Part 53: Deeper

5 to Verdant Sun, Inalis, 57 days remaining

We met Jakobe at the stairs leading down to the next level of this tomb. He looked a little wearied and said that he and Memriko had made it to the third level, but only barely, and Jakobe had to race to get back up to us before the traps reset. He gave us a quick rundown of what we would expect on level two before sitting down to catch his breath. Slimy ghosts, spiked walls, arrow traps, and something about chimes that none of us understood. I guess he and Memriko each heard chimes and monsters would swarm them as soon as that happened.

The party grew concerned that if there are ghosts down here, we ought to prepare ourselves for that. What if one of them is capable of possession or something? Rendu and I decided to split up, swapping teams. That way we could throw some holy water on someone if it came to that. My team consisted of me, Shadow, Torag, and Jakobe. Shadow called our team “Team Thumble” and we all though that was endearing.

At least, until Rendu gave his name a team. He did that cute wink thing and said, “Our team is team damn“. Except he said it in a very long and… oh, what’s the word… seductive kind of way? I know his intentions. He’s attractive. So is Briar. So is Actaeon (when he’s not in that ghastly helmet). And so is Clio (obviously). The whole team is made up of the prettiest of the Heroes of Prophesy. I guess Team Damn is a fine name.



I’m not good with common speech. How do you write tone like that? Imagine I’m saying it in a very funny voice, stretching out the vowels. Ugh, draconic is just easier. Why can’t draconic be the common language everywhere? At least it’s better than that ridiculous elvish. In draconic, we’d just say-

Oh, never mind.

Anyway, here’s what happened with Team Thumble:

We found a brass key inside a bronze skeleton. As soon as Shadow removed it, we were accosted by several ghosts who, frustratingly, kept appearing in front of me. Jakobe was so sweet, though. He kept thinking he needed to protect me. Silly boy! But I don’t mind him helping me out. He reminds me of you, actually, Heath. Though he’s quite a bit stronger if you catch my meaning. Bless you, my love, I don’t think you’d be able to lift his weapon. Heavens know I couldn’t. Briar had sent with us one of her familiar spirits, a large and lovely snake named Hiss. Hiss had strict orders to protect me as well.

Oh, dear. Do they think I’m the weak one of the team? Oh, Morninglord, maybe I am. I don’t carry weapons, I’m terrible in a foot race, and I think I caught a cold last week briefly. Do I need to be protected?

Let’s shelf that thought for now. Hiss and Jakobe kept some of those spirits off me while I lit the torches here. They’re part of whatever mechanism is meant to keep Team Damn safe, so we made sure to light them as best as we could. Torag heard one of those strange chiming noises. We believe that the chimes indicate something bad happening, but not to us necessarily. Rather, it summons ghosts or monsters to attack the other team. They heard the same chiming sound as ghosts began to attack us. Hiss found the source of the chime (an invisible ghost) and he and Shadow put an end to it pretty fast.

Oh! I need to say this! Clio cast one of there super cool psychic spells on Shadow. It made him super fast. Like, blindingly fast. He zips all across the room now, and it’s utterly bizarre to hear him speak so quickly. I don’t think anyone on our team actually understood what he was saying. Something like “heyeveryonecomeoverhereohlookadoor” before shooting like sixty arrows.

Ah, yes, the door. It was locked at first, though Shadow tried his bronze key a million times. When it opened (triggered by the others), we found a corridor filled with blight. Past that, Torag and I met up with a few more ghosts. I blasted whatever invisible creature was in this room while the others knocked the rest of the ghosts out. Here, we opened the final door and found the others!

Okay, so here’s what happened to them:

For Team Damn (hehehe), the adventure was just as grueling. They fought off many ghosts before Rendu found the source of the chimes and Clio blasted it. Actaeon took a misstep and found the corridor with the spiked wall. Thankfully, he was positioned just right that the wall didn’t impale him right then and there. His armor is dented and scratched, but I think I can fix that. As for the trauma, maybe I best let Rendu heal him up. Stunned as he was, he went on and lit several torches before fighting off a series of ghosts. Briar joined him, but also misstepped. She didn’t get the spike wall. Rather, she found a few pressure plates that made her look like a pin cushion with arrows stuck in her. My sister wasn’t mortally wounded. Well, maybe except her pride. She and Actaeon were quite the pair, according to Clio. Clio and Rendu made their way past the arrow trap but were also injured. Their group collected themselves briefly before fighting off several more ghosts.

In this room, the door opened and they met up with us just as more ghosts came in to attack. Rendu and Actaeon were both hurt pretty bad by this point, but we all managed to defend ourselves. At the end of this floor, Mimriko joined up with us from the next level down and gave us some warnings about what to expect. I guess there are some bone nagas down there – whatever those are.

We ended up deciding to rest here for a bit before we went down further. We’re all pretty beaten up, so we quickly patched our wounds. I helped fix some of the dents in Actaeon’s armor, too. It feels like we’ve been in this place for months, even though it’s only been a few short hours. I’m going to sleep very well tonight once we get back to the Gjallerhorn. Unless, of course, little Sa’kull decides to nibble on my shoes again and I spend all night fixing them.