Day 131

Part Two of our D&D update (part one) 🙂

 

As they pack up camp, Cyrus is nowhere to be seen. Aymer stretches and leads the party back toward the entrance to Neamhain’s cave. They walk for about three hours, mist swirling out as it has each other day making it a long walk back to the entrance of the spider lair. As they approach the webbed entrance, they see Cyrus leaning against a tree, lightly strumming his lute.

“On the road again?”

“Yes,” Vistra tells him, scowling.

He walks with them, softly humming to break the silence of the forest. They follow the directions given by Neamhain, walking for about 5 hours before they decide to check for the tower’s location over the treetops. Aymer finds a sturdy pine, pulling his way up. From the top of the tree, he sees a dark, twisted stone tower in the distance. He yells down to the party which direction they should be going and estimates that it’s another half day at least to reach it.

Climbing down, one of the branches snaps, sending Aymer falling toward the ground. He manages to catch himself on another branch, breaking his fall slightly, before landing in a heap. Brushing himself off, Aymer scowls at Cyrus, who, to his credit, is barely smiling at the wood elf’s tumble.

As the party continues walking toward the tower, the forest around them starts to die. Trees become warped and twisted and the bushes seem to wilt. Looking around, they see the ancient remains of a cobblestone path heading in the direction of the tower. They carefully begin to walk down it.

As they continue on the path, they see four shadowy figures moving toward them ahead. Gantar and Aymer dive off the path, concealing themselves behind bushes.

“Show yourselves, cowards!” Constance yells.

There is a strange gurgling in response, no discernable words. As the creatures draw closer, Constance calls on the power of Torm, learning that though they may have once been human, the figures before her have been pulled back to life. She readies her sword, swinging at the first zombie, slashing deep into its chest. Seemingly unperturbed, the zombie grabs her. She shakes the undead duergar off as Elzeni calls upon Bahamut, sending a blast of radiant energy at the oncoming zombies.

A drow zombie manages to grab Constance, wrapping its arms around her and trying to bite her. As she struggles to push him off, a second undead drow manages to bite her. She calls upon Torm, yelling in his name, sending one of the zombies reeling and retreating. Seeing the struggle ahead, Gantar and Aymer move forward. Aymer takes aim, killing the zombie grappling Constance. As Constance and the now-actually-dead drow topple to the ground, Gantar stands and releases three flaming streaks into the fray. They slam into the zombies, dropping one to the ground. Elzeni takes out the last non-retreating zombie, moving after the retreating one as an arrow streaks through the air and hits Gantar. Aymer stands, shooting at the retreating zombie, his arrow going wide and hitting Constance.

They move forward, carefully, another arrow singing through the air. Gantar moves up, casting web on the area producing arrows. A creature comes running out, strange sword drawn, swinging at Constance. The strange blade bites into her, chill racing through her veins. It turns to Gantar, slicing him as Elzeni and Aymer join in. Constance, recovered, gets her blade up and beheads the creature.

She claims its blade for her own, having Gantar take a look. He’s able to identify it as a Spectral Blade, an ethereal weapon that chills enemies it hits. She tucks it away, promising to practice with it later.

Cyrus moves up, looking down at the fallen zombies.

“Poor sods. Bad way to go. Can somebody help me here?”

Constance moves over to him, curious.

“Would you mind checking the back of his neck?”

She turns the body over, pushing its hair aside and revealing a symbol burned into the back of its neck, as if by a brand:

symbol of undeath

Cyrus’s eyes go wide upon seeing the symbol, his spectral face blanching as he looks, panicked, at the other corpses. The wight’s head opens its eyes and looks at Cyrus, its face breaking into a truly horrifying smile. It speaks with a voice not matching the wight’s, the voice of a man:

“There you are, Cyrus. We need to talk about your behavior, don’t you think?”

Cyrus gasps, clutching his stomach. He stands up partially, wiping blood from the corner of his mouth, his image slowly fading.

“He found me,” he tells the adventurers. “The item: it’s a box, got that symbol on it. Please hurry.”

His image fades into nothing, the silence of the forest returning. They stand there for a moment, wondering what exactly just happened, before moving on. After creating a sketch of the symbol, Elzeni burns the bodies of the zombie and wight, not wanting to take any chances.

They set up camp in the unnatural darkness, Aymer taking the first watch. A giant spider, having caught their scent, attacks midway through his shift, but it is easily dispatched. Constance takes the last watch, an uneventful four hours as her companions sleep. In the morning, our adventurers wake late, the darkness making it hard to tell what time of day it might be. Cyrus is nowhere to be seen and, despite his previous annoyance to them, the party worries what might have happened to the spectre.

 

Wish them luck this Thursday!

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