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June 2, 2003

Nondescript Crypt

Drusilia's Journal

Earthday, Flocktime 13, 592 CY

The remainder of our day was pretty much as harrowing as the earlier portion, but thankfully, no one died because of it. I was able to restore Ghelt’s health with the diamond dust Valon brought, leaving me with one “dose” for good measure. Wanting to save spells, we used Pelor’s sword to heal ourselves, and I cast a spell that made us invisible to undead— as much as we want to destroy them all, we have another job to do here and perhaps resolving that will help weaken the undead at the same time. As we did so, we heard a drumming beat start echoing across the city from the lich’s tower— all the mindless undead we had been passing invisibly started to lurch in that direction, leaving us relatively alone. While traveling to the next tower in the southwest quadrant of the city, Valon examined the Short Sword of Pelor— he recalled a bit of lore confirming that the sword is being used for its intended purpose— and was in fact made by a church of Pelor for a paladin to wield against undead. I was sure in my heart that this was the case, but verification will no doubt ease any lingering doubt among my comrades.

We actually arrived at the tower without mishap, and noticed that the 40’ tall structure had every single window bricked up. The plain wooden door leading into it was neither warded or trapped, so Ghelt cautiously opened the door and we went in.

The first floor of the tower contained three coffins and little else. Ghelt hauled them each out into the sunlight to open them, while I stood prepared to send any vampires we encountered to their final rest. Each coffin was empty. We went back into the tower and heard what sounded like clanking chains on the level above us, so Ghelt used her old short sword to chock the door open, and she and I started up the 20’ center staircase, with Ghelt holding her new great sword up ahead of her.

We were quite surprised by what we found. Tucked in among three more (empty) coffins, we found two barely clad humanoids— an elf and a half-human. They were chained to the wall, and, apparently, arguing about how or why they were there. Ghelt immediately set to chipping away at their chains, while I called to Fafnir and Valon for help.

I’ll confess, we’re suspicious of anyone alive in Arun-tosa, but they seem to be in a similar situation to us— they came in (though how is unclear) with a party of ten and are the only two remaining, and they seem to be looking for some object of great value for an employer. It is also unclear how they ended up in the tower, and they are either too fuzzy on the details themselves, or simply like to keep some things a mystery. The elf is a rogue that seems to go by the name of “Pockets” (even though I didn’t see any pockets on him when we found him) and the half-human goes by an elven name, Aramil, claiming his mother is elven and that he must immediately begin his studies, quickly looking around for his belongings. More on that one in a bit.

We continued up the tower after freeing the captives, and found more coffins. The top floor had a few other interesting things in addition to a ornate sarcophagus carved with a relief of knights on it— Fafnir found a vial of what may be a healing potion, some adventuring gear (apparently Aramil’s and Pockets’) and some books in Ancient Suloise— any true scholar would have be fascinated by the library had the setting been different. I’m sure Valon could have even translated some of it for us, had we the time to even glance through them.

But, a few unfortunate occurrences prevented this from ever coming to pass. These really bad things happened almost simultaneously. Apparently, Pockets had gone down to the base of the tower and un-chocked the door, cutting off the sunlight that had been streaming in and blocking it with as many caskets as he could, apparently planning on holing up here for the remainder of the day, and not knowing that the mindless undead weren’t the only things haunting Arun-tosa. The drums, which we soon grew accustomed to hearing, stopped. Aramil, evidently planning on none of us staying in the tower (or simply not planning anything), ever, had doused it with oil, preparing to set the tall stone structure on fire. The vampire residents of the tower, done with their meeting in the lich’s part of the city, came home.

Ghelt, Valon, Fafnir and I noticed these things in a completely different order, as needed. First, we had to kill the vampires. They had, unfortunately, touched Valon and Aramil upon arrival, weakening them considerably. Searing light finished off one, and the other turned to a gaseous form and sank through the floor, so turning him was the only way to destroy him. Ghelt and I had to follow this one to make sure he didn’t get away, which was when we discovered that the door was blocked. We wanted to get sunlight coming back in— and it was as I was explaining to Pockets that I could make us all invisible to undead, that I found out we had to leave immediately— Aramil was setting the tower on fire and not waiting until we were clear of it. Disgruntled as I am about the half-human’s actions (and all that ancient lore, burned!), it would have been wrong to leave him behind, so the six of us set off up the slope at the southern end of the city, back towards the cave entrance from Barraktor. The invisibility spell only got us so far before we were set upon by four wraiths— I used more searing light on two, but the others got away from us. Aramil and Valon must be undead magnets— for they were drained a bit by the wraiths too. After that, we actually went a wee bit further back into the cave, hoping the undead would lose interest in us for the night. Thankfully, they did. I was able to use the remainder of the diamond dust Valon brought me to restore him back to health at least, though there was nothing to be done for Aramil without the components needed for the casting.

After using invisibility to undead again, we descended back into the city and headed straight for the 100’ tall tower in the center. Pockets asked me to enchant some bolts for him with holy power, which I did. I am not sure how Aramil prepares for battle— he claims to be a wizard, but wears armor and carries a sword (and torches things), and tends to run headlong into battle rather than hanging back and casting supporting spells on the party’s fighters. I would have assumed him completely human did he not have slightly pointed ears.

Getting into the building proved easy enough, but what a horrible surprise awaited us! The entire floor of the of the room, which was somewhere between 40’ and 60’ across, was littered with bones— nearly waist-deep on a dwarf. At one end, a skeletal serpent with a humanoid head sat coiled, waiting to see who had opened the tower doors. Ghelt waded right in through the bones to attack it while I attempted (without result) to turn the creature. The ophidian horror sank back down into the bones after we thought it destroyed, but soon four more came up out of the bones. We successfully beat them down and made it to a staircase leading up— may Pelor protect us from what awaits!

Posted by Kristin at 15:16 | Drusilia’s Journal