Chapter Seventeen

July 9, 2011


          Finn fires, and lands a solid hit on the cube.  Brianna throws two shuriken, while Briggette swings her cudgel, and connects solidly.  Korvinean rips off a small piece of cloth and wraps it around his arrows.  He begins to light them.  The cube moves forward, engulfing me, but I manage to fight my way free.  Ulric charges and strikes the thing with the mace, and I fire a shot from my bow.  Finn and Brianna both fire again, while the cube puts forth a psuedopod and strikes at Briggette.  Ulric slams into it again with the mace, while Korvinean takes aim with his lit arrows.  Both connect and the cube begins to melt. We all step back and watch as it’s remains seep slowly into the stone work.

We continue to search the rubble, and find three more rubies, but still no opal.  We decide to search the treasure we saw in the room with the secret door that led to the tower.  We search for a while and find lots of valuable items, as well as a staff with a snake head and an exceptional sword.  Ulric picks it up and it begins to emanate a blue light, and reveals some script on the blade.  When Korvinean takes sword to read it, it ceases to glow, but when it is passed to Briggette, it glows again brightly.  The sword’s name is ancient Elvish for “I Sanctify Justice.”  And the hilt and quillions are fashioned to look like scales of justice.  The hoard also included two platinum birds and a marble jar inlaid with gems—which I remember are a part of Rahasha’s dowry.  Ulric hands Korvinean a ring we found in the treasure horde, and tells him to put it on.  When he does, nothing visibly changes.

I open the second secret door in the room, and it opens to a tunnel that seems to meander away to the northeast.  It opens into a 20 by 20 foot room.  The walls are smoothly hewn, and in the center of the room, a large snakelike creature glitters and slithers.  He is gold and silvery and sparkly. 

Ulric draws his weapon and slowly walks into the room.  “You are a very large creature.”

“I am adequate size,” it replies.

“Tell me, Briggette, is this a problem?”

“It doesn’t appear to be,” she says after giving him a hard look.

“Who are you?” the snake asks.

“I am Ulric von Zurwald!  Here to rescue the elves with my band of merry . . .” he gestures at us.  “We are looking for an opal.”

“I am Ular Tammen.  You are here to kill the Rahib and rescue the elven maidens?”

Ular goes on to tell us that he cannot leave the temple, and he is obliged to return some of these treasures to their owners, one of which is Rahasha’s dowry. 

Ulric gladly hands over the items, and Ular indicates there should also be a ring.  Korvinean gives him the ring he donned earlier.

“Rahasha’s father helped me—he healed me when I was wounded—but I am afraid he is dead.” Ular says.  “Hasan will not come.  I have something I was to save for him, but I believe I can trust you with it.  It is there,” he says and points with his nose at the floor.  I search the area he indicated and find a pressure switch that opens a small hole in the floor.  It is a black jade ring.  Ulric asks what the purpose of the ring is, and Ular says, “To defeat evil.”

“Quill?” Ulric asks.  He gets no response, and pulls the quill out of his helm.  “We need to talk.”

“Not in front of him,” it whispers.

“Oh,” Ulric says as the snake leans down to inspect the object.

“You’ve been very naughty, haven’t you?” he asks the quill.  After a bit more conversation, we learn that the Rahib’s chambers lie behind the snake, but that the Rahib is not present.  He asks about a pendant, but we have not found it yet.  He says that Rahib and the witches who possess the Elven maidens cannot touch the ring and the pendant, for they are not pure of heart.  He says that he does not know much about the tower or its contents, but he knows that Elias is dead, having “made” him to guard the temple.  We place the ring Korvinean had worn in the secret floor chamber, and lock it up.  Korvinean slips on the black jade ring, which Ular says will protect him from evil.  Ular stays in the room to guard what he swore to guard, and we go on through a door behind him.

We enter an octagonal room with alcoves.  Above the north, we see “Kesini” and on the south “Kesana.”  A large gong hangs in the middle of the western wall.  Inside one alcove, there is a large basket filled with fresh fruit.  Each alcove has a portcullis type gate with a lock.  I check for traps and pick the one with the fruit.

We open the main doors into next room, which is 20 feet square, and contains ovens and casks of wine.  As we search the cupboard, eight giant rats crawl out of the woodwork and attack us.  Korvinean draws and shoots at one of them, while I swing at another.  Briggette pulls out the Sanctifier and slices one clean in half.  Finn swings his glaive over Briggette’s shoulder and ends another while Brianna picks one up and deftly breaks its neck.  She tosses it into the remaining rats.  Korvinean shoots and kills two more before they can attack us.  I swing at one, but it scurries out of the path of my sword—right into the path of Finn, who ends it.  With all the rats thusly dispatched, we make a quick search of the room and move on down the hallway to the next room, which mirrors those two that came before.

This room’s walls are covered with frescoes of trees and peaceful mountain scenes.  A staircase in the south wall leads up.  There are doors in each of the other walls.  I begin looking at the door to the right, and an elven man materializes in our midst and the room gets cold.  Brianna and Murdese faint dead away.  He is not armed, and is not moving.  He is not moving.  He says, “I am Rahasha’s father.  By the Rahib’s hand here I was felled and long awaited you to come. 

Rahasha’s pain I have dearly felt, but you have come to free her.  Hasan is in the dungeon south.  My gold is in the north guarded by an ally of the dragon guard waits before the gold.  The Rahib is but a pawn.  A darker evil lies below.  The dragon guard knows the story, and guards the way below.”  He slowly dissipates.  We continue on our way, taking the next door to the right.

When we open the door, we find four siswa guards in chainmail.  One addresses us, “Who are you?”

“I am Ulric von Zurwald!  I am here to rescue Rahasha.”

The guards attack, and Finn immediately takes one out.  I try to tumble through the crowd, but run into Briggette.  Korvinean picks me up by my tail and moves me unceremoniously out of the way.  Ulric bulrushes one of the elves and slams him backward while issuing a challenge to all of them.  Brianna tumbles through the crowd and knocks one of them out.  One of them swings at Ulric’s head, but ends up slicing off the top of his friend’s head instead.  Another swings at Briggette, but misses.  She punches him in the face, and he goes down.  Finn reaches past Ulric to pull one down with his gruisarme.  I swing at one of them, but, not being used to hand-to-hand combat, I miss.  Ulric uses his shield to bash the elf in front of him, rendering him unconscious.  Brianna once again punches at the elf by her and knocks him out.  Korvinean ties the men, and I go to check out the next door.  I open the door, and we are led into a long hallway with ten doors on each side.

These appear to be prison cells.  We search each of them, and find a human male in one of them, who is wearing chainmail with a turban on his head.  In another, we find an elf, while another reveals a pile of bones.  Korvinean walks up to the door which contains the elf and asks, “Who are you?”

“My name is Hasan.”

Ulric asks him, “What do you know about Mind Control?

“Not much.  Who are you?”

“I am Ulric von Zurwald!” he goes on to explain our mission and what we’ve found so far.  We give him a weapon, and invite him to join us.  We go to the door where the human is, and find out his story, and how he came to be here.

We go back to the next door on the right.  It opens to a 20 foot room filled with books and papers.  There are extremely detailed maps of the town and the surrounding area, as well as drawings of the three elven maids we have met.  I search through the area, but find nothing else of note. 

The next room has walls filled with shelves and papers, a mirror of the prior room.  In the center of the room sits a large table lit by a single candle.  A dark figure sits at the table reading a book.  Briggette looks at him studiously for a moment, then gives Ulric the signal.

“El Rahib, I assume?” Briggette says

“Of course.  But forgive me, Protector—you sound like a girl,” he says.

Briggette charges up to the table and chops the book in half.  The man moves to the alcove at the back of the room and casts on Briggette.  She feels slightly off-kilter for a moment, but shrugs off the evil influence.

Ulric draws the mace, charges and says, “I am Ulric von Zurwald! I will send you to the seven hells where you will be molested by Beelzebub himself!  You will attack me and no other if you have a spine in your body!”  He slams into the dark figure with the mace as I move in to attack.  I land a solid blow on his flank.  Brianna tumbles over to the Rahib and takes the brunt of his attack on the way.  The Rahib swings his mace at Ulric, and a wall slides open behind him, revealing another room.  We hear a thunderous deep roar.

Briggette strikes him with the Sanctifier, and as it hits, it emits a small burst of bluish light.  I stab at him again from the flank, and he goes down.

Two black panthers come out from the side room and attack us.  One of them gets Briggette with a massive claw, and she misses her swing in its direction. 

Ulric bashes one with the mace, and, finding no safe place to make a stance, I fall back and take a shot.  The panthers both attack Ulric and Briggette, and while Ulric escapes unscathed, Briggette takes a harsh blow.  After a bit more back and forth, both panthers are down.

We go back and check El Rahib, and he is still breathing.  We don’t bind his wounds, and we throw him into one of the cells.  We find a holy symbol of one of the ancient gods of Ar, Mormo.  She is an elderly crone with pendulous breasts that end in snake heads.  Her arms end in snakes.  Mormo is the serpent mother, queen of witches, and queen of hags.  We search through the room and find a keyring with 10 keys.  The notes appear to be mostly from Elias, as they are in the same handwriting.  We find nothing else of consequence, and head back for Ular’s room.  We ask for the story of the tower, and he tells us:

After the fall of Ar, Elias came to this place and built the tower.  There were elves here then, but not these elves.  For many years he helped them, protected them, taught them.  Several generations of wood eleves.  Their friendship with Elias was passed from father to son until even Elias was an old man.  After Elias died, the elves built this temple to honor him.  Many of
[waiting on DM for remainder of story.......]