Keep your head above the water, part 2A

From: Erik Sieurin (
Date: Fri 03 May 1996 - 19:11:43 EEST

Someone sent a Fumble spell against me (must be a Theddite in the
computer room) and I sent my message unfinished. Here's the end.

Richard drew back, puzzled. The sorcerer smiled.
- - The reeds grow awfully thick this year, he taunted and started
making those fancy passes again.
- - Seems my sword wasn't sharp enough, Richard followed, mighty proud
of his part in the dialogue, and swung again.
This time the sword struck true, and with a strange sound, like
breaking a bubble, it sliced into the right leg of the sorcerer,
almost cutting it off. He screamed.

So did Harold - or he had done for some time, but Richard hadn't
heard him.
- - HEL-LP! I'M DROWN(bubble)!
Richard swore and turned towards the water, found a rope curled up on
deck and threw it in the general direction of the water-treading
Harold. Despite panic and a lot of fumbling and arm-swaying, the
drowning warrior succeeded in getting ahold of the rope, and was
hauled up to the boat by Richard.

- -You OK, mulehead? Richard asked his panting cousin.
- -Yes, coughed Harold. B-but were's the damned sorcerer?
Richard spun around. There was just a pool of blood where the
sorcerer had been.
- -Ikadz' pleasures! He couldn't have walked, not after what I did to
his leg! roared Richard.
- -More chaos magic, Harold remarked laconically. Something like
Mastakos' chariot, y'know. You should have finished him.
- -That would have finished YOU, Richard grumbled. Learn to swim,
mulehead! And remind me to NEVER listen to your advice again.
ESPECIALLY when it comes to boats, battering rams and burly furriners
in big armor.

Further downriver, some children of the Boat People where walking
along the riverbank, looking for eels. Suddenly, one of them pointed
towards the water.
- -Look, he shouted, a mudshark!
The kids scuttled up the bank, to the safety of dry land. But the
thing out in water was shining in a way a mudshark's scales doesn't.
Out of the water it rose, a man-shape clad in bronze plate, water
guzzling from all its holes. The children turned and ran.
The man stopped, swayed and suddenly vomited - or emptied his lungs?
- - with a large spout of river water. He coughed, swore in his native
Carmanian, and waved his arm towards Pavis.
- -You killed my beloved, my dear charger Xaluna, he shouted. I hope by
the Red Moon that my vizier brother doesn't slay you, Crippler rightly
named, for that is a pleasure I want for myself!

Far away from Pavis, in backwater Adari, a shaven-headed woman
ministered to a black-and-white-clad man, except his clothes were now
mostly red.
- -Stop whining, she snapped. Yes, you'll walk again, but not soon.
Will you now come to your senses and notify our superiors?
- -And tell them I lost track of Gyrrazan of The Captured Arm? the man
snapped back. That the demon is now hunting Richard Eedbarg alone,
and when it is free - which it will become when it slays him, I
remind you - no-one will be there to capture it? I'd rather die
trying to slay him first myself, making it impossible for Gyrrazan to
fulfill his part of the pact. That would at least mean no punishment
from Headquarters.
- -Don't be so sure, the woman grumbled. Jakaleel's know their tricks...
and I'm not sure you have that many friends in the hells below to
help you hide.
The man in black and now red shuddered.


Erik Sieurin


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