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The Sword in the Gnome

Drusilia’s Journal

Moonday, Flocktime 10, 592 CY

Some of us, possibly all of us, have gone a bit peculiar.

After poking around in a few rooms and tunnels surrounding the room we’d fought the shadows in (and seeing one of the shadows disappear just as we caught up with it again), we came across a tunnel in which the darkness was somehow darker than “regular” darkness. For perhaps the only time since this particular band has traveled together, it was unanimously agreed that it would be foolish to enter it. There’s plenty of other things to threaten our lives with in this place while still having some visibility, at least.

We came next to a hallway that looked safe enough, and Korin immediately began to scout ahead. Lucky for him that Ghelt keeps him on some sort of leash and could quickly pull him back, as she spotted a dwarven “meat grinder” trap in ceiling, not yet sprung. Jonathan offered his shoulders for her to stand on to examine the trap, and she flipped a lever inside, apparently allowing us safe passage, for we each went pelting down the corridor as fast as we could, never springing the trap.

A set of double doors was available to us at the other end of the hall, and upon opening them, we found ourselves in a throne room littered with a half dozen skeletal remains of dwarves laying about, and one sitting on the throne. Of course, these immediately sprang up to fight us when we were all in the room. While Fafnir and Fingers examined some tapestries, I turned the first 6 skeletons to dust. Ghelt’s urgrosh was able to hack down the one remaining skeleton who only cowered from my turning. I admit, I was nearly overwhelmed by the powerful wrongness of that last skeleton, and was glad she had the strength to take it out. Most of the remains had nothing but rusty weapons, but this last one had a well-balanced dwarven waraxe that radiated magic. Ghelt didn’t want it, though Jonathan and Korin both needed a more potent weapon (and Korin doesn’t seem inclined to use the Sword of Pelor again). Jonathan took the magic weapon, while Ghelt offered her Mithril axe to the halfling.

I confess that I still was a bit shaken from the encounter with that last undead dwarf when Fafnir ran over to me to tell me that our three companions where knocked out and possibly dying in a trap in the next room! I ran to the doorway he indicated to see our friends laying in the middle of a small room with four statues, the air around them crackling with lightning. Jonathan, as usual, looked the worst off, and was closest to me, so I hauled his 300+ pounds of body and gear out of the room and used one of my remaining healing spells to revive him. I knew I wouldn’t be able to grab the other two on my own, so he agreed to run in, grab them simultaneously and toss them through the doorway to safety. And he was true to his word, though he was zapped by the statues again. Luckily he fell back towards me after throwing them into the room, so I hauled him back to the relative safety, healing them all just enough to stabilize them. I was able to get Ghelt conscious at least, and Korin eventually woke up. While trying to decide if I should use the Sword of Pelor on our comrades in the hope that it would do more healing then harm, I asked for a volunteer to scratch me with it so I could determine if it could be used that way. Fafnir grabbed the sword, and then threw it through the door of the room with the lightning trap!

At this point, I realized that one of us was a bit unstable. I’m pretty sure it’s Fafnir— though I’m sure his tossing of a holy relic into the next room was his way of “helping” me from becoming “cursed” by the sword. While he is a magic user by trade, he is suspicious of divine magic—and if he can’t understand it, it must be cursed. I must confess, if my faith wasn’t strong, I’d be concerned with the amount of mishaps that have occurred while the sword was in use, but those incidents are surely because we didn’t know how the sword was originally intended to be used.

In any event, I was a bit miffed by his actions and was worried that Pelor would no longer allow me to heal him. Ironically, Pelor had his own way of dealing with that. But I am getting ahead of myself!

As we took turns watching the room and the unconscious Jonathan while resting from our ordeals, some unusual sounds emanated from the room with the electricity trap. An ochre jelly was oozing through the trap room, unconcerned by the bombardment of lightning it was receiving. Thinking quickly, Ghelt ran and shut the door to the room, while I tried to haul Jonathan further away (which I was only able to do when Ghelt was back and doing most of the lifting!). The jelly oozed under the door, and Korin grabbed a piece of tapestry from the wall and lit it, hoping to burn the jelly, while Fafnir cast magic missiles at it. The jelly split in two and the first was quickly dispatched. I yelled to Fafnir to use his wand of acid—thankfully that took out the second jelly.

When we felt we had rested enough, I made Fafnir promise to get the sword he’d thrown into the next room, figuring with his flying spells he could get through the room quickly and without mishap. He did make it through the room, and then there was a yelp. We looked through the lightning room, and there stood Fafnir safely through the door at the other end, with the Sword of Pelor sticking out of his side. Luckily, the healing powers of the sword do work if the recipient of the healing is not the wielder—as Fafnir pulled the sword out his side healed up, and he looked a bit more healthy as well. I’m sure that he’s still of the belief that the sword is somehow playing with us.

Before I knew it, Jon jumped through the lightning room after him, followed by Korin. Of course, they were a bit singed upon their arrival on the other side. I jumped through after them—and somehow managed to dodge all the lightning bolts. I dreaded Ghelt having to go through—dwarfs are hearty, but not necessarily agile, but... nothing. Ghelt went through completely unharmed—apparently the trap was made to be “dwarf-friendly”—the only reason she’d been zapped before was from bolts likely meant for our other comrades.

Not wishing to go back through a field of lightning, we found ourselves at the top of very ancient and very dilapidated stairs winding down into the darkness. The steps were crumbling in many spots, and missing for gaps of 10’ in others. With Fafnir’s spells and Jonathan’s strength, we were able to get safely to the bottom with only a few mishaps. Once we heard the dreaded flapping of leathery wings—thankfully, they were only bats, but there were dozens of them disrupted and streaming past us as we descended. The other problem was more—puzzling. Korin keeps calling the dwarven waraxe we just found his “precious” and insists that Jonathan give it to him—and for a few tense moments, Korin was holding Jon at arrow point! And more puzzling, when Ghelt suggested that Jonathan trade with Korin to keep the peace, the normally easy-going Jonathan refused to give up the axe, saying he preferred to keep it. Neither is particularly interested in the Sword of Pelor—Jon has it in his pack now, and Korin is sulking over the axe.

They aren’t coming to blows thankfully, at least not yet! We managed to descend about 200’ to the bottom of a cave complex—we can hear water flowing in two passageways, but will be taking a third, quieter one that we are hoping leads north to Arun-tosa. I feel that Pelor has granted me more divine abilities today—I can cast a very useful spell now and used it to request aid from the one party member we left on the surface—I hope Valon can make haste returning to us! I need some rather specific components to return Ghelt and Jonathan to their former health, and would appreciate more light to keep the shadows at bay (or at least visible). I’m composing a short “Sending” to Valon now and if he replies I will include his answer when next I write.

Comrades below Barraktor, trying to reach Arun-tosa. Need diamond dust. Need ruby or everburning torch. Beware shadows. Circumvent Barraktor if possible. Meet us please! Drusilia.

Perhaps when he is back with us, he can allay our fears about some of the magical items we’ve picked up.

Posted by Kristin on April 22, 2003, 18:40 | Drusilia’s Journal