Ximond was not aware of just how much his powers had dwindled, but was grateful the mage’s power had not and that thought echoed across the sub-human corpses stretched across the room, all easily dispatched.

“You haven’t a name for these creatures?” Ximond shouted, pulling up on a limp arm, examining the white skinned sub-human.

Elder Grein approached Ximond and said in a hushed tone, “No, I have never encountered these things before… We haven’t even encountered the first gate yet, so where they came from is a mystery… I cannot let the apprentices see my disbelief, however… Names are powerful…”

Ximond suggested “Name them now… Without name, the apprentices will realize this is our first encounter with them… Apply the name to the creatures, let the apprentices use their name.”

Elder Grein looked down at the corpses, noting “Well… Their skin colour suggests a subterranean nature… Pack mentality… Low intelligence, without tactic… Mindless.”

“These… Mindless,” Ximond said.

Elder Grein turned toward the apprentices, on the other side of the room, examining the creatures themselves, “The Mindless are not to be feared, apprentices, they are vicious indeed, but their lack of intelligence makes ours an even deadlier weapon.”

Apprentice Mar asked, “Why haven’t you ever spoke of the ‘Mindless’… I have never read about them in text.”

“Studies of the Mindless have been… Rare… However, we have a chance now to study them… Document our findings for others to examine.” Elder Grein suggested, hoping to spur the curiosity of the apprentices.

Apprentice Mar turned back to the large group of his peers behind him, before the group descended, like ravenous savages, upon the lone corpse.

“Will there be more of them?…” Ximond asked, worrying if now was really the time to study the creatures.

Elder Grein nodded “Like I said, we haven’t even reached the first gate of these ruins yet… It is a blessing we came down here when we did… As you have saw, there was nothing separating these Mindless from surfacing further into the ruins and eventually attacking my mages… Where these creatures came from is a mystery, but the bigger oddity is how?”

Ximond asked “Well if the first glyph has opened the door, maybe they ran up quickly from the open door…?”

Elder Grein shook his head, “The door only leads to the next enclosed chamber… Each chamber leads to another door, leading to the next chamber and each respective entry from the last… So without the doors open, no way in, no way out..”

Ximond noted “Maybe the study will make our progress faster, if the creatures numerously lay in wait.”

Elder Grein yelled “Apprentices, we study later, for now, we must move on!”, adding in a hushed tone to Ximond, “What lay behind us is infinitely more threatening than what lay in front..”

Ximond followed the group of mages down below, further into the Puzzle Ruins.







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