This post was supposed to be the conclusion to Kaylirr’s story. I was however unable to create a good story out of it. Instead, I’ve decided to combine all three parts into one short story, and upload it like that. I am revisiting Kaylirr’s story in the near future, but he will be a part of the main storyline in The Necromancer’s Daughter, so look forward to that. If you were looking forward to the conclusion I do apologize, but I’d rather scrap the project than pretend I’m happy with the final results. So here’s the draft of Kaylirr’s Yin & Yang Part 3, thank you all for reading it so far!
Four days had passed since their trek through the Celeran Canopy had started. Shiraq had been an excellent guide through the dense forest, and the mountain range that was their destination. The weather had been quite favorable, even though it was still only early spring at this point. They just set up camp for the day as the sky was starting to slowly darken. Rain started to trickle down from the sky.
“Unfortunately we didn’t manage to keep it completely dry until the mountains, but this isn’t too bad,” Shiraq said. He had started a fire and was making sure it stayed burning with the little bit of rain. Lucky for him, the canopy was blocking a lot of the rain and funneled the rain away from where they were sitting.
Kaylirr was impressed with the speed and accuracy at which the man had navigated the dense forest. He’d had his questions that anyone could navigate this place, but Shiraq had proven his worth for sure.
“So how much longer then?” Sairoc asked. He was eating some jerky from his rations.
Shiraq looked at the mountains in the distance. “If we make good pace tomorrow we can take our next rest at the edge of the mountain range.”
Sairoc grinned. “That would be nice. It’s been ages since I’ve been underground. I reckon it’ll feel great.”
Shiraq nodded. “Rather you than me dwarf, I prefer the forests.”
“To each their own, I suppose.”
They finished eating quickly and after a bit of chatting they eventually went to sleep. Kaylirr hadn’t been talking much the past few days. He wasn’t feeling well, as if something was constantly gnawing at his mind. That night he struggled with sleeping. He was moving about and feeling restless, and when sleep finally took him he found himself in another strange dream.
In front of him was a table, with a severed head on it. The eyes were twitching as they started at him. “He’s getting more and more unstable, I am worried.” A voice said from behind him.
Kaylirr turned around and behind him stood a middle aged woman. She was completely naked and she had fruit growing on her entire body. “I’m losing stability too, something is wrong and I don’t quite know what is happening.”
She sat down on one of the chairs and covered the severed head of her brother with a cloche. “Let’s get that distraction out of the way, sorry brother.”
She turned to Kaylirr who asked her, “What can I do to help. I’ve been feeling miserable for the past few days, and I get the feeling it has something to do with your condition.”
She plucked an apple from her left hip and started eating it. “That is disgusting.”
“Did you expect any different?” Kaylirr asked.
She shook her head and tossed the apple on the ground. It turned into a puddle of blood. “I suppose not.” She crossed her arms. “There is something in those mountains. I can feel it. Ever since we’ve been getting closer and closer to them I’ve been feeling off. Perhaps there’s something there that can help stabilize us in some way. I really hope this friend of your friend knows something. If not, I don’t know how much longer our minds can hold onto sanity.”She picked another piece of fruit from one of her legs. “Although, insanity sounds quite nice too.”
Kaylirr shook his head. “I would like to remind you that your sanity seems to be somewhat linked to my own, and although you might embrace whatever is going on, I most certainly would prefer not to.” he swatted her hand away as she tried to pick a strawberry from her forehead. “Stop that.”
She pouted disappointedly. “You’re no fun at all.” She stood up, crushing the grapes that grew on the soles of her feet. The sound was kind of nauseating. “I’ll try to hold on a little longer I guess, but you have to hurry.” She turned around to look at him. “Want a strawberry?”
“Well then, I suppose this is where we’ll part ways,” Shiraq said. They had reached the entrance to the Zargahal mountain kingdom. The dwarven kingdom was open to outsiders, but they were very careful about letting people in. There were gates at every known entrance, and although generally only one or two guards stood there, it had helped them stay safe for many generations. Now Kaylirr and Sairoc stood here to request entrance into the kingdom.
“State your business then.” The dwarf at the gate didn’t look happy about being on duty here.
“We’re here to visit a friend of ours, goes by the name of Raze.”
“Oh, so just because I’m a dwarf you think I know every dwarf that lives in the kingdom?”
“Who said we were talking about a dwarf?” Kaylirr replied.
“Ha, nice try, but if I got a penny every time someone came here for a reason other than visiting a dwarven friend of theirs I’d have starved to death decades ago.” He spit on the floor. “Go on then, but behave yourselves.” He opened up the gate for them and the two men walked inside.
“Good luck,” Shiraq shouted from in the distance before he turned around and went back towards Larania.
“Thanks, we’ll need it,” Kaylirr said under his breath. He motioned Sairoc to follow him, and the two made their way in the direction of town. Dwarven society wasn’t particularly large, and the mountain was named after the only city there was. Admittedly it was a rather large city, with many thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of dwarves, but it was still only one city. From the gate to the city it would take them a little over a day. Since it was already a few hours into their journey they’d have to sleep along the road there. Kaylirr wasn’t particularly pleased about sleeping in a dark underground cave, but Sairoc had ensured him that there were lodgings in place for situations like this.
That night they finally reached said lodgings and saying that Kaylirr was underwhelmed by them was an understatement. They were basically hollowed out chambers that bordered the mineshaft they were walking through. Where the mineshaft itself was fairly large and made to accommodate multiple travelers at once, the rooms to sleep in were extremely minimalistic. There was a small entryway with four bed-shaped slabs carved out of the walls. There were steps at the end that you could use to crawl into the higher beds.
“It’s better than sleeping on the floor,” Sairoc said, putting down his beg and taking off his bedroll.
Kaylirr looked at the slabs of stone. “Is it though?” He sighed and did the same. At least no one would step on them by accident during the middle of the night, but besides that it wasn’t much better than sleeping on the mountain floor.
Fortunately they only had to stay there for sleep and nothing else. They quickly ate a dry dinner and then went to lie down for the night. Sleep once again didn’t come easy to Kaylirr, but this time around it was more because of the rock floor, and less because of his nightmares. He could still see Elett’s form whenever he closed his eyes, and shivered at the thought. He hoped she’d look more normal next time. Eventually he did fall asleep, and no dreams plagued him that night.
The next morning Kaylirr used the light of another lantern to inspect the one hanging from his arm. It had refused to turn on so far, and he was curious why. Maybe he could ask Elett the next time he spoke to the spirit. Inspecting it like this didn’t yield any results, unfortunately.
“Hey boss, look at this.” Sairoc was removing the last few stalled out items and putting them in his bag, when he found a letter.
“What in the hell, did you have that on you?”
Sairoc shook his head. Kaylirr nervously peeked his head out of the little alcove, but there wasn’t a soul in sight.
“Well, I suppose we better read what it says then,” Sairoc said.
Kaylirr looked at him with an annoyed look on his face. “Are we just going to gloss over the fact that
someone put that there while we were asleep, and neither of us woke up?”
Sairoc nodded. “I’d rather not spend too much time thinking about that part.”
Sairoc unfolded the piece of paper and read it out loud.
I have what you are looking for. Come find me at the Samilliot Restaurant in Dracnaril.
For what it’s worth, I regret taking your arm.
Kaylirr sat down. “That’s a trap if I’ve ever seen one.”
“So what do we do?” Sairoc asked.
“What do you think, go there and spring the trap.”
Sairoc grinned. “Somehow I knew you would say that. Do you have any clue where to start searching?”
Kaylirr shook his head. “Absolutely none.”
“Great, let’s go find my buddy then.”
The remainder of the journey was easy enough. About three hours after they left the alcove on the side of the road they reached the outskirts of town. They hadn’t found another person, and Kaylirr started to wonder if the letter had been slipped to them at an earlier moment.
Either way, they had reached their destination, a quaint little house on the outskirts of town. Luckily it was on the side they had entered from, else it would have taken them quite a bit longer to get there. Just as Sairoc was about to knock on the door, it was slammed open, and out came an angry looking dwarf. “Absolutely not, I will not go with you to that damn tunnel, it’s suicide.” The dwarf looked up at Sairoc and Kaylirr and let out a deep sigh. “As if my day wasn’t shit enough already.”