Tales of the Thamasansby Casey Gilman
The Final Chapters: Mechanical Magic
Underground EncounterThe giant cavern that was serving as the Oruvian dining hall was packed. The entire population was there, seated on the cavern floor, awaiting a great feast. General Sesstaar's troops had captured a monster on the surface, and everyone excited at the fact that they were going to eat something different.
The Oruvians also had two guests in the dining hall; Strago Magus and Relm Arrowny. They had been rescued, by the Oruvians, from a rockslide and the threat of the monster. Lord Airion had asked them to stay for dinner, and the pair had accepted. They were on a long journey, and meals like this would be few and far between.
"I'm worried about Interceptor, Grandpa," said Relm, looking down at the floor.
"I'm sure he's fine. He's probably waiting for us on the surface," was Strago's reply.
"I guess," uttered Relm.
"So, I wonder what we are eating tonight," Strago tried to get Relm's mind off of her lost dog.
"I don't know," answered Relm,"I hope it's not too gross."
"You know," said Strago, who knew a lot about monsters,"There are some poisonous creatures in this area. It might be a good idea to go see what it is they are cooking."
They stood up from their spots at the head of the dining hall, and headed toward the entrance at the other side. Lord Airion would be there shortly, and he would be seated beside them, along with General Sesstaar.
Before reaching the giant entrance, they turned right, and entered a smaller cavern in the wall. After walking down a tunnel, they reached the kitchen. It was a small cavern, and didn't have much of anything in it. There was a stone slab leaned up against the opposite wall, and Strago wondered if it might be blocking the entrance to another cavern. A man dressed in the green monster hides was standing in the corner.
"Hello," he said,"Has Lord Airion arrived yet?"
"Not yet," replied Strago.
"Darn," replied the cook,"I can't start cooking until he has arrived."
"How exactly do you cook down here?" asked Strago.
"Inside that cavern," the cook pointed to the stone slab,"is a cavern surrounded by a deep pit. At the bottom of the pit, is a magma pool. It's just the right temperature for cooking, which is a rare thing down here."
"Fascinating," responded Strago.
"What about the monster, Grandpa?" asked Relm.
"Oh yes," replied Strago,"I wanted to warn you, that there are some poisonous monsters in this area. Could I please see it?"
"Sure thing!" answered the cook,"Be careful though, because it's still alive."
There was a smaller stone slab, near the cooks feet. Stood in front of it, and pulled it away. The monster charged out of the small cavern, and leapt into the cook's arms. Relm heard it bark, and realized that it wasn't a monster, it was Interceptor.
"That's my dog!" cried Relm.
"What?" the cook seemed puzzled.
"He's my pet," answered Relm,"He's not a monster."
She took Interceptor from the cook. The dog licked her face.
"Great," replied the cook,"What are we going to eat now?"
* * *
After a meal of bugs, which Relm and Strago found rather disgusting, everyone retired to their living quarters. Strago, Relm, and Interceptor were staying in the cavern that they had woken up in. The Oruvians were a little mad about having their great feast ruined, but they didn't seem too angry.
In Lord Airion's hall, Lord Airion and General Sesstaar were talking.
"So, when should our guests be escorted back to the surface?" asked Airion.
"As soon as they awaken," replied Sesstaar,"We want to get this whole thing over with."
"Yes," said Airion, sadly,"Yes, we do."
* * *
Relm awoke to the barking of Interceptor. She sat up, and saw him jumping up and down. Her grandfather was still asleep.
"What is it, boy?" she asked,"Are they still trying to eat you?"
Interceptor bolted out of the cavern. Relm chased after him. The problem with being underground was that you never knew what time it was. As she chased him down numerous caverns, she saw that everyone was still asleep.
Interceptor stopped and started barking and jumping again. Relm remembered what happened last night when he woke her up, and hoped that there wouldn't be some kind of disaster.
They had entered through the side of a giant stone tunnel. Looking both ways, Relm couldn't see an end either way. The "ceiling" had to be twenty feet high.
"Sure is big, isn't it, boy?" she said to Interceptor, who wouldn't stop barking.
"What's wrong?" she asked,"I don't see anything bad about this place."
Relm was fully awake by now, and didn't feel like going back to sleep. She saw numerous rocks on the ground, so she picked up a small one, and threw it over Interceptor's head.
"Fetch!" she cried.
Interceptor chased after it. He ran back to Relm, and dropped the rock at her feet. As Relm went to pick it up, she noticed it was shaking slightly.
"Huh?" she said.
It starting shaking more and more, faster and harder.
"Oh no!" cried Relm,"Earthquake!!!"
She fled back through the small cavern in the side of the tunnel. Interceptor followed, and they made it through just in time to see a gigantic, pale pink, slug-like creature move down the tunnel, with the speed of Doma's train. It's body was about the size of the entire tunnel. Relm looked at it, paralyzed with fear. It had small legs that looked blurry, because they were moving so fast. But within ten seconds, the whole ordeal was over.
Relm looked down at Interceptor, who was whining. The shock of the incident began to pass, and Relm started to notice that most, if not all, of the Oruvians were awake. The army charged by her, with their stone spears, and ran into the tunnel. Strago soon followed behind them, and stopped when he saw Relm.
"Thank goodness that you're safe!" Strago hugged her.
"It was awful!" she declared.
"Why were you here in the first place?" asked Strago,"We hardly know anything about this underground land! You could've gotten hurt!"
"Don't be such a worry-wart!" exclaimed Relm.
Strago couldn't help but worry. One of his greatest fears was losing her. He had a feeling that it would happen someday soon, for he wasn't really Relm's grandfather. He had adopted her.
* * *
"I am terribly sorry," Airion apologized to his guests, in the great hall,"We did not expect it to come tonight."
"I guess it's okay," replied Strago,"No one was hurt. I guess we had better be going. We are on a journey, and I want to get back home as soon as possible."
Airion gave them directions to the new-found exit.
"Perhaps we will meet again," said Airion.
"We'll come and visit!" said Relm.
"Yes," replied Strago,"Farewell! And thank you for your hospitality!"
* * *
After they were on the surface again, and their eyes had adjusted, they saw that the sun had just risen. They were fairly high in the mountains.
"If we travel along this mountain range, we should be able to reach Doma by this time tomorrow," explained Strago.
Strago had wanted to stay and help fight that creature, but they had a job to do. They also weren't very good fighters, compared to the Oruvian army.
After walking for a few minutes, Interceptor started barking.
"What is it this time?" wondered Relm. She looked to the sky, just as Interceptor was, and saw something. It kept moving closer.
"What is it, Grandpa?" asked Relm.
"I think it's some kind of bird," answered Strago.
It was flying very fast, and they soon realized that it was a fairly large, dark blue, vulture-like bird. It swooped down at Strago, but he ducked out of the way.
"Capture! Capture!" squawked the bird.
The trio began to scatter as the bird swooped down again. This time it went towards Relm. It grabbed her by the shoulders and carried her off.
"Mountain! Zozo!" squawked the bird as it flew off.
"Come back here, you ugly buzzard!" shouted Strago, as he and Interceptor chased after them. The dog was barking.
The bird was soon out of sight. Strago and Interceptor stopped, and Strago caught his breath.
"Come on, Interceptor!" exclaimed Strago,"We're going to Doma. Then, we're going to sail to Zozo!"