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The Adventure of the Dreaming Gem - Part the Ninth is a book in Divine Divinity.

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*This book claims to be by the famous orc freebooter - Coram Bloodclub. Some say Coram died over ten years ago, some say he might still be alive. This book looks old enough and Bloodclub, despite his name, was renowned as an orc of education and sophistication. Perhaps this tome is indeed from Bloodclub's very own pen... I would be nice to find the other sections of the story.*

The Adventure of the Dreaming Gem.
Reminisced by Coram Bloodclub, orc adventurer and jewel thief.

Part the Ninth - Hastor the Vain.

Shadow - my dwarven master-thief companion - took her time dismantling the traps on the door to the chamber of the Dreaming Gem. Magical traps are one thing - easily avoided if you know how, and rarely powerful enough to be fatal. But mechanical traps are usually much more dangerous. One might deflect a fireball spell, but it's harder to deflect a lethally poisonous hidden needle or a block of falling masonry.

After half-an-hour of careful fiddling, the door suddenly swung open under Shadow's hand. Beyond it was a chamber that was too big for the tower - indeed, it looked bigger than the audience chamber of Stormfist Castle, the largest room I had yet seen in my life. And floating in the air in the centre of the room was the fabled Dreaming Gem of Hastor the Vain: as big as a fist and shining with all the colours of a mountain rainbow! Beautiful as it was, however, the gem's fascination could not conceal the fact that standing next to it was its owner: the human sorcerer, Hastor the Vain.

Suddenly Shadow lost all her thiefly caution and strode into the chamber.

Hastor!" she bellowed. "Save your spells, trickster! I have been trained the great magus Zandalor himself! Throw your illusions! They will mean nothing to me!""

Hastor smiled coldly and replied in a voice as soft as chilled silk, but that seemed to echo in the vast chamber: Shadow the jewel thief, I presume? And trained by that old fart Zandalor, you say? Very well, lets test the mettle of your mind.""

With that Hastor raised a hand with a blue fireball blazing about it. Shadow laughed and stood her ground and I, ever a practical orc in such matters, hurled my sword over Shadow's head and skewered Hastor through the chest. Needless to say, Shadow was furious with me.

How dare you interfere? she shrieked. "I've been looking forward to duelling that mage for years!"

You wouldn't have lasted long," I said as I strolled over to the body of Hastor. He was writhing in inhuman death-throws confirming, I suppose, that he was indeed part-demon. In the hand that had lifted the illusory fireball he still clenched the throwing dagger he had sought to hide. "I saw the tip of the dagger sticking out of the illusion," I explained. "Hastor the Vain believed in working on the physical as well as the illusory plane.""

With that I turned and took up the Dreaming Gem - a treasure estimated to be worth over a million gold pieces. If only my old Dad could have seen me then!

To be continued...

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