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Firestorm Peak, Letter 14


Dear Da,

One of Five is sure interesting to talk to. I keep trying to understand how he eats. He doesn't have a mouth. I asked him if he eats like Slurpy (I had to explain how Slurpy ate first). It turns out he just stands on some dirt and... well, I'm not quite sure what happens next. One of Five said that some dirt was better than other dirt. He said that we would make good dirt, but I wasn't sure what he meant. I decided not to ask any more.
So now we had to figure out how to get past those two traps. None of us wanted to deal with those spores again, but One of Five said he had an idea. He set off the spore trap like Canliss had, but he broke all the webby things that made the trap go off. So all we had to do was wait until the spores settled, and we just walked through. But now we had to go back through the bug room.
It was just as bad as the last time. It was just as dark, and the bugs were just as loud. Kariya said she saw these big troll-things by where all the bugs were. They were just scooping up big handfuls of bugs and shoving them in their mouths. One of Five said that the troll-things make the best soil. I asked him how they keep the troll-things soil-- don't they heal after they get hurt? It was a bit better talking-- it took my mind off it being dark and full of bugs, but Nikita said we shouldn't talk about soil anymore. I guess it isn't very interesting to hear people talking about soil, but I couldn't think of anything else to talk about.
We were waiting for the trolls to go away. Kariya kept checking to see if the trolls had gone away, but I guess bugs aren't very filling because they were there for a while. Finally, they were gone and we could go ahead. So Nikita showed us the way around to the other tunnel. All of a sudden, it was quiet and we couldn't hear the bugs anymore. Then it felt cold and Kariya said she had put an ice wall up. To protect us from the spider (not Slurpy). Oh.
That meant we could turn the light back on, which made me feel much better. I'm so glad I got that Drugdear helmet. It was so bad when we didn't have light at all, and for a while we only had the one light-- it's so nice that I have a light of my own.
Well, I thought we were bad off, but then we came upon some drugdear. There was two of them-- one was really hurt, and the other one was taking care of him. The weird thing was, the drugdear didn't get all big and attack us. Which was nice, because it would have made me feel bad to kill them-- they looked so bad off.
I guess since the drugdear were sort of our friends now, it was okay for us to help them. Rhavin gave them some water, and Nikita healed the sick one. I asked One of Five if he could talk with them, like he talked with us. The drugdear said they were trying to go back home-- which I could understand. We were talking about whether to send them back to the rest of the drugdear, or pick them up on our way back from killing Madreus, or maybe even taking them with us. Canliss thought they might be good guides. I guess Nikita and Jven thought that was a bad idea, because they got really mad at Canliss and tried to kill him.
I think Nikita-- and now Jven, I guess-- getting so mad might be one of those 'perversions of nature' that are supposed to happen with the fall of night. Nikita has been teaching me all about the prophecy, so it kind of makes sense. But I can't wait for night to stop falling and us to stop attacking one another.
I grabbed Nikita as gently as I could, and tried to hand her to Kariya or Rhavin. I didn't know how I was supposed to stop Jven from attacking Canliss with her on Slurpy, but all of a sudden, she stopped moving. I hoped she wouldn't be as mad when she could move again.
Rhavin was talking to Nikita, when all of a sudden she got mad (only a little this time) and walked off down the hall. Rhavin followed her, to try and make her come back. The drugdear said something, and One of Five told us that there was something down that way that they were really frightened of. That sounded really bad-- Nikita and Rhavin all alone going towards who knows what. One of Five said more, but I was already off, yelling for them to stop.
I wasn't sure what the drugdear would be scared of-- they didn't look too tough, so maybe it wasn't much but it turned out to be pretty scary. There was this big wall made of zombie parts with this beautiful woman in the middle calling for help. Nikita and Rhavin were at the wall already, so Nikita tried to help-- but then the woman tried to pull Nikita into the wall!
That didn't seem right. Rhavin was able to grab Nikita and pull her away. He detected for evil and I guess it must have been because he yelled and fell down. Well, of course the wall was evil-- it had tried to hurt Nikita!
Everyone else had caught up with me, and I saw magic missiles coming from behind to hit the wall. Nikita looked like she was going to cast a spell, but all of the sudden she stopped moving and just stood there. Which was bad, because all these arms came out of the wall and started hitting us. Rhavin and I pulled Nikita to safety, as Kariya hit the wall with lightning. But then the wall hit her back with lightning!
It was definitely time to kick some ass. One of Five and I went up to attack the wall-- I figured I'd explain how to kick ass later. I got in a few good hits, but One of Five was hurt pretty bad and had to go get a healing pod. I chopped up that wall good, and I could see what was behind it-- a room with blue goo on the floor and all these white lumps moving around on the walls. Didn't seem like a very special thing to put a wall in front of, but I'm not as smart as Madreus.
All of a sudden, I wanted to hug the woman. She was trapped in the wall, and just needed a hug. I remember her pulling me into the wall, and Rhavin pulling me out, but still wanting to go hug her. Then I stopped wanting to hug her. That HURT! I was going to get her but good, as soon as I got Hilt again. I was going up to get Hilt, and saw Rhavin running away in the corner of my eye (I wonder where he was going?). Then a few more missiles hit the last bits of the wall and it died. The woman fell down-- all her insides had been eaten out by the wall and she was dying. I guess she didn't mean to try and kill us, because she said "forgive me" as she died.
I felt really sorry for her. I wrapped her up in my cloak and went to go find the others, who were back where the drugdear were. Kariya said that the woman was one of the people in her dad's party. She was a Soltanite and her name was Quaren. We buried her and put rocks on top of her. I hope if something bad happens to one of us, that it doesn't take 27 years for someone to find us and us be in some evil zombie wall all that time.
Nikita was still not talking, and now Canliss was staring at things. After about ten minutes, he said he was seeing lumps all around us-- like those things that popped out of thin air a couple of times except they were alive.
Finally, Jven cast a spell that brought Nikita back. She said she had read Quaren's mind, and that Madreus had put her in the evil zombie wall and made her attack things. I'm going to kill Madreus extra hard for that. Rhavin hugged Nikita a lot-- reading someone's mind who's been in a evil zombie wall for 27 years sounds like no fun.
We left the drugdear with some water and some of those funny food bracelets we had found a long time ago. Well, like two weeks, but it seemed longer. We napped, because we were all tired and hurt. Nikita taught me some more reading-- she helped me read the story of thunder. I always liked that story but I wish Skaa had found someone to like him, too.
We had to cross the goo. Rhavin and Nikita crossed in Canliss's tenser-disc, but goo dripped on them anyway. Since they seemed messy but ok, I just walked across, poking ahead with hilt. That goo was really gooey. It smelled bad too.
After the goo, there was a room with these weird plants-- well, One of Five said they were plants. They moved kinda, all together, and they had big pointy yellow leaves. Since One of Five was talking again, I asked him if he could talk to Slurpy like he talked to the drugdear, or Ulfie. He said that Slurpy wasn't smart enough to have much to say, and Ulfie was mostly just happy all the time.
Then another one of those lumpy-slimy things popped out of thin air at us. I tried to throw some at the plants, to see what they would do, but it was too slimy to pick up. Nikita was smarter, and she just threw a coin at the plants. They all kind of moved where she threw it, and made this yellow cloud. It seemed kind of dangerous, so we tried the next room.
The next room was all slimy tunnels with this swirly stuff all over the floors and walls and ceiling. There were clicking sounds coming from it. That didn't sound too good either. Rhavin went ahead and looked at the third way to go-- through more of the goo. Unfortunately, the goo just got deeper, and it looked like there might have been something living in the goo-- something big.
So the clicky, slimy, whirly tunnel it was. It was smelly too, like vinegar. Not only that, but there was a Big Nasty that lived in the tunnel, and it attacked us right away. Rhavin fell on the slippy floor, and the thing wrapped it's mouth-parts around his leg. I hit it a couple times, but it was hard not to fall on the slippy floor. Jven threw something on the floor that made it not slippy, so now the big nasty and me were even. Take THAT, you Big Nasty! The big nasty spat slime all over me, and it started burning. But I couldn't stop whacking it, otherwise I'd just get worse. It was kinda hard to concentrate, but I figured if Rhavin could dive down into a pool of acid, then I could deal with a little burning slime until we were safe.
A few more good hits, and the Big Nasty was dead, spewing out more of its burning slime for good measure. Canliss cleaned me up as soon as he could, but I lost some of my armor. My skin still kind of hurt from where the burning slime had touched it, but I knew Nikita or Jven could heal me. I knew I couldn't get any more armor down here, and that was what stood between me and getting even more hurt than I usually did.
I hope we're close to Madreus.

--love,

Ester





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