Here continues the record begun nearly two and a half years ago
, of the journeyman chronicler, the Druid Thorn of the Radlebb Woods, formerly Marcu, son of Petyr Markovic of the village of Stallanford in the Grand Duchy of Karameikos.
Thorn continues his narrative, having been plucked from Lake Windrush by fishermen and reunited with his companions, the reunion interrupted by the ringing of the fishing village's alarm bell. The lightning storm that brought Thorn and the others has passed, but left the lake shrouded in thick mists. Flickerings of an unnatural blue light can be seen chasing in the depths of the fog, growing closer and closer to the barely-visible fishing vessel struggling to return to port.
While the men of the village rush to the lake shore, Thorn and his companions are tasked with bearing a heavy chest further down the lake shore....Thorn's Chronicle continues...
“That is not lightning,” Ana said. She glanced down at Aurora. The girl didn’t seem to’ve heard her, though. Her golden eyes were locked on the lights in the fog, shifting to catch each flash and arc of light that revealed itself.
“The chest contains gold.” Aurora did not ask.
“Either that or lead,” Varis said. “But we were not to open it until—“
“Ion said to—“
Metal hinges groaned and grated as Varis lifted the lid.
“A King’s ransom!” Gilliam gasped. The chest was packed nearly to the top, and everything within was gold: cups, plates, candelabras. Jewelry and other fine ornaments peeked from among a jumble of coins: local royals, Thyatian Lucins, daros from the north, gold coins of both sizes minted by the dwarves. Coins from as far off as the Minrothads and Alphatia could be seen in the mix as well.
“Start throwing,” Aurora said, and she plucked a pendant from the chest, whirling it over her head like a sling.
“Are you mad?” Gilliam said, reaching — too late — as the pendant whistled away from the shrike’s hand, arcing high over the lake. Aurora was going for distance.
Varis hefted a wide-rimmed chalice, then let it fly with a grunt. It splashed into the lake not too far from shore.
Gilliam snorted. “You throw like a girl.” He took up a chalice of similar size, encrusted with garnets. He sighed as he turned it over in his hands, then hurled it out over the lake. It sailed perhaps six more feet than Varis’ throw before sinking into the lake with a muted splash.
The blonde weaver picked up a matching cup, took a deep breath, and cocked her arm back. My skin prickled, as if lightning were near, and the cup flew, tumbling, even further out than the pendant Aurora had thrown. The weaver smirked at the two warriors, bobbing the slightest of curtsies.
Gilliam and Varis both laughed. “Perhaps we should leave the girls to it.”
Ana reached into the chest, but Aurora caught her wrist.
“Not you. You will need your hands free. As will you, Thorn.”
I put down the candlestick, and looked to where Aurora was still gazing.
More blue lights pulsed from the depths of the fog. But now they were clustering nearer to our position, leaving just a few swirling through the mists after the boat.
“Is it getting further away?” Varis asked. The lanterns lining the boat were growing dimmer, their light diffusing more and more in the mists.
“The fog is getting thicker,” Ana said. The candlestick the other weaver had thrown, lofted further with a touch of her wind weaving, was swallowed by the mists before it could make a splash.
“And closer,” the blonde weaver said, as her own golden projectile disappeared into the gray as well.
Aurora had given up watching the dancing blue lights, and reached into the chest, scooping an armload of coins into her gathered cloak. They jangled and chattered as she walked a slow circle around us, spilling out a trail of coins as she went. She would pause, toeing a few into place if they spun away from the circle she was describing. She finished her work, then looked up at me.
“Melt them,” she said, pointing towards the circle of coins.
Gilliam and I both asked the question at the same moment.