Sep 10, 2010

I'm looking for a twig

Jay El felt horrible about forgetting his oldest, dearest friend, passed out in the storage room.  So much had happened so quickly, that...  Jay El grimaced.  There would be no excuses.

This, like so many things, was all his fault and he'd be damned if... well, he might be damned anyway, but... he would do what he could to save his friend.

The Kobolds would likely strip him of his weapons and armor... even if they had decided to slay him rather than slave him, they would still likely take the valuables from his corpse.  It was a morbid logic, but, Jay El realized that, most likely, the thing that was the most likely to stay with Manbearpig, was his beloved twig.

Ordinary in apearance to most, Manbearpig had often spoke of how special a twig it truly was that he had in his hair.  It was, in a sense, a way for the modestly dressed fellow to have a sense of style, of individuality, and of nature.  While the twig itself began as relatively unremarkable, Jay El had seen him carve incredibly small, intricate markings into the twig.  An art that was clearly more for self expression than showboating, as the markings escaped the notice of all who did not examine the twig closely.

Jay El stood in silent prayer.  The gods may be turning upon him, but, surely they would not refuse him to help a soul as pure as Manbearpig.  He focused his energies, and a small arrow appeared before his eyes.  It wasn't much, but, at least horizontally, he knew the direction of Manbearpig's twig.  Hopefully the head to which it was attached would be nearby.

Tribby grunted, and removed their barricade.  "This really was a good idea." she hummed to herself.  "the barricade I mean.  It's just so handy to be able to get a nice, safe sleep in when we need it."

Jay El nodded, distracted.  "Come.  We must find the twig." he grunted.

Tribby shrugged and followed him to the crossroads.  "To the mines?  There might be gold!" she drooled.

Jay El smiled.  "Sure." he sighed.  The likelyhood of finding gold in a coal mine was sure to be... at least... well, not probable, but... well, anything was possible, he justified.

They tromped for a while through a few twists and turns, when, quickly, Jay El realized a familiar, if reversed, pattern.  "We go right left, right left, right left" he announced.  And the journey was quick and painless.

As they neared the end of the so-called maze, they quietly descended down some stairs, noting the tell-tale sounds of forced labor; Whips, groans, and the rhythmic sounds of pick axes descending upon hardened rock.

They all steadied themselves.  Slavers didn't sit well with any of the free-spirited group - least of all, Ash.

Peeking around the corner, they saw a wide, carved out room with a low ceiling, and trenches dug out on either side, containing the miserable workers, of which were chained together.  There appeared to be about 30 slaves, and 8 Kobold slavers.  The good news was, they seemed small, even for Kobolds.

What was most interesting to Jay El in particular, was the method of which the Kobolds were employing to sift and move the rock.  The slaves were weilding the pick axes within the trenches, and passing rocks to a small ramp into the center of the trench, approximately 50 feet from where Jay El and his party were hidden.

Inside the trench, an undead skeleton would pick up whatever was there, and bring it out of the trench, and into the center of the room, and then head back.  Jay El noted that there were two such skeletons with the same programming, mirrored on either side of the room.

In the center, were another two skeletons with similar jobs, only they would move whatever was in the center of the room, up to the entrance.  Presumably to sift it at a later time.

Jay El smiled, and explained to the party that he could control these undead, given the time to concentrate.

Taking 20 minutes to focus, the undead suddenly stiffened, and were given a different set of instructions altogether.  Kill the Kobolds.

The slavers quickly panicked as their drones appeared to revolt, and Ash and Tribby charged into the room.  Tribby tripped and fell into the ditch, and Ash jumped and smashed his head on the ceiling.  Jay El was alone in his charge, and, was quite thankful for the terrifying backup and over all wussyness of the slavers.

As they were promptly decimated, Tribby righted herself and charged anew, but, aside from a terrified straggler, the battle was over.  Ash, it seemed, was out cold.

The slaves let out their racial equivalent of a hurrah as they were freed, and armed with the Slaver's weapons, as well as fed with Jay El and Tribby's rations.

Tribby smiled, wiping the coal dust from her eyes and handed out the last of her jerky to the now smiling, now hopefully former, slaves.

As things settled down a little, Tribby's altruism ran out, and she stole Ash's rations.

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