Notes from Lohengrin 005

2021 JUN 05

Travel Notes by Lohengrin Van Asche VII

Part Five

New Clothes, New Hat, New Traveling Alchemy Kit; New Lohengrin Mildred Sherrinford Coriander Van Asche III.

Maybe I should shorten that; New Loh. New Miles? Corry?

Dread.

No, just Loh… Loh is fine.

I did not get much rest last night. Fortunately, I had managed to get a few hours of sleep before the whole… ordeal… so I am rested enough for the day. I left early, as soon as I saw the sunrise, and went shopping. I know, I know, there is nothing ‘new’ about me going shopping, but I need to acquire a few new things to put my new image together. First thing first, I picked up an Alchemy kit. I do know alchemy, it comes up a LOT in the Sir Locke Adventures, and I have been using a few minor mixtures to help me sleep during my adventure… but, I know a lot more than just sleeping spells, and it’s about time I show these people what I can do; it’s about time I make use of everything I know.

I also custom ordered a leather bracelet with the letters “WWNJD” stamped into it. What Would Narniana Jones Do?

I wasn’t at the… Brothel… when everyone else woke, but I was informed that Durell bought everyone breakfast. The group discussed the day’s plans, then went to the (temple?) to purchase healing potions. I met them as they were heading back.

Durell filled me in on what was intended for the day. It seems he had a contact in Middleton, and that contact was, at the time, imprisoned. The group, minus Murfria and Bobalberry who opted to wait in town, left for the Keep. Durell requested to see the prisoner and the guards were happy to oblige. I waited outside to avoid ‘intimidating’ the contact… so… Durell took the giant, George, and the laughing man, Thorne. Durell returned a bit later, offered to pay the guards for the release of their prisoner, then returned again with a very filthy-looking individual.

Old Lohengrin may have commented on the lady’s appearance, but not Loh. I bit my tongue and stayed with the group.

Everyone did their own shopping while waiting for the disg-… the lady to wash up. Once everyone was ready, Durell’s new friend shared what they knew about the dungeon we were looking for. It seems we were quite nearby. The lady led us all south down the road we’d just traveled, to the adventurer’s guild in the neighboring town. We planned to use an invisibility spell on everyone so that we may sneak off into the woods unseen by the locals, and that is what we did. Before long, we were off into the woods searching for an entrance.

After a brief journey, Durell’s friend stopped and pointed at a hillside. She indicated that the entrance was buried right there. George and Bobalberry dug it out. Before long, an opening is found and the entire group is heading inside. Tom led the way, checking for any traps beneath the leaves. His methods were unconventional, not like anything I’ve ever read about, but he has real-world experience; I trust him.

A tapestry hid a wooden wall, boarding up the entry. George used his head – and smashed into the wall, but the wall didn’t budge. He tried a few more times, but the wall remained unmoved. Then George, Tom, and Murfria all began prying boards loose until the entry is clear. Tom led the way and almost immediately found a trap… by falling into it. George reached the edge of the pit before I could. He triggered the hidden doors, and I wedged one side open so it wouldn’t close again. I almost wish I hadn’t as inside was Tom climbing the wall and a massive swarm of skeletal rats.

Lohengrin would have screamed… Loh stood fast and offered Tom a hand. Even when the rats swarmed over the edge and began to bite, I did not waver. Tom, however, lost his grip and fell back into the pit. He stopped moving. 

Murfria dove between George and me, throwing one end of a rope to George. Fortunately, George caught the rope before Murfria hit the ground. Murfria force-fed Tom a healing potion, then George and I pulled them both backup. George then stomped the rats into a fine powder. 

Tom and I fixed the trap closed so we could all walk across it. On the other side, I found two more pit traps. Tom didn’t notice them, but he did just die recently so he might be a bit distracted.

Everyone crossed the pit without error as we checked the door for traps. George removed the large bar across the door and everyone stood back as he swung open. We found a long corridor inside. Tom and I went ahead. This corridor had a LOT of arrow traps, but they were all triggered by the door on the other end. Tom disabled the mechanism and opened the door, then slammed it shut again when a howling skull screamed at him. I’m not sure what happened for a few minutes after that, I lost all hearing and was a bit disoriented. 

George and Tom teamed up to kill the flying skull. 

The room beyond was massive, with stairs leading into a sunken section, then up the other side to a series of pillars. Shortly after we all entered, there was a loud clang in the hall behind us; I assumed that was the door slamming shut, and I later found I was right. Immediately after the sound, a cold mist started rising from below. I tried to charge down the stairs, but instead of finding myself at the bottom of the steps, I found myself back at the top. A few others tried the stairs and found themselves in the same situation; back at the top.

I asked Murfria for her rope, intending to jump over the edge and climbing down since the stairs were broken. I asked George to hold the other end, and just as he took it, Murfria grabbed the other end and leaped over the edge. She landed safely on the floor and went to check on a glowing pedestal at the center of the room. When she got near, she suddenly began screaming and came running back up the stairs.

George ran down the other flight of stairs and charged for the pedestal, as Tom climbed over the wall, avoiding the stairs. I tried the stairs again but just wound up at the top. George tried to break the pedestal but was unsuccessful. Durell cast a Breeze spell, centered on George, to clear his view so that he could inspect the pedestal. Three glowing orbs floated past George, and they seemed to reveal hidden objects; like a golden disk at the base of the pedestal. When George pressed on the disk, all the pain George and Murfria felt suddenly stopped. The mist, however, kept coming.

The mist eventually reached the ceiling, and no one died… so we concluded it probably wasn’t deadly, just obscuring.

As everyone is working their way down the magical stairs, George and Tom climb the stairs on the other end of the room towards the pedestal and a painting. George falls into another pit trap, but he was really big at the time since Thorne cast enlarge on him when he was still fighting the pedestal. I imagine that helped? Maybe he didn’t fall so far.

Everyone gets together to pull George out of the hole. 

We continue to investigate the room and find that we are trapped. There are massive gates on either end of the room, to the left and right, there is a stairway leading down, and a painting at the back of the room that is casting a freezing spell so no one can get near it without suffering the extreme cold.

Tom fired an arrow with a rope at the painting, and it passed right through! It seems there is a hidden room back there, but we can’t get close enough without freezing to death.

The gates are locked, and with some work and inspection, we discover that the locks are fake so we can’t pick them and open the gates.

As we’re investigating, we hear voices behind one of the gates, talking about how fun it is going to be when the gates open, and how… we will find out in the morning; then the locks on the gates start ticking, like a timer.

We prepare ourselves for the gate to fly open and unleash whatever hell it separates us from. I decided to try and secure an escape route in case things get too rough, and check on the door by the stairs down. They’re trapped with folding stairs that turn into a slide, so I disable the trigger and check the door, which is also trapped. Again, I disable the mechanism, then call Tom to see if he can pick the lock. He does, and again, I wish we hadn’t. The door is shoved open, slamming against Tom and me, and revealing a room full of undead with glowing green eyes.

We close the door.

We need the help of George to push the door closed again so Tom and secure the lock. We decide that we are truly trapped.

The voices behind the door suggest that the gate isn’t going to open until tomorrow morning, so until then, we are free to rest and investigate the room. We decide to rest for the night and tackle whatever the morning has in store for us. We try to rest in the corridor so we can keep a closed door between us and everything else, but the large door at the other end attacks us when we enter, so we’re forced to sleep at the top of the weird, magic stairs.

I volunteered to take first and second watches so I can run through my old journal and find some of my notes on alchemy. Tomorrow, I will show them what I’m truly capable of.

Author: CJ Stark

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