- Kttt and I study –ip’s body more closely. The blood vessels have become black and are visible under her skin. Closer inspection reveals that the two arrows in her have small blue gems on the end, one glowing. When removed, some blood mixed with a black substance oozes out of the wounds. According to Ezra, there is a strong necromantic magic associated with these arrows.
- I argue that we should set out for the healing station at once, but while I am trying to convince the others, some unseen force levitates an arrow into the air, opens my backpack, and places the arrow within my pack.
- As we attempt to find a explanation for the levitating arrow, -ip’s body slides violently across the floor and into the door leading out into the central area of the keep.
- We theorize that –ip’s soul has been drawn into the arrow. Madge remembers the seer telling her she is empty inside, and decides that she wants to transfer –ip’s soul into her own body, if possible. The body convulses when she states her intention to attempt this. Stevie tries to stab the arrow into Madge, but it is deflected off target when he does.
- Frieda thinks to scan the area for invisible objects with her drowish helmet and sees that –ip is in the room, and apparently has been moving the arrow and her body in an attempt to communicate with us. She pantomimes to Frieda that she is quite pleased with her new circumstances, so we decide to remain in the secured room for the rest of the night.
Day 12 on the Island
- On Monday morning, we awake to find a detailed map of the keep and the tunnels below drawn out on the floor. It seems –ip can travel through walls in her incorporeal form and has spent the night scouting the area for us.
- Lunzo removes his magical lock from the door and we head back into the basement.
- When we come to the first closed doors, I detect the presence of several evil undead creatures waiting for us, and also sense evil radiating from –ip. I believe she may have become undead.
- Through the doors, we encounter a pair of animated corpses and dispatch them. Madge runs forward into an ambush from several skeletal archers, and is struck by an arrow similar to the two that hit –ip. Ezra clears out the archers with an acidic explosion, and we continue.
- We encounter more undead creatures, and Ezra gets bitten by one of them. Although no effect is immediately apparent, it seems certain that the creature has passed on some poison or disease with the wound.
- Pressing further, we encounter several intelligent undead who call out an alarm, labeling us as “cultists” as they attack us. These creatures are armed with small glass vials that explode with a deafening noise when thrown.
- We reach a chamber that is lit by two large braziers on either side of the stairs leading up to it. In the center of the room is a human who bears horrible scars across the entire left side of his face. The floor beneath him is decorated with a large representation of Boldrei’s holy symbol, surrounded by a circular pattern. The human causes the fires in the braziers to flare up in an attempt to keep us back, but a few of us make it into the room. I decide to rush him, but find I cannot get past the circular pattern on the floor. I shoot an arrow at him, but it is deflected straight back at me. The human blasts us with sonic energy, accuses us of being cultists and threatens to destroy the entire tunnel complex if that’s what it takes to kill us.
- At this point, I drop my weapons and assure the human I am a paladin of the Silver Flame, and certainly not a cultist. A brief stand-off occurs, but the human appears to reconsider his belligerent attitude.
- He drops the shielding magic and we talk. His name is Larith, and he is a member of the Sovereign Initiative. He has been holed up in the tunnels beneath the keep for probably 20 years (ever since it was overrun by the cultists), although he seems not to have aged during that time. He remembers Vanthis as a child, and reveals that Vanthis is Larissa’s son. The purpose of this station is to power the defenses of the initiate, and to this day he continues to power the shields set up to defend the village. The cultists are those who worship the two-headed “ancient one” and for some reason they are drawn to this keep. They are attempting to summon this creature to our world, and the initiative had been making advances to thwart them in this endeavor. One of the stations is located on another island. The bodies upstairs died defending the keep.
- I show him the black pearl and he says to avoid getting blood near it, and warns against trying to destroy it.
- Larith offers to give us some sonic bombs and Ezra and Kttt take several. He says that Stevie’s small pyramid is the symbol of the village and that we can present it to future undead guardians if we wish to return to the keep without being attacked.
- We decide to head to the healing station to find cures for Madge and Ezra, and travel there without incident.