Chapter Four

It was surprisingly easy to tell my friends what had happened with Ingrid. He was dead, I had killed him, and we would certainly not bring him back. Nobody had really liked him, so this was not much of a challenge. The only hard part was confronting Gaspar. At first he denied it, but being a former paladin of good, Gaspar was never the best liar. He soon admitted to it all, his only excuse being Ingar himself. I didn’t like what Gaspar had done, not at all. I’m not about torture, murder and all of that…but at the same time, we still needed Gaspar on our side, we still needed him as a friend and an ally…and Ingar really had been an ass. I promised, however, that if he ever did that to another person, Gaspar was going down.

It seemed, however, that good old Ingrid had a bit of personal vengeance in store for Gaspar. One day, when the vampire was simply wandering around his castle, he found himself completely blind. He could see nothing, and was reduced to stumbling around the castle like an idiot. Only the last charge of Gaspar’s magical Ring of Wishes was able to restore his lost sight.

Soon after the entire Ingar Saga was over, we received notice from the council of Langston. We met with our old allies, who had now gone from being a secret council to public representatives. Though events in their own city were looking bright, Langston had recently received several diplomats hailing from the distant shores of Meed’s Barrow, a great empire from far away. These people had troubles of their own, and soon we decided to meet with them. We were greeted by Fritz Baggage, an enthusiastic cleric of Pelor, along with his bodyguard Sovellis, who many of you may now know of as a great hero. Fritz told us of the empire’s troubles; strange mists that suddenly came up out of the ground and swallowed entire armies, an unsolvable mystery that none of their own heroes could help with. They wanted us to aid them, and several divinations revealed that it was none of other than the Darkness Dragon himself who was plaguing these people. Latheric was able devise a spell so powerful that he was able to locate Tabber as well, who was with the Darkness Dragon is a great cavern under Meed’s Barrow. We headed for that locale intending to defeat our villain. This was the first flight of Airship Amy, which soared over the lands quicker than a dragon, an airborne fortress that took us rapidly across the lands and to our goal. The ‘Eye of Latheric’ spell also found Jessalyn, who supposedly lay in the flooding temple in Guardia. Some of us went to find her. Tabber had also turned the elven lady into a vampire, just like her former lover. Gaspar revived her with a bit of blood, and their love for one another seemed to flourish once more. He decided to stay behind during this journey, in order to care for his undead lady back home.

The journey to the Barrow was not difficult, though even in such an airship it took about a month. During this time I decided to check out some of the odd items we had discovered in the Icy Room in the underdark. One was a journal: deciphering it, we found many odd secrets of religion, tales of Persalor and Sendis, the two gods responsible for pushing the sun and the moon-brothers who long ago feuded, now both ascended as gods. Their tale was a mysterious one, though perhaps it contained clues as to the secrets of divinity, which I much wanted to know. They said that Persalor had been a mortal man long ago, but such a great man that he amassed followers everywhere, so many that he rivaled the gods themselves. With his great skills and powerful presence, everyone loved him and perhaps even worshipped him. This made the gods jealous. They sought to slay him, though as they struck him down, Persalor ascended to become a god himself. His glorious death and sacrifice gave him a great reward. His brother was a traitor, so the tales said. Sendis turned on Persalor and sided with the other gods, but in the end sided with his brother and was slain along with him. Though regretful and evil, he became a god too. The journal we had was reputedly written by a descendant of this Sendis character, and a tiny sword found with it was supposedly a kind of ‘key to heaven’, whatever that meant. For now we had no idea. Also found with these items was a ring; a strange ring that could supposedly make one fly like a bird. I decided to try it out. When I did so, the ring melted into my skin, and out of my back sprang a pair of weak but natural wings. At first they could not support me, and it seemed like a curse. But I knew that if I used them enough, those wings would be a great blessing indeed. On this journey we noticed that Mu was becoming increasingly reclusive. The world’s oldest hero spent all of his time in his room, chanting strange words, preparing a dagger of great magical power. I soon learned its purpose: to contain his soul. Mu knew he would be dead soon. He wanted to spend the rest of eternity aiding the people of this plane, protecting it from villainy of evil everywhere. Thus, he placed his spirit into an artifact; capable of sustaining a man without food or water, or even breath, of burrowing through the earth like a mole, flying through the air like a bat, and teleporting without error across the world: it was the Elder Blade, containing all the knowledge, power, and wisdom of the ancient wizard. One day we found him gone; the dagger resting silently on his desk. He had done it. . Mu was dead, but only in the physical sense. We took his dagger, and the wizard still exists to this day. The rest of the journey passed amiably, and our foreign companions were pleasant enough; despite the slight snobbery of Sovellis, along with his insistence on calling everyone devil worshippers, plus the constant preaching of Fritz.

Soon we were at the great Empire of Meed. The central city was huge, ancient and luxurious. There we met with a man calling himself Emperor Meed, who told us more of the strange events in his land. We knew the cause of them, and we swore to aid his kingdom. After some research and magic, we found a passageway hidden deep underneath a green lake by the castle. It led to a series of insane mazes, unreal challenges and mysterious caverns. Passing through this labyrinth, we found old sewers, the remains of a murdered prince, and eventually a secret passage that could only be opened through magical digging. It led us down to a hellish place, deep beneath the earth; a morbid tomb-mansion filled with evil vampires and cursed souls. There dwelt the abominable Jacob Tabber. For this event, we decided to teleport Gaspar here. Tabber himself sat upon a monstrous throne, covered in darkness, surrounded by a the monstrosity that was his God. He used many evil spells upon us. Tabber was able to control Gaspar like a puppet due to his mastery of the undead, though the ex-paladin was able to hurt nobody; for myself and Latheric were invisible, while Estienne had a magical barrier that prevented him from going near. Tabber then summoned a horrendous swarm of biting insects, who instantly slew Sovellis as they tore his flesh from his bones. He then brought forth the God-Slayer sword, glowing with electrical energy. Tabber used it several times on us, though clearly he wasn’t the best fighter. I then decided that he shouldn’t have that sword any more. I flew forward, leaping at Tabber with both of my blades. The Darkness-Dragon guarded him, biting and clawing at me, nearly slaying me as it attacked. Still, I struck out at Tabber’s arm, cleaving it from his body then catching the sword in my free hand. At that second, Estienne used the powers of her god to transport all of us away from there. We were victorious. I now had the sword, and the brave Sovellis was the only casualty of the fight. We were soon able to raise him from the dead. Upon returning the Barrow we returned the bones of the prince to Emperor Meed. After Estienne communed with the corpse, she found out how he had died: betrayed by monks of the Iron Hand, a local organization. Though this had been many years ago, we decided to investigate this manner; we soon found out, however, that these monks knew nothing. There eldest member, a warrior named Thane, could tell us nothing at all, as even he had been a child when the prince was betrayed. We decided to drop the matter.

Suddenly, the mists began rising from the ground in the middle of the city! A great darkness came upon the land, and we knew that Tabber was acting, ready to have his vampires devour all the people of the city. I refused to give them that satisfaction. Gathering together Estienne, Fritz, and the other clerics of the city, I formed a plan to get every citizen out of the lands in a matter of hours. There was only one safe place from the Darkness Dragon: heaven itself. The clerics created gateways to their plane of goodness; and I convinced the Emperor to take his people through. Thane and his monks aided us in this evacuation, and soon all of the city’s folks were safe amidst the perfect paradise of Elysium. I decided to go along. I had some things to discuss with some people up there. Latheric soon joined me

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