As it turned out, the gas from Lady Ira’s spell-tablet had tarnished the guard’s keys along with their bronze weapons. Still, the corrosive gas had weakened the cell door hinges too; just enough for Dragon-Face to burst them open with a blow from his shoulder.
“Mmmm?” Uuco muttering, squirming against the many bonds tying him, glancing left and right despite the thick blindfold covering his eyes. “Mmm! Mmm!”
After hours of scraping and kneading clay and Mana droplets into a ball, Lady Ira fashioned a crude but effective spell tablet, covered with sigils carved by Ira’s fingernails. She gingerly placed it in a ray of sunlight leaking through the window of her cell. With a clink of her chains, she learned against the wall, waiting.
Dragon Face, Pilgrim and champion of the Southern Arenas, raced to reunite with his friends, carrying the bloodstained head of his bitter rival in his right hand.
He slid to a stop outside the gates of Baruck, holding aloft his gristly war prize. “Hail, guardians of the wall!” He proclaimed in a booming baritone. “Unseal your gates and admit this champion, returning in triumph!”
Strangely enough, the guards refused to let him in.
The Infinite Temple, the ever-growing masterpiece of Baruck, contained many things, including prison cells.
Each Pilgrims was specially restrained, before the Gnashers bolted their cell doors shut with their snake-curving keys and walked away.
“Your story sounds quite implausible, Lady Ira,” Captain Zarth remarked dryly, tapping his flail against his bare arm.
“It does sound implausible,” Lady Ira agreed. “It is also true.”
Captain Zarth sighed, tucking his flail through his belt. “I believe you,” he said. “Gnashers!” He barked to his men, drawing his own bronze mace and gesturing. “Arrest them!”
Lady Ira, Rintha Roarhunter, V’vendy the Deathweaver, Corax Sickleblade and Uuco the Witness gathered in a circle. They looked down at the charred, extremely motionless Priestess of Evolution.
“I still think we should kill her more,” Uuco said. “Really make sure she’s dead.”
As Ricky, Zealot of the Evolving Eye, watched his friends fall around him like scythed wheat, he wondered how it had come to this.