Of all the rooms in all the apothecaries in this stinking, festering religious pustule of a city, why oh why did we have to come to this one? I should have turned around and walked out after learning that we'd be sharing MacLeane's laboratory with Threnody. It should have been painfully obvious to me that it would not be safe, especially since we now carry three crystals. It should have been screaming at me when I realized how sick and weak I'd be getting. I'll have to remember that I cannot afford to extend her the hand of friendship when I am not in Peak fighting condition...I'm far to susceptible to disemboweling even then.|
I should have known better than to let the entire group go off to find a tavern. I forget that I have to remind them of the simplest of things sometimes. So, off they all went. At the time, I was more than happy to see them go; I would suffer no more interruptions to my work on Mortedamos's spellbook. It still didn't help matters that that blasted guide kept showing up every fifteen minutes to report on the strength of the mythal protective shield. I didn't pay it much heed at the time, but I should have: what it was trying to tell me would turn out to be of grave importance.
As it happened, my malady decided to weaken me even more rapidly, at the worst possible time it could have chosen to do so. As I lay on the bed, trying to recover for a few moments from the spinning of the room around me, who should I hear but Threnody's voice? When I saw her face hovering above me, and looking much healthier than it had earlier, I knew I was in serious trouble. I managed to make a successful dash for the door, and bring my blade to bear. I knew as I unsheathed it that it would do me little good without its magical properties, but it was the only way I could defend myself. To my surprise, the blade has regained some of its glow. Something was causing the field to weaken. In less than a space of a heartbeat, however, my blade had winked out again, and was dead and useless. Luckily for me, however, the plague seemed to be regaining its hold on Threnody with suprising alacrity. I realized it was my one chance to make an escape. She did too, for she attempted to stand and bar my way, but only managed to land in a heap on the floor. I thought that I was free to make my escape, but the plague's hands gripped me tighter as well, and my weakened legs tangled beneath me, sending me sprawling atop Threnody. And irony would dictate that it would be that precise moment when MacLeane stepped through the door, catching us in a position that appeared...rather compromising, at the least.
A few moments after returning Threnody to her room, my compatriots arrived back, and the guide was muttering about how the mythal strength had returned to normal levels, for the moment. Any consternation at them was lost in the exchange of stories; Nyran was rattling on about some spirit inhabiting the tavern they visited. MacLeane told us about some passageway beneath that tavern and how he had been too scared to follow it to its end. After discussion, and indecision, as well as discovering some bard who had followed them back from the tavern, the others decided that they'd return to the tavern and find this passageway. They would also leave none here to guard me, while Threnody was still in the other room. Realizing that none of them would be left behind, I was forced to concede to practicality and turn over my crystal.
More stupidity on my part; you'd think it was some showpiece in an gallery, with they way they handed it back and forth. Never mind that it's a shard of a tear of creation, never mind the potentially catastrophic powers it carries, never mind that Threnody was still in the next room, after her little excursion. That crystal will not leave my possession again, save when the time comes for us to rejoin them all. Their foolishness will not only result in our deaths, but the deaths of countless others. We've a higher responsibility than to just keep these things safe; we must keep ourselves, the keepers of not only the crystals, but also those who have the most mortal experience living, as far as we know, and who have the secret of how to use them (if only I could get to that knowledge!).
As I've little to do until the group returns, I shall go back to my spell copying. NOTE: I shall have to remember to burn this book before I leave the field; though I take what I can from it, this book was a thing of evil, and I take the spells I do, that some good might come from this vile thing.