Chapter 2: The Evening Watch and Quiffel Soup Part 2.

Vexahnas and Flint had left the sleepy town of West Cross Port behind. Over the past two and half weeks they had taken the south eastern path, made their way through the Calles forest and eventually found the entrance to Follg Pass just were Master Talisman had told Vexahnas it would be. Now as they made their way down numerous dark staircases, it felt to Vexahnas as if she and Flint had been descending these caverns for days. The fresh air of the forest that she loved so much had quickly given way to the damp, stale smell that now filled her nose. She had fashioned a breathing mask from an old cloth but it did nothing to combat the discomfort. Flint on the other hand seemed quite at home in the dark of Follg Pass, he strode confidently a few faces paces ahead of her recounting tales of his various family members to make the time pass. “You see missy, my third cousin Ulfgar, twice removed mind, was a Path-maker” said Flint, his deep voice echoing around the rocks. “He lost a hand whilst setting a dynamite charge during the expansion of Glaphis Gate. Before that little incident he reckoned himself to the best gunpowder engineer in all the Dwarven kingdoms! Not so much after that!” Flint said laughing. Vexahnas rolled her eyes as she knew Flint wasn’t looking her way. She had absolute faith in Master Talisman and hoped that his vision was the answer but she couldn’t see how this Dwarf could help them. He was a scoundrel and the company he kept sounded just as bad.

The two came to a natural fork in the cave leading them either left or right. They stopped and both contemplated which way to go. ‘It all looked the same to her’ thought Vexahnas. “Well cousin Ulfgar might have been bad enough with explosives to blow his handoff but on my beard I swear he was the best navigator I’ve ever come across. He always told me if you come to a fork in the road, follow the left! So I suppose it’s this way?” Said Flint as he began to move towards the opening.

All of a sudden a new smell filled Vexahnases nose. The scent was coming from the right opening, it smelled like wet earth but had an ever so slight, spice and homely warmth too it. “Flint keep quiet! Can you smell that? Smells like food?” Flint stopped heading for the left opening at once and turned on the spot. He had fashioned the tips of his beard into two long braids which were placed up his nose, ‘must be his method for coping with the smell’ thought Vexahnas. Flint pulled the long braids from his nose and took a deep breath in. “Nope lass, just more of the same. Must be hungry and your minds playing tricks on you, do you want to stop for a bit and eat?” She was hungry but this wasn’t her brain playing tricks, the smell was definitely there. “No. It’s coming from this direction” She said as she made her way to the opening and sniffed again. The smell was their but ever so faintly so she began to descend the right staircase. “Dam Elves” exclaimed Flint. “You’d think you’d not be so stubborn as to not follow the advice of a Dwarf underground!” He moaned as he followed behind her.

Hours passed as they trudged their way down before eventually coming to the end of the staircase. Vexahnas could no longer smell the scent she had before but if it had come from anywhere it was this path. As they stepped into the opening flint began to moan again. “I’m telling you now missy, this isn’t the way! You’ve had me trudging through these dam mouldy caves for days. Contrary to my looks I much prefer the skies you know” he said stopping turning towards her. “Well if you hadn’t been so insistent on taking the tunnels then we would have arrived here with plenty of sand left in the hourglass. I don’t think I need to explain that we don’t have much of that sand to spare so next time just let me teleport us” she said. “No magic! You know I don’t trust the stuff” Said Flint raising a hand and pointing up at her. As he pointed a silence fell between them and Vexahnas realised his face was robbed of its usual cheerful cynicism, instead filled with a mix of what looked like anger and fear.

The silent stare lasted only a few moments until Vexahnas heard the familiar snap of a bow string release and the whistle of a bolt fly through the air. Almost instantly she dropped to one knee, closed her eyes and began to reach into the weave. The Weave, Master Talisman had explained to her, was a kind of magical tapestry that bound together all the planes of existence. Unique, gifted individuals sometimes had the ability to reach out and manipulate the energy which flowed through it to create powerful spells. It was the reason for creation and life but also if used in the wrong hands could cause great, untold levels of destruction. Vexahnas focused, she felt the energy run up from her feet, along her torso, then across her face down to the tips of her long scarlet red hair. She threw her hand upwards creating a wall of magical, blue pulsating energy next to Flints head. A second later a bolt slammed into the barrier ricocheting off and embedding its sharp point into the rock wall besides them.

Flint instantly pulled two flintlock pistols from his chest holster and pointed them in the direction of the shot. “WHO GOES THERE?” he shouted into the shadows “What business do you have in Yeigroth City? Outsiders are not welcome here!” shouted a voice back. Vexahnas felt drained due to the sudden exertion of energy and let the magical wall she had conjured fade. She stood up and looked though the gloom of the underdark. She could just about make out the silhouette of an Elf like creature perched on a rock. “We have no interest in Yeigroth City” She said in a loud but non-threatening manner and began to walk towards the figure on the rock. Master Talisman had told her he had seen this in his vision, if he was right then the figure on that rock was Zee and his sister Lilly was sleeping just below. “We have two important letters to deliver”. “For who?” The voice shouted back as the figure jumped down from the rock and slowly walked towards her. With a confident tone Vexahnas said, “I believe the first one is for you Mr Zee.” The figure continued to walk slightly closer but kept his crossbow trained at her. Now she seemed to have the figures attention Vexahnas continued. “Would you like me to wake your sister up so I can deliver hers in person?” The figure stopped just a few meters from Vexahnas, stared at her for a moment then lowered his crossbow and held out a hand to receive the letter.

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