Dragontorc #4

Catai’s Journal

14th Samonios…

I have spent the last few days in the forest, practising what Teryn taught me. Their deaths have been weighing on me, and I didn’t want to be around the others. I returned to Tydy last night, though. You can only shut yourself off from other people for so long. I was growing to miss their company. Even Erix. They’re the closest I have to family right now…

There were new faces in the inn. I couldn’t be sure that they weren’t looking for me, but Erix and Neve seemed to trust them. They don’t look like they came from my homeland, so perhaps they are safe. I need to be cautious about what I say around them.

My training is going well. I think Teryn would be proud. I know Aske would. This morning I went back into the forest while the others tried to learn to talk to their captive, a woman with pure white skin they found somewhere beneath the tomb while I was away. I wonder where she came from. She doesn’t speak a language that anyone can identify. Erix says that she claims to be from the underground and now thinks she’s in the “giant blue ceilinged cave”. I don’t believe it though. How can anyone live forever underground? We plan on investigating further tomorrow.

15th Samonios…

It’s incredible. Behind the stone door in the caves is a hall of stone even older than the tomb above. It looked like it had been sealed for an age. The others had already been down there - breaking down the walls and opening it up to the surface. I saw the remains of what the others say was a fire trap. Babar, the large armoured man, says they disarmed it by taking a ruby from it. He seemed very proud of his cunning trick using twine, but I was most interested in the ruby. He wouldn’t show it to me, but it’s not going to be the only one down there.

I am growing accustomed to fighting. I barely remember most of the dangers we faced today. We encountered some more of the pale folk. There seem to be two varieties, a primitive servant class and a class of more sophisticated leaders. I wonder what they eat, living their whole lives underground.

The level beneath looked abandoned. Most of the doors were barred or blockaded. One of them held back some sort of wailing creature that made me sick to my stomach. We came across some corpses of the pale people, too. Clearly there was something dangerous down here that they had been trying to keep out. We encountered a couple of lizards as pale as the men, but they were quickly dispatched, too.

One door lay unblocked, so we decided to investigate. Behind was what looked like a midden pit, but it hid a monstrous creature made of the rubbish itself. Everything we threw at it seemed to just get absorbed by it, but eventually we dispatched it. This world is even stranger than I thought.

After that we decided to explore through one of the barricaded doors. I’m not sure what happened, next. One minute we were walking down a corridor, torches lit, when suddenly we were plunged into an unnatural darkness. I could still feel the heat from the torch Neve was carrying. The others fought with something in the darkness and Cullen, Meve and I stood by and listened in confusion. Soon the creature was dead, a mass of tentacles and flesh.

We are resting for the evening in the house Peno has given us in return for the work we’re doing. I still don’t trust him, but he is prepared to pay us well. I am preparing to sleep in a room to myself for the first time ever. It is strange to have a space for yourself, like this. Growing up, I always slept with my brothers, and then the slaves shared quarters. It’s lonely. I wonder where Killia is. I hope he fares well. I never had a chance to talk to him about my brothers.