Left: Desmond Edmundsen, Middle: Kyflynn Windwalker, Right: Agustina Vyrakova (revised to Vera Vyrkova)
Robert, Christopher, Carolyn, Andreas, and Iris enter the great gate of Enia’s Sanctum along with other survivors. They all look very fatigued, wounded, and particularly uneasy. Tension remains in their bones and muscles. Even some of them are still trembling from the horrors they just experienced and the deadlier and more dangerous horrors that may and will befall them.
‘This is the main lobby,’ says a senior elf guide. ‘You may all rest here until we reach a sufficient number of people to move on and catch up with earlier groups. With many people we will have a better chance to pass the obstacles and guards there.’
All of them immediately find themselves a spot to sit and take a rest. Only the elves are seem still vigorous and eager to move on. They soon find that there are many others who came in here earlier, a mass of about a hundred chosen hunters, all from different jobs, races and classes. Most of them are bounty hunters, fighters and sorcerers, male and female, humans, elves, dwarves, ogres, and (to Robert’s disgust) orcs and hobgoblins. And they are all chosen by the light side or the dark side. Robert has to rub his ring several times to contain himself not to attack the orcs right away.
Kyflynn the bluish-skinned dark elf assassin is among them, along with his partners Desmond Edmundsen the berserker from Bjordan and Agustina Vyrakova the sorceress from Val’shka. Kyflynn is examining his Maraj’vriad – a pair of elf-made curved daggers that are superbly fine and sharp that after they slice through flesh, no blood is left on the blades. Rumors have it that Maraj’vriad was made from a single, fine mythril ore.
Desmond is half-kneeling as though he is always on guard, holding his great maul resting on his shoulder like an enchanted guardian golem. And Agustina is meditating with a transparent, almost invisible force field around her. Anyone who dares or is foolish enough to step inside it or even touch it will freeze before he knows what hit him.
Andreas spots the three of them as he walks around offering help to heal the wounded. He approaches Kyfylnn and says, ‘Sir, I see you have a big scratch wound on your leg. Perhaps you’ll allow me to heal it.’
Kyfylnn looks up and answers with a smile, ‘And perhaps I allow you, good dwarf. You are not from Grad, I presume?’
‘Aye, Grad is my homeland,’ says Andreas. ‘But I’ve been in Valanis as a priest and a healer. I went back to Grad, but an incident has sent me traveling again with my companions over there,’ he points at his hunting party. ‘By the way, I am Father Andreas Marvellini. And you are – if I’m not pretty much mistaken – the famous Kyflynn the Windwalker, right?’
‘Hahaha!’ Kyflynn laughs pleasantly. ‘I think I’m not that famous. In fact, I’m seen as a misfit, an outcast from my dark elf kindred and other people by my trade. But at least I have my freedom, and earn quite a living with my two friends here, Desmond and Agustina.’
‘A boundary-breaker, real admirable,’ says Andreas.
Kyflynn responds with the same admiration, ‘and yourself also. The first healer dwarf in the world.’
‘Ah, well,’ Andreas blushes a bit innocently upon this compliment and offers something in return. ‘Shall we go on with the treatment, then? Please don’t move. Vitali!’
Andreas’ healing staff glows, and he puts a hand above Kyflynn’s wound. A glowing white light emits from his hand. It touches Kyflynn’s wound and the wound closes in. The frozen blue blood is wiped off; leaving a healthy and intact as though the wound have never took place before. Kyflynn gets up, lifts his leg, stands on one foot, then he does a somersault as if he is practicing his Cartwheel Slash, and lands on the foot that was just healed.
‘Wow! Great, it’s as good as new! Basic healing method is indeed better than Agustina’s, no offense, partner.’
Kyflynn looks at Agustina but she doesn’t budge or respond. She just goes on with her meditation. Desmond didn’t hear that.
‘Too bad you already have companions. I certainly need a good healer in my team.’
‘I’ll gladly heal you anytime we meet again,’ says Andreas. ‘But thanks for the offer, though.’
As he looks at the result of his work, Andreas suddenly sees a glimpse of a glittering, silvery fabric beneath Kyflynn’s shoe. Shock comes into his face. Kyflynn notices this and asks Andreas.
‘Father Andreas, what’s wrong?’
‘N-nay, nothing…,’ says Andreas. ‘I just realized that I need a rest myself to replenish my aura. Well, ‘twas nice to meet you.’
‘The pleasure’s mine,’ says Kyflynn with a slight bow. ‘Thank you, father.’
Andreas walks away full with thoughts. Wasn’t that the Mythril Greaves of Eil’thanath…? Impossible. No way. It was stolen by Sheena Mekh’ta. I was banished again because of that greaves. No. I must confirm that first. Maybe he’s wearing an extra silver cloth to protect his feet, his most valuable assets especially from the sun. It’s no use to confront him now. I must find Sheena to know for sure first.
Andreas finds a spot to rest, but he is still deep in his thoughts.
Even if we confront them, our three fighters are no match for them. Iris is our guide, she won’t fight for our personal vendetta. There’s a more important thing at hand anyway: protecting the Kraal’shazar (Deathblade) and find and destroy the heir.
Hmm… if he indeed has it, let him wear the greaves for a while – it’s better than to lie idly in Grad Vault. I like his principle anyway. Well, as long as my family is safe…
Suddenly a voice breaks Andreas’ chain of thought.
‘ATTENTION PLEASE! As we are over four hundred strong now, and rested a bit, we can proceed now. Please proceed to the room to your right…’ It’s the senior elf guide again. This time he sounds rather commanding as though he is the leader of the entire contingent.
‘The obstacles ahead will sort you out. Hopefully, the guardians can destroy the heir, but we don’t really know for sure about that, right?’
Without listening anymore to the elf’s speech, Robert’s party gets up and gets ready. And they start walking out from the lobby to another chamber at the right.
It’s a medium-sized round chamber with a marble floor. Around the chamber on the wall, there is a great mural painting of Enia sitting on top of a flower-filled hill, her hand outstretches and a sparrow rests on her hand. And how strange, the mural animates! The Goddess Enia in that painting releases the sparrow, and it flies away, joining all other various birds flying around in the sky animatedly, even making warbling sounds. Enia smiles amusingly. And then the sparrow flies around the room and lands on Enia’s outstretched hand again. It’s obvious that the mural is painted with magic – although it’s not a very advanced magic as Enia in that painting cannot interact with the people inside the room.
Like in the waterfall-tunnel entrance, there is also an epitaph here, standing at the center of the room. The difference is, it’s surrounded by four marble poles, which have letters N, E, W, or S engraved on each pole and statue of a flying bird on each top, all facing four different directions that actually are North, East, West, and South. Robert’s party examines the words engraved on it, and it’s yet another riddle in ancient elvish language. Lavennia Iris immediately translates it.
Sun Mother favors the wise,
For wisdom lies in the sky,
Follow the flow is the advice,
Flying away by knowing your way
‘Knowing our way?’ says Carolyn, a bit puzzled. ‘What’s the meaning of this?’
‘Well, it’s quite simple, you know,’ says Iris. ‘Maybe we will understand it at once when we are inside the area.’
Just then the other hunters come in. The room cannot accommodate hundreds of people at once, so not all of them are inside.
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Author's Note: Revised May 2008 pg 209-213
Kursk, the Dark Elf Assassin as example from http://www.freewebs.com/intothetrash/kursk.htm
Celebrating 11-11-11, November 11, 2011