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A widow for real

Nosila’s Journal

Remembering that the first time I ran into the room, the clouds had not attacked me, we tried an experiment. I took off all my magical stuff, and stepped inside again. The clouds immediately detached themselves from the objects at the other end of the room, floated up, and - began to chew on me with many tiny teeth. So much for that idea! Slightly sickened, I stepped back outside, closed the door, and listened to more discussion. Finally, we headed further down the hall, hoping that somewhere else in the maze of rooms we could find a way to defeat the creatures.

When we found another door and could not get it to open, my hopes rose. Mayir eventually went after it with his swords, so imagine my disappointment to find only an old storage room for the effort! He was pleased with all the new firewood to fight the creatures with, at least, and began to open the other bags and barrels to find what they contained. Moldy grain, wine long turned to vinegar, and... salt? Barrels of it! After some talk, we thought, why not? And I walked off to the secret doorway with a handful of salt while the others finished checking the storeroom.

The clouds headed my way as soon as I opened the door, but - thank Ubtao! The first one recoiled from the thrown salt! Before I could shut the door and tell the others of my find, however, the cloud that hadn’t recoiled managed to get into the hallway with me. It kept right on biting, too. My only option was to run down the hall, shouting for more salt, while it attacked! I led it right to the storeroom, where we quickly found out that thrown handfuls only slowed it down temporarily, and that Sprocket was still its favorite target. We were all trying to get covered with vinegar, then salt, then attack, all the while being bitten.

Sprocket, poor gnome, was covered with so many bites that she passed out when I grabbed her and rolled her in an open salt barrel to get the thing away from her! Mayir, on the other hand, had the brilliant idea to dip his swords in the vinegar, and then the salt, and attack the cloud that way. It didn’t last long after that. We woke Sprocket, covered ourselves and our weapons with salt, and filled Mayir’s shield with the stuff, then headed back down the hall to the secret room. I’d like to say that we had a long and heroic battle, but the shield’s worth of salt I threw at the other cloud dispersed it immediately. Thank Ubtao!

Sprocket cast a spell that cleaned all the salt off us, and Mayir opened the chests that the clouds had been eating at. He found much gold and silver, plus stone vials and weapons, and we got a good look at the suits of armor. Even with their magic eaten away, they were of great quality, so I happily switched armor and tried out the longsword. I also picked up a spear, just in case the beholder reappeared. Sprocket walked over to the circle of runes, and - stepped right inside! She returned with the book, saying it was a very powerful book of spells. We were all pleased.

Finally, we headed back outside, returning to our discussion of how to get off the island. We were talking about the stone spellcaster in the clearing when we realized that we were not alone! The lich, after all this time, and four zombies, one of whom was my husband, Charzth. My poor husband! We realized we’d been used to get the spellbook for the lich, who seemed to think we’d be easy pickings. I think we surprised it! My first response was to throw the spear, and I hit! Before the lich could respond, Sprocket cast a fireball - a real fireball! - and this destroyed all four of the zombies. My husband rests in peace, and I owe the gnome a debt of gratitude. I told her so, too.

The lich pulled the spear out of its body and threw it back, hitting me. I gave it one more try, but missed, and pulled out my new longsword. Mayir sliced into it with his swords, but it preferred to cast spells at Sprocket - she got all the grief, that day! I missed my swing even as a black, greasy, sickening darkness descended on us all. When it lifted, I saw Mayir getting in lots of shots behind the lich, while I attacked from the front. Sprocket cast magic missiles from a safer distance behind me, but when the lich paralyzed me, she was forced to cast two more fireballs on us all before it dropped. She apologized a lot, but I knew she had to do it!

I was still paralyzed, unfortunately, and Sprocket had no idea how to fix it. I feared I’d end up like the stone statue, only worse! Hoping that cremating it would give us more time to find the phylactery before the lich reformed... again... she and Mayir stripped the body. To our surprise, they found a stitched-up spot in its side! Quickly, they recovered a small box, bound with copper. Taking the box, and my paralyzed form, they headed back down the stairs to relative safety, and tried to figure out what to do. Mayir’s first thought was to burn the box, which he did in another room, and they checked out the stone vials while waiting for an explosion, or the fire to burn out.

The vials were for healing, and for changing stone to flesh. Of course - perhaps the spellcaster upstairs could help us? The next morning, they dragged me and the (still unopened) box back upstairs. They poured the vial’s contents over the statue, and met - the former wizard of Pommeville, whose disappearance months ago was due to his search for that dratted book of spells! They quickly filled him in, and he was happy to un-paralyze me, thank Ubtao! I recovered the spear, and scarfed some rations while they talked over what to do with the phylactery. Once I realized they’d be at it a while, I went and buried my husband’s ashes. The other zombies, too, but... I found myself wondering, what to do now? Nothing stops me from returning home, or do I travel the world more? Do I stay with these folk, or get away from them before Darvin’s vengeful ghost arrives?

Meanwhile, Sprocket had admitted to having the spellbook, in return for which, Melvin not only got us off the island (by portal, which pleased Sprocket immensely), but told us that the pool of magma Roscoe created with the bishop’s wand would hold the wand’s powers well enough to destroy the phylactery. I guess we’ll be off to Roscoe’s resting place (if you could call it that!), and I’ll worry about the future later.

Posted by Kate on April 24, 2005, 09:14 | Nosila’s Journal