September 24, 2006

Nebrion's Quest

Chapter 2: Meeting with Nebrion

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Glaf Hellion arranged the meeting with the wizard Nebrion. Our group gathered at the rendezvous spot and waited. Gudrid and Glaf sat together and napped. If it were not so sickening, it might have been cute. Jean Dark also rested, and she implored me to keep watch. I obliged, although a little snuggling before a mission would have been nice. Thorvald Larsenski, our cleric, took to some prayers and afterward rested.

I paced the area anxiously. We gathered outside the gates of a town that had seen better days. It looked as if it had been continuously attacked for quite some time. The only thing that made me stay was the nice looking tower on the edge of town. It was my belief that the so-called rich wizard lived in that tower.

Wizards like their towers. I am not personally a fan, but to each his own. It was quite ornate. It was as black as coal with white marble sculptures running up the side. The sculptures were all manner of grotesque imagery. However, they looked quite expensive. I could not see the entire structure, so I did not know what the entrance looked like. I imagined a large heavy wooden door with brass hinges and gold adornments. This structure had a new roof, so despite the poverty of the rest of the town, the owner of the tower was doing quite well.

As I continued to observe the surroundings, I started to wonder about our group. I was the guard for this hopeless bunch. Did I really want to hang with a group who would leave someone like me to guard them? I strongly considered taking their loot and heading on my way. Fortunately for them, Jean awoke and smiled at me. Despite her Paladin ways, we could get along.

One by one, the group arose from their rest. The journey to the spot had been long, but it was uneventful. Now, we were mingling outside the gate of a shambles of a city, waiting for some wizard to show up.

"What are we supposed to do now sorcerer?" I asked Glaf.

"My instructions were to wait outside the gate," he responded.

"Hooray for your instructions," I responded. "Are we to wait here until the leaves fall from the trees or what?"

"Are you asking how long we are to wait?"

"Did I stutter?" I asked. "Of course I am asking how long we are supposed to wait."

"I was told to be here on the fourth day and the fourteenth hour."

"What does your manacle of time tell you?"

"It should be any time now."

"Yeah right," I started to say when a strange sensation overcame me. My entire body began to tingle and the surroundings began to fade. I tried to fight the feeling, but I could not move. I felt as if I was traveling down a sewer tunnel. I felt the pull in one direction and just as quickly as it started, the pull stopped and all went black.

I tried to open my eyes, but it was quite a struggle. The disorienting feeling was still with me. I shook my head to snap out of it. It took a couple of seconds but I began to feel like myself again. I eventually was able to open my eyes, and I noticed that I wasn't outside the city anymore.

I laid on the ground for quite a while as I saw the rest of my party materialize in the room in which I found myself. I heard incantations in the corner, but I did not wish to move. I would let the others go first.

Eventually, up jumped Jean and Thorvald. I heard a voice in the corner say, "Arise everyone! I am Nebrion."

I gradually got to my feet, and looked around. It was a largish round room with intricately carved wardrobes around the perimeter. I looked for a door, but I could not find one. Glaf and our host began having a conversation, so I took the opportunity to look around.

I walked up to the first wardrobe, and found that it had been trapped. It was a good trap, and it was very dangerous. Perhaps, it was even deadly. Naturally, it was no match for me, and I easily disarmed it. Sadly, the wardrobe had a very intricate lock and I was unable to open it.

While our host was distracted in conversation, I disarmed all of the traps on the wardrobes. All of them had the same lock, and I was unable to do anything with any of them.

However, hidden between two wardrobes was a chest. It had a very complicated trapping mechanism protecting it. Its trap was even more complicated than the ones protecting the wardrobes. It was no match for my skills either.

The chest's lock was a standard lock and it was opened in seconds. Inside the chest were some valuable items. I did not have time to identify all of the things, but it looked like what was there would fetch a large price in any city shop. When I had time to inspect the items more closely, I would share them with my colleagues. For now, what they did not know would not hurt them.

Glaf called us over for a conference. "The wizard Nebrion is the protector of this town," he began. "For perhaps the last year, the town has been besieged by wave after wave of monsters. Orcs, Kobols, and Lizzardmen have taken turns attacking the citizens of the town. Nebrion has recruited adventurers from all over to attempt to stop the onslaught. He will offer a chest of riches to any party that can stop the attacks.

"If we accept his offer, he will transport us to the mines where he believes the monsters are originating. All we have to do is clean out the mines from the creatures and return here. Upon our return, he will give us the chest filled with items we might find useful. Any questions?"

"What happened to the other adventurers?" I asked.

"None have returned so far," he explained. "It is a very dangerous mission, so we should discuss our misgivings."

"Is there any chance that one of these groups is nearly finished and will claim our prize?" I continued.

"He has not had any volunteers for this mission in months. It is unlikely that any will return."

"So dear sorcerer," I added. "Do you personally guarantee that I -- er -- WE -- will be paid?"

"If we accept this mission, I will guarantee payment if I have to pay you all myself."

"I am in!" I volunteered.

"Why does he not go himself, or why not use his magic?" asked Gudrid.

"He is expending a great amount of energy with a protective sheild in an attempt to keep the creatures out," he replied. "However, their numbers are just to great."

After some further question and discussion, the rest of the group also decided to take on this dangerous mission. Nebrion gave us all the information we wanted, and the party prepared to be transported to the mines. Nebrion informed us that we would face mostly orcs. Thus, if we had anything that excelled in killing orcs, we should prepare those items.

Once everything was prepared, we stood upon a strange mark upon the floor. He started his incantations and the same feeling came upon the others and me. We were out cold for moments and awoke in the mines.

Posted by deg at September 24, 2006 5:30 PM

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