Oct 18, 2019 1:58 AM
Emma and Ivan in Chronicle
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"I'm not sure he found it wonderful, but I find it a funny story."

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"It sounds like it ended well. So now you can laugh as much as you like."

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"And he did enjoy organizing the dragon's library!"

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Emmalina blinks at that. "...was it a particularly interesting library?" she inquires. "I organized Morath's treasure sometimes, but half the appeal was seeing history's poor fashion decisions. And I'm guessing- hoping- your cousin was not wearing the books."

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"I don't think so. He's the bookish type, though."

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Emmalina is about to respond when the darkness comes rolling back. She sighs and stops in place, one hand on the wall. "I was so hoping the last one would be it, we're almost th-" she is cut off by a familiar chittering.

"-down, sitting down now, help spider," Emmalina breathes out in a rush. She curls into a ball on the floor, back against the wall, dagger retrieved and held carefully in front of her.
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Sound of drawn sword! "Ow." Squelch. Clank. Clank. Squelch. "Say something, which direction are you in -"

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"Here, I'm here, it was-" she thinks frantically- "ahead of me, a little to the left?"

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"I've touched it since then, just wanted to make sure I hadn't got turned around, don't want to take my sword out of it till it stops twitching -" Clang. "And it's easier to pin down with the ground helping."

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Emmalina nods jerkily, remembers he can't see her, and manages to gulp out, "Okay, so it's- good. That's good."

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"Yeah, I got it, we're fine," he assures her.

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Unfortunately, fighting spiders is a loud activity, which attracts spiders. Either they are sneaky or their approach was quieter than the thrashing of the dying one on Jann's sword. Either way, Jann now has two more spiders to deal with, and one has found Emmalina.

When the spider brushes her arm, she shrieks and wrestles her dagger free. It's dark, too dark, she can't see anything, but she can feel it moving and maybe she can't kill it but she will stab anything that gets close to her.
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"Shit," says Jann, and he resumes spider-stabbing. "Are you okay, did one bite y-" Scrape of fang on armor. "How many of these things are th-" Stab. Slash.

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"It's-" she feels spider hairs on her arm and stabs for them, "-trying but-" it steps on her leg and she even manages to connect the dagger this time, "-hasn't gotten-" she can feel it move towards her face, swallows another shriek (mostly) and slashes wildly in front of her, "-just yet?"

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"I'll be there in ow a sec -"

He dispatches one of his foes; the other has managed to poke him in the eye with its leg, which is really uncomfortable.
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Sure, they are large and unfriendly and have scary teeth, but they are not poisonous. That would just be excessive. Jann's eye will not suffer (extra) damage.

Emmalina is setting no records for fine swordsplay, and she's certainly not capable of fending off the spider, much less killing it. On the other hand, she is waving a sharp metal object with terror-powered force, and it's sufficient to keep the spider from jumping her outright. She's starting to get a little winded, but the adrenaline's helping. "Knife's keeping-" stab, "-it off-" slice, "-for now!"
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Jann kills the second spider. "Can you, I don't know, kick it in my direction, something like -" The light comes back. "Nevermind." He spears it in the abdomen and removes it from Emmalina's person.

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He gets another hug. A shaky, rather bloody hug, admittedly, but still a hug.

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Pat pat pat. "Let's get as far from here as we can before it goes dark again."

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Emmalina nods, pulls herself together as best she can, and starts off down the tunnel again. She has to pick her way over the dead spiders to get through the tunnel; the one that attacked her gets a vengeful stomp on one of its legs as she goes.

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That is entirely reasonable of her.

Hurry hurry hurry.
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Either Jann has wiped out all the nearby spiders or the others have learned to leave well enough alone; they are not bothered by further creatures. After three more caves, two more dark patches, a waterfall of molten gold, and a distressingly unstable rope bridge Emmalina's doing her best not to think about ever again, they make it to the well.

The cavern's enormous, full of large blocks of granite scattered haphazardly throughout the cave. Emmalina eyes their disorder uncomfortably. The dragons move the boulders away from the well periodically, or it would get too crowded to approach, but dragons are not tidy creatures and there isn't any rhyme or reason to it.

She tries to put the scattered boulders out of her mind and waves at the circular basin at the end of the room. "There you go," she tells him. Other phrases float through her mind- good luck, don't use the gold dipper, congratulations, aren't you glad you made it- but they all feel wrong, somehow, and she keeps her mouth shut.
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"Thank you very much," says Jann, and he heads straight for the beat-up tin dipper on the wall, takes it, dips some water into a canteen he brought along for the purpose, and then says, "On the way out we'll have help with the spiders, at least," and starts dipping more water onto all the boulders.

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As soon as the water drips on them, the boulders turn back into men. Most are wearing armor, though there's the usual mix of fortune seekers, middle sons and even what looks like a magic user or two. They cluster around Jann, all of them are effusive in their thanks. Emmalina presses back against the cave wall, feeling out of place and uncomfortable.

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Jann introduces her to them as "my guide, Princess Emmalina of Griffinmarsh" when he's gotten all the rocks and put the dipper back. Several of the ex-boulders collect some water of their own to take home, this time all managing to remember to use that one and not the gold and jewel-encrusted one, and look at her to lead the way.

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