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 "When Are They Getting Out of That Stupid Cave, Anyhow?"

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Posts : 6
Join date : 2012-02-17
Location : A state of some confusion

PostSubject: "When Are They Getting Out of That Stupid Cave, Anyhow?"   Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:33 am

Tarius was beginning to wonder why he had gotten out of his bedroll that morning.

He stared at the cave wall that only moments ago had been a tunnel and which now separated him and Dyana from their party Leader and Mage.

"You're sure they're okay?" he asked.

"Of course I'm sure," the Witch answered. "But, I suppose we still need to check in with them."

She placed one hand on the collapsed tunnel and, with the other hand, took hold of Tarius's arm, the exposed piece of skin between vambrace and sleeve.

Hiro? Dyana called psychically. Albin? Oy! Either of you hear me?!

Yes, we hear you, Hiro replied.

No need to holler, Albin added. There can't more than a meter of rock between us.

What do we do now? Tarius asked.

I could move the rubble, the Mage said. But I would fear for the stability of the rest of the tunnel.

So, let's not do that, Hiro said. The old man in the village said there were two ways through this mountain; the straight sho t that we were on--

The one you're still on, grumbled Tarius.

And the longer, but more profitable one, Hiro finished. We passed the turnoff not too long ago. You two will have to backtrack a bit, then take the other route. Albin and I will continue on and wait for you at the next town.

Good luck! Albin said, cheerfully.

Dyana dropped her hands, breaking the party's psychic link.

"Bastards," she muttered.

"You can say that again," Tarius said.

He began rummaging through his Adventurer's Pack, the miraculous bag that held every piece of armor, weaponry, and item that he had ever acquired. Finding a Torch, Tarius pulled it from the Pack, a fire immediately engulfing the end of the Torch. The sounds of creatures scurrying back into the shadows was promptly ignored by the Archer.

"I hate caves," he said, as they began walking. "If your Torch goes out for too long, you get eaten alive; they're full of dead-ends and uncrossable chasms; and you never know when the damn ceiling is gonna cave in on you!"

A Cave Mole leapt out from the darkness and bit Tarius's leg. Dyana struck the Mole with her Staff of Fire and it exploded in a small cloud of ash.

"Yep," Tarius said, "I hate caves. Give me a dungeon any day. Or a sewer, I like sewers. Hell, even the Warlocks' Tower would be better than a cave."

"Gods, I hated that place," Dyana said.

"What? Miss Oh-Goodie-A-Puzzle? I thought you loved the Tower."

Dyana shook her head. "Not by the fourth time we went in there."

A Poison-tail Snake slithered toward the pair. Tarius sho t it in the head with a bolt from his Elfwood Crossbow.

"We did not go in there four times," he said.

"We most certainly did," Dyana countered, as she ignited another Cave Mole. "First, we rescued that Princess Somebody-Or-Other. Second, we had to find the Crystal Statue's missing shard. Third, we had to defeat the Stone Golem. And the fourth time we went into the Warlocks' Tower was because somebody dropped our map after fighting said Golem."

"Oh, no. You are not blaming me. That was Hiro's fault and you know it."

Dyana smiled sweetly. "I know. But you're so cute when you're indignant."

"Don't start with me, woman," Tarius warned. "I am not in the mood."

"That's not what you said the last time we were alone in a cave."

Turning to face the Witch, Tarius fired a bolt over her shoulder, pining a Blood Bat to the wall.

"That was different," he said. "You were cold, I was horny. It was simple, uncomplicated."

"What makes it complicated?" she asked.

He studied her face for a moment, taking in her grey eyes and rose pink hair. The Archer could feel her anticipation; she really did want to know. He noticed that she wasn't tearing through his mental defenses to get the answer, like she had when they were first getting to know each other. Tarius remembered how Dyana had peeled him like an orange just to find out what his fighting style was. As if the arsenal of Ranged weapons he was equipped with wasn't enough of a clue. After ripping her a new one for invading his privacy, Tarius had devoted a fair amount of time and energy to building his mental defenses.

Although, now Tarius didn't even need to defend himself. Dyana wasn't tugging, pushing, or prying. She simply stood there, waiting.

He sighed. "It just is," he said, at last.


"You could have killed us all with that little stunt, y'know," Hiro said.

"Just because I'm an Elemental Mage," Albin said, "does not mean that I had anything to do with that cave-in. Nothing that you can prove, anyway."

Hiro peered questioningly at the Mage.

"Besides," Albin continued, "let's say for sake of argument, that I was involved in that small rock slide, which was barely more than few pebbles and will probably get cleared out the next time a Bristly Boar passes through, can you blame me? With the way those two have been sniping at each other for the last few weeks, anyone would appreciate a little space."

"Just warn me the next time you plan on not doing something like that, okay?"

"What? And have you go all righteous on me? No, I think it's better if you don't interfere."

Stopping in mid-step, Hiro gingerly placed his Torch into a niche in the wall.

"You know that Bristly Boar you were talking about?" he asked.

Albin peered into the darkness. "Bloody hell. . . ."


"'We should help the old man,' you said," Tarius grumbled. "'Look, he's old and needs out help,' you said. 'If he's so infirm, what's he doing in a cave?' I said. 'It's not his fault that his pet ran in here,' you said. Well, maybe he should have known that's the first place a Cave Spider would go!"

"Just shu t up and fight!" Dyana snapped.

"Be careful with my Fluffy, please!" the old man called from the cavern's entrance.

"And who the hell would name that Fluffy?"

Tarius looked up at the Spider and wondered how a creature that would normally only reach to his waist had managed to grow to twice his height. And, they had to keep it alive. So, instead of piercing its body with Mithril Arrows, he was taking out the legs with Stun Bolts, one by one. However, by the time he'd finished shooting the eighth leg, the Paralysis had worn off of the first leg.

Dyana was fairing slightly better. Every time the Spider used its Web Attack, she used her Defense Orb to deflect the web back at it. He could tell that her aim was getting pretty good because she'd managed to gum up five of its eight eyes.

Suddenly, the Spider began to make a hissing noise.

"What's it doing?" Tarius shouted to the old man.

"Oh dear," he said. "I think that might be Fluffy's Acid Spit attack."

Tarius looked over at Dyana, the closer target for the Spider, and saw her Defense Orb flicker before going out.

"Aw, hell. . . ."

Hoping his Agility was high enough, Tarius ran towards the Witch. With a flying leap he pushed her out of the way just as the Spider spat at them.

"Gaaaahhh!" Landing hard, Tarius cried out in pain, the Spider's Acid burning into his side.

Dyana was hovering next to him. "Moron! What did you go and do that for? Let me heal that."

"No! Shield up, now!" Tarius yelled at her.

The Witch's Defense Orb materialized just in time to deflect another sho t of Acid Spit.

Clenching his teeth, Tarius jammed his hand into the bottom of his Adventurer's Pack. "I've got a plan," he said, "but I need a couple of minutes to get ready. Can you fend it off by yourself?"

"Of course, but your wound--"

"Can wait," he finished, pulling out his Grappling Hook and Boomerang. "Just keep that thing distracted while I set up."

She nodded decisively and turned to face the Cave Spider. "Okay, Fluffy, let's dance, shall we?"

"No dancing," Tarius muttered.

"Nuh-uh, you don't get to determine my distraction maneuvers."

Tarius pulled the leather thong from his ponytail, his raven blue hair falling around his shoulders. "Your craziness is going to be the death of me," he said, using the strap to affix the Grappling Hook and Boomerang together.

Climbing to his feet with his impromptu Boomer-Hook, the Archer stared at the Witch, who had managed to get atop the Cave Spider.

"Have you lost your mind, woman?!" he called out. Starting the Boomer-Hook swinging, he added, "This is truly the most insane plan you've ever had! What sort of death wish do you have? And why does it have to involve me?"

"Well, I'm sorry that you hate my plan and that you hate me," Dyana shouted, clutching onto the Spider as it tried to shake her loose, "but I'm busy being your distraction!"

"Gods help me," Tarius said under his breath. Focusing his energy for an Arc Sho t, the Archer released his weapon and watched the Boomer-Hook circle the Spider's legs three times before catching. Calling on all of his Strength, Tarius yanked on the rope, tightening the lariat and causing the Spider's stance to collapse.

Dyana was thrown off as the Cave Spider toppled over onto its side. Having to run, Tarius managed to catch her, but ended crashing to his knees.

"Put me down this instant!" she demanded.

"Gladly," he gasped, dumping her to the ground. Tarius staggered to his feet again as the old man hurried towards them.

"Oh, thank you for saving my Fluffy!" he said.

"Hold on, Gramps," Tarius said, planting a hand on the old man's chest. "Is 'Fluffy' normally this big?"

The old man looked at everything but the Archer's face. "She's put on a little weight recently, I know I shouldn't feed her from the table, but no, she's never been this large."

Dyana had stood up and now brushed passed the two men. "Well then, I guess we'd better figure out what's wrong with her."

Tarius glared at the old man. "Stay here," he commanded.

The two fighters approached the Spider, as it thrashed and chittered on the ground. Dyana thumped it on the head.

"Quiet, you," she said, and the Spider stilled.

They inspected the Spider for signs of Curses or any other spell. When cleaning the webbing from Fluffy's eyes, Dyana found a broken gemstone, brown sho t through with threads of gold and green, jammed in underneath the top left eye.

"That can't be good," Dyana said.

"Nope," Tarius agreed. "How do you think we should remove it?"

Dyana assessed the Spider. "I have an idea. . . ." With one swift motion, she yanked the gemstone out.

The Cave Spider shrieked in pain but immediately shrank back to its normal size. No longer encumbered by the Boomer-Hook's rope, Fluffy leapt up and skittered to her owner.

Giving Dyana a sidelong stare, Tarius said, "That was your plan?"

She shrugged. "It worked, didn't it?" She puzzled over the gemstone a moment before dropping it into her Adventurer's Pack.

The old man ran up to them again, followed meekly by Fluffy.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" he gushed. He pulled two over-sized boxes from the Pouch on his belt and handed them to the adventurers. "A small token of my appreciation. Come along, Fluffy."

The old man and his pet raced out of the cavern and down a tunnel.

"Pretty spry for an old man, isn't he?"

Dyana nodded. "Yep."

"We may as well see what's in these things," Tarius said, opening his box. "Boo-ya! Agility Boots! Dyana, do you know how long I've been waiting to get these?" He immediately sat down and began swapping his footwear. Grinning from ear to ear, he looked up at find Dyana gazing forlornly at him.

He frowned. "What's wrong?"

"What?! Nothing!" she said, startled. Sitting down next to him, she added, "It's just . . . just nothing."

For a few moments, the two quietly stared at the box that lay unopened in the Witch's lap.

"Don't get me wrong," Tarius began. "I did hate your plan. Trying to ride a mutated Cave Spider is complete and utter insanity. But I don't hate you."

She looked up at him. "You don't?"

He shook his head. "No, I don't. Almost wish I did sometimes, though."

"Jerk," she said, giving him a shove.

Tarius grunted in pain.

"Crap! Your wound!" Dyana cried. She reached out. "Let me heal that."

Tarius grabbed her wrist. "No. Don't waste your Magic. We might need it before we're done with this stupid cave." Realizing that he was still holding onto her, Tarius released her wrist.

"Then, at least take one of these," Dyana said, pulling a Heal Potion from out of her Pack and handing it to him.

The Archer acquiesced and chugged down the red liquid, feeling the itchy tingle of his wound as it healed. "Well, go on," he said, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. "Open it."

Dyana traced her fingers along the lid, but the box remained closed.

"Why do you wish that you hate me?"

Tarius heaved an exasperated sigh and ran a hand through his hair. "Because if I did, then I wouldn't be so freakin' scared every time you leap into a dangerous situation."

Dyana stared openly at him, looking genuinely astounded.

"Does it," she said, "feel anything like the terror I feel when I see you put yourself in harm's way? Especially when you do it for me?"

It was Tarius's turn to be astounded. He had never imagined that she felt that way about him. In those moments of danger, Dyana tended to call him things like 'moron' and 'idiot.' Of course, Tarius admitted, he showed his concern by calling her 'crazy woman' and 'nutjob.'

"Yeah," he said. "I think it probably does."

"It this what makes it complicated?" she asked.

"Yeah," he repeated. "I know it does."

"Do you think we could make it less complicated?"


Dyana tried, unsuccessfully, to meet his eyes. "Well, maybe . . . maybe I could say that I loved you and then you could say that you loved me."

Tarius frowned. "And how would that make it less complicated?"

"I don't know! It just would!" she snapped.

"Okay," Tarius said. "Go ahead and say it."

"What?! I just did!"

He shook his head. "No, you didn't. That was a hypothetical suggestion."

Dyana flung her hands in the air. "Fine! I love you. Okay? I, Dyana Starling, love you. Are you happy now?"

Tarius grinned. "You might be a melodramatic, pain-in-the-ass and completely out of your mind, but I love you, too."

Dyana crossed her arms and harrumphed. "You sure know how to woo a girl."

The Archer just shrugged.

She peered at him out the corner of her eye. "So, can we be less complicated now?" she asked.

"Dyana," he began, "I don't think you're capable of being less complicated."

"Why you?! You . . . you . . . you know what you are?" she stammered. "You are a mean, mean man."

Tarius lifted her into his lap. "And?" he asked as he began kissing Dyana's face and neck.

"And?! And, doesn't that bother you?"


"Well, I don't have to sit here and take this," she said, putting her arms around his neck.

A few minutes later, Dyana asked, "What's that noise?"

"What noise?" Tarius asked, absentmindedly. He was far too absorbed in experiencing the Witch who he had wrapped in his arms to notice anything else. This was beginning to redeem his craptastic day.

"That noise," she repeated. Suddenly, Dyana stiffened and quietly added, "That noise that's being made by a Mountain Troll."

Tarius caught a whiff of an unmistakable and pungent odor. On second thought, he decided, staying in his bedroll that morning would have been the better plan.

The End
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Posts : 32
Join date : 2012-02-15
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PostSubject: Re: "When Are They Getting Out of That Stupid Cave, Anyhow?"   Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:03 pm

Please tell me there's a bucket in Dyana's box tongue
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Join date : 2012-02-17
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PostSubject: Re: "When Are They Getting Out of That Stupid Cave, Anyhow?"   Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:45 am

MyOwnName wrote:
Please tell me there's a bucket in Dyana's box tongue

rofl That is so much better than what I had in mind!
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"When Are They Getting Out of That Stupid Cave, Anyhow?"
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