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Yendor was momentarily disoriented by the presence of actual light. In comparison to the mental blue image that had been being projected in his mind, this small candle was incredibly bright and ethereally orange. The immense dramatic shadows flickered and grew across the walls only to shrink and grow in the other direction. His nostrils were filled with the scent of familiar sweat and as he fought to get his bearings, he saw Danse in the corner. His vision tunneled to her and the rest of the world melted away for a moment as he recognized her. She was huddled up with her knees to her chest and her arms wrapped around them, hugging them tightly to her self. She rocked back and forth and was unaware that someone had entered the room.
He rushed over to her and scooped her up before he knew what was happening. They were out the door and racing back the way Yendor had come in such a mad rush that it was with some surprise when Danse said to him; “What are you doing here?” She seemed to slowly be coming to her senses as if just waking from a dream.
“We are getting the damned hell out of here!” he said.
“You’re bringing the dog?” she asked, and he noticed that indeed, the beast was loping along just behind them, not growling, just part of the group.
“I guess.” he said. “I take it you two know each other?”
“He’s been my only friend for so long now.” she said and Yendor remembered hearing stories around the campfire how captors could come to feel like friends to their prisoners who were robbed of all other contact and affection. Yendor wondered how long they had been separated. He had taken up the chase immediately, but had had many interruptions and side tracks along the way. Also, she had been under the power of Incarnate and perhaps time had passed differently for her.
Just then the beast began to growl. Yendor thought it was in response to their conversation, but it wasn’t. The beast stopped and barked, whimpered and growled a frightened growl. Yendor was inclined to ignore it and carry on, but before he wonder why such a malevolent creature should be frightened of anything, a giant battle axe nearly took Yendor’s head off. Yendor had stooped to look at the whining dog, so technically the dog saved Yendor’s life. Danse, weak as she was leaped out of Yendor’s arms and he drew his sword to face a fully armored knight. The knight had its sword out also and was pressing the attack. The two swung their swords simultaneously and Yendor was struck by the force behind the knight’s blow. The knight pulled his weapon back for another swipe with lightning speed. Yendor lunged to tackle his assailant and was surprised when the armor simply fell empty to the ground. The plate armor clattered around the narrow hall and Yendor wondered briefly if it had been occupied by a ghost or if it had been the puppet of a sorcerer hiding somewhere safe.
Around the bend of the curving passageway came two more haunted knights. Yendor decided that his presence was known and the time for restraining from magic was over. Pulling energy from the very air, Yendor felt it swirl around his arm up to his shoulder and then shoot down the length of his arm as he threw circling, crackling rings of blue white lightning at the knights. It struck their armor which absorbed the energy like a lightning rod, and the armor collapsed into sizzling pieces. There was a rumbling in the floor and Yendor saw with horror ghastly glowing green corpses emerge incorporeally from the stones beneath them, pulling on pieces of the armor as they came.
Yendor counted three ghosts. He could smell their rotting flesh. They were semi transparent and he could make out various anatomical workings going on; joints twisting, muscles constricting, semi digested materials floating in the digestive tract. Yendor began swinging his sword at them and kicking away armor as they clawed at him and hissed as they were thwarted in their attempts to gather the armor. Yendor could see some kind of mist rising off of them. Although they could pass through objects like the floor it seemed they solidified as they appeared and though his sword didn’t have the same effect as it would have on a living thing, it definitely bothered the ghost corpses and they were perturbed when they had the armor kicked from them. There were more coming through. They were coming through the walls now too. There seemed to be countless ones and even the ones who had been kicked or sliced with the sword kept coming. Yendor’s sword would pass through them like a knife through soft butter pulling a disintegrating stinking trail of
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Rising and sinking hand
ectoplasm with it. It was part solid, part liquid, part gas, and really not any of these things.
They were in various states of decomposition, missing jaws, noses, one was had no legs and dragged itself toward Yendor by its arms, its exposed spine writhing like a tail.
Yendor realized he was going about this battle all wrong, and scooped up Danse, and reluctantly grabbed the beast’s chain and the three of them fell out of reality.
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