To the Dungeons

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Saeth glanced across, and thought of teasing the Dwarf’s incapacitation some more. Then, recalling her momentary predicament, she thought better of it, and crouched, striving to pull her blade off this ‘giant lodestone’. Perhaps later she could write a tale of “the lodestone that didn’t point north”, but now was hardly the time.

“Would you louts quite dwaddling and help me here!” shouted the increasingly impatient dwarf. “I need a hand or two to get me up.”

“Did anyone notice if such an area existed at Sevatian’s castle? And is this right above the altar?” Nicolai asked as he removed all metal from his person. He and Maruc then set about attempting to free Feldard from his predicament. The dwarf reached out for the offered hands and with the help pried himself loose and towards the railing rather than further onto the stone.

Afterwards, free of the pull of the lodestone, Feldard removed his armor and all other metal on him, and went back to retrieve his battle axe and helm. Dragging both across to the edge of the stone, he pulled them free.

Safely out of range, Maruc put his armor back on. “Well that was a learning experience. Don’t walk near giant lodestones or all your metal will get stuck to it.”

“Iron.” Interrupted Miklos.

“Pardon? I saw you remove your silver daggers.” The priest said nonplussed.

“I am not as strong as Feldard.” Miklos replied, “If the blade was just silver coated, the iron within would still be affected. I just don’t trust merchants, thats all. As to your question Nicolai hopefully the Book of the Sons of Night will reveal the necessity of the lodestone. I have heard of the use of lodestones by Magi but its more alchemic in nature. Not an area I have studied in particular depth. One thing is certain, Dentiata would not have placed this here for no reason. Some alchemic practioners have suggested there is iron in blood, maybe Dentiata was one of those, perhaps there is a relationship? There seems to have been alot of blood split on that altar and it was channeled very specifically. But this is all conjecture. I must futher study Dentiata’s texts before I can provide a logical explaination.

The boy seemed to know something about the lodestone, but Saeth admitted that it didn’t make much sense to her. As they walked down the stairs, she siddled up to the boy and asked her question. “How does such a lodestone work, if it does not guide us northward?”

“I’m not schooled in the current theories athough many rumours abound, Some say it is latent magic from the forming of the world or some mighty conflict. Others say it is the power of a benevolent god. Some think it is charletanism. I’m sure Master Feldard has his own folklore conserning the properties of lodestone. Properly shaped and placed in the correct vessel I have seen lodestone align itself as if by magic. Although the magic itself appears to be undetectable or beyond current detection methods.”

“Perhaps we should retire downstairs I shall retire to the library and you fine fellows can locate any prisoners.” That said, Miklos collected his gear and lead the way down the stairs, he turned into the library, brightened the glow globe and sat at the desk. He pulled out the map, the Book of the Sons of Night, the lockless book case and his own spell book.

Maruc nodded to the Mage and followed him down the stairs into the Altar Room. He turned to the others as they filed down after him. “Would you mind giving me a hand searching these shelves briefly? Then we can all go hunting for prisoners. They may need medical or spiritual attention and I would like to be there. But firstly we may discover items of interest to Miklos and his studies here.”

With his friends help, he searched the shelves. Black parchment.

The group passed the Library on their way down to the dungeons below. As they had been searching the shelves in the room above, Miklos had cast Analyze on the magically-locked. He was able to determine that the lock was enchanted with a modified form of the Wizard Lock spell. Therefore a knock spell would be enough to open it.

“Miklos, you have that Wand if you get into any difficulty but do call us if you require assistance we will be back up here in a trice. See you soon,” said Maruc . Miklos was so engrossed that he barely acknowledge them as they passed.

Maruc allowed the others to file past before joining the end of the party. They walked down the stairs, back into the foyer where the bodies of the orcs still lay scattered throughout the room. They then went down the stairs and returned to the hallway that was outside the room that had been their point of entry to the tower.

They stood before the tapestry that they had run past as they chased the orc guard up the stairs. It depicted a dark cloud rolling over the world and obscuring the stars. People fled in panic as a wizard on a hilltop raised his arms triumphantly.

“The dungeons are beyond that wall,” directed Ashira. “But you need the password to open the door.”

She turned toward the wall and said, “Dread Night Attained”. Upon her utterance, a secret metal door behind the tapestry slowly swung open. It revealed a short hallway that led to some stairs going down.

It occurred to Saeth that there was something interesting about that phrase. She recalled the wizard’s fascination with anagrams. Words had always been a fascination of hers, and she turned around the letters in her head for a bit. What was it that the old witch in Sysak had said?

The stairs going down were long and steep. They ended in a square-shaped room. In the center of it was a stature of a young man dressed in a cloak, tunic and boots, his right arm raised and pointed to the middle of the north wall. There was nothing else in the room.

An inscription on the base of the statue read, “Whither be ye going? Let me point the way.”

* * * * *

As the others explored the dungeons, Miklos had turned his attention to the Book of the Sons of Night.

The book described the Sons of Night as a group of wizards who believed that the world would one day be consumed by the Dread Night, a lightless and lifeless void. Apparently, this prophecy was foretold by an ancient Nithian society of followers of Nyx. Before the Dread Night, the Sons of Night wished to rule the world and prepare it for its destruction. They sought to obtain artifacts and relics of the Taymoran and Nithian cultures, which they believed would help them fulfill the prophecy.

Additionally, they believed that sacrifices to the Dread Night would give them personal power to further their ends and bring the Dread Night closer. Most sacrifices described in the book were of animals, which explained the livestock disappearances in Sysak. Human sacrifices were to be performed in special ceremonies where the celebrant expected to gain great power in the form of knowledge or spells. The human sacrifice was to be performed at the end of a moonless night, which Miklos calculated to be tonight. The blood of the victim would be channeled through grooves in the sacrificial altar to drip onto specially prepared black parchment. Magical writings would form on the paper, revealing to the celebrant a new spell.

So, it seemed that they had arrived in the Tower just in time. Miklos read on.

The cult was organized into groups of five members, each group called a fraternity. Each fraternity was lead by a “Darker”, the most powerful member of the group. The overall leader was termed “The Grand Darker”. More ceremonies, traditions and rules were described in the text. There were various notes in the margins that were written by Dentiata. Apparently, he was trying to determine what had happened to the group, which had disappeared quite suddenly some time ago. From the notes, Miklos could tell that Dentiata was trying to restart the organization with himself as Grand Darker. He found no evidence of other members or their whereabouts.

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5 Comments

Filed under D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, rpg

5 responses to “To the Dungeons

  1. Nicolai (T4)

    “So either Dentiata was either working alone to re-establish these “Son’s of Night” for his own uses, or he thought he was. In which case it is likely that others more powerful than him using him without his knowledge.

    “Could Sevastian have made himself into that undead creature of his own volition? What was his position in the fraternity he was a member of? And could other more powerful members have learned how to turn themselves into more powerful undead?”

    Nicolai thought for a minute, and added “And if so, how much have we annoyed them by destroying Dentiata? And who exactly is Nyx? It’s not a name either legendary or Immortal that I have heard of.”

  2. Miklos (Mu 3)

    Miklos looked up, he must have been talking aloud to himself but the quiet Nicolai had patiently waited behind with him as he studied the book. Miklos leafed though the Black parchments that maruc had left on the corner of the desk in passing. He glanced up.

    “This must be very boring for you, I thought you’d have been with the others, they’d have need of your skills no doubt in opening lock as so forth. Still its pleasant to have some company.”

    He paused thoughtfully concidering the young rouges words. “Dentiata wanted to start a Sons of Night group here with him as Grand Darker, perhaps we have missed a point. What the point of the location of the tower might have been was its proximity to Specularum itself. There are few places in the world that offer the resource he is looking for, namely learned acolytes. Educated people he could convince to join him in his studies. Specularum has its own Mage guild. It would be a small thing to poach four students from the guild, we are all taught that knowledge itself is not evil but its application. I now see, thanks to your help Nicolai, that this is a dangerous premise. A student with ambition and little patience could easily be beguiled by such as Dentiata.”

    Miklos leant back in his chair and rubbed his eyes, “As to your point that Dentiata is the pawn of some hidden agency we have little proof. Its an interesting thought though but we mustn’t let our theories mould the evidence. More the other way round.”

    “It more probable that Sevastian wanted to prolong his days beyond the Dread Night, in this it would be logical to desire the half life that no life at all, wouldn’t you agree? As to whether he could do it, these texts may hold the key. What is evident is that he certainly succeded. The book holds no references to Sevastian or others of his group that I have discovered so far. But I am not relishing your train of thinking.”

    At his last comment Miklos nodded grimly, “Maruc also mentioned this to me eariler, he said we may have unbalanced the power within Sevatians group, if indeed he was in one, we have no definite proof yet. As to what will happen is anyones guess so we must be vigilant and tread carefully. By Dentiata’s records he has made no mention of any success in recruiting so we do not know what numbers we face. Possibly another four if he was fortunate but I doubt in the timescale he has had here he has managed to form a particularly well informed group.”

    “As to Nyx, my guess would be that she is either an evil Higher Power or some form of Greater Undead that was once a powerful Mage or Priest. Saeth might know, Elves have their own unique histories that are clearer than ours.”

    Miklos snapped the book shut and gathered up the papers and stowed them in his bag. “We shall talk more on the way down. Let us see what our friends are doing downstairs.” With that Miklos left the room in search of the rest of the party.

  3. Maruc (Clr 4)

    “Ashira,” Maruc said walking around the statue. “What manner of man is Dentiata who would waste the art of a sculpturer in some weird door opening device. No only that, he has concealed his own dungeons, but I suppose that is because he wanted to prove to the locals that he was really harmless. That is up until the point you actually look at the tapestries concealing the entrance. This man was obviously insane, either that or he hated the sculptor so much he locked him up with his own work.” Maruc grinned at his own macabre joke.

    “Can you explain the nature of the inscription?”

  4. Saeth Tegau

    Saeth stood back, taking in the scenery, as the humans discussed the situation. The statue was most intriguing, and she wondered if it was magical, placed here out of place as a tool rather than decor.

    I don’t know if Saeth can actually detect magic or not, based on how that rule on spells out of spellbooks work… if she can, she’ll use it.

  5. Saeth: 10xp +10xp
    Maruc: 10xp
    Miklos: 10xp+10xp
    Nicolai: 10xp +5xp
    Feldard: 10xp+10xp

    TOTAL:
    Saeth: 6215/8000
    Maruc: 6160/12000
    Miklos: 6175/10000
    Nicolai: 5835/9600
    Feldard: 6320/8800

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