Netheril Risen

Of Aberrants and Undead

The following account taken from Higmwor Vor-burus

Vampires. I hate Vampires. Unnatural beings who feast on the blood of the living. Not long after settling in for the evening my dreams were inundated with visions of these foul creatures. Their claws raking my flesh and their fangs tearing at my throat. It was a dream from which I could not wake. I was forced to endure these fetid visions, while unseen by me our camp was assaulted by a group of the beasts. Friend Ayn, having been on watch tried to rouse us as he stormed into the fray. But the magic of the Vampire muse made us slow to heed his call. One by one we roused ourselves, and when I finally awoke I was greeted with a fearsome sight.

Three of the beats had surrounded me and we’re being driven off by our noble Cleric, Rukh; who in turn was being assisted by the well placed bow shots of Leia. As I scrambled to my feet and drew my axe my eyes shot across our camp, not turned battlefield. Ayn was locked in mortal combat with that foul temptress of the undead. He bled from many wounds, but was stalwart in his resistance. He would not succumb to her honeyed words this day! Aelar fought shoulder to shoulder with Ayn, deftly wielding his newly acquired Moonblade.

As soon as the entire party was engaged the battle quickly turned in our favor, as the vampires fell beneath our blades. Total victory was not to be ours however; as the cowardly witch turned into as mist rather than face her final doom. She fled, leaving one of her kind behind. It pleaded with her not to leave, to save it. And it died with a look of surprise on it’s face.

With the immediate threat gone I proceeded to cut the heads from the fallen creatures. Ayn assisted and we went about our grisly, yet necessary work.

The rest of the night passes without incident and we rose in the morning and proceeded towards Baldur’s Gate. We rode to an area just south of the Bridge District. Not eager to repeat our experience the last time we entered the city, we set about trying to find a boat to ferry ourselves across the river and into the less frequently patrolled area of the Riverside Slums. Our efforts to secure a boat went unrewarded and in frustration friend Ayn frightened a small boy into renting us his fathers raft.

We made our way across the river and sent the boy back with two gold in his pocket. Perhaps the payment will go some way to relieving the nightmares he is sure to have about Ayn.

After some discussion we decided the best route to the undercity was through the well traveled sewer system of the city. So we plodded through the filth and the muck, navigating the twists and turns of the labyrinthine sewers with little difficulty. After some time our progress was halted by a crudely constructed wall. A stubborn and soon to be regretful guard demanded two hundred gold for our passage. Aelar and I glanced and each other, nodded and as one slipped into the foul muck of the sewer and swam under the gate, whilst the guard was bedazzled by Ayn’s silvery words.

Aelar and I rose from the foul soup a twenty paces or so behind the guard. I can only imagine what went through the guards mind as he turned and saw us, covered with that shit smelling foulness and coming directly at him. He managed to squeal for aid before Aelar charged into him. After a brief scuffle, he laid down his arms and agreed to let us pass. Free of charge. As we walked away from the gate and toward our destination, his cow eyed brothers in arms waddled into view. They tossed a insult or two in our direction, but let us pass without further incident. I did make sure to ask them if they would be there, when we came back. And if I find myself with idle time on my hands, I will make them regret their offhand remarks.

We proceeded on our way and came to the warehouse that Jack had described to us. Aelar picked the lock and we slipped inside. He is a curious one, that elf. Deft with a blade and the tools of a thief. Inside we found the glyph covered hatch leading downwards, we traced the rune that Jack had provided and the hatch opened. We did not care for what we saw. The shaft was pitch black, the lamps on either side of the entrance had been broken and extinguished. We lit the lamps and saw, at the bottom of the ladder a pool of freshly spilled blood. We drew our weapons and proceeded inside.

There were bodies. Torn limp from limb, with great chunks of flesh ripped off. They barely resembled people at all. We turned from the grisly sight and pressed onwards, pausing when Leia told us that she heard rattled breathing coming from the next room. We entered the room cautiously, but it was empty, save for some overturned crates in the far corner. Apparently the sound was coming from further down and adjoining hallway. The group turned its attention in this direction, except for Ayn. He said that he heard something coming from the area around the crates, and he slunk off to investigate. He returned momentarily and told us he had found a gnome cowering in one of the overturned boxes. He also reaffirmed the direction of our foe.

We turned the corner. It took a moment to take it all in a portal, and four different types of abberant creatures. One of the things held a staff. Two of the creatures were smaller than the rest, hunched over with unnaturally large milky white eyes. A few others approached something like normality in the fact that they wielded blades; though their appearance was far from normal. All of the things were hairless, and wore a rictus that framed a mouth full of needle like teeth. But our eyes were drawn to the largest member of their group. A hulking beast that appeared to be missing its skin. Its muscles rippled in plain sight and the whole thing was wet with blood.

Combat erupted at once. They laid into us with mental attacks from the staff wielder and the two spindly creatures. The blade wielders charged into combat and a melee broke out between them and the bulk of the party. I charged forward in an effort to silence the staff wielding horror, but as my blade descended he blinked out of existence only to appear in another corner of the room, a mocking smile on his face. The combat raged on, and we slowly gained the upper hand, pushing the beasts back, cutting them down one by one.

It was then that the unexpected happened. The portal on the ceiling of the chamber spasmed to life and tentacles appeared through it. They attack whoever was within reach which ended up being myself and Aelar, their touch stunning us with every hit. The battle continued when Aelar, knocked unconscious by our foes was dragged up into and through the portal by the tentacles.

We immediately redoubled our efforts, desperately trying to end the fight and pursue our fallen comrade. Finally all save the staff wielding beast we vanquished, and as we turned our attention to him, he teleported once again. Appearing beneath the portal and immediately rising up through it. Without a moments hesitation we were after him, each of us in turn leaping up to touch the portal which seemed to then draw us into it.

We emerged on the other side and saw what was attached to the other end of the tentacles. A Grell. The staff wielder was cowering behind it and Aelar, unconscious and dying lay beneath it.

From “The Chronicles of Shar’s Bane” Vol. 1 , written 1519

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