Clone Alone (pt4)

Before deciding how to set off and where to, they checked the bookshelves one last time. Feeling their stomach gurgle they searched pulling two books from the shelf. One a book on transmutation magic. It wouldn’t feel good to rip someone off but it would beat starving. And on one on spells for offence. They didn’t know why but they knew that they knew magic, in some capacity. Fitting them into the sack, but it was full to bursting. Taking out the only map they’d manage to find and spreading it on the table they notice something peculiar about the map. It lacked a compass rose, or words. It only had a series of strange symbols that they didn’t know the orientation to. “What is this?” they thought, walking around the table, looking at the strange map. “Guess it’s so nobody but the person who made it can use it, but it makes for a pretty useless map otherwise.” There was no map key, no distance scale, and it was drawn in such a top down view it made it impossible to even figure out what anything on the map was, looking more like a topographic map, than a road map. There was not much that could be figured out underground so they stowed the map until they had a chance to look at it when they were topside. Thinking of the next step they idly ran their fingers along the once beautifully carved, but now waterworn runes on the stone table’s surface. A flash of memory came back. The table served as a teleportation anchor, an understanding of the runes and how they worked also came to them, the flashes of viewing the person that was somehow them but not them sent them wobbling in place. “Ugh..” When the room stopped spinning they took stock of what they learned knowing they could now do that spell; the only trouble was they lacked the staff to perform the magic. “Drat. Could it only be so easy.” they thought.

Beginning to feel hungry and knowing nothing was in this place that would be edible, they stood. Starting for the door, something deep inside them got the better of them. “I have to know what that scroll is.” They hurried back over to the table. Licking their dry lips in anticipation they pulled the red and silver string free. As the vellum paper unfurled, they caught the writing only for a split second, starting with the first word the writing burst into light of red and started to seemingly unwrite itself in a silver trace. The shock being the only reason it felt slow, outside their viewpoint it happened near instantly. When all the writing vanished a small bead of burning red light the size of a common acorn floated above the paper and in a streak it crashed into the ceiling. In a gout of black singing smoke, bits of stone fell from the ceiling and rattled against the table. Luckily they were deep underground and the surface was high above or that might have caused a collapse. The smoke vanished quickly but the smell of burned mildew hastened the exit. Running from the room, to be far away from here now more than ever for when the owner returned, they ran up and up and up for what felt like forever. Eventually reaching a ladder at the top of the stairs landing, pushing the trap door at the top open and staring out into cool fresh air autumn and a star filled night’s sky, they pulled themselves onto the soft thick grass on a hillside, the trap door falling close, looking simply like a natural rock. Sitting there a while staring at the sky trying to find a constellation they recognised until they felt their stomach growl again. “Better get walking…”

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