Chapter Nineteen: The Mistress of the Castle
“What was all that? No seriously what was all that?” ranted Fatho.
“I thought we were going to die” Ivak said.
“Oh, it wasn’t that bad, it wasn’t a situation where I’d have needed to use the Fall of the Crab”
Fatho continued to lead Ivak and Claroosa through the shifting rooms of the castle. His sense of direction trumped the castles efforts, but Fatho disliked the feeling it gave him, nothing like what it had been in Awarth but his stomach was quite unsettled.
“…and what was with that thing at the end, the one with the tentacles? When I’m back in Welterine, I’m going to become a hand merchant, just peaceful honest work fencing goods. why did I ever think it was a good idea to steal the sense of direction? I’ve only ever gotten horrible guide jobs!” Fatho continued ranting.
Ivak turned a bit green. “Urp, don’t remind me about that thing”
Claroosa’s face was ashen. “We are never to speak of it again”
“I hate Awarth and I hate this Castle, magicians are sick people!”
“Well, whatever. This job is almost finished, I just need to find the thief for you, In fact, I believe she is just beyond this door!”
Fatho flung the door open, he was then tackled to the ground by Claroosa as a black blur burst past where his right shoulder had previously been. There it hit the ground before him, just a bit before Ivak’s feet. Ivak was witness to what seemed to be a large black spike disappear into the ground as if the ground was water and not tacky black and red tiles.
“What? A horn?” he remarked.
“There is your thief!” Fatho said.
He pointed toward the open door.
“She seems kind of different” Ivak said.
“It would be the ominous obsidian armour and that black spear several times longer than she is that would do that I would imagine Milord.” Claroosa remarked
“It is definitely her though, got those same striking butterfly wings” Ivak said.
“Leave!” Quil’s voice rattled out from her helmet, which was suspiciously goatlike.
-Did she just wait for us to finish babbling?- Fatho wondered.
Quil was floating above the orb in the orb room. Clad all in obsidian armour that looked a bit brick-like, it did not look comfortable. She held in one hand a black spear that was like someone had attached two twisted horns by their bases to each other. It did not look well made at all.
-This is really uncomfortable and hot- Quil thought again.
Ivak was very happy, he was at the end of his quest! He’d just take back the orb and…
Ivak looked at the orb in the orb room. He remembered that when Nagar, the merchant he had bought the orb from had taken them to the castle, the orb was not in his hand in the castle. The orb on the pedestal looked like it was part of the pedestal.
-How do I get the orb? Do I have to get the thief to go back to Kigan and then take it from her there?- He wondered.
-Oh not at all, as you are the previous master all you need to do is touch the orb and you will become the new master- A woobly dry voice spoke right inside of Ivak’s head.
-Ah, good… wait who are you get out of my head!- Ivak thought.
He heard nothing else.
“Leave! I won’t let you take our sanctuary!” Quil commanded.
“Claroosa, Fatho! Push through I have to touch the orb!” Ivak ordered.
Claroosa charged while Fatho pulled out his sling. Ivak followed close behind.
“As if I’d let you!” Quil cried, tossing her spear in Ivak’s vague general direction.
Fatho however was ready to fire one of his odd crackling bolts at Quil’s spear. Unfortunately for him the eyes-patterns on Quil’s wings flashed and there was an unpleasant ripping sound followed by a soul rending scream of despair from Fatho.
“NOOOOOO! MY SLINGGGGG!”
The torn sling sailed along through the air, Ivak and Claroosa were momentarily distracted watching its passage, then it hit off the spear, and the spear went spinning off, no longer point first towards Ivak. Claroosa jumped in front of it, and its haft smacked into her head, right between her horns. Normally she could have just shrugged such a thing off, but due to her previous exertions, she instead just fell unconscious as the spear rattled its way out from between her whole horn and her stub.
Ivak and Fatho just stood there shocked for a few moments, even Quil did not press her attack, so surprised she was that the woman that she had nightmares about for a few days had been so easily defeated.
“Claroosa!” Ivak called out, dropping to her side.
“Seriously? I mean, *ahem* Ahahahaha! See, now flee before me!” Quil shouted.
“My sling” Fatho repeated.
“What?” Quil questioned.
“You broke my sling” Fatho pulled several of the crackling bolts from his sleeves holding them between his fingers.
-Ah, so that is where he keeps them, wait, how does that work?- Ivak wondered.
“YOU BROKE MY SLING, I’VE HAD THAT SINCE I WAS A CHILD!”
Quil let out an eep and vanished into the wall behind her as Fatho tossed a veritable storm of bolts after her. He continued to throw bolts at her whenever she tried to surface.
Ivak made sure that Claroosa was still alive and breathing, thus comforted he strode over the pedestal of blended symbols that the orb was connected to.
He managed to get quite close before he fell over.
“We won’t let you take our home!”
“Quil has fought hard for us!”
A load of tiny voices cried out as a mass of wee folk swarmed Ivak’s legs, trying to pin him down.
“Fatho a little help here!” Ivak called out.
Fatho however was not listening, he was busy crying and lobbing bolts at Quil, who couldn’t quite get out of the walls.
So Ivak began crawling towards the pedestal. The wee folk on his back and legs argued about how to stop him. They did not manage to stop him, he pulled himself up the pedestal.
Quil wailed and shot out from the wall just as Ivak was about to touch the orb.
They both touched the orb at the same time and promptly vanished.