I had to make a quick decision about what I was fighting against, since I couldn’t see it. Presumably it was a skeleton, like everything else. I hadn’t even had time to see it. So, what weapon did it have? Spear, axe, sword, mace? Was there anything else? Not that I’d seen.
I retreated back down the corridor I had come from a few steps and listened. I was getting a good amount of practical experience with Awareness, and now I really needed it to help me.
My lack of sight made some decisions for me. I couldn’t see, so I couldn’t parry or even dodge attacks. That meant it didn’t matter what weapon they had- or at least, I couldn’t do anything about it.
I heard it step toward me. Judging range in the dark was hard… but at least skeletons were loud. Once I thought it was at a good distance, I stepped forward, stabbing with my spear. These skeletons weren’t much good at defending, so if I had guess correctly I would hit it. I didn’t really have much energy left, but I put most of what I had into that spear strike.
I felt my spear impact… and heard it snap. Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell whether or not I had done any real damage. I took a few steps back. I only had the least useful half of a spear and some armor. I would have brought more weapons with me, but I didn’t have any way to carry them except in my hands.
There was more creaking and thumping as the skeleton slowly moved forward. It didn’t seem to get far at first, had I knocked it down? Not being able to see made everything so much harder.
It was still moving. Could I run? No. First of all, there were pits to fall into and stairs down… and secondly I wasn’t even sure which direction was straight down a corridor. I also didn’t have the kind of stamina necessary for that.
From what I’d seen, the skeletons moved after any enemy they had found until they were defeated. Unless I could get far out of its sight I couldn’t avoid it, and running randomly would just make me more likely to run into another skeleton.
I may have used most of my remaining stamina attacking with my spear… but that didn’t mean I couldn’t do anything. Muscles didn’t work like a gas tank. While at some point you would collapse from total lack of energy, while tired it just became harder and harder to do things… but you still could.
I couldn’t afford to die… so I rushed toward the skeleton to knock it off its feet. I couldn’t think of what else to do, and for my stupidity I got an axe to my shoulder. It bit into my bone, but my momentum carried me forward and my armor stopped me from losing the shoulder entirely.
I found myself in a tangle of limbs with the skeleton, and I felt around as quickly as I could to find its arm, twisting and pulling as it clawed at me with its free hand. It snapped as I dismembered one arm, then the other then its head. I only let down my guard once I heard no more movement.
My right shoulder, and thus my entire right side, was covered in blood. I couldn’t say how much, but it was far too much. I fumbled around to find the axe- confirming it was an axe and not a sword or other edged weapon, and sliced off a bit more of the carpet, placing it on my shoulder to soak up the blood and maybe help it stop. I then carried the axe with me as I dragged my body through the corridors.
I don’t know how long it took. Maybe it was an hour, maybe it was five minutes. All I know is I bumped into dozens of walls- or the same wall dozens of times- before I finally saw light. Light from outside.
I staggered out into the bright sun. It hurt my eyes like noon… but it was probably evening. Maybe. I couldn’t really tell as I staggered out. I saw some people approach, but I waved them away. They were probably clerics, but I didn’t have the money to pay them or an ID to show them or a language to talk to them in or the trust to let them help.
I staggered away down the road, eventually finding a large road and following it. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, but I kept walking. Then I found myself stumbling through the doors of the adventurer’s guild and collapsing into a table full of bottles.
When I woke up I groaned. That was about all I had the energy for.
“Holy crap kid, you’re alive!” Into my vision popped a vaguely familiar face, and a very giant nose.
“That’s right kid. Don’t try to move. Your wounds weren’t that bad but they weren’t really treated and you’re half-starved. Drink some of this.” Kazik lifted a bottle to my lips.
My throat was filled up with fire as he poured something into my throat. I coughed repeatedly. “What kind of medicine is that?”
“That’s just booze. Here, have some water.”
The water helped a lot… and the booze helped some. At least things hurt less, and I passed out.
When I woke up again, Kazik had soup. “I’m a terrible cook, but this is what you get.”
He was right. It was terrible. “I’m pretty sure soup isn’t supposed to be alcohol and soggy bread.”
“Hey, some of that is potato too! Besides, you need the energy… and the rest.”
“Mmn… but I… still gotta save Kantrilla.” I tried to sit up, but even Kazik’s tiny arms could press me back into the bed.
“Just wait, kid. Help is on the way.” Then he whispered so he thought I couldn’t hear him say, “I just hope they’re not too late.”