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Negative Reinforcement

Fortuna’s Journal

Reaping 26, 594 CY
A desert temple

We did a quick head-count— six humans (including one adept from a different temple and one town guard) and the four, make that three, of us. I didn’t see Keth anywhere, but tried not to worry too much about that. We had plenty of other things to worry about— as we peeked out one of the church’s shuttered windows, we could see a horde of undead shambling towards the doors and windows. We quickly got some of the pews pushed up against the openings, but they did very little to help. The adept seemed unable, or unwilling, to cast even the least blessing or protective spell. I saw Fash head towards the altar with some of the humans while Holli and I attempted to fight two skeletons that were gaining entrance via a window. I looked over my shoulder to see if we could get help when I saw the altar overturn, and heard a loud clap of thunder above us as the red clay roof of the church collapsed.

We all must have been knocked out. Actually, it was worse for the humans— they did not survive the attack, or storm, or destruction of the building. Holli, Keth, Fash and I came to— it was still night, but we were alone except for a few bodies of the recently dead. Being practical, we searched the bodies for anything that might help us against the onslaught, and as we did so, we realized a few things. There was no storm, but we still could not see the sky, even though the roof was gone. And what was left of the roof and temple was sandstone, and the remaining walls were covered in strange glyphs that none of us could read. The yard beyond the perimeter of the temple was blowing sand dotted with crumbling plaster columns. At least the undead army appeared to be gone.

We all become conscious how exhausted we were, and decided to camp right where we were. Let me amend that— Keth had to do some “investigating” first. He followed the columns to some steps, which in turn led him into an opening in a wall not too far from where we were attempting to rest. He came back soon to tell us that he’d found another dead human that had been poisoned (rather than crushed) and had looted that body, finding a curved dagger and some waterskins.

After a few more hours of resting, we studied our situation in the light of dawn— desert as far as the eye could see, at least from our vantage point. We opted to follow the steps and see what we might find beyond where Keth had searched the night before. We determined that the dead human had been poisoned by a dart that had shot from a wall when he stepped on a pressure plate, so we decided it would be best not to step on any of those.

We did find an intersection with a floor covered in runes flanked by four columns. We could also see that the way was blocked by four very desiccated, bandage-covered creatures in bronze armor. Keth and I snuck up to one each and attempted our usually-efficient back stabbings, but mine at least appeared to do no damage to my foe. It did cause it to notice my presence though. We took a few more moments to smack at them while Fash and Holli joined the fray. I would hit one of the undead guardians as hard as I could with no result. Keth called over to me, “fire!” and as luck would have it, fire did quite a bit of damage to the dry creatures— while my companions whacked at them a few more times, I lit two of them. Eventually the four of us were the only ones still moving.

Carefully avoiding the runes in the middle of the floor (which Holli believes to contain some sort of necromantic spell), we started down a hallway flanked with sphinx statues. At least, that’s what we think they are called. We have no idea how we got here, or where “here” is!

Posted by Kristin on May 2, 2008, 17:14 | Fortuna’s Journal