The Chronicles of GrimmGale & Co.

Romance and More

Weston and Yasmin walked arm and arm back to his sweet. She was excited, riding high on the exhilaration of her remarkable performance. He was intoxicated by her happiness, quickly they entered the room; locking the door behind and began their celebration in earnest.

Weston hurried to the chest that carried his vintages; he pulled one of his better wines and poured two glasses. Yamsin accepted one smiling coyly and curling into a large plush chair. She delicately sipped her wine as she watched Weston reach up and unstrap his breast plate, then his shoulder grieves, arm plates and so on. She was mesmerised in watching his skilled hands carefully unclasp the buckles and gently place the equipment on the nearby armour wrack. Still excited from her performance she scooped up her loot and began to strum a few chords, instantly she saw a grin shoot across the face of her large companions face. She strummed a few more chords, striking up a soft scintillating tune, one that could (and did) make a man’s blood burn hot.

When the Knights task was at last completed he took a long pull from his own glass and lightly strode across the room; scooping up his beautiful bard and eliciting a cry of shock and excitement from her. He carried her to the large bed as she squealed and squirmed.

“Put me down you big oaf!” she chided playfully.

“As you wish” was his only reply as he unceremoniously tossed her onto the bed, she landed lightly rolling back to her feet on the far side.

“You dropped me?” she accused, unable to hide her ear to ear grin

“Yes” he said crawling onto the far side of the bed

“I won’t be some harlot to be left behind when you feel it’s time to ride on to the next town”

“I would never leave you behind” he joked back. To that he received a solid THWACK as a feathered pillow smacked him in the face. He chuckled continuing forward

“A Challenge Then!” he declared as he watched the slender red headed beauty expertly wield her pillow a wry grin rose to her face

“Surrender now good sir,” she said pointing her pillow like a sword “…and I may let you live” she accentuated the ‘may’, drawing it out as if she hadn’t decided one way or the other.

“I’m sorry me lady, My honour demands I stand and fight” he said mock solemnity as he picked up his own pillow and tested its heft. She didn’t wait but squealed what a mouse might consider a war cry as she dove across the bed summersaulting perfectly and once again smacking the knight squarely in the face. His glass of wine was knocked from his hand causing the crystal glass to shatter on the floor. A small pool of red quickly formed near the crystal shards staining the old wooden floor, and one of Master Kal’tha’mars shirts. She looked at him with a moment of guilt for breaking his crystal; she received a pillow to the side for her trouble, and was quickly tackled onto the bed. She giggled as she managed to control their momentum, ending up on top.

“Tsk Tsk, aren’t you supposed to defend my honour Sir Knight?” she asked in an almost serious tone. He sat up lifting her up with him as if she weighed no more than the pillow she had wielded. He pulled her up as he stood to his feet lifting her fully off the ground.

“I’m afraid the lady is a lost cause” he said in a deep voice as he leaned towards her and kissed her passionately. Yasmin was quickly lost in the kiss and found her legs wrapping around her knight. Her fingers worked dexterously to untie his shirt as the knight staggered backwards under the force of her passionate onslaught. He fell backwards onto the bed, as she continued to kiss him. His hands reached down pulling off her sandals and flipping her over, as she pulled of his shirt.


Time blurred as they tumbled about the room disrobing one another. The fury of a passion that could be contained no longer raged throughout the evening and room as the two lovers shared deeply of one another. As the dawn neared the two at last found rest wrapped profoundly in one another’s arms. Just before sleep found them the knight whispered into his beautiful bards ears

“You are no harlot, and I am for you, completely” his moustache tickled her neck as he sealed his promise with a kiss below the ear. Yasmin smiled as she snuggled in closer, a comforting grin spread across her face, for the first time, in a very long time, she felt safe, and happy.

Weasels, Loki and cages, oh my.

How do I get myself into these situations! I just wanted Jermailyn and myself to be healed! I’m glad that I was able to do such a good performance but it’s so sad that they kept weasels caged and made to fight like that for their amusement! I’m sorry that Jermailyn got injured. I am staying away from Temples of Loki from now on! I am so thankful that Turog was able to heal my Devil’s Chills. I hope to perform for his groves again in the future.


Large cage fight1

Log # 1; This ___ day in the year ___.

Thaddeus Grimm – Adeptus Exemptus
First Log
Dated the month of _ in the year _

Although I was advised many times that keeping a personal log would help me maintain my composure, I have never until this date deemed it necessary. Yet, recent events do seem to warrant an added level of mental organization. Thus I begin this log in hopes that it will perhaps provide future insight into my decisions and actions.

Things have changed. When I first accepted the auxiliary kingdom patrol assignment I deemed it a waste of my talents and took the charge very lightly. Although I want to say that it is only with the slightest chance that the mission I was set upon has become something of global importance, something inside wants to say that Arch Magus Alinius had something to do with my selection for this assignment. Although I grant this may be no more than arrogance, it is true that the man has had a place in some of the greatest turning points in my life. Either way, I shall record my recent exploits in an effort to calm my own mind.

I would not have thought the corruption I have seen in the town of Morden was possible within the King’s own borders, yet the Mayor of the town clearly seems to be bloated upon the toil of the townspeople. It took much of my discipline to not break the bonds of my service and remove Duke Gambino from his place as Mayor myself. Instead of this rash action I will be moving along the proper lines of the system and have his corruption exposed to the King. This task however will have to wait as more pressing matters have arisen.

I have begun dealing with an imp who calls himself Mephistopheles. I do not enjoy the interactions and I am constantly calling upon the many warnings I received from my studies of the infernal race, yet it seems to me that the interactions may become profitable ones. Thus far the imp has held true to his word and although I can trust that he does not have our best interests at heart, I think I am able to trust the information that he is providing about our predicament. I will however treat this endeavour as I do any business interaction. The moment I believe the profit does not substantiate acceptable risk I will end these dealings. Currently I have received little more than what may be information that I am unable to read, so I cannot yet make a judgement.

On this topic, it occurs to me that the ne’er-do-well Jermailyn may in fact be able to read the infernal scrawl within this book, but I do not trust her or her motives for continuing to travel with the party. Thus far she has only drawn suspicion towards her, and I will not allow her to gain more knowledge than is necessary. Although at this time I do not suspect her of dealing with Shokar’s allies, I would not trust her to not abandon us when things get difficult. She seems to believe her skills as being far more valuable than they actually are… only time will tell I suppose.

Moving on… The standard which we retrieved from the tomb of General Shokar indeed has more power than I initially was able to determine. After a brief stay in what I conclude must have been a druid grove (most unpleasant how the man can live without modern comforts) we arrived at Voren where we were finally able to give a report of our recent activity. This mountain fort was merely a stop on our way towards the library where we believe we will be able to gain more information about our tasks. The stop was most profitable however, as we learnt about a giant festival that would be impeding our progress. Furthermore we also learnt that there was a copper scaled dragon nearby that had proved neutral towards the human settlement so nearby.

This was a most interesting opportunity to put some of my academic knowledge to use. Draconic lore was one of my most favoured classes at the academy and I do recall that dragons with metallic taints are, in fact, predisposed to the causes of good. Master Gale did not take too kindly to the idea of visiting a dragon, although after being assured that copper dragons were naturally good natured he seemed to take being out voted quite well. I am glad that I did not mention that I also recalled lore stating that copper dragons were incorrigible pranksters. Yet the chance to meet with a dragon proved far too difficult an opportunity for me to turn down. As it turned out, the dragon was favourable to our cause and aided us not only with information but with an opportunity to cross through giant territory with greater chance of success.

The crossing of the giant lands was most unpleasant. Although we all made it to the other side of the pass, I was nearly killed in the process and although I do not know the extent of injuries that my companions sustained, I assume they were also not pleased with the experience. I do have to admit however, that the skill of Master Gale was most impressive. I am forced to recall my tactical classes and the power of cavalry and will endeavour to push myself a little harder to learn the power of flight so that I may avoid others with a similar skill set to Master Gale. I can feel that my arcane senses seem to be attuning much quicker than ever before.

Something else that I feel necessary to record is my experience with the standard of General Shokar. I must agree with the conclusions that the copper dragon expressed. I do not believe that the standard itself is evil; however the presence of the standard still bothers me. Furthermore, the fact that I was forced to use the new found flight abilities of the artefact bothers me even more so. This is one more reason that I wish to focus my power towards learning magical flight. I do not wish to be indebted to the standard again. I would like to be able to trust another in our company to hold the item yet I do not believe this wise. I still do not trust the intentions of our roguish companion, our bard seems too whimsical to trust such an item to, Master Kal’tha’mar seems to be having his own internal issues, and Master Gale (as true to his cause as he may be) knows nothing about magical effects and might be tricked easily. Perhaps the library we seek will give us further knowledge on how to destroy the item.

A new plot is hatched

The Birdman stood up and stretched. His muscles were stiff from hours of sitting and starting into the scrying pool. The adventurers were traveling much faster than expected. This was frustrating due to the fact that they threatened his plans. However their race past the giants had proved to be entertaining. He pondered the problem as he left the dank chamber, and began climbing the stairs to the tower above. He would still pass them in a couple of days despite their shortcut, however they would be too close on his tail for comfort. If they gained any additional time it would become a race. The Birdmanslammed his fist into his hand with frustration. If only the mercenary had slowed them down as he was supposed to. Those fire drakes may have even been lucky enough to kill on or two of the fools.

Still cursing, the Birdmanclimbed the ladder onto the rooftop. He needed to slow them down before they interrupted his plans any further, or even worse, gods forbid got to the crystal before him.

He whistled sharply into the cool night air, and then shaded his eyes with one hand in order to scan the sky as he waited. He of course knew somebody who might be able to help him, but the cost would be steep. He smiled briefly as he spotted a movement growing closer in the sky.

The wyvern landed with a rush of air. Unlike most riders, who had to be wary of the venomous stinger on the beasts tail, the Birdmanclimbed into the saddle with the confidence on one who simply knew he was safe. The wyvern was well aware of the cost of his master’s displeasure. It bowed deeply to allow the man to more easily climb aboard, and waited for the signal to begin flight.

As the beast and rider lifted off, the words “well I guess it can’t be helped, a skilled magical assassin costs money” could be heard faintly in the wind. It would be but a short detour to the merchant’s home, almost directly on his way to the library.

Deviously Determined

Jermailyn sank up to her nose in hot, scented bathwater. The scalding water began
to melt the fatigue out of her muscles, finally unknotting them. She beat the back of her
head softly against the tub. How could Thaddeus Grimm be so foolishly arrogant? Imps were
deceptively weak, but far from powerless…or stupid. However, given his reaction any time
she alluded to such things, she did not yet feel inclined to share how she had gained such
bitter knowledge. The thought of just sliding under the water and inhaling was tempting –
it would probably be quicker and cleaner than her eventual fate.

She pondered."Okay Gwaihir, let’s see. The mage is dealing with Hellspawn, the
paladin almost got us all arrested, the healer buggered off claiming “elf things” – ha to that – and the bard panicked and almost got me killed at the temple of Loki. Well, the bard and the idiot mage. On the other hand, we managed to make friends of sorts with a copper dragon, and survived a close-up look at the Hill Giant Games."

Luxuriating in the fragrance of the soap as she massaged it over her wet skin,
Jermailyn vowed once again that if she was going to live a short life, it was not going to
be without pleasures. Just not too many of them, that was damnation of another sort. Been
there, done that, not planning on going there again – at least not permanently. Do before
you are done unto was beginning to look like the only way out. Infernal time was not the
same as mortal time, perhaps she could learn fast enough, be strong enough…be lucky

She arose from the bath, skin glowing rosy and warm in the candlelight. After
carefully wrapping her wet hair up in a towel, she slid on a sheer robe. It was amazing
how hot water and soap could improve one’s outlook, she thought. Then she pulled a chair
over to the table and said to her familiar, “So, any ideas on how we’re going to steal a
dragon skull? From in front of an entire town? You KNOW someone’s gonna muck this up,
probably the paladin. Oh, and we need a good rationalization. I bet he can be mollified if
we come up with an excellent story.”

Jermailyn and Gwaihir plotted deep into the night.
Elf Things

Auraus Kal’tha’mar was packing his saddle bags, when he felt a tug, he stopped at that. It was not like a tug at the shoulder, but one that was in his mind and in his soul. He felt the elder winds hand. They needed something done. Curious, he thought, they don’t usually touch me directly.

“Forgiveness, my friends,” He said to Grim and Gale as they were packing their own saddle bags. “There are some issues of an elven nature that I have to take care of, I will catch up to you in the Town of Eridu. “

Both Grim and Gale looked at Auraus, looked at each other, and shrugged their shoulders. They had known Auraus long enough that it was not uncommon for him to go off on side trips, be they of elven or Oracle in nature.

“Very well Master Kal’tha’mar, we shall meet you on the road. But remember what we are up against and what needs to be done.” Said Sir Gale.

“Fear not, my friends, I will be where I need to be when I need to be there. Sir Gale would you take care of Storm for me” Placing a hand on the horse,“ I am becoming fond of this …temperamental …creature.”

Sir Gale nodded, “I will, his training will be continued, and I will make sure that he is there for you when you return.”

Clasping forearms, warrior style, with Grim and Gale he left.

He left the town in the direction that the Elder Winds bid him, What is it that they want?, he wondered. They were not beings that usually if even interfered on the mortal plane of existence. The only thing that would was if it involved them or their own directly. He shrugged to himself, Well I will find out eventually, even the winds can find an end.

As he continued for the rest of the day Auraus, became more and more concerned. The elder winds were leading him into areas of the mountains that had no wind. No breeze in some cases. The trees blocked the winds and the walls of the valleys and caverns were tall enough that they could not come down.

The night descended and Auraus set up camp. As sleep took him, he found himself to be dreaming. He was back in the Tomb of the General, fighting the djinn, but was seeing everything from an overhead perspective. The final blow to the djinn came, and as the djinn started too dissipated, Aurausfelt himself taken with it. He was whipped along taken, high into the sky. They passed over the mountains, coming to an area that greatly resembled the one that he was in, in the waking world. Down into a cave they went, as he entered, Auraus saw a figure cloaked, holding an ornate lamp, decorated with the lightest of blue sapphires, and white diamonds. The djinn was sucked inside, and Aurausstopped, viewing events similarly to how he had in the tomb.

“You have failed in you task djinn, and for that you will be trapped here under the earth, with no way to escape until the end of time” a raspy voice from the cloaked figure said.

Auraus started awake the next morning, quickly gathered his gear, and left. Using the landmarks that he had seen in his dream, and with help of the air spirits that helped him see, he found the cave that the djinn was trapped in by midday. It had been made to look like it had been sealed by landslide. Auraussuspected that this was not the case. Why would the cloaked figure seal away a potentially useful tool forever?

He started to run his hands over the rock slide, realizing that the winds would be little help. After another few hours, he felt the catch, flipped it hopping that there was not trap involved. He heard the sound of grinding as the hidden door slid aside, and the sudden inrush of air from the outside in.
As he entered Aurausbecame more confident that there was nothing else here besides that bottle that the djinn was trapped in. He found it in the back of the cave, in a cleft of the wall.

He gathered the bottle into his hands. He had heard the legends of djinn trapped in bottles, and that they would grant wishes. But no creature of air, especially a djinn prince should be trapped, or restrained, it anathema to the idea of wind and air. “I am Auraus Kal’tha’mar, Oracle of Wind and Storm, and I wish you free.”
With that utterance the bottle started to glow, as if lightning had been stuck inside and had finally found a way out. The bottle disintegrated, and the djinn appeared.

“You, why have you freed me? We fought and now you free me, what is it you want mortal?” He said in Auran, the language of winds.

“Elder Brother, I know that you were trapped and bound to do the bidding of the one who put you in that tomb. There I fought both to protect my friends and companions but also to free you.” Aurausresponded in the same language. “Here I free you because the Elder Winds bid it be so, and I am their Oracle.”

The djinn looked less angry and guarded at that. “Then I owe you thanks, Little Brother”

“I would also return something of yours if I may,” Auraus took out the Scimitar that they had taken from the tomb after the first fight with the djinn. “This I believe rightly belongs to you.”

The djinn took the scimitar back and placed it in the sash at his waist. “Thanks again little brother, I would not have been able to return to the Winds and Clouds, without it. But a gift deserves a gift and for setting me free I owe you a favour. First hand me your sword Oracle.” Auraushanded over the elven curved blade that he used most often.

The djinn took it, started to speak in a voice of power. He ran his hands over the blade, lightning played from his and where it touched the blade, it became far brighter, a silver sheen, the colour of the same lightning that was coming off his hand. When he was done he handed the blade back to Auraus.

“Take this in return for my blade. It will be of assistance to you when you fight the devils that you will come against. Now for your favour, name it and if it is in my power it shall be so.”

“Elder Brother, the only thing that I would ask of you is if you could speed my return to my companions. As you know we have a Legion of Hell to stop.”

“That I can do, Little Brother.” The djinn said. Again he spoke words of power and wind, cyclones and lightning played around Aurausand the djinn. When it died away, they were both on an outcropping above a high mountain pass.

“Your friends and companions shall be along shortly, but I would like to give you warning as well, one of you party is closer to Hell, and one may decide to descend on their own. These are words that the Father Wind wishes you to know.” The djinn started to dissipate returning to his home, “Know that you have the thanks and friendship of Prince Abdul-Hadi.”

Journal 05

Gale’s Log

It has been a long weary travel south, this toll of this news as weighed heavily upon us all. Master Kal’Tha’Mar has for some reason decided to stay behind in the town under the excuse of “elf things”, I don’t understand.

As we continued our journeys south we were attacking once again by the cursed darklings, my patience’s wears thin as these constant nightly attacks, I haven’t slept well since before the crypt. I approached Master Grim in the morning and suggested we hurry with our destruction of the damned banner that these creatures want so badly. The mage felt that we should keep the item, that it may be more valuable in the future, I am beginning to wonder if an item like this can alter ones morals over time? He has seemed highly possessive of late. It is here where things began to heat up, as I also discovered that my companion had begun dealing with the cursed imp. He feels that this creature is a plausible ally, that it may be able to aid us in the long run. In my experience denizens of hell are only out to cause pain and malice, they will twist and corrupt the truth and string one along until you are so deep in dilemma that you can no longer see what is truly right. I will not play such a game; I made both Thaddeus and the Imp well aware that if I saw the imp again I would destroy it. Evil for goods sake is still evil, and if I need to barter with evil and sacrifice souls in order win… I would rather not win; I will succeed through honour and integrity, Law and Justice. I am a sword of Ra, and extension of his will and he needs no help from imps to swing his blade! Good always overcomes evil; it is only a matter of when.

I rode Arthur hard that day, He needed the run, traveling with these news horses he has been getting soft, and to be honest, I needed the space from Thaddeus for a while, compromises always lead to more compromises. We approached the town of Morden, here I had the distinct displeasure of knowing what corruption this town ship if forced to bear every day. Taxations that would drive peasants into poverty, bureaucracy that exists only to build power bases back to the corrupt officials, men willing to kill over a few gold pieces, By my word as a knight, before my days are through I will see Duke Gambino fall from power, or fall under my sword, such filth that hides behind the station of nobility disgraces us all. We left the town as quickly as we approached; I wanted nothing more to do with it, and my temper man not have stayed my blade should I have stayed longer.

A few miles beyond the township we met with a man claiming to be a militiaman of sorts. He requested support against the Duke, and I was sorely tempted, but sadly though the man is corrupt he still holds the protection of the King, and so I could not offer support and informed him as such. We were however able to hire him as a guide, to lead us through the wilderness to Voren, and save us four days on the road. For this I was grateful, he introduced himself as a former Captain Belladona, and left me with a letter to the King about the problems in Morden, I promised him I would make every attempt to see the Duke brought to justice, and we sped quickly on our way.

Voren was a welcome respite, though not nearly long enough, we rested for a night and gave our commander a report, he informed us of giants blocking the Voren pass, but agreed to resupply us and send word of our mission to Fuwido. We were in a tricky spot, the giants blocked the pass, we couldn’t wait for them to leave, and my party are not accomplished horsemen. I wanted to try and make a run at the pass.Master Grim wanted to try visiting a dragon and beseech aid. I was outvoted, and although I hate to admit it Thaddeus was right, it was bound to happen eventually and I would like to note that even a broken clock is right twice a day. But he was right, the Dragon proved invaluable, in giving us an opportunity to cross the pass, and telling us where the gem is located. Sadly now as payment we must take the skull of a dragon from Mir’Gukidu, which is apparently the towns mascot… hopefully the Duke there will see reason, but this is a matter for another day.

With the dragons aid we managed to thread the needle and ride through the valley of Voren, well all of us save Master Grim, six years in the academy and apparently they don’t cover DUCK with the mages… all in all we are sped on our way and a few days ahead of schedule, let us hope that this turns a tide in our luck and that for at least a little while things run more smoothly.

In my own hand,

Weston Gale

Devil's Chill

Devil’s Chill

by Yasmin Sybella Fell

Chills are overtaking me

Creeping closer day by day

I feel death is close to finding me.

I call out in the darkness,

Looking to be brought into the light.

Sandicar whispers in the darkness,

Sylvanus will help you in your time of need.

Bearded devil, devil’s chill,

be gone, depart, vanya.

It is done.

Though why do I feel no different?

Lingering doubts remain.

What if he failed?

Am I still in death’s entrall?

What must I do

to find the light again?

Bath and beyond

In the privacy of her inn room, Jermailynstripped to her smallclothes and began stretching slowly, meditatively. The aches of overworked muscle and tendons twinged at her, adding to the complaints lodged by the bruises. She sent a grateful thought towards the healers in the party that it was no worse.
As she limbered up, and her body started to move smoothly once again, she began moving through the kantirs of the Senethar. Gradually she speeded up, until her body glistened with sweat and her breath came harsh. Then she wound down, focusing on keeping her footing precise and breathing even.
“Gotta stay sharp, hey Gwaihir?” The raven croaked agreement. For the first time, Jermailynwas beginning to feel slightly better about her situation – the faint hope had crystallized into a small seed.
Stripping off her now-sweaty smallclothes, she slipped into the waiting, perfumed bath. Awaiting impending doom just made her more determined to enjoy any small luxury available. She sighed and leaned back, letting the last of her tension seep into the hot water and float away on the fragrance of roses. “Hedonist,” muttered Gwaihir.
“Totally,” she agreed. “And so would you be if you could, don’t gimme that.” She swirled her hand in the water, releasing a wave of rose scent. “So how long you figure ’til our luck wears out? I figure not much,” she grimaced. “Every time we run into one of those devil bastards, it gets a lot less.” Gwaihirtapped the violet spellbook on the table significantly. “Oh yeah, right. Helpful, but you know perfectly well that most of that stuff is waaaay out of my league at the moment. I suppose I could study my eyeballs out, but if I’m gonna push my luck, I’d rather pick one direction to push it in.” Surviving the fight at the inn was all the luck she felt she could ask for at the moment.
Jermailynstayed in the tub ‘til her skin was wrinkled and the water had gone past tepid to chilly, then got out and dried off briskly with the towel left warming by the brazier. Donning fresh clothes, she sat down at the table and opened both her spellbook and the violet one. "Good of Master Grimm to share although it almost seemed to cause him physical pain to do so. He’s almost as paranoid as I am,"she remarked approvingly. “I wonder…naaah. He’s not so much the brave fool. He shouldn’t need warnings about the the treachery of the Infernal clan, look at how suspicious he is of me. Not that explaining would help any, I’m pretty sure they’d want to get rid of my presence immediately, if not sooner. And I’d just as soon stick with these guys for now, they’re handy to have around and they need me just as much as I need them. I’m not letting that doofus ”/campaigns/the-chronicles-of-grimmgale-co/characters/sir-weston-gale-knight-of-the-steel-hammer" class=“wiki-content-link”>paladinoverride my perfectly reasonable suspicions again though – ye gods and little fishes Gwaihir, how his order let that man out without a keeper is beyond me. Ah well, the gods favour fools and madmen – maybe we’ll make it out of this alive after all."
Jermailynbent to her copying with a good will, determined to gain any edge she could for the upcoming conflicts.

A Change in Leadership

It was late at night, and most of the lamps had been turned down plunging the vaulted hallways into near darkness. The silence was abruptly broken by the sound of rapid but quiet footsteps. The novice moved quickly despite the darkness; her soft soled shoes padding softly against the stone floor. She knew she was out past curfew, and if discovered she would face stern punishment. The whole situation was frustratingly cruel. It was such a rare event to have visitors in the fortress. Accordingly, the amount of food prepared by the kitchens for dinner had nearly doubled the usual quantity. It had been a thick and hearty stew to keep off the chill from the high altitude, and burned a layer an inch thick on the bottom of the enormous kettles used for the cooking. It had taken her forever to scour them clean, she muttered to herself “should never have traded off from sweeping the great hall.” Of course it didn’t matter to the sisters, if she were caught outside her room this late, she would be scrubbing pots for a week.

When she arrived at the large open council chamber she paused. Cutting through it would be the fastest way to her room, but also make her the most visible while she crossed. The heavy curtains and multiple levels would make it impossible to tell if someone was inside unless they were talking in a normal voice. Even still she listened intently for several seconds. Hearing nothing, the novice pulled her hood up over her face as much as possible, and began a near sprint around the outside wall of the enormous empty room.

She made it half way before a sound made her stop. A cry of pain from almost directly above her. The novice took an instinctive step backwards as a dark shape plunged suddenly from the balcony above and impacted sickening on the floor. For a moment all was still, and then the sound of a single pair of booted feet moved above for several seconds before fading as somebody walked away. The young novice didn’t move until the footsteps had gone, and then she moved quietly towards the still shape on the ground. In the near darkness, she was almost upon the poor soul before she realized who it was. The High Priestess. A puddle, black in the faint light spread slowly from the body on the ground. The novice realized with a shock that the hilt of a knife protruded from the chest of the High Priestess.

Another sudden shock as the priestess’s eyes opened, filled with agony, and she reached out whip quick to grab the ankle of the young woman standing before her. “Child, if anyone I’m glad that it was you who found me first…they have infiltrated the fortress.” There was a pause and the mortally injured woman struggled for breath. “They will never be able to take the crystal without the key to its chamber.” Though her words conveyed urgency, they were rapidly becoming faint as her life poured forth onto the cold stones. She struggled to speak once more, and pressed a small object into the hand of the novice. “Take it, hide it, don’t trust anybody….” The high Priestess’s words faded into silence before she gave a single shuddering breath and lay still.

The novice stood quietly for a moment, looking at the woman who had moments before been the closest thing she ever had to a mother. A single large tear rolled down her face, and she caught it before it could fall. Holding it in her hand, she said softly “Ask you ask Mother. I will protect it with my life.” She tucked the object into an inside pocket, and began again her progress to her room. If nobody realized she was missing from bed, nobody would suspect to question her about the key; and she knew just the place to hide it. Unfortunately she had no idea who “they” were.


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