As morning arrived, the sound of relentless rain continued unabated outside, and though the darkness of night had lifted, the sun still struggled to break the suffocating blanket of heavy cloud.

Fraevon woke to see Jax had awoken some time previous and relieved the twins of their watch. He was stood leaning again the frame of the open door, seemingly lost in thought as he gazed out into the rain.

“Good morrow,” said the Elf, standing and stretching his arms out above his head.

Jax didn’t appear to notice, or chose to ignore him. Instead it was Melvin that returned the pleasantries, rolling over as he did so.

“Morning, though I am certain it will not be a good one.”

Fraevon kicked one of the legs of the chair in which Tumbor slumbered, waking him into a spluttering alarmed state.

“Aye, what? Sleep? No! Never.”

“Relax,” said Fraevon as he continued to bend and flex his body. “It is time we woke.”

The dwarf rubbed his stubby fingers across both eyes, then turned his attention to his long greying beard.

“Time for breakfast you mean.”

Rohlen and Yulien were last to wake. They both cut a look towards the Elf, but he simply acknowledged them both with a smile. If he had heard their conversation, he certainly wasn’t letting on.

“We leave in five minutes,” said Jax returning his thoughts to the here and now, his belongings already packed and ready. “You can eat on the way,” he further remarked, cutting Tumbor off before he could speak.

Silently and efficiently, they collected together their equipment and set off following Melvin into the midst of Greshfell.

“Will it ever stop raining?” he offered to no one in particular. No one answered.

Their destination was a small storehouse, probably at one time used for crops and animal feed. The doors had been smashed open, presumably by the pilfering goblin. Inside was practically empty, save for a small desecrated shrine to what appeared to be a female druid. 

Without hesitation, Yulien set it straight and tried to clean away the dirt and food marks from it, before then kneEling and offering prayer.

“So where is the passageway,” asked Jax looking around, but seeing nothing but an empty space enclosed by four wooden planked walls.

“Have faith,” said Melvin, kicking away some of the straw and dirt that covered the floor.

Hidden from view, a large trap door, easily big enough for two people to fit through side by side, lay set into the floor. An inset iron ring pull, the means of opening it.

“I give you, one passageway entrance.”

“Then let us not dally, open her up so that we may make haste to its destination end,” said Jax cutting a look across to Yulien.

Melvin reached down and took a hold of the ring with both hands, but instead of pulling open the door, he instantly dropped it, and was now staring at the palms of both hands, a concerned frightened look upon his face.

“It was trapped,” said Yulien, now walking up to the gentleman thief. “One of many if we follow this path.”

She whispered quietly an incantation, a green hue forming around her hand. She offered it to Melvin, suggesting he place both of his upon hers. He did so without hesitation.

Slowly the hue began to take shape, seemingly solidifying into that of a writhing snake as it coiled around both Yulien’s and Melvin’s hands. 

Drawing its fangs, it snapped and puntured first his left, then right, before then fading back to a green hue. From each of the wounds, came an almost black, thick liquid, followed by the crimson red of blood, which stopped almost as soon as it started.

With the poison removed Yulien stopped her spell casting and removed her hand from his. Melvin looked blankly, a mixture of stunned shock, and overwhelming relief.

“I question as to whether this is indeed the best route,” said Jax looking for some kind of validation from the others. It was met with silence save from one.

“Stand aside, let a dwarf handle this.”

Copyright: authorchrisbrown 


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