To the Forsaken Mines

Vana'diel date: 886/4/26
Viewpoint: Ellanore Delouvien
Place: Gusgen Mines, a sunken tunnel
Posted on 01 Jun 2012 16:41

Ellanore wasn't quite certain if this was such a good idea after all. She would never hesitate to help a friend, but this time said friend might have been sent on a mission beyond his capabilities.
"Are you quite certain that..that ghost there will leave soon?" She whispered carefully to Grundan, the friend who she had promised to help. While he liked to stay in San d'Oria for great stretches of time when he felt like it, he called Bastok his home, maybe because San d'Oria wasn't too welcoming for galka.
"I'm sure. It can't hang around there all day, now can it," came the response. Ellanore nodded uncertainly and looked on worriedly as the disfigured apparition floated around the surface of the still water. This tunnel had apparently caved in at some point, and water had welled up to a pool at the very end of it. She wasn't quite sure if ghosts needed breaks from their haunting. They had been waiting for quite some time already, preferring not to disturb this potentially very dangerous apparition. The problem was that Grundan's orders had him come right here to kill some fish in that very pool that potentially could have what he was in need of. They couldn't just leave, it would reflect badly on his career as an adventurer.
The ghost floated over the puddle on the ground and peered into the tunnel ahead, and Ellanore tried to stay as still as possible. It felt like it was looking right at her. She wasn't a coward by any means, but ghosts didn't really fit well with her. She didn't relax until the ghost looked away again.
"I knew it was a mistake to come early in the morning…" Grundan complained quietly beside her. "Can't you think of anything to dispel ghosts?"
"None. I wasn't aware we were going to head to a place this heavily haunted in the first place." In fact, when she thought back on it she had agreed to help even before knowing what they would be doing. You always helped your friends, that was a given. Nevertheless, she had to admit, this wasn't one of her favorite places to be.
"Dammit. All this for one crummy fish…"
"I'm not sure if I'd bother to go this far for one fish."
The sudden new voice made Ellanore and Grundan turn around. There were five identical funnily-dressed people behind them. Ellanore blinked. They really were identical, down to the very same pose. And she hadn't heard a thing! How did this person get so close?
"..it's not really about bothering to go this far, in this case. Who might you be?" Grundan inquired with a little bit of hesitation in his voice.
"I'm Grendel. Careful now, it comes." As far as Ellanore could tell, all the four of them said it. And even when saying it, the people were drawing out peculiar-looking knives, all synchronized. She didn't have more attention to spare to these peculiar apparitions, because she suddenly remembered the ghost. Sure enough, it had noticed them and was doing its floating thing, quite determinedly heading towards the little group. Ellanore exclaimed in disgust. All their careful waiting for nothing.
That was when the peculiar people who had all identified themselves as 'Grendel' ran past her, knives in their hands. "Prepare yourselves for battle, you two!" Ellanore felt like swearing. For these people to just barge in and take the lead - it was very rude. She supposed they might be alright with this many people, but nevertheless, it was rude.
"I suppose no helping it," Grundan sighed while loosening his big sword from his back. Ellanore nodded and started concentrating. It didn't look like these Grendel-people - maybe only one of them had said it after all? - knew any spells to hinder the enemy's movement, and since Grundan didn't know any taking care of that aspect of the fight naturally fell to her. Not that she was much good with it in the first place, she knew what was necessary and nothing more, but they were an invaluable help in a fight even so.
She had just finished casting Dia on the ghost when it happened. The ghost hit one of the mysterious Grendel-people..and they vanished. Caught in the act of drawing her own sword, Ellanore stared.
"Hah! Is all that you can do you pathetic little thing?" came the taunt from the remaining four ones. They danced around the ghost so skillfully it looked like a dance, and while their peculiar knives didn't appear to do much damage at all to the ghost in a single strike, they did stack up and there were places on its back where the ethereal body was torn to shreds. All this in the time it took Ellanore to cast one quick spell. She drew her sword the rest of the way, wondering what exactly was going on.
"Grundan..?" she inquired quietly.
"No clue. Let's just try helping..them. Or whatever." Grundan grunted, trying to find an opportunity to actually use his sword. While the little dance the remaining people did around the ghost was effective in evading its attacks, it also made it hard for other people to get close to the actual fight.
Ellanore nodded, trying to come up with the best way to contribute anything else at all to the fight. "Enwater!" It was one of her latest spells, and while she had originally been a little doubtful about this type of spells, they really did help in a fight. It enveloped her sword in an elemental aura that damaged anything it came into contact with. This way, even if your sword didn't actuall reach its target, the aura around it just might.
Finding a chance for her to get in reach of the ghost turned out to be easier than for Grundan - after all, he needed considerably more space to swing the giant sword he held, and it was considerably harder to wield in tighter spaces than the single-handed sword Ellanore herself had. She made sure to try stay at the ghost's back, although its constant going after one or another of these Grendel-people was making it somewhat difficult. She had just scored a square hit at one of its arms when another of these strangers disappeared when the ghost attacked it. This time she was closer, and could hear a short 'poof' sound when it happened. It was most confusing to her, and while she waited for her next chance she started thinking that maybe..somehow, this was all the same person and they had used some kind of a spell to make themselves into many. While she didn't recall any such spell straight out of hand, she was aware that her knowledge of magic wasn't too great, and this was the most logical and obvious explanation for this behavior. It also made her somewhat worried over their survivability, since their numbers had just fallen from seven to five, three if you counted only real people.
"Stop blocking my way, dammit!" Grundan roared from the background in frustration. Apparently considering that enough advance warning, he charged forward, these Grendel-apparitions easily scattering out of his way, and swung his sword at the ghost. The effect was immediate and devastating, one ethereal arm was immediately severed and disappeared in a wiff of slightly glowing mist, and its closer foot was almost cleaved in half by the blow.
"Nice one!" echoed the Grendel-apparitions in perfect synch. Ellanore felt like sighing. This would have happened much earlier if they themselves hadn't been in the way most of the time. Loath to let the opportunity to go in lamenting the stupidity of people with no sense of teamwork, she lunged forward and planted her sword firmly into the back of the ghost. It felt like her sword had cut through sponge, not quite firm material.
The ghost let alone a half-screeching, half-laughing sound, and slipped away. Normal wounds didn't affect ghosts much, you had to do some considerable damage before a ghost fell in battle. Even if you managed to defeat a ghost in battle through normal means, it was bound to come back sooner or later, once again intact. It was a ghost after all, material wounds didn't affect them for too long. This was exactly why Ellanore and Grundan hadn't wanted to fight it.
Even though its nature was resilient to material harm, this ghost seemed a tad bit miffed that it had just been sliced and skewered. It flew a ways up and disappeared.
"…did it-?" There wasn't time for any other reaction before it appeared again, right behind one of the remaining Grendel-apparitions, reachings its hands around its throat and choking. The apparition poofed with a small sound just like the previous ones, and the ghost disappeared, only to reappear right where it had started from.
"That wasn't very nice!" The two remaining Grendels shouted and jmped up, knives on the ready. The damage wasn't much, but it was enough to make the ghost fly out of reach again, circling at the roof of the tunnel above their heads. The tunnel was just high enough that it could do that.
"What were the miners back then thinking, making this damn thing so high," the Grendel-apparitions grumbled. "Oi, come down here and be vanquished!" The ghost laughed in response, and it echoed in the tunnel more than it should have. Then it quickly dove down, right towards Grundan. That might not have been the smartest move, as unhindered by obstructions, Grundan had no difficulty bringing his sword on the ready. Right as it came in reach, it was cleaved neatly in half. The two halves floated gently away from each other and evaporated into mist.
"Well. That was that."
"Hahah, invigorating!" The two Grendel-apparitions laughed. Then one of them poofed, leaving only one, neatly putting away - his? her? - peculiar knives. Ellanore suddenly realized that she had no idea if the person was a man or a woman. Neither their appearance nor their voice gave it away. "It is a pleasure to meet you two. As I said before, I'm Grendel."
"Ellanore Delouvien. Pleased to make your acquaintance." Even though she wasn't entirely sure of the last part.
"Grundan."
"Well then. You should take care of your business now. You're from Bastok, right?"
"I am," Grundan answered, warily eyeing the person. "What's that to you?"
"See, I got a little lost. Found this charming place and decided to come see. Boy am I glad I found a living soul in here, was starting to get a little worried. Mind taking me to the city after you're done here?" Ellanore could only stare at this individual. She wasn't even certain if it was a reasonable request, but something in its deliverance left her itching to refuse.
"..how could you get lost in Konschtat that much?"
"See, I've never been around this corner of the world before. Fresh out of south." Grendel laughed. "I suppose it might not have been the best idea to wander about without a map and only vague directions, but let it never be said that I was faint of heart."



Category: With White Wings

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