|By Shamus||Sep 30, 2005||8 comments|
They return to the door inside. The door frame and the lock are still there but the wood inside the frame is burnt away. Thordek is chosen to go in because he is smallest. He peaks in. He sees no one but sees another set of doors. This is a small vestibule. This area looks well-traveled. There is a series of switches on the north wall. Skeeve and Thordek flip a few switches out of curiosity. Eomer is irritated, but says nothing.
They enter the next room. This well-lit room was once the lower meeting hall and has now been converted into a sacrificial chamber. There are three stone slabs on the floor, tilted towards the middle of the room, two with children lying upon them. Grooves have been carved in the stone floor, leading into a drain in the center of the room, in which a large bronze cup has been placed. As they move towards the children they hear a voice from the front of the room, “Leave the children be! You can’t help them now. Go back to the town.”
At the front of the room is a table with jars and evil books and other nasty stuff. There is also a large spell-book.
The children seem to be under a spell of dreamless sleep. Eomer moves closer to the children.
“Leave them be, none of you have the power to help them now,” the voice says as Eomer leans closer to see if they yet live. He can feel no pulse. He places his mirror in front of the mouth of the boy, and confirms that he is breathing very slightly. The children look deathly pale.
“I am prepared to do what none of you would against the Alidians. It is time that we return to our former glory”, states the voice.
“Murdering children will do that?”, asks Thu’fir. The others continue to look for the source of the voice.
“It’s time that we go back to our roots. We’ve abandoned the ways of magic and that’s how we lost the war,” the voice persists, moving around the front of the room accompanied by footsteps.
“Go back! You want to take these children back to their parents? Take them back, so they can become slaves or killed by the Alidians? Their death here will be quick, painless, and nothing like the horrors they would suffer at the hands of the Alidians. If you want to help win this war, go and bring me one last child. “
Eomer figures out pretty much where the wizard is. He nonchalantly chats to the wizard, wanders over to the workbench, and starts tossing and knocking over the stuff on the table. Eomer pulls the leg out from the table and knocks it all over. The wizard appears near Eomer and Enoch suddenly can’t move. Enoch held, Thordek trying to figure out what is wrong with him, starts shaking him trying to get him to wake up.
The battle with the wizard begins. The wizard casts magic missile at the them. Eomer and Skeeve fight him. Thu’fir picks up one of the kids and runs from the room with him. Skeeve has been seriously wounded by the magic missles, but summons his strength and casts lightning on the wizard. The wizard is thrown back, badly injured. He responds by hitting Skeeve with an acid attack. The acid splashes all over him, and he passes out.
While this is going on, Thordek dashes into a side room, looking for something he might throw at the wizard.
A quick glance around the room reveals this to be a workshop of some sort. He grabs a hammer, and heads out of the room. Eomer attempts to grab the mage but slides right off. Thordek sees that Skeeve is down, drops the hammer, and tries to pick up both the kid and Skeeve. He can’t, so he just takes Skeeve. He realizes that Skeeve has acid burning him and throws off the acid-soaked cloak. Thu’fir continues to try to save the children. The wizard yells as they take the kids. He looks and sees that the battle is against him. He casts another spell and vanishes. Thordek screams for Beck to come help. Eomer uses Endo’s staff to swing in the area that he heard the wizard’s footsteps (who is now invisible) and hits, bringing forth many yells of pain and frustration from the location of the wizard. Thu’fir blows his horn and affects both Eomer and the wizard. They are stunned.
Thordek takes Skeeve out of the room and sets him carefully in the rubbish room. Skeeve stabilizes. Thu’fir drops the kid gently outside of the room and pulls the doors shut, hopefully trapping with wizard inside with the party, and away from the kids. Thordek stays with Skeeve, trying to heal him. The others listen for the invisible wizard, trying to keep track of him. The wizard kicks at Eomer when he tries to grapple him and loses his invisibility. He slips away and shuts himself in the little workshop.
Eomer begins chatting at him through the door. Beck comes in yelling, “What the heck is going on in here?”
Finally Thu’fir kicks the door in and slays the Wizard with his massive blade.
If you think this is confusing to read, you should have tried to follow it in person. They couldn’t form any sort of strategy and stick with it. Save the kids? Kill the bad guy? Escape? They sort of tried to do all three at once.
The result was that a very ordinary battle turned out to be almost too tough for them, and Skeeve was very neary killed.