Cythera Chronicles: Quest for the Shard 4

  • Talm pressed on through the wilderness. He tried his hardest not to think of what terrible beasts might lurk in the bush. He wasn't succeeding.

    Talm looked around nervously through the rapidly thinning trees. No bear-lizard. Looking down at the black, volcanic rock at his feet, Talm noticed Wolfie approaching.

    "Hi there, boy!" Talm said, as he patted the wolflizard on its head. The Lizard stared back at him, and let out a whine.

    "Hungry?" Talm asked.

    The reptile barked a reply. Reaching into his pack, Talm produced a shred of dried ratlizard. He dropped the jerky to Wolfie.

    Unimpressed, Wolfie poked at the meat. Talm didn't blame Wolfie for balking at the offering. He'd skipped breakfast himself due to the lack of anything palatable to eat. Talm's stomach quivered at the thought of having one more meal of ratlizard.

    "Well, they say hunger is the best sauce, Wolfie," Talm remarked.

    As if hearing the wisdom of the words, Wolfie picked up the strip of meat and began to chew it.

    After giving Wolfie a few moments to swallow, Talm moved on.


    They were just moments away from the turbulent crater. There were no trees here, just a scattered few ground plants. Wolfie sniffed at one of the pathetic shrub. Unfortunately, it didn't smell edible to the lizard.

    The incline of the trail had petered out a bit, making travel easier. Talm rested against a large vocalic rock. Suddenly, Talm heard a terrible crack. Something beneath his feet gave way, and he plummeted down into darkness. He lost consciousness.

    Talm opened his eyes, and saw little, save darkness. He got up, his back aching. Talm looked up, and saw the small hole he'd fallen through. He reconstructed events in his mind. He had been standing on the ground, there'd been a loud noise, and he'd fallen.... down here.

    The roof of this lava cave must have given way, trapping him down here.

    Wolfie stepped over to the porthole, and stared down at his master. The lizard let out a questioning whine.

    "I'm fine, just a little shaken up..." Talm mumbled to Wolfie as he dusted himself off.
    Talm turned around and looked into the black tunnel ahead of him. No telling how far it went, or where its inky blackness led.

    "Okay Wolfie, You stay here, I'm going to look down this tunnel and see if it surfaces ahead," Talm said, losing touch with the fact that Wolfie was neither sentient nor understood the Cytheran tongue.

    Talm fumbled into the passage by the light of a torch stashed in his pack, glad he knew of no dangerous cave creatures that he'd be obligated to worry about.


    Talm was overjoyed by the sight of light ahead. If only a half-meter crack, it was light, and thus a gateway from this abysmal maze. He quickened his pace when he caught sight of the glimmer, more than eager to escape.

    Talm stuck his head through the orifice to be greeted with a view of the fiery crater of Land's End. From lava encrusted point to sulfurous wall, the sight was as astounding as many people could comprehend.

    He shimmied out through the crack and stepped onto a precarious ledge overlooking the largest of five major lava pools. Talm was now near infinitely thankful he was not afraid of heights.

    It was then that Talm first caught sight of a dark shape in the midst of the central lava pool. The obelisk!

    Talm was so thrilled to at catching slight of the object of his quest that he did not notice the stealthy approach of a person from behind him...

    (To Be Concluded)

    (This message has been edited by Slayer (edited 02-19-2002).)

  • Good job, Bryce. I can hardly wait for the conclusion.

    Slayer's guide to Cythera:

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