Deeper into the Darkness

Pelor is good; Tirel is dead. The rest of our night, after the epic battle with the sea monster, was quiet. In the morning our prisoner, Buzz (he is the sole survivor of Acgar”s acid breath attack from last night) helped us plan our next moves. I feel that he is trustworthy. Following his directions, we very quickly found ourselves outside or Tirel”s bedroom.

We heard voices, well, one voice, through the door. Someone was getting dressed down. The voice was female, angry and nonstop. Cinder checked the door, locked and trapped. We didn”t have time to spare for Cinder to try to disable the trap.

Cinder looked at Buzz. grabbed his shirt and pulled him to the side. In a low voice she said, “Here”s what you are going to do……” In a few moments Buzz was knocking at the door. He claimed to have been beaten up by “the adventurers” and he wanted to report to Tirel. The voice on the other side told him to wait. We were worried. He”d not been very convincing. We heard whispering…… Elvis was getting particularly nervous. From the side, he swung his halberd at the door. It made a huge noise and it brought the voice back to the door.

“Buzz!” said the voice. “I told you to wait! What the hell is going on? Are you alone?” Buzz turned to Cinder with a questioning look. She whispered, “You are very scared.” He nodded. She hissed, “Say it!”
“I”m ah, I”m really scared. Let me in.” Elvis poked him with his halberd. “Ack! Help!” That did the trick. The door swung open. Cinder had notched her bow and she let an arrow fly. The guy was on the floor bleeding in seconds.

I had known since dawn that my first action should be a hold person spell. I had no idea what evil spells Tirel might have prepared for us and I hoped that we wouldn”t know. If I could paralyze her, we might have a chance. Pelor guided my hands — the spell came off beautifully. Every few seconds she might try to break free, so my phrasing and hand gestures had to be perfect. They were, thank god.

I let the others worry about the four or five others in the room. I focused on Tirel. Before I knew it Acgar was at my side. She opened her mouth and acid sprayed all over Tirel. Her magic armor held up, but her hair and skin were coated in acid. I”m sure that if she could have, Tirel would have screamed in agony. Looking at her armor gave me the idea to call up the spell heat metal. She would slowly roast in her armor.

It is perhaps for the best that the spell did not work. It”s a new spell for me and who knows, maybe Pelor saved us from the nightmare of watching someone slowly burn to death.

The guards were dead or dying. I had been hit by two arrows, small wounds, but I hadn”t even noticed! Acgar called upon her Paladin training to finish Tirel with a smite evil spell and the fight was done. Then we had time to take in the room. There was a large tub in the far corner. Buck had told us that Tirel liked to take baths. Around the tub were bath salts and thick bars of lavender soap. The smell was heady. Myntilly sniffed one of the bars. “Think she was working on a “spa” spell?” We all laughed, except Elvis & Acgar. We explained to him that the night before we”d freed him from Jazdruine we had discussed creating a spell called spa which could rejuvenate you as though you”d had a spa treatment. Maybe Myntilly was right. We found a notebook with unknown writing beside the tub. Maybe Tirel wasn”t all evil.

We were lucky enough to find three more wands in the room. Four found; four to go. Elvis suggested that we split them up, no one person should carry them all. We agreed. Elvis, Myntilly, Cinder and I all grabbed one. They are beautiful wands, each unique. We also found some other nice stuff in Tirel”s room. Another ever-burning torch, some gold and platinum pieces….

I took a moment to cast locate object to see if we could find the other wands. Each one seemed scattered to the four corners of the compass. We asked Buzz about the layout of the cavern. East of our position was, he said, Tarkelar”s area. Tarkelar is undead. To the west was Skavin”s area. Skavin is a halfling; Buck thinks he worships Nerull.

Neither one seemed a good choice, but we have to get these wands. The rains have started. We”ve been underground almost 24 hours. Who knows what is happening in Cauldron.

My thought, as I told the group, was to deal with the undead first. They agreed and we headed to the east. Buzz was beside me. “So, you worship the sun?”
“Pelor”, I said patiently, “is the father. His face shines on us all.”
“Even down here?”
I nodded. “We carry his light within us. He shines brightest in the dark places.” I paused, “Would you like to know more?” Over my shoulder I saw Elvis exchange glances with Cinder. Maybe now is not the time to seek converts. “If you prove worthy, when we are above ground, out of danger, we can talk more about Pelor.” Buzz nodded eagerly.

We went down a long hallway. Buzz said the armory was on the other side of the right-hand door. Cinder listened and heard nothing. The armory was empty. There was, however, a cleverly hidden door on the far wall. Again Cinder listened and heard some movement. Buzz confirmed that the room beyond the armory was always guarded. Usually with two or three guards.

Cinder suggested a loud noise to bring the guards through the secret door and into our waiting arms. It didn”t take much for me and Sadi to knock over several suits of armor. They went over like dominoes and made a huge crash. Cinder stood on one side of the door, Elvis on the other. The door cracked open and a face peered out of the two inch gap. Cinder fired an arrow, practically point-blank. A cry, the face was gone suddenly and the door closed. Damn.

I was close, so I opened the door. The two guards seemed surprised to see the door swing open. They both fired. One hit my shield, the other stuck in my leg. Elvis and Acgar swarmed past me and the guards were down in moments. I had the arrow out and my leg bandaged in a few moments. Right as rain, as the elves say.

To the right was a door. Buzz said that he had never been through that door. He was primarily Tirel”s man. Tarkelar”s helpers were an odd bunch. You”d have to be to thrown in with undead. Cinder, as always, studied the door. “I”ve never seen a trap like this one.” Her fingers moved lightly over the wood. She chewed her lower lip. “If I press here?….” She seemed to be talking to herself. We all got restless as we waited for her pronouncement. She shushed us violently. We quieted down for a few seconds.

I was looking away, heard a few clicks and Cinder said, “It”s done!”
Sadi stepped up to look at the door. “That took longer than usual,” she murmured. I thought so too, but I wasn”t about to comment. Cinder turned quickly, not with an insult but with excitement: “This is the craziest trap! These razor blades shoot out of the inside of the door. They”d pin the unfortunate soul who tried to open it to the door itself! Target practice for anyone waiting on the other side.”

Waiting for us on the other side of the door was just a hewed rock path. The walls and f
loor were rough and unfinished, unlike the parts we”d seen so far. Through a twisty tunnel we came to the opening to a large room. Cinder crept up beside us to listen. Nothing.

The moment Elvis, Cinder and I stepped out into the room, a sonic boom went off. We covered our ears and made for the far side were the tunnel picked back up. The sound was deafening. Cinder”s amazing reflexes saved her. Elvis and I were both bleeding from the ears. I preformed a quick healing spell. We gestured for the others to cover their ears and RUN. They all made it to the other side. Buzz collapsed at my feet. He was almost unconscious. In the torch light he looked very young. I cast a strong healing spell and he was on his feet, but a bit unsteady, in a minute or two.

We took stock. At least one wand and something evil were in the direction we were headed. There was a dankness and a stench in the air. The tunnel seemed darker on this side. We headed deeper into the darkness.


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