I looked at Mobius hovering in the air, "You must have done some acting while you were a jester."
"Oh, sure. I did lots of plays, told jokes, sang songs, and told riddles," the skull explained.
"Well, that was more than I needed -- but nice resume."
"Granted most of the plays were parodies and comedies," continued Mobius.
"What exactly did you have in mind?" asked Mogutz interrupting the blathering skull.
"I'm going to see how well Mobius can play at being a lich," I explained.
"Surely you jest," scoffed Gandelf. "It takes more than a floating skull to make an undead mage."
"I always jest and don't call me Shirley," snorted the skull. "However, I can rise to the occasion," Mobius replied before laughing again. "Get it? Because I can levitate."
"Yeah, I get it," I replied dryly.
"First we are going to need some background of Alhassar," I explained. "I'm sure Gandelf has a good idea of what this place used to be."
"Ahem," Gandelf straightened up as if he was about to give a lecture to a class, which was not too far from the mark. "As I have previously stated Alhassar was the ancient city of lore for the old elven empire. A copy of every book, scroll, clay tablet, etc. was stored in the city. Nothing was excluded; even forbidden lore was stored away. Alhassar was considered the crowned jewel in the Elven Empire. Its loss is one of the greatest travesties ever to happen to the world.
"At the zenith of the war, an army of dwarven super-heavy infantry sacked the city. Not a single elf was spared in the onslaught. It is rumored that the dwarves did not entirely destroy the buildings or the lore deposited inside.
"Although dwarves value wealth, gems, and precious metals above all else, they were not completely ignorant of the true wealth they held. Many battles were fought to reclaim the city and all failed.
"Over the centuries the dwarves forgot about Alhassar and the elves were too busy trying to hold onto other cities. These were now under assault and they had no forces to spare on retaking Alhassar. The humans probably saw a mound of rubble and debris, not knowing that underneath it all, a treasure trove of incalculable wealth in knowledge lay where they stood. Thus, they built their new city on the ruins."
With the newfound information given us by Gandelf, Mobius and I came up with a story for the character he was too play. Then we created a plan on how best to deal with the threat about to literally release hell on earth. Trying to reach the surface and rallying the imperial legions would take too long. Therefore, it was upto a skull, and a party of five amateurs and me to save the world.
The party was soon prepared to travel down to the lost city. They wisely decided to let me lead far in advance. I could effectively scout out any danger without alerting the whole evil underworld that there was a party of blundering neophytes wandering in their domain. I would only allow Mobius to accompany me. But, that was with the strict stipulation that he kept his mouth shut.
It proved to be a very smart decision for we had not even left the dungeon when I encountered two of the vampire's servants acting as sentinels. They had no idea as to what was about to befall them in the flickering torch light. I had my bow with an arrow nocked when suddenly Mobius shot down the hall.
"Pardon me," Mobius politely asked the two sentinels. "Have you seen my body?"
The guards stared at each other in stunned amazement for a while. They were probably wondering why a lich was looking for his body or even pondering on how a lich could lose his body.
I did not wait for them to answer Mobius before an arrow was sticking out of each of their skulls. Before the dead sentinels could crumple to the floor, I stomped up to Mobius seething in anger.
"You could have ruined everything!" I yelled.
"Ah, rubbish," Mobius replied. "I only diverted these blokes attention so that you could dispatch them quickly and quietly."
"But..." I caught myself, for he was right. I started to chuckle. "Thanks, and sorry."
"Don't think of it mate," Mobius dimmed one flaming orb in a semblance of a wink.
Before the Mogutz and party reached the door the sentinels were guarding I had searched the bodies. Other than a few coins and pair of dice, the two did not carry anything of note. Even their weapons were not of good quality.
It is odd to think that evil masterminds rarely arm their henchmen with good weapons. I suppose being thrifty and the desire of world domination go hand in hand.
We were soon outside the dungeon and sneaking down the hallway. Well -- I was sneaking -- I cannot exactly say what the rest of the party thought they were doing. Fortunately, as before, I was way ahead of them and leaving little marks upon the wall with a piece of charcoal so that they could follow the correct route.
It was not hard to find the right corridors to follow seeing as how most of the hallways had deep dust covering their floors and one was heavily trafficked. It was also highly unlikely there were any traps. However, I still took precautions. The thief, that forgets that, is not one long for this world.
As I progressed down the tunnel, I started to hear the sounds of many voices in conversation. I slowly advanced far enough to see that the hallway ended at the mouth of an enormous cavern. The vampires, necromancers, et al. had obviously excavated the cavern over many years for it contained many ruined buildings and a large pyramid shaped temple in the center of a square. The denizens had spread torches about illuminating the entire excavation. I was probably the first elf in thousands of years to rest her eyes on Alhassar the lost city of lore.Posted by deg at May 28, 2008 6:05 PM