Level 10 ~ Sheya

Not to his face of course, but Sheya had to give Feanthar credit for not complaining. Two days of strenuous hiking and she had felt him struggling already on the first day, but he was managing to keep pace even when she doubted he could even see where he was going. He needed a lot of protecting, but it was a little cute how he tried not to be a burden. Vixie… Sheya would swear Vixie was born on a mountain. She’d been her bubbly excited self since the morning they left Cair Noren, completely enthused about the quest and associated pay, and bounding easily over the rocks and slopes of the World Forge Mountains as easily as she drew breath—frequently scouting ahead. Then Andrew, he was an imposing warrior. He marched on with a relentless determination that she could literally feel from several paces off. Nothing, it seemed, would stop him or slow his progress; not his armor; not the mountain; not his pack; not the elevation. Sheya hated to admit it, but as they got higher even she was starting to have trouble breathing. Fortunately with Feanthar in the group there was no danger of going fast enough for the others to notice her own limitations.

She’d tried to convince Feanthar to let someone else go to check on the dwarves, because this was exactly the sort of thing the Stellan Temple didn’t want them doing. But Feanthar was determined, so Sheya had to take solace in the fact that, with Andrew and Vixie, their ability to handle threats was greatly improved. Actually, herself and her father aside Sheya didn’t know of any mercenaries that could match Andrew and Vixie for prowess. She just hoped she wouldn’t end up having to sacrifice them to cover her and Feanthar’s retreat if they got in over their heads. The demons at Cair Noren had already been more than she’d wanted to deal with, but now they were actively working against this evil god. She didn’t know much about gods, but it just seemed a bad idea to oppose one, let alone one who was physically present in the world, instead of off in some deific domain.

Sheya smiled to herself. If this went well, her father would be pretty excited about her completing two simultaneous high-profile contracts. It would be a first—even for her. Then, as they crested the last peak before the Goldstone territory, the ash hit. It washed with a thick dry warmth that aggravated the parched feeling she already had from the thin air. Sheya felt a knot in her stomach as she stopped next to Andrew and waited for Feanthar to catch up.

“It’s not the volcano…” Vixie was perched on a boulder ahead of them with her nose pointed up into the ash. “There’s a fire.” Watching Vixie sniff the ash reminded Sheya of the stuff getting into her own lungs and made her cough, “Grass and shrubs mostly… But there’s some flesh too, and a fair amount of burning rock.”

“Red dragon.” Andrew spoke, and Sheya turned to see he was holding the cross-road he normally wore around his neck in hand. The center gem was glowing and even she could see the fearsome visage of the red-scaled monstrosity through the gem like it was some sort of foggy window.

Sheya’s eyes widened as Feanthar and Vixie came closer to see the image in Andrew’s cross-road. “No.” Sheya looked earnestly at Feanthar before anyone could say any more, “I promised I’d keep you and the Staff safe. We are not going to face a dragon. We turn back. Now!”

The others glanced at her, Sheya could feel Vixie’s curiosity at her outburst—though the brazen vixen was more curious about Andrew’s amulet. Feanthar looked apologetic, but already she knew the stubborn fool wasn’t going to be swayed. And Andrew wasn’t even going to let a dragon slow him down.

“It’s set up in the volcano the dwarves use for their main forge.” Andrew scowled and closed his hand around the amulet as the image went dark.

Vixie nodded thoughtfully, not nearly as scared of a dragon as any sane person would be. “Guess she prefers dwarven make too, huh? Gotta be a nice treasure hoard in there.”

The way Feanthar held Heaven’s Staff against him though, Sheya could tell he was afraid. A good healthy amount. “So… The dwarves?”

“I don’t know.” Andrew shook his head, “No evidence they’re all dead anyway.”

“So… What do we do?” Feanthar held Heaven’s Staff tightly.

Sighing Sheya shook her head, “We find the airways to the forge. Get in that way and fight the dragon in tight quarters where she can’t maneuver. And pray.”

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2 Responses

  1. Mari says:

    Poor Sheya. xD

    No, we need to go now! …. Silence. Pause. Crickets. Then they keep talking about the dragon. I take it back, Sheya’s like the adult running after children that like fighting things instead of Andrew.

    Oh, Feanthar. Walk for days and then face a dragon.

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