Journal Soundtrack: Weapons Drawn
“Jarus, where are we? What the hell is this place? What the fuck is going on?!” If I had a copper for every time I’ve heard that exact phrase come out of Shayzala’s mouth… well, I’d at least have enough for one more tankard. I can’t be sure where or when we are, but something about these halls, these sprawling corridors feels familiar. When we “arrived”, I guess that’s the best word for it, we were surrounded by ice, bodies, and blood. Surveying the scene it was clear that we were in the thick of it, again. But this time, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t my fault.
I scanned the room for the usual suspects but didn’t see Vex, Max, Klath, or Kauongol anywhere, I called out for them, but apparently we’re on our own this time, I hate to admit it,, but I’m going to miss dodging fireballs for once. Those would have come in extra handy this time. Something was causing ice to grow on every surface in sight, it wasn’t just coating them, it was growing, if I had to guess, we had maybe an hour or two before we’d be crushed in these very halls, but we’d definitely freeze to death first, why is that always the first place my mind goes…
There were at least four other people in the hall with us, a hen magic user, a stout dwarf, and some sort of angel boy. They didn’t immediately try and stab me, which I figured was about as good as I could expect, so introductions were in order. I shook the metaphorical fog out of my head and made hasty introductions all while realizing with painful clarity that we couldn’t stay put for long. We didn’t have many options as the ice seemed to spread as far as we could see, I took the opportunity to run down a few hallways and do some scouting but it seemed like the ice was literally everywhere.
It was during my scouting that something struck my brainmeats with a horrible dread. After a few seconds of fleeing in terror, it was gone as quickly as it had started “Thanks Shay, I owe you another one… again” I thought. I returned to the group and we quickly realized there weren’t very many options for respite in this icy tomb, this is when I noticed a black wall of force blocking the main hall. I made some inquiries and discovered this was the hen’s handiwork… If the wall of force was made, it could be unmade, then made again. I was willing to take the bet that this wall of force may have stopped the spread of ice on the other side, at the very least, it was our only clear option for survival.
Well… thank whatever deity deigned to give them the insight to put up that wall, because just beyond it lay perfectly thawed stone. We quickly made our way past the wall and into the thaw, turning back to restore the force wall, we saw a ghost, this ghost was familiar to the group, “Shino” they called him. The hen restored the wall with little hesitation and we breathed a brief sigh of relief. That’s when we made proper introductions, Chand the hen, Tjordiir the dwarf, and Epaphus the Aasimar (that’s angel boy). The group asked Shayzala if she could bring back the dead, I had to suppress a laugh… if there’s one thing she’s well versed at, it’s bringing our sorry asses back from the dead. I’ll admit it’s nice being on the other side of that for a change. They produced the head of an older man, he looked pretty freshly beheaded, and I didn’t ask any questions.
Shayzala worked her magic like she always does, but something was different, some bald, tattooed asshole appeared, shouting at us, berating us… Look, if I wanted this treatment I just would have looked at Maximus and said “It’s just a Cyclops” again. He went on and on about “truth” or some bullshit, if I’m being honest I must have started tuning him out because I don’t remember much after that. Eventually Shayzala said something that pleased him, no, that’s not the right word… satisfied, at any rate, he disappeared and the resurrection resumed. Finally we met Danjo, a skilled swordsman of some kind. Danjo seemed very distraught at the distinct lack of Shino in the immediate vicinity.
Before we had a chance to really take stock of the situation, Epaphus headed down some stairs… not exactly what I would have done, but we did need to make sure the area was secure, so I slipped into the shadows and followed him down the stairs. He was met by a clearly shaken and deranged gold dwarf, she was furious and terrified, things could have gotten wildly out of hand and more death was certainly very possible. There was every possibility that things could go very sideways. While Epaphus parlayed with the gold dwarf, I snuck back up the stairs and down the other flight, I was aiming to position myself to get the drop on the gold dwarf, just in case things went fucky. Gold dwarves… there’s something there.. what it is, think Jarus!
Thankfully for all of us, after a few minutes of pointless yelling, Epaphus and Tjordiir backed up the stairs and left the gold dwarf and her troops below. Somehow I doubt we’ve seen the last of them. We began a hasty retreat into a larger hall that included a large alcove that we were able to hunker down in. While we took a brief moment to study the room and gain our composure Shino’s spirit entered the room, cursing and yelling at everyone. Danjo tried to reason with it, from what I picked up of the conversation, it seems Danjo is some sort of father or father-figure to Shino and there was some deeply held, maybe even subconscious spite in Shino’s spirit. Definitely not my department.
The arguing went on for a while until the men decided to mount an expedition back to the frozen area to “get a ladle full of Shino”… man, dungeons are fun. Then, as if things weren’t complicated enough, as if we weren’t already on edge, that bald asshole shows up again. This guy is claiming to be a deity? My right bollocks this guy is a deity, seriously, who names their deity Steve!? In the middle of the kerfuffle, our freshly resurrected Danjo decides to get all demandy of Shayzala, so I got nice and close and suggested that she was the only reason he was breathing and that I could very quickly remedy that problem if he wasn’t feeling very appreciative of the effort she’d gone through.
That crazy old naked man thought that was apparently pretty funny… I think I’ll get along with this weirdo. After some more deific arguing (I’m glad I never went into the priesthood) Shayzala went to retrieve a larger “chunk” of Shino. It looked like it hurt like hell, and I’m sure it did, but she pushed through and managed to return with a big hunk of Shino ribs. She was able to bring Shino back with what was left of her strength. I did my best to make her comfortable, I know how much this takes out of her. With Danjo and Shino restored, we finally took stock of our situation and decided to take a short rest as the immediate danger seemed to be behind us for the time being. I took first watch, I mean… what better do I have to do…
I do love a good apocalypse…