The Quest for the Golden Arrow
The Quest for the Golden Arrow
Feat: Soft Pedal and Undying
Mentions: Devoue and Earth Angel.
Sitting alone in the Lore Library, Alaric Saltzman was going through all books he could find about The Golden Arrow. He had no idea how long he’d been at it today. Several months ago, the Necromancer had gained control of Rafael Waithe and used him like a puppet. Rafael had stabbed Landon Kirby with the Golden Arrow. Landon was unconscious. Alaric had seen the boy like this before. He always ended up bursting into flames and rising up from the ashes. He’d discovered his ability to fly with wings of flame just before that. There had to be some way of saving him and triggering his rebirth cycle. But how?
It was very late at night. All the kids in the school were celebrating Halloween at a party in the gym while faculty took the younger students into town to go Trick or Treating. He left the supervision and chaperoning to Bonnie Bennett of the dance while Laurel Collins was taking the young children Trick or Treating. Everyone was engaging in celebration of the holiday on one way or another. Alaric had a lot of work to do and this was the best chance he had to do it.
He reached for the bottle of bourbon he had sitting beside the stack of books. Nothing made sense. It was all one mystery after another. He wrapped his fingers around the bottle and pulled it to his mouth. Downing that last swig, he sat the empty bottle on the table next to him. His eyes actually physically hurt. He started to rub them just a moment. He’d been at it for so long that the words were starting to run together. He thought he could just lay his head down for just a moment. Just a little rest…
“Dr. Saltzman! Dr. Saltzman!” He jerked upward to see a young teenaged girl with brown hair in a pulled up style held together with bobby pins. She wore a black skirt and a dark blue sweater. “Have you found any clues where to go next?” She was an eager young lady who was showing deep concern in her expression.
He stood up slowly. He was wearing a brown shirt and blue jeans with a brown leather jacket. He picked up his fedora and sat it atop his head. “The Golden Arrow is somewhere within the temple of Artemis at the main altar of the goddess! We’ve no time to waste Josie! Malivore’s minions are close. We need to get away as fast as we can!”
A small boy with wet black curls and skin the color of warm cocoa was wearing a baseball cap and a baseball jersey. He had on knee shorts. “They’re coming! They’re coming!” He shouted running up to the older man and jumping into his arms. A horde of footsteps were gaining traction the longer that they stood there waiting. The growling sounds of monsters filled the hall off to the left.
Alaric held onto the boy tightly. “Let’s get out of here! Hold on tight Pietro!” He reached out with his free hand to grab Josie’s hand. “RUN!” She didn’t disagree with him, she clung to his hand and ran with him as fast as they could.
The temple of Artemis was filled with elaborate designs telling of all the myths associated with the goddess of the hunt. The story of Actaeon, the killing of the children of Niobe were just some of the stories that were painted on the walls. Pedro clung tightly to Alaric as they raced through the temple away from the hideous monsters that were under the control of Malivore. Josie was keeping up well despite running in heels. The monsters were gaining on them. He had to do something to stop them. There were crumbling parts of the walls where traps had been sprung before in the past. Alaric stopped handing Pedro to Josie. “Get him out of here. I’ll catch up!” With a pleading look in her eye, Josie took Pedro and ran ahead.
Alaric was sure that his two companions were free before he pulled out his bullwhip. He gave it a few cracks before directing the next crack toward a stone that overhung from a crack in the ceiling just ahead. The whip wrapped perfectly around the overhanging rock. He gave a solid yank pulling the stone down causing an avalanche. The stones that fell blocked the path cutting off Malivore’s monsters from following them. Content that he had blocked off the monsters, he headed off in the direction that Josie and Pedro had gone.
The altar of Artemis looked pristine. Josie and Pedro were standing in front of it. It was on a higher pedestal that neither could reach. Alaric was glad to see his companions were safe. Josie went up and hugged him. “I’m so glad you’re alright! Now we have to go get the arrow.”
Alaric hugged her back and let her go for the moment. “I’ll get it. You two stay here.” He took a few cautious steps forward. He grabbed a rock on the ground that looked as though it would be about the same weight as the arrow itself. He approached the top carefully. Both hands were next to the Golden Arrow. He knocked the Golden Arrow into his right hand while his left hand replaced it with the stone. The ground started to shake but stopped when the stone sat in it’s place.
Pedro clapped his hands and shouted. “Hooray!” Josie stood beside him with a smile on her face. They both watched as Alaric started to head down from the altar. One step that he took started to sink. Alaric felt his stomach hit his feet.
All around them the ceiling started to drop falling rocks all around them. Alaric had triggered a trap being a bit too careless on his way back down. He slid the Golden Arrow in the pouch he carried across his shoulders. He ran toward Josie and Pedro trying to protect them from the falling rocks. “Hang on. We’ll get out of here somehow.” Alaric assured them.
“Look!” Josie pointed past Alaric toward a gap in the ceiling that began to show the light of day. The sudden flash of light made Alaric look upward. He saw the Phoenix Landon Kirby swooping down with his fire wings closer to where they were. He had snatched up Pedro and extended his hand to Josie and Alaric. She reached for Landon but not before turning to look at Alaric. “What about you?”
Alaric shook his head. “You go! I’ll get out. I promise!” He looked toward Landon. “Get them out of here, please!” The rocks were continuing to fall closing up the window of time he had to escape.
Landon’s wings were steadily flapping and blazing with the fire within him. “I’m going to come back for you! I promise!” He lifted up carrying Josie and Pedro out of Alaric’s sight.
Alaric was happy that the three kids had gotten away. Now he had to get out of there. A loud cracking sound made him look upward. A huge chunk of granite was falling down right on his head. Suddenly his world went black.
Alaric sat bolt upright in the Lore Library making the book and the bottle he’d been drinking from fall down to the ground. The crashing bottle splintered leaving pieces everywhere. Okay, so maybe he did have a drinking problem.