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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Legend of Grimrock: Destiny's Chance.

    Based in the Legend of Grimrock world and originally posted on their forums here. (Nice to have one of the developers read it and say it fits into their world!)
    =============

    My name is Tawmis Sanarius.

    And my life may soon be over.

    Three nights ago, I would not have seen myself where I am now. Aboard an airship headed for Mount Grimrock. Three nights ago, I was enjoying the fine company of strong beverages and scantily dressed women. Through somewhat bleary eyes, brought on by the intoxication that flowed through my blood, I watched a Lizard Man slip into the bar; its beady eyes scanning the room. Whoever he was – he was a rogue, that much I was certain. He was looking for an easy target to get his reptilian fingers into their purses and relieve them of their coin. I smiled, because whatever was going to happen next was going to be entertaining. I nudged Taren Bloodhorn, my closest – actually, my only friend. A towering grey minotaur, with muscles that rested on top of muscles; every breath he took, his entire chest seemed to come alive with rippling muscles. The ladies of ‘The Fallen Star’ enjoyed that. Some would consider unusual that human females would partake in … encounters… with minotaurs. Here, that was never questioned. Probably why Taren loved this place.

    Taren’s nostrils flared in amusement, as we both watched the Lizard Man move through the crowd. Though they were humanoid in appearance, with their lizard heads, scales and claws, they seemed to possess every trait of every reptile. Whether it was trying to climb a wall, or slither and squeeze in between impossibly small spaces.

    I put my mug down when I followed the lizard’s gaze. This was going to go poorly. A side glance to Taren, and he recognized the problem that was about to escalate. “It’s none of our concern,” his deep voice growled. “Sit back and enjoy the ale and the women.”

    “He doesn’t know what he’s getting into,” I said, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand.

    The reptilian’s target is none other than Boris Thunkal. A brute. An idiot. But also one of the King’s Men.

    The King’s Men are handpicked Knights from the King’s general soldiers. The King’s Men are also the most trusted men among the King. The only ones who are allowed to guard him from within his tower. By law, the King’s Men are not permitted in ‘The Fallen Star’ because it is an ‘unsavory’ place. But I do believe Boris spends as much time as I do here; if not more. And it’s not to arrest people. (Although come to think of it, it might involves some role play of him ‘arresting’ some of these fine women of the evening). Despite the law, Boris enjoys the company of the women of ‘The Fallen Star’ and everyone here knows he’s one of the King’s Men, and he throws his weight (which there is plenty of, around that rotund waist of his!) around, like he owns the place. I wouldn’t say I hate Boris; but I would certainly chalk it up for a very strong and very passionate dislike of the man.

    Unfortunately, the reptilian has mistaken Boris’ general idiotic attitude for drunkenness; which means, when the reptilian reaches for Boris’ coin pouch, the dumb lizard is going to get caught, and there’s going to be a huge scene.

    So I stand and make my way towards Boris. Taren sees me making my way and shakes his head, “Pardon me, ladies,” he said with the booming voice, to each woman sitting on his lap. “With any luck I shall return.”

    As I had predicted, as the reptilian reached for Boris’ coin pouch to cut it; Boris felt the cold claws on his pouch and screamed, “Thief!” Immediately, the other members of the King’s Own stood up.

    “Hold it,” I said, patting Boris on the shoulder. “Let me buy you a drink. The reptilian meant no harm. He was snagged on your pouch – you know, those scales get caught on anything – and was just trying to free himself.”

    “Wait! Where’s my coin purse?” one of the other King’s Own called out. Boris spun and ripped open the reptilian’s cloth vest; and the sound of a coin purse, with the King’s marking on it, feel to the ground.

    I watched the coin bag fall. I watched Boris’ eyes go to the reptilian then to me.

    “Dung,” I muttered. I knew what was coming next.

    I heard Taren roar and charge on of the drunk guards who had stood to arrest both the reptilian and myself (thinking me an accomplice). Boris turned to me and drew his blade, but my closed fist came across the bridge of his nose with incredible force. He reeled back, his hand over his nose. “You bwoke mife nwose,” he said as blood poured between his fingers.

    “Yeah, sorry about that, it’s just I don’t take kindly to being arrested again,” I said, and punched him again, sending him swirling to the ground. Unfortunately, this gave the other King’s Own a chance to come up behind me.

    The last thing I heard, before I blacked out was the sound of shattering glass on the back of my skull.


    This would be no ordinary crime. We had assaulted the King’s Own, which by law, was an assault on the King himself.

    When we were brought before the King, Boris had explained that the King’s Own had been on patrol through Curvia (which was the high end of town), when they had heard noises. Upon investigating, they reported that they had caught us trying to break into the home of Houralus Survine, one of the Royal Men of Curvia. I shook my head.

    When the King asked for our version of what happened, I explained the truth. Of course, there would be no one to back up our story – not even if they brought in people from The Fallen Star (not that they ever would; the Heavens forbid such ‘unsavory’ people taint the King’s palace just to verify a thief’s tale). The King naturally sided with the King’s Own; to do otherwise would indicate that the King had fallible judgment when selecting the King’s Own. But I saw it in the King’s eyes; when I described breaking Boris’ nose, the King could barely contain his smile.

    Without a doubt, the King had selected Boris, but didn’t care for Boris’ attitude, and perhaps even knew that we were telling the truth. By the grace of the King, our ‘sins’ were forgiven – but it would still be up to the gods to determine if we were guilty or not. “I now sentence the four of you,” I heard the King say. Four? I looked over and saw an insectoid, whom I did not recognize. “To be thrown into Mount Grimrock. If the gods deem that you are absolved of your sins, you shall survive as you work your way from the top of Mount Grimrock down to its base, where the only exit is known to exist.”

    Boris seemed as though he might protest the fact that we were given – no matter how slim – a chance to live. However, the King’s scolding looked silenced the arrogant guard.

    As they chained the four of us and escorted us aboard an airship, I looked to the insectoid. “How did you get involved in all of this?”

    “When –tic!- the guard struck you –tic!- from behind,” the insectoid said through its mandibles. “I –tic!- cast a blinding flash –tic!- behind his eyes! I tried to –tic!- heal you, but –tic!- was overcome.”

    “I thank you for your effort,” I said. “The minotaur over there is Taren Bloodhorn. I’m sorry you’re in this mess with us.”

    “It was –tic!- my choice. I have observed –tic!- the King’s Own, namely the Boris gentlemen –tic!- and seen how he treats non-humans –tic!- with extreme prejudice. I was honored to –tic!- fight with you for as long as I lasted. My name –tic!- is Blaz’tik.”

    I looked at the lizard man, who had remained quiet. “Can I get the name of the man for who I may die for?”

    The Lizard Man looked up, “My name is Silvertan,” he said, his ‘s’ coming out in long hisses. “I did not ask for your help.”

    “Well, I wasn’t about to let you get thrown in a prison to rot,” I smiled. “Besides, I was looking for a reason to break Boris’ nose.”

    From the front of the airship, I saw Boris turn and give a scowling look.

    In the distance, I could see it. Even as the airship struggled to gain altitude in the storm clouds.

    Mount Grimrock.

    My name is Tawmis Sanarius.

    And my life may soon be over.

    Three nights ago, I would not have seen myself where I am now.
    Last edited by Tawmis; 2013-01-14 at 03:52 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Legend of Grimrock: Destiny's Chance.

    I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried. Prisoners “pardoned by the King” are brought to the top of Mount Grimrock and thrown in to find their way to the bottom and escape; should they escape, that means the gods have deemed the prisoners innocent, or at least, given a second chance.

    The stories about the things within Mount Grimrock are… well, for lack of a better word, grim. So far, the survival count for prisoners who have escaped Mount Grimrock are in the single digits. As in, zero. That doesn’t bode well for us.

    “We have –tic!- nothing to worry about –tic!- right?” Blaz’tik the insectoid asked, looking at me.

    “No,” I smile.

    Like I said, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried.

    So sue me, I’m lying.

    Taren, my minotaur companion gives me a sour look. He knows I’m lying. He’s been with me through thick and thin. He knows when I lie, or tell the truth, or even just ever so slightly bend the truth. Taren shakes his head at me.

    “It would seem,” the lizard-man, Silvertan, pointed out, with his words lisping, “that your minotaur companion does not agree with your assessment.”

    “Well if it makes you feel better,” I replied, standing up and rubbing my shoulder. “Taren hardly ever agrees with me on anything.” I held my hand out to the Lizard Man, my shackles rattling. All four of us had been shackled together when we were thrown in. “Now, is there anything you can do about these? Wearing these and trying to find our way through here is going to make things a lot more complicated than they need to be.”

    As I suspected, Silvertan popped the locks with very little effort.

    “You’re much better than you originally let on,” I commented, rubbing my wrists. “You could have easily got Boris’ purse. So why the charade? Did you want to get caught?”

    Silvertan was silent for a moment. “None of you were supposed to get involved. None of you were supposed to help. I had been watching Boris for days. I knew his pattern better than he did. I waited until he went into the Fallen Star, because I thought no one would come to his aid. Patrons would be too drunk. Wouldn’t care.”

    “So were you looking for some kind of death sentence,” I asked, as my eyes glanced around the small cell we were now stuck in.

    “No, my intention was to be thrown into Mount Grimrock,” Silvertan hissed, his serpent tongue flickering. “There are legend of the Undying One’s treasure that reach as far as my lands in the Terragrass Marshes.”

    Terragrass Marshes. My mother told me about that place. It was called ‘Terra-Gras’ because of the whole Earthly feeling. Most who traveled through it called it the ‘Terror Grass Marshes’, however, because the amount of wild life, almost all of it, beyond lethal just from a small scratch or bite. Only the brave and the foolish ventured into the Terragrass Marshes.

    “So you thought you would get caught, get arrested, then just thrown down here; make your way to the bottom, on your own, fighting everything that’s said to be trapped in here and walk out with this incredible, and I might add – only a legend! – of a treasure?” I sputtered.

    “I had no intention of fighting anything,” Silvertan retorted. “I’m a rogue. I live in the darkness. I come from the Terragrass Marshes. I know how to move without being seen, even if I am standing right in front of someone’s gaze. I would have made my way down without any problem,” Silvertan replied. “All you have done is complicate matters.”

    “You have a wonderful way of saying, ‘Thanks for trying to help me!’” I muttered as I walked towards the only exit; thick bars that blocked our way out.

    “I didn’t asked to be helped,” Silvertan said again.

    I turned my head, “Great. Yeah, I get it. Thanks.” I turned my attention back to the bars. “These slide up, but they’re pretty rusted. Taren?”

    The Minotaur stood, towering well over seven feet tall. Each step sounded like rolling thunder. His massive hands, bigger than my head, grabbed the bars and gave them a shove. The entire mountain seemed to scream in protest – but slowly, the bars rose and our only exit from the first room became available to us.

    “The least those bastards could have done is toss us down some weapons,” I muttered.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: Legend of Grimrock: Destiny's Chance.

    Lit torches.

    There’s a care taker that roams Mount Grimrock then.

    “There’s a caretaker here,” I said, as I detached the torch from the wall. “If we can time it right, we must be able to see how he’s able to come through here… follow him out. There might be a secret passage he’s using to get around everything. Grimrock is said to be full of secrets.”

    “I –tic!- hate to disappoint,” the insectoid said, shaking his head. “There is no –tic!- caretaker in Grimrock that lights –tic!- these torches.”

    “Then how do they stay lit?” I asked, turning to face Blaz’tik.

    “Magic,” Blaz’tik answered, matter-of-factly, as if I should have known. Seeing my blank expression he pressed on to explain, “When Grimrock –tic!- was made, magic was used –tic!- to light the torches. The flames –tic!- burn eternally, so long as –tic!- connected to Grimrock. Like a rose –tic!- the torch will continue to live; remove it from the wall, and its life and fire will –tic!- eventually begin to fade. Plant it back on the wall –tic!- and the fire will continue to burn, like a rose –tic!- replanted in soil. If you look closely, each –tic!- sconce is etched with magical runes. The magic that –tic!- runs through Mount Grimrock looks for these, like –tic!- veins of blood.”

    “You speak like Mount Grimrock is alive,” Taren huffed, through his massive black nostrils.

    “In many ways, -tic!-,” Blaz’tik explained, touching the wall fondly, “Mount Grimrock is very much alive.”

    “Can I just say I hate magic,” I muttered through clenched teeth.

    “Not surprising,” Silvertan hissed, barely audible, “considering your parents.”

    I shot Silvertan a look that clearly spoke a single word; Silence. I slowly turned back to Blaz’tik. “You mentioned on the airship that you were a mage. What magic can you do to help us out now?”

    Blaz’tik shook his insectoid head – something he, in the short time I have gotten to know him – did entirely too frequently. “None –tic!- sadly.”

    “What do you mean none? You said on the airship that…” I began to protest.

    “They took my spell –tic!- components. I have nothing to –tic!- cast any spells. Most of the spells I have –tic!- memorized, but without the proper –tic!- components, I can not cast anything.”

    “Of course,” I sighed.

    Nothing was going to be easy.

    “What do you need for these ‘spell components’,” I asked, making air quotes with my fingers.

    “Simple things. Moss. Bones. Dung of bats.”

    Well that was a plus side. Most of that we could find here in Grimrock.

    Assuming we lived that long.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Default Re: Legend of Grimrock: Destiny's Chance.

    Most would say they enjoy being right.

    I am not most.

    I typically hate being right.

    This is because I have a very sarcastic sense of the world around me. I typically believe if things can go wrong, that merely means they will go wrong – usually sooner rather than later.

    My voice was nearly raw from shouting. “By Tyrell’s Blade! Back! Go back! There’s a giant slug in this room! Back!”

    Even as we slowly made our way backwards, swinging our torches back and forth in front of the giant creatures, I heard Silvertan’s lisping voice behind me, “That’s actually a giant snail. Snails carry coiled shells on their backs, while slugs do not.”

    I turned towards Silvertan, my eyes burning holes through him (though not literally, despite every bone in my body wishing I could). “Really? Now is the time to give me a run down between snails and slugs? This couldn’t wait until, you know, never?”

    Taren quickly pulled the rusty gate down, as we backed out of the room, leaving the slithering giant snails to circle within the room, the disgusting sound of the mucus being spread on the floor as they slithered about.

    I wiped the sweat from my brow, and went down to my knees. “By the Satarien Mages, how did those things get to be so big?”

    Blaz’tik was leaning near the downed, rusted iron gate. “Just as you –tic!- said.” He turned his insectoid head towards the rest of us. “Magic. I can feel it –tic!- coursing through them.”

    “Someone did that to those things?” I asked, shaking my head. “Who would want giant slugs –“ I saw Silvertan about to correct me again, “Or giant snails – whatever they are – leaving their mucus all over the inside of Mount Grimrock?”

    “Was not –tic!- that someone changed them –tic!-,” Blaz’tik explained. “It’s that –tic!- Mount Grimrock has –tic!- changed them. It would seem the –tic!- magic that flows through –tic!- Mount Grimrock has changed the very –tic!- food that these snails feed upon.”

    “What do you mean?” I asked, not entirely understanding. I have never liked magic. Never trusted it. Where did it come from? How did it work? I’d much rather have a blade in my hand. I can see it. I can control it. I can touch it. I know what it does. It does what I want it to, when I want it to. Magic seemed too… chaotic.

    “The –tic!- moss,” Blaz’tik continued to explain. “It grows within –tic!- Grimrock. The entire mountain is –tic!- flowing with magic. Since the moss grows from Grimrock’s stone –tic!- it has been altered, down to its genetic level –tic!- so that the snails that feed upon it –tic!- are also being changed. Many –tic!- generations, these were probably –tic!- ordinary snails. Over time, as the fed upon the –tic!- moss within Grimrock, each generation grew more –tic!- powerful, more ‘tainted’ if you will –tic!- by the magic coursing through Mount Grimrock.”

    “That,” I said, throwing my arms in the air, “is absolutely wonderful. Let me guess, if there’s rats in here, they may have fed on the snails, and over generations, we might be running into giant rats down here?”

    “Honestly, -tic!-,” Blaz’tik answered, “it would not surprise me if that is exactly the case.”

    “You’re a very comforting individual, did you know that?” I sighed.

    “A good thing –tic!- that you said you were not worried earlier, yes?”

    I don’t know if I was just imagining things, but I could swear the insectoid smiled at me.

    As impossible as that sounded.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Default Re: Legend of Grimrock: Destiny's Chance.

    Every corner seems to have something.

    It’s to the point that my mind has turned against me. Every fear I have ever had seems to be alive in Grimrock. The torch casts flicking shadows against the wall and it seems like something is always waiting just beyond the shadows; waiting for the torch to be extinguished.

    “Do you smell that,” I heard Silvertan hiss behind me. I paused and sniffed at the air. All I could smell was the burning torch. I looked at Silvertan, whose scales seemed to be etched in blackness, with small shadows decorating and accentuating them.

    “I don’t smell anything,” I answered.

    Silvertan seemed to look at me with a twitch of disgust in his eyes. I am not sure if it was because of who I am, or the fact that I’m human. He’s said things that seem to elude to the idea that he might know who my parents are.

    “Truluffs,” he answered.

    I looked at him blankly. What he said made no sense to me. “What is Truluffs?”

    “Mushrooms,” Blaz’tik answered. “Very rare mushrooms.”

    “Extremely rare, except in my homeland, within the Terragrass Marshes,” Silvertan added.

    I looked back and forth between them. “So, what’s the big deal with some mushrooms?”

    “You humans use it for cooking,” Silvertan answered. “Though, they’re very rare, because of the wild swine within the Terragrass Marshes… the truluff spores emit the same scent as the pheromone that the wild boars emit in their saliva. Thus the wild female swine, sniff them out and devour them. Later, when they excrete the remains, the spores replant themselves within the feces and the cycle begins anew. Truluffs require a dark, dank, moist environment.” Silvertan seemed to smile, “Although eating them raw will have … lucid effects, if they’re not cooked – except to female swine.”

    “That’s all good, but I don’t think anyone here is willing to sit down and cook a gourmet meal,” I shrugged.

    “They are –tic!- also highly prized as –tic!- magical components,” Blaz’tik said.

    “Magical components,” I said. “Now that we can use. All right,” I turned to Silvertan. “Which way?”

    Silvertan walked by me, his serpent eyes on me until he passed me by. Taren, the minotaur caught it as well. “What’s his problem?” Taren asked gruffly.

    “I wish I knew,” I whispered. “But something tells me it may have to do something with my parents.”

    “Your parents?” Taren asked. “But how could he know? You’ve changed your name…”

    “I don’t know,” I said. “I don’t know.”

    We followed Silvertan through the dungeon until we came into a massive room where the entire floor seemed to be made of mushrooms. “This,” Silvertan’s serpent like hiss was thick, “is not natural. Someone made this.”

    “Or something,” Taren’s nostrils flared, as if trying to use his own heightened sense of smell.

    “Grab some mushrooms and make it quick,” I said, gesturing to the massive mushroom patch.

    Then I heard it.

    Coming from the darkness down the hall, beyond the torch light.

    It sounded like a herd of angry turkeys.

    “What in the seven gods is that sound?” I asked.

    “Herders,” Silvertan said, nodding. “Now it makes sense. There’s herders in here.”

    “What is a herder?”

    “A living mushroom, to make it quick,” Silvertan said. “They’re native to the Terragrass Marshes. I don’t know what they’re doing here. They’re nothing to be fearful of – they’re only a few inches in height. It’s the Spore Herders and Elder Herders that you need to be very mindful of. They’re extremely lethal.”

    However, what came bursting through the darkness was hardly a few inches in height. These herders stood nearly four feet tall, appearing to be – as Silvertan noted – living mushrooms, with root like appendages for feet and arms.

    I began swinging my torch back and forth, as I stared back at Blaz’tik. “Let me guess, this is kind of like the worm situation? These guys used to be a few inches tall, but the magic inside this place has ‘evolved’ them to these larger species?”

    “That –tic!- sounds like the most –tic!- logical explanation,” Blaz’tik nodded as he grabbed another handful of mushrooms.

    As we backed away we found stairs that led down a level. A rusty gate was between us and them as we reached the stairs. I looked at Taren, and without a word, he pulled the gate down, and part of the wall with his magnificent strength.

    As I turned around I saw a massive blue stone floating, and Blaz’tik was already running his hands on it.

    “What is that thing now?” I asked.

    “A heart,” Blaz’tik answered excitedly. “This stone –tic!- is part of what gives Grimrock life. This stone helps ignite the torches I –tic!- mentioned. It also helps –tic!- shape the very things we have encountered.”

    “We should smash it then,” I explained.

    “No,” Blaz’tik shook his head. “Don’t you see. This stone… it’s magnificent. It… brings life… through magic.”

    I frowned.

    And I saw Silvertan looking at me.

    I had made it clear I was not a fan of magic.

    “So you’re telling me, if one of us should fall in combat this stone… thing… could bring them back to life?” I asked.

    “Hypothetically speaking,” Blaz’tik said excitedly, “That’s –tic!- exactly what I am saying.”

    “The Mages here were messing with forces they shouldn’t have,” I said as we worked our way down to the second floor. Suddenly, the explanations, the horror stories of ‘The Undying One’ made much more sense…
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  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Default Re: Legend of Grimrock: Destiny's Chance.

    It’s a unique sound they make.

    The marching of Theraen Empire Soldiers. But if Grimrock has taught me anything in the brief couple of hours that I have been trapped in here; that things are not always what they seem. This would prove to be no different. We heard them marching so Silvertan scouted ahead, blending and moving through the darkness with incredible grace and ease. When he reappeared, he seemed to melt out of the shadow itself, startling me.

    “Undead soldiers,” he reported with his lisping voice.

    “Of course they’re undead,” I sighed.

    “It –tic!- makes sense,” Blaz’tik offered. “Just as Grimrock gives life to –tic!- everything else, the soldiers who once served as guards, probably rose –tic!- after death to continue their one job. To protect –tic!- Grimrock from would be grave robbers and thieves.”

    “They’ve got weapons,” Silvertan smiled.

    I nodded. “We need to set up a trap. Silvertan, how many were there?”

    “Four,” Silvertan replied. “Two front, two rear.”

    “Okay, Blaz’tik, Silvertan, off to the side,” I said. “I am going to stay right here, feign a wound. This will draw them this way. As soon as they come through this passage,” I looked at Taren.

    The massive minotaur nodded. “Consider them dispatched.”

    “I’m counting on you,” I added.

    “Don’t worry,” Taren seemed to smile gruffly. “It’s not like I have you to blame for getting me shoved into Grimrock.” He paused. “Oh wait, yes I do.” He smiled, which seeing a minotaur is very eerie – rows of teeth, the canine teeth gleaming like miniature daggers.

    “Everyone’s a comedian,” I muttered.

    As I listened to the synchronized marching growing closer and closer, the more I questioned the sanity of my plan. As they became visible through the torchlight that flickered in the hall, it took every ounce of courage to stay there and not bolt. Even as their undead eyes, bleak, black empty pits focused on me, they did not increase their pace. Instead, they kept their eerie march speed, as if they knew that there was no need to rush me; I would either die at their hands, or at the hands of the things that had come to call Grimrock their home.

    As they stepped through the intersection, Taren Bloodhorn, with his head down, rammed into all four of them, just as they raised their spears. He slammed them against the wall; and in blinding fury began swinging his powerful fists, and stomping his feet. Bones snapped, crackled and shattered beneath his massive weight and strength. The fight was over in seconds.

    I rummaged the remains and grabbed a spear and shield for myself. Taren used a few bones, and some decayed leather to tie the bones together and make a club. Silvertan acquired one of their daggers, while Blaz’tik refused to touch the remains of the dead. “I do not wish to –tic!- defile the dead,” Blaz’tik said.

    “We are not defiling them,” I countered. “Magic defiled these soldiers thousands of years ago. We have given them the rest they have long since deserved. Assuming,” I looked back at the pile of bones, “they don’t rise again when the magic of Grimrock reanimates them.”
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  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: Legend of Grimrock: Destiny's Chance.

    A moment’s rest.

    Something we all needed, and finally got. We had just killed off something else this cursed mountain or its makers had shaped with magic – something Blaz’tik called “Crowern.”

    We made a fire and, despite how they looked, used our weapons to cook the flesh of these creatures.

    “So what are these things?” I asked the insectoid.

    “They’re a Mage’s attempt –tic!- at creating the ultimate currier –tic!- bird,” Blaz’tik said as he gnawed on a raw crowern remain. “Mages mutated and created –tic!- the Crowern so that it could –tic!- fly great distances, and defend itself, should it –tic!- come under attack from those who try to stop –tic!- the message from being delivered.”

    Blaz’tik regurgitated some of the meat then swallowed again. I felt myself get nauseous even as I continued to try and cook my dead crowern over the small fire. “More than –tic!- likely,” he continued as he gnawed on the raw meat, “the mages of Grimrock –tic!- used the messenger birds… now, it’s been so long that they haven’t –tic!- used them, the messenger birds continued to return to Grimrock, and breed among themselves –tic!- until they were flying all over the dungeon, feeding on snails and –tic!- anything else they came across.”

    “So,” Silvertan’s slithering voice said, as he paced back and forth, keeping an eye down the hall. “You two,” he gestured to Taren and I, “seem very close. What’s your story?”

    I felt my muscles tense. Silvertan had made several references to my parents since we were thrown in here; but did not directly say anything. I saw Taren looking at me, as I nodded. “Blood Oath,” I said.

    “So you saved the minotaur’s life?” Silvertan asked, knowing that’s how Blood Oath’s worked in the Minotaur society.

    “Mutual,” I said. “We saved each other’s life. I released Taren from the Blood Oath. But he has told me that it’s not been properly repaid.”

    “I was falsely accused of a crime in my city within Namaer,” Taren explained.

    “May I ask what crime?” Silvertan asked, his serpent like eyes focusing on Taren.

    “Murder,” Taren said matter-of-factly. This seemed to halt Silvertan’s pacing. He looked at Tawmis. “He,” Taren explained, gesturing at me, “had been a slave in Namaer, working in the kitchen cleaning. He saw them prepping my final meal before my combat in the Arena.”

    Taren explained that Minotaurs charged with murder, were brought into the Arena of Justice, to fight legions of soldiers that poured into the Arena, wave after wave – usually until the Minotaur accused of murder was killed, or until the crowd began cheering for the Minotaur. Those who survived the Arena were pardoned, but not found innocent and thus exiled from Namaer.

    “When he saw them poisoning my final meal before the Arena, he made his way to the edge of the Arena, and jumped in, using the chains around his ankles and wrists, to help me in the Arena,” Taren explained. “This action turned the crowd in my favor, and they began cheering for me. As always, the Emperor, fearful that those within the Arena might gain more popularity than himself; and that killing them would turn the crowds against him – he raised his hand and pardoned my murder, exiling both Tawmis and I from Namaer.”

    “So what is the son of Contar Stoneskull and Yennica Whitefeather doing as a slave in Namaer?” Silvertan asked, his slithering tongue flicking in and out, as if he could not wait to taste the answer on his scaled lips.

    “Wait, -tic!-“ Blaz’tik suddenly exclaimed. “You’re the –tic!- son of Contar and Yennica?”

    I sighed.

    “I am,” I said, quietly.

    “They’re the only ones said to –tic!- ever have escaped Grimrock over –tic!- twenty years ago!” Blaz’tik said excitedly, still gnawing on the raw crowern. “You must know –tic!- of the Orb of Zhandul? The one that –tic!- Sancsaron sought?”

    There it was. The one thing the Mages had kidnapped me for. To pick my brain.

    “I don’t know about the Orb,” I said, my voice edged with annoyance. “The Mages of Des … kidnapped me when I was only thirteen years old. And used magic to pick my brain apart, layer by layer, to see if my parents had ever mentioned it – and if I knew the Orb’s location buried in my subconscious. When they couldn’t find the answer, they knew they couldn’t just put me back after there had been such a wide search for me. They sold me into slavery in Namaer for some trivial spell components.” I turned to Silvertan, “So yes, I am the son of Contar and Yennica. And that is how I ended up a slave in Namaer.”

    I could see it in Silvertan’s serpent like eyes. The answer was not what he had hoped. He had thought that I was a spoiled boy, who grew up in riches.

    “They still seek you out,” Silvertan said. “Your parents.”

    “I never went back,” I answered. “Between what the Mages did to me… to my mind… and then a life of slavery… Their son is dead.”

    I knew why Blaz’tik asked about the Orb. According to the rumor, my parents found the Orb in Grimrock, and having determined it was too powerful for any mortal to possess – did away with the weapon. But the Mages speculate that such a weapon can not be destroyed; and that it must be hidden somewhere.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Default Re: Legend of Grimrock: Destiny's Chance.

    And that is where I ended with THIS one. I was writing it while playing LEGEND OF GRIMROCK to give my characters some background and life (always helps me get into my characters more). A lot of the story goes into explaining how specific things work in LEGEND OF GRIMROCK that's never really explained in the game; so my brain wanted to fill in those gaps! I'd love to hear ANY feedback, good or bad, or anything in between!
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  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: Legend of Grimrock: Destiny's Chance.

    I have since added more (and recently after a year, returned to write more on top of that! Not that I am sure anyone's reading this, since there's been no comments, good or bad... But anyway...)

    I stared at the runes with a raised eye brow.

    There was a locked door, and despite Taren Bloodhorn’s best efforts, he could not shatter it. That mean the door was guarded by magic. Which, of course, would explain the magic runes next to the door. “I can’t tell what the Flerigan that says.”

    Blaz’tik stepped forward, “Allow me.” He crumbled up some of the mushrooms in his hand, and began chanting, “Herd ben has wot, sey thay dew wot, werds the me sho, wey the me sho!”

    Blaz’tik then took the mushrooms that were now glowing a faint blue, and rubbed them across the runes. And slowly the very runes themselves glowed a gentle green color and revealed the words, “A Lone Pillar Of Light Stands Alone In The Night.”

    “Wonderful,” I sighed. “A riddle. The Mages who made Grimrock didn’t think using their magic to animate the dead, and twist living things into new creatures was enough…”

    “This is not just a riddle,” Blaz’tik answered. “This comes from an old story.” Blaz’tik stopped to think about it. “The Three Gods. When they first discovered our world – the Three Gods – The Trinity – battled for who would rule over the World.”

    “I am familiar with the story,” Taren nodded.

    “The story goes that the Trinity came to our world, each with a desire for it. One wanted to rule it, One wanted to burn it, One wanted to give it life,” Blaz’tik continued.

    “The God who sought to Burn the World, battled the Life Giver, and burned his light out. That is how Saolaviris became The Moon.”

    “The God who sought to Rule the World, battled the Life Giver, and was shattered and spread across the skies, which is how Yularien became the Stars.”

    “And the Life Giver, Trelena, became our sun. The story ends, with ‘A Lone Pillar Of Light Stands Alone In The Night’ – surrounded by the moon and stars.”

    “The torches,” Taren said, looking at the other torches in the room. “Only one must remain. But which?”

    “The one facing the door,” I said. “Because that’s the one facing the door – the way we need to go.”

    Quickly the others snuffed the remaining torches save for the one facing door with the runes on the wall. And as the last torch died, the door rose…
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  10. - Top - End - #10
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    (I feel the origin of Tawmis was a little sparse, so I revisited it...)


    There’s a thousand reasons I hate Mages.

    One of which, they raped my childhood from me. When I was thirteen years old, a sect of Mages from the Academy of Des, known as The Crimson Order, abducted me and ripped my mind apart with magic; stripping away at me, layer by layer, seeking to uncover the possibility that somewhere, deep within my subconsciousness, I had heard my parents speak of Orb of Zhandul which was rumored to hold almost limitless god-like magical powers.

    Day after day, they stripped away another layer of my mind. The sensation is similar to having your skin peeled away by a dull knife. Day after day, crying out for help – and all you get are shadowy figures hiding beneath their cloaks, chanting their magic, and ripping your mind apart. Day after day, month after month, year after year, for seven years.

    For seven long years, I wondered why my mother, Yennica Whitefeather, one of the most powerful Mages, never found me, never rescued me.

    For seven long years, I had those Mages of the Crimson Order rip my mind apart. I believe at some point they stopped caring about finding the Orb of Zhandul, and just didn’t know what to do with me – so I became their experiment, their plaything.

    Once I was 20, and I could fight back – they knew they had to get rid of me. They took me and traded me in Namaer – where I was thrown into slavery. I was forced to work the kitchen – where, one day I recognized the distinct smell of Crularious – a plant used to slow down the bleeding. The Crimson Order had used it on me, when they cut me open, experimenting on me. It has a different effect when consumed; it poisons the blood stream when digested, causing grogginess. I watched as they crumbled it into a serving a food that was meant for “one of the gladiators of the ring.”

    I managed to become one of the servers for the food that day; and saw that it was meant for one of the minotaurs – Taren Bloodhorn – as his final meal before the gladiator ring. I tried to warn him before he consumed the food about its contents, but I couldn’t reach him. So when he entered the ring, I could see that the poison was already taking effect. He was lucid, barely aware of his surroundings. So I did something that came from somewhere deep within me – I jumped the railing and yanked my chains with me, and stood next to him, and helped him. The crowd cheered at this unexpected turn of events, thrilled to see chaos among the guards who had tried to stop me.

    In truth, I was ready to die.

    I wanted to die.

    I had no childhood. I had no good memories. I was a slave. Beaten.

    I was ready to die. This was my way of fighting those that would suppress the wills of others.

    Back to back, we fought round after round of charging minotaurs, until the crowd had become so enamored with effort to survive – that they roared our names. The King was forced to call an end to the fight, or face the possibility that he would lose favoritism with the people.

    After being paraded around for several days, we were set free, but banned from returning to Namaer.

    Taren swore a blood oath to me, that one day, he would repay saving my life. I told him, I had not wanted him to walk with me because of a Blood Oath. I had already been a slave, I knew what it was like, and I would wish it on no other.

    Truth be told, the death wish that dwells within me, has long remained. Taren has repaid his Blood Oath to me more times than I can remember. Too many times, since our freedom, have I provoked a fight that I knew I could not win. Too many times to remember, it was Taren who showed up and saved me, time and time again.

    It wasn’t until Taren nearly died for me, that I saw something I had never seen before.

    Friendship. Love. Caring.

    He was not with me because of the Blood Oath. He was with me because he was my friend.

    My first, true, honest friend.

    That moment changed my life forever.

    But the one thing that has never – and perhaps never will change – is my hatred for The Mages.

    Because as soon as the riddle was solved and the door opened, there was a row of undead archers…
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  11. - Top - End - #11
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    The arrows fly by as we take cover on each side of the hall.

    They’re all looking at me for an idea. To lead them.

    Why? I have been nothing but a slave for most of my life.

    Then it dawns on me. Now that they know who my true parents are, they’re expecting something out of the “legendary son” of Contar and Yennica. But I am not that son. I am not the son I should have – could have been. The Mages saw to that when they stripped me of my mind, and tore away at the very fiber of my soul.

    They’re waiting for me to tell them what to do.

    How to get out of this.

    Since we have been pushed in here, we have been reacting to Mount Grimrock.

    We will never survive this way.

    We have to be proactive if we hope to survive this.

    I looked at Taren Bloodhorn. For several years now, he has walked side by side with me. He has seen the look in my eyes. He knows what it means.

    We fight. We make a stand. Live or die. We will not go down as cowards.

    And I will tear down every Mage enabled abomination that stands in front of me.

    I looked to the others, “We will not survive like this. We need to take action. It may be our death, but let those Mages know we did not die like cowards. That we stood and fought, not cowered in the corner. I have an idea…”

    I stood in the door way and watched five archers take aim and fire; as soon as their boney fingers were about to release; I stepped to the side and let the arrows fly harmlessly by. If anything, these archers, because of their undead status, were considerably slower than they were when they were living. I stood in the hallway immediately again, and watched – and counted – nine seconds, before I had to step aside again.

    I looked at Taren. The massive minotaur nodded. “Nine seconds, to reach them,” I explained. “After that, the rest of us charge in.”

    I stood in the hallway again; and another round of arrows launched. As soon as I stepped aside, Taren charged in, head down and gorged three of the undead archers; as much as a minotaur can gorge something without flesh. Two impaled on his horns, one he grabbed by the spine as he charged by. As the undead archers slowly turned to face him, Silvertan and I ran in, striking the undead from behind, trying to shatter their spines; hoping this would quickly end the fight.

    Blaz’tik meanwhile chanted something that was beyond any of us to understand. “Chalek –tic!- tavarium kon-Chala!”

    And from his fingertips bolts of lightning erupted, honing in on the skeletons tattered, metallic armor.

    I watched as the undead archer that Taren Bloodhorn had grabbed by the spine was flung around like a child’s plaything. In many ways, I hoped these undead could not feel whatever pain Taren was putting it through. Granted it had no skin, no nerves, no feelings – but it was a restless spirit because of the Mages and their cursed magic.

    I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder and looked down to see an arrow sticking out of it. I looked up to see Silvertan still struggling with one of the undead archers. “My apologies,” he hissed. “This one has quite a bit of fight in him.”

    That’s when I saw Taren approach it, and with one punch from his massive fist, he shattered its skull and spine, sending the rest of the undead horror, crumbling to the ground. “You nearly hit me,” Silvertan hissed.

    “Casualties of war,” Taren growled and ran to me. “Are you all right, my friend?”

    “Fine,” I muttered. “Just yank it-“

    He didn’t wait for me to finish before he pulled the arrow out. I screamed in pain as the arrow head ripped at my flesh. I could feel the warmth of the crimson blood seeping into my shirt. I looked at Taren and winced, “I don’t suppose you have any Crularious, do you?” (1)

    Taren shook his head. “You have an odd sense of humor, my friend. You could have been killed.”

    “We all could have,” I answered, placing my hand on the wound to apply pressure. “But we can’t live in Fear here. We have to take charge. Take control. Or Grimlock will claim us.”

    Silvertan extended his hand to me to help me up. “I am truly sorry I was unable to stop the archer before he fired, human.”

    “I believe you,” I said as I stood, wincing. “We need all of us to survive this.”

    “Agreed,” he nodded. “I am also sorry for how I treated you previously. I thought you a spoiled child, who somehow ended up in here, trying to prove yourself as ‘legendary’ as your parents. I see now I should have learned more about you and what you have gone through.”

    “Let’s have a drink over all of this when we get out of here,” I smiled.

    “Agreed,” Silvertan repeated. “I shall pay for the drinks.”

    “Try not to pay from one of the King’s Men’s pockets,” I smiled.

    “Fair enough,” Silvertan smiled.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Tawmis Sanarius – Human (Son of Contar Stoneskull and Yennica Whitefeather)
    Taren Bloodhorn – Minotaur
    Blaz’tik – Insectoid
    Silvertan – Lizardman

    How many days has it been?

    Day and night pass, without any way to record it. I feel like I have danced on the edge of my sanity; and yet the others continue to look to me for leadership. How was I, a rich, spoiled, runaway child, “elected” as leader of this motley crew?

    My brown eyes, hazy and unfocused, looked at Taren Bloodhorn, the massive minotaur who had been my friend for years now; and the only person on this world I truly trusted.

    Taren extended his hand to me. I felt his firm grip as he pulled me up, his eyes never leaving mine. “You’re growing weak. Despite Blaz’tik’s efforts, the wound you got from the arrow has become infected.”

    I smiled at Taren, and shrugged off his concern. “I’m just a little tired.”

    Tarne’s eyes went to my shoulder, where he had tore the shirt apart to rip the arrow out. The edge of the wound was black. I quickly covered the infection with the tattered remains of my shirt. “Like I said, I’m just a little tired.”

    Taren huffed, the sounds reverberating in his throat, like rusted, iron gears turning for the first time in centuries. I took another deep breath, “We need to keep moving. We’ve been down here for weeks now, possibly, surviving on meat of slugs –“

    “Snails,” Silvertan smiled, correcting me again.

    “Right, snails,” I amended. “Who knows what eating that meat is doing to us, being tainted by magic,” I went on to explain. “We need to get out of this place. Now.” I began moving forward.


    ===

    Taren followed my footsteps until Blaz’tik’s insectoid arms grabbed him, halting the minotaur. Taren looked down at the Insectoid. “The wound,” Blaz’tik began to explain, “it has – tic!- become more and more infected. He will not…”

    Taren tore his arm away from Blaz’tik’s grasp. “He will be fine. We will get out of this. We will find him proper medical attention.” The minotaur quickened his pace to walk behind Tawmis.

    Blaz’tik frowned. The Insectoid Mage knew that the human’s wound had become infected with The Void Touch; an infection that spread into the blood stream, turning it black, spreading rapidly. The infected individual would first suffer fevers, which the human had already begun; then become delusional, then finally a very painful death. The honorable thing would be to kill the human now. There was no way to escape Mount Grimrock in time and get a cure. The human would be dead soon; and death would be extremely painful.

    ===

    It’s burning up in here.

    I can barely breathe. Too many people.

    There. I see Taren. “Taren!” I shout. “Over here!”

    Taren Bloodhorn. Minotaur. My best friend. My only friend.

    I pat Taren on the shoulder, which takes some effort, since he towers over me, as all Minotaurs typically stand no less than seven feet tall. “What shall we drink tonight?”

    Taren looked at me, “Drink? There’s nothing to drink.”

    “Nonsense!” I replied, gesturing with a wide sweep of my arm. “At the Silent Quill, there’s over sixty different ales to pick from – and,” I added with a wink, “some of the finest ladies! Even some female Minotaurs. Though,” I nudged him, “I am glad you can tell the difference between male and female Minotaurs.”

    I could hear another voice, barely audible over the crowd within the Silent Quill.

    “He’s –tic!- hallucinating,” the voice said.

    “Hallucinating?” I turned to face the Insectoid, and suddenly found myself no longer standing in the Silent Quill. I was in some kind of dungeon.

    “What’s going on here?” I grabbed the Insectoid by his tattered robes. “Where have you teleported us to?”

    Taren’s strong, black, furry arms separated us. “He hasn’t teleported us anywhere, Tawmis. He’s right. You’re hallucinating. It’s the infection.”

    “The infection?” I began to ask, then I felt it. The pain in my shoulder. I moved my shirt and saw the black around the wound. I covered it again, and looked at Taren. “It won’t be long now will it?”

    “I’m –tic!- afraid not,” Blaz’tik replied. “The fever, then –tic!- the hallucination, then the –tic!- pain as the final blackness goes through the heart,” Blaz’tik explained matter-of-factly. “It will feel like –tic!- a thorny rose stem going through –tic!- your bloodstream when it reaches your heart.”

    “Rose stem,” I muttered. “How… unromantic.”


    There was a time, all I wanted to do was die.

    For this life, I had been given, to be over.

    When the Mages from the Academy of Des, known as the Crimson Order, ripped my mind apart, peeling back memory after memory, and burning them like old parchments, seeking the location of the Orb of Zhandul; knowing that my parents were the only ones rumored to have ever escaped Mount Grimrock, and supposed found the Orb and put it somewhere, because the items was so powerful it could not be destroyed by Mortals.

    When the Mages found that I knew nothing, they sold me into slavery, in hopes I would perish, or that the people of Namaer would be blamed for my abduction, leaving the Crimson Order free of blame.

    But the day I jumped into the Arena to help defend Taren Bloodhorn, my life took a drastic turn. Suddenly all the thoughts of dying, perished as I fought by this incredible noble Minotaur, who I could tell was innocent of the crimes he had been charged with.

    Now it’s here. Death.

    I can feel it breathing on my neck. It whispers my name.

    I can almost hear it laughing.

    Telling me to surrender. To give up. To stop living. So that I could finally be free of Mount Grimrock and find the peace I so richly deserved.

    But I kept taking that next step forward.

    My stomach churned. My hands trembled. My knees ached. I felt the world spinning every second I took just one more breath.

    Giving up would have been the easiest thing to do.

    But that’s when I realized, I never wanted to die. Not even when the Mages of the Crimson Order broke my mind and spirit. Not even when I jumped into the Arena to help defend Taren against impossible odds.

    I never wanted to die.

    I wanted to fight. Fight to keep living.

    I would not die by giving up.

    If I was to die, it would be for a noble cause.

    Something that others, who survived, would speak about. Tell the tales. So that I would live on, as an immortal, in the form of evolving stories of my heroics.

    Sometimes, we don’t get to pick how we die.

    It suddenly felt as something gripped my heart with a chilled fist.

    I suddenly felt the massive hands of Taren pull me back out of the corridor I had been struggling to walk in. A cold chill ran down my body. As I turned to look at everyone else; I could see they were all experiencing the same thing.

    So it wasn’t Death.

    Unless it had come for us all; at the same time. (Not entirely impossible down here, I imagine).

    From the shadows I saw it.

    A figure adorned in black robes, that somehow seemed darker than the unlit shadows of Grimrock. What should have been fingers looked like extended tentacles, like that of an octopus. My eyes stared in abject horror, when I noticed, cloaked in the dark shadows of its hood, there was no facial features; but slithering forth were the same tentacle appearance. Marble white to grey in color, the figure seemed to float across the floor.

    When we were sure it was gone, Taren turned to Blaz’tik, “What in the Gods was that thing?”

    “Stories –tic!-,” the Insectoid began to explain, “calls them ‘Goromorg’,” he shrugged, “which loosely –tic!- translates in the ‘Common’ tongue as ‘The Soul Stealers.’”

    “That certainly,” Silvertan hissed, “explains the sensation I felt in my chest.”

    “They –tic!- emit an aurora of fear,” Blaz’tik explained. “Rumor –tic!- has it, that the Goromorg are the original Designers of Mount Grimrock.”

    “The First Mages?” I asked. “That would make them…”

    “Thousands of years old,” Blaz’tik finished my sentence. “Yes. Once believed to be human, the Designers – the First Mages – obsessed with magic, sold their –tic!- very sanity and souls, to improve and learn –tic!- and become better Mages. It is said –tic!- that they made a pact with a ‘Dark God’ that –tic!- bestowed these powers upon them and supposed –tic!- changed them in its image. They are, without a doubt, -tic!- the most powerful Mages in existence, but the cost –tic!- of magic was … what you saw. They –tic!- no longer appear human. They –tic!- emanate that fear –tic!- aurora, because there is nothing human – it’s literally the –tic!- magic within them flowing outward, seeking to drain any and all –tic!- magic it senses!”

    “Why did it not detect you?” Silvertan asked.

    “Because without my spellbooks, I am –tic!- unable to memorize spells,” the Insectoid shrugged. “There is next to no magic –tic!- emanating from me, and any magic that is –tic!- is drowned out by the more powerful magic flowing within –tic!- Grimrock.”

    Then I felt it.

    I clutched at my chest. I bit down as hard as I could.

    Taren was at my side. “What is it? What is wrong?”

    “Rose… bushes,” I managed to sputter out.

    Damn the Mage. He was right. It literally felt like a rose stem was being pumped through my veins; and its thorns were ripping me apart inside.

    I let out a scream and collapsed.

    Just before I faded into darkness, I heard Blaz’tik say, “It heard. It’s coming back. I can sense it.”

    ===


    Perhaps Taren is right.

    Sometimes, I’m simply too stubborn.

    Even to die, it seems.

    My eyes fluttered open.

    Immediately I was gripped by the pulse pounding sensation of fear, which only seemed to rush the sensation of ‘the rose stem’ growing through my veins. I let out a gurgle of pain, blood trickling out of my mouth and onto the cold, grey floor of Grimrock. I stared up and saw that demon mage thing – the Goromorg had Silvertan in one of its tentacle hands, and Blaz’tik in the other; while its face had somehow ensnared Taren’s own face, and appeared to be sucking the life from him. Taren’s body was rigid, not moving.

    “No,” I growled. “No. Not like this. Not like this. This is not how he dies.”

    I forced myself up, my arms shaking violently, my body begging me to lay down again and sleep the Forever Sleep.

    That’s thing about me, I realized early.

    I don’t want to die like this.

    I am fighting to live.

    I force myself up, first onto my knees, then slowly I stand and draw the sword I had acquired from one of the undead soldiers earlier. I wanted to run and charge the Goromorg, but I could barely walk, without needing the wall to support me.

    The Goromorg seemed so focused on devouring the soul of my dearest friend that it had never heard me approach. I shoved my sword into the creature’s back, and aimed the blade upward. I wasn’t even sure if this damn thing could be killed.

    It didn’t even let out any sounds of pain. It did, however, drop all three of my companions and turn its attention on me. When it turned, it yanked the sword out of my feeble grip. If anything, I had bought my companions, and my dearest friends, only a few more seconds of life, assuming they were not dead already.

    “Come at me,” I spat at the creature, my blood splashing onto its black robes.

    It seemed to pause and stare at the bloodstain for a moment, before both tentacle hands lunged around my throat, wrapping around it tightly, like slimy, tiny, extended fingers. I tried to raise my arms to fight it, to somehow pull myself free – but this was it. I had given everything I could.

    This was how I would die.

    Staring into the soulless eyes of this Goromorg.

    Suddenly the Goromorg rose about three feet; a look of surprise in its soulless eyes; before the white glow faded to a cold grey, and the creature released its hold on me. We both collapsed to the ground; me, dying, my own legs unable to support my weight; the Goromorg, dead.

    I looked up and saw Taren’s minotaur horns covered in black blood.

    He immediately kneeled down, “You did it. You saved us.”

    I chuckled, blood glistening on my lips, “That’s what a hero does.”

    “We thought you were dead already, as did the Goromorg as it passed you,” Taren tried to smile.

    “I got better,” I muttered. My vision was fading. He was a lot more blurry than I remembered him being. Reminded me of that one night at the Red Dragon Inn – I don’t think I have ever been as drunk as I was that night.

    But this wasn’t because I was intoxicated.

    This was it.

    I was finally, truly, dying.

    My hand reached out to Taren’s rough, Minotaur cheek. “Live. Make it through here. For me. Tell my story…”

    Taren swore that Minotaurs were incapable of crying, because they lacked tear ducts in their eyes, but I could swear I saw his eyes glittering more than usual in the torchlight.

    “I will, my friend,” I heard him say. “I will.”

    Then my world went black for the last time.


    (Writer's Note: I flipped back and forth from narrative perspective; because in hindsight, I wouldn't have done it directly from Tawmis' view; because it limits what I can do! I returned to this story, because I purchased Realms of Arkania on STEAM {if you haven't, you should, especially if you like Legend of Grimrock). Anyway, was just going to be a short segment, but the characters had a lot to say apparently, and it just kept going... so is this the end? You don't REALLY think this is the end, right?)
    Need a character background written up? I'd be happy to write one up for you! Now with over 150 character backgrounds written! How can you help me? Not required, but appreciated, if you're so inclined! <3

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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Legend of Grimrock: Destiny's Chance.

    “We carry him,” Taren Bloodhorn growled.

    Silvertan, his scales glistening in the flicking torch light, looked up, his voice hissing, “You can’t be serious? He will slow us down.”

    “I will not leave the one who died so that we might live, down here, to be devoured by Crowern or some other horror,” Taren’s nostrils flared, his eyes dashing, looking for someone to challenge him.

    Blaz’tik placed his insect like arm on the Minotaur’s shoulder. “I understand what –tic!- your friend meant to you, but the –tic!- Lizardman is right. We carry the human, -tic!- we slow down. And in here, as you have seen, -tic!- sometimes split second reactions can make all the difference –tic!- in the world between life and a very painful –tic!- death.”

    “Then you will have to leave without me,” Taren said as he kneeled down and picked up Tawmis’ body. “I will not leave my friend behind.”

    Blaz’tik looked at Silvertan, hoping the Lizardman might have something to add to reason with the Minotaur. Instead, Silvertan simply shook his head, “They’re, no pun intended, bull headed. When they’ve made up their mind about something, that’s it. I am sure this Blood Oath that’s between them simply further complicates matters.”

    Taren walked by the silent duo as they watched massive Minotaur, muscles rippling with each step, walk past them.

    “It’s a good idea,” Silvertan hissed sarcastically through his thin, lizard-like lips, “to have your fighter with his hands full, in a dungeon chalk full of death around every corner.”

    As they moved through Mount Grimrock in silence, Blaz’tik was overjoyed to find Herders that had been shredded. Eagerly his insectoid fingers clutched at that shattered remains of the once living mushroom like creatures. “This make –tic!- excellent spell components,” he explained, as Silvertan paused to stare at the strange creature questionably.

    “What destroyed them,” Silvertan hissed. “That’s what I want to know. The way they’re just scattered about… whatever did it… did it simply to destroy.” Silvertan kneeled down and sniffed at some of the remains, “No. Something fed on these. But… what I smell… it can not be. There’s no way that they would be down here…”

    Then there was a roar that came from far ahead of them.

    Blaz’tik looked up and stared at Silvertan. “What… was –tic- that?”

    Silvertan threw down the remains of the Herder. “Trouble. Very, very, serious trouble. Taren,” Silvertan hissed the Minotaur’s name.

    Taren Bloodhorn turned slightly.

    Silvertan gestured for the Minotaur to come back. Slowly the Minotaur made his way back to the Lizardman and the Insectoid, still carrying Tawmis’ body. “What?” the Minotaur asked, clearly showing his annoyance and being beckoned back.

    “You must have heard that roar,” Silvertan began.

    “An Ogre,” Taren explained.

    “You know?” Silvertan asked, surprised, “And yet you walk in the direction the howl came from. I would recommend we turn around. Find another way.”

    “There is no other way,” Taren said, matter-of-factly. “We’ve been marking the walls. We’ve gone in circles several times now. This passage is the only way ahead.”

    “If there is an Ogre ahead, then the only thing that passage will lead to is death,” Silvertan explained. “Ogres frequently raided our homes in the Terragrass Marshes. They would decimate our population, slaughter our men, women and offspring – including the defenseless eggs. And for what? The sheer pleasure of murder and mayhem.”

    “I am quite familiar with Ogres,” Taren explained. “In my homeland, in the City of Namaer; below our city is a large maze. When we reach the age of sixteen seasons; the men have to venture into one end of the maze and come out the other. It’s disorienting, and constantly changing. The walls move. Floors give way to lethal traps. But it’s not just the maze that tries to end your life. The maze is riddled with Tunnel Ogres, whose only goal is to crush your skull and feast on your flesh; because that is the only food they will get down there.”

    “That is… a horrible tradition,” Silvertan gasped.

    “Be it what it may,” Taren answered plainly, “it forges us into warriors. It makes us very aware of our surroundings.” He turned and faced the passage from which the Ogre’s howl had come from, “Now, if you don’t mind, I wish to proceed forward.”

    Silvertan looked at Blaz’tik, who shrugged his insect shoulders, stuffing the last of the crumpled Herder corpses into his pouch. He had never encountered an Ogre of any kind; though he had heard enough stories to know that they were best avoided at all costs. Even Minotaurs, despite all of their strength, knowledge, and courage, took alternate paths, if it meant avoiding an Ogre.

    “He’s lost his –tic!- best friend,” Blaz’tik clicked his mandibles. “And now, he –tic!- seeks his own death.”

    “No,” Silvertan shook his head, following close behind Taren, who did not pay any attention to the Lizardman or the Insectoid behind him. “Suicide is dishonorable to the Minotaur people. I think he has it in his head, that his rage, and his heart and passion for his friend, will give him whatever strength he needs to keep the promise of us living through this.”

    “But that –tic!- is ridiculous,” Blaz’tik sighed. “There is no logical –tic!- explanation that would permit such a feat.”

    Silvertan paused. “Do not underestimate love, my friend.”

    “Love?” Blaz’tik paused.

    “I’ve never known it myself,” Silvertan said, after a moment of silence; his own mind reflecting to a distant memory of his own. “But they say that it is the most powerful weapon this world has to give us.”

    “Still –tic!- nonsense,” Blaz’tik contended. “You can not –tic!- tell me that ‘love’ would protect him from a magical lightning bolt.”

    “I can tell you that,” Silvertan said, almost smiling. “I just wouldn’t tell him that,” he gestured towards Taren who was still walking at a steady pace.

    The roaring of the Ogre’s fury was getting closer.

    Silvertan turned to Blaz’tik, “Be ready with your magic. I do not know what the Minotaur plans to do. But we must be ready to fight. To possibly give the Minotaur a chance to put the body of his friend down and fight this Ogre.”

    Blaz’tik’s fingers nervously began fiddling with the gathered spell components he had acquired while being trapped in Mount Grimrock with the others. “I –tic!- shall be ready.”

    The poorly illuminated hall opened up to a large room, where a number of skeletons could be seen having been scattered about. Most who entered Mount Grimlock hardly ever made it past this room.

    There was a furious howl; that of an Ogre.

    The towering, grotesque figure, which bore a close resemblance to perhaps a hairless minotaur; only towering another two feet above a standard Minotaur, pounded at on its deathly, grey colored flesh before picking up its mallet and proceeding to charge.

    Taren did not even react as quickly as one might expect; instead, he slowly began to kneel down and lay the body of his dead friend gently on the ground, with all the respect one might expect a knight to give that of a king.

    It had only been Blaz’tik’s quick thinking to shout, “Chal’nul Ku’lak!” while crushing bat dung and the remains of the Herder’s body fragments within his hand. A lightning shield appeared in front of Taren, which the Ogre slammed into. Electricity sparked wildly through the air, sending everyone’s hair standing on end. The Ogre began furiously pounding on the electrical shield, even as Taren slowly began to stand.

    Blaz’tik winced, straining – his will against the brute strength of the Ogre, to maintain the spell. “I can not –tic!- hold this spell –tic!- much longer! The creature is too -tic!- powerful!”

    “Lower the shield,” Taren said, no emotion in his voice.

    “Draw your weapon first, Taren,” Silvertan said, drawing his own dagger.

    “Lower the shield,” Taren repeated, with the same emotionless tone.

    Blaz’tik looked at Silvertan questioningly. It certainly seemed like suicide. “You’re –tic!- sure about suicide being dishonorable, -tic!- correct?”

    Silvertan did not reply; he simply nodded as he gripped the hilt of his dagger. Blaz’tik nodded in return and whispered, “Ku’lak Cha’nul,” and reversed the spell so the electrical shield that had protected them from the Ogre’s violent wrath came down.

    The Ogre brought his mallet down; surprisingly to Blaz’tik and Silvertan, Taren caught the Ogre’s arm by its wrist and stopped it. An Ogre’s strength, even when young, was said to be three to five times that of the most durable and powerful minotaurs. Yet, Taren seemed to stop it as easily as he might have stopped an elf’s attempt to punch him.

    This infuriated the Ogre, who then brought his other first crashing across Taren’s bull-like face. The blow struck hard enough to draw copious amounts of blood from Taren’s mouth, but the minotaur did not buckle under the Ogre’s crushing blow. The massive minotaur stared at the Ogre, who was now more furious than ever, that the Minotaur before it was somehow still standing.

    Taren reached out with his free hand and grabbed the Ogre’s massive throat. The Ogre let out a surprised gurgling sound, but realized that despite the size of the Minotaur’s massive hand, it wasn’t enough to clasp around the Ogre’s throat to choke the life from it.

    “Someone tell me to stop what I am about to do,” Silvertan hissed to no one in particular. He stepped back and vanished into the shadows.

    Blaz’tik looked around a moment later and saw that the Lizardman had vanished. “He’s –tic!- abandoned us! Snuck by the –tic!- Ogre while Taren –tic!- fights it!” There was no time to panic. The Insectoid tried desperately to calm itself. Magic, it could fight. But sheer, brute strength. A hatred for anything living. That shook Blaz’tik to the core. He could already envision this Ogre cracking the Insectoid’s carapace shell and eating his insides, while he was probably still alive, no doubt!

    “Erfin’ten,” Blaz’tik blurted as bursts of flames flew from his fingertips, flying around Taren’s massive body and striking the intended enemy. “Silvertan has left us,” Blaz’tik called out frantically.

    “Do not be so sure,” Taren growled as he thrust his head forward and brought one of his horns, biting deep into the Ogre’s thick flesh. Taren pulled his head back, puncturing the Ogre’s flesh, where black blood now oozed from the new wound.

    Still holding the Ogre’s right hand, which held the deadly mallet, Taren took his free hand and jabbed two fingers into the newly created wound on the Ogre’s chest. The Ogre howled in fury, and brought its left hand, striking down against Taren’s shoulder blade. The Minotaur winced in pain. The crushing blow felt as if it may have broken a bone or two.

    Still Taren’s fingers dug into the Ogre’s wound, as if seeking to rip the Ogre apart from the inside. The Ogre only grew more furious, striking again, this time even harder. Now, Taren fell to one knee, pain wracking his body under the Ogre’s relentless pounding.

    “We’re going to –tic!- die,” Blaz’tik muttered.

    Despite the fiery pain, Taren repeated, “Do not be so sure.”

    The Minotaur was clearly delusional. The Minotaur was already buckling under the Ogre’s assault. The human fighter had perished earlier. The Lizardman Rogue had taken to the shadows and left them. And Blaz’tik knew he was no match against the Ogre. Once the Minotaur feel, the Insectoid would only last three to five seconds – and that was being generous.

    Just then, behind the Ogre, Blaz’tik saw something gleaming, only for a split second, before he realized it was Silvertan emerging out of the shadows from behind the Ogre. The Lizardman had climbed to a higher position, and was hoping that by leaping down on the towering Ogre, he could plunge the dagger deep into the base of the Ogre’s skull; know his own, natural strength would never penetrate the Ogre’s dense layer of fat around its bloated neck. Just as Silvertan leaped, Taren stood, bringing both of his horns into the Ogre’s chest, raising the Ogre upward, just as Silvertan’s dagger came down into the base of the Ogre’s neck with so much force, that the Ogre’s thick neck seemed to soak up the dagger and Silvertan’s hands for a brief moment.

    The Ogre slammed its head backwards, feeling the stabbing pain, managing to only hit the dagger with the base of its own head, and plunging the dagger deeper, severing the Ogre’s spine. The Ogre, for a brief moment, had a look of surprise on its face, before realizing, not only had it been defeated, but it was dead.

    With a loud thudding sound, the Ogre collapsed to the ground.

    “We’re –tic!- alive,” Blaz’tik said, with genuine surprise. “We’re truly alive.”

    Taren looked at the Insectoid Mage and shook his head. He then turned and picked up Tawmis’ corpse, treating it still, as if he was carrying the body of a king. Silvertan looked at his dagger in the base of the Ogre’s beck and after several tugs, managed to finally pry the dagger free. Green blood oozed from the base of the Ogre’s neck.

    Blaz’tik kneeled down and pulled a small vial out from one of his bags. Silvertan looked at the Insectoid. “What are you doing?”

    “Ogres’ blood,” Blaz’tik began to explain, “makes for a –tic!- very powerful spell component. It can –tic!- enhance a spell tenfold.”

    “That’s wonderful,” Silvertan said, regarding the oozing Ogre’s blood with disgust, as it was thick and chunky and it poured out of the gaping, fatal wound.

    Up ahead, Taren suddenly stopped as he peeked around the corner cautiously, making sure not to strike Tawmis’ corpse against the wall. He turned, his eye brows pushed together in an angry fashion. “Blaz, get up here.”

    The Insectoid did not hesitate, after he capped off the Ogre’s blood. “What –tic!- is it?”

    “Around the corner,” Taren whispered. “Something… not natural. What is it?”

    Blaz’tik sighed. “That –tic!- is an Uggardian. They say, countless years ago Uggardiands were summoned by powerful mages to guard the tombs of old kings. But as centuries turned to dust and once thriving civilization faded into oblivion still the Uggardians guarded the collapsed and rotten tombs of nameless kings that no one lived to remember. Uggardians were trapped and couldn’t return into their own plane of existence because the ancient summoning magic was still strong and chained them into their duty. The Summoners had died ages ago and they were the only ones with enough power so summon or release beings of Outer Realms. The story goes on to say that The First Mages, the Designers, the –tic!- Goromorg – whatever name you want to call them – cast a spell to summon all the Uggardians into Mount Grimrock to roam the halls and protect ‘The Undying One.’”

    “The Undying One,” Taren huffed. “Even my people have heard of the ‘Undying One’ – and it’s all just a legend. A creature so evil, so powerful, dwelling here? In this mountain? Why has it not come out and ruled the world then?”

    “That remains unknown,” Blaz’tik shrugged. “But that is what the legends and historian have supposedly –tic!- documented.”

    “First the Ogre, and now this,” Taren thought for a moment. “Someone is going out of their way to guard something.” Taren turned to Blaz’tik again, “Can you destroy that thing with your magic? Dispel it or something? Send it back to the Outer Realms or whatever?”

    “Destroy it?” Blaz’tik scoffed. “With a single spell? No. The –tic!- Uggardians are powerful beings. And I am not –tic!- advanced enough – no one is, anymore – to open –tic!- the Outer Realms portal to send that thing back. Well, no one –tic!- save the Goromorg; but I do not foresee them –tic!- assisting us, as they’re the ones who summoned these –tic!- creatures here!”

    Silvertan suddenly whispered directly into Blaz’tik’s ear, “The Ogre’s Blood.” The Lizardman’s voice nearly startled Blaz’tik into a screaming fit. “You said it enhanced spells. You had cast an ice spell before to slow down the green slime blob creatures we encountered – do you think…”

    “That a single –tic!- ice spell would destroy the fiery essence of a Uggardian?” Blaz’tik shook his head. “No, -tic!- not even with Ogre Blood.”

    “Could it freeze it, even for just a moment,” Taren asked.

    “With Ogre Blood –tic!- I suppose it could,” Blaz’tik nodded.

    “Then that’s what we shall do,” Taren said, setting down Tawmis’ corpse.

    “Wait, -tic!-,” Blaz’tik asked, “what are we doing?”

    “You’re going to cast the ice spell you did before on the green slime,” Taren explained, “this time on the Uggardian creature.”

    “Then what?” Blaz’tik asked nervously.

    “Leave that part up to me,” Taren replied.

    “Leave –tic!- that part up to you,” Blaz’tik muttered to himself. “That’s –tic!- exactly what I was afraid –tic!- you would say!” Blaz’tik crushed the antenna of the snail, rubbing it firmly between his two palms, then took the vial of Ogre Blood and poured it on his two index fingers. “Ey’cee Ewe!” Bolts of chilling frost blasted from his fingertips with such force that it sent him three steps back. The Uggardian, unaware of the attack was suddenly encased within ice.

    That’s when Blaz’tik saw Taren simply rush the once fiery creature, slamming his bull horns into the center of the creature, shattering it like a statue. Blaz’tik stood there in amazement for a moment, surprised that the creature was so easily dispatched. He made a mental note to notate the power Ogre’s Blood did to a spell. It had made it far more powerful than even he had anticipated.

    Taren quickly returned and picked up Tawmis’ corpse and turned around. “Now,” he said, “let’s see what’s behind that blue door that both the Ogre and the Uggardian were set up to guard.”

    They moved across the room quickly, knowing that the noise had undoubtedly echoed down the hallways and gathered the attention of the other denizens of Mount Grimrock. Silvertan opened the door – and just inside, a large blue, pulsating crystal that hovered above the ground.

    “What did you call that thing again?” Taren asked.

    “A heart,” Blaz’tik replied.

    Suddenly Taren’s eyes went wide. “What else did you say about it before? You said something…”

    Blaz’tik looked at Silvertan and shrugged, before he looked back at Taren. “I had said, this stone –tic!- is part of what gives Grimrock life. This stone helps ignite the torches I –tic!- mentioned. It also helps –tic!- shape the very things we have encountered.”

    “You said something after that,” Taren turned to Blaz’tik, a crazed look in his eyes.

    Blaz’tik thought for a moment. “I had said it brings –tic!- life to Grimrock, through magic…” Suddenly Blaz’tik realized what Taren had been getting at. “You can not –tic!- be serious, Taren. He would never approve! You know how –tic!- he hates magic! He would –tic!- never forgive you. And there is a chance, since –tic!- he’s dead that it would not work! These were originally Heal Stones, but the First Mages, like everything else –tic!- enhanced it, and corrupted it, to make it more powerful! What if –tic! – he returns as a zombie? An undead, soulless person? Could you –tic!- live with that?”

    Taren paused, and whispered, “I could. Much easier than knowing that I never tried, and that I would be forced to go on in this life without the only person who has ever truly believed and cared for me.”

    “Love,” Silvertan whispered behind Blaz’tik, from the shadows.

    Blaz’tik turned to Silvertan, “This,” he gestured to Taren, who was setting Tawmis’ corpse next to the blue, pulsating stone, “This is –tic!- folly.”

    “Love,” Silvertan repeated. “Love is folly. But, without it, we are no more alive than this,” he placed his hand on the wall, indicating the living stone of Mount Grimrock.

    Blaz’tik shook his head. Among his people, there was no such emotion as ‘love.’ They mated for survival, with whomever, among their kind, to keep their race alive. There was no courtship. No love. No attachment. After the mating, each member would part ways, and continue leaving their lives with no obligations; save for all of the males protected all of the females and the eggs, not just the ones they had mated with.

    Taren kneeled and prayed to whatever Gods might be listening. “You know my heart’s desire,” he said. “I need him to live. It’s not that I want him to live. I need him to live,” Taren emphasized.

    “This is foolish,” Blaz’tik repeated. “This will not end –tic!- well. We may have to –tic!- kill him ourselves if he rises as some form of –tic!- undead creature.”

    Silvertan looked at Blaz’tik with a look that spoke volumes; saying simply, “Be silent, if Taren hears you, he will kill you himself.”

    Blaz’tik fell into silence.

    Taren took in a deep breath. “This has to work,” he whispered to no one in particular; for no one, save for the Gods, could perhaps hear his choked plea. He touched Tawmis’ hand to the blue pulsating stone, and waited.

    And waited.

    And waited.

    A minute had gone by, still Taren held Tawmis’ hand, touching the stone.

    “Perhaps he’s been –tic!- dead too long,” Blaz’tik said. “Or perhaps –tic!- what the Crimson Order did to him –tic!- prevents him from living again.”

    “No,” Taren growled. “I will not give up. We have fought monsters of every kind in this damn mountain. We have already given so much. It’s time that this damn mountain give back to us now!”

    “That’s –tic!- not how it works,” Blaz’tik explained.

    “Then we make it work that way!” Taren growled. “Cast a spell on that stone! Make it flow life into his body!”

    “I know of no –tic!- magic that could do that,” Blaz’tik said matter-of-factly. “We need to keep going. The –tic!- sounds from the fight are bound to attract more creatures this way. If we don’t leave –tic!- now, we will find ourselves fighting –tic!- something again – very soon.”

    Silvertan placed a reassuring hand on Taren’s shoulder. “I hate to admit it,” his voice said, hissing, “but the Insectoid is right. We need to keep moving. I will help carry him, if you wish. We will give him a proper burial when we get out of here. We will speak endlessly of his name and heroics. We will make him a legend. We will make him immortal through story and tales.”

    Taren stood up and pushed Silvertan. “I don’t want him alive and immortal through tales and stories,” the minotaur growled, his nostrils flaring. “I want him alive. Alive to drink with me. To laugh about what we lived through. To be my friend.”

    “He will always be your friend,” Silvertan said, standing up. “But it’s time you let him go. It’s time to accept that he is…”

    “Alive,” Blaz’tik sputtered.

    “What?” Taren turned to look.

    Tawmis’ eyes fluttered.

    “What,” he wheezed, “are you two fighting about now?”

    TO BE CONTINUED?

    Well, of course!
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