Mantelderith 15 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar) Part 2

Since I’m going to be diving into a tomb, which of course is going to be filled with undead monsters, I figured I should get a weapon of some kind.  I headed down to the Juost armory and no one seemed to be guarding the place.  It was crammed with all kinds of new stuff stripped of the dead bodies of the people killed in the fighting but it was just hurled about willy-nilly.  I guess whoever was in charge of the armory got killed and no one has been appointed to take over.  That’s that person called?  Sergeant of arms?  Or master of arms maybe?  Point is that’s probably a position that you shouldn’t leave vacant for long.  Anyone could walk in and get a people destroyer.  Like I walked in and picked up a short sword that seemed to be made of gold.  It glowed as well which should come in handy since tombs tend to be dark as well as infested with zuvembies. 

At noon I headed into the woods for a legally sanctioned grave robbing contest.  Which seems odd but for all I know it happens frequently.  Rich people are weird, who knows what they get up to when no one is looking?  I took the path through the gardens just as I did eight months ago (or so) when I was here the first time.  I guess I thought that since I had already killed the vampiric fey monster that way I would be safe.  In retrospect that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Lightning doesn’t strike twice (usually) but if you go into a bad part of town and you get mugged you’re not safe if you go there again are you?  That’s a mixed metaphor but you know what I mean probably. 

I couldn’t swear to it but I feel like I was in the same area of the woods by tranquil forest pond when suddenly there was a well in my path.  You know the top part with the stones in a ring.  I should learn what that’s called, it has to be called something.  It was odd, but I didn’t think too much of it until I moved to take another path to bypass it and suddenly there it was in front of me again.  Two wells?  No, I looked back and there was no well where it was before.  I get it now, I see what we’re doing here.  Rather than dashing off breathlessly and flailing my arms only to find the well in front of me no matter what I just waited.  After a minute I saw the grey-white hand appear over the side of the well cap (is that what it’s called?) as the sounds of the forest went dead silent and an eerie susurration began. 

Over the past year I’ve seen some damn creepy things, but for some reason the awkward lurching of these well fey crawling out of their holes still sends a shiver up (down?) my spine.  There’s something about the herky-jerky way that it slithers out of the well dripping foul water that just gets me you know?  And of course it doesn’t help that they have that wall of hair falling down over their faces.  I have this thing about people (or whatever) that have no visible face.  I’m just funny like that I guess.  She did that thing where they stand still for a moment and then are right in front of you in the blink of an eye without seeming to move.  They may not be water-logged corpses but they sure smell like them.

“What?”

Her voice was phlegmy and bubbly and kind of hard to understand “You are under arrest.”

“Arrest?  That is not what I expected at all.  Are they making faeries road agents now?  Are you a member of the guard?  On what authority are you arresting me?”

“You are will answer to the Miletduchglimmenidd Court for your crimes.”

“What the Hells is that?”

“In the Bittersweet Yeteryears when the elfs first came to this land in the vigor of their youth the Miletduchglimmenidd Costenhojima Eriguldin was already eons old.  The elfs settled the forest during the Age of Kittenclandeubs and at that time Queen Reuithfatfengins exerted her power over the land and formed the Treagous Nunnehei.  Four thousand years later the clans declared the forest forbidden after . . .”

“Good Gods, forget about it, sorry I asked.  What crimes is this in relation to?”

“You stand ACCUSED . . . of the mortal murder of the glaistig Accordance and of the satyr Colper.”

“Hey, he was alive when I left him.  I did shoot him but . . .”

Her arm swung up to point imperiously, splattering me with foul water (and other stuff) “You will face judgement now or . . . you will die.”

“Ugh, this is kind of a bad time for me, can’t I face judgement later?  I’m kind of in the middle of something.”

“The time of your people has no meaning to the Queen!  She is eternal and immortal, you will wither and dry like a leaf and she will continue on forever!”

“So . . . . is that a yes?  We can do this later?”

She didn’t say anything, just stood there being creepy, so eventually I walked around her and continued on my way.  I guess if I dry drown in my sleep tonight I’ll know that wasn’t okay.  It took me a few hours to find the Wesel family crypt.  I didn’t see any sign of Hellerhad, I assume his plan is to wait for me to get find the magic stick and then ambush me on the way back and take it.  That’s what I would do if I was him.  Maybe it wasn’t a crypt, maybe it was a mausoleum, I forget which one is above ground and which one is underground.  I don’t care for these sorts of places.  I know what you’re saying “Ela no one does!” but you remember that time I was super sick and almost died and I was lying in the Sonst family crypt basically waiting to die?   I do.  It still ranks as the worst moment of my life.  So far anyway, I’m sure something worse is on the way. 

I wonder whatever happened to Lord Sonst.  I should keep better correspondence with my old pals like that.  Of course since I was usually using a fake name and appearance in those days it would be tough to keep it all straight.  Plus I have no fixed address.  There’s a lot of hurdles to overcome there.  The Wesel family crypt/mausoleum was built with giant stone blocks that had to be four feet square – it must have been a massive pain in the ass to construct.  There was moss or mold or something green growing in the cracks though – I guess as long as water can get in something plants can grow anywhere.  The “door” was a massive slab maybe seven feet high that I couldn’t have moved an inch but the good news is that the stones had shifted and it had fallen over – leaving the mouth of the place yawning open like a grave.  See what I did there?  That’s some good metaphoring. 

The front part of the tomb was all carved with a horse motif.  I guess the Wesel family was really into breeding horses.  Or maybe they just liked horses.  I don’t really understand burial structures at all, but this type of thing especially doesn’t make sense.  It’s not like you can enjoy it when you’re dead.  This place wasn’t made to be visited so who are all these horse carvings for?  With the light of my new blade showing the way I went in where there was a big room with wall paintings of the various Wesels valiantly riding horses into combat.  I think one of them was a woman.  Or maybe just a man with a very unfortunate haircut.  There was even some sort of magic effect that made me hear the snorting of horse noses and the clomping of horse hooves.  I swear I would even smell the horse-sweat.  What a weird thing to do huh?

Beyond that was a big room where there was a statue of a horse and murals on the walls of what I think was the same horse.  I guess they really liked this horse in particular.  It’s hard to tell because I don’t know what a horse grave looks like but I think maybe its bones were buried there.  I think these people really liked horses.  I love horses but I wouldn’t make a statue of one.  That’s entirely missing the point.  That’s like a statue of food – it does no one any good.  At that point I started going into tombs randomly.  One wasn’t a tomb at all, at least I don’t think, it was filled with giant sized weapons and armor and had some stone tablets carved with tales of some Wesel killing giants.  Another tomb was completely collapsed and filled in with dirt and rocks.  Towards the south end (I think) a sinkhole had opened up and a bunch of bodies had fallen into pit of water. 

The water must have been tremendously cold because the bodies all looked perfectly preserved – just suspended there like they were flying.  The water was so clear it really did look like they were flying.  There were lights at the bottom of the water that you could barely see.  It’s always a bad idea to follow lights, but anyone who followed those specific lights deserves to never be seen again.  I found another tomb that had a dude and a horse in it, said he was a diplomat of some kind, and another for a general in some war that had four horses buried with him.  Enough with the horses, I get it, you like them.  Makes you wonder if they killed the horses just so they could be buried with their masters – which would be a very odd expression of love. 

When I turned around from the four-horse tomb I saw a corpse with burning red eyes standing behind me.  People seem to be very concerned about ghosts, but in my experience ghosts seem to be rather harmless.  They’re usually just sad people that want to be set free.  I’ve never met one that seemed capable of hurting anyone if they wanted to.  Dead bodies walking around on the other hand – that’s what I worry about.  I’ll take a ghost over a barrow wight any day.  And especially any night.  His voice was the “typical” grave rasp of the unquiet dead.  I hate when their jaws move, I much prefer when their voices just issue forth from nowhere impossibly.

“Why do you disturb my resting place?”

“I’m here for Mariscalcus Wesel’s staff of office.” I held my hands up “I was told that is about yay long and made of darkwood with mithril caps on both ends with six blue gemstones on it.  I assume sapphires but I wasn’t told that, he just said blue gemstones.”

“Then you shall die like the others who come to steal my treasures.”

“No, it’s not stealing.  Your family is all dead.  The King gave these lands to another family so legally they get all your stuff, including the stick.”

His eyes burned brighter and redder, I guess that’s how undead monsters show anger “Betrayed by my own King?!”

“If it makes you feel better he’s dead too.” He said nothing for a long time “So, uh, can I get the stick then or . . .”

“I wish to return to my spirits of my family.”

“Okay . . . . safe travels?”

“You must help me.”

“There it is.”

“I was disturbed in my slumber by trespassers, intruders, graverobbers like yourself.  The ancient powers of the land woke me in response to their impertinence to destroy, and I did, but now but I cannot find peace.  My ancestors tell me that my only path to rejoin them is through resurrection and a second death.  Now that I have been stirred form the grave I cannot be destroyed, only reborn to die again.”

“Alright, give me the stick and I’ll bring you back.”

His eyes glowed even more brightly “Such oaths are not sworn lightly to the dead.”

“I’ve done it before, it’s not easy, but you hand over the stick and it will be done.  I’ll swear on whatever you want.”

“The deal is struck, you have until the next full moon to fulfil your part of the bargain.  Fail and your life is forfeit – I shall destroy you wherever you are.”

“Wait a minute! I didn’t say anything about . . .”

But he was gone.  Maybe he is a ghost, I’ve never seen a flesh undead disappear like that.  Are there ghosts that can manifest in corpse form?  What am I dealing with here?  The jerk didn’t even bring me the staff of office or anything, I still had to root around for an hour until I found the right tomb where it was laying with a bunch of other stuff.  I won’t lie (about this) I thought about taking the other items as well mostly out of spite.  But I have enough issues without adding a grave curse on top of everything.   

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Funds: 53,040 platinum, 25,660 gold

XP: 1,096,451

Inventory: Flask of Endless Sake, Hat of Effortless Style, Tankard of the Drunken Hero, Ela’s Dazzling Garment, Belt of Physical Might +4, Ring of Urban Grace, Black Marketers’ Bag (5), Tidy Trunk, Whiterock Family Ring (Ring of Binding), Ela’s Elegant Boots, Ela’s Extravagant Necklace, Ring of Counterspells, Brooch of Shielding, Cloak of the Hedge Wizard (Abjuration), Headband of Subtle Misdirection, Antiquarian’s Monocle, Unbalanced Scales, +1 Glorious Undead Bane Short Sword

Noble’s outfit (5) collegium ring,  pocketed scarf, wrist sheath, signet ring (2) assortment of fake signet rings, silver chain set with moonstones, gold and emerald ring (2), garnets (700), gold necklace with jade pendant, ivory combs, tax collector’s badge, gold bracelet with ivory inlays, silver necklace set with rubies, gold earrings with jade inlays, silver and gold brooch, silver necklace with ruby pendant, disguise kit, covenant ring, tiny diamonds (26), Saryah Phidaner gown, masterwork thieves’ tools, onyx (55) personal signet ring, tiara, masterwork red and black long greatcoat, Turnbill blade of first forging (one of three), darkwood and platinum music box, silver bracelet set with bloodstones, platinum ring set with fire opal, silver and moonstone bracelet, holy symbol of Kozilek, dwarf journal

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler, Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander, Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee,  Helgan van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot Sheepskin, Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers, Hellerhad the Wizard, Forsaken Kin, Law Offices of Office of Glilcus and Stolo, Jey Rora, Colonel Tarl Ciarán, Mayor Baras Haldmeer, Rindol the Sage, Essa, eyeless hag, Baron Saltwheel, Baron Harmenkar, Colonel Tarl Ciarán’s wizard soldier, Victor, Beharri, Cebuano, Mayor Eryn, Chimera Trading Company

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