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Face Off

Drusilia’s Journal

Earthday, Planting 27, 592 CY

While we were fighting the undead downstairs, Trap had actually found something quite valuable— the Journal of the Witch Lord. Reading that provided us with valuable clues about our adversary, who, oddly enough, was also working with the same duergar Durll that the last crazy undead we’d encountered were mixed up with. And apparently, we had arrived just days after the Witch Lord had decided to become a Lich Lord, to help him in his quest for the Heart of Nerull.

As those of us upstairs (Fafnir, Trap, Ghelt and I) discussed this, we heard Korin, still downstairs, screaming “I didn’t touch it!” We all ran back downstairs, in time to see him being clawed at by an elven wight. I had no more divine power for the day, so we had to fight the undead with our weapons. By the time we dispatched the creature, Korin looked to be near death himself— he was so weak, and looked somewhat desiccated. We gave him what healing we could, and opted to wall ourselves into an upstairs room for a full 24 hours in the hopes that we could pull him through this crisis. Apparently, the wight took him by surprise while he was not-so-quietly destroying wooden furniture to make a fire (for warmth). Worse still, this was one of the three elves he had traveled to this region with.

Perhaps the most amazing thing is that Korin survived longer than an elven warrior did. I think it has unhinged his mind though.

After a full day’s rest, we began to somewhat-more-methodically search the rest of the tower, starting with the rest of the top floor. The first room-sized closet was full of old clothes and finery long past wearability. There was another closet across from the clothes closet. Unfortunately, we weren’t all standing far enough back from Trap when he mis-disarmed its trapped lock. A bolt of energy surged out of it, passing through Trap and hitting Ghelt and I before hitting a metal ladder behind us. Painful though this was, a closer inspection of what looked like refuse in the closet yielding a wondrous find: a finely wrought short sword with the symbol of Pelor etched into its blade. Now, I realize logic would dictate that a follower of Pelor carry the blade, but Trap fell in love with it instantly. If Pelor gains another follower, even in this most unorthodox method, then it is worth it to me that Trap wields it. We also managed to find some enchanted arrows and a dagger, all of which were quickly snapped up by the other party members. Going down to the next level we found more miscellaneous “loot” as Fafnir calls it— including some gold and a dagger with a serpentine hilt. It’s not magical, but Fafnir assured Korin it was “special” since he was so taken with it.

At least, we made it to the cellar of the tower. After passing a well (which Korin was very interested in), We opened a door and were bathed in a blue light. Trap walked into the room, an arcane lab, and was confronted with two more undead— one was definitely an elf like the one we’d encountered upstairs, and one looked wrong (even more wrong than undead already do)— he had to keep “straightening” his very loose face, which kept flapping about his skull as he moved. Of course, I didn’t know any of this until Trap pulled out his new sword and engaged them in combat. I quickly followed him in (as did everyone except Korin, who after peeking into the room and recognizing the two in there, went back out to play in the water), and with Pelor’s divine blessing was able to turn the one undead elf into a pile of harmless dust. I wanted to attack the source of the blue light— a crystal suspended in the middle of the room (which Fafnir and I obviously both thought was the phylactery of the Witch Lord). Luckily, Fafnir cast a magic missile at it and it exploded. I was worried at first, because the Witch Lord roared “Freedom!” as soon as the crystal was shattered, but it did him no good. I was able to turn the pathetic creature with Pelor’s wrath, and Trap, Ghelt and Fafnir then slew it outright. In addition to this clearly disturbed, now dead, lich and the pile of former elf wight, we found lots of notes scattered about the lab in the same handwriting as the journal we’d read earlier. We found several rings, a potion of Detect Thoughts, an ash wand and some charred, but still serviceable bracers (one of the few types of armor an arcane magic user can wear). They all radiated magic, but since we had no way to magically identify the items, we are using trial and error. One ring was clearly to help an arcane magic user store additional spells— Fafnir is definitely keeping that one! The wand shoots acid arrows. One ring, forged of iron, seems to offer protection magic— I suggested that Korin wear it as he seems somewhat accident prone. Fafnir decided the one of the other rings had something to do with jumping. We all went to the top of the tower to confirm his suspicions. Thankfully, Ghelt was able to catch Fafnir on his 38’ decent and he came screaming back down from his test jump. We notice while we were up on top of the tower that all the undead orcs were now simply dead orcs.

Returning one last time to the downstairs, where a few rooms where left unexplored, we found a lot of unpleasant things. One room contained a horrible surprise that sent Trap screaming through the cellar— some metal tables and sharp instruments, and what I suspect to be the remains of a skinned elf— probably the third from the party Korin had traveled with (and the source of the loose skin that the lich was wearing). Another room contained an altar with unknown but demonic-looking markings on it— and a silver scepter topped by a star ruby. This is what would free the slaves! Ghelt took care of the remains of Korin’s previous party, Trap went and retrieved The Mule (thankfully still waiting for us, though thirsty) and we hiked back to the mines. The scepter, thankfully, worked by touching it to each of the slaves’ collars.

Since most of these slaves were captured in or around these mountains, I’m hoping there is someone among them that could provide us with a guide or a better set of instructions to where we are headed— I now suspect time is of the essence.

Posted by Kristin on February 17, 2003, 17:51 | Drusilia’s Journal