Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The Journal of Katherine, Entry 56
After a short rest, we open the door on the far wall and see a huge cavern with lava at the bottom. A narrow stone walkway bridges a platform in the middle. Something is there, but we cannot see exactly what it is. We start our cautious trip, knowing one slip and an unpleasant fall to a hot, burning death waits. To our left, we see a second walkway, most likely accessible only from the middle room. The walkway has two gaps, which if connected, would form a bridge straight across the room to a door on the far side. It has two missing bridges. Behind even farther, is a third walkway similar to this one. We all simultaneously conclude there must be two levers that control two drawbridges. Brute finds a lever and soon, we hear a loud grinding, and a walkway rises from the depths to connect half of the bridge.
We move to the room from the left door, the one with a lava river and many statues. Kull has the idea to put the statues into the lava river to make a stepping stone bridge. With the strength of three men, he picks up a statue and tosses it in. It sinks, but finds a bottom. A little part is exposed. More statues! Just then a few start moving and attacking.
Brute, Kull, and Ohm Uri's intense aggressive fighting gives me great concern, for they care not for their own health and safety. I feel obliged to help. All three take nasty cuts and bruises. I run amongst calling on the Light for aid to bind their wounds. And they keep fighting. And continue to get hurt.
I hear Brute telling me I am reckless. Instead of running around, I decide to help and attack the statues, too. I rush over to swing, but before I do, I rise up in the air. "Put me down!" I scream and see the creature's claw swipe, barely missing my legs. "Brute, put me down!" For a brief moment, I feel vulnerable, as he can easily carry me away or worse, but he did not. The last time Brute picked up a woman, he took her home as a trophy. But he sets me down, gently. I put aside the anger and the animosity, realizing he saved my life.
I turn towards Trevor and plead with him so he can help with his magic. But he tells me his magic effects the mind, and these statues have no mind. I turn back to look at the three. Ohm Uri is badly injured. I focus on the sorcery power easily, but instead, I use it to reach for the Light, twice, to call upon the healing aid. Ohm Uri is better.
When all the statues on this side of the lava are destroyed, I suggest we rest. Kull notices movement from a statue on the other side of the lava river.
I curse. And Kull has an episode.
His rational mind hides away. Then a primal force unleashes. His eyes roll back into his head and foam drips from his mouth. He looks grotesque. His muscles tighten. Sweat beads on his flesh. I fear for his wellbeing.
He jumps over the lava river and throws his body into more statues, knocking many over. Kull is up first and with single blows, statues break. But more move and soon they surround him. Brute jumps the lava and Ohm Uri also joins. My concern for Kull makes me want to get over our makeshift bridge. I'm not that agile, but I think I can do it. At my first gesture to climb over the bridge Brute looks at me. In the midst of swinging his weapon, he takes time to focus on me. The battle waits for him to raise his hand in gesture. One word: stop! It hits me hard, like all the air slammed from my lungs. I wait, sit down, and worry. How can he know or see me when he is in the fight? I focus inward. I search for the Light within me. I worry and I search.
Trevor taps me on the shoulder, returning me to this battle scene. I look around, and the scene is quiet. Stone dust from the statues cover our clothes and wounds. No more moving statues. No more still statues. All are smashed and knocked over. Kull is out, but alive and resting. Brute extends me a helping hand to cross the lava river, over our make shift stepping stone bridge. Once we are all safely across, again Brute follows the pathway through the heat, to turn the lever. The magic or mechanics still work after a thousand years. Just as impressive as before, a second bridge rises to finish the connection of the walkway.
Day 4 of our trip in the desert
The day starts after our short rest, so we can recover our stamina. I am not sure if the sun set and rose again while we rest, as we are deep underground, in an ancient temple. Most importantly, my vision to the Light is clear now. I worry that asking too much would cloud my vision, as I have witnessed this with others before. The fighters are still in poor health.
For our food, I bless three, three day old loaves of bread, to nourish and give strength to our mighty warriors: Ohm Uri, Kull and Brute. When I finish the blessing, the bread smells freshly baked, with a slice of butter on top. The warriors are skeptical about the bread, but soon they feel the healing power. I nibble on wilting vegetables, to push the starvation feeling away, while Trevor does not appear to eat much. He is very strange and distant to me on this trip. I talked to him before about helping with his magic, but all he says is that if he dies, the rest of us are stuck here. On past trips, we grew together, but on this trip, we are growing apart.
We study the next room with the traps. There are many grooves in the floor and matching ones in the ceiling, but no real order to them. Ohm Uri enters with his magic shoes and walks on the walls, safely to the door on the far side and hops down and waits.
Brute takes a shield and rolls over a groove. I hear loud metal whirling sounds and many large circular steel blades roll up from the floor and down from the ceiling in every groove. This room is pure mechanical evil! No creature can survive in there. I gasp to think Brute may be in pieces when the whirling blades retreat back to their resting place.
To my relief, Brute is not hurt. The shield takes the blow. The mind of Brute works to take this as a challenge when most men would give up in fear. Confident, he continues to roll over a second groove and no blade comes up or down. Trevor, thinking quick, tosses chalk, stating to mark that groove as safe. There are many more grooves to mark, and with each move, I hear the loud whirling sounds and feel the vibrations of the cogs moving. I find myself sneaking a smile as I watch the two of them find the safe route.
Kull is another challenge to get through. His size alone has problems. But Brute works to keep Kull calm. On my turn, I summon courage to make the first step. The noise, sight and vibration are enough to make one go running, but I freeze, envisioning the blade, stuck before, but now free, to slice through me, cutting me in half. But no. I pass intact, and it gets easier with each pass over the chalk marked grooves.
We cross the lava pit to yet, another room. This room is cool, instead of hot. Powerful magics effect this room after many years to keep this so cool. It is filled with books and tables and chairs. In addition to the door we came from, two other doors exist, one of ivory and one of ebony. A small fountain bubbles into a basin in a corner.
Against my suggestion, Brute drinks from this fountain, for he wants refreshment after the room with the blades. He says the water is refreshing and invigorating, then passes out, slumping to the floor, fast asleep. No amount of prodding will wake him - a magical slumber. I pick up a book, willing to read it, for we will be here a while. The writings are similar to a strange language I learned when I stayed at the priory. I scan through the book, and with illustrations, I decipher some passages. Two in particular state the codex will possess who ever picks it up, and destroying it will release a dark spirit to cause destruction. This confirms Trevor's dream. An item of power it is, but it is also a manifestation of pure darkness. I cannot return with it. Yet, I said before I would destroy it.
Brute wakes, finishing his sentence from where he left off, unaware of his long nap. We can proceed. I open the ivory door. The room is cold and has no other exits. A blue gem is encased in ice in the center. This room gives me a pleasant feeling, but we cannot stay long, for we are here to find the codex.
Brute opens the ebony door. A passageway leads to a round room with a large statue of a desert cat, three times the size of Kull, with glowing red eyes and a large ruby red gem on a chain around its neck. When we enter, the statue of the cat starts moving. And chaos engulfs me.
The three strong agile men run into the room, past the cat, or on top of it. The cat seems to play with its three new toys, and Trevor runs to a lever on the left. What?! I am left alone in the corridor. I follow Trevor and quickly state not to pull the lever, for it has magic, fearing the floor will collapse, if he does. Visions haunt my mind of the whirling blade room.
I manage another scolding look from Brute as I rush to Ohm Uri and Kull, calling the Light to intervene to keep them alive while we all battle this monstrosity. Strange for a cat, for it focuses on Trevor who is the only one not running around, and charges him. Without hesitation Trevor pulls the lever. A large stone falls from the ceiling, crushing the creature.
This is almost comical, as if I were watching what a young pupil did with a book, years ago. I forget his name now. He drew a small picture on the corner of a book. Then on the next page, he drew the same picture, just a little different. He did this many times, and then he flips the pages very fast. The funny scenes he portrayed came into motion, with large anvils falling, like this stone. Our superiors were not amused when they found out, and punished him.
After the stone fell, an outline of a door appears. We open the door and follow the passage to a last room. There are three iron bound books that all have slid from alters or tables. The tables tilted due to an earthquake that happened a long time ago. All have a dark aura. Are there more than one codex? I sit and meditate. What can I do? My judgment has been very poor recently. I am failing with almost every decision. I pray.
In my prayers, I have dark visions of the iron codex, especially if it is destroyed. The Light confirms me. I also feel lifted as if floating through the air, flying and then back down. I open my eyes from my prayer and the room is different. One alter is here now, and only one book. I shout to Brute as he is swinging at the book. No! Stop! Don't destroy it. The book slid from the alter and should be righted. Then Kull, feeling the will of the Light, sets the alter straight, so it is level. Then he picks up the book with cloth, so as not to touch it with his hands, and sets it on the alter. Calm passes over me. It seems a magical calm from the alter, and others must also feel it, too. A vision of a boy appears, and says something we do not know, but also smiles, a kind smile, and then disappears.
Brute picks me up, and proceeds to get out of the room. He must still think I am in prayer, and many rooms and halls pass by before he sets me down. We are in the entrance area where we started. As he sets me down, a feeling of compassion, no, desire, washes over my entire body. I think of Veronica. In a fleeting moment, if I were her, then it is gone. I push the feeling away, far away. I close my eyes. I fight this feeling and the tears swell. Why must this be so difficult! I want to only serve the Light! I wait a while, prone. After what seems like an eternity, I get up, controlled and without looking at anyone, gather my writing things and start recording these events.