Twila was finishing the spell, Fang floated in the air above her. Axra and Lilly stood at each side of the door, weapons ready. Velvet hung back near Twila, yawning.
The door shuddered upon the final words of power. It slowly, but surely lifted. When it was about halfway up a four-legged creature ran out. It had a wolf’s tail and ears, but a panther-like body and a rhino’s horn. On its eagle’s head was a long flowing multi-coloured mane.
The creature ran past Axra and Lilly and was headed towards Twila. Axra ran at it from behind, taking a swipe at it with her sword.The monstrosity vanished in a blinding pillar of light. Axra felt her sword being taken out of her hands before she could quite see again
“That’s a dangerous thing you’ve got there.” The voice was… odd. It sounded almost like two women were talking at once, one with a deep reverberating voice and one with a sweet song-like voice.
Axra saw the speaker after a moment. Standing in the place of the monstrosity was a massive woman. She was well over seven feet tall with the same multi-coloured hair that the creature had had for a mane. Her ears were pointed and her eyes continually shifted in colour from pink to violet to yellow to green to red and back again. The strange woman was looking over Axra’s sword with an amused expression.
“Mister Hephaestus’ work, I believe. A rather nasty enchantment too.” She tossed the sword in the air and caught it on her index finger, balancing it perfectly. “Lightweight too.”
“Ummm, excuse me,” Lilly said. “Th… that sword belongs to my… friend. So… if you could just please return it… I… I promise we won’t hurt you… unless, you know… we have to.”
The strange woman dropped the sword and walked over to Lilly, nearly touching her. She looked up and down the young half elf while Lilly stammered nervously.
She eventually stopped her examination and knelt down to look directly at Lilly’s face. “So cute!” She hugged the smaller woman. “Hey, would you like to be my lover?”
“Ummm… I…. that is… I…”
“Cut it out!” Axra cried.
The strange woman looked over at Axra. “Why are you getting in my way? I won’t share her with you.”
“You’re making her uncomfortable,” Axra said.
“Am I?” The woman asked, looking at Lilly.
“Ummm… a bit,” Lilly managed.
“I see,” the strange woman released Lilly. “Well, we wouldn’t want that.”
“Excuse me, Miss,” Twila said. “But who are you? Why were you in there? How long were you in there?”
The large woman approached Twila. “You must be the one who released me. Yes. Those emanations of magic. You’re a strong one. Not much to look at, unlike my little cutie over there, but you did save me. So I’ll tell you. I am the spawn of chaos, death and magic. I don’t much like my name, so you can call me Gail. The mind race put me in there. Said I caused too much trouble. I’ve been imprisoned for a millennium.”
“A… A millennium?” Twila asked.
Gail nodded. She was stretching. “There are lots of nice baubles in there. You can have them all. Except this one.” She pulled a ring from her pocket. “This one is for my bride.” She gestured and the ring flew over to Lilly. It moved down her finger. Gail walked back over to her. “If you ever want my company just rub the gemstone and I’ll come see you.” She gently caressed Lilly’s cheek. “In the meantime, I have things to do. See ya!” Gail waved and vanished, seemingly into thin air.
“That was odd,” Velvet said. “Oh well. At least it’s over.”
“I wonder about that,” Axra said, picking up her blade.
“Lilly, are you okay?” Twila asked.
“Oh… yes… I’m fine,” Lilly said. “I… I’d better leave this behind.” She tried to remove the ring, but couldn’t get it loose. “It… It’s stuck.”
“More likely enchanted,” Twila observed. “I’ll try to undo it later.”
“Are you worried about what she said?” Axra asked.
“The daughter of chaos, death and magic, huh?” Twila muttered. “The mind race has to refer to the Djinn, but I’ve never heard any stories about anyone like her.”
Axra peeked into the chambre. The walls were studded with gems. A treasure box of rings, necklaces and pendants sat open by a large canopy bed.
“That’s a lot of treasure,” Velvet muttered.
“We might as well take it,” Axra said. “It’ll give us something to show for this trouble.”
“Do we have to?” Velvet asked. “Carrying all that seems like a pain.”
“I’m with Axra on this,” Twila said. “We’ll split it four ways. Just let me cast a detection spell first. We wouldn’t want any unpleasant surprises.”
“So… what do we do next?” Lilly asked, futilely pulling at the ring.
“I’m going to go to the great library,” Twila said. “Try to find out who she was.”
“I’ll go with you,” Axra said. “I’m curious myself.”
“And we’ll have to pass through Nervius to get there so you guys can return from your mission,” Twila said. “Unless you haven’t found what you were looking for?”
“Oh… not at all,” Lilly said. “I mean… yes… the gems are what we were looking for. So we’d be glad to keep travelling with you.”