Chapter Thirty - The Crypt

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JUST AHEAD THE MASSIVE WALL OF ROCK CURVED AWAY into the distance. Sparks of blue-green fire danced across its smooth surface casting its strange glow out onto the surrounding landscape.

Once they had rested and recovered from the ordeal with the Daemon warriors. Malin once again led them towards the distant monolith that rose above the desolate plane that spread away in all directions. The faint roadway they had been following before the Daemon attack, long since disappeared among the scattered broken rock and grey dust that coated every about them. Still, they did not need it, the glow of the magic that warded the Daemon lair acted like a beacon drawing them ever closer. The threat of another ambush by the creatures kept them wary of their surroundings, but nothing stirred in the half-light and they made good time in reaching their destination.

Now, George stood looking up at the towering edifice, wondering how anything could have escaped the forbidding wall of solid stone. He ran his eyes across the smooth surface and could see no sign of doorways or windows marring its exterior. Of course, he could only see a small part of the barrier, but he supposed it would be the same all the way around.

He glanced at the crackling energy that crawled slowly across the crest of the wall noting a faint wash of the blue-green fire creeping towards the ground at intervals along its length.

'Look at the size of it. How are you supposed to strengthen that?' he asked, turning to Malin.

'It will take time,' Malin answered. 'I need to take a moment to study the magic that binds these walls. It will be an extension of the magic I now possess but I am unsure what I should do. I need to explore the limits of this magic lest it should prove fatal if used incorrectly.'

George saw a look of sadness wash across the Elf's face.

'I wish Altard was still with us. His counsel would be useful at this moment in time.'

George nodded. He too missed the Spellcaster who gave his life to allow them to escape from the Daemon in the cave. Maybe Malin was right. Altard was well versed in the ways of magic and knew something of the history pertaining to the Daemons. He, if anyone, would have known what to do. But he was gone and it was now up to Malin and the group to discover a way of preventing the creatures from escaping their prison.

He left Malin to his studies and returned to where his sisters, Holt and Eldon sat waiting. Eldon had checked and cleaned Holt's wounds again, much to the Gnomes annoyance and was now busy sharing out the last of the food and drink.

'Come, sit for a moment,' the Giant called out. 'This is the last of our rations, so make the most of it.'

'Thanks, but I'm not really hungry at the moment,' George replied. He was more worried about getting the job done and getting back home. He had lost track of the time since they had gone underground, and for all he knew, that time may well have run out. He sat next to his sisters and took a couple of sips of water.

'Malin is studying the barrier, trying to work out how to use his new magic on it,' he told them. 'He reckons it could take some time.'

'Time is something we do not have much of,' Holt said grimacing in pain as he tried to get comfortable on the hard packed ground. 'Every moment we spend seeking a way to seal the barrier brings us closer to its total collapse. Tell Malin that whatever he means to do, he needs to do it now.'

Eldon shook his head. 'You should rest while you can, my friend. It is a long way back home and I do not relish carrying you all the way.' He smiled. 'Give Malin a moment to familiarise himself with the magic and I will speak with him. He above all will know the urgency of our quest.'

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