Silence met Almonihah’s statement. At last, one of the archmagi said, “That’s insane! No one has lived to reach the Maelstrom!”
“I did,” Almonihah growled. “Lived t’ come back, too. I was alone then. Better chance with a group.”
There was another long pause after this. “Well, I suppose that makes you the only qualified guide in the world, then,” another of the archmagi commented at last.
The head archmage spoke at last. “We will give you what support we can. Recent events have proven amply that this Amulet is too dangerous to retain, and too hazardous to our world to let go. If you can destroy it, it is in our interests to aid you in doing so. What will you need?”
Almonihah thought for a moment. “Food ‘nd water are th’ big things. Can’t eat or drink anything out there. Hard t’ carry enough with us, though.”
“That, I believe we can aid with,” another archmage stated.
The discussion then turned to the logistics of their journey to come. Gradually, they created a plan… but it was a plan that would take days to prepare. Days to enchant bags to be capable of holding enough food for the journey for two half-dragons and (especially) one giant griffon. Days to devise some sort of enchanted container that would restrict the Amulet’s power to attract Javni’Tolkhrah.
Days for Almonihah and Zakhin’Dakh to be very, very, bored. At the least, that was what they feared. For his part Garkhen looked forward to browsing the unrestricted sections of the Mage’s Guild library. But neither the Ranger nor the griffon were particularly interested in such activities.
It was here that Mage-Archivist Delanoche suggested telling their story. Somewhat to Garkhen’s surprise, Almonihah agreed (Zakhin’Dakh’s agreement was immediate and enthusiastic). And so it was that the three friends sat together for the better portion of most days, speaking with the Mage-Archivist, telling the story of how they had gotten to this point.
A short post, but hey, a post! I often struggle with these ‘connective’ sections–the ones that explain how the protagonists got from one plot point to another. I guess maybe I could gloss over it more than I do, but I think I already do so plenty.
Also, yes, this is when most of the story was written in-universe. There will be a quick note of that from the Mage-Archivist in the next post, and then I’ll drop the pretense of a frame story entirely.