TMA Down Time

TMA Down Time
Art by @spoiledchestnut

Friday, August 25, 2017

Session 19

All I could think about was killing a dragon. It was the only comfort to this utterly miserable adventure. It definitely wasn’t the kind of tale Feeps would sing of, unless he was poking fun at me. Then again, we could end up trapped in this time bubble for the rest of our lives. Or so I kept telling myself.
Slicer had taken up commanding the boat. The vessel was almost peppy to his orders, so he guided us down the river of lava, passing through the cavernous spaces of the volcano. We traveled in silence, saying nothing of what transpired earlier. Dragon, then home.
“Danger,” Slicer growled in a low voice, eyes fixed on the lofty stone wall ahead.
We all sat up, alert. At once we came to the same realization. This wasn’t just a wall, it was part of a fortress, and we were gliding straight through the gates.
“Pull over,” Maziel hissed, instinctively ducking low.
There was no where to go, and we sailed in. Above us we could hear the sound of deep, rumbling voices. It was too late to turn back, and the boat almost enjoyed the cruise, as if it belonged here. All eyes fell on Maziel whose head was whipping about, calculating.
“Everyone out!”
As the boat glided closer to land, we all leapt out without another thought. The boat continued happily enough. By now the voices were shouts, and we could see fiery manes approaching through darkened archways.
“Against the wall!” I called, pointing toward the stone.
The party obeyed, and I quickly melded us into the rocks. There we hid, a part of the earth, waiting unseen as three fire giants lumbered close. They spoke in a garbled tongue, which I could only assume was Giant.
“This feeling,” Dagon whispered excitedly. “To be a part of the very stone we dwarves--”
“Dagon. Shut. Up.” Maziel warned quietly.
The fire giants circled menacingly, searching for the figures there just moments before. Eventually they gave up, and began to stomp back inside the fortress proper.
That’s when Dagon acted. “From stone I am reborn!” He roared, leaping out of the camouflage. Maul raised high, he charged the creatures that made him look like a toddler in comparison. His voice echoed around the courtyard, and somewhere in the distance a horn answered back.
I’m fairly certain we all considered letting Dagon die while we watched from inside the wall. That was, if he hadn’t already blown our cover. I thought I could hear Maziel grinding her teeth hard enough to shatter. We all waited, and the giants closed in on the dwarf.
“C’mon,” I sighed. “I’ve done worse.”
I didn’t wait for them to acknowledge that fact, and jumped from the wall, breaking the melding spell. I moved into the fray, the dwarf laughing at my side as we managed to avoid the hammer big enough to crush our frames.
A moment later, and arrows were flying. Maziel was issuing orders between curses as we tried to stay alive against the flaming foes. As expected, more followed from the fortress walkways, and soon we were wondering whether we would survive long enough to fight a dragon. Somehow, we hung on, desperate to live a little bit longer.
The last fire giant glared us down as we closed in. His flaming beard was the only one burning amid the bodies of his comrades.
“Wait! I want to try something,” I shouted, forcing Cosmo to shoot his bolt wide.
“What could you possibly want to try?” Yaup demanded, clearly yearning for the finishing blow.
I raised my hand and uttered the druidic spell. The giant vanished from sight. Well, he actually shrunk instantly. Now, a chipmunk squeaked desperately in its place.
I raced over and picked it up. “Aww, you’re adorable now. Ouch, you little shit!” I recoiled at the creature’s bite, shoving the chipmunk in a pouch.
“I’ve got to know, Taelim,” Klotonk started. “Why?”
I shrugged. “Practice for the dragon?”
“How long does the polymorph last?” Maziel asked critically.
I bit my lip in thought. “Maybe an hour.”
“We need to dispose of it. Before the--Dagon, get back here!”
It was too late. The dwarf was already heading down a huge corridor, Cosmo at his heels.
I grinned, and followed.
“Slicer, are there more giants inside?” Maziel questioned the dragonborn.
Slicer shrugged. “We killed many in the fortress, but the volcano is bigger.”
“That’s not a great answer,” I responded, casually trailing the group.
The dragonborn didn’t reply.
I don’t like you either, Tiamat-lover.
Carefully we traversed the quiet halls of the garrison built for creatures far bigger than us. Searching, as ever, for any clue that would lead us to the dragon. Our only way out of Solstice.
“Taelim, if this were Illium. Where would you hide your treasury?” Maziel asked me in her seemingly distant, but ever-perceptive way.
I hesitated, canteen halfway to my lips. “I feel like this is a trick question,” I admitted. We had stopped to take a rest in one of the citadel rooms, a pantry the size of a dining hall.
“It’s a better idea than wandering dangerous passageways,” Klotonk offered brightly.
I glanced at the gnome, taking a deep swig of water. The heat was still unbearable. It was like a brick oven within these walls.  I got to my feet. “I’ll lead the way then.”

I truly had no idea where I was going. It was a best guess scenario, and one that almost got us caught by a patrol more than once. Yet, we somehow found our way.
Cosmo was the first to catch the gleam that spilled between the cracks of the towering door. It was as if he was drawn to it.
Cautiously, we pushed open the intricate metal door and gaped at what revealed itself. It was treasure room, but the likes of which I had never seen. This cavernous space had two visible levels, easily stretching hundreds of feet wide in either direction. Almost every foot of it was filled with loot. Piles of gold rose like hilltops, gems and entrancing jewelry sparkled in the firelight. The ceiling was nowhere to be seen, but we were too distracted by the valuables to notice.
My pocket squeaked, and we all turned to stare.
“I forgot about him,” I conceded shyly.
“We’re nearing time, we have kill it.” Maziel extended a hand, as if distrusting me with the task.
Granted, I faltered, forgetting the threat it once was. “It will just revert to its normal form.”
“You can’t keep polymorphing it, Taelim.”
I frowned and reached into my pouch.
“I have an idea…” Klotonk began, almost reluctantly. “It’s a bit cruel…”
“It almost crushed me with a mace,” Cosmo retorted.
“Valid point,” I said, holding the nipping chipmunk carefully. “What is it, Klo?”
Klotonk gestured toward the blackness above. “Fly up, kill it. The giant will drop. Nothing will survive that fall, and we don’t have to risk our lives fighting it.”
“That’s brutal!” Dagon snorted. “I like it.”
I shrugged, defeated. “Fine.”
I stepped inside the tremendous room, the sound of gold pieces sliding down their piles as our footfalls shifted their position. I changed into a giant eagle, clutching the chipmunk in my talons. With a beat of my wings, I soared upward, my keen eyesight taking in the expanse of treasure. I couldn’t help but notice the bizarre platform that stood alone between the mounds of gold.
I circled higher and higher. I was so distracted with my task, I almost didn’t see the gargantuan red maw that materialized as if from thin air. It opened wide, and I veered, but not fast enough. I felt the teeth snag against my wing, biting down hard.
With a cry, I dropped my form, and the chipmunk tumbled out of my hands. I fell, then slammed into a pile of gold somewhere on the second floor. Dazed, I could hear my party shouting out, but the sound of a dragon roaring made me come to my senses.
In Giant, something growled a threat nearby.
Oh. Shit.
With thunderous steps, the former chipmunk now giant got to its feet. He looked battered, but very capable of breaking all my bones. It turned and spotted me, its lips parting in a snarl.
My mind raced with dozens of ideas, but I settled for one that ensured I might actually survive long enough to see my friends again. Before the dragon killed us, I mean. I let the giant approach me menacingly, and it took its sweet time. It probably believed fear kept me rooted against this uncomfortable pile of gold. That bought me enough time to complete my spell.
The fire giant roared, and swung its fist. An earth elemental sprang up in front of me, and intercepted the blow.
“Um, kill the giant. Thanks!” I ordered the elemental who wrestled with the giant in a titanic brawl.
I slipped past them both, and glanced over the railing. There, on the no longer empty platform, a humongous red dragon was locked into combat with my friends. Two fire giants were at its side, and a peculiar mage in a red dragon mask was standing beside it. To my surprise, the dragon was chained to the dais. The mage raised his hand, and the red dragon obeyed, spewing molten hot flames in my party’s direction.
Recklessly, I lept off over the banister, and tumbled down a mountain of gold. Treasure toppled over me in a cacophony of clinking noises. Staggering to my feet, I peered around the pile. The dragon was looking my way.
I ducked behind the mound just as flames rushed by me.
That’s really hot. Squeezing my eyes shut, I tried to forget the feeling of burning alive.
When the licking flames stopped, I sprinted past, diving from pile to pile, carefully making my way over to the group. The room resounded with the sound of spells, explosions and roars.
I heard Yaup shout, “Slicer! Get back here. Slicer! COWARD!”
The dragonborn was gone, but that didn’t stop us from trying.
It felt like a game of cat and mouse, the most dangerous variant possible. Where we dared, we poked out into view, arrows and spells flying. We were met with scorching breath that singed our limbs, or the sweep of a spiked tail that battered us away like dolls.
As I lay panting against a melting pile of gold, I could hear the fire giants lumber close. They had nothing to fear from dragon fire as they attempted to draw us out of hiding. Behind a neighboring mound, I heard Dagon yell furiously, the sound of his maul hitting home. Then I watched him fly by, thrown back twenty feet.
My elemental bellowed victoriously from the second floor, and I caught just enough to see it killed the fire giant. Then the dragon wreathed it in flames, and I watched my elemental disintegrate into ash.
Well, that frees me up a bit. One ally down, but I could now cast without concentrating on keeping the elemental bound to this plane.
I slid into cover beside the heaving Yaup. He was covered in burns, but his eyes never lost focus.
“Bait them?” I asked the half-orc, indicating a mound in the distance.
The cleric of Kord knew no fear. With a cry, he barreled across the room, drawing enemy attention like a beacon.
I stepped out into view and glanced up at the space above the platform. I began uttering the familiar spell that had drawn the wrath of the last dragon I faced on the battlements of Illium. Dark storm clouds materialized over the red dragon. I had just enough time to call down a crackling bolt of lighting before the dragon swung his head around and sucked in his breath.
A thundering boom split the air. Grinning arrogantly, I didn’t notice the giant that crept up behind me and knocked me out cold. In brief moments of clarity, I glimpsed parts of what transpired. I was held, leaning against a sweltering leg, on top of the platform. The giant. Then blackness. I came to again quickly, and could faintly hear the sound of an unfamiliar man speaking. Maziel answered. I caught the fuzzy outline of my friends lined up in front of me, before the dragon. Then I was out again for another few seconds.
When I came around a third time, I caught the gist of the conversation. Truce? The notion filled me with fury. I glanced up vaguely, and found my storm was fading. I concentrated, letting it billow back up to full strength.
“Do you agree?” The man asked from behind the mask.
“Not a chance!” I shouted, and called down a lighting bolt between us. The boom was deafening, and the blast knocked all but the giants back. I sprawled across the platform, and the dragon glanced down at me. For the first time, I noticed the clouded white eyes.
Is he controlled? It was the only thought I had before I shifted into a tiger and barely avoided the snapping teeth. I bolted back into the maze of treasure.
“TAELIM!” I could hear Maziel swearing my name. Part of me wanted to think there was concern in the cry. That or annoyance for ruining the parley.
Combat resumed with a vengeance.
Ducking between gold hills, I called down lightning bolt after lightning bolt. The mage, who had spent the majority of his concentration on casting and countering spells with Klotonk, finally faltered. Lightning crisped his form, and that was all the time we needed. An arrow from Maziel took the mage in the chest, and Klotonk quickly finished him with an icy blast of arcane magic.
The mage toppled.
Immediately, the fire giants spun around.
The dragon roared, wrestling violently against his chains. One of the fire giants lunged for the mage, taking him into his arms. Both giants then ran from the room as I continued to call lightning down on them. We didn’t chase.
When they were gone, the room fell silent. The red dragon stared down at us, the golden orbs of his furious gaze focused on us. In two movements, his powerful limbs broke the chains that bound him to the platform. Soundlessly, smoke drifted from his nostrils as we just gaped, unmoving.
With a boom, he dropped lazily to his belly, shaking the room. Treasure crashed in the distance, pieces spilling to the floor before eventually stilling.
“I’ll kill the rest of them later,” the dragon said in a deep voice, his golden eyes darting to the doorway the giants ran through. He turned back to us. “I’d normally kill trespassers, but it just so happens you killed my keeper. Name your boon, then begone from here before I kill you too.”
Only now did we all glance around at each, mouths still open, bodies heaving with exhaustion. We quickly explained our goal, leaving out the intent to kill him. Turns out, the mage had commanded him to place the spell on Solstice. Who the mage was, we didn’t know. For now, all that mattered was that the dragon shattered the time loop.
We didn’t waste another day in Solstice. We only stopped to retrieve the Magus of Myth, and he brought us to Illium at once. Even he couldn’t hide his disbelief. We were alive, we had broken a century old spell, and we were going home. That was the start of a long needed rest.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Session 18

To be honest, I had forgotten we had a dragonborn captive. It wasn't until we reached the base of the volcano that Slicer started to protest ardently. Almost begging us to turn back.
"Crazy. All of you. Crazy. We can't kill the dragon. The dragon kill us!" The red dragonborn was tugging slowly against his restraints, desperate to head back to the jungle. To hide.
Yaup yanked Slicer's bonds, dragging him back beside the cleric like a bad dog. “Behave, dragonborn."
"Why is he still with us?" I asked Maziel in Elven. "He's a Tiamat worshiper, and we're going to kill a dragon."
"He knows the lay of the land," Maziel responded, eyes on the stone wall in the distance. She wiped her brow, feigning calm in this heat. It would only get worse.
"What do you know about the dragon, Slicer?" Maziel asked, switching back to Common.
Slicer gaped at the drow. "Can't kill a god."
I snorted. "Can't kill or won't?"
Slicer bared his sharp teeth in a peculiar smile. "Who wouldn't want to kill the king keeping us here? We slaves."
The group exchanged glances.
"If we untied you and returned your weapon, would you join us?" Maziel offered.
The dragonborn seemed to consider us seriously for a moment. "You think we can? Then what?"
I shrugged. "Kill it, break the curse, go home. In your case, freedom."
"Home? Out of Solstice?"
I nodded.
Slicer raised his shackled wrists.
Yaup turned to me, then to Maziel who nodded. With a sigh, he cut the dragonborn's bonds.
"Run, and we'll kill you." Dagon said with a grin, but there was no humor in his promise.
Together, we continued closer to the volcano. We traversed the dry cracked earth until we approached the stone wall of a fortress. We slunk out of sight and hunched beside a rock outcrop. Atop the ramparts we spotted movement. They were giants in steaming armor, their faces wreathed in manes of fire.
Maziel calmly considered this before announcing her answer. "Nope."
"I can climb it!" Cosmo chimed in.
"Nope," Barnaby mimicked Maziel's words.
"This can't be the only way in," Klotonk said, fanning his face.
"No," Slicer admitted. "Cavern pass. Somewhere close."
We all eyed the dragonborn distrustfully.
Maziel turned to me. "Taelim. Nature check."
"You mean commune with it?" I corrected smartly.
"Just do it. We'll keep watch."
With a huff, I dropped to the floor and closed my eyes. I felt cool droplets falling on my face, and knew Klotonk was casting gentle frost rays. I tried not to laugh as I focused. After a few minutes, the world nearby revealed itself to me. I swallowed hard, then collected myself before I reported my findings.
"There's a path," I said at last. "It leads into the center chamber...where there's a lake of lava. Dozens of other caverns beyond that, but I couldn't see much. Likely ruins or something."
Maziel chewed her lip in thought. “All right,” she said slowly. She gestured past the outcrop. “Lead the way.”
The underground entrance was hidden well. When we found it, the passage delved deep beneath the surface. We fooled ourselves into believing it might be cooler. It felt like an oven instead, and we continued to creep closer to the flames cooking us.
As expected, we exited beside the volcano’s base. We quickly discovered another route that opened up toward the heart of the volcano, then snuck our way through. The cavern was huge, from its high ceilings to the bubbling basin down below. The magma lake stewed at the bottom of our overlooking cliff, and stretched far into the distance. Lava poured from a fall in the volcano’s backside, and rivers spilled into dark tunnels at the cliff’s feet. In the center of the molten lake, an island rested all alone.
"Now what?" I said, wiping sweat off my face.
"We take the boat?" Cosmo offered.
"Oh sure, let's go find a boat. We can sink into the lava and die horribly, but--"
"No," Cosmo interrupted, standing at the edge and pointing. The kender directed our gaze down a winding path to the lake. There a metal boat floated lightly on the surface.
Reluctance was overruled by Klotonk’s curiosity. We followed the gnome along the path, as he babbled about the boat’s arcane possibilities.
"I'm not touching--" I started, but was cut short.
Dagon leaped into the boat and settled back comfortably. "Huh, I thought this would be hotter. It's actually kinda comfortable."
Annoyance crossed Maziel’s features. She turned to the rest of the group as if to caution us, but we were already scrambling into the boat. She uttered a curse, and hesitantly climbed aboard the vessel.
Yaup's overenthusiastic muscles seemed to deflate when he realized there were no oars in sight.
"How do we go?" Dagon demanded, leaning dangerously over the side of the boat.
Klotonk put his head in his hands thoughtfully, muttering aloud. "Definitely magic. But what school? Perhaps if we I wonder if--"
"Go forward boat!" Dagon stomped his boot.
It obeyed with a lurch, to everyone’s surprise.
"Huh..." was all Klo managed.
We glided forward in silence. The occasional magma bubble popped with a hiss as we continued, unaffected over the molten lake.
"Is that a man?" Cosmo blurted, drawing our eyes to the lone figure on the island ahead. "Boat! Boat, go to the man!"
We veered slightly, and drifted close to the shore. There was indeed a man of stone, an expression of fear preserved on his face. He wasn't carved, but petrified.
"What do we do with him?" I asked, studying the stone instruments at the man’s side. He seemed like a bard. Was a bard.
"Nod our respects and move on." Maziel replied, arms folded across her chest. She was focused on the structure ahead, built into the stone itself. No one opposed her, partly because it was already a tight fit on an already questionable vessel.
"Boat, go that way" Maziel pointed her gloved finger. We glided forward, and I took one last look at the figure who didn't belong here.
The boat landed ashore, and even I was grateful to be on solid ground, however hot the earth was beneath our boots. I peered up at the multi-story stone archways that delved deeper into the volcano. We moved inside, pushing past the double doors, funneled by the near freezing in comparison hall. We quickly grasped where we were. A crypt.
Even if the lava lake was right outside those walls, behind these doors, coldness dwelled. I tried not to think about what might be causing it as we continued along the long, empty hall.
Soundlessly we pressed on, eventually stopping at the intimidating barrier before us. Inside the rectangular room, a massive door barred our way. It bore the symbol of Tiamat--the five-headed dragon.
At once Slicer dropped to one knee and folded his hands together, praying.
"Are you serious?" I questioned, hovering beside him.
"This is holy ground, half-elf! We must pay respects." The dragonborn snapped, returning to his reverence.
To my surprise, Klotonk joined Slicer, as obliging as ever. Even Maziel considered her options, then drew close in her own meditative way.
I could feel my blood boiling. Granted, I wasn't exactly a lover of Tiamat. Her dragons and cultists tried to take away the most precious thing in my life. Illium. There were hundreds of casualties on the day we returned to save my city. Tiamat accomplished one thing with certainty, she had made an enemy out of me.
"You're all kidding me right?" I growled, stomping toward the door. "Screw prayers toward Tiamat! She's not getting shit from me!" With that, I booted the door in an attempt to kick it open.
I was met with a fiery blast that sent me tumbling back, boot smoldering. I cursed in every language I knew before staggering to my feet and facing the door head on.
"Try your best," I dared it.
The acid splash came next, drawing another string of profanities from my mouth. Maziel called my name and tried to approach.
"DON'T YOU DARE!" I warned, forcing the drow to stay put, mouth ajar. As far as I could tell, the door hadn't bothered them. Also, I was pissed, locked into apparent combat with a magic door.
Following my middle finger, icy shards almost impaled me. I savagely crushed the ones that scratched me in a dozen places.
"Taelim, you're being ridiculous!" Maziel called, but didn’t approach. No one did, not while I goaded the door.
Then came the electricity, dropping me to my knees. I was shaking, whether from fury or exhaustion, I couldn't tell.
"Pray, half-elf." Was all Slicer said.
I cursed his mother in druidic. In a daze, I wracked my brain for what dragon ability was left. Admittedly, I recalled it with fear: poison.
"Pray to Tiamat!" Someone or something said.
I smiled darkly and refused. "Death first."
The space exploded into poisonous fumes, but I was already gone. In that instant, Mug, the cat with a crazed grin, appeared in front of me.
"And I thought I was crazy!" Mug chuckled before he teleported us to the other side of the door.
I slouched against the wall with a sigh. The door swung open, and  my friends barreled across a blessedly empty room.
Maziel grabbed me by the collar. "That was stupid!"
I snickered and turned my gaze away, grunting something unintelligible that might have been, "Don't tell Feeps."
Nothing more was said on the matter, primarily because I ignored the ensuing stares and comments. All we could do was move on.

By now we had worked our way up another flight of steps. We passed preparations rooms for the dead, alongside collapsed tombs. There were halls of alcoves bearing the bones of the long dead. All Tiamat followers.
It didn’t take long to realize the crypt led nowhere. Still, it wasn’t an invaluable use of time--to some of us. Cosmo and Dagon bolted off to loot. The rest of us waited, overlooking the lake from the crypt veranda.
"I'm thinking we head down the river beyond the lake. That passage seemed promising." Maizel said to the rest of us, formulating a plan.
"We find the treasure horde, we find the dragon!" Yaup said, raising a fist as if already imagining glorious battle.
"Palace has gold. All his offerings. The drow is right. That is the way." Slicer said in a low voice, finally seeming to grasp we were doing this.
As if Maziel had been keeping time in her head, she called out to where Dagon and Cosmo had gone. The kender returned first, grinning. But not the dwarf. Maziel tried again.
I could see Maziel's annoyance in her posture. She was probably considering leaving him. Then, a cool breeze blew over us. Cold and unfriendly. Laughter echoed down the halls, a chorus of it.
Boots thundered from the blackness and we all braced for what was coming.
Dagon slid to a halt, panting. "Hey, guys. I'm all done. Let's go!"
We didn't budge, and the icy presence grew stronger, laughter echoing. A shimmering form materialized behind Dagon, and soon we were encircled. They pointed at the dwarf.
"This one has defiled our sacred ground!" They screamed, forcing us to draw closer together.
Our eyes fell on Dagon, who reddened and smiled innocently.
The dwarf shrugged and drew his maw. "Eh, let's kill them. They're supposed to be dead anyway."
The ghosts attacked, and utter chaos ensued. Our weapons cleaved through empty bodies, and our arrows passed through with seemingly no effect. Klotonk and I were forced to fire off spells dangerously close to our party. We tried and failed to duck away from shrieking apparitions that swiped into our bodies, hitting an unseen mark.
"What did you do!?" Maziel roared at Dagon, dodging out of a ghost’s reach. She fired a shot into the apparition, and it shuddered and disappeared. More materialized to fill its place.
"Nothing!" Dagon lied through a half-fast laugh.
"DAGON!" Half of the party demanded in unison.
"Some stupid amulet!"
I'm pretty sure I might have told Dagon to give it back, that's what the rest of the group was yelling. Only, I had frozen in place. Something grasped my body from within, holding tightly, and I couldn't do a thing about it.
"Taelim?" Klotonk glanced up at me, momentarily forgetting the heat of battle.
I wanted to answer him, to scream something was wrong. I couldn't talk, move, react. I was possessed. Soundlessly, I turned and headed away from the party, each step forcing me forward against my will.
I was drawn away from the crypt, out onto the veranda thanks to the presence within me. At once, the heat of the volcano hit me like a wall. Then I saw it. The lake of molten lava. Absolute fear seized me, but the ghost pushed me on.
Fight, Taelim. Fight it!
But I couldn't. It seemed to be laughing in my head despite every attempt to break free.
"Taelim!" The party was calling, suddenly fully aware of what was happening.
I swayed at the edge while the ghost chuckled somewhere within me.
Oh gods. No way.
Together we fell, splashing into the lava. I felt it release its hold, but it was too late for me to react. All I knew was agony.
Yaup called forth ceaseless protection spells in the name of Kord. They weren't enough to stop the pain of burning alive. They just kept the skin from sliding off my bones as I began to sink below the lava. I screamed and drowned and begged for it all to stop. Then I blacked out.
It was over almost as soon as it had begun. I awoke on the shore outside the crypt, and I could smell my burned clothes and skin. Even my magic-embellished armor had hardly survived.
"You're okay now," Klotonk was saying soothingly as I blinked up at him in a daze. There was a massive spectral hand floating behind him, fingers dripping with lava. Bigby I think he called it.  
I managed to sit up and take in the damage. I was in once piece, still shimmering with traces of magic barriers that made it so. Aside from portions of missing clothes and ugly burns, it was nothing that I couldn't mend with magic. Once I stopped trembling.
"The ghosts?" I uttered hoarsely.
"Gone," Dagon replied sheepishly. "I threw the amulet back..."
I nodded and lay back down wearily. Maizel motioned it was time to rest, and I whole-heartily agreed. I, for one, wasn’t about to move.
Worst vacation. Ever.