Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (3)
The rats had some sort of unholy drive to kill
us. There were thousands of them, an unending stream so that no
matter how many we killed there was no end in sight. Miyara of
course immediately took charge, and led the barbarians on while I held
the rear against the rats. The Giant leapt into the stream of
effluent and used his torch to try to keep them back, but was of
limited use. We retreated covering the others, still following
the direction of the trail of blood.
Where the sewer passage opened up, the flow of waste
went off in another direction. In this more open area was a
mining railway with a cart. The rails led down into a small
tunnel. Miyara led the barbarians into the cart, and one of them
smashed the brake mechanism. The Giant and I grabbed onto the
back of the cart as it hurtled down into the tunnel. We left the
rats behind at the top -- I wondered what evil lay down here that not
even rats would follow?
After a short trip at ever increasing speed, it was
apparent the end of the rail was upon us. I leapt from the cart,
landing ready to fight, but there was no need. The room was
empty. Fortunately all within the cart survived the crash without
much injury, even the Elf who had been severely injured by the rats.
There were sounds coming from a tunnel leading down
from this room, but nothing demanded our immediate attention.
Instead, the original contents of the cart were of importance.
Aside from Miyara, of course, the others had not noticed that there was
a body already in the cart. It was immediately apparent that this
was the assassin, as he was still clutching the severed head of the
gang leader. The killer had died from rat bites -- clearly
unskilled in his trade. A true assassin would have never allowed
such an eventuality to go unplanned. The incompetence of these
barbarians continues to amaze me.
The Elf looted the assassin's body. He found
something, obviously, because the others were clamoring at him to
deliver his loot. Eventually after much prodding he handed over a
stone, such as might have been set in a ring. By their reactions,
this was clearly the item the Tall Man had been sent to collect.
He placed it securely in his box, as if scared of it. The
barbarians are a superstitious lot, given to unreasonable fear of
things they don't understand.
We had achieved our goal, and Miyara now directed us
to explore further in order to leave that way. I checked down the
tunnel, and saw that in the larger cave beyond some gang members were
building barricades against some unseen threat. Surely it was not
against us -- we would so easily pass over the barricade and kill them
as they were trapped by their own defenses -- so there must be some
threat further down.
Here in the small room, in addition to the rail by
which we entered, was another rail and cart heading through the large
room and beyond it. That would provide us defense against the
tendency of the barbarians to throw things at people, so we could pass
through safely. This time the rougher members of our group were
convinced not to destroy the brake; Miyara must have explained the
operation of this simple mechanism in terms they could understand.
Most of the group climbed into the cart.
The White Fairy pushed it to start it rolling, and leapt onto it,
clinging for his life. The Giant and I again took the defense of
the group seriously -- I am beginning to get a grudging respect for his
crude sense of honor -- and held onto the back corners, to draw any
fire and to respond to new threats. He took the side away from
the barricades, while I took the right side.
We rolled rapidly through the large room, with still
no indication of why the rabble were so frightened. Beyond that
room, the tunnel continued down. Soon the cart approached a cave
that led to the river. A wooden pier jutted into the water; the
rail ended there. Boats were pulled up onto the short either side.
But first, two guards were at the entrance to this
cave. The Giant swung ineffectually at one of them as the cart
went by, but I saw the need to protect our rear so I jumped off to
engage them in combat. It was not a difficult fight, but took
The cart was brought to a stop and all
disembarked. Four figures were to the left of the cave, and the
Giant went after them. Three were in the black robes that
distinguished the two I was fighting, while the fourth was a deathly
white priest surrounded by a cloud of flies. The Giant
immediately recognized that the main threat was the priest, and
ignoring his own safety tried to push through to him.
The priest had been chanting, however, and suddenly
he succeeded in summoning a swamp demon to the cave. The beast
was hideous, and seemed intent on devouring our group. The Tall
Man and the White Fairy distracted it so that Miyara could get the boy
and the injured Elf onto a boat.
Now I had dispatched the two guards, and with our
rear safe I joined the fight in the cave. Being more educated
than the ignorant barbarians, I knew that the summoner was the
priority, not the summoned demon. Killing the priest might
dismiss the demon; if not, then at least he could summon no more, and
we could concentrate on dispatching the horrific creature.
With myself and the Giant in the fight, we quickly
overcame the priest and his three acolytes. With the death of the
priest, the demon vanished. We were safe to leave by boat.
First, though, I had two duties to perform.
Knowing the barbarians would be looting the bodies of their foes, and
abandoning to die any who had survived, I first went around and made
sure all were dead and thus freed from the torture, suffering, and
dishonor that were about to be committed on them. Then I returned
to the large room, and told the cowering rabble that I had dispatched
the demon, and they need no longer fear it or the priest.
We then left by boat over the stinking river.
I hate this city.