Book One: Ordered by Gods
CHAPTER NINE:
Ancient & Unspeakable
Cuthberta Umberdakarday, Umbermoraday & Umberfreeday

Cuthberta Umberdakarday

I reached the Sacred Grove centred in a wild jungle of Evil. It is like the eye of a hurricane. I entered it quickly and find Folha. She told me that a group of humans entered the Devouver following a Knight of Heeroneous. I was compelled to follow in spite of my best judgement.

I was able to follow their trail into the Vile Underground for a time. However, there were many trails and much water and I lost them. I went farther and farther down, farther away from the forest and light I loved and came to a dark cliff. I jumped down and continued along. I heard a scraping sound; a thud and all went black. My dreams were fractured, disjointed and a swirl. I could see the Destruction of Sentar, the Rending of the Web, the Scouring of Krin and all restored by the Spear on an Thundercloud…

I awoke slowly and heard a human voice in my ear. It asked my name but had no body. I was bound from head to foot in a spider’s web and could not move. I answered with my name and the asked the Voice to release me. This Voice spoke a strange form of Draconic with which I was unfamiliar. I explained my Quest and it set me free. It was a Human! He was somehow invisible and questing in these caves for ancient objects of power. He said he did not know the Spear of Justice but asked me to continue along with him.

Suddenly, again I heard the scrapping and this time saw its source; a giant spider! I begin shooting arrows at it as four grimlocks also attack. The human, Thalazzar fought like a true warrior smashing all the grimlocks while I finished off the spider. We find that this room is a dead-end and work our way back out to the Sunlight.

We found Folha in the Grove in a panic. She spoke of more humans coming from the sky and that we had to hide. Thalazzar and I hid and watched them arrive. They were clearly great warriors and they spoke of Heeroneous! They were looking for another of their Order! I revealed myself and so as to avoid provoking them, I performed the Custom of Greeting. I sheathed my sword and threw it to the ground as I had seen my Chieftain, Kalsaut, do many times. They attacked me and pummelled me to unconsciousness…

I was awoken by the sound of prayer and saw the face of a Stone Dweller smile at me. It was so kind that I could feel no malice. How could a race so capable of craft and wonder and religion have caused the Shattering of the Web? I looked around and saw many strange humans and a gnome as well. The she-gnome was tending a mechanical man, they called a Clockwork. A human named Tiberio was tending Pelu! These were the humans I had been tracking. I asked excitedly after the Spear. Curse my poor Common. They were very confused and spoke of a weapon. A man, a Man! Finally they spoke of a Fallen Comrade. I could not believe that the Spear of Justice could have fallen and be dragged off like a deer carcass by the likes of Lokiyar and his disrespectful, ignorant squires. But alas, he was not the Spear but his son. A son! Of course the Spear would have a son. The humans called him DomaldiThe Time of Justice. An apprentice was needed to continue the Following of the Keepers. What does his Fall mean? The father and the son killed in the same month. Oh dark times! My head was swimming, my quest ended, a failure in ashes so soon…

My wounds were great as were the rest of this band and much rest was needed. We stayed the night in the Sacred Grove.

Cuthberta Umbermoraday

The next day we held a palaver and walked each others’ paths. At midday, another human appeared by the waterfall and came to the Grove. He was a great warrior called Gunther who was a life-friend of Domaldi. He said that Lokiyar had taken Domaldi’s body to the human town to the west, Filula, the Fish Pot. They had tried to use their divine powers to call him back from the Beyond but had failed. Gunther claimed that Domaldi’s soul was trapped somewhere and could not be rejoined. The humans began to buzz like bees and the Tattooed Monk declared that his soul must be trapped in the Devourer. They declared they would go back to free him and crush this evil. I too swore that I would lend my claws to redeeming the Time of the Spear.

Cuthberta Umberfreeday

We went back into the Caves and went through a Secret Passage cleverly hid in the stone. No wonder I could not find them! (DM - When Janarl first passed the door the party had jammed open, the Devourer hid the passage from him to keep him form joining them.) We found the spot where Domaldi had fell and it was more dank than the South of Sengil. I said a silent prayer to Zuras and the Wilds but knew that It was very far away. We continued along the corridors and saw a purplish light. A massive and unspeakable evil beast that could barely fit down the halls attacked us. I went into the adjacent room hoping to find a more defendable position only to find more Evil: a massive skeleton with giant claws and an animated mass of dark razor chains. I could not close the door and joined in the general fray. We fought as a team of warriors. I was honoured to deliver the killing strike to the Boneclaw. The Tattooed Monk and the Knight turned the tide and laid our foes low.
  
In that Room of Vile Pain, a Nephilim was chained to a table and the subject of a vast and unspeakable torture. We found books describing this Villainy but this was beyond me. The Tattooed Monk tried to unchain it and its flesh attacked. Gunther and I tried cutting the strange tubes. We all agreed that this creature’s pain had to end and the Stone Dweller destroyed its mechanical heart using the Unity of Stone. Somehow, its Pain fed the Devourer itself…

  
We continued deeper into the Madness. We found a sarcophagus where the Nephilim had been raised in an unholy ceremony. In that room, an open grave of dead bugbears and hobgoblins awaited us. From there we found many strange portals. My companions looked at these and nodded in a strange air of understanding that I did not share. We continued on and entered a large room with a giant obsidian obelisk. In that room was a massive grey evil…

Next!
Thalazzar, Alone in the Heart of Darkness!

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