Our journey into the crypt was one I won’t forget anytime soon. Immediately I could sense the necromantic power at work. Although relatively weak it surrounded us and permeated the air we breathed. As always Julian took point with myself following his lead. I decided I’d try to do right by the man. He was putting his trust in us to do what needed to be done while he bore the brunt of our enemies attacks. Anyone willing to do that is deserving of respect at the very least.
As we made our way through the catacombs we were assaulted by weak, mindless undead. Such creations are abhorrent. Although technically not against my creed it leaves a sour taste. Condemning others without choice seems wrong. Efficient. But wrong. We pressed on eventually coming across an area free from the corruption. Here we found a blessed artefact belonging to a Saint. We all unanimously agreed to leave it where it should rest.
Pressing on we came into a large room with upwards of fifty bodies strewn on the floor. Ignoring them we searched to rooms surrounding this central one. Finding two magical auras we agreed that these belonged to the dead and were not ours to take. But when the dead began to animate my curiosity got the better of me and I opened the sarcophagus that contained the transmutation aura to find a Hyperborean officers hat.
As I picked it up to take it I became aware that in fact fifty skeletons had not risen and assaulted our party but five. And they hadn’t made enough noise to cover my raiding of a corpse. So one barrage of guilt trips later I put it back, then we all discussed what we thought it was. Turns out it was a hat of disguise self. Would have been useful. Julian commended me on doing the right thing in the end. Although I think he was more concerned that my act had made everyone question their morality and whether or not we should take such items as we make our way. It struck me what I had done. I had broken two rules and committed three sins in one act. I’m not sure what penance will be required for this but I will do it. Such a mistake in judgement can not go unpunished.
Making our way further we game to a hall that went in a circle with seemingly no way to progress except to go door by door through every family grave. This seemed to be both disrespectful and a waste of time. Although it took us quite a while to come up with a solution until after we had been arguing for quite some time I began reading the names on the graves to try and find an odd one out. Eventually coming across it I suggested we knock to be polite. I’ll be damned if I broke any more sinson this excursion.
We were met by an intelligent undead who was telling barefaced lies and giving enough sass to count as having sinned at least thrice. Enough to push two religious zealots into smiting without staining my soul further. He was swiftly dispatched despite being prepared for a fight he was no match for us. By his post we found he was a scholar having read a variety of philosophical works which Faustus immediately took for himself. Only the Inquisitor Alexander made an objection but was quickly silenced when he gave his reasoning of censorship.
We burst into the final chamber to find an acolyte of a death cult preparing a ritual and a vial containing something emanating necromantic power. It was at this point we noticed the undead. As battle commenced I soon found myself surrounded by them. Initially I thought I could take them but could feel Lazarus’ and my power waning swiftly. Thankfully the battle was ended prematurely as the cultist asked if we were even capable of civilised conversation to discuss this.
As he was explaining that the vial contained the blood of the dracolich that brought down Rome the Inquisitor took the opportunity to take control of the situation in our favour and took the vial. Threatening to break it if the cultist didn’t comply with our demands. Beginning to think my first judgement of his character was wrong I was somewhat taken aback as he then demanded some of the philosophy works from Faustus. Myself and Ji refused to translate his demands into latin for Faustus to understand simply glaring at him.
At this juncture the cultist informed s that the blood corrupted all that was good and touched it. I volunteered to hold the blood as o the others I’m already corrupted so I had nothing to lose. Julian voiced his grievances saying I was on a path to recovery and I shouldn’t risk it. But he relented as I assured him it was for the best, not to mention I wanted it away from the inquisitor before he made another demand.
I had anticipated it to tempt me but I guess my desires were closer to the surface of my mind than I expected. I immediately heard it. A soothing, calming voice promising me all I ever wanted. Respect from my peers. The chance to repay my family and do right by them. And above all else to bring him back. To have him return to me.
I know anything that seems too good to be true usually is but how could I not take the opportunity. All it asked was that I keep it. But the others wouldn’t understand. They’d think I was going to use necromancy, but I have grander designs. I had to find some way of keeping some of the blood for myself. It wouldn’t even be a sin, it was technically it’s own owner and cried out to be relieved by me. I asked the inquisitor if we could go into another room to discuss what we should do with the cultist. Taking the bait he agreed.
I made up some plan to get him to complete his ritual to remove the necromancy, by taking something valuable of his while he took the blood. While we discussed this I slipped as much of the blood into an inkpot as I could without risking discovery. Anything to keep it’s guidance I suppose.
Rejoining the group we completed the ritual and the cultist left with his relic while we announced we had dealt with the necromancy. After receiving our reward we retired to an inn for the evening to celebrate. It was at this point that the chickens in the kitchen began moving despite being beheaded. I’m sure I’ll be able to find some way to keep this under wraps…