By: Adam Janus
“It’s about time,” growled Khaz as the undeniable sounds of pursuit reached their ears echoing through the moist tunnels and drowning out the incessant drip-drop of water all around them. Since they entered the sewers, several hours ago, there had been no sign of resistance even though they knew Creed was aware of their presence. Like the soft touch of a cobweb tickling their faces, Kimba and Sarel had felt the tell tale signs of magical detection, once upon entering then again a short time after then nothing but squeaking rats and buzzing flies until now.
Sarel, who had fallen back to scout out the nature of their pursuit, now rejoined his companions running nimbly along the two foot walkway that bordered either side of arched sewer tunnels.
“I counted six of the horned saber toothed rats,” the frost elf paused catching his breath before continuing, “and the biggest bull orc I ever saw.”
“That’s it?” This from Khaz, “that’s all an evil warlock can bring to th’fight?”
“That’s just all we can see, Khaz and that sounds formidable in itself.” said Kimba reassured by Khaz’s bravado. “But I have to admit I expected more; it may be a trap to lull us into overconfidence or push us into an ambush.”
“Whatever it is, we should move ahead to a more defensible position,” suggested Dev, short sword already in hand. “This is too tight of a spot; we’ll be hewing each other.”
“That’s a good idea,” agreed Sarel. “When I scouted ahead, I saw there’s a four way junction not to far up a tunnel on the left and a ramp leading up to a flood grate on the right. The tunnel widens for a dry well drain in the floor.” The magical green light from Kimba’s staff glittered in the frost elf’s blue eyes as he prepared mentally for violence. “That’ll give us room to swing,” he said over his shoulder as he turned and headed up the tunnel to check for any hidden surprises.
Pulling the wet rags they had tied around their necks up over their noses and mouths again to combat the overpowering stench of the sewer, the three companions leaped off the narrow walkway into the foot deep thick brownish muck of the tunnel’s floor, stirring up the smell and making their eye’s water. They had been loath to touch the noxious liquid before, but being caught from behind by hell spawned, saber toothed rats overwhelmed their reluctance to wade, shin deep, in human waste and muddy spring runoff.
Hastening ahead to the conjunction Sarel spoke of, they found the frost elf waiting for them crouched on the walkway on the right side below the steep ramp heading up some fifty or sixty feet to street level. Khaz quickly unshouldered his pack and pulled out the water proof leather sack containing his hand crossbow and flash darts. Laying the sack gingerly on the ramp, he carefully took out three, individually wrapped darts and laid them in front of him; then he strung the bow and fitted a quarrel on the spine.
Dev took the point position standing in the center of the wide tunnel about twelve feet in front of his companions. He planted his feet before sheathing his short sword in favor of the huge broadsword on his back. The light from Kimba’s staff, which the druidess wedged into a crack in the ancient stone wall to free her sword arm, glinted off the oiled edge of the former knight’s blade as he swept the weapon back and forth in wide swooshing two handed practice swings.
1 2 3 4