I have but a moment before we regroup and decide our next move. I guess since we are facing a foe that I can’t harm, there is a chance that this may be the foe to claim my life.
My companions and I were asked by a couple tribal leaders of my people to end a curse and collect items necessary for our upcoming battles… They traveled by tree. I hope someday to be able to pull off the same kind of travel. I will need to study a lot more I suppose to pull that off. I am beginning to see magical connections that I had not noticed in my training thus far. Perhaps someday I will further my studies, I doubt the other tribes would teach me their magic… but then again, I already possess skills and spells outside my path. Even if those things are to be kept secret. I suppose it would not hurt to ask Lady Morgause or Lord Agravane to teach me. Although it is clear that some of my magics seem to be affected. Luckily Arthur helped clean up my messes.
Thinking about it now, I find it strange that the tribe leaders, knowing my oaths to the Fianna, worded the request in such a way that it left me no option but to accept. Nonetheless, they asked my help and being oath bound, I could not refuse it. Normally such a situation would be of debate among the knights. I’m afraid they agreed to come with me because I in turn left them with little choice.
I pray to my gods that Bess is alright. I believe the message the raven spoke informed us that things were in the works to rescue her. I hope this is correct and will keep any doubt to myself.
The Mystics walked hand-in-hand engaging in some sort of chant and between them created a path through the swamp and fens that kept their followers’ feet from the muck as they departed north to find the royal court. Before they departed though, the placed their blessing upon the five of us, surrounded in a corona of glory that washed all color from our sight until they were done. This blessing clearly got us around the trolls I had seen in my vision perviously. I was surprised by this, my visions have never been things I could alter.
Perhaps this shows some sort of personal growth for me.
It did not take long before the next parts of my visions were upon us, however. The dark woods of black trees and bluebells. Black squirrels and acorns surrounded us. It was much easier for me to distinguish between the spirit world and this one. The spirits here were sad and devoid of any interaction. Wandering aimless in their sorrow. It depressed me greatly. It was not long after that when we were attacked by an unseen foe.
Blood sucking birds.
The birds were not noticeable at first but Cawdry and Arthur Miller saw them. Arthur went to strike one that was feeding on me. I never felt a thing. I jumped off my horse when I saw his blade thrusting towards me. It took me quite by surprise since I have felt Arthur my greatest ally at the moment. Since things are so tense between Cawdry and myself, I am glad he did not react first. That could have been messy. Funny how the knight I felt the most at ease with is now the one I feel the least safe with and Arthur is the one I feel most comfortable around. A few months ago, I was sure Arthur might have been wanting my death. I mentioned that I was glad that Arthur was not my foe. He reinforced with his words that he is my friend. Kal does not hate me either. I’m sure it is just a matter of time before this mess between Cawdry and I ends…. My thoughts seem to have been sidetracked. I was writing about the birds.
Kal killed a few and I tried to light a fire to keep the tiny gleaming black birds away but eventually Arthur reminded me of a spell to keep them at bay. It amused me to see the spell eject the swarm away from us. Having a safe distance between us and the blood sucking bastards, we continued onward past one empty tomb after another, lining the path we rode.I took some of the flowers I have been weaving in Lady Bizarre’s honor and laid them upon the empty crypts and offering dishes before them. I keep thinking about how sad it must be to be forgotten. I figured Bizzare would understand after all she had been forgotten by the very people who once worshiped and loved her. I never want her to feel that way again. I plan to continue honoring her as I do my other gods. Only I am doing this in secret for Bizarre. I don’t want Cawdry laughing at me again.
As I reminded folks about the un-dead and how they were to be killed, Kal found one or I should say three of the rotting abominations in the chamber before us, roused by the touch of the silver luminescence of the Grace of the Light the two of them carry. Arthur was having none of it and instantly called upon the light and the un-dead creatures exploded in a shower of sparks and blackened bones. I suppose this is a better way since now we don’t have to worry about finding so many roses to keep them from rising up again. On the doorway I believed was the way to the oracle, was fixed a brazen mask. The mask had crystal eyes much like the lord and lady described, only the eyes were tainted, black like obsidian. I tried to pry the stones loose but some force took hold of my blade and kept me from my task. Suddenly we were not alone.
These slithering black snake-like centipedes started to gather, crawling forth from every shadowed crevice. Having been feasted on already by the blood-sucking birds, I was not about to let the bugs get me, too. The knights backed off and out of frustration I threw a flame dart at the things. I really should have paid more attention in this; I kinda heated Cawdry’s armor in the process.The bugs were vanquished, though, so back to the mask. Noting the darkness, Arthur blessed the door and mask. This took no small effort on Arthur’s part, but he valiantly battled the Darkness that possessed the stones. I feel so bad that the knights don’t see things the way I do because when Arthur calls upon the Light… Words could not describe the images that come to my mind. It makes me cry every time. I try to hide it but I don’t think I fool anyone… The Stones turned clear at last and I collected them, although upon closer examination, they were not the crystals of truth that we were searching for.
We made our way through more crypts and searched under the stone benches lining the chambers … I found more bugs … They really started gathering in great numbers all-around us, walls, floor, stepped stone ceiling, and seemed ready to eat us. I warned the knights this time that I was going to burn them all. They ran to the previous chamber and closed the door. I threw another dart of elemental fire and they met their deaths.
The knights rejoined me and we continued up a broad fair staircase, where there was what we believe to be the actual mask of the Oracle. A low, knee-high wall was built in a rectangle around it, but the whole of the chamber and the low enclosure were rent by a great chasm through them and the surrounding rock into which the chamber had been carved, wisps of foul vapor drifted up wards from it to taint the air.
This mask too had the smoky black crystal eyes, obviously tainted with the Dark.
We were about to tend to it when a very disturbing laugh came from behind us.
We ran down the stairs to find a dwarfish-type creature with impenetrable pits of blackness in place of its eyes. The chill of utter dispair and Darkness permeated the room, sending chills of goosebumps and the urgings of primal fear through the core of us. Seemingly unaffected by the blazing corona of Light surrounding the two of them, as had the other un-dead been previously, the un-dead thing lunged for Arthur, but Kal pushed him out of the way and fell under the creature as it grappled him. The creature was heavy as stone and started to crush Kal beneath it. I called to Arthur to bless the creature but he did not hear me. Arthur threw a curse at it but that only made it stronger.
The creature thanked Arthur,
“Ohhhh … do it again, little Light-bearer!”
it chuckled chillingly, and continued to hurt Kal.
I felt so helpless seeing that my companion’s blades went right through the thing. I shot an arrow at it hoping to at least distract it, but it too passed harmlessly trough, shattering against the far wall. Cawdry jumped on the creature and tried prying it off of Kal but it was much too heavy, and clearly much stronger. Arthur was doing something to call forth the Light I assume, but Kal was suffering and I feared was close to being crushed to death under the uncanny weight of our foe. Using the knowledge I gained from our interaction with it, I came to the conclusion it was an evil spirit. Knowing I have nothing in my power to hurt it, I was left no choice but to protect us all from it and cast a circle against evil spirits. The thing was swiftly shoved off of Kal and dissipated into and through the wall even as the charm forced it against the stone. Of a sudden then, everything started to shake, small cracks appeared in the thin stone and plaster facings that sealed the burial niches that lined the walls of the chamber, dust drifted down from the ceiling here and there, and I went to tend to Kal with a poltice of healing while Cawdry helped Arthur find his way back to his body from having Ascended to the Spirit Sphere of Light.
The cracks became fissures as the shaking continued, and one of the thin stone slabs sealing the burial niches yawned wide and crumbled away so we saw that the body inside was indeed un-dead, struggling against the charm of protection I was carrying , and the aura of the Light of Arthur and Kal. That meant that behind all these seals were also the risen dead, trapped in their tombs. The thought of it sent shivers down my spine.
We had a few hours before the evil spirit could return, so we found ourselves with a brief moment to heal the wounded and make our next plan.
Now, there are a few things I am pondering as solutions. One, it is possible that the dwarf spirit is a protective spirit that was tainted by the dark. Two, it may be that the dark spirit just decided to take on that guise. Either way, I still believe blessing it is our best bet. The mystics even said that Arthur is our main weapon. The other thing I am pondering is that the evil spirit and the taint on the crypt may be lifted once the eyes of the true mask are blessed and removed. I think that is how we must remove the curse.
I have spent too long scribbling this down. Time to get back to it.