Fellowship of Lightning #4

Chapter 4

Council Member Grendmeer Mendothian led Queless and Morin deep into the lower levels of Piergeron’s Palace. The vastness of the structure amazed the two heroes and they took in the interior like starved wolves. Elegant tapestries, paintings touched by the brushes of the most famous painters, and luxurious furniture adorned every nook and cranny of the great white marble palace. Even deep below the main palace every room was as lavishly decorated as the last. Finally Grendmeer Mendothian led them into a council chamber made from fine wood.

“The floors and walls were lined with the wood from the great forest that once occupied the land where Waterdeep now flourishes. The large painting of the man and woman on the back wall swings open like a door. A set of old stone stairs lead down for 150 feet before opening into the secret council chambers. I have torches should you need them. We have sealed the bottom of the stairs shut with a magical blockage. You may remove it by speaking the word “Galleon”. Beware, once removed the undead will immediately swarm you so be prepared. There is a large creature in there with them. Some kind of ancient skeletal king. It wears a gold crown and has chain mail armor with a bastard sword at his side. Our guards fought off many of the creatures when they interrupted a council meeting in here one evening. The undead just kept coming, so we had our council mage seal off the area. The council mage is the only one who has seen this “undead king”. I wish you luck and godspeed.” With that the council member stepped back and smiled.

“Thank you, Sir. One question, if we speak galleon does that barrier disappear forever? Also, before we begin we ask if ye’d please step outside the room ‘twould weigh heavily upon our conscious if ye were injured.” 

“Of course Sir. The magical blockage, once removed is gone forever. Here is a skeleton key to this room. I will exit these chambers and lock the door behind me to secure the area. I will wait outside in the hallway. I have a key as well should you need me to unlock the door from the other side simply call out for me and I will do so.” Council Member Grendmeer Mendothian handed Queless a large brass skeleton key and stepped out of the room, shutting and locking the door behind him.

Queless looked to Morin. “Godspeed, indeed. Did you hear about the one about the undead king? He had a boner! I thinketh I should go forward alone to investigate. Ye can pray to Moradin while I look, then, once I knoweth the surroundings we can go down together. There be no use in both of us getting lost. Doth this sound like a good idea?” 

Morin grinned and nodded “Aye my friend, but one question- what kind of blade is a ‘boner’?” Morin chuckled and hefted up his war hammer while walking towards the painting.

Queless walked over to the painting depicting a woman in a large yellow dress holding a small child upon her lap. An obese man in the picture was wearing an enormous purple gown of some type with a surprised look on his face. Queless felt the side of the painting and pulled to see if it would open. The painting swung towards him and revealed that the painting was held in place on the left with three strong steel hinges. Cold air rushed from the small passage revealed behind the painting. A perfectly square opening led onto a landing lined with small gray stones. The stones appeared to have seen many years of wear. Surprising since the rest of the palace appeared to be much newer construction. Perhaps this was the remnants of some ancient underground stronghold or a secret meeting place of the original lords of Waterdeep in it’s early years. The hair on the back of Queless’s neck suddenly rose and he felt chills run through his entire being. Something dark and sinister awaited him below. After climbing up and into the passage the Drow could make out a slender set of stairs descending deep below and wrapping around a corner. The ceiling was very low which caused Queless to climb down in an uncomfortable crouch, step by step. 

After rounding the corner Queless could hear a faint hum up ahead. Around the next corner a bluish green glow akin to the depths of the ocean illuminated the dark gray worn stones of the wall in the stairwell. Peeking around this corner Queless saw a giant blob of gelatinous matter oozing and twirling in a circular shape. Every once in awhile the blob became translucent revealing the faces of many tortured, rotting undead faces staring straight ahead through empty and rotting eye sockets. One held its own arm above his head and continuously beat the magical blockage as sinewy rotted fingers flew from the flopping dead hand and landed on the cold stone floor below. Beyond part of a large circular room could be seen. An enormous stone table surrounded by ancient carved stone thrones held a silver pedestal with a glowing red gem notched in place atop it. Queless scanned the room for the giant skeletal king the council member spoke of to no avail. Queless finally gave up and instead counted the visible zombies here which totalled 5. Occassionally he could see another zombie wandering about in the large room. From this distance the Drows infravision worked only slightly and he could not tell if it was the same zombie walking to and fro or multiple undead.

Queless turned and slowly reteated back up the stairs to warn Morin of the situation below. Morin was praying in the small alcove immediately inside the square hole in the wall and finished just as Queless returned.

Morin cast an invisibility to undead spell upon both members of the Fellowship of Lightning, and at the same time granted them with Moradin Soulforgers blessing and protection from the dangers below. 

Morin warned Queless “This spell will last a little more than 5 minutes, so be careful.”
Queless nodded, feeling anxiety building inside him. 

The two climbed down to the bulbous gelatinous form twirling and writhing in the stairwell.

“Galleon.”

A brief flash and undead swarmed past the two attempting to reach the room above. To avoid the onslaught of zombies Morin and Queless hugged the walls as they scraped by leaving some of their wretched flesh upon their clothing and armor.

The sound of a metal sword being ripped free from a scabbard could be heard echoing in the depths of the dark, cold chamber below.

After that, silence.

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About Jonathan G. Nelson

Jonathan G. Nelson is the editor-in-chief and owner of NERD TREK. He is also owner/publisher at AAW Games / AdventureAWeek.com, a tabletop gaming company based in Snoqualmie, WA. Connect with Jonathan via Facebook.