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Gastlinyk Gate Survival

I can’t believe what I just lived through. No one will believe I escaped without the help of Garm. I can’t believe I lived this time. Someone once said their cat had nine lives; the same must go for me. Distracting the titan was the easy part. There is no doubt my hired help got out unscathed by the titan, it was focused upon me like Odin and Hels’ fury combined. Its mass took after me like a bucket of water at a fly. His fury demolishing stone and brick all around me, the force of wind pushing me away faster than my legs could keep up with. Walls and their foundations rose and scattered about sending deadly shrapnel through the air in every direction. With the grace of some divine favor, all of the chaos about seemed only to usher me into directions I hadn’t even found logical reason to venture. When I run, I run to hide and towards exits. The flying debris and swings of the titan opened avenues of travel that were once homes and city wall. Luck and the favors of the gods got me back to the inner ring of the Hub. This partially submerged structure couldn’t be just picked up or swept away by flying widow makers. I thought I had found sanctuary again. This is where I had been trying to gain entry to for scouting. The inner halls of the Hub of Gastlinyk Gate, but now I had brought the wrath of the titan upon it in lieu of me its integrity was compromised as the feeling of sanctuary it was to give. If my word got back to Foothold, It would only be time before help would be on the way. I wasn’t sure I could wait that long.

Once inside I knew I was safer for only a short spell, but in time the titan would choose extreme force over complex thinking, I presumed. I hadn’t much time before it found a tool big enough for the job of extracting me from the structure, or chunk of something to crush the ceilings down. The halls were full of debris from the crumbling ceilings and walls. Bodies of soldiers and merchant hired guards of Gastlinyk Gate lay trapped and rotting and some more fresh with still moist blood throughout the Hub. I for a moment wondered how long these men starved or struggled in here waiting for death to come for them. Was this my fate laid out before me? Every possible way to die in these halls was represented in my short progress to the next set of double doors leading to the Nobel’s District. I couldn’t let despair get to me. I wasn’t going to let my surroundings affect my pursuit of survival. The doors were not but a few feet away, the L-shaped hall was short but hard to traverse from the smells surrounding the loose shifting piles I had to maneuver over and through. Just before I reached the hinges I heard the sound of bad things coming. That sound you hear just before you say ouch, or just before you can turn your head. Not one of them “What’s that?” noises, but the kind of sound that triggers that instinct to duck but you want a visual of the threat to decide what ducking maneuver has a chance to save you. The kind of sound that doesn’t give you a chance to have this entire mental gridlock of what action should be taken first. I did like all people do when they hear it, stop and wait for it to pummel me.

I like a good debate of facts and perceived understandings of theory and principles with scholars in the park at lunch when I can, but they always win out having more experiments supporting their case. This sound proves my case with facts I had never contemplated to use in an equation of cause and effect. The sound of a force building and displacing air with its sound so high most men can’t hear. Who would have thought to utilize a warehouse of spears as a projectile to crush another building nearby? I have no proof this is what the sound came from, but from what I saw and heard right after the noise that stopped me in my tracks of thoughtful progress, I can only assume on the evidence landing at my feet and over my head. The doors that were only three arm lengths away were tossed out into the district beyond in splinters, the sound and dirt flying through the halls was so great, I was sucked off my feet and up into a catch of large planks in the ceiling. Spears, axes, lumber and anvils came from many directions ignoring their obstacles and creating their own space to enjoy in the floor I had just been climbing over seconds before the barrage. Nearly instantly the floor became a bed of jagged and splintered stakes pointing up waiting for a slip up to puncture any careless touch. Another lucky but painful mishap sparing me from death, when it was over the wind that chased the sound died as quickly as it all came. Letting me the chance to get down, I hadn’t noticed there wasn’t another sound brewing like the one I had just lived through. I could still feel a breeze of fresh air; the hall appeared to be holding well. The doors I sought were gone, I did see them blow out into pieces, but to where I could only guess, there was so much stone and twisted wooden beams in the way, I would not have been able to get the doors open, yet the splinters were forced into and through this wall of debris without much resistance. Splinters littered the area. The handle of one door was partially embedded in a block of mortar. A sobering sight, I stopped panicking about the dust in the hall and the darkness, focusing on the light color of the mortar block I just listened and kept my balance trying not to let the shaking of the foundation throw me into any sharp objects.

At least five minutes went by before the crumbling echoes of collapsing structure stopped adding to the cloudiness of my senses. After nearly ten minutes I was sure of it, it had definitely stopped. The titan must have moved on, its assault was over. I had survived what was nearly an impossible feat. Reflecting back on it standing there in the dark and dust, the realization of what still lies ahead crept in. I was going to need some light if I wanted to find the source of the breeze. The doorway was the only clear spot on the floor, where I finally stood without a clue on how to exit the building. I thought I was going to have to mark my name on it, in case it does become my grave. The dust was settled enough I could see the shapes and outlines of most things in the hall leading up to the merchant rooms in the center. Where the center of the damage was from the sound I felt wasn’t clear to me yet. I had two ways to go, what I thought to be the merchant shops and the hall leading to the west doors.

I was surprised to find the merchant hallway was well protected and showed little evidence of such catastrophic damage the rest of the Hub was. I explored it first, my mind hadn’t forgotten why I was there, and I thought I should at least take a quick inventory of searchable locations. I also found that my searchable distance through the Hub was not nearly as much as I would have hoped. Down the hall west from the doors was a corner leading to the West doors of the Hub. Just out of line of sight it was walled off with bodies and splintered wood and brick. It would appear more than half of the Hub was inaccessible now. I never thought to look back the way I had come. Why, I even wondered myself later. But, that was the way back to an awaiting titan. Instead I kept my mind on my original mission. Find the Magi-pry in the Hub, where I was now entombed.

There were only two merchants in this hallway prison, I was able to break into the storage rooms at the end of the hall as well but one of them was full of ceiling and didn’t appear to be ready for searching. I had the time and not the rations; I searched anyway, all of them. I searched the storage room quickly, the one room that wasn’t crushed beyond existence held many good supplies I could use to patch up some wounds and maybe live a few extra days. The two merchant stores were more or less neat piles on top of piles of nicely crushed things that fell through the ceiling. When I entered the Boyer’s shop it was a remarkable sight. The ceiling was resting upon two barrels stacked in the center of the floor near the counter. Rubble and unidentifiable garbage nearly touching the sinking ceiling took hours to sort through and remove from the small merchant store room. I labored for nearly two days straight, in the dark and the quiet. Though it felt like I was cleaning my casket, I worked diligently. It wasn’t until I was nearly done clearing the merchant rooms when I finally found anything that was the original contents of the rooms.

Nothing I found in the rooms was solidly in one piece. Everything was broken, bent, burned and bent or on fire and broken. I did manage to find some record books of the Bowyer’s shop. His detailed lists of items sold and bought and traded was several large volumes. Each sale had a short summary of the transaction. Every detail of the transaction was noted, price, description of the customer, weight and look of the item and a gut feeling or comment to most. The words were hard to decipher in the low light. Nothing I found proved to be a good torch, not even the burning chunks of wood and unknown globs. In the second volume I found something listed as a pry-bar. The description listed with the transaction was long. A half-orc looking man brought it in waving a large sum of money to take it. It is also noted this was the first time someone wanted to pay him to take it from them rather than to receive a payment or trade. He wanted it destroyed, destroyed and then buried. The listing shows he received it and 250 gold pieces. Its location was listed too, from the looks of the room at that point; there wasn’t any place for it to be. The note went on to describe some of its history and how there was three of them in the storage room just down the hall that would never sell.

….to be continued.

(Revised and edit for grammer, slow editor)