Alas, it seems to take just as long to chronicle this series of events as it did to live through them! Indeed, the others have started to become impatient to move on as I continue to struggle to keep up a careful record of all that befell us underground. Yet however long it takes, this task I have set myself is a crucial one. These things must be written, they must be promulgated, and they must be remembered. I remain committed to these principles, and so I endeavor now to bring my account of that spectacular day to a close.
It is distinctly odd, scribbling away now in the tranquility of the early morning, with the sun’s rays just barely cresting over the horizon, to think back to that desperate situation just the other day when all of us were deep underground, fighting for our lives. Indeed, the peace of this moment still carries with it an air of unreality after all the confusion we’ve come through, though I am of course grateful for it. Truly, in the moment when that troop of soldiers appeared, chaos seemed to have taken hold of the battlefield.
Well, what a time to be called away for dinner! Indeed, I seem to have lost track of things entirely, for as far as I was concerned I had only just sat down to take up my chronicle again when all at once it was time to eat. Really, it still amazes me how the hours do slip away once I am engaged in my writing. I’m afraid I won’t have long now before I must rest, but I shall endeavor to carry forward my record of this past day’s events as far as I can before I turn in.
I left off my account with our group all gathering together upon hearing a hushed voice across the length of that lavishly decorated room, beginning to make our way forward to the dais. Durgash was in the lead, striding ahead with his accustomed confidence, when all at once a skittering swarm of blackness seemed to erupt from beneath his feet. Fortunately, he was on the alert, and managed to skillfully jump away, avoiding any injury he might otherwise have taken.
As he landed, though, we all got a better look at the swarming mass of blackness on the floor before us, and I discovered to my horror that there was nothing of an arcane nature about it. No, instead we found ourselves facing a horde of spiders, all moving together as a single mass, in a most unnatural fashion. In that moment, I fear I lost myself briefly. All I could do was stare down in grotesque fascination as that writhing, squirming cloud of small black forms inched its way towards us.
…Ah, as I read back over the account as I’ve written it thus far, I see I was called away at quite the dramatic moment. What a happy accident! Yet there was to be a great deal more excitement for us in store that day, and I should endeavor to get it all down with as much haste as I can bear, without sparing any of the necessary details.
To continue with the narrative, then, Renbar’s reaction to the sudden movements of the skull was to pull it from his belt so we could all get a better view as to what was going on. Fortunately, watching him do all this happened to jog something in my memory. I could recollect now that the means to permanently dispel guardians like this green burning skull were primarily divine in nature. Holy water, for example, would be more than sufficient for such a task.
Sadly, though, as our group is not made up of the most devout members of society, we found ourselves with no suitable means of dispelling this magical creature. We seemed at an impasse here indeed, and I could see the effort it was now taking for Renbar merely to hold the skull fragment in place. Whatever we did next, it was of the utmost importance that we act quickly.
As I take up my pen once again at the close of another day, I find that my mind still reels with the rush of discoveries and events which all unfolded in such a short span of time. Truly, the exploration of these great ruins holds immense promise for all of the races that currently inhabit our world. Ah, what feats our ancestors were capable of! What a wealth of knowledge simply left for us to comb through and, as we can only hope, refine.
As I feared before setting out upon my journey, this day proved a long and perilous one; for while there is much good to be said of my friends and companions, there are times when their general preference for bold action outstrips my own. In itself, perhaps this is not such a bad thing, as my own adventures for hire never did amount to much, but on this particular occasion, one rash decision very nearly cost us our lives.
Celestina strode confidently through what remained of the tower even as it trembled on its foundations. The trials of long years had accustomed her to these movements. Great structures beyond counting had collapsed into dust around her, and she was well beyond the tentative, shuffling steps of a young harvester. Sometimes she found it hard to believe such trifling motions had once been enough to make her stumble and fall, little different than a mere human.
“Do you always have to move so quickly, Cel? Some of us have to warm up before we get our earth legs, you know.”
“Oh? I notice you’ve managed to keep up just fine, Dal.”
Despite his complaining, Dalerion was one of the best seconds in the field, and Celestina was glad to have him along.