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  • The Perils of Incredibly Dangerous Adventuring on a Remarkably Limited Budget (Part 3) : Ryter

     Deborah updated 2 years, 11 months ago 1 Member · 1 Post
  • Deborah

    December 4, 2019 at 12:04 am

    As promised, here is Part 3 of the story I began last night. Small change of plans however as this does not conclude this story. As I started writing more of it I ended up expanding what I wanted to happen before reaching the endpoint I have in mind. Apologies if you were looking forward to reading the conclusion tonight, but this just means I want to make this story arc as good and full as I can possibly write it with a few extra chapters, rather than racing right to an ending. Hopefully you all are alright with getting more of this, rather than less. Hope you enjoy this chapter ????

    Our journey downward was an uneasy one from the very first moment. Between each intense pulse of light, the narrow passageway was so dim that I could barely see beyond the very next step downward.

    “It seems absurdly dangerous to chase after a master assassin while barely being able to see our own hands in front our faces most of the time,” I worried aloud. “What if we tried to time our movements to the larger pulses of light only?”

    “And move at a pace of one step every few seconds? If we want to catch up to him, we have to keep moving at a fast clip,” Jamsen chided me gently. “Calculated risk is a part of the job, Dran. The only question is, do you really want to complete this contract?”

    I did, very badly, and Jamsen knew that. Not only because I wanted the gold reward, but also because this was by far the biggest and most important job the Guild had ever allowed me to be a part of. An adventurer of my lowly station likely would not get such an opportunity again, at least not anytime soon.

    I nodded my uneasy agreement and keep putting one foot in front of the other, despite the alarm bells going off in my head. After what felt like an eternity, we finally reached the end of the stone staircase and found ourselves standing on level ground. This cavern was not particularly different from the one we’d descended from, except that it was exceedingly more populated… with fallen skeletons littering the stone floor.

    “Oh my heavens!” I exclaimed as a pulse of light revealed at least a dozen unique sets of bones. “This must be his kill room! And we’ve wandered right into it!”

    “Or, they’re just goblin remains,” Jamsen replied as he began to study them. “Creatures do live and die in caves and caverns you know.”

    “Goblins of so many varying sizes?” I asked as I pointed out the dizzying array of unique skeletal structures laying before us. “Exactly the size of a man, an elf, a dwarf, another man, on and on?”

    “No, they’re obviously not Goblins. I was just trying to calm your nerves,” he replied with a bit too much honesty if you ask me. He knelt beside one grouping of remains and began pawing through their raggedy clothing and belongings. “This one has an insignia on him. He was was one of us, a fellow member of the Adventurer’s Guild in good standing, but the rest bear no such marking.”

    “Alright… and what does that tell us?”

    My senior adventuring companion shrugged. “That this may well have once been a goblin or troll stronghold that these unfortunate souls stumbled into, whether on a mission for our esteemed organization or not. Hmm, and what have we here?” he asked aloud as he pulled a plain looking ring from one of the many bony fingers present. “Something for you, Dran, whatever it is!”

    He tossed the simple ring my way and I caught it. “Why would you assume I want this thing?” I asked.

    “Because my pinky Toe-ring of Greater Arcana detected some form of magic rippling across it’s seemingly barren surface. And because my fingers, are already quite equipped,” he said as he wiggled his 10 digits at me, each and every one sheathed by a glowing ring of some various powerful effect. “And because my poor friend Dran’s fingers are comparatively completely barren at the moment… reasons enough for you to accept my generosity and take it?”

    “Alright, thanks, for your generousity, Sir Jamsen,” I replied. Quietly, I slipped the ring into my pocket. I may have been dirt poor, but that did not mean I was stupid enough to put on a magical ring without first knowing what form of magic was present within it.

    Through another narrow passageway, we emerged into the largest cavern yet, this one being the first with the sound of rushing water present. The darkness here was somehow even more oppressive than in the previous passageways and rooms, so complete and all encompassing that it almost felt as if it clung to my skin. But that of course is my mind playing tricks in the dark. I’d ask Jamsen if he felt this uneasy presence in the air, but Sir Jamsen Farnsworth is of course not afraid of the dark, like us average folk. He’d assured me so many times and I had to believe-

    “Lights out,” an unknown, sinister voice whispered in the darkness behind me, interrupting my thoughts.

    I turned to find the horrifying image of a pair of glowing orange eyes, a dragonkin’s eyes, not so unlike my own, staring me in the face. Almost simultaneously I felt the assassin’s blades plunge toward my body, but not into my heart or neck as I might have expected them to swiftly end my life. Rather they slashed at each of my hands, gravely damaging my gloves but seeming to stop short of slicing open the skin beneath. The surge of an electric shock, similar to those I felt whenever I donned my loathsome gloves, but one hundred times more intense and painful, raced through my entire body. Then… I saw nothing at all, as I blacked out and crumbled to the ground.


    Even in my unconscious state, I swear I can hear a rapidly repeated noise taking place out there in the ‘real world’.

    Thwack… Thwack! THWACK!

    As I began to rouse from my shock induced slumber, I came to realize I also had a terrible pain in my side. Strangely the notable discomfort pulsed mostly in perfect time with the dull, rhythmic noise I’d been hearing over and over. Finally summoning the strength to lift my head, I opened my eyes to find my dear friend, Sir Jamsen Farnsworth, standing over me, repeatedly kicking me in the ribs at a nauseatingly steady tempo every few seconds.

    “Jamsen? Ow! Why- ow! In all the gods names- ow! Are you kicking me? OUCH!”

    “Thorns, my good man! The Thorns!” he declared with gusto. “Drak’thar disappeared after his brief, disabling attack upon you, but I can’t say for sure that he’s left this chamber. He could be stealthed nearby, so we need to keep activating your chest armor’s enchantment constantly. You may recall that so long as these pulses of magical energy keep radiating out from you, he cannot approach us unseen!”

    I groaned and rolled onto my side slightly, Jamsen continued his steady barrage of bootings, but at least from this angle he was now kicking a far less sore area.

    “And now that your our foe has ensured that your defective gloves have gone from defective to… utterly useless,” he huffed, clearly exhausted by his hard labor. “Repeated, swift kicks are the best method I could think of on short notice to continue activating your enchantment!”


    “This does hurt you know!” I groaned, still unable to force myself to stand.

    “I know, and it pains me greatly to do this. In fact, I assure you it hurts me far more in my heart than it hurts you.”

    “I assure you that it does not! And you do realize, as the person attacking me, the Thorns spell is also radiating that damage at you each time you befoul my body with your dirty boot?”

    “Lesser Thorns,” he corrected me.

    “Yes, yes, ‘Lesser Thorns’, whatever… that damage won’t come to harm you?”

    “I have a Sacred Glyph of Immaculate Spell Warding attached to each and every piece of my armor,” he replied.

    Of course you do,” I muttered with obvious annoyance.

    “No Thorns spell, even one 100 times more powerful than yours, could begin to harm me,” he boasted with zero concern in his voice as he continued swiping his leg at me nonchalantly. “Cost me at least one hundred gold each for these glyphs, sacred immaculate quality being exceedingly rare, of course! But as I stand here now, we can’t say it was coin poorly spent now can we?”

    “So glad you are well protected during your robust drubbing of me.”

    “Come now, Dran, don’t be cross with me! Here here, let me help you up. Perhaps have an upright seat and catch your breath for a moment, while I try to decide our path forward. I’m afraid I’ve seen no less than half a dozen passageways leading out of here and I haven’t the faintest idea which to follow,” he said as he helped me up and moved me to a seated position on a larger boulder. “Take your time to reorient yourself, my friend. You were delivered quite an immense shock! Pardon the pun.”

    I did feel better now that I was upright, and now that Jamsen was merely lightly stepping on my toes rather than forcefully kicking me. I leaned back into the rock and took a minute to examine its pristine, rippled surface. For the second time in our traversal of these miserable, endless caverns, a set of eyes appeared in front of me. These may have been a far more welcoming blue hue than Drak’thar’s had been, but they were no less shocking, as they happened to be attached to the surface of the large boulder I was seated upon.

    “I… NOT… chair,” an impossibly deep, slow, and rumbling voice said.

    I jumped up in fright. To our utter shock and amazement, the rock formation I’d been resting on slowly rose up after me. Easily twice our size, it was a truly awe inspiring, and terrifying, sight to behold.

    “What in the gods names is that thing?!” I cried aloud.

    Jamsen, predictably, was somewhat more calm and measured than myself, though in fairness, he hadn’t just been accidentally seated upon the rock monster of some kind. “Apologies for my companion, rock friend! He is not quite as experienced an adventurer as I, but rest assured he is a fine lad. I, am Sir Jamsen Farnsworth, and I have had the great pleasure of encountering your species once before! Granted, it was from a great distance, as I was too fearful to approach him, but I have also heard many tales of the Rock Golems of the Deeps. Those of us who have knowledge of your species harbor great respect for-”

    “Too much… speech,” the living rock interrupted and informed us plainly. “What want?”

    “What do we want? Oh, uhh… well as I said, we have no quarrel with your kind! We are merely passing through in pursuit of a dragonkin assassin who-” Jamsen cut himself off as he realized he was rambling again. “Have you seen a half dragon man down here?”

    “Ye. There,” he said, nodding in affirmation as he pointed directly at me. “Fare…well.” He slowly turned as if preparing to leave.

    “What now? Oh- Dran? Uh, yes, technically I suppose my companion here is also part dragon, and you are correct that you have seen him down here, but uhhh-” Jamsen rubbed his bearded face as he struggled for words to communicate our mission clearly. “You can see that Dran here is a big strong dragon man, yes? Fierce… fierce warrior? We pursue- we look for a… slender… smaller… dragon man?”

    “Yes, quite small for his kind, and he moves quickly, like a- like a bug skittering about?” I offered, trying desperately to help my floundering captain. “Often moves through the shadows? He… I don’t know… he performs many jumps and flips… his movement is almost like a dance? A… a dancing dragon man?” I felt the weight of failure on my shoulders as I finished speaking, there was no way this creature was going to understand my bumbling descriptions of-

    AHH, ye,” he replied suddenly with another emphatic nod. “The dancing dragon.”

    “How the bloody hell was ‘dancing dragon’ the phrase he understood,” Jamsen mumbled to me in frustration before again addressing our golem friend. “Do you know where he is? Or… when have you seen him?”

    “Little dancing dragon… come and… go… often.” The long series of words struggled out of his mouth as if forming each one pained him greatly.

    “And… when he comes and goes, which passage does he… come and go through?” I asked, trying to phrase my question well.

    “This way,” he said while pointing down the leftmost of the six passages with total certainty.

    “You saw him go off in this direction?”

    His deep sigh had the force and tenor of an earthquake, rattling the rocky walls and floor we were standing upon.

    “THIS… WAY…” he said again, with clear frustration and annoyance that he had to expend more precious energy forcing words out of his mouth, only to repeat himself for our benefit.

    “Got it! Thank you, friend golem, though that title now seems somewhat impersonal,” Jamsen said. “If you’d permit me a final question before we depart? What are you called?”

    For the first time the stone creature seemed pleased to answer one of our questions. “Gruk!” he said emphatically as he pounded his chest, once again rattling the room.

    “Gruk? Well, than you, Gruk, for your help. I hope our paths may meet again one day. Come now, Dran, let us leave our friend in peace now.”

    “Err- G’bye Gruk,” I said awkwardly as we entered the leftmost passageway he had pointed out.

    Once again the passage was long, dark, and winding. I had lost all sense of direction long ago, but for a moment I could have sworn this path twisted back on itself in a dizzying circle, but I hoped I was mistaken.

    As we rounded a severe curve in a particularly narrow section of the corridor, we made a shocking discovery at the distant end of the now straightened passage. Light. Not just a light, but an almost overwhelming deluge of it! Where moments before I would have prayed for a more powerful light source, this overwhelming flood of brightness from an unknown source took on a much more ominous flicker. With no other options before us than to retreat or continue, we carefully began moving toward the intense, unnatural glow in the distance.

    Thanks for reading! Tomorrow is abnormally busy for me, so I can’t say exactly when the next chapter will be written, but I’ll try to have the next part of this up within a few days and then move rapidly toward the end point I have in mind.

    If you’re looking for more to read right this moment, here are a few links to some of my favorite stories I’ve posted in the last month.

    1. A story of a trick or treating misunderstanding gone horribly awry (My Halloween story for the year)

    2. The story of summoning a very annoying little demon via a half assed summoning ritual done on the cheap.

    3. A nearly dead god is discovered by modern explorers entering his temple. Can they be his salvation?

    And as always, if you’d like to receive a notification message when I post new stories/chapters of existing stories on this Subreddit, type the command “SubscribeMe!” (without quotes, but with the capital letters and exclamation point) into a comment on any of my posts to sign up for updates. Details/other methods to sign up are posted here.

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