The Adventures of The Unknown
“The Astral Plane – Parts 1 & 2”
In a stone circle with Shanagra stood Alexander, Issic,
Hobsen, and the others. It was morning and the group had just awakened. The
ground was wet with dew and the birds were singing lightly. Hobsen was already
awake and cooking breakfast over a fire. Piper was gone; in his place was a
note. Shanagra stretched and read Piper's note.
Alexander approached Issic and asked, "Can you help me carry some of these books?"
"Morning, Alexander," said Issic.
"Morning, Issic. They are somewhat cumbersome for me, but for you I am sure they will be no problem."
"For a share of your share of the next treasure," said Issic.
"How much of one?"
"What say you to ten percent?"
"I guess that sounds fair," agreed Alexander. Issic took all twenty tomes. He looked at the titles as he packed the books. He saw The Illithiad by Asmus Anagoge of the Arcane Order; Illithids, Kith and Kin (Volumes I, II, and III) by Prinn Zaius; Technology of the Mind Flayers by Ehrlich III; The Illithid Quindecennial (Volumes I, II, III, IV, and V) by Florid Pythogenik; Apocalypse of Man, or, the Illithid Victory, by Groll; The Ilsensine Papers, collected by Matterate Phytosuccivore; The Illithid Quinary by Girandole; The Augean Worship of Ilsensine, by Marl Aquish; Mendacious Cults of the Illithidkin, by Vibrissa; Impeccable Captiousness in Underground Myths and Realities by Copro XIII; Steatopygic Thralls of the Illithids by Acaro Myso; Apocryphal History of the Mind Flayers, by Prinn Zaius; The Worlds Ruled by Illithids, by Glaaki; and The Rebellion of Gith, by Stercoraceous Monofagous.
Nearby, Vulmea groaned and woke up. Tormund rose and started strapping himself into his armor. "Good morning, sirs Issic, Manderkarr, and Hobsen," said the paladin.
Hobsen said, "Top o' th' mornin' to ya, sir!" Hobsen set food out for everyone on a white blanket.
"Thank you sir Hobsen, won't you be joining us?"
Shanagra read Piper's note, "Dear Friends, I have can to the realization that I am not fit to be around the living. Leave you guys hurts me, but I hurts me even more to hurt you. I'm no good at this stuff. I trust that you guys will destroy Dalby. I leave behind Shiney Trouble for you guys. Remember me the way I was before...Not now... and friends, when I am fit to be around the living , I will return. I hope. Until then take care, and please do not get yourselves killed. Sincerely, Piper the phoenix, the Troublefinder, the thing.
"Great," said Manderkarr. "We loosed another monster on the country side."
Shanagra handed Issic Shiney Trouble, Piper's dagger. The druid then sat down and began eating. Vulmea sat down next to him. Alexander took the baby from Flower and fed the child as he ate. The food was not bad. Hobsen walked around and waited on them all while they ate.
"Sir Hobsen, Will you not eat?" asked Tormund.
"I ate as I cooked, Tormund."
"I see. Thank you for this meal."
Shanagra cocked his head to one side, and then got up and left the circle of stones.
"Where you off to, druid?" asked Manderkarr. The druid motioned for silence and disappeared into the woods. Shanagra returned with a person in a cloak. It was a young human female, about 16 years in age, with a definite Oriental look about her. Flower glared at Shanagra, hurt. She turned away from the druid. Shanagra gave Flower a strange look in return and shook his head.
"Greetings, M'lady," said Tormund.
"Friends," said Shanagra, "Meet Hanako, a friend of mine."
Tormund bowed again, "Hello, M'Lady, Hanako."
Alexander looked up from the baby and said, "Greetings!"
"She will be joining us in our search for Elah," said Shanagra, "And on our quest to destroy Richard Dalby."
"Greetings, Sirs," Hanako said, bowing as all people from her land do, arms at her sides, not looking at the group.
"Greetings, Hanako," said Issic. "Shanagra, you sure do got a mess of friends." Hanako was a bit frightened by his appearance, but had already been forewarned by Shanagra as to his nature.
"Are we ready to find Elah?" asked the fiery eyed Druid.
"We have been ready," said Alexander. "We just have no way to find out where to start looking for him."
"Who is Elah?" asked Tormund.
Flower rose above the ground slightly, "Elah taught me to believe in myself and others."
"I see, Thank you. I know little about the elves. With General Saud's invasion of Silvergate my teachings were not completed."
"Damn the son of Ares," cursed Alexander.
"Which way do we start, Shanagra?" asked Issic.
Hanako asked, "Elf? I am not familiar with this word."
"An elf..." said Shanagra, pointing at Flower.
Alexander said, "Elves rare creatures that keep to themselves and tend to not help other. Even when they are in need. Elah is an exception to the rule of course. And Flower."
"Thank you, I shall remember that."
"What use is this one, Shanagra?" asked Manderkarr. Shanagra just smiled, then, his eyes glowing, raised his arms and began an invocation to nature. "I call now upon the Earth, far plains and lofty mountains, for power and strength to my spell, as I call in summoning. I call now upon the waters, broad lakes, ever moving streams, and the boundless ocean, for power and strength to my spell, as I call in summoning. I call now upon the skies, the far reaches of infinite spaces, and the far Wheel of Eternity, for power and strength to my spell, as I call in summoning. I call now upon the deep fires that burn in the core of Inzeladun at one with the energies of Life itself for power and strength to my spell, as I call in summoning. Reaching far into the archaic past, I draw forth these elements for that to which my spell shall be cast. Here shall be woven Chance, Fortune, and Fate that my deepest wish may be swiftly attained.
"Into these stones, I direct great powers! Power drawn from within me, and power called from those spiritual forces which are at work around me. Oh wide ruling powers mark well what I have done here and work to make it manifest, So shall it be! I call upon you, O beings of Nature..."
All around them, the sky was churning, and the wind howled, and the clouds darkened overhead. Shanagra continued to cast his spell. "Of plains and Mountains, of Oceans and Lakes, of far Deserts, and distant Tundra. Of the heart of the planet itself. Mark well what I have done here and work to make it manifest! So shall it be! I place my petition before you, Oh Inzeladun, giver of all life, And Sky, thou who art infinite and eternal. May you lend strength and power to this, my spell! SO SHALL IT BE!"
With a loud KABOOM! Lightning struck the stones, all of them at the same time.
"Silver Tree protect us all," murmured Tormund, uncomfortable at the druidic spell casting. Darkness extended outward from the stones and engulfed them all. Flower didn't breathe. Then they all appeared on a rock. Around them stretched all of infinity. The color of Infinity is like the glistening dampness of a dew-covered spider's web. This silvery space was punctuated by what looked like large stars. These points of randomly scattered lights filled the glistening sky, which stretched above, below and all around. It is deafeningly silent, and disturbingly still. Each of them noticed a thin silver cord leaving their bodies and fading away in the distance. They also noticed, that except for Tormund, Alexander, and Manderkarr, they were completely nude. Vulmea carried his sword, but was otherwise naked.
"Where are we?" asked Alexander. "Athena protect us."
"Oh Great Silver Tree," whispered Tormund.
"what have you done, Shanagra?" asked Issic.
"Its beautiful," said Hanako.
The only thing moving was a long, spectral tube winding out of sight in either direction. It vibrated, pitched, and whipped about as if responding to an unseen, unfelt wind. At this point, many of the group panicked when they realized they could not breathe, that there was no atmosphere. The panic subsided when each realized they were not dying.
Shanagra said, "We are Astral."
"Why?" asked Alexander.
"Because Larbius maintains a fortress on the Astral, and this is where he took Elah."
"Why are some of us naked?" asked Alexander. He noted that he was dressed strangely; he was dressed much like he imagined Athena might dress. He even had a shield with a medusa head upon it.
"Because our clothes are not really part of us," said Shanagra. "Manderkarr and Tormund strongly identify with their armor and weapons, so their armor carried into the astral with them, but for the rest of us they are mere trappings, and so did not pass into the astral."
"What's with the rope? Shall I cut it?" asked Manderkarr.
"Not unless you don't like yourself, dwarf," said Alexander.
"Cut not the cord, or thou shalt perish," said Shanagra. "'Tis your lifeline." Issic moved away from everyone else so they might not accidentally harm his line.
"This is very different from what I have heard," said Alexander.
Shanagra explained, "Time does not exist here. We shall not get hungry, age, nor shall sickness or poison affect us. Until we leave, then all shall catch up to us. Also, there is no physical healing here. If you get hurt, magic is the only way to heal."
"Then we will age when we return?" asked Alexander.
"Who is Larbius?" asked Tormund.
"A Devil," said Shanagra.
"It feels similar to the meditative practices I've done in training, only much more intense," said Hanako.
"Are we there yet, druid?" asked Manderkarr. "This is unnerving."
"No. I did not want to bring us directly to the citadel."
"Are we strong enough to defeat this demon?" asked Tormund.
Manderkarr tugged on his silver cord. "How can we fight with ropes that kill us tied to us?"
"Very carefully. It is harder to cut than you think." Shanagra pulled out his magic scimitar and crashed it down on his own cord. The silver cord vibrated, but that is all.
"I am ready, lord Shanagra," said Tormund.
Shanagra leapt off of the rock and floated gracefully away. "Come along then!"
Alexander handed the baby to Flower, saying, "Take care of it when I cannot." then followed Shanagra.
Flower followed, shouting, "It's MY baby!"
"It is neither yours or mine," said Alexander, taking out his short sword and, from his back, his shield.
One by one, the party leapt off the rock to float within infinity.
"Shanagra?" asked Alexander, "what happened to Garnoth's body? Should we have buried him before we left?"
"I sent Hanako in to retrieve it. She brought it back and we buried him."
Her voice quivering, Flower asked Shanagra, "Do you like Hanako more than me?"
Shanagra said, "She is a friend, Flower, like Garnoth was."
Flower whispered to Shanagra, "But, do you like her more than me?"
Shanagra whispered back, "No."
An hour later a terrible tower loomed ahead, dark and fearsome. It was covered with spikes and looked to be made of ice. It wasn't even so much as a tower as it was a sphere.
"That must be the citadel," said Hanako.
"We're heading toward that small moon!" said Vulmea.
"I am assuming normal weapons are useless here?" asked Issic. "Let's go show this pretender what a real Demon is!"
"Your weapons will be useful," promised Shanagra.
"Excellent!" exclaimed the golden half-dragon, pulling out his sword.
"Will my fist?" asked Hanako.
"Yes." Shanagra floated to a stop.
"What is the hold up?" asked Issic.
"Well, I got us here," said Shanagra. "Let's see if you warriors can get us in."
"Where's the door?" asked Manderkarr.
"Who needs a door?" asked Issic.
"How do you propose to get into a building with no door? I don't have my good wrecking tools."
"How do we get in?" asked Tormund.
"I suggest stealth," said Alexander.
"You have a maul and an axe, right?" asked Shanagra.
"Yes, and an axe on stone isn't a good idea, druid."
"It isn't stone, it is ice."
"Is this place real?" asked Flower. "Maybe we should just knock."
"Yes, Flower, it is real," answered Shanagra.
Issic floated toward the nearest wall and started ripping out the stones with his claws. "I got my wrecking tools right here, Manderkarr."
"Wait," said Alexander. "Move back, everyone!" Shanagra and the others floated back. Alexander concentrated his energies to agitate the molecules of the ice. A hole started to melt in the ice. Soon, Alexander made a doorway to the interior. It took about fifteen minutes.
Shanagra floated to the opening. Manderkarr floated faster, charging the hole to look inside. Shanagra, Vulmea, Hanako, and Hobsen floated into the icy sphere. Flower went in beside Vulmea, followed by Issic and Manderkarr. Alexander brought up the rear.
The freezing cold chamber was large with no doors. Manderkarr began bashing at the icy walls in aggravation.
Flower said, "I think we don't need to hack through the walls. They wouldn't make a place that they couldn't enter rooms, so we just have to realize the way."
The walls, however, broke apart and access to another chamber was made. A hideous barking ripped through the air and a red streak shot from the new chamber into Manderkarr. Another leapt over the dwarf's head, and three more ran past him. Manderkarr's axe bit deep into several as they passed him. The dogs were large and powerful looking, with short reddish brown hair. Their teeth were soot black and so were their devilish tongues. Their eyes glowed red.
Tormund slashed and cut with his sword and Issic grabbed one of the dogs by the throat and throttled it, dashing it's brains out against the icy walls. Alexander, floating above the fray moved over Manderkarr.
Flower, holding the baby in one arm, put out one of her hands to one of the dogs. It opened its horrible maw and hellish fire leapt from that devil-throat, enveloping the elf. She fell to the ice in a fetal ball, burnt and hurt, trying to protect the baby. The baby cried out, frightened and hurt by the heat.
Issic grabbed the fire-breathing dog and smacked its skull against the ice, punching it with his other hand, crushing it in a spatter of blood. Vulmea fought alongside Tormund with his sword, harrying the howling hounds with astral steel. With her bare hands, Hanako thrashed the dogs, ducking under a tongue of flame to break one's jaw. Vulmea jabbed one and Hanako kicked in its ribs.
The dogs bayed and howled, bit and clawed as best they could, using their powerful legs to push themselves off of walls into the mortal invaders. Three more dogs leapt out of the hole and unleashed fiery breaths, but the invaders were anticipating this and floated out of the way easily. Manderkarr's axe made short work of these three. Hobsen's thrown daggers were buried to the hilt in several, leaving trails of black ichor following those dogs.
Alexander floated down to Flower and healed her and the baby's burn wounds. One tried to leap onto Alexander's back, but Issic intercepted it with a clawed hand and rammed his other fist into the dog's throat, ripping out its esophagus and stomach when the hand was withdrawn.
With a mighty slash Tormund slew another of the hideous hounds. The final one was killed by Hobsen and Vulmea.
Flower thanked Alexander.
"Don't thank me," said Alexander. "Just stay out of battle next time. Your job is to protect the child." He floated into the next room.
The group floated into the next chamber. It was a round, white room.
"Which way, Shanagra?" asked Issic. "Can you tell which way Elah is?" Issic floated above the dogs and try to attack them from the top.
Flower tried to sense the same feeling of calm that she felt when she was close to Elah, maybe she could feel where he was. There were no doors in the round chamber.
"Shanagra, which way should we go?" asked Alexander.
Shanagra said, "I am not sure, actually. Perhaps we should open another hole."
"Do you have any way of locating Elah in here?"
"Which direction would you suggest, Shanagra?" asked Issic.
Shanagra rolled his eyes. "Um, I am not sure that 'direction' even has meaning in the Astral plane."
"I say we go to the center," said Alexander.
"And how do we find the center?" asked Vulmea.
"Well, this castle is a sphere right?" asked Alexander.
"But the room is also a sphere with no windows," said Vulmea.
Issic pointed at one of the walls then another. "That way or that way?"
Manderkarr said, "It's that a way according to my senses!" The dwarf readied his hammer. He started bashing the ice walls.
Flower said, "You can't find Elah by searching for battle, only by searching for peace."
Alexander said, "And remember flower, what ever happens to us you job is to protect the child." Flower nodded her head exaggeratedly. "Whose job is it to protect me?" she asked.
"Mine," said Tormund.
"We all share that responsibility," said Alexander.
Soon another opening cracked through the ice. A blast of cold air shot into the room, full into Manderkarr's bearded face. He looked away, quickly, holding his breath. When the cold subsided, Manderkarr broke away more ice. Soon he saw the next room was cubical… and heads were sticking out of the floors, the walls, and the ceiling.
"Lead the Way, Manderkarr," said Alexander.
"Let's get this done and go somewhere warm," said Issic.
"Hellllp....CCCCCold," cried out one of the heads. As they floated into the cubical room, they noticed that most of the heads were dead already from the cold. The bodies belonging to the heads were buried in the ice.
"What was that?" asked Hanako when she heard the cries of some of the heads.
"Hello," said Alexander, stopping in front of one of the heads. "Who are you?"
"Heeeeelp Me....Sooo Ccccold," was the only response.
"Hold on," said Alexander.
"We'll get you out," said Hanako. Shanagra, his eyes glowing red as he shivered nude in the cold, bent down and asked, "Who are you?"
"I am He-He- Heian."
Alexander started to melt the ice around the person and Issic dug into the ice with his claws. Vulmea pulled out his sword and started chipping away at the ice as well. In about a quarter of an hour, the combined chipping and melting freed the man from the ice. The man was wearing leather armor and had a pair of scimitars strapped to his belt.
"Larbius encased me here," said the shivering man. "Been going in and out of consciousness." Tormund wrapped his cloak around him.
"May Athena protect you from this cruel cold," said Alexander. "Now, What you are doing in this place?"
"He took me when I told some stories about him he didn't like," said Heian. The stranger started to warm up after Alexander prayed to Athena. "Thank you my friend," he said. "Thank you all for helping me."
"Well," said Alexander, "in return for us saving you, will you help us find a friend of ours that has met a similar fate?"
"Yes it would be the least of me to help you. I owe you my life. Who might you be searching out?" Heian looked suspiciously at Issic, the seven foot one inch golden skinned demon that had clawed through the ice so efficiently.
"The wise Elah," said Tormund.
"He must be of some importance for you to come all this way," said Heian.
A loud POP sounded, and thin, gaunt warriors appear. They were six feet tall and possessed rough, yellow skin and black hair pulled into top knots. Their eyes gleamed darkly and their ears were pointed and serrated in back.
Heian pulled out his two scimitars. Tormund rushed to attack the new-comers. Manderkarr swung his axe, and the gaunt newcomers ducked around the blade, slashing outward with their own horrible silver swords.
Flower ducked and floated away, covering the baby to keep it safe. One of the Githyanki slashed a hard blow at Tormund with a silver sword named Alahamir. The party didn't notice, but the Githyanki were trying desperately to get at Issic, for their silver sword had assured them that a dragon was in the room. Tormund ducked under the blow and said, "Haven't you always wanted a monkey!"
Manderkarr's axe hit home and one of the Githyanki died in a splash of blood and broken ribs. Issic split one of the Githyanki into two halves. Tormund says, "Have at you, fiends from the abyss!" and clove off one of their heads, which flew off and landed with a wet splat on the icy floor. Flower continued to float up and away from the battle. Shanagra lunged with his scimitar and crushed the man's shoulder down into the rib cage.
Hanako's hand came up and across a Githyanki's face with terrible force. Blood spurted and one of the Githyanki's eyes was half torn from its socket. The Githyanki was not fast enough to evade the blows Hanako rained upon him. But not a whimper escaped him, though his features turned to a bloody, raw, ghastly and eyeless ruin beneath the blows that shredded his flesh and splintered his bones. The mangled, broken horror that had been a Githyanki prince was cast carelessly on the corpse of another Githyanki. From his hand dropped the silver sword named Alahamir, the sword that sought a dragon.
The fight swirled and eddied around Tormund, Heian, Hanako, Vulmea, Alexander, Manderkarr, and Shanagra. The Githyanki swooped in, struck and pulled pack, yelling in rage before the lashing of the swords held in the hands of Inzeladunians. It was a storm of blood and steel, and the tempest ended badly for the Githyanki.
Manderkarr found that the last left was desperately trying to take out as many heads as he could, until Manderkarr clove off his legs. When the Githyanki spun to the ground, the dwarf's axe buried itself between the Githyanki's eyes.
"That last seemed in an awful hurry to dispatch the heads here," said Shanagra. "And where is Hobsen?"
Heian said, "I don't know any of these souls, but we shouldn't leave them to die here."
They searched the bodies of the Githyanki, and found on each of them a black rose. Everyone took one of the roses. The warriors also each had masterwork great swords. Each of the swords was etched and designed beautifully, and were bright silver in color. Issic swung one around, admiring the workmanship.
Hobsen appeared in the room.
"Where did you go?" asked Alexander.
"Sir Hobsen, are you well?" asked Tormund.
"Yes, I am. I was trying to get a bearing on Elah. I think he is in here."
"Elah, say something if you can hear me!" yelled Alexander.
Tormund rolled his eyes and said, "Then lead the way, please."
Hobsen walked around the heads and stopped at one. It was Elah. He was unconscious.
"Everyone!" shouted Alexander. "He is over here!"
"This is Elah?" asked Tormund as Manderkarr and Issic dug the elf out.
Flower was disappointed that she didn't know it before, when she looked over the heads looking to see if one was Elah. "Are we certain it is actually Elah? I don't feel the same as when we met before."
Hobsen rushed over. "We must free him before reinforcements come!"
Alexander scanned the elf's mind. It was not Elah.
"Everyone stop!" cried Alexander. "It isn't him! It just looks like him! It must be a trick."
Everyone looked to Hobsen. Manderkarr asked, "Then why lie to us?"
The ice started to crack and "Elah" opened his eyes, the slitted eyes of a lizard.
Alexander stabbed at it with his sword, and Manderkarr swung his axe at him. Hanako jumped back, exclaiming, "Youma!" Flower stared at Hobsen. The form of Elah melted away and the front of his face started to extend outward, assuming a draconic shape.
Alexander made his weapon a dimensional blade and Tormund smacked his blade down. The slithering Elah moved its head aside at the last second and the ice broke further as dragon wings spread out. They realized they were facing a white dragon.
Alexander shouted, "Watch out, Hobsen might be a fake too!"
Flower quickly asked Hobsen the name of Elah's two squirrels.
"Squirrels?" asked Hobsen, confused. "You must mean Putah and Tabmo."
"Try ferrets!" exclaimed Manderkarr as he wheeled by, knocked back by a blow from the dragon.
Issic roared and struck at the dragon. Between the hammering blows of Manderkarr and Issic's powerful slashes, the dragon sputtered and died, still partially locked in the ice.
Flower tried to sense Elah in the room. She tried to feel for an area of calm or goodness. She heard Elah's voice saying, "The flower, the flower, use the petals of the flower." Flower looked at herself and envisioned that she had beautiful petals and looked at her feet, picking up the black flower.
Hobsen said, "I was very mislead, wasn't I? Damn devil!"
Heian looked around, dumbfounded. Issic cut out the heart of the dragon. Flower said, "Don't dismember it, please."
"Well now what?" asked Alexander. "Does any one know anything about this creature?"
Shanagra looked at it. "It was a baby white dragon. Weak from hunger."
"This was not an honorable fight," said Tormund. "We slaughtered a weakened child."
Hobsen said, "We have got to go find Elah! NOW! I am tired of waiting around!"
Issic took a hard look at Hobson. That statement did not sound like Hobson. Tormund also gave Hobsen a strange look. Evil was radiating from the halfling. "You are not Hobsen," said Tormund.
Instantly, Issic attacked Hobsen, and the halfling teleported out. Issic slammed into the ice wall, crushing one of the entrapped heads. The ice cracked with the impact, and blood and brains spattered out like the innards of a squashed bug.
Flower picked the petal of the black rose. It felt warm in her hand and it started to enlarge. She looked deep into the petal. She picked another petal.
"Now is not the time to be playing with flowers, Flower!" said Alexander, at a loss about Hobsen's disappearance. "You should be watching the child!"
The petals grew to be door sized. As she peered into the petals, she saw into other rooms.
Issic looked up from his investigation of the dragon. "Looks like you found a gate and key, Flower."
"Well," said Alexander, "can you find Hobsen or Elah?"
Flower shrugged and walked into one of the petals. She vanished. Manderkarr followed, as did the others.
They appeared in a library. The books were all bound plates of ice with the words scratched into them.
"This looks like a place Elah would be," said Flower. Manderkarr called out Elah's name. Issic looked around and started smashing the ice as Alexander took down one of the ice tomes and opened it. Manderkarr called out for Elah again, and an ice tome slid off a shelf and slammed to the floor. A cacophony of screams echoed through the room as Issic murdered the trapped people in the books.
"Stop, Issic!" cried Alexander. "These are people!" He picked up the book that fell. Opening the book and he saw a face in the ice underneath the words. He flipped a few pages and he saw Elah's face. The page after that was Hobsen.
"Poor souls," said Hanako.
"Shanagra, do you know what we need to do now?" asked Alexander.
"I have no idea," said the druid.
Flower wanted the book to see if she could read the script. She could not so she handed it to Manderkarr, who gave it then to Issic.
"The inscription says, 'My enemies, volume 785'," said Issic. "What would happen if we ripped out the page?"
"You probably kill him," said Manderkarr. "Why not try to melt the ice but not the book? Or one of you useless spellcasters can do something."
Issic turned to the page before Elah and ripped the ice page out. His hand came away bloody. The man in the sheet he tore out looked dead now.
"A life is a life, even if it is not Elah's, Sir Issic," said Hanako.
Flower took a petal and laid it on the book. Elah floated out of the book. He hovered there and said, "Thank you, Flower. You must have gotten my message." Flower hugged Elah, jumping up to his lap.
"Now for Hobsen," said Alexander. "Then we can release all the others."
Elah said, "Some of these folks may deserve capture."
"Yes," said Alexander, "But they are all enemies of Larbius, and the enemy of my enemy is my friend."
Flower hugs Elah, but she isn't sure that being an enemy to Larbius is necessarily an analogy of being good. Hanako wasn't convinced either. "An enemy's enemy is not always a friend," she said, bowing to Elah. Elah bowed back.
"So how do we decide which ones do?" asked Issic.
"I suggest we release my friend Hobsen and then get out before Larbius decides to stop us," said Elah.
Alexander said, "If we released some of his enemies he would either destroy them or they him. One way we are as good off now as we were, the other we are better off."
Flower looks at the guy that was imploring her help from the book she opened. "He's asking me for help. I can't just leave him here."
"I agree," said Hanako.
Heian said, "He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day"
Alexander said, "I say we lose he enemies in his own home and then leave."
"Why not take some books with us?" asked Issic.
"We can come back later for that! Larbius is not someone we want to face now," said Shanagra. Hobsen was released from his prison when Flower laid down another petal on his page.
Alexander took several petals and placed them randomly in several books as Shanagra started to cast the spell that would end the Astral Travel.
Suddenly they all appeared in Shanagra's grove in Nyandar, returned to their physical bodies. And even Heian was there, his physical form drawn out of the astral.
"Where are we?" asked Heian.
"Nyandar," said Elah.
"Where we began, isn't it?" asked Issic.
"That was not scientific Sir Alexander," said Hanako.
"No, it wasn't," agreed Alexander, "but let him find enemies in his home."
Finished Campaigns in Inzeladun | The Adventures of The Unknown 19 |Unknown21.doc