Pimfire’s Diary Entry
Day 13 – We awoke in the dragon’s lair on top of the ledge overlooking the strange underdark healing waters below. Mok was clearly still upset over Mr. Pointy’s demise yesterday but once we descended to the floor Clearice thought we should try to raise him while submerged inside the strange waters. Gently laying Mr. Pointy in the water Mok and Clearice stepped into the water and upon casting raise dead Mr. Pointy was brought back to life as if nothing untoward had occurred! “Eureka!” Clearice screamed “the waters strange healing properties must negate any negative effects being brought back from such a nearly un-raise-able dead like state!” and with such a wondrous discovery among such a dangerous place we found our hearts lifted and noted this discovery for Lord Blacktree’s and our company’s future use.
With the party fully restored and rejuvenated we headed out hauling the dragon’s hoard with us in search of the chamber Lower Sarbreen and a place for Lord Blacktree to establish an outpost. Upon reaching the crossroads in the tunnel leading to the Dragon’s lair/dwarven chamber we burried the copper coins for Lord Blacktree’s eventual recovery and aid in cost for establishing an outpost down here and continued to follow the map to the chamber of Lower Sarbreen.
Several hours into the day we entered what could only be Lower Sarbreen. Here I can barely describe what I saw as we stepped onto a ledge 15 feet above the surface floor of the largest underground cavern I’ve ever seen. A glow from the lichen which coated the floor, walls and ceiling allowed us to see in all directions as if the chamber was lit with sunlight at dusk The cavern was enormous we couldn’t even see the far side it must have been miles long and across. How can such a large chamber exists without the roof collapsing under the weight of the world above I know not!
Strange mushrooms grew all around almost like tree’s with vines draped from the cavern walls and mushrooms. Large bats flew above into and out of sight while heard like beasts I’ve never seen wandered the cavern floors. From a distance we can see a small settlement of buildings with creatures moving about and it was decided to see if they are friendly.
As we rushed over slowing as we neared taking a more cautious approach the closer we got we could see the buildings showed signs of damage as if recently attacked while strange shapes both large giant like and small with robes moved about collecting dead bodies of dwarfish and drow origin and placing upon large lizard like bodies. Omega attempted to speak with the first creature we saw a giant robed figure only to learn nothing but a direction, the center of town, from the bony hand that pointed in the direction of the village square. We stepped carefully towards the village center noting the robed figures all around and dead bodies clearly these hooded figures were undead as was evident from the skeletal like hand of the robed giant.
In the square we met a strange human decked out in full plate armor directing the hooded figures to continue their works picking up bodies. As we approached the man on the other side of the village well some of the hooded figures moved to block us from getting to close and from a short distance we discovered the mans name to be Valcrus who worked on behalf of his lord Malphagor. He informed us the dead where none of his doing but rather a battle between drow and duergar fought here and he just came to collect and remove the bodies for use in his lord’s service.
It was at this point that I stepped forth offering to spread knowledge of Malphagor to those above on the surface in the hopes of learning more of both his GOD since we had never heard of him as well as knowledge of the underdark itself. Valcrus wanted our agreement that the dead bodies would be his and we’d not interfere with his work in exchange before parting with his knowledge. While I was willing others like Morrin, through Dusk that is, clearly wanted no part of such a bargain and seemed disgusted by the undead collecting bodies. Clearice also seemed offended by the undead as the group couldn’t seem to give Valcrus a fast enough response to his request he then took a more hostile stance and battle was joined just as I pulled out my staff of illumination.
Surrounded by JuJu zombies and giant skeletons I reacted quickly unleashing a powerful Sunburst from the staff over and into the far side of the central square blasting a pile of undead into oblivion which clearly upset Valcrus who screamed “Blasphemy!” and cast a painful spell upon the myself and other members. Suddenly feeling sickened the remaining zombies and giants moved in and attacked with a fireball even coming from a giant behind the party blasting into us with devastating force.
Feeling surrounded and suddenly seeing banshee’s descending from above with their screeching wails of doom I did something stupid but felt was necessary and unleashed another Sunburst centered upon the party taking out the banshee’s and the giants from behind both of whom were a direct threat. I didn’t realize how badly injured the rest of the part was however and Mok and Clearice tumbled to the ground while Omega became blinded by light.
With the remaining undead vanquished from that burst Morrin attempted to close the short distance to Valcrus only to find an invisible barrier and instead I watched as a smelly cloud appeared encasing Valcrus and his position from sight. Seeing the damage I did to my fellow adventurers I shoved a potion down Mok’s throat bringing him back to consciousness who in turn did the same to Clearice as did I. Omega meanwhile blinded charged into a wall and then upon hearing commotion near the well charged straight into the well and began a slow descent to the bottom. Later I would learn the well was 65 feet deep with no water on the bottom. Mok started blasting our remaining foe with his powerful magic clearly as Morrin shot at the enemy through some sort of barrier he couldn’t step into. We clearly watched as Valcrus fell to the ground only to rise again but now his eye’s sunken into his skull with a strange glow and one of his hands glowing with flame. The color of his skin was ashy with the pallor of death. Clearly now a Lich of formidable strength. Who then pointed at the invisible Morrin and uttered “the Blessing of Malphagor be upon you” and began to attack the party once more.
Clearice spent that point in time healing us and then chose to go after Omega to bring him back to the fight and while dangling from the edge preparing to drop into the well was scratched by an unseen assailant. Feeling blasted by these unseen enemy’s from cones of cold and ice storms I rushed towards that area in the hopes of uncovering whomever was there only to be scratched myself and it’s at this point I must take the testament of the others for what occurred as a deeper blackness then I’ve ever felt came over me as I collapsed to the ground.
I’m told that once Clearice reached the bottom with Omega he cured his blindness and carried them out with the power of the Ant and Flight but upon rejoining the fight found a small host of vampires who were then seen to scratch both Omega and Clearice. Valcrus upon seeing my fall walked over the well picked up the Staff of Illumination and said “thanks for this gift” and with that disappeared alongside one of the vampires retreating to where ever they came from I suppose. With only one vampire left the group quickly dispatched it and using the Staff of Life brought me back from the cold clutches of death.
Upon waking I remember not feeling my full self perhaps in part due to my recent demise or perhaps due to the several vampire scratches I had received while dead but Clearice quickly restored me and the rest of the party members scratched to normal before anything permanent could take effect.
I was reprimanded severely for my ill-use of the Staff of Illumination on that second blast and for it’s loss. Taking stock of the situation and having found a small village that could easily be converted to an outpost we chose to return to the surface with our findings for Lord Blacktree.
Day 14 – 28 – I spent the next 2 weeks doing all the camp chores as punishment while we returned to the surface which included cooking, cleaning and disposal of our “waste” to prevent underdark predators from finding us by it’s scent. I considered throwing away my shovel after all that use but chose instead to clean it and keep it as a reminder never to blind a fellow member of the Midnight Menagerie even by accident ever again.
Upon returning to the surface and informing Lord Blacktree who seemed pleased with our discovery in Lower Sarbreen we were informed that once an outpost is established there will most likely be future missions offered our way to protect, discover and recover things in the Underdark but it will be a few months prior to that as they need time to descend and build the outpost first.
Day 30 – Upon returning there was a ceremony held during which Mok and Morrin received the award of “The Black Scarf” for their valiant fight against the undead and Omegasun was given “The Griffon Feather Necklace” for his fight against a Deep Dragon. The group split up those tiny crystal figurines that were discovered in the Dragon’s Hoard. With the strange mirror being kept in the keep for a future use should it be needed. The books were added to the Keep’s library I assume I should find out more about them perhaps they contain a tale or two I can add to my bardic performances. Later that day we took the time to do some research on Malphagor in Raven’s Bluff only to find out he is a Tenarri Lord/God who is in a struggle with the current lord of the undead for his position.
Sometime after returning the group voted I be accepted into the Midnight Menagerie after proving my worth over the last several adventures upon the condition I never blind another member. Ever! Even if facing a medusa or beholder. I gladly accepted this condition. Then I was informed that with my growing reputation I should join The Knights of the Golden Rooster a group of people dedicated to upholding the morale of the citizens of Raven’s Bluff with the Menagerie posting my fee to knighthood I chose to become a Golden Rooster!