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Library: Charsis

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Author: moonshine
Date:Apr 5 2004

I am but a humble rogue; I prefer the swamps to the forest and the smell of
trolls  to my own kind.  My elvish brethren don.t share my love of the dank
and cramped  dungeons, oh but to be misunderstood. Its of no matter though, my
traveling companions share my thirst for dungeons  and the dank, for they know
as I do treasure awaits within.  I am Noctur, the wood elf  rogue, though elf
in name only, for surely there was no more un-elvish a being as me.  I  prefer
the dirt and grime, the swamps and bogs, and the tight tunnels of crypts to
the  sickeningly wholesome valley of the elves. Anyway, as I was saying my
traveling companions don.t mind my odor or choice  of hangouts.  Ristorielle a
druid of some repute heals our ills and keeps us more or less in  fighting
form.  Though of course I avoid any direct confrontation, some wary
adventurers  have proven to be a little quick of reflexes and more protective
of their purses than I  would like.  There is also Bruneor the dwarven cleric,
he grumbles so much about his god  that I am growing weary of listening to his
constant chanting.  However, I can.t argue  with the effects, so I leave him
be.  Finally, in our little band is Omodan.  Omodan, what  a poor misguided
fellow, not of the elven race and yet striving to be like them in every  way. 
I believe the humans call them Rangers, but I call them deranged.  In any
case, he  doesn.t seem to have a problem with that bow or sword of his, and he
can be handy in a  fight. Ristorille had heard in the local tavern of a crypt
that lay off to the east of the  Ogre city of Mithak.  I believe, Charsis is
what it was called by the ogre.s, though most  outlanders call it Howling
Stones.  When I heard that awful screeching coming from  below us, as we stood
at the great red portal leading within, I should have decided to pray  on some
fat merchant .. Ah but Ristorielle is so persuasive at times. Course, as we
stand outside the portal, everyone in our little company is looking  at me as
if they expect something.  .What?. I said.  Omodan pointed to the portal and 
said .We need you to scout..  .Why is it always me?.   .Hey the crypts are
your deal  Noctur,  If we were entering some forboding forest, I.d be the
first to volunteer..    Grumbling I crept toward the portal, closing my eyes
tightly I winced as I touched the  portal and I felt the sudden wrenching
motion sickness that always accompanies these  portals. It was much darker
than it had been outside.  I could hear the faint clicking of  something
walking off in the distance.  It didn.t sound like boots on metal though, more
wooden, more hollow.  I.m not sure I really want to see what.s making that
noise.  In any  case, the area around the portal looked safe enough.  I
touched the portal again, and had  to suddenly squint my eyes as the bright
light of the Rashag desert was once again in my  eyes.  .It looks clear
below.. Each of us in turn again put our hand to the red orb and transported
into Charsis.   We looked about us and noticed four exits.  I softly crept up
toward one of the doors, just  as I was about to take another step I felt a
sudden updraft of air.  What matter of sorcery  is this??  The steps before me
appear to be there, yet not be there.  I reached around and  grabbed a hand
full of dirt from the dry crypts floor.  I threw it out over the steps to
watch  it all fall through as far as 15 feet away.  I grabbed another hand
full and repeated the  process.  This time I threw it further.  It appeared
that roughly 20 feet from where I stood,  was solid ground once more.  I
decided without some serious gear that route was best left  unexplored. We
scanned the room and eyed the other three exists thoughtfully.  Omodan piped 
up, .Let.s try south, the beautiful green forests are on the southern side of
the continent,  so south is bound to be a good direction..  I grunted,
.rangers!..  .South it is..  They  were all looking at me expectantly again. 
I sighed.  .Fine, I.ll go see if it.s safe.. I carefully walked up the steps
leading to the door, pausing about midway to  make sure the ground was solid. 
The ground appeared solid enough and so I walked up  to the heavy stone door. 
There didn.t appear to be a way to open it, but as I stretched my  hand out
and brushed the door it slid all the way open with a loud groan of rock on
rock.   I peered inside.  Nothing seemed to be in the chamber immediately
ahead of me.  So I  sneaked in to the best of my ability.  I stayed low to the
ground making barely a whisper.   I could hear a faint moaning from the next
room and some dry scratching.  Using every  ounce of my ability I crept into
the room to see what lay beyond.  Immediately upon  entering two of the most
horrid things I had ever seen fixed their missing eyes upon me.   A grisly
skeleton and some floating wraith like creature lurched toward me, I turned to
run but the door behind me had slid to a close and sealed shut. I began to run
furiously through the corridors ignoring all caution; any pretense at  stealth
was gone.  As I rounded a corner at full speed I stepped onto a rug that
appeared  to be solid enough, but immediately gave way beneath me.  To my
horror I was quickly  plummeting down a concealed pit to some unknown corridor
beneath me.  I remembered  my many tumbles from tall roof tops and poised
myself to absorb the impact.  I stopped  abruptly on the stone floor beneath,
with the exception of a mild strain I appeared to be  more or less unharmed.
As I peered above I could see the glowing eyes of one of my pursuers.  The
walls  of the pit were way too smooth for me to attempt to climb back out in
any case.  As I  looked out from where I had landed, I heard the faint
rustling of  bone on stone.  The way  out of here wasn.t going to be any safer
than the area above. Stealth hadn.t served me well before, so with a feral
growl I darted out of the  room and into the corridor.  Two more of the
skeletal inhabitants of this dank dungeon  stood leering before me.  With a
quick double punch I laid one of them low, the other  managed to hook one of
its bony claws into my cloak.  I quickly let it have my cloak in  order to
make good my escape.  Running from corridor to corridor I found a large open 
room. As I stepped out into the room the sight before me made me take a quick
double  step back into the corridor I had just so carelessly darted out of. 
Ahead of me in the  gloom had to be over fifty sets of glowing eyes.  In the
very center of the chamber stood a  stone structure that appeared to have some
kind of glowing platform. Ristorielle had mentioned that a rather shifty
fellow had said that the treasure  rested in a room that was well guarded with
a portal leading back out to the hot desert  above.  With hope I darted across
the room, dodging every groping claw.  Just as four of  the guardians closed
on me I managed to step into the glowing light.  The floor seemed to  drop
away from me with a gut wrenching twist, and I had to suddenly shelter my eyes
from the intense sun of the desert.  Phew, I have made it out. Then it
suddenly hit me, my companions were still inside that forsaken place and  the
only way out lie through the portal I had just come through.  I hung my head,
and  wearily walked back to the red glowing portal.  As I rest on my hand on
the portal, I felt  the now familiar sensation of being warped into the crypt
below. Omodan looked at me expectantly as I re-entered, .Well?.  I replied,
.It.s not worth it,  there are a ton of undead monstrosities below and we
would need an army to take the  treasure..  Ristorielle sneered, .You mean the
sneakest thief in the world is scared of a  few old bones?.  I looked hurt,
.Hey! Those bones were moving, and very unhappy to  see me.. The group had
always trusted my judgment before, and this was no exception.   With a weary
sigh Ristorielle announced to the group, .we need not go through the  danger.s
below, I can teleport us out to the nearest druid circle..  Omodan looked up 
happily.  I was just relieved, after what I had seen below, the last thing I
wanted to do  was return to the belly of Howling Stones.


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