No Stone Left Unturned
I nudge the loose flagstone with my near-silent foot, and everyone gasps. It’s the skull key for the Earth Elemental room. Why do we continue to get excited over these revelations? We always think it’s good news, but we almost always nearly die gruesome deaths as a result.

In the Earth room, giant stalagmites burst through the floor, and of course (because… why wouldn’t they?), the stalagmites reveal themselves to be ropers. I am, as usual, screaming, “What the fuck is this?,” because I have never been foolhardy… no, no—courageous enough to be running around in a barrow-maze fighting giant tentacled rocks. Everyone is yelling “run Aimorel!” or “hold!” or “I wanna fight, but how close should I get?,” and “I’m gonna run toward it, but I’m gonna run straight for a little while and then diagonally, and straight for a little while longer.” I draw my bow, but some omnipotent voice tells me only magic works on these assholes, so I throw it down, because it would take too long to put it back, and pull out Heart Seeker. In the end, we nearly lose Boudica, but not quite, and we acquire the giant skull key necessary to gain access to the main room we’ve been fighting toward for days.

What happened in that room is difficult to think and write about, but I do hope I am able to tell this to someone some day, because you cannot make this stuff up. I have breathed underwater, been teleported, and died and been brought back to life. But today, I saw a fiercely strong, beautiful half-orc, and a pastry- loving, jewel-stealing, life-saving halfling become invisible and fly. And because they risked their lives to do that, the rest of us lived.

I am left thinking though, maybe I shouldn’t keep looking for things not meant to be found. We’re no closer to the tablet, we all nearly died, and Tor has renounced Ymir in favor of Zuul. What will become of the rest of us, and our mission, if Tor loses his ability to reason for himself? We rely heavily on Tor. He has been our saving grace so many times. What if he decides he doesn’t want the unchained to find the tablet?
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2 comments
Epic!

2 Comments

Oooooh! Intrigue!
Yes, intrigue. I love the added insight into Aimorel's psyche.