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December 9, 2002

The Heart of Nerull?

Drusilia's Journal

Sunday, Planting 9, 592 CY

The rest we so desperately needed was delayed. Ghelt realized that in order to turn undead, she would need a holy symbol to Moradin, but didn’t have one with her. So, she went back to the ghoul’s “bedroom” and hacked apart a bedpost, with the idea that she would make a disk from it to draw Moradin’s hammer and anvil upon. I’m not sure if the noise from that attracted the undead, or if they were just wandering about mindlessly, but we were soon visited by several zombies, some human and some obviously duergar. My three companions jumped into combat, but I knew they were all quite tired, so I attempted to turn the zombies. The undead shambled back the way they had come, and I followed a discreet distance behind, planning to turn them again if they renewed their attack. I found them in a room down a hall with quite a few reinforcements, so I turned them and yelled for Ghelt to come help cut them down. Most of them fled and we fought those that remained. As we finished them off, Fafnir and Trap called for us— I ran back down the hall to find them being harassed by another ghoul similar to the one Trap had burnt to a crisp earlier. This time though, he was without a lantern. Ghelt and I dispatched that ghoul with our blades as well. Discovering that the ghoul had come from a side door in the hallway we’d followed the zombies through, we did a quick search of a room filled with moldering cots and neglected footlockers. As we turned to leave, I spotted a leather-bound book sticking out from under an old mattress. I grabbed it and we headed out to the main chamber again.

Not wanting the undead to come back before we rested, we took Nerull’s obsidian altar and shoved it up against the door. We had to push the altar down several steps, which caused it to break. Ghelt and I felt quite queasy immediately. In fact, neither of us has felt quite right since moving the altar, though our companions feel fine— I fear that we’ve picked up some sort of unholy curse. Destroying the altar was the proper thing to do however, and we will have this curse lifted when we can get to a good temple.

I used the rest of the night while the others rested to read what I could of the faded ink on the leather book’s pages. I’ve been able to make out the contents of several passages, apparently written by an acolyte. The journal mentions growing dissatisfaction with the high priest of Nerull, who was working with a duergar named Durll in an obsessive search for the Heart of Nerull. (I neglected to mention in my last entry, but we found a map in the first ghoul’s room, and I suspect now that creature may have been the high priest spoken of in the diary). Perhaps the map we found is a clue to the whereabouts of the Heart? The journal also mentioned that it was likely Durll was working for someone else too. The diary goes on to mentioned that assaults on this temple by duergar had forced them to collapse the catacombs to lower levels. Apparently, these catacombs go much, much deeper! The last entries I could make out were dated 25 years ago, and mentioned an illness spreading through the temple, possibly a curse, for which magical healing had no effect. The victims became desiccated husks. While I don’t believe that Ghelt or I picked up that curse, it would explain the decided lack of live members in this temple to Nerull.

Posted by Kristin at 18:41 | Drusilia’s Journal