We went into the desert, and ended up running into some goblins. They talk funny. I didn’t really understand it all, but they wanted to trade with us or something. Queso whipped out his shiny cloak, and they really, REALLY wanted it. One of them said I was small (which was rather ironic), and punched me, but I didn’t even flinch. Then Miri and Queso stood up for me, but I was doing fine anyway.
One of them challenged Queso to a duel, and he accepted, but after they were just being weird for a while Miri got upset and tried to scare them into behaving. One of them freaked out and got killed, though, and the goblins attacked.
Miri didn’t want to kill them, but they were attacking us, so we fought back. Then another one came up farther back from us and said he would destroy us. He was so tiny though, and his voice was so cute, I almost laughed at him.
Also, I totally killed five of them at once. With fire. I’m awesome. Miri killed a bunch of them in one attack later too. I’m still mad at her though.
The leader (whose name is apparently Biggles) started attacking us. But whenever we hit him, he started getting bigger!
One of the goblins begged Froggie for his life. Froggie was just happy to be treated like a king, I think, so he let him go.
It took me a while to realize we were fighting on a Leviathan track! The electric crystals started glowing, so I moved Biggles closer to the tracks and ran far away. Queso and Miri got away too, and the King was already out of the way. The Leviathan came by super fast, and it hit Biggles so hard he exploded into a billion pieces!
After the Leviathan passed, the goblin who had asked Froggie for mercy asked if he could come with us. Froggie accepted him as his squire. Though the goblin (named Snaggle) ended up gouging out one of his eyes for some reason. Guess he thought it would make Froggie happy, but of course he stopped him from hurting himself any more.
Aaaaaand now we have a goblin squire around. I’m sure he won’t get annoying.
Anyway, we cleaned ourselves off and got back onto our Ifriti. Froggie was having trouble controlling Snaggle though.
We got to the mine, and the orc guards there let us in once Miri told them we were sent by Thar’Gul. The guards had weird names I couldn’t pronounce. But Froggie and I noticed they didn’t have any feet. So that was weird.
Turns out, they were two witches in disguise. They talked weird, but said they might let us through if we show them our contract with Thar’Gul. After taking a look at it, they said some cryptic things about how we were going places. It was annoying, but they let us through. As they were leaving though, one of them changed form, and looked… really pretty. Like a genasi, but without the markings, and all pale. She was really, really pretty. Then they disappeared.
We went into the cave, and there was weird writing on the walls. None of us knew the language. But the words started glowing when we went further in, just reacting to Miri and I because of our magic. After a while we got into a big room. There was a weird magic circle in the middle, and weird chanting coming from everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Queso was really unsettled.
I tried to figure out what the magic circle was for, and… it wanted me to go back. To when things seemed easy. To when I could just follow Kilka, and let my life be simple. I wanted it really bad. But I think this is how Miri must have felt when she had that crystal. I pulled away.
I tried to warn the others, but Froggie thought I was talking about adolescence or something. It was kind of awkward.
I tried to pass by, then… I was back in the orphanage. It was like a dream, kind of, but it felt real. It felt warm. It felt like home. I knew it wasn’t real, but… it seemed like it. And I wanted it to be. It had to be. I felt my legs moving away from the glyph, but then I looked back. It wasn’t a glyph! It had never been! It was the entrance to the orphanage. Kilka was there. She looked hurt. Confused. Why had I been running away from her? Why was I trying to get away from her? I missed her. I loved her. I ran to her.
But no, something grabbed my arms. They were awful. They looked empty. Sad. It wasn’t darkness, it was just complete nothingness. The opposite of what I wanted. I ran toward Kilka, trying to break free. She smiled at me. She knew I was coming back. She knew I loved her back. She opened her arms. I wanted to run into them, to feel her embrace again, and hug her back. I started crying. I wanted so bad to see her again.
A shadow walked up behind her. She didn’t notice. The shadow drew a sword. She didn’t know! She would be killed! That couldn’t happen again! Not again! I screamed.
I heard something. I don’t know, what, but… it came from the nothingness. It sounded concerned. I don’t know how, but… it’s like it was scared for me. Like it cared about me. It gave me pause. I kept watching Kilka, but I stopped resisting. For a second. This seemed… wrong.
But… no. Even if it was wrong, it was better. It was more real. It was everything I’d loved, everything I had before the world all went to hell. Before Kilka died. It was everything I wanted, and it was so real. I wanted it. I pulled. I pulled with all my might, and those stupid nothings finally started to give. In spite of myself, in spite of my fear, I smiled. I was going to be with her again.
Then it was all pain. My cheek exploded in a sharp, sudden pain, more than I had ever felt before. And suddenly it wasn’t as real anymore. It seemed unfinished, incomplete. I was… in a cave. Was… was Kilka real? What was—
An impact pounded against my face, and for a second, it felt like I was falling into nothingness. But as darkness swallowed me, I found myself on the ground. The cold, stone ground, with a stone ceiling above me and walls with glowing words around me. Right. This was real. This dark, sad world. This world without Kilka. Still without Kilka.
And as we continued in, the writing on the walls still glowed at us. And we felt like we were being watched. Like we were being followed. Like we were being mocked.