Dollano 35, SP~4,909
Before sunrise we had left. Donnessling thought it was best to leave without saying goodbye, as he put it. I can understand why. Olladdawa had stolen the white stone, the Eye of Dey, and now he kept it by holding Sheshoffiss’ life as ransom. Donnessling called him a thief. I would call him something much worse. He did save Sheshoffiss’ life. That is certainly true, but what I chose not to say to Donnessling is that I think he did that only to acquire the White Stone and for no reason other than that.
Note to Self: Once I’m out of this mess, I’m going to find out more about Olladdawa and the story I print will not be pretty, for him.
For an hour or so Donnessling led us through many streets and a variety of neighborhoods. We stopped in an alleyway not far from the docks. I could see the first light of sunrise over the bay. He gathered us in and looked to make sure there were no folk nearby who might hear us. Then he said the following (I don’t think its quite word for word, but I’m not far off — a good memory is an essential asset for a good reporter!).
“We cannot trust Olladdawa. You already know that much, my friends.” He hesitated for a second to let that sink in and then went on, “Neither can we trust the Berimandry Sorcerers. They have shown themselves to be a craven group no better than the beast who chased us through the caverns below the mountains, who wounded Sheshoffis.”
I saw Sheshoffis’ head lower. I think he was ashamed to have been the cause of so much trouble.
“I know this because of their betrayal of our trust and their theft of the Stone of Dey, but I know this for another reason. Three of them were outside our quarters in the middle of the night. They were conjuring a spell to suffocate us in our sleep. However, we struck them before they could finish their crime. They were dispatched immediately, and quietly.”
He looked over at Tollerring who nodded in assent while gently touching the hilt of his blade.
“By now the others will know that their friends are dead and that we are gone. They will be looking for us even as I speak, and they have many allies in Berimandry who are happy to serve as spies. Even the birds overhead and the rats in the streets may be in their service.”
I looked at the nossring around me and saw their grim determination, and their unswerving loyalty to Donnessling. I have so much respect for these folk!
“The sun has risen so we must now walk in silence until we are free of the city.”
He nodded at the nossring standing next to me, Eshtelling, who reached out to pick me up. I jerked my arm away, but before I could do more I heard Donnessling’s firm voice calling me, “No, my friend, this time you must do as I say.”
I could see in his eyes that he was sad to ask it of me. I don’t like being needy, and he knows that, and I know he knows. I wouldn’t put the others’ lives in jeopardy. I can’t walk quietly let alone in complete silence; something that came so naturally to the nossring. I stopped resisting and allowed Eshtelling to haul me onto his back. I hid my shame to (once again) be a burden.
With a quick glance to either side Donnessling led us forward at a slow run. Not a sound did we make…just amazing! At one point I closed my eyes and could barely tell we were moving, our gait was so smooth.
At first we headed toward the docks, but just before reaching that broad open area we turned into a narrow passageway on our right between two tall buildings, warehouses I believe. We made our way through backdoors and empty buildings, over wide roofs and below ground through ancient sewers.
After several hours we found ourselves in the dark, fetid basement of a very old, and very decrepit building. The walls were stone, held together (barely) with a roughly applied cement that dissolved into dust at our touch. Tollerring uncovered a hidden doorway that had been disguised as a part of the rough wall. The opening led into a rough stone, and sometimes brick, tunnel that we followed for what must have been several miles.
At last the tunnel rose and we emerged into daylight on a rocky bluff above the sea. Eshtelling set me down carefully. I was careful to thank him for his effort, which, of course, he acknowledged with nothing more than a polite wave of his hand.
Here we took our rest. Several miles to the east we could see Berimandry laid out along the coastline. It is actually quite a beautiful city which I intend to revisit some day!
To the north were the flat plains that extended across the middle of Shawmancer Island, and to our west stretched out the uneven coastline as far as we could see. We knew, though, that in that direction lay Partameer and our way home.