2021.10.18 00:57 Lazy-Personality4024 A Universe of Magic Chapter 33
Chris dragged himself out of the barracks, once outside, he saw Ayla had set up a small fire using some of the rotten furniture as fuel, and was snacking on some rations. Chris’ stomach growled, he had only one MRE and a few nutrient packs left, when he ran out, he would have to ask Ayla or Grudge if he could have some of their food. He knew Grudge had more than enough, in fact a few things had rotted since they left the orc camp, Grudge had packed so much. But the main problem wasn’t asking for food, no that he was alright with, the main problem was that he would have to take his helmet off to eat, and with another party member to worry about, he doubted he would have time to hide away unless everyone was asleep.
‘Maybe I should finally fess up and tell them what I am? But then they’ll wonder what else I’ve lied about, and I’ll have to tell them the truth about a whole bunch of stuff. Things might get even weirder if I tell them about Earth and humanity, well humans from where I’m from at least. No it’s best if I keep it a secret for now, at least until we are out of a life or death situation. We don’t need to lose trust in each other now of all places.’
Sitting down next to the small fire, Chris fished a nutrient pack out of his pack, and began to slurp on it.
“I told Grudge to let you sleep, apparently he decided otherwise.”, Ayla eyed the dwarf as he too took a seat next the fire and began to eat. Grudge simply shrugged with an innocent grin as he bit into what looked like an arrange someone had dyed purple, it held the same texture but not the color. At least not all the food here was the same as his.
“You seemed uncharacteristically tired, so I thought it best to let you sleep, but oh well.”
“I think that was because I was burning through mana for nearly an entire day.”, he said in between slurps.
Ayla took in a sharp breath, eyes going wide. “Right. I should have realized that from the start, it is dangerous to run out of mana, very dangerous. Luckily whatever spell or ability allows you to see the flow of mana stops when you run out or lose consciousness. Can you see mana now?”
“No, everything is back to normal thankfully.”
“Then it is as I said. But you must be very careful when using magic, some spells are like your ability, once you run out of mana or fall asleep, they stop or can’t be cast. Others like the detection spell I use when we make camp, only takes from the store of mana I imparted onto it upon its creation. But should I have had less mana than required, it would take the energy required for its creation from my life force, my soul. While your life force may recover over time, should it be drained completely, you will die, permanently.”
“What do you mean permanently?”, he wondered.
Ayla chewed and swallowed the last of her ration as she took time to formulate her response. “There are many ways to bring back the dead with magic. But if you truly wish to revive someone, you will need a mage specialized in healing magic with the knowledge and capability to cast an extremely rare and high-grade revival spell. Keep in mind you can easily revive the dead with necromancy, but then you would be an undead and not a living breathing person, and a mindless slave at that. However, the spell will only revive you if certain criteria are met: one your body must be whole or mostly whole, two you must have an adequate amount of blood, three your lungs must be able to take in air, so if they are filled with water, it won’t work, and fourth you must have died within a few minutes of the spell being cast. There are a few other smaller, death specific ones but those are the main criteria. And no, I do not know the spell in question, as handy as that would be.”, she explained.
“Should your soul be drained of its energy, and thus your life force be depleted. Then no matter the spell, you will never be able to be revived as a person once more. Necromancers can bring you back as undead but that’s about all you’ll ever be from then on.”
“But I should be good then, right? You said that my ability stopped consuming my mana when I slept right?”, Chris was concerned with how close he might have come to dying last night.
“Yes, you are fine. The fatigue you are feeling now is a result of that loss of mana, had your ability been draining your mana while you slept, then as said, we wouldn’t be speaking right now. Grudge would still be trying to wake you while I ate. A fate I do not wish to ever be, but for now you needn’t worry.”
“I really need to learn to turn that thing off at some point.”, Chris put his hands to his face, calming down.
“Are you well enough to travel? For some the fatigue from loss of mana is too great to bear, as you are inexperienced with magic, I do not want you pushing yourself needlessly.”, she asked.
“I can keep going. I once spent a week being hunted down with no rest, I can get past this easy.”, he said confidently, having calmed himself down.
“That is a story I would like to hear demoni, but not now, now we have a city to open!”, Grudge rubbed his hands together in glee.
“What about traps? I can’t see mana now so I can’t tell where the traps are anymore.”
“Don’t ya worry, those necklaces we found? Those were actually the pendants my grandpa talked of! I tested ‘em on a trap earlier, and it didn’t go off! Which means we can safely explore the city!”, Grudge was practically jumping with joy.
Ayla gave him an angry look. “You did what?! When did you try something so stupid?”
“When ya were sleeping. Don’t worry, I took precautions and checked to make sure the pendants held a similar rune as the trap. And made certain the trap itself wouldn’t kill me outright should it trigger.”, he put his hands up defensively while he talked, trying in vain to ward off the angry elf.
While Grudge had his hands up, Ayla summoned a wind spell and sent a small globe of air straight at his forehead. It thumped into his helmet with a metallic ding, sending him sprawling backwards.“OW! Why’d ya do that damnit!”
“Because you were, no you still are, a fool. While I don’t intend for either of you to follow every rule of mine, I would like if you at least attempted to respect them. And I said no experimenting with traps, unless it was Chris doing the deed, and I was nearby.”, she wagged a finger in his face.
Grudge coward back from her finger, afraid another spell was about to be sent his way. “Alright, alright! I understand! Just no more magic, please.”
Chris smiled. “I think that was the first time he has ever said please to you Ayla.”, he said.
“I do believe you are correct. Keep up that language dwarf, and I might just make an elf out of you yet.”, she mocked, using some of the first words they ever spoke to each other against him.
“Anything but that. Ya can’t swing a hammer to save yer life!”, the hint of a smile crept onto his face as he attempted not to show his amusement.
“Well then Grudge, since you so brazenly risked your life for those pendants. Do you mind sharing them before we go further? Invisible death traps are not something I enjoy dealing with.”, Ayla asked him, holding out her hand for a pendant.
“Me neither, I hate land mines. Been stuck in a field of them before, and it was not pleasant.”, Chris added.
Grudge handed a pendant to them each. “Land mines?”, he asked Chris.
Chris tucked the pendant into a pouch on his chest rig, the chain was too small it fit around his helmet. He assumed the pendant just had to be near the trap to prevent it from triggering, not around your neck. “They are like your rune traps, only a physical explosive. They come in many shapes and sizes, but ultimately, they are a weapon you bury underground that has a trigger or plate that sets them off when you step on them. There was this outpost that had gone silent, so we were sent to investigate whether it was destroyed or not. Come to find out they had been raided in the night and were unable to send messages to us anymore.”
“Well, they were raided a few more times, and got really tired of the Cithin’s bullshit. So, they used ALL of their landmines, they completely surrounded the outpost with the damn things. But we only found out when a guy named Grainger stepped on one. Thankfully the type he stepped on won’t detonate until you step off, so we were able to think up a plan to save him, basically just pull him off and dive to the ground really damn fast. He and the guy who pulled him both got sent flying, but weren’t killed. Then we had even more fun trying to get to them without setting off anymore mines.”
“Sound like ya had a real shite time.” Grudge was confused as to why Chris would have found that fun.
“Oh we did, I was being sarcastic. We eventually made our way through and gave the soldiers defending the outpost an earful. Then helped fend off another raid, and quickly took back what we said. Aside from there being literally no way back out without going through the mind field again, the idea was pretty sound. Cithin try to sneak up, and boom, no more Cithin. Well no more big Cithin, just a lot of little pieces.”, Chris gestured with his hands as he talked, making it look like rain falling down with his fingers.
“Even without magic, you people’s technology has converged onto similar ideas as us. To me that is fascinating, I wonder what else we share.”, Ayla thought, hand on her chin.
“Probably a lot, a stick is a stick, doesn’t matter if its wood or steel. So we probably have a lot of similar things that we have created to make life easier, we just use machines, while you use mana.”, Chris stood and stretched, arching his back and causing he vertebrate to pop.
“Fack, don’t do that, ya gonna make me sick.”, Grudge complained.
“What? Popping my back? Just wait until I you hear my neck and knuckles!”, Chris grinned, it seemed he had more ammunition to tease Grudge with.
“Now now, before you start making him gag, we do need him to open the door. If you please Grudge, I think it’s time we set off.”, Ayla said, stopping Chris from continuing to pop his joints.
“Hrmpf. I’m just the door man now, am I?”, he grumbled.
The trio walked over to the massive stone gate sealing off the city. Recalling where the opening rune was, Grudge placed his hands onto the door, and poured a little bit of mana into it. Like before, there was a click, and the ground rumbled with the sound of stone on stone, as the gate began to swing open.
Not knowing what they were about to face, Chris quickly pulled his rifle off his back, and brought it up into a ready position. As the gate rumbled ever further open, Chris was greeted with a spectacular site. While the area directly in front of the gate had a stone awning protecting it, past that he could see a gargantuan cavern, greater than any cave system on Earth. He couldn’t even see the far side clearly, everything on the other side was a blur from the immense distance. Not only that, but the roof of the cavern twinkled like the night sky, casting an eerie, yet beautiful light upon the dwarven city. At irregular intervals, massive stone pillars stretched up into the sky, connecting to the ceiling, and supporting the weight of the mountain above. Even still, Chris could see chunks taken out of the “night sky”, where pieces of the ceiling had broken loose, and crashed into the city below. More than a few buildings had structural cracks running along their foundations from the massive shock waves the debris must have made.
Nearly everything was made of stone, what wasn’t was made of a variety of metals. The architecture was straight boxy buildings with rigid angular depressions and protrusion, and ornate carvings and runes decorating the flatter surfaces. Pipes stuck out of buildings at odd points, some running underground, others disappearing into the distance. Eloquently carved statues of unknown dwarves flanked the boulevard leading to the mine. In between the statues, were lampposts, still functioning lampposts. Upon closer inspection, Chris could see what looked like crystals growing out of them. Apparently, the dwarves used the sky crystals on street level to, but after so long left unattended the lamps were in disrepair. As several of the crystal housings had burst as the crystals continued to grow, eventually causing the lamppost to take on the appearance of a large crystalline mace.
Chris and Ayla walked forward, out from underneath the stone awning, and gawked at the city, while Grudge closed the door. Walking up to them he asked, “Like what ya see? Nar’Urik is just the same, though not so large. The sky crystals add a certain beauty to it all.”, Grudge walked over to a lamppost that had fallen over from the weight of its crystal. Looking down at it, he inspected it for what Chris had no idea. Then he pulled out his warhammer and smashed the crystal to pieces.
“Gods Grudge, couldn’t you have warned me first!”, Ayla told him annoyed. She was still admiring the city when he shattered the crystal, causing her to practically jump out of her skin.
“Sorry points, but now that ya are looking, bring me yer lantern.”, he waved her over. “You to demoni.”
Chris and Ayla walked over and handed him their lantern cages. Grudge took them, and after judging several sizable pieces of crystal, placed the ones he deemed worthy inside the cages. Even broken shards as they were, they still gave off a considerable amount of light, but Chris noticed that Grudge was right about the quality of the cages. While the light was more than enough to see with in darker areas, it didn’t reach terribly far. Had the lanterns had focuses, then they could really light up the darkness. But for now, they would still be instrumental in exploring the decrepit city, Ayla wouldn’t need to use up her mana, and if Grudges torch was damaged, they had an alternate light source other than Chris.
“Right then, where to first?”, Grudge asked, putting his fists on his hips and squaring his shoulders as a goofy grin sprawled across his face.
“What do you mean?”, Ayla asked him.
“Yer in a dwarven city, with a dwarf! I might not know where anything is just yet, but I can read signs and runes better than either of ya. So we can check out a few places, maybe the High Chief’s household, or city armory, or even the library.”
“Dwarves have libraries?”, Chris asked.
“Aye, where do ya think we store all our blueprints and books. Do ya think we just write ‘em in stone?”
“Looking at the buildings, I’d honestly say yes if I didn’t know any better.”, Chris gestured to the ornate carvings on the building’s facades.
“If possible, I would like to go to the library. There may be valuable information hidden within.”, Ayla told them, leaving no room for alternatives.
“I thought ya would say that. If we don’t see any beasties, crawlies, or shades roaming about, ya alright if we head out after we find the library?”, Grudge asked, hoping to be allowed free reign of the city.
“If there is no danger then yes, I can take care of myself. And I doubt I could get either of you to help me in my search anyways. Chris can’t read any races language other than his, and you would just get bored and start wandering around looting things.”
Grudge smiled, “Ah, ya know me so well. Now let’s head down the road a bit, it will eventually link up with another major pathway, there should be signposts pointing the way from there.”, Grudge turned and marched on, his smile so large it looked about to fall off his face.
As they walked down the boulevard, Grudge’s smile began to dwindle, until finally being replaced by a sad frown. Chris noticed and decided to breach the subject, “You alright Grudge?”
“No. The city is truly dead, there is no sound of hammers, no scent of molten metal, or the sounds of dwarven cheer ringing out from the alehouses. The market stalls are filled with rotten remains of what was once fine goods, and the city is literally crumbling.”, he motioned to a large pile of rubble that used to be someone’s home, crushed underneath pieces of the ceiling.
“Be that as it may, it can be reclaimed, at worst rebuilt.”, Ayla told him, placing a hand on his shoulder.
“Aye, but who will? Better yet who would even want to? This city is legendary amongst dwarves, yet not a soul has tried to claim it. We have more than enough problems to deal with as is, we can’t afford to send out an entire clan’s worth of dwarves to retake the place.”, he said dejected, his shoulders drooping in sorrow.
“Grudge, let me tell you a story of the home of my best friend. When the war between my people and the Cithin first began, his home was attacked. Only his immediate family managed to flee to safety, the rest didn’t make it. For years the enemy occupied his home, until finally we pushed them back far enough to retake lost ground. A lot of people fought and died to retake it, but we took it in the end. When he was given permission to take leave, basically a mini vacation. He returned home, when he arrived, he was horrified and depressed at what he saw. His home, his memories, had been practically razed to the ground. But something he didn’t notice, something I did after talking about it for some time, was the hope that was buried in the ruble. People and families who escaped had also returned, and were rebuilding. They had nothing, they lived in makeshift shelters and ruins, but they continued to rebuild from the ground up. They cleared away the ruble, buried the dead, and rebuilt their home. He…he didn’t live to see it, but his home became a shining beacon of our perseverance. And I think Dwa’Mareck is the same way, you just need the right people, willing to hope and believe that they can rebuild, and before you know it, the city will be back. The sound of hammers, your strange obsession with molten metal and its smell will return, and laughter and cheer will come back. You just have to get the ball rolling.”, Chris nudged him on his other shoulder.
Grudge looked up at the towering demoni, and bumped his arm with his fist. “Aye, yer right. Dwa’Mareck will be revived, and if I have to do it I will, even if it’s the last thing I do in me life.”
Ayla listened to Chris’ tale; she felt his pain when he talked of his friend. She didn’t know much of his past, but she wondered just how much pain had he been dealt in his life. His family, his friends, his home, all were gone, only he remained. Just how much suffering could one man take? Feeling sorrow well up within her at his plight, she moved in-between Chris and Grudge, and placed a hand on either’s shoulder. “You are right Chris. Grudge, just have hope and put in a little work, and Dwa’Mareck will be back to its former glory.”
“And I will, that I swear. But not now, now I have an adventure to complete!”, his smiled returned, and in full force.
Grudges smile was infectious, as soon Chris and Ayla both found themselves grinning from ear to ear. They marched on down the decrepit pathway, further into the city, and into the unknown.
A shadowy figure stood atop a tall building, its form swirling and bending, trying to keep a humanoid shape. Its bright, glowing, red eyes scanned the city for the intruders. It was old, ancient by its kind’s standards, and this was its territory. None would trespass, none would live. It turned and faced the others of its kind, a sea of blue eyes looked back at it, awaiting its orders. “Hunt”, it’s voice raspy, as it seemed to echoed out from the ether. The mass of shades turned as one, and began the hunt, the intruders would not live to see tomorrow.
A voice whispered in the darkness. “The spiders were…unexpected, but now your final trial shall begin. Keep them safe child, you have lost much in your time. If you do not wish to lose more, you will have to fight hard. Use what you have learned since your arrival, use the power imparted upon you by the gods, and smite your foes with righteous furry. For the future holds much more pain, and if you wish to prevent the suffering of your friends, you must learn to use it to its full capacity.”
At last, the MC has charged up his ultimate attack and unleashed it! Except the villain got bored and went home, in fact it took so long he reflected on his nefarious deeds and decided to give up being a villain. He now has a regular 9 to 5 job, a wife and two kids, and a nice house in a suburb near a good school.
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2021.10.18 00:57 MnemosyneAgiad she is not my child
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2021.10.18 00:57 Phenom_Mv3 Aluminium foil on the outside of bedroom window to block out sunlight - safe?
See title. Windows are single pane, so they don’t do a very good job at keeping the UV out. I’ll eventually get some outdoor shutters, just a temporary solution.
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2021.10.18 00:57 pinkman_101 Which is the best college among these 3 for B.Com in DU?
2021.10.18 00:57 AndresMaza2309 Normally 110% of civ progress
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2021.10.18 00:57 faceless_ontour Elon musk commenting under a video from ice-t promoting Shib😱
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2021.10.18 00:57 Infinalt 15m dm for snapq
2021.10.18 00:57 Economy-Value-1679 Bought this pothos for my fiancé four years ago as a housewarming gift!
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2021.10.18 00:57 Flimsy_Wafer A4 players what is the most difficult defense to play against in your perspective?
Personally i find Qb4 to be extremely hard to play against. It gets really sharp and dangerous after few blunders. I think its a great defense to learn and play if you're not at the young elo level. I'm 166060 tho on chess.c*m and will always struggle to find a way to play around Qb4.
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2021.10.18 00:57 hovdeisfunny Just Elgton Jenkins screaming
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2021.10.18 00:57 itsalwayssunflowers Ready for Halloween
"Hey mom, hey dad, I um, I saved the city again today, I think you would have been really proud. - Bruce Wayne" - Lego Batman
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2021.10.18 00:57 elledesigner Holy Emotions
Hi everyone! I am 2dp3dt and omg these emotions are killing me. I am up and down and feel super crazy. I am also the most tired I have ever been in my life and have a lot of cramping. Has anyone else experienced these things?
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2021.10.18 00:57 ZoolShop Samsung Galaxy S22 leak reveals more about the smartphone's design
2021.10.18 00:57 smoky20135 Sam got upgraded from his 10 gallon to a 29 gallon today! Still in the process of trapping all of the snails and moving them over too.
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2021.10.18 00:57 Ok_Present_6508 Eat da wasps!
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2021.10.18 00:57 FirstCommentDumb posting bad (OC) memes about poo until I get bored/forget: day 11
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2021.10.18 00:57 Winter_Ad_9932 First hike went great!
2021.10.18 00:57 Hiredmerc34 Someone's flexing their bots/accounts in w308 right now
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2021.10.18 00:57 fantasticpotatobeard Harry Taylor returning to Geelong to join football department
2021.10.18 00:57 Jazthegreat1 Need help looking for a specific gacha game!
So my friend started this gacha game that only has male characters in it and she won't tell me what it is!
Apparently it's card based with a rarerity system. Has a story, no pvp for now. I believe it's turn based, and lastly it is on global as well but with Japanese speaking characters. But the most intriguing part is that for characters you've pulled, you can interact with them by pressing specific parts of their body!? I'm trying to get more clues but for now this all i know. PLS HELP!
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2021.10.18 00:57 HarryRichard2069 Anissa
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2021.10.18 00:57 shiveringwisdom Aspiration apparently at not what they seem - even lending to the fossil fuel industry according to financial statements
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2021.10.18 00:57 TwoTimeToj '_'
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2021.10.18 00:57 throwaway132575 [18M] Looking for a friend please!
Heyy, well I’m looking for friends again, hopefully long term. I’m open about my situation, I’m friendless and I know sometimes it doesn’t work in the best way possible, but I’ve learnt to be positive and to save my tears for another day, I’d recommend everyone to do the same. So in the case you find yourself in the same situation, I think you have all the more reasons to message!
My interests are: reading, I love fantasy; listening to music, genres that go from classical to classic rocks to pop; playing video games, fortnite on ps4, Minecraft, EU4, and CK2 on pc. I also speak three languages, and I have some lovely pets.
It would be really interesting if we could build up to voice call, in my opinion voice calling is great to get to know the other person, not as bland as texting is.
Please when you messaged me just tell me your age and gender. Anyone is welcome.
I’m a really fast replier, you’ll be surprised for real, so try me, many people tell me this 🤣🤣. You can send me your discord if you want me to add you right away. Thank you, and hope to see you there.
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2021.10.18 00:57 MosinCultist What do you think about this for paintball?
I used to play airsoft and I have alot of Russian camo gear I used to wear. Would something like this be weird to wear to a paintball field..?
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