Play the song while reading! Comment about what you thought in the comments below the chapter!

 

------------------------------------

After lunch in the apartment, we head to the special dungeon. The tree, according to Rhynn, is split into three areas. There is an exterior area going up the outside into the branches with avian monsters. There is an interior area with gigantic termites and wood ants going up into the trunk. And if we go down inside the trunk, there is an area of elementals and abominations that dwell in the dark. Rhynn says the exterior area has special monsters that appear around sunset and dawn when the birds change from one type to another. During the day they look like colorful tropical birds, and at night they become all black. At sunset and sunrise, they briefly become birds of a special type, who drop feathers that can be used to craft items with special properties. Our goal is to get those feathers.

Since we have some time before sunset, we decide to try a quick clear of the interior depths. There are rare items that sell for a bundle from down there that none of us need, but we appreciate large sums of money.

I discover down there that my wands do not work well on the elementals. It turns them into pieces and those pieces join back together. When I charge the wire with energy, it does slightly better, but still does not kill them.

I try making the wires vibrate as I wield them, and a high-pitched hum resonates through the musty cave. This adds to the damage I do, but it still is not enough to destroy the elementals. Rhynn and Podlihob watch me struggle with one earth elemental that keeps reforming, giving suggestions along the way.

“It’s an earth elemental, so think about how it sustains itself. Maybe try attacking it in a way that deals with that.” Rhynn smokes a cigarette while watching me. The elemental’s wounds vanish as the ground from the cave gives it dirt to reconstitute its body.

I use gravity magic to make it weightless, and then use a Razor Hole spell to cut off the base and suspend it in mid-air.

“Like that?” I ask.

“You’ve cut off its regeneration, but you still need to damage it to destroy it. How will you go about that?” I could probably incinerate with one of those flaming poop spells, but I refuse to use those spells. Maybe I can imbue some sort of energy into the Razor Hole spell and just hold it around the elemental instead of closing it.

I decide to try an acidic attack. It’s dirt, so I go with the acid used to etch metal, aqua regia. That should be able to handle dirt. After a couple of moments of acid being sprayed all over the twitching, floating dirt pile, it stops moving. The acid, stained brown, drips to the ground below, leaving a magic gem floating in the area. The gem is sucked into my wallet, while my friends quietly clap.

“It’d be faster for you to learn some spells that use pure arcane energy to attack. But using acid was inventive. But…” Rhynn gives me a full critique of my tactics while Podlihob blasts elementals into bits with his crossbow. Rhynn finally finishes his critique with “Next up are darkness elementals. These are actually easy to destroy if you think about them in the correct way.”

“You want to give me any other hints?” That hint is pretty vague, after all.

“Nah, that hint should be plenty.” Rhynn smiles at me.

“Darkness is up next. You can do it Zav! I’ll tag it for you.” Podlihob fires a small glowing bolt from his crossbow, and the darkness of the chamber becomes oppressive. Angry, even. A motion in the dark implies a screaming skeleton shrouded in black smoke. I can’t really see it, so I make a light, a high-powered spotlight to show me what is coming at us.

The light hits whatever the thing is, I guess the darkness elemental, and eldritch screaming fills the room. The sound is grotesque. I still can’t see what the thing is, and now there’s more smoke in the way, too. I increase the brightness and size of the spotlight. There’s a thunderclap, and the oppressive feeling is gone, with a magic gem shuddering to a stop on the ground.

“See, you did fine with just that hint.” Rhynn gives me a thumbs-up.

“I just had to shine a flashlight at it? What’s next, elementals that cry themselves to death when we see them?” We laugh and continue to clear the area of monsters.

Rhynn eventually stops us and says “Let’s teleport back to the entrance and head up to the bird area. We’ve got about thirty minutes before the change.”

I teleport us outside, and we climb the ramp wrapped around the trunk of the tree. At first it is just an annoying hike. The ramp is woven thatch, and sometimes our feet slip, sometimes our feet poke through. Gradually the woven thatch becomes higher quality and better maintained, allowing us to advance much more easily. Finally, Rhynn stops us.

“Okay, so I am going to run around up here, piss off all the birds, and bring them back while the sky is pink. You should see the birds all changing color to pinks, purples, and orange. That’s when we kill them. They should all drop a feather along with a magic gem, and we collect them all and call it a day.” This plan sounds pretty easy.

“I’m going to try an extra-large Razor Hole on them if that’s okay.” I’ve done it on single enemies on a horizontal axis, but lots of enemies at a diagonal with the ramp sounds like an interesting challenge.

“I’ll deploy turrets and cleanup any you miss.” Podlihob approves of my plan. We are a team and respect each other, haha!

Rhynn trots up the ramp, and we hear him scream at bird people as he runs by their huts built onto branches. A few times I see him slap a hut, tearing off a wall. We see him going higher and higher, with a horde of sunset-hued bird-people screaming and chasing after him. Finally, he reaches the top, and he slaps the largest bird person of all as he runs past, and then he jumps off the side of the ramp. Holding one arm out, he catches the side of the ramp just above us, then flips over to us, as the bird people run back down the ramp to us. I wait until they begin coming around the ramp, just into view, and make a Razor Hole that follows the ramp, angle and curvature. I just hold it there and let the bird people kill themselves by running through the edges of it. As I watch, I try changing the hole, and set it up as several lines covering one section of the ramp like a spider web. Sure enough, the bird people continue to run into, falling to pieces when they hit the thin, hard-to-see lines. The big one comes, and hurdles over the spiderweb, landing near us. Podlihob shoots it once, with the turrets providing a follow-up, and the big bird drops dead.

We collect the feathers and gems, as well as a short sword from the big bird that is shaped like their beak, slender and slightly curved. At Rhynn’s direction I teleport us back to our apartment, and we enjoy a relaxing evening at home.

1 Comment

  1. zavyyn

    This entire concert was abducted by Bigfoot.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.