The Chronicles of Etinerra

Under the Monastary

As told by Talos to a hushed crowd around the fire in the common room of the Mug and Pot

“We set out from the North gate of Enonia at dawn with a host ready for battle. Our ranks bristled with spear and sword. Sunlight glinted from Shield and Armor. Among our ranks were many of Enonia’s rising stars. Two representatives of the Church of Light – Mighty Mazlor and the Blessed Alana. Two fierce elven warriors, Teela and Kee. The sly Irem and mysterious Treen. And not the least, the silent Oliphas, a fellow lover of the wilds. Seven other brave men of Enonia, looking to make names of their own, filled out our troop.”

“Our mission? To rid the sacred monastery of the taint of the Dark Ones. By mid-day we had arrived and we marched down into the ancient hallways of the old Monastery. Our foot falls rang like hammer blows down the silent hallways and our torchlight was swallowed by pressing darkness. We made for the Altar in the main chapel and found what we sought; two gaping crevices in the marble floors at the foot of the Altar. A foul reek spilled out of the dark holes at our feet.”

“One by one we descended by rope into an enormous cavern below. We pressed on through the dank cavern into an even larger chamber and made our way to a large gap in the ceiling from which a trickle of water poured. This time, our host ascended by rope into a narrow passage, washed smooth and slick by water over untold years.”

“We knew what lay ahead of us. A wide cavern, split by a river and filled with jagged stalagmites like teeth in the mouth of a dragon. On the other side of the river our foes awaited us. Goblins. But not like those green wretches which skulk under the bows of the Darkwood. These were something altogether different and malevolent. Warped and twisted by the magics of the dark ones, these Goblins were strong, cunning and altogether wicked.”

“Our vanguard entered the room cautiously, picking their way from rock to rock when from across the swift river a cry was raised! Leering red faces appeared from behind cover and crossbow bolts whistled and clattered about us. We knew it was only a matter of time before our assailant’s cries brought forth a horde of their brethren. With a word and a gesture, Teela blanketed the minds of the crossbowmen with overwhelming weariness and they fell to the floor in a deep slumber. None remained to oppose us.”

“We rushed toward the treacherous ford knowing that if our whole host could not cross quickly our forces would be divided and crushed by the approaching goblin horde. No sooner had the first of us set foot on the other side of the river than swarms of Goblins swept out of tunnels around us.”

“Sure-footed Irem was the first across and was immediatly engaged by three foes with more goblins rapidly closing. Mazlor, Alana and Teela all crossed the swirling waters and tried to form a line to shield the rest of the troops crossing the river. Oliphas and Kee picked off targets from across the river with their bows. Treen ensorcelled more of the goblins and they slipped into deep sleep.”

“But it was not enough. Still more Goblins poured forth. Irem and Mazlor took grave wounds and a score of Goblins converged on our four man front, threatening to drive them back into the river! Then, to our horror, the great Goblin Shaman and his elite guard emerged from the tunnels. Our forces were split, our front line crumbling and our most powerful adversaries had now just entered the fray.”

“The situation was dire. Then, when things looked darkest, a brilliant flash of light erupted from Treen and streaked across the cavern, striking the Goblin Shaman. The Shamans head turned to pulp, like a rotten tomato under hammer and he fell to the floor lifeless and twitching.”

“In harmony, the horde of Goblins clutched their heads and shrieked. The loss of their master left them momentarily senseless and purposeless. We quickly seized the advantage and rounded up the gibbering goblins under sword point and bound them.”

“We questioned one Goblin to learn only that the Shaman was not the source of evil, only it’s lowly hand-puppet. We learned that we must take rafts and journey down the subterranean river to find the home of ‘the dark’, as our Goblin prisoner called it. So that is what we did. Leaving behind Lersen, Cormore and Marstad to keep a watchful eye on our captives, twelve of us floated toward an unknown evil.”

“As we drifted along in the swift current the fabric of reality around us began to twist. The river flowed at impossible angles and we floated with it. We waited nervously to find out whether or not we would be turned upside down and be dashed against the ceiling or pitched forward over what was surely a waterfall… But it never happened. “

“Eventually we drifted into a massive chamber which radiated a sickly purple light. Stretching across the chamber was a massive spider web. Our pole bearers anchored our rafts in place as we stared aghast at the web and shuddered at the thought of a creature that could have spun such a thing. But it was not long before its creator made itself known.”

“A massive spider shimmered into existence on the edge of our raft mere feet from where I stood! The monster’s eyes locked onto the diminutive Teela, thinking her an easy meal. But lads, let me tell you, you have not met her match in any man in Enonia! While still holding onto the pole that anchored us in the river current she ducked and dodged her way out from under pulsating red fangs, dripping with deadly venom!”

“From the center of the raft, stout Oliphas reared back and dealt a stunning blow to the spider! Wounded and enraged it lunged at him, dripping green ichor from a gaping wound. The chitinous shell of the creature turned our sword blows as it bore Oliphas to the ground and bit down with it’s fearsome fangs! In the nick of time Oliphas managed to wedge his shield between himself and the deadly attack. The fangs locked onto the shield and the wood melted to jelly with it’s virulence! As we distracted the spider from it’s prey with glancing strikes, Oliphas rolled out from underneath. On his feet again Oliphas reared back and struck true a second time and the grotesque thing screeched, fell into the water and sank out of sight.”

“Exhausted from battle and not knowing what more lay before us we turned our rafts around and made our way back to our Goblin prisoners. Returning to the cavern we found, to our horror, that demons had overtaken the watchmen we had left behind and were devouring them! My companions were clearly prepared for these foul things; for they came bearing silvered weapons, knowing well that cold steel would not harm them. The fury of the light was something to behold as Alana and Mazlor clashed with the demons and vanquished their foes!”

“With Teela at my side we slashed at a demon which collapsed into a pile of mud only to reform and strike at us over and over again! Enraged I threw myself onto the creature and pinned its arms to it’s sides. Together with Teela, Aldred and Killas we wrestled the creature to the brink of the river and threw it in, to be dashed against the jagged rocks as it was washed away.”

“Solemnly we bore the bodies of our fallen comrades out of the caverns and back to Enonia. Rest well, brave sons of Enonia. The darkness may not be overthrown yet, but with your help we have cut off it’s right hand. One day soon we will come back for it’s head.”


Chgowiz tyson