Burning Seldoorn

Interlude: 20 years ago...

Young Cici the roden scavenger found her cousin Jimbo injured and barely coherent stumbling back into the warrens below. Jimbo muttered and rambled about the mother load scavenger find in the tunnels deep below, and handed Cici his rope-map. Cici took Jimbo to the sawbones, and then headed into the tunnels.

Deep below the warrens, in long abandoned tunnels, Cici ran into the middle of strangeness. Rocks were floating in mid air, slowly dancing past each other, and the dust in this area floated like a fog, refusing to settle to the ground. Ahead, there was a rent in the wall ahead, with piles of rock spilling into the tunnel as well as the space on the other side. Cici carefully approached, and saw on the other side a very large chamber.

At her feet was something covered in cloth buried in the rocks. Beyond, a smooth floor was perurbed by five short plinths, topped with glowing gemstones, surrounding an arcane circle filled with glyphs and symbols at the center of the room. In the middle of the circle was a grey skinned creature, floating resplendent above the floor. It had slicked back black hair, pinned behind two elegant horns, a short goatee, and bits of brass armor covered various parts of its body. It seemed to blast its thoughts right into Cici’s mind, and was amused to see an intelligent rat creature, commenting on what strange tidings the aeons passing have brought.

Cici nervously contemplated the creature, and came to the conclusion that this was Jega’al, a demon, a servant of the god of the orcs. Cici engaged the demon hesitantly, as Jega’al requested to be released from his predicament. It explained that the elves had trapped him here, many aeons ago, possibly thousands of years, he was uncertain. Cici wondered how he had not gone mad. Jega’al explained that time was not the same for his kind as for mortals, and he merely needed to resume the tasks he had been set to so long ago. Cici was uncertain whether help here was appropriate, but Jega’al suggested Cici confirm the fate those who trust elves, pointing to the rubble covering the clothed body.

Cici found that the cloth belonged to the robes of a skeletal remain, clutching a book and a staff, with many crushed articles in packs about. Cici couldn’t make much of the articles, but packed them away quickly.

Jega’al recounted his tale in brief, that elves had imposed this prison on him, and the elves even went so far as to condemn the human wizard who actually performed the binding to be doomed along with Jega’al, as the elves could not command the power to do this all themselves.

Cici hesitantly approached agreeing to help, on the premise that Jega’al leave her kin be. Jega’al promised her power, specifically calling out the power of the mage who lay dead with him for so long. Cici reluctantly aquiesced, Jega’al granting that he didn’t know the disposition of the Roden, and would not act until he did.

Cici tried to pry a gem out of one of the plinths, but it ended up breaking and scorching her paw instead. Jega’al suggested reading the tome, but Cici couldn’t read. She tried to use loose stones to damage the circle but to no avail. Finally, reluctantly, Jega’al suggested that Cici’s blood might break the barrier. Cici held her arm over the circle, slowly squeezing blood from her wounds. Eventually, she passed out.

When she came to, the chamber was empty and dark, only the embers of her torch still shedding light. Jega’al was gone. Cici gathered herself, lit a new torch, and began dusting off her fur… And to her shock it was not the color it should have been, but stark white. She nearly panicked, and in so doing her mind raced over recent events. Thinking of Jimbo, she suddenly realized that there was power in her mind, the power to heal.

She rushed back to the warrens, only pausing to smear ink into her fur to hide her albino fur. Regardless, she quickly attracted a crowd as she made her way to the sawbones. There, Jimbo was still in a sorry state. Cici followed the knowledge trapped in her mind, and executed the incantation to heal Jimbo. He almost immediately came to, hardly well, but better. Cici returned his rope-map to him, but urged him never to go down into those tunnels again. Then she disappeared into the crowd.

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