Part 20: The Ore Must Flow
Update 18: The Ore Must Flow
I'd barely a chance to rest, and little time to myself, since I returned to the New Camp with the four focuses. After a short nap, I was immediately sent off on an errand to the Old Camp. I was tense and I needed to release it somehow.
I was on my way out of camp when I saw the perfect opportunity to do so: My pal lefty.
"I've had a really bad day and I'm looking for a way to relieve my tension... just stay like that for a minute." I said to him.
"You really like taking advantage of me, don't you?" he said
I quickly unsheathed my blade and bashed lefty with the pommel of my sword. He collapsed onto the ground. That helped and I started to feel better immediately. Satisfied, I left the camp.
I approached the Shadow Cavalorn's hunting camp, which was approximately halfway between the Old and New camps. Cavalorn tended to keep to himself but today was different. He had a guest and it was a guard I'd seen inside the castle.
As I approached, the guard signaled me toward him.
"Hey, no sweat man, man. Come over here!" Scorpio said as I came closer.
"You okay?" I asked.
"I'm hiding away here: I don't care for the trash those guards are pulling off. But I've taken some pretty good stuff from the arsenal. If you need a weapon, just let me know."
As a matter of fact, I did need a weapon. I browsed the crates of goods he'd smuggled out and decided on one he called the "Berserker's word". It cost a hefty sum in ore, but I felt it was worth it. Whatever had happened in the Old Camp with him, It sure did good for me.
When I was closer to the Old Camp, I noticed that it did not seem as loud as it typically was. How odd
As I drew closer to the camp, I noticed that a large group of Gomez' men were assembled at the gate. Someone else stood away from them by the bridge, obscured by some wood. I could only just barely make out their face out at my distance. It was Milten!
I walked toward Milten and greeted him. He appeared to be quite upset and talking to himself. When he heard my footsteps, he turned.
"They... They are all dead.. all DEAD. I couldn't help them... I was... was not there... I..."
"Calm down, Milten, what happened?"
"They killed the Magicians of Fire. ALL OF THEM apart from me, and I was close to death as well."
My jaw dropped. That couldn't be possible. The Magicians of Fire were highly feared and respected in the Colony, as well as outside of the Colony. "You'd better tell me the whole story from the beginning, one thing after the other.
"Okay, keep cool, Milten. Keep cool. It all started with the Old Mine caving in."
"The old mine CAVED IN???" I said, raising my voice. It seemed like nothing was going to plan.
"Yes. It all happened very fast. Nobody in the mine made it out. The guards blocked the entrance to the mine."
"How could the Old Mine cave in?"
"I've no idea. Some of the diggers who were waiting in front of the entrance said something about a massive earthquake and a huge cloud of dust coming from the tunnel."
"Were you there?" I asked.
"Yes. That's where I learned about the cave in."
"What was that you said about the Magicians of Fire?"
I only know that they were all killed by the Ore Barons shortly after the mine caved in. When I returned from our adventure under the ring of stone, the guards at the gate suddenly attacked me. They shouted words like 'traitor' or 'collaborator' at me. I had a very narrow escape.
"Why would the Ore Barons want to kill the magicians? It doesn't make sense..."
"That's right. The guards just didn't give me any opportunity to ask. They drew their swords immediately. Perhaps Diego knows me. He was in the Camp when things got worse."
Diego. I'm glad he's okay. "You should hide. Far away from here."
"No. Diego and I agreed to keep an eye on the two gates and to warn our unsuspecting friends from the other camps. Please talk to Diego."
"Where can I find Diego?"
"He's hiding on the other side of the Old Camp, near the back gate. Please talk to him!"
I made my way around the camp, following the western wall south and then turned east to the southern gate. I saw Diego crouching by some rocks near the gate. The southern gate was also teeming with guards.
Diego waved me over with finger over his mouth. "Hey... Shhh. Be quiet!" he whispered.
"Hello, Diego. I've already talked to Milten on the other side of the Camp!"
"Okay, so you already know what happened. But did you also hear about the planned raid on the Free Mine?" What?! I needed to report this as soon as I could.
"How could the Old Mine cave in?" I asked. From what I'd gathered, It seemed to be the cause of everything.
"One of the diggers who survived it told us that they were digging and they hit an underground river on the bottom level. When the water gushed into the mine, one of the supports broke and the entire upper section collapsed. Only a handful of people managed to escape from the mine."
"Why are the Fire Mages dead?" That was the most depressing detail of all. Without the Fire Mages, it did not appear that there was any chance of destroying the Barrier. Two out of two of the Colony's escape plans had been destroyed in the matter of days.
"That's a long story."
"Just tell me about it!" I insisted. "It's not the first long story I've had to listen to!"
"Well, then. Luckily I was in the Ore Baron's house when they got the news that the mine had collapsed. Gomez was hopping mad when he heard about the accident and he was afraid that his position could be at stake."
I nodded. Ore was the most important thing here. "Of course. He who controls the ore controls the colony as well."
"That's right. Since he has no source of income any more, the good from the outside world won't come in any more, either. Nobody will work for him if he doesn't get another source of income soon."
"And that's the reason for the raid on the Free Mine?"
"To be honest, that's Gomez' only chance to maintain his power. Two hours ago, two dozen guards set out for the free mine.
"That's mad! I need to warn the New Camp."
"Then you must hurry up! They'll have almost reached the Free Mine."
"But they'll never get through the fortifications of the New Camp."
"They don't need to get through them. A few months ago, they found a path that leads over the mountains and right to the Free Mine - and nobody else knows about it."
I needed to get back, I withdrew the rune I was to give to Corristo and held it my hands, ready to use it as soon as I could. "What are you and Milten going to do now?"
"We'll stay here for a while to warn some more friends so they don't bump straight into the guards. But you could do us a favor."
"Consider it done. Tell me what you want!" I answered without second thought. I owed Diego for everything he's done for me.
"Look out for Lester and Gorn. They need to know what happened here. Tell them that the four of us will mee at the same place as always. "
"If I see them before you do, I'll warn them and send them to your meeting point. "
"Thanks, my friend. You really seem to be an alright guy. GO now, we'll meet again later."
I said goodbye and activated the power of the teleport rune. A blue aura enveloped me.
Update 18 Supplements: Colony Map
Milten Chapter 4 conversation Viddler | Original
Diego Chapter 4 conversation Viddler | Original
This was a short update as the page is a bit crowded as it is. I don't want to overload with screenshots.