Demise - The Changing
 
A short story related to Demise, or more specifically, to the patch that was released...
 

A gentle but unnatural breeze flowed through the stale dungeon air, disturbing the otherwise lifeless and eerily silent depths.  Something was very strange tonight - creatures were in scant supply, and there was almost no noise in the dungeon whatsoever, almost as if someone had eradicated virtually all the denizens & abominations of the underground.  The last few days had been very successful for adventurers, and Liya "Quickstep" and her two friends had done exceptionally well recently.

Liya's excessive training over the past few days had borne fruit, allowing her to easily open a few chests that they had found strangely unguarded.  They had found several useful items in these chests, not least of which was a gleaming mythinite sword, which the giant warrior Umthull held firmly in the strong grip of his oversized hands as the three walked through the dungeon.  Umthull walked around the sword readied at all times, only when he was admiring the quality and craftsmanship of the blade was his concentration not fully on the task at hand.

Liya was wearing a new set of leather armour that she had also uncovered in their travels.  Hidden carefully in the false bottom of a chest, the armour was very thick and tough, though it lacked the complete flexibility of her old set of armour.  While she found it slightly uncomfortable at present, she was thankful for it, because it had saved her life.  In one of the few encounters they had had in tonight's foray in the dungeon, they had come across a group of criminals, somewhat deeper in the dungeon than what would normally be expected, which was probably due to the lack of pickings in the upper levels.  Seeming somewhat desperate, the four criminals attacked, despite the fact that they were obviously outclassed.

Umthull scoffed at the attackers, effortlessly fending of the blows of two criminals with his shield, before cutting the pair of criminals down with a single powerful stroke of his mythinite blade.  Kela Yatir, the yeti sorceror, fried one criminal with a wave of her hand, shooting out a ball of flame that immolated the thief as he charged towards her.  The last criminal had charged Liya with inhuman speed, and as she prepared the deflect his attacking blow, the brigand threw the knife he held in his hand at Liya's heart.  Caught off guard by the unexpected attack, Liya could not dodge out of the way of the dagger, and a great feeling of hopelessness came over her as she saw the dagger sink into her chest.  Ready to feel the pain of death, Liya suddenly felt a strange pinprick of pain in her chest, but not the complete mind-numbing, all-encompassing agony of death, but a slight tickle, as though her skin had been pricked by a needle.

She was brought back into reality with a sudden shock as the criminal slashed at her with his dagger.  Somewhat confused over her situation, Liya defended weakly, and the criminal sensed her lack of strength, swinging his dagger at her again, this time knocking her weapon from her hand.  His success was shortlived, however, as Umthull stepped across, swinging the butt of his sword firmly at his face, the solid blow knocking him to the ground with a resounding thud.  Knocking his head hard against the ground, the thief was only semi-conscious as he scrambled to get up and get away from the giant, who kicked the criminal once before driving his sword through the chest of the scoundrel.

Still somewhat in a state of shock, Liya had examined herself, and removed the dagger from her new suit of leather armour.  It had turned out that the armour had taken the brunt of the damage, managing to stop the dagger so that only the point of the dagger had pierced the skin, so the little discomfort that she was feeling was well worth the protection that the armour provided.

Progressing through the empty dungeon was putting the three of them on edge.  "This makes me very uneasy, " said Umthull.
"Something does feel so very wrong about this, I must admit, " replied Kela.
"I think there's some scheming in all this.  This place would not be so empty without some reason, I am sure, " Liya surmised.
A moderate gust of wind blew past them, swinging a door in front of them open and then shut.  Kela held up her hand, her face screwed in concentration.  "There is something unnatural, " she said, "a magical force... something I have never sensed like before."
"Something is causing this wind?" asked Umthull.
"A thing so very strange, so gentle, yet strangely reeking of power... It seems like... " Kela paused, deep in thought, searching for answers as to what this magical force was. "It is gone!  So quickly!" she cried.
"Do you have any idea what it was?" asked Liya.
"None I am afraid.  Though it was some powerful magic, like I have never felt such power before, " replied Kela, who was visibly disturbed by the occurrence.  "I know not what it was, but it was so powerful, that I am sure we will find out what it was before long.  I fear whatever it was, and I fear even more whatever power caused it."
"I would suggest we keep moving, perhaps we may find an answer, " said Umthull.
"A moving target is harder to hit, my friend, " replied Liya.
"I don't particular like to consider myself as a target, " answered Umthull.  Liya laughed.

A few moments later, a loud noise came muffled through a door to their right.  Liya whirled around, and Umthull turned towards the door, and in one smooth motion, lifted his leg and kicked the door.  The solid door gave way at its weakest point, its hinges, and flew across the room, slamming into the far wall, and clattering loudly to the floor, revealing an empty room.  There was silence for a moment, then the noise continued, changing in pitch and loudness slightly, but continuous.  Liya held her hand up motioning for the others to stay still, and they stood quietly, Liya concentrating on the noise.  "There's two different noises... almost as if... it's two people arguing?" she said.  "I want to get closer to hear better."

They proceeded quietly through a few rooms, the noise becoming louder, and Liya paused again.  "It's definitely two people arguing.  Sounds like... I'm not sure, but I'd say it's a troll and a gnome."  Moving towards the altercation, the three realised that the argument was quite heated.  The troll seemed to be very hostile, complaining that the gnome had 'killed his fun', and as the three entered the room, the troll almost appeared ready to attack the gnome.
"Ah, hello! You appear to be pleasant people, would you please help me talk some sense into this troll here?" asked the gnome, seemingly unsurprised by their entrance.
"Gnome you killed MY meeshi! There is no talking sense, you stole my kill.  My GOOD kill, too, " grunted the troll angrily.
"Look, you can have whatever is in their chest.  I will take nothing.  I'm sorry you have no brains, and I won't EVER help you again, " snapped the gnome.
"Hah! I would take it all anyway.  No way could you steal off ME!" answered the troll.  The troll snorted at the gnome, then turned his attentions towards the chest in the room.

The gnome smiled a twinkling grin at the three before talking, "I apologise for not properly introducing myself before, but circumstances were a little uneasy with that, " the gnome motioned his head backwards, "unsightly beast threatening me.  My name is Klip... Klip Goldensmile."
"I am Kela Yatir, this is Liya Quickstep, and that big brute there is Umthull."
"Pleased meet you, " replied Klip.
"BAH!" the troll futily fiddling at the chest yelled in anger, "open stupid thing!"
"Allow me, " said Liya, stepping over to help.
"Right! You take my prize, you THIEF!" growled the troll.
"I don't want whatever's in the stupid chest you moron. I don't want you setting off some damn trap that'll kill the whole lot of us, fool!" Liya replied angrily.
"I wouldn't bother helping that ungrateful wretch, " said Klip.
Liya bent down and pulling a few thin pieces of metal from her pocket, began fiddling with the lock on the chest.  "It doesn't look trapped, but the mechanism is pretty difficult to get at."  Shifting the thin metal tools back and forth, a few clicking noises issued from the locking mechanism.  "It's a difficult and quite complex lock.  I've worked on a few like this. It'll take a little time, but it's easy enough."
"You said it not trapped! Why you need to work on it?  You want to steal from ME!" snarled the troll.
"You stupid troll! Don't threaten her or you feel this blade!" Umthull stepped over and glared at the troll in a mask of rage.
"Okay. Daxoja believe you, but I want to do it myself, " replied the troll, backing down at the threat of violence from the giant warrior.
"Fair enough, " replied Liya, stepping away from the chest.
Daxoja jumped forward at the chest smashing both hands down on top of the wooden chest, shattering its roof, and sending splinters of wood flying about the room, revealing a small pile of gold, and what appeared to be an extremely large white egg.
 
The egg swayed to the left and then the right, before a small crack appeared and a small red dragon burst out of the egg, and sent a burst of scorching flame at Daxoja and Liya, burning them both.  Klip moved forward while fumbling in his pocket for a moment, then pulled out a ring which he tried to push onto his finger with little success.  The dragon reared back and flew forward with tremendous speed, knocking Klip backwards in the air, colliding with the far wall before falling back to the ground.  Kela waved her hands at the dragon and shards of ice flew at the dragon, many of which embedded themselves in the tough dragonskin.  The dragon moved its head in a semicircle to scorch all of the five in the group, as Umthull drew his sword and moved to attack the dragon.

Klip was still half-slumped on the floor, struggling to force the ring he had onto his finger.  "Blast it! Why won't you go on?!"  Umthull brought his sword down on the small dragon, causing a large gash across the dragon's side, but the brute continued to fight, obviously a lot stronger than its diminutive size would have suggested.
Klip swore at the ring he was wrangling with, and threw it across the room in anger. He looked at the dragon, then rolled his wrist and pointed his fingers towards it.  The dragon gave a little snort of fire in the direction of Klip before flying backwards to avoid an attack from Daxoja.  Liya stabbed at the dragon, pushing her dagger deep into the dragon's body before quickly removing it with a flick of her wrist, tearing the skin of the dragon with the dagger's blade.  Kela waved her hand muttering a few words under her breath and then pointed her index finger at the dragon, which turned its head to face her before slumping to the ground, lifeless.

"What was that?" asked Daxoja.
"I've never heard of anything like that happening before," said Kela.
"It seems to me like that dragon there to protect the chest, " replied Liya.
"Yes, but like I said, I've never heard of it happening before, " answered Kela.
"What's more strange is the fact I couldn't get my ring on!" said Klip angrily.
"Stupid gnome, you just too stupid to put it on," replied Daxoja.
"Well you go get it and put it on then, " huffed Klip.  Daxoja walked across the floor the where the ring was, picked it up and then tried to slip it on his finger, but the ring refused to push onto it.
"See. Give it to me, I'll show you, " said Klip.  Daxoja gave the ring to Klip, "I was just using it earlier today against a dragon, a bigger one, albeit it, but a dragon just the same.  All it did was just push it on... but now, it won't budge." To demonstrate his point, Klip pushed the ring towards his finger, but it refused to move.
"I think it's got something to do with that magical force I felt earlier.  Something very strange is happening," replied Kela.
"Stand in a circle. We're going to town, " stated Umthull.  Everyone moved to form a circle, as Umthull took out a small green crystal from his pocket.  He placed it on the ground, and with everyone holding hands, Umthull lifted up his huge foot and brought it crushing down on  the fragile gem, smashing the gem to pieces, releasing it's mystical powers.

All five of them felt the familiar yet always slightly disconcerting feeling that came with magical translocation - the feeling that you were in your body but seemingly viewing the world from outside of it, and unable to move as you could feel your body passing through objects in a state of semi-being.  The movement stopped, and the group appeared at the foot of the stairs in front of the giant double doors that were the main entrance to the dungeon.  Kela pushed open the doors and walked hurriedly out, in a rush to talk to the guildmasters to find out whether they had any information on the strange magical force she had felt, which she thought was quite certainly the cause of Klip being unable to use his ring, and the dragon contained in the chest.

Opening the doors presented a scene of chaos and destruction, as a group of evil beasts laid waste to the townspeople and the buildings.
"Does this answer your questions, Kela?" asked Liya.
"Not really, " replied Liya, "but this is no time for talk. We need to help."
Townspeople and novice adventurers ran screaming for their lives as the force of creatures consisting of demons & devils attempted to slaughter the townsfolk.
"Over there, " said Umthull, "What is that?"  He pointed to a group of three devils who seemed to be orchestrating the attack, shouting out words that seemed to be orders to the lesser demons & devils in a guttural language.
"I don't know, I've never seen a devil that looks like that before, " replied Kela. "But they're giving orders in Kruelk." Kela spat distastefully at the ground. " If we take them down, that could break up the attack. "
"You try and distract them, attack them, or attack the others, just get their attention, and I should be able to work a little magic, " said Klip with a smile.  Kela looked at him questioningly, "What are you going to do?"
"I'll charm it, and make it take down some of its own, " replied Klip. "Now GO!"

One of the commanding devils had separated from the other two, and seemed to be pushing a part of the force towards the houses in Dejenol, while the other two continued with the main force and seemed to be heading towards the town square.  Umthull and Daxoja charged at the lone devil, rushing up quickly but as silently as possible to take it by surprise.  Wearing heavy plate armour, Umthull was slower and noisier than Daxoja, who reached the devil first and using the te-waza fighting technique he had learned to well in the ninja's guild struck repeatedly into the back of the devil.  The devil shrieked an ear-splitting scream of pain out before turning around and swinging a giant clawed hand at Daxoja in retaliation, missing the troll by barely an hair's width as Daxoja quickly ducked down.  Now fully aware of the presence of the group, the devil readied himself to defend against Umthull's coming attack, and yelled out in the language of the damned, "Attackers! Kill them! We are arch-fiend!! We will NOT die!"

Umthull swung his mythinite sword at the arch-fiend, putting a slight gash in the devil's arm, and brought his shield up to and heard the high-pitched scratching noise as the devil's claws raked down the metal surface.  The arch-fiend roared in anger, and lashed out in a rage at Daxoja, this time managing to connect his blow, tearing into the leg of the troll as he rolled away in an attempt to avoid to attack.  The force of devils that the arch-fiend was commanding had now returned to aid the arch-fiend, a group of 7 kei-shuma and 4 dust devils, who now pressed forward to attack Umthull and Daxoja.  The giant and the troll backed away cautiously, their guard up to defend against any attack, but always looking for an opportunity to strike down one of the devils.  Liya had moved in behind the two warriors and waving her hands and muttering magical castings, caused the devils to recoil in pain.  All the devils screeched in the high-pitched noise of pain, and several of the devils faded into nothingness as Liya's banish spell was completed.

The two remaining dust devils at the front of the group lashed out at the warriors, one managing to stick their claws into Umthull's shield hand, who brought his sword down in a overhead strike at the devil, bringing it to the ground, its claws still stuck firmly in Umthull's left hand.  Still alive, the dust devil struggled to push itself upward to drive it's claws all the way through Umthull's hand, but gritting his teeth in pain, Umthull kicked the devil back to the ground, then swung his sword and removed the arm of the devil, before plunging his sword at the chest of the wounded fiend and killing it.  Standing behind Umthull, Liya pulled the dust devil's severed arm from Umthull's hand, causing Umthull to briefly gasp in pain, before Liya moved her hand over the wound to help its healing.

The loud noise of the battle had attracted the attention of the other two arch-fiends, who turned around to face the small group who was attacking the force of devils which had now been reduced to 6 kei-shuma, a lone dust devil, and the commanding arch-fiend.  The two arch-fiends waved their hands in an intricate pattern, and small flecks of red and yellow began to dance between their moving arms and twinkling claws.  The flecks grew in size until the two arch-fiends had a glowing ball of flame floating between their hands, and extended their arms at the group, the massive flaming ball of heat flew towards them.
"DUCK!" yelled Kela, who had turned around to see what the other devils were doing just in time to see the fireball speeding towards them.  All the group fell flat to the ground, and feeling a slight edge of agony as the scorching heat seared their exposed flesh, but burst into a explosive ball of death just past them, immolating the entire group of minor devils, but leaving the arch-fiend only slightly singed.
"Arch-fiend feel little pain from fire.  Now you die, " the devil growled, standing above the group of four.  The grinned hideously as his claws were illuminated with flame, and he raised his hands to finish the fire spell that would burn them to death, but instead sent a wall of flame at the other group of devils, burning many of the lesser beasts badly.

Staring at the arch-fiend in amazement, Liya noticed the small smiling figure of Klip standing behind the devil, obviously now in complete control of the abomination, who was now moving towards the group of devils while casting another spell.  The other two arch-fiends snarled in anger at the group, who had survived their attack.  Kela quickly turned, "Hold still, I'll protect us from their fire spells." She moved to each person, quickly moving her hands and uttering a few words, protecting them to some degree against the fire attacks of the arch-fiends, after she had finished casting on herself, she nodded towards the group of devils, "Let's finish them off."

One arch-fiend cast another ball of flame into the party, but his evil gleeful smile turned to a scowl of anger as they brushed of the scorching heat mostly unharmed, and he charged forward to attack them.  Umthull lashed out in attack as the arch-fiend came close, and his slight recoil of pain gave Daxoja enough time to lash out in attack to cause serious harm to the devil before it returned attack, which Daxoja artfully dodged with a well timed backwards leap.  Kela pointed her index finger at the arch-fiend, casting the same spell that had brought down the small dragon in the dungeon, and the arch-fiend screamed so loudly in agony that she thought her ears would burst as the evil horror was slain and fell to the ground.

The remaining arch-fiend hissed in rage as the beast fell, and yelled at the minor devils & demons as he stood in the town square.  Looking now at the town, the party fully realised the intent and scale of this attack; masses of charred and half-disintegrated bodies lay about the town square, as the confinement, town store and top level of the guild house were alight with flame.  The purpose of the attack was blatantly obvious because of where the majority of the attack was being directed - the devils and demons had come to destroy the store of weapons in the town, wreck the confinement to set the creatures loose, and attempt to again loot the guild's library of spell books.  The arch-fiend raised his arms in the air, muttering the words of a spell, as his arms and the air in front of him started to glow yellow, then red, then blue then turn white from the extreme heat that the spell was creating.  Kela raised her arms as well, and waving her hands and fingers, a hail storm of ice began falling from the sky, melting to water above the building and washing down to put out the flames that were quickly consuming the timber construction and destroying everything within.  The arch-fiend yelled a loud scream and brought his arms down in a swift movement, forcing the white hot air out towards the buildings with a massive, deafening explosion, shaking the ground before the air rushed through the building with tremendous force, completely destroying everything in its path.  Burning and charred wood fell from the multistorey buildings down to the ground, the store, confinement, and surface levels of the guild houses immolated to little more than charred coals.

The arch-fiend turned to face the few buildings that were left in the town square, including the bank of Dejenol.  "STOP!" yelled Kela. "I challenge you!"
The devil turned and laughed evilly, "YOU! Challenge ME!  Halt underlings! This one I want for myself."  The arch-fiend moved through the ranks of the lesser fiends, who were obviously intimidated by it.
"You are foolish. I shall enjoy killing you, " sneered the arch-fiend.
"Nay, you be the foolish one devil, " replied Kela. "We fight alone."
"Agreed. Over there, " the demon pointed to the open area near the dungeon entrance, before disappearing then appearing to where he had pointed.
"A simple relocation trick, " muttered Kela, before joining the arch-fiend.
"You FOOL!" laughed the devil. "ATTACK FIENDS!"
"I shall enjoy killing you, honourless one, " replied Kela.
"I was sent here for that reason. I will die regardless, but I will enjoy killing you first."
Kela swore, then moved her hand in front of her body, casting an invisibility spell, and the devil screeched in anger.

The horde of demons & devils pushed forward at the group of four, but the arch-fiend under Klip's control cast a ball of flame into their midst, causing many of them to burn up.  The shen'gals of the group retaliated, muttering dark words in morkal to drain the life from Umthull & Daxoja to heal themselves. The daemons were unharmed due to their resistance to fire, and pushed to attack in melee combat.  Umthull cut down two with successive swings of his mythinite sword, before a daemon charged him, knocking him to the ground, allowing the daemons to quickly surround him.  Daxoja, angered by the attack of the shen'gals, charged into their midst, flailing his arms around in a furious ball of destruction, dropping enemies all around him, but getting raked by shen'gal claws as they pressed the attack back.

Kela moved circled the arch-fiend, who was furiously looking all around, seeking a telltale shimmer that was the only sign of an invisible person without magical aid.  The arch-fiend faced the other direction, and Kela took the opportunity to send a bolt of lightning flying from her finger into the back of the devil.  The arch-fiend snarled in anger and whirled around, slashing with both his claws at the spot where Kela has been only seconds earlier.  He took a step forward, swinging his claws again, and caught sight of a tiny glimmer of light, a small imperfection in the invisibility spell, and keeping his eye on what he knew was Kela, took a step to the right to fool her into thinking he still did not know where she was.  In one swift movement, he turned and grabbed hold of Kela, his claws piercing her left arm, causing her to scream in pain.  "You are a fool, and I shall enjoy killing you." the devil sneered.  Kela threw all her concentration into ignoring the unbearable pain in her left arm, and grabbed onto the arm of the arch-fiend, and sent electricity directly into the arm of the devil, who shrieked in pain, but still held tightly onto Kela.  The devil bared his teeth, and began burning Kela's arm, who was thankful for the protection of the spell she had cast earlier, which lessened the pain somewhat.

Liya darted around behind a kei-shuma, stabbing it in the back of the neck, then pushing down on the evil beast's head, decapitated the devil by ripping her dagger across its neck, and nimbly dodging claws of another kei-shuma.  Klip struggled with the arch-fiend he had charmed, who was quickly breaking the magical bonds forcing it to do Klip's bidding, but forced to slash out at three daemon around Umthull felling two, and injuring the other so that Umthull killed it with an upwards swipe of his sword as he moved his shield to protect his body as he lay on the ground.  Daxoja was taking a beating from the shen'gals and turning to face a large portion of the force moved his hands and uttered the dark words to drain the life from the evil creatures to heal himself.  Though it did little damage, a number of weakened fiends died from the spell, and Daxoja felt himself rejuvenated from the health that the spell provided him.  The spell damaged the arch-fiend who broke free of his magical bindings in a rage, brought his claws down to slay a demon that stood between him and Klip before charging the gnome and tearing the gnome's armour badly, piercing his skin even through the armour.  Klip struck back with the cross he held, damaging the arch-fiend somewhat, but not slowing down the onslaught of the enraged devil who raked his claws across the gnome's arms.

A sudden spike of pain tore into Kela's back as shards of ice flew into the arch-fiend that she was still locked with.  The devil shrieked in rage, dropping Kela and charging over the top of her, before lighting up in a flash of white as a bolt of lightning arced from the fingers of an elf, killing the arch-fiend where he stood.  The elf quickly came and helped Kela up, who was still in a large amount of pain from her ordeal with the arch-fiend.  The elf motioned her hands in front of Kela, "This will heal you some, but you will need more."
Kela felt the relief as the comfort from the healing spell washed over her body. "Thank you, " she said, "Kathra Iechant?"
"Yes, " replied the elf. "Now come, your friends need help."

The demons and devils were slowly winning the battle, despite valiant efforts from all four of the adventurers.  "Time to help them a little, I think," said Kathra.  She blasted a sheet of ice towards the nearest demons, some of who fell from the spell, but in large, it merely angered them to turn their attention towards the two spellcasters.
"I take care of those," said an ogre who lumbered past the elf and the yeti, charging towards the demons and slashing his sword mercilessly into them as they feebly struggled to avoid his mighty blows.

Klip lay on the ground as the arch-fiend prepared to drive his claws into his chest, but a burly dwarf jumped over the gnome and knocked the devil backwards as both he and the dwarf rolled along in a hand-to-claw battle of might.  The arch-fiend put his weight and forced the dwarf onto his back, but the dwarf rolled sideways and pushed the arch-fiend to the ground, who held onto the dwarf's hand and attempted to throw him over his shoulder, but the dwarf hooked his feet underneath the arch-fiend's body and rolled him over so he was facing the ground.  Putting his weight on the devil's back, the dwarf pulled an axe from over his shoulders, but looked back to see the arch-fiend dead from a blackened dagger sticking into its head, held in the hand of Ferrin Darkblade.
"I was just about to take care of him, " growled the dwarf.
"You're just too slow Doran, " replied Ferrin. Doran swiped a fist at Ferrin, who just laughed as he ran into the fray, laying demons & devils low unerringly quick swings of his blade.
Doran stood up and carved his way through the evil beasts with his mighty two handed axe as the two spellcasters began to use the elements to destroy the quickly falling force.

Before long, all the demons and devils were dead, and the adventurers exhausted.
"How did this happen?" asked Klip.
"The council members of the guilds were at a funeral service for a former council member. There was no-one here to protect the city, " replied Kathra.
"Why would they leave the city unprotected?" asked Kela, enraged.
"I guess they didn't think this would happen, " said Ferrin.
"Turns out they were wrong, " answered Doran.
"Yes, and the store, confinement, and the guild hall has been destroyed because of it!" yelled Liya.
"I can see that, " said Kathra. "It seems the council members were a little foolish."
"Yes, but what about my ring not fitting!?" interjected Klip. "That was why we came back to the city."
"So, that is what the magical force was. I had always felt that the rings were unnatural.  I am guessing that the rings had some sort of magical tracking mechanism.  If whatever it was orchestrated this attack could know very few people were in town, the attack would be that much more effective, " mused Kathra.
"But that doesn't explain why Klip can't put it on now. OR the dragon that was in the chest," replied Liya.
"Whatever it was that had modified the rings had made the rings easier for people to use, so they could track more people. When the attack came, they didn't want people using the rings, so they stopped them," suggested Kathra. "Try it now."
Klip struggled again to put the ring on to no avail. "That is interesting. Seems whoever cast the spell is infallible after all, as their enchantment has corrupted.  As for a dragon in a chest, I have no idea.  It could possibly be a side effect of the miscast enchantment on the rings, but I cannot be sure."
"I'm not concerned with that at the moment, " said Doran. "I'm more worried that the buildings that have been destroyed.  I think we should investigate what is left."
"I don't really think that there's really much left at all.  I'm just thankful that the library, and the guild spellbooks are kept underground, at least they should still be preserved.  But you can be sure that the maps of the depths have gone," replied Kathra.
"The way the store and confinement were destroyed, I don't think there's going to be anything left in them either, even mythinite would have melted in the hot flames, " said Kela.
"I was afraid you might say that, " Ferrin looked slightly sad. "There was a nice sword I was eyeing off the other day in the store too."
"There's little use in crying over spilt ale, Ferrin, " said Doran. "Just be thankful the bank is still standing."
"That's about all we have to be thankful for.  The council members will have plenty of patching up to do when they return," replied Ferrin.
"I think that the attack was concentrated on destroying the town square. I think most of the rest of the town is unharmed," said Kela.
"That's something. For now, I suggest we pay a visit to the council members?" Klip stood up with a half angry look on his face.
"I would guess they're already on their way, and I'm not particularly keen to leave the city undefended, " answered Liya.
"Wise thinking. But I think that we need to rest a little before they get here. We'll probably need to do a lot of work when they get back, and we've already had a hard time in the past while," said Kathra.
"I think we deserve to not have to do any work, " said Ferrin.
"I'll second that, " replied Doran. "I've had my share of hard work for the moment. I could really go for my share of ale right now." Doran stood up and started heading for the empty tavern.  "Coming?"