A Coming Age of Dark

When the adventurer’s came across Ross and I we had already been surrounded by the living dead. We had the situation under control, but some scaly lady started yelling about Bahomelettes or something and all 10 of the zombies just crumbled to dust. I don’t know how it happened but I wish she had done it before one of the zombies got a bite out of my shoulder.

We all stood around looking at each other for a few minutes like idiots. A small, loud one tried to take command of the situation, but was quickly put in his place. He clearly had been raised with no discipline. I remained silent. I’m not sure if this strange party can be trusted yet. They have a half elf tossed over a horse like a side of meat. Dead or unconscious I’m not sure.

Ross, more trusting than I, was happier for the conversation. I guess traveling with a panther and me wasn’t much for stimulation discussions. The beast took a shine to them too. Rubbed up against the short, bloody one like he was a scratching post. Typical. That cat is more pet than predator.

The skinny, horned one tried to get some information out of us about where we were going or where we were from. Ross offered her own story up, but I didn’t see a need. Shouldn’t make a lick of difference to them who I am. I’ll be out of here and back to the monastery soon enough.

While everyone was gawking a group of rich looking vampires sulked in behind us. Their leader was wearing black and red. Vampires love to fulfill their own stereotypes. He offered us a greeting, telling us that his master wanted to invite us to dinner and had an offer of some kind. I don’t have any interest in closing demon portals, but a place to sleep tonight was not an unwelcome idea. Those who sleep outside in Shadowvale tend to sleep much longer than they intended. The scaly one had cast a zone of truth, so we took the vampire at his word. She may be useful to keep around, as long as she’ll stop babbling about her lord and savior.

The castle we were brought to was cool and stone, a welcome reminder of home, but the damn vampires surround themselves in velvet and gems. Needless opulence. I am offered a plush bed, but I use the stone floor to meditate instead. Soft living makes soft men.

The human bard seemed infatuated with a servant girl. She seemed very plain to me. I do not understand the attraction. The young one who travels with him started some rhyming chant. I wonder if he was attempting to cast a spell.

At dinner, the fools stuffed themselves with rich, heavy food. All they’ll be ready for now is a nap not a fight. The master of the house, Lord Vikerns, seemed content to watch my companions stuff themselves like pigs being fattened for the slaughter while he drank some poor sap’s blood from a crystal glass. I have gone days without food before and I will do so again. I will not fall prey to these temptations.

Vikerns told us a story of his rivalry with “Frampt the Betrayer” a local Lich king. He wanted us to kill Frampt for him. I was curious. Frampt seemed to be a powerful being. Perhaps powerful enough to help me in my battle. He also possessed some sort of containment device that my strange companions were looking for. The wizard tried to haggle, unsuccessfully, for a large amount of gold, but they eventually accepted.

We were told that only magical weapons would harm the lich, so our host had all of our weapons enchanted temporarily with some sort of fire spell, even my claw. It felt strange and hot against my wrist. The Vampire Knights escorted us to the entrance of the caves where we were told the Lich “lived”. The Vampires quickly vanished, afraid of some kind of “sunlight spear”. The cowardly dead that fear death have no place with us anyway.

As we walk down into the cave we notice that there are scrapes and gouges on ground where large objects have been dragged into the cave. Further down we find burned books and boxes of old magical materials. They seem to be ruined, but the wizard wastes time digging around them anyway. I cannot imagine power requiring all these frivilous objects and materials. If a power does not come from inside, what use is it? I supposed those without the patience and willpower to harness their ki must resort to other less. . . desirable means.

Once the darkness fully engulfs us, we see a large room with four sarcophagi on raised platforms on either end of the room. We stand on one platform and a pit full of gold, armor, and other offerings separates us from the other. A raspy voice commanded us to leave at once. The voice didn’t sway anyone’s resolve. As we pushed forward all four sarcophagi slid open and 4 decrepit undead soldiers climbed out.

We fended them off, but I blacked out at once point. I saw black, a flash of light, and then felt the life return to my body. No matter, the fight continued. The zombies were defeated. My fury of blows slayed the first. A blow from the Dragonborn’s radient hammer smashed the second. The third was torn to shreds by a Chromatic orb of fire from the Wizard. And the final one was pierced with flaming arrows from the Rogue.

Our party trudged through the see of metal in the middle of the room towards the platform on the other side. There was a door there, which we discovered had a poison trap on the door handle. Unconcerned I opened it with my claw. Sometimes no having a fleshy hand is helpful. Inside the small room we found another, larger sarcophagus. While we struggled to open the lid, Frampt the Betrayer appeared behind us. The tattered robes and tattered flesh hung from his body. He offered us our lives to leave the place. The rogue stabbed him before anyone could respond.

The Lich was powerful, no doubt. But he was no match for my companions and myself. He stunned, he blinded, and he cursed. But when all was said and done, the Dragonborn took his head clean off with her hammer. An inspired strike if I ever saw one. Many of us were wounded, but as a group we lifted the lid off the sarcophagus. Inside we found a black orb which cast no shadow. His spirit seem to reside inside the orb. He was trapped. We also found the spear those Vampires were so afraid of. The Dragonborn decided to take it, though it seemed to be made from the bones of her ancestors. Not a squeamish one, that’s good. A powerful weapon is worth having on our side.

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