Shadows Rising

An Old Friend

Why does that name sound so familiar?

As the group entered the deepest level of the catacombs, an intense darkness bore down upon them. Xylia was able to provide the faintest flicker of light, but it hardly reached beyond her outstretched hand. The central path, like the floors above, had numerous other branches to the left and the right, but it eventually ended in a large, rectangular room. As they approached the threshold of the large room ahead, the group caught a glimpse of a specter hovering in silence, dressed in a black, flowing robe.

As Ennet moved into the room, the specter greeted them, saying, “You should not have come here.” Suddenly, completely out of the blue, Remulus began to accuse the specter of being the entity that corrupted the town of Badger. The specter responded to Remulus, implying that he was definitely aware of what transpired there. Xylia demanded to know if the specter had a role in the corruption of the catacombs, and he said, “I’ve played my part.”

As the conversation progressed, Xylia noticed the urn that Crulamin had been carrying sitting on a small table behind the specter. She shot ray of frost at the urn, but her spell ran up against an invisible barrier, dissipating into the air around the urn. In a stroke of genius, Ennet began to speak with the specter in dark elvish, and to her surprise, the specter became much more talkative. Ennet asked the specter who it served, and the specter responded by telling her that it was a servant of Zelil. She also asked for the urn back (as their friend Crulamin had been carrying it before he disappeared on their way to the catacombs), but the specter told her that the urn was his.

At this point, Xylia began to see through the deception—she cried out in anger, realizing that the specter was Crulamin himself! Sensing that Crulamin’s power was beyond their ability to defeat him, they began to back out of the main room and into the central path. As they turned to head up the stairway, back to the upper levels of the catacombs, Crulamin moved to block their path. He told them that he would allow them to leave, but that he would go along with them, and that it would most certainly not be a pleasant experience.

They raised their weapons to fight him, but he vanished, along with the urns. Suddenly, the torches in the central path were relit, and the oppressive evil they had felt when they first came down to this level vanished. Not sure what to do next, they decided to make their way back to the main entrance of the catacombs.

Comments

Xylia’s Thoughts:

I’m wondering something. Do gnomes have last names? Because I’m wondering if it’s normal to attach a descriptor to the end of a gnomish name that is completely untrue.

Remulus the Wise.

Call me biased, but when you are confronted with a specter, it does not seem wise to be as openly aggressive as our little cleric seems to think is necessary. It does not seem wise to talk at all, frankly, when there is someone else in the close vicinity who would do the same talking, but much better. Remulus, for future reference, please calm yourself. And, also? Shut up. Let me talk.

Me and Ennet, I suppose, because she has the ability – and this is apparently in huge demand – to speak fluent dark elvish. I would find it concerning that every undead thing we encounter in the catacombs seems to speak her language if it had not been so helpful to us. Though in retrospect I may reassert my concern, since none of these undead tell us much at all, no matter which language they speak.

Vague generalities will be the death of me, and I say this as someone still in the depths of these concerningly active catacombs. “I will bring the darkness to the light,” said the flesh golem. “You should not have come,” said the specter. Both of which are vaguely menacing nothings. We already knew that neither of them were aligned with the light. Talking is merely one step in a process I’m becoming worrying familiar with.

Hope it’s nothing undead as you try to discover what is making the creepy noise. Discover it is undead and stop Remulus from fleeing. Make unproductive small talk. Try to kill one another.

And speaking of short people fleeing, I would not have pegged Grunt for one to get cold feet halfway through a venture like this. Chances are, it’s nothing. He’s found out that there is no profit to be found down here that he will stay alive long enough to enjoy. He can quit if he wants, I suppose. No one in this group is so foolish to have come to rely on Grunt. I cannot think of anyone less reliable.

Except maybe Crulamin, as he was when we fought with him, not against him. He was a flirt and a fool. Preferable, perhaps, to an evil mastermind that apparently will be following us. But at least said mastermind will have fewer romantic tendencies than the original Darkeyes. Hopefully.

This huge infestation of undead has dragged us all off track from our original purpose, however. I doubt anyone else recalls that we first entered these catacombs with the intention of finding enough writing in the old dark elvish language that was on the urn to translate it. That has been forgotten.

So has my raven. I sent her to find Crulamin and now worry for her.

But ten flights of stairs later, we should be greeted by grateful paladins and hopefully also some answers.

Hopefully.

An Old Friend
 

Ennet’s Thoughts:

Crulamin!!! That good for nothing half-witted dork! I swear, once I kill the grimy ?@#$&!, I am going to flay his skin and use every last scrap of it to make a completely new wardrobe for myself! He first flirted endlessly with me, then he gets lost, and now he turns out to be a kriffin’ specter! Half dark elf indeed, he is a disgrace! The ork side has more sway over him then any proud ancestry he might have held from the drows. He is dead meat!
(sigh)
The one thing I can take solace in, is the fact that I kicked him in the crotch and shoved him down a flight of stairs. And that once I find him, his pain will be lightyears from what he has experienced at my hand up until now.
(dark smile)
So I will now lie in wait…and pounce when the opportunity arrises.

An Old Friend
jeremy_langill jeremy_langill

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