The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 1 part 4


More information and other parts of the story are here

Part 4

Having dealt with the intruders James went back to meditate, in the room of the tomb of Vestius, on the way of war and the darkness it brings. I and the others rested and recovered from the combat and wondered what to do with the bleeding meat. Gnoman and me decide to check out the door to the library, it is a iron door with a small keyhole. He can not see any traps but the door is a big obstacle by itself. We then move to check out the door on the right hand passage. We listen and check for traps but it seems fine with no sign of being locked. I then get Arnost to see if there is any magic in the area, he does not think so. With me holding the lantern but shutting out the light Gnoman opens the door into the room and I enter.

 

All I can see with my infravision is a roughly 40’x25′ hall, with no hot occupants I open up the lantern and reveal the room. It is a dusty hall that has Thousands of names are carved in what looks like Elven all over its walls. The letters stand less than an inch tall; they are the names of elves killed in the war. There are also names roughly carved over many of the original names in goblin and orc. Several areas of the walls are missing or cracked. particularly on the side away from the entrance. James comes in and tells us what the headband says. ‘This Memorial Hall commemorates those who lost their lives in the war against the dark. Each one represents a community devastated by the war. Stop and contemplate the cost of war’ James does just that and sits and reads the names. I and the others look around, the broken areas look like natural cave ins which have exposed the rock and earth behind. However there is a set of double doors to the west and a secret door to the east, nothing of value is found.  Gnoman checks the secret door which does not appear to be trapped.

 

So we head over to the double doors and I check them out, then turning the lantern off again I open the door into another room. Once in and sure there is no living occupant I put the lantern on to see a 15×20′ dusty room with a dusty cobwebbed sarcophagus standing on a dais. Painted on the lid is the, heavily faded, likeness of a stern Elven man wearing a green cloak. There are several benches along the walls. James comes and tells us what the head bands say. ‘ This room holds the Tomb of Elon a general of the Elves, he was resolute in his war on the black. Holding no moral device of war out of bounds, while trying to avoid the use of the dark.  Sit and contemplate the way of war and the darkness it brings to all even when fought for the light.’  James then sits and contemplates while the rest of us look around.  We find nothing but we do not disturb the tomb.

 

Once James is finished we all move back to the secret door. With the lantern off Gnoman opens the door with a hiss of stale air and I enter. Again it appears not to be occupied so I put the light on. I am in a 15′ corridor leads to a circler 25′ tomb.  Runes reflect the lantern and bathe the hallway and crypt in bluish light. No part of this crypt has signs of vandalism so prevalent in the rest of the memorial. On the wall opposite the entrance, there is a painting of an Elven king standing between two kneeling elf soldiers. We recognize the kneeling elves as the ones depicted on the sarcophagus lids in the other tombs. A sarcophagus stands on a dais in the middle of the room. On it is carved in glowing letters, which are in Elven which James tells us says. He who disturbs a king shall suffer a king’s wrath. As James approaches the dais the words grow brighter so we stop and keep our distance. Gnoman uses a spell of read magic on the runes and thinks they are some sort of magic but is not sure what, I wonder if it is a mix of arcane and divine of a high level maybe a protection. Thorn and Gnoman look around keeping to the edges of the area but find no secret doors or anything else. We decide to leave the king in peace and leave.

 

So its back to the door to the library, we have not found a key as yet and wonder who and where the guardians we need to ask for entrance are. So Gnoman plans how to pick this lock, [this is his star ability]and I sing a song about famous thieves to inspire him.   Unfortunately something goes wrong as a thunderous boom comes from the door and Gnoman and I are hit by a wave of air which sweeps us both of our feet along the corridor and to the outside, ending up in the bushes, banging and crashing against the floor and walls as we go. We both take serious wounds and I find that my lyre is broken and club and javelin damaged, while poor Gnoman finds his healing potion is broken along with his crossbow. I pull myself from the bushes and apply my healing skill to my abdomen and right leg, I then do the same for Gnoman’s right leg and arm.  We re-enter the memorial to hear the laughter of James as he describes over and over the view of Gnoman and I bouncing along.

 

I stop at the alcove and we all look to see if a key was hidden there, we can not find one.  So we go back to the foyer and search there again, particularly around the statues and find nothing there, James then goes back up the path we came by to see if a gatehouse was there but returns quickly. Instead we come up with a new plan to pick the lock. We modify Arnosts backpack so Gnoman can be carried in it, then Arnost will stand by the door bracing himself against the shockwave. I am to sing again, however that fails to inspire, Thorn remembers his Dispel Magic gift from Hombel and we intend to have him try to cast that first.  Thorn knowing that the scroll will be hard for a zero level cleric to cast calls on Hombel to help him. He then reads the scroll and calls on Hombel to empower it, he is surprised when it goes off even though he was not sure he got it right. Hoping that the magic is suppressed Arnost stands in front of the door and Gnoman gets to work again.  This time his planning using the experience of his last attempt he opens the lock and the door opens.

 

James and I enter and see a 10×15′ room lined with dusty cobwebbed shelves. The Head Bands say ‘this room is the library, you have been granted access to this special place. Please take care of the records as you spend time looking at them’ The room’s dead air smells musty. Most of the books in this room lay in two cobwebbed piles in opposite corners, though some still sit on the shelves. Many of the books have had their pages ripped out. It will take weeks if not months to read all this I think. Just as we are thinking that and slowly entering A long black pole comes down from the ceiling to pin James to the floor.

 

Straight after that a black shadowy spider the size of a cow or the Owlbear lowered itself to bit James in his left leg. The terror of seeing this monstrosity caused me to leave the room while it froze James in place. The spider seems to have the head of an elf wearing a black helm with black mail falling from it. Those outside had yet to see it and so where not effected.  Later the others told be what transpired over the next 20 seconds. First Gnoman tried to cast Flaming hands but failed when he actually saw the target from shock. Thorn hates Drau and he made the jump to this being some sort of one and so although slowed by the sight moved to engage the terror. The spider seemed to be waiting for its poison to do its work on James, while we sorted out a response. Gnoman having got over the shock of this creature started to recast his Flaming hands While James used his unarmed skills to break frss of the spiders leg pinning him Arnost and Thorn entered the room. The spider attacks Arnost who effectively parries the leg with his massive hammer. Arnost hit back ignoring the spiders attempt to parry his blow and hit its left rear leg causing some cracking sounds. AT the same time Gnoman, still in his pouch, cast his spell burning its right front leg.  The spider again attacked Arnost who again parried the leg. James now on his feet impaled his great sword into the beats left rear leg slicing it off. Thorn hits the thing in its helmet making a big dent but not knocking it out.

 

The battle finishes with the spider again attacking Arnost but this time missing and James, Arnost and Thorn smash its head in. As the spider dies it vanishes along with all the cobwebs in the room. What king of monster was this? James falls to the ground paralysed and in pain in his whole body as the spiders poison is pumped around his body. I try my healing skills on James and hope by the old gods that it helps him.

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