|Coming Closer to Mortedamos|
There were...hard truths, to face, in this section of the cavernous crypts beneath this accursed city.
After I had cleared the lich powder from Dolartu--I'm still unsure exactly what kind of insanity moved him to lift that box over his head--we decided to proceed. The ghosts we presently saw had other ideas. They were most sly about it, too. Penned into such a small space, we didn't have much room to maneuver, or to simply stay out of their way. It was apparent, at least to me, from the start that my colleagues were grievously affected by the appearance of these revenants. Whatever it was couldn't shake my will, certainly. We managed to send them back to their slumber quickly, though we had to spend some time recovering.
We pressed on, and came to a long hallway, flanked by sarcophagi on either side. As good little graverobbers, we proceeded to open them. In a few we actually found, of all things, corpses. There were, on the other hand, some surprises. The gold, and jewels, for example. And the passageway, giving out into another room and belying the false door at the end of the hallway we were in. Oh, and of course the trapped sarcophagus, which sucked in Jacques and Arilyn. Unfortunately, I was a little too engaged to help them, as one of the corpses crawled out of its resting place and, of course, attacked us. I moved to divert its attention from the rest of my comrades.
In retrospect, this was not the most intelligent course of action.
The thing punched me; it felt as I imagine it must feel to be punched by Jacques. This, however, was not the real cause for worry. When the thing hit me, it felt as if my life was draining away. I felt sure that I was staring my death in the face. I confess, even now, I don't know what kept me alive in the face of whatever spell it hit me with; perhaps the crystal shard kept me anchored enough to resist its effects.
Needless, to say, we killed it, only to face an even more frightening predicament: the room of mirrors. We were greeted by Mortedamos, and "invited" to freshen up before staining ourselves again, with his blood. His freshening up apparently consisted of only mirrors, one of which I walked up to. What I saw there was most...unsettling.
I saw myself, yet it was not me. I was dressed differently, in more expensive attire. I was clean, without the dust and stain and wear of travel. I admired the finery I saw myself in, sure that it was clearly as I deserved to be. But while I gazed in admiration, I saw that my reflection was staring back in obvious disgust and contempt. Even more than what followed, this disturbed me. And that is saying something, considering Arilyn came up beside me, which the mirror showed in finery, leaning against my reflection as though they were lovers. Aside from the fact that she's foul-mouthed, grubby, and lewd, it would be akin to taking one's own child to one's bed. Disgusting.
But the look I gave me was worse. I am forced to wonder, is that how I look at others? Is that how I look at my friends? I thought I'd come so far, left behind my prejudices. I thought I was better than I had been. Perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps all I am is an arrogant, pompous fop, as Arilyn incessantly claims. Perhaps the progress I've made isn't as great as I'd thought it was.
I think I must needs revisit this when we have killed Mortedamos; for now, it must wait.
|Associated Regions: Aljidan, Curmeah|
|From the journal of Islan Diemyn|
Contributor: Chris Schuettpelz