Reply To: Keli… short for Keli

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Well gettin’ back to last Friday, like I said, we all set off to Arik again, in search o’ the seed Frankie the frog was needin’. I think the travelin’ magic in Barrelgore’s kitchen musta wore off, ‘cause Bel, Durok, Walis, Voran and me and Durok had ta take the express wagon again, what leaves Foothold every few minutes or so, ta get to Bal’ynaz.

Sun-Ok and Monty wasn’t able ta squeeze on with us, but they took the very next wagon and soon the bunch o’ us was hikin’ our way across the desert and on to the lost city.

Thrym musta been takin’ a nap, or he ain’t seen us, ‘cause he ain’t dropped nothin’ outta the sky ta try and murder us. We made our way through the gate and before long the bunch o’ us was standin’ in front o’ a stone ramp with two big iron doors what was locked up tight on either side o’ it.

On a platform at the top o’ the ramp was sittin’ a statue o’ huge dragon, with his wings spread out, as if he was gonna take off and fly away any moment. Sun-Ok made her way up the ramp with a crown what she took out from her pack, and stuck it somewhere on the dragon statue. I ain’t sure where she placed it‘cause Bel was blockin’ my view.

Then she stepped back a bit, and oh geez, the tumblers in the lock on the left hand door started whirrin’ and grindin’ and clankin’ and soundin’ as if they hadn’t been used in a thousand years! Ever so slowly, the door creaked open; with stale fetid air now shootin’ out o’ the crack’ with a hiss from where it had been imprisoned for god knows how long.

And there it was! We’d found a way down into the depths that lay below the lost city o’ Arik! Mayhap Frankie’s seeds were down there too.

T’was at that moment, Ghak, who is a troll, who was slinkin’ along behind us all the while without us knowin’ it, chose ta pop out from where he was hidin’ bellowin’ with evil laughter, yellin’ at Monty, tellin’ him he was sittin’ right next to him in the wagon what took him and Sun-Ok to the dwarf city!

Monty couldn’t see him in the wagon ‘cause Ghak kept drinkin’ invisible potions for the whole trip! Then he stepped close, whacked poor Monty, who was standin’ there, his mouth half open in surprise, right on top o’ his head! Oh Geez! Well o’ course, straight off, we all came to Monty’s aid, ya know? We put Ghak down right quick but that wasn’t enough fer Monty.

He . . . well, uh, ya see, like I said, Ghak fell quick. The troll was just layin’ flat on his back, leakin’ blood from a hundred places, moanin’ and groanin’ with his eyes rolled back in his head and we was kinda done with him, ya know? But Monty wasn’t and he forgot all about his magic and started beatin’ away on Ghak with his staff! And spittin’ on him too!

All the while, screamin’ and cursin’ at the troll! Oh geez! I ain’t never heard anyone use language like that ever, except mayhap fer Sar! Then Monty hops up on Ghak’s chest and begins ta jump up and down on him with his eyes shut tight, his fists clenched up into little balls, while still screechin’ away at the troll who ain’t heard or felt nothin’ cause he was unconscious, ya know?

Oh geez! We could hear Ghak’s ribs snappin’ and cracklin’ and poppin’ and air wooshin’ outta his lungs each time Monty landed! Finally we had ta drag Monty off o’ the troll, and hold onto him tight till he calmed down and stopped shakin’ with anger! Oh geez, Monty hates that troll!

Anyways, we left Ghak outside layin’ there bleedin’ and dyin’ and the rest o’ us stepped through the doorway what Sun-Ok had unlocked a few minutes before, with the crown. We wasn’t more then a few paces inside, when the whole place started shakin’ and huge pointy stones started risen’ up outta the ground all around us!

The shakin’ stopped, and who’s standin’ there between the stones, but Lady Kaldt with a big smile on her face, her hair done up, lookin’ all neat and spiffy in a light blue and white full length gown what I’m sure she ain’t bought in Stonemark! She’s a Valkyrie in case anyone don’t know that.

Well she tells us she’s aware o’ the Grippoli plight, and how we’s tryin’ hard ta help them and whatever we does for them will be good fer the forest. But there’s another one what’s needin’ our help and his name is Opinvu. Oh geez! Another one needin’ our help!

It seems he’s’ been doin’ research fer a book he’s writin’ ‘bout the fall o’ Gastlynk, or somethin’ like that. Now he’s layin’ low somewhere in that city and can’t find a way ta get out ‘cause the Titan’s minions know he’s there and now they’s out and about, lookin’ fer him, and they’ll skin him alive if they finds him! Well, Bel and Monty knows Opinvu quite well and I met him once or twice.

He seems like a nice enough chap with always a ring or an amulet for sale, and a funny thing to say, so we told the Lady Keldt we’d do our best to rescue him. She thanked us, then the ground started its shakin’ and the pointy stones came out again, and Keldt was gone.

There was some talk between the men ‘bout whether we oughta split up, with half o’ them goin’ off to rescue Opinvu and the rest o’ us pushin’ on in search o’ the seeds Frank was needin’. In the end we decided to stay together and keep searchin’ for the seeds.

We turned and started down into the darkness and mystery and danger, and only Odin was knowin’ what else was waitin’ fer us, deep below this lost city of Arik.