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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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