back Was it Chaos?

No not Chaos

Yenda looks round amazed. The air was thick with a chaotic mist and worse the krarstkids were still moving about. As she calls on Jalmar's help she can't help wondering what had happened to Graylor and Egil, teleported somewhere, but that would have to wait for a more appropriate time.

"Mav can you cancel that mist you called up?" She asks, and seeing a couple of the zebra riders looking stunned she starts issuing orders. "You two go and help your friends. Keep the krarshkids off them while I try and do something about freeing them up."

No waiting for any responses she wades into the mist and finds that her Jalmari magic does at least let her pass through OK. She heads first for Irnar and sets about clearing the pratzim from him and at the same time slaying the two monsters that were trying to eat him.

Gerras looks aghast and turns on the nearest krashtkid. Venting his anger and frustration on it, he hacks and stabs at it until all that remains is a bloody pulp.

Mauvin falls to his knees holding his head in his hands he moans and whimpers "He won't come down here, he won't help again. Rain and mist and wind are for the open sky not dark tunnels. Helamakt has left me I hope he returns with the sky."

Gerras ignores the snivelling blue man and calls to the other zebra riders. "We need to kill the rest of these things and then get the flock out of here."

Gerras sets to attacking the remaining krashtkids. He leads the remaining zebra riders against the beasts, killing three more before the others scuttle back along their tunnels. When the tunnel is clear of them he surveys the scene, seven of his tribesmen remain alive, the emotional wreck that is Mauvin. Graylor's friends stand slightly battered but alive. "I cannot make your decisions for you but we must get out of here and the quickest way is where we have come from as we know where it leads."

Mauvin has started to get control of himself, at least enough to speak "Elgan, can you talk with Orlanth? He might be able to guide your thoughts as to where the Rat teleported with our friends. My guess is that without us to aid them they will die quickly at the hands of the rat and his friends."

Irnar looks at Marvin sadly. Whatever happened with his failed magic must have scrambled his brains! "Mav, we left Elgan back at camp. He was paralysed, remember?" now speaking more brightly he adds. "He did say he would come to Gimpy's Tavern for breakfast once the healers would let him go."

Gerras takes on an authoritative tone, as befits a follower of Waha "Come! We should get out of here before the chaos beasts return in numbers we cannot deal with. Talking to the gods can wait until we are safer."

He turns and begins to lead the way back along the tunnel.

"Good plan Gerras." Yenda replies. "The chaos beasts are still close, we should make all speed. Looks like you are going to have to wait to talk with the rat I'm afraid Rana." she adds. "Will you come back to Pavis with us?"

The girl nods quietly: given that the alternative is being alone in the Rubble, this is perhaps hardly surprising.

Reverentially she picks up Egil's and Graylor's boots the former she hands to Gerras and the latter she cradles in her arms. Irnar puts a comforting arm about her shoulder.

"He'll be alright just you see. He's probably in the Pavis temple right now."

Yenda nods distractedly. Then turns back to Rana hopefully, "Don't suppose you know where he would be likely to teleport to?"

"I never even knew he had a teleport stone," she says regretfully. That's what it was, he wasn't using his own magic this time, he pulled a stone out and spoke to it. Someone must have given it to him, some ally, probably Orlanthi. So... well, we should be able to work something out from that. It can't have taken him back to the traditional Landing Room in the New City, the Lunars filled that with sand years ago. It'll depend on who his allies are: Faltikus is a Lunar puppet, but there's others around who aren't. Or maybe he had it specially enchanted and it takes him back to his own base: wherever that is!"

"I'd guess that it would have to be at least a holy site for Orlanth. As you say round here all the temples have been desecrated by the Lunars. I'm sure Elgan will know when we meet up with him." Yenda looks to Irnar, come on cat-man get us out of this dreadful tunnel.

Irnar looks longingly at the western tunnel. But seeing the Zebra riders going north he dutifully runs ahead and starts to retrace the path they had so recently travelled.

The few remaining krashtkids seem to have lost interest when the Rat departed, and the group make their way back to the surface with no trouble. It's an easy walk back to the zebra pens in the growing light of dawn, and from there to the entrance to Gimpy's Tunnel. A sleepy Orlanthi guard sits in the basement to welcome them back, and there's a smell of frying bacon from the kitchen. "Some people looking for you, upstairs", they're told. "Friends, it's all right - or so they said, though you must have odd friends." Then he looks at Mauvin. "All right, maybe not all that odd."

Upstairs the smell of bacon, and freshly baked bread, is even stronger. The big room's almost empty: but there's Elgan, looking a little shaky but still rising to meet them, and with him, a small figure almost hidden behind the loaf he's munching on and the table he's trying to hide under. You usually only see Timmy, Dori's trollkin runner, at night, but the big floppy hat is unmistakable.

Irnar and Yenda greet Elgan warmly, glad to see him back on his feet. Irnar peers under the hat to give welcome to Timmy. Swiftly Rana is introduced to Elgan and Timmy and they settle down for a well-deserved breakfast. Meanwhile Elgan is constantly looking over the shoulders of the party. Finally he can bear it no longer.

"Where is everyone else? You came with Graylor, Egil, Aelf and the Lunar guy and their supporters. What has happened to them?"

"Aelf and Vesekor are still carrying out investigations in Pavis. We've been in the rubble chasing the thief that stole Egil's sword." Irnar looks downcast. "But when we finally caught up with him he teleported away taking Egil and Graylor with him. Actually, it's good that you are here. We were wondering where an Orlanthi teleport stone may have taken them, and thought that you might know."

"That's a cruel fortune." Elgan thinks for a long time. "The Orlanthi teleport feat is usually tied to a specific holy place of worship. Unfortunately the Lunars have been filling the landing spots with rubble so that they can't be used. Apart from the temples in Pavis and the Rubble the only major holy place for Orlanth in Prax is the Pairing Stones. Other than that you are talking about a trip to the Stormwalk Mountains." He looks at the horrified faces round him.

"You see Prax is nomads land and there aren't the permanent settlements for temples here. Besides Orlanth isn't as popular here as back home, the few Orlanthi round here will have mobile shrines and they are no good for teleportation. "

Gerras is openly grinning "Pairing Stones? I haven't been that way since I gelded my first foal. I'll get back to the pens and see how many braves I can round up. You never know, if we get really lucky we might run into a few sables on the way." Turning to the rather bedraggled looking blue man he says "Mav, are ok now? How's your magic holding up?"

Mauvin smiles weakly back at him. "I can feel Helamakt now but whether the magic will work or not only time will tell. I'll try it when we get on our way. How long before we move out?"

Before he leaves Gerras speaks to Timmy "Can you report this back to your mistress for us? I'm going back to the pens to get as many of my tribe to ride there with us and to get some mounts for those here who are without. We'll have to rescue our two warriors from ratboy and escape. Any aid she can lend would be greatly appreciated and I'm sure her boys would like a workout and a jog across Prax." His grin gets wider as he finishes speaking.

Rana looks somewhat startled at this. "His mistress? And her boys? You've got trolls working for you, too?"

"When we need them yes, they do have their uses." Yenda grins, then speaks to Gerras, you'll need to get hor.. zebras for the rest of us and supplies. It's going to be a couple of days riding to get there. I don't know about you but I would like to get there as soon as possible. Could we push it to get there in one day? Though I guess that would be tough for the weak riders." She looks sympathetically at the two blue men praying together.

Gerras gives Yenda a disparaging look "Heh! In Prax there is no such thing as a weak rider. Either you ride well or you die. It shouldn't be a problem to get there in a day but the zebras will not be happy when we do. I will return with as many riders as I can muster and as many spare zebra as I can get off of my father."

"I'm Pol Joni so I wasn't talking about myself. I was talking about the Sartarites amongst us that weren't born to the saddle, Mauvin, Irnar and Elgan," Yenda replies in somewhat disgruntled manner.

Gerras casts her a disparaging glance, "As long as your little horsey can keep up, Waha's beasts thrive in Prax. I believe the sky gods' animals wilt."

Yenda snorts, this time with laughter. "Yes, they do rather. It's good that my mind is not as hide bound and prejudiced as my peers or we'd be at the kicking and punching stage by now. I'd love to ride one of your Zebras. Especially as I have no mount of my own and riding without an animal is a difficult occupation."

The he turns and heads back to the zebra pens, rounding up friends and relations as he goes. "Anyone want to come to the Pairing Stones? I need to rescue a friend but we may chance up someone we can raid while we're on the way."

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