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Descent

Drusilia’s Journal

Freeday, Flocktime 14, 592 CY, continued

Other than never quite getting our “marching order” figured out properly, we work well as a team. We took a staircase down to another lower level of the catacombs, at which point we asked Pockets to check for traps so we could proceed with caution. I think things would have worked out with that method, but it appears that half of the “trap checking” involves having Aramil activate the traps physically so they can be studied in action. I don’t believe that was Pockets’ intent, but it is a trend to use Aramil as a “damage indicator” of sorts. Thankfully, no one was too seriously hurt by the dozen or so darts that flew out from the walls in this particular hallway when Aramil stepped on the trigger.

We came to a “T” with three doors to choose from. We guessed (rightly) that the middle door would be the way to Kartharsis’ resting place and went in, with Valon and Aramil (?) leading the way, the clerics in the middle and Fafnir and Pockets protecting our backs. Predictably, wraiths attacked from the front as soon as Valon and Aramil entered the chamber beyond the door. Ghelt and I got inside to deal with the wraiths, and suddenly vampire spawn were swarming the corridor behind the party. I saw Fafnir fly over us (presumably to get a better shot at the undead he was casting many magic missiles at) while Pockets did his best to keep the vampiric creatures from entering the chamber with the rest of the party. He would have succeeded too, if Kartharsis hadn’t suddenly appeared between Pockets and me.

Apparently, Kartharsis was still holding a grudge about the searing light I’d hit him with yesterday, as he ignored my comrades to come straight at me! He hit me several times with his bastard sword, and my mace simply bounced off his armor. I thought we were doomed right there, but amazingly, Pockets leaped through the doorway and tackled the vampireó I’m quite sure Kartharsis had not expected that! Fafnir and I were able to get enough spells cast at Kartharsis while the rest of the party finished off his minions and grappled with the vampire himself. He turned into a gas and disappeared into the walls, with most of his minions doing the same.

We had a moment to access the situation and look at the chamber we were in. It had vaulted ceilings, pillars and a huge throne at one end, with two doors leading off from either side behind it. While Fafnir went to examine the throne, Pockets chose one of the two doors to open, picking the iron one to our right over the wooden one. He was able to open the door easily enough and we saw a wooden chest inside. Before any of us could follow him though, a set of bars fell down, blocking us from going through the doorway. Worse, an earth elemental appeared in the room with him, intent on smashing him to a pulp. We hoped it would listen to Ghelt, as she has some command over earth creatures, but it was too intent on its task to pay her any mind. We resorted to shoving weapon points and spells into the small room until the creature was defeated.

Fafnir, at this point, found a little lever on the throne which reset the door trap, and we were able to then get Pockets and the treasure chest out. Upon opening the wooden box, we found it to be empty. In fact, we smashed it apart looking for anything of value, but if there was anything there, it eluded us. We settled for making a few wooden stakes from the remainder of the smashed chest, and headed toward the wooden door opposite.

We found ourselves in a good-sized ossuary with a huge sarcophagus in the middle of the room. The lid depicted a handsome man in armor holding a sword. Hurrying lest we lose our resolve, Ghelt pushed the lid off while Aramil threw acid on the body inside while I cast a searing light on it. It was, in fact, Kartharsis, so weakened by our earlier fight (according to Valon) that he was unable to move for the remainder of the day. Feeling braver, I simply hit him with my mace and he turned to dust. The sarcophagus now only contained a few items, which we took: magical plate armor, a shield, cloak, bastard sword, arrows and a bow, and most importantly, a 6” jade disk with the symbol of Nerull on itó the key to the Heart’s chamber!

We know that it’s important to get this next part of our task done as quickly as possible and while the sun is still up, but I felt we should destroy any of Kartharsis’ minions before we depart for the temple. Fortunately, they were all in a stupor too. We found their coffins beyond the doors we had passed by earlier, and simply destroyed them where they laid. Fafnir obtained a spellbook from one of the now-empty coffins, but other than that, we found nothing but dust.

My comrades and I are all greatly weakened, though Ghelt says she’s fine (and truth be told, she looks healthier than the rest of us). We had hoped to find Aramis on our way to the temple and so stopped in the central tower, but the angel has departed. We’ll rest here for just a few minutes before we go to unlock the chamber of the Heart of Nerull.

Posted by Kristin on July 8, 2003, 12:06 | Drusilia’s Journal