Mystara and the Path to Immortality
Skrogg's Journal - Chapter 12
4th Vatermont, Day 275
I am lucky to be alive! We encountered an evil undead spirit of great power in the Cretian stronghold. It’s touch chilled me to my soul, my very life essence being drained. I feel a shadow of my former self, but still glad to be alive, now knowing how Kurin felt after our incident with the Vampire down in Darokin. I’m not sure I can explain exactly how it feels, except to say that it seems a part of me is missing. Part of my hair has turned white too.
The day started as we thought, with the peaceful forest making way for rugged and treacherous mountains. Although the terrain was quite hazardous, the view was wonderous. We could see the vast plains of the Ethengar Khanate to the West, the mountains of Rockhome to the South and of course Vestland to the East. We soon came to an unexpected fork in the trail. Not sure as to which was the way to the stronghold (Azimi didn’t remember any fork on the map), we headed east. This proved not to be the way to the stronghold, but the lair of a great beast known as a Chimera…
The beast’s fiery dragon breath almost had us done for, but Azimi blasted it with a Lightning Bolt, the fury of Thor bringing the beast down. For all of Azimi’s belief in magic and her scoffing of our honouring of the Gods, she must be able to see the power of Thor in that lightning. There may be hope for her yet.
So we turned around and followed the other trail. This too led to the lair of a beast…
The monstrous beast, a Manticore, flew over us showering us with spikes from it’s tail. We brought it down our bows and Magic Missiles to discover it was guarding the entrance to the stronghold of the Cretians. We ventured into the complex finding the first level to be mainly stores and a few guards. We (actually Azimi, although I did joke about walking backwards down the corridor, not thinking that it was the answer!) puzzled out a trick that involved walking backwards down a corridor which magically turned us around, to get to the second level and ultimately our goal. This level contained far more danger (in the form of Ogres and a large snake some 20’ long!) and we soon came to a burial complex where we met our evil spirit. Thorsgrim used the power of Thor on an undead beast in an antechamber but wasn’t quick enough in the next room. The insubstantial spirit reached me before we could act and I felt it’s icy touch. Fortunately Thorsgrim was able to turn the foul Spectre and we were able to lay it to rest permanently. I shall have nightmares about the monster’s touch, I can still feel my soul being sucked out of my body. More importantly, we found the object of our search, Xanathon’s Life Force (I think Azimi called it a phylactery) entrapped in a glowing green gem on a chain. Heartened by our success, we left the stronghold and are now making our way back to Rhoona. What do we do with this gem? Do we destroy it? In a debate around the campfire, it was decided not to destroy it and to talk to Erik back in Rhoona. Why would Xanathon not keep it with him if he wanted to protect it? Does it mean he doesn’t want it near him? Too many questions for a simple Hin warrior. I’ll just make sure we get it back safely to Rhoona.