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March 31, 2004

On the Run

William's Journal

“Third from the left, fourth from the right, the door in the center leads to your desire.”

That’s a rhyme my father used to say often when someone traveling with our caravan started talking about different worlds.

As you probably guessed, we are still alive. This small miracle was accomplished by a lot of running. Allow me to pick up where I left off.

We started heading towards the mountain range being as it seemed to be the safest choice. On the way this small black creature covered in horns appeared from around an extremely large boulder. Tassar approached it telling it his name and that it probably heard of him. I would have laughed right there if the creature hadn’t dropped to the ground shaking and screaming in a language I didn’t understand. I asked it if it spoke common and all it said was “no hurt” over and over. After a while of discussion, Hixtali, as its name turned out to be, agreed to lead us to a place where an evil sorcerer lived. Now being in Hell itself, I figured anything it considered evil was probably going to be extremely helpful to us.

We were led to a river of blood and forced to cross it to reach our destination. I hated it. Almost to the other side Deitricha yelled and started to run. Apparently something attached itself to her leg and started leaching off of her. The creatures were quickly removed and after some special healing we continued as far as this devil would take us. It was obvious the creature was evil especially when it started licking the blood from the river off of himself.

Hixtali came to a stop several feet from the cave of this sorcerer and refused to go any further. I decided to continue up as well as several of my companions. This cave felt just as evil as the rest of Hell, but the half elf who eventually emerged form a small cottage inside this cave didn’t seem evil. She was mad that much is obvious, but not evil.

We talked about a way to get us home, and she said she could do it if she had my eyes. She would need both of them, one for us and one for her. I was almost convinced to do it when she let slip about another possible way out. I had to giver her my hair in exchange for the information. My companion are apparently unaware that the blood of the divine flows through my veins. However diluted it may or may not be, it’s still there. I informed her before we left that if this didn’t work I would give her my eyes for the spell to go home.

We followed the flow of the blood river for a while and eventually came to a pillar of skulls we were informed to go see. There was only one obstacle on the way and that was simply to hide from some blue creatures that look very much like dwarves. Talking to this pillar was difficult at best, but eventually we got what we needed to know from them. Apparently there was a portal out of Hell a little further down the blood river, we only needed a key. All we needed we a piece of the Avernus. I was informed that this is a street leading out of the green fortress we saw when we first arrived in Hell almost 8 hours ago.

Looking ahead we did see a bridge, but it was guarded by being I have never seen before and really didn’t want to fight. So we went back to the place we first crossed the river and re-crossed it to get our portal key. We got to this Avernus a little too easily if you ask me. As we rounded the last corner of the fortress we saw what appeared to be an army gathering to go out to battle. The creatures were so fierce even Tassar paled a little.

We waited for them to go and after awhile they did. Tassar decided to prove himself by going out to get the brick from the road. As he was returning with it winged creatures took off from the fortress. We knew we couldn’t outrun them so we prepared to fight when we noticed another batch of winged creatures advancing on the fortress. We took this opportunity to get away and ran all the way back to the other side of the blood river.

We stopped just in time to see the dwarf-like things from before coming our way, and this time they saw us. Off we were again running as fast as we could while staying together, past the pillar of skulls and giving the bridge a wide birth. I had to look over my shoulder after we passed the bridge, and I wish I hadn’t. All the creatures guarding the bridge had joined the pursuit. Looking ahead we saw the structures we were looking for and there was the most hideous being I had ever seen. Something in his eyes reminded me of Haimen, but I’m sure it wasn’t him, after all what are the odds that would happen? He said we could go, but only if we took this black orb with us. Tassar took it as the portal opened up and we all jumped though.

My eyes were closed when I felt sturdy ground beneath me. Opening them, and being very thankful I still had them, I looked around. Everything in this place, which I’m told is the City of Doors, looks rundown. It’s kind of dark right now. I look up hoping to see sky and I catch the twinkle of lights. The orb crumbles to dust and I think, “That’s over.” I need a hot bath and some new clothes.

Posted by Fred at 02:21 | William’s Journal