Kasa Brace, The Crimson Pirate

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Chapter 4

The blue light from the crystals cast odd shadows on the stone walls as she ascended the stairs. Kasa thought on how majestic and intriguing it all appeared. She stepped carefully, grateful that she was barefoot. She could feel every detail beneath her soles and the cool sensation was quite pleasant.

She paused at the top of the stairs as she felt the stone underneath her foot give ever so slightly. She took a step back and knelt down to examine the stone tile. She recognized it as a pressure plate and was able to trace its workings to the arrow slots skillfully masked within the wall. Kasa sheathed Widowmaker and withdrew the knife she had strapped to the back of her belt and wedged the blade between a small crack in the wall.

With a bit of effort, she heard the wall give with a small pop, revealing a control panel made of intricate clockwork gears and pulleys. Kasa took her time and disabled the trap. Satisfied that it was safe, she stepped forward into the chamber. The chamber was circular made of the same brickwork as the path leading to it. The ceiling was some twenty feet above her and she could make out what appeared to be a hatch of some sort.

Before her stood a massive fifteen-foot tall pair of doors made of stone. Etched upon them was a nautical battle scene between two ships. Kasa recognized one as the Devil's Reaper. To the right and left of the large doors was an archway leading further into the chamber. Kasa remained mindful of her step and ventured closer to the large doors.

She studied them until she heard the sound of her crew coming up the stairwell.

“Kleine, did everyone make it OK?” she asked.

“Aye, Captain. Helmda, the sorry excuse for a pirate, still can't swim worth a damn, but they managed.”

“Good, I believe this here door leads to the treasure. I've looked over the locking mechanism and being that I'm the gambling type, I bet my favorite hat that each part of the lock is down these two paths,” Kasa stated, pointing at the two archways.

“Shall we split up, Captain?” Kleine asked.

“That is the plan, lass. Bricklyn and Ruey, come with me. Bausk and Helmda, go with Kleine. The rest of you lot remain here. Be on guard. We don't know what might come out that door,” Kasa commanded.

The crew nodded in acknowledgment and the groups made their way. Kasa had known Bricklyn and Ruey for years; they had been among the first to join her crew. Ruey was a tall, dark-skinned elf that had a thing for ropes. Bricklyn was a tanned human, native to Filderas before the Lich Lord changed most of its populus to zombies and he was submissive in nature. Kasa smiled remembering the pleasant moments shared with both pirates, as she took the lead keeping a sharp eye out for traps.

After disabling the pendulum blade trap, Kasa and her crew found themselves in a small chamber. Along the walls were three statues of pirates at rest, their arms crossed across their chests, a blade in each hand. In the center of the room was a set of off-balanced scales. Kasa threw up a hand, instructing the others to hold their ground. She knelt low, surveying the ground looking for more pressure plates.

Satisfied that there were no traps within the room, Kasa entered, Ruey and Bricklyn followed. The scales were plain and simple, each made of brass. Stacks of what appeared to be gold weighed one dish down to the small stone table. The other end of the scale was bare, save the dust that had accumulated over the years. Kasa paced around the scales thinking. Ruey impatiently reached over to touch the gold.

Kasa tried to stop him but was not quick enough. Ruey’s hand tipped one of the coins off the scale. The coin bounced and rolled from the stone table and clattered to the floor. The three pirates stood motionless. staring at everything and nothing at the same time. A sound of cracking stone resonated around the room and suddenly the three statues were animated skeletons of long-dead pirates.

“Ruey, you stupid land-loving scallywag!” Kasa yelled.

Kasa dodged the dual sword slash aimed at her head and lashed out with her tail, pulling the skeleton’s head from its body. Ruey and Bricklyn pulled their blades and crossed swords with the other two. Kasa rolled to her feet and kicked the fallen skeleton's head down the hallway. Ruey let out a scream as the skeleton he faced bested him, leaving a vicious gash across his chest. Kasa swore and intervened with Widowmaker before the pirate skeleton could land the deathblow.

Whoever the skeleton was in life, he was talented with the cutlass. Kasa almost admired his skill, but the reanimated bones were trying to kill her. She parried a slash and landed a high kick to the side of the skeleton's head. She followed the motion with sweeping the leg of the skeleton trading parries with Bricklyn. Kasa performed a standing leap and aerial spin, landing back in front of the skeleton whose skull she kicked in.

With almost marksmen-like precision, she side-stepped and planted Widowmaker’s tip in between the joints of the skeleton's shoulder. With a twist of her wrist, there was a pop and the skeleton's arm fell free of its socket. Kasa withdrew her blade with a flourish and thrust hard through an eye socket, dislodging the skeleton's skull from its spine. With a grunt, Bricklyn stomped a bare foot down hard on the final skeleton's head. The bones trembled for a moment before falling still.

Kasa rushed over to Ruey who was bleeding out badly. She kneeled beside him and rested his head in her arm.

“Guess... I screwed... up, Captain.”

“Stop talking. Bricklyn, get Kleine over here!” Kasa commanded.

Bricklyn ran off down the hall without a word. Kasa held pressure on the wound, but she could feel Ruey slipping away. She closed his eyes and placed two coins from her pouch over them. She paused and looked at her pouch, then up at the scale. She gently rested Ruey's head on the stone and walked to the scale. She guessed the weight was about right and eased her pouch on the empty dish. The arms of the scale went into motion and just as Bricklyn returned with Kleine, the scale stopped moving.

The sound of a loud click echoed through the chamber from the original room.

“I take it your side is clear.” Kasa said coolly, refusing to show weakness.

“Aye, Captain. There were skeletons on the other side as well. The titans dispatched them with ease.”

“I assume there was a similar puzzle over there?”

“Aye, Captain. Solved as well”

“Let’s go then. I'll send some of the others to come for Ruey's body.”

Kleine and Bricklyn nodded in response to the order. Kasa, a little more than irritated, stomped down the hall back to the large double doors.

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