The Chronicles of Etinerra

Fumbling and Frustration

Balto's Journal

Ja’Kar had appreciated my help rescuing the goblyns from their captivity under the monastery. They were no threat to anyone, but frustratingly apathetic and unable to defend themselves. Ja’Kar took them to Mesha’s shrine, I think to help support it in exchange for protection and food. Most of the rest of us split off from him and went back to town. But I want to talk to him some more – he has a respect for nature and balance and a disrespect for organized religion that make me think we could do great works together.
After my first descent into the monastery’s depths, I relished the fresh air and open spaces. The trip back to Enonia was a real delight, walking through the warm summer day. Since those of Reynald’s fighters we had freed arrived in town just before us, it was hard to escape notice. I appreciated the free drinks and easy company, but I might have heard more if I’d been able to stick to the shadows. My new armor drew attention, too – the Marshal’s armorer tried to get it from me, even offered 500 gold pieces for it, saying he’d never seen its like.
Anyhow, after a couple of days, Ja’Kar rejoined us and we headed back to the monastery. Let’s see, that was me, Belaldur, Ja’Kar, Mazlor, Sally, Joran, Ragar, and Pyria. Everyone had reprovisioned, and Ja’Kar had even brought chalk to mark our way through the depths. The trip to monastery was quite pleasant. Belaldur and I shared what gossip we’d come across in Enonia.
We moved pretty quickly at first – we knew this level. In the meditation room, the bodies were nearly all melted away, and the weapons and armor had been looted. Some chaotic force tried to suborn Mazlor, but he resisted with the help of his magic necklace.
We make our way towards the stairs but as we enter a chamber hear an odd shuffling. Remembering tales of a headless undead former adventurer, a cleric named Melkrit, guarding an iron door that lead to the stairs, the clerics move to the front of our party. Mazlor turns Melkrit, clearing our path to a huge iron door. Sally mutters how he has seen this door before, and Mazlor steps forward with the key and unlocks the door. Sally and Mazlor begin to chant, Mazlor produces a dessicated finger – necromancy? My skin crawls –and carefully places it in a special spot. Many, many locks and bolts snap open, and we see the doorway filled with what appears to be black water.
Ja’Kar walks through; so does Ragar. Well, I’m not going to leave them to face whatever is over there alone – I rally our group and we all pass through the water. I get a weird feeling as I walk through the water, but everyone is fine. We are on a large stone platform, floating in nothingness; behind us is an archway with a sheen of black water in the opening. Ahead are strange, twisting stairs leading down. Ja’Kar takes point and I go behind him, the rest of the party following in single file.
On the stairs, we are attacked by a flock of oddly skeletal stirges. They have clearly not fed in a long while. It is dicey for a while, but we dispatch them all. Ja’Kar finishes one which had been harrying me. As we knock the stirges away, some fall up, others to the side, and yet others twist away on weird tangents. I don’t like these stairs! I am so glad to finally reach the bottom, thought disquieted by the archway filled with black water across the landing from us. Again, Ja’Kar and Ragar go through first, and I follow and step to the side.
We are in a chamber with some vilely carved pillars – the faces in these pillars seem to be screaming in horror and pain! We move off through a door and hear real screaming and a metallic drone. Mazlor casts a spell of protection on Belaldur and me and we sneak over to peer into the room from which the sounds are coming.
There are 6 creatures bound with chaos energy to the wall. They are shape-shifting and writhing. Ministering to them are two floating flesh and metal constructs. I impulsively decide to toss a pot of burning oil at one of these floaters, but my aim is a bit off, and the oil and flames splash harmlessly on the far wall. Belaldur shakes his head ruefully and we run back the way we had come, pursued by these floaters.
Our companions set up an ambush, which was quite successful. The floaters do shoot a beam that hits several of us, but they are both felled by ranged weapons. The metal seems potentially useful but we leave it to pick up on our way out. We head back to the torture room, where there is another reality ripple. It is evident that these six beings are beyond hope. Ja’Kar and I decide to kill them, but first Joran anguishes one by dosing him with holy water. Ja’Kar and I put the poor creatures out of their misery.
Back through another door, to a gallery of statues of sentient beings, all in pain and fear. While Ja’Kar is at one end of the chamber, I see a door by me open to admit a chaos human, and I yell! Only magic weapons affect it, but they do kill it and it melts away into goo. Glad it didn’t explode!
We make our way through a nightmare garden, all brambles and pod trees, but with a path that we follow. Beladur and I hear something, and a red goblin face appears on the top of the brambles. Fergus and I kill it, and it is no goblin but some bizarre goblin/chicken hybrid. We hear more of them moving in behind and above us. Everyone runs for it, and we make it to a tunnel through the brambles. These creatures run above us as we go through the tunnel, and we realize they plan to catch us on the other side. Ja’Kar runs ahead, bait for a counterambush. Again my aim is not so good – have I had a killing shot yet today?
We go on down the path, past a low stone building to a clearing dominated by a large fountain of foul sludge. The clerics try spells and ensorceled water to cleanse the fountain but are only partly successful. We head back and enter the building and down a long flight of stairs. A strong wind pushes against us as we pass through a door, but it dies down as we move down the corridor. We find a chaos shrine that had been rededicated to law, which helped relieve the oppressive feel of the space. Further along we decide to not enter both a room from which we hear gibbering and a charnel-filled chamber.
We surprise and easily vanquish two floaters, and then find Roh’s quarters. The walls are covered in indecipherable and mad writings. We loot the room, Joran grabbing papers from the floor. Pyria takes some vials and scrolls, and pens and quills and the like get split among the magic users. We even take Roh’s garb and paint a smiling face inside his wardrobe. Suddenly reality shifts and Joran says he can’t sense Tangadorin. I feel very uneasy about the reality shifts, and am very concerned at what is ruining nearly every shot I take, but we make it out to the surface with no problem.

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