The Pyramid Puzzle
"Let's introduce ourselves first, Zerik," Stellis said. "I'm Stellis, Prince of Freedonia, and, Paladin of the God." Upon hearing this Syl'ima lowered her eyes and bowed even further on the table. "Please, there is no need for that," Stellis corrected, "we are all free in Freedonia." She looked up and smiled.
"My what a beautiful smile," Finn stated and kissed her hand. "I am Prince Finn of Sambolia. I am here for adventure with my friends. Your skin is so pale and smooth. It reminds me of the spirit folk in the jungle."
"Quit flirting!" Zerik complained. "I'll get you some of that jungle weed. That will cool your loins. I'm Zerik, by the way. We are going to the Pyramid to the south to investigate what the locals have called spirits of the damned. We could use your help."
"I would be honored," Syl'ima stated. She curtsied before the friends. "I would greatly appreciate your friendship."
"Then let us make it official," Finn said as he cut his hand. "It is customary in my land if you are to be bound in times of battle to bind each other in blood, as well." He took her small hand and cut it. She winced. He then joined her hand and his and said, "By the love of Her and Him, our lives are now joined in friendship and battle. Arise my sister." Syl'ima rose to her feet.
Stellis took off his right gauntlet and revealed a glowing golden hand. He touched them both and healed the wounds. Syl'ima was fascinated by the power. It was a divine power, much like the curse on her, not arcane as she was used to seeing.
"That is a remarkable gift you have, Prince Stellis," Syl'ima stated.
"Please, just call me Stellis. We are now family by the Sambolian traditions. The gift is a lesser form of what my mother can do. I can heal or injure with just a touch. Mother can bring life or death. They are the gifts of Him and Her. The God and the Goddess," Stellis explained.
"You wear the symbol of Him," Syl'ima noted. "The silver sword of the God. Does your mother also worship Him?"
"No, she worships Her. The symbol of the raven, the Goddess symbol, adorns her cloak," Stellis continued. "Freedonia is dedicated to both Him and Her."
"Oh, come on, we've got a pyramid to explore," Zerik hurried.
"Come, my brothers,.. and sister," Finn paused. He wasn't used to having a female companion. "Let us make preparations and and travel with haste. I think Zerik may explode if we must wait here much longer."
"Just give him a ball of twine, that will keep him occupied," Stellis teased. Zerik gave him a dirty look. Syl'ima wondered what she was missing in that context.
"I only have this," Syl'ima said holding the five gold Freemans and three silver coins. "I will not have much for rations or bolts."
"Don't worry, we've got you covered," Stellis assured her.
"Yeah, and what they won't buy I can steal," Zerik quipped which spawned a dirty look from Stellis. Zerik laughed.
After obtaining some gear for the travel they set out on horseback towards the pyramid in the south. No one knew who built it or why. The road seemed pretty uneventful. Syl'ima listened to the banter from her companions. It was clear that Zerik was lighthearted and laughed the most. Stellis was very serious and often the butt of Zerik's jokes. Finn was definitely a flirt, but also kind and cared deeply for his companions. They would try to bring Syl'ima out of her shell at times, but she felt that she was learning more just listening to them.
They made camp for the night. Finn had hunted two rabbits for dinner while Zerik and Stellis gathered fire wood for the fire. Syl'ima set up the tents which was easy with her telekinesis. Finn prepared the rabbits while Zerik set up the fire. He went to his pack to find his flint and steel.
"Stellis," Zerik called out, "I forgot to pack my flint and steel. Do you have yours?"
"Allow me," Syl'ima said as she she concentrated on the wood with her psychokinetic powers. She sped up the molecules in the wood until they caught fire.
"Wow, Diamond," Zerik said in amazement. "Remind me to never piss you off." Syl'ima smiled. "Did you see that, Stellis? She started the fire with her mind. She will be handy to have around."
Finn brought the rabbits to cook. He used his seasoning from the island of Sambolia. She smell was enticing. "We do not have these tasty creatures on Sambolia," Finn explained. "We usually have domesticated animals such as chickens and cattle. When we want a feast we hunt wild bore. They usually feed an entire village."
Syl'ima nodded her head. She had never been out of her home in the forest before the accident that got her cursed. The only reason she was here now was because she was exiled. This was all very new to her. She had heard of the pyramid, but never expected to see it.
"Why do you wish to investigate the pyramid?" Syl'ima asked.
"Well, the locals claim restless spirits have appeared there recently," Stellis started.
"That's a nice way of saying zombies," Zerik interjected.
"Many say there is a great fortune hidden within the pyramid, and an artifact of great power left by the people who built it," Finn continued.
"No one knows for certain?" Syl'ima questioned.
"No one has gotten past the first antechamber. Too many traps," Zerik laughed. "The four of us will discover the truth."
"Zerik has never doubted our abilities. We will try to solve the puzzle," Stellis stated. "My holy powers should allow us to fight through the zombies and find out what has caused them to rise."
"Who would bury an artifact of great power?" Syl'ima questioned.
"Someone who doesn't want it falling into the wrong hands," Finn answered. Finn tore off a leg from the rabbit and took a bite. "We will find it, or die trying."
"I have no plans to die, at least not until my curse is removed," Syl'ima said. She sliced off some meat with her sword and place it on some bread. She quickly cleaned her sword and sheathed it. She took a bite and was pleased by the taste.
"None of us plans to die. It is an inevitable truth that we all die at some point," Stellis explained. "We just live our lives as best we can to please the gods."