Cythera Chronicles: Quest for the Shard III

  • The shear wind of the mountainside contrasted painfully with the powerful heat of the active volcanic crater. The rank fumes of sulfur assaulted the noses of Talm’s company, especially Wolfie.

    The lizard walked up beside Talm, and sat down.

    Talm lowered his map from before his face, and looked at the hexapod.
    "What is it, boy?" He asked.

    "Rhherumph!" grunted the creature.

    Velgen rolled his eyes - Talm talking to that thing as if it could understand was just too much for him. "Perhaps you ought to spend your time talking - or, better - listening - to me, Talm. There’s no stupid monolith! I’ve been here before, with a sulfur trader. We were inside that active volcanic crater, and there was no trace of anything other than lava and rocks!"

    Talm patently ignored Velgen. It did nothing to improve Velgen’s attitude.

    Velgen thought himself as using great restraint - he wanted to shove something down Talm’s throat for ignoring him like that, but his honor wouldn’t allow it, he’d agreed to protect Talm.

    Velgen looked at Melia. She didn’t look very upset with Talm, who was now petting the Lizard instead of checking the map.

    "It’s almost sunset, Talm. Do you think we should put into camp?" She asked.

    Talm looked a little upset, but he had realized the practicality of the suggestion by the time he replied a second later.

    "Alright, I suppose. Let’s make camp."

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    There was a serious lack of flat areas suitable to pitch tents in this little crevice of the volcanos, but it was just a morning’s climb(at a leisurely pace) to the active volcanic crater.

    However, the stink of sulfur that permeated the place would make it an undesirable area to build one’s domicile.

    The gaggle of adventurers sat around a small campfire, which was heating a black pot containing supper.

    "Talm, I’ve been thinking. There are two months left on my contract to escort you. I’ll give you back twenty oboloi from my fee if you let me off early," Velgen offered.

    Talm thought for a moment. He inhaled sharply, then began. "Your contract entitles you to a tenth of the future earnings from the shard, too. Would you give that up?"

    Velgen surpressed a laugh. "Heh! Sure, I’d give it up. In a hot minute. Never was valuable, anyway!"

    Talm, shocked by Velgen’s lack of faith, replied. "Fine. You just do that. I keep my nine-tenths of the profit, and make twenty oboloi to sweeten the deal. Your loss!"

    Talm left the campfire and entered his tent, disgusted with his colleague.

    As Velgen went to pack his belongings, Melia looked on. How’d she let herself get dragged into this?

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    Talm awoke to a beautiful morning, almost nice enough to make him forget last night. He was hungry - how silly, to go off in a huff without having eaten dinner first.

    Would Velgen be gone?

    Talm got up, and pushed aside the flap of his tent, expecting the all-too familiar sent of lizard stew to attack his sense of smell.

    But there was none.

    As he exited the tent, Talm was greeted by a Wolfie, who let out a short whine - Talm knew this represented a demand for food.

    "Didn’t Melia feed ya, boy?" Talm inquired of the lizard.

    He looked around. There was no campfire started. Odd. Perhaps Melia had gone hunting for something better to eat. The thought of not eating lizard stew, but rather some other meat, made Talm a bit more cheerful. Until he saw the place where Melia’s tent should have been.

    Oh, no, she’s gone too! Talm thought, in a slight panic.

    He noticed a paper laying nearby, weighted by a good sum of oboloi. Forty, to be exact.

    After collecting the sum, Talm read the associated parchment. "Talm: I’ve left with Velgen. This is your forty obol refund for the services unrendered. Hope you don’t get killed by wild animals. The remaining dried lizard meat is in the satchel in the pack. - Melia"

    Talm let out a deep sigh. He was all but alone in the wilderness.

    (To be continued)

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    Writen with TS Cyphertron by Bryce - for all your post and cron needs :)
    Sorry if this was a little short.

    (This message has been edited by moderator (edited 01-29-2002).)

  • Good chronicle, Bryce! I can't wait for the next part.

    Slayer's guide to Cythera:

  • Thanks, Slayer.
    I wrote myself into a corner with this cron, which is why it took so long.
    But, with the corner passed, I will probobly be able to get the next part out quicker.

    I'll just put a random number at 0008EC and see what happens.
    (Famous Last Words #-32767)

    Where do you want to (url="http://"")teleport(/url) today?

  • Glad to hear it, Bryce! This chronicle, combined with recent events in the tavern, makes for an intriguing story! :)

    Kobayashi Maru!

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