It took us a couple of days to wander along the wasteland before we final came upon Ridgeopolis Annex, the capital of Überwald. It had been a dry and monotonous walk, but at least I had a lot of time to tune in on our party’s emotions.
Blaze was constantly edging to kill any undead he laid his eyes on. I think we wear lucky that they seemed to stay in their city’s. At least this constant reminder of his duty towards his mistress made him easier to be around, as he didn’t tried to smooth talk with me in the meantime. The again, he might just have changes his tactics. I did touch him more often since I had to pull him back into his senses whenever he looked like he wanted to turn back and take on the army we passed after Portdam Park.
Xune didn’t seem to mind the dead wasteland around her, then again no one seemed to if compared to Claw whom let’s out a small sigh whenever we pass a dead bush.
I wonder what it looks like where Xune comes from… Although if its anything like the story’s you hear I’d rather not find out. You have to have some self preservation instinct.
Shadow always have the same strong emotion following him around… greed. I will no longer amuse that anything is beneath him. Shadow would be the first to molest my corps if I died today. Maybe that’s why I feel more comfortable around Xune and Blaze…
When we finally arrived within eyesight of the city Xune pointed out that the huge green shining orb in the top of a high tower, was the reason for everything being a dead wast. I guess we wear lucky that Claw didn’t hear her. He would have demanded that we destroyed it.
Anyway we decided to sneak in. The zombies and skeletons didn’t look friendly enough to just let us pass. Shadow scooted ahead to help us find a free path and when we were to close to a group Xune either made a distracting lightning show or I lured the undead away. Blaze of course wanted to fight, but he did understand the concept of being outnumber, and let us enter discretely.
At the gate Xune managed to scare the guards enough to let us pass. Shadow started searching the surroundings for a library but instead of waiting for him to finis I just took the liberty off pointing it out for the the others before we ended up touring the entire city.
The finer administration buildings was placed adjacent to the city palace; the building with the shiny sphere on top. It was amazingly empty out on the streets and Shadow could easily pick the lock to a governance looking building. On the inside I found an old dwarf sleeping by a desk. If he’d been sleeping on duty on my ship he’d have a one way ticket to the bottom of the ocean… if he got lucky. Blaze woke him up with an ungentle thug, demanding him to show us where the heart stone was. I guess all the stealthiness earlier had finally gotten to him, and when he saw that the dwarf in fact was an undead he stabbed him into mice before shoving the remains under the desk. The rest off us were looking through books, but they all looked to be written in dwarven, and I have no idea how to read that.
Xune then suddenly turned towards us with exhilaration flowing across the room. She claimed to know where the heart stone was. Blaze didn’t look convinced but when Xune explained that it was underneath the palace and we should try to enter through the sewer system he lighted up a little. Shadow on the other hand put his foot down. He didn’t want to risk triggering a trap down there. I guess Blaze was hopping for a chance to pick up his sword.
Climbing down into the sewers I got my first reunion with water in a long time. Not that it was that enjoyable. Luckily enough the systems didn’t seam to be used that much, seeing that most of the population are dead…. or undead…
After a shorter walk, listening to Shadows constant mutterings and wonder if it would hurt enough if I slammed him with my ever burning torch, we climbed out into what looked like a huge bathroom. Xune pointed us towards a staircase that was heading down into darkness and we bravely pressed on, at least until we hear a low mumble of a voice. Then we just shoved Shadow forward to handle it. He disappear into the darkness for a moment and returned telling us about a Skeleton at the bottom of the stairs wearing a crown. Apparently he was throwing things around looking for something. Xune sent him off to hide in the shadows before heading down herself. Me and Blaze followed with a small hesitation. If it was the Lich king down there we weren’t so keen on just marching in. Xune on the other hand didn’t seemed to mind. She just walked in and asked what the skeleton was doing. He turned his head without his body following and greeted her with warmth. Having a table and chairs made from bones appear in the room. The chairs walked around the room with a running speed, scooping everyone the could find up before placing us at the table. Only Shadow remained hidden… At least until Xune gave his hideout away and he too was brought to the table. It was laid with many varieties off food and perhaps against better judgment I had an apple. Maybe I’m just rebelling because Amelia usually pops up and stopped me from doing most anything… Or maybe I wish that she should. I hope she and the others are alright. I really wish I had spoken to Amelia about why I didn’t pick her to go with me to the feast at Free port.
The Lich king told us that he was searching for the same object as we were. Of course we did not tell him that, instead Blaze convinced the king that we should play a game. If we lost we would be granted one artifact of our choice and get free passage out of here, but if we lost we would help him find the artifact that he was looking for. I quickly added that we’d still like a free passage out off here. The Lich king promised that he would let us go, but also added that he couldn’t vouch for anyone else. Sounds like a pretty powerless king, but I wouldn’t put it to the test by saying that to his face. He already looked slightly annoyed with me for some reason.
Blaze asked the king to preform a ritual that would make us all bound by this oath. It manifested as identical bracelets around our wrists.
Shadow then played a game of poker with the king while I was holding my breath in anxiety…. Mostly because I could feel that Shadow wasn’t confident in himself. Luckily enough he did win and the king opened a floor plate with a spiral staircase, leading down into an even lower hidden flat. Xune instantly walked down, very likely drawn by the magic of the heart stone. Shadow and Blaze stayed in the room, probably to distract the king from figuring out that we knew exactly where to go. I followed Xune.
Down at the end of the stairs Xune and I stopped. It was a huge empty hall with two smaller opening for rooms on the sides. At the far end of the hall was an alter with a medium sized statue, of the Raven queen, holding a heart shaped stone. Just as I was about to walk over to it Xune gripped my arm and called up the staircase for the guys. She claimed that their were two giant transparent cubes blocking the hall further down. I swear that if she ever make a similar claim in the future I’ll believe her, but now I couldn’t see anything no matter how hard I tried. Xune kept attacking something invisible in the distance and for all I knew she could have been infected by some magic illusion being the first one down the stairs. Finally me and Blaze started slowly to explore the room with our weapons drawn and held high, but the only thing I registered was Xunes growing frustration. I’m not sure what she did but suddenly a huge cube, that looked as if it was made out of tasteless gelatin appeared right in front of me. It grabbed me and pulled me inside, while burning my skin with acid. Before I had a chance to react I noised Blaze was there too. Fighting like crazy, trying to swim through acid slime I manage to break through the cube’s back wall. I landed in a heap at the floor but quickly pushed myself to my feet. I could see Xune and Shadow trying to fight another cube at a range distance, as it was slowly closing in on them. Blaze was still trying to fight his way out of the cube but his efforts were fruitless. I turned towards the altar, that now stood unprotected before me. The heart stone almost felt like it was calling my name. What I did fell though was Blaze in pain and I mentally focus my power off healing to give him more time to escape. Then I went for it and grabbed the stone from the altar. Xune and Shadow didn’t seemed to have any luck escaping the other cube. Xune tried to hide behind the stair, but the slimy creature only engulfed it as well. I looked at Blaze and his failing attempts to break free. My healing powers had obviously not given him the strength he needed. Putting the stone in my most secure pocket I took a deep breath, said a small prayer to Avandra and bent reality, swapping place with Blaze. Once again I was burning on the outside trying to break free, but somehow it seemed harder now. I could taste blood in my mouth as I desperately tried fighting in from within.
Blaze tried to find a strategic place to fight, but just as Xune found out, there was no were to hide. Soon we were all inside one cube or the other, trying to kill them from the inside. Xune and Shadow manage to splatter their prisoner first, but Blaze and I soon followed.
Being slightly out of it I was slow to get up on my feet, but when I suddenly felt the hands off someone greedily roaming over my body I did the most sane thing I could and kicked the perv in his crotch. When I realized that it had been Shadow, being after the heart stone, I told Xune to tase him with her electric powers, and she did.
In the small rooms adjacent to the hall we found gold, valuable statues and potions of vigor, but since Blaze had made us all vow to take only one artifact we had to leave it. Even though I tried to convince them that coins weren’t really an artifact.
Upstairs the king was waiting for us. He asked if we had chosen an object and we said that we had, then I instantly left, not feeling comfortable with having the heart stone the king had been searching for on my person. Especially not when I started to hear Xune and Blaze talking very openly about what object we had taken.
The others cached up to me before I left the palates and all off us instantly started to make our way back to the world of living people.
When we arrived at Old Kingsbury Corner we instantly came upon a wanted poster with a drawn sketch of shadow, and a description of his associates, myself included. Shadow laughed and used his hat of illusions to turn into someone else. Xune decided to visit the traveling company that we arrived with to see if we could get a lift back to Arcadia. Apparently we have more stuff that need to be done before I can go home.
While waiting for an airship I discovered that I had a hand-long key in my necklace. Since I could not recall why I had it I brought it to Xune. She studied it for a while an then placed it in a door lock. When we opened the door it was like walking into a bag of holdings. Basically any piece of clothing imaginable was there, and a wardrobe containing all my private items. Xune and I made some experiments with the room. Fore one thing the times stands still while in here, and we can’t place things inside that doesn’t belong, however if I take out one of the clothing’s that’s not from my personal wardrobe they vanish after a full day and night off use. We also noticed that the key actually didn’t have to be placed in a doorway but could be opened in mid-air if we so pleased.
Realizing that I couldn’t spend the rest of our time in Old Kingsbury Corner trying out outfits in my spare room, since time wouldn’t pass, I followed Blaze and the others for a walk to Wald. Blaze instantly asked someone if they needed help with slaying some undead filth at their border and his offer was instantly accepted.
We found our targets by a crypt in a field of stone pillars and overgrown grass. Five Zombie-looking undead engaged us in battle. Blaze was overjoyed. I even thing he approved of the dead body rising again after already have been cut down once. It gave him twice as long to go rampage.
Shadow found some potions of vigor in the crypt that Xune packed down in her bag.
Well we’re leaving our rooms to head for the air ship any moment now… So I guess I have all the time in the world to pick out something nice to wear today.