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Old 06-05-2021, 05:52 PM   #37
Terquem
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Idaho Falls
Default Re: Into The Labyrinth - a work of fiction

Part 3

The three of them were in a large underground cavern. The light from Tabitha’s brand illuminated an area around them out to several yards, and in the shadows just beyond the reach of the light they could make out the glistening walls of this chamber, giving them at least some idea of the size of their surroundings.

Near them there were natural columns made from the constant migration of limestone by the dripping water seeping in from the nearby sea. Each of the strange shaped columns spun their own peculiar shadows.

The floor was uneven. Here and there they could see small puddles. Scurrying little crabs and other crustaceans were all about the place giving it a feeling of life and activity.

Brendun peered around Alo to see three short humanoid figures no more than a dozen yards away. They appeared to be a kind of goblin, but he could not be certain. He only knew that they were too short to be humans, and they were not children, though he knew that finding lost and abandoned children in The Labyrinth was not uncommon. The figures were wearing armor made from large pieces of shells, from turtles and other large sea creatures, and they were carrying long weapons that looked like they had been fashioned from the bones of saw toothed fish.

The figures were hovering about, just beyond the light, and were probable trying to measure the group’s strengths and weakness before committing to an attack. This gave Brendun a moment to come up with a plan. Coming up with a plan might not be easy, as even though Brendun knew Tabitha’s style and habits well, he knew nothing of the Mauli woman, Alo. She carried a pair of slim bladed swords, that was all he knew, and right now she only had one of them.

What Brendun did know about the Octopus-folk was this, they were dangerous. In every sense of the word, cunning, diabolical, relentless in combat, often learned in many skills and spells, and always on the attack. He had never known any of her kind to back down in a fight. He had run into a pair of them, once, in the Death Test, and they were among the most ruthless things he had ever fought in his life. How the octopuses got there, well, no one could ever say for certain how they got there, exactly, but those that were in the maze were about the mostly deadly thing a person could run up against when taking their chances in the Death Test. He hoped the things in the shadows had as much respect for the walking-octopus folk as Brendun had.

“They’re measuring us up,” Brendun whispered. “Probably trying to decide if they are hungry enough to risk a three on three fight. I can probably get to…”

“Thereh areh sevenah ahof themh,” Alo whispered, interrupting Brendun. She adjusted one of her tentacles around the smooth hilt of her sword and moved in a little closer toward where Brendun and Tabitha were on the ground as two other tentacles worked to right the cloak she wore and put her garments in order.

When she finished, Brendun noticed that two other tentacles of Alo’s were moving back and forth nervously. He recognized the behavior.

“You’re afraid,” Brendun said, and then he felt Tabitha move closer to his back.

She put the brand on the floor of the cavern, close to Brendun and then put her hands under his arms close to his chest. “Let me help you up, quick on three,” Tabitha whispered.

“No, wait,” Brendon said.
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