In the Light of a Prism

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Sylvos
Sojourner
Posts: 571
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2001 5:01 am
Location: Guelph, ON, Canada
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In the Light of a Prism

Postby Sylvos » Thu Jul 31, 2003 2:30 pm

On request of my wife, who's been denied logging in by the higher power of phpBB2...

I'm sure Cirath will have a very different perspective on things, as
he was there but he got to run around and talk to people I didn't
see, and he'd said he'd met the dragon and some mage before, but then
again I got to watch Orcus fall (twice) so...

Bilraex called to me, as I sat at my campsite, asking for help to
retrieve a prism. Well, I always like pretty things, and Sylvos was
still sound asleep, so I figured why not. We gathered just outside
the inn in Waterdeep, and to be honest that might have been the worst
part of the whole venture. The place smelled bad, there was the
usual collection of vagabonds and those who'd spent too long in the
city of 'wonders' - if you know what I mean. But at long last, we
raced out of the city and used magics to carry us to Cirath, way
south.

Where was that place? I remember seeing the pretty glittering
jewels, and I even bought a necklace, and the ground shook as if the
Earth herself were trying to rid herself of a nasty tick or flea.
And then we were going down into the jeweler's basement, while some
prophet I hadn't seen yet shouted dire threats. Things like we'd all
die not in fire but in misery.

You know, back when we were preparing to rid Bloodstone of the horrid
fiend Orcus, someone mentioned prophesies. And then there was that
prophet...

Anyway, the Earth still shuddered and trembled, and we (being brave
adventurers) still descended into her skin. Anyone ever ask
adventurers why they seem to put their brains in storage before
pursuing the interesting and unusual stuff? Strange, but I'm one of
them, so... Anyway.

Down we went. Fragor's horse didn't like the idea, of course, having
all the brains his god granted him, so he remained behind while we
fought giant leeches and then big nasty undead things, and then got
ready to fight Azountil. I don't know what he was doing, maybe it
was he who muttered and chanted arcanely and shrieked now and then.
Nanes was enthralled by his powers, and nearly returned to his
homeland 'the fast way' but we managed to both battle Azountil's
henchmen, and spare enough people to help Nanes recover himself.
Thank the Spirits.

Only we lost Nanes soon after. Azountil had some sort of journal, a
parchment saying how ticked off he was that he couldn't get a stone
that was sometimes out of phase, that was warded against negative
energies. Cirath scouted ahead and found a strange stone, sticking
out of lava, where some elementals were trying to do something with
it. To get there we had to face a great clawed beast, and attack the
elementals.

The fight had barely been finished, when Cirath's voice came to us.
He'd been trying to get the stone, and his fingers must have brushed
its surface, because abruptly he was elsewhere. Being adventurers,
the rest of us didn't hesitate in trying to stretch out across the
lava pool - the fire spoken of by the Prophet? Aldira seemed to
think so - to rub the stone and be carried off to somewhere else.

Maybe we should have hesitated. I still ache where the mechanical
fiends pierced my body with their incredibly sharp fingertips. They
were fiendish. I'd noticed before that our group of heroes seemed to
cover the spectrum of motivation - a clear golden light haloed more
than half of us, but there were still a handful shrouded by a ruby
red shimmer, and I wasn't the only one who walked the path between.
But we didn't expect the constructs to be looking for such variations.

It was a hard fight, completed while I sat with my Shaman teacher
cursing my ineffectiveness. What use are the powerful magics of the
Spirits when I'm on the other side of the Realms - or maybe I wasn't,
I still don't know where my body ended up when we rubbed that strange
stone.

Did I mention how strange it is that adventurers will do things like
that, rubbing stones and leaping through rifts to other planes?
Anyway.

My essence was scooped up and dumped back into my prior body, again.
I took time to look around at the huge chamber we'd arrived in,
noticed the attention to detail, but the place still felt dead. The
hallway where the fiends waited was incredibly detailed, paintings on
every surface - but it still felt dead. As the tunnel descended,
rubble choked its passage, and one fiend had been unfortunate enough
to get trapped within. While we tried to figure out how to navigate
the twists and turns, Bilraex crept ahead and discovered a burial
chamber.

Just underneath the dust, on a morbid lump on a pedestal, he found
that which we'd been seeking, a prism of Concordant Convergence. I
don't know if he was ready to go yet, or if we were still going to
try to get out, but my curiosity got the better of me and I slipped
ahead too.

I had to crawl under a rock, balanced precariously. Then I passed
between the feet of one of those nasty fiends, who'd slaughtered Tene
when she followed me. I scrambled up over more of the dark rocks,
then found myself in a pyramid-shaped room, choked with dust.

The body was there on the pedestal, right where Bilraex had said it
was. Dust covered a half-dozen really interesting lumps, so I
covered my mouth and nose with my scarves and swept it clear,
revealing a very pretty necklace, jar, brooch, dagger hilt, and
tiara. By then the dust was so stirred-up I couldn't see anything
below my waist, so I started climbing back out to the party. Grogu
didn't have the same problems with the dust, and took time to examine
the pedestal more closely, but then we wanted out of that place of
death.

Being adventurers, we leapt through a portal. Why? Is that the
difference between adventurers and regular people, the willingness to
jump to what could be certain death? Bah! We were lucky, though.
It was the only way out, and it took us back to the market where
glittering jewels were offered for sale. They looked shabby compared
to the finds from the bural chamber. I guess there's an advantage to
being a foolhardy adventurer - we at least get to have the pretty
things.

But first, the dragon. Did I say we were getting the prism for the
dragon? Tsakchanar spoke of a bound Vile One, whose prison was
getting weak. And twelve gods (reminded me of twelve rings) tied him
in behind the portal and sealed it, but the time of Troubles weakened
the seals, and this prism thing was to purge the portal altogether so
the Vile One wouldn't come back, but some mage wanted it so he could
control all of Undermountain and he was getting help from the so-
called dark races who wanted to have complete access to Waterdeep,
but you know that wouldn't be so bad except the prism had to be used
to keep the world from being destroyed...

The dragon's aura shimmered golden, even in the setting sun. She had
no cause to lie to us. She even seemed to hold some sympathy for
Azerost, whose parents were among the spirits wandering confused in
the crumbled, smoking remains of Bloodstone.

I don't want to do that again. I don't want to go try to purge the
horror from a place already destroyed, to have the spirits who'd once
lived there wander around wondering what had happened.

I guess it means I have to side with the dragon...

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