You’ll forgive me if I seem somewhat morose this time around. Facing one’s own mortality will do that.
As you may or may not recall, my comrades and I are deep below Thunderspire Mountain on a search for a rogue wizard named Paldamar, and seeking to end the corrupt slave trade in this area. We have destroyed the slaver industry for the most part, but some of the slaves are missing, and that seems to have led us to this awful place known as the Well of Demons.
Our new monk friend Greth continues to prove himself. As we were searching for these four artifacts (book, mask, dagger and bell), he found both the dagger and the bell. The bell was the final piece we needed, and it led to another tough battle against a group of demons.
The battle seemed to last forever, thanks in part to some horrendous pillars that constantly grabbed at us, spit acid, and generally made nuisances of themselves. Most horribly, the pillars seemed to be made of trapped souls or something. They attacked the demons as much as they attacked us. I didn’t know what to make of them, but I was glad to leave it all when we did.
I believe we all acquitted ourselves well in that particular battle, though it went on for so long. Greth was impressive, as I said, and Déor… I still get a chill every time I hear him bark a command in battle, which, as a warlord, he is wont to do quite often. So far, this has not created as much conflict with Aerizell as I expected it might. Perhaps because our choices have been somewhat limited. Though now that I think about it…
When we placed the artifacts on the circles or whatever, a series of traps were triggered that attempted to attack each one of us. Most were able to quickly leave them behind, but as luck would have it, I was stuck in the one area that contained the most annoying, most ridiculous, and most improbable traps of all. Skeletons on the ground would suddenly spring to life and seize anyone who passed by. But these were NOT like any other skeletons we have ever encountered, skeletons that fought like the undead monstrosities they are. Instead, these skeletons were totally impervious to any harm whatsoever. Whoever animated them in this way must be a supremely powerful necromancer, one that could rock the very world with his powers! I shudder to imagine what he could do if he set his mind to it. Think about it, after all – if he crafted these skeletons for something so simple as a minor trap… what awe-inspiring feats could he do if he truly wanted to cause real pain and suffering?
Yes, I’m saying “he” but I’m well aware that the very fact of this trap being so ridiculously annoying implies the strong possibility that the necromancer in question is a “she” instead. Happy?
At any rate, while I was struggling in the grip of the adamantine bones, a loud roar told us that some monstrous beast had appeared somewhere in the middle of our area. As all of us were scattered to the various circles, Déor came rushing toward me, calling out for the others to assemble on his location. That… was not entirely a good strategy, as he rushed right into the supremely-powerful skeletons that showed they were immune to all of his powers as well (and everyone else’s, as it turned out). I suppose Déor still has somewhat to learn about tactics.
The roar was the Shadow Dragon we had faced before, only this time we would not be able to escape it. It threw its concealing shadows here and there, assaulting us with claws, teeth, and necrotic breath. All the while, a massive ball of spikes or something was rolling in a circle around the hallways… yes, I realize how ridiculous that sounds.
And this was where I failed. There is no other way to describe it. The dragon almost killed me. Though Déor and Aerizell were able to revive me eventually, I missed half the battle. I am told that Greth heroically dragged my almost lifeless body out of the way of the spiked ball, that Déor allowed himself to get attacked by the ball so that he could support the others in their battle against the dragon, and that the dragon was finally brought down by a combined effort of them all.
I should note that of course I had already done significant damage to the beast myself before it… almost killed me.
Here I am. Alive. But perhaps I shouldn’t be. Something happened to me in those brief moments when I was neither here nor there, neither fully alive nor fully dead. I do not know how to describe it yet, but I will ponder it. The others tell me they feel invigorated and that we are near our final destination. Déor is jokingly referring to our wizard as Ferrin Dragonslayer, since he struck the final blow… Aerizell is polishing his shield… Greth is meditating…
And I? I exist. That is all I can say for the moment.
Till the waves consume us all.