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07 November 2018 @ 08:20 am
  Heirs of Crown and Spear is free for 5 days.

07 November 2018 @ 08:46 am

Where the girls were looking around in dismay at three corridors.

Ryol popped out of the one on the left. “Not that one. It’s got a waterfall. I don’t remember a waterfall.”

We took a left turn . . . on this world? Which would be coming from the right.

Arno trotted over and jumped through. A rocky slope . . . and the gate was between boulders, and needed a U turn to get from the corridor to the gate.

Arno turned and jumped back through the corridor. “Not this one, so . . .” They all headed for the center corridor.

Jay and Or What stopped beside Arno, looking around.

“Are we already lost?” Or looked a little worried.

Arno shook his head. “Not yet, and there’s only seven more gates. We ought to be able to work it out.”

Jay grinned. “If we can all keep our heads? We really should get a head count, and maybe leave a few people behind to direct the slow pokes.”

Arno nodded. Good thinking. “And otherwise stick together, so they only gave to rescue one large group instead of, what? Twenty-five or thirty of us spread all over and running around in a panic?”

Jay laughed. “Right.” He looked over his shoulder. “Anro? Are you the last one?”

“Naw. They’re looking for their shoes. Which way’s Embassy?”

“That one. But will you stay here and send the rest through the right corridor?”

Anro wrinkled his nose, shrugged. “Sure.”

“Great!” Arno jumped through the corridor to yet another grass meadow, across to the gate and through ///2/// to a milling batch of siblings.

Five corridors? Yikes!

No sign of his sister. “Where’s Ryol?”

Lala looked around. “She’s scouting down that corridor.” She pointed to the right.

“All right. I’ll start on the left. We need a watcher on every corridor so we don’t get them mixed up.” Arno strode through the left most corridor, spotted the gate and jumped into a desert.

“We definitely didn’t come this way.” He trotted back to report.

Ryol had returned and said hers was possible, except she didn’t remember taking a hard right out of any of the corridors. Jay popped out of the one next to Arno and said it was possible, then Or What returned shaking his head.

Yrno stepped through the last corridor . . . Arno fidgeted . . . “He must be checking through the gate . . . I’ll take a quick look.”

The first thing he saw was the bear. Roaring and reaching up a tree. The second thing was Yrno, clinging desperately to the tree trunk, legs wrapped around a high branch. Screaming for help.

Arno stepped back through the corridor. “Any one have any way to deal with a bear? It’s got Yrno treed.” Everyone shook their heads, looking at each other.

Arno looked around, and picked up a couple of pebbles. I ought to have brought my pistol . . . no I shouldn’t. It’s not up to shooting bears, and it would have gotten tossed in the lake.

“Are you crazy?” Ogri stared at his handful of rocks.

“Umm, yes?” Arno looked around and pointed. “Maybe everyone should get through Jay’s corridor, in case it chases me?”

That started an exodus, and Arno stepped back through the corridor.

The bear was halfway up the tree.

Arno looked around, there had to be something . . . like the dark thing rustling around in the tall grass? He hefted a pebble and threw it hard. A started bawl. Arno dropped down behind a bush as the bear descended at speed and raced over to her cub.

Arno looked up at Yrno, who had at least had the sense to shut up. The bear stood up and stared at him, then dropped to all fours, turned and disappeared into the brush, two cubs galloping after her.

Yrno scrambled down through the branches and dropped from the lowest one. He sprinted for the corridor, with Arno close behind.

“Oh, man, I thought I was going to die!”

Arno grinned. “How did you get up that tree?”

“Fast!” He started laughing. “There might have been some levitation, but I think it was pure adrenaline.”

Arno led the way to Jay’s corridor, and across to the that gate///3/// and through. And spotted three sharp peaks on the horizon. “I remember that! Yay! Almost halfway home.”

Or What laughed. “Everyone, hold still! I think we need a head count. Ryol? Do you remember which girls came with us? I’ll count guys . . .”

Arno stretched to look around. The was Epic and Arwen. And the two guys with purple hair . . . he hadn’t actually realized there were three purple girls.

Including myself, all twelve of Master Xen’s bastard sons.

Ryol said that she thought all the girls who had come were present.

Only two corridors, one to a dark forest, so they trooped through the other and through that gate as well.///4///

The ground was soft, water saturated. Yeah, I remember this. He looked, pointed at the corridor with the wet trampled squishy path leading from it. The horde rushed it.

Arno swapped grins with Ryol. “I think they’re eager to get back to Embassy.”

She grinned wryly. “So am I. I hadn’t realized what a city girl I am. It never occurred to me that there were bound to be predatory animals out here.”

They walked through the corridor, then the gate.

“That’s five.” Ryol looked around. “Three corridors. No wonder they call this the Maze.” She headed left, Jay was going right, so Arno walked through the cautious crowd and hopped through the one straight ahead.

Recoiled from the on rushing . . . dog? Got sucked back through the corridor, and hastily backed away as the big animal jumped through, grinning and wagging his tail.

“Good dog?” He winced at the quaver in his voice. A glance through the corridor showed a horse and rider. Master Xen. Arno stepped out of the way and the horse trotted through.

Great huge dark chestnut. With no bridle at all.

The man looked relieved, and swept a quick look over the crowd. “More of you than I’d expected. Epic and Arwen, got your siblings, I see. And the purple contingent. All accounted for, Deliah?”

“Yes, sir. Umm, glad to see you, sir. We were sort of lost.”

Arno shook his head. “We were proceeding cautiously, being careful to retrace our steps.”