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Campaign #5 involved new characters based in and around the old Jandarr Empire. the campaign was run over the course of one academic year and took the characters from first level to eighth. They had very little to do with the previous campaign and characters, although a few little nods and run-ins were bound to happen eventually...
The adventure started in an inn in Amesbury, in the south of the recently formed nation of Jandarr, where a purveyer of artefacts called Devron Lorimer gathered together a group of adventurers in order to retrieve a lost artefact for him. The group he gathered was four in number: Wade, a young acolyte of Choadra, who had been 'lent' to Lorimer for the time being, Talindra, a grey elf with extraordinary mental powers and muscles to boot, Andaris, a hin (halfling) mage with a height issue, and Gabriel, a human boy from humble origins with a love for polishing.
Their mission took them to an inn off the beaten track, where they had to face kobolds and hobgoblins in order to recover the artefact, which was a crown allegedly belonging to Cearoc, last Sorcerer-King of Dirrium. The group worked together to defeat a very hard priest of Agorageranon and wrested the crown from the grasp of the lead hobgoblin, who perished disappointingly quickly. They then returned to Amesbury, cheered by their success.
In Amesbury, the Duke was impressed with their bravery, for in recovering the Crown they had also dealt with a serious bandit problem. He gave them steeds of their own (although Andaris took an alsation) and they waited in the city for a few days, as Lorimer had not returned. Andaris got himself a familiar, Fezzik, a small and rather cute kitten. However, Lorimer did not appear to be returning and eventually his sister, Cerys, asked the party to go and look for him. They agreed, heading off northwards towards the town of Aldermere, where he had been supposedly going.
The journey across the countryside was swift, although there was a run-in with some Albadian battle-dogs, which mauled the party and a horse very badly. Sadly, the party couldn't work out why they were on the loose, or who had loosed them.
In Aldermere, they learnt that Lorimer had left the town at high speed by boat, pursued by a strange man. Deeper investigations showed that Lorimer's departure was unexpected and that he was heading for a town called Highswater, in Sepria. The party therefore hired a boat and sped off across the lake after him.
Despite Andaris' insistence that water was a bad thing, the journey was quite peaceful. Admittedly, Talindra's sword vanished and everyone blamed the bard she had shagged until it returned with blood on it. They stopped in one town to help put out a fire and learn that the ship carrying Lorimer had been under assault from whoever was following them - they had bought a ballista to keep their mystery attacker at bay. Leaving, they continued the journey to Highswater.
The town of Highswater was walled and well-defended with a number of unusual rules, including a fine for anyone drawing a weapon within the city limits. There the party had a series of interesting encounters: they found that Lorimer and his follower had had a fight in the market, involving magic - Lorimer was released but the other guy escaped from jail. Wade was attacked by a woman called Parannah, who wanted to take the crown from him. Andaris helped Wade fight her off, but she didn't die and the two were fined. Andaris met a sweet halfling bard called Minaya, and they talked a great deal. The party also helped out the town guard by putting paid to a purple worm infestation under the abandoned temple of Kalir.
The party wanted to follow their erstwhile employer, so they decided to leave, but Andaris wanted to rehabilitate Parannah, so he paid her fines and had her released into his custody, offering her to travel with the party for a while. Sadly, she was killed the next night when her husband and some ghouls assaulted the sleeping group. Everyone was shocked and they buried her with heavy hearts.
In the next town they learnt that there had been reports of undead in the area and that the man who was chasing Lorimer was none other than Marcus Grendall, hero of the Jandarr Empire. The group was panicked but were determined to chase Lorimer down anyway, so followed his trail. Ultimately this resulted in them getting a ship to Agatan, capital of the Jandarr Empire, but along the way, romance blossomed between Wade and Talindra...
The acolytes here at the Temple of Choadra have kindly given me some paper so that I can start to write all this down. We're on our way to Agatan to get rid of this damn crown. We entered Highswater a couple of days ago, the guys decided to spruce themselves up, hair cuts and new clothes all around! We stayed once again in 'The Green Dragon' and remembered to ask Min about it this time.
We had a bit of a 'bonding' moment, when it came out that we feel like a family! It's nice because I don't really remember mine. Wade and I finally managed to talk about us, we decided to use the rings from Andaris to help create gifts to commemorate us as a party, rather than me and Wade getting together. It was a set of four daggers with our names engraved on them, Talindra, Wade, Andaris and Gabriel.
Dined with Min and I invited a young lady called Louise to join us, Gabe seemed rather taken with her, I do enjoy to match-make! Had a lovely evening with lots of singing and dancing. Gabe made a wonderful comment about noise from Wade and myself, I was so embarrassed, and it didn't stop us sharing that night though!
We were woken early, before dawn by the ground shaking, an earth tremor. Apparently it happens every few years. Gabe found out about a meteor hitting a mountain about 20 years ago that caused great upheaval. I wanted to stay in town longer, but Andaris wished to leave at lunchtime. I only had time to visit Min, the poor thing was a little upset and I felt so guilty seeing as it was me who had introduced them -just go and stroke his dog, were the words I used I believe. I was intending to ask her along, just to the next town, but couldn't.
We left town to travel west to the river. Camped in the wilderness last night, I was a little preoccupied with writing to Torus. I suppose I was a tad secretive about the notes, but its because its all exciting! As usual on my watch we were attacked, always happens on my watch! Two dog-headed creatures, wielding axes attacked. Andaris sizzled them with an impressive ball of flame. The bodies disappeared though, Andaris doesn't know what they are. The axes were left behind, they had markings on like the tattoo Wade had found on the body of Pirannah's husband.
Traveling took up most of the day, until we reached the crossroads, where a bird guided Wade here to Lilliput, to the temple of Choadra, to collect/receive his promotion. The guys are in the temple for evening service, religion isn't really my thing. I have spent the afternoon sat in these beautiful gardens. Wade gambled with a young acolyte called Scott and won himself a deck of cards. He also gave the axes to his High Priest here to see if he could help. Andaris is gesturing to me from the temple doorway - something about the High Priest I think. He is a daft fool at times.
Last night at dinner, the High Priest told us what he could about the axes, something to do with the undead, urgh... always gives me the creeps! The notes appeared to bother Wade a little, so I left one on the table for him to read when I retired. I can't read him at all, I never know how he's feeling! I was disturbed a few hours later by a commotion next door in Wade's room. Naturally I rushed out of my room to find Scott and Andaris stood in Wade's doorway, inside Wade was stood on one side of his upturned mattress and the two creatures with dog heads were on the other side. His nose looked like it had been mushed across his face. Apparently Wade had put the axes under the mattress and the two creatures had appeared there. Gabe soon joined in, he's picked up the useful habit of wearing something to bed unlike the other two! Scott rushed off to get help. I was pretty useless, the creature resisted my power, then I'd forgotten my sword so I had to return to me room. Andaris has since told me that I missed a spectacular death blow delivered by Gabe, which involved lots of nifty sword work before he sliced its head off. The guys quickly finished off the second creature. They were a little battered though. The High Priest promised to destroy the axes. Andaris had to accept a blue potion from Scott, he did look beaten up, poor little chap! Wade dealt with Gabe and himself, it was quite amazing to watch his nose reset itself - I do like his nose though! We were up early again this morning for Wade's ordination. It was a nice ceremony, but the High Priest turned a lock of his hair grey, it makes him more distinguished and I suppose its growing on me now! The guys bought some souvenirs, Andaris bought a pipe and Gabe bought a symbol.
Spent the rest of the day traveling on back to the junction and then onto Seriph. The guys wanted to change watches to prove if its me who's attracting the 'evil'. So we reversed them - me first, then Wade, Gabe and Andaris. Andaris has been telling me that he can now create a bigger ball of flame. He's becoming more and more obsessed by fire, that's a little worrying. I'll be keeping a close eye on him. My watch passed uneventfully -yey! I don't attract evil! Wade crushed me when he said it had only been one night. He could have been happy for me.
It started to rain in the night and continued today. We spent the day traveling. The only thing of note was that we passed a group of dwarves who had come from Seriph and who assured us that the road was free from bandits. Again, my watch that night passed peacefully, well there was a small human-shaped creature with bat-like wings and green cat eyes. We blinked a lot, it didn't attack so all was well. The rest of night passed uneventfully.
I put the guys through a bit of singing, mainly that I don't attract evil! Once again we traveled. After lunch though we saw two white things drop from the sky. Gabe reckoned that he could see something flying high up. Naturally we hurried over, these things had fallen very quickly. We found an elf, just alive, with a wing, the other was lying a few feet away, the second white thing. Wade did his healing thing and eventually the elf came around. His name is Kyphonel Plurfyrathol or Kyph. He is a Sky Elf, I do remember bits about them, they're very rare because they spend their lives above the clouds, they live in huge floating citadels or something. Kyph told us that he was part of a guard and had gone off to investigate, when he had got stuck in a fight with a harpy, but he reckons there was more than one. Poor thing was extremely unbalanced with one wing, we said that he could come with us to Seriph, where he may be able to get his wing reattached.
I said that he could ride with me, Wade did something to Lucky, which meant that she could bear us both! Kyph needed a lot of things explained as went, poor thing was bloodstained and still weary. I tried to see if Wade was a little jealous, I'd be jealous if a woman was riding with him and holding on as hard as Kyph was! I couldn't tell though. We found an inn called 'A Day's Rest' and decided to stay the night. We all took baths, Wade and I shared. Kyph looked much better, when he had bathed and changed his clothes, white and blue, very nice!
Had to explain the various foods to him, before he chose his dinner. We all decided on early nights, and naturally Wade and I were sharing.
Tried to find a horse for Kyph, but none were available so we had to share. It was amusing watching Kyph pick through his fried breakfast. Andaris and I fought over the leftovers. Again, a day of traveling, pointing things out to Kyph as we went. No inn that night, I took the first uneventful watch, I don't attract evil! Kyph offered to take a watch, but Wade persuaded him that he needed to rest. I stayed up with Wade, at one point we noticed that some tress were not moving in the wind right. He went to investigate and saw that the trees had features! I dredged my memory and remembered treemen. I explained to Wade that they were usually good and despised evil, and had been known to kill orcs and goblins! We snuggled down to sleep. Gabe felt the need to wake Wade in his watch to tell him about the trees. Woke me up too! I think I muttered something and went back to sleep. Wade is remarkably good at keeping me warm.
Traveling until mid-afternoon. We passed a gallows on the way into Seriph. There was a skeleton corpse in a cage, it was still fleshy, and it was only there for robbery! We reached Seriph, less well guarded than Highswater, we got in and found a nice suitable inn. Then we went our separate ways for the afternoon. I went shopping and bought a pretty purple dress and a baby kobold and named her Drusilla or Dru for short. I bought her for a number of reasons, firstly to prove to Andaris that its upbringing that makes a person, nurture not nature and secondly, a need to mother. I spent the rest of the afternoon in the pub.
Andaris toddled off to the college of Magic and I think he was successful because he kept telling me that he had two really important scrolls. Sweet thing told me that he thought that purple was my colour and had no problems with Dru. Fezzick took a little while to get use to her but Andaris explained that she was my kitten, then there was a cute moment!
Gabe went off and returned with no armour and a green cloak? Dru seems to worry him a little, I don't know why. Wade meanwhile took Kyph off shopping, Kyph bought some new clothes and was able to return my cloak, which I had lent him so that he could cover his one wing. Wade returned him to the inn, before heading off to the temple of Choadra, unfortunately they do not have the Ö skill to help Kyph, so Wade trekked off to another temple, female healers or something, they have the skill but it will cost Kyph 4000 gold pieces! When he returned, Wade didn't seem to care about Dru.
We pondered what we could do to help Kyph over dinner. Fortunately a couple of town guards came in and nailed up a sign offering a lot of gold to the people who apprehended the nasty or nasties that murdered people in the sewers. We had done relatively the same sort of work in Highswater. After dinner, all except Wade set off to the Guard's House. Wade returned to the temple for the rest of the evening. We spoke to the Captain of the Guard, she stressed the urgency of the situation. Andaris is going to examine the bodies in the morning, we can also collect part-payment - 400 gold pieces each.
Back in the pub we tried to decided if Kyph should come with us or not. It does mean extra money and he kindly offered to carry Dru around for me. Means I do have to go and get something to carry the little dear in.
Wade offered to sleep somewhere else last night. I am a little upset, maybe Dru disturbs him, I don't know, I just wish he'd say something though. I took Kyph shopping so that he could buy some armour and a bow. I bought a few bits and pieces for Dru. We took Wade and Andaris over to the temple of Diam to examine the bodies. They came to the conclusion that the bodies had been stabbed and clawed.
Off we went to see Catherine, who paid us, all but Andaris left the case in her care. Better not to have it on us, when we get slaughtered! A young guard called Jeremy, I think, escorted us to the sewer entrance and waited there for us in case we needed anything. It was foul and smelly, poor Andaris was knee deep in sewage. We found a room with four decaying humans with long purple tongues and glowing red eyes. Gabe managed to take out all four, mainly because he was blocking the corridor and when Wade got past he was frozen by one of the creatures and could only manage to slightly move an eyebrow for about 10 minutes, poor guy!
We went on, but I heard something behind us, more of these creatures! This time, Wade 'turned' them and they exploded in a way, the one left just ran away. It was pretty impressive of Wade, last time he tried they just ran away. We found a wooden floored room, which contained ten walking corpses! Wade did his impressive skill again and five of them exploded! I managed to get one with my trusty plank of wood. Gabe got another. The floor creaked and suddenly we were plunged into a lake. Wade looked quite hurt. Andaris had the common sense to climb onto a table and used it as a raft. Apart from Kyph, it took the rest of us a while to reach the beachy shore. A couple of times it looked like Gabe was going to need rescuing by Wade. I am starting to see Andaris' phobia of water!
There was an archway covered in runes and a silver symbol. We thought it could be a religious symbol, but it rang no bells with any of us. Further up the corridor was a bronze seal set into the floor, with the symbol again and runes of protection. Once over it, Gabe's sword would no longer light up and Wade admitted he had felt different this side of it. Came to the conclusion that it was all to do with the Gods.
At a junction, Wade was set upon by two creatures with big hair. It took a bit of work to get rid of them. Andaris did his little fire ball thing again! It seemed to chase one of the creatures, Gabe finished them off. Andaris moved his fire down the corridor, past the seal and then it disappeared, not sure why though! Looking at the bodies, they were dressed in what could have been robes and carried symbols. I picked one up, just in case. There were three doors, each blocked by a tablet with the symbol on. Gabe bashed through one with his sword.
In the new corridor, I felt the urge to open one of the doors, into a room with three of the long tongued creatures. I fought off two and Wade had the last one. We found a few treasures and together found a secret door, which left to a unfinished room full of rotting bodies and a crack which could have been caused by the earth tremor a couple of days ago, which was when the trouble here started.
We found a room with a desk and a hovering, glowing sword. The sword was within a circle covered in 12 signs. Being impetuous, I grabbed the sword. Andaris searched the desk and found a letter. It was incredibly old, written by the then High Priest of Naloram. The temple had been under attack and they had been reanimating their dead to enlarge their forces. Andaris put the letter in his scrollcase. Of course, everything of mine was soggy, must buy a waterproof bag! In the next room, Gabe and Andaris found an unusual creature, which was very dangerous according to Andaris. It looked liked a puddle from where I was stood.
Back to the junction, and bashed through the next door. Gabe opened a door and we were faced by a chapel full of zombies and skeletons. Here was where I believe Andaris lost control of his senses slightly! He fire-balled the room, fire filled the room which was great, a lot of nasties fell, but he caught Gabe in the blast. Poor Gabe looked particularly singed, no eyebrows or hair! I understand that he helped, but he must have known it was going to catch Gabe. Will be keeping even more of an eye on Andaris' pyromania! Wade had to heal Gabe, but his usual strength was strained because of being in another God's area.
Wade opened the next door, which was a closet full of shrieking purple fungus. The door behind him opened and wights and skeletons poured into the corridor. It was quite a struggle, even Fezzick joined in too. Andaris then went rushing off and opened more doors through which we saw an altar with a body pinioned to it by a sword. Above that hovered a ghost. It was a tough fight, at times our weapons swept right through it. Andaris tried releasing the body from the alter, I tried speaking the name of the High Priest, it simply glared. We eventually overcame it, as it disappeared it asked Naloram why had he left them. I know these people were evil, but the pain caused by the abandonment must have been huge and we have no idea how long he was here. I couldn't help but feel sorry for him, I wonder how Wade would feel if Choadra left him. Andaris thought the altar was what was reanimated the corpses, Wade wouldn't let him try, I wouldn't have been entirely comfortable. We did find some treasures inside the altar.
We went back to the room where the creatures had jumped out of, it was full of sleeping pallets. When we returned to the corridor, there were four zombies sat on the altar. We went and slaughtered them. Returned to the room where I got the sword and Andaris found some books in elven. One on rods, one on weapons and one on miscellaneous items. Gabe and Andaris fought over the books, Wade went mad and ranted and ended up slapping Gabe, he then went off to the screaming cupboard and Andaris slunk off too! Flicking through the books, I found out about my sword, it could have had a spell cast on it, which it would have then have been able to cast once a day, ah well, never mind!
Went and collected Wade, who called us all children, I don't think he aimed it at me, but I felt suitably chastised. We headed off to the next corridor. Gabe went on ahead to bash down the down, during which Andaris sang a ballad badly! When Gabe had bashed the door, water gushed through. It knocked myself and Wade over, and practically drowned Gabe, he needed rescuing by Wade. They went back over the seal for some healing.
Returned to the room full of water. Wade pushed Andaris around on a pew! There was an adjoining room, with skeletons in. I took Andaris and kept him above water, while Wade bashed the skeletons in with the pew. We searched for ages, but found nothing, I did find a carving in the wall of an anatomically correct man peeing.
Andaris, despite his fear of water, dived into the chasm running along the bottom of the room. But there was nothing there. We went back to the altar room, where there were some more zombies sat on the altar. We fought and won once again. We decided to try and stop the zombies reappearing by lying Shami'ryhn to rest. We took his body down to the beach and buried him, saying a few words. We traipsed back to the crack leading up from the altar room. I heard something from behind us as we were trying to leave, and there were more zombies. I shot them with my bow, while Gabe and Wade rushed in. There was a little accident when Wade threw his spear through Gabe - literally! It went straight through his armour, through Gabe and out the other side! Urgh! Once again with the healing.
Wade suggested that we check the books. I found out that the altar contained a rod which was producing the undead. So, between us we bashed the altar and as it fell into four pieces, black lightning flashed out. I wasn't as hurt as I should have been, and poor Wade looked more hurt. And once more, we needed the dear and his mystical healing abilities. We left the temple through the crack and quickly scouted out the rest of the sewer tunnels. We had finished!
It was so nice to be back out in the sunshine, I had missed it. We spoke to Jeremy, who sent us for baths before we could go to Catherine and claim our reward. The bath was good and so was the lunch! We went and explained our adventures to Catherine, who gave us half our money, the rest to follow. She also borrowed the books and rod to get them examined. We then sold all the stuff we had found and made loads of money! We gave money to Kyph to get his wing fixed. Then he and Andaris, Dru and Gave went off it sort it out, while I dragged Wade off for a chat. I apologized for neglecting him over the last few days and for not consulting him over Dru. He said he felt jealous that I was lavishing affection on Dru rather than on him, and that he felt bad at the way he was feeling. He also said he didn't know where he stood, and to be honest neither do I, I suppose I should have said something then, but something stopped me.
When we got back to the pub, Kyph was sat there fully healed, with two wings! We settled in for the night. I invited a young adventuring lady and her companions to join us. Unara accepted and her colleague Reck, a cleric, also joined us. I think Gabe liked her. General drunkenness ensued, I remember lots of daft questions and bonding moments. I had a chat with Andaris about the fireball, and understand now that he hasn't quite mastered his spells, problems with distance I think he said. I asked Kyph to babysit Dru and I suggested that Wade and I got an early night!
Andaris 'bullied' us into giving him the money to make a wand, which is going to make us stronger. It means that we have to linger here for a few days. We collected the rest of the money from Catherine and the books and the rod. We went back to the College of Magic to sell the rod and the books to Esora. Esora actually wanted a favour from us to take the rod to Agatan and the Mage's College there, to a chap called Erinon. Apparently its worth a lot of money and is incredibly powerful. She gave us 1000 gold pieces and promised more gold when we handed it over.
We headed to the magic shop, Gave bought himself some new armour and had it coloured green. Wade and I chipped in together and bought a backpack which carries everything we both own and has room to spare and if we open it deliberately it will always be on the top. I lent some money to Gabe for his date with Unara. We all ate lunch together, and I wiled away the afternoon. Gabe had his date and Wade spent the evening gambling.
Kyph went off yesterday to visit his home before coming with us. I went off to find us a slug to enter the slug race with. Wade spent the day writing scrolls. I found a black and orange slug, which I called Suzy. Dru said her first words, 'slug' and 'boo'. The dear thing is adorable! It gave me such a great sense of achievement and love for the little darling! Gabe went off and found his own slug, when I wouldn't let him train Suzy.
The slug race was actually pretty uneventful, neither of our slugs got anywhere!
Spent the day wondering around. Kyph returned, it was nice to see him. I'm glad he's coming with us, getting pretty attached to the guy. Just realized that Wade and I have been together for two weeks now, despite our many chats!
I've been praying with Wade in the mornings. It seems to make him happy! All except Andaris headed down to the docks to find a passage to Agatan. We spoke to a man called Stafford about jobs, he gave us a list of possibilities. We tried an elven ship, but they wanted elves only, so we tried the Nereid. We have passage to Agatan! The captain mentioned something about a Hero's week. We all went to bed early, ready for the early morning.
Again I prayed with Wade, after an early morning rendezvous. Dru said yet another word 'Gay'! Even the guys get excited when she starts. We returned to the docks and were shown around the boat. We found out about the Hero's week, it is about the Heros of the Past and there will be a contest and lots of other interesting stuff going on.
Off we went down river, we passed a stone archway which signified the beginning of Jandarr. We spent the day rowing and singing!
24th November - 6th December
We traveled, stopping at ports, unloading and reloading. During this time, Dru also said 'fire' and 'ma'. That was emotional! She also started to toddle. But her favourite game is still crawling up to people and crying out 'slug'. Oh, the laughs that has caused!
We finally reached Agatan. A vast city on a big hill, with white towers and golden domes - pretty spectacular! It started to snow as we reached an enormous port. We alighted and headed into the city. Such a vast array of people all mingling together! Lizardmen rubbing shoulders with humans, was a sight that I never expected to see.
We headed first to the museum, I really wanted to find an inn, but the guys wanted to press on! Andy was fascinated by the exhibits at the museum and probably would have stayed if we had let him! The Deputy Curator told us to return tomorrow morning to see the Curator about this Crown, of Lorimer's.
Next we hurried off to deliver Adam's scroll. It ended up going to the dwarven ambassdor's wife, a lady called Ceinwyn Naldor. She told us of a good inn, 'The Fox and Hound' and said that she would contact us if she needed us.
Next, off to the Ars Magica, to get the rod destroyed. Erinon was not in, so we decided to wait there in the library. Sat in the library was a beautiful winged lady. It struck me as odd at first, but I'm an elf with a baby kobold, so that's almost normal!
Tomorrow Wade and I will have been together for a month, not bad considering that we decided to take it all day by day. I don't know whether to do anything or not, I'll think of something!
While in the library, we found out some information. Andaris discovered that there are in fact two missing gems from the crown. Wade found out general bits about Marcus Grendall. We saw a leaflet detailing the Hero's Contest, it's on the 10th. Leaving Andaris behind, the rest of us headed off to 'The Fox and Hound'. We found it and sorted out rooms, before heading back to see Erinon the Black. Once again we were told of the immense power of the rod and the importance that it be destroyed, probably in a volcano. We have to return tomorrow, to collect the price, another 3.30 appointment!
Next we went to the Guild of Heros. They had lots there, pun, beds, library, arena and many shops. We asked about membership and about the contest. It's all about teamwork, teams of four compete in a series of 10 challenges. We spent a lot of time in the magic shop, while Wade and Gabe asked a ridiculous amount of questions. We went back to the inn, I made a really pathetic excuse to stay outside. I think Wade suspected something. I went off and bought him some extra special dice for tomorrow. Went back to the inn for dinner and we with Andaris, we discussed joining the contest. We decided to do it, it took a while to get Andaris to agree.
I gave Wade the dice, he didn't seem very appreciative. He said that because he has to wager all his belongings once a year, the dice are only on loan from me!
We went off to see the Curator of the museum, who offered us 2500 gold pieces for the crown and a possible quest for the missing stones. Andaris found out for us how much we could actually get from a private buyer, it was a big decision but the crown is better off being in a museum so we accepted the gold as well as life time membership and our names on a plaque! We also went to sign up for the Heros competition. While there we met a dark skinned elf, Andaris seemed surprised that I didn't have a deep-seated animosity towards her. O think I made him understand.
Andy returned to the Ars Magica, while back at the inn we found out that we'd been invited to dinner at the Dwan-dur embassy by Ceinwyn and her husband. After lunch, we returned to see Erinon, while waiting to see him we found out that Andy has adopted Erkan as his new God. Erinon offered us 20,000 gold pieces for the rod. Wade and I had nothing to do with our shares so we offered them to Andy. Dru also said 'Da' but she wouldn't place it to Wade.
We dressed up for dinner and went to the embassy. There was an elven ambassador, three male dwarves who were heads of their families, and a young female priestess of Iaphre, as well as Ceinwyn and her husband. Dinner was alright, not quite to my fancy. Ceinwyn explained to us that she is a sage and that Adam may have use of us in the future. The rest of the evening I spent in conversation with Gabe and Andy, while Wade mingled.
Wade won't attend Andy's initiation into the religion of Erkan, the whole 'I can't enter another god's temple' thing. I don't understand why he can't be there for Andaris on what may be one of the most important days in Andaris' life. I can't work out if Wade is using his god as an excuse not to be happy for Andaris. But then there's the dice thing as well, is he using his faith as an excuse not to be close to me? I don't understand!
Wade got up really early and disappeared, I just rolled over and went back to sleep. Gabe had decided to have a signet ring made with his own special design, which actually has something to do with us being a party, which is kind of sweet. We went to the bank and collected our vast amounts of money, we left some in the chest and some in Wade's bag. Next we went to the temple of Choadra, so that Wade could check out the price of some goods. Gabe went and got his ring commissioned. Next stop was the Adventurer's Guild, Kyph joined up so that we could benefit from discount in the magic shop. Andy chose a headband of intellect, Gabe a magic shield and green cloak. Wade chose a pair of gloves which are going to make him stronger and I bought a purple cloak of protection and an amulet of natural armour, it has a red scale set in it, quite pretty actually!
Back to the temple of Choadra, this one is made up of dice! Wade purchased an armband which is going to increase his healing abilities. Andaris went back to the library! On the way back to the inn, I asked Wade what he had talked about with everyone else last night. Adam is actually an emissary for the earth elementals. He also had asked about Erkan and the dwarves. Wade then asked what we'd talked about. I, not very tactfully, told him and pretty much told him that I didn't trust him. He exploded, dumped everything in the middle of the street and said he couldn't stay and went off! I shouted to him, but he kept going!
My heart broke watching him go! I have to admit I was distraught, poor Gabe didn't know what to do with me. We decided that we had to go and find Andaris. The nice lady with the wings went off and fetched him. The first thing he asked was, was Dru dead. I explained what had happened and after sending us back to the inn, he went off after Wade. People shouldn't be able to sell dwarven spirits, especially not to the depressed! I was a little upset and knocked four of them back. When Andaris came back, he forced me to drink something which sobered me up! It tasted awful! He had spoken to Wade and was determined that Wade would return. I was certain that he wouldn't, I was devastated and was sure that I had lost him for good and that it was all my fault!
We got a note from Wade instructing us to meet him. I was then even more certain that he was going to leave us. We met him, I was holding his dice and I have to admit I was crying over them. Wade then proceeded to tell us completely about his past, the death of his parents, his entrance into the faith of Choadra and the demise of his previous party. It was completely heart-wrenching! But he decided to stay with us! I couldn't say anything, just headed him his dice back.
We went down for dinner, later on I told him how I feel about him and he said that he felt the same way too. I think everything is going to be alright, and I think we'll all be stronger than before!
The Hero's Contest! We drew lots and ended up being first. I suppose in some respects it's the best place to be, no waiting around worrying about the challenges. The first challenge involved two bags, a chess board and a pit! We tried using the chess board, got confused, took the unconventional approach of giving up, guessed the bag and threw the table down the pit, luckily we guessed the right bag and got the rope and immovable rod. We successfully completed the challenge.
The second challenge was a bit simpler! We had to scale the walls of a room using only glue and coins, we also used the candlesticks. This too was fairly easy, once we started to work together. It was quite exhausting!
The third challenge was a little harder. We were separated and put on four platforms, we were also given earplugs, because of some weird creature. On each platform was a potion, one of which was useful and one was a poison. Each one had three letters on the top. Mine was RAT and we thought mine was the poison, so Wade drank his and died! So, we drank ours and Andy had the important one and got myself and Gabe out of the hole in the ceiling. The clue was ALLITERATION, the letters on the potions spelt this out and it was to do with the colours of the potions. It was good to have a rest after that one.
The fourth challenge had us, there was a totem pole, which we needed to climb, naturally it was unclimbable. We also had some cards and a mirror. Wade sorted out the cards, which turned out to be useless! We asked for the hint and got told that the cards were useless! Wade eventually worked out that we had to break the mirror! So, we did complete the challenge, but at reduced marks, because we took that useless hint! Luckily we're not bitter!
The next challenge was another easy one! It involved crossing a room with hexes on the floor. There were larvae under the hexes or something, and the safe squares told us how many larvae there were around! Between them, Wade and Andy sorted it out. Another successful challenge completed!
The sixth challenge was another hard one for us. It involved getting us and two sailors across a river, with a boat which needed a command word (another word puzzle) and there were four rings one of which would allow one of us to walk on water. We needed to take the hint to work out the word puzzle! Running close to time, we ignored the rings and Wade rode across twice. We did it, but once more at a cost!
Task number seven was another hard one, we had to cross a river of lava, with a few planks and two gloves, one which may help and one that wouldn't. once more we took the hint and were told that the gloves were useless, which was good because we were concentrating on the gloves. Then it was a simple task to use the planks to get across.
The next task was a fun one, a smoke filled maze. He had a little time to try and memorize the maze. Luckily when we were in there Gabe recognized that the walls were only 10ft high, so we charged forward and climbed the walls that got in our way! We reached the middle and corked the bottle, successfully completing the challenge!
The next task was my favourite, mainly because I solved it. We had to cross a pit with dire wolves in, with just a spell to make one of us invisible to animals, a 12ft rope and 2 immovable rods, and a coil of rope on the other side. I got the chaps to lower me down after taking the spell, I then grabbed the second rod, carried the rope, using the rods I climbed the other wall, tied the ropes together and threw it across for the lads. I felt rather smug!
We couldn't solve the final puzzle, so danced around manically! Overall we came 6th. I had a bet with Wade that we would be less than 10th, so now I owe him a slap-up meal! After the ceremony, Andy headed back to the inn to go to bed, while the rest of us went to the Guild Pub. The young Drow's team came 3rd, so they were happy as were the rest of the pub! I got drunk quite quickly. We talked to the dwarven ambassador, I asked about his wife, which Wade then explained was a bit of a faux pas! Later talked to Ceinwyn, mainly about culture and the status of women in hers! Wade talked to the Guild leader who had mention of the Jandarr Empire, oops! When Gabe and I staggered over, the chap was speaking gobble-de-gook and Wade understood him! I'm impressed!
Rather drunkenly I rescued Serenity from a would-be admirer. She stayed and talked. Her parents had been killed when she was young - she was half-human and half-Ashabi or something. She has a slight anti-man tendency, but she was nice. By the time the Priest King reached us, I was very drunk, he'd said that he had noticed me going around, all I could do was blush! He talked about being king and what he was trying to do and achieve. Wade didn't seem so impressed. Kyph took a room at the guild with Dru. We had a few odd conversations before heading our separate ways.
We visited Ceinwyn to tell her our tale. She believed that the Anubees (dog-headed creatures), were to do with vengeance and were most likely linked to Pirannah's husband, the barbarian guy with the ghouls. We gave her the letter we had from the elven temple and she was going to look into it for us and make herself a copy.
At noon, we turned up to meet up with Erinon, so that we could destroy the rod, once and for all. As we were waiting for Erinon, a young man came rushing into the room, clearly distraught, crying and desperately trying to tell us what had happened. We persuaded the secretary to let us go and take a look.
As we reached Erinon's office, there was vomit where the poor young man had not been able to control himself. There was a dead guard by the doorway surrounded by a pool of blood which had a trail of bloody footprints into the room. There was a dead Erinon and a dead raven, also our rod was missing. Erinon had been rather gruesomely killed. I still get queasy around dead bodies! The Captain of the Guard turned up, Commander Lothar. He took us up to Erinon's personal, living quarters. Didn't find anything of use, his journal was of little use - except a mention of salamanders, who may be able to help with the rod. We also found a lot of his girlfriends stuff which was sort of sweet because apparently she was dead. I wonder if Wade would keep my stuff if I died.
Wade was able to communicate with the dead and ask 3 questions. He talked to the dead familiar, who told us that it was attacked by one like itself. He talked to Erinon, who was unhelpful and finally to the young guard Noel, who was able to tell us that the person who killed him was named Eamon. Wade could tell that Erinon had been poisoned, punched, probably attacked by more than one person, and by someone who was incredibly strong!
To try and find this Eamon, firstly we tried the guard at the Ars Magica. We went and spoke to Lieutenant Peter Candlewick. There were three Eamon's, we crossed out 2 and we decided to visit the third at some point. We then checked out the list of students. There were 2, we ruled out one, but the other had left the Ars Magica to become a priest of Kedras, three years previously.
We changed tact and worked out how many mages had raven familiars. We found out that one mage had a particularly vicious raven, his name was Zachiary Arden. We followed up Zach and followed him to the local bar - 'The Tallest Tower'. Zach had been seen at 1pm, looking ill and harassed.
We checked out the Adventurer's Guild, and their list of adventurers. Luckily there were no Eamons. At the city's Guardhouse, we checked their members and found a further two Eamons. We checked upon Sara, the priestess who was employed by the Guard to examine the bodies. She told us that Erinon's rib cage had been torn out from the inside. The person who had attacked Erinon was possibly human/half orc size. The poison had been potent, but not very effective, it was Deathbalde poison which is tremendously expensive. The sword used had been a martial broadsword. The plant that had been damaged, Sara couldn't really identify the cause, electricity and something else. She thought it was all to do with time and aging. We returned to the inn, exhausted and went to bed.
During breakfast, a young chap turned up who told us that Lothar wanted to see us. He had put Zach aside, the eight students with birds had alibis as did the two teachers. Zach claimed that he had been at the library, the pub and then shopping. Lothar had spoken to the repairmen who had been working on the roof. They had seen a bird fly in and out. They also said that the window went black during the attack. He believed that it was robbery motivated and that the beating was an anomaly. We returned to Erinon's office, where Wade talked to the plant. It said that the door had swayed four times. It also said that it had felt burnt and old.
At around this point, Dru cried out 'light'. It's always sweet when she talks, and makes us all feel better. We visited the Eamon who worked at the Ars Magica. He had been gardening and had had a visit from old friends, a good alibi. Back at the Ars Magica, we found out from the secretary who Zach's personal tutor was a mage called Allesa. She said that Zach had missed an appointment with her. She said that he wasn't reliable, but that he heard unique abilities, he had an innate sorceror's abilities, he was unusual and could suck life from people. Eamon, the Priest of Kedras, had the same ability.
We went to Lothar and told him about Zach and Eamon Mattrim. He sent us to try and find Eamon with a troop of 10 men. We went to the Temple of Kedras and found out that Eamon had moved west on a mission.
As we were stood outside, the raven that had been following us was shot by a crossbow bolt and Kyph flew up to rescue the bird, when he was hit by a bolt too! It was horrible watching him fall from the sky, my heart was racing as we worked out where the bolts had come from, and while Wade tried to heal Kyph, Gabe ran off. All he managed to find was some gold dust in the cupboard. Andy checked that it was magical and reckoned that there had been a portal and that was where our 'bolt' man had disappeared. Wade levitated, or I made him levitate up to find the raven, but it was gone. Wade took Kyph to the temple of Choadra to stop the poison from taking Kyph from us. They returned fully healed and we sent all the evidence that we had found to Sara.
We to 'The Two Towers' to have some lunch and to try and find Zach. Surprisingly, Zach was in a private room, there we found Zach dead, strangled. Yet another dead body, they do seem to be haunting us! He was clothed in black. I realized that something from around his neck had been stolen, a fine metal chain. Zach had some daggers on the floor. Sara suspected that the dagger had been stuck into someone, there was something green on it, which could have been blood. Wade reprayed and we returned to the morgue. Wade spoke to Zach's dead body, that's freaky too, his voice was all croaky and crackly. Uh, gives me the creeps! Zach told us that Eamon had attacked him, that Eamon would find us and that he and Eamon had attacked Erinon.
We returned to the temple of Kedras, where they described Eamon to us, 5'10", slim, long brown hair, dark eyes, very quiet and very dedicated.
I was worried about this Eamon coming to find us. Gabe oh so tactfully, told me not to worry he would turn up on my watch. I lost it, this Eamon chap is obviously quite powerful and I'm very attached to the guys, I wouldn't want to lose any of them! Wade had walk along comforting me, with his arm around me and Andy did that pretty flower thing on his hand, they do try to cheer me up when I get down!
We returned to the inn and all decided to share the same room for added protection. During Gabe's watch, there was a knock at the door, Gabe only went and answered, there was a young man stood there, apparently he tried to do something to him, so he screamed. We awoke and naturally attacked the man at the door, who turned into green gas and disappeared. We ended up in a private room, and went back to sleep. During my watch there were two thumps on the door, I braved a quick peek but couldn't see anything. I was too afraid to do anything else and waited until the morning.
There was a note stuck to the door with a knife. It was from someone named Van Rike, who wanted to talk to us about Eamon. The enemy of your enemy is your friend and all that! Andy explained to us that the man was a vampire! After a couple of trips, we visited the temple of Choadra to see if they had anything to help us defeat vampires. We then went to the market. A small boy came running up and called Wade back to his temple, after brief goodbyes he went off and we finished our shopping, heading back to the inn. When we got back, we got a note from Eamon saying that he had Wade, and that he would kill him if we didn't leave Agatan. I think it all hit us quite hard, I was once more devastated, I can't cope with all this! I thought that once we got to Agatan we'd all be alright and that we'd simply be able to go off. Andy seemed to take it all his stride, easily taking charge. Gabe and I seemed to need to cling to each other, both a little lost.
We went to visit Ceinwyn and explained our predicament. She had heard that there was a female vampire hunter around. She also explained about the letter from the elven temple. It is over 8,000 years old. She said that 10,000 years ago, there had been a battle between the Gods and Naloram had been destroyed. He had been the God of Undead. The Blood Circle of Brethren were from the Goddess of Death who was very anti-undead. It was written by the Elurians, a long dead race. She had no idea who the twelve were. I wasn't taking much in.
We went to the Adventurers' Guild for lunch and looked for a Van Rike, but none were listed. We decided to pick up a cleric who could help us in Wade's stead. We settled on a Priest of Ceraihn (Justice) called Callum. We will pay him 100 gold later or return his body and the money to his temple. We left Dru at 'The Fox and Hound', I went to collect Callum and we all went to 'The Ace of Spades' to meet Van Rike just after nightfall.
It appears that both Van Rike and Eamon are vampires, and Eamon is getting too powerful for Van Rike's liking. He needed us to do a job for him, retrieve an item from a gnome artifacer who had failed to deliver and from whom they had had no contact.
We had to talk this over between us, we hadn't actually told Callum about the vampires, so had to explain to him. Andy was unsure about the ethics of working for a vampire especially since the item sought would allow them the vampires to work in the daylight. I didn't care, I just want Wade returned to us, I want him back!
We agreed, but only after Van Rike promised us that after the fight with Eamon, we would be able to take the black rod of undead and would be free to get it destroyed. Van Rike would transport us to Chudwick the following morning and we would go and see Glim Forelock.
That night we slept under the protection of Van Rike.
We returned to 'The Ace of Spades' and were transported through a discus door by a mage clothed in red and yellow. We ended up in the basement of a ramshackle house. We asked for Glim at a nearby hall and were given directions to Glim's cottage.
When we got there, a cute little fairy type chap introduced himself, he didn't have a name so we called him Oaky. He explained that ogres had ransacked the house and killed Glim. It was quite messy, but Oaky explained that some of the villagers had made an attempt to clear up his personal effects.
We found a corridor, which when we opened the door there was an orb at the end of the corridor, it sort of zapped me, I felt much weaker. Gabe fought it bravely, it took a while and even poor Dru was hurt. I must admit I spent a lot of time not knowing what to do, which didn't help poor Gabe. By the end of the fight, we were both exhausted! Luckily Andy was able to finish the orb off with magic.
Gabe and I had to rest, Gabe in the lounge and myself and Dru in the bedroom. I was rudely awoken by shouts and when I looked out of the bedroom, there was a strange man running towards the corridor shouting 'flight not fight', he was quite a good looking man and I was still pretty much asleep. Andy was also shouting to help bar the door. I was worried about Dru's safety, so started to run towards the strange man. Andy change tactics and directed me to run to the kitchen. I was to act as bait to lure the creatures to us, after I had put Dru safely into a cupboard. The creatures were like big cats, but were covered in glowing cracks which were almost runic. When attacked though, blades shot out of them. They even absorbed my sword and Gabe's. This drove Gabe made and he resorted to bashing them with his shield. He managed to defeat all three of the creatures, even helping out the strange man.
I picked up an attractive black longsword from the piles left behind when the beasts were destroyed. I was finally introduced to the stranger, his name is Duncan. He knew Glim and was quite touchy as to what we doing there. I supposed he had a point, we didn't really have a right to be there and when he had turned up, I suppose we were pretty spread out, me being asleep in Glim's room and all! I gave everything away though - apparently Andy had only told Duncan choice parts of why we were there. Eventually we worked everything out with Duncan, before Andy got us through the magic door at the end of the corridor.
In the room, we found a yellow gem, scrolls, a torque of darkvision, which Gabe now has, some goggles which Duncan took, he does look daft when he has those on! There were some stilt boots which Andy has and a sheet of paper which came from Glim's journal. It mentioned that the wand of daylight walking was in three parts and looked like an arrow.
I wallowed as we walked back to Chudwick I have to admit. I was desperately missing Wade, and I'm terrified that he's dead and that I'll never see him again. Against my better nature, I guess that I'd imagined us growing old together, or as old together as an elf and a human can. I also wonder if he really knows how I feel about him.
We waited to explain to Van Rike that we needed more time to locate the wand and recover it from the ogres. Duncan reckons that they are holed up in a keep about half a day away. We told Van Rike, and unfortunately he had no good news about Wade, Eamon still has him! Who knows what he is doing to him! My worst fear is that Wade will have been changed into a vampire, and I don't know what we'll do.
We stayed in the night in the ramshackle house. Duncan slept the night on the roof. I think he's a ranger or something, he has a bear for a friend or something, I'm not sure Oaky was a bit vague.
Van Rike left us a note and a ring with which to send him notes.
Oaky wanted a new name so Andy called him Zapp. After breakfast it took us two and a half hours to walk to Hillskeep. It was a pleasant walk, Duncan seems to be the silent type so there wasn't talking. Gone are the days when we all use to sing as we went, me and Gabe singing some daft tune while Andy and Wade watched on in amusement. I suppose we've all seen a lot to change us, and gone through a lot as well. Losing Wade has hit us all, obviously he's my lover, I think Gabe sees him as a big brother or maybe even a father, and I think Andy sees him as his best friend.
When we were getting close to the keep, Duncan heard something ahead of us, and he went on ahead where he found a cart with 10 ogres on it. Duncan decided the clever thing to do would be to try and shoot one of them, so he did!
A vicious fight ensued, Gabe went down, luckily Duncan was able to reach him in time and save him. During this Andaris kept running off, I don't know where, if there was ever a time when we needed him and his magic this was it! We had to take on 5 ogres, one of them smacked Kyph, I heard a sickening crunch and he fell. By the time there were three left. I was also seriously hurt, so I surrendered. Duncan and Gabe took the last three out. I suppose I known from the moment he fell, that we were going to be too late for Kyph. Duncan confirmed our fears, our winged friend had gone. We had get away from the fight scene, so Duncan lifted Kyph, and Kyph's sword dropped from his friend. I felt awful, Kyph hadn't needed to stay with us once his wing had healed, but he'd wanted toÖhe'd become a part of our group, always there, never complaining, Dru was fond of him, we all were and now he's gone. The sad thing was we didn't really know anything about him, Duncan made him a bag and we left him in a bush so that we could return later and bury him properly, at that point in time, we needed to find Andaris. We didn't know about Kyph's religion nor where he had come from, we've no way to tell his family.
I asked for help from Van Rike, and he sent some healing pearls through to us. They were extremely useful. Suddenly Zapp turned up, and told us that Andaris was over by the keep. We crept close and saw some burning trees, I couldn't help but grin, Andaris' handiwork no doubt. A female ogre came out of the keep hoping to try and distinguish the fire, but she was soon dead. Zapp said that he could turn us invisible, so Gabe, Duncan and myself were able to walk right over to where Andaris was hiding.
Using our invisible form, we walked right up to the main door into the keep, and Andaris who was hiding under Gabe's cloak, flashed out and magic missiled a male ogre who had been sent out after the female. We had a quick look around inside, before heading upstairs. A blood trail led out of the foyer and up.
Upstairs we found a room, which was full of sleeping ogres and a sleeping dog. Duncan and Andaris decided it would be better to kill them all, I'm not sure that I agreed with the ethics behind it, was it good to kill creatures as they slept? I didn't say anything to stop them, because honestly I don't think anything I said would have persuaded Duncan otherwise, not known him for very long.
Off of this room was a kitchen, Gabe and I were still invisible, so Gabe crept in and there was a single female ogre cleaning up. Along with a little help of Zapp, who had camouflaged himself up, Gabe killed her. Yet again, my morals were tested.
Then we explored a bit more, we happened across a sick ogre set aside in a sick room, Gabe saw it fit to end its life. I was beginning to worry about these guys, killing all these innocents, mind you, how innocent can an ogre be, and the sooner we got this done, the sooner we could try and get Wade back.
We found a corridor full of ogres in rooms, we left them alone. Luckily, because the room I listened to had a baby in, I almost nearly didn't tell them. We found where the blood trail continued up a corridor before disappearing off down a cavernous tunnel. We found a room with a young female ogre writing. We had to attack her but during the fight, two ogres appeared further down the corridor behind a portcullis with what appeared to be a machine that would have blasted fire at us, luckily it failed. Andy used a flaming ball to get them, which caused the machine to explode, sending fire down the corridor. Flames engulfed both Gabe and Andaris, and for an awful moment I thought I'd lost them both. We were able to bring them both back, both lost their hair and poor Gabe was only just getting used to having his back.
Duncan picked the lock of a big metal door, we headed down and came across a prison area, we had to fight a couple more ogres, but between us we were easily able to take them down. In the cells, were some goblins, a human male and an ogre. We found some keys and set the goblins free, Andaris spoke to them and they went running off. Duncan released the human, who was called Parker. We decided to leave the ogre behind, Parker said that he never said anything anyway.
We found the last corridor left to explore. We entered one room and found an unarmed female, unfortunately the room was linked to others and soon we found that we had another female ogre, a male ogre possibly the leader, the ogre mage which Andaris had been dreading and about four ogres trying to get in from the corridor. It was quite a fight, Parker hid. Andaris and Duncan took out the two females and the male leader. Gabe and I fought the four trying to get through the door. Suddenly Gabe and I were ensconced in cold, I felt poor Dru freeze on my back. The mage behind us, was not happy. It took us a very long time to kill him. I eventually threw acid on its face which finished it off, Andaris had already set fire to it after using his flaming ball to finish off the ogres in the corridor.
Throwing the acid on its face, seemed to annoy Andaris, and for a couple of minutes he kept throwing himself at me, trying to knock me over and generally just annoying me. It was like having a persistent fly buzzing around, before he gave up and starting trying to salvage something from the ogre's face. I just wrapped up Dru's cold little body and left it in this room, I didn't want to carry her around with me. I suddenly wished that Wade or Kyph had been there, Gabe is lovely but I needed someone to tell me everything was going to be alright and as much as I love Gabe, I feel that I look after him, like he was my brother. I wondered if it was ever right for me to bring her with us, she'd always seemed happy and content. I'm going to miss her, and I truly believe that she wasn't evil!
We'd asked Taskin, a colleague of Van Rike's for some more healing pearls and promised payment when we returned. We found the Mage's rooms, and found a decanter of endless water and a map of the complex. We only had two rooms left to explore, a temple and a strongroom. Andaris kept complaining that he didn't have any spells and needed to rest, but we felt because we only had a few rooms left, it wasn't worth it. In the temple there were 10 juvenile ogres. Between us we quickly took them out, Andaris proved a dab hand with his crossbow once more. It's been a while since we'd seen him use it, I remember the day he shot my horse! Duncan is also a pretty good fighter, he fights with two shortswords which isn't a style I've seen before, he certainly seems to be holding his own. He appears to have his head screwed on right, and has leadership qualities, something we'd always relied upon Wade for in the past.
We headed to the last door, the door to the strongroom, Zapp said that the lock was magical, and when Duncan listened to another door close by he heard about two dozen ogres behind that door. So quietly we discussed how to open this door. Andaris got impatient and opened the door with the ogres behind it. We ran!!!!
I ran like I've never ran before, closely followed by Gabe and Parker. We reached the foyer and the way out was to enter the rooms leading to the towers. The room had a couple of ogres in, which in our desperation we dealt with quite quickly. Duncan got us up out of room, and onto the bridge and threw a rope over the side, which we could climb down before running away. Andaris never caught up with us.
Outside of the keep, we came across Charlemagne, Andaris had left her in the woods. We left her there too with some food, because if Andaris left the keep she would find him. Duncan led the way to the nearest village of Epsum. Parker was grateful and promised us three horses for the next day. We had wonderful baths, it was so nice to wash away the grime and blood. It didn't wash away any of the pain caused by the loss of what I see as two possibly four members of my family. Kyph and Dru were definitely gone and Andaris and Wade could be gone.
We have some dinner and Duncan went off to the mayor to see if he could get us any help for the next day, when we would return and finish clearing out the keep and hoping desperately to find the remaining two pieces of the rod.
We visited the temple where they gave some healing and some potions to help us. In return for this, we've promised them a cut of whatever we find in the keep and that they can have the keep back when we've cleared it. We headed back towards the keep, and Charlemagne came to greet us. The note we had left for Andaris was still there, the poor thing looked a bit lost. We instructed her to stay with the horses, while we went on to the keep. As we got close we could see two bodies strung up in front of the keep, it was Andaris' body and along side him was Fezzick's small body. I suppose I'd sort of been expecting it, but it was awful. I really felt that I was losing everyone, it was just me and Gabe left, Duncan's a lovely chap but he's not got the history. The ogres had constructed a rough palisade around the entrance.
Zapp turned up and wanted a new name, today Duncan named him Draco. Using some of my powers, I created a ladder and some rope so that we could climb up the side of the hill and get to the ogres this way.
At the top of the hill, we shot some of the ogres but some escape back inside. We heard screaming from inside and saw blood seeping out from under the main door. We believed that the large insect that is rumoured to share the keep with the ogres was at work. According to Parker, the ogres were actually quite scared of it!
We bashed our way into the keep, we did have to fight some more ogres, before returning to that elusive strongroom. We got Draco to turn us invisible again, the little chap is so versatile, he was firing little lightning bolts at the ogres earlier, I'm going to miss him when the time comes to return to Agatan. This time Duncan managed to pick the lock to the strongroom, in the corridor behind it the floor and ceiling were electricity. We sent dear little Draco down to the other end to the door with a key in his little magic bag and with a bit of help form his magic opened the door. I levitated down the corridor and found a room full of magic stuff.
I recovered all of Andaris' bits, a box of potions, some magic half plate armour which I put on immediately, it must have seemed quite odd to the guys as bits of armour suddenly started to become visible. There was the second part of the wand and a chest of money as well as a magic mirror. I managed to get all this stuff back down the corridor to the guys and dished it out between us.
We returned to the passage down which the blood trail went down, in pursuit of the insect. We followed the blood trail down into an old mining complex, and came across a huge cavern in which there was a pool of blood. We went forward to investigate when two creatures arose out of the pool. Men made out of blood, it was hard to kill them, our weapons seemed to be doing no damage at all, and despite our armour they kept hitting us! I called a club to my hand, and managed to hurt them that way! Gabe resorted to using his shield yet again.
We continued on down the blood trail, before coming across the insect beast. It was like a cross between a human and a mantis. It was a hard fight, the insect was incredibly strong and had four scythe like arms. It took us a while, even with little Draco giving us our pearls of healing when we needed it. Poor Gabe seemed to lose his nerve a bit when he couldn't hit it, and I felt overwhelmingly angry at the creature for upsetting him so. Eventually it died, we all heaved a sigh of relief. We found some coins and the final part of the wand in its nest.
We asked Taskin for a wand to help us defeat the final 40 odd ogres. He said he would send us a wand of lightning but it would take an hour. So we had some lunch and Duncan and Gabe wanted to go and off and explore an area that we had passed on our way. I had to create a plank of wood which allowed us to cross a river. We found what could have been a series of old living quarters which were attached to an old watch tower, that Duncan explained was long abandoned. When the wand came through the ring to us, we returned to the keep and systematically killed off the rest of the ogres. We returned to the room where we had stashed the mirror and the chest. I decided to look in the mirror! When I did my reflection stepped out of the mirror and attacked us. The fight was short, because Draco cleverly dropped the cover back on the mirror and my double vanished.
Outside, we cut down the bodies of Andaris and Fezzick and retrieved Kyph's body and buried them. It was quite emotional. As we about to leave for Epsum, Draco appeared and said that he had presents for us because he wasn't go to go any further with us because he was going to wait for everything to come back. The sweet little thing was so sure that Glim and our dead friend would return. He gave us each a pearl, when I took mine I felt much stronger!
We returned quickly to Epsum, where we gave the chest of money and informed that the keep was empty. We went quickly to Chudwick, where I instructed Van Rike that we were ready to return to Agatan. Duncan very graciously agreed to accompany us to Agatan because we had helped him. I think Gabe and I have become quite fond of Duncan, heís quite a nice chap really. We were returned to the ĎThe Ace of Spadesí, where we gave Van Rike the wand and settled our debt with Taskin, Duncan had insisted on bringing the corpse of the mantis with him, he used it as part payment, we sold some scrolls and some of the magic weapons we had picked up along the way.
We were taken to ĎThe Fox and Houndí to spend the night. The three of us spent the night in the same room.
When we woke the next morning, where our window had been the night before, there was a room. Duncan was a bit surprised that I just got up, dressed and got ready to enter the room. As we entered, three people in our form went into our room. There was a man waiting for us, his name was Rohan and he was the leader of a coalition of the faiths against vampirism. He wanted one of us to wear a ring so that he and his people could track down the vampire fight and rid Agatan of vampires for good! Duncan said that he would wear the ring, because he didnít have a friend to lose. I donít think Iíve told him how much I appreciate his help, but I do as Iím sure Gabe does, we would have died many times over without him!
We returned to our room and then ĎThe Ace of Spadesí. As we approached we could see a few of Van Rikeís vampires tentatively placing their hands out into the sun. We elected to go with the group entering the sewers. After some traipsing around, they found the right house and we entered through the cellar. They saw off anyone who got in the way. We went with them as far as the ground floor, then when the fighting began to start, we left the group and started to search for Wade, he was our main concern.
We avoided the fights as much as we could, and opened windows and doors when we could flooding areas in sunlight, not much use against Van Rikeís vampires but efficient against Eamonís. As we reached the fourth floor, the main doors opened and priests entered the house and started to chant. Backup had arrived! We pressed on, we came across a dark room, heavy drapes covered the windows, a coffin lay at the far end of the room and there was Wade. Laid prone on the floor, everything but his head covered by a sheet, and under the sheet was a large bulge where his chest was. Hardly daring to breathe, I watched as Gabe pulled the sheet back, and there laid Wade with a stake driven through his heart, and he wasnít dead. Confirming my worst fears, and at the same time fulfilling all my hopes, there he was. I removed the stake from his heart, and together we smuggled him down the stairs and into a dumb waiter, transporting him to the kitchen so that we could escape through the cellars. We left Duncan with the priests, Iím afraid we didnít give him much heed.
We found an abandoned house and put Wade in the cellar. We didnít know what to do. He seemed himself and still was able to wear his symbol of Choadra. I didnít know if I wanted to kill him, stay with him or have him change me. I was so confused, as was Gabe. Wade didnít know what he wanted either. So, taking charge of the situation I said that we would leave him there and go and find out if there may be a chance to turn him back. I made Wade promise that he would stay in the cellar, but Gabe didnít have the trust that I had. Wade offered to allow him to stake him, Gabe raised a stake to do this, and I stepped between them. I assured Gabe that I trusted Wade, so he would to. Wade made us say that if we came back having made the decision to kill him, could we just do it and not wake him up. He explained that he had been turned just for the fun of it. Eamon had done for fun! He looked more attractive, and stronger somehow, but then wasnít the time to think about that! We raced through the streets to Ceinwyn. She said that in our situation she would kill Wade, there was a small chance he could be changed back by a wish or a miracle, but that vampires were evil and he should be killed. I didnít know what to think, I didnít want to have kill Wade, and neither did Gabe. So we returned to the house where we had found him, and managed to find Rohan. We explained our situation to him, and he drew us to one side!
He explained that the Priest King was planning a feast for the next night to thank us for helping him rid Agatan of vampires, also that he was planning to reward us with gifts. Rohan said that he could have a word with the Priest King to see if instead he would change Wade back for us. We thanked Rohan before returning to Wade.
We tried not to wake him as we entered imagining it best to leave him to sleep, but he awoke. I apologized for waking him and he thought that I had meant to kill him. I assured that we werenít going to kill him. We excitedly explained the plan, but Wade was unimpressed. He felt that because Choadra was still with him, this was what she wanted for him, and because of his hatred for other gods, he wouldnít allow another god to turn him back. He felt that he could still do good in Choadraís name by feeding off of bad people. This was something I couldnít understand, I felt that maybe he was evil and was simply trying to find a way of staying that way. He threw my nuture not nature argument at me. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I asked Wade if he consider being changed by someone of his own faith if we could arrange it. He said heíd think about it. Gabe and I once more rushed off. We went to the palace to find Rohan, because he was the seneschal of the Priest King. He said that he could arrange for a priest of Choadra to perform the ceremony, all we had to do was bring Wade to him after sunset.
Back to Wade we went, I was weary in body and mind and actually afraid of what else Wade may ask of me. I desperately wanted to be him, but could I really be with a vampire? Even if it was my Wade.
Wade agreed to the ceremony on the one condition that if Choadra chose not to take him back, that I would still stay with him. It was the longest few moments of my life while I thought about it, before saying yes. Gabe agreed before I did, and Wade hurt him a little by saying my decision was more important to him, because of the closeness we shared and that he was honoured Gabe would stay with him, but he wouldnít try without my support.
We eventually managed to get Wade to the temple, Duncan was with us, the poor fellow was slightly dazed at the city sights around him. The ceremony was moving, the High Priestess spoke to Wade before leading the service. Light engulfed Wade, and I had to look away, everything depended on this and the decision his god made. I prayed as I have never prayed before, I could feel Gabe tensed beside me on the pew. Silence feel, before suddenly the church almost erupted. Gabe was cheering beside me, and I was in tears. It could only be good news! When I did look up, Wade was pushing through the crowds of priests towards us. He had retained the enhanced looks that he had received when he was turned. Also, the lock in his hair was an even lighter grey. I could say nothing as he reached us, Gabe was so happy, he had been so emotional the last few days, I was beginning to worry about him.
Wade reached us, and before I really registered what was going on, he was saying that despite saying that we would take our relationship day by day that was no longer enough for him, he wanted more and he asked me to marry him. I managed to say yes, before crying even more. He then asked Gabe to be his best man, which set Gabe off too. And still poor Duncan was sat there!
We went off to the inn and had a magnificent meal. Wade and I spent the evening reacquainting ourselves, talking and going over our experiences. I was finally able to cry over the deaths of our friends and loved ones.
Gabe, Duncan and I went to the tailors for new clothes for the feast that evening. We all got dressed up and attended. The Priest King thanked us personally for our help, and explained that we had been offered gifts but instead had chosen to help our friend, he went on about the spirit of the new Jandarr and things like that. We everyone applauded, I felt silly stood there, even Wade stood up and clapped for us.
Then the High Priestess of Choadra stood up and announced that Wade and I were getting married and that this was our engagement party! We drank and drank, merriness and good humour all round. During all of this, we heard that the rod of undead had been destroyed by Rohan and his people and so had the wand of daylight walking.
I am sad that Andaris and Kyph couldnít be with us on this day. They deserve some of the credit for all of this. Iím sad that Andaris isnít here to see Wade and I engaged, he always encouraged us from the start.
And from here, who knows... but I do have a wedding to plan!
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