Sunday, May 13, 2007

Chapter 5: A Ball of Crystal

The odd collection of adventurers would have looked almost comical from afar as they desperately tried to keep up with the extremely excited wizard who seemed to scurry over rocks like a spider. However the tone of this group was much more somber when one got in close. Aurelious grabbed on to the ledge and hauled himself up the rock face, praising Sol that he was not required to wear the armor that many in his profession choose. Suddenly the ledge gave way and Aurelious almost fell back down a good twenty feet, but luckily he was caught by Richard, who managed to haul him up the face.

They all now sit on a cliff that overlooked the valley, in which Mubam’we lay. They had been climbing most of the day. First along the green hills that lined the valley, where the heads of goats grazed. Next were the foot hills for the Windswept wall which were full of crags and crannys which held all manner of dark things. Yet after much tribulation they had finally reached the face of the mountains themselves and they were living up to their name. A wind howled along the mountain face that sent chills down the spine, but here, on this cliff, they were sheltered from the wind. A good thing as Sionaas had chosen this spot to finally tell them what they would be doing.

“Ok good, we are all here. Whether you know it or not, I have gathered you here so that you may complete a little task for me. After extensive research and searching I have come across the find of a century. Deep within this mountain lies a great treasure: The Crystal Ball of Koral Lierman. It has the ability to scry across planar barriers, magical fields, and into areas you have never been. However Lierman was a tricky fellow. He teleported the crystal ball into a special room, or so the tome of Harin Brock leads me to believe, but if magic is used to move the ball or room in anyway, or if you try to magically travel into the room, or if you try to locate the ball magically, the ball will teleport again and be lost forever. So I hired an excavation crew to search for this artifact manually. And entirely by accident …”

“And at the cost of those men’s lives.” Richard said coldly. Silence spread over them as Sionaas looked down in shame. Finally Calenon, realizing Sionaas was at a loss for words, stepped foreword.

“Unfortunately some were lost in an accident, but they were aware of the risks, as are we. Please continue Sionaas.”

“Yes … well … we happened to open up and old spring well which lead into an old Dwarfish Catacomb. I’ve been over the texts and I have reason to believe that in or under the catacombs the crystal room lays. This is where you come in. I want you to proceed in and bring me back the Crystal ball. Anything else you find is yours and I will fulfill any request of me you wish, including handsome payment”

“Wait,” questioned Thomas, “Wont the Dwarves be less than pleased that we’re looting their catacombs? Not to mention the dead.”

“That is why a Dwarven Cleric by the name of Lorem Ipsum will be accompanying you . He waits by the cave as we speak.”

“And what do you plan to do with the Artifact?” Aurelious fixed his piercing gaze on Sionaas while asking his question.

Sionaas smiled, “Don’t worry Paladin, your friends will get their prize after I do a comprehensive study of the orb. With my notes I will write a report that may finally allow me to enter the arcane order.”

That hadn’t exactly been what Aurelious had meant, but his question had been answered anyway.

“Why don’t you go get this thing your self?” Thomas chimed in again.

“Ahhh… I am worried that my magical aura alone may be strong enough to make the ball jump. So I am sending my apprentice Calenon Handir in my stead.” Calenon bowed deeply, using the polite form Elvish phrase of greeting.

“And.” Richards voice cut through he howling of the wind lie a knife through butter. “watch out for Biters.”

“Yes…” Sionaas agreed. “These mountains seem to be the home of some unexpected creatures yet undiscovered. They burrow, first off, and seem to look and behave like violent rats. Be on the look out." He looked around at the men gathered here. "So… what do you think. Do we have a deal?”


Thomas Mendicant said...

Turning back and looking down the side of the cliff they had just finished climbing, Thomas began to speak. "We've come this far Sionaas. If you believe we can survive what you know to reside near and within these catacombs, then I am ready and willing to move forward with this. Even if not, as long as your end of the bargain is as great as I expect from hearing the local folk speak about your wonders I am willing to risk it. After all, I get the added bonus of being the first to have such a tale for once." With this last line, he walks forward to shake Sionaas's hand in agreement.

Turning to the others, he looks at them one by one. "This sounds like it could be fun. What do you say guys," he asks as he points to where the design on Aurelious' mantle would be on himself, "especially you Aurelious, I'm curious to hear more about your order and that symbol even if it means tracking you down after this trip."

Eric Knutson said...

Richard kept his distance from Sionaas and made only brief eye contact with him. As Sionaas spoke, he seemed more focused on whittling a small piece of wood than with Sionaas's words. Eventually, Richard responds to Sionaas's request saying, "I will accompany this party you've assembled, but know that I am a man of my own destiny. I may leave on a whim if I choose to."

Having heard Thomas's excitement for the upcoming adventure, Richard then turned to Thomas saying, "You remind me of me... back when..." After that he speech was reduced to mumbles and trailed off.


FYI, I posted a revised backstory in the introduction post. It's more epic sounding, I think.

Aaron said...

"Oh lovely; one bright-eyed and bushy tailed, one brooding. I'm sure you'll work well together," Calenon says, glancing somewhat annoyedly between the two men who have spoken. "Although it is nice that Richard as deigned to allow us to hear his voice." He stops and takes a deep breath, closing his eyes and remaining silent for serveral seconds. "I am sorry; the wait," as he glances pointedly at Sionaas, "has put me on edge. I know we must all work together to complete this task, and I will attempt to control my sharp tongue in the future." He turns to Sionaas and bows once more. "Of course, Master, I will be leading us into the mountain." He looks to Aurelious. "And I am sure that the paladin will not travel all this way to be turned back by a little danger and a few dwarves."

Aurelious Wolfbane said...

Aurelious nods his agreement to the situation, then turns to face the man who addressed him. "Dwarves. I pray that you are correct in your calculation, Master Handir, and that is all we may encounter." Turning away, to put his back to the wind, he finishes: "We should all pray that is the case."

Thomas Mendicant said...

Smiling, Thomas turns to group. "I am glad to see we are all in agreement then. You know, with the five of us standing up here this reminds me of the tale," Thomas stops himself with a bit of a frown. "This isn't really the time for old stories which don't really relate, not with so much to do." Turning again to Sionaas he continues, "How much farther is the entrance where Lorem awaits?"