Chapter Thirteen - Korkhaldur
Korkhaldur was a dwarven mining town. Most of the buildings were built into the mountainside. There was a weaponsmith, armourer and jewellery store, but they were all empty. The group decided to try the inn.
"The broken barrel," Fred pushed open the door and looked about, "No sign of anybody here either," he said.
"Something must have happened here," Aribelle said.
"Hello!" Fred called out.
Something moved in another room, a floorboard creaked.
"Upstairs," Aribelle said." let's go," Fred said, running across the bar room.
He bounded up the stairs taking two steps at a time, which is huge for a halfling.
"Hello," he called again. Nothing. Aribelle was right behind him.
"Thosea, I pray for your protection," Aribelle was casting a spell, a shimmering force field appeared around the two of them. Fredgar slowed down and slowly crept along the corridor. On either side of the corridor were doors all the way down.
"Frostfire, can you sense anything?" Fred asked his daggers.
"Not a thing," they answered.
The floorboards creaked again as they crept forward. From the end of the corridor, there was a scraping noise. Frostfire lit up the hallway, nothing was there. They continued to the end.
A door to their right crashed open and ripped from its hinges. Stood in the middle of the room was a hooded figure, his eyes shone red. Levitating by his side was an unconscious dwarf dressed as you would imagine an innkeeper to be dressed.
"Must be the innkeeper," Fred said.
"Well, I have to say, shocking customer service. With that eye colour he must have been drinking away most of his profits," Frostfire said.
"Not him, the unconscious dwarf," Fred said splitting the daggers in half once again.
"That's Gimdorn!" shouted Aribelle.
"Which one?" asked Fred.
"The innkeeper," she replied.
Gimdorn's body dropped to the floor. The dwarf groaned and rolled under the bed. The halfling and the cleric stepped into the room. There was a bed on one side, with a dwarf underneath and a set of drawers on the other.
I have almost drained the dwarf of all his heroic strength and memories. Once I am done there will be no stopping me. I will transfer it to a creature of my making. Stronger and indestructible, with the knowledge of tactics and the battle experience of the dwarf," the sorcerer monologued his plans.
The sorcerer gestured towards Fred and said, "by Ozzog's fire."
Instantly Fred's feet started to burn. He looked down and flames rose his body and disappeared when they'd reached his head. Fred dropped to his knees, scorched and smoking he held up Aquium. A beam of cold shot from the tip. The sorcerer smirked, "Is that all you have?"
By this time, Aribelle had run across the room and swung her mace, hitting the sorcerer in the stomach. The sorcerer stumbles back into the wall and fell to the floor. He scrambled to his feet, drawing a blade as he did. Stepping forward he thrust the dagger at Aribelle, she sidestepped but wasn't quite quick enough, the blade just caught her arm. In a blink of an eye, Fredgar had slashed the sorcerer, while he was attacking Aribelle.
Aribelle had also retaliated but her swing was too high, and she missed her target. The sorcerer grabbed the cleric's arm.
"Ozzog inflicts pain," he conjured.
Aribelle felt weak and fell back onto the bed.
"Ow!" a voice from under the bed yelped.
Fred jumped forward at the sorcerer but missed his footing and landed face-first on the floor.
"Damn it!" he cursed.
The cleric fumbled for her mace; it was just out of reach. She had dropped it when she landed on the bed. The sorcerer stepped closer to the cleric.
"You picked the wrong god to follow. Ozzog is the all-powerful god of death," then tripped over the halfling that was sprawled out on the floor. Fred grabbed a hold of the sorcerer and pinned him to the floor. Arms came from beneath the bed and helped the halfling keep the sorcerer down.
Aribelle picked up her mace and brought it down on the sorcerer's chest. He squirmed and wheezed as he was hit. He managed to break free from the halfling and dwarf. He cast flames again at Fred. This time nothing happened.
"Looks like it is you that serves the wrong god," Aribelle said. She then backhanded the sorcerer with her mace, colliding with his head. The sorcerer staggered across the room into the set of drawers to steady himself. He quickly spun around and hurled his dagger at the cleric, hitting her in her face. Blood splattered against the wall as it sliced through her cheek.
Fred thrust both daggers, Axium and Aquium forward towards the sorcerer. Two magical streams poured forth. The sorcerer was hit with such a force it slammed him back into the drawers. The drawers exploded and shattered into pieces beneath the sorcerer. The sorcerer got up, gripping the wall.
"Please! Stop! No more, you have bested me, let me live," he pleaded for his life.
Fred approached his target. He drew back Axium.
"Oh yeah! Killing time," Axium was as excited as ever.
"No!" Aribelle screamed, "let him go."
Fred dropped his dagger to his side.
"Aww...I told you clerics weren't fun like fighters," Axium was disappointed.
The sorcerer pushed his way past Fred, staggered through the door and down the hallway.
Gimdron crawled from underneath the bed.
"I'm starting to feel like myself again," he said, patting himself down, "I think that sorcerer was taking all my courage and skills."
"It's good to see you, old friend," Aribelle said, stooping down and throwing her arms around the dwarf.
"You too lass," Gimdron replied, "where's Valkis?" he added.
"Waiting for us back at Fayapple," Fredgar answered.
"Well let's move," the dwarf said.