Fan fiction:Bane Hero of the North/Chapter 7


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Bane Hero of the North is a fan fiction piece by Bane, originally posted on The Dark Library. The fiction series was recovered on April 14th 2010. You can find more information on Bane:Hero of the North article.


Chapter 7: The Tiger Jewel[edit]

The tall robed figure moved at a fast but confident pace through the pouring rain down the streets of the great city of Galmnor. The rain brought lightning along with it. The night was a blessing to Bane, as he didn’t want the city watch troubling him at such an hour, especially as he was a suspicious troublemaking-looking character to those of civilised up bringing.

People ran around in front of him, heading off to their own destinations some complaining about the weather, others not bothered at all. Looking up, shielding his face from the heavy downpour Bane spotted the sign of The Dog up ahead, his meeting point with the man called Travin, the man who would hopefully give him a job.

Through the rain and noise Bane recalled the last two weeks since his arrival at the great city. It was truly that and was one of the biggest cities in the whole of the Western Kingdoms let alone Entsteig. Bane had never seen anything quite like it; the scale of some of the buildings rivalled that of the mountains in his homeland. There were great towers and homes rising as if trying to catch the stars themselves. However not everywhere in Galmnor was as good as these buildings; huge poor areas called slums scattered themselves throughout the city, the people within them living in poverty.

He had travelled here with a family under the name of the Fetchers, the head of which was Walkin. He was glad that Walkin had found his unconscious form on the road a few hours after Bane had collapsed there after he had fought with the beast-lord in the forest. During the fight Bane had been poisoned by the creature’s staff, a poison that had almost killed him. Bane had spent most of the rest of the time upon his arrival regaining his strength after Eldric the healer extracted the deadly toxin from his bloodstream.

He also spent along time thinking. He had been told about the future twice now by the demon Horthis and both times the devil’s predictions came true. The cultists had captured him and he had been attacked by the Beast-lord. If the creature was right then, was he right about a man’s destiny was written before the person’s birth. If so Bane felt like nothing more than a puppet under the influence of the gods themselves, a fake person acting out a play. Or was it merely a prompting of things, that he would have to do these things in order to remain a true man and to write his own destiny? It was a confusing matter for the barbarian.

His other thoughts dwelled on his death experience where he had met up with his village’s old shaman, Khalis in the lands of Kios. It was a strange memory to analyse. He had swum the fabled Water with the help of an unknown entity, a giant talking fish and that thought alone was enough to leave Bane confused. Perhaps it was not his place to question he thought?

Thoughts now however flashed back to his meeting with Travin at a tavern no more than an hour ago. The man was tall and well dressed for the talk he came out with. His face was long but finely chiselled; his long brown hair flowed to his shoulders. Apparently Travin was the greatest thief in all of Entsteig and that he was planning a hoist somewhere in the city that would be extremely dangerous and that he needed help from people of Bane’s calibre to get the object. That was all the information given to Bane except of course where to go if interested, which was the tavern named The Dog.

His knuckles scrapped against the door of the tavern twice. He looked over his shoulder in frustration. This had better be the right place. He knocked on the door again but harder. This time there was an answer from inside.

“Okay, don’t break the door down!” The voice was high pitched but muffled slightly, as if it came from within another closed room of the building. The door was not opened however, much to Bane’s despair. The robe he wore was becoming soaked.

“Hurry up in there man!” The door opened slightly and Bane pushed forward on it, swinging it open and knocking the man who had unlocked it to the floor.

Bane entered the room and was hit by a barrage of smells from ales and foods to un-washed bodies. The occupants were few, each distinctively different to the other yet similar.

“Good to see you barbarian, welcome to my little operation.” Travin got up from his seat and began a graceful walk towards Bane, a trail of smoke rising into the air behind him from the large pipe he was smoking.

“I knew you were the type of man to risk his life for gold and coin!” Travin brushed his hair back and flashed a large smile before clapping Bane on his shoulder and offering up his plainly decorated pipe.

“No thanks friend.” Bane replied. Travin lowered his head and began walking back towards his table.

“Come Bane, sit and I will tell you what we shall be doing later this night.” Bane nodded and shifted uneasily forward expecting an attack from the cutthroats and thieves that now surrounded the master thief. Bane’s hand loosely fell onto his sword hilt before walking towards the table and pulling up a stool. Travin was a commanding presence he thought. Not that the man looked strong or good with a weapon it was just the fact that whatever the man said or did commanded the attention of everyone else in the room. The thief leant forward and took a long drag from his pipe before addressing the table.

“Have you ever heard of the Tiger Jewel?”

Bane stopped before the tree next to a tall wall. His eyes scanned the surrounding streets for signs of guards. There was none, at least none that he could see. He turned towards his companions that numbered five in total including Travin and motioned them to come forward. Bane shook his head. These people were not stealthy enough for such a mission; even Travin seemed clumsy and loud enough to wake a dragon from its sleep.

The first to arrive was Travin himself, who wore his customary smile proudly across his face. Behind him came the shortest member of the group yet undeniably strong. Balkin was all muscle he claimed, and from his broad shoulders Bane did not doubt it.

The man behind him was the youngest of the group and was called Ilkin, a skinny man with straw like hair, and a man who claimed he was of royal blood once before his family were kicked out of Galmnor. Bane was not convinced, the boy appeared to be a liar and Bane did not trust him.

The next came a man a little shorter than himself. He was called Graklyn. The man did not say much about himself and was overly quiet. Bane could read little of him except that the man had seen combat from the look of his baldhead and face that was covered in scars.

The last man to come was a man coloured in a way that was rare amongst his homeland. The man had brown coloured skin, and seemed almost a ghost in the darkness. His name was Kabana, and the man seemed honest enough regardless of his occupation as a thief.

It was then he started thinking about the whole ‘mission’ as it were. The Tiger Jewel was a famous artefact of immense fortune retrieved out of the Great Deserts of Aranoch by a mage called Syphon more than a century ago. The mage eventually lost it through foul play of some kind just over twenty years ago and a female thief called Zamora brought the Jewel to Galmnor. Zamora had traded the Jewel for gold in which she then vanished completely afterwards. The man she traded too was alive and well today, living in the Darkened Tower on the cities east side. The man was supposed to be a necromancer of some kind and went only by the name of Xeros.

Apparently this man had placed the Jewel in the Tower somewhere, and left it guarded by foul creatures of magic. Bane shuddered at the thought. Why couldn’t man stay away from magic?

“It is time to go over the wall.” Travin’s voice was tuneful as if it was all a game for him. Bane nodded and looked up. The wall was a great height and only a strong arm would send the grappling hook over it.

Travin passed Bane the hook and rope that the barbarian inspected. He turned the hook over in his hands. It looked old and damaged. The rope was a thin piece of material and a wave of doubt hit the barbarian about whether or not it would hold his weight.

“I got that in Westmarch to use in my travels to Kehjistan, it is a strong piece and will hold my friend.” Bane nodded and turned towards his task.

Tensing his muscles for the throw Bane swung the hook above his head, in a circular motion, building its speed up to a blur. Then came the release. The group watched hopefully as the hook found its way over the wall. Bane was relieved but did not show it. He pulled back on the ‘rope’ and the hook had found something to cling too.

“Good work barbarian!” Travin whispered.

“A girl could make that throw.” Claimed Balkin as he shuffled forwards towards the rope, patting Bane’s arm on the way. Bane watched as the group made its way up the wall and deciding it would take too long for all of them he began his own climb, without the rope.

Many men who have seen the barbarian’s hill climbing abilities had sworn he was some kind of fly or had sticky hands so that he would stay on the wall. Bane however knew the truth. Kamidian’s were good climbers who learnt to climb just as soon as walk and could use a small crack on the wall to their advantage that other men would ignore. Bane made his way up the wall with relative ease much to the surprise of the group. It took only minutes before the group was within the walls boundary, standing on moist and well cut grass.

It was there that Bane studied the surrounding area. He could see the Tower stretching towards the moon and stars behind giant trimmed hedges. Bane had never seen its like before.

“It’s a maze my fellow barbarian. A maze for Travin and co!”

“A maze?” Travin shook his head and stepped lightly on the grass towards the maze entrance, hand motioning for the group to come forwards. Bane looked towards Kabana who seemed to sniff the air.

“I do not like it here, I can sense things roaming within those unnatural walls.” Bane nodded, his barbarian instincts told him that the man was right and that the night would be a long one.

A strange white mist, almost like fog, lifted itself from the grass within the maze, one that drifted upwards and clung to the thighs of the travellers. Bane did not like this mist; it was unnatural, created by magic’s of some kind. In fact it did not appear to find favour amongst any of the group, even Travin seemed uneasy by the presence of the mist.

They had spent a while walking through the maze, turning left right, doubling back when upon arrival of a dead end. Bane shook his head. He had never heard of a maze before and clearly would have been happier never having too of heard about one. It was obviously a twisted mind that invented such a mind meddling thing.

Travin had brought bright coloured pegs with him, which he had taken from a small pouch that he used to place within the hedges so that the group could find its way more easily. Several times already they had found they had returned to a coloured peg left minutes before. It was then that a sound called to them, one that sounded like a shriek.

“What was that?” Ilkin shouted, a trace of fear in his voice. Bane looked about him, trying to pick out a body amongst the darkness. Then the sound came again, closer this time, causing widespread panic amongst the group, even Bane’s heart was racing, palms became sticky with sweat.

“Draw your weapon’s people.” He heard Travin shout out as the hedge before them began to shake, the earth itself rumbling. Bane’s sword flashed from its bindings with a blink. To his right Balkin withdrew his small axe and shield from his back while Kabana and Graklyn withdrew broadswords.

It was then Bane witnessed a living horror burst from the hedge. It was tall, at least three or four foot taller than him. Its flesh was dripping and festered on dry bones, muscles and fur hanging from threads. A thin layer of skin, its skull clearly visible beneath, covered its head. Its eyes were missing; empty black holes replaced them.

“The undead?” Ilkin cried out in horror before the creature placed one giant skinless hand upon his head and crushed it. It was then the group moved in to attack. Travin let loose a knife, its aim true. Balkin struck out with his axe, chipping away at bone while Graklyn and Kabana attacked it head on. Bane’s battle cry came up through the din of battle and the creature turned its eyeless gaze towards him.

Bane could feel a shiver run its way down his back while he took a firm grip of his sword. The creature ignored the other fighters, brushing them away like they were nothing more than troublesome mosquitoes.

Bracing himself for impact Bane blocked the creature’s wild swing that would have split his skull if he did not react as quickly as he did. He ducked another swing before rolling towards the beast sending a thrust into its gut. It cut through easily but did not seem to harm the beast as much as Bane had hoped.

It stepped backwards and made to crush the barbarian but fell backwards as it tripped over a length of rope that was held by Travin and Kabana. It was then that Bane decided it was there best chance of victory. With a mighty leap taught to him by his grandfather Bane landed on the beast’s soft chest and landed a blow to the creatures face. The beasts skull separating followed a sickening snap, but the thing was still squirming on the ground, trying to right itself.

“Let us make haste my friends, we can not kill this thing!” Travin was right Bane decided; surprised he did not succumb to the battle-rage so common amongst his people.

The Tower loomed soon before them, the taint of evil drifting from its very walls. Bane looked over his shoulder uneasily, expecting the beast that had killed Ilkin to return for them. His sword had remained in his hand since the attack and he had refused to put it away until they arrived at the tower. Now he had the same task as the wall, except this time the closest ledge for the hook to grip on the Tower wall was a window even higher up than the previous wall the group had scaled.

Bane accepted the equipment and motioned for the group to step back, so that he could have more room to swing the rope. He started the swinging motion building up its momentum until the release. Time appeared to slow as the hook went shooting upwards, towards the window. The throw was good, perhaps too good as the hook hit the top of the open window. For a brief moment Bane thought it would fall again, and that he would have to throw it once more but somehow it managed to hook onto something.

“You first barbarian.” Travin spoke in his usual tone if a little quieter, a hint of what happened to Ilkin depressing him on his voice. Bane nodded and began his climb a little uncertain whether or not what Travin said about the rope being able to hold his weight was true or not. Slowly he made his way upwards, Kabana making his way after him.

Bane eventually made it to the window, his muscles aching from the journey. He peered into the room. The hook had fallen from the window ledge and had clung to a small statue below the ledge. It had been lucky to do so he decided. The room the group were climbing into was not particularly big, only a chair and the statue found itself in the room, while the simple door was closed.

Bane climbed through the window and peered back out of it. From here he could see a lot of the city, the great domes of the schools and theatres shining in the moonlight. He could see the Great Library in which manuscripts and books of the ancients across the world found its way. When Kabana appeared in sight Bane offered down his hand, which the man accepted. Bane’s muscles tensed as he dragged Kabana through the window.

“My thanks to you barbarian that was a tiring trip.” Bane simply nodded before assisting the next climber being Balkin through the window. Once the party had finished the climb Bane had moved to the door, pushing it open.

The hallway before them dragged along way into the darkness and many doors lined the walls. Great paintings hung on the wall between each door, depicting scenes of battle and death. A similarity cropped up amongst many of the paintings, as they bore the same man draped in purple robes. He had a long grey beard that hung to his waist with thin cheekbones and tired looking eyes.

“Must we check each room?” Balkin asked, spitting on the tiled floor. Travin shook his head, pulling forth a scroll from within his shirt. His quick fingers unrolled the scroll to reveal a map painted onto the papers surface.

“A map?” Travin nodded.

“Yes Balkin, a map.” Travin lowered it to Balkin’s height. Kabana stepped forward, cold brown eyes scanning the parchment.

“Where did you get it?”

“From someone who had been here before. He’s dead now though unfortunately, kept raving on about a spider of some kind.” Bane’s eyes widened at the mention of ‘spider’. He had fought one before, a giant beast near the underground dwarf city of Gratneck.

“Lets stop this chatter and get on with it shall we?” Under the guidance of Travin the group moved onwards, ever upwards it seemed to Bane.

The network of passageways and halls reminded Bane of the Underground world he had unwillingly entered weeks ago. The difference here though was that these were completely man-made, or wrought together by magic which Bane had no doubt could be done while the tunnels underground were natural or at least had seemed it.

The group had remained generally silent during the trek, perhaps it was the thought of the creature they had found in the maze that had now been allowed time to manifest itself within each man present to give way to darker thoughts.

Bane did not like the place they were in for it reeked of sorcery. The creature outside in the maze had imprinted itself in his mind like a striking painting, its stench still clinging to his nostrils. Necromancers were a hard concept for Bane for the work they committed themselves to, raising the dead, giving them life once more. He shook his head at the thought.

Travin remained at the front, holding out the map as if it were a god; Balkin was behind the master-thief fiddling with his belt, while Kabana and Graklyn walked behind him, each man looking wearily about himself.

Bane’s sword remained in its scabbard but his right hand floated easily over it, so that he could draw it in a moment of need. Bane felt as if he was on a Hunt back in Kamidia, and that he was closing in on the prey, that tense moment that would mean either the day had been a good one, or that you had wasted nothing more than time. His senses were alert but he could detect nothing more than wind blowing through halls, or the slight patter of feet from rats.

It was then Bane heard some kind of mechanism shift from below them. For a heartbeat nothing happened. Bane stood still, not daring to move. Kabana placed a gloved hand on the barbarians shoulder.

“What is wrong Bane?”

“Do not move an inch. Not yet. The floor is unstable and I fear it will give way.” Travin stopped up ahead, not realising Bane, Kabana and Graklyn had stopped moving. He called back to them.

“What is going on back there?” Bane answered Travin’s question calmly.

“We have started something below us, a machine of some kind. I believe if we move the floor will give way and if we stay it will also give way.” Travin smiled.

“Oh the old hole in the floor trick, fallen for that one myself a few times, lucky for me I had a hook and an area to connect it too before I dropped.”

Travin took out his hook and handed it to Balkin.

“Hold on to this my small companion we will need your strength.” Balkin nodded and gripped the hook with his large hands. Travin then passed the rope down towards Bane.

“Each man take a hold of the rope and walk over to us, if it gives way Balkin and I will try and pull you back up.” Bane nodded, it was not a good plan but the best they had at the moment.

It was then the tiled floor decided to fall away from their feet. Balkin and Travin pulled hard on the rope but the weight of the three men at the other end was immense. Balkin’s muscles bulged out from his simple leather jacket and sweat began to drip from his forehead.

Bane did not hear a cry that meant that Kabana and Graklyn had not fallen to their deaths. For an instant Bane looked below and only darkness greeted him. How far would one drop if he fell he wondered for he had not heard the tiles hit the ground. Then with his survival instincts taking hold of his actions Bane threw himself onto the holes wall in an attempt to take a hold somewhere on it. His fingers found a surface like marble, impossible to climb. Bane cursed. He knew no matter how strong Balkin was that he could not hold all three men’s weight and would most probably give way at any second. A sense of doom hovered over him as he thought about the two thieves holding onto the rope. Could he trust them for surely if the two let go they would have more riches between two than five?

“Climb!” Bane shouted down towards Kabana and Graklyn. Kabana seemed relaxed in his position and did not move. Instead his eyes were closed, a strange chant on his lips. Bane shook his head and moved up the rope. He could hear Graklyn shout at Kabana, telling him to move. The man did not.

It was then that Kabana let go of the rope and took a hold on Graklyn, who screamed as his hands let go of the rope also. Bane expected to see the pair fall. Instead Kabana seemed to float, and holding onto Graklyn levitated himself back up the wall onto the safety of the passage. Bane did not know what to make of it. He had not seen such a ting performed before. With speed he made his way up the rope to the top and over to safety.

“Where did you learn that?” Bane asked, a shocked look written across his tanned features. Kabana was sweating heavily and seemed to not be able to stand.

“Its called levitation, ‘magic’ you would call it, a trick I learned from shamans in my homeland barbarian.” Bane simply nodded and helped Kabana to his feet.

A gust of wind hit Bane as he stood by the lone tall door. He held his sword ready and placed his free hand on the door’s ivory handle. With a push the door flung backwards and Bane rushed into the room.

“We have found it!” Exclaimed Travin, shouting out with joy, looking up and down from his map. Bane looked before him. The room was large, huge decorated stone pillars held the ceiling up while there was a great open space at the centre of the room. At the centre of the room was a large black circle. Large doors situated themselves evenly across the room’s walls while a large pair was found directly in front of them, as if leading towards the Jewel itself.

“The Jewel is behind those two doors!” Travin began to walk quickly, his own pace taking him to the black circle at the centre of the room. “Hurry my friends, lets get this thing and get out of here.” It was then, when Travin had placed one foot within the suspicious looking circle a deep rumbling came towards them. To Bane the noise seemed to be coming from everyone of the doors.

“To the centre!” He called out. “Something is coming.” The group obeyed the barbarians command and formed a circle facing the doors, back to back. An unnerving noise started from behind each door, a shuffling clanking noise. At first it was nothing more than a feint whisper, but as the minutes dragged on so did the noise, its volume increasing.

“What is going on?” Graklyn’s voice revealed fear. Bane could not blame the man for it; he only hoped that Graklyn would over come it when the time came to fight.

It seemed to Bane that the very sands of time had slowed, and the minutes were no longer those but days. Long and drawn out days made worst by the sound of an unseen foe. Then Bane could hear drums beating to a slow rhythm, convenient enough for a march. Horns began to blow moments later and the doors opened.

The group were taken back by what they saw. Bane had heard of the undead before, only in stories told by his grandfather but he had never expected to meet them face-to-face. Now they came pouring out of each door, flesh hanging from bone, dead fingers gripping rusty damaged swords.

“We must get to the doors, maybe we can get the jewel and escape from here.” Travin shouted out. The group seemed to understand and began a run to the double doors that began a hail of screams from useless vocal cords, and the charge of the undead.

Bane noticed Balkin and Kabana slowing there run to meet the undead that had caught up with them. Shaking his head he turned to Travin.

“Get the Jewel we will try and hold them off for you!” Travin nodded and continued his run towards the doors. Bane gave a grunt as he turned towards his enemy. He spat on the floor and shouted out his battle cry.

Bane leapt then, the teachings he had learned from his grandfather coming once more into play. The leap took him into a small group of hand-axe wielding undead. With a shorter reach than the barbarian’s sword the undead did not put up much of a fight. Bane swung his sword above his head, taking skulls off weak necks. To his left Kabana and Balkin were being pushed back by sheer numbers while to his right Graklyn had given way to his fear and had followed Travin through the doors.

Bane’s mind was becoming unclear. His vision began to turn to crimson, all thoughts save that of death and destruction disappeared. Bane began to swing his blade wildly about him, the battle-rage taking him. He was more animal like now than ever before, even throwing Kabana off with his ferocity.

A terrible cry came to his left, and briefly turning he caught whom it had come from. Balkin fell backwards, a trail of blood spraying the air about him. It was then that Bane began to relax, could feel he was taking hold of his frenzy.

“We must fall back!” Cried Balkin who had stood back up again holding onto his arm, Kabana stood in front of him slashing left and right.

Suddenly Bane’s world exploded as something struck his skull. He could feel his life’s-blood run down his left cheek. Turning he saw the crude looking metal club that had struck him and shook his head, as if the action would shake his dizziness. He struck out at the attacker, knocking it back and taking a shoulder blade for his efforts.

Ignoring the pain Bane roared out and slashed in front of him, he parried an attack to his ribs, then a lunge at his face and neck before retaliating with a lash of his boot, breaking a leg.

Bane could only think of one thing to buy them time so they could get to the door and close it and that was performing something his elders had taught him, yet he had not performed it as such a vital moment and against so many foes. To hell with doubt he thought and picked up another sword by his foot.

Bane began the powerful attack by making sure he was perfectly balanced and swinging his arms. The arm swing was to wind up the body so that he could spin at ease, something that would build up into a fluid movement, and one that could be maintained minutes at a time. It was a manoeuvre that had saved many a tribesman in trouble.

Bane could feel himself build up and the time was right for the release and spin which would hopefully take him through the ranks of his enemy. The next few minutes for the barbarian were confusing. He felt the rage swell inside his heart, his hatred build up so that he could not stand to be around the fleshless creatures. Then it was all a blur.

Bane could feel his sword smash against bony body and weapon alike; he could hear the undead fall in crumpled heaps beneath his feet. He stopped less than a minute into the attack known as ‘Whirlwind’. His chest felt as if it were going to explode, his head seemed to be like a drum, one that the undead had beaten during the fight.

Looking behind him he could see the piles of downed undead warriors he had just ploughed through, he could see the two score of undead still remaining, ready for the charge. Bane tried to find Kabana and Balkin but they were already rushing towards the door. It was then Bane decided to make his exit. The undead did not seem stunned by his unusual attack and with his energy low he would not stand for long. He spat before them and broke into a run towards the safety of the doors.

When Bane arrived to the doors he sheathed his bloodied sword and placed his hands on the oak. Bane pushed hard on the doors. Balkin had no strength left in him to help him close the door, and Kabana was waiting for the eventual showdown with the undead that charged towards them. Straining his back against them he briefly wondered how Travin had opened them in the first place but putting his mind on more pressing matters began pushing again.

His muscles worked like that of a machine. Sweat poured from his forehead and back while his sinewy form fought a battle against the double doors. He would have found it easier if he had not spent so much of his energy performing the whirlwind. Then it happened. The doors slammed shut sending an echo through the room they were now in. Bane then noticed that for an odd reason the doors could be barred shut. A beam of wood stood up against the wall besides Balkin. Bane walked quickly over to it and picked it up. The piece was heavy in his arms but he managed to slide it into place.

“Do you think they will break through?” Asked Kabana, still holding his position, sword waving in front of him.

“I can not say. Lets hope that it remains barred long enough for us to get out of this demon building.” Kabana nodded and helped the paling form of Balkin to his feet. It was while noticing Balkin’s wounds did Bane consider his own. The blow to his head had done some damage, and once again he thanked the gods for his skull being thick. Upon examining his body he noticed a litter of cuts and bruises along with a deep cut to his thigh.

“Lets try to find Travin lads,” whispered Balkin.

Graklyn had died horribly, for that Bane was certain. His bowls had been spilt onto the cold stone floor, his arms and legs pinned to the wall by crude black spikes. His eyes were wide open, a look of horror across his face. Bane shook his head and placed his hand over Graklyn’s open eyes closing them. Bane stepped away from the body and noticed something had burnt his hands, an undistinguishable picture imprinted on his palm.

“What could have done that?” Asked Balkin, hobbling over to the body of the dead companion. Bane had no idea what was capable of killing a man in such a way. It looked as if it had played with Graklyn first.

“Let us be on our way and hope Travin has not died also.” Bane turned to leave but as soon as he attempted to walk a step his mind was assaulted by a familiar sounding voice.

“Hello Bane… It has been a while since I last spoke to you.” It was Horthis. The demon-thing that had attached itself to the barbarian weeks ago ever since he had returned the creature’s child.

“Are you responsible for Graklyn? What do you want demon?” He shouted, enraged that Horthis would bother him at such a time.

“Do not raise your voice at me Bane. I have come as a friend.” Bane laughed out loud.

“A friend? What do you mean by that?” Horthis took his turn to laugh well, the deepness of the voice like thunder.

“I mean to show you something so that you can believe it. Your friend Travin is no longer here.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“I mean he has escaped with what you had come to collect. The Tiger Jewel.” It was then that Horthis placed a series of images in Bane’s mind. Bane could see Travin make his escape out of a window using the rope. He had left it there in the hope of survivors of his thief team. Bane could hear his voice as if he stood next to the man.

“Is this real?” Bane asked completely taken back by what he had seen.

“Yes, now go to the window where he has left the rope and hope you do not set of any more traps like your friend there.” Bane felt as if he had been violated. His head pounded worse now than it had done when that undead had struck him with a club. He cursed his luck. For all the men in this world Horthis… why did you pick me to be your entertainment? Shaking his head he turned to Kabana and Balkin. They appeared to be oblivious to what just happened.

“I know the way out of here…follow me.”