The Eladrin Stones: Chapter 1

The room was dark. The stale stench of mold was the second thing Golgh noticed. That, and the pulse in his temple that drummed his head. Golgh raised his arm and winced. The floor was cold stone. It hurt to breathe. To move. To wince. Golgh opened his eyes.

Yep, he thought. Still dark.

His best guess was that he’d been unconscious for hours. His worst guess was that he had had one too many belts of dragon ale. Golgh grinned.

By the gods, it’s so good.

Golgh shifted his weight and tried to stand. Not his best option, but hey…he’d done worse. The thunder in his head wasn’t confined to his face and he omitted a groan.

“Someone there?”

The voice was hoarse. It was old and faint. Golgh’s hand moved to his hip where his sword should be. The unsettled sick in his stomach had replaced the absent weapon and he stiffened.

Golgh held his breath afraid to move. There was too much uncertain there in the dark.

Goddam how much did I drink?

Quietly, he placed his palms down on the stone and forced his large body to move. It felt awkward and bulbous. He’d never get used to this figure. Thankfully, his body obeyed and he pulled his long legs up onto his knees. From across the room, in the vicinity of the old, distant voice, a light flashed to life and Golgh winced. Another helping of sick rose as he identified the unmistakable lines of bars. Iron bars.

Another cage.

His face went cold and he rubbed the scales on his face. He still wasn’t any more used to the lizard nose than he was to the tail.

“You are there,” the old man croaked from across the room. “I can see you know. What are you?”

Golgh didn’t answer.

The old man muttered something unrecognizable in the same tone.

“Common,” Golgh growled, hating the sound of his own voice. Even it sounded more foreign to him than the inane garble of elvish that the old man had attempted to talk to him in.

“Oh! Thank Pelor.” The man uttered. “I thought I was alone down here.

Well. No use pretending now.

“Dragonborn,” Golgh grumped, hating that he had to say it at all. “Where are we?”

It looked nothing like the barrack cells he was used to.

“Not sure,” the old man replied. “I’ve been here as long as you.”

Golgh stood, relieved to learn there was room enough for that.

“How would you know that?” Golgh asked making an effort to test the bars. Solid.

“I saw you at the bar. You were sitting alone several tables across from me.”

Golgh recalled the hot tavern in N’Urd, the bawdry music, the silver haired tavern wench with more cleavage than brains in her pretty head. She had served his drink and was gone, giggling at him for suggesting to meet her upstairs later.

Goddam, I hate this body.

A groan accompanied the distinct shuffling of a body in a direction not of the old man. Instinctively, the two prisoners fell silent and the old man dowsed his light allowing the darkness to return.

The sound of a hand touching down on stone came from the groan and the old man re-summoned his blue light.

Another cell. Another prisoner. Golgh assessed.

“An elf, by the look of his ears,” the old man said. “A ranger, by the look of his build. Where’s your bow, Ranger?” the old man called.

A groan was his reply.

“Ranger!” Golgh growled. “Your bow.”

“I don’t…” There was silence and then. “Fuck!”

“Thought so,” the old man sighed.

“What happened?” Golgh asked the ranger. “What is the last thing you remember?”

“I don’t…Last thing…” His voice dripped with the same confusion that Golgh felt upon waking. “I was sitting at the bar,” the ranger answered. “A serving wench brought me a drink and then…I can’t remember.”

“Wench?” Golgh said. “Did she have silver hair?”

“She did…” the ranger said.

Golgh looked to the source of the light in the cell across from him.  “Old man—”

“Benison.” The old man corrected.

“Did y—”

“Eladrin wine,” Benison replied.

“And my dragon ale,” Golgh said.

“Does anyone else feel like their head was crushed in two?” the Ranger groaned.

Golgh focused his vision into the ranger’s cell. The elf had managed to pull himself up and appeared to be digging his palm into his forehead. “Boy!”

“Varghul,” the Ranger said.

“Do you have any weapons on you at all?” Golgh asked.

“Nothing.” Varghul re-patted himself down. “My bow is gone. My daggers are gone. My quiver—”

“You?” Benison asked, nodding to Golgh.

“My swords have been taken. What about you?”

“I’m a cleric,” Benison answered. “The only thing I had that was worth something were my prayer beads that doubled as anal beads and those are gone.”

“Well, if you’re a cleric then you can blast us out.”

“I’m…not very experienced,” Benison said.

Golgh cocked his dragonhead. “What do you mean? You’re like, two hundred.”

“Sixty,” Benison said. “And I just started Cleric-ing.”

Golgh stared awaiting a refined explanation.

“I’m trying to amend for some of my ways and felt the best way to compensate for my youth was to…dedicate my life to the church of Pelor.”

“So you’re recently reformed,” Golgh said.

“Oh no,” Benison exclaimed. “I have no intent to give up my life of women and booze! Are you mad? I just think I need to do something to counter it. You know…even the score.”

“How are we getting out of here?” Golgh asked, looking to Varghul for answers.

“Is there anything in your cells with you? A pick? A potion? Anything?” Benison replied.

“Well, I have my head,” Golgh offered feeling a twinge of gratefulness now for the body he’d been cursed with.

Silence.

“I…have…my…head, too,” Varghul answered with uncertainty.

“I mean I can break the wall,” Golgh clarified.

Silence.

“Oh for god’s sake!”

With a surge of adrenalin, Golgh roared and slammed his head into the wall. Again, and the wall cracked. A third attempt, and Golgh smashed the wall into a gaping hole.

He brushed away the debris and stepped from his cell.

“Hey…” Benison said.

“Golgh,” Golgh said.

“Golgh, see if you can find any keys.” Benison directed his light around the room allowing the dragon to study the layout. Three cells on either side of a wide hall abruptly widened into a second room. There, he spotted a peg supporting a ring of keys beside a ladder.

“Found them,” Golgh said taking up the keys just as a large, wooden chest pushed against the wall opposite the ladder, caught his eye.

Right.

With no trouble, Golgh unlocked the cells. A skinny, human, cleric dressed in robes, bounded forth with great agility despite his onset years. The wild look in his eye flashed as he darted about the room, giving Golgh the impression he was purposefully scouting for trouble as if hoping for it. The elf ranger seemed far more tame in comparison despite having the wild look of the Eladrin. In contrast, he had barely reached his twentieth winter and appeared slightly more reserved.

“This way,” Golgh growled and led them back to the room where the chest rested.

One by one, Golgh tested the keys. With a Creeeeak, they opened the lid and located their arson. Golgh took up his sword, happily securing it to his side, and then restored his shield to his arm as Varghul reclaimed his quiver, his bow, and daggers.

“Where do you think we are?” Benison asked as he tied his prayer beads to his waist.

Golgh shook his head. “I have no idea.”

“Shall we go up then?”

 

Next Chapter – The Eladrin Stones: Chapter 2

About the Author: Angela