It was musty and damp. The darkness prevented Ameer from seeing to far down the corridor he now found himself in. Moss covered the stone walls of the passage.
Gamaron began to walk. Ameer knew there was much to talk about; he had so many questions. The first one came, “Why are we here?”
Gamaron explained that during his research expedition yesterday, he discovered a stone tablet that he believed related to the Aspects and Champions. Before he could transcribe it, he was forced to flee. He had been attacked by goblins. He hoped that Ameer could help protect him this time around.
Ameer was a bit nervous at the thought of having to fight something he had only just learned existed, but kept his sword handy in case the need arose.
Gamaron went on to talk about the conflict between the Aspects. Gamaron theorized that this was not the first time all of this had happened. “The stone table may provide more insight.”
Ameer asked Gamaron if he had heard of someone who went by the name Mirage. Gamaron told him that the name sounded familiar and that he thought he had heard Masquerade mention it before.
Conversation went on from topic to topic for a while. Gamaron told Ameer about the “trunk” he plans to launch past the moon, Ameer asked Gamaron if he could teach him magic, and Ameer asked for advice on his situation regarding his father.
Eventually the conversation turned to the topic of Ameer’s encounters with Uschas. As Gamaron explained what he knew of the Aspects, Ameer began to worry that he may be being deceived by Uschas, or that perhaps Uschas was being deceived by her neighboring Aspect, Meganna. At this time Gamaron also explained the Circle of the Aspects.
“Did you hear that?” Gamaron stopped. He told Ameer they were being followed and would need a plan if they were to continue.
Ameer was faced with a tough decision. He was already nervous about encountering danger here, but knowing it was almost certain if they continued made him hesitate. Gamaron left it up to Ameer to decide: They could leave now, giving Gamaron time to prepare a portal, or continue on and risk being attacked.
Ameer decided that they should leave, and Gamaron began to channel a portal spell. After a moment, doubt cleared from his mind. Ameer stopped Gamaron. They could make it, Ameer wanted to press on.
Gamaron looked down the passage where the stalker once was, to find it empty. “Goblin scout, no doubt about it.” They would have to move quickly, and even then, a hunting party could be on the way.
Ameer had the idea to gather moss from the sides of the tunnels. They could light it on fire later on to block the passage and gain some time.
Once enough was gathered, they quickly set off down through the Depths, going much quicker than before. They continued their conversations from earlier, before Gamaron stopped once again.
He heard conversation coming from the next right. The two stopped to listen. Gamaron could hear that it was the common tongue. Peaking around the corner, Ameer saw two men, flanked by torches, standing in hooded purple robes guarding another passage. Ameer decided that this wasn’t the best time to investigate, but had a lingering interest in what might be over there. The two shuffled past silently and continued on.
“I recognize this area; we’re close!” Gamaron told him. By now they could hear the Goblins making their way ever closer, catching up. It was time to set their plan into action, they bunched the moss up across the path, and Gamaron lit it with his staff. There was no time to waste, they pressed on.
A Dagger Well Thrown
Finally they arrived at the room containing the tablet. It was quite large, and sat on a pile of rubble. Gamaron set to work right away, while Ameer prepared defenses. Ameer carried stones to pile at the doorway as a hurdle for the goblins to clear.
It wasn’t long before the goblins arrived. There were five of them in total. One stood in the back and directed the others, who pushed against the stone wall Ameer had constructed. The one in back locked his eyes to Ameer’s and pointed at him, screaming in an unknown language. Ameer swung his sword wildly, not really knowing what he was doing.
The leader climbed upon the shoulders of the others, attempting to make it over the wall. Ameer aimed his sword at the face of the goblin and caught him across the eye. The goblin fell back screeching in pain.
The wall was beginning to fall, Ameer knew they didn’t have long. “Done!” Gamaron shouted. Ameer saw him hurry to the other side of the tablet to begin casting the portal. Ameer stood back and threw stones as the goblins made their way over the wall. Two of them were knocked out, but one made it fully over and latched onto Ameer’s shirt. Ameer tried to shake him, and soon he found another one grabbing onto his leg.
Ameer tried to shuffle his way to the portal, but was nearly immobilized by the child-sized goblins hanging onto him. The goblin with the slashed eye stood on the rubble of the wall, aiming a dagger at Ameer. Time seemed to slow down, and the dagger left the goblin’s hand. Ameer felt as if he were trapped in a pool of molasses. The dagger came closer and closer, aimed at his head. Ameer threw his head to the side, and heard the whistle of the dagger as it cut the wind by his ear. It was an incredible dodge!
“The portal is ready! Hurry!” A surge of adrenaline brought Ameer back to reality. He shook his leg violently, loosing the goblin attached there. Ameer toppled through the portal with one still hanging on him. He looked back, the slash-eyed goblin staring at him as the portal closed. Ameer made quick work of the final goblin, leaving blood covering Gamaron’s study.
It was over. Ameer said his goodbyes to Gamaron. It had been three hours since he left. He had to find Shereem and his father. He knew his father wouldn’t be happy. Gamaron clapped his hands, and Ameer found himself outside the tower once again.
10 Days Remain