Dreamweaver Chapter 188
Deep City is never easy to live in. This place has been good to us but it’s amazing how many evil creatures live in the deep places of the world. Sitting on the edge of the Abyss chasm near one of the lower spokes we live under siege constantly from both the city walls, the gates, and even by the airy flow coming down the Abyss chasm itself that sounds like howling wind at night when the cool air is sinking back down.
I make some part time change teaching young adventurer’s at the school. That’s how I get most of my money lately because it’s too dangerous to do only adventuring work without taking breaks during the danger spikes during certain times of the year. This lets me cherry pick which jobs are the ones you can back from alive; and therefore, why I’m one of the few adventurer class people to survive to middle age. Most of them don’t survive when there’s monster swarms during the times of the year when the terrible danger spikes occur in surges.
Deep City is just like it sounds. One of the deepest places in the world and closest to those deep dark creatures that are so vile and vicious that the people on the surface of the world have no names for them yet; in part because most people hunted by them have never come back alive. Actually I wonder if it would be possible to live here without magic? We don’t have as much magic as some races do but we’re not doing so terrible after all.
I come into class early and place my books on the desk.
The students have already arrived and are looking up to me intently. It’s also the first day of class. Because its’ the first day of class they will all have a lot of questions most likely. These are all kids that are late teenagers wanting to be adventurers.
All the albino half-dwarf rabbitkins, full rabbitkins, and albino dwarves are in front of me. They look so small at this age. It must be hard for them to go out in the world, but part of my taking this job is to make a difference and help them train better.
For the record I’m also an albino dwarf too, but only my one grandmother had a small amount of rabbitkin blood in her so I can qualify on paper as a full dwarf. But that doesn’t matter much here since 70% of our population is albino because of our isolation from the surface and from the other dwarves; and crossbreeding with the rabbitkin even though we don’t admit that openly. I also try to treat the albino half-dwarf rabbitkins equally as the dwarves, since our cooperation with them depends on it. Anywhere else in the world I think it would be hard for us to maintain a balance like this.
“Welcome to class,” I greeted the students.
They all nod and bow deeply as students do in our schools with young eager innocent looking faces full of the excitement of adventuring still on them. At this point they probably don’t realize the full danger and how awful it is to give relatives the death notices. There’s mutual respect partly because our civilization has been forged under the concept of united we stand, divided we get massacred by underworld demons.
“So any topics for discussion for you to bring up? Or questions before we get started?” I asked the class after introducing myself.
“Sir, is it true you are a veteran adventurer and even have seniority over most the other veterans and the most battle experience?” a kid asked excitedly raising his hand. He’s way on the edge of his seat as well as a few others.
“Yeah it is, but even I have my limits you know. Sometimes I take breaks. And it’s hard to do that work even if you are good at it. This world is evil and I can only do so much so I’m semi-retired. I’m trying to use what time I’ve been given to help young people grow up now. I enjoy teaching you young people and hope to help you out if you work hard,” I said.
There’s a gasp in the crowd of students all sitting at their little desks around the room. Some of the girls squealed in delight. I’m not that handsome but even I have a little prestige by now.
“So it’s true!”
“I heard the story of your battle at the Chasm Bridge ten years ago!” another shouted.
“Yeah, yeah tell us about that!” a few others were saying variations along these lines.
“There’s a reason our teacher is famous!”
“I heard your title is Dark Slayer Kess’ahr!’ someone said and there were other comments too.
Ahh that was my adventuring nick name and I’m surprised the students know it, even if they know I’ve been an adventurer.
This happens a lot on the first day of class. There’s always some hero worship, but it will fade quickly when I actually make them start to work their asses off. In part it’s because nobody is as good as I am. But that’s not because I’m so good, it’s just I survived longer than others who got themselves killed by being reckless and greedy while I was patient and ever training daily without being naïve or stupid. Some of my survival also came down to good decisions on which days to not go out or worrying too much about how much money I was going to earn.
The wood blocks in back of my house are worn through deeply from thousands of martial arts hands blows going through them. Martial arts has been my focus for years and started that way because of not being able to afford gear when I was picking my jobs after deciding to be an adventurer. But most martial artists in this world can only survive by adding magic and mana to their blows.
Overall martial artists usually are another job or class and not their own class. Like you can find a martial artist soldier class or a martial artist adventurer class because martial arts adds freedom of not being tied down to one thing…as long as you have a small mana source. A lot of martial artists come from a mix of both soldier ancestry or soldier families, along with having a distant relative who was capable of magic. Thus, we don’t have a full mana core, but usually a few fragments of one in our body which didn’t fully form properly that we can learn to harness. And people that have mana core fragments and not mana cores themselves are very plentiful in this world.
If you think about it that’s the only way a martial artist could go against someone with a weapon and not have their hands cut off in the first fight with a sword user. And without mana edge coating on limbs, we’d quickly destroy our bones and joints going against other steel and iron weapons. This mana block coating enchantment is the lifeline for career martial artists! Without it they’d never survive sword specialists, even in training. I’m one of the lucky few that haven’t had any serious injuries because I’m always careful about training mana coat blocking enchantment over my limbs and body, to prevent injury in training and sparring.
So it’s normal that martial artists study this technique first, even before they study their actual martial arts.
“Me next please, please me! Let me do my question!” a cute midget rabbitkin girl said while bouncing in her seat to raise her hand. She’s kind of cute actually, but still underdeveloped.
But I’m actually horrified they let a small child like this in through the screening process. Good lord she looks like she’s only twelve years old. Who the hell is letting striplings become adventurers now days? I’m going to have a talk with the jobs committee one of these days. There are a whole bunch of them between 14 years old and 16 years old though. Not a single one of them could be over sixteen I’m sure.
I sighed. I guess part of that is because with so many dangers this city’s leaders often feel desperate. That’s probably why they let her through.
“I heard you killed a troll once single handedly with your bare hands. Is that true?” she asked.
Ahh I hate when that story comes up. It feels fake to claim it as my own.
“Well truthfully it was already wounded in a duel with a dark elf. I’d only done the last 10% of the damage and gotten lucky,” I said.
“Have you really seen a dark elf? How come most of the normal guards have never seen a dark elf?” someone asked.
“That’s because they are sneaky bastards, duh,” another student said.
“Dark elves are sneaky. They don’t like to be seen and travel only when hiding and stuff,” I said.
“Ahh, so modest,” another girl said.
“Sensei, are you married? someone asked, obviously it was a girl asking.
“Sorry but yes, I have two wives. Neither of them will let me have anyone else brought into the clan so don’t get any ideas. Also a good teacher doesn’t look at his students for dating unless it’s like some crazy end of the world thing where no one else is available,” I apologized.
Several girls groaned.
Our society is really competitive for having stiff competition for dating someone who can take care of a family and survive. A lot of men die young in the army and there are a lot of widows to the point of some of the ladies have even decided to help out in fighting to keep our city alive.
“Me next please!” someone begged.
I nodded for them to go ahead.
“How come we can survive underground anyway? I’ve always wondered why there’s oxygen below ground like there is. When you listen to scientists they say it shouldn’t be possible,” an alchemy student asked.
Someone usually asks this at least once per year too. And it’s always the alchemy students that think of it first. There are plenty of logical explanations for this.
“Good question. For starters have you ever heard of Yggdrasil the world tree and the creation of this world?” I asked.
“Yes, but that’s a myth,” a short (even for a dwarf) kid asked. He looks kind of like a doubter.
I shook my head. “Yggdrasil isn’t a myth. Its roots stretch throughout this whole world running the entire length of this world from one of the poles where it grows. Picture it, roots that run under both crusts and go all over everywhere with thousands of roots thicker than houses even, stretching over entire continents and oceans while the tree itself is somehow the only tree that thrives in an arctic climate. And they say some of the roots even stretch down to the deep magma pockets in the Earth and carry warmth to the top of the tree, somehow enabling to live in the cold without freezing or burning both. Scientists also claim this is also a magic terraforming system.”
A lot of them were delighted to hear that last part, even though I can’t prove it.
“Ahh, but I digress in a tangent. As you know certain types of bacteria interact positively with tree roots and the surrounding earth to cultivate good healthy soil. In the case of Yggdrasil it’s a holy, sacred tree created by the Gods. At some point the dwarven creator made a bargain with the Lord of air, and with the Lord of plants to have the world tree permeate the many lava tubes and caverns under the first crust to enable dwarves to live underground and harvest the riches and minerals under the surface. Also this world having two crusts means many hundreds of air pockets, air tubes, and tunnels pock marking the layer between the two crusts in which the dwarves live in, always fighting evil to stay down here,” I explained.
“I heard the surface dwarves have a different version than that,” some girl asked. She looked like a white mage girl, which are super rare. Most of the other races don’t have white mages anymore because the demons tried to make them extinct through a mana sickness and a big war they sent throughout the world a few centuries ago. Our people still have them and we guard them jealously in secret. Even the ones that are left have very little power compared to olden days of long ago.
“Well that’s true too. The surface dwarf version tells that the lord of plants betrayed us and cursed our posterity to not get along with elves and other plant and nature loving races. Regardless of which version is true, we believe the Yggdrasil system circulates air even in these lower world deep caverns and other places. I don’t know if that’s true or not. But it’s not cited in our scriptures as we’ve been led to believe so I can’t really acknowledge that yet. We can call it an unrevealed mystery for now. Also a lot of people omit the part that we were being charged rent for our rights to the underground and when one of the dwarven sub-races refused to pay rent then the Demon Lord acting as agent of the contracting jealous god unleashed the first demons into the world to ‘repo’ our land,” I said.
“That’s not how my dad describes it,” one of the half-rabbitkins said.
“Well maybe your dad got it wrong,” I said making the kid sting emotionally.
“I don’t know. My dad is pretty smart,” he said smugly.
“Well our teacher is a veteran and he knows his stuff. Maybe your dad is wrong,” another said.
Ahh well…I don’t like stating it that way but this is life and death. Plus if they act on wrong information they are in trouble.
I resist cringing. This happens too. Because there are two races together trying to survive in this city both the dwarves and the half-rabbitkins have their own creation myths. Sometimes they clash. I don’t even know why we’re talking about creation myths now. Don’t they have something better to ask about like fighting and survival?
I only meant to answer the oxygen question.
“So what about the part of demons sealed deep beneath the earth? Is that myth true or not?” another kid asked.
“That might be true. I’ve seen some strange things down here. There are many unexplainable things in this world,” I said.
More kids are astonished.
“So you have seen demons down here?” one asked with wide eyes. This kid’s one of the full rabbitkins.
“Yes, and that’s why we try to always do missions that get back within our city within a day. No camping or doing stupid stuff outside the gates. No bringing home trains of monsters either. If you let something follow you home it could kill your parents, brothers or sisters or neighbors,” I warned them. I wasn’t exaggerating either.
“So my dad said there’s another dwarven city above us somewhere and that the king doesn’t want us to know,” someone else asked. He’s already wearing thick leather clothes for armor…and is obviously rich to be able to do so. Not many people ever afford leather clothes in their whole lifetimes.
“Ahh is that true?” someone else asked.
“I heard that rumor too,” another said.
“Quiet, quiet, do you want me to talk or not?” I said to shut them up.
Within seconds they are all out bursting all kinds of nonsense about it. They get excited over this urban legend stuff. Well they are cute young students but they can be annoying and noisy sometimes.
“OK, teacher tell us,” the class leader said. He’s a stubborn kid that already had sway last year and the year before that is popular.
“OK, well we know there are all kinds of dwarves. We are descendents of deep dwarves and many of us mixed with rabbit kins, there are deep dwarves that aren’t mixed with deep dwarves and scientists say we’ve become so divergent from them as to be classified as a different dwarven subrace too; there’s also dark dwarves that are related to us by blood but differ in their views about law and violence, also we know about hill dwarves, mountain dwarves, and the clan-less. Rumors persist of the extinct ‘Great Ones’ that had built tons of machines and things and were great genius builders of things we can’t even comprehend too but nobody has ever heard of a city of them still in existence in over three millennia…” I started to say.
“Can you skip to the good part, we already know all about dwarven pride and all that. We hear about it all the time…” a rabbitkin said impatiently.
“At any rate, over a thousand years ago there was a great quake in this area. We don’t know what caused it. But the rumors are that we’d angered the creator of all dwarves for our greed and spitting upon and turning our backs on his religion. Then there were several white mages that were stoned alive until dead that represented the creator and were highly favored, which triggered a massive curse. This part is documented but the part about the cause of the quake isn’t. We can only trust what our leaders told us of their handwritten accounts that have been handed down from generations ago. At any rate the event of being punished by the dwarven creator god seems to come from around that time before it happened, during the same week several clans of homeless rabbitkin escaping the waste lands had asked for refugee outside the gates of the city pleading for help against the goblins. They were desperate enough to even plead their very lives and their daughters for us to marry while giving everything they had even the chance to be our soldiers. And what we didn’t know when our ancestors rejected them was that they’d plead the night before with the dwarven creator to save them in exchange for becoming his people with the dwarves and that he’d accepted.”
“And it seems their tearful arguments were enough to move even the dwarven creator god’s mithril heart. And thus when our ancestors rejected them our ancestors had gone against the creator’s will and incurred his judgments upon us. That led to a loss of protection and blessings, at a critical time when we were about to let the goblins kill them outside the city walls. The great cataclysm struck, punishing us for our wealth coveting and wicked gold seeking ways. It’s also believed that the same day the goblins hordes came to en mass kidnap and slaughter them outside our gates a sympathetic dwarven white mage cursed the city for turning our back on the needy…and that that was the cause of when the Great Quake occurred. The resulting devastation caused half of the city to sink below the earth slowly enough to not kill us but quick enough for half the city to be imprisoned and feel the despair of sinking to hell as it were, as we fell more than a mile below the earth to suffer for years struggling against the worst denizens of the under earth forever separated from our brethren and doomed to fight alone. And since then we’ve never been able to find our way back to the other half of the city,” I sighed.
“Wow, I wish my dad could tell it the way you tell it,” a rabbitkin girl said.
“Doesn’t he tell it the same way?” I said.
“He does but you make it sound wondrous and amazing,” she replied.
I hated that story…because of the number of friends I’d lost trying to prove it in fruitless expeditions going back to the dwarven city above. The problem with a story like that is people get curious about finding what half of the other city. Then deaths occur in stupid expeditions. But they liked hearing it from me and were hoping for more. But the pain of the lost expedition to find the surface that I’d been on never let me say much more than that.
The students were highly interested at that point and on the edges of their seats. They’d probably heard it a million times at home over the dinner table though. Sooner or later someone is going to ask…
A hand shot up.
“I heard you were on one of the expeditions that nearly got to the surface,” A girl with wide eyes said in shock.
Damn it. Someone always asks that.
“Errrk….” Slipped out of my mouth. This was a source of trauma that I didn’t like to talk about.
Other students nodded.
“Well…that’s a story I hate to relive. Ask me another time,” I said.
“Please! Please tell us! There has to be other dwarves still alive!” some kid said.
Ahh there it is. The hope of a lot of dwarves in this city is that our city isn’t the last of all dwarves. Most dwarves have this deep longing and hope that there are other dwarves out there somewhere thriving. Even the dark dwarves as you may remember them as; have this desire though they don’t like admitting it. Our city is so isolated and so deep underground that we know of no others alive. And we’ve been besieged by evil so long that we’ve not even met other races except for goblins, demons, imps, and dark elves. But dark elves are kind of rare actually but quite dangerous.
“Please tell us!” someone asked again.
“Well we never got to the surface. All I can say is we climbed up the Abyss Shaft. We were the hot shots and most genius skilled people of our day from this city when we set out to find it. It was a generation of skill cultivated so well that it was believed none were stronger in their youth than we were, nor as arrogant for that matter. We were so arrogant and believed that we could make it with no casualties; because of it we made poor decisions. We’d also forgotten we are down here as a punishment for being wickedly greedy and that’s part of why we’ll never escape this hell hole Abyss Shaft. We still weren’t all the way to the top but managed to get farther than any other group that’s gone before us. But we think we were probably about two thirds of the way up before we met Mog’ath the great mother spider of all spiders. The biggest, oldest, and most dangerous spider in the world lives at the other half of the Abyss Crevasse. A creature so evil and destructive that she’s brought this city to its knees twice in her long lifetime with only herself on her side,” I said.
You could hear a pin drop as the kids in their seats has sudden chills.
Yeah the parents sometimes forget to tell their kids about Mog’ath. They obviously don’t want to give the little tykes nightmares so…it gets left out. They tend to tell them when they reach the wicked rebellious teenage phase with saying things like, “if you don’t stop being wild and be good Mog’ath will get you!”
“Wow…” I heard someone say.
“I heard the story is that the last time she came down our city lost half its population fighting her,” one kid said.
“That’s true. It was in your great grandfather’s time, nearly two hundred years ago. She hasn’t come back since, but we’ve learned to make sure that we stay away from her nest and to never go near it,” I said.
“So she’s not just a myth? It’s true?” a kid asked.
“Saw her with my own eyes. She’s bigger than many houses in size,” I said.
A lot of them have their mouths hanging open.
“I heard anyone who sees her won’t live to tell about it,” one doubting kid said.
“That’s why I was the only one who made it back alive. She’s both fast and strong. Many times I thought she would strike me down. Then I realized she was probably trying to follow me back to know the city’s location and I dared not return. Instead I purposely went a different way to fool her, going in circles adding weeks to my return trip to try to lose her. I think that’s the only reason she spared me. She didn’t want to risk losing the one chance of finding her way back to our city, to munch on the beautiful red blood and guts she’d encountered previously. But somehow it’d been so long since she’d found her way here the last time that she’d forgotten how to get back here. If she ever finds her way back, we’re doomed…,” I said.
“So nobody has crossed that cavern in a long time huh?” Someone else asked.
“Pretty much…and hopefully nobody will anytime soon. Every expedition that way somehow ends up in tragedy. But we were lucky that when we did have our city fall into the abyss our adventuring magic system and other magic schools were able to survive somehow. We’ve even thrived a bit since then. But what you should understand is that we can’t live without cooperation and uniting against all the evil that besieges us constantly,” I said.
“Eto….sensei? How come if we fell into the abyss our money system never broke?” some kid asked with a puzzled expression.
“Pfff, silly question. All money systems of all countries and cities all over the world have a universal currency conversion and compatibility enchant linking them to make them stable. Because of it, it somehow keeps us from running out of money but it doesn’t let us create money from nothing either though unfortunately. Then there’s things like wallet enchants so people can put it in the bank and even still withdraw from the bank with some distance from the city,” I said sadly. That last part had been a dream of mine and a few alchemist coworkers that had proven unsuccessful.
That concept works as long as you don’t allow people to borrow more than they earn, or have negative balances.
“Oh…” the kid said. He went back to leaning back on his chair and acting like the goof that he was.
“So what happened with that goblin group that besieged us last week?” the doubting kid asked again.
“Well they couldn’t figure out the code to get past our ‘9 cave gates’ trap. They lost so many getting crunched and pushed off into the abyss that they gave up. We killed two hundred veteran goblins one time with that magic trap alone, not counting our crossbows,” I said.
“Don’t you worry they’ll get past that trap ever?” a girl asked.
“Actually I worry about that every day. I’m sure the city guards do too. We try to do our best and anticipate the day when that will happen. And when you have a family at home depending on you they don’t like that idea either. But pretending that day will never come is the worst thing we can ever do. If we stay alert we’ll be OK. If we don’t stay alert we will not. One time a particularly clever goblin shaman of the Horned Skull tribe almost got through that trap,” I said.
“My dad’s on the City Guard. He says the same thing,” one kid said.
“Yep, because that’s the doctrine taught to us by General Ironsides,” I said.
“Oooooh,” some of the students said in awe together.
General Ironsides had a lot of clout in this city because he was just really damn good at his job.
Oh that awesome awed look on their faces is why I like being a teacher. But I always feel bad too because there’s a constant reminder of our losses here. A lot of these kids are becoming adventurers even earlier than the previous year’s groups because we have a lot of orphans in this city that are being sponsored here to get a career early. That will then make their kids also orphans.
This is such a pain.
Suddenly there’s a knock on the door.
“Yes?” I called out.
The students instantly froze. They look like there at attention and sitting up straight because they all want a job. This is one of the adventurer’s guild messengers and they recognize him as he approaches me entering the classroom. He sees the students and looks over them while handing me an envelope.
“What’s this?” I asked.
He frowned. “Nothing good, I can assure you that at least. We think there’s something new prowling around the city gate. I’d like you to check it out with a squad is what I was told to say in place of the higher ups. There’s no delay on this. We need you to come with us right now.”
I glanced at the wax seal on the envelope. The wax seal is for authenticity.
Yep, it’s legit. This is a high priority coded message…even though he pretty much just told me what was going on. I don’t like when they just hand them to me in front of others, since they are supposed to be a damn secret.
I’m also experiencing pains near my mana core lately in addition to being sick and sleeping. Plus lately my nose bleeds have been getting worse.
I need to get the mana inhibiting shackles off fast. Or I think I’ll continue to get sicker and sicker until I die. My wrists right now are rubbed and scratched as raw as I can get them from trying to do anything I could to wiggle out of them short of making myself bleed…which would be suicidal while being stuck to Mallory.
Right now Mallory has been sleeping, even with me still resting against her back. The connection between us is still permanent somehow and I can’t pull out, though I can make moves similar to sex penetration in and out of her, but that would wake her up and it took a lot of that to get her to go to sleep.
Before then she’d taken care of our attackers.
There are things down here….terrible, disgusting, gross things that resemble furry cockroaches that are part demon. And that’s just to name a few of the things we’ve found down here and all of them are huge size even bigger than me in what seems like a black chasm from hell. I can’t stand it. Hugging and holding Mallory from behind has ironically become therapeutic and helped me from going nuts.
It’s not just the monsters but not having magic, and being partly blind. Well I can see in front of me but only a few feet ahead. The dark down here is way beyond the dark above. This is a type of darkness you can actually feel. I wonder how those little half-dwarf rabbit kins and albino dwarves can stand it.
Somehow while Mallory is resting I’m trying to desperately keep my cool.
An hour ago more of those weird bat mutant things…which aren’t really bats had attacked us in droves. She’d effortlessly killed a good twelve of them before driving them off. Then she had to find us a safe place to rest but I feel helpless and scared while Mallory is asleep. And the ones she killed, actually I thought they were killed but I think some of those were doing some kind of feign death maneuver. Animals aren’t supposed to be able to think up something like that on their own.
Even hot supercharged vampire girls have to rest. Mallory thankfully is a light sleeper but that means I can’t move much when she sleeps or I’ll make her mad.
I’d slept part of the time while she’s awake but now I’m awake and she’s not. Every cricket chirp or bug or feeling of anything going on at all freaks me out while I try to not wake her up. I’d learned that too. Vampires are cranky and edgy when you wake them up.
And did I mention crickets are bigger than cats down here? How do you sleep when that happens and they are crawling around various rocks?
It’s our second day down here since finding the gate to what looks and feels like a hidden dwarf city full of those little half dwarf rabbitkins, full rabbitkin, and their little inbred dwarf friends.
From what I can tell there’s a huge wall that is too obviously blocky and not natural that stretches around a perimeter bordering the Abyss like giant vertical shaft that stretches out above us. Further after mapping it out slowly it follows a hexagonal shape and even has a roof like defense structure for things trying to come over the wall from above so that flying varmints like we’d encountered earlier couldn’t sweep past it to attack those inside.
In regards to the dwarven patrols Mallory has managed to save us from getting spotted not less than a dozen times by the little albinos already. They can see in the dark somewhat but not nearly as far as she can, which is why it worked. She can do this with her stronger senses, our hiding and concealing ourselves better, and feeling their life forces with her abilities.
We felt the wall out slowly over the last couple of days dodging patrols and living guards on the walls to try to find out if there’s another way in or other things too that we haven’t conceived of but so far everything has been fruitless. It’s tricky to avoid them because the patrols are thorough and we’ve had to study their pattern of movements that is built to flush stuff out in clever herding hedge movements. And it would take something like a blacksmith or similar for us to have access to something that could shatter my shackles so we’re still stuck, even though sometimes Mallory has tried to bend and pry at the shackles without breaking my wrists.
From that we’d learned that they patrol both inside and outside the wall consistently every day both to keep the area safe…which doesn’t seem to be working and to keep predators from trying to damage or tunnel around the wall (which we’ve already seen attempts for already). There are wall and arrow slits in the thickly and intensely strong wall design near the tops and they even have hidden archer pots and mini towers designed to look like clefts in the rocks. The wall is devoid of weaknesses of any kind and they’ve even taken extreme pains to make the surface so smooth that something with monster strength like Mallory can’t climb the wall because of how smooth and slippery the glassy surface is.
Partly, their patrols going outside their wall were what helped us with this. While they ‘upstairs’ dwarves city that we’d come from is almost ‘high tech’ for a medieval magic society and golems with mage technology this group differs with a more rustic feel. There are sensations of magic too from within the wall from smaller low level magic users according to Mallory but I’ve not gotten that good at sensing magic that far. And these dwarves are using more home spun and a ‘home made’ feel to their leather clothes in they made their things and equipment.
There are a lot of differences we’ve studied and noticed between their architecture and weaponry armaments from their cousins ‘upstairs’ too. Their time down here has forced them to evolve more than they’d admit. Where the upstairs dwarves have traditional arms of a shield, a warhammer, and a spear, and maybe a backup dagger with emphasis on combating humanoids, these guys have different roles emphasizing teamwork against both humanoids and monsters consisting of several people being netters, a few acting as bait that can run fast and are coated in some kind of gel-slime to try to make enemy attacks slip over them or rebound instead of doing damage, and several guys that are stabbers with long slice and puncture modified spears, but also having some clever slim but long crossbow contraption that is also modified. In addition, they have two men each using huge body shields. In other words the shields are built extra big for large predators but because of it, it takes two dwarves each to maneuver and carry the thing, with 2 huge body shields supported by four dwarves. Their netters are also doing this strategy so there are four netters using two nets, and the rest of the squad being stabbers and shooters.
Mallory thought it was weird, but that’s coming from a vampire complaining about weirdness?
Somehow we have to get in. But they are clever, and even seem to have some defenses for things they can’t see, so we were forced back more than once nearly getting detected. And we can’t just march up to the door with Mallory and I permanently connected as if we’re one organism.
But them seeing me and Mallory like this will for sure cause harm to our welcome. Plus if they are like the dwarven cousins ‘upstairs’ then they will no doubt not want a bunch of humans hanging around. Already in studying their patrols we’ve seen that there aren’t any humans with them. Ever.
Damn it…I feel so weak. I’m supposed to stand guard but it’s like my strength is completely gone. Soon I won’t even be able to stay awake longer than about three or four hours at a time. And I have to be strong around Mallory or I’m toast.
I want to sleep.
The overlook where we’re resting gives us a good view of the one of the dwarves gates…it’s technically the strange 9 gate trap mechanism they have. Getting in that thing is deadly AND impossible.
I almost feel asleep again.
Oh wait…something is following the dwarven patrol that just left their city.
What is that thing?! That’s not a dwarf and…I’m not sure what it is but it’s really big and following them!