I report herein upon events both glorious and sobering for followers of the Light and, indeed, all of Enonia’s peoples.
My long-delayed desire to return to the Monastery of St Eggyx and address unfinished business there was finally fulfilled. To aid in this matter, a robust company of 10 was fashioned. Myself and Alana were the official representatives of the Light. While not of the order, elven warrior Kee has been a devout follower of the Light, too, and is rarely far from Alana. The rest, I knew only through indirect references, and the second and third hand rumors that swirl through a small town with much intrigue – Inlaw, Jorann (a priest of another belief) and her two hirelings, Irem, Tistislium (with mule in tow), and Hamgrin (yet another of the Little Folk).
When word of our intentions reached Averin’s ears, we were summoned for an audience with her. She spoke of fears for what the arrival of the Crystal Tower might mean, and of a desire that sacred items of the Light not fall into malevolent hands. And so we were tasked with retrieval of a Holy item of St Eggyx.
We passed the aforementioned Tower as we and it headed north to the Monastery. The surface was clear, as expected, and we descended without incident. Lacking detailed diagrams, we were guided mostly by vague recollection. We first encountered a handful of the neo-goblins picking through trash and dispatched them with ease.
Next our wanderings found us in the barracks room with the lesser of the crevasses. We saw a small cluster of large rats – on this point, and indeed on all parts of this incident, we are unquestionably in agreement, having compared our individual perceptions most thoroughly afterwards. As we began to assault the nasty little things, an unthinkable quantity of them began gushing out of the hole and towards us, as if a dam had burst. We fended off the first of the onslaught as best we could, but quickly saw that the situation was untenable. Just as we were making plans for retreat, even more quickly than they had appeared, the rodents vanished without a trace. Had someone deliberately set a delusional enchantment here? Did the noxious gasses wafting upwards have a hallucinogenic quality to them? Unfocussed excess magic and evil from below producing nightmares? Fine theories, but questions without answers they remain, for now.
We arrived next at the Fountain Room. We set to work carefully burning away the offending mold/slime that marred this otherwise tranquil place. As the job was finished, our main body found that our rear guard had been overrun by giant arachnids, and we made haste to assist. The fight went quite poorly until fire and oil turned the tide. Even so, two of our company were felled with bites that swelled and discolored disturbingly. We put our recently purchased antivenom to use, and they pulled through, however.
Our attentions returned to the fountain, and we did our utmost to purify it – we used fire and oil to burn away slime, poured holy water into the fountain, and blessed and re-consecrated it. Our efforts were rewarded with pure Light streaming in from above and the appearance of the Holy item we sought. Quickly we returned home that night to rouse Averin and display our find. She was pleased, but felt that it might be of assistance to us, and declined to keep it.
We rested and returned the following morn. A special place within the Monastery seemed to give me a sign that St Eggyx wanted us to unseal the Warded Door and proceed. Still, we feared the consequences of such an action, and delayed to search for the Temple. When we arrived, the bodies of the two creatures I had heard so many months ago were there, felled by others sometime in the interval. The altar had been treated most foully, but there was naught to be done about it. We turned our attention to the large crevasse here. Hamgrin may only be half the size of a human, but he contains twice the courage, for he volunteered to be lowered into the dark alone, which was done. He reported a large, cavernous area, but nothing of note and no signs of life.
With nowhere else to go, we had to choose between descending into the crevasse and the great Door. The majority opted to heed the sign, and thus the Door was unsealed.
Beyond it was pure, thick blackness. After a few cautious experiments, there seemed to be nothing to do but to chance crossing the threshold, and so was it done (although not without spiking the Door open first, nor without considerable coaxing and bribery where the hirelings were concerned).
We emerged…elsewhere, huddled on a freestanding platform, with stairs descending further than the reaches of even the most keen-sighted. Again, with little alternative, we pressed on. At some point, we became aware that the stairs were twisting and corkscrewing gradually, but gravity’s orientation seemed to match the stairs, for we held to the stairs like a bug underneath a table. We also took note of some growing specks in the distance. Our hope of reaching ‘bottom’ before they arrived was in vain, as was any hope that they would be benign. The giant mosquito-bats swarmed us and feasted well upon Irem and a hireling before being driven off. The former was salvaged, but latter was last seen tumbling into space.
Blessedly, the stairs did not spiral about infinitely, but deposited us in a hall of pillars and blackness. The carvings depicted atrocities, reminding one somewhat of the tortured souls in the Dwarven Mine carvings.
Whist we examined the room, a duo of blobbish things formed from nowhere. We defeated them without incurring significant harm, but the battle was of note on two counts. Firstly, some attacks, however well aimed, seemed not to have the desired effect. There is cause for concern about invulnerabilities. Secondly, the chief means of their defeat was via a sword Kee had long possessed. The blobs brought it to life, claiming itself to be “DemonBane”, a name it soon well earned. DemonBane covered itself in frost and, under Kee’s stewardship, split both creatures (which I ne’er would have recognized as demons) in twain.
Though we were intrigued by the banging sounds of metalwork in the distance (which put us in the mind of Dwarves again), we retreated to report back to Averin and contemplate our next moves. We discovered, to our great relief, that the Door re-sealed itself behind us, ensuring that the Evil below will only be encountered at a time of our own choosing.
Mazlor, beacon of the Light