Fellowship of Lightning #6

Chapter 6

Queless reached into his pocket and pulled out his magical ring of Water Walking he had obtained in a past adventure, and slipped it on his finger. He immediately rose up and out of the water, standing just on the very surface. Rings pulsated out as he took each step, then he heard the strange noise again and began to run as fast as he could in the opposite direction. His feet splashed on the top of the water as if there were only a wet floor as opposed to a foot or more of water! He simply sought to escape entrapment in the sludgy sewers of Waterdeep. It may be called “the City of Splendors” he thought, but there is nothing splendid about my predicament!

Queless could hear strange sounds coming from behind him as he turned down yet another small corridor in the sewers. The sound of metal or nails scraping across stone. Then he thought he could hear a low, rumbling laugh. Fear gripped ahold of his Daleland heart and he charged blindly through the passageways!

Finally, the corridor emptied it’s bodily fluids out into a large room so deep with water that Queless could not see the bottom. Many pipes and corridors converged here and the sound of gushing water silenced the sounds he previously could hear coming from behind him. From here there were two large corridors to his front which then split off, one east, one west. To his left was a small pipe he could crawl down if he didn’t mind being crushed like a sardine and covered in brown murky water. To his right a ladder went up to a metal grate which appeared sealed shut with many large metal screws. If he had time he could attempt to pry them off. Through the grate it was dark and did not appear to be an immediate way out. He tried to image how far down the palace went and realized that he had also traveled over 150 additional feet underground to reach the secret council chambers. “I must be at the very bottom of the sewage system.” he said aloud. Then he heard the loud noise of something crashing somewhere in the sewers. It sounded like metal collapsing on stone, then the volume of water in the room began to increase and grow with each passing minute! Something was definitely happening, but he was not sure what. Queless had to make a decision quickly as time was running out.

“Moradin, proud father of the Dwarves, I stand before a fork in the road. One way leads to egress, the other to my demise. I implore you, help me choose the right path. Upon my escape thine symbol shall be affixed to our standard, so when we enter battle all shall know in whose name we fight!”

Queless closed his eyes and tried to divine the path; concentrating on escape to the surface world. Keeping his senses open Queless looked for any clue his prayers had been answered. Queless’s answer came in the imprint of a hammer and anvil on his mind. The two were colored gray as ancient steel, but then the color slowly shifted until it was a reddish-brown. In fact, the color in his mind matched the grate screwed tight at the top of the ladder. Was this a sign from Moradin himself, or had Morin Granitefist cast a spell to draw Queless out the right way? Regardless, deep in Queless’s good heart he knew the grate to be the way out. The speed needed to unscrew all of the screws securing the grate and pushing/pulling it off before the water caught up was impossible by any human means. Queless was a Drow, perhaps it was worth a shot.

Queless paused to thank Moradin. Then quick as lightning he lashed out at the very bottom of the ladder hoping to cut though a rung. The ladder held tight though. The slash was enough to damage the metal, but the kind of time required to pry a piece loose was more than he had. His plan had been to make a crowbar or lever to give him a little mechanical advantage. He gave up on that plan and quickly climbed up the ladder, observing the grate and the strength of the bolts. It was so heavily rusted that it had deteriorated beyond repair.

Queless put his shoulder against the grate and pushed. The grate ripped free and feel apart as if it were made of paper. He climbed up into the room above. The room was fairly small and had only one exit through a large pipe going north. There were puddles of water here and there, but soon to be more as the water in the room below was rising rapidly!

Queless rushed down this pipe which led to a long standard sewer with walkways on both sides of a waterway and 4 ladders leading up to grates similar to the one he had just come through. The pipe he stood in was elevated above the waterway and obviously was designed to drain water this way or that. He would need to leap from the large pipe onto the walkway to gain access to the ladders. If he fell down to the water he would still be able to utilize the magic ring, but it would be difficult to climb the slippery walls back up to the walkway above. The grate above the ladder on Queless’s right suddenly became illuminated with a mysterious light! Was this Moradin Soulforger leading the way, or someone with a light source in a room above?

First Queless would have to get closer and have a better look. He went back to get a running start and then charged down the pipe, leaping at the last minute and kicking in the air. He landed gracefully upon the right hand walkway under the illuminated grate. The light trickled down through the misty sewer air and enveloped Queless.

Seeing the light from the grate emboldened Queless. Regardless of what is the other side it can’t be worse than mucking around in the sewers being followed by Morlocks, Queless thought. Queless started climbing the ladder and looked through the grate for any sign of what lie on the other side. Sky, the sound of footsteps, the scent of water, anything… it didn’t matter, only escape mattered now. Light was streaming down through the grate from a manhole cover which was slightly ajar in the chamber above! Queless ripped open this grate, climbed into the chamber above and made for the manhole cover. He climbed up the last ladder and pushed the manhole cover aside.

Emerging from the manhole Queless found himself safe inside a large building.

Queless exclaimed “Thank thee gods!” He then kneeled and kissed the ground. Feeling a slight sense of awkwardness Queless slowly looked up to see he was in a temple.

This temple was elaborate and went on forever. Huge stone columns came down from the spired temple vaulted ceilings. Upon the spired ceilings were intricate golden symbols of Lathander Morninglord, God of Rebirth- a gem shaped sun rising over fields and rivers. White and gold were everywhere and bright green plants grew from large pots positioned strategically to lead worshipers up to the front altar where millions of bright glowing candles burned. Hundreds of pews made from fine dark wood lined the center of the temple.

A few men in robes stood quietly worshiping at the altar. One turned, hearing the sound and called out “Drow, be thee a friend or foe of Lathander the Morninglord?”

“Ye have entered the Spires of the Morning, our great god of rebirth could give ye another chance at a good life! There is no future for evil, especially in our grand city of Waterdeep, but we can show you the rebirth to begin your life anew!”

The clergy stared oppressively upon Queless. By their expressions he could only assume they thought the worst of him for being Drow.

“I be neither friend nor foe of thine lord Lathander; though, by his grace he hath allowed me sanctuary in his temple. I know thine thoughts, I be Drow emerging from the sewers coming to attack or spy upon thee surface dwellers. But this is not so, I may have filth upon me, but not upon mine soul.”

The Priest of Lathander approached Queless unarmed with arms open wide. “My son, we place no judgments upon thee. Perhaps you hath emerged in the Morninglord’s grace for a reason. If your past is speckled with death it makes no matter, for ye hath been reborn! Come, worship his greatness with us. Together we shall aid your transition to rebirth of goodness and well-being!”

“Good priest, please excuse my rudeness. I appreciate thine offer and may return to accept, but I must leave now. Please accept this donation as a token of my appreciation. Mine name is Queless of the Fellowship of Lightning. I must make haste, time is of the essence!”

Queless dropped 1 Platinum piece in the coffers of the temple and politely withdrew out the front doors.

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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.