Morale was climbing for the little group after their latest success. It was almost as if each step forward, further buoyed their optimism for survival.
They continued their journey up the endless staircase with light banter and growing enthusiasm. An unusual sense of warmth however, was beginning to pervade Sarjin’s body. The feeling was not something natural to him and it worried him. Sarjin knew that familiarity, understanding and control was essential to survival in any dangerous environment and although he had experienced glimmerings of this feeling from time to time, it was alien enough to concern him…It was the feeling of hope…
Eventually they came across a massive stone entrance. On further inspection, Boldarian noticed some dwarven scriptures….maybe this was what they had all been looking for… a safe haven, a reprieve; somewhere to rest and eat good food, to find equipment…. and weapons.
Boldarian worked out it was some kind of riddle and with Jurlue they made short work of it, they had opened the portal. Sarjin and the others moved boldly forward, little knowing what lay ahead. They soon realised they had not found sanctuary however, they had found an ancient tomb full of riddles and death. One of them had entered and would never leave, would never again grace the lands of the living.
The following days would live to haunt the survivors and to this day, for Sarjin,
it had become a blur of wrestling mechanical titans, dodging fireballs and running in fear from wave after wave of voracious spiders. It felt as if the minute they’d outfoxed something and a reprieve was in order, the tomb would become even more bent on their destruction. If it couldn’t claim more victims through out and out brute force then it would gain its victims through deception and downright skulduggery.
Sarjin was a mess of burnt flesh and bloody wounds. His breathing came in gasps and life expectancy was short. Light was foreign to this place and Boldarian, although in much better shape physically, also wore despondency like a cloak. Things looked bad. Only Jurlue, who had zero dark vision, and had to be lead around like a blind man, seemed somewhat at ease, although he was also certainly nonplussed about their current predicament. He didn’t want to be there either but one time in a rare moment of openness he whispered to Sarjin that he could just vaporise and leave at any time should things get too grim. Sarjin was awed and fascinated by the idea and although he couldn’t escape by that same means, maybe his companion’s skill could assist them all somehow.
Finally a moment’s respite. They had all combined desperately but magnificently to rid themselves of the deadly Naga beast which had plagued them time after time. Searching the area thoroughly, they discovered a coffin and out of desperation they forced the lid open in the hopes of finding something to assist their plight.
What happened over the next few moments would be etched into the brains of those who survived it for the remainder of their days…Slowly they pried open the lid and stared down into the depths. It appeared to be a half elf corpse wearing a silver necklace. It didn’t make sense though, because neither the necklace nor the occupant matched the depiction on the lid. In hindsight it was obvious that this tomb had already been disturbed and that the dangers of what we were about to let pass were staring at us in our faces and yet we stood back and let it happen…
In an attempt to assist us all, Boldarian removed the necklace and put it on. It was a desperate and dangerous decision and it was the last one he would make. The necklace tightened…and tightened…there was nothing we could do…
Boldarian, our friend and companion grew weaker and weaker, fading before our eyes. It did something to us to watch it happen, feeling so utterly helpless but finally Boldarian, cradled in Jurlue’s arms, stopped struggling. He left to meet his maker.
Desolate and numb with grief the two adventurers plodded off towards the exit. Without much talk they began a slow and thorough search of the rooms they had cleared. One room was lit by braziers of what appeared to be magical light. This was a room of power and they both noticed an unusual carpet strewn across the floor. On closer inspection by Jurlue, it appeared that something was very wrong with it. It seemed like something or someone was trapped within its folds!
After much thought and debate a method was devised and a plan was hatched.
Sarjin watched warily as Jurlue stepped in. He was worried and apprehensive but it seemed Jurlue had snagged their target. He grabbed Jurlue’s legs and pulled with all his might.
A lean, black and crumpled figure with an unusual hat carrying some kind of sack was writhing around on the floor cursing and yelling. Jurlue and Sarjin stood back and stared.
The young Drow Mage seemed to come back to himself and look around. On observing us he quickly rummaged through his sack and handed us both eccentric but sturdy and well made hats as gifts of gratitude and friendship. We had saved him from goodness knew how many years of imprisonment within the carpet and he was eternally grateful.
Sarjin loved his new hat. It had two beautiful feathers coming from it. He placed it on his head and peered at the gangly Drow. This one he would look after very carefully… friends it seemed, were too hard to lose and he would earn these feathers in his cap.