Continued from Part 5

Toron and his party after four days travel had finally reached the edge of the Desert of Morose. The party consisted of Toron, Princess Ikari, Leera the Human Warrior, Grar a Gatonian Thief, Hepzibar a Reptalos Mage, and Montirk a Dwarvinian Paladin. The group stood in the shade provided by the trees of the Vallorian Jungle (which bordered the desert) getting ready to start their journey through the sand.

They were talking among themselves about what had been a fairly uneventful trip to the desert (minus one bandit attack they swiftly dealt with) when they heard a small squeaky “Hi!”…they looked around to see a small young Slime standing before them. “I’m Goopy, pleased to meet you!” the little Slime said. Toron smiled at the young Slime “Hello there i’m Toron, and these are my…” Toron was cut off by the Slime’s excited talking “Toron? THE Toron? Does that mean Prince Algor is here too?” his joyous face at the thought of Algor made Toron sad “No my little friend…Algor is missing. We are searching for a way to find him now, and that is why we are traveling into the desert” The little Slime’s face dropped into a frown “Missing? Missing? Who could stop Prince Algor? He can’t be beaten!” Asked Goopy. Toron thought for a moment what to say, and finally decided on “Well young one that is what we aim to find out in the desert” Goopy looked distressed “no no no the desert is an awful place..most people that go in never come out… is there any other way?” he said. Toron and the others explained the situation, and even though he feared for them Goopy told them to hold on for moment. After a few minutes the young Slime returned with a sack of provisions “these are from my father Dirty, and myself… anything I can do to help Algor is my pleasure” he said as he handed the bag to Toron. As the party put the food and beverages into their packs Toron looked down at Goopy “ Thank you my friend it is much appreciated, and send our thanks to your father as well” Goopy laughed “he’s a big old grump anyway so that won’t do much , but good luck on your quest to find the Prince”. They said their goodbyes to Goopy and started their trek through the desert, and after about a half days march in the sweltering heat they could see the giant Tower of Mehrunes in the distance. They would be there sometime tomorrow afternoon, and since the sun was setting they made camp for the evening. After setting up camp they sat by the fire talking about what they would find in the tower because according to legend the tower had been sucked from another realm ages ago,and the powerful magic locked inside had made the witch residing there one of the most powerful magicians on Jalldoon. The entire party had a night of fitful dreams filled with an old woman’s face laughing at them, and when they awoke the next day with the sun they packed up their camp and started out towards the dark tower sticking out of the yellow sands like a sore thumb.

As they approached the tower they noticed an abundance of bones all around it, and an air of dread filled their hearts as the wind started whooshing around them. Through the howling wind and spinning sand they heard a clanking sound getting louder and louder. Toron looked around through the clouds of sand, and he could see hundreds of skeletons encircling them “SKELETONS!” he yelled to his companions as they readied their weapons. The horde of skeletons rushed in, but Skeletons make for easy foes as they fall apart with even a slight impact to their old bones much less the might of seasoned heroes. The problem with these skeletons was that they just kept coming, and after a few minutes slaying them they just stopped and stood still as the wind died down. A great voiced boomed out from seemingly everywhere at once “who dares enter my lands?” The voice asked. The party stood in silence until Grar nudged Toron forward “We come in search of your magical expertise madame, if you’d just let us inside i’m sure our rewards will be pleasing to you” He yelled loudly not quite knowing how she was hearing him. Beyond the light clack of bone on bone from the skeletons standing there it was silent for an uncomfortable amount of time, but finally the voice came boomed again “very well…come inside” as the door to the ancient tower creaked open. Inside there was shelf upon shelf of books and all manner of odd things. A crab looking creature mounted on wood hung on the wall, there was a plate of something that looked like sweet rolls on the table, and on one surface was a blue potted plant that was emitting a faint hum. As the party took this all in the old witch made her way down the steps into the room, and Princess Ikari gasped audibly at the grotesque figure of the witch. The hag wore tattered robes, and greasy strands of white hair hung down over her weathered face. One of her eyes was glowing with a green light, but her other eye was jet black, and she walked with a gnarled stick as she limped her way down the stairs. The witch spoke “Now what is it you need that is important enough to venture to my domain?” she asked the group. Leera responded before anyone else could “We search for our friend that has been taken through a portal… we were told only your magic could find him oh great witch” at Leera’s words the old woman’s face curled up into a smile…it was hideous “You LOVE this missing friend I can tell. Would you do anything it takes to get him back my dear?” She croaked. Leera didn’t even think about it “name your price” she said. The witch’s smile widened making her look even more terrifying somehow as she chuckled “My services are NOT for sale child….however this body is old, and I shall surely die soon. I will do as you ask in exchange for your young body girl” Toron jumped up “No Leera, Algor wouldn’t want you to sacrifice yourself to save him…there has to be another way” he yelled. Leera looked at him “Toron, if the best mages and seers say they can’t what else can we do? Jalldoon needs Algor, and I’m not going to let my friend stay lost if I can help it” she sighed as she looked at the witch “how do we do this hag?” she spat. The witch laughed softly “My pretty, it is a fairly simple exchange…I retrieve your lost friend, and we switch bodies through my spells. You get your friend back and spend your few short years with him while I get to be young again in your lovely body.” “There must be another way?” Toron asked the witch “I’m afraid there is not Slime, but since I am in giving mood today I will allow you one year to find someone who will voluntarily give their body to me…as long as the body is in such fine shape as this one” the witch pointed at Leera as she said this. Leera barely took a second before she said “Sounds fair let’s get Algor back…now” forcefully directing the words at the old witch. At this the witch snapped her fingers and the whole party was standing in front of the Portal just outside the Grogglin village. Princess Ikari ran to get the King, and as everyone gathered around the witch started chanting and appeared to be in a trance. As she chanted faster she spoke “I’ve found him..he is deep within the underworld in the power of a wizard of great strength.” her chanting was almost gibberish at this point it was flowing from her mouth so fast until she stopped “the connection was broken by an unknown power, but your friend is free of the control of the wizard who had enslaved him which will make pulling him back all the easier” she said. She started chanting again this time louder and faster for a long few minutes until the portal started glowing. As the portal’s glow brightened and started swirling in a cyclone Algor was shot out of the portal with great force. As they ran to Algor’s side a great commotion came from the woods as Master Boshak, General Skale, and Delgon rushed out of the trees with about a dozen of Baron Draktholm’s Shocktroopers in tow.

Continued in Part 7

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