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Firestorm Peak, Letter 5


Dear Da,

We decided to camp for the night in the room with the acid pool. We were all pretty injured, and it didn´t seem like a good idea to go on into who-knows-what. The good part was that Canliss could take time to figure out what all that magic stuff was he found. It always takes him a long time to do it, but Rhavin said that now would be a good time.
I had a nice talk with Nikita. She said that a good name for the sword would be "Acid Bane"-- something about how it was a bane to whoever I used it on, I guess, and something about falling in the acid pool thrown in. Then she asked me about how I named Last Laugh. I told her I didn´t really name it, it had a name already. She sounded really interested and wrote everything down in her journal. To tell the truth, I hadn´t thought about it in a long time. I still feel like Last Laugh has been with me forever-- well, at least for a really long time.
Canliss told me he couldn´t figure out what the sword did. He figured everything else out-- there was this ring that locked stuff whenever he was around, and this wand thing, but not the sword hilt. I was still hoping that I might be able to figure out what it did-- I mean, when I held it, it was a nice big two-handed sword hilt, and it would have been perfect except that there was no blade part. So I swished it around a bit, and banged it on stuff, and tried all the magic words I could think of, but no good. I decided to put it back. I just know it´s a magic sword, I can´t figure out how to get the sword part to work.
Kariya and Rhavin were sitting down with the map to try and figure out what to do next. I was feeling kind of bored, because I can´t really sit down with them and help, and no one would practice with me, and you can only do so many sword drills. So I wondered what would happen if I put the magic rock in my mouth. Would it be hot? Would it taste funny? Would it make my tongue glow?
So I tried it. It just tasted like a rock, but it made my whole face glow from inside, and then when I opened my mouth, all the light would come out. It was kinda fun-- lights on-- lights off. Lights on-- lights off. Rhavin and Kariya didn´t think it was funny, and they made me give it back to Nikita. Nikita made funny shadows that looked like bunnies, so I think she was bored too.
Off we went again. We were still looking for the place to save the world. But we found bats instead. Big bats, Kariya said. We all took her word for it.
Then, as we were coming back to the part where the Drugdear were, we heard voices. Rhavin sent Nikita up to investigate as a mouse, because she can be really sneaky that way.
She was taking a long time, so we got worried. We went around the corner, and saw these three people, and a giant lizard with lots of stuff on it. But no Nikita.
Rhavin stopped where he was, but I couldn´t stand it. What happened to Nikita? So I walked forward, because the people weren´t doing anything, and said "Hi", to show them I was friendly. You wouldn´t believe how many people get nervous when I just walk up to them, not to mention when I come out of nowhere.
And then, all of a sudden, there was Nikita, casting a spell. The three people were even more surprised than before-- especially when everything went dark around them. Well, at least I knew where Nikita was-- now I needed to go get her before something bad happened.
I ran as fast as I could, and just kind of pushed past the people (I said "excuse me", but I was kind of out of breath so maybe they didn´t hear me). Funny, but I could see fine now-- I saw Nikita trying to take this one guy´s sword. He looked like an elf, but his hair was all white and his face was really dark. Maybe he was a really old elf.
Anyway, it´s not nice to take swords from old people. So I just sort of picked Nikita up-- boy, was she mad! She kept saying that they were working with the Drugdear, so we had to get them, so something. It sounded like fun, but I didn´t want to get them with Nikita right in the middle-- it scares me when she gets hurt.
So I went back to where Rhavin was standing, and put her back down. And would you know, she turned right around and took out that tiny dagger of hers and ran back toward the people. Fortunately, these guys didn´t have much experience dealing with beautiful women waving daggers, otherwise there might have been trouble. I had to run back and get her again.
This time Rhavin told her they were going to have a Talk and that she shouldn´t do that again. Anyway, it seemed really weird to attack now, so we went back to figure out what to do next.
We had been in that room-- the one at the end of the hall that was full of Drugdear-- before, so Rhavin thought we should make a good plan before we went back. Also, no one had any spells left.
While Kariya and Canliss were studying, Nikita said she could figure out how the Magic Hilt worked with a spell-- I was so happy! I mean, before we only used her spell for figuring things out with important things, like who Kariya´s father was and stuff. It made me feel good that she wanted to know how the Hilt worked too. I have to remember to pay them back for the gem it took when she cast the spell.
And it worked! All I had to do was say "Blade of something"-- except the something part was what I wanted the blade to be made of. And I had to touch a piece of the something to the hilt. I couldn´t wait to try it-- I borrowed Canliss´s dagger and said "Blade of steel"-- I was so nervous. What if it didn´t work after all?
I should´ve known-- Nikita´s spells always work... I mean, sometimes they´re a bit hard to figure out, but... I had a real sword!!!! And it´s probably a magical one-- I am so happy, I´m all ready to save the world now.
We were ready to attack the drugdear now. Kariya and Canliss were going to cast some spells, then Rhavin and me were going to go in and attack the Drugdear.
First, though, Nikita sent a piece of her shadow to scout out ahead. At first it was kind of spooky, but it works really well. Nikita can see stuff, but without actually being there and being killed and stuff. It was nice to have Nikita right there in front of us and be able to make sure she was OK, and the same time she was telling us all this stuff.
The Drugdear didn´t like Nikita´s shadow, I guess, because they kept trying to attack it. Which is silly, since it´s only a shadow. I like it MUCH better when things attack Nikita´s shadow, instead of her. And now we knew how many Drugdear were in the room this time. Rhavin made sure that Canliss and Kariya knew what spells to cast, and Rhavin and I got ready to run down the hall to attack the Drugdear. I wondered how the sword would work..
It worked great! This new sword was almost as good as Last Laugh-- maybe even better (well, maybe when I get it broken in). The Drugdear didn´t even know what hit ´em. They tried to get all big to attack me, but it was no use-- the bigger they were, the harder they fell.
Afterwards, we found some rope in the corner. That meant Canliss could make that special hiding place so we could rest-- which he did and we did. Outside the room, so the Drugdear could clean it up.
When I woke up from resting, the Hilt was just a hilt again. Did it stop working? Or maybe, it just works for a while and you have to tell it to start working again. I started thinking. What if the sword stopped working for good? I know that some magic things only work for a while, and then they stop working. There´s only so much magic stuff in them that after you use it up, there´s none left. I was so happy to have this big shiny sword, but I kinda wanted Last Laugh back more, because at least I knew it would never run out. I was thinking before about what else I could do with the Hilt, like say "Blade of Fire", or something like that, but now I´m afraid I´ll use it up.
Now, of course, I need to know what to call the Hilt. Kariya said that swords name themselves, so I guess I just have to wait. Named or not, The Hilt is pretty nice to have around.
We went on, through the hall we were in before when we got mobbed by the goblins. It was awfully quiet this time around. As we walked down the hall, I thought about what happened the last time. I could see where Kariya had shot her lightning bolts, and where Canliss had thrown his giant rocks. I think I recognized the spot where Last Laugh broke, but I´m not sure.
Someone, I think Jven, heard the sound of water. Which meant she was happy, but we had to figure out what the water was. On sneaking up a bit, it turned out to be a bunch of Drugdear taking a bath! Which surprised me, because they never struck me as being that clean. Of course, they WERE bathing with all their armor and stuff, so I guess it was pretty hard to get clean. Not the sort of thing you should do with your armor, though. I shouldn´t be unfair; I mean, we all would stink pretty bad if it weren´t for Canliss and Kariya casting spells to make us clean.
Anyway, we had to attack them. It was pretty strange attacking someone in the middle of their bath (of course, it wasn´t like they were holding soap and a towel or anything). Rhavin charged in, Kariya, Nikita and Canliss started some spells, Jven got out her magic net, and I touched a piece of Last Laugh to Hilt. Sproing! Instant sword.
Getting past everyone else who was doing stuff, I ran down into the water where the Drugdear were. Somehow, splashing through water takes the ooomph out of charging, but, hey, you gotta go where the Drugdear are.
I was thinking it wasn´t quite fair, since the Drugdear´s weapons were by the side of the pool and they couldn´t get to them, until they got giant. Again. I felt a lot better about attacking unarmed Drugdear, when they were thirty feet tall.
These Drugdear tried to wrestle with me, but I was way too fast for them. I hit one Drugdear so hard that it lost its balance and fell back into the water. What a splash that made! Even bigger than when I used to do bellyflops back in the pond at home. I could hear splashing off to the side, where Rhavin was battling his Drugdear, and all these booms where Kariya and Canliss were shooting missiles at the Drugdear. Soon, we got all of them.
After that, it was just cleaning up. Jven had slipped into Canliss´s grease that he made on the Drugdear weapons and gotten tangled in her net. It would´ve been really funny if she hadn´t been so mad. Jven, when she stopped cursing, told everyone that the pool was trapped at the bottom. Now who would put a trap in their bath? Rhavin asked Jven if she wanted to bathe-- Kariya and Nikita too-- they always like bathing in water, even though they´re always clean. Jven sort of just looked at the water, with all these dirty dead Drugdear floating in it, and said that it was okay, she´d just bless it. I figured, if any water needed blessing, that was probably it.
We continued on, and found another set of stairs. This time, we made sure we checked for traps-- no more swimming in acid! Down we went, and started hearing voices ahead again. Like the goblins. Nikita went ahead to scout, while we waited on the stairs.
All of a sudden, we heard some cries up ahead. Nikita was in trouble! We all ran down the stairs-- I think we tripped-- to see Nikita running toward us. She ran smack into me, and just held on, really scared. She kept saying that there were these giant rats and they were trying to get her. Giant bugs, giant bats-- now giant rats? I didn´t like the kind of things that lived here.
After she calmed down a bit, she told us that some rats had tried to eat her while she was moused. So she had to turn big to get away, and then all these goblins (I guess this was where the Drugdear kept all the Goblins when they weren´t attacking people) started throwing stuff at her.
Poor Nikita! She´s a really good scout as a mouse, but I forgot how many things eat mouses. I bet those rats were really surprised when she turned back into Nikita-- teach them to pick on something their own size.
So Nikita wouldn´t get eaten again, we sent Canliss ahead as a Drugdear. When he came back, he told us that yep, there were all these cages full of goblins. Hundreds of them. We had to get past them so that we could see... what was past them. We got Kariya to cast webs at them so they couldn´t throw stuff (looking at Nikita, I could tell they could throw pretty hard). They looked pretty funny, all caught in the webs, yelling stuff at us.
We didn´t find much, just a big pool of water down one way and the goblin´s latrine down the other. And I thought the OUTSIDE of goblins smelled bad-- even Ulfie wrinkled his nose. We went back up the stairs to explore some more.
As we were walking, we figured that if there were about a hundred goblins in each cell, and there were two empty cells (which were empty because there weren´t any goblins in them. I mean, we´d killed them)-- that meant that we had killed a lot of goblins. And there were only two full cells left, so we´re like half-way done. With goblins. Bleck.

Love,

Ester




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