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The Rat, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Sprocket’s Journal

Eleasis 7, 1373 DR, Outside the Crystal Palace

We left Roscoe with what equipment was left on the outside of the dome and headed back into the palace. I got to see quite a few rooms:

A bedchamber
A long corridor that turned left at the end
A 30’ long hall with a door at the end
A kitchen (with still-life elves preparing food)
A study with six sprites
An armory (Bryrgar had to stop and check this one for armor that would fit either him or Nosila!)
A room containing a fountain, with an overall “nymph” motif
A 15’ long hall that turned to the right
A throne room (we noticed that Elzen had not reappeared here, though apparently everyone else was back in place)
A library
And… an elegant bedchamber.

Nosila and Bryrgar had left various things in some of these rooms before, “breadcrumbs” if you will, but could not see them today. Bryrgar would just rip a piece of Nosila’s borrowed clothing off to leave behind the rooms they wanted to mark. I offered a piece of chalk, but they continued to use bits of cloth instead.

But back to the most important room— the library! So many books, and nearly all of them in elven! There were also a few frozen elves in here, perhaps working to stop the curse before it took hold however long ago this all started? We looked at the books they were holding first, and though I couldn’t make out the language, I did notice that the symbol of the elven deity Corellen Larethian was on the spines or covers of several. I was about to give up and grab a few things for Roscoe to read when I found one in a different script that looked like magical writing. Casting a spell to read magic, I made out the title: All Curses Malevolent. What luck! I was about to sit down to read right away, when we heard another door in the library close. Looking up, we counted one less frozen elf. Of course, the elf that left could be the red-eyed stranger, or at least, someone not under the palace curse, but running to open the door just revealed an empty hallway. We started opening and closing doors, at one point opening a door and seeing our surprised selves staring back at us (we closed the door quickly that time!).

I sat down to read while Nosila and Bryrgar puzzled over the multitude of destinations available, and within a half hour I managed to find something worthwhile in the 100-page book. It appears to me that the curse is a combination of a spell to stop time, connected to a nightmare realm. As I turned to read about the curse removal, I was disappointed to see that page had been ripped out of the tome. I paused in my reading to share my findings just as my friends managed to find the Queen’s bedchamber— and Haran, watching over her. Both were, of course, frozen in time.

We were preparing to carry them outside when I heard the murmuring of what sounded like an incantation from a corner of the room. I’m not sure if Bryrgar and Nosila heard my warning because suddenly a wardrobe standing near me fell on me! Additionally, it had opened its doors as it fell, scooping me inside, violently shaking me around within it. I could hear the muffled sounds of combat in the room beyond. I cast (belatedly) an armor spell on myself and Widget, who luckily was missing the battering from the wardrobe in the relative safety of my backpack. Moments later, the wardrobe spit me out on the floor, and I found my comrades battling two chairs. I threw a handful of black ribbons to cast a Shadow Spray on the corner the murmuring had come from mere moments before, but it was a wasted effort— the assailant had moved. I had to move too, before the wardrobe attacked me again, so I scrambled backwards without standing up.

It was almost a fatal mistake. I heard the scrape of a footstep near my head, then a burning pain in my chest.

A few moments later, Bryrgar was standing over me, providing divine healing. I could have hugged him, but then I saw my poor Widget covered in blood! Luckily, it was only my blood— he had used his own little body to attempt to keep me warm, and had managed to staunch my wound until the cleric could heal me.

I had to cast a spell so I could really talk to Widget and make sure all was okay with him. He told me he could smell the assassin, or rather, smell for the assassin, who was no longer in the room. At the very least, he’ll be able to smell my blood on the assassin’s dagger. But for now, we needed to take Haran outside to “unfreeze” him, and take the Queen as well, so he could see her when he was revived.

Roscoe was glad to see us— he’d spent the day reading about methods of making fertilizer, by the sounds of it. We let him bloviate at Haran for a few minutes, and eventually I was able to explain a few crucial things to Haran about how and why we were here (and for the record, Haran did recognize some of my images of planar creatures, so all is not lost on these elves). This elven mage is sure we can get back home to our own realm, but first we must at least try to help Arania. He offered to grab a crystal key out of his robes, which were, of course, lumped on the other side of the dome, and Roscoe showed him how he would be frozen if he attempted to go back in, using himself for the example. In the process, Roscoe managed to only numb himself from the neck down, and lay at the edge of the dome asking for someone to tug him back out for a few moments.

Um, anyway, the key would provide us access to Haran’s lab (third drawer, fourth cabinet!), where we could find Dust of Invisibility Purge— if we can hear (or Widget can smell) our way back to the assassin, this will hopefully give us the edge we need, and if we’re really lucky, access to that missing page from the magical tome.

Posted by Kristin on December 7, 2004, 17:21 | Sprocket’s Journal