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I think I better go atone for this

Seren’s Journal

We did take the time to set up watches, but our rest was quiet. Quiet enough that Roywyn spent her watch identifying some of the potions we’d found. When I woke up, she gave me one for fire resistance - hah, funny! There was also a fancy dagger, which she gave to Kor’tac. He threw it at things (like the door) while I prayed. She was encouraging him to try knife-throwing stunts, while talking about her and Rowind’s “act” and if his performance would be an asset. Kor’tac eventally tucked the daggers away for later use. He also put all of the clothes from the wardobes into his haversack, although none of us can wear them! Mishklo healed me up the rest of the way, and we searched some more.

The library had not survived the fire elemental’s passage - too bad! The bedroom had (now empty) wardrobes, and a nightstand with candles, tindertwigs, and a book on botany. We learned some more about the vampire roses, and I tucked the candles and tindertwigs away for future use. We then opened another door... and found the study. The double-bladed sword mounted above the desk caught my eye right away, and I walked over for a closer look. ‘Wind was checking for magic, and I had hopped onto the desk for a closer look at the sword when - “Don’t touch that!” - came a voice out of nowhere!

It sounded like it was coming from the left, although when I looked, nothing was there. I asked out loud, “The desk, or the sword?”, but lost any answer in the barrage of questions that everyone asked at once. Whatever the voice was, it was left there by its master, Illic, and told to guard the room - not let anyone touch anything. It wouldn’t shake Kor’tac’s hand, or tell him its own name, but we did find out that Illic was human and the sword was a trophy of some battle. Unfortunately, it had no information about where we were, or how long it had been since it had seen its “master”. When ‘Wyn puffed some ash from the other room into the corner, a humanoid shape was revealed.

We did find out from the being that its master was most likely to be in his workshop - plus, directions to it. ‘Wyn left dust in front of the study, in case it followed us out, and we walked to yet another door. I knocked - no answer; I turned the handle - it was locked. Kor’tac offered to fix that, so I stepped back and waited for him to crack it open with his axe. We were at the bottom of a set of steps, and ‘Wyn and I headed up first. I made it about halfway before I sensed a portal in the wall next to me! I grabbed ‘Wyn, whispered what I’d found, and she handed me a coin to toss at it. No luck - the portal wasn’t active. In fact, Kor’tac proved it by putting his hand on the wall when he came up to see why we’d stopped.

Still trying to think of ways to open the portal, I checked out the top of the steps, but found another locked door. This one also yielded to Kor’tac’s axe, and we finally rediscovered the trap-door room. Although we were inside, the spell held; we couldn’t exit to the roof. The room itself was empty, so we headed back to check the portal again. It must lead to the workshop... While I undertook a most careful search of the stonework of the wall, ‘Wyn and Kor’tac headed back to the study. Apparently, they got around the invisible guardian’s orders not to touch anything by using magic: they returned with ‘Wyn concentrating on floating a stone in front of her, which proved to be the key. When she brought it up to the portal, glowing lines appeared.

We all went inside - even the wolf followed. The workshop proved to be a chamber some forty feet square, with benches and tables dedicated to chemical and alchemical experiments. A humanoid metal shape was in one corner, not moving, and a large throne stood opposite the door. A dusty withered figure sat in the chair, one hand on a glowing blue orb. ‘Wind quickly began to chant, while Kor’tac stepped forward and greeted Master Illic. A voice answered, “Begone, leave me!” Kor’tac asked if we could have permission to touch the things in the other rooms, while I realized that the figure hadn’t moved when the words were spoken. I crept nearer the throne to see behind it - nothing - and, when he snarled at me for “sneaking” I saw clearly that the dead thing in the chair was not animated at all. So, I asked him, “What happened to you?”

I heard a muttered word, and two skeletons appeared out of nowhere to attack me. Ow! Kor’tac immediately charged the figure on the throne, cleaving it with his axe and quickly turning to smash a skeleton to bits. I waved my holy symbol, but the skeletons ignored me. In fact, more appeared. Kor’tac smashed another, then hit the blue orb with all his might. He was the one to collapse, however, while the orb remained intact and flashed a brighter blue! I tried to turn the skeletons again, and was ignored a second time. Mishklo dashed forward, trying to pull Kor’tac to safety, but collapsed before he got close - and the orb flashed again. Worse yet, ‘Wind shot at the orb from a distance, and the same thing happened. ‘Wyn and I were the only two still fighting, and more skeletons arrived every moment!

I gave up on trying to turn the things, pulled my sword, and suggested to ‘Wyn that she “float” the orb over the wall of the castle. A big enough drop ought to smash it! She gave it a magical shove, but it didn’t move. We were dodging and fighting skeletons, and getting desperate, when she thought of the handy haversacks that we all carry. She made a dash for Mishklo’s bag, dodged forward between skeletons, and swept it over the orb in one swift movement.

I have no idea what happened next. An explosion? Not exactly. A flash? Sort of. The next thing I could see was - nothingness, a void all around; no orb, and the skeletons disappearing *poof*poof*. No Mishklo or wolf or Rowind, but ‘Wyn and Kor’tac floating nearby. When I tried to step or fly, I didn’t move at all, which helped me figure out that we’d been transported to another plane of existence. I tried to tell Roywyn how to move, while willing myself over to Kor’tac - when she tumbled into me! We got straightened out and headed over to Kor’tac, and discovered that he was dead. That’s when ‘Wyn figured out that the orb had been a “magic jar” capturing our friends’ souls. We’d destroyed the jar, and our friends, with the best of intentions.

May Shaundakul forgive us!

I prayed over Kor’tac, grieved for our friends’ bodies left in Illic’s workshop, and prepared to search for a portal off this plane. We can’t get anything out of our magical haversacks, but we took Kor’tac’s shield to sit on, and as much of his other things as we could as well. Who knows what may come in useful after this? We then picked a random direction, and willed ourselves into the unknown.

After an unknown period of time, we saw a ship sailing through the void...

Posted by Kate on September 26, 2006, 22:52 | Seren’s Journal