I am still unsure of what to make of this group I have found myself suddenly attached. Yes it is true they saved me from the throngs of undead in the woods outside of town, and I am quickly learning to trust them. One particular individual seems to wield the legendary powers of the gods! I know not what to make of this, or if it is even real? I often watch in stunned silence as I witness the unexplainable – true healing!! Could this truly be the returning of the ancient gods?
I accompanied my new companions to an old temple on the outskirts of Drakonheim, and it was there that many of us nearly perished at the undead hands of two figures cloaked in dark shadow. Even the Cleric of the Stormcaller, Benus, nearly met his end. We are badly wounded and in desperate need of rest.
After resting for nearly eight hours we have decided to make our way across town in order to investigate the residence of a man named Tyrus, who the group seems to think has something to do with the dark cloud that now hangs over the region, and the rising undead.
Came under attack from Black Death on wing, a Dracolich, as we attempted to cross town. Then as we set our defenses in an attempt to fight back, we were nearly surrounded by throngs of undead zombies. The streets are proving to be very dangerous, and a small skirmish with the unintelligent undead can often turn into something more if one is not careful. The undead have proven able to detect the living, and can suddenly arrive in overwhelming numbers. We proceed with caution.
We have scrambled part way across town and have decided to take refuge upon a nearby roof to rest. Dracolich has flown over several times but seems to have failed to notice us, very lucky! You can see wonderfully from our elevated view, we now plan our course hoping to avoid the shambling undead, we believe we have located the neighborhood where this man named Tyrus lives. We prepare to press onward.
Desperation seemed to fill the air, this is all I can really say. My account of the time passed is a little sketchy, as I nearly fell into eternal darkness. It all began when Varis and I discovered a tower with a flat roof not much more than ten-foot tall. A strange looking building in a neighborhood of peaked roof-lines, no windows to be noted either, just a simple door. As we approached, curiosity ran through our heads, wondering if this was indeed the proper residents? The others took to the roofs above in order to inspect the top of this strange squat tower. Strange stone gargoyles peer down at us from the four corners of the building making me uncomfortable. Just then we received a report from above that a trap door on the roof might provide us with entrance. The dracolich was also reported to be quit a distance away flying over the horizon. All seemed to going as planned, but then Jacare jumped over to the short tower’s roof, and began hunkering down behind one of the stone statues for some added protection. It was then that the stone suddenly came to life! Jacare was in trouble as we all scrambled to come to his aid. Then the next thing we knew we were surrounded by the other three animated gargoyles. Things were getting tense, and quickly out of control.
After bringing our full force and weapons to bear we finally rid ourselves of the gargoyles, but things only got progressively worse from there… The last of the gargoyles had just shattered upon the ground below when someone suddenly yelled to take cover. I quickly turned toward the trap door in the ceiling when I noticed Jacare desperately trying to open the trap door and the dracolich swooping in fast and only about twenty feet away! It was then that Moonglum stepped forward and began chanting in his mysteriously strange tongue. Darts of acid shot forth a split second later, and the acid began eating away at the metal lock. The lock now compromised we smashed our way through, and Varis wasted little time peering below before jumping down hurriedly. The rest of the group followed just as quickly, slamming the trap door shut just as the dracolich landed with a sudden thud on the roof-top above. A close call indeed, and a fight none of us wanted after the intense battle with the stone gargoyles, for that battle had left a number of us battered and torn.
One might think we were now somewhat safe inside that squat tower, but things only continued to grow worse. Inside the small room two chicken-like creatures hunted and pecked at the wooden planks that made up the rooms floor, yet these chickens were quite large, standing nearly three-foot tall and seemingly possessing some qualities of lizard-like flesh? Needless to say the unassuming creatures panicked at our sudden arrival, suddenly taking wing and trying to peck us in the face. Damn birds, we killed them quickly.
The strange birds weren’t the real problem needless to say. The real problem stood just above us. Silt from the ceiling was now slowly descending from the dracolich’s immense weight. Then what we feared most began to transpire as the sizzle of acid could be heard from above, eating away at the wooden planks that protected us from the undead beast. We scrambled about looking for an unexpected escape rout, the front door not being an option but instead most likely a death wish.
Finally we found a secret lever inside the bookshelf. The lever pivoted the bookshelf like a simple door, and another hidden room was discovered beyond. Wasting little time we all piled inside before closing the bookshelf. Then we waited amongst this simple room, a bed along one wall with a small chest nearby, and the opposite wall a desk containing a book with candles flanking both sides, an apparent continual flame cast upon each. A pile of scrolls also lay nearby on the floor. We tried to remain silent, hoping the undead behemoth would just go away, but we seemed unlucky on this day. We could hear the ceiling collapse on the other side of the wall and my heart leapt into my throat with the realization that it now knew we were not there. This left only one other place to look, and all of our eyes rose to the ceiling above. Soon the sizzling sound followed, and acid began to drip from between the seams of the wooden planks above. We were now in desperate straights. Someone whispered to grab the scrolls and book, and we prepared to make a run for it, our very lives hanging in the balance.
Finally ready to make our move we opened the bookcase. The room beyond was covered in shattered wood and debris. It looked treacherous, but there was no other option, it was our only way out. We bolted for the front door in a desperate attempt to escape! I quickly made my way through the twisted mess of the collapsed ceiling only to hear the other half of the roof collapsing behind me. I could only hope that all the others had made it out alive. It was then that I made the fateful decision to take cover next to a nearby building outside, and turned to fire upon my hated opponent, the undead dragon. The beast responded in kind as the fifteen-foot tall beast came crashing down right between Jacare and I. Some of the others had successful made their way into the building, and the cover of safety, but Jacare seemed to be struggling to make his way through the broken window, and now found himself cornered by the dracolich. The dragon seemed unaware, or perhaps uncaring about Jacare’s presence however, as it soon brought all of its fury down upon me. It was the last thing I remember before darkness overtook me.
When I awoke Benus stood over me whispering. I could hardly believe that I was still alive! Quickly the cleric of Talos the Stormcaller beckoned me to come inside the building that I once stood next to. Once inside I discovered there were only two others, Moonglum and Benus. But where were the others? Were they okay?? They were questions none could answer. Apparently the group had become separated during their race to escape the collapsing tower’s roof and the dragon’s fury from above. Benus and Moonglum had been trapped by the second ceiling collapse, had narrowly escaped to this building across the street, and then taken to hiding inside while the dragon remained perched on the squat tower walls that still remained outside. Only after waiting an hour did they finally note that the dragon had left, yet they had no idea whether it might be watching closely nearby, so Benus had carefully stuck his head out a nearby window when he noticed my elven boots sticking out from around one of the corners of the building outside. He then quietly, or as quietly as one can in full armor, came out a nearby door and kneeled over my torn and unconscious body, before whispering a small prayer to Talos. I feel more than fortunate this day, and have much to be thankful for, but what of the others? What had become of them??
Shortly thereafter we decided to venture into the streets, and it was there that we discovered a grate in the city street had been moved from its place. It was most likely one of the escape routs the others had used so we decided to check it out. Down below the sewers smelled just as awful as one might expect, and the putrid yellow-green water flowed through its channels lazily in all directions, but otherwise the tunnels seemed to be safe. It didn’t take long before I picked up the trail of our fellow companions,their boot marks making an obvious impression on the muck filled pathways of the sewers. At times the trail seemed to grow cold but I quickly found their path a short time later and we continued to follow for nearly an hour when we finally came to an iron rung ladder leading upward. We soon found ourselves in the White Keep, and there stood all three of our relieved companions who had been waiting several hours for our hopeful arrival. Needless to say it was a joyous reunion, and somehow, some way, we had all managed to survive!
Finally reunited, we prepared for a long and much needed rest. Moonglum, Badger, and Varis began pouring over the book and scrolls we had taken possession of from Tyrus’ residents. It was during this long rest that we learned of Tyrus’ master plan. In his writings it had become apparent that he was behind the negotiations for the goblin attack on Drakonheim. It also became clear that these attacks were nothing more than a diversion for a much bigger event that he referred to as “The Great Awakening”. He seemed to care little for the success of the goblin invasion. Another page of the journal spoke of the Dwarves of Durgeddin’s clan, and their fleeing of their homeland and apparent creation of a new home called Khundrukar. It is there that he speaks of the legendary forges of the dwarves, and the amazing works created from those forges, but he seems to have little interest in these. It is instead the legend of a black dragon named Nightscale that apparently laired there that seemed to be his true interest. Moonglum has uncovered a disturbing scroll that seems to indicate Tyrus’ intention to turn the beast into a dracolich! The only problem is that such a beast would never willingly accept such a fate, and Tyrus seemed aware of his inability to defeat such a powerful creature alone. He apparently realized he needed help, and we unknowingly provided it. It was now obvious to us all that the undead dragon that was now terrorizing us all was none other than the undead Nightscale in all his resurrected and unholy glory. We all seemed to be entangled in Tyrus’ plot to create what he refers to as his “Kingdom of Undead”. Unfortunately this was not the last of our discoveries however, one stilled remained, and it was perhaps the most shocking of all. It was while reading one of the final scrolls that Moonglum poured over during our long rest that his face suddenly went ashen. He then looked up and said only one word quietly under his breath, Lichdom!