Luke thought being above water would be a refreshing break, but as the sun beat down on him, and Asher’s spell slicked the water away he realized it would perhaps be better to have stayed underwater.
Beatrice for her part seemed to have lost all interest in seeing the great underwater city. She was fascinated by the water elementals, and being able to see them [somewhat] safely up close was absorbing her full attention.
Luke looked over at Michael “Lost you for a second there in the milieu. So many shark fins, I thought Asher had brought the whole ocean in for a visit”. Sorting through the piles of gems and coral Luke saw a flash in the distance. “Ah, looks like they’re here”. A moment later three dogs, panting, from the desert heat appeared before him. He reached down to pull a note from the first ones mouth. The dog looked about assessing the situation, and the water elementals, then seemed to relax, as if its trip had not been a smooth one.
“It seems we are wanted for murder, consipiracy against the state, tax evasion, and” Luke paused at this one, taking a long stare at Asher “Dog kicking. Even the Pixies is listed here for treason against the state”. Luke shook his head “I don’t understand, it’s not like anybody saw her”. He paused for dramatic effect, then explained to the slower Orcs (that would be all of them) “It’s a joke”. With a bellow of laughter the Orcs went back to picking up gems, gold, and supplies. With a giant heft the Troll picked up several thousand pounds of Coral. That’s when Luke realized something strange. The desert troll was female, and someone had been putting make up on her and painting her nails. Luke opened his mouth to speak to Beatrice, but she was so enthralled in a diligent study of the Elementals that he decided to just let it pass At least she’s not in a silk nightie. Luke shuddered at that thought as everyone packed up to make way.
Morning after next Luke and Face were in deep counsel just outside the light of the fire. Next to them images flickered in a shallow pool of water. “One should do the trick, now’s the time before the guard changes” Luke said to Smasha.
Luke was a fickle master. For those that lived by the sword their fates were often short in his employ, but he had a soft spot for those who were themselves meek and of humble means.
Wavering in the pool, reflections of Halflings in jail cells, rippled magically across the waters surface. Luke was tense, not so much about what was to happen, but whether the Halflings would cooperate with their rescuer. One of them popped open an eye, obviously having been feigning sleep. The blink dogs message must have made it to them. Luke breathed a tiny sigh of relief. They quietly awoke each other and prepared themselves.
Smasha finished his incantations as Luke stood. A dark sheet, like a sliding door appeared and a warm humid heat rolled through the portal. Stepping through came a creature that brought a sense of misery and decay with its very being. Face held up his hand and instructed “Listen to boss, he give orders”
Luke stared at the blight on humanity and chuckled inside. He knew the creature would detest the task before it, and that just made the events about to unfold all the more ironically humorous. “Go to them” Luke said, pointing at the meager cells showing in the pool. “Break them free and make sure they can escape safely. Do so with a minimum of blood shed and havoc.” With that he handed him a vile of a bubbling acid “Use this to open the doors. See them as far out as you can”.
Then, without warning the Devil was just gone from sight, as if it had never been. Luke anxiously sat and waited, it was all he could do now as the morning sun slowly crested above the horizon.