Chapter 8-3

Chapter 8-3

A Chapter by Shep

Chapter 8-3


Derrick and Kate quickly found their belongings in a heap of the discard pile in the corner and followed the cat Kodarel out, considering he might know the way out. One thing they did know for sure they didn’t have a lot of time before they discovered they were gone.  Kodarel led them out the door after they were taken care of the guards by locking them inside the cell to give them more time to escape. They slowly made their way through the maze of tunnel’s finding very little resistance,  Kodarel only paused only a few times as he quickly shapeshifted into a rat or small kitten and made his way down the cavern and took care of the threat.


Once the threat was eliminated they continued on, they had no way of telling time down in the cavern, as they climbed toward the surface. Only stopping to see where they are as they waited for Kodarel make sure the coast was clear. It seemed like hours before they reached the surface, finding no surface, but a large cavern of a large underground cave. Seeing several stone houses built into the wall and a large city of thousands of Night Walkers in their primitive state.


In some ways, it was no shock considering these people live in the shadows, but it also meant how preemptive these people are compared to them and how a war like they are. It also meant it was going to be a lot harder to get out of here. Normally this would be an easy situation, but with the bracelets restricting their magical gifts, the situation became harder only have to only rely on stealth and Kodarel instincts. They stayed in the shadows the best they could along the buildings following Kodarel as he was the only one that knew where they were going. It was a miracle at that he found them and staged rescue being a cat with unique skills.


Kodarel turned left at a large rock wall finding a dead end. In the background, they could hear alarm bells going off throughout the city that their escape had been noticed. Not that they could go far apparently as of yet having to come to a dead end, and haven’t learned how they travel through rock... Kodarel told them to wait until he returned. What else’s could they do while the whole city was looking for them, stepping outside to say hello wouldn’t be such a grand idea either. So they waited for Kodarel to come back which wasn’t a long wait and was worth the wait as he came back with some white stones and some golden rope. He said handing each of them a stone and having them tie the rope around their waist the stones to help them move through rock walls, and the rope was to make sure they all stayed together.


Kodarel placed the white stone on the wall in front of him after tying on the golden rope around his midsection of his small cat body. They watched as the wall in front of them evaporated into another large tunnel section. Derrick grabbed a torch off the wall so they could see, but Kodarel told him not to make a small ball of light that that hovered over them.  Derrick had forgotten that Kodarel had some magic of his own other then shapeshifting that he could handle spellcraft.


Once inside the new tunnel, the old tunnel sealed itself off and so did the noise as search parties for them stopped. It was like walking through a web of water as they traveled eastward fallowing Kodarel as he seemed to be the only one that knew the way. He said it was safer to travel underground than above ground at the moment until the sun rises in couple more hours, but they had to keep moving before they pick up their scent, because they are not far behind them.


It was nice to see the sun again once they reached aboveground, yet they still had long ways to go before they were safe again. They wasted no time aboveground into the open air as they did their best gage their surroundings. They didn’t have to look back to know their captures were there. However, it was the sunlight that kept their captures from gaining on them. They headed west heading back to Sly’s and Lorena's castle against the mountainside, at least they had sunlight on their side.


It was nearly late afternoon before they were in sight of the castle, it would be almost dark before they reached it. And with an army of Night Walkers on their trail, it might as well be a thousand miles before reaching it. Kodarel led them to a large cavern in a rock and started to scratch ruins around the entrance an around the cave watching the rock cave glow hues of blue and it seemed like a shiny glass. Derrick and Kate did not recognize the ruins but felt safe inside it while resting watching the sky darken. Kodarel left to find food allowing Derrick to find some wood for the small fire as Kate stood to watch over them. Kodarel soon came back with two rabbits leaving them for Derrick too clean and Kate too cooks over their small fire.


By the time rabbits were done the sky had darkened and Kodarel dampened the fire to low coals to give them some heat as Derrick took first watch. They watched the Night Walkers brought out big ugly sniffing hounds. These hounds were not as cute and cuddly as normal human dogs, these were twice the size and were closely related to a large worm with wrinkles and covered fur with six legs.


They watched as these hounds followed the trail and gave a loud growling bark and running round in a circle. Telling them they have lost or regained the scent. Kodarel said to wait as one of the hounds headed north and two-headed south and the rest headed back the way they came, causing their leaders distress. In any case, none of them came close to where they were hiding out. They watched as they walked right by them after getting their hounds under control hoping to pick up their scent again which was unlikely providing they can sneak past them at daybreak.


After taking turns of watching over each other as they all had a rough night except Kodarel who slept soundly while Kate and Derrick worried about the Night Walkers breaking down their invisible wall.  Yes, they had a lot to learn about ruin magic, more so when a cat knew more then they did. They waited until the sun was clearly in the sky before heading out. Kodarel transformed into a large jungle cat with silver stripes and large paws and large white teeth and yellowish green eyes. His paws were as big as Derrick's hand as they walked on hard dirt making large cat prints in which was his intentions.


Derrick strapped on their belongings or what they had wrapping the golden rope around his left shoulder, putting the white stones into Kodarel pouch as he placed among his waist. Derrick wished many times Kodarel would transform into a horse so they could ride him, but Kodarel for some reason prefers not to be ridden. It was easy going as they followed Kodarel only having to stop a few times to change course as they got to close to campsites near the trees. They wanted to stay out in the open where the sun was where they were safe. Strangely as that sounds, but if you see a large jungle cat and you hate the sunlight or can’t see very well in it. It was the safest place to be.


At last, they made it to the five-mile clearing towards the castle and they were sighted by the watch commander on duty.  Several dragons flew over and land near them as the welcoming party as Sly and Lorana ran to greet them long before they reached the gate door.


Sly said. “I see Kodarel was able to find you two alive and unharmed.”


Derrick said. “Yes, just a few bumps and some scratches.”  Making his point clearly with the bracelets.


Lorana said. “Well, let's get you both inside where it safe and after a nice hot bath you can tell us all about what happened to you.” Watching Kodarel transform back to normal house cat waiting for his praise. Which he no doubt earned, watching Sly hand him a whole jar of pickled hearing. Telling him that he picks up the rest of his meal at the castle.


It felt good to be back behind nice safe walls not to mention taking a nice hot bath to make you feel right as rain. They meet back up in the small sitting room where food was waiting for them and where they can talk privately. Once the doors closed and everyone filled their plates Derrick began telling them of their journey through the badlands and through the rock village below, producing the three stones Kodarel gave them and showing the device that controls the bracelets. However, it does not have the ability that they can see to remove them.


Sly study both the device and the stones finding both fascinating not wanting to activate the device, but want to try out the stones to gain knowledge on how they work. The bracelets though were a problem indeed to be had, considering none of them had seen anything like them before. They were a serious problem since neither of them couldn’t use their magical gifts it made them feel naked without them. Perhaps their grandfather could shed some light on the subject as a member of the High Elders. The main point was they were glad to be back. The second point what to do about the Night Walkers if anything wishing they had more than 3 stones alone piece of rope. 


They tried everything from cutting them off and magical spells, but nothing seemed to work to get the bracelets off.  It was nearly dark again when Sly’s grandfather arrived as they begun to shut the gates preparing for another attack. This time another massive arrived wanting their prisoners back and the Moon Goddess. This time no villagers found on racks considering they had moved inside the castle within fifty miles. The rest moved into neighboring towns for safety.


Sly’s grandfather took notice of the extra guards on the city walls and the tight defenses around the city as well as how full the city was considering his last visit. There had been vast improvement everywhere he looked… Sly had done well managing his city. He has heard nothing but good reports. However, this Night Walker problem has everyone on pins and needles ever since the Moon Goddess had woken from her vast sleep. These primitive people think she belongs to them.


Sly’s Grandfather embraces them with a hug as the doors on the large gate clanged with loud noise closed, stating that like the rest of the Sly’s city you are now prisoner inside it. They made their way to the main part of the estate of the large castle by horse and buggy. It was then he noticed Derricks and Kates matching bracelets taking note the strange ruins on them both and wanting to do more than a quick glance in such public place. While he racked his brain for an answer not sure there is one at least an easy one.


Once inside and squired away he joined everyone in the library as they waited with strong drink and plenty of open books they have researched to find little to no answerers on the bracelets or the 3 stones. Again the bells rang throughout the city the Night Walkers were attacking, but they might as well be throwing sticks at walls, making very little damage if any. Until a large ball of fire was seen some distance in the air. But it was a ruse as guards found several Knight Walkers dead that had tried tunneling from the ground up under the gate and several more through the walls of the city. Apparently, they are starting to get more abrasion. If wasn’t for the ruins they would have gotten in with very little difficulty.


Lorana stated it was no cause for an alarm, downplaying the entire event as their grandfather seemed a little frazzled by it. Sly agreed that this had been happening more frequently, but they have been more than a nuisance than anything and he has taken care of any harm they pose at the moment. Sly Lorana was downplaying it the best they could but deep down they worried how much more can they take. First thing first their friend's bracelets needed to come off.


Sly’s grandfather slid into a chair next to the fireplace said. “I wish I had an easy answer regarding those bracelets, but I don’t. You are missing a key component. A stone that fits perfectly in the bracelet, not the devices itself. They work separately so when or if the prisoner is traded or transfer to another commander they transfer the stones to him. Making prisoner exchange a profiting deal at the table providing you live that long. I imagine you two were a high-profit deal considering who you are and what information you could have told them. They probably sell their own teeth just learn a trickle of information regarding what you know. It was lucky Kodarel sprang you loose when he did.”


He took a long pause as he sipped at his brandy and stared into the fire, they said. “Now then, the question is how to retrieve the stone we need? And who should we send after it?” He said taking another long sip of brandy draining the glass finding nothing more than ice as they turned their heads towards the window hearing crashing noise as it burst into flames as guards rush to put it out. “Damn nuisances you say bah.”


So they were getting close with their aim these days. Sooner or later one was going to get by a big deal they consoled their grandfather, by pouring him another drink while the mess was being taken care of.  They regained seats around the fire as Sly said. “Well I would like to go for one and I think Kodarel and Nathanial and perhaps you grandfather considering you seem to know more about these stones than the rest of us. I normally ask Derrick to go, but he’s on the injured list and one zap with a device and they got him snared in a trap by supper time.


“I figure we can fly in before we have to go underground and then fly out before they know we’ve been there.  Kodarel could lead us in and out and Nathanial can help with disguises and is good with battle magic. I am fairly good with ruin magic and could help out in a fight. Plus I would like to give these guys a few nightmares of their own. Anyway, that’s my thoughts on the matter.”


Sly’s grandfather sipped his drink as he watched swirl in the firelight said. “Figured all that did you now young buck, did you think maybe I did or didn’t want to go? Or perhaps I had my own ideas who else should go on this fool's errand?” He chuckled a little into his glass which was more like a cough of brandy going down wrong.


He recovered quickly pounding his chest with his right fist sating smooth. “However young buck you are right I would like to go on this fool's errand of yours. Just too take look around has its own merits to what we could learn, but I think Nathanial might not be able to make it, Derrick will have to do his best, besides we need him along to see if the stone is the right one. Each stone is unique to each sets bracelets as is unique to the beholder. No, we need Derrick since it his and Kates bracelets we are matching.” He said as he swirled the brandy in the glass then swallowed all down emptied the glass.


So the barging or should say the planning began starting with their cat Kodarel. First off you must start off with good bribe when comes Kodarel you simple just don’t go ask him how you like to go on a death-defying adventure where could get caught stuffed and mounted on a wall.  No, you start off by making his favorite bowel of spiced milk as the smell of it waffle pass through the kitchen into the hall and down the hallway reaching Kodarel nose as he floats through the kitchen door as he waited for a tasting. You say nothing as you pour some into his bowl except to ask if is to his liking as he purrs loudly that it is. You then pull out two small containers for the journey and fill them with spiced milk and giving the rest to Kodarel.


You then go to the pantry pull out a big canvas bag with pockets and straps and lay it on the counter getting Kodarel attention as he leaps up onto the counter asked. “Are we going on a trip somewhere Sly?”


Sly nods. “Yes, Kodarel we are… and I thought you would like to come.” Sly turns around noting he had Kodarel full attention as he goes to the pantry pulls a case of pickled haring brings it over to the counter and starts place five jars into the pockets and opens a sixth jar handing it over to Kodarel.


Sly turns back to the pantry to grab the dried spiced salmon… another favorite of Kodarel as he reached up high on the shelf and pulled down the bottles where they were kept in and brought them over. Kodarel asks... “So where are we going Sly?” Noting all his favorites laid in front of him.


Sly said slowly. “Oh back to badlands and Night Walkers hideout in search of a stone to unlock Derrick and Kates bracelets and to have little fun of our own.” Kodarel only blinked as his eyes changed color then smiled as he rolled over laughing then finding he was the only one laughing as Sly kept packing the bag finding Kodarel silver camp dish. He then hefted it onto his shoulders and left the kitchen with Kodarel following asking questions. Sly said. “All will be explained once we are all together.”


Library looked like a war room of maps and notes everything everybody could remember regarding the Night Walkers and where they live, which wasn’t much since nobody got a clear idea how they live or how they function, other than the shadows. Kodarel, Derrick and Kate knew more since the actually been to their lair.


Derrick had his pack ready to go along with his trusty combat walking staff an assortment of darts as well as several prepared potions. Sly’s grandfather placed his pack next to Derricks and Sly’s as Lorana add a few extra things he might need like few darts and bottles of potions she whipped up just in case. And several warm hugs and kiss for Kodarel for deciding to go along even though he was well bribed.


The plan was simple as they each strapped on their packs and met out into the courtyard. The Sun was high noon at best and later then they wanted, but they wouldn’t be walking to the main campsite, they would be flying as Sly and his grandfather transformed into dragons. Having Derrick and Kodarel climb onto their backs hoisting on both their packs. The air was crisp stating winter would soon be here, but still nice to feel the warm sun on their backs as the wind blew through their hair or in Kodarel case fur. Down below you could make out small tents and cook fires in the shadows. In low brush and high trees against the rocks.


Within a few hours, they reached the main campsite among the high bluff high in the rock canyon where they would begin their journey in the morning. Tonight they would camp here and descend into further into the cave. Sly’s grandfather watched as Sly and Kodarel set about setting ruins into the rocks to protect them from prying eyes as they set out their bedrolls and prepared campfire for tonight. They went over the plan again and the map of the tunnel and why they were here. They had 3 objectives. 1. Find the stone. 2. Learn as much as they can. 3. Cause as much damage they can without getting caught.


So far Kodarel hasn’t complained as he dinned on spiced salmon and spiced milk as the rest of them dinned on campfire stew. The night seemed quiet compared to nights back at the castle. The ruins glowed blue in the moonlight. They slept peacefully the day before they walk into the world of not their own. Sly’s grandfather was up with breakfast on the fire. Hot crisp bacon and eggs, biscuits and hot coffee. After hearty breakfast, they resorted their gear and made preparation to leave the cave by storing their packs in the corner in the cave until they come back for them.


Derrick did a quick routine with his staff indicating he was ready for anything strapping on the darts into a small wrap on kit on his right shoulder. And a potion kit on lined around his waist along with extra darts. Sly’s grandfather handed him a long robe with a hood telling him it will help hide him in the shadows as he too puts one on and added his walking staff to his gear. Lace on his soft leather boots and arsenal of darts and potions around his waist.


Once everyone was ready they headed out. Once more Sly and his grandfather transformed into their dragon form and Kodarel and Derrick climbed upon their backs and prepared for a short flight to where the journey truly begins. They soon arrived at the designated spot as Sly and his grandfather lowered down into the cliffs of the rocks below. They would have to walk from here to avoid from being seen.


There were no sentries guarding the cavern they were using only memories of running for their lives the last time they were here. Sly pulled out the stones and the golden rope and handed one end to his grandfather as he tied an end around Kodarel waist. Once everyone one was ready Kodarel went first placing his stone on the rock wall in front of him watching it dissolve into a web of milky glass web as he stepped right through it,  finding an empty cavern. One by one they took their turns walking through the rock wall. Once more Kodarel made a ball of light and led the way.



© 2019 Shep


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Added on February 7, 2019
Last Updated on February 7, 2019


Author

Shep
Shep

Santaquin, UT



About
Updated Feb 09, 20 2019 In short I am a Male 52 years of age and Permanently Disabled due to a car accident and suffer from seizures and Sever PTSD. So I have a lot of time on my hands. One of t.. more..

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