As we rounded a corner, still arguing with Kaurophon about the tiger, Cinder held up her hand. “Hush! I hear something.”
She crept up to the next turn in the tunnel. She paused and waved us forward. “Little guy, big bear. Fighting two golems.” She touched the brooch at her throat. “Do you remember Tarkelar? I got this brooch — ”
She was interrupted by a strange voice. “Are you quite sure they are golems? Let me through. I would look at them.” A strange elf pushed past me and stood beside Cinder. After a moment she turned around. “Oh. Indeed. Golems. I’ll just wait back here, shall I?”
As she walked past, Sadi grabbed her arm. “Who are you?” Sadi had one hand on the hilt of her sword.
“I am Elenriel Annanole. But people call me many names. So you may call me Various. And you are…..?” She peered seriously at Sadi.
“Impatient.” Sadi pulled out her sword.
“OK. Everyone just calm down.” Myntilly put herself between Sadi and the elf. “I am called Myntilly. What brings you to this place?”
“I am Various. I visit all the planes. I like Occipitus. This looks like a nice place to vacation or buy a house.”
Everyone looked at her. “This is an evil place. You realize that, don’t you?” Acgar had come up beside her and put a hand on her arm.
Various looked at Acgar, seeing her for the first time. “You are a motley bunch, aren’t you! A half-dragon, by the look of you.” She pointed at Kaurophon. “Demon.” Then at me, Sadi and Myntilly. “Human. Human. Human.” She turned to Cinder. “Thank the goddess! One familiar face. Oh, are you a wood elf, perchance? Hmmmm. No chance you’d have any books then.” She turned back towards the battle. “Why don’t you deal with those golems and then we’ll talk more, hmmm?” She opened a book and turned away from us.
Cinder opened her mouth. “What was that?”
“Later.” Sadi pointed at the golems. The little guy, as Cinder had called him, was darting in and slashing at one of the golems. He had a bear fighting beside him. Just past the golems, you could see an altar with a large black stone.
“They could use our help.” Sadi got out her quiver of arrows. “Did you say you have a brooch? I remember it, now. Golembane.”
Cinder nodded. “Indira can you bless my bow? I think this scarab will really help me in this fight.”
I cast greater magical weapon so that Cinder’s arrows would fly true and fast to the target. Myntilly added a focus spell as well, so that Cinder had even more power behind each shot.
Kaurophon moved out towards the first golem.
He stayed out of reach of the massive clay hands. He cast a spell — I didn’t quite catch it. Perhaps magic missile. Sometimes it is hard to discern his spells. The golem glowed for a moment and then nothing. Acgar moved up beside Kaurophon and opened her mouth to spray acid at the golems.
I heard Various behind me. She made a clucking noise. “I shouldn’t have done that if I were you.”
I whirled around. “What are you talking about?!”
“Acid.” Various blinked at me and put a finger in her book to mark the page. “Acid heals clay golems.” She frowned. “Didn’t you know that?
Perhaps, I could do a little something to speed this up.” And she reached into her pack and pulled out a square of paper. She unfolded it and turned to face the golems. She blew hard and dust swirled into the air. It stuck to the clay figures and floated around their heads.
As I started to ask her what it was, Various crumpled the paper, patted my arm and said, “Think of it as fairy dust, my dear. Probably too complicated to explain to you. They will be partially blinded for a time. Magic won’t affect them. Go smash them with your little mace, alright? I am going to have a look at that altar. The stone is…. unusual.”
As we engaged the first golem, the little man and his bear moved to fight the second golem. Sadi and Cinder shot arrow after arrow.
Acgar and I moved in close with spear and mace. Neither Myntilly nor Kaurophon could do much to help so they eadged around the battle and towards the altar. Various followed.
Acgar punctured the golem’s foot. The spear stayed in; Acgar could not free it. So she threw her weight against the shaft to drive it deeper into the creature’s foot.
I do not remember who landed the killing blow, but the golem suddenly went rigid. He dropped his pickaxe and shattered into about eight large piece.
…………To be continued.
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