Chapter Thirty-Two

December 31, 2011


            We continue down the next hallway to the right, which twists and turns before leading into the first large room we entered in this maze-like area.  We return to the room at the other end and continue down the next hallway to the right.

As we continue, I fail to find a trap and narrowly escape jets of alchemist’s fire.  I search the area further and discover a cubby filled with bones.  It may have been a burial chamber, but the bones are not laid in place finely.  Rather, they are askew.  I search through the bones and find a fine metal box.  I pick the lock, and inside, I find a very nice piece of black velvet.  When I move the velvet, I discover an extremely well made dagger.  It has a banded hilt of alternating pure silver and jet, and a black onyx in the pommel.  The blade reflects the old style of making a fine weapon, with wavy lines from its myriad folds.  I estimate the blade to be worth at least 1000 silver pieces, and bring it out for the group to see.  We admire it for a moment, then continue down the hallway, checking out various nooks and crannies along the way.

After a while, and several turns to the right, we come to a door.  It is trapped and locked, but I make quick work of these obstacles.  When I open the door, I see an extremely large room with candles arranged around a central stone chamber resembling a well.  There are enormous tables scattered about the room, each containing alchemical and other equipment, which appears to be in very good and oft-used condition.  One of the tables has a variety of stone, metal and wooden rods laid out upon it.  Off behind that table we see several people, one of them the other white witch—who is much larger than the first.

I shoot one of the rat men in front of her, and he drops.  Suddenly, black tentacles sprout from the walls and begin to wrap around us.  Brianna, Finn and I are all trapped within their grasp.    Briggette charges the white witch, but on her way through, two of the rat men attack her.  They hit, but don’t stop her onslaught, and she barrels into the witch at full speed.  Korvinean slays two of the rat men with two well-placed shots.  Ulric charges one of the remaining rat men and destroys it.  Finn and I both manage to break free of the tentacles and move out of the area they encompass.  The witch begins to cast and lifts into the air to fly away across the room toward the table with the rods.  Briggette attacks the skeletons which were flanking the witch before she flew away, but neither of them go down.  Ulric hops up onto the table, looking debonair as ever, and slashes at the witch.  She seems somewhat stunned by the pain.  Brianna attempts to break free of the tentacles again, but cannot manage the task.  Briggette whips around to the skeleton who just hit her and hits him solidly, but he keeps coming. 

A guisarme swings by her head, and takes out the final skeleton.  I step to the side and shoot at the woman just as Ulric slashes at her once again.  A stone dome suddenly appears over my head.  She flies down toward the pit in the center of the room, and Ulric jumps in after her, attempting to tackle her on the way down.  She turns to see him coming at her, but not in time to move out of his path, and he slams into her.  Less than a second later, they both hit the ground. 

She flips over on top of Ulric and attacks him with claws and teeth, but doesn’t manage to do much damage.  She appears immobile, but she is not quite dead yet; however, Ulric’s knightly vows prevent him from simply killing her.  Ulric finds some fabric to gag her to keep her from casting further, but when he returns to her, he finds that she has died.

I begin to beat against the wall surrounding me.  Soon, I can hear my friends also hitting the stone from the outside.  I try hammering in a piton, but I can’t seem to get it started.  After thirty minutes of trying, we finally manage to break out a hole large enough for me to squeeze out of the enclosure. 

We continue on our way, trying to save the children.  We come to a locked door with a trap, but I disable it and unlock the door using the keys we found on the witch.  When we open the door, we find 10 children chained in a circle to one another with a large jug hanging from the ceiling above them.  A mouth on the wall begins to speak, “ Me and mine will leave, thirty minutes, or the children die.”  We notice that there is a disembodied eye moving around on top of the jug. 
Ulric looks at the eye and says, “You have thirty minutes.  If you kill these children anyway, I will hunt down every member of your race and eradicate you.” 

The eye begins to count down the thirty minutes, and at twenty-nine minutes, the eye and mouth disappear.  I disable the trap and begin to untie the children.

We search throughout the rest of the “nest” and find another large man-made room similar to the one where we defeated the witch.  It has rusty manacles that have clearly not been used in some time, but there is a chest in the room.  I check it for traps, and finding nothing, I attempt to pick the lock.  A black beam shoots out and strikes me in the chest.  I feel enfeebled and less experienced.  I sit there, stunned, before reaching for the lock again.  Before I get there, Ulric simply lifts the lid.  Inside the chest, there are nine bags, each containing one thousand pieces of copper.  There are also six rubies roughly the size of a coin. 

Additionally, there is a book with white and silver bindings.  Ulric picks the book up and opens it.  He tries to flip through it, but it will not move beyond one page.  He looks at that page, and it reads “What would you like to know?”

He pauses and looks perplexed for a moment, then asks, “Where is Delrith?”

“Delrith is fighting evil on another plane of existence,” the book replies.

Ulric says, “Oh, that’s interesting,” and shuts the book.

“But, I want to find my brother…” Briggette says.  Ulric passes to book to her, and when she opens it, it turns to the next page and asks the same question.

“Where exactly is my brother?”  Briggette asks.  It answers her specifically.

Once we return the children and turn over the others to the town, we return to the area to seek out the treasures we left behind.