DAY FIFTY NINE
Malazhar reappeared just outside camp this morning, just as we were about to head out. Sandstorm looks worse for wear. He wasn’t any better this morning than he did when he went to bed early last night. The githyanki said not a word, but he looked a bit dazed and confused. None of the others questioned him. We headed Southward as the map indicated we should. About a hundred feet outward from the little alcove we’d spent the night came the pungent smell of another muzaru plant. It didn’t take long to find its coal-red glow off in the distance.
It blocked the cavern we had to pass through.
I brushed Malazhar’s arm. “Don’t go near the plant,” I warned. He hadn’t been there the last time we encountered one. “It will try to eat you.”
“How are we going to get past it?” Cinna pondered.
Sandstorm snorted. “Why don’t we just burn it?”
“That would be unwise. See over there?” I said, pointing. “If we toss a rock or two on the opposite side we plan to run by, that should distract the plant enough for us to pass by unharmed.”
Ith shrugged. “Works for me. I’ll volunteer.” The others, anxious to get going, prepared to bolt. With a flick of his wrist he sent a pebble whirling against the left wall. Like a loaded spring relieved of pressure we dashed for safety.
But the distraction wasn’t enough. In the blink of an eye the muzaru plant had Cinna locked in its spindly grasp. The plant engulfed her whole body with its snake-like vines and hoisted her into the air. The acid it uses to digest its victims leaked from its thick skin. Her face was nearly obscured when a burst of flames erupted from her finger tips. I swore the plant shrieked, its stalks quickly dessicated and shriveled up. The fruits, no longer able to withstand the heat, exploded with a pop. Cinna fell to the ground, covered in acid, but mostly unharmed. The juices from muzaru fruits rained down on us like a perfume scented monsoon. We were drenched. And glowing too. All I could smell were the fruits.
I wrinkled my nose, wiping away some of the juice. “Ugh, anybody have any soap?”
“I have a bar of it.” Cinna offered, reaching into her knapsack. In her hand was nearly a pound of the stuff. We all took turns washing off the bright smelly juice that was sure to attract other creatures if we didn’t.
I looked down at the map. The place where we then stood marked its edge. We were in unexplored territory now. I saw Cehos get out some parchment and an ink pen and began sketching a new map . At the end of a long and narrow cave up head came a faint glow. At the time we first found it the glow was too far away to tell exactly what it was, but in my gut I knew we’d found the Forge. We hurriedly walked toward it.
Above our heads I heard claws scraping on rock. I looked up. Blue and white shadows fluttered back and forth just out of view. There were too many of them to count. My blood ran cold. They were cloakers!
“There’s something up there!” Cehos alerted the others, having seen the shadows too.
“Run!” Sandstorm bellowed. The party sprinted toward the glowing light, the cloakers hovering just above our heads. The light came from a radiant golden door. An ancient Dwarven inscription read Only those of pure heart can pass through the doors of the Forge. What that meant I wasn’t exactly sure. I faintly remembered something about the Dwarven language.
“Only a good person can open the door!” I shouted over the deafening screeches of the cloakers.
“What?” Cehos asked loudly, straining to hear me through the commotion. I sighed and tried to push the door open. It didn’t budge. I shook my head in disbelief. I considered myself to be a decent, kind person. I’d never harm someone if I could avoid it. Why wasn’t that enough?
“Hurry up, there’s a big one!” I heard Sandstorm yell. Over my shoulder I saw a cloaker at least twice the size of all the others dive for him. He smacked it in the face. The cloaker howled and backed off, at least for a moment.
“Let me try.” Malazhar came up beside Cehos and I. I stepped aside to make room. To my surprise the doors swung inward at his touch. As Malazhar entered through them Cehos fired an arrow at the massive beast approaching us again. Although the arrow hit, the cloaker still wasn’t down. I turned back to the door. Why hadn’t Malazhar opened the door for the rest of us?
An ear piercing shriek shook the whole cavern. The giant cloaker crumpled to the ground, dark red blood pooling around it. Instantly the smaller cloakers scattered. The gargantuan monster now slain, they abandoned their efforts to kill us. Out of the darkness a figure with a familiar yet disturbing smile pulled his sword from the giant cloaker’s corpse. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was Pe Ell!
The drow stumbled towards us. His left arm was bandaged and in a split. “So could we get in? I wanted to go to the Forge as well.”
“You’re alive?” I said, incredulous.
“Yeah.” He pulled out a rod from his cloak with his good arm. “It’s a rod of unmovable force. Essentially, you press this button and you can’t move it. It’s the only way I caught myself from falling off that waterfall. It also caused me to break my arm.”
“Is your arm okay though?” Cinna asked.
The drow cocked an eyebrow. “It’s broken.”
“Well, I meant if you needed some healing.” Cinna stuttered, face flushing a little.
He shook his head. “Let’s just get inside before one of those things comes back.”
“You sure? I have healing water.”
Pe Ell nodded. “I have some of my own.”
Malazhar pushed open the door from the other side and we all hurried in. The room inside had a door off to the East, and five jewel-crusted weapons ingrained in the North wall. From left to the right a sapphire sword, a ruby axe, an obsidian hammer, an emerald halibird and a diamond spear pointed west, all glittering in the dim light. Malazhar checked the Eastern door. It was locked.
Curious about the direction the weapons were pointing, Cehos searched the West wall but found nothing. He examined the five weapons next, gingerly tugging the obsidian hammer. Nothing happened when he did.
“What if we all tried to move them at the same time?” I wondered. “Maybe something will happen then.”
The others agreed, although Sandstorm and Pe Ell bowed out. Ith at the halibird, I myself grabbed a hold of the ruby axe, Cehos pulled the hammer once more, Malazhar the sword, and Cinna the spear. For everyone but Malazhar nothing happened. But as the githyanki pulled on the sword it suddenly pointed towards the East.
Excited, Ith tried moving the halibird, but the sowrd returned to its original position when he did so. Luckily the sword moved back to the East when Malazhar pulled on it again. Next I tried moving the axe. With a click the ruby weapon now faced Eastward too. Same with Cinna’s spear when she attempted after me, and after her Cehos could finally move the hammer.
“Wait a second,” I said, taking a step back. “In Dwarven, this is in alphabetical order! The way these weapons have been placed, they’re in that order! If we pull each one to the East in that order it could unlock the door! All that’s left is the halibird!”
Ith nodded and with a gentle push he clicked the final weapon into place. Silently the Eastern door swung inward on its hinges. The next room had strange symbols tiled all over the floor, symbols I recognized could teleport those who stepped on them. I told the others what I knew. On the far side of the room near a closed door was a lever.
Cinna cautiously stepped out onto the first symbol. For a moment she vanished, reappearing on a tile ten feet from the lever. Cehos followed suit, stepping on the same tile Cinna had a moment earlier. Cinna tried moving the lever with the butt of her spear but it nicked the wall and she fell over and teleported to another tile on the left half of the room. By then Malazhar and Sandstorm had joined in trying to teleport across the room.
I was about to step on one of the tiles when an idea came to me. “Wait,” I said, looking up at my creation. “Thraenor, can you fly over there and move the lever?”
Thraenor nodded and easily floated above the tiles, grabbing hold of the lever and pushing it forward. Although the symbols did not go away, the far door unlocked. Now instead of teleporting us to random spots on the floor, the tiles teleported us directly to the door.
The narrow hallway beyond had a pile treasure glinting on the far side, but a pit of spikes extended about a hundred feet outward. There were no ledges I could see that we could use to pass by safely. Curious, Malazhar gently tapped his mace on the ground. To everyone’s shock a tiny crack appeared. It was a mirror! I looked up and saw the same spikes dangling fifteen feet above our heads. Malazhar smirked and walked across towards the treasure with out incident.
In the treasure chest we found a power stone containing a few powers and a djore filled with the power vigor. I handed it over to Sandstorm. He out of all of us needed it the most being in his current condition. We gathered the remaining items and shoved them in the bag of holding. The following room had an ominous air to it. Shattered tiles littered the floor. Sandstorm took a quick peek at the ceiling and saw giant columns bolted to the roof, one situated above each and every smashed tile, save for a single row of oddly unbroken tiles that were on far side of the room next to yet another lever. Sandstrom picked up a rock and threw it at the tiles. The ceiling above us rumbled. Less than a second later four of the gargantuan pillars smashed to the ground. All the columns were falling, and falling fast.
Sandstorm ran out and tried smashing the closest column with the Dwarven pick, but it bounced off the pillar harmlessly. It didn’t make a single dent or crack. Sandstorm sprinted for the other side. Cehos followed suit. I whistled and climbed aboard Socks. On top of him I should be fast enough to make it over there safely. Although the ground was uneven and rough the ice wolf bolted past both the half giant and Cehos with ease. Just as I made it by him, one of the pillars squished Cehos. I heard bones shatter and the man cry out. Blood oozed from the pillar’s base. I shook the awful image from my mind and urged Socks onward. Someone had to make it to the other side.
Once in the safely of the unbroken tiles I jumped off Socks and hastily pulled the lever. Sandstorm appeared right behind me, breathing labored. Instantly the remaining pillars stopped falling, although oddly the ones that had already hit the ground did not rise back up to their original positions. Cinna sprinted towards Cehos’ corpse, a depressed look in her eyes. I shook my head sadly. There was no way he could’ve survived.
But an odd feeling rushed over me as we moved on to the next room. Where were Cehos’ items? Even his clothing was conspicuously absent from his body. Where did that all go?
We found out soon enough. The next room was a giant checkers board. The side closest to us was an army of eight constructs, their metal gleaming in the dim light. On the far side of the board were eight statues of undead creatures facing the constructs. I gulped.
Cehos was one of the undead.
Before I could stop her, Cinna walked onto the board. The construct on her square disappeared into mist. She tried moving but her feet were stuck, almost glued to the checkers board. I wasn’t able to warn her that players only needed to think about where they wanted the pieces to go.
What would happen if her piece got taken?
Well, there was no going back now. We had to play, and win, a game of checkers for us to reach the Forge. I asked if any of the others knew how to play. They all shook their heads. I sighed wearily. I guess this was up to me.
The game was a close one, and seemed to drag on and on. My nerves were frayed. Early on in the game we discovered that the pieces turned to dust when they were taken. I kept Cinna’s piece as far away from potential danger as I could, but I could not say the same for Cehos. I avoided and postponed his piece being taken for as long as I could, but at one point I had to take his piece if we wanted to win. When I saw his statue there I half-hoped he might actually be alive somehow, but I feared I’d destroyed that chance. But there was nothing I could do about it, I had to do what I had to do. We had to reach the Forge. When the constructs that reached the opposite side and were crowned Kings they began glowing bright blue. Same for the one or two undead that made it our side.
After a long and tiring game I finally won it. Cinna could move once again. She dashed off to the other side of the board, appearing relieved to be free from it. The next room had a mirror going from floor to ceiling on the West wall. I gasped. Looking out at us longingly from the mirror was Cehos.
He was still alive!
From the looks of it, he was trying to mouth something to us, but I couldn’t tell what he was saying. Written in Dwarven at the base of the mirror was To receive a gift from the lost well you must first pay a sacrifice. Sandstorm grunted and removed something small from his backpack. He opened his hand, dropping his prized tooth necklace in front of the mirror. The necklace bounced once and disappeared. A door to the left of the mirror that I hadn’t noticed before swung open. Cehos walked into the room, appearing more than a little dazed.
“Wait,” he said frantically, “There’s more people in there.” Sure enough, the face of a worried duergar appeared in the mirror. “We should free them. They probably could repay us afterward.”
“They? How many are in there?” I said, aghast.
“As long as they don’t fight us…” The half giant muttered.
“I don’t think they will. I was talking to them for awhile.”
“How can you be sure?” Sandstorm was doubtful.
Cehos shrugged. “I can’t, but I don’t see them having any reason to.”
Sandstorm and Cehos continued to argue. I debated with myself what I should sacrifice, if I had anything worth giving. In our moment of indecision Pe Ell walked up to the mirror and placed seven gems, one by one, releasing the remaining people trapped in the mirror. A collection of two human females, a duergar, a maenad, and three greenskins walked out, relieved beyond belief to be free.
Pe Ell nodded his head as each one walked out. “You must come to the Forge with us because I’m not walking you out of here right now.” He told them.
Psionic light lit up the gargantuan vaulted room beyond. There were piles and piles of gold, silver, and platinum coins. Enough to fill a treasury and then some. The coins were of another time, minted before the surface’s current coin system. I assumed so because the designs were none I’d ever seen. Ancient but well preserved parchments and books were tucked away in stone bookcases. Somewhere far off came the loud and steady banging of a hammer.
Cehos reached for a mithril shirt. Sandstorm reached for another set of armor. I myself gingerly touched a nearby scroll written in Dromidic. Door to the Forge slammed shut. Hammer swings ceased. Gears turning around us. Tiny beams of light pointed at Sandstorm, Cehos and I. I instantly put the scroll back where I found it. The lights remained on me. Cehos whipped out his bow. Instantly ten dots lined up on his readied arrow. I took a closer look and realized the lights were actually metallic-looking spiders, almost exactly like the ones near Aimi except these ones were twice their size.
A robed figure approached us from a set of stairs off to our left. As the figure ascended the stairs they removed the hood of their cloak. It was a gold dwarf, his tanned skin shimmering from beads of sweat. “Someone’s finally made it to the Forge huh?” The dwarf’s smile turned to a disgusted frown. “Trying to loot the place? How’d you even get in the door if that’s the case.”
Silence fell over all of us. I was shaking and had no idea what to say. What could I say to someone who discovered we might be looting their things? That of course was not my intention. We all came in here thinking no one lived in the Forge. When no one answered he bellowed furiously, “Well answer me!”
“We were only looking at the treasure that’s around us.” Cehos stuttered. “I assumed that one one owned it. If that is not the case then I will leave it be.”
“I’d much appreciate it if you did.” The dwarf huffed, crossing his arms over his chest. Cehos nodded and put away his bow. Sandstorm dropped the armor. “So what is your business here anyway?” The dwarf continued, “I’m sure most people wouldn’t go through so much trouble just to get in here.”
Pe Ell approached the gold dwarf. “We’re here for a particular artifact one of us has in our possession that we believe is supposed to be returned here?”
Cinna showed the key to the Shadow vault from just beneath her armor. The dwarf’s eyes widened. “Aremis.” He whispered. He waved his hand and the spider’s lights went out. “Yes, yes. Come quickly.” He gestured for us to follow him.
Along a long corridor the dwarf asked over his shoulder. “Do you know of any of the other Druids? Are there any left?”
I blinked. Druids? The mythical organization? I’d read up on them maybe once or twice but never assumed they were real. Mere legends. Everyone else must’ve thought the same thing. In the silence I heard the dwarf sigh sadly. “I guess that means I’m still the last one…” Suddenly he stopped. He turned around, his eyes on the blade at Pe Ell’s side. “I’ve seen that blade before.” The dwarf looked back up at the drow, suspicion on his tanned face. “Could you give me the sword please?”
Pe Ell’s eyes narrowed. He gripped the hilt of his sword tightly and his whole body tensed. He was a bow ready to fire. The dwarf sighed again and dropped the matter. Pe Ell was furious, but just as the dwarf was about to move on he surprisingly handed over his sword. Albeit begrudgingly.
The dwarf was silent for a while, examining the black sword carefully. Five minutes passed then he returned the sword to its owner. “It’s what I thought. One of the Druids are in that sword. That’s one way to avoid everything that’s going to happen to us. Put yourself in a sword and you’ll live forever. Even through the end of everything.”
“Who are the Druids?” Cehos questioned.
“We’re a group of people that have manipulation over dimensional energies.” The dwarf replied. “We’ve been trying to help restore the dimension to its full power but the illithids have been stopping that quite rightly.”
Cehos cocked an eyebrow in disbelief. “Restore the dimension?”
The dwarf looked off to the side. “It’s falling apart.”
“How do you know this?” Cehos prodded.
“Our group knows because a strange monkey man we met a little while ago named Tyler told us about it.” I added. I figured Cehos should know. “But I thought he was just making shit up.” I sighed, my antennae drooping. “So it’s actually happening…”
“At this point there’s no way to really stop it, but almost everybody will be completely fine when the whole dimension collapses.” The gold dwarf assured us. “At least somewhat fine. You’ll be in stasis. You won’t be able to do anything and you won’t know you can’t do anything. You won’t be conscious. If we can bring the dimension back, then we’d actually be able to rework it. But at this point I have no plans to do that nor do I know how. From what I’ve been able to divine it seems like it’s going to collapse somewhat soon.”
“Wait, I thought the Druids were just a myth.” I interjected. Druids. That word had been bothering me.
“Well, we existed. We were kind of taken out by drow and the illithids about eight hundred years ago. Most of us died. We’ve been working mostly in secrecy since then. It’s why we built the Forge here. It’s why Aremis built the Shadow vault in the first place. Kind of consumed him though. It’s all been for a good cause at least.” He pondered for awhile. “So, I’m guessing we want to bring the key to the Shadow vault.”
“That would be a good idea.” Cinna chimed in.
“The goal is to cut it off, to shut it down.”
“So we’re going to use the key?” Sandstorm asked.
“Not exactly. We’re going to use the key to shut the door forever so people can’t use it anymore. I haven’t really left the Forge at all because I need to keep the Forge together. Last I heard, Cogline was out there looking for a solution.”
“Cogline?” I interrupted.
“He’s the other Druid that I know of.”
“We’ve met him.” I said.
A smile crept onto the dwarf’s face. “So he’s alive?”
“He leaves nice pies outside his house.” Cinna grinned wryly.
My jaw dropped. “He’s a Druid?”
“Indeed. One of the survivors like me. We were the only two that I know of other than Dimitri in that sword there. But he turned himself into a sword long ago.
Sandstorm huffed. “He pussied out of the fight.”
“A little. But now when the dimension collapses he won’t die like the rest of us.”
The half giant shrugged. “He’s still a pussy.”
Cehos shook his head. “What kind of life can he have inside a sword?”
“Well normally he can control anyone who uses the sword. What I’ve heard from him just now is that he actually can’t control Pe Ell which is…” The dwarf’s gaze fell on the drow. “Interesting. But come now. We really must finish this Shadow vault business. Please hand me the key.”
We followed him down the stairs, past a giant white-hot forge. We walked for about twenty minutes until at the end of a long hallway we reached a massive all-black door.
“I admit I’ve never actually opened this thing.” He said. “But tou need to open it to be able to close it, which is a weird thing. But we need to throw the key in is essentially it.”
“What’s the risk?” Cehos asked.
The dwarf shrugged gruffly. “I don’t know.”
“Let’s hope it doesn’t go to shit.” I smiled ironically.
“That’s what we’d hope for.”
The gold dwarf put the key in the door. It swung open, black mist billowing outward. A deadly shroud of darkness. Walk in. Come to us. Strange disembodied voices whispered. I shuddered. Ith and all seven of the people we rescued awhile earlier began approaching the door, their eyes eerily vacant. Pe Ell stood in front to try and stop them. Cinna screamed. She collapsed, writhing painfully on the stone floor clutching her head. Tears streaked her face.
“What the fuck.” Cehos cursed, dropping to his knees. “Cinna!”
She wasn’t on the floor for long. She rose to her feet, her eyes the same blank stare as the others. She took a step towards the vault. Pe Ell grabbed one of the druegar’s forearms and yanked him back from the door. Malazhar had a hold of some of the others.
Sandstorm picked up Ith by the scruff of his neck. “Snap the fuck out of it you githzerai!”
I quickly attempted to demoralize them, which thank the Queen stopped them momentarily. To my horror the Druid dwarf, the key in his left hand, stood at the threshold of the door. Sandstorm flung Ith away and lunged for the dwarf, but he easily pushed the half giant aside. “I know what I’m doing. I’m not going to lose my life over this.”
“Alright, just making sure.” Sandstorm grunted.
The Druid dunked his left hand completely into the black mist, which engulfed it in an instant and turned it completely black. He winced painfully and pulled his arm away. His hand was gone. He grabbed strips of cloth in the knapsack at his waist with his good hand and wrapped his bleeding stump. He backed away from the vault.
“Could you get the doors closed?” He winced again. Together with the help of Pe Ell, Sandstorm closed the doors of the Shadow vault for good. A blue aura poked out of it for a moment. Some sort of seal. The others came back to their senses.
But Cinna crumpled to her knees, still in agony. The Druid bent over and threw her over his shoulder. Cehos protested for some reason or another. “Do you want to carry her?” The dwarf demanded. Cehos reconsidered and backed off.
“By the way, what’s your name?” I asked the dwarf. He led us back to the forge we passed earlier.
“Well I’m Amanmal.” He grinned, tossing Cinna atop a metal table. He pulled out a hammer laying beside it and smashed her in the gut.
“What are you doing?” I yelled.
Cehos swung at the dwarf but he dodged him effortlessly. I looked down at Cinna. Tattoos similar to psionic tattoos took form all over her body. They looked like words of some kind. Her pained expressions gradually lessened and her breathing returned to normal. Her eyes fluttered open.
Cehos was instantly at her side. “Are you okay Cinna?”
“I feel a lot better now, yeah.” She smiled back weakly. She gingerly sat back up with his help.
“You can control those tattoos, but they must always have to be some sort of words.” The dwarf said to her. “This is the Words of the Druids that’s been bestowed upon you. With the Oracle what I suppose was happening was getting very angry.”
Cinna rubbed her head. “Pretty much. So what do these do exactly?”
“You can put them in any language, and can make them look like images, change their color, emit different lights. But really, their main focus is it allows to take a power from a psionic creature once per day. So if you don’t know how to use a specific power you can take it for a little while.”
Sandstorm suddenly sat on the floor, his energy drained. His face looked even paler and sicker than earlier today. “You want some help?” The Druid asked him. “You look like you have mummy rot.”
“Whatever it is, I feel like crap.” Sandstorm laughed hollowly.
“Well, it will kill you if you don’t get it cured.”
“I figured. It’s been getting worse. So yes please, sir.”
The dwarf nodded and disappeared into the Forge for a moment. He returned with a small vial and handed it to Sandstorm. The half giant thanked the Druid and downed the potion’s contents greedily. Amanmal eyed Sandstorm’s pick and pointed to it. “About that pick there…is that mithril?”
“Yep. Found it in a Dwarven ruin. Use it to smash things.”
“I notice that you’re a soul blade.”
Sandstorm puffed out his chest, even in his exhausted state. “Yes I am.”
“You mind if I make the pick a little better for you?”
“I would not mind that at all.” Sandstorm grinned. He got back to his feet and gave his pick over. He was somewhat pained to do so, but gave it over nonetheless. The dwarf placed it on the table after helping Cinna get off of it. He grabbed his hammer once more and smashed it to smithereens. Metal chunks flew up into the air. He grabbed them with his remaining hand and crushed them to dust.
He tossed to the half giant a shimmering chain shirt. “Now you can use it as one of your mind blades.” The dwarf then turned to me, gesturing to my Thunder Rot. “So what is that broken piece of wood you have there? I saw you walk in with it and I was kind of curious. I see it has a gem on the top.”
“It says Thunder Rot on the top. I know it thunders and shocks sometimes.”
“Thunder Rot?” The dwarf snorted. “That’s a horrible name.”
“I didn’t make the name for it.” I shrugged.
“Well you don’t look the fighting type. You want me to reforge that? Seeing as I’m reforging stuff for everybody else here.”
“That would be nice of you, yes.” I agreed, handing over the staff. Like the pick, he placed it atop his working table. He picked up a piping hot kettle and poured liquid mithril over it. He hammered away, then waved his hand over it. Symbols formed to create the words Twisted Thunder. He lifted up the staff, admired his work, then wrung it like a wet towel. Now the whole thing was twisted from tip to base.
As he handed it back to me I asked. “Do you have any idea what kind of crystal is inside of it?”
“It’s Deep Crystal. It’s a very nice psionic crystal.” He moved on to Malazhar. “That’s a nice shield you got. Is…is that a projan inside there?” Malazhar gave him an odd stare and looked away. “And what about you? Shoot a bow it looks like.” He gestured to Cehos. “I got one of those quivers layin’ around here somewhere.” He retrieved what looked like a pure black leather quiver. He tossed it over to him. “It’s a nice quiver. Called a Shimmerglow quiver.”
“It’s something Dimitri made. It gives you twenty specialized Deep Crystal arrows per day.”
Ith, meanwhile, had been silently gawking at the forge the whole time. He cleared his throat. “So, are you going to come out and help us?”
“I can’t leave. I still have to watch over this place.” The dwarf called over his shoulder. He was back at his work table, creating what looked like an axe.
“So all you do is make things in this forge all day?” Sandstorm asked gruffly.
“I have to guard this place. Make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Contains a lot of power somebody could have.”
“You could arm quite the army with this.” Sandstorm observed. He was right. Weapons and armor of all sorts littered the place. From giant ballistas to daggers to full plate.
“Could be quite the army, but I don’t know if you have an army.”
“I don’t have an army personally, but they’re a bunch of people fighting the illithids.” Sandstorm replied.
“And the illithids are going to be invading soon.” I chimed in.
“They’ve driven most of the people to the North Southward.”
The Druid nodded. “You send Cogline over here. We’ll be able to talk about it.”
“We’ll get right on that. Just wanted you to be aware of that.”
“Would you be willing to sell any of the items here?” Cehos wondered.
“Is there anything that you need?”
“I don’t think I could personally afford anything, but other members of my party might.”
“If I may ask, can I take one historical item to give to the Lodge?”
The gold dwarf mulled it over for a moment. “Fine, but of my choice.”
“I’m okay with that. Thank you.”
“Can I just stay here with you?” Ith asked, almost begging. “I want to learn more. Maybe help protect it from the impending war.”
The Druid nodded and clapped him on the back. “You’d be welcomed to stay.” Amanmal departed then, returning with an old book in hand. Tome of Stars and Moons, can only be opened in starlight. The gold dwarf said we’re welcome to stay and rest up in the Forge for a few days. I know we need it. Sandstorm especially. Haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since we set out on this mission.