The Chronicles of Etinerra

Belàldur at the Tavern

A Wenching Tale

Aye young lady, I am an Elf of the North Sea clans. Belàldur is the name. Don’t worry if you can’t pronounce it correctly, few humans can, and even fewer can spell it! I’m a long way from home, but you never know where you’ll wind up when you live life drifting with the tide. I also happen to be one of the Champions of the Barony, perhaps you’ve heard of us, and the Battle of the Dalewoods Fort? Come, have a seat here and I’ll buy you a drink, and tell you the thrilling tale of our latest expedition into places dark and dangerous.

You’ve probably heard about the old ruined monastery north of town. There is an evil that dwells there that is beyond description, corrupting everything around it. We found the corpses of Sir Reynald’s men and the goblyns they had been fighting… the corruption literally melting their bodies into a vile ooze that sank into cracks in the floor. That place is so twisted, reality itself shifts at times, leaving you feeling lost between different planes of existence, hot forceful winds of chaos howling against you, body and soul. We pressed on, despite the terrors.

At one point, we found ourselves descending a massive spiral staircase, with stairs that FLOATED IN MIDAIR, when we were attacked by a frenzy of desperate, blood-sucking creatures. One of them attached itself to me, its face-needle draining my blood before I could scrape it away with my blade. Here, have a look. (Belàldur peels back his shirt to reveal the wound.) Right there on the shoulder. There was a whole flock of those things we had to fight off before we could continue.

Those creatures were nothing compared to the creature we had to face next: floating round horrors, made of flesh on top and steel on the bottom, creating eerie sounds that echoed through the dungeon. With weird tentacles hanging out all over their bodies, one of them with a large glowing eye at the end of it that could assault you with deadly beams… Balto, one of my companions, had the wise idea of ambushing them with a flaming flask of oil, but the oppression of the dungeon was too much for him and his hand slipped. I can’t blame him much for it, I was a victim of this myself once while we were down there and managed to put an arrow into one of my own friends! Not fatally by luck, it was just a flesh wound. At any rate, we fought bravely and defeated the creatures, helped along by a particularly lucky bow shot of mine straight into one of those twice-damned eyes… (Belàldur mimics drawing and shooting an arrow.)

Next there were the strange goblyn guardians that stood atop 10 foot high brambles in a twisted garden with their crossbows. Ja’Kar, one of the odder members of the group, that believes in one of the strange human superstitions (no offence) again proved quite useful in baiting a trap for them, running like a demon out into the open with no armor to draw their fire and making them perfect targets for the rest of us. He may be unpredictable, rescuing goblyns one moment and executing them the next, but he most certainly is brave. We pressed on…

Imagine a fountain filled with sludge of pitch-black sludge, pure evil in liquid form. That’s what we came across next, and of course the 2 priests of the group were not about to let it stand. As strange as I find their philosophy, I can’t deny the power of their magic, as they were able to vanish enough of the sludge in the fountain for the evil in the area to backlash, shaking the ground as the vile plants that had grown around it retreated. Beyond, we found what seemed to be the home of the foul being responsible for all this chaos, but he wasn’t there.

We will return there soon, and my hope is that we’ll destroy the source of all this evil and corruption. Of course, we might just wind up dying a gruesome death. So I plan on living tonight as if it were my last. Would you like another drink? (Grin.)

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