He walked down a rather plain, though well-made, corridor for a while, before finally reaching a pair of double doors. He opened one, and saw a large room. He looked around as he walked in, noting that it was made of the same unadorned but tight-fitting stonework, with a row of pillars along either side of the room. A small altar-like thing was in the center of the room, with two large statues of elves wielding swords behind it. Two other statues flanked the door, though they were of unarmed dwarves.
Curious, Almonihah walked up to the altar. Unlike the rest of the place, it was elaborately decorated, with forest scenes flanked by armed elves on two sides, and caverns flanked by armed dwarves on the other two sides. On the altar rested a scabbarded sword, with elven runes on the scabbard. Almonihah had learned enough Elvish from Zrathanzon to read what they said: Eldereth. It seemed like a name. Still curious, he picked up the sword and started to unsheathe it.
The half-dragon didn’t know what tipped him off, but somehow, he sensed the movement behind him just in time to dodge to the side before a large sword sliced through where he had been standing. A glance back, and saw that the statue behind him was moving. A quick glance around the room told him the others were as well.
That was all the time he had before he had to evade another sword-stroke. He tried to move toward the doors, but his way was blocked by the two dwarven statues. One slammed a fist into the ground where Almonihah had just been standing as he rolled to the side. He continued evading the statues’ attacks, trying to find an opening. He knew there was no point in attacking stone, but it seemed like he should be able to get past them. The Ranger couldn’t find an opening, though—the elf statues kept on him, but the dwarves kept blocking the doorway.
Almonihah was tiring when he dodged in front of one of the pillars. One of the statue’s swords struck the pillar, sending chips of stone flying. That gave him an idea. He kept circling the pillar, inviting blows and dodging aside just in time. Once the sword grazed him, drawing blood from his shoulder, but eventually the pillar cracked straight through from one of sword-strokes.
Almonihah glanced up and saw a few cracks in the ceiling, but nothing else happened. Quickly, he ran near the door on the same side as the damaged pillar, just close enough to one of the dwarf statues to draw its attacks. It followed him just far enough to strike another pillar. The half-dragon didn’t have to look up to hear the ceiling start to cave.
He rolled forward, toward the statue. It was raising a fist to smash him when a huge chunk of stone smashed its head. It stumbled just enough for Almonihah to slip behind it and to the door, still open from when he had come in. He sprinted back out into the daylight.
Almonihah stood gasping for a while before he turned back around to see what had happened. While he couldn’t see all the way back into the room, he could see a faint haze of dust coming out of the door in the mountainside. After a few moments watching for movement, he shrugged and walked off.
As he did, he drew the sword he’d almost died for. It was a surprisingly plain blade, though clearly finely crafted. It was a bit longer and a bit more slender than a longsword, but felt much lighter. It had no visible runes, no identifying marks. Out of curiosity, Almonihah gave it a swing, and was surprised to see it left a trail of sparks behind it.
“Needed a new sword,” Almonihah muttered to himself as he sheathed the sword.
If you’ve been wondering how Almonihah got his other sword, now you know! I’m not really happy about how this scene turned out… the writing doesn’t feel as tense as the situation. Meh. That’s why I’m still learning!
We should be meeting Zakhin’Dakh in the next post, so if you’ve been feeling a distinct lack of giant hyperactive griffon in the story thus far, worry not, for that hole will soon be filled!