Second Chance

Gardain's Journal 3

The numbers on the wall are trouble, Nessie convinces us to choose the hour of “Dusk” which she recalls from the poem outside the garden. We don’t have any better ideas so she stands between the torch and the black 7 on the wall.

Yeah, that didn’t work. Several undead materialize in this room and in the tapestry room next door. They are nasty buggers with auras that deflate the will, sapping our strength. Shakka Khan traps two in an enchantment which keeps them from moving around, but Rock is too close and they wail upon him mightily. Mindartis barely brings him back up before we hear a wail from the next room — Shakka’s prey escaped and is feasting on his soul. I pull as many in this room as I can to me, but it’s not enough. Rock goes back down, followed by Mindartis. Nessie runs from the room, drawing one of my opponents with her. She seems to falter a moment when she’s faced with Shakka’s foe and her pursuer both, but she manages to escape the structure, and the two fiends after her. That turned the tide of the battle, however, and I manage to get Mindartis back on his feet and he saves Rock, but alas it is too late for Shakka. I immediately run to find and help Nessie…

I find Nessie’s body, broken and soggy at the bottom of the waterfall. I carry her back to where Mindartis is, but it is too late for her as well. We begin discussing burial rites that each of our fallen foes would have preferred, Rock is searching Shakka’s body for any religious affiliation, when Shakka awakes, a red glint in his eye. We are remarking on that miracle when the same happens to Nessie a few moments later. Shakka gets a distant look in his eyes and says that they apparently have been subject to a ‘raise dead ritual’ but somewhat stronger, in fact they say they feel perfectly normal, not weakened as a raise dead normally leaves one for a few days.

I suppose it is part of the enchantment of the area, but whether it was put here by the creators or the corruptors, we don’t know. We just celebrate our comerade’s return to us and set up watches to get some rest from our ordeal.

The next day we decide that we don’t know enough yet about the place and the other potential symbology in the poem to try another number. I agree and we resolve to explore more and find out what we can about the corruption we were told of. Except for undead spirits everywhere we look, we can’t be certain there is really a corruption — I mean aren’t all graveyards full of undead spirits?

In another building, across the river, we hear a faint cry for help. We rush in and a comely elatdrin maiden is chained on the wall of a strange building — the walls are covered in runes and sigils that we can’t make heads or tails of. The eladrin is a guise, however, and it appears she’s really a beetle demon, she conjures two swarms of beetles and can turn herself into beetles and pass right through the walls.

I do my best to keep her in my challenge, but the shifting through walls makes that troublesome. I also put my auras up to slow her down, which has some of the desired effect. We manage to disperse her swarms, and the encounter devolves into a hide and seek game, with us attempting to get in a good shot each time the beetle demon appeared out of the walls.

When she is finally dispatched, we patch ourselves up and I get a few minutes to write in this journal. But the day is not over, and we have yet to understand what exactly is changed or different about this graveyard and what we’re going to be able to do about it.

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havoclad MrIce

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