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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

to him until they had a chance for Nellise to rest. They would most likely have to escape
from this infernal city first.
“We have to get moving, now!” Colt bellowed impatiently. “Drop whatever it is
you're doing and get down here - Clavis thinks he's found us a way out.” Aiden picked up
the sack with the few items he'd managed to stow in there, and then hesitated, looking
down at the desk, still laden with all sorts of interesting papers. Throwing caution to the
wind, he stepped closer and swept the rest of the material into the sack.
Satisfied he had everything of value, Aiden said a quick farewell to the remains of
the wizard whose trap had just saved his life, then limped outside, closing the door
behind him so that the remains would continue to go undisturbed. He secured the sack
over his shoulder, tying it in place so as not to lose it, the n hurried over towards the hole.
Before he could make it there several spears were thrust through the gap in the wall,
coming close to impaling Aiden‟s chest.
He cursed himself under his breath for taking the extra time to loot the place, for now
their enemies had found them. The rocky ceiling above had been heavily damaged by the
serpent, and it was only a matter of time before the dwarves managed to find out that they
could get through to the level below that way.
Aiden tossed the sputtering torch down onto the pile of detritus below, made sure
that he was about to drop onto the closest part of the pile, then lowered himself over the
side and let go. He landed heavily on his good leg and looked around to gauge the
situation. The others had been using this pile as the centre of their defensive efforts, for
even though it was an uneven mound of rocky debris, it was still easier to move around
on it, than in the water.
They were gathered around Nellise, who had begun to heal them. Her battered
breastplate had been cast aside – the serpent‟s great teeth had left gouges all around the
armour, to the point of rendering it beyond repair.
“When Pacian loots something, he's at least quick about it,” Colt growled as Aiden
made his way towards them.
“Sorry, but I found a few things that might turn out to be important. Is everyone
okay?”
“Yes, but only because we got lucky,” Colt replied. “That damn snake was too
cautious attacking us. Probably been stung in fights with the dwarves in the past, 'cause I
saw a lot of scars along its hide. But you burned its face real good Aiden, it'll either swim
back to its mother, or come back and attack us with everything it‟s got.”
“When it attacked me upstairs, the serpent damaged some of the rock up there,”
Aiden added, “enough so that the dwarves upstairs can probably climb down through that
hole soon. They already tried skewering me with spears, so they know what's going on
here.”
“This just keeps getting better and better,” Pacian muttered sarcastically.
“Ahoy thar!” Clavis called from nearby, interrupting their train of thought as he
stood right at the outer edge of their light, holding something in his right hand. “I found
me K ing's axe!” he roared, holding the shining weapon above his head in triumph. “I'm
freezing me arse off, but I've other good news too – I found that breach ya thought might
be there, Aiden, and it's a beautiful sight! Leads up into an old lake, mostly drained now
'o course, but I felt a breeze on me face. Say, what the hell happened here?”
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