Exploring Dirio

The Vault: Salvation

I’m thrilled. Within the last few days my power has been growing exponentially. Not only am I becoming an increasingly powerful being, but I have beaten back some of the greatest and strongest figures of history. While they may have been kept limited, they were still of respective power to me and the others. It stands to reason then that as I continue to ascend I will continue to be more powerful, more tactful, and better equipped than the smartest minds of my age. After millenniums of preparing, Thalran the Black could not hold back my raw strength of magic, even including my domination of his thrall and personal body guard, a very useful Minotaur zombie. I am beginning to see what it is that Iss chose me for – though I will never consent to being his puppet. As a deliberate mark of that, I have singlehandedly guided the party I travel with to go out of our way (sometimes aggravatingly so) to be helpful and heroic to the shades of this floor.

The Community I have left in the care of Durina (and to a lesser extent, Icarus and Pathlus), to be advised by Talbot. Lucien’s life I managed to save, though he appears to have entered some kind of unreachable state. All that remains is to clear the remnants of Thalran’s minions, and deal with the fact that the Codex offers no salvation for the shades.


Thalran the Black is dead, and his forces have been routed. Lucian has been properly subdued. Only the magical barrier remains in our way, but I believe even that will prove a surmountable obstacle. Though I do not know what waits for us down below, I feel more confident than ever that I can face it. I believe I can now better resist the effects of magic, and I have learned how to combat those who use magic. I have watched and learned from both my foes and my companions. I should be able to interrupt enemy magic users before they can make use of their spells. I am sure that I will be able to put what I have learned to use soon enough.


Well, after the glowing white room where i got all mendy,thanks to ZavZav. we went down the stairs. it was quite a ways. then we lost Berty. there were some hand things that grabbed at him. I call them things cause they weren’t attached to people, which is odd. because people have hands, and hands should have people, but these ones didn’t. anyways we tried to stop them but we couldn’t and berty was pulled into the rock. that one confused me to. Rock is hard… how did he go into it. i hafta get him to teach me how to go into rock, because i could do soo many thing with that power. i could… BECOME A STATUE! and be all spying on people.

i finally tuned back into what was happening around me and there were people mourning the loss of berty. the air felt heavy around be… and dark. and the best way to brighten up anything around me? JOKES!. so i told one, and i think my timing was perfect. they all chuckled even though Bronx didn’t seem to appreciate it.

We heard a yell from below, sounded like Squeaky (Berty). So we took off running. at the bottom we didn’t find Squeaky, but we found shinies. but these went the the shines on corpses. no no no. These were BIG shinies. It would take me and all my brothers to pull them out. they were a task for another day.

we met a man named Jarl? Jorn? Jerm? i can’t remeber, ill kall him….. Pointy. he had a sword, or at least something sharp that was made of metal. he called us true borns… which i thought was odd well at first. i mean its true that i was born. but so was everybody else… but it turns out that i was wrong. theres a whole bunch of people here that wern’t born. i think they were made, like a pot or a ship. but not out of wood. or clay… its confusing.

there was a bunch of people there. there were too many names to remember. i just remebr that there was a dark skinned lady, a man who turned into a wolf. a halfling or gnome or maybe a potted plant that had a neat hat that let him be whoever he wanted. that hat is much better than the helm that one that TallTallka and ZavZav were fighting over. and if i can, ill trade
something for it if i can. if not i may have to “liberate” it. the uses are too many for it to simply rot here.

anyways we were told that to continue onwards we had to defeat some other guy who wore black. i think. he has alot of stuff under his control but i think i can manage it. i mean, we, we can manage it. my ragtag group of followers would be lost without me.

OH! we found Mere Crest? Merecrest?. she was kinda scarred and a bit trixie but we got her to settle down. with the big tree that talked. oh and we cound a place full of grass. Bronx was all snuffly in the dirt. and when i tried to prod him into moving along He got all grumpy with me. were not going to get out if he keeps getting distracted by DIRT!. i mean its everywhere oin the surface. we just have to get there first. alogh the grassy place did have golden plaques out front, my attempts to pry them off didn’t work but scratching them did.

well with that endevour no longer a viable option i decided that heading to the bathes in an attempt to actually make progress was at hand, so we headed to the baths. with little trouble we cound the control room. all the levers and the switches and screens. it was like i was a small god of the baths. the levers offered up their secrets almost like the sea offering up fish. we boiled something that was kinda like a crab alive. it was AWESOME, also i liked the music. it was pretty calming… if you could get past all the screaming that is. with our loot in tow we made it back to the community alive, ready to set out again once we had recovered.

In recap.
ZavZav makes me mendy
TallTallka is Tall and i still want to ride his soulders.
squeaky is dead, i think.
Bronx likes to snuffle dirt.
Pointy had pointy parts that could be a weapon.

I like being the God of the Baths.
If we find Berty I need to learn how to become one with the stone.
We found a tree that could Talk.
Mere Crest is Trixie.
i found diagreaable gold.
annnnd lobster crab things that get boiled taste bad.

The Vault: Shadows
Zavrith's Notes, part II

Still feeling the adrenaline pumping through my veins, still hearing the voice of warning echoing in my ears, I head down the stairs with the rest. Somebody mentions resting, and I manage to hold my tongue. Rest? Now? There is so much still to learn, to discover! Must hold myself in line though; a quick glance at each of the others revealed their wounds to me, and so I intone the words and watch as their flesh stitches together. Wonder how many times this will be done, once among my most guarded secrets.

Bronx begins to snore almost immediately, and Berty sleeps soon after. Heavy sleepers – a sign of their trust in us, or weakness? Tatalka practices his maneuvers and Chance tries to interrupt and generally makes a nuisance of himself. If they have such vigor in them yet, why do we stop?! Eventually Tatalka and Chance too sleep, and I am at last alone, or as alone as I ever am. The isolation is soothing, and after a few hours I too sleep; smiling in the dark at my ring.
At last everyone is ready to venture further. Spirits are higher after resting and a little more distance between ourselves and the dead. Down the stairs again, spiraling endlessly into the dark below us. Without understanding why, it feels right. I like this place, I think. As though to disturb such a tranquil line of though, a scuffle and muffled scream erupt from behind me. Spinning, mind instantly entering the acute sensation of time slowing that danger brings me into, Berty is clawed at by two shadowed hands, and being dragged under. No time to react, I fling myself headlong to tackle him out of the grasp, only to be propelled through as though he wasn’t there. An illusion perhaps? The others finally lumber into action, and Chance fires his incorporeal dagger at a hand, which jerks slightly at the impact. Perhaps they are real, then! No time to rise and be the dignified hero, I will freeze them from where I lay then. And of course, it works, and the hands subside. Berty looks relieved, and my mind begins to whir at the possibilities. A foolishly lowered guard, as eight arms rise in unison and wrench Berty through the floor instantly. That same bastard voice laughed, claiming he could take who he wanted, as he saw fit.

A stunned moment lingers in the air. I’ve never failed before. Tatalka stands mutedly, a thin sheen of sweat on his brow. Mmm, not so superior feeling with your piece of steel now? You have yet to understand anything, child. Bronx looks as though it were not Berty, but himself that were pulled under. Not for the first time, I wonder at the…‘structural integrity’ of his mind. Chance, as though to remind us that everything was okay because HE were still around, cracked a joke that was admittedly fairly amusing. Certainly not elevated by his presence, it did manage to remind me, however, that I was still alive, and I rose to my feet at last. As if on cue to not be mired by inaction, Berty’s cries were heard from deep below. Stairs fly by two, three, five at a time as I race downwards. The huffing and patter of short legs and the larger crashes of metal on stone do nothing to mask the lack of another pair of footfalls. At last we arrive at the bottom, and the screaming is no longer to be heard. A large door is all that awaits us. I gather my backup, and we act with unison to burst through the door, completely ready to tear down that which would restrain us. Instead we are greeted with an elaborately ornate hallway, filled with mosaics and blue marbled pillars. The greedy one and the bumpkin are lost immediately. By instinct I tune into Bronx instead, who’s trembling voice carries down the shaft of the stairs. More weeping and pining over Berty. No help there. Typical. On the other hand, noting the lack of screams or gurgles from the other two, it seems that there is no immediate danger to be had, and I too enter the grand entryway, inspecting the murals. Made quick mental notes of styles of adornment and the depicted scenes. Know thy enemy, after all.

Tatalka begins down a narrow corridor to the side, and rather than leave him to his fate, I stealthily slink after him. He is confronted by a man declaring himself as Jern Mazus, and a brief standoff occurs. Better to stay back for now; I can tend to escalate situations like these more easily than defuse them. Well, hah, except when there are none left to oppose me. Things progress well between the two. Unsurprising, considering they seem to be the same person, divided only by time. Eventually we are all introduced, including Bronx who has rejoined us at last. Jern seems less than thrilled at our magical talent. Tatalka should hire diviners to look into how they are related, for surely there is something in common there. Jern mentions that we are the True Born, or more importantly that they are not born. Why do some give up these kinds of details so willingly? I would think he was placating us intentionally, if it weren’t for his apparent thickness. Tatalka, at least, has youth and ignorance to blame. Jern, as is learned, has lived for ages too innumerable to benefit from the same excuse. Finally he buckles under the questions and the difficulty of making choices instead of following orders, and flees to bring back his superior.
We take the time to inspect the numerous pedestals in the hall, as I’ve made note of separately. While clearly from a different era, Jern’s name can be found, and in a position of authority and respect no less. Then who is this insecure person? The similarity of name and apparent occupation is too close to merely be a namesake or coincidence. Possibly a doppelganger? It would take a spectacular level of creative impotence to steal so blatantly though, so I can see no gain there. Possibly it is just meant to keep us distracted long enough to allow them to get into a position. If that is indeed the intent, let them – my failure has left a bitterness in my mouth and a chance to assert my dominance would be welcome. Instead, a muscular woman enters and demands our disarmament. The party complies, although reasonably hesitantly. I smirk despite myself, knowing myself even more powerful through being presumably constrained. The woman, Bella, issues a few commands of required conduct before meeting the leader in no uncertain terms. Forceful one, here. I’ll have to make note of the qualities of the leader that attract such followers.

The leader is introduced, a man named Lucian Asmodus. After a brief discourse he leads to his ‘community’. This community consists, I learn, of fellow shadows of powerful figures of the past. The prospect of immortality is tantalizing, but certainly not at this cost; these people are slaves, and slowly growing mad. Nevertheless, a fascinating lead-off. The Shades themselves would be of great interest for their stories and knowledge, but Lucian has them suppress the leaders they once were so that he may assert his control all the easier over them. Effective, certainly, but stagnant and wasteful. Focusing back in to current affairs, Lucian informs us that his community as at war with one Thalran the Black. The shade of a supremely powerful master of the dark arts. Lucian promises us a path to continue further through this vault if we put an end to this threat to his community. I can’t help but wonder at the situation. We, as Trueborn, are prophesied to come and end Thalran’s rule over them, and so Lucian must send us out to that end, and help us as best he can. However, without a front to be united against, his community will crumble around him and he’s sure to be aware of that. So he must, then, seek for us to fail secretly whilst supporting us publicly. Not one to turn our back to. Nevertheless, we can take use of his aid currently

Balance of Forces

I have yet to find a reliable means to resist the effects of magic. I have learned to attain a greater level of focus during combat through my experiences here in the vault, but I have not made serious use of it thus far, nor can I maintain such a high level of concentration for much more than a minute.

I think that I understand the utility, perhaps even the necessity, of magic better than I once did. Since our fight with the beast on the first floor, we have encountered other creatures with innate magical powers. I would prefer to rely on magical aids as little as possible, but perhaps magic is the best tool to fight such creatures. I cannot yet make a firm judgement. Bronx used some manner of enchantment to bolster my strength. While the enchantment was certainly helpful, I question its necessity. Could I not have prevailed on my own? Zavrith’s use of healing magic on all of us puts similar questions in my mind.

I know so very little about magic. If I were to learn more about it, I might then be better equipped to combat those who would use it against me. My options for teachers are rather few. Zavrith seems to be the most knowledgeable, but I remain suspicious of him. Bronx is rather strange and consequently unapproachable, Chance seems uncertain of his own abilities, and Bertie would not be any better, assuming we can resuce him.

I might ask Talbot if he would be willing to teach me. He seems a wise fellow. There is likely little time for him to teach me much, but any knowledge he could give would be of great use. In the morning I will explain my difficulty to him, and hopefully he will be able and willing to help me.

Bronx Log Post 2

Before descending even deeper into the vault, the party wisely decided to rest and recover ourselves. We had received many injuries throughout the level, and some of us were still bleeding profusely, but the man Zavrith expended the last of his healing spells to ease our pain. I have to wonder what personal gain he secretly expects by being inordinately nice to us, for I suspect it is not simply through the kindness of his heart. But I was in no position to refuse, none of us were. We were beyond exhausted.

Either way, we rested, were healed, and after I spent some important time re-learning my spells and committing them once again to memory, the party decided to venture onward, feeling much more eager and prepared than before. Even I felt a little spring in my step, my new focus and determination helping to keep my demons largely at bay, renewed purpose and hope creating a temporary clarity in my mind. But of course, in such a cursed hell, even a moment of frivolity can provide an opportunity for punishment.

As we descended the stairs, two spectral hands reached through the cold stone floor and grabbed Berty’s ankles, pulling him down into unfathomable depths. Zavrith leapt toward Berty to grab him, but toppled through his incorporeal form, as though he had already been murdered and become a ghost. Chance attempted to grab one of the spectral hands with the magical hand of his own, and for a moment I had hoped that would save him, but the hands continued to drag the shrieking Berty inexorably into the deep. As a last desperate effort I too threw myself toward the sinking Berty, but of course, I felt nothing but the cold stone floor beneath me when I landed. And then he was gone so quickly it was like he was never there.

Shocked silence. The eyes bore into my skull once more, their hatred and their misery searing my heart, my defenses shattered by sudden grief. They stared in accusation at letting this young soul disappear into unimaginable places. He was the most innocent, the most eager, the most genuine of us. Like nature itself, he did not discriminate, he did not perform. He merely was. Lies and deceit are the creation of man.

Chance suddenly became uncomfortable with the pregnant pause and cracked a wildly inappropriate, though admittedly amusing joke. The others were getting antsy, and Tatalka had suggested we move on. I had not failed to notice that he had not attempted to save Berty as the hands dragged him under, though surely there wasn’t much he could have done. Still, it is not something I will soon forget.

I was not yet prepared to leave, the enormity of what had happened weighed heavily on me, so I told the others they could move on ahead without me. Zavrith did not seem pleased to leave me in the rear for some reason, though at that moment, I could not have cared less. As they went out of earshot, I sat once more on the hard stone floor with my back against the wall, wishing it was the trunk of a tree, and floundered through the tidal wave of sadness trying to engulf and drown me. I wanted her beside me more than ever. I remembered her beautiful doe’s eyes as they gazed at me across the forest pond, and struggled to feel to the utter peace and serenity that had cleansed me at that moment, clinging to that memory with a madman’s desperation. I prayed for her to come to me again, to wash away the murky, black waves of my desperation with the crystalline ripples of her gaze. But she didn’t come. And I was trapped there, alone.

After a while, the voices of my comrades stirred me, and I rose wearily to my feet again. I wasn’t going to leave that place by sitting alone moping, so I once again struggled to clear my thoughts and pressed onward. I thought perhaps if I allowed myself to be distracted with the dangers of the vault and the affairs of the other party members, I would be afforded some peace. It half-worked. Naiwi would have to find me later.

We then re-grouped, and shortly thereafter, Tatalka discovered a curious man named Jurn. In brief, we learned by discussing with Jurn, and later his leader Lucian, that this floor of the vault housed a community of men and women of various races and positions in society that do not age. We have noticed ourselves that we have had no need to eat or drink while in the vault, but this prospect suggested that very time itself stood still within the walls of this accursed place, a prospect I find not only unnatural, but downright terrifying as well. I do not wish to be trapped within this place as long as these people have. I vowed to end it myself first should that ever become an eventuality, though I would mourn never getting to see the sun again before I go.

Lucian and the other ageless ones also spoke of our role as the first true born people they have supposedly seen in a long time. To be a true born simply means to have been born naturally, to have been conceived and have been given life through birth by a mother. Their questions reminded me of my past, and I felt a pang of loss for my family, enslaved, killed, or both by the slave traders in Jaleox. But those days were long ago, so I forced myself to focus on the present and the conversation at hand.

I eventually learned of the presence of an archdruid Talbot within the community, though Lucian was nervous and unwilling to speak of him. I instinctively felt this man might be an unlikely ally of sorts, the same sensation I felt upon first meeting Berty, so I vowed to myself that I would find him and meet him. The others seemed mostly in agreement with this plan, though as mentioned before, it is difficult to tell what both Zavrith and Tatalka think and feel at any point in time.

Along the way, we met the one and only captain Mircrest of the ship we had taken into the Vault in the first place. She was badly wounded, and once again, Zavrith healed her without question. I must admit, I was starting to be impressed with his decisions and his generosity, though I was still not completely convinced that his motives behind them were entirely wholesome. After all, a man with the pale blue skin of the dead does not exactly strike me as being a selfless and saintly figure.

When she was feeling well enough to walk with us, and after telling us about a strange incident where she blacked out and experienced obscure visions, we continued onward until where we were told the archdruid usually dwelled. And then, like a drop of cool water poured onto a parched and cracked tongue, I caught a rustle in the air of the most beautiful sound I have heard in my life… the rustle of breeze through long grass. I walked into a cell where the cold, unyielding stone floor ended before me, and the vast horizon of the plains stretched on into the distance. I inhaled deeply, smelled the grass in the air, felt the sunlight tickle and caress my skin, and I fell backwards into the grass, feeling the warm earth yield beneath me. And then I lost myself.

Naiwi had been near me, though not right at my side, which was both a tremendous comfort, but also a worrisome reminder of the imperfection of this situation. She was as warm and blissful as ever, though she was a distant and tantalizing presence, like a mouthful of sustenance for a hungry man when the rest of the meal is out of reach. A shrill cry that could belong to none other than the irritating Chance shattered my reverie, and I wanted to ignore him, but I could feel Naiwi’s presence retreating as I sensed my anger rising. The eyes stared at me, round orbs clouding over with a haze of red, a throbbing anger I had felt before. The eyes goaded me, reminding me of the murder I was capable of, and I blamed him for my dissatisfaction. I could have struck Chance, but the whispering grass at my feet gave me pause, a gentle reminder of who I was, and I satisfied myself with immaturely turning on my heel and stalking back out into the stone corridor.

It’s a good thing Chance is a fairly superficial and flighty creature, because he either forgot about the incident in moments, or did not realize the danger he was in. The others wisely said nothing as well, though Zavrith gave me a sideways glance once or twice.

We soon met Talbot, who is a wonderful and clearly intelligent gentleman, which was a nice change from the seedy Lucian of before. He told us more lore about the ageless ones, confirming my suspicions that they were an unchanging race, incapable of learning or growth. I really did feel awful at the idea of poor Talbot being trapped here for millennia without access to the sun or stars. The certainty that I would not allow this dismal life of entrapment to happen to me once again blazed within my mind, and it brought me a strange sense of peace to know that it was possible to restore my body to the natural order of life in one way or another. Though of course, I did want to see the sun again, and that was something I was willing to fight for.

There were more tasks and more discussions among the ageless people, and I found myself growing weary of social interactions with most of their kind. I simply wanted to carry on with the tasks they asked of us so that I could continue searching for the way out. Our next task was to find the fallen friend of a small mousey woman named Durina who had died to the Morgorth creature in the baths area of this floor of the vault. We were also asked to recover a lost amulet that the friend Tia wore and bring it back to Durina. Our actions were perhaps a bit hasty, because the amulet turned into a melted lump of gold by the end of the battle, and the unfortunate body had been burned and disfigured from boiling water to a terrible result.

Durina was too kind a person to deserve such a sight, and I fear our indecision of how best to dispose of the body made matters worse for her. I hope that we will be able to redeem ourselves to her.

In all, it was a trying day, and I will be thankful for my rest this evening.

Bronx Log Post

Two penetrating, lifeless eyes bore into my head, staring, accusing me, relentless in their anger. They are all too familiar. I blink, and shake my head, desperately trying to knock loose their hold on me, but they are tenacious. Around me, I hear others begin to stir, groaning and shuffling to their feet, and for the moment I am distracted enough to briefly take in my surroundings. I am below ground, sealed in a completely stone room, the floor and walls piled high with heaps of glittering gold. The air smells damp and mildewy, as though we are beneath the very sea itself, though there is a cloying, metallic scent mixed in the air, the scent of humans and wealth, and I mistrust the smell immediately.

The dead eyes bore into my skull, twisting the serrated knives of their hate and fury into my heart. In this hollow, lifeless room, I choke, my lungs grasping for a taste of natural air, for the scent of nature, for the kiss of Naiwi, but I am alone. She cannot reach me. I have to get out of here. I have to get OUT OF HERE!

A Halfling bounces over while I am still crouched on the floor and introduces himself brightly as Chance. I pause, and consider his face for a moment, my demons hissing and sizzling in the peripherals of my gaze, my scorched throat burning for a whiff of fresh air. He must not know.

“Hello Chance, I am Bronx.” I struggle to rise to my feet and shake his hand, but he is already gone, introducing himself to someone else. I watch the others meet one another for a few moments, uncertain how to participate in their conversations, and inwardly struggling to maintain stony composure.

A blue-skinned man catches my eye as he slowly attempts to pocket one of the golden coins. Certainly such skin cannot be the mark of natural causes? As he unsurprisingly falls unconscious from the work of some magic spell cast on the golden coins, I examine the others more closely. A younger human who searches the room for exits and careful not to touch the coins, carries a halberd and a longsword on his hip. I am wary of this man, for those who protect themselves with iron weapons are often merciless creatures, wielding the forged hands of men to spread their bloodshed in the name of justice. I have already met Chance, who is appears to be nothing more than a bouncy, shallow creature motivated by no more than fun and the acquisition of wealth, though he seems more of a danger to himself than to others. And the gnome, Berty, seems like an unlikely ally of sorts, a fellow magic-wielder and respecter of the arcane, though I would be foolish to make such an assumption so soon.

The room is stifling, suffocating, enclosing, I need to breathe, I need to feel the soothing touch of nature, I need her to cleanse me of these eyes, these horrid, piercing eyes. I need to go. I need out.

Before I can shriek in madness and shatter the mask of composure and control I have painted on my face, Chance’s magical assistant moves the golden piles enough to find an opening in the wall. I eagerly shove through with the others, wildly hoping for a staircase leading above ground, but with no luck.

The rest of the dungeon passes in a desperate daze. I press onward through the halls, dragging the others behind me, recklessly pulling the party through room after room, springing traps, falling into pits, and rousing monsters. I suffer, my body is weakened and bloody, broken, bruised, and I welcome the pain, I welcome the distraction. But the eyes, the horrible lifeless eyes, grow more wrathful and accusing with every step. I watch them die over and over again in my mind, I watch the stolen blade slide cleanly through the man’s ribs and into his heart, and I yearn for her. I yearn for Naiwi.

I don’t know how much more of this I can take. But the others must not know of my weakness.

This place makes my head spin and my tummy hurt

(please note, Chance has the inattentive flaw and much of that is in his own mind. he is easily distracted by his own thoughts. this was written in an attempt to show that.)

After my amazing escape from that mean ship – and i mean the ship not the captain, she was rather nice. the stupid boat gave a me a number of splinters. – i awoke in a odd cavern. Once i got myself oriented and overcame the initial mouthwatering effect the massive gold piles around me i realized that there were other in the same place as me. It would be rude not to introduce myself to the others. I strode up to the first one i could see and gave my typical greeting even if it was a bit subdued due to my just have waking up.
The first thing i noticed is that he was blue. which was odd. People shouldn’t be blue. it was a bit odd but there were more introductions to be had so i moved on. Berty is neat but hes too squeaky sometimes. Bronx is a dwarf… I haven’t dealt with to many of them and his beard is almost as tall as me. He may be hiding something in there. I need to keep an eye on it to see if hes got anything valuable stuck up there. Tatalka… what to say about Tatalka. Hes a bit quiet and has a strange accent. Seems to have a good head on his shoulder.Which are really high off the ground… i wonder if he’d let me ride on them?

anyways Zavrith touched the gold and fell down and stayed there. there were a few gentle attempts to wake him the failed so i have him a a bit of a touch of luck and it woke him up pretty fast. I wonder if what colour blue skin turns when its bruised, ill have to investigate further. With no apparent doors i began to dig through the mounds and mounds of gold that would put me to sleep. I should have grabbed a piece for those nights where the thoughts in my head keep spinning till I get dizzy and cant fall asleep.

I’m not going back there though. Not with that great lizard blocking my path. I don’t even want to think about the itchy feeling he gave me when he looked into my brain. you ever had your brain itch? you cant get at it to scratch it and it gets really annoying. Plus the dragon smelled all burny. and not like a fire. it hurt my nose. definitely not going back there.

the next door spoke in circles and made us guess… the first one was obvios but the others were just silly and made my head hurt… next room please!

This was one of my favourites though. I call it hall way hopscotch. If you landed in the wrong spot you had to dodge a dangerous attack that would poison you. Devilish hopscotch! doesn’t it know it should be fun and not painful? But i came out for the better. I fell into a chasm and found a couple of dead bodies. They looked vaguely familiar but they didnt need their belongings anymore so i plundered their corpses. and made out like a bandit.

Then came the potion room. Lets not talk about the potion room. It made my tummy hurt real bad. dont drink those type of potions again.

then we came across the crazy palidin lady… i knew she was crazy a few moments after i saw her. I never let the energy for my Luck’s Razor leave my mind until we had to kill her. Zavrith and Tatalka argued about her helm. I think i may try and take it when we leave and see if i cant turn a profit.

Then there was the purple gnome. Whats up with running into all these oddly coloured people? oh well, i wonder if ill meet a green elf next. that would be cool. he’d blend in with the leaves. Oh! He’d be really hard to see. His family might think he was lost all the time. That would be very sad. I don’t want to meet a very sad green elf. a content one would do. Berty seemed distraught that he was dead. not that Berty was dead. Well of course Berty would be distraught if berty was dead… or wait… Berty would be dead so how could he be distraught… there were nothing shiney around him so i left him alone. i think Berty cried. if he keeps doing it ill have to cheer him up.

I don’t remember much after the Gnome except before the shifty tentacled kitty. I kinda got bored and forgot what happened

Now the Shifty Tentacled Kitty. And the corpses… there were a lot of them. it nearly killed someone else… though who it was escapes me. We killed it and moved on. nothing shiny on the corpses either… kind of a let down really. maybe i should have cut open the kitty to see if he swallowed anything of value. it looked like he ate the people pretty fast. so there may have been something in his belly. But that would have been gross. Maybe Berty would have don’t it for me? or Tatalka. Hes strong. I wonder if i can ride his shoulders. it would be like seeing the world from a new perspective. Like the mast of a ship. I liked the ships my Pa built. They weren’t mean and nasty like the last ship i rode on. It got really went and sinky. Pa would never build a ship like that.

Anyways all the bad stuff that happened to us got wiped away by a white room (correct me if im wrong alex)and we decended another set of stairs. Do we really want to go down?

To recap

Zavrith = blue and i wonder what colour his bruises are.
Tatalka = Quiet and i want to ride on his shoulders.
Bronx = Dwarf and may or may not be hiding something in his beard.
Berty = Squeaky and should become my minion. (everyone needs a minion and i hear gnomes make good ones)

Things to remember
Dont drink from the bottles
Get Berty to cut open the bellies of creatures to see if they ate anything shiny.
Avoid doors that talk cause they make my head hurt.
corpses are like treasure chests
Hopscotch can hurt
don’t touch unguarded piles of gold first.
Boats that sink are bad
Dragons make my nose hurt and my brain itch.

Initial Encounters with Magic

This vault we are trapped in has used a variety of magics on me against which I have few defences. My comrades in Shynam often shunned magic as an unnecessary dependency and I shared at least some of that sentiment, but I now wonder at how difficult it is take this particular crutch away from those who would endeavour to harm me. Nothing comes to mind thus far aside from greater strength of will on my part and the peculiar character of those whom I have seen wield it.

Of the five of us, only I do not count magic amoung my strengths. The gnome and the halfling (Berty and Chance I believe) make use of their abilities with reckless abandon. The dwarf, Bronx, seems more calm and collected, though less outgoing as well. The shockingly pale blue man named Zavrith values the practical usage of whatever he comes across, seemingly independent of moral questions.

I do not wish to make any brash judgements, especially of other people. However, one question does begin to form and gain credence in my mind: Is the weakness of magic to be found in the character of those who use it? This is not an overly new question I am sure, and those back in Shynam would likely respond with a firm ‘yes’, but I will not let this cause me to overlook the question. Magic very much appears a tool that is relatively easy to earn and use without discipline.

Whether or not a lack of self discipline is the norm amoung magic users I cannot judge for certain. However, I have met one who seems to have prevented himself from becoming careless in his use of magic. If Zavrith were of a kinder nature, I would have one I could learn from about magic’s characteristics. As it stands, he is nothing short of dangerous.

The Vault: Trials
Zavrith's Notes, part I

Slowly regained consciousness, confused. Found myself next to a pile of gold; this continued to fuel my suspicion that I had died. The embrace of nothingness after such a perilous situation alone seemed to be the touch of Iss. Gold, then, would perhaps be my reward? A small gesture for my pathetically small success.

A loud halfling suddenly interrupted my ponderings. “Hi there! Chance is the name, and luck’s my game!” he announced loudly. I responded courteously, offering my new, favored name. Perhaps instead of rewarding me with riches, Iss had decided to punish? Having me see what I could have had, yet due to my failure to remain in the mortal plane, he would have me endure this presence instead. Chance has a sly, devious look about him though, so I considered if instead he were not a servant of Iss himself. Is this a test perhaps?

Chance ran off and began introducing himself to the others in the room; a quick count noted that there were five of us in total: Chance, the dwarf that I had noticed entering the whirlpool was there, a human, and a gnome. Possibly we had survived somehow. I had noticed the glimmer of gold as we entered, so it stands to reason that we are now inside the Vault. It is something I choose to believe: eternity with these people is surely an unfair punishment. Decided to take action while they talked, and so I deftly palmed a gold coin.

Reawakened with something of a headache, the gnome peering at me quizzically. After making some jokes at my expense, they continued sifting through the gold without touching it (clearly having made use of my discovery). So, aren’t complete idiots at least. However, they seem to struggle to make the connection to practical application (most unfortunate for them, but this can come to be in my favor later no doubt). As such, after something of a struggle managed to secure some of the enchanted coins, intending to launch at enemies or to use to pay uncooperative merchants.

Some time passed, and eventually the mage hand (somehow created by Chance) moved the piles of gold sufficiently to reveal an exit. Opening the door, we were greeted by noxious fumes that I immediately recognized: dragon. I was proven correct, naturally. I had not anticipated that it would be able to sense my thoughts, however, and was soon caught off guard and vulnerable. Despite this, I secured us a passage to the next room by tribute of the enchanted gold (no thanks to the others). Also promised to deliver a message to his master, and the dragon (named Carco) noted that the other human thought many questions but asked few. I will have to note for the future that the man, named Tatalka, is irritatingly perceptive for his age. Worse yet, he seems determined to interfere with my progress. Interference has already cost me my eyesight and bought me weeks of pestering; I do not relish thinking of what this will entail while we journey together.

Mustering together through common purpose, we proceeded through the passageways. I stayed back, not particularly anxious to rush headlong into the unknown, and my caution was rewarded with relative safety from the barrage of poisoned darts and pitfalls that crippled all of the others. Strangely, they did not hold this against me. Perhaps they did not notice? Decided to make a chalk trail of safe passage in case a hasty retreat was required. Made note that only I stopped to save the gnome, Berty, when he could no longer move. Began to suspect that the others cared only for their own survival – or perhaps not even that, in the case of Chance who was fool enough to drink unknown potions, of which any (or as the case may be, every) potion could have been poisoned. Chance later revealed himself to have secreted away several items he found from dead adventurers like ourselves; his motives became suddenly rather clear. I suppose I should have expected such shortsighted goals from the reckless halfling. As for the others, I have yet to gain direct insight as to their motivation. The only good person in the party, for that is what we are now, is Tatalka. Why, then, would he have left Burty behind? Mysterious. Nearly as mysterious is Bronx, the dwarven wizard who takes point, despite the pattern of traps. Being neutral aligned, this is a strangely selfless act. Perhaps touched in the head? There is a kind of madness in his eyes that I have noted. I think that Bronx is a threat, or a spy of some kind.

There are forces at work in this place. The type of forces that take my torch, or close a door, but leave behind bodies of others and their gear. The type of force that resets these traps without our notice. Could explain why Bronx takes point; who would suspect the person being hit by traps to be responsible for them? It fits, but I somehow cannot believe it. The wild gaze is more akin to a starved fox than a madman. Bronx must never be at my back, or in a situation of greater power than I.

There is also a voice, a puppeteer of this place. I think this to be the most likely cause of our situation, though I am not willing to set it as the only option just yet. Carco mentioned his master, and I have heard this voice echoed through the corridor of evil warning off competition. I think we are playthings. The strangled gnome and the fool’s trap seem clear evidence of these things. Sadly, he is free to continue this torment; those with the power make the rules, and he has all the power.

I think, however, that he will soon come to regret this choice.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.