TOREN 2000 - Stories|
Recent additions (09/16/00)
Hello friends. My name is Lia Spellsong. Please sit and enjoy a tale of a
courageous fight against evil and a daring rescue. I think you will be
surprised at the ending. This
story was told to me by a warrior from the Trabzea March named Caedon. Now, Now! Before
you rush to judgement about Caedon, please hear his story. These events took place
during the summer of 7402.|
"Daltree first approached me while I was trying to decide what my next step should be, continue traveling north, or hang my head and return to Vikon. The massive forester told me that he was gathering a group of stalwarts to head up to the ruins of Lanacar Castle."
That's right, he said the dreaded Lanacar Castle!
"While I was looking for adventure I was not interested in a wild goose chase, and informed him so. Like everyone else, I had heard the rumors of hidden treasure secreted within the ruins, and the ghosts and ghouls that guarded it, remnants of the Ninth Legion; and like everyone else I knew these rumors had persisted through over a hundred years and scores of expeditions. But he was not put off; in fact, he produced a parchment from a friend of his, hastily written and in guarded undertones, suggesting an immediate rendezvous. It seemed promising, so I told him I would meet the rest of the companions he had gathered. It was certainly a unique gathering of individuals, Zandar, a budding wizard he had known previously. Dylon an elven acolyte of Arksorn, truly a rarity, although I had seen few elves I believed they all worshiped gods within the Aldaric Pantheon. Finally there was the dwarven warrior Arngrimnir, an outspoken warrior from Dyzudun, he cared little for the Trabzea March, and I expected him to burden me with his prejudices, however I made it clear that I would not be apologizing for the actions of my ancestors any time soon, and so a temporary truce was called.
We traveled for several days, the otherwise pleasant journey exhaustively drawn out by the Dwarf’s slow gate, bringing us all to the verge of exhaustion. Eventually we arrived at our destination, the village of Brookstone, situated at the base of the massive hill supporting the ancient ruins of Lanacar. The size of the town spoke volumes of the success of adventurers returning from Lanacar, there were only two buildings with more than one story. We entered the first, Cutter’s Inn, the local inn and rendezvous point for our meeting with Daltree's friends. According to Tril Cutter, the innkeeper, Daltree's friends had left 8 days ago without a word, and without collecting the balance of their prepaid room. They simply vanished, leaving only the key to their room and no note. We decided to hold onto the slim hope that they may yet show up, or that perhaps they set up a campsite closer to the ruins some 5 miles away. Taking advantage of the last few hours of daylight we journeyed towards the ruins, and happened upon the town’s 3rd major building, a temple to Valankriis. I warned my companions that the priesthood of Valankriis was filled with zealots and fanatics, but they would hear none of it, citing only the propaganda passed down by the church, and extolling the virtues of the Sumeolic pantheon, and how it was a paladin of Valankriis that defeated the devil worshipping leaders of the Ninth Legion. We entered the temple and found the priest Arrius, he told us that he had not seen anyone up this way for the past month, when in fact we knew that Daltree's friends had been up there in that time, however so as not to raise any suspicions we thanked him for the information, and headed up toward the ruins, passing a large masoleum on the way.
My suspicions were confirmed, upon reaching the castle ruins, we found the remains of an abandoned campsite. After a more thorough search we uncovered a crude map scrawled onto an overturned slab of stone. The map led us to the center of the ruins where we discovered some freshly disturbed earth, something was eating at Arngrimnir, he couldn’t place his finger on it, but something didn’t feel right about this patch of earth, and so he set upon it like a badger, and in no time had dug a 5’ deep hole, at the bottom of which was a slab of marble. He continued his efforts tirelessly for the next several hours, and unearthed a massive circular slab of marble some 30’ in diameter. What could have possibly moved it to this location was as much of a mystery as why it was placed there. We sat about scratching our heads for a while, until someone spotted Arrius leaving the temple and heading for town. The opportunity was one we could not pass up, I lit my lantern, placed it where it would be obviously visible for many miles, and then we all headed down the slope in the darkness. We reached the temple, finding the door open we entered, hoping to find some clues. However the temple was barren, not even a scrap of paper, frustrated we left. On the way back to the ruins we stopped at the masoleum, Dylon, balked at the thought of desecrating a crypt openly emblazoned with the holy symbol of Valankriis, but we were running out of places to look, and with no clues at to the whereabouts of Daltree's friends, we entered. The far wall had 5 massive statues depicting warriors or knights in heavy armor, at their feet were 5 sarcophagi, the lids partially ajar. Suddenly 5 skeletal figures arose from open sarcophagi, and fell upon Arngrimnir, who easily brushed them aside. Dylon turned the power and fury of Arksorn upon them, and they sunk back into their sarcophagi, putting aside any doubts I may have had about his claims. It was only then that I realized I was spending too much time watching, and not enough time fighting, throwing down my trident, I strode in while drawing a weapon with a little more heft. I brought the spiked ball of my flail down on the head of a skeleton with such force as to shatter its skull, spine, and ribcage, dropping the abomination. Arngrimnir did likewise with his hammer, and in no time we littered the floor of the crypt with skeletal remains. The rest of the group began to realize what I had suspected all along, the priest of Valankriis, Arrius, was probably responsible for the disappearance of Daltree's friends. Someone came to the conclusion that these skeletons must be guarding something, and it wasn’t long before we discovered what. One of the statues pivoted to the side to reveal a pit descending into the darkness. We decided now would be the perfect time to descend into the bowels of the crypt, Arrius was still on his way to town, and would discover our trespass on his return. Arngrimnir went first to test the stability of the construction, once he had done so he summoned us down. We had entered what appeared to be a hand carved tunnel Leading into the hillside, the passages were claustrophobically narrow, but perfect conditions for the use of a trident."
What did Ceadon and his Party find below the desecrated masoleum? Could a cleric of Valankriis really be behind these evil goings on? Find out right here tommorrow night.
We travel down the narrow passage, with Arngrimnir in the Lead, until we arrived at a larger room, crudely supported by heavy wooden beams, one exit on the opposite side. While distracted, Arngrimnir stepped on a false floor, plummeting into a shallow pit. I moved ahead to assist him and saw two walking corpses in the pit with him. Following up on my success with the skeletons I decided to leap into the pit to assist the old dwarf. A tactical mistake, I twisted my ankle upon landing and crashed in a heap on the ground. The zombies attacked us, flailing with inhuman strength at our shields and armor. Soon Arngrimnir and I were on our feet, the dwarf destroyed a zombie with his waraxe, while I used my flail to pull the feet out from beneath my opponent, after that it was just a matter of beating the thing until it quit moving. The rest of the group helped us out, and it was only then that I noticed that they had all been shooting crossbows down into the narrow pit, bolts littered the floor, and it was probably a miracle that neither of us were hit. After gathering our wits and tending to our wounds we continued on, and while I suggested a more careful approach, Arngrimnir was concerned with the priest returning unexpectedly, and so we went 10’ before he ended up in another pit, again filled with the walking dead. This time I made my decent a little more carefully, my ankle still smarting. I arrived just in time for the zombie to send me reeling with a club-like fist to the head. Fortunately these zombies were as slow and stupid as the others, and we quickly dispatched them. This time our injuries required more than a moment's rest. The giant Daltree stepped forward and cast a spell of healing upon me, immediately relieving all my aches and injuries, Dylon did the same for Arngrimnir, and once again we were ready to continue. Thankfully we were at the end of the large room and, we assumed, beyond the initial traps, we were wrong. We traveled a short distance down the narrow passage when suddenly the walls around us collapsed throwing up a chocking cloud of dust. Dylon and I were caught in the center of the commotion and tried to guard against attack, however there was nothing we could to do to prepare for what we saw next. Children, the skeletal remains of children crawled out from the rubble clawing and biting at our legs. Dylon reacted first, again calling upon Arksorn for protection, and sending the tiny skeletons scampering and cowering, we crushed the bones to prevent them from ever rising again, and moved onward. Suddenly Daltree, who had said so little this whole time, called out a warning, something was moving up behind us, and closing quickly. Before either Arngrimnir or myself could react, men in armor with swords overran the rest of the group. Daltree, with a quickness I had not though possible for a man his size moved forward and cut one of the men nearly in half with his curved sword. Zandar followed up immediately with a spell that put one of the men to sleep. The last bandit tried to flee, but as he ran past the child, the boy stabbed him neatly in the kidney with his small sword, and with that the feral child charged us. What happened next was neither brave nor heroic, but it had to be done, as a group we attacked and killed the demon-child. As we considered whether or not to continue we heard the distinctive sound of heavy armor rushing up behind us. Arngrimnir, always two steps ahead of me rushed down the tunnel, followed closely by Dylon and Daltree. I turned to follow but was suddenly swallowed in darkness, I heard the Dwarf cursing and calling for a retreat, when suddenly an explosion rocked the tunnel. I felt Dylon and Daltree run by in the dark, but there was no sign of the Dwarf, I rushed up to find him in the darkness and heard an armored figure closing in. Damn Orius and damn Valankriis, there was no way I could defeat him within the magical darkness, I grabbed Arngrimnir’s body began pulling him back to the party, where the hell was everyone else. Suddenly a sharp pain shot through my shoulder, the fiend was upon me forcing me to abandon my plans of retreat. In the darkness we sparred, back and forth for what seemed like an eternity, I heard someone coming then suddenly everything went white, pain exploded through my skull and I began tumbling further and further into darkness.
When I awoke, the rest of the group explained how Orius had emerged from the darkness to strike down Dylon then Daltree, and was coming for Zandar when Daltree's friend, Lia Spellsong and a halfling slave named Mick charged up from our flank to lend a helping hand against the fell priest, and with their help we were able to lay low the sinister Orius.
That's right, Daltree's friend who they were there to rescue was me! After this terrible battle they were able to destroy the rest of the undead and free the rest of the slaves, including my husband. In the process they came across a secret room that Arrias was using for a lair. In the room was a set of spears from the 5th Legion and a holy symbol of Inviktron! Arrias was obviously a priest of Spear Famed Inviktron, although it would be some time before Ceadon would come to believe that.
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