Curse of the beast lord/Princes of hell.

Winterhold 17, 1014 (Part 1)

The day has been…interesting so far. I was woken up this morning by Pandora who had heard some noises. After listening to the noises I figured out that they were a cry from a goblin, asking for help. Curious as to why there was such crying at that ungodly hour, I grabbed my chain shirt and greatsword, and headed toward the direction of where the voice was coming from. Not long after I, along with Sebastian, Pariah, and Pandora, came across a goblin village and were greeted by all of the dead bodies. A goblin came out of a house and, after seeing us, immediately ran off into the village. Going to the center of the village, we came across a statue of the Dark One and a flying goblin that whizzed by us. Turning to the direction from which the goblin flew from and saw a man in shiny full plate with a large goliath warhammer. He said his name was Valence Goldsmith and that he was returning stolen holy symbols that were found in the village to the church in Talos and then departed.

On the way back to camp Pandora informed us that both Michel and Derek had left to take care of some business. We returned to camp and saw that some of our stuff had been stolen. Pandora and Cyrus had their bedrolls missing, Sebastian had his pack missing, Pariah was missing his katana, and I was missing my falchion. Pandora found some tracks leading away from the campsite and we followed then to an altar of the Dark One. We found a lever and the altar moved back revealing a staircase; following the stairs down we saw two guards and a door. After dealing with the guards we went inside and were in a room full of cages and a bookshelf. I went over to the bookshelf and flipped through some of what was there. The high priest seemed to be very intelligent and after shifting through more books I found a lever and pulled it, which revealed a trapdoor that Cyrus went down with no hesitation. Going down after him, we came in another room with more bookshelves, 2 doors, and 3 goblins. They weren’t much trouble. We searched the bookshelves and then all choose to go through the door on the left and search that area first. I’m not exactly sure what all Pandora found in those two rooms, but when she was finished we turned around and went through the other door. I led the way, and coming across a split in the path, I took the path going left and, after some walking, got shot in the shoulder with a crossbow bolt. We kept following the hallway until we came into this big room filled with about 6 or 7 goblins, a statue of the Dark One, an altar, an iron fence in the middle of the room, and a black swirling energy over the altar. They said something about how the ritual was already started and that we wouldn’t be able to stop it.

A fight ensued and my greataxe was broken to pieces, which pissed me off. After some difficulties, we killed most of them and tried to figure out a way to stop the swirling dark magic above the altar with no success. It was during this time I realized that it was dawn so I prayed and Kord, who sensed that there was about to be a challenge allowed me to gain my spells instantly, which was kind of him. I quickly began to buff the party and enlarged myself in order to try and have an advantage over what was coming at us. We were faced by three snakes, one of which was the legendary Manda, the pet of the Dark One. We struggled against these creatures. I was made helpless and unable to do anything. I didn’t think we were going to survive.

Suddenly, something happened to Cyrus. There was this massive energy wave from him, and the hue around him had changed to a red color. This thing came from him and wrapped itself around him. He became something I had never seen before. It knocked out Pandora as she tried to flee. I managed to escape Manda’s hold and proceeded to try and take care of him so that I could devote my attention to whatever had just happened to Cyrus. Cyrus came over and destroyed Manda. I shouted at Sebastian to grab Pandora and run while I tried to keep Cyrus, or whatever it was, busy. Pariah came up next to me and told me to rip off his ankh. I did so and the next thing I know is that Pariah was engulfed in this black sphere and all I could here was him telling me to get back. Cyrus unleashed some sort of blast and I went flying across the room, back up the hallway, and into the back wall. I gathered myself and went back to the room and saw whatever Cyrus had become fighting a vampiric Pariah.

I watched the fight for what had to be an hour. Cyrus had been decapitated and regrew a head, and Pariah had lost his arm but regrew like it was nothing. I was horrified. I was shaking. There was nothing I could do here. Finally, whatever had its hold on Cyrus receded and Cyrus dropped in front of Pariah. I rushed forth with the ankh and attempted to put in back on him. He put up a struggle and slashed my across my face, but I eventually managed to get it back around his neck. He dropped unconscious. The placed was crumbling around us, we had to get out. I grabbed Pariah and helped Cyrus out of the place before in collapsed on top of us.

There was a very tense moment after that in which Cyrus explained that he had found a ring in the challenge tower and put it on without checking it. It merged with his hand and was now apart of him. The thing we saw was the thing that lives in the ring. He has no idea how to stop it or undo it, and said he would only do that again if there was no alternative. Pariah woke up and explained that he has the soul of an elder vampire trapped within him and that the ankh suppresses it. He left shortly thereafter. Pandora then stabbed Cyrus for “attacking her” and knocking her out when she was trying to flee. Cyrus then tried to attack her back, but Sebastian stepped in and took the hit for her. Pandora took off. Next thing I know there is a small black portal and out popped the head of a strange looking creature whom Sebastian yanked up by the creature’s scarf. He said he would help us dig up our stuff if Sebastian would put him down, and not too much later we have our stuff back and are at the camp once again waiting on Derek and Michel.

I don’t like this. Whatever is in Cyrus, it can’t be good. It has to be stopped. I don’t think I’ve ever been that scared in all of my life. Kord help us….

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Winterhold 16, 1014

After a strategy meeting and division of potions, we set off to through the next tier of the tower. We first encountered two shardsoul slayers who, according to Derek, were more dangerous together so we tried to get them to opposite sides of the room. When I ran up to one my head felt… clouded, I guess, for a moment. It was a strange sensation. Derek’s advice did not help much for as soon as the first one dropped dead a blue ball of energy came from its corpse and slammed into the second one, causing it to grow and look more powerful. Still wasn’t too difficult. The next floor contained two umberhulk zombies. These were a bit challenging, to say the least. I hadn’t had that much trouble in a while, which just means I need to get stronger. Sebastian’s bad luck with undead continued, but thankfully he was revived quickly. I had to expend most of the charges to my wand of cure moderate wounds after that. The next room was simple. There were three chests, so Pandora took charge of this and proceeded to do her thing. A purple mist came up out of the chest that Cyrus had ran up to and opened, and the next thing I know he’s shooting off an attack at me! He shortly snapped out of whatever effect had possessed him though.

The next room was the final challenge. At the back of the room there was a rune and appeared before us was a gorgon. Sebastian and I charged in, but it trampled right through us and got to the rest of the party. Not long into the fight it bellowed out of cloud of green smoke that Sebastian, Pandora, and I breathed in. Unfortunately, Pandora started immediately turning into stone. I grabbed her and got her as far away from the thing as I could. I had no idea of what to do, I knew nothing that could help her, but I gave her my word that it would be okay and that she would be restored to normal. We managed to kill the creature not long afterward with no one else being turned into stone. After the battle took note of another petrified individual. There were not any features about him that registered as odd so we took him with us to the next room. This room was the treasure room. There were three chests and a pillar in the center with a crown and scroll on it.

I did not pay attention to anything at that point. We gathered everything and left the tower through the rune on the wall and after about half a day’s travel we made camp. At this point I looked at some of the items we had gathered. There were two smash-able vials which, after examination, I came to the conclusion that it was most likely an antidote for what afflicted Pandora and the unknown person so I tested my theory by smashing one against Pandora’s face. Not but a few moments later did the stone begin to crumble away from her face and start returning her to normal so I smashed the other one against the other person. Once they were able to speak we inquired about the stranger’s name to find that it’s Pariah. I gave him some of my food and water after finding out he had been in there for about a month, if he is to be believed.

As for the treasure, Cyrus and I examined all we could and discovered that we had found a full plate of frost resistance, as well as some other items. I didn’t really pay attention to what Cyrus was examining. I put of the crown that had been at the top of the tower and felt better than I had. It made me feel stronger, and I like it. I’m going to try and hold onto this crown and finish it (for according to the scroll there are two more towers).

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Winterhold 15, 1014

Today was more challenging than yesterday. It started off with Cyrus being well… like Cyrus. There was ooze all over the floor and he walks into the middle of it and somehow turns into a puddle, at which point a giant ooze creature forms (trapping him inside). I got to try out a new spell in this room though, so overall I guess I can’t be too irritated with Cyrus. The next room contained two verdant reavers, and we made firewood out of them very easily. The room after that, however, was where the challenge came in as we faced off against two force golems from what Derek informed us. On top of the the center of the room was covered with lava and there were various pits around. It took a bit of effort to take care of them, considering we had the other dangers in the room to consider while fighting. The next room was a joke in comparison. We all ganged up on the quaraphon that was lying in wait for us and it didn’t get a chance to hit us. Upon entering this rest room that followed on the wall we saw mounted a longsword. Michel took that. I’m feeling confident about what is to come, and if my memory serves me right then we should be getting close to the top. I want to know what is waiting for us up there…

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Winterhold 14, 1014

Today was not as… life threatening as compared to yesterday. All that really happened on the five floors we went through was a fight with gargoyles and carnage demons and one puzzle room. When we got to the room with the carnage demons we stumbled upon the remains of the previous challenger in this tower before us. We took on the multi-language puzzle no problem too. Then we came across a room with a mummy in it, and it was headed toward us. Michel, as he explained later, found something on the body that the carnage beasts were tearing apart and it allowed us to bypass one room. Thankfully he used it there; mummy rot is a terrible disease to contract. I think the ease in which we went through these past few rooms has given everyone the confidence to carry on. I noticed something me has changed. I have developed an extra gland in the back of my throat. After flexing the muscles I realized that I have developed a breath weapon of sorts. I’m not sure whether to be excited about this new possibility or frightened about the fact I am becoming more and more monster with each passing day. Derek also got something new: a cat. I have no idea where it came from, but it is adorable.

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Winterhold 13, 1014

We were turned away from a huge city due to the people having been infected with some kind of plague or disease. The guards at the city’s gates were not too helpful with information, but they did point us in the direction of a very small village. In this village we found, well Cyrus found, a mage who could teleport us out of the desert. I’m happy to report that, even though I was unsure about him and his capabilities at first, he succeeded. We were short of getting to Talos though, but before we could move on we noticed that we were in a clearing with a single, small pillar. Pandora ran up to it and placed her hand on it. Suddenly there was a low rumbling noise and a white tower started rising from the ground; stopping and standing at roughly 20 floors or so if I had to guess. All of the windows I could see were barred shut. In front of us, an archway appeared on the wall that read: “Only those of true spirit, courage, and bravery need enter, for ahead lie many challenges, what will you find within: glory, treasure, or will you find defeat? Anguish? Suffering? Only time will tell.” We all went inside to see what awaited us.

Inside the first floor of the tower is quite simple was a wooden chest on the floor and a staircase leading to the next floor. After opening the chest we found a few potions and a scroll, written in common, that was titled “Rules” and said: Rule 1 players who enter the challenge tower have a strong possibility of death, be forewarned, once you enter you may not leave until you get to the top, or find one of the safe rooms, and once you leave, you may not return; rule 2 there will be safe rooms scattered throughout the tower, in these safe rooms you will find bedding for rest and a chest containing equipment to further your progression, you will also find a blue rune that will lead you out of the tower, never to return; rule 3 the challenge rooms will seal themselves once you have entered and will only unseal themselves once you have completed the challenge, you may NOT rest in the challenge rooms, or you risk death at the hands of the towers guardian; rule 4 Treasure and reward await you at the top, but beware the road there is perilous, many have tried and many have failed, claim glory as victors, or death as victims.

After reading the scroll we went up to the first floor. Nothing too challenging came at us until we reached the fifth floor. Before us was an undead minotaur wielding a giant greataxe. Sebastian and I ran in there and started to take it down, but it eventually got lucky and got in a big hit on Sebastian. Sebastian dropped. I panicked and without a thought placed myself in between his body and the minotaur, hoping that the others would grab Sebastian and revive him. Before anyone else could act though, the minotaur drove his axe deep into my left shoulder. Luckily Pandora came behind me and grab Sebastian, dragging him out of danger; giving me free movement before that thing could continue hacking chunks into me. After it was slain, I took the axe it was using (it may be very useful, one never knows). The next room, thankfully, was a rest room. That’s where we are now. Everyone is alright now, even though they all seem a bit shaken up about what’s happened. I can’t blame them. I have a scar from the previous room that shows just how dangerous this place can be. I’m nervous about what lies ahead, but I’m determined to try and make it to the top—to prove my strength to Kord and to my comrades, to assure them that we can handle anything and everything.

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Winterhold 8, 1014

We are back in the town. Michel wanted to make armor out of the dragon’s hide, so we decided we might as well wait on him before moving on. Our next step is to get back to Talos and get a map and location of the giant yellow spider. We set out tomorrow for our few days hike through the desert.

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Winterhold 7, 1014

So today was rather eventful. We found the cave of the blue dragon and wouldn’t you know it that Cyrus runs right it and almost dies within seconds. That boy needs his head examined I swear. Sebastian did a jump kick into the dragon’s shoulder. I went up to grapple it’s neck, but I underestimated just how strong a young adult can be. After a few tries I did manage to get it in a hold, but it had broken out after I failed to break it’s neck. I also need to keep in mind two things: I should not take for granted the fact that Michel actually hits the target he’s aiming for, especially when he’s aiming for something I was holding, and that lightening breath hurts, a lot. After being fried with lightening I decided to try something I would not attempt to redo again: I ripped out it’s throat. With my teeth. Dragon doesn’t taste horrible either, which is the part that gives me the most chills. I talked Cyrus into trying a taste of it, which would have been worth it if the reaction had been a bit more comical. By the time everyone had gotten to where the hoard was it had disappeared into Pandora’s bag of holding, and I have no clue what we took from that thing except there was enough for me to have 400 gold pieces from it. Michel seems to be happy with the hide he gathered from the corpse. I gathered a souvenir: a shoulder pauldron out of it’s skull that will sit on my right shoulder.

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Winterhold 6, 1014

We made it to the town safely enough and have restocked our supplies. According to what Pandora found, there is supposedly a blue dragon’s cave up to the west of here and it will take roughly a day’s journey to get there.

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Winterhold 3, 1014

It’s going to take us three days to get to a decent enough town to stock back up on rations. Maybe they can tell us where the closest dragon is…

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Winterhold 2, 1014

Well, a couple of interesting things happened today. First off, Derek is missing. Apparently while I was off at the church praying and brushing up on basic clerical languages, a mage’s lab exploded and, along with himself and part of the building, took Derek to a different place. No one is sure where they are or how to find them though. I hope he’s okay, he’s a joy to have around. Pandora, Michel, Sebastian, and I went to the mine just outside of town for a couple hours to gather gems and also took care of some rats that came wanting to nip at more than just our ankles. We met back up with Cyrus in town, and from there proceeded to the dragon’s cave in the forest. Once we got to a clearing with a mountain on the other side, Michel informed us that there were cart tracks leading up the mountain path from the trees. Following the path to its origin and using a Detect Magic spell, we gathered that the cart teleports in and out in the woods for some reason. One would think it would be easier to just teleport inside the cave. Either way, we went back up the path until we came across what sounded like snoring. I was informed by the rest of the party I was to stay put, so I am not sure what happened inside the cave, but when I heard Pandora shout out I came up to the mouth of the cave to see it empty. Michel followed the tracks to a wall and Pandora found a switch that opened it, and inside was a man-sized orb floating off of the ground and two humanoids. One of the people, the female, spoke very broken common and informed us that they were Air-Gensai and that they have been protecting this gateway to their plane, using the guise of a blue dragon to scare off people. We explained to them why we were in search of a blue dragon and they allowed us access to their home. We went through the gateway and were standing on a very short strip of land in the clouds. I went to the weapons shop and found an interesting looking blade. I had not seen one before, and I don’t think I would have since, so I went to find Pandora so that she could help me sell the mace I had picked up at the mage’s college. I got 900 gold pieces for it thanks to her, and I went around and bought the sword from the gentlemen. It had some sort of enchantment on it, but I could not tell what, so I went away from the houses and people and swung the blade around a few times. To my amazement it shot out a blue blade that extended about 30 feet in front of me and then disappeared. We left shortly afterward and went back to the mage’s college with the story of a black dragon instead of blue (because blue dragons do not like forested environments) and arranged transport to a desert so that me may track down a blue dragon and collect it’s scales.

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