The Ice Cave
originally written by Sean "Sleanra" Roddy, edited and reworked by Rhysanus
With the chill of the morning cold working its way into the small cave, three adventurers woke to find it had snowed out side, but the snow and cold were of little concern, the quest to was what mattered now.
Kryah, a young Elven squire of 46, and oldest of the three companions, was the first up as usual. He was tall and well built for his age, and training to be a knight of Arethane. He tried often to be the cook and this morning was no different. He hummed as he worked over a small fire, heating up some food. The lofting aroma woke the others with a kindness to their cold noses, and their spirits were lifted. Kryah hoped the provender would help to warm them up before they set off through the secret door Dashera found the night before. He frowned at the thought of the door and the memory of what it had cost them thus far.
"Its so cold here, I don't think it gets this cold back home" said Dashera. "Your right Dash, Arethane doesn't get this bad, not even in the mountains" answered Myir`lana. Myir`Lana was a young Elven girl of about 45 years , and cut a very fit figure. She was dressed much like any other girl her age, but she was trained in magic and was already an accomplished mage fresh out of her school. She spent most of her free time learning how to dance and was very good at it.Kryah looked to his two remaining companions and pointed to the ice formed on the roof and walls of the cave. "It is only going to get colder inside, it was indeed prudent to stop at that shop in Lastport before coming here".
The smell of the warming travel cakes made the three feel better some how. "Your cooking skills are getting better Kryah" Said Dashera. "much better then that Inn back at the Crossroads".
After the warm meal the three friends packed their belongings and began the greatest part of the quest. Glancing first to the shallow snow-covered grave of Malardrin, their late fourth companion, she sighed and muttered a silent prayer. She then set her attentions to the door and using the skills Dashera learned on the back streets, picked the lock with ease, once again wondering why the half-elf had not heeded her warning. Dashera was a human girl of only 17 and 6th born to a poor family. She took to stealing at a young age and was soon discovered and trained by the thief's guild. She was very attractive for a human and slim of body, which made her a perfect pawn for use in the guilds games and scemes. After several brushes with the law as well as a few close calls with death, she decided to rethink her life and soon found she could use her skills to better her life without breaking the law, and left the guild. Not long after she found herself in Arethane and close friends with both Kryah and Myir`lana and lover to Malardrin.
After Dashera finished with the door, she moved aside and allowed Kryah slowly push it open. Kryah then headed in taking the lead as always. They looked down the hallway into what appeared to be the start of some ancient city. Kryah held up his hand and stopped, the other's following suit. Something is not right. A faint light and the sound of music coming from down the hall. "This is not good" whispered Kryah as he motioned his companions to follow him slowly. The three made there way down the hallway being careful not to set off any traps or make any unwanted noise. With the end of the quest so close they would have to be extra careful. Each of the young adventurers had thier own reasons for being here and while they all shared a strong and growing friendship, each knew that the fulfilment of the quest was their first and formost priority. For Kryah, completion of this task, set forth by his father amounted to a right of passage. His father was a prominent Knight in service to the King and in many ways a greuling taskmaster. Kryah had spent most of his young life try to earn his father's respect and acceptence with little success and when he had overheard the king tell his father of this mission he rushed in and practically begged to be allowed to be assigned to it. His father reluctantly agreed.
Dashera's reasons were perhaps the simplest to understand. Her Lover had been assigned to this quest by the high priest of his temple and where the cleric went Dashera followed. Being a human amoungst elves was difficult, but Malardrin made things somehow easier. And now he was dead.
Myir`lana joined the quest from more selfish reasons. Quest such as these often lead to treasures of Magic and lost knowledge and to this young mage, aquiring those treasures meant everything.
After only a few moments of walking the three came into a large room with a blazing fire in the center burning bright and warm. Dashera gasped loudly, Kryah spun around to see what she was looking at.
"What is it" he asked, then fell silent as he too saw. Over in one corner strode six skeletons playing musical instruments while a robed Drow stood there and watched. Kryah reached for his sword but before the other two could react, the robed Drow cast a mystical bolt of lightning and struck Kryah, sending the armour clad squire sprawling across the stone floor, sparks flying everywhere. He then pointed an old finger at Dashera muttering, and the young thief stopped all movement.
"He must be a highly skilled mage to cast two spells so quickly" cried Myir`lana as she prepared to cast a spell of her own. Kryah, rapidly got to his feet and drew his trusted long sword just seconds before the Robed Drow began muttering again. Myir`lana caught a few words of the spell and recognised it as the Armor of Ithon, and realized he was casting the spell on himself. Myir`lana raised her own melodious voice to the heavens, speaking the soft words in Elven and casted a spell to negate the magic holding her human friend.
While Myir`lana was busy with her magic, Kryah moved in making his attack. Rushing forward, he sliced his long sword up at the Robed Drow's throat, hitting him hard. Nothing happened save sparks from his sword flying from the mystical armour spell. Dashera began circling the Robed Drow, trying to get behind him, where she would be able to do the most damage, and drew her dagger for the attack, waiting for the proper opening.
Meanwhile, Kryah with a savage battle cry, brought his long sword down hard and fast, hitting the Robed Drow's arm a staggering blow, a blow that had the robed man not been magically protected would surely have severed his arm. Although still not harmed, The Robed Drow backed away trying to move out of the Elven Fighter's reach, knowing that his armour spell had limits and he would have to deal with these intruders rapidly.
The Robed Drow muttered again, casting a mystic portal under Kryah's feet sending him through it. Kryah's scream was cut short with the splash as he dropped into the icy river, not far from the cave, and swiftly sank beneath the freezing waters. Kryah desperately tried to get his chain mail armour off, for he knew he would not have any chance at surviving with it on.
Just as the Robed Drow cast his spell, Dashera struck. She drove the dagger toward the base of the mages skull hoping to kill him quickly. But again, the Drow's mystical armour protected him. The Robed mage swung around rapidly and struck Dashera full in the face with an iron gauntleted hand, knocking her to the ground, unconscious, and bleeding from a broken nose.
Myir`lana gasped as she saw Kryah fall through the portal and swiftly cast a Magic Net spell hoping to ensnare the Drow. Just as the net settled over him, she felt a hammering blow to the back of her head and blackness fell around her as she crumpled to the floor.
The Drow chuckled and kicked Myir`lana in the face. He then pointed to one of the skeletons and muttered and watched as it shambled down the hallway and out through the door the companions opened earlier. A few moments later the Skeleton returned and dropped the drowned body of the Elven Squire at his feet. "Such a pity", he said with a chuckle,"what ever shall I do with you?" The Drow smiles and began casting again and soon 3 new members jointed his ghastly orchestra. Their quest was over.
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