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April 20, 2004

Good news, bad news

Deitricha's Journal

Finished with killing the zombies, we took a deep breath and looked about. Tassar walked down one of several hallways and immediately called out to us that he had things under control. This caused us to abandon our other searches and chase after him. Bless him, he’s figured out how to get our attention - no monsters to fight, but he had found the real catacombs! Theona set to checking the closed stone coffins, Rosorc paced the perimeter, holding the black rose, and I stood in the middle, watching the multiple exits; it didn’t take long for me to see movement in four!

Several zombies and at least one ghoul met our attacks. Arrows, lightning bolts, and my staff struck the creatures. Theona and I soon decided that I ought to ignore the prohibition against magic (which from the lightning bolts, William had been ignoring for some time), and I turned several to dust. Thank Tymora it was successful! Perhaps defending yourself from attack is tolerated. Unfortunately, several of the things remained, and we fought on. I noticed Tassar in trouble, even as William walked up next to me and cast magic missiles into Tassar’s foe. Go, William! Still, as Tassar was wildly missing, I decided to turn the mass again. More crumbled, leaving Tassar and William with just one zombie to argue over killing. We left it to Tassar, who decided to make us another torch. I was just glad he was all right!

Rosorc headed off into the darkness, soon telling us he’d found sarcophagi; William headed another way and found broken-open crypts, which Theona went to check, and soon, everyone was agan spread out, walking down hallways while I stayed in the main room, listening for trouble. Soon enough, Tassar shouted, “Tempus!!”; I told the others and started to run after him. I could hear an awful shrieking! Theona shouted that it sounded as if Rosorc had found trouble, too, even as Areon dashed by me toward Tassar. I thought we would split the party evenly, when I heard cries for a cleric in Rosorc’s hall. Praying Tassar and Areon would be OK, I turned back, soon finding Rosorc surrounded by two shadowy figures. Theona, clutching a scroll and surrounded by dancing lights, dashed past me to get help from the others, William cast a cone of flame down the hallway at the shadows, and I tried turning the things, but only one left. William kept casting spells to no avail, Rosorc’s axe passed right through, and the creature touched me, draining my strength. In desperation, I raced towards Rosorc, casting magic weapon on his axe and praying it would work!

Rosorc’s next blow seemed to make contact, thank Tymora! Staying behind the fighter for once (wouldn’t Tassar be mad?), I realized that Rosorc had lost strength to the thing as well. I restored him a little, and then realized I could hear sounds of battle from ahead of us, Tassar’s voice especially! What a maze we must be in! Of course, he had something surrounded, again. Knowing we had to finish this battle to get to our friends, I kept healing Rosorc as he attacked the creature, until he destroyed it outright! Knowing our friends were in trouble, the three of us raced down the hallway. We’re lucky there weren’t any traps! Tassar was being attacked by four undead and looking pretty bad, as William’s spells flew overhead and Rosorc barrelled into the middle of the crowd. I couldn’t see the elves, or hear the shrieking anymore, but I turned three of the four undead to dust. Tassar was disgusted, as usual, but I pointed out that I wouldn’t be able to turn anything else until I had prayed for spells, so he was in luck.

Tassar set about dispatching the last undead, as I finally heard sounds of fighting and the elves’ voices. I turned up another passage in time to see Areon cleave the last undead right in front of Theona. Suddenly, shouts from behind let us know that the portal had finally been found! And, at the same time, screams told us that the other shadowy firgure had finally returned. It hit William even as he dashed into the portal. Rosorc stepped up to fight it, shouting at us to enter the portal, but of course, Tassar stepped up beside him, attacking the thing with his torch. Rosorc’s axe was still magical, thank Tymora! And he was able to disperse the evil thing. I healed Tassar a little, and we stepped into the portal with our friends.

We found ourselves standing in a great stone hall. By the carvings, anyone could guess this was dwarven stonework. Thick dust on the floor, quiet, and Rosorc said the style was ancient. Tassar and Areon immediately headed in opposite directions, looking for a way out! I healed everyone as much as I could, earning myself a smooch from the halfling, and Theona passed out a handful of gold to each of us - all the treasure she’d had a chance to find in the catacombs, she told us sadly. Areon found a set of huge double doors at the end of the hall, and Tassar began finding smaller doors set into the walls of the hallway. We waited at the big doors for him to get bored, but he opened a door, whistled, and walked right in! Rosorc, muttering about not disturbing dwarven keeps, headed after him, and the rest of us followed. I told Tassar, “You win!”, which got me a grin, and I think it was a good thing after all, at least for Rosorc! The room was full of carvings, writings, and a stone garden that he said was a shrine to the god Moradin’s wife. Most interestingly, the writing (over the course of several rooms), told the tale of the hold, part of a lost dwarven kingdom some three millenia old.

This was a relief - at least we are back in our own world! We also found faint, old, orc prints in the dust as we walked around, which put Areon on edge (Rosorc was distracted by the story or he’d have been more angry, too, I think). Rosorc made a good suggestion - that we stop and rest here, where it was obviously quiet, and leave by the large doors afterwards. Tassar was trying to find a chink in the big doors to see through, when Rosorc walked up and tried saying various dwarven gods’ names while touching the doors. He didn’t get a response but found the doors moved easily. We then settled down in a side room and slept. I was finally able to heal everyone up!

After some discussion about which set of doors to try (there turned out to be another at the other end of the hall), Rosorc pushed them gently open and we found ourselves in a much greater hallway, indeed! What craftsmen these dwarves must have been! There were balconies above us, and tapestries of dwarven families - and more recent orc tracks in the dust on the floor. Carefully, we began checking the doors in the walls, hoping to find a way to the surface. One of the first doors checked, however, opened into a hallway full of doors which led to sleeping chambers. I’d have expeted them all to be the same and moved on, but Tassar decided to run down the hall and open every door. Suddenly, he shouted, threw his torch behind him into the hall, and went running through the door he’d just opened! Rosorc was next - turning to look into the doorway, then suddenly dashing inside. The rest of us ran up, found a small hallway instead of a room, and chased the first two into a roomful of about twenty orcs.

With no other choice, we attacked.

Posted by Kate at 14:12 | Deitricha’s Journal