After all the horrors of the day in the lumber camp, we rest and feel invigorated.
In the middle of the night a female giantess comes into camp and I am awoken by the dwarf yelling about an intruder. Really, dwarf? We had not noticed. The dwarf seems repulsed by her presence, and offers Payday up as the unknown person she’s searching for, before we know that the person she’s looking for is her wayward husband. He has wandered off and she hasn’t seen him for days. Ellen tells her that we haven’t seen him in our travels. Apparently this appeases her and she leaves us to the rest we so deserve.
In the morning we head out on our next leg of the journey to find…whatever it is we’re searching for. Honestly, I care not for these pathetic humans and their trivial lives. The money I will procure from the ‘good deeds’ as Ellen calls them, will help to set up my animal shelter so I no longer have to interact with those who annoy me. I particularly despise Kreed and Payday – they view everyone around them as inferior, particularly if they are women. I imaging they think women are weak. I will have to show him that is not the case.
We draw near to a sacred place with large stone discs laying one on top of the other at the edges. Around are bones of a dead dinosaur, and as we approach the bones they all start to shake and animate. Perfect. We dispatch the creature’s remains then move onwards to the stone passageway leading down into blessed darkness.
I grab a pretty, long, rough, faceted crystal from underneath the two disks that lay on top of one another. Ellen tells me to keep the crystal close to me. I tell her that I don’t know what she’s talking about. Damn her and her perceptive gaze. This makes sneaking things more of a challenge around her, but I am up for a challenge.
As we near the entrance, kobalds appear. Stupid. Dead. Kobald. Ghosts. I hit one of the risen kobald spirits with my nifty new weapon three times, then another two before the dwarf’s arrow causes it to dissipate. Huh…I think I like this new bracer of mine.
When we go underground, I feel a cold grip my chest and it does not leave, throbbing against my heart. Ellen finally tells us about the curse and the ‘Gleam of the Stars’ but I feel no different when I pull out the gemstone I took from the entrance area. Wonderful. Ellen does not appear to be concerned about the curse while the others begin to look worried. I grimly continue on into the dark. Damnit Ellen, it would have been nice to know about the curse BEFORE we went underground. We could have sent Payday in before us as a ‘canary’ or sorts. (I have heard of this technique in my travels from those in the mining business – you send the canary down the mine before you send people to see if there is enough air for the sentient beings to breathe. Barbaric. Why not just send a male down? They are less useful than a lovely bird, for certain.)
I destroy a water elemental that tried to catch us by surprise. Surprise, indeed, to find it on the wrong end of my blade.
It took a while for the dwarf to realize that these Whites attacking us after we killed the false kobald king…these were the things waiting for us in the one room we did not enter in the caverns on our way to this chamber. Well…he HAD been hit hard earlier in combat. Yes, the false kobald king had been reanimated – and did not like that I wore the crown better than he ever could. Ellen did a spectacular job of holding off a horde of undead by making herself into a rock that their wave of evil would have to break upon. Nicely done. She really does make a better door than a window.
Upon exploring the rest of the chamber once the vile, annoying creatures have been dispatched, we find a body perfectly preserved in a sarcophagus. Well…the body was perfectly preserved until the air hit it, then it crumbles to dust. A tablet and a rod are in the sarcophagus where the well-preserved body had lain. Ellen reads the tablet and the name of Zelfin Cova is on it. I grab the sceptre that is in it – Ellen tells me that it gives off magic. I want it because it is pretty, but I feel that it will likely not remain in my possession for long.
We go back to the room we did not explore and find six sarcophagi – frog demands that I check for traps. He will pay for that later. No one commands me. I couldn’t care less if another trap explodes in his face, as I could use a good laugh. I guessed on whether the sarcophagus had a trap. Lucky for him, there wasn’t actually anything nefarious lurking.
When we get back up to the stairs, we have time to read the curse on the mantle above the door: A dread curse falls upon those who enter here unless they have the gleam of the stars upon them. Wonderful.
Bill (oh, yes, did I mention that we found some of the idiots from the lumber yard in here? They had made the error of looking here for shelter or something. Their words are noise to me) lets loose a scream and his teeth all begin to fall out of his mouth –I figure they have been down under ground for about a full day.
Curse Payday and his lackeys’ sudden but inevitable betrayal. As we left the underground stairway we are set upon by them. A brief but exhilarating fight ensues where I am finally able to show Payday that he was gravely mistaken to treat me so poorly and betray us. I take great pleasure in putting him down and stripping him of his belongings as I am sure he would have done the same to us. We leave him there to die and take the last of his group hostage. The others from below who have been cursed run off into the woods. They will surely die. Fewer idiots to deal with later, I suppose.
We must hurry now and I will keep the rest of this brief as I would like to put this memory to bed. The curse begins to take hold of me and my teeth fall out – I gather them up in the hopes of either putting them back in somehow, making a set of dentures (at my age, imagine!), or turning them into a fearsome necklace for others to understand my will. I feel awful as the cold extends from my chest to my jaw. Death is close to me now. I feel blood oozing down my face, sure to make me even more intimidating to behold than usual. The river master dwarf would seem to agree if his discomfort at my presence is any indication.
We make the journey to see Sister Minerva of the Sisters of Serenray to see if she can heal us. She says she can, but it will cost. Whatever happened to ‘doing good for good’s sake’? I graciously give her 300 gold and Payday’s 15 gold and his wedding ring. It’s not as if he’ll need them anymore.
I wonder how Buttercup is doing since I left her in the care of Lady Cirthana back at the church. The encounter with the acid-spitting bug from a few days ago has opened my eyes to the thought that, while I may recover from grave injury, it is not just me I need to watch out for anymore. I have spent so long on my own since I was banished from my kingdom under the mountain that I had forgotten to look out for my little one and have concern for her wellbeing.
I give Ellen the magic buckler that I looted off…someone. She will have fun with it, I’m sure.
I take my share of the cut after we meet with Kreed. Into the stomach it goes for safe keeping. I hope Kreed meets a slow, unfortunate end in the near future, full of nasty undead things eating him slowly from the toes up.
Now that we have some time to ourselves…I wonder what my cloak can do?