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They have been wandering the subterranean tunnels for two days now, scrawling crude grid-maps that always turn out wrong. Black Dougal complains about the iron rations, and Silverleaf is gaunt from lack of daylight. Slagjor’s body lies under a crude cairn two levels up. Even Crucible is beginning to tire.

“Let us click the key fob again,” intones Silverleaf.

“I already tried it in this area,” says Black Dougal. “And what if its battery runs out?”

“It shall not be.”

“It might!”

Crucible scans the empty rows of parking spaces, clockwork heart sinking, wishing he’d just written the damn number down.


“Ooh, I found a good one!” says Teluel excitedly. “Look at the emblem on top–I think this is one of the Enchanted Arrows of Alectria!”

“That’s a weathervane,” says Black Dougal gently.

Teluel crestfalls. “I’m awful at picking out equipment. Maybe I should just get a bunch of healing potions,” she mutters.

“Now come on, Tel, we can pick those up anywhere.” Dougal makes an expansive gesture, coincidentally knocking four or five priceless little knickknacks down his sleeve. “This is the Dweomerium! Treat yourself to something unique!”

In Teluel’s belt pouch, her magic gift certificate sits, pulsing with unidentified possibilities.


The receptionist fell quickly to Crucible’s hammer, and they beat back building security, but the enchanted cold of the server room made them easy prey for sysadmins: they lost Elfstar to a razored backup disc. Black Dougal’s eyes were cold with vengeance when they burned HR to the beams.

Now they stand in another reception room, eerily recalling the start of their adventure, but glass-walled and empty. Beyond waits the chief execulich officer. Crucible hefts what they hope is his phylactery and offers one last prayer to Machina.

Behind them descend the chicks from Sales, blueteeth glinting in the shadows.