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Old 11-03-2008, 04:55 AM   #206
Shady She-Penguin
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: In a far land beyond the Sea
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Thin-Gloomy laughed aloud in delight. It was too good to be true.

While the others rushed to have a look at the swords, he headed for the knives. There was a familiar shape among them. "My beloved Thistle-cleaver!" he shouted, picking up his old knife. He kissed it and put it on his belt. Next, he headed for the missiles. He could see his old crossbow, but beside it there was a slightly heavier one with carefully crafted bolts. He picked it and left his own bow behind. He felt more certain now, the bow in his hand. Éomeleo hastened to his side. He had a sword in his hand and he picked another crossbow, visibly satisfied with the situation.

"Are we ready now?" Thin-Gloomy growled.
Éomeleo nodded. "I am."
They turned to see the others. Valesseka had replaced her staff with a proper one and equipped herself with a dagger, Jen had picked a small sword and added a few knives to her collection and Miko was holding a sword with a curved blade and emeralds in the hilt.
"Can you use that?" Éomeleo asked him.
"No time for nonsense like that!" Thin-Gloomy grunted and headed out of the door, Jen at his heels. The others followed, Miko babbling about his new beautiful sword.

"We are now going to the so called 'throne-room' to kill the bandits, if I've understood correctly, we can also get out of this place that way," Thin-Gloomy announced.
"How many?" Jen asked, trying to keep her tone cool and professional.
"Five, although with good luck, two of them...”
“Look out!” Valesseka interrupted in an urgent whisper.
The adventurers fell dead silent.

There were two men coming along the corridor. One of them had a torch in one hand and a wooden club in the other, the other had two knives that glittered in the light. They had not seen the escaped prisoners who stood in the shadows.

“I’m sure there were noises here,” the man with the torch said.
“Nonsense, Thomas,” the smaller man sneered. “Who would make any noise down here?”

They both stopped and fell silent. Thin-Gloomy had let out a hiss of vehement hate – these two were the ones who had beaten him so many times, who had ridiculed him. In one smooth movement, he loaded his bow and let the bolt fly. With a terrifying scream, the knife-man fell onto the dungeon-floor. The bigger man dropped the torch and ran. Éomeleo released his bolt and the man yelled in pain, but they could hear him keeping running.

“Onwards!” Miko screamed, raising his sword to the air.
Before anybody could stop him, Jen let out her war cry too and they dashed to the darkness. The others had no choice but to follow. Thin-Gloomy came last for he stopped to pick up the dead man’s knives. “No point leaving good weapons laying on the floor,” he murmured as he took them.

When Éomeleo, Valesseka and Thin-Gloomy were at the end of the corridor, a horrified Miko ran into them. “There are bandits! Four of them! And they have weapons!”
“And you left the girl alone to fight them?” Thin-Gloomy asked, outraged.
Miko made no reply.
Éomeleo and Valesseka exchanged glances and ran past Miko.
Thin-Gloomy followed them suit, but he gripped Miko’s sleeve as he went. “You come too, coward!”

As they entered the hall, they saw Jen fighting two people, a blond man and a dark-haired woman. Both of them were swinging their blades in a deadly manner and Jen had to fight to parry their blows. Her side was bleeding and her face was white with effort.

A third bandit was lying on the floor near the entrance, holding his side and moaning. His fingers were red with blood. The torch man was standing further away, hastily draping bandage around his left arm.

With one effortless swing, Éomeleo finished the moaning man. Then he shouted to the two swordsmen, trying to catch their attention. With Valesseka by his side, he advanced on them. Thin-Gloomy reloaded his bow, aimed at the man who was trying to bind his wounds and let go. The man fell to the floor and gurgled. “Go kill him with your pretty sword,” the dwarf snarled to Miko. The man obeyed, eyes huge with terror.

Meanwhile, the swordsmen realised they would have to face Éomeleo’s sword and Valesseka’s staff. The man shifted his focus immediately, apparently thinking the already wounded girl could do nothing. He swung his blade and it met Éomeleo’s with a loud clang. The woman was not as straightforward, she attacked Jen one last time. The girl could not parry quickly enough and fell to the floor. She lay there unmoving.

Blow, parry, blow, parry. Éomeleo and his foe did not seem to hit each other. The woman was trying to attack Éomeleo too, but Valesseka was keeping her away by distracting her with her staff.

Thin-Gloomy reloaded and aimed at the woman. He hated her, the shrill-voiced cow. She deserved to die. His hands were shaking hatred and the bolt went amiss. It flew just an inch past Valesseka’s face. Cursing, Thin-Gloomy reloaded. This time she hit the woman on the chest. With a horrible scream, she fell.

Fury and fear flashed in the swordsman’s eyes. He swung his blade at Éomeleo, who ducked just in time, and turned to run. However, Valesseka blocked his way with her lowered staff and he tripped over it. Éomeleo pushed his sword through the fallen foe.

In the sudden silence they could hear someone sobbing. Miko had thrown his adorned blade on the floor and sat by the body of the big man, covering his face. “I killed him,” he whispered, horror in his voice.

“There’s no time for idle snivelling,” Thin-Gloomy said brusquely. “They have friends who could come here at any moment.”
“What about Jen?” Valesseka asked. She was kneeling by the girl’s side. “She’s breathing.”
“We can’t leave her here... that would be brutal,” Éomeleo said simply.

Thin-Gloomy nodded hesitantly. The humans were right. “Alright then. You lad, carry her. You lass, help that idiot, we can’t leave him here either.” Valesseka had the sense not to protest, although she gritted her teeth when she saw Jen on Éomeleo’s arms.

She yanked Miko up. “Come on,” she said, not totally unfriendlily. The man leaned to her, still sobbing and wailing.

“And what are you doing, master dwarf?” Éomeleo asked.
“I’m leading the way. And I’m shooting in case we see enemies,” Thin-Gloomy replied grimly, fingering his bow.

He kept his word. It did not take long for him to find the entrance and the weary travelers stumbled out of the bandit-lair.

Night had fallen while they had been in the dungeons. There was a cold wind and the moving clouds revealed a rising full moon. Thin-Gloomy took a deep breath. Suddenly, he smiled. He was free at last.

Last edited by Thinlómien; 11-03-2008 at 11:52 AM.
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