Author's Note: So... you all were right. I couldn't stay away. Sure enough as I finished the series and said to myself, "I'm out of ideas, I might as well stop"... some more popped up. So, between new screen breaches of my own imagination, and wonderful ideas that people have thrown out in reviews and the like... here it is. Volume 2. Enjoy! Oh, and a big thanks to Italian Empress 1985 for this chapter's idea!
A Time for Everything... Almost
Jaheira stumbled out of her cell, almost falling if not for the aid of the young girl before her, catching her and keeping her aloft. Jaheira flashed a quick smile of gratitude towards Imoen as she got her footing again, trying to keep feeling in her legs after the long days of captivity within her cell. Minsc stood across from them both, his expression somber, but still a more than welcome sight in the darkness of their current situation.
"Well... now that we're all up and about, let's try and find Khalid and get out of here, eh?"
Khan's familiar voice drifted over from the broad paladin in the corner, holding the door open for the rest of the crew. Jaheira could not suppress a roll of the eyes; only Khan would think to keep up his manners in such a dark place. Still, they followed him out, each one alert and at the ready for any sign of danger. A quick scavenge of dead assassins lying about had yielded some leather armor for them and a few weapons as well; Imoen clutched a dagger while Minsc and Khan held swords, Jaheira holding her customary staff.
For a dungeon that was run by a wizard as powerful and mysterious as their captor... it was guarded rather poorly. Kobolds and goblins seemed to be the extent of their foes as they made their way up and down the halls, looking for some clue on how to escape... wherever they were. Khan glanced back at the others to ensure they were still with him; for all he knew they could be in Neverwinter. Still, no matter where they were, it changed nothing. This madman who had captured would pay for what he had done... how hard could he really be to escape from and kill, right?
An upcoming door caught their attention; Imoen wrinkled her nose at the sight of it. Covered in small bits of sludge and sewage, that and the emanating smell suggested a sewer tunnel behind it. Khan stepped up and yanked on the handle, but it did not budge. Minsc joined him in pulling, but not even their combined strength could force the door open. Khan sighed, shaking his hands in a vain attempt to remove the gunk. "It's locked... but I'd bet my sword that this is our best bet of escaping."
"Through a sewer tunnel? Again?" Imoen protested. "Didn't we do this in Baldur's Gate?"
"Yes, but this isn't Baldur's Gate, now is it?" Khan reminded. "Well it is, but it's the sequel- ahem. Never mind about that. The point is that the sewer tunnels will most likely lead out to another entrance somewhere in the city, which is where I'm assuming we are, considering the size of these passages."
"And how do you propose we open this?" Jaheira asked, her acerbic tone unchanged by the experience of being captured. "Unless you intend to pound your head against it, we do not have the strength to force our way through."
Khan forced a smile, and then gestured for them to head back the way they had come. "There are plenty of other passages we didn't try; one of them might lead to a different entry. If we hurry, we can escape before whatever's occupying our captor leaves."
"Minsc would welcome a fight right now!" the ranger growled. "Dynaheir must be avenged!"
Imoen clutched Minsc's hand comfortingly, the ranger exhaling and smiling at her as they moved, continuing through the tunnels, searching for a new exit... until they found another door. Khan grinned, trotting up to the door and grasping hold of the similarly dirty door handle, yanking hard... only for his hands to slip off the handle and send him to the ground with an inglorious thud. Jaheira arched one eyebrow as Khan pulled himself back up, trying to brush the sludge off himself once more. "Very impressive, Khan... very impressive."
"Not another word." he warned, bracing himself against the door with Minsc, both yanking as hard as they could... once more to no avail. Khan cursed as he let go, resting against the wall nearby. "Blast... of course the madman would lock his sewer tunnels. Everyone locks their sewers."
"Any other ideas?" Imoen asked hopefully.
"Well... let's try looking for another exit. It can't hurt." Khan shrugged as they took off once more, navigating through the dirty passages and dark corridors. Two more sewer doors were found... each one locked as before. Another hour was spent searching, but there were no other exits in or out. They trudged back and forth, looking for some possible way of opening the impregnable doors- Imoen yelped in surprise as she spotted an open room they had missed previously, filled with tables and other strange looking equipment, but more importantly, in the middle stood a golem, covered in sewage and slime. The others slipped in hesitantly, waiting for any attack by the construct, but it simply stood there, rumbling to itself quietly.
"What do you think?" Khan breathed.
"It's covered in gunk and sewage... it looks like it was built to clean the sewers." Imoen muttered, brightening considerably. "That's it! The golem can open the doors for us. It must be the only thing that can let us through!"
A sigh of relief was heard by all as they saw the truth of Imoen's words; Khan opened his mouth to speak to the golem-
The golem rumbled something, cutting Khan off. The paladin frowned, glancing at the others. They shrugged, Khan opening his mouth to try again- "HUUURGGHHHH!!"
"What?!" Khan shouted in irritation.
"I think..." Imoen mumbled, her brow knit in thought. "I think it said something. I could almost make it out... try again."
"I just want to ask-"
"Stop that!!" Khan roared, cutting the golem off before it could rumble again. "Look here! We need you to open the doors so we can keep moving. If you don't, we'll be stuck here forever. We found the wardstone to make you work, so just... go do your thing, okay?!"
The golem rumbled again, this time quieter, Imoen listening intently... she frowned, shaking her head. "Um... I think I finally figured out what it was saying. I think we might be in a bit of trouble though."
"Well, go ahead and say it." Khan frowned.
Imoen mumbled it sheepishly, loud enough for Khan to hear but not quite loud enough for the others.
Khan stared at Imoen for a moment... "You have got to be kidding me."
"Why? What is it saying?" Jaheira demanded.
Khan shook his head, glaring daggers of hatred at the construct. "Cannot initiate dialogue. I appear to be busy."