Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Albinor Chronicles Chapter 30
"Escape From Drow Castle"

By Marcus Pan

July 22, 007

Corellon awoke in the still darkness. He believed it to be after dark outside, for the dungeons were quite silent, but it was hard to tell. They no longer chained him in his cell. He gave them no trouble in over 4 1/2 years of imprisonment. His morale and spirit they believed was broken. They were wrong.

Corellon looked through the small window in his door and saw a guard in chain mail approach him. As he passed by, Corellon called softly to him. Whispering enchantments as the guardsman approached the door, he cast forth a spell he had retained in his mind for 4 1/2 years. "Open the door, friend. What hath I done to thee?" The guard thought to himself at Corellon's question.

"Nothing, I suppose," said he as the door slowly groaned open.

"Wait here. I will return shortly for you. I need your sword." Corellon took the Drow knight's sword and keys as he was smiled at warmly. Then he closed the heavy door behind him and moved swiftly down the dark, dismal corridor.

The stairs he found quickly and ascended them slowly, listening to the echoing of his sandaled feet with alarm. The blade glimmered in the low light, clutched in his left hand. Noone seemed to hear his ringing steps and laboured breathing. He reached the top of the stairs unharrassed.

Skirting the shadows, flitting from wall to wall like a flickering in the night, he traversed corners and turns quickly. Maybe too quickly.

Three knights of Drow nearly knocked him to the floor as he rounded a turn. Startled, Corellon had barely enough time to cast a spell. Putting his finger to his lips in a gesture of silence, they smiled and nodded. The Elven King breathed a sigh of relief as the elves walked on whispering together about their "new friend."

Another turn brought him to a blank wall. He looked about wildly as he stood at the dead end. Listening, he heard echoing steps on the other side of the wall. He began to search it. More shuffling footsteps came from behind. "Cornered," he thought, cursing. He retreated to a dark corner, hiding his blade of steel beneath the ragged cloak he wore.

A drow in chain mail stepped down the hallway, reached the wall, pushed a pressure plate on the wall and yawned. The wall slid to the left revealing a corridor beyond. As he passed through, Corellon acted quickly and rolled. The wall closed with a crunching noise and, now on the other side, Avantar stood and fiercely swing the blade as his enemy turned. The poor fool

held his helmet in his hands. It rattled loudly on the stonework floor and Corellon braced. Noone heard the helmet nor the falling elf. Like a dark shadow, he moved slowly and quietly on.

At the end of this hall a stairwell led up. As he ascended it, a breath of fresh air brushed his cheek. The air was not permeated with a dank, mouldy stench like that of below. It was still dark a few pools of light in a shadow-shrouded 20' corridor that was shed by bracketed torches on the walls. "Still dark and torches are lit. The air is clean and crisp. I'm obviously above ground now and night is here. How much longer till dawn, pray tell?" Corellon wondered aloud. Looking ahead, another 20' wide corridor turned right. This hallway he recognized as the entrance hall, but so many feet stood between. So close, yet so far.

He moved forward and, after what seemed an eternity, reached the corridor. It was a warm night and the doors were ajar. Outside, the stars glittered in the sky. The Elven King's spirits soared, as stars were visions of memory for 4 1/2 years. A drow guard stood nonchalantly outside, obliviously enjoying a pipe. Corellon moved, barely breathing, towards the door. He moved swifter than before, wanting desperately to stand amidst stars and cool breezes. A door he passed on his right and another on his left. Swooning over the outdoor vision, he didn't notice the drow pass through the right door. The guard's "Stop!" thrust him back to reality.

"Guide my hand, Larethian!" Corellon cried as he swung wildly behind. The blade met the guard's chain-clad chest. So mighty was the strike, dark chains snapped. Then the blade broke as the guard fell, clattering to the cobble-stone floor. Corellon dropped the broken sword and ran wildly for the door.

Doors slammed from behind. The guard who fell was struggling up. Shouts rang throughout Drow Castle and the elf outside the door dropped his pipe and tugged on his own longsword. Weaponless, the high elf threw himself at the guard. They met furiously and both men fell, Corellon feeling as if he had run into a wall. But he was up and running for the open gates through the courtyard. The other elf gave chase, now gripping his blade. A race ensued, Corellon reaching the gates first with his lead and lightness.

Turning to the guard upon him, the high elf yelled and flames fanned out from his slender fingers. The chasing guard was hit by the magical fire and fell with his head in his hands. The courtyard echoed with noise. Horsed guards poured from the stables and a force poured from the castle. Corellon closed his eyes and raised his hands to the sky. The drows would be on him in seconds. Words of enchantment passed his lips and a dark cloud massed overhead. A thunderclap rose from the air and wind whipped his cloak about him. Some of the knights paused, looking about worriedly. Then the storm broke. Mid-summer though it was, 'twas a storm of ice!

Horses routed and threw their riders as the ice pelted them. The drows broke for shelter. The balls of ice were large indeed. Corellon, his spell completed, bent and picked up the sword of the drow that fell from his fire. He turned to leave, untouched by the ice he had created. Then he dashed into the dark forest, disappearing like mist and completing his escape from Drow Castle.