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September 30, 2003

Void Where Prohibited

Drusilia's Journal

Sunday, Wealsun 2, 592 CY, continued

You will be the bringer of destruction to the world.
Darkness will spread from your wake.
Choose well when the time comes.

It’s strange how divinations never make sense until after you’ve failed to prevent one from coming to pass.

We had no trouble finding the keys needed for the 4 alcoves. It was really too easy, in fact. The first, a silver key, was found among the debris of the destroyed statues. The key, and all four locks, radiated abjuration magic. Fafnir decided to try the key in the lock closest to him—it went in easily (but did not come out!) and we briefly felt an ominous rumbling from the center of the chamber.

Having absolutely no preference to the door we tried next, we chose the one to the left of the one we’d come from and walked in. The inside of the chamber looked exactly like the one we’d arrived in, save that there was jungle outside the windows. In the center of the room was a man, kneeling, with a flesh golem standing behind him. Aramil said “Hello!” and the man looked up at us with a cold gaze. He in turn stated, “I am the Guardian of What Was. If you seek to enter the Void, you must first defeat me.”

After looking around at our group, I suggested we step back into the center chamber, and shut the doors behind us as we left.

Not quite sure what to make of the man, we decided to just try another door, hoping to get a less cryptic introduction. We went directly across to another set of doors and opened them. Inside stood a man, dressed similarly to the first and with a stone golem companion. We could see a humid swamp outside the otherwise similar chamber. He stated that he was the “Guardian of What Will Be.” We decided we’d get back to him too.

The remaining doors led to a chamber that looked out over a frozen wasteland. The only difference in this room was that the human (with clay golem companion) was a female— the Guardian of What Is. I decided that we were just walking around too much without answers and so I asked her quite a few questions! I asked how we were to reach the Void— we had a choice of defeating each Guardian in single combat, or in a group, in which case the golems would fight as well. Some things she didn’t answer any less cryptically than Aramil or Pockets would, like “where did you come from?” and some answers were downright disturbing— such as when I asked who we represented, since we came from the desert room— we are the “Guardians of Choice.” She also answered that we could leave the Temple in “one of five ways”— through any of the rooms or through the Void. None of the humans appeared to be evil, or good, and all seemed to have the mannerisms of monks.

We decided, eventually, that Ghelt would act as our champion and fight a monk one-on-one—and we figured the one in the room with the flesh golem would be easiest— at least, that golem looked easiest to fight if it became group melee.

As much as it upset Ghelt, I have to give Pockets credit for watching her back— as soon as she fell to the monk, and before I could get in to drag her away to heal her (fearing that if I healed her in the room, the golem would consider me as joining a group melee), he sunk an arrow into the monk. Thankfully the monk considered the battle with Ghelt over and moved to fight Pockets. Moments later I saw that Pockets had sailed out the window into the jungle, but Aramil saw that Pockets looked confused and figured that the windows weren’t visible out there— luckily throwing a rope to Pockets helped him find his way back! I tossed Aramil my longsword as he looked ready to engage the monk. He was out of the fight a few seconds later. I wanted to go in next, but Fafnir stepped in and finished the monk off with some magic missiles. I am sure this won’t effect his ego in any way.

We got every one patched back up, and Pockets had to go find some of the parts of the Guardian of What Was out in the jungle to retrieve the copper key we needed. Ghelt did her best to arrange the remains in a respectful manner, and while doing so I could hear that the key had been inserted in one of the alcoves— that same rumbling sound occurred again.

Ghelt hit her stride and easily took out the female monk. As she rearranged the body in a similar fashion to the last, the electrum key we found was used in another alcove, with another ominous rumbling sound.

Ghelt had a bit more trouble with the Guardian of What Will Be. I dragged her, and then Pockets, out for healing while Aramil finished him off. We retrieved the platinum key, arranged the body of the last fallen guardian, and took the key out to the hall. Things went a bit out of control after this— I’m not sure I saw all that went on. Someone inserted the final key and the floor in the center of the round chamber began to crack and crumble, then fall away. Inky black tendrils (which I thought were some sort of gas, but turned out to be a creature!), came up from the cracks, winding around the columns and making them disappear. One of us shouted to Valon to throw the Heart of Nerull into it, but he refused, saying it belonged to him! I used what may be called “Elf-Fu” to tackle him, only to be thrown off in an instant. Somehow Fafnir and Watch got separated from us on the other side of the Void (which had expanded to fill the center chamber), and the rest of my friends were attempting to grapple with Valon. Now realizing that that Void was alive, I cast a Bolt of Glory at it, but it continued to fill the chamber of the frozen wastes that we had followed Valon into. Aramil managed to get the Heart while Ghelt and Pockets held Valon down, but had been injured so badly that he couldn’t throw the Heart far enough to reach the Void. I had to leap between tendrils, and throw the Heart into it myself (losing my mithril chain to the awful blackness as it brushed past me). I threw the Rod of Undeath in as well, knowing of no better way to destroy it.

Suddenly, the Void pushed past us all and out a window (or rather, out a wall, as the window and wall surrounding it disappeared at the Void’s touch) and sped off across the wastes. Fafnir and Watch made it to us safely, and Valon, no longer touching the Heart, came back to his senses (I wonder how long he was without them!). Fafnir told us that the pit the “Void” had left in the center of the Temple was filled with runes— which of course we know were likely there to keep it from escaping. We also have a feeling that the landscapes we see outside each window is a real part of Oerth, and we’ve left a darkness enter our world. I only hope that we still are the Guardians of Choice, and that we are given the opportunity to track it down and either destroy or at least vanquish it again.

Posted by Kristin at 20:35 | Drusilia’s Journal