha, very funny, now look at these swords, I's fer knowin' yeh want a couple o' swords, at least one te replace dat plain one yeh carryin' around wit yeh."  Branthony said.  "I's sure dare be more in here but these are da only ones I's could find right now."

"They'll have te do cause we gots te figure a way out o' here when our two mages wake up an eat again, so pick yer sword an I's be pickin' out me own swords when yeh be done, then we meet outside te discuss our next move. . . Me-Lady."  He said with a grin.  Branthony just grunted knowing that he was going to take flack for his choice from all of them at some point.

Ryuul had been carried over and placed next to Cleary so they could sleep.  Mortog took a good look at the swords.  Two of them seemed plain and useless; they were dull and didn't feel like well-made swords at all.  Mortog discarded those two and left the other three leaning against the desk.

"Yeh take yer pick first, if'n yeh be needin' a new magic sword, I's be thinkin' dat at least one o' these swords be magical in nature.  Me own swords is jest in case me can'no git te Dragonsbreath."

"So dat's what yeh named it huh?  Seems te fit yeh."  Branthony said sarcastically.

They chose their swords and neither of them knows if they are magical.

They let the two mages sleep and they made camp there.

"We's gonna have te keep goin' into da catacombs."  Mortog said while sitting at the fire finally.  They, Branthony, Mortog, and Jackel tried to move the spider but to no avail.  Nobody was moving that thing.  It got itself wedged in that tunnel good.  They even tried to climb over it but it was too high and with no way to get over it, they decided that the only way to go was further into the catacombs.


***



The crowd of Dwarves that stood around the execution stage was incredibly large; that's because these people needed some drama in their lives, and were undoubtedly ordered by the city guard to show up to witness the executions.  Keldron liked large groups that paid homage to his awesome power.

Darcey stood on the side facing the front of the guillotines.  This way she could get up on stage quicker.  Her job was simple, to let the captives know to escape, quickly.  It was an easy enough job, she felt she could handle, and they said if she couldn't it wouldn't hurt any other part of the plan, not that she really knew what that plan was, they only gave her a brief outline-just what she needed to know.

All eleven victims were men.  They were all of one cell; one of the groups they had caught.  Keldron ordered them lowered onto the guillotines and locked into place.  He stood on that stage like it was his own personal throne room.  He looked proud and majestic as he stood with his head held high, his black cape hanging from his neck, a neck Darcey wishes she could strangle with her bare hands.

From behind him, underneath the platforms came explosion after explosion and still, he just stood there but that was her cue.  The other mage had unlocked all of the restraints that kept their heads locked in place.

Darcey jumped into action, she pushed off the ground with one leg and landed on the stage and sprinted to the closest guillotine and lifted the bar restraining his head.  It immediately slammed down on his head.  She tried to lift it again but it just wouldn't budge.  She motioned to the others to get out, that the locks had been unlocked but they all seemed to be stuck.  She stood on top and pulled at the bar and when it wouldn't move, she got down under it to push it up and it wouldn't budge.  The man just looked at her with sorrow in his dark brown eyes and as he did so the blade came down chopping his head clean off leaving her with blood splatter on her shirt.  She now looked down into the basket at a lifeless face.  The face that she couldn't save.  His eyes just stared up at her with that look of sorrow that a puppy gives you after its first shit on the floor.  She almost started to cry as she looked down the line at all the baskets.  They were all full.

It occurred to her that she needed to get off stage fast, now!  She leapt off the stage and her foot planted itself right into the chest of a city guard knocking him to the ground with such force that his head bounced off the ground to cause him to lay there unconscious.  That's when she turned to take one final look at the eleven's final resting place.

She stood in horror, frozen, her feet unmoving as she watched the scene unfold in front of her.  The heads of all of the dead floated onto, the now erect bodies of the newly dead dwarves.

"Okay, dats not supposed te happen!"  She said more to herself than anyone in particular.

The large audience started screaming and tried to exit the courtyard through the only exit there was, but the city guard was standing in their way.  They were all halted by the guard and no one could get through.  The eleven dead men crawled off the stage and started slaughtering the onlookers one by one.

It was time for her to move and when she did she saw a guard coming straight toward her off the stage.  She got to the edge of the stage where he was going to meet her in battle when she dropped to her hands and thrust out her foot with her momentum moving forward landing her foot square into his chest Knocking him to the ground.  His head hit hard enough on the cobblestone street to knock his helmet off and become disoriented.  She reached down as if in slow motion, grabbed his sword and plunged it into his chest, only to have it slide off to the side and hit with a spark onto the cold stone of the street under him.  Looking at the magical armor she did the next best thing she could think of.  The sword point slid nicely into his throat causing him to bleed out in mere seconds.  She put the sword down seeing that there were no other guards around, slipped the armor off the dead man and put it on.  Picking up the sword, she twisted her head and looked at the unsuspecting, frantic crowd of dwarves all trying to get away from the eleven corpses chasing after them.

Some had their heads completely ripped off their bodies; in fact that's what she saw first.  She stood in horror for the first few moments as she watched the inhabitants get decapitated by shear strength.  When she saw a dead dwarf stick his fist through a young woman's chest, she had had enough.  She came up with a crude plan to get those people free from certain death.  Keldron would see them all die by his own devious ways, but she had other plans for them.

She leapt into action charging the first undead dwarf, the closest one too her; she cringed at the thought but knew what she had to do.  The nearest undead dwarf was about to rip the head off of one of the villagers.  She came down with a chop and it did almost nothing, the blade was too dull.  She spun around and used all her momentum to come down and chop his arm off at the elbow.  Immediately the arm fell limp inside the shirt.  The dwarf she saved paid no mind and just started pushing through the crowd like everyone else.  She knew she had to make it to the front, so posing as a guard she forced everyone to her sides to make her way to the front.

She battled the guard to her extreme right and his sword was thrown away from him and his throat was cut in a matter of mere seconds.  'I's hate havin' te do this te a fellow dwarf, but I's gotta be doin' it!'  Her mind rationalized.  She got behind the second guard and stabbed him through the back; luckily the back wasn't protected like the chest plate.  She took a mental note and would have to remember that in the future.  Moving over to the last two guards they had turned to face her and were overrun by villagers.  She managed to stab one in the throat but it was pointless to get to the fourth as he was being trampled to death.

She looked up, as if being summoned.  She saw Keldron on the stage laughing.  As she labored to breath he was standing, mid stage, laughing.  He brought one finger into the air, then down to place it on his nose.  He stopped laughing and pointed directly at Darcey eyeballing her fiercely.  She turned and followed the crowd out of the courtyard, now fearing for her own life.  'Where be Dargus?!'

                   12

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