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Never Like It Ought To Be

Ghelt’s Journal

Dearest Grun,

We’ve accomplished our mission - but now I fear that it wasn’t quite what we expected it to be. Drusilia’s a little worried about the fortune-teller’s words to her - they seem to be literally coming true, and not in a good way!

We left off in my last letter resting befone attempting the Temple of the Void once more. Rummaging about the room and statues, we found no clues, except for a key Aramil discovered in the remnants of a statue. I was standing in the middle of the room, looking for writings of any kind about me, when Fafnir took the key and tried a random keyhole with it. There was a sudden rumbling and grinding beneath my feet, and the key became stuck. The rumbling died away, and Fafnir began to try the doors.. which now opened!

The first door he tried looked like the great hall we’d appeared in, except for a jungle outside the windows, and two figures - a kneeling human in white robes, and a patched-together flesh golem standing behind! The human spoke to us (and the golem didn’t move, so we stuck around to listen), explaining that he was the guardian of “what was”, and we had to defeat him to continue. Fafnir closed the door. As we discussed this new development, “Pockets” opened the door behind us - which turned out to be a great hall, swampland outside the doors, and a human with a stone golem claiming to be the guardian of “what will be”. Finally, we checked the last door and found a human woman, snowy wasteland outside the windows, and a clay golem behind her - the guardian of the present.

Drusilia spoke at length with this person, asking how and why we were to fight them all (I admit at this point I suggested leaving the Heart inside one of the doors and being done with it. Only partly in jest, too!). “Pockets” discovered that he could mage hand things from one room to another - like snow to the jungle. He also threw a rope out of the window into the jungle. The upshot of the discussion was this: we could offer a champion in single combat with each human, or we could go in as a group and fight the human - and their golem! I thnk “Pockets” and Aramil have missed our battles with golems - they thought group combat would be better! Finally, I walked into the room of the past, and offered single combat.

It didn’t go especially well, Grun! I got some good hits in, but he ended up taking me down. The last thing I saw before I passed out was “Pockets” in the corner, raising his crossbow..

...and woke to Drusilia and me in the doorway, “Pockets” in the room fighting the monk, and the rest watching the fight. “Pockets” ended up leaping out the window, holding the rope, but of course the monk broke the rope and he was gone! Aramil immediately ran for the window and looked for his friend, which luckily the monk didn’t take as an attack. He even found him! Throwing the rope out, he pulled “Pockets” back in. I figured “Pockets” would leave it to the next person, but he insisted he wasn’t done yet and attacked again. Not for long! As he fell, Drusilia ran in and dragged him free of combat even as Aramil entered the fray! Aramil gave, and Fafnir strode into the room. He faced the monk and unleashed a spell that blew the monk right out the window, dead! “Pockets” retrieved a copper key and I arranged the body before the golem and prayed over his remains. Fafnir stuck the new key into a random lock, we heard more grinding, saw nothing, and headed for the next room.

I managed to defeat the keeper of the present alone. Barely! Thank Moradin the healing sword worked in the Temple of the Void or we’d have been in real trouble! Another key turn, more rumbling, and on to the future. The third challenge did not go as well. I went down again and woke to the sight of Aramil dancing upon the remains of the keeper. Go, Aramil! We laid out the remains for the last time, and went to turn the last key in its lock.

We stood by the walls and watched the floor slowly open. Inky blackness came up through the floor, and everything it touched it destroyed! I figured this was the way to destroy the Heart, and turned to Valon - who shocked us all by not only refusing to throw the Heart in, but running from the room! We followed (except for Fafnir and Watch), arguing, but it became obvious that the thing had taken over his mind. We had to fight him for it, even as the inky blackness destroyed the chamber behind us. Finally, we pinned him, and Aramil yanked out his bag of holding and began to rummage through it. At this point, Valon went insane, the void came through the doorway, and the golem decided it was a group battle. Dearest Grun, what a mess!

Aramil did find the Heart - but he was so weakened by the golem, he missed throwing it into the void. The golem smashed into me as I held onto Valon, and the void destroyed our armor (thank heavens that was all!). I could hear Watch barking, and see Fafnir’s spells hitting the void from behind, so we knew they were alive even as the void destroyed the golem. Drusilia ran through the mess, grabbed the Heart, and threw both it and the rod of undeath from our first adventure into the void.. they disappeared. She then attacked the void, but it flew out the window into the snowy wasteland, and was gone! This was rather anticlimactic, and we didn’t even know if the things had been destroyed! (the whole darkness thing is what has her worried, for that matter).

Valon seems to be himself again, and thinks the snows are in our plane of existence. Who knows where we’ll be when we come back to our world, though?

We’re resting for a bit, and then we’ll be after the void. It’s not what we expected, and so we’re going to try to learn more about it. I have no idea what we’ll do if we have to catch it, however!

Wish us luck.. again!

With love,

Posted by Kate on October 5, 2003, 22:28 | Ghelt’s Journal