Mystara and the Path to Immortality
Skrogg's Journal - Chapter 8
25th Eirmont, Day 212
By Thor’s Hammer! Another eventful day, I hope I remember all that happened. We sailed across Lake Amsorak, which seemed more like an ocean, to be met by Norad Corun. Norad is the son of the Lord, and told us of the tale of the Keep. We headed up the mountain trail to the keep. The locals call the mountains the “Amsorak Mountains” but Azimi says that they are really part of the “Silver Sierras” range which stretch right up into Galantri. The Keep is a small circular building built into the mountains behind it encircled by a 30’ stone wall. The place did look deserted and in need of repair, although the front gate seemed to be a lot newer than the rest. Obviously somebody had repaired it recently. Sven nimbly scaled the wall and seeing no one at home scaled down the other side and opened the gate for us. The courtyard inside was deserted too and also in disrepair. As we headed across the yard to investigate a rock pile we were attacked by what I can only describe as lightning birds! They flew out of the sky and zapped us with bolts of lightning.
Luckily they were not good shots and somewhat cowardly. After we had dispatched three of them, the others fled back into the sky with us none the worse for wear. The rock pile contained only a nest of snakes which being a little upset at being disturbed bit both Sven and Thorsgrim. Azimi cleaned out the wounds and thought that there would be no problems from the poison. So far she is right. Finding nothing else of interest in the courtyard we turned our attention to the Keep proper. Sven again using his climbing skills, scaled the side of the keep to the roof where he found a trap-door. Ragnar and I used the Rope of Climbing to join Sven at the top. Azimi used one her levitate spells to float up to the roof, most unnatural if you ask me. I don’t know if I could do that, not having anything solid under me gives me the creeps. Unfortunately, the roof collapsed with all the weight on it. Clearly it too needed some repair work. Sven, Ragnar and I tumbled to the floor below which luckily was stronger than the roof. I think we bruised our egos more than our bodies and we sheepishly proceeded to search the keep. I think Azimi thought it a great laugh as she went about with a huge grin on her face. Meanwhile, Kurin and Thorsgrim had entered the Keep at ground level to be ambushed by some of the glowing creatures that Norad had warned us about. They managed to fight them off and we ended up meeting each other on the stairs as we rushed down to help and they rushed up chasing the creatures. It seems that these creatures were zombies infused with lightning (much like the birds) but also with a glimmer of intelligence. Most unusual for zombies according to Thorsgrim. He also said that normally someone or something would be controlling them, so we should search further. We found a secret cave system built into the mountains behind the Keep, maybe a hide-out if the Keep was ever invaded. We discovered a library of sorts in the caves, but what was more amazing was that a young “boy” was there. After conversing with him (I have to admit I had trouble following what he was saying as his Darokin accent was quite different to what I’m used to) we discovered he was in fact a zombie having been “raised” by a Lord Kazakk, the current Master of the Keep. This boy is a long dead relative of the Corun’s but seems to think he is alive. I guess this sort of thing would mess with your head. Clearly we needed to defeat this Lord Kazakk in order to clear the Keep, so we delved deeper into the caves. We found our target surrounded by a swarm of these lightning zombies. After a furious battle, aided by the power of Thor we defeated the horde of undead and Lord Kazakk lay dead at our feet. However, Kurin had sustained some terrible wound from Kazakk (a vampire according to Azimi), and seemed to have lost some of his “life energy”. Thorsgrim was able to bring him around with his healing spells, but Kurin was left weak and now sports a horrid looking hand print where Kazakk tried to suck out his soul. This is where things took a turn for the bizarre. Among the treasure we found a mirror. When we looked at it, a face appeared in it and pleaded for help! The whole of Mystara was in danger if he wasn’t set free! Without hesitation Kurin offered to swap places with the imprisoned being. I’m not sure if Kurin’s head was scrambled after his soul draining or if he is incredibly brave, but I don’t think I would have done what he did. With a flash Kurin was gone and a strange green skinned man stood in his place. He clearly wasn’t from anywhere I’ve heard of. He was green! His clothes were very strange too. We noticed Kurin’s face in the mirror, but before we could ask any questions, the stranger doubled over as if kicked in the soft parts. He writhed around on the floor before a great flash of light exploded in the cave and left us seeing spots. When our vision returned there was no sign of the stranger or the mirror! Where is Kurin? Azimi tried to use her crystal ball to find Kurin but could only see a brown sack. She says that at least he is alive, I guess that’s good news … We didn’t have time to ponder the mystery any further as Norad was waiting for news of the Keep. We traveled back down the trail to meet up with Norad who was glad to hear of our success but was a little startled at the presence of the “boy zombie” who had followed us. I have to admit that I’m trying to ignore it as it unsettles me somewhat. I’m not sure that we shouldn’t destroy it, but it seems harmless enough and won’t be our problem anyway. We are back on the boat heading to Akorros. I wonder if there is an answer to Kurin’s disappearance there. We must be able to help him!