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A note from The Walrus King

Holidays are winding down and I can get back to writing. Milo will be back to getting into trouble on a more regular basis. 

The stone platform leading to his Arcane Library would never fail to cause Milo quite a bit of anxiety. The small 10'x10' area of flagstones was suspended in space with nothing around it except the arched doorway. Where ever the rest of the building was, it wasn't here. Milo liked having a roof above his head. The expanse of stars in the black sky bothered him.

Not looking to the either side to avoid an attack of vertigo, he moved to the door. Movement in the distance made him pause.

Something huge was flying past, gliding on immense wings. If he had to categorize it, it resembled a gigantic white bat with a long thick tail trailing behind it. He felt mesmerized as it turned in a slow circle around his doorstep, several hundred yards away. Then it turned and dived down out of sight. Fear of open spaces forgotten, he started to crawl towards the edge of the platform to look down. The part of his brain that always double checked his mechanical creations flared to life and cast Bone Whip. The long skeletal tail grasped the handle of the door and anchored him to the platform.

Peering over the edge told Milo that the platform was only six inches thick and supported by nothing. Nothing was also what he saw below him. A blackness that stretched forever. If he used a parachute and took along a backpack full of cheese, how long would he fall? Was there something down there eventually? Or would he have to just log out when he ran out of food or got bored? Maybe it would be best to take along poison. Would he respawn normally? He'd ask Cichol. Maybe the old man knew something.

He crawled back from the ledge, and turned around to go into his library. And froze. Time seemed to stop but he could feel his heart beating like a trip hammer. It was here!

The immense creature was perched on top of the archway leading to his library. One gigantic, six-toed foot was grasping the top of the arch, the other had no room and instead gripped its own ankle. He had been wrong about it being a bat, very wrong.

What had looked like a set of wings were in fact two sets. The second set of wings emerged down the torso from the first. The head resembled a sabretooth tiger, with massive canines set in its mouth. Two sets of eyes stared at Milo and he couldn't move. The creature was almost entirely covered by thin bony plates that moved as it breathed, sliding over each other as its chest expanded and contracted like a set of alabaster lamellar. Where there was no bone, he saw light grey skin that looked like tough leather. The wings were made of the same. The long tail waved from side to side, resembling an extension of the things spine, made of vertebrae uncovered by skin. From clawed foot to the top of its head was at least fifty feet. Its wingspan was four times that.

The thing cocked its head and looked at him. A long tongue flipped out of its mouth and licked his body, leaving him wet with saliva and his nostrils filled with a musky scent. That broke his paralysis and he panicked and crawled backwards away from it, forgetting where he was in his terror. His grip on his door knob had been lost when he first looked up at the creature. There was no lifeline to hold him as his legs slipped off the platform. His hands slipped on the saliva, giving him no way to grip the edge. He tried to regain his tail-hold on the door, but he missed.

Milo fell into the void.

He screamed at first, but after a minute he regained control. There was nothing he could do. Screaming wouldn't save him. What did rescue him was a gigantic bone tail wrapping several times around his body. He found himself dragged behind the huge creature like the bow tied to the tail of a kite. Four huge, leathery wings beat in unison, as the creature swooped and soared.

Part of Milo enjoyed the ride, and part was paralyzed with fear. But the main part of his brain was staring at the bony tail that wrapped around him. It was amazingly jointed. What had at first looked like a spine turned out to be several layers of articulated bone parts that worked perfectly together.

He tried to close his eyes and just examine the bones with his magic. He was surprised how easy it was. Each piece of bone was magically infused and with runes inscribed. How much of the creature was made of this? It was obviously alive, and yet used bone to enhance itself. He struggled to understand the runes. Except for one small one, they were beyond his meagre learning. That one rune glowed in his mind, burning itself into his memory.

Volat-Repax feels your inquisitive mind. You are gifted with the Rune of Velocity.


A moment later Milo felt himself deposited on solid ground and opened his eyes. He saw a familiar door. Volat-Repax flapped his wings three times as he soared straight up and out of Milo's sight, his long tail stretched behind it. Shaking, he entered the Arcane Library and shut the door firmly behind him.

You have stared into the endless void and not gone insane. You have earned 500 EP in WIS.

You have been gifted the Rune of Velocity. You have gained 500 EP in Rune Lore and 500 EP in INT.

You have met Volat-Repax. Volat-Repax knows your scent and taste.

 

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The Walrus King

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  • The Walrus King

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