"It was not as much flattery as it was trying to be polite to something that could kill us in seconds if it wished," Huo said, sounding a bit hurt by the demon's words "as for demons, I expected that as soon as we entered this place we would be wading through them, yet you are the only one we have encountered so far."
The demon said nothing to that, though a strange look did briefly cross its face.
"What kind of freedom do you wish for?" the Priest asked, curious to what the creature's reply would be "If you wish to walk this city once more, I must warn you that several of the companions I came here with are quite skilled at killing demons. As for how you could help us, we are searching for a sword called Dainslief; do you know where it might be held?"
"I care not what sort of freedom. Banish me back to the Underworld, if that suits you. Or set me free in this city, and I will grant you a boon of your choosing. But do not leave me in this place.
"As for this Dainsleif," the demon went on, "I have heard of it... It was, in part, why so many demons were drawn to this place. It was forged here, long ago, and enchanted with ancient magicks. It is said that wounds caused by the sword are eternal, even to the mightiest of creatures; and, once drawn, it must slay at least one soul before it can be sheathed once more."
The demon arched a ridged, hairless brow. "It would have never left the side of the king who had it made, King Hreidmar. He dwelt in the great hall in the center of this city. That is all I know."
((This section is continued in the last part of this post, in which more characters join those at the temple.))
Valya tugged on one of the many locked doors, but to no avail. Even her great strength couldn't budge it. Thankfully, nothing happened to retaliate against her efforts.
Korvarl examined another of the locks, looking at it as closely as he could, even in the strange shadow that hung in the air... It was, of course, an ancient Dwarven mechanism, but even he couldn't quite parse just how it worked. Apparently, they didn't make them like they used to. He did deduce one thing, at least: if they wanted to get these doors open, they would need to find the key - or keys.
Malvolio and Allya descended shortly thereafter, the former clutching several papers in hand that he soon showed to Korvarl. The dwarf took them, though he had a touch of trouble reading them in the torchlight.
Still, he found many of no interest - censuses, assorted other public records that told him just how vast and powerful this city had once been, beyond even the current height of the Silvershield clan capital... though one census did mention King Hreidmar's home as being the great clan hall in the very center of the city, but that was hardly surprising.
But he did find something a bit more interesting. He found a page torn from a thick book that had apparently been a record of every treasure kept locked away in the vaults under this district hall - the vaults they were in now. Everything around them were various personal artifacts, here to be kept safe, as well as many historical items that had not yet been sorted, such as for show in a museum. No doubt everything in here was already priceless at the time of its safekeeping - to say nothing of how priceless it has now become.
The keys, however, were marked as resting in the hands of King Hreidmar - who apparently held all keys to every vault in the city, save for some very small personal ones. Rifling through the papers again, he found something else: a record of magical artifacts in the city limits. He did not know the district names of the city, but if he had to guess, the vaults they currently stood in had at least one enchanted artifact of some kind kept in these vaults.
But, most importantly, he found mention of Dainsleif - and the page from the record book clearly stated that this artifact never leaves the quarters, or the side, of King Hreidmar himself.
As the thumping from both doors continued, he looked at Caiden and asked quietly, "What should we do?"
The pixie in disguise shrugged before Caiden could answer, her gaze flickering back to Caid for a moment; he met her gaze, but only briefly. “I don’t think we’re gonna find anything useful in here… and it doesn’t seem like whatever’s trying to escape is gonna for a bit, sooooo… how about we go anywhere else?” She offered, heading for the door.
"Let's try the temple," Caiden suggested. "We need to regroup."
No one outright protested, at this point, so the three of them - plus Maugrimm - gladly left the inn, though the banging noises slowly began to quiet once more, as if sensing they were moving away. They headed toward the temple instead, staying largely quiet, though Caiden remained close by Percula's side for the duration. Agethar noticed Maugrimm throwing a few unusual glances in the other Venator's direction as they walked, his floppy ears twitching occasionally.
And then Percula and Maugrimm both suddenly jumped out of their skins when they heard a ridiculously loud growl that sounded like some demon was ambushing them... until Caiden said, the flatness of his voice hiding his embarrassment, "Sorry. I'm starving."
They made good time to the temple, and upon entering, it didn't take them long to make their way toward the back to join Huo and Garandros - and find the little room with the assorted books, some open on the desk, as well as the demon in the summoning circle, to which Huo spoke. The instant Caiden saw it, he narrowed his eye and tightened his grip on his sword - and protectively inched a little in front of Percula.
Caiden, Percula, Agethar, and Maugrimm walked in just as the demon calmly addressed to Huo again. "May I ask to what purpose mortals such as yourselves would enter a place such as this? You spoke of those with you who fancy themselves demon slayers. I must warn you: if you came to slay demons, you should turn back. It is not myself of which I speak, but a far, far greater power. Unless you are here because of that binding upon your souls...?"
((I just took Agethar, Caiden, and Percula directly to the temple [so you're all there now; feel free to look around and interact with the details described in the last section of this post, including the room with books and the room with the demon and summoning circle], so that they could regroup with the others, assuming they were okay with being done at the inn and not trying any doors. This way the group can get back together faster.))
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