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Heroes of Mystara - Chapter 21

by Jesper Andersen


The river ran faster and faster and the crude raft groaned terribly the first time they struck a large rock and were tossed further into the middle of the current.

'We have to get off of this thing!' Whitemane shouted.

'You don't say?' Petja replied. 'Thaminor, see if you can search my left boot for my secret knife. They may not have found it'.

The half-elf crawled as best he could over to Petja's left leg and felt the shaft of his boot.

'Nothing' he said in response to the hopeful look on the young rogue's face.

The raft continued down a series of rapids, splashing violently and nearly tossing Ikaros and Wulfgar overboard. A few of the thin ropes holding the raft together started to groan and snap.

'We'll die if we stay here much longer!' Ikaros shouted.

Wulfgar managed to sit up for a second and with a powerful roar he summoned all his strength: 'OOOOOOOddiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnn!!!!'

His bonds started to snap and then break completely as the red-faced barbarian flexed his powerful muscles.

'You did it!' Ikaros shouted. 'Quick! Untie the rest of us!'

Wulfgar quickly untied his own legs and then continued to help his friends. He first untied Eveil's hands and was busy trying to untie Thaminor when the raft went through another set of violent rapids and falls. The raft shook suddenly when it hit a large rock and with a panicked cry Petja rolled over the edge and disappeared underneath the surface.

'Petja!' Wulfgar shouted. The raft was moving quickly now and Petja did not surface again. With a quick look at his friends on the raft Wulfgar dove into the violent river.

'Wulfgar!' Whitemane shouted but the pace of the river quickly took them so far away he could no longer see where Petja had gone under.

They were now only a few hundred feet from the great waterfalls and sitting in the middle of a violent river on a raft that was slowly coming apart underneath them. Eveil had untied the others in a hurry.

'We need to get ashore!' she shouted. 'My spells can only help three of us!'

'Help them!' Ikaros shouted and pointed at Whitemane and Thaminor. As Eveil began her sorcerous incantations he turned to look ahead. He had only a few moments before the raft was either destroyed or sent flying out over the waterfalls.

Eveil finished her spells and shouted to Whitemane and Thaminor: 'You will have to jump!'

'That is impossible!' Whitemane exclaimed. 'It is more than 30 feet!'

'My magic will help you! Just follow me!' Eveil shouted back. Then she took a few quick steps and leaped into the air towards the riverbank. Whitemane and Thaminor were left gawking for a split second when her magic almost seemed to hurl her through the air and land in the top of a tree on the shore. They quickly followed suit and jumped safely to the riverbank.

Ikaros never even noticed that they were gone - he was so focused on the success of his own spell. 'Thank Rad I don't need my components for this' he muttered upon the spells completion.

Eveil quickly jumped safely down from the tree she had landed in and looked at Ikaros on the raft that was about to go over the edge of the waterfall. Just then, a massive creature emerged in the river right between the raft and a large rock on Ikaros' left side. It was a sickly black colour with lots of visible, bloated red veins and yellow eyes. Its large maw was filled with nasty teeth and it had several long tentacles.

Half of those tentacles it used to grab hold of the large rock and the other half it used to grab hold of the raft, Ikaros was sitting on. Like a pendulum it swung the raft to relative safety in the left side of the river between several large rocks before the creature disappeared beneath the surface and was washed out over the waterfall.

Somewhat exhausted, Ikaros climbed from rock to rock until he reached his friends on the left bank.

'That was incredible, Ikaros!' Thaminor exclaimed. 'What was that?'

'I - I used my powers to summon a magical creature to aid me' Ikaros said, trying to catch his breath.

They decided to rest for a few minutes before heading up river to search for their friends. It was getting dark and they were wet, cold and hungry. They had no weapons, no armour, practically no spells and no way of starting a fire...

Next time: Separated