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Library: Treasure of the Damned

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Author: venomwwa
Date:Jun 23 2006

     The silence in the air made this place a bit unnerving, but according to
that man back in town, there was treasure to be had here.  The team had been
traveling for 3 days through the jungles to find this temple, that the locals
refer to as, The Temple of the Dead.  They reached the temple in the morning,
but the strange thing was, as they neared it, all the surrounding noises
seemed to stop.  No birds, no monkeys, no insects, nothing at all.
     "I don't like this place." remarked Delina.  Standing quite short at only
3 feet tall, this little Halfling knows her way around a dungeon almost as
well as she knows how to use her daggers.  An expert at traps and stealth,
she's an invaluable tool to have in a place such as this.
     "Well, it's too late now." replied James in his always cool and collected
style.  Elves don't seem to get worked up much, and he's no different than the
rest.  Although who could blame him, considering he can throw a ball of fire
from his hands at will.  His mastery of the Arcane arts is quite thorough
indeed, as it should be, considering he's over 200 years old.
     "Alright, let's get to work.  Something about this place doesn't sit well
with me." said Cyrus as he keeps one hand on his bastard sword.  This
warrior's life has taught him all about being prepared.  While not nearly as
old as James, this human's seen plenty of action in his lifetime, more than
most would ever care to.
     "I agree, let me go first to scout for traps.  Cyrus, you stay close in
case of danger, and James, you follow up in the rear for support if needed."
ordered Delina.
     Knowing Delina's experience with places like this, they others didn't
question these orders, they merely fell into formation and followed her lead. 
The group made their way into the temple, where it was blacker than the
darkest night.  Knowing that Cyrus wouldn't be able to see in these
conditions, James conjures a ball of light to follow them, lighting the way.
     The group travels down the entry corridor for several minutes, until they
finally find some steps leading down deeper into the tunnel.  Checking the
area quickly, Delina seems confident that the stairs aren't trapped, so they
continue downward.  The air seems to be getting cold rapidly in this eerie
place, and the stench of death begins to fill the air.
     "You smell that?  Keep your eyes peeled." orders Cyrus.
     "Stop!" exclaims Delina, and the group rapidly does just that.  "James,
let me see your staff a moment."  James agrees and hands it over, and Delina
reaches out and jabs a brick in the ground with it.  The brick lowers
slightly, and arrows suddenly shoot from one wall, to the opposite side of the
hallway.
     "That would have been most unpleasant,"  commented James as he takes back
his staff.
     "How much further do you think it is?" asked Cyrus
     "Well, that would be a handy piece of information to have, now wouldn't
it?" joked Delina
     The group travels further into the temple, navigating the twisting
corridors.  Slowly they begin to see dead bodies littering the floor in
places.  Some the victims of the deadly traps, and others seem to have been
attacked by some creature, pieces of their bodies eaten away.
     "I don't like the looks of this," says Cyrus, examining one of the
partially eaten bodies.
     "Neither do I.  I think we're going to have to fight our way out of here
before this is through," states James.
     "Oh, will you two quit nay saying?  I have a feeling we're getting
close," says Delina, as she begins to pick up the pace.
     The group continues to navigate through the tunnels, until finally, they
can see a dim light ahead of them.
     "That must be it!" exclaims Delina.
     Finally they reach the source of the light.  It's a large room, with
chests scattered about it.  In the center, a large Maul sits on a pedistal. 
Around the outside of the room, there are torches, that somehow remain lit
after all this time.  Cyrus and Delina begin examining their find, as James
searches the room for something.
     "Would you look at all this loot?" asks Delina with a greedy look in her
eyes.
     "Ah, what's this?" James mutters to himself, stumbling across some runes
on the wall.  "Let's see if I can translate these."
     "Did you say something, James?" asked Cyrus, who soon dismisses it,
knowing how James can be when he finds something he's interested in.  He then
spots the large maul in the center of the room and his eyes light up.  "Well,
what do we have here?"
     A look of terror overcomes James' face, something not seen too often. 
Quickly he turns and shouts, "Stop!" but realizes he's too late as he sees
Cyrus taking the maul from the pedestal.
     Cyrus turns and looks at James with a puzzled look, "What?"
     Just then, some distant moans can be heard from the dark recesses of the
tunnels they just came from.  Slowly they seem to grow in numbers.
     "Damn!  That was a magical trap!  Someone placed a curse on this place,
and if anyone removes that maul from it's pedistal, then the dead inside this
temple will rise to return it to it's rightful place, and kill those who dare
to take it!"  explains James hastily.
     "Damn!  I hate undead!" exclaims Delina.  "Daggers don't work so well
against them."
     "Ok, you stay behind me then.  James, prepare your spells.  Looks like
you were right about having to fight our way out of here," says Cyrus as he
readies his newly found maul.  "No sense in letting them come to us, let's
take this fight to them and try to get our asses out of here."
     With that, the group starts back down the corridor.  The moans and
shuffling sounds of movement continue to get closer, until they seem to be
right on top of them.  Suddenly, they see the first one, the corpse of a man,
with several arrows sticking out of him.  Obviously the helpless victim of one
of the temples traps.  It begins to shamble towards the group, obviously
intent on retrieving that maul.
     "Ok, here we go!" shouts Cyrus as he swings the heavy maul, smashing into
the side of the zombie.  The sounds of snapping bones, temporarily drowns out
the sounds of the rest of the undead, looming ever closer.
     "Nice, now let's hope the rest of them are that easy," says Delina, no
longer seeming her confident self.
     Suddenly, 3 more undead stager into view, dried blood covering their
bodies.  "I got these," announces James as he begins a chant.  Thrusting his
hands forward, a ball of fire shoots forth, slamming into the group of undead,
exploding and sending their flaming bodies flying through the air.  As the
flaming bodies fly backwards, they light the corridor further down, revealing
a hord of undead, slowly making their way toward the adventurers.
     "Damn, looks like we got a lot of work ahead of us," observes Cyrus.  "Ok
guys, let's kick some ass!"  With that he rears back with his maul and charges
forth, smashing undead out of his way as he charges through the crowd.
     The rest of the group keeps close behind, following the path that Cyrus
has cut through the crowd.  As the crowd thickens, they find it harder to
press forward.  Undead begin to close in from the sides.  "Keep these guys to
the sides off me!" shouts James.  Delina and Cyrus do as requested, as James
begins working on another chant.
     "How much longer is that gonna take?" asks Delina as she jumps onto a
zombie, and shoves one of her daggers into the side of it's head.
     "Yeah, I don't know how much longer I can keep up this pace!" exclaims
Cyrus, swinging the heavy maul once again, crushing another zombie's head.
     James finally finishes his chant and a powerful blast of light bursts
forth, mowing down a path through the undead.  "Now!  Run for it!"
     Cyrus and Delina don't waste a moment's time, and the three begin
charging forth, through the path cut by the magical blast.  "Look, there's the
stairs!  We're almost there!" exclaims Delina excitedly.
     Finally the group is nearing the exit.  They can see the light of day
looming ever closer.  They burst out of the mouth of the temple, welcoming the
breath of fresh air.  They pause for a moment to catch their breath.
     "Thank god we made it out of there.  Too bad we didn't make it out of
there with any of that gold though," Cyrus says sadly.
     "Speak for yourself!" taunts Delina as she pulls out several very
valuable looking gems from her pockets.  "I never leave a treasure without at
least taking something."
     "Ha!  I knew there was a reason we took you along!" jokes Cyrus.  "Now,
let's get out of here before those undead come out here after us."
     With that, the group head off into the jungle, looking for the next town
to see what adventures they may find.


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