Rhonda Floam’s Diaries: Leaving Berimandry

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Rhonda Floam

Leaving Berimandry

Before sunrise we had left. Donnessling thought it was best to “go 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. It is true that he had saved Sheshoffiss’ life, but only for his own selfish gain. I looked at Donnessling’s grim face and chose not to remind him of what he already knew.

Note to Self: Once I’m out of this mess, I’m going to find out more about Olladdawa and his gang. The story I print will not be a pretty one…for him.

For the next hour we made our way along many streets, wide and narrow, and through 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. Donnessling gathered us around him and looked to either side to make sure there were no folk nearby who might hear us. Then he spoke, saying:

“We cannot trust Olladdawa. You already know that much, my friends.” He hesitated to let that sink in. Then he 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’m sure he felt ashamed to have been the cause of so much trouble.

Donnessling continued.

“I know this because of their betrayal of our trust and their theft of the Stone of Dey, but there is another reason that is even more convincing. Three of them had hidden themselves outside our quarters during the night, and were conjuring a spell to kill us in our sleep. However, we struck them before they could finish their crime. We dispatched them immediately, and quietly.”

He glanced at Tollerring who nodded in assent, tapping the hilt of his blade.

“By now their sorcerer companions 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 this city who are happy to serve as their 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. They showed no sign of fear or unease. The only thing I could detect was an unswerving loyalty to Donnessling. Once again, I was moved by a folk who ask so little but give so much!

“The sun has risen and the city wakes, so we must now walk in silence until we are beyond these streets.”

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 couldn’t give any less than they would. I could not let my clumsiness put their lives in jeopardy, so I set aside my pride and with my shame well-hidden allowed myself to become Eshtelling’s burden.

With another glance to either side Donnessling led us forward at a slow run. Not a sound did we make…just amazing!

We headed toward the docks, but just before reaching the broad open area next to the sea we turned into a narrow passageway between two tall warehouses. From there we made our way through backdoors and vacant buildings, over wide roofs and, finally, through an alcove that led deep below ground into ancient sewers.

The sewers became ever smaller and closer to the surface. Eventually we found ourselves in the dark, fetid basement of a dilapidated farmhouse. The walls were stone held together, just 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 brick tunnel that we followed for what must have been several miles, always ascending.

At last we emerged into daylight on a rocky bluff above the sea. Eshtelling set me down. I thanked him for his aid, 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. I had not realized how beautiful the city could be.

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.

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