Friday, June 29, 2007

Chapter 13: Leaving the Dead Lie

Calenon is the first to break ranks as he approached the altar. Leaning forward he inspected the pile carefully, but without touching it, making sure the crystal ball is not there. "I don't see it..."

"Don't be foolish. I was told that Sionaas believed the Crystal Ball of Koral Lierman to be below the catacombs and I can assure you that we are no where near the bottom. Besides if the orb were in the tribute then there it must stay." Lorem spoke trying to usher them out of the room. "Quick thinking with the trap Richard; however I fear that it may not last or that we may not be so lucky with others in this room. It is best we clear out," Lorem spoke to the group, however, his words are as hollow as the compliment he paid Richard. Eyes fixated on the wall and seal he thinks to himself "Why must they have hurried to finish it... what could be behind it."

Finally he pulled his eyes away.

Richard headed for the door as well. "I am inclined to agree with Lorem. With the amount of effort taken in trapping the door, whatever force is guarding the treasure itself is likely that much worse. It seems folly for so much of value to lie here unseen... I suppose that is how it works with royalty to any kind, though."

Aurelious drew his sword as he looked at the seal, it looked like a magic circle, but one he did not like the looks of. "Explain the meaning of this seal. There is more to this Queen Aym, and perhaps we should know anything of importance."

Thomas muttered to himself, agreeing with Aurelious. "This message, your comment on those who would despise the telling," As he turned to Lorem as his words gained volume, "and your other comment of the guards being the last who were loyal...what happened? I fear we are at a loss for not knowing the story behind her tomb Lorem. Is there nothing you can tell us while we remain in this place?"

"I shall consider it... but for now let us return to the burial chamber." Lorem said as he hurried them out of the room.

Thomas looked again at the seal and said to himself. "Is it truly magiced or just a scare tactic? It scares me more that it was done so hastily than if it were to have been impregnable. Wait... What if others searched for the ball, and unleashed something? Only managing to wall it in instead of defeating it...hmm probably not."

"Just assure me that the relic we seek does not lay within this treasure, and I will turn back now... we can have time for such tales later, as long as they are not of immediate importance." Aurelious finally agreed.

Calenon sighed in disappointment. "It's not here." he scowled at the magic symbol. "What a waste of a spell. Oh well; I suppose we had better head back and hope we don't have to punch through any floors." He turned as he headed out the door.

Aurelious grinned. "Well if he's willing to leave. I guess it really isn't here."

"Yea" Thomas grinned as the left the room closing the door behind them.

They traveled back into the narrow hallway. The only light coming from the end of Calenon's staff and Aurelious's chest, the eerie silence of the place enveloped them once again. Climbing what felt like three stories they finally made it back to the low roofed burial chamber, the silent faces of the dead giving them the cold welcome of silence. There were three exits left to them, one which led off to the right and two more across the room both next to each other.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Chapter 12: Door and Tribute

Richard went to work. The door was sealed all the way around with a mortar. Taking out a small hammer a chisel he started chipping away at the mortar under the door.

Thomas looked hard at the door, but in his deepest memories could find no stories that mentioned a three headed dwarves woman. "Do you have any idea what this imagery is meant to tell Lorem? By the looks of it, I'd almost prefer we try the other paths first."

“I know nothing of this door.” Lorem stated flatly, almost with a hint of annoyance.

"well, I can only hope this door is meant to protect what is inside... and not to protect US from what is inside." Aurelious grimaced has he inspected the door. “This is an effigy, or more likely, an Icon… what kind of gods do you dwarves worship?”

Lorem frowned at the paladin.

Calenon piped in. "So I can Knock the door, right? If this group is going to let one little door discourage our efforts, I don't much like our chances of success. But, if that is.... unacceptable..." he glares at the dwarf quickly, "I suppose we may have to turn back."

"Have at it if you must, this temple already requires a stone working team to do repairs, as well as an extermination team to catch what we don’t, so one more door wont be that much more for them to repair. I just don’t want us going out of our way to break things if their is another way."

"One should never mistake, Master Calenon, careful consideration for inaction or discouragement. If you were prepared to gain entrance as such…” Aurelious paused and rethought his words. “but never mind. It is not my place to speak on your actions. I may suggest, however, that if the key is melted inside the lock,…” Aurelious turned to Richard, who by this time had opened a small hole under the door and was inserting two long wires into it. “would it be possible to melt the key to remove it from the lock completely? It might then be possible to open the lock via... alternative methods."

Richard did not hear him. He was looking into the small mirror he had inserted under the door. Which now lay facing the other side of the door. He could see a stone made mechanism built into the wall that attached to the other side of the door. This mechanism would obviously be pressed should the door be opened. It was a complex trap to be sure, and of excellent make, but…

"Wait! Nobody do anything! The door is trapped... a very old trap from the looks of it... quite intricate... I don't know what it's supposed to do or how not to make it do what it's supposed to do. I can try disarming it, but it would require studying it for some time."

Lorem backed from the door. "Yeah you study it, I am going to wait over here.“ He backed up some more. “better yet you study it and a couple of us can look down another hallway to see if there appears to be any more openings... Any takers?... I am not suggesting that we 'split up' but maybe we could speed things up a bit."

Aurelious held stead fast. "After our previous encounter, I would strongly advise we stay as a single group."

Calenon looked annoyed with the retreating Dwarf and the amount of time they had spent with a simple door. "It's simple. Richard, look at the trap. If you think you can disarm it, do it, and I will Knock the door. Otherwise, we will move on to somewhere else. This is getting quite ridiculous."

"Ok, Here goes nothing." Richard stood up and with his hammer and chisel and started to take out the brick where he felt the plunger would intersect with whatever that mechanism.

"Calenon, I suggest you take a moment to collect yourself. Your ire at the discussion of our course, given a door decorated as this is, serves only to harm our cause. I will not have us be rushed through here at risk to our lives because of your impatience." Thomas runs a free hand through his hair while giving another glance at his companions and the door. "Lorem I ask again, do you have any cause to believe something is sealed behind this door that we will likely wish to avoid if possible given this image? If not, then by all means Richard, disable the trap. I'll go whatever path the majority rules on. If you believe it may take some time though, Aurelious or Lorem and I could take a glance down the next hallway. I'd much prefer fighting in the open space of the room above than a space such as this and who knows if something else came to investigate the scene of our fight. I do not relish the idea of being pinned in."

“I know nothing of this door, as I've said before. But I agree that...” answered Lorem

“What did you say to m…” Calenon stepped forward interupting Lorem, when he was interrupted by a swear from the end of the room.

“Shit!” Richard exclaimed as he removed a brick from the wall. Attached to this brick there apparently a spring attached. The method Richard used to disarm the trap was apparently already thought of by the dwarves and had booby trapped the brick. A winding could be heard from in the wall.

Richard could only watch as, within the small space hollowed out for the trap, a huge stone fell puling a black chain. This chain was attached to the apex stone of the room they were going into.
He watched in horror as the chain snapped to a taught line which threatened to rip the apex stone from the wall thus causing the room to collapse in on itself. Richard’s mind raced as he watched the chain start to heave the stone out of position. Apparently a thousand years ago the stone was polished smooth so that it would pull right out, but the years had been heavy and the stones now pushed upon the apex with several tons of weight. He had only a second, he could jump to safety or… Richard reached out and discharged an open/close charge from his fore arm. The pin that held the counter weight to the chain flew out of the hole, just missed Richards head, and plated itself 1 inch into the solid stone across the hallway. The counted weight fell out of sight, followed seconds latter by a deafening crash. Richard opened his eyes and looked in the hole.

“Traps disarmed.”

Calenon smiled as he rolled up his sleeves. “Then let me do my part.” Calenon stared at the door, then spoke one word. “expositus” they heard crinkling metal as the seal unsealed itself and the mortar cracked as the door swung open.

The room was 40 feet in diamiter and dome shaped. The walls and floor were of that same black stone. The only part of the room that seemed out of place was the far wall which was flat and looked hastily built, although by dwarven hand. Upon the wall a massive seal was scribed; a mess of lines contained within a circle. Along with the seal are ancient dwarven characters. But this is not what drew the perty's attention. Sitting in the center of the room upon a black stone altar is a pile of gold and other treasures.

“Beyond this seal certain death awaits” Lorem read aloud from the wall, his voice echoing in the domed room. “This is what I feared. This is a tribute chamber to queen Aym. We should not be here and we should not, on penalty of our lives, touch the tribute. I’m sorry we spent so much time to get in here, but now we should leave.”

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Chapter 11: Sealed Door

Richard inspected the three hallways that left the burial chamber . To him each path looked the same except for small differences. The last path across the room on the right however was a different matter entirely. This path gave him pause. His normally stoic demeanor seems to give way to a sense of foreboding. He quickly backed up a few steps from the path's entrance, trying to gather himself.

"Richard," Thomas said as he stepped toward him, "are you alright? Perhaps you should rest a bit more to recover from the ghasts? At the very least take a drink of water, you still look as if you've seen hell itself."

Richard shook him off and turned too Lorem. “Is it likely that we would encounter traps?” He asked the dwarf.

"yes, best be on the lookout for them from now on."

“Then I’ll take point.”

“Yes, that’s fine, but which way do we go?” bit Calenon

"I propose we take the nearest pathway first," said Thomas, "but it is based on naught but whim. If anyone has a reason for choosing another direction first I would love to hear it."

Lorem stepped forward and checked the construction and build of each opening. He made note of subtle things such as the count of stones in each arch, weather the path is inclined or declined, if their is wind or odor carried through each path. The path closest to the corridor that they had entered from sloped down at a rate of five inches per ten feet. The path on the left across the room stays level and the path on the right across the room slopes down at a rate of two inches per ten feet. The construction of the paths were of the finest dwarves construction, but the height of the tunnels and the lack of ornamentation seemed to express quick construction. Unfortunately the same black stone that made up the walls seemed to continue.

“No clues, unfortunately. I agree with Thomas.” Lorem concluded.

"I would imagine the orb would have buried itself deep, and so whichever path takes us down fastest seems logical." Calenon chimed in as he leaned against one of the sarcophaguses. Eyeing Richard he added. “... And the first person who retches on me will have the rest of him splattered on the wall.”

"Logical...perhaps. But sometimes that which goes harder does not make the end, or to speak plainly in this case, the steeper slope not necessarily make it as deep. In some places, one may even have to go up to go down good elf. This closer pathway does appear to run steeper though so we shall find what there is to see." Thomas then turned his attention back to Richard. "If you are well enough, lead on Richard. If not, I cannot check for traps but I would be willing to take point."

“Don’t be stupid.” Richard said as he headed down their chosen path. Aurelious turned into stride behind him followed by Calenon, Thomas, and Finally, Lorem. The decent was indeed deep and black as night and silent of death. The only sound was that of their own feet as they marched downward.

Thomas decided to break the silence. “Loyal to the end you say? That whispers of an old tale to my ears Lorem. Would you mind sharing if you can recall it?"

His words were sharp and startled the travelers. Calenon shot him a look.

“I’m afraid I’m not sure what…” stumbled Lorem

“before… you said ‘This is the burial chamber of the first guard of Queen Aym. They were of the few that remained loyal to her to the bitter end. It feels like a story and I love stories."

Lorem frowned. "Ah, it is a tale worth hearing, but not here with their corpses amongst us. The dead can be upset by such tales. Especially told by one who despises the telling."
Silence once again filled the tunnel.

After ninety five feet they suddenly came to another black iron door. Carved into the door is a horrible relief, that of a creature with serpents for legs, coiled among themselves. The heavily muscled torso is draped in the finery of an empress, but where its head should be there are three. One is a lion, one is a bulls, and one is that of a dwarves woman. One of her hands carries a long metal rod and the other holds shut the lions mouth. The carving is so intricate that you can see the rings that adorn it’s fingers. above the door is a small bust of a screaming head wearing a melting crown.

“Creepy.” mutters Calenon

Richard tried the door and found it was locked. When he searched it for entrance he saw that the key had been snapped off in the key hole and heat had been applied melting the key effectively sealing the door. The only way they could get through this door was by forcing it or with magic.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Chapter 10: The Guard Room

Aurelious took a knee and began to give a prayer of thanks to his paytron god,Sol. As Thomas, haveing deemed that callenon was ok, just paralised, he began to pet and thank the wolf, giving it a bit of dried meat as a reward. The wolf took the meat without much pomp and circumstance, and he didn"t seem to mind being pet, but didn't seem to like it either. In fact the wolf did nothing except stare forward as if awaiting instruction. Thomas sighed and moved to the first coffin ad tried his best to right it.

"How long has it been since these catacombs were sealed Lorem? I wonder how many ways these creatures have to get in here or how many more there could be. I'd hope not many as they're still finding corpses to feed upon." He asked as he straigned at the sacophagus.

"These catacombs have not been unsealed sence the first age. I do not know how or why these creatures were here." replied Lorem as he aproched Lyn and Tordem who stood patiently awaiting instruction.

"The first age..." Thought Thomas. Thats thousands upon thousands of years ago. There must be great works of art kept in here from aichent times. Not to menttion stories. He had never heard of this place before, not in all his travels or stories heard. The bard noticed Aurelios rise from his prayer and aproch Calenon. He looked pale, but otherwise fine.

"I had wondered about the choice to carry four such blades at once, yet I hadn't imagined you've the strength and skill to use two at once. That's quite a feat Aurelious, have you always trained in such a manner? Perhaps training to carry the third in your mouth as well?" Thomas chuckled to himself, likely more amused than anyone else was at the comment.

Aurelious stood up from helping Calenon "Only one such blade as The Alexander exists, and there can be such times as I would wish not to wield it. Or, on occasion I would use my blades in a manner which may preclude their loss, or damage, such carelessness can never be applied to The Alexander. In certain rare cases a weapon may require... cleansing, before it would be right to draw upon it again. It is for such a circumstance, that I carry alternatives. As for why I would wield two, as opposed to focusing on one..."

He sheathed his sword and displayed his left hand. A fine silver chain wrapped around his left palm and fingers. The chain bears the symbol of Sol. It slightly obscures a strange mark on his palm.

"With two able arms, I could not let one only ASSIST in the service of Sol, and my own goal. They both serve, as do I."

"Two swords... what a waste of time." Richard chimed in. "Defeating your enemy with one stroke, before he even knows you're there... that is the mark of a fighter of TRUE prowess. On an unrelated note, does anyone know what those things did to me to make me feel as though I've been stricken with some illness and how to reverse it? Ugh... gonna lie down for a while..."

Richard ploped himself onto one of the unturned sarcophogi, much to Lorem's dismay.

"If you think true prowess comes from one well placed shot in stealth my gloomy friend, then I would call you mistaken. While you lose it all if stealth is unavailable or lost, those who train otherwise always have a chance. Not only is it common sense, but the stories that are passed around...they display the thoughts that ring true in mens' hearts about such things." Thomas replied. Then he paused momentarily."Don't think I look down upon you for such thoughts though Richard. For sometimes such advantage is truly the only way." Thomas then returned to trying to push the Sacophagus back into place.

"Lyn, Torden I thank you deeply for your service, but i fear i can not keep you. Return to where you came and rest well, for i may have to call on you again." Lorem spoke to his dogs.

"Aye, and don't hesitate to call either. We'll come too." barked Tordem

"after we've rested a bit" grumbled Lyn.

"Bah weakling, I haven't a scratch on me!"

"Because I took the hit for you."

"We'll discuss this latter. Now I hear the halls of Valhalla. Farewell Dwarf of the cloth may we meet again." and With a flash of lightning and a boom of thunder Tordem and Lyn dysapeared. Lorem then turned to Calenon and saw what he could do to help him.

Calenon had been poisoned, but he didn't seem to need healing, for the poison was just about to run it's course and unlike the others Calenon had managed to not let that foul smell affect him. He was bleeding profusely from a wound on his throat, but before Aurelious or Lorem could heal it, Calenon finally rose, with Lorem and Aurelious helping him to his feet.

"At least you didn't let me die from the bleeding throat wound," he said with only the smallest bit of sarcasm as he took out a potion and drank it. His would glowed with a soft blue light as the bleeding stoped and started to close, but failed to close completely before the blue light fadded.

"Ah, that's better." Calenon then looked around and seeeing the green in most everyone's faces quiped. "What's wrong with all of you? You look like you're going to retch all of you internal organs."

Aurelious and Lorem droped him and his shaky knees gave out. He landed with a plop on the floor. "very funny."

they went about the room placing everything right. The dwarves in the wals werte nothing but scelitons now and one could count over fifty lining the walls of the room. They all bore an aichent dwarven crest and a shield that laid attop of them. Every one caried a weapon of some kind with them into the grave, axes, short swords, longswords, hammers, all of exquisit make and quality. The Dwarves lying in the sarcophaguses all bore a warrios mantle and carried with them jewels neclases and rings. Four of the sarcophagi had been overturned, which, working together, managed to right. the bodies were still fleshy, despite the amount of time that had passed.

"The clerics must have blessed thier bodies to give them gentle repose." Lorem explained.

The four bodies had now been devoured by the two ghasts, but the remains were placed into the sacophagi anyway and resealed. Aichent Dwarven runes covered tyhe walls, out lining the alcoves. The runes on the sarcophogi were painstakingly etched and carvings of each dwarf were carved into the cover stone of each one.

"This is the bural chamber of the first guard of Queen Aym." Lorem explained. "They were of the few that remained loyal to her to the bitter end."

Thomas turned to Lorem. "Do you know the way, or must we test a path here?"

"I have never been here and plans to this place have long sence been lost. we must forge our own path. From what I can tell there are four exits from this room, one is the way we came, the others hold the unknown."

The companians stood tring to decide thier path.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Chapter 9 (fin): Dust to Dust

Munda wretched, as the grave mist receded. The creature once again took control and it rolled out of harms way and then crawled to its feet. But the creature could not run, It could not fight, it could only stand in awe of the god of death that had visited it. Oblivious to it’s surroundings the creature stared at the dwarf.

Still not entirely aware of what had happened. Richard saw a wide opening just open in the creature in front of him. He pulled his dagger and pulled back to strike. Then he stopped. Not only had the creature opened it self up, but it was no longer fighting. Richard shook it off and pulled back again. This thing is evil, it should be destroyed.

But… He thought to himself. Evil horrible monsters usually don’t stop fighting in the middle of a battle. And What the hell is that Dwarf doing! And what the hell is with this mist!
Richard switched to a defensive stance. He was no fool. He knew that if you acted without knowing the situation, the consequences could be dire. A lesson he had learned all to well. If that thing attacks though, he would be ready for it.

Across the room Kung had felt the presence of the death god too. In life he had learned from a traveling wise man. That gods took many forms and sometimes when the Gront sent there spirit messengers for your soul it came in the form of animals. The mountain elves believed that the wolf was a messenger of death. Kung was tired. He could feel the disease rotting his very soul start to take control again and he didn’t want that. He wanted to go and finally shed his mortal coil. That’s when he turned his head and saw the messenger of death sent by the Gront. It loomed great before him it‘s black paws reaching and it‘s long snout filled with razor sharp teeth come to rend his soul from his body. It hung in mid air as it lunged mid strike. “so the ancestors have called me finally” he said allowed “then I shall go.” Kung closed his weary eyes.

Thomas’s wolf leaped at the creature and pulled him to the ground. With a swift jerk to the right it’s neck was broken and it’s head was ripped from the body. The wolf spat and whined as it withdrew leaving the skeletal creature lie there. Then with a ghostly howl the creature melted away into dust.

Thomas stepped forward drawing Alase and inspected the remains. “ well I guess that’s one down.” He turned to his wolf. "Figure's I'd pull something out with a strong sense of smell," Thomas thought to himself, "Poor thing, but I'd best see to Calenon first." He looked at Calenon’s limp body as it lay paralyzed at his feet.

Meanwhile Lyn took his chance and jumped at the creature, but to his surprise it moved out of the way and parried his blow. “He can still protect himself I see.” Lyn whined. Lorem readied his sling and a rock. Raising it above his head and started swinging it as he pointed at the last remaining Brother and said in a dark and commanding tone.

"finish him"

A response came from behind him.

"Radiance." Shining upon Aurelious’s breast bore a pendant that shone with light. Aurelious charged the last creature. With his nostrils accustomed to the smell and the sickness thwarted by his own will, this time there was nothing to stop him. He reached back and put his right hand upon a second bastard sword and drew it as he leapt at his enemy.

Munda had felt the loss of his brother and struggled with the rotting illness to let him go. He felt lost without his brother. He had followed his brother in life and death he hadn’t crossed him since the day he died. He had to be free!

“You loved your brother?” The voice came from nowhere and yet everywhere.


“Than go to him.”

Alexander, with one swing, separated the soul from the corpse and let it slip into the Either. The body turned to dust before it hit the ground.

Aurelious sheathed his swords.

“well that’s done” Torden said and turned toward Lorem who lowered his sling. Lyn joined him still bleeding severely from the side. If that’s all we will go back to Valhalla now. Or do you request other service from us?”

“Please make it quick.” added Lyn.

Thomas sheathed his sword as he looked at Calenon. “Nice robes”

Richard put away his dagger as he sniffed the air. “the smell has all but diapered.” he remarked. The wolf sneezed.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Chapter 9 (con): A past revieled

"Not getting any better is it?"

Calenon moved over to Aurelious and pointed his staff at him. He slowly moved the end of the staff in a circle leaving a trail of light in the air. As the light completed the circle the face of a bear appeared.. “Calabrogh.” Calenon said softly and moved the end of the staff through the circle at the end of the staff and touched it upon Aurelious’s shoulder. As he did so Aurelious visibly straightened and became seemingly more … healthy.

"Looks like we'll be here a…."

The horrendous, overpowering smell was the only warning he had before teeth, which paused only a moment at the field surrounding his body, sank into his neck. (11hp dmg) Calenon could feel the poison spread and overwhelm his senses and he sank to the floor in a heap.

Howling with anger and pain from the burning acid, the horror sitting on the sarcophagus had jumped off and charged at Calenon. Both Thomas and Lorem were close enough now to smell the stench surrounding the creature, but they we prepared and kept their wits about them. Aurelious who sat on the floor smelled the creature again, and it sent his mind whirling. But he felt stronger, and his mind settled on what his father had said that fateful day he had given Aurelious Alexander. Aurelious was on his feet in a flash, he still felt sick, but He was a wolf bane… And there was foulness to purge. He drew Alexander and glew with a holy light.

Mean while across the room, Lyn striked again, but the second brother is ready and quickly steped to the side. He lunged to take out the wounded dog, but stumbled and instead lands face first on the ground. His head hitting stone with a sickening crack. Just a few feet away Richard was stirring, he shuttered and pulled, finally propping himself up upon the side of a sarcophagus. His eyes were met with a strange sight, two golden dogs were attacking some horrible monstrosity. Then his mind came back to him. He struggled to his feet as the last of the paralysis was removed by the natural processes of his body. He pulled his dagger and prepared to join the fray.

“Munglamu!” Thomas exclaimed in the Entmarkian tongue, cursing at the creature. “I had such witty banter prepared!” Unstrapping the rust colored bag from his side that he had picked up from one of the many Entmarkian spell weaver merchants back in Hedon, Thomas continued speaking. "I suppose I should let a friend come out to play as well." Pulling out a small fuzzy spherical object he tossed it towards the ghast hit by Calenon's spell. Upon impact it suddenly grew and shifted into a timber wolf, common on the Entmarkian hills. Ordering it to attack, Thomas again switched from his lute to his weapons expecting the worst.

The wolf had none of the pomp and circumstance as the dog brothers, for he was an ordinary wolf that lived in the bag. He had lived there, obeying whatever command was given to him by the master of the bag, since he had been caught in the hills on a hunting foray. He didn’t really know why he should obey, just that he should, which, for a wolf, was good enough. The wolf then attacked leaping as if upon bunny, or dear. But this was not a bunny. He got a whiff of the smell of that horrible thing and squealed in alarm and pain, missing his chance.

"go for the jugular" Lorem cried from across the room.

Torden needed no further prodding and seized his chance. He leapt upon his downed foe and ripped at his jugular, tearing it completely away from his body. He held his head high in triumph, holding up the bit of torn flesh as a dark sludge oozed from the wound he caused. But to his dismay and horror the creature ignored the attack rolling over to knock Torden off his back. Torden was stunned, things were supposed to die when you rip out their jugulars… It was about this time when he realized that the taste in his mouth was beyond the realms of horror and quickly spat the foul stuff out.


Lorem rose his voice above the din of battle. He dropped the weapon in his hand and drew his holy symbol from around neck. It was shaped like that of a sealed gate with a hammer in front sealing the doors.

"your time in this place has long since ended. You have been defeated either by steel or disease or old age before, but now you think you can cheat and have new life!" Then Lorem issued his decree: "You have cheated at the most holy of holy games and now you must be punished"

Channeling the power that welled within him into the holly symbol, the light on the end of Calenon’s staff flickered as a graveyard mist flowed out from under Lorem’s feet. It swirled and twisted until it found it’s way too the two brothers. They looked and saw the gates of hell forming behind Lorem as they had been called there before, but they had not gone. They could not go, for their life had been torn from them by the same horrible creatures that they had become.

Munda and Kung had been hiking in the mountains of the windswept wall. Brothers, they did everything together. They even had their eyes on the same woman; a young girl named Kita. “I tell you she wants me. Did you not see the way she looked at me?” Munda proclaimed.

“No, I didn‘t, and she was probably drunk, because she kissed me last night in the stables!”

“She what?! You lie!”

“Face it brother, you just can’t stand up to your magnificent older brother.”

“Like hell I can’t!” And with that Munda punched Kung in the face. Kung hit back and it wasn’t long before the two were wrestling on the ground, unable to see or hear the things that were crawling up out of the holes around them. Finally Kung won the upper hand and pinned Munda to the ground.

“see,” Kung said, panting, “told ya, you couldn’t beat me.” Exhausted, Munda looked up at his brother, his mind filled with anger and frustration. Then he saw his brothers heart get ripped from his chest.

Munda screamed and tried to pull away, but he was surrounded by horrible black skeletal hands. He felt claws pierce his side and a cold poison run through his veins. His brother was pulled from atop of him and disappeared from his view. He couldn’t move he realized as he struggled to run, he had been paralyzed. Suddenly something hit his face. He looked down and saw his brothers hand sitting on his chest. He tried to scream. To run. Anything! But all he could hear were the sounds of horrible munching and chewing as his brother was devoured.

He felt his head being propped up. He could see for the first time the empty shell of his brother as one of the creatures sucked his eye ball from his scull with a sickening pop. His eyes were full of tears, that he couldn’t blink away. Then the horrors, bent down … and opened him up. He felt it as they ate him, tearing at his insides, to better scrape out his meat. Finally he had passed out from the pain. He felt light as he floated in the darkness. In the distance he could see the gates of the underworld, where he wished to go. But something held him back. The creatures finally exacted their last monstrosity. His soul struggled for after life but he was pulled back; warped into the ghast he is now. Now he exists only to feed on the flesh of others, and he had been eating for a long time. Funny, he still followed his brother.

But this dwarf had reminded him of what he once was. Grief stricken and awed he shrunk away from this messenger of death. Both of the creatures shrunk away from Lorem as he finished his words. Both seem to have lost their will, unsure of what to do next.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Chapter 9(con): A Few Flashes of Light

“mor!” Calenon swore loudly as he saw Aurelious and Richard laid low. Faced with the situation at hand, Thomas quickly shuffled through his mental notes. Undead. Undead. Undead. Wait. There was that dwarf at the Wa-wa Greco, that bar on the far side of Hedon. What did he say again? Oh yes…

“Nær Moridan Skjegg! The undead are all over the northern mountains nowadays! It’s gitten how ya can’t even walk outside the main caves anymore without some Ghoul attacking you. Wha? Hell no Ghouls aint that tough, clever, but just tap em and they go down. Naw! Whatcha gotta watch out for are the Ghasts! Another Yams Piss over here, with extra lemon! Those bastards got the paralyzing touch, disease riden bite, and to top it off, they got the stench of hell hangen round em! Git within ten feet and you get all sick and pale like a son of Aym ‘er self!” He spat, “But see the trick is the stench acts like a poison, so a cleric can remove the sickness just quick as can be, not to mention turn the bastards and have Moradin shove em back into the cages of Adamander! Just don’t get near em, that’s all. Where’s my Yam Piss!”

“Huh. Wish I had remembered that earlier…” Thomas lamented as he pulled out his lute, given to him by his master and crafted by some of the finest craftsmen in Hedon. Jumping into action Thomas quickly rattled off: “ Lorem, If Ada…Mordin permits, you can remove their afflictions as you would a poison and the paralysis as you would remove … paralysis. Now here goes nothing!”

Lacking the time to prepare proper light Thomas chose a more available light source emanating from Calenon’s staff. His choice in mind he called up the ancient spirits of Entmark and began The Chant of the Noonday Sun:

A soft strum on the lute brought a strange hush over the room as time momentarily stood still. The shadows danced and crept toward the light as it seemed to fade, but if you looked at the small lighted crystal at the end of Calenon’s staff, you would say it was on fire. Thomas’s voice, deep and broken in the ancient Entmarkian tongue, sand out into the room in a rhythmic dance.

“Out of darkness solstice night,
Blessed Mother births the Light
As the burning noonday sun”

The lute strummed again, as Thomas added his patented flair to the traditional Entmarkian chant. The light which was now a bright flame danced and flickered to the music.“Lady weave your circle tight Spin a web of golden lightinto the burning noonday sun”The Lute twanged as the light finally could not be contained within it’s crystalline shell and broke free filling the room with a blinding flash of light. The skeletons of the ancient dwarves are caught in frame as the flash light the room. The horror sitting on the sarcophagus was caught off guard and his eyes glazed over. His head swam as if in a daze.

“From the night the Light reborn,
Out of darkness into morn
We are of the infinite sun.”

The bard finished with one final strum as the light in the cave returned to it’s normal gloomy condition.

“Just like a bard, all flash and no practicality!” Calenon exclaimed as he backed himself to the doorway just next to Thomas. He reached into a pouch at his side and pulled out a small black gooey blob which he placed in the palm of his hand while he began the magic mantra. This hand began to form signs, mashing the gooey something into a paste, which he mixed with a pinch of powder from his pouch. His mantra grew pore pronounced as the spell neared completion. Finally he drew a small dart from his bag and placed it upon the goo in his palm up hand. The mixture started to glow a phosphorescent green as Calenon finished the spell. “Addak Randan Aido!” and with that he flicked the dart toward the ghastly thing sitting burnt and dazed upon the sarcophagus. The dart seemed to melt in mid air forming a phosphorescent streak across the room, and for just a second, it seemed to form into a viper, right before it struck the creature in the chest. The creature screamed as it was broken from it’s haze. The liquid on it’s chest bubbled and fizzled cracking and breaking the skin where it touched, the creatures black blood oozing out from his chest.

Calenon Smirked.

“well mine didn’t require me to get krap on my hand…” Thomas remarked

Calenon scowled and wiped his hand on Thomas’s shoulder.

Meanwhile Aurelious drug himself to his feet and stumbled back to the door way next too Thomas and Calenon He pulled out Alexander and said “I now call upon your power.”
“then draw it forth. Or are you to weak?” asked the voice. He lowered Alexander in disgust as doubled over again. He had to calm down and keep his head. He could not let his emotions get to him as they had. Well at least he’d keep his eyes on one of them, at least.
Richard, on the other hand, tried to move his body but found he couldn’t. "Oh crap, I'm paralyzed!" Richard thought to himself.

Unbeknown to them Lorem was completing his own “spell” as he sat behind one of the sarcophagi. His small mutterings that mixed the celestial language and that of ancient Dwarfish crescendoed into a shout.

“Adamander få vite мой молитва. Send me strength for victory and valor and let me face my fate with courage, and should I not receive victory let me die with honor! Send me the formynder of Valhalla!”

Suddenly there is a bright flash of lightning, which again illuminated the bodies that line the room, casting eerie shadows upon the walls. Then, suddenly, the walls shook with a resounding boom. There, Sitting next to Richard, in a thinly veiled smoke, were two large dogs with colors of extremely fine Dwarvin make. They looked like large Bernese mountain dogs with a black coat with white stomach fur, but both seemed to have a golden holy glow about them. On there collars were tags. One had the picture of a lightning bolt and the other had the picture of a storm cloud. Lorem suddenly heard two voices in his head.

“it is I Torden!”

“and me Lyn”

“And together me are Lyn and Torden, the form…” A terrible howl filled the room as the two celestial dogs smelled the foul stench of the creatures. Lyn seemed to sneeze and be rid of the smell, but Torden stuck his tail between his legs and grew sickly looking.

“what would you have Lyn and Torden do?”

“guard the man laying next to you.”

“You need not worry about him any more! Come Torden! Too battle!”

“I don’t feel so good…”

“You shouldn’t have eaten before we left!”

Lorem stopped listening to the dogs and jumped to his feet. He wanted to see what this terrible smell was that had the power to down a grown man. Carefully he moved toward the creature still reeling from the acid splattered across his chest. He took a sniff and nearly was sick himself, but he pulled himself together and backed off. It would be best to deal with these things from afar as he could taste the poison in the air.
As Torden and Lyn took position by Richards body, the other ghastly brother, unaware of flashes of light and summoned dogs, only knew that there was fresh meat just on the other side of this sarcophagus. He got up and moved around, to find himself next to two prepared holy dogs.

“we smite thee!” The dogs barked and attacked the monster. Torden ripped at his left hand and Lyn tore into his calf. Not only were the dogs vicious, but their attacks carried with them the power of holy force. But the Horror does not stand there without a fight. He slashes a huge gash along Lyn’s right side, blood dripping from his black claw.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Chapter 9 (con): All is not well

Calennon is the first to spring into action. "Oh wonderful, walking corpses. MOVE!" Calenon yelled as he shoved Aurelious out of the way. Speaking in the ainchen Draconian toung, Calenon formed three strange sighns with his hands. Finnishing the spell with “Hruckts no Brisigger!” Calanon pointed a finger at the closest creature sitting utop a sarcophagus. From his finger a torrent of red fire is unleashed, briefly taking the form of an arrof before washing over the monster. The creature howled in rage as blisters formed on it’s rotting flesh where the flames licked him.

Thomas held back a shiver at the sight of the abominations. While the creatures are undeniably horrifying to gaze upon, it was currently a case of two versus five. Resisting the urge to hang back, Thomas withholds the use of spells or song. Instead, drawing Alasse in one hand and his silver broadblade short sword in the other he watched as the thing was washed in fire and seemed to show no signs of retreating. Being still in the small hallway at the back of the party Thomas took a step forward, redied, and resured himself. "Let's see what these creatures are capable of. I'd rather have more distance from what we've yet to see during a fight anyway."
Meanwhile the second ghastly brother threw away his heart and jumped off his sarcophagus lumbered forward and disappeared from sight behind the sarcophagus where his brother was standing.

Ipsom, Infuriated and anticipating a short battle, pushed past Thomas Richard and Aurelious inorder to attack the closest creature, but his legs being to short to carry him all the way in time he instead takes a position behind one of the closer sarcophagi for cover against whatever these creatures could dish out at range.

Richard pulls a long black dagger and rushes forward, but as he draws within ten feet of the creature the steach grows unbearable and he recoils from the reak. It’s smell is more terrible than imagination can serve. Like rotting flesh steaped in soured milk but ladden and heavy in the air so that one can tast it. Shruging it off he presses forward but when he encountered the smell of shit and fresh puke mixed with it, he dry heaved, a cold sweat breaking out over his body. He felt weak and sickly. Was this a power these things had? Sicked, Richard lashed out at the creature sitting on the sarcophagus, but in his current state was only able to hit air. The creature grinned, showing a row of pitchblack, rotting black teeth as it reached out with a burnt claw and grabbed Richards face. (6hp dmg) The creature yanked at Richards face, moving it closer to its mouth. But with one twist Richard escaped it’s grasp and faced it again afresh. Then Richard blinked. He couldn’t feel his legs. A cold was flowing through his veins as they permeated his body leaving him paralyzed. He tried to fight it, but it over whelmed him. The last thing he saw as his face hit the floor with a sickening crack, was the black eyes of grinning creature.

By this time Aurelious had moved forward and he too reeled as the smell hit him. He scowled and said "Sin against he who is above all... Your dust shall salt the earth!!" as he shook it off just as Richard did. Suddenly the second stench hit him. He was taken back to the sending ceremony of his father, the incense, the horrible smell of that room, and his fathers screaming as they tore at his soul… Aurelious doubled over splattering his wonderful breakfast over the black floor of the chamber. Tasting the bile, he unleashed a torrent of puke. He felt weak and asked Sol to help him. He threw up again to the laughter of the ghastly brothers.