The Sun Door Part 19
by Joe Solmo
“Let’s check it out,” Serius said and without another word reached over my shoulder and pushed that stone into the wall where it slid into a recessed area. Everyone held their breath for a second waiting for the doom to descend upon us. When it didn’t immediately happen we all let out a sigh, until we heard a click from behind the wall.
A section of the wall, about three feet wide swung out blocking the hall in front of us and opening into a darkened room. There was something in the darkness, I could hear it shuffling, and the little hairs on the back of my neck began to stand all at once. I wasn’t the only one who was not at ease with this as Zeeg pushed his brother behind him and Drejnin drew his weapon. I did the same as we got a glimpse of what was in there.
Making their slow, animated way out of the chamber where three walking skeletons, wearing ancient armor and armed with maces and shields. Their eyeless sockets turned towards us intruders in their home, and a hissing noise escaped the fleshless jaws that dropped open mocking speech. Every one of us took an instinctive step backwards as the horrors raised their arms holding the weapons.
As they approached, they got close to Skrat’s magic light ball, it seemed to dim, almost as if they were sucking the light from the hall, destroying the existence into nothingness. By now, my heart was beating pretty fast and I found it increasingly difficult to move, or even take my eyes of the ghastly creatures.
Zeeg bravely, or stupidly, charged into them swinging his sword and yelling out, but the sword was mostly turned back by shields and when it did strike it didn’t seem to make a large impact on them. Skrat began to chant some words as Drejnin shot blue flame from his fingers over my shoulder into the face of the first skeleton. It recoiled back from the flames into its companions, but only seemed to slow it down.
Serius turned himself to a liquid form and slid between my legs towards the creatures, rising up in front of them and enveloping them inside his liquid form that turned into a jelly once he had surrounded them. It seemed to work well at first, keeping them from striking out at the rest of us, but finally the undead horrors managed to find a weak spot and break open Serius, who turned back to liquid when they did.
The skeletons stepped over the puddle of Serius just as Skrat’s spell took effect. With a sudden blast of noise and heat, a fireball raced from the youth into the chest of the first skeleton. The blast force of the spell sent him into the other two and the all were slammed into the stone door behind them that blocked the hall. The first skeleton was broke into two pieces as his spine was severed with the blast. One of the skeletons in the back lost its left arm and now had no shield.
Once again Drejnin fired his blue flame into the skeletons, this time it took the third skeleton in the throat, and brought its skull crashing down on the floor, as the rest of it crumbled behind. Zeeg ran up and slammed the pommel of his sword into the face of the only remaining skeleton. The sound of breaking bone reverberated in the hall, but it wasn’t quite enough to bring it down. It raised its mace, catching the oldest brother just under the right arm and dented his armor while sending him sprawling into the darkness of the room that the skeletons came from.
As Serius reformed into his normal form I felt something on my leg and looked down. The Skeleton that had been broken in two had crawled over to me and was trying to grab me. I quickly put my boot down with everything I had on his eyeless face, crushing the bone as I did so. Look at that, I helped finally!
Skrat entered the dark chamber as we broke the skeletons into powder. Let’s see them grab ankles that way. I took a mace from one of them, thinking that the blunt weapon wound be more use in case we ran into more skeletons. I was still creeped out by the eyeless gaze that one skeleton had given me.
The light ball grew back to its usual brightness then floated into the chamber where Skrat and Zeeg had gone. The rest of us quickly followed the light into the chamber. Even though he wouldn’t admit it, I think the undead spooked Drejnin as well. Nothing seemed to phase the dontu it seemed. What a really cool ability he had, I thought with a little bit of jealousy. I pictured in my head all the things I could do with that kind of power, but then reality set in and I figured I would probably just use it to steal or get women.
Inside the chamber, there were three chairs on three walls, and on the fourth sat a throne. Nothing sat on the chairs but where the dust had settled it was easy to see, the skeletons took up the chairs until recently. The throne had years of dust laying on it. Under each chair was a small lockbox, which Skrat said it was ok to take now that we killed the skeletons, and we threw them into a pack and went back out into the hall, where we had to manually pull the door closed, once we threw the remains of the skeletons inside.
“Maybe we should go get the others, just in case there are more surprises,” I said to the group as once again Skrat sent his light ball down the hall to scout.
“It is too crowded in the hall, there wouldn’t be room for them to do anything anyway,” Zeeg explained to me.
“That is true, but I could hide behind them,” I said sarcastically as we slowly made our way deeper into the underground hallway.
We went about another thirty or so feet before Skrat stopped us again. This time it was only a magical trap that if stepped on would have triggered a fireball to explode out of the floor, so we were grateful for the delay. Once that little bit of nasty was taking care of we continued down the hall when suddenly the light blinked out somewhere in the distance.
Skrat instantly called another ball into existence next to us and sent it to investigate the last one’s demise. It too blinked out as it reached the same spot. “We must be getting close now to whatever secrets this place holds,” he said with an excited smile and cast a third light that stuck close to us as we moved slowly down the hall. When we were about ten feet from where the other two balls of light had blinked out, we all stopped.
The light from our ball seemed to end just ahead. It was hard to tell but something just didn’t look right. Skrat took another step closer and crouched down to examine something. I bent down and picked up a bit of stone that had crumbled out of the wall at some point over the years. Serius and Drejnin kept a look out behind us for any more of our flesh challenged friends.
On a whim, I tossed the stone down the hall in the direction we were headed and it disappeared from sight as it passed where the lights had gone out. “Did you see that?” I asked, but no one was paying me any attention so I glanced around for another stone, but of course, there wasn’t any.
“What was it,” Zeeg asked looking around for danger.
“Watch this,” I said and stepped around the brothers and down the hall until I too passed the area where the lights and stone had disappeared. It felt very weird, traveling past that point, almost like being immersed slowly into freezing water. I didn’t know what to expect and the shock of it took my breath away, but my feet carried me through. When I realized I had closed my eyes, I opened them and looked at my new surroundings. It was a very large chamber. Too large to be under the town we were in. The ceiling here must have been fifty to sixty feet tall. Large torches and fires lit the chamber and I could see strange paintings on the walls in various vibrant colors.
On the far half of the chamber were a lot of books arranged on book shelves that reached almost to the ceiling. Several tables scattered the room some had strange glass bottles and apparatuses on them, others where clear. There was a small podium in the middle of the room with what appeared to be a book on it. There was no dust in this chamber at all, like it was cleaned on a regular basis. I turned around to see where I had come from and saw the same hall way illusion that I saw from the other side. Above the hall, was the only windows I saw, showing a real strange, almost red tinted sky. Strange clouds, thicker than the ones I was used too, where floating by in that strange red sky beyond the windows.
Well on a good note, there were no skeletons in the immediate area trying to kill me, so I took that as a plus and set the pack I was carrying down on the floor. I thought about going back through to tell the others it was safe, but a part of me wanted to make them worry for a bit until they figured it out, yeah, I’m an asshole sometimes.
My friends were smarter than I gave them credit for and within a minute Serius’s face appeared through the illusion of a hallway. His body was still back on the other side, they were playing it safe, as safe as they could. I waved to him as his eyes focused on me and he smiled. His face disappeared back though the illusion only to appear with the rest of the group a moment later.
Zeeg whistled as he looked at the size of this place. “It’s big enough to house a dragon skeleton,” he said.
“Don’t even joke about that,” I said imagining that horror in my mind.
“Let’s find out,” Serius said and began to transform into one. I really hated that dontu sometimes. He was a hard being to understand, sometimes he was completely reserved and determined, and other times he was like that bully growing up that when not chasing the younger kids was pulling the wings off of flies.
The massive dragon skull swung down and stopped right in front of my face, once again making me feel like Weebly. Maybe it was the universe’s payback for treating the runt badly. Serius opened his giant dragon maw, exposing those long, serrated, sword-like teeth and asked “Do I look scary?”
“Like an in-law with a suitcase at my door,” I responded, turning my attention towards Skrat. “What is this place?” I asked the young Magi.
“This is the Library. The damn Library of Oracles. I always thought it was a story, that it didn’t exist,” he said with wonder in his voice, craning his neck to see everything at once. “It is said that all the Magi that didn’t go through the Academy had amassed knowledge that they weren’t supposed to have, according to the Administrators. In order to hide what they found from the Academy they combined their knowledge and ripped a hole in our plane of existence and placed their library in another world. This must be it!” he said heading towards the book shelves on the far side.
“I never seen anyone so excited over old books,” Zeeg said as he inspected a suit of armor standing in the corner of the room.
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