Hogar’s Journal (Translated from Giant)
Year 781 of the founding of the City
9th Day of Meloramensis – Part I
Thunderspire Mountain – En Route to the Seven Pillared Hall
As we returned from fetching the stray humans to Mirklemoor’s chambers Rodney presented me with an amulet and the slavemaster’s flame enchanted maul. As no-one else had use for them he offered to transfer the enchantment from the maul to my bow and let me keep the amulet. I’m starting to like that mage.
As none of the others seem to know how to find north on a map it was up to me to lead us home. This wouldn’t normally be a problem but it’s very difficult to navigate when people continually wander off ahead of you. The dwarf marched off into the distance as soon as we had left the reservoir, he is clearly feeling much better.
The tunnel that the humans pointed out to us was well travelled and lit at regular intervals by well maintained torches. For several hours all was well as we followed the tunnel through countless junctions. After a while the torches ran out and the natural gloom of the caverns closed in around us.
The cave widened out into a large chamber. In the gloom I could make out numerous skeletons scattered about the floor, some dwarven some human. They all seemed to have collapsed straight down from a standing position as though their legs had suddenly failed them.
At the far end of the room was a corridor just wide enough to allow us to move along it two abreast. As we moved closer I noticed what appeared to be three skeletons floating in mid air a few feet into the passage. Eligos and Minron led the way as we moved up to investigate.
Before we knew what was happening Eligos and Minron were engulfed in some sort of gelatinous fluid that caused their skin to sizzle and blister. Suddenly three wraiths emerged from the cube to viciously attack Glen and Vic whilst the cube carried Eligos and Minron further into the corridor.
The wraiths flitted in and around the rest of us, disappearing through the walls of the corridor only to reappear somewhere else entirely. Rarely did they remain in one place long enough for us to strike them. Even when someone did manage to land a blow it had little effect on their insubstantial forms.
Rodney raised his arms above his head and in response an imp materialised behind the cube, it struck the cube with a bolt of energy and then vanished into thin air. In response the cube moved towards us once again as the wraiths continued to menace us from the rear. Gradually the wraiths and the cube were combining to force us all into an ever decreasing space.
Unable to use my bow in such cramped conditions I drew my sword to fend off our assailants whilst trying to manoeuvre myself into a position where I could shoot effectively. My efforts were greatly aided by Glen who dropped himself into a ready stance and slammed the butt of his ugrosh into the floor. By some power unknown to me the wraiths and the cube were all drawn to him to be met by the vicious welcome of his axe blade.
Glen’s attack bought Minron the distraction he needed to escape the cube’s hold. A sound akin to the gurgle of a freshly drained ale barrel announced the emergence of the minotaur from the side of the cube. He landed on his hands and knees with a slap as acidic ooze dripped from every inch of his body, fizzing and popping on the flagstones as it landed.
The minotaur hauled himself to his feet and roared at the cube. As he did so lightning streaked forth from his open maw. The bolt passed through everything in the corridor, living or dead before coalescing into one fearsome bolt which slammed into the cube invoking a thunderclap that left all other sound superfluous. The impact of the electricity reverberated through the cube and plumes of steam rose gently from its sizzling form.
Glen continued his relentless pursuit of the wraiths until, faced with the deadly onslaught of his blade they retreated behind the cube. Rodney took advantage of the close proximity of our assailants and engulfed all of them in a jet of flame. The cube was largely unaffected by the flames and responded by engulfing the unfortunate mage.
Rodney’s discomfort was not to last long however. The retreat of the wraiths had bought me enough space to draw my bow. I wasted no time in sending a shaft into the cube. The effect was devastating. As the arrow buried itself in the gelatinous mass the cube solidified as if frozen and then shattered into countless tiny fragments.
Rodney and Eligos fell to the ground amidst the shower of crystallised acid and immediately leapt to their feet to join in the attack on the wraiths. Partially insubstantial as they were the wraiths were still fighting a losing battle as the combined might of the party wore them down. The fight was brought to a conclusion as Rodney encased all three of them in solid ice. Blade, bow and magic bolt them finished them off. As their icy shells fractured feint wisps of smoke floated towards the ceiling.
As the smoky forms passed through the roof of the passage a feint voice came to us as though carried on a breeze;
Rodney later informed me that the wraiths were the souls of the cubes previous victims trapped inside their killer and driven insane over time.
Having survived our detour and ambush we are now ready to retrace our steps and find our way to the Seven Pillared Hall. We should be fine, as I keep telling Glen, I’m pretty sure I know where I went wrong last time.