Chapter Five

So, there we were in heaven. Thousands and thousands of people were with us. Everything was beautiful, pristine, perfect and nice. In the distance, a great city stood upon a mountain: the home of the good gods. Flights of metallic dragons flew in circles around it. I managed to calm down the many people with a speech, assuring them that they were in a good place, and that as soon as their homes were safe, we would get them back there. They seemed overjoyed, all happy to rest and relax here, while reading my memoirs. After Latheric appeared, we both decided that we needed to speak with some other folks here: namely, the gods. We had a lot of questions for them. For some reason, Sovellis decided to come along too, though he didn’t get far after seeing the dragons. (He hated dragons with a passion). Latheric transformed himself into a dragon, and I rode him up to the pearly gates of heaven. Though the guard seemed hesitant to let us through, I flashed him Sendis’ sword, and he let me in readily. We went through various wonderful corridors before coming to the throne of the sun itself: the glamorous palace of Pelor and Persalor. We spoke there to both of the gods: the glowing, iridescent Pelor and the more rugged Persalor. They both turned out to be rather nice guys, actually. Pelor was rather encouraging, and he even decided to take a copy of my memoirs to read in his time off. Persalor told us plenty of what was going on. He gave us tips on slaying the darkness dragon, wielding the God-Slayer sword, and other fine advice. Finally, he gifted us with his legendary spear and quiver, divine weapons capable of great feats. We said farewell to the divine gentlemen, left the great mountain, collected Sovellis, then returned to our own plane. We decided to give the quiver to Sovellis, the best archer in our party, and I decided to hold onto the spear until we could find a worthy wielder for it.

At this time, we knew we had to prepare for something big: a final battle. The gods had told us that to defeat the Darkness Dragon, it had to die in this plane and in the world of the gods. First, we had to kill it here. However, only a god could kill it there. The current gods, at least most of them, weren’t quite up to it; fearing political and cosmological repercussions. We knew that the world needed a few new gods. I knew I was up to it: as for my companions, we would have to see. We had to gather our power, find our hope, collect our resources, then slay the damn thing. I began practicing with the new sword, finding the way it worked, trying to once again align myself with my own chaotic nature. Our next task was to finally free Beshba, one of the old heroes who we learned was actually trapped in the icy room in ancient Guardian. Sovellis decided to accompany us at this time, as did the monk Thane, whose master had been murdered by drow assassins when the mists surrounded the monastery. We prepared to free the lady, going to the edge of the great icy slide. My plan was to have one person go down there, wielding Mu’s dagger to make him immune to the ocean that would collapse upon him. I knew I could climb the best, so I decided to go myself. Sovellis, much like Ingar before him, wanted to go too. I told him that he probably couldn’t survive the climb. He wanted to go anyway, for the challenge of it. However, when I started climbing, he decided that he would only go down if we gave him Mu’s dagger to fly him down. He[censored]ed and moaned to no end, sounding like a bratty child wanting to emulate his adult heroes. Sol was so annoying that we decided to let him. With Mu’s help, he had no problem going down. Of course, since it was such a long descent, he didn’t really know how to get up. Shaking my head at him, I did the job we were here for. I lasso’s the icy orb with my rope, then began dragging it up the ledge while I walked. I told Sol to ‘Just keep walking. You’ll probably die when the ocean floods the room, so be quick about it.’ In the end, I let him use the dagger to quickly fly up while I began pulling the orb up. He slid it down afterwards, and I caught it, using its powers to sustain me as the waters went above my head. Soon I had the orb up and out of there. When we got back to Castle Lockinton, Latheric took the orb and got ready to use his powerful spells to release Beshba from it. Unfortunately for him, he had a brain-fart, and decided to grab it. It froze him solid, and we were forced to defrost him. Next time he was more successful, and freed her from it. The drow woman came out. After she woke up she was angry, mean, spiteful, insulting and stupid. She seemed to know almost nothing about nothing. We hoped that she was possessed. We gave her a room in the castle and let her rest, hoping she would come to her senses. That night, Sovellis decided to make himself a guest of our home. First he tried sleeping in Gaspar’s old room, but was surprised to find the bed soiled and the pillow incredibly wet (due to Gaspar’s new pet; more on that later). Thus, he decided to invite himself to sleep in MY room. Little did he know that the castle, particularly MY room, was haunted by powerful and scary ghosts! Sovellis awoke to find himself in the middle of an underground river, deep beneath the castle. When he found his way back to the castle, he decided to just go back to sleep, still all wet. He went to bed, but was awakened to strange noises outside. He tried getting out, but found himself locked in! In response to his plight, Sovellis began kicking the door down. This noise awoke the whole castle, and Thane went to see what was happening, just in time to see Sovellis’ foot come through the broken door! Latheric was a bit upset that our guest had broken the door, but Estienne’s magic was soon able to fix it, so all was forgiven. After all, the elf had been the victim of the Ghosts of Castle Lockinton!

Yet the ghosts must have unlocked in Sovellis some sort of hidden supernatural talents, because right after this, the elf went off into the forest to meditate, and when he returned he seemed to have discovered some latent sorcerous abilities. He also had a familiar. Unfortunately, the herbs necessary to get him a familiar also made him rather intoxicated, so Sovellis spent the better part of the day completely insane. After his recovery, we had little clue as to what we could do to prepare for the Darkness Dragon. Sovellis gave us one tip; to free his homeland from the evil dragons who had destroyed his village and killed his parents. We expected hordes of these blue dragons to swarm down on us in a battle of truly epic proportions. Yet all we found was a peaceful island where the people sat around drinking and tanning themselves, with the only threat being rabid kangaroos. Everything was rebuilt, it seemed. After we spoke to a citizen, we were told the story of how long ago, dragons had attacked the city in retaliation for theft of their eggs. There had been no conquest, no prolonged war, just a brief attack. Since Sovellis had fled his homeland early on, he knew little of this history, and had grown up despising these dragons, along with the evil outsiders he believed rode on them. (incorrect). I also told him this truth, told to me by my old friend Andrunor: that the blood of dragons is what powers sorcery, and most likely, Sovellis was part dragon himself. Now that we had a sorcerer with us, we decided to visit a rather strange place that we knew about from previous journeys: a nameless city that was supposedly ruled by twin witches, spellcasters who practiced the art of sorcery. We made a long journey there, and even Gaspar decided to accompany us, riding in my portable hole. Speaking of Gaspar, the ex-paladin was growing more and more pathetic. He had acquired a pet cat, who he affectionately named Griddles after an elven delicacy. The cat was mean, annoying and pissed everywhere. Gaspar seemed to be interested in making it a kind of ‘animal companion’ of his, though for months, all his efforts seemed useless. Finally, on this journey he killed the cat, draining its blood with his perverse powers of vampirism, expecting it to animate just like he had. It did not, for it seems as though cats are immune to vampirism. They are not, however, immune to rotting and stinking. He kept the damn thing in MY portable hole with him, and every day it smelled worse and worse. He kept treating it like it was still alive, too. He never left that hole, for fear of the light, and neither did that cat. When we got to the sorcerers’ city, we discovered it to be a simple illusion: all the citizens, all the buildings and all the features were complete monkey-crap: all except one building, a kind of cosmic gateway designed to let a sorcerer meet the ‘two sisters’. Sovellis was sent in to speak with them, hopefully to get info or earn some valuable allies. He did neither. He asked a number of stupid questions, and got equally stupid answers from the polarized duo, most of these questions being the same question worded differently. His final question was: ‘Will either of you go out with me’, which met with a unanimous ‘no’. He was done. After this we took care of another false lead, involving a hidden temple at the south pole, the lair of a strange elemental being with links to Asmodeus. We found nothing of worth there, save for an interesting little sword that our friend Ozzy now carries. Don’t bother exploring that place; it has since sank to the bottom of the sea. While taking a break from all of this adventuring, we encountered an interesting character by the name of Jacob Blight: a scoundrel and a thief, he encountered us in the streets of Lockinton. Blight was a terrible liar, telling us lies of debtors, villainy and duels. He claimed to be on the run from some thugs, when in reality he was on the run from the town guards. After he described the ‘bad guy’ who was after him, we actually managed to find the man, discovering that he was completely innocent. After dealing with Blight’s garbage for a while, I finally decided to take him along. Estienne cursed him with always having to tell the truth, a moment after he lies, and he is now my servant in more ways than one. Still, Jacob isn’t all that bad of a guy. He may be stupid, petty, and selfish: but at the start, most of us are. Finally, soon after that event we learned that Gaspar had revived Griddles; now a hellish monster of fire.

After suffering various distractions, we decided to explore the rest of the underground areas and find the library of old Guardian. After descending down a strange corridor, we found a room filled with ice, hard to cross, and beyond it a strange sight: a library with its books and residents completely frozen in time. We were hesitant to step into this room, but when we did we discovered something truly awesome. We were transported back in time, back thousands of years, to an old world and an ancient city. Here the wizard Merlin dwelt, only a young mage then, but still skilled in his art. The Darkness Dragon was banished already then, and not even Merlin believed most of our tales. We went to visit Kazin here, who had already ascended. As a time god, he knew some of what we had to do, but told us that the answer was back at the library. When we searched it, we found an interesting pattern on the floor, only visible at a certain time of day. I revealed a hidden stairway that led deep into the earth. At the bottom was a secret room containing a single book: a powerful book which would destroy much of the world in the future (according to Mu). Latheric read it, and nearly went insane, rambling about odd things and strange visions. He claimed that the Darkness Dragon was but an illusion, an illusion that could disbelieved and thus defeated. Nobody else had the knowledge of language required to read this strange tome. We eventually left this odd past, but not before I was able to leave behind various copies of my memoirs, so that even the people of the past know me.

Soon our patience was running out. We had to get our asses in gear, save the world, kick some ass, and become the heroes we were always meant to be. First we saved Beshba. Estienne was able to exorcise the demon inside of her using some mighty healing magic; the drow woman collapsed to the ground instantly, and after some convulsing, a dark shadowy thing came from her-the creature that had been loose in the castle during the vampire attacks. We fought it, and were quickly able to defeat the thing, when suddenly, Sovellis spotted another undead monster shambling up the stairs. He shot an arrow at it and slew the thing instantly. Sadly, it was Gaspar’s new minion. The explosion from the magical arrow harmed Gaspar as well, and until his death the vampire harbored a grudge against young Sovellis. The two fought and argued for some time, and we later learned that in revenge, Gaspar put a curse on Sovellis; a dreaded disease with a humorous result: swollen testicles and an itchy manhood. This, of course, was cured easily by more of Estienne’s magic. After a bit more silliness, the others were ready to head out. I spent some time training with the new sword, developing its powers further, until I felt the confidence to wield it in a true fight. I slaughtered the evil demons Asmodeus had stationed in a northern mine, then went searching for some dragons to fight. I found only dead ones, not a single living dragon in the whole world. Latheric confirmed this, and even found the corpse of Gaspar’s old friend Xrith. (Who Gaspar soon animated as an undead servant). Some evil curse had slain the whole species, likely related to the Darkness Dragon. I trained a bit more, delving into the underdark to battle an army of orcs, then meditating in a vast cavern until I felt a full unity with my weapon. I was ready.

While I was gone, one more odd and silly event occurred-Sovellis attempted to rob the castle treasury. He was desperate for money to buy some gear, and since Latheric wasn’t around and I wasn’t around (and he was too afraid to ask Gaspar), he decided to go into the vault and just take some for himself. Since it was locked he decided to pick it. He did so, setting off an alarm. Latheric appeared immediately and questioned Sovellis, who admitted to breaking into the vault. Latheric touched the offending elf, who was immediately teleported into the bottom of Tabber’s dungeon under Meed’s Barrow. At first, Sovellis had no idea where he was, or so I later heard from him. He sat around in the entry room, clueless and lost, until it seems that our good buddy Shadow helped him out and got him back on track towards the exit. Sovellis wandered some more, until he stumbled into one of Tabber’s magical mazes. He could find no way out, and it seemed that no matter which way he went, he kept going around in circles. When I learned about this, I sent our friend Thane in to retrieve him. Thane never came back either. Eventually, I had to go in myself. I found Sovellis, face-to-face with Jacob Tabber himself, who had charmed Thane and made him into a servant. I heard Tabber offering Sovellis an unholy bargain, which he refused, being a highly moral fellow despite his attempted robbery. Tabber had Thane beat Sovellis into unconsciousness. I then ran in and attacked Tabber, who used magic to flee back to his home. I retrieved Sovellis, and after Thane’s charm wore off, we all teleported back to the castle to recover. Latheric, seeing Sovellis’ loyalty to us, forgave his thievery. We then got ready for the final battle.

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