Let me tell you that I was on a roll last week while I was out of town. That's when I wrote this story along with last weekend's story.
I was thinking about why these stories come together so well for me and I think that it's because it's just like running a D&D campaign, except things go exactly the way I plan. Anyone who has been a DM will tell you that things never go the way you plan. It's kind of nice to have things go so smoothly and I'm really enjoying writing in this series.
Rixi watched the orcs bash their weapons against the clear material for a few moments more before she was satisfied that they weren't going to come breaking through the door at any moment. After ten minutes of attacking the door, they hadn't even made a scratch in the clear stuff.
Rixi shrugged and turned her back on the door. The sight in front of her still amazed her. So much loot! "What are we going to do with all of this stuff?" she asked.
Melbrid shrugged and said, "I don't know, but I can tell you that all of the weapons and armor are magical. Some of the other pieces of equipment laying there are too."
Cuddlington replied, "I think that the weapons are meant for us. Look at them."
Rixi looked up and studied the array of weapons. She immediately spotted the weapons that would be meant for her. There were two short swords, a bandolier of daggers and a hand crossbow. She'd always wanted a hand crossbow, but even non-magical hand crossbows were really expensive. She saw Meentha eyeing a strange looking bow, a long sword and a scimitar. Cuddlington was looking at an axe and a small warhammer. Melbrid picked up a broadsword and was nodding at it.
"You can take the weapons," he said. "They're mostly simple enchantments to improve sharpness and balance. Rixi, that bandolier magically replenishes the daggers. Cuddlington, that warhammer will return to your grasp after a moment or two. Meentha, let me take a look at that bow."
Meentha nodded and handed the bow to Melbrid who began to study it. While he did that, Rixi fitted the bandolier over her torso, under her tunic. She lovingly placed her old short swords on the ground and replaced them in her sheaths with the two new short swords. She took the small quiver of crossbow bolts and placed it on her belt and slung the hand crossbow over her shoulder by the strap attached to it.
Rixi looked up when Melbrid spoke again. He said, "Meentha, this is a shocking bow. When you speak the command word, the next arrow you fire from the bow will shock the target as if it were hit by a lightning bolt."
Meentha nodded as she took the bow back from Melbrid. Melbrid turned to the pile of equipment and studied it for a moment. He pointed to a chain mail and said, "I think that this one is for you, Cuddlington. It's enchanted to be harder to puncture." He next pointed to a piece of studded leather armor and said, "Meentha, you should take that one. It's enchanted much the same as Cuddlington's."
Finally, Melbrid picked up a piece of jet black leather armor. "Rixi, this is Shadow Armor. It will sense when you are trying to hide and you will seem to melt into the shadows."
Rixi looked at the armor with awe. She'd always been pretty good at slinking around in the shadows, but this armor would make her virtually undetectable.
Melbrid turned to the others and said, "You all go ahead and don your new sets of armor. I'm going to go through the rest of this pile and identify it all."
Rixi turned and moved to another side of the room as Melbrid began to sort the pile. She made sure to make a face at the orcs on the other side of the clear door. They had stopped bashing it with their weapons, but had a guard posted there. When she was sure that the orcs couldn't see her anymore she began to remove her equipment and her old, beat up set of leather armor. She was kind of sad to set the armor on the floor since it had been with her for so long, but the feeling quickly went away when she picked up her new armor. The leather felt supple, but strong. The color was blacker than anything she'd ever seen before. When she wore it, she barely felt the weight of it on her and it didn't hinder her movements in the least.
After she was all finished equipping herself, she turned back to see Melbrid sitting on the floor meditating. She walked over and sat down next to him. He didn't seem to notice, so she shrugged to herself and picked up something from the pile in front of him.
Suddenly, Meldbrid's arm shot out and grabbed Rixi's wrist as she started to pick up a wand. "I wouldn't do that, if I were you," he said.
She dropped the wand and pulled her arm away. "Well, you didn't have to startle me like that."
Melbrid apologetically said, "I'm sorry, Rixi. I was meditating when I felt you pick up that wand. It's quite a powerful, destructive wand, so I didn't want to you accidently set it off."
Rixi shrugged it off and asked, "What is all this stuff?"
Melbrid started pointing at objects as he rattled off their descriptions, "There are two lightning wands, the death ray wand you were playing with, several healing potions of varying strengths, an Amulet of Natural Armor, Boots of Striding and Springing, a Scarab of Protection and I think that that last gem is an air elemental gem."
Rixi was confused. "If you know what they all are, why are you meditating?"
Melbrid glanced back at Cuddlington and Meentha, saw that they wouldn't hear, then whispered, "I wanted to regenerate my magical energy. Yif is equipping us with some pretty powerful artifacts here. He has something dangerous in store for us."
Cuddlington and Meentha returned to the spot where Rixi and Melbrid were sitting. Melbrid began to hand out the magical items out to the group. He gave the amulet to Meentha, the boots to Rixi, the scarab to Cuddlington and he kept the gem for himself. He said, "I think that this is the configuration that Yif meant for us." He glanced in Rixi's direction.
Rixi sighed and said, "Melbrid thinks that Yif has something particularly dangerous in store for us."
Melbrid looked shocked that Rixi told the other two about what he said, but soon got over it when he saw that Meentha and Cuddlington were nodding their agreement. Rixi stuck her tongue out at Melbrid. He shrugged and picked up the wands and put them carefully into his wand holster inside the sleeve of one of his robes. He then passed out the potions so that each person had two of them.
After the last items were secured in everyone’s' pouches, the ground shook. Rixi heard the orcs yelp and turned to see them running from the clear door as the ground continued to shake. She heard Melbrid say, "Oh, no," and turned to see him pointing at the wall behind her. She turned to see the wall slowly moving towards them.
Panic filled her as the wall continued to approach them. She looked around and saw that the only way out was the way they came in. "Follow me!" she shouted as she ran to the door.
She pulled the door open and rushed through into the dark passageway. She looked both directions and saw that the opening that they had come through where they fought the hydra was dark, but the opposite direction had an opening at the end. She could see the forms of many orcs running in that direction.
Suddenly, Melbrid ran into her and they both went down in a heap. "Hey!" Rixi yelped.
"Oh, sorry Rixi," Melbrid said as he helped her up. "Once you got to the darkness, I lost sight of you and didn't see you there."
Rixi smiled to herself, her new armor was working well at least. "The way back seems to be blocked. I think that we can only go the way that the orcs came from and went back to."
Cuddlington broke in, "We had better keep moving too. The wall at the end where we defeated the hydra is also moving in our direction."
Rixi said, "I'm going to run ahead to the opening and look through. You guys catch up, but don't go out the opening until I tell you too. You won't be able to see me there."
The others voiced their acceptance and Rixi sprinted down the passageway. Her new boots made her move a lot faster than before. After a few moments she was on the heels of the last orc as it left the passage and ran out into the open. Rixi stopped short and stared out into the large room beyond.
The room was about twice the size of the chamber where they had fought the hydra. The reason was obvious to Rixi, there was a gigantic red dragon occupying the room! The dragon was smashing, burning and biting the orcs.
Rixi swore under her breath as she watched the dragon decimate the remaining orcs. She saw that the dragon was obviously quite powerful, but she had a feeling that the four of them would triumph.