Callie brushed off a log near her tent and sat down. She knew some of what had happened to her and what little she did know she could recite in her sleep. She had made Balthan, the guide from Ilshenar, replay that night over and over…
* * * * * * * * * *
They were in Exodus’ Dungeon. Balthan was uneasy. Callie was determined.
“This will be the find of the century, you know. It’ll be put in the Vesper museum with our names on it and they’ll never forget us.” Callie said, removing a strange panel from the wall.
A rumbling erupted from somewhere as she tore the panel from the wall and soon the entire dungeon seemed to be vibrating.
“Time to go.” Callie said, turning to Balthan.
Callie pulled out two Recall scrolls. She handed one to Balthan. They both began casting. Balthan did not realize her spell had fizzled.
“And?” she always asked.
“I do not know.” Balthan would reply patiently, as he always did, when he reached this point in the story.
“You must know SOMETHING.” Callie would insist.
“I do not.” Balthan would assure her, with a hint of sadness in his eyes.
At this point, Callie would always slip into silence and turn away from him.
* * * * * * * * * *
“What am I missing?” she asked herself.
Callie pulled out a small satchel of coffee grounds, knowing she would not be returning to sleep.
She surveyed the excavation site as the pungent aroma of Occloean Roast filled the camp. One of the workers stirred and then awoke, offering a sleepy grin as he approached.
“Yer up early.” he commented, rubbing the back of his neck.
“Coffee?” Callie asked, forcing a smile.
“Sure.” he replied, yawning as he stretched his back.
They sat in silence as the coffee finished brewing.
“Almos’ fergot. Somethin’ came fer ya las’ night.” he said accepting the mug from her with a nod.
He walked back to his bedroll and retrieved something before returning to Callie. He made a clicking sound as he tossed it to her.
Callie’s brow furrowed as she looked over the parchment.
“Somethin’ wrong, ma’am?” he asked, sipping his coffee.
“Exodus monsters have been spotted in Ver Lor Reg.”
“Where them Gargs live?” he leaned over and passed wind.
“Mhmm.” Callie continued reading.
(To be continued…)