Chapter 44: The Tomb of Kings

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Now, the histories will be written in death, and we have made the Eight the authors. They will write it in blood, and they shall drain the lands of their vitality. Saefel Scelion was first to go. It used to be a great city, a place of nobility and philosophy. From our reports of it, now it is only carrion.

***

The doors opened to Kyra's touch. Well, that and maybe Skaria slamming into them, forcing them open. With a groan, the heavy metal doors began to slide open. They tried to keep closed, screaming with every inch they lost, groaning against the stone floor.

Kyra and Thaen joined her, and she could hear the two of them huffing and puffing. Eventually, the door was wrenched open. And with it, the breath of the tomb, a rank mustiness that made all of them shiver, came tumbling out.

"Honestly," Kyra said, "I'd never have guessed I'd end up becoming a grave robber," she said, holding the vial up, casting some illumination.

"Don't worry," Skaria said. "By the time we're through with corrupting you, you'll have a gambling and drinking habit too." Kyra gave Skaria a look. "Relax, milady," Skaria said, poisoning the last word with sarcasm, "it was a joke."

Kyra shrugged. "Thaen, can you go first?"

"Why?" Thaen asked, indignant. "If anything is coming, I'll be the first to get hit! Why not Skaria? Or you? Or the brute back there?" Skaria looked back. Karik'ar just rolled his eyes.

"Karik'ar's carrying someone, and neither Skaria nor I can see in the dark," Kyra explained. 

Thaen rolled his eyes. "Alright." He stepped forward, down a rough hallway.

Skaria studied Kyra. "You know, kid, you're odd," she said.

"Don't call me kid. I'm twenty-three," Kyra said. "And why am I odd?" she asked, following Thaen.

"You're not prissy, not bratty," Skaria said. "You're the antithesis of every noble heiress I've met," she said. "And the knowledge you know isn't obscure. Very practical, not that philosophical crap half of the other noble castes spout."

"Philosophy has it's place," Kyra said. "Usually, in a more civilized locale." She was staring at Skaria so intently, that she ran into a suddenly stopped Thaen. "Thaen?" she asked.

"Shh," he said. His head twitched, and so did his ears. "Noises. Crying." He sighed. "We got carrion-eaters. Weeping ghouls." They had reached a slightly larger room, a natural cave with a few bricks and stone illuminated on the ground and walls.

"That's bad?" Kyra asked.

"Yes," Skaria said. "Charcoal grey, multiple eyes that are leaking blood, like eating their victims alive. And fast." She saw something that shifted in the faint light cast by the vial.

"Grey skin?" Kyra asked. "Sounds like Kas... Kuz... that thing that Laidu fought."

"Kazalibad?" Karik'ar offered.

"Yeah, that." Kyra paused. "So, how do we deal with them?"

"I play catch with them," Thaen said with a smile, yanking out one of the odd spherical ceramic objects from his belt. "And then we see where that leads to."

"Okay," Kyra said. Skaria drew her sword. "Where are they?"

"Right..." Thaen said, body tense. "Right...here," he said throwing the orb.

There was a crack, and a blast of pure sound and force. Kyra gave a small jump, and then cringed at the high-pitched scream. Skaria turned, sword at the ready. 

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