Kura’Kai Report-Part Two.
Still, 1st day of Festival Moons, Year 3125
This is my report
We entered the tunnels and caves beneath the rocks. I led because I could see…and smell the enemy. My band, brave as they are, were simply not cut for this kind of work.
Mines. Been in places like this before. Back home, there was a goblin run operation south of my Gather. Way south. 2-3 days.
I was protecting a convoy for my Mak Torkash, picking up ingots and things for forging. Learned real quick that mines are no place for anyone. Place was crawling with rats the size of dogs, and worse.
The more things change, no? Lost half my band back then. Figured I’d lose more here.
This place was nothing but Darkness, and I’m not talking about the lack of light.
When we first stepped inside, the silence, well, dull roar, was almost deafening compared with the raging storm outside. Corporal’s got more chutzpah than even I gave her credit for. She would make a worthy enemy.
Wall of wind and water behind us, and dank, reeking mines ahead… Ancestors I love my jog.
Brother Toma lit his blade like a torch. Something to do with the Church of Light or his mind powers. Dunno. Magic is strange.
Didn’t bother me nun, till I heard them. Sounded almost like silk ripping over rocks, but faint like. A whisper. Then I saw the shadows, long spindly ones, moving against the light. One nicked the Sergeant, the other Brother Toma.
Dakota was behind me. Close. I could smell he scent of flowers, and decay. Flipped her to get at them. Shadow spiders. I killed one. Bard Leora did good with the Chuktar. Now I can kill anything.
Shadespider is what Danica yelled. So that’s what they were. More came, people got bit. Dakota too. Tough girl. Sad to think she will die soon. A waste.
We killed a couple, but they seemed attracted to the light. So, Sergeant said douse the blade. Well, Wyvern tossed his cloak to cover Brother Toma’s sword. The Brother looked a bit peeved, but he killed the light.
I didn’t mind. I can see in the dark. Better even than the elves. So, I saw what came next.
Can’t say that being in the dark was any better for us, but seems those Shadespiders need a least a little light. So, we defeated one enemy by making ourselves vulnerable to another. Fair trade? S’pose so. Not my call.
Next came the Arachnaurs. Two of them. One toward Dakota, the other on our right from another tunnel. Steile, I think his name is, he ran into the flamed thing. Don’t know who was more surprised. The strutting elf has moves, but he’s a depressed sort. Gets flustered easily. Not a warrior, but something else. He punches good enough.
I leapt Dakota again, got webbed, broke free and killed my spider. Stiele played around a bit, not real serious. Guess he’s not easily impressed, but he eventually got the job done.
Our soldiers mostly got stuck. I think Bard Leaora and the Corporal worked to get them unstuck in the darkness. Honestly, don’t know. I know we came out with fewer than when we went in, so, some of them may still be there.
So, we went deeper in the mines. Left first. I lead. Next tunnel, more spiders.
Me and the Sergeant got webbed. Bad. The others were cut off. I broke free and charged, cut down one of the spiders. Behind me, the Sergeant started talking to a horse? No, unicorn.
Never seen a unicorn. Some say they ain’t even real. Saw an ass with a horn glued to his head that the shyster claimed was a genuine thing. It wasn’t, though donkey doesn’t taste half bad.
Nor does shyster…
Whatever he said worked. Cause I could see. Not just the red blood of my enemies. I could see proper. Arachnaur’s are ugly brutes, I can tell you that. All of them we fought, women. Odd, no?
So, the others, behind the webs, start cutting through. Sergeant gets free, so does Brother Toma and Steile and the rest. Corporal and Bard Leaora stay well back. Helping the soldiers or hiding, don’t know, don’t care.
Onward to another cavern. This one is bigger. Left or right. Left smells bigger and wetter, right seems darker, closer in. Sergeant says right, so I go right.
Me and Danica get ahead, come into another chamber. Guess what’? More Arachnaurs. Almost like they live down here.
Behind us, the rest of the band got ambushed by waves of skeletons. I didn’t see the battle. Well, not till the end. They did well enough. Steile dropped one or two. The Sergeant did as well. Wyven didn’t die. The healer stayed busy, I hear keeping us all alive.
Eventually, the Sergeant collapsed the tunnel they was coming from. Not sure if I would have, but what was done was done. We killed out three bugs. Well, I killed two, Danica her one.
Regroup and re-think. Our bard figured the best way was left, but that was blocked, so we went right again, back past our spiders and then left. Tunnel looped around again and we entered a large cavern.
The mine proper. Tracks, carts, lamps, the works.
I also heard and smelled water. Brackish vile stuff, but water it was.
With lights came Shadespiders. Sergeant said push, so I pushed.
I made it across the rickety bridge, one of two, over the chasm. Sergeant and Danica with me and Brother Toma made the leap. We were met by crossbow bolt and Dwergs. Oh, and they dropped our bridge.
Never faced a Dwerg before but they are tough as reported. Steile leaped the chasm. Seems now that he can see proper, he has a bit more spirit. I suppose Sergeant’s spell missed him. Or, he wasn’t worthy. Dunno. Magic is odd.
I take on my handful, Brother Toma, the Sergeant, Danica, and Steile join in the fun. Drainer, the healer, runs around to cross the other bridge. Not smart.
Down it went with a surprised looking dwarf. And sploosh. Dwarves can’t swim. Oh well, there goes a perfectly good healer.
Dwergs maybe ugly as sin, but they hit hard as an anvil. And them crossbowmen were no joke. In no time, Sergeant goes down. Brother Tome tries to cover him, and then he goes down. Seemed almost like he off’d himself. Magic maybe? Odd stuff.
So, me, Danica and Steile have the Dwergs all over us. The Corporal is covering us. Not sure what Wyvern and Leaora are up to. Maybe they and Dakota are fishing the dwarf out of the drink? I hear a lot of shouting.
Course, then a lucky hit and I’m seeing red. Missed the next bit. Just know I cleared out the Dwergs just in time to hear some bloke laughing from the shadows ahead. I couldn’t see em, but I could smell the Corruption. Then, the rumble started.
It sounded almost like thunder, but this thunder came with smoke, fire and lots of rocks. We were trapped on this side of the river with the whole bloody place coming down about our heads. It was a neat little trap, I can’t lie.
I mastered myself in enough time to see Danica screaming. The Sergeant and Brother Toma were down. No WAY they were getting across that chasm. Steile made the leap. No hero there. Danica would have died with me, so I scooped them up and hurled them. That’s when the rocks came down…
Dunno what happened next. Swore I saw a Unicorn. Probably just hit on the head by a rock. Next thing I know, I’m standing on the far side, head just spinning.
Danica’s screaming, the dwarf is coughing up black water. Wyvern is dying. What in the Abyss was going on.
Leoara starts screaming about a rope, so she and Danica throw out a line and we all grab on. I scoop up the Sergeant and Brother Toma. I nearly dropped them the ground shook so bad. We had to hurry, pieces of stone the size of a Mak Torkash’s hut were crashing down all around.
I could at least see. Most couldn’t. Not sure who was luckier. So, I held on and ran trusting the Elf to lead us free.
Out through the tunnels passed the piles of dry bone, out passed the webs, out of the caves into the exterior mine. It too was coming down. Like the whole world was exploding around us.
We ran, slipped and clawed over a carpet of bodies, men, horses, corpses and worse. All the while the walls around us tumbled like a child’s toy knocked over by a prat.
Finally, through the smoke and dust, we could see the exit. I dropped the rope and sprinted. So did everyone else. Coughing, covered in soot and blood we staggered drunkenly out of the rocks to fine a wall of men…with their backs turned.
No more than a hundred Olarans stood shields locked facing outward. Beyond them, a scene of nightmare. Flame creatures and undead tore at each other, and the Olarans in a grande, bloody free-for-all. The Commander, Lord Kelles, nor horse or helm stood grimly surveying the field.
He seemed surprised out our appearance. I was just about to drop the two when a horn sounded in the distance. Coming over the ridge that we had camped on just last night, another army appeared.
Small, but very well drilled, above them rose a standard, a Lightning bolt on a Midnight field…
It is a good day to die.
… to be continued …