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Hasty Halfling

Deitricha’s Journal

Covered with blood (mostly mine), we all stopped a moment to catch our breath. Soon, Tassar was riding about again and Theona was burning cobwebs off the rest of the walls. Finding nothing, we headed down the hallway and descended another staircase. We could smell a terrible stench, but it didn’t stop us - in fact, Tassar went charging off ahead of us as Theona tried to check for traps. I tried to ask him to be more careful; it is a wizard’s tower, after all! But he rode off and was soon in the middle of a roomful of bones and rusty metal. Theona followed carefully, the rest of us watching from the hall, but we couldn’t find out anything about the place. The bones were smashed up badly, and no clue as to why!

The new hall ended at a door. Theona and Tassar tried to open it, but they were getting in each other’s way and arguing, so I finally reached between them and gave it a yank. The door opened to a long chamber, eight statues of mages ranged down the sides, and two bodies! Tassar, of course, wished to charge right in. I was getting a little exasperated; for Tymora’s sake, we had no idea what killed these two new bodies, or left the bones, or caused the tower to be abandoned in the first place! Of course, when I get mad I do silly things; I decided I’d be the first into the room instead. Poor Theona tried to check for traps further in, which gave Tassar ample time to snap at her for being slow and me for taking point. I made a rude gesture in his direction and headed over to check the bodies. When he followed me, I told him he looked like hell and went back to my work (next thing I know, I hear Theona trying to give him advice on human women. What does she know about human women?).

The elf on the floor had been dead for about a month. He had a very nice bow, which was quickly appropriated. The other body was pinned to the wall by a sword; he looked like a mage, also dead for several weeks. William, however, was the first to notice that the sword matched a scabbard on the elf’s body. I wonder what caused this trouble, and where the rest of their party is? Tassar was disappointed to find no money pouch, but he did pick up the elf’s shield, which makes for lots of protection for him! We were getting ready to search the rest of the room, when we heard a shout from the hallway out of the room - Tassar had already mounted Otto and dashed on ahead of us! I swear, he acts like trouble might wander off if we don’t run into it full-tilt! Areon yanked the sword out of the wall (and mage), and we ran after our fighter.

Tassar had only rounded a corner; we caught up with him in time to see another room at the end, more mage statues, and statues of something else, when he spurred Otto ahead, and they both dropped right through the floor! We were close enough to see the twenty feet down. Tassar was injured and cursing, Otto was impaled on the spiked pit floor, and so was yet another body. The trap door swung closed, and I didn’t stop to think. Before our expert in traps could get a look at things, I tried to push the trap door open with one foot, and fell right in myself! By Tymora’s grace, Tassar saw me fall and actually caught me! I gave him a well-earned kiss and let him tease me about following him around. I couldn’t even be mad at him for rushing into things; poor Otto was beyond my help. Tassar’s faithful companion was dead. I pulled out the wand he’d bought me and healed him up a little while we waited for our friends above to rescue us; we also checked out the body nearby. She must have been the party’s rogue; a very nice set of thieves’ tools (I think that’s what they are!) and also a well-made bow, arrows, rapier, some gold, and some vials that turned out to be useful potions. I felt a little bad to be making use of another party’s equipment without even knowing who they were, but I said a prayer of thanks over her as Theona opened the trap and dropped us a rope.

We climbed out and tried to figure out a safe way across the pit trap. Theona tied a rope around her waist and tried jumping, but didn’t have much space to run, and fell in. The wall knocked her breathless but at least she didn’t hit the spikes! Tassar then jumped back into the pit, for reasons only he can fathom, and, although re-injured, walked across. There, he waited for Theona to make a successful jump; as soon as she did, she dropped him a rope and he climbed up the other side. Before anyone else could make it over, we saw two of the statues come to life and attack our friends! Figures in banded plate mail, red eyes glowing, approached the two of them and ignored my turning completely. They smashed into Theona and Tassar even as he shouted his name at them; it was too much for Areon, who used the rope still tied about Theona’s waist to drag her back across the pit to safety. Tassar called to us that he had the situation under control, which is always a bad thing. The statues pinned him into a corner away from the doorway, and our sling, shuriken, arrows and spells did little or no damage; Tassar soon fell, and they returned to their places and became still once again.

I was desperately hoping that Tassar was unconscious but alive; I hope Theona didn’t take it personally that I was screaming at her to fix the door so I could get across. She wedged the trap shut (and closed this time) and I flew across it, around the corner, and laid a healing spell on him without even checking to see if he were alive. Thank the goddess, I was there in time, this time! He sat up, looked over my shoulder, and immediately shoved me behind him, telling me to stay put. I should have known the statues would respond to more folk entering the room! I crouched behind him and his shield, trying in vain to convince him to back off as the statues’ blows rained down. Next time, I think I’ll move his body away from the battle and then I’ll heal him! I stepped out and hit one of the statues with my quarterstaff, provoking a stream of invective from my protector. I didn’t have time to apologize for trying to take some of the heat off him before the statue hit me hard. I saw arrows and magic missiles flying by as things got fuzzy, but was rejuvenated by a sudden heal from behind. Areon had arrived on the scene! He had good timing, too, for he healed me enough to not be killed by the next blow. I had just enough strength to crawl out of the way of the battle, after drinking one of the unknown rogue’s potions. Areon stepped into my place as I became aware of William’s chanting.. in fact, he’d been chanting a lot but I hadn’t noticed any effects until now, when he somehow hit Tassar, dropping him. Tassar wasn’t cursing at me anymore after that; William was his new focus! At least I was in a position to heal him as I reached a safe place and stood up away from the fight.

Tassar charged into the fray, too fast for Theona, who hit him with an arrow as he ran in front. My heal hadn’t been for much, and he fell again. I stepped over his prone body and attacked the statue myself, and learned a few new curses from the prone-but-awake fighter. Theona tumbled past us and attacked the thing from behind, I swung at it and missed, and both Areon and I almost stepped on poor Tassar! I took another hit from the statue, and things went black to the tune of our fighter’s opinions of the whole mess. I woke to the welcome sight of Areon - and the crumbled remains of the statues. Tassar was now unconscious, and William was trying to bind his wounds. Areon soon used his wand to fix him up enough to crawl over and yell at me while Theona searched the room. I decided to try tickling him into a better humor but it took his favorite waterskin (full of ale) to restore his mood (and his throat, which must be sore by now!). I healed him some more myself, noting that the wand was getting low, and we all decided to rest for a day and recover.

Our rest was uneventful, and I was glad for the chance to pray and heal us all, especially Theona’s residual weakness from the bloodsuckers’ attacks. We headed for the end of the room, where Theona had found a pit, labeled the Vault of Sorrow by some unknown hand. Tassar dropped a torch into it, which disappeared about twenty feet down. Next, they lowered one on a rope, with the same result. We figured we couldn’t see but maybe still could find the depth; I don’t know why they had to use a dead body to do it, but we did figure out that the pit was sixty feet deep. Tassar then decided to go “fishing”, which meant dragging a grappling hook around the bottom of the shaft! He certainly woke up anything still aware down there, and pulled up nothing. I guess this means we’ll be climbing down ourselves, next!

Posted by Kate on March 12, 2004, 22:51 | Deitricha’s Journal