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Cerea Island 2 - Dyab's Unlife (Middle)

Author: 
weby
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
459

A report to Crog church



It seems our fight against the unlife invading Vesper is progressing. We have been able to destroy the altar where the chanter was summoning more unlife and after that an unholy portal that had some strange runes.



The destruction of the altar was easier after we found out that destroying the on chanting would stop more unlife coming in. After we destroyed the ones guarding we found the vulnerable rune on it that Pauric had described and poured holy water on it. Then the altar lost it's protections and we were able to destroy it with our weapons. After destroying the altar I felt that there was less and at the same time more unlife present.



We had to withdraw from the ruins after that to raise our fallen companions and gather our strength.



The visit after that lead us to the wards south of the altar. The unholy wards there were destroyed with holy water. We spend some time in Vesper before that finding one bottle of very strong holy water in vesper that was buried under ground near the storm temple. On our way to the ruins we stopped at the Crog temple to get a few more bottles, which were the ones we used on the wards. Behind the wards were some unlife that we were able to fight but one of us fell to them.



After destroying them we found something which was perhaps a personal study of some sort. There we were able to find a book that might have connections to the man we are after, the leader of this invading force. The book was about summoning unlife but we decided not to destroy it before we examine it for information about our foe. The book isn't currently examined yet. In a room behind this study we found an unholy portal. It would seem that it had strong unlife taint and some runes, one of them had something about a lich. This portal seemed too dangerous to have around so we decided to destroy it with the very strong holy water. I was told that it could be done when holy water was poured on the right rune. The portal was destroyed and we decided to pull out of the ruins and gather information about this all.



When we told about this rune to archbishop Maldo of the Storm Goddess, he said that the rune did remind him of something he had seen before. After some time he remembered that it was the 13 liches. We were adviced to go to Benjamin the printer in Vesper to ask more about them as he should know a thing or two about them. Benjamin told us that the rune was similar to the one of lich Kul-Thor on of the 13 liches that destroyed most of the civilization at the period of destruction. He wasn't sure though as he wasn't able to see it for himself. The liches were the ones that the gods fought and sealed at the end of the period. After that we headed to Crog church where the commander told us that the portal we destroyed might have something to do with setting free the imprisoned lich. Based on our current evidence the unlife leader should be responsible for it. He gave me orders to destroy this unlife leader as soon as we were able to find him.



All we know is that he might be near the ruins in Dyoa. Maybe the book Feng has might have some more knowledge about his whereabouts. I think it should be investigated as soon as possible.



Mindra

--

Later entry in Feng Vilow’s Journal.



Today, I journeyed to the center of vesper where I met Wulfgar, Mindra and Gwin. I got the impression they where hiding something from me, as they quickly halted their talking as they noticed me approach. Not getting hung up on this, I greeted them, and received a greeting back.



It wasn’t long though before one of them mentioned the book I’ve been studying, and if I’ve made any progress, like they expected me to know everything because I can read part of the text. It was written in some kind of strange language. From what I can tell, it was likely a journal of some kind, written in a manner which would lead me to believe the writer has great anger or rage, which seemed to fit our mystery person well from what little we know of him.



A suggestion of Mindra’s was for me to read them the book, since none of them had the necessary skill to do so. Of course, I was reluctant to read any book out loud whose owner is a mage of any kind, unless I know something bad wont happen when doing so. So that was that idea scrapped as they rest of the group understood my position.



Another suggestion was to keep the book with one of the churches, which I quickly laughed off. What good would a book do with a church? Their solution so far is to throw holy water on it and hope it goes away! They’ve gotten lucky so far, its worked for the most part, partly because I’m there to reason to them were to apply the holy water and all… I’m still annoyed they wasted some of the holy water we needed on the unlife we needed to get past to get to the altar! Idiots!



Anyway, yes, no church is going to have this book if I could help it. This action of mine however lead them to ask more questions… questions I didn’t want to answer, or couldn’t, things are best made sense of a bit of the time. If you try to understand it all at once, it usually comes out wrong. So, to stop the questions being thrown at me, I agreed to let someone else take a look at the book.



We had only two real options on who could look at the book. It was between Pauric at the mages guild, and Benjamin Black in the local book shop. Pauric I believed would more than likely burn the book if he saw it, he doesn’t strike me as the fellow who would willingly allow anything of a necromancer, or any of their belongings into his school, which left us with one other person. Benjamin, I hoped, would not be so much of a fanatic, and treat the book with care and respect.



At the book store, Gwin tried to encourage Benjamin to read the book with promises of a good word with Krystine, I quickly put a stop to this, last thing I want is him with a nervous sweat over this book! Damping my books is a no no! That wasn’t really needed anyway, Benjamin is a scholar, he loves books, so I just set the book down on the table and waited for him to inevitably come and read it.



As I knew it would, he came over to see the book. He however seemed nervous, as Gwin or Wulfgar, or both, maybe Mindra, told him what we need the book for. Idiots don’t realize not everyone needs to know all the facts! Maybe I should teach them the idea behind “lies to children” someday…



I was a bit shocked however that Benjamin was able to read this book, for the most part anyway. Aside from the useless stab-in-the-dark efforts in the way of questions from Wulfgar, Gwin and Mindra, we learned a few things from the book.



Although I would argue with him in the manner that the book was written in, he said insane raving and ranting, I would say anger, he also believed that the book was a journal. It seems that his family were refugees from Cerea when the Orcs were attacking, and got in the crossfire between the Vesper defendants and the Orcs, leaving him as the only survivor. It made several reference to “her”, and something she possesses. Would stand to reason that “her” is someone in vesper, and that is why Vesper is being repeatedly attacked.



It did also contain useful information, information on a greater unlife power at work, but the book gave him the impression that they were not too interested, or couldn’t give full support to this mage at the present time.



The book spoke of 3 trainers working with the mage to train his army, although it does not say where these trainers are, or for how long they have been doing it. Only clue is that they are in the Dyoa area. When we learned all we could about the book, we left, with the book safely in my pouch.



Outside, Gwin and Wulfgar had the idea of asking Alaine about her heirloom they recovered for her not so long ago, another stab-in-the-dark if you ask me.



We learned that her family was around during the Destruction, her parents where always sick, probably due to their old age, the heirloom was generations old, and she herself was born in Vesper. So that was more time wasted.



I suggested we go to the records in the town hall, and get the names of all females entering and now residing in vesper now. I thought this was a good idea because our last visit to him, he mentioned that he has been keeping records since he himself came here from Cerea. However, Gwin had a “master plan”.



I wasn’t really listening, I just followed everyone, and we went around the main part of the bandits pass to arrive near the rear of the fort. Skeletons had managed to get as far as the gates of the fort, all be it only one. Mindra was hit up pity badly, so we went inside the fort to recover. As I thought… we ended up going into that temple again, I’m really getting sick of the sights of temples, but I tolerated it.



They spoke to the bishop again, never really got her name, didn’t really listen to what they were talking about anyway, paladin stuff probably. When it was time to go, we headed in the direction of Dyoa, to see the rangers.



When we found the rangers, they spoke to one of them, cant really remember his name again I wasn’t interested so just left it up to them, I did make out a part of the conversation that there was unlife in the caves to the unlife invested north.



After a bit of, um, “debate”, we went to the hour of saffron again, to check out the other room. Didn’t seem too impressive, a few weapons racks and dummies. We then went to the cave in the basement again, which was completely cleaned out, only garbage left. I’ll say it again, more time wasted.



So, after that, we decided, again after more “debate” to try and find these caves. We spotted one, and I was asked to lore some towards me. There was a bit of confusion though, cause the only unlife I could see, was not the ones they wanted me to being. I had no idea where the others where.



In the end up though, we did kill them all. And we found the second cave, just across from the first one we found. Mindra, Wulfgar and Gwin went into the first cave, and I slowly followed. I heard Wulfgar shouting “run!” from ahead, how foolish I was not to run at that point. Because inside was the sight of Mindra charging one skeleton, which was likely the trainer, and a few dozen zombies, assisted by Gwin. The two must not have heard Wulfgar, or didn’t want to. When I saw those two starting to retreat, it was then I knew to run outside before them. Let them pick off the slowest.



They didn’t seem to follow us outside. We took that time to recover a bit, before Gwin had another “master plan” of going back inside. Mindra commented on the Zombie’s strength as “poor”. So, with Wulfgar not completely sold on the idea, they entered followed slowly by me again - I’m not fighting if I can avoid it.



They seemed to have the upper hand this time, killing most of them, but there was another strategic retreat. Again we were not followed. So they recovered for a few minutes again, and Wulfgar was protesting on going back in more this time, but the other two didn’t seem worried and entered anyway. There was only the skeleton and one zombie left by this point, so I decided to join in the fight and steal some glory. With no weapons though it made it very difficult. I could barely harm those things. I managed to hit it once, dealing a near insignificant blow to it. It must of heard e boasting about it, because it turned and nearly killed me in a few swift blows.



When I came too, the skeleton and zombie were gone and Mindra was tending to my wounds, I even got a complement from her which felt strange, I fought bravely. The other two however were crowded around a map; I limped over when I was able enough to walk to take a look. Seemed to be of the general area, it had bandits pass and Vesper marked, no other markers though. Against my advice they took the map.



As we were heading out of the cave, we were greeted with just short of a horde of zombies. They must have been going here to train with the skeleton, because they were not all the impressive in combat. Even though I could not damage them, they had a hard time hitting me, I glanced to the others and they where cutting through them like a hot knife through butter.



While they were doing that, I pondered why their using low end unlife instead of summoning the more powerful ones. A thought hit me that it might be because if they train the lower ones, they may be able to maintain a higher number easier with the combat knowledge of the higher ones.



As they fight went on, more and more seemed to come. Rather than being overwhelmed, we decided to withdraw, for now, and return when we got a larger party to handle the other 2 trainers.

--

An extract of a letter Gwindor wrote to his someone called Thanda.



I already told you about the situation here with the attacks of the unlife. But now - after getting some useful information - we have a real strategy, a "master plan". It was hard to make the others understand the cleverness the plan, but at least they followed it yesterday.



The information we got made us see the situation clear now: The freak that leads the unlife is looking for something here in Vesper. Thinking of the recent attacks an the village i think he plans to seize the city and than get the object he is looking for out of the smoking ruins.

We have some ideas who could have the object, but next to finding the right person we will probably have problems to recognize the object the freak is searching for.



Knowing now of his limited support and his reliance on the undead trainers, we know a weak spot an the freaks army. If we kill those trainers, his army will consist just of minor undead that are easy to slay. That would force the freak to change his plan, as he cant really hope to conquer Vesper with un untrained bunch of bones and rotten flesh. So instead of attacking the whole town he now has to keep his remaining forces together to successfully strike at the object he's longing for. And that strike will tell us more precisely what he is looking for than the attacks on the whole village.



Only one thing let us hide the plan from the people of Vesper: If the freak strikes at the target, he will probably kill someone as he is just interested in the object. But what is one endangered life against the fate of a whole village?

--

Wulfgars Journal entry:



Mindra and Gwindor and I were sitting around the fountain talking about all we had learned so far about the unlife attacks when Feng comes walking up to join us. We all great her and then Mindra starts in on her about that damn book right away. God my head hurt listing to those two argue. Need to keep an eye on those two, could be some bad blood starting to boil there! It's finally decided to let an expert look at the book and off to the print shop we go. Benjamin was a great help, read most of the book told us why the town was being attacked and about the trainers our mystery man is using to organize his undead army.



There is some girl in town that has something he wants. Too bad the journal does not give a description of the girl or the item. Well i say we go talk to Alaine, since we did have to recover that family heirloom and there was some strange stuff in that house. Big rats and I do mean big and even a wererat of all things! Well that turned out to be a bust. Feng talks about going to the town hall and looking for records, but since all we have to go on is that were are looking for a girl, that seemed a waste of time for now.



We decide to go talk to the rangers to see if they might know a bit more about our man but they don't. At this time we have 3 options open to our small group, the archives, the ruins, or trainer caves. I decide that we will go finish exploring the ruins since there were some rooms that no one had checked. Hoped to find more information about the girl or object, but the place had been cleaned out.



Next we decide to scout for caves and I remember seeing one when I had gathered some healing herbs alone the river. We have to destroy 4 mummies just to get close to the cave. I have a bit of trouble with Mindra following orders but she comes around. Well we go into the cave and a room full of archers and a trainer all look up at us and the arrows start to fly. Knowing we used up our magic just to get to the cave I call for everyone to fall back. Last thing I saw was Minrda running straight into the room at full speed. That girl is gonna get me killed yet. Well after some shouting the other three come out of the cave battered but alive. We spend sometime licking our wounds and decide against my better judgment to attack again. This time we take down the trainer and the remaining undead in the room. We find a map and some torture gear. I agree with Feng that were should leave the map, but alter it a bit to send the undead army off in the wrong direction, but someone has already grabbed it up and stuffed it into the backpack. Still a good day over all I think. We know the ruins are empty now, we know that this guy is looking for something in town and we destroyed one of his trainers.



Things left to do.



Find this girl and the item



Destroy the last two trainers



Confront our mystery guy.



Teach Mindra some battle tactics.



No problem!

--

An extract of an another letter Gwindor wrote to his someone called Thanda.

Dear Thanda,



I told you about our plan to attack and kill those trainers of the unlife to weaken the threat to Vesper. So we gathered a big group of adventures at the central place in Vesper and left for the caves. We were seven when we left, Mindra, Arlons, Boim, Vach, Elric, Teneniel and me. Mindra led our group, while Arlons was scouting the way ahead of us.



When we entered Greengrove and continued traveling towards the Bandit Pass, we encountered a barbarian on the road. We tried to be friendly, but suddenly that Half-Orc attacked our group. I never saw someone using a great axe like him. He knocked out Boim and Mindra with only a few blows. But lucky for us our combined efforts brought that monster down.



We continued our way via Bandit Pass and finally we reached Dyoa. We went to the ford to cross the river from east to west with the plan to go to the next ford to reach the northern bank of the river. When we reached the first ford, we saw hundreds of unlife blocking our way. Most of them were those untrained zombies we already met before, but there were also some mummies.



We decided to take another way to cross the river that Arlons knew. We planned to sneak through the horde of undead to reach the cave we were looking for. And than hell broke loose.



Someone didn't follow our leader. There it became again visible that a bunch of untrained people is no match for anyone. I was following Arlons when I saw that person running mindless around, ignoring all the dangers around us and endangering the whole group. A second later the first undead noticed the dammed promenader and moved towards us. Hundreds of corpses started to encircle us. I quickly realized that only death awaited us in threat fight and shouted to retreat. I was knocked down by two mummies attacking me. When i woke up again i crawled to the bank of the river and was lucky to find the right place to cross it and finally I reached the safety of the southern bank of the river.



There i only found only Arlons. We were both badly wounded and infected with the mummy-disease as i call it. We took some breath before we started a rescue mission for the rest of our group. We managed to get Boim out, but the bodies of the others were laying in the middle of the unlife hordes. Surprisingly we suddenly noticed Teneniel made it also out there alive.



We retreated back to the southern bank of the river again. Arlons started some more attempts to rescue the others but he had no chance against the undead. Sadly we decided to head to Chondra Grove to recover. So we left the river and the bodies of our friends behind us.



Next time I will ruffianly enforce the orders of our leader. If someone is daydreaming and not caring about the dangers and running around senseless I will kick that persons dammed ass. Better just one dead than all of us slaughtered. The lack of discipline costs us three worthy companions besides we failed with our mission, a price to high just for some idiots misbehavior. It was a black day for Vesper yesterday.

Migrate Wizard: 
First Release: 
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