Good morning everybody. This week's Story a Week is in a fantasy setting. It's actually based in a world that I created for D&D and this story is part of one of the plot lines that I was going to run if I ever ran a D&D campaign again. Since I thought it would make a good plot to play, I figured that it would make a good story too. This story will be probably two or three weeks long, though I could probably write a whole novel with the characters, if I wanted to.
Anyway, let me know what you think. I've opened the comments to everyone instead of just those with blogger or google accounts now. Enjoy!
Rixi approached the mansion outside of Telquirk with apprehension. The mansion had been abandoned her entire life up until very recently, and as such, it had quite a reputation among the inhabitants of the little fishing village.
She glanced over her shoulder, contemplating turning around, when she saw her friend Melbrid approaching the mansion not far behind her. The half-elven sorcerer was carrying an invitation like the one Rixi had. Rixi stopped and waited for Melbrid to catch up.
"Good evening, young rogue," Melbrid said as he approached her.
"Excuse me, magic flinger, I prefer the term street survivor," Rixi retorted. She'd been living on the streets ever since her parents' fishing boat didn't return from a fishing run a couple of years ago.
"My apologies, Rixi. I'm glad to see that you got an invitation to this shindig as well. I was wondering if I would know anyone," Melbrid said.
Rixi pulled the invitation out of one of her belt pouches and looked at it. "So, have you ever heard of this Yif character?"
Melbrid nodded. "My mentor mentioned him in one of my lessons once. Yif is one of the few mages who has ever practiced the art of sorcery as well."
Rixi shook her head. She didn't understand the difference between what a mage did and what a sorcerer did, but didn't want to get into it right now. Both types of magic user reviled the other and said that their own practices were the correct way to use magic. It was a debate that didn't interest Rixi in the least.
"So you don't know anything else about him?" Rixi asked.
Melbrid shrugged. "Not much else," he said. "He used to live in the capitol and worked directly for the emperor at one point. I've heard that he went a little crazy and quit and started roaming the country."
Rixi nodded and gestured to the mansion. "Shall we?"
Melbrid nodded and led the way. As they approached the door, it opened for them revealing a large foyer. Rixi and Melbrid looked at each other and shrugged before stepping through the door.
The foyer had three doors leading from it, two of which were closed. The third was opened and the two friends could hear voices coming from the hallway it led to. Melbrid walked through the door. Rixi glanced at both closed doors and wondered what they hid. Before she could take a look, Melbrid cleared his throat. Rixi looked up at him and he gestured that she should keep up.
Sighing, Rixi quickly caught up to Melbrid. They walked a few more paces and around a corner into a very large dining room. There were about a dozen other young people around their age from the other villages in the area. Rixi recognized a few of them, but didn't know any of them by name. They were all milling about with the people from their own towns. Rixi and Melbrid looked at each other and shrugged again. They stood together near the door they walked through.
A few moments later, Rixi could hear a gruff voice coming down the hall. "That has to be Cuddles," Rixi said.
Melbrid chuckled and warned, "Don't let him hear you call him that."
A stout dwarf with shocking red hair and a long red beard walked through the door followed by a tall pantheron covered in black fur. Rixi had seen the catlike person walking around town, but hadn't met her before.
Rixi bounded over to the dwarven warrior. "Cuddlington! How are you doing, old friend," she said.
THe dwarf smiled at her. "Ah, fine lass. Have ye met Meentha?"
Rixi acknowledged the pantheron with a wave. Melbrid came over and spoke a few words in the Pantheron language to her. "You know that language?" Rixi asked him.
Melbrid nodded and said, "Meentha's been teaching me. She lives in the forest. I met her when she came into town last week for supplies."
Meentha spoke for the first time, "Melbrrid is helping me get the lay of the land, too." She turned her r's into a purring sound. "As you know, my people do not often trravel farr frrom ourr homeland. Howeverr, I rrecieved a vision quest that told me that I was needed in Telquirrk."
Rixi scrunched up her face in confusion. "A vision quest brought you here? What kind of god would play that kind of trick on you?"
The hair on the back of Meentha's neck visibly stood up. "My god would not play such a trrick on anyone," she growled. "My vision is trrue. It has been supporrted by my rreceipt of the invitation from Yif." The pantheron pulled the invitation from her belt pouch as if to support her statement.
Before anyone was able to respond a loud voice said, "Please be seated."
Rixi turned to see an old man dressed in elaborate robe stood at the head of the table. The assembled young adventurers approached the table and sat. When they were all seated, the old man said, "If you haven't figured it out yet, I am Yif. I am very glad that you all were able to make it. I am the former Archmage of Bortan and as such I had access to all of the collected knowledge of the realm."
Yif paused and met the eyes of every person sitting at the table. "About two years ago, I discovered a millenia old tome that prophesized a group of four adventurers that would arise out of this region to do great things in the empire. I started to travel the country to find evidence to support this prophecy. When I found the evidence that I was looking for, I came up with a plan to find the group that the tome prophesized."
Rixi couldn't help speaking up. "Why?" she asked.
Yif, a little startled by the question, paused and looked at Rixi. "Well, little one, I'm afraid that I can't reveal that to you all quite yet. It is my belief that the group is in this room right now. Four of you will comprise that group."
Rixi looked hard at Yif. Something about him wasn't quite right, but she couldn't tell what it was. He continued speaking, "As I was saying, the purpose of this evening is to discover which of you will fulfill the prophecy. Good luck to you all."
As Yif said those final words, Rixi planted her feet on the floor at the sides of her chair. When he finished speaking, all of the chairs disappeared and were replaced by holes in the floor. There was much screaming as most of the young adventurers fell through the holes. Rixi smiled with satisfaction at being the only one not fooled by Yif's trick.
Yif looked daggers at Rixi. That just made her smile even bigger. Scowling, Yif said, "Well done, elf. Go now, and join your friends."
Yif gestured and Rixi felt all of herself lose control of her muscles as the Hold spell came over her. Her legs came together and she fell.
She saw the floor below approaching fast and closed her eyes. She opened them a few seconds later when nothing happened to find that she was standing solidly, looking at Melbrid, Cuddlington and Meentha. Cuddlington was laughing heartily at the look that Rixi had on her face.
Rixi shrugged it all off and looked around. The four of them were in an empty room that just barely fit them comfortably. There were no obvious doors or exits. Rixi looked up and couldn't tell where the hole she fell through was.
Melbrid said, "No way out." He looked around too. "I don't know what Yif has planned for us all, but I hope that it's not to suffocate us all in this little room."