Crypt of the Everflame

Shadows

After finally taking down the large beetle, we exit the room through the south door, leading to a small corridor filled with a thick, oily smoke. We press on, until we come across a fire pit. A pile of gear is being burned, and at the bottom of the pile lies a mysterious dagger. Trent decides to put the fire out by conjuring a large mass of water above it – really? Water on a fire that’s giving off oily smoke? Not the best idea in my opinion, but against my better judgment I say nothing. Instead, I take a few steps back and wait for the ensuing inferno.

What follows can only be described as disturbing, at best. The dousing of the fire didn’t cause the flaming rage that I had expected; instead, it resulted in an exponentially thicker, oilier smoke. I was about to congratulate Trent on not causing a grease fire, but was interrupted by an unearthly moan that seemed to have come from too close for comfort. We look around the room, but due to the smoke, I could see nothing. Maira and Adokul, however, have their eyes fixed towards the corner. I still can’t see anything until Trent approaches, upon which a pair of evil-looking red eyes emerge from the smoke. But there’s no body…what is this foul creature, some sort of phantom?

Thinking quickly and acting even quicker, Adokul rushes for the dagger which had been burning. I’m fairly surprised he wasn’t burned himself; I figured it would be red-hot…Knowing this creature couldn’t be friendly, I invoked the power of Erastil to aid us in defeating the demon. My bow infused with Erastil’s might, I nock an arrow and let it fly. The arrow passed straight through the shadowy figure, but it must have felt the righteousness surging through the arrow, for it let out a fierce shriek of pain.

Maira, sensing that mortal weapons would not be able to harm the beast, asked how she could help. Suddenly, an idea came to mind (Sir Dramott was always warning me about those…especially since mine usually ended up in something blowing up as I attempted to cast spells…a lesson well learned, as the last time I had one of those ‘ideas’ around him, he ended up in the infirmary for a week…but I digress). I asked Maira to light a torch, hoping the creature didn’t like fire.

Trent approaches the creature and produces from his satchel a vial of water. Holy water, I would imagine. I looked away for an instant while Maira lit the torch. Then I heard an unholy chuckle. I looked back towards Trent and the shadow only to see what I assumed to be the water from the vial trickling down the wall. I’m not sure what it was supposed to do, but I have a feeling it shouldn’t have been amusing to the creature…

Adokul approaches, newly discovered dagger in hand. I can’t wait to see if this weapon truly does have some magical quality that will aid us in defeating the creature; however, it seems I’ll have to wait to find out, as the dagger misses its mark. Once Maira has lit her torch, I rip off a piece of my tunic and wrap it around the tip of my arrow. Again, the creature lets out a disturbingly delighted chuckle. I look up to find that Trent looks to be in intense…pain? No, it doesn’t seem to be pain. He looks…physically weakened. I have no idea what this creature is capable of, but it can’t be good. Trent retreats a few paces and puts forth his hand, unleashing a blast of fire, but the shadow is able to maneuver around the blast.

Adokul again thrusts the mysterious dagger at the creature. The dagger must be special, because the shadow bellows long and loud in searing pain. My hopes begin to lift, as we now have a fighting chance at defeating the foul beast. Having finished wrapping the piece of my tunic around my arrow, I nock it and set the tip aflame using Maira’s torch. Again praying that Erastil will guide my arrow, I draw back the bowstring, take aim, and let another arrow fly. Again, the creature seems to have been damaged as the arrow passes through it, the flame bursting slightly as it contacts the figure’s silhouette. I truly hope that this creature isn’t simply toying with us.

Trent attempts once again to launch a fireball at the creature. The flames engulf the creature, and it lets forth a hair-raising cry. When the flames dissipate, I can see a look in the creature’s eyes. It’s a look I’ve seen many a time, on the face of men who realize that they’re looking Death face-to-face. The expression is that of fear for one’s life, yet furious determination to fight to the last breath. It seems this creature can be defeated. Adokul strikes yet again with the dagger, and it seems almost as if the dagger was shredding the creature’s essence like fabric.

Maira hands me another arrow that she had wrapped using the covers from the pillows that cushioned my fall earlier, and I set it aflame like before. Again the arrow finds its target. At this point, the abomination looks as though it’s little crumbling to pieces. In a desperate attempt to take at least one of us down with it, it flies over Trent’s head and slashes at him, but Trent is able to avoid the attack. He retaliates by taking his holy symbol and thrusting it as close to the creature’s face as he dares, releasing a blinding light which envelops the beast. All I hear is a long, fearful, painful shriek, slowly fading into nothing. When the light is finally gone, the creature is too.

A fearful and fateful experience, I am hopeful that this is the deadliest foe we will have to face on this journey; however, it is but wishful thinking, as I have a feeling there are worse nightmares waiting for us in this crypt.

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