Each subchapter of Mirrors focuses on the experience of the different adventurers, starting after the Teleport trap is sprung. This is what happens to Melias.
Melias lands on his feet on the stone floor of a different room. The room is brightly lit magically (no light source is visible) and each of the four walls is a mirror. He can see himself from many angles and repeated multiple times. Mirrors of this quality are rare and Melias never dreamed so many could exist in one place. He then notes they may be highly shined metal and not glass. Less expensive, but still impressive.
The Elf sees no doors and the only items in the room are four circular metal plates in a square pattern built into the middle of the floor.
Melias searches the first plate without touching it for as long as he can, then moves to the next step of trap detection – feeling around. It is then that the disc teleports him into another room.
He is not alone. Claire is already in this room, with her back to him sliding her hands along the mirrored wall to his right. When she catches his image in the mirror before her, she turns quickly, then – seeing who it is – returns to her search of the wall. The room is similar to the last, except half the size and with only two discs on the floor. Melias is standing between them.
“Hey, Claire. The discs are part of a Teleport maze.”
Squatting, he looks to see if there is anything identifying one disc from the other. Seeing no difference, he pulls a piece of chalk from his backpack and prepares to mark the floor next to one of the discs. He pauses, as Claire wanders up behind him and watches closely over his shoulder to see what he is doing. As he turns to explain, she claws him in the back with newly-formed claws and attempts to drag him toward the wall.
“What the hell, you she-bitch! Get your claws off me!”
He reaches out and touches the nearest metal plate and is instantly Teleported elsewhere.
He is in a room exactly like the first one – with four plates in a square pattern at the center of the floor.
Something is not right with this room. Standing very still, he studies his surroundings and notes his reflection in the mirror to his left side is not holding the chalk he has in his hand. He pretends not to notice, until images from either side charge at him. They were not reflections at all, but duplicates of him in separate, identical rooms.
Again escaping through the teleporters, he appears in another mirrored room. This one has two teleporters. After quickly drawing an ‘M’ next to the one to his left, he steps on it and Teleports again, catching a quick glimpse of his double Teleporting in behind him.
The next room is also mirrored, but two of the reflections are of him and two are of SeLiem. There are two plates on the floor here, as well.
Arianna materializes next to him. She stares at him and holds her two-handed sword above her head in a battle stance.
“None for me, thanks,” Melias says as he makes his mark and touches another plate.
“Melias! Seems like we’re-” Melias hears ‘Arianna’ say, as he Teleports away. He is now in a room very much like the others. This one has two teleporters on the floor. A moment before he entered, he caught a quick glimpse of someone – possibly Claire – stepping on one of the teleporters.
Melias finds himself in another room, but this one is very different from the others. It is longer and has no mirrors. There are lots of teleporters lined up on one wall, bedding, tables and chairs, a strange lingering odor, and three one foot holes on one of the long walls. These look to be the other side of the holes he saw overlooking the big pit the party had recently crossed. He catches a hint of a shushing sound, similar to the sound a breeze makes through trees.
“So this is the other side of those three holes in the wall . . . and that smell must be what’s left of Rastorn’s stinking cloud,” he comments to himself. “And if that’s the case . . . ” he draws his long sword and short sword as he continues, “I’m probably not alone.”
Cautiously, he begins inspecting the shadows of the room and underneath the furnishings for signs of some other presence.
“Come on out and let’s talk like gentlemen,” he says to whomever might be hiding.
No one is hiding, but he hears a slight rustle of cloth, so he approaches the bedding and jabs it with his sword.
A loud knock behind him grabs his attention and he spins to see Claire appear out of nowhere.
“Hi there!” she calls, waving. “You’re real, right?”
“Oh whoa there, missy,” he says, pointing both blades toward her. “Let me see those hands of yours before you get any closer. You already tried to attack me once. I’ve got the claw marks on my ankles to prove it.”
Raven lands on her feet on the stone floor of a different room. The room is brightly lit magically (no light source is visible) and each of the four walls is a mirror. She can see herself from many angles and her image is repeated multiple times. Mirrors of this quality are rare and she had not dreamed so many could exist. She then notes they may just be highly shined metal and not glass. Less expensive, but still impressive.
Raven sees no doors and the only items in the room are four circular metal plates built into the floor in a square pattern in the center of the room.
Slowly she walks alongside the mirror walls, searching for hidden exits, before studying the circular plates in the floor. The moment she touches one, she Teleports away.
The next room is half the size as the last and only has two discs on the floor. Other than that, it is exactly the same.
Raven once more slowly circles the room, arm outstretched feeling along the mirror. She occasionally looks deep into the mirrored surface making sure she cannot see through it. Her hand slides along the mirror toward the first corner, but instead reaches through the mirror. Startled, she jerks it back. Her image does not. Her image uses her momentary surprise to reach out and claw her in the chest. Raven hops backward and yelps. It takes a moment for her to comprehend that what she thought was a mirror is a duplicate room with a duplicate of her inside copying all her actions.
Eyes narrowing, she says, “Right – if that’s the way you want to play . . . ” as she draws a dagger in one hand and a potion in the other and slips into a fighting stance.
Her double hisses. “All right, my dear,” it growls in a voice very different from her’s, “I will take your measure.”
It scratches her with its clawed hands, connecting soundly, but leaving itself open for counter attack.
Raven drinks the rest of her healing potion, as she lunges with her magical dagger.
“You don’t sound too good. Let me remedy that!”
They exchange blows, then Raven drops the empty potion bottle and draws her magical sword and swings both her weapons at the imposter, shouting, “Stop! Doing! That!”
Her dagger is dodged, but her magical short sword cuts deep into the creature. It stumbles, but lashes out with a claw, gouging Raven’s throat. They both stumble back a step, each very badly injured.
Raven gasps in pain and staggers, dropping her dagger to grip her sword with both hands. Her blade strikes true and slays the double, who then reverts to its original form, that of a light-gray humanoid with somewhat baggy skin and plain facial features.
Raven sinks down to her knees, wincing in pain, and searches the monster. Finding nothing, she rips her spare clothes to use as bandages to stop her bleeding, primarily from her throat.
“I’m really starting to hate this place.”
When she’s finished bandaging her wounds, she gingerly stands and examines the ‘mirror’ from which the monster sprung. As expected, it is merely an identical room. She disovers no way out of either space . . . except the teleporters.
As he is deciding what action to next take, what appears to be Kafeera and (a moment behind her) Deathwish appear in the new room between the two teleporters.
Raven looks at them cautiously, one hand on her sword.
“Kafeera? Deathwish? Or more imposters?”
‘Kafeera’ holds her weapon pointing out toward Raven and slowly approaches asking, “Claire, are you ok? We are your friends, Raven. Can you walk? Deathwish, please help the lady,” ‘Kafeera’ says.
Raven backs away. “You called me Claire. You’re not my friends.”
She touches the teleporter before they can react and appears in a new room.
This one is similar to the others, but Arianna (or someone who looks like her) is standing in the corner.
Raven eyes Arianna suspiciously. “Not to be impolite, but who am I, what’s your name and what were you, recently?” She stands ready to touch the teleporter in case this turns out to be another evil twin.
Before ‘Arianna’ can answer, ‘Kafeera’ (and soon, Deathwish) appears behind her saying, “Raven, if I were not Kafeera and he not Deathwish how would we know your true name. I called you Claire in order to see if you were the real Raven. If you are still unsure, ask something only we’d know.”
Then ‘Arianna’ looks at the three of them and says, “So who’s going to sprout the claws this time? Everyone I know from our group has either grown claws and attacked or ditched me. This is becoming less and less fun.”
A wild-eyed Raven glances around at the three of them. No way could she take on three at once. Not in her condition. She laughs a little nervously. “Heh, well, something only you’d know. Problem is, I only met you very recently and I don’t really know your life stories. For the record, Raven’s not my real name, it’s a nickname, but that doesn’t really matter now. Alright, I had a wand. What were the words inscribed on it and who did I give it to? And who did that person pass it on to?”
‘Kafeera’ grumbles under her breath, shows her wound and says (to no one in particular), “Have you seen any of the others, Rastorn? I heard Claire scream. Would we know of her if we were one of those clawed creeps?”
‘Deathwish’ says nothing.
“And I’m starting to think no one’s answering my questions ‘cause they don’t know the answer,” Raven says.
“Well I’m convinced we’re all the real people I know. The clawed things don’t wait this long to attack. Now the question is, what do we do next? Should we wait here for everyone to Teleport to our position? If we all Teleport we might separate again,” Arianna says.
‘Kafeera’ shrugs, “Don’t remember the word for it, but last I recall Deathwish here had it at the fire pit, putting out the flames. Not sure whose hands it fell into after that.” Looking at Deathwish, she finishes, “Did you give it to Seliem?”
Landing on his hands and knees in a mirrored room, Rastorn’s first response is to check his fingers to be certain his rings are still there. After he learns they are, he checks his other items. Nothing is missing.
“Good,” he says to himself. He had heard rumors of teleports that would strip a person of their belongings and (considering the keep was built by a legendary master of that spell) he long worried such a spell would be present here.
When no one answers his challenge, he begrudgingly leaves the center of the room to cautiously search the room. Quite accidently, his heel nudged a floor plate and he was transported elsewhere.
The moment he lands, he is immediately covered with an invisible net. He struggles, but the net grabs him as if alive. After some time, Rastorn is relieved when Melias appears in his room.
“Ah, good to see you! I thought I would be lost here forever,” he says.
In response, Melias kicks him twice in the head and drags him to one of the floor plates.
Rastorn rematerializes in a long room with Claire hugging herself on the floor. It takes him a second to realize she is bound by some sort of invisible net, same as he. Melias kicks him in the back and tells him, “Shut up or I’ll slit your throat!” The voice is definitely not Melias’.
To be continued!
To be continued . . .
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