As the man lead the yamamule back past me, I could hear the whirring of the newly installed gears.
He’d created a yamamulecine, and there was no way I was going to let that happen to my horse.
I slipped my masque back on, checked my belt – where I’d stuck the rolled up the satchel and vase remains and prepared to do something. I probably had only a few moments to save the horse, but I doubted my small knife would be of much help. I could try to call the wind again, but this building and the cavern didn’t seem to have much air movement.
The man came back past me, saying to the Dvergr, “No reason to change out of these bloody coats yet I guess. Fadreelcine will be pleased with us.”
The Dvergr woman’s laughter grated on my nerves.
I looked at the cages nearest me and noted that they were only latched, not locked. It wasn’t much of plan, but if some of these poor animals got free, I’d at least gained that much. I unlatched and opened all the cages as I made my way to the door I’d come in. I paused at the pen where the yamamulecine stood motionless.
“Too late for you, friend, sorry,” I told it, but opened the pen anyway. Beyond it I spotted a door, probably leading to storage. I heard my horse snort and the man say “It’s okay now, just let me take this saddle off.”
I opened the storage door and found a room with caged fire elementals.
Unlike the animals, the elementals immediately started to move about and make noise. I stepped into the room, telling them to be quiet, and closed the door behind me. The cages holding the fire elementals were similar to the one that the Dvergr captured my elemental in. I counted five elementals, and noticed there were three small, wooden chests, two deep bowls with glowing water, and one sealed globe of nothing. One elemental reached out to me, keening.
“It’s you,” I said, reaching back to it. Some how my captured elemental had shown up here in the mine in Trommel. “Let’s get you out of there.”
I looked around and found no way to pry the bars apart or shatter them. The cage didn’t seem to have a lock on it. So I tried my voice.
Nothing happened.
I gripped the shards of the vase through the satchel at my waist and tried again.
The cages, bowls, chests, and globe burst and all elementals – even those I hadn’t noted, burst free. My fire elemental friend sparked with happiness and spun around me, finally settling on my left shoulder, singeing my hair.
I heard a muffled whiny and rushed back out. The animals were now moving about, but none had left the cages. I couldn’t understand why until my elemental friend placed a fire tendril across the goggles and I could see. Each animal had some sort of contained spark in it, and, in the case of the yamamulecine, the spark seemed to have solidified into a dull red crystal.
“What’s going on back there?” the man asked.
“Be free,” I said to the animals and ran to open the back door.
All of the animals, including the yamamulecine, woke up, making noise and leaping from their cages. I held open the door for a moment and let out a long, short-legged reptile with large teeth and artificial armored spikes running down its back. A water elemental curled along its back. It snapped at me and I gestured for it to turn back into the building to find revenge. It swished its tail and went back in, as did a few other creatures.
I ran along the side of the building to the front and entered, looking for my horse. The Dvergr woman and the man were pinned down by the reptile and the yamamulecine. My horse still had it’s saddle on and had yet to be put into the framework. I freed it from its ties and it immediately turned and bolted out the door, my hand on its saddle. I ran with it but couldn’t keep up.
I held out my hand for it, hopeless, when a boost from the freed wind elemental thrust me up into the air. I managed to land on the back of the horse as it galloped up the slope, past the plow machines and various mine workers, and into the night.