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Out of the Dark... into the Dark a friend falls

Rosorc’s Journal

I walked through the darkness. I could hear my love in the distance. She beckoned me like a haunt in the night. As I proceeded, the darkness thickened. Chills rolled up and down my spine.

I rounded a large bend in the road. Here there was a hole in the ground. A large, ominously dark, hole in the ground. Fetid odors and eerie sounds rolled out from the darkness. Somewhere down below Theona’s voice beckoned to me. Begging me to join her. Telling me we would be together forever.

With great trepidation I entered the hole. Walking down its slick and musky path, my dark vision started to fail me. Then, it was gone. All there was was the sound of my love’s voice and the slimy wall to track my way forward with.

For what seemed to be hours, may have been days, or even weeks in that dreadful place, I continued on. Always seeming to be just one step behind my lady love. Growing tired, I called out to her,”Please, my love, won’t you wait so I can join you? I grow weary from these travels, and wish just to hold you in my arms.”

What I had mistaken for a dark cackling laughter was actually Theona’s reply, I think, “Soon, my dear, you will join me in the darkness and we shall be together forever!”


Jumping off the floor, I shuddered uncontrollably. I couldn’t throw the chill. “What is going on inside my head? What are all of these dreams?” I thought. “Clangeddin help me,” I said out loud. Shaking off the moment, I took in what my friends had done during my brief but strange drow poison-induced sleep.

Everyone was milling around. The elves were saying that they wanted to leave and find our way above ground. Looking at us as a whole, I argued that we should find a place underground to hole up in until we could heal our wounds. I was the only one of the bunch that didn’t look like he had spent the last 24 hours being tortured by drow.

Tassar was limping and holding his ribs. William could hardly stand upright, and some of his wounds hadn’t closed properly. Our healer Deitricha was looking pretty frazzled, herself, and made more so by the fact she couldn’t help anyone else today. She had already spent herself helping us survive the battle with the beholder, Drow, Red Wizard, and Gnolls.

Finally I gave in to my lady. I agreed that, after we checked out the stone tablets the Red Wizard was checking, we would try to go above ground. (Though I still mumbled my displeasure about the decision for all to hear.)

Heading over to the other room, we checked out the stone tablets the Red Wizard had been scribing earlier. Having parchment, I agreed to make rubbings of them all as they deemed them important. As the others could read dwarven, I really didn’t listen as I worked on the rubbings.

I did look up to see Tassar dancing around with the Beholder’s eye stalks; he had cut them off and was making them talk like hand puppets. I had to crack a smile. Even in that much pain a halfling could have fun.

Information rubbed, I tried listening to what they were saying about what was on them, though I really didn’t care at the moment. My head full of dark tidings. Listening for the Drow or Orcs to return at this point, I went into a sullen mood. I knew we were in trouble. Or maybe it was just my bad dream running over into the real world. Either way, I was not interested in small talk. “Let’s go,” I said.

Ranking up, Theona and Tassar led the way. We skirted along at a pretty good pace, retracing our steps back to where we entered this place. Amazingly, we didn’t run into any resistance along the way.

Coming to the original double doors we didn’t choose, Theona looked them over and we opened them. A large room with another pair of large double doors lay on the other side of it. We could see arrow slits and oil holes in the ceiling. Fearing there may be traps, Theona started to check the room.

Tassar quickly grew bored, walked around the room’s edge, and threw open the doors on the other side. A bright sunny day greeted him for his efforts. Seeing it wasn’t trapped we all quickly followed.

Areon almost seemed healed by the outside air. Theona became as giddy as the night we shared our wonderful dinner in the City of Doors. (After the heavy drinking, of course.)

The rest just looked down the old dwarven road, and talked about going home. I looked down the road and made a map in my head. “This place needs taken back by the dwarves,” I thought.

There being no place in the area to hide and rest, we decided to make our way down to the Moonwood below. No one was comfortable being so heavily exposed. We could see for miles, and therefore be seen for miles. Moving at a rapid pace Areon decided to travel at point.

As we approached the wood’s edge, he came running back and told us of an orc war party heading this way. Quickly, we dispersed behind some rocks. Areon, Theona, and Tassar on one side, William, Deitricha, and myself on the other.

At first it seemed all right. Then, as a group, our side of the road was noticed by the fifteen orcs, three larger orcs, and two dire boars. “Clangeddin, we are in trouble,” I thought. As the band charged our way, I saw William draw first blood as he dropped an ugly orc archer with a pair of magic missiles.

Sensing no escape, I charged into the center of the group, quickly felling an orc with a quick axe swipe, and turning a back swing into one of the larger orc’s chest. It was a powerful blow. Though it didn’t even seem to faze him; he just got a wild and sinister look in his eyes.

I was surrounded within seconds by another large orc and two more small orcs. The two large orcs got off quick attacks that caught me hard. I had to catch my breath. These weren’t any run-of-the-mill orcs. They hit like an ogre.

Seeing two more magic missiles fly by, I listened for and heard the tell-tale death gurgle. William had gotten another one. Then I heard the twang of bows. Several orcs in the party started to shout in pain.

Brought back to my own situation, I quickly took a large swing and dropped a smaller foe, again hitting the large orc with the back swing. He grunted at my effort and caught me with a glancing blow with his sword. His two remaining comrades both missed, luckily.

Somewhere in the distance I heard Deitricha scream. A large burst of flame erupted in Williams direction. Tassar yelled something about, “A glorious day for Tempus.”, but was eerily cut off in mid-sentence.

Catching the last small orc with a heavy blow, he dropped to the ground. Turning my axe to the large orc I had been hitting, I struck home with my axe a third time. At least this time I could see fear register in his beady pig-like eyes. Again I was struck from behind by the other large orc. I definitely knew I was bleeding from several places at this point.

Hearing Theona scream put me into a rage. I ripped the one orc I had been hitting nearly in half, then charged in her general direction. I couldn’t see her at this point with all of the boulders between us.

Rounding a large boulder I saw Deitricha “Fly” past me and pick up a crumpled Tassar from the ground. Rubbing my eyes, I looked again. Yes, she was definitely flying.

Watching her, I nearly ran headfirst into the dire boar that had dropped Tassar. I slammed my axe into him. At the same time the large orc caught me from behind again. It luckily was only a glancing blow.

Areon, Theona, and the flying Deitricha were slowly whittling down their oposition. I tried a new technique. I hit the dire boar and tried side stepping him. It seemed to work, as both the boar and the large orc missed me with their attacks. I repeated the attack process to the same effect.

I heard Theona scream and looked up in time to see Areon drop to the ground under the attack of the other dire boar. She was pointing a wand at it.

I over handed the dire boar I was fighting with a mammoth attack; it teetered, then dropped to its back, twitched, and then grew still. Not having time to rejoice, I turned to fight the large orc behind me.

As I turned, we slammed into each other. He reacted first with a heavy swing of his sword. Dropping to a knee, his attack went high. I then came up with a blow to his ribs, definitely catching something important. He was heavily favouring his side after that.

Lunging forward, he caught my leg. Blood ran freely from the wound. I paced a little to my left and was trying to take advantage of his injured side, while protecting my injured right leg, whan a rock hit me from the back. Barely having time to swing, I fell forward and cleaved for all I was worth. My axe rang true. I felt the death shudder as he fell from my axe, eyes already closed.

Wheeling to see this new foe, I found Deitricha flying by, apologizing for the errant shot from her sling. Recouping my bearings, I charged over to help Theona who was chopping up an already dead dire boar.

Surveying the field, not a foe stood. Though only three companions stood at the moment. Areon stirred on the ground, and healed himself some with a wand he held in his hand. He then rose to his feet.

Deitricha flew Tassar to the group and laid him on the ground. I tossed her back the healing potion she had given me the day before. Told her that, “Tassar needs it more then I do.” She thanked me with a relieved look in her eyes. Within a few moments he was up and about, though definitely hurting.

At this point Deitricha started to cry. She told us of William’s valiant last stand. His burst of flame killed several orcs before he was gored to death by the dire boar.

All brought to sadness by this news, we went to gather his body. I thought about this great victory. How shallow it ran in comparison to the loss of another friend and companion. How the real battle was lost when I gave in to leaving the underground before we were ready.

Burying William, we all stood silent while Deitricha blessed his passing into the nether world. Regaining composure, we gathered up the orc bodies. Theona looted them as we went. I dropped the couple of stone tablets I had taken from the library by them. We then placed some of the drow weapons and armour around the bodies, making it look like a drow ambush.

Hobbling together as a group, we staggered off to find a safe place to hide and rest. At this point we couldn’t fend off an angry kobold. As we moved off, I started to think of how I could immortalize this fallen friend in song.......

Posted by Erik on May 30, 2004, 08:24 | Rosorc’s Journal