In the moments after Indira’s death, the beholder and his minion, Triple Tail vanished. I dropped to my knees. I’m ashamed to admit this but I was thankful to be alive. I had assumed that I’d be the next to die.
It was easy to find Indira’s finger. The ring glinted in the light of the torches. At least I know, if we survive, that we can resurrect her. I can’t do it. I’m not powerful enough to work the spell but Kristoff or Jenya, they could do it for us.
I wrapped the finger in a bit of linen that I have and sat back on my heels. I realized that my friends were examining a cage.
I watched as Brus sniffed around a low hanging cage. Hard to say, it looked like a dwarf in the cage. Then Sadi climbed on Brus’ back. She took her sword out and laid it on the joint where cage meets tree.
The others were moving around and no one came over to me. I’ll assume that they thought I wanted quiet. After a few more moments I got up. There was work to do.
Who was hurt? Who needed healing? Without Indira, that work would fall to me.
I walked over to where Acgar and Myntilly were talking. Before I could speak, something horrible happened.
The beholder returned.
You could see where the four eye stalks were damaged. Indira’s legacy.
There was a sudden rush of arctic cold that swept into the room from the hallway. I was chilled to the bone, shivering as the cold seemed to seep into my bones.
And then suddenly I thought: “We don’t have to do this right now. We have 5 days before the ritual is complete. Five days!”
I raised my voice. “Hey! Hey everyone! Let’s go home. Let’s regroup, right? We have time. We can get Indira back and resupply. What do ya say?”
No one listened. They were focused on the beholder and Triple Tail. Durilin charged the beholder, axe sweeping the air. Myntilly threw another orb of acid. The beholder spun around, looking for the source of the acid. He focused on Sadi and she suddenly dropped her bow and ran away.
“Guys! For real. Let’s run. Indira’s dead. How can we help these people without her? Sadi’s right. Let’s run away. We can get help.”
I made to grab Acgar’s arm. “Quinlan. Huh? What do you say? Get the police involved? You’d like that. Hell, we can even invite the MTA. The more the merrier when you’re fighting a beholder!” Even I could hear the panic in my voice.
Ian had climbed the Tree. From that vantage, he let loose a flash of lightening.
“No! no no no no No! Stop! Let’s get Indira back. Alright? Then we come back and we kick ass.”
Acgar turned to me. “The beholder’s doing mind control on you. You don’t know what you’re saying.”
“I do know what I’m saying! We can’t win! Hey, what about Rumonger? We left him with the catapult. He’s a handy guy to have in a fight. Let’s just go grab him, hmm?”
I heard a shout, Triple Tail had rushed Myntilly and grabbed her in his claws. She struggled to get free. Acgar ran to help, swinging her Holy Avenger sword as she moved. The crack as the sword hit his carapace was loud and shocking. For a moment no one moved. Then, blink. Triple Tail vanished. With Myntilly in his claws. The beholder also vanished.
“What the hell?” Acgar lowered her sword.
Durilin turned towards her. “What happened?” And then blink. Myntilly reappeared. “I think I was in the big elevator.”
“We could go after them. Finish this fight. They’re hurt.” Durilin had a fire in her eye.
From the Tree, Ian called out. “These people are hurt. We need to free them.”
Before anyone could answer, the beholder appeared once more, right beside Durilin.
Ian gave a shout and sunbeams streamed from his fingers, hitting four of the beholder’s undamaged eye stalks. The beholder vanished again.
“Alright, Ian!” Sadi cheered from the ground.
I clapped my hands. “Yes, way to go, Ian. Good job. Now. Let’s regroup. Head to Cauldron. Get help. Get some high level clerics down here, huh? Got to free these people. Got to heal these people!” No response.
“We could talk to Skye — she knows people. Or see if the Striders can help. This is their fight, too. Am I right?”
I looked around. “Guys?”
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