Chapter Two

We escaped just in time to see the great mountain spewing forth lava from a newly formed crater, belching smoke into the sky above, hurling death down to an unsuspecting populace below. We knew that we had to do something. I attempted to use a nearby stockpile of dynamite to change the flow of the lava, while Mu delayed its destruction with powerful spells. Later I took out my decanter of water and began using it to put out the fires happening in the town below, while Ingar tried getting the people as far away as possible. Latheric was the greatest help of all, as he gated in a powerful elemental of water from another plane, who was soon able to tame the fierce volcano and quench its violent thirst. In payment we gave it a ship of pure gold, easily attained through the secrets of the golden touch. Gaspar, however, had someone in particular he wanted to save: Jessalyn. He searched her home, finding her strangely absent. Eventually he discovered her at the town docks, but when he ran to save her, Jessalyn drained his life away with a touch, then slew him with a single weak spell. She left his body behind, but took his holy sword and the god-slaying blade. After saving the city, we found that Gaspar had been the only casualty; everyone else was fine. Clearly, our old friend Jacob Tabber had possessed Jessalyn, slain Gaspar and stolen the mighty sword. The war was on again!

After we began rebuilding Cloudia, we were all dubbed heroes of the land and given the use of one of their legendary airships, which I dubbed ‘Amy’ after a good and noble woman. I made a deal with the local gnomish guild to construct a series of printing presses, devices capable of making complete books without the need of pens or scribes. I gave them the manuscript for my memoirs, and they began the printing process. Before the month was over, a million copies were made; the first printed book in the world. During this time we raised Gaspar from the dead, and discovered all that had happened to him. Upon going back to Lockinton that day, the city was suddenly attacked. The sky grew dark, an unnatural shadow spread across the castle, and the servants began disappearing, snatching into the darkness by a horrid demon who ate their very shadows. In the streets chaos reigned as ravenous vampires leapt at citizens and drank their blood, all sent by the diabolical Tabber. We all stepped out, ready to face the undead menace. I brought forth my sunblades and engaged in battle with their fiendish leader, who in his cowardice fled the fight. The others battled his minions, though they fared much worse. Ingar was immediately charmed by the vampires’ gazes; he became their devoted servant. Mu was so badly injured that he was forced to flee by magic. Gaspar was overwhelmed by the monsters and died as they sucked the blood from him, killed twice in a single day. The battle was looking bleak, but I flew down with blades spinning, destroying most of the vampires with my shining swords of light and fire. Latheric destroyed the rest when he banished Tabber’s unnatural darkness and let the sun come out once more. Ingar proved to be no threat at all, despite his repeated attempts at killing me. The battle was won, but the bodies of the dead littered our city; the vampires all ashes, the citizens corpses lying in piles on the streets and in the castle. Gaspar was pale, drained and clearly dead. I knew that he could very well arise as a vampire. Thus, I cut off his head and burned the body, scattering the ashes. Yet somehow he was able to get raised. I later learned that he had made an unholy deal, again falling to worship of Asmodeus and volunteering to come back as a vampire in exchange for his own life and a chance to destroy Tabber. I soon learned of his state when I found him sleeping inside of a hollowed-out tree in Waterwind’s old lair. I considered killing him, but decided to give Gaspar a second chance. He had once been a great hero, after all, and I wasn’t going to let a simple thing like him being undead make him not my friend. I was no life-ist. At first Gaspar was all right. He couldn’t come out in the day, and he seemed rather unhappy, but not openly evil or insane. He only drank the blood of cows, at least at first. It was his dealing with Ingar that changed them both. Gaspar began charming Ingar using his gaze of domination. He forced the dwarf to do his bidding. Though I was too headstrong to be affected by it, Ingar had a weak will and could not resist. One time, I later learned, Gaspar even drank Ingar’s blood, and used the charmed dwarf to find him ‘meals’ among the animal kingdom. It was sick and twisted, though I wasn’t quite ready to slay my old friend.

As I saw the bodies of the townspeople all around, I decided that nobody else would suffer because of my feud with Tabber. Thus, I decided to bring them back, every citizen who wanted to be alive again. Death was a fiction, after all. I knew enough clerics, I had enough money for all the gems required to bring back every citizen who had died. Gathering them up was a bit of a challenge, however, much of it having to do with the efforts of my ‘friends’. A day after rising from the grave, it seemed that Gaspar already had a good source of gems for us to use. He led us to a group of dwarves, camped out near some previously undiscovered mines. They had spoken to Gaspar several days ago, or so they said, and had already arranged to give him the necessary gems. This was clearly utter bull[censored], as he could not have possible met with those dwarves, being either dead or with us. He eventually confessed that this was part of his deal with his dark god; to steal the souls of the citizens using diabolical magic. We ditched those dwarves and made Gaspar rewrite his hellish contract. Just after that, another problem surfaced in the form of Ingar. Ingar seemed intent on making ‘the ultimate axe’, seemingly designed to slay Gaspar! He tried purchasing a bunch of gems which should have been used to restore the people, though I prevented this from happening quite easily. The dwarf began acting rather suspiciously. He basically acted like the castle was his, despite the fact that he was more or less a rude houseguest who was overstaying his welcome. He constantly begged for money, and while Mu commissioned him to make some kind of dagger, Ingar seemed more intent on making his own axe. When we questioned him on his obsession with that axe, he told us that his old axe was ‘missing’, and that he absolutely needed this new one. Ingar soon confessed everything to us. He had also made a deal with Asmodeus, a deal to kill Gaspar. According to what the devil told Ingar, Gaspar was going to kill his parents. (Why Ingar had believed the devil himself, I have no idea). He was making the axe to slay our companion, and his old axe had supposedly been stolen. (I soon found it lying around in the castle.) After telling us about the deal, which he was clearly breaking, Ingar was cursed with muteness by Asmodeus. He couldn’t say a word. Asmodeus gave him a choice: to be mute for the rest of his life, or else give up the lives of his parents. Ingar refused to obey the curse of silence, and thus his family was forfeit. Basically, he told me that the didn’t care if his family was killed. He would just avenge their deaths later on, like the callous bastard he was. Despite his previous treacherous behavior, however, Ingar still was a beggar at heart. He demanded that we gift him with a ‘Ring of Wishes’ so that he might reverse his bargains. I knew that I couldn’t trust him, since the bastard had just made a deal with Asmodeus himself and gone back on it. I gave him a ring. A ring of stabilization. My readers know well what it was in reality, but Ingar barely knew how to read, and refused to read the memoirs. He greedily took it, hungry for any treasure he could get his grubby hands on. Ingar wasted weeks of our time on his silly antics. Soon, he went back home to Ixiard, intent on checking on his family. At first they were ok. However, it seemed like his father was late, still at work. When a town guard came to his door with some news, Ingar said: "Let me guess, my father’s been murdered" Obviously, this piqued the guard’s interest. He only knew that his father was lost in a cave-in. He took Ingar in for questioning. At first, ‘Ingrid’ went on about the voices in his head, and told the cops all about Asmodeus, the crazed vampire Gaspar, and other idiotic things. He then said that he was on drugs, insane, etc. The guards tossed his ass into jail, thinking him the killer. I would have proved his innocence, but Ingar decided to escape with a helm of teleportation instead. For now, the Ingar saga was over.

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