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Chapter 15: Resting

Chapter 15: Resting

Drakefyre found a patch of bare ground in the Avernum Trilogy Forum. "This will do for a camp tonight. The rats won't be able to sneak up on us here. I want two people as lookouts at all times. Delicious Vlish and Rakshasi will take the first watch, Student of Trinity and Dikiyoba will take the second watch, and Zorro and I will take the third."

"Right, Drakey," Rakshasi said.

Delicious Vlish and Rakshasi patrolled the edges of camp. Ephesos lay down and promptly fell asleep, using the remains of his green cloak as a pillow. Student of Trinity looked for sharp rocks to replace the ones he had slung at the rats. Alorael cleaned his sniper rifle. Zorro played another game of Galactic Core. Dikiyoba sorted through what was left of the potions. Synergy sat thinking.

Zephyr Tempest looked around. "There's nothing to eat and I'm hungry. How can we rest without food?"

Drakefyre cast manna, and several plates of mashed potatoes appeared.

"We're in the Avernum Trilogy Forum, and that's an Exile spell," Synergy said.

"I'll cast whatever spells I need to wherever necessary," Drakefyre said.

Synergy grabbed a plate. "I wasn't complaining."

While everyone except for Rakshasi, Delicious Vlish, and Ephesos ate, Drakefyre questioned Zephyr Tempest about the summoning machine. Synergy set his plate down and looked at Ephesos suspiciously.

"How do we know that's the real Ephesos?" he finally asked, "That wasn't the real Smoo we met earlier. So maybe this isn't the real Ephesos."

"The crickets don't look bothered. That's a good sign," Student of Trinity said, pointing to the crickets hopping placidly around the camp.

"I know, but I still have a simple test I want to perform," Synergy said, "Hey, Ephesos. Undead."

Still asleep, Ephesos muttered, "I hate undead. I really, really, really, really hate undead. With a passion."

"It's definitely the real Ephesos," Synergy said, "Now all I have to do is figure out why he's still alive after the clawing that enormous rat gave him."

Student of Trinity lay down. "Good. Do it quietly. I want to sleep."

"Oh, right. Sorry," Synergy said.

Everyone except for Delicious Vlish and Rakshasi settled down for the night. Zephyr Tempest rolled around a lot, trying to get comfortable. "It's so hot in here. And the glowing fungi on the ceiling is too bright."

"The light is easy enough to deal with." Student of Trinity clapped his hands twice and the fungi on the ceiling went dark.

"Hey! Now I can't see anything!" Rakshasi clapped his hands twice and the fungi resumed a faint glow, though not as bright as before.

A short time later, the camp was completely silent except for an occasional chirp from one of the crickets. A giant rat dragging a huge pack slowly approached the camp. He evaded the detection of Delicious Vlish and Rakshasi and began investigating the sleeping Spiderwebber's stuff. First, he looked over Alorael's sniper rifle and skribbane potions, but saw nothing of interest. Next, he dumped out Student of Trinity's pouch of rocks and sorted through them. He took a couple of the more interesting looking ones and added them to his pack. Then he looked through Zorro's possessions. He found Galactic Core but was repulsed by its mediocrity. Synergy rolled over and muttered something about metaphysics. Startled, the rat backed away. He approached Ephesos next.

He noticed Ephesos's boots. "Why, they're green. And magical. I must have them!" The rat removed Ephesos's boots and carefully stowed them into his pack. Then he began looking through Dikiyoba's potions. He held one up that glowed slightly. "Looks somewhat valuable. And sort of pretty. Into the pack it goes. Oh, shoot." The rat dropped the potion, and it bounced off of Dikiyoba.

Dikiyoba woke up. "Hey!"

Rakshasi and Delicious Vlish turned to look, and everyone else woke up.

"What happened?" Delicious Vlish asked.

"Where are my boots?" Ephesos asked.

"And who messed with my pouch of stones?" Student of Trinity asked.

"Sorry! I can't help it! Don't hurt me! I'll give them back!" the rat said.

"You're a spy for the rats!" Delicious Vlish said.

"No, I'm not. I've been lurking down here for a while. I don't even know anything about the other rats. Honestly! I thought I was the only one," the rat said.

"He does seem a little different from the rest," Synergy said.

"Of course I am! I'm the Mystic, pack rat extraordinaire! I scavenge things," the rat said.

"Like my boots." Ephesos grabbed the pack and dumped it out. Things scattered everywhere. Ephesos sorted through them until he found his boots.

"Hey, Ephesos, I've never noticed your boots before. They're... clover boots?" Zephyr Tempest looked surprised.

"Well, they're green..." Ephesos began.

"But clover boots provide a luck bonus! That explains why you were lucky enough to escape being killed by that enormous rat then," Zephyr Tempest said.

"Maybe," Ephesos said, "Rakshasi! RETRIBUTION!!!"

While Delicious Vlish and Rakshasi were distracted by the Mystic, the group of rats to attack the Spiderwebbers entered the forum. A white rat was in the lead. It blasted Rakshasi with a firebolt just before Ephesos's spell got it. Rakshasi was hit full force.

When the smoke cleared, Rakshasi was standing unharmed. He laughed. "Magical attacks can't harm me."

Ephesos quickly scooped his crickets back into his pocket. The Mystic began hurriedly cramming all of his stuff back into the pack. The first red rats reached the group. Although they did no real harm, only knocking someone down now and then, they were nearly impossible to hit. Another wave of rats entered the forum.

"I didn't think there would be so many, or that they would be here so soon. This summoning machine must be more powerful than I thought," Drakefyre said.

"So what do we do?" Student of Trinity asked.

"Snipe!" Alorael, who was perched on a large boulder, said. He giggled madly as he took out two giant rats with one shot. "It's not quite as fun as sniping pedestrians, but it's close enough."

"If we're careful, we should be able to survive," Drakefyre said. He looked worried, though.

"These things are far too powerful to come from a beginner scenario. They must have been made stronger somehow." Student of Trinity slung a rock at a green rat.

Zephyr Tempest cast ice lances on several blue rats. "That's probably my fault. Dintiradan wanted me to make the summoning machine as powerful as possible, so I did. Of course, I didn't know what he intended to use it for at the time."

The Mystic continued to stuff things back into his pack. One of them, a small green crystal that glowed faintly, caught Dikiyoba's eye.

"Can Dikiyoba see that?"

"I suppose. I'm not really sure why, but..." The Mystic handed the crystal over.

Dikiyoba examined it. "Drakefyre! Dikiyoba found a recall crystal."

The Mystic looked outraged. "You mean I found a recall crystal. It was a tough one to find, too. I had to..."

Drakefyre took the recall crystal. "Never mind. As long as it'll get us out of here, it doesn't matter. Everyone gather around. You too, Alorael."

"But I have a lot of sniping to catch up on!" Alorael sniped a blue rat. A curse ray from a green rat knocked him off the boulder. Zorro hauled him over to where everyone else stood. Drakefyre activated the recall crystal. Drakefyre and the others, including the Mystic and his pack, vanished in a flash of light.


In Shadow Vale, many people had decided to sleep. The rest kept themselves occupied. Terror's Martyr and Alec were debating the best insults for people. Lenar and the Silent Assassin discussed (in their own fashion) deranged subterfuge. Jumpin' Salmon was stumped by a particularly tricky question. "Most Internet quizzes are created by someone who is a) drunk b) between the ages of 10-15 c) illiterate or d) clinically retarded. Now how am I supposed to answer that? It should be e) all of the above."

A can of spam suddenly struck Jumpin' Salmon on the head. "Ow! Who did that?" Jumpin' Salmon glared at everyone awake. He settled on the Silent Assassin. "You look guilty! Admit it, you threw that spam at me!"

The Silent Assassin shook his head. "The Silent Assassin says that it wasn't him. He says that the person who did it is... Stareye?" Lenar sounded doubtful. "You really think it was Stareye?"

Jumpin' Salmon scoffed openly. "Stareye? Stareye?! You expect me to believe that Stareye threw that... ow!" Another can of spam hit Jumpin' Salmon in the back of the head.

Jumpin' Salmon whirled around. "All right, who did that? TM, was it you?"

"Do you ******* think I'm some sort of ******* *******? *******."

"Alec?" Jumpin' Salmon asked.

"Go away, you demented spawn of spam."

A third can of spam hit Jumpin' Salmon in the head.

"Ow! Whoever's doing that needs to cut it out!" Jumpin' Salmon said.

The Silent Assassin continued to point at Stareye.

"No, it can't be. It's Stareye. An administrator. Stareye wouldn't just..."

Stareye picked up a fourth can of spam and threw it at Jumpin' Salmon. It bounced off his jaw, but Jumpin' Salmon seemed more stunned by the fact that he had seen Stareye do it.

"You... you just... you..." Jumpin' Salmon sputtered.

Stareye shrugged. "If you can spam, so can I."

"Fine. If that's the way you want to play, so be it." Jumpin' Salmon picked up two cans and hurled them at Stareye. Stareye picked up another can and hurled it back.

The Silent Assassin looked at Lenar hopefully.

"No. We are not going to get involved," Lenar said. A moment later, a stray can of spam hit him.

The Silent Assassin looked at Lenar meaningfully.

"Okay. Go get them," Lenar said.

The Silent Assassin picked up several cans of spam and disappeared into the shadows. As Jumpin' Salmon prepared to throw another can of spam at Stareye, he was hit from behind by the Silent Assassin.

"Not fair!" Jumpin' Salmon ran off, dodging the spam thrown at him. He ran through the people asleep by the fire, waking many up. Those who weren't woken up immediately came awake as a volley of spam from Stareye and the Silent Assassin landed among them.

"What's going on?" Ash Lael asked.

"Ow!" Lazarus said, "What was that for?"

Jumpin' Salmon grabbed Lenar and used him as a shield. Stareye continued throwing spam at Jumpin' Salmon, but the Silent Assassin stopped.

Lenar watched the Silent Assassin's motions carefully. "Salmon, he says he'll polka if you don't let him go."

Jumpin' Salmon ducked a can of spam. "So?"

"You haven't seen him polka, have you? It's not a pretty sight."

Jumpin' Salmon continued to hold Lenar in front of him. The Silent Assassin glared at him.

"I said don't make him polka!" Lenar sounded panicked.

"Okay, fine." Jumpin' Salmon pushed Lenar away from him.

The Silent Assassin threw a can of spam at Jumpin' Salmon. It hit him in the forehead. Jumpin' Salmon staggered backwards and then collapsed.

Lenar knelt beside him and felt for a pulse. He couldn't find one. "He's dead."

"Looks like Salmon needs a respawn point." Thuryl smiled.