Excerpt for The Krelzyn Sagas: Krelzyn Search by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The Krelzyn Sagas: Krelzyn Search

By R. Richard ©

Published by R. Richard at Smashwords

Copyright 2017 R. Richard

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The Krelzyn Sagas: Krelzyn Search

By R. Richard © 2017

I was born and grew up on the little island of Bjorno. I was a poor boy and could only look forward to a fisherman's life. However, I'm a very good small boat sailor. In order to advance myself in the world, I undertook a dangerous voyage from Bjorno to a nearby island called The Watchtower, in order to search for valuable Krelzyn artifacts. I found Krelzyn artifacts in the Watchtower and quite a bit more.

As a result of my adventures in The Watchtower, I now have quite a bit of money and several profitable businesses on Bjorno. I continue to find things that the local land owners or crofters make or grow that I can sell on the mainland for a sufficient price that I can offer the crofters more than the mainlanders will pay. My businesses grow and, I and many of the people of Bjorno, prosper a bit.

Also as a result of my adventures, I have found that I'm a Krelzyn warrior. Because I'm a Krelzyn warrior, I'm a little bit rich due to the loot that's the right of a Krelzyn warrior. However, along with the loot, I also have the duties of a Krelzyn warrior.

I train, pretty much each night with my Krelzyn sword and shield. I have always been strong. With the practice, I grow still stronger, at the price of many a sore muscle.

One day, I get a message, via my Krelzyn helmet, that I have work to do for the Krelzyn.

The work is to be done in a pinnacle rock, not too far from Bjorno. What they call a pinnacle rock hereabouts is a rocky point of land that protrudes from the ocean. Normally a pinnacle rock is pretty much useless, since it's rarely practical to land a boat on the rock and, even if a boat can be landed, there's nothing there but rock. However, a pinnacle rock is merely the high point of a mostly undersea mountain. There's a lot of mountain under the surface of the water.

The instructions I get from my Krelzyn helmet tell me that there's an underwater entrance to a cave, in the mountain under the pinnacle rock. I must enter the cave and then follow the cave downward until I find a chamber with an altar. The altar contains a secret entrance to a Krelzyn place. I'm to use the entrance and then destroy the entrance once I use it. There's a lot more to the instructions.

I'm not too thrilled with at least the first part of the work. What I'll need to do is to get someone to take me to the pinnacle rock and then I'll have to swim underwater to the rock, find the cave and enter a place that might contain sea life that will try to kill me. Actually, it might contain non-sea life that will try to kill me. However, such is the life of a Krelzyn warrior.

I hire Kordy, a Bjorno fisherman, with whom I'm acquainted, to sail me out to the pinnacle rock.

Kordy isn't too thrilled with the job, as there may be dangerous currents around the pinnacle rock and he risks his boat and his life. However, Kordy is a poor Bjorno fisherman and he needs the money that I offer.

Kordy sails me out to the pinnacle rock and around the pinnacle rock until I find the side that my helmet has told me is the side where the underwater entrance lies.

I tell Kordy, “I'll need to swim to the rock and find what I'm looking for. The swim should take me no more than five minutes. If I haven't surfaced before ten minutes, I have found what I'm looking for and you can return to Bjorno.”

Kordy looks at me in wonder. He then says, “You have found what you're looking for or you're dead, smashed against the rock, or in the belly of some sea creature.”

I tell Kordy, “You make your living as a fisherman. I make a better living by taking chances. This swim is one of the chances.”

Kordy shakes his head in denial. He shrugs fatalistically and says, “It's your life.”

I dump the carefully weighted package that I have prepared overboard. I follow it and swim toward the pinnacle rock, until I get quite close. I find not too much current even near the rock and I tread water for a bit as I hyperventilate. I then grab the package and dive. I have fastened a flashlight on the top of the package and I follow the bright beam down the side of the mountain. I have to go a bit deeper than I thought, but there's a dark spot in the side of the mountain and, as I get closer, the dark spot proves to be the underwater entrance to a cave.

The currents are fairly calm and I manage to get to the cave entrance with only a little bit of trouble. However, the currents around the mouth of the cave are tricky and it takes a couple of tries before I manage to shove the package into the cave and then follow it in.

There are a couple of smallish fish just inside the cave and they panic at the strange creature who's invading their cave. The fish dart past me, out of the cave, and I swim on until I feel the package ground on something. I'm near the end of my air and I'm very glad that I can thrust my head above the water and take a breath of air.

I find the bottom of the cave, with my feet, and move forward into a part of the cave that's above the surface of the water. I have no idea how long the air will stay breathable and I continue to move into the cave. I find myself in a sort of chamber in the cave and there's a sort of hidden door in one corner of the chamber, just where my helmet said it would be. I pry the door open and enter what appears to be a downward sloping passage. I close the door behind me and walk along the rough surface of the passage, in my bare feet.

I can see where I'm going in the pitch dark passageway only because of the flashlight that I mounted on top of the package that I carry. Finally, I come to a level spot in the passage. There's a hole in the wall of the passage and I feel a gentle air current coming from the hole. With a supply of air, I stop and unpack my package.

The package is a waterproof cloak. Inside the cloak are my boots, long underwear, stockings, leather pants and shirt, my canteen, my helmet, sword and shield. I dress, thankful for the boots that will keep my bare feet off the rough floor of the passageway, and then I strap on my sword, hook my canteen to my sword belt, put my helmet on my head and then don the cloak. I have a strap in the cloak that holds the flashlight, that's my only source of light. I can see only a little way down the descending path and danger may await me, but there's nothing to be gained by waiting, thus I pick up my shield and step around the stone that provided negative buoyancy for my package, then I continue down the path.

I continue down the passage, alert for any danger I might find.

The passage way continues to slope slightly downward and I follow the beam of light from the flashlight in my cloak.

The passage way is obviously hewn out of the rock of the mountain. The surfaces of the passage way show the rough edges of perhaps pick work. If the passage had been worn by water, the edges would have been smooth. The obvious question is, 'Who carved the passage way and for what purpose?'

After a bit of time, I spot something at one side of the passage way ahead. The something turns out to be a dark spot. The dark spot is caused by a small room. The room is just a chamber, hewn out of the rock, and contains nothing. Well, the chamber does hold one very valuable thing. Graven into the roof, and visible in my light, is a sort of map. The map shows a chamber with a passage leading out of it. The passageway then leads to another chamber, I think the one that I'm now in. The passageway then leads a bit further on and then splits into two branches. The right hand branch appears to lead nowhere. The left hand branch leads to a largish red spot and then to another chamber. Looking at the map, there's something in the last chamber, but it's not clear from the map exactly what's in the last chamber. The red spot is also a mystery. However, the red spot must be of some importance, if it's part of the map.

I consider things. I learned, as a small boy, to look all around me when I entered a new place. All around me includes up. Most people don't look up. Since I do look up, I have now found a potentially very useful map. If the map is correct, there are two branches to the passageway and the left hand branch is the one I want. So far, so good. There's also the matter of the mysterious red spot. I'm unable to reason out what the red spot might be and I'll just have to deal with it, when I get to it.

I continue down the passageway for a bit and then encounter the split, where two passageways branch off. Thanks to the map, I take the left hand branch and continue down the passageway.

Suddenly, I see something in the passageway ahead of me. It appears to be just a long rod, probably of wood. I pause, but see nothing of interest beyond the rod and nothing visible is creeping up on me from behind. I then move to the rod.

The rod appears to be just a longish piece of thick, seasoned hardwood rod. It's too long to stand upright in the passageway and might be too long to fit around corners in the rather narrow passageway. However, I suspect that the rod has been placed in the passageway for some purpose. I pick up the rod and carry it a bit clumsily in my shield hand, with the length tucked under my arm. The rod may be useful at some point in time, but I want my sword arm free. Also, I can thrust the rod forward, if I encounter a foe.

I then move along the passageway, with my light showing and revealing shadowy glimpses of the passageway. I come around a corner and see a dark spot as I make the turn. It's not just a dark spot, it's a very deep hole in the floor of the passageway. I manage to stop in time to avoid falling into the hole.

I suspect that the hole is the red spot of the map in the chamber back up the passageway. A little examination of the hole reveals that it's too wide for a man to jump over, since it lies just around a corner and the man can't take a run, before he jumps. There's a sort of dent or slot to the one side of the ledge at this side of the hole. I can see a dark spot that might be a similar slot at the other side of the hole. Not at all to my surprise, the wooden rod that I picked up is just the right length and diameter to fit into the slots in the rock.

The passageway again turns, just after the hole and I can't see what's ahead of me. I hear nothing and see nothing behind me, but I don't like stopping in the passageway and, with the rod securely placed, I test the footing and find that the rod appears to hold my weight. I lean against the side of the passageway and walk the length of the rod to the other side of the hole. Once on the other side, I remove the rod and place it just around the next corner, so that I'll have some way back over the hole, if need be.

There's no way that someone follows me over the hole, without something like the rod. The rod is clumsy to carry and my best plan seems to be to leave the rod for my possible return and to move ahead rapidly, but with some care.

I continue down the passageway, without wasting any time. I do keep watch ahead, since I'm by no means sure that I'm alone. The shifting shadows cast by my light finally show a black hole off to my left. I approach the hole with extreme care. I find a chamber carved out of the same rock as the passageway with a large, roughly cubical stone, placed well back in one corner of the chamber.

Before I go into the chamber I quickly examine the passageway that leads a bit beyond the chamber. It appears that there may be a sort of door at the end of the passageway, but examining it doesn't appear to be of any immediate use.

I enter the chamber, fully alert. The chamber is pretty much empty except for the cubical rock and some trash over against the wall opposite the altar. The trash proves to be bones, human bones at a brief glance.

Suddenly I'm joined in the chamber by something. The something has the rough shape of a man, but scaled skin, like some sort of lizard, or whatever. Also, the something appears not to have eyes. It does have skin flap covered areas where ears might be expected and I suspect that it uses hearing and perhaps scent to make it's way in the dark of the underground. The something creature has a large mouth with meat ripping teeth. It also caries a sword!

I'm a Krelzyn warrior, thus I'm a trained fighting man. I don't fear a man, but I know very little about whatever it is that faces me. I must use every advantage I can get.

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