“They’re after our shinies! AT…”THUD, an arrow to the forehead finished the sentence and ensured those were the last words of the Skritt at the fore of the swarm. Although the noise of the screeching of vermin seemed to be coming from all directions, there was only one visible ground entrance into the dimly glowing mushroom filled cavern where Peyton and I were trapped. Since Peyton was already climbing at the opposite end of the cavern, it was up to me to buy her some time. If all went well, she would be at the upper ledge of the wall and safe from harm by the time I began to climb. I immediately raised my longbow to aim just above the rushing swarm of Skritt and released a barrage of arrows. The screams of the dying Skritt were deafening but the charge seemed to slow down enough for me to turn around and sprint towards the back of the cavern.
Once at the base of the back wall, I looked up just in time to dodge what in the darkness appeared to be a very fast falling boulder. A second look revealed Peyton had ungraciously performed a face first landing on a nearby mushroom crushing the fungi and getting rained on by its glowing spores. “Peyton, we don’t have time for this!” I shouted as I pulled the dazed warrior back on her feet and pushed her towards the back wall. A quick look at the incoming horde of rat folk revealed they were almost upon us. With quick a prayer to the goddess of nature, Melandru answered my plea as I jumped down to touch the cavern floor. Grasping vines rose from the ground to entangle many of our Skritt pursuers and slow the charge once again which allowed the glowing Peyton and me to climb towards the small dark exit high above us.
After what felt like an eternity and with much effort we made it to the ledge at the top of the wall, leaving the screaming Skritt far below. Many of them could be seen trying unsuccessfully to follow us but we paid them no attention as we collapsed exhausted on the ledge near the dark entrance. A few moments later Peyton simply stated “I hate you.” I slowly got back on my feet before replying with a smirk, “You look ridiculous.” We both laughed as I helped her get back on her feet and added, “We got lucky this time. I am afraid that if we do not find the others soon our luck will run out.” Peyton nodded as she used her hands to wipe some of the glowing spores from her face only managing to smear them. Looking at her glowing hands she said, “At least we have some light.” She shrugged at my expression of disgust and we laughed out loud as our journey into the darkness began anew.