The Two Thrones

Soetheby's Chronicle - 2

Charged by the King, Part 2

This group of people I have just met is an odd bunch. An Elven Circle Mage, a somewhat questionable man who dislikes mages, and a tough looking reserved man, accompanied by a black crow. I am unsure of how they came together, though I do now know why. But I will get to that in time.

I followed them up to the main chamber as they discussed their own affairs. After a short conversation with one of the head mages, which I tuned out, I found myself in what passes for a library in the tower. As I began searching for data I had no hope of finding, I began to hear the bird talk. Of course, since the man next to me didn’t respond, I assumed I was imagining things. Though in hindsight, I wonder why I felt the need to converse with said bird. I never really understood magic much, which is why I tend to leave it out of my novels.

Alerting me to the fact that I was indeed hearing an actual bird talk, my new acquaintance began conversing with me himself. As of this writing, he is getting on my nerves. He calls himself Dinaim, and he apparently enjoys mocking my name. After a few minutes of attempting to educate him a little, an effort far too massive for one man, we noticed the Templar who guards the basement walk past. Dinaim stood and put on an exaggerated drunken display as we snuck off to the basement to procure my manuscripts, and whatever it was that they were searching for.

Once in the basement I received a shock, the statue down there could talk. Despite having just been in a conversation with a bird, I was still afraid. I was beginning to realize just how extensive the powers of magic were. The statue was most helpful, to both myself and my new companions, and it helped me locate an ancient Avvari manuscript that may be of great use to me… should I survive long enough to have it translated. It also seemed to know a lot about the mission I had just become tangled in. But as it explained what it knew, something began shimmering into existence in front of us.

A vision of a mage and a Templar conversing appeared before us. I’m not sure what they were discussing, but it involved a vial of blood, and ended with the mage stabbing the Templar. I still don’t understand it completely, but the Elf next to me looked as if she might faint. We quickly rushed back up the stairs and, against my better judgment, to the main room. Despite years of writing, honing my craft, I can not begin to accurately describe the horror that awaited us in that room. Blood everywhere, dead bodies littering the floor. It took everything I had to keep from vomiting at the sight of it all.

Dinaim and myself drew our weapons, certain that we were going to be attacked by someone. And that’s when I witnessed a horror even greater than the dead bodies. The bodies reanimated and began shambling toward us, intent on killing. I can’t say I lived up to my claims of being bold just then. Faced with something I had never imagined could be possible, I faltered. Before I could regain my wits Dinaim had swung around to bury his sword in the back of the nearest corpse and the Elf, who I now know as Leanne, was shouting at us to retreat up the stairs.

Now I have extensive knowledge of military tactics and can tell you that it was the best plan any of us could have come up with in that situation. So I worked my way up the stairs, trying desperately not to have my life choked away by the undead. Miraculously, we managed to get up the stairs and close the door behind us. We took quite a beating as we struggled to keep them closed, but a well timed return of my third new companion was enough to allow me time to find something to bar the door with. He had not joined us on the initial trip so we had no idea he was upstairs with us until we had managed to close the door.

Once the door was closed we took a few seconds to properly bandage our wounds. As I applied a mild salve to my throbbing neck, I noticed that the Templar, whom Leanne had been attempting to save, was gone. I never found out what happened to him. In little time at all, the head mage came rushing down the stairs, barely clinging to consciousness. She was badly hurt but managed, with Leanne’s help, to enact a paralyzing spell to hold the demons as we escaped. We barely escaped with our lives.

I suppose one day I’ll look into the fate of the tower, but at the time all I cared about was staying alive. Once we were safe with the surviving Templars I realized something. Or I agreed with the Knight-Captain’s remark to be accurate. How was it that we, a mangy group of nobodies, had survived such an onslaught. Now I still don’t entirely trust my new companions, and I admit I grew up looking down on the Elves, so I was naturally suspicious of them when the subject was approached. But I have since realized that if they had indeed set the entire incident up, then there was nothing I could do about it. So I have taken their word that they were uninvolved. As of this writing, we have made it to an inn hoping to rest and allow our injuries to heal fully. I end this page in the hopes that the nightmares I know will haunt my sleep do not send me over the edge.

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