February 12, 795 TSR
Once again, Arasus could not sleep. This was a disturbingly recurring trend with him. He supposed he was worried about Whiteblade and the apprentices, not to mention Level, but then sometimes he wasn't entirely certain what it was he was worried about. Himself maybe. Or maybe he worried for no reason at all.
In the Kaat'n infirmary, Ley Druid tended to Level. The boy was not responding to anything. Ley felt terribly ambivalent. If he understood the book, then Shadow would have returned within a host body where he was supposed to meet resistance. Ley was debating whether or not it would be a good idea to just quietly slit Level's throat. Perhaps the boy would win the battle, the prophecy didn't say. It only said that if Shadow came to full form, then there would be a world of trouble.
Whiteblade sweated heavily. He'd been practicing. He had to practice a lot, these days, to keep his joints in working order. He felt so old sometimes. When he taught the children, he felt much younger. Whiteblade was eagerly awaiting the next day, when he could resume his role as teacher.
Ley Druid flicked his head to the door. What the hell was that noise. That was coming from below, and not just from the first floor. Deeper below. In the catacombs. He pulled Level's gurney through the door of the infirmiry, sounded the blue-alarm, and began wheeling the boy towards his room.
Whiteblade hurried his pace when the alarm began to sound. He supposed Arasus must have sounded it. That couldn't be good. The apprentices had been trained in castle safety protocol just this day, so they should be alright. The thump had come from the Catacombs, and wasn't just a "thump," it was a big-ass battering-ram-on -your-catacomb-door sounding "THUMP!" He quicked his pace even more.
Arasus turned the corner towards the Catacomb entrance, sword in hand, just in time to see the first albino-dwarf tackle Sir Whiteblade. He'd checked the bolts on the armory before coming, and now he wondered if that had been such a bright idea. There was a huge gaping hole in the indestructible catacomb seal. The door wasn't even there any more, really, though you could make out bits and pieces of it on the floor. No battering ram could do that.
Whiteblade had dispatched the dwarf that had jumped him, and Arasus had calmly beheaded another one, but there were more coming and a dark mist seemed to be funneling into the room from the catacombs. Arasus could no longer see, though he could smell the distinctive scent of minotaur. He heard Whiteblade scream. A bolt of energy tore across the corridor, lighting the mist and cutting Whiteblade through his side. This wasn't a little disruption. This was an invasion. And there was a made back there. And Sage was three weeks behind schedule getting back. And hadn't contacted them at all. Armory? Locked. Arasus dove for Whiteblade, threw his compatriot over his shoulders and ran for one of Kaat'n's exits, pulling the red-alarm as he went. He could hear the clamor, smell the minotaurs, and feel the mist behind him.
The apprentices were waiting outside. They gasped in horror, seeing Whiteblade slung across Arasus's back. He motioned for them to run for the one-way exit. No time for the villagers. The apprentices crowded onto the slide platform after Arasus, who looked around and did not see Ley Druid. Grah. The old-boy could probably fly anyway. Besides, if he wasn't out by now, it wouldn't do them any good to wait. A healer apprentice protested, but Arasus shushed him and threw the lever on the rock-slide platform, sending them hurtling safely but rapidly down the cliff. Midway down the chute opened, and they floated to a stop right next to the entrance to the secret hideaway cave where, though they didn't know it, Sage had been just a few weeks previous.
Ley locked his door. He could hear the invasion force storming through the castle. If they could have seen it, they might have battered on his door. It didn't matter, because there was nothing in existance that could break through that particular barrier.
Ley glanced over at the gurney on which Level lay, prostrate, and knew that it would do no good to try it now. It was too late.
grah! Need to take more care in proofreading my posts.
Among other things, that should be "...there was a mage back there..." rather than a "made"