Your holiness, Grand Arbiter Nulendar,
After understanding the scope of your task for the Church of Light and Dark, I am still uncertain if I am wasting your time with missives. Every priest I have met of the Lawgiver treats me as though I am some heaven sent angel from the Ma’ip and all I am trying to do is A) uphold a promise to Isis and B) not embarrass my father, Chief Rostam of the Serinan Tribe. When the two priests assigned to me were carrying the chest from Overkill’s quarters on Rogtilda. One of them slipped and both of the priests of Osiris died from Master Azariel’s death wards on the chest. People were stunned when I used lightning magic to restart their hearts from a spell I keep in my grimoire! I didn’t think their souls had enough time to truly leave their bodies I went to work fast and after their return did people gave us a wide berth.
I still remember their names:
They thanked me and exclaimed to those worried whom stopped and those passing by they were in no real danger because they had been with me and like Overkill, I can defy death. I think I smiled then to convince myself more than anyone that it would all be okay. Can you find a way to reward them for their service in some way? Zumyarus said he had a wilderness bound ranger cousin whom would be overjoyed to know he had not passed permanently from the world. I often wonder if the Defilers realized how dangerous it was to be around them for those not prepared for the company we all keep?
If the Pontiff hears from my father I would be grateful for that news. Once it is safe to write to him once more I would love to do so and leave your august personage to matters of the world’s stage. I hope I said that correctly as to imply respect and not that you’re old. I respect your age and wisdom I simply don’t have good grammar sometimes and I just want to put the best foot forward for our Savior. I feel guilty about telling everyone we need to keep going when I miss my family, or what is left of them so much. Is it funny to miss people you don’t actually know? Well enough of that line of thought! Okay, on to the task at hand, what task is that? Why rebuilding a not just a god but rebuilding the God of Law and Order himself, OSIRIS!!! On to the greatest story yet to be told!
Small Note: Again to the Solarium, “Please contact me to get the ring back, I really did not know the fairy had it. Having used it I can see why you want it back and I am more than happy to return it since you returned our companions.”
I’m sure getting updates every few hours was not what you had in mind and I’m sorry but we write when we have the time. Currently I am sitting in yet another ancient cavern below the city of Avramstown going over the body of the disgraced Champion of the Church of Light and Dark, one Dio Regellant. I made sure when he knew when he died from punches by my lightning enchanted fists that I was killing him for betraying Master Asher’s Empress. Most people won’t remember him but they should find the Books of CrIsis with the chapter titled ‘Gamesward Bound’ for an accounting of his betrayal.
Now how did we get here scant hours after my last letter to you from the antechamber in the under-city of Avramstown to an ancient cavern with a dead Rahu-Man and one disgraced, deceased ex-crusader of the Church? Well pull up a goblet of wine and I shall endeavor to not bore you.
When last I wrote the lot of CrIsis had been sequestered in that aforementioned antechamber lit only by a candle. It was a tenth of an hourglass when the door opened and a richly adorned Hooman by his clothing motioned for us to come into another room through a short hallway. A hallway that would’ve been tall enough for me to stand at full height in my natural form. Once we all exited that person took our place in the room. Which was wise but let’s not jump ahead shall we.
Soon enough a six and a half foot tall version of the late Captain Overkill walked in and introduced himself as “NOT” King Avramson, because “CrIsis” was “NEVER” here. We acknowledged the point and the warning that outside this room we were enemies of the state. Then his flame-colored beard broke across his face into a broad smile and he asked how he could help us. I had to explain whom I was and my disguise before launching into the tale about looking for Wo-Elfenbrut, both as the library and the ancient buried city. Father Indaris was asked to explain further because the King felt about me the way Heavenly Isis did at first, wary. I could not blame him since being accepted is actually still a very recent thing for me to deal with. At least there were no catapults involved to which I am very grateful. Master No Name mentioned that we needed to look up the descendant of Ariavra Cherona, the Maiden of Wo’Elfenbrute according to ancient Elvish texts. Father Indaris mentioned that the bard, Jase Wendryn, as knowing this information. It was then the red bearded king mentioned that Master Jase had left for the Northern Hinterlands not but a few days before the siege began.
When we began discussing how to track down Master Jase, the red bearded king mentioned we may already have the knowledge on how to proceed for he was the descendant of the Ariavra Cherona! I was right! I began to point out he knew all along because everyone in Avramstown is descended from the Hoomans of Wo-Elfenbrut! That’s why this Hooman kingdom had survived among the northern wilds for thousands of years before the Great War of Fair and the Strong! I wonder then what happened to the Elves of Wo-Elfenbrut? Would we find them as guardians along the way?
When he asked if we knew anything about the Khejas family I hastily spurt out the phrase I knew of “Have you heard about the Khejas Family, I heard they they were murdered horribly.” He mentioned the appropriate reply and that if I got that wrong elsewhere those guardians would not be so forgiving. It was then he went to a desk in the room and produced a key made of ancient wood. He told us that those that wished to enter Wo-Elfenbrut must use this key.
Then a knock at the door interrupted him and soon he was hurrying us back to the antechamber because the second CrIsis group that the late Sunder Blackrock confirmed existed and called the Blessing were here and seeking the same prize. The race for the price of knowledge was indeed on – to quote a bard or two. When Master Grignak would not fit through another trap door in the original antechamber, and Master Ursus was not an issue due to the time of day being three turns past high sun. The red bearded king stepped forward and began to shrink the Troll to half his 14 foot size! However he was still a Troll! I cast a See Aura Spell on King Avramson and came to the conclusion that since he and I both have an aberration he must be an actual DEMI-GOD!!! It would also explain that the ancestor maybe not be so ancient for him. A grandmother maybe? Though now I wonder how often he might have had to fake his own death? Gah!!! Time for this later!!!
Down the trap door, eight sets of ladders, and a very smoothed stone tunnel with ceilings that range 16 to 30 feet up later, we came to a wooden door carved in runes, yeah real runes! The cavern encompassing the door was 60 feet high and the door itself was 30 feet high by Dwarf measurements. Using magic I deciphered the very ancient text upon the door among the ‘Ever-Burning Torches’ providing ample light.
On the door frame: Those that trust in that which melts shall find peril, Those that trust in what makes words possible shall pass.
When I shared this with the group I was able to touch and examine the key as well. Smearing some of the grime off of it revealed the Rune of Earth. The key had attempted to force some mystical force upon me and though ancient and powerful beyond reckoning I used luck to shrug it off. Our group unlocks the door and then BOOM!
When we begin to see once more we are in another cavern and not a clear sign of how to get out. Soon all of our metal begins to burn and we take it off. Strangely, a few items avoid this malady: our black and gold inlay Eternal Torch Rings, Oathbringer, Osiris’ Left Arm, and Defiance’s Tooth because it is a bone rune weapon! While I want to study the phenomena, however we were told time is of the essence. We did pause long enough for a Chant of Blessings from Master Girgnak, the Shaman of Bast. I have to admit now knowing more about sex and how enjoyable it could be I think Bast wanted me last time I met her. Part of me is a little sad I did not indulge in such a heavenly gift. Sigh.
Onward we went following the left wall so we might avoid getting lost in a maze, it was an old trick all the Minotaurs knew because of stories about prisons we were kept in during the ancient times to avoid harming the world. They would then toss criminals in there and give us food in that fashion. No wonder my race is for the most part blood thirsty savages. Sorry, I am endeavoring not to bore so talking about ancient lore is not what you want to read for certain. After about an hourglass turn or so going through tunnels and caverns all well lit by the same ‘Ever-Burning Torches’ we noticed some rats trying to follow us actively. Using the See Aura Spell once more I realized one of the rats was clearly metamorphosized by magic, likely a wizard. I called out the fact and began casting a fire bolt! That specific rat disappeared and all but one of the others ran away because Shaman Grignak ate the last one. Our shaman also pointed out the Arch Fiend, we know as Ratel, is fond of controlling rats. When we came across the rats a second time I asked him to take a form we could converse in and lo and behold it was indeed Ratel. We verbally spared as Master No Name risked being burned (it was healed later) by his Vindicator scythe to toss it into the air and activate its holy power of banishment! He said it would not work next time and in 140 days we will find out what that means. Ratel is nothing if not persistent and a stickler to his threats.
Soon another turn of an hourglass and we had found our way around the complete outside tunnel structure because Father Indaris had been making a crude map bringing up the rear. We began to make our way into the interior tunnels using the same follow the left path method. Soon we found ourselves in an oval shaped cavern with – what I could identify as – the same Rune of Earth carved into the floor. Thinking we had found a waypoint of sorts we began to figure out how to get past it. It was soon determined that it was upon a door but when Shaman Grignak tried to touch the wooden key with the Earth Rune to it he set off a Death Ward. It bypassed the Armor of ithan Spell I had girded him with. Isis’ Seeker was moving to help him when Khonsu’s Reaper heard something approaching. Long story short the Blessing had finally caught up to us, and I was stunned when I realized their roster make up! ! !
Apparently, Tiakatha the four armed giant was really pissed about the destruction we caused in the jungle. Dio Regellant was the holy crusader mentioned above that betrayed his oaths to people that had treated Master Asher on merit and not appearance. What can I say, Joe, is just and asshole and a sore looser. Malah is an Elven Mage with grand daddy issues riding the robe-tails of his forebears to fame and power. Then I thought I kinda remembered the last one to make an appearance briefly, Vorravica, I kinda remembered from somewhere. I thought she had died rather horribly though, It was then Magos began to talk in my head with words and memories of her former owner!!!
I thought she died when she attacked us in the umm.. ermm.. Western Lands with the rogue Minotaurs?
Oh well, I thought to myself, I guess she misses her grandfather and seeks to return to the realms of the dead. It did strike me very odd that everyone here had an axe to grind with me specifically. Earlly in the battle Joe and Vorravica run off to an unknown location. Malah is grabbed out of the air by Shaman Grignak and slammed around like a Cyclops Spider’s fresh kill. I kept the four armed giant and the traitor knight at bay for most of the fight using my enchanted lightning covered fists as Isis’ Seeker produced the fog to blind everyone. Khonsu’s Revenant was using a bow but I think the fog hampered him because he hit me instead. Eventually, and by that I mean seconds, the door in the center with the Earth Rune opens and Khonsu’s Reaper goes diving in and then back out saying Vorravica is down there, talking to the ceiling. Hmm, a second level, of course we have to go down it was a city after all. When Tiakatha leaves me and tries to make it to the door Father Indaris uses the Lawgiver’s Left Arm and Oathbringer in a devastating double strike and finishes him off once and for all. The Traitor Knight tries to run and I catch him and that brings me back full circle to the beginning of this missive.
We are searching the bodies using all the detection magics I have at my disposal to learn about the Blessing and their leader, the enigmatic Terosh. Well aware the remainder are ahead of us on the way but don’t have the key.
>> Written by Xerx’ses Goldenhorn, sent on the 8th of Kym-Nark-Mar, 3rd year of King Guy the First of the Timiro Kingdom, 71st Year of the Wolfen Empire, 344 year of the Dominion of Man, and 24th Year of the Western Emperor Voelkian Itomas II. <<
All screen captures and Art by AZ_Rune