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Ghelt’s Journal

Dearest Grun,

Finally, the rest of my story!

We headed across town from the angel’s former prison tower, heading for the temple of the Heart of Nerull. The walk was very quiet, making us paranoid - and wondering where all the undead were waiting! They weren’t in the temple, at least, so we walked downstairs and checked the seal on the floor and the doorway beyond. I was willing to take the damage and walk the key across, but Valon used a spell to float the key right into place from where he stood!

The place began to pulse, then went quiet. Drusilia, who had been checking for magic, said the whole place had dissipated and walked right across the seal to the door with no trouble! What a relief, considering how it had drained poor Jonathan when he touched it. We all walked down the hall to the door, and Valon pushed it open. All we could see was another hallway, branching into three passages, and writing before us on the floor.

Valon said it was an ancient language, and read us a message of doom and destruction - all about crushing good and the path best known being false. Drusilia, though, thought that it sounded a lot like a riddle. After some discussion, we thought it might have something to do with what would happen if we travelled down each of the three hallways. None of the choices were good, in that case, so I started searching for secret passageways.

I couldn’t find anything on our side of the doorway, and the hall behind us looked the same as ever. The others began to split up according to their ideas, and Fafnir wanted to examine the seal. I decided to check if the seal itself could be lifted up, so we stepped back through the door...

...and we were in a completely new place! Hoping our companions noticed our absence soon, we looked around - it was a big room with an altar to Nerull in the middle, surrounded by a green liquid, and an altar at the end, covered by a fountain spewing blood! We could just see an object in the blood, perhaps the Heart? Luckily, the others began to appear with us, because several mummies attacked, slinging magic missiles from across the room!

Unfortunately, the mummies froze Fafnir, “pockets,” and Aramil with fear. This left me swinging into battle, Valon singing and fighting, and Drusilia eventually turning them all to dust. As we sorted ourselves out, however - the lich lord itself appeared before the bloody fountain altar, along with vampire spawn and a terribly mangled Korin! It was a horrible sight, and I was sure we were all about to die. Trapped in a room with the lich lord!

Fafnir lightning bolted the room, Drusilia did something that blinded a couple of the lich’s minions, and “Pockets” and Aramil were actually shooting arrows at the lord. I thought to ask Valon if he could snatch the object off the altar the same way he’d moved the key to the door, hoping it was the Heart and maybe that the lich would not kill us outright if we threatened to harm it. Valon was already thinking along those lines - he raced for the altar, grabbed the object, and ran for the other end of the room!

It was the Heart - the lich was enraged! It sent its vampires after Valon but I was in the way, and set myself for a battle to the death. Korin went racing around the other side, wielding his old “precious” axe, but ran into resistance from Aramil. And the lich itself sent a ray of blackness at Valon! Drusilia and “Pockets” jumped onto the altar in the middle of the green liquid and frantically searched for any weapons that might harm the lich; the rest of us kept fighting.. and the angel appeared behind the lich lord and attacked.

Next, the ghost of Jonathan came through a wall and attacked Korin. The room began to shake wildly! Drusilia was pitching anything useful-looking from the altar to various party members, Valon was trying to keep hidden with the Heart, and I smashed my way through two vampire spawn and went to help the angel battle the lich. (I knew I couldn’t do much harm but figured I might make a distraction the angel could use to its advantage). The lich lord did something...

...and time stopped.

When things began to move again we saw the lich lord wildly attack the angel; it was terrible! I thought nothing could survive so many hits and spells! The angel burst into light.. and instead of dying, stepped right forward and began to smash into the lich with its sword! The room was shaking like mad, poor Drusilia fell off the altar into the slime, and screamed as it began to eat into her like acid. “Pockets” helped her get it off.

I finally reached the battle and hit the lich lord with my urgrosh. I didn’t do too well with all the shaking, but the next instant, the angel stepped up and dropped it - the lich was dead, finally! If I thought the room was shaking before, I was wrong, as whole portions of the ceiling began to crash into the room. A portal opened up by the angel and the lich’s body, and it went to help poor Drusilia, who’d been knocked back into the green slime and was in real trouble.

Valon called to me that we had to find the lich’s phylactery. I dimly remembered the glowing crystal from the witch lord’s failed attempt long ago, and searched the lich’s body for something like it. I didn’t see anything, but pocketed whatever looked useful - rings and wands and such. Then I pushed the body into the slime, thinking it would be better to destroy it as much as possible. I then took out my urgrosh and waited for the others, next to the portal. Although the lich and vampires were gone, I could still see poor Korin’s remains across the room, struggling to attack us. No one could do more than crawl, but the party made it; I went last and the angel followed us, but poor Korin was left. I can only hope he was destroyed when the rest of the temple fell in. I pray he’s found peace.

After all the craziness, it took me a moment to realize the angel had brought us all to the outskirts of our own small village! We offered shelter to the angel and it refused, so I shook its hand and thanked it profusely for helping us. The angel then healed us of our hurts and the weakenings we’d taken while fighting in the City of the Dead. Valon still has the Heart, and we need to have it destroyed (We still have that rod of undeath that needs destroyed too; hopefully we can do both at the same time!). Our new companions in tow, we walked home.

There’s a travelling carnival in town, so we didn’t make quite the entrance that we did last time! I finally got to buy “Pockets” a drink, and Father is putting up with some extra guests while we sort ourselves out and prepare for our next quest - destroying the evil artifacts we’ve collected. Valon is performing, telling the tale of our adventures, and quite well, too! We’re also figuring out just how much treasure we’ve brought home, and what to do with it. Drusilia really wants some mithril armor, so there’s a chance we’ll be following this letter with a visit!

I’m truly grateful that we survived this adventure to tell of the City of the Dead, Grun - Moradin spared me so that I could warn you and our clan of the danger that lies so near. I believe the worst of the evil has been destroyed, but please be careful - that lord was aiming its army at us, the dwarves, and I don’t know how many of its commands live on in its minions’ pitiful minds!

With love;

Posted by Kate on July 20, 2003, 12:54 | Ghelt’s Journal