Chapter 3 1

As the light of the tunnel entrance left them, Dînalqua mumbled softly and a small glowing shere appeared in her hand, illuminating the tunnel walls and floor. Turning, she saw a look of concern on Randow's face.

"Worry not about the humans, mellon. Judging by what they wore, I know them to be of the Knights of the Order, and quite capable of taking care of themselves.Besides, we must find the others." Even Dînalqua was surprised with the harshness in her voice.

Having only one direction to choose from, the six elves continued on. After traveling along the winding passageway for some time, they came upon an enormous cavern in which a rather large stalactite had fallen from the ceiling. The walls of the cavern were severely charred, as if recently burned in a great magical heat.

"It looks as if something big happened here," whispered Tarion. The six elves searched the cave, each in a different direction, to try and discover what had transpired to cause such distruction.

Suddenly, Caran spoke. "I've found a way out!" As his words echoed in the cavern, the rest of the party turned to look.

Noticing the amount of rubble and debris near the opening Dîna asked tentatively, "But whoever did this, were they going out, or coming in?"

From another corner of the cavern, Jem replied, "In, I think. Judging by the footprints I found going into this corridor." She pointed down a well trodden path, the second entrance to the cavern. This had barely been said when they heard another voice coming from somewhere down the tunnel Jem had indicated.

"Yeessssssss..." the voice was low, but defnitely female. All stood in silence for a moment, looking to one another, and then knew what they had to do.

Then Jem spoke again, "Before we follow that voice, I must tell you, these are drider tracks here..."

"Drow...," was all Dînalqua could say.

"We must stay on guard then, mellon," Randow cautioned as they started down the second corridor. A little ways down the corridor Dînalqua stopped short, causing Edan to trip over his brother.

"What is the problem?" Tarion asked, somewhat annoyed at having been walked on.

"It seems someone had tripped a trap..." Dîna then mumbled something again and her sphere got a little brighter. As Randow moved to take the lead, something caught his eye.

"Dîna, bring that light down here a moment, please." In response, she stooped down with the sphere to see what he was looking at. As she did so, he picked up a piece of cloth. Looking at it closely they both noticed fresh blood on it.

"I hope they survived," was all he could say. From somewhere down the corridor they heard a scream. Randow and Dînalqua stood, turned and looked at each other. Then in unison, "Nalynn!"

At the realization that one of their guild was in trouble, they took off at a run, the other four trailing behind. The party stopped when they reached a door that had an gold emblem of a spider on it. Listening carefully, they heard movement behind the door, and assumed a party of drow was on the other side.

Whispering as quietly as posible, Dîna asked, "What now?" in an almost distraught tone.

Tarion replied softly, "Edan and I will distract them. The rest of you go ahead."

Nodding in agreement, Randow very cautiously opened the door. Seeing neither drow nor drider, they all continued together. Then they heard another scream, this one, however, was not elven. Reaching a corner, they all became silent again. Seeing the foot of an Ogre Mage, Dîna slowly moved to look around the corner. Then without saying anything, they all knew what they would do.

Dîna cast globe on herself and readied her bow. Caran unsheathed his daggers quietly. Randow readied himself for a fight. And the other three prepared themselves to take on the Ogre Magi.

"One more is all I need." Ebonstarr said. "Who shall be the one?" Upon hearing these words, Dînalqua swiftly stepped around the corner, and let loose her first arrow. It sailed less than a finger's width from Ebonstarr's face, the feather brushing her cheek as it flew by.

Having little time to duck, Ebonstarr barely avoided the arrow. She looked to see where it came from and saw Dinalqua readying another one. Randow was at her side bringing up his bow as well. Edan and Tarion in unison, each cast an ice storm. Edan's was directed at the Ogres and Tarion's was at the Effreetti. The simultaneous blast shook the cavern as the ogres went sprawling.

"Inbau Nina!!!" Ebonstarr said. The effreetti moved in on the elves in the corridor. Randow quickly got off two shots with his bow, felling one Effreetti. Caran cast invisibility on himself and slipped into the cavern. He noticed Sar'Nav'ell slip away down the corridor and followed.

Ebonstarr moved behind the altar and started casting a spell. Edan and Tarion had pulled out their swords and were attacking the first effreeti to come near the entrance when the lightning bolt burst out of his torso and ripped through the elves. It bounced down the corridor, having done it's damage.

One of the Ogres near Riklaun started casting a spell and Riklaun kicked him in the shin. The Ogre howled and miscast his spell. Riklaun looked at the others and noticed Tizer had already gotten free of his bonds and was working on Starrbolt's . Tizer got Starrbolt free and they teleported to their weapons. Picking them up, they proceeded into the battle. Modar had worked himself free and knelt down near Nalynn to undo her bonds. She was in a state of shock.

Ebonstarr cast Minor Globe upon herself and advanced upon Riklaun. She brandished the dagger and began swinging at him. He avoided each thrust. She pressed on forcing him back. Suddenly Riklaun felt himself getting larger. Riklaun broke the bonds easily with his enlarged strength. He saw Tizer give him a quick salute before going after one of the many Ogres.

Randow got up off the floor slowly. He noticed Jem laying on the floor, groaning. Dina was leaning against the wall catching her breath. Edan and Tarion were still fighting the Effreettis. Randow lifted his bow and pulled two arrows. He drew back to fire when he felt a presence behind him. Twirling around, he let loose the arrow. It flew down the corridor about twenty feet before impacting with a drow. The drow cursed and rushed him. Randow had barely enough time to bring his bow up to parry the sword coming down on him. The bow deflected the sword away. The Drow in front of him brought out another sword and swung it. The blade sliced through the bow and cut deep into Randow's left shoulder. Grimacing, the elf fell back to draw his sword. It was then he noticed five other drow standing behind this one.

One of them wore a patch on one eye. The Drow twirled his twin swords in a blur. Randow parried the swords as best he could. He had never fought someone with two swords before. Randow moved into a fencing position to best utilize his own sword. The drow pressed in and Randow deflected the two sword thrusts. The Drow stepped back a bit and muttered something to his friends. The six drow all laughed in unison. He moved back up and his blades became almost invisible as the twirled. Randow tried to parry each blade as it came in but to no evail. One of the blades struck home and gouged a deep chunk out of his right thigh. Wincing in pain, he dropped to one knee. The drow before him stopped his attacks.

"Pitiful Elf. Can you not fight better? You are unworthy of death by my hands." The drow said. "But, I will make an exception in your case." He raised his sword for the final blow when Randow heard the familiar words of elvish: "Runyalanta tel'menel". The drow looked up and saw Dinalqua and Jem standing there, both casting the same spell. The two bolts of lightning exploded forth in a thunderous roar deafening all in the area. The bolts arced down the corridor blasting chunks off the walls as they went. Anything in their way was crisped beyond recognition. Looking over the carnage, Randow stood wearilly up with the help of Jem and Dina. They saw five bodies of drow in the corridor. "Where is the sixth?" Randow asked.


Continue to Chapter 32