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Red Water (Part 4)
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((Parts One Two and Three found on my user page.))
-Fünden stumbled backwards, his rifle clattering to the floor. Khorin’s eyes remained closed, his chest rising and falling softly, weakly. He still lived, barely. Khaz grabbed Khorin and pulled him farther down the tunnel. Khaz turned and looked at the end of the tunnel. He was about to go help, watching as Fünden and Karn pulled weapons from their backs, when the ceiling started to rumble, rocks cascading downward to create a huge pile. The last thing he heard from the other side were screams.
-Khaz stared, horrified at the pile of rocks, and was forcibly thrown back into his memory. The rough hewn ceiling of the excavation of Uldaman started to rumble. The five dwarves looked upward. The Dark Iron fortifications on the ceiling were collapsing, the Dark Iron’s works shoddy as usual. Khaz grabbed Fünden and pulled him onto the carved stone floor and under the sturdy ceiling of the Titan City. One of the other dwarves jumped into the ruins, but the other two were crushed…
-“No!” cried Khaz. There was a grunt, and he looked down. Khorin lifted himself painfully onto his elbows. Khaz smiled. “I thought I’d lost you,” he told the priest. Khorin smiled back weakly. “I was afraid I’d lost myself,” Khorin said. Khaz nodded, then smiled. “Well, no deaths yet,” he said brightly, refusing to believe that anything had happened to Fünden.
-Khorin stood unsteadily. Khaz helped him stand. “What species of beetle was it? It migh’ help us find out what was attackin’ Fünden and Karn.” Khorin shook his head. “I can’t remember anything after the journey to Northgate Pass” he said softly. Khaz sighed, and stood up.
-His knees were cramped from kneeling next to Khorin. “Well… we better get goin’. We can’t be helpin’ much sittin’ here now can we?” Khaz stated. Khorin nodded wearily and stood. They continued down the tunnel, arriving at the end where it sloped downward.
-Khaz went first, rifle held at the ready. The tunnel descended into darkness, but both had goggles allowing night vision. “
This is good…
” Khaz reflected. “
It lets us see in the dark without drawing attention from whatever might be down here…
” The tunnel had a craggy and uneven floor. Khaz almost tripped once or twice. By the time they reached the bottom both were shaking and sweating, yet no breeze blew to cool them off.
-The bottom stretched onward for a few more feet before branching off toward either side. Khaz and Khorin walked to the fork in the tunnel and stood, deliberating.
“Go to the left…”
the wind whispered. Khaz nodded and said, “I think we should go left.” Khorin’s eyebrows lowered and he turned to look at Khaz. “Why? It doesn’t matter one way or the other.” Khaz looked at the tunnels again. There was indeed no difference. Both tunnels continued straight then branched off, neither changing altitudes. “You’re… right. I have no idea why I said that.”
-Khorin looked at Khaz closely. “Were you injured at all?” Khorin asked. Khaz shook his head.
"Left is the way… your friend is trying to mislead you…”
the wind whispered. Khaz shook his head, then looked at the tunnels again. “If we take the left tunnel we will be heading for Wetlands… If we get there we might be able to slip back to the tunnel.” Khorin hesitated, then nodded. “Very well, let’s move then.” Khaz turned without another word and started down the left tunnel. It went straight for about 40 meters, turned slightly to the right.
-They turned the corner in the tunnel, and stopped. Khaz suddenly felt like he was moving. He shook his head to see Khorin do the same. “Musta been the dust from th’ collapse,” said Khaz, “I felt a little light headed there. They continued onward to see ahead of them a cavern. It was large, at least 400 meters across, and the floor was so far below it was shrouded in darkness, even for the goggles. Spires loomed from the darkness each about ten feet across and flat topped, with… “Are those bridges?” asked Khorin softly. Khaz looked harder, and nodded. “They look to be some sort of dark wood,” Khaz declared.
“It is indeed… The wood is from the North…”
whispered the wind. “That wood looks different from any we have now… I think it comes from up north,” Khaz stated. Khorin looked at him oddly, but ignored the statement.
-They crossed the bridge onto the first spire, which held firm against their weight. The next did too, as did the next. Soon they were almost across. Khaz looked across the chamber, and saw a passage into another cavern. “It looks like that openin’ there can take us outta here,” Khaz said quietly. Khorin nodded, and they crossed the last spire.
-In front of them was a large room, carved with strange symbols and runes. Khaz went into the room, holding his rifle warily. In front of them stretched an altar, carved with runes and made of an unfamiliar wood, the same as the bridges. Khorin lit the room with bright light. “It feels like there is a taint here…” said Khorin. Khaz nodded and put his hand on the altar. “This is ancient, I can tell just by feelin’ it,” he said, turning around.
-He gasped in surprise. Khorin had fallen to the ground, clutching at his chest. Something dripped from the ceiling onto Khaz’s hand. He held the hand up to his face to see… Red water.
Nice to see some dwarves.
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