The Crimson Minotaur: Chapter 3

The Crimson Minotaur: Chapter 3

Nathaniel "Nate" Hall, Creative Writer

 Chapter 3: The Forgotten City  

The party made it back to Hexonia in one piece, turning in their quest for their rewards. The day seemed to go pretty smooth, The people in the town being all carefree and stuff. Rintra went to the bank to collect his share of the prize money and walked around the market. He observed his surroundings, watching his froggy friend busk on the curb. As he walked around, he heard a dull hissing in the background. 

“You.” A voice says, deep and slightly unnerving. The voice did not sound welcoming. It made him feel like he should leave his own body. “So, you have learned of the ability to loan powers from your enemies, Rintra? I see. Come hither, creature. You will know where I am when you see it.” it commanded. It faded. 

“Hey, pal! You’re in the way!’’ said a merchant, driving a carriage. This snapped Rintra back to reality. He looked around the area. Once he moved, he saw the townsfolk staring at him. 

“You like what you see? If not, keep moving!” he shouted, his voice echoing throughout the area and spilling away through the alleyways. He walked away, watching the townsfolk scurry away like roaches to the light. Rintra sat beside his amphibious friend.

“Why were you just standing there? You were standing there for, like, fifteen minutes.” Murk pried, scratching his head. “Did you see something cool?” 

“Don’t worry, friend. I just lost my train of thought. That is all.” he replied, standing back up. “We should check out the hydra den situation. I’m just about out of money, so I could use a top-up.” he groaned as he cracked his back. He walked over to the tavern, dragging Murk behind. “Folks, you mind clearing the area? I need to chat with my crew.” he requested, ripping the hydra mission off the board. Some of the people got up. Others were passed out drunk. “That will do.” He said, rather impatiently. 

“What’s up?” Nigel said, sharpening his daggers. Rintra slapped the page on the table, waking Iris and Jeffery up. 

“Hydra, on the eastern side of the desert. You guys down?” Rintra responded, stealing one of the previous patrons’ mugs of ale. He downed it within a few seconds and stretched. “Trick question. I don’t care if you guys are down, we are going. Get in the caravan.” He commanded, slamming the table. Some groaned, but they did as he said without any form of a rebuttal. 

The caravan pulled off after an hour, followed by some slow fiddle songs. The distance between the desert and Hexonia was about a 3-day journey. Between those 3 days, the party spoke amongst themselves to keep themselves entertained. 

Three days passed rather quickly, and they found themselves among what seemed to be a cliff. Rintra stopped the caravan and hopped out, looking off the edge. About 40 feet below, there was a town. They were in a bowl. The town was at the bottom. 

“Hello there my good chum.” said an old, slow voice. “Are you folks here for the hydra? If so, you must take a left from here,” he added. He was an elderly turtle-looking man. His skin is a pale yellow color and a long white beard. He walked around with a limp and a staff. 

“Yes, but how did you know?” Rintra asked, confused as to how this guy knew. 

“Clairvoyance my friend. I am a magician of sorts. Come to the town. There is somebody who would like to meet you.” he says, flicking his wrists. The caravan becomes locked in place. As long as he keeps the spell on, nobody can steal it. The man waves his arms around as the ground below begins to sink. After about 2 minutes, they reach the ground. The town is huge and bubbling with people. It’s loud, for a middle-class town. In the center, a tall and wide spiral temple stood. 

“Bingo.” said that same deep, unnerving voice. “You will find your way here soon. Explore a bit before you do,” it said, along with a faint hissing undertone. Rintra looked around. The townsfolk all had a symbol on their necks. The ouroboros symbol. 

“Where should I meet up with you guys? I want to go look around for a bit.” Rintra asked, looking over to his party. They were amazed by the beauty of this city.

“Iris and I were gonna go to the inn and get some rooms. Maybe there?” Nigel responded, counting his coins. Iris nodded. Did I mention that she couldn’t speak well? Goliaths aren’t smart. Iris and a common rat have the same level of intelligence.

Rintra nodded. “Alright. Murk, Jeffery. Come with me.” He ordered, walking through the market section of the town. He observed the place. Buskers along the sidewalks, kingsmen at every stall, guards walking around, and almost one person of every race scattered around. 

“This is amazing,” Jeffery said, “but why do they all have those marks?” he says, running off to ask questions.

“Should I stop him?” Murk, ready to go after him. 

“Let him be, he could bring back good info,” Rintra replied, stopping at a stall. “How much can a silver piece get me?” He asked.

“A bit of dried goat.” Replied the stall tenant. “Throw in another and I’ll give you the whole leg.” She added, grabbing her knife. Rintra paid and grabbed his food. 

“Go murk, find a library. I’m going to look at temples.” He said. Murk jumped from Rintras shoulder.

After about an hour, Rintra found himself at the center of the city. It was surrounded by a wide moat full of lava. “Cliche, but pretty cool.” Rintra thought, before looking at the bridge. The spot was infested with guards. “Hey bud,” Rintra said, stopping a young boy. “Is there a king in this city?” He pried, looking at the boy. 

“No sir, but there are three gods who take care of us. Malor, the god of lycanthropy, Deneir, the god of knowledge, and Botis, the god of-” the boy responded. He didn’t finish his sentence. He knew he spoke too much to an outsider. The guards turned and glanced in their direction. 

“Go kid, here is some coin for your troubles,” Rintra said, giving the kid his coin pouch. Two guards ran towards Rintra. 

“Lord Botis would like to have a word with you.” They said in unison. One guard aimed a bow at the little boy, who was skipping away with glee. 

“Hey, watch it! He’s just a kid!” Rintra commanded, before ramming the guard’s head into the ground with a swift blow. Townsfolk gasped as five more guards came along. Rintra backed up as he watched the kid get to safety. “Good. Now I get to have fun.” Rintra stated as he threw an iron-clad fist into one guard’s stomach. Now, this guard had Rintra by about 8 inches. The guard did not budge. The other 6 ran towards Rintra. 

“Lord Botis would like to have a word with you.” One said, fixing his helmet. Rintra backed up, his feet meeting the edge.

“The lava. Damn.” He said, looking closer. “That is not how lava works though.” He said, watching waves flow through the surface. “See you dirtbags later. I’m gonna have my word with Lord Botis myself.” He responded, before doing a rude gesture and jumping into the ”lava’’.