Vials of liquid fire smashed into the makeshift prison’s stone floor from above, each dripping hand releasing a fusillade of alchemical pain. The white lion, unconscious, barely stirred as its flesh melted to the bone, but the prisoners all cried out and leapt away as best they could. Six of them men, already suffering from malnutrition and fatigue, were too slow and screamed out as the glass broke against their skin and chemicals ignited their flesh; while three others successfully leapt out of the way of one vial only to find themselves somewhat painfully in the path of another. With each impact, the liquid splashed outward, burning even those who danced nimbly out of the way.
Miles brushed the excess liquid off his forearm, grimacing in pain. “Right,” he growled, jumping up and grabbing hold of the grating separating the captors from the captured.
“There’s no way you can break that!” yelled the Yeonan captain, trying to see to his injured and dying men.
“It’s that or death by fire,” Abassi snapped back. He goes to brace the blacksmith’s huge dangling feet, but is surprised to see him knocking gently on the iron bars.
“What in the Nine Hells are you doing?” Abassi asked as their devilish captors reached for another volley from their duergar masters.
“And can you do it faster?” Grey said pointedly. Adalai said nothing, but busied herself with her wand of prestidigitation, cleaning the floor. Abassi glares and is about to tell her to do something useful, but the spell seems to counter the spread of the flaming liquid, so he remains silent as Miles begins speaking.
“The duergar are cunning jewelers and stonesmiths, like their dwarven brethren, but they know nothing about riveting iron into place. Based on the look and smell of the metal, it was mined from much deeper below ground where it gets hotter than the twin suns. Furthermore, the metal has a slightly greenish tinge which tells me that they did not pick their ore deposits well as this particular metal, while easily wrought and formed,” He paused, grabbing hold of one section of the grate and with a massive lunge, pulled the entire grate down through the hole, the metal bending and folding like strips of paper.
Abassi’s quick intellect finished the thought. “They made the grate out of natural bronze?”
Miles, muscles bulging quickly folded the metal to a more manageable size. “Yep!”
Another volley fell, but the duergar were backing away, crying out in their strange language, no doubt ordering the dripping devils to attack. The liquid fire spread, but without the element of surprise and the unfortunate side effect of fallen comrades no longer taking up valuable space, most everyone was able to avoid a direct hit. And, with the grating out of the way, there was nothing left to hold them back.
To be continued...