| Under The Abbey|
|In the bowels of the monastery, giving it indigestion|
Dear Madroc and Modroc,
If I told you half of what went on down in the bowels of that monastery, you'd both laugh till you wet yourselves and you'd rail me for a liar. Mirrors and statues and sarcophagi and torture chambers and on and on. Truly, a person with a good knowledge of history and this human goddess Aesia would probably have found a whole heap more than we did to be interested in. Might have made a life's work out of digging out that place's lore. As for me, I'm just as happy to have my back to it, and be out in the sunshine, albeit still under the relative shade of my hat.
I mean, there's different kinds of shade, everyone knows that. The darkness down there in those crypts. I used to think that the humans and elves and such were only afraid of the dark because they couldn't see well in it. But, if they have many more places like this one lying around, I wouldn't blame them a bit for it. The shade under my hat, or a nice elm tree in the summer, those are much better.
I suppose it doesn't matter much now. We got (I think) what we went in there for, and we are only having a small bit of lunch and a breather before we head back to the settlement. That means that we have the real problem right in front of us now, and I still don't entirely know how we'll be able to take care of all of these vampires. When I get back to Valkith, though, I'll have to show you some of what I have found. I haven't had a lot of time to read through it carefully, but just from flipping through, I'd say that there's some pretty rare stuff. It would probably make a great addition to your library, guys. But I think you won't get to see the book itself.
I don't doubt that he'd be okay with me copying out whatever would be useful to us in the fight against these undead, but that Edric fellow seems a pretty pious guy, in his strange human sort of way. He really seems to believe in the Aesia stuff he goes on about, not like those blustering oafs wandering about the city spouting their nonsense about the "all-powerful" Grumush. Or was that Gramsh? Grishmal? With orc deities, it all sounds like they're saying it around a mouthful of porridge anyway. No, this Edric has Aesia in his heart, it seems to me. That makes me think that the book should go to him. He might be able to see it housed in one of their churches, turn it into a holy relic for scholars to fight over and people to ooh and ahh at. I mean, if some gnome had something of importance relating to Shenla, I sure hope he'd see that it got back to the kobolds where it belongs.
It also makes me think that traveling out here and going through this compound nightmare has addled my wits. The one thing I will tell you about that mausoleum was the water. There was an underground river passing through one of the rooms, and most of the bridge had fallen way; what was still there was all icy. And we had to cross it, and come back, too. Everything went more or less okay until we were on our way back across. There was a scare right at the beginning when they sent me across first (because I'm light and they could pull me back easily). But on the way back, the cleric fell right in.
It wasn't very easy to see what was going on, because it was dim, and the current kept pulling the cleric under, but something was roughing him up good, because a bunch of blood came up from where he ended up in the room. Luckily there were grates built into the walls, to keep stuff from getting carried off through the river to who knows where I guess. So Seetha, not being much with the forethought, jumps in after him to try to help him out. Not to say that she didn't help him (it was impressive, too--she head-butted a water elemental!), or that it wasn't heroic, but I don't think she spent the barest moment thinking about how she was going to help him.
So, they're both in the water, and they're trying to fight off this elemental, only we didn't know it was an elemental at the time. But the cleric only made it up to the surface once briefly. The current kept sucking him down and he couldn't seem to swim against it well enough. And that when I did what makes me think my brains might be addled. Seetha was getting beat up trying to fend off the elemental and pull Korak up from the water. And he's heavy. At least he looks heavy. He's a gnoll and they're huge. And he wears armor. Anyway, I know exactly what I thought at the time. I thought that a cleric would be more use against the thing if he were up on the ledge, and I thought that I was a lot lighter than Korak, and I thought that I had drained all my power and so I was pretty useless, and I thought that if we switched places, all of that would be accomplished. But, at the same time, I have absolutely no idea what I was thinking, because I used the last of my stamina to cast the spell that would switch us. I knew it was gonna be bad, and I knew that I had no business being face to face with something that was bloodying both a big beefy holy dog and a big beefy half-orc who has definite problems with her anger. I'm not the guy who does that. But I did. How in halitosis does that work?
|From the journal of Nibar The Nervous|
Contributor: Chris Schuettpelz