Orb of Levileur

Part I: Trust

The fog started to recede after a ragtag team of adventurers banded together to defeat an undead wyrm. Unfortunately, the party was split up.

Those who were left in the circle eyed the other party warily: Kevlar, the human cleric, stood beside the young wizard Fifi and the thief Darkhan. The elven druid Elana stood protectively beside her young human comrade Aurelia.

Seeing that they were missing some of their other party members, they declared a temporary truce so they could search for the others in the towering structure and take the orb back to the village elder first.

From a distance, they could hear spine-tingling cries of horror which turned out to be coming from an army of crazed yuan-ti—creatures with human and reptilian features such as patches of scaly skins and forked tongues—inhabiting the deep trench surrounding the abandoned castle. They surmised that the creatures bore signs of corruption. Aware of the danger ahead, the five adventurers carefully approached the towering structure. They finally saw a narrow stone bridge that led to the eerie castle. The only obstacle in their way was the massive swinging axe trap that prevents them from passing through safely. Fifi, upon realizing how much the yuan-ti below the bridge resembled snakes, froze in fear and started to lose his focus.


Darkhan deftly avoided the axe and searched the other side for any trap mechanisms. He found a lever which stopped its movement, but the axe's massive size still made it quite difficult for them to pass through. Aurelia fired a Magic Missile that severed the axe's rope from the arch and the heavy axe fell on its blade before tipping on its side.

This caused the bridge to shake and break as some of its stones started to fall down the yuan-ti below. Elana transformed into an eagle to take the young ones first to the other side when she heard Darkhan cry in agony from the other side.

Darkhan, in his excitement at seeing a treasure chest in the room coupled with the thought of not having to share any of it with his comrades, opened it without determining if it was a trap. The moment Darkhan touched it, it transformed into a mimic and immediately attacked the thief. Elana flew swiftly to Darkhan's side and clawed at the mimic, giving Darkhan the chance to escape. The mimic, surprised at the attack, turned its attention to the druid and followed the soaring eagle. Elana, realizing that the mimic was giving chase, turned sharply to the right and the mimic, who was following her blindly, fell to the side of the bridge and into the waiting arms of the yuan-ti below.

The excitement below shook the bridge's foundations and it started to collapse. Gripped with panic, Aurelia, Kevlar, and Fifi tried to jump to the other side of the bridge but they all fell short. They managed to grab the rope from the fallen axe and screamed for help. Elana was still rounding back from the side of the bridge, so despite his injuries, Darkhan ran to the three and tried to reach for them. Elana finally made it to the three and shifted from her eagle form straight to bear form. She was left with no choice but to reach for the closest body part she saw at the moment: Elana opened her jaws and clamped it around the nape of the cleric. Elana managed to haul them back to the shaking bridge and then ran to where Darkhan had found the lever earlier. The two young wizards wheezed at the side, feeling relieved. But when they turned to thank the cleric who looked after them, they saw that he was not moving. Then they saw the blood pooling underneath Kevlar's body.  

They checked for his vitals, but the damage he sustained from the bear's bite was apparently too much for the cleric. He lost too much blood in a short amount of time and his heart had already stopped beating…

Fifi shook off his fear and remembered how the kind cleric had taken care of him during their adventures. He would not let him perish. With tears running down his face, he felt through his robes and found the Scroll of Wish that was given to him by his master. He prayed hard and wished for the cleric's soul to return. Kevlar's body was suddenly surrounded by a mysterious light, but nothing happened. Time stretched and they waited for something—anything—to happen. Darkhan and Elana argued. Darkhan blamed Elana for what happened to his comrade, and Elana called him an "ungrateful thief" and pointed out that had it not been for Darkhan's selfishness, she wouldn't have had to leave the spellcasters' side just to come to his rescue. The light disappeared from Kevlar's body and they heard him gasp. The children sobbed openly in relief and Kevlar looked around in confusion, not remembering what had transpired. They decided to rest a bit more to give everyone time to prepare and recuperate. Darkhan apologized to Elana for his rough words earlier and gave her his gratitude for saving his life from the mimic.

Some of the awkwardness they were feeling before the bridge debacle lessened significantly, with all of them realizing that they should keep an open mind about trusting each other's back if they want to make it out alive. They decided their plans of action from there on and talked about their battle formation before heading down the tunnel to what they hope was the nexus.


Part II: Betrayal

The stepped out of the room into a tunnel, whose walls were covered in moss. Its high ceiling was peppered with cobwebs and the floor almost covered with old bones. Darkhan walked in front, checking for traps (and anything of interest; he found some gold and so did Aurelia). Darkhan saw marks of displacement as if someone—or some people—have trekked through the same path just a few hours ago. Their comrades, perhaps? Strange sounds kept echoing throughout the tunnel. At last, they reached the end of the tunnel which opened to a cavernous nexus. Massive statues surround the nexus, and they spied a figure on top of one. It let out a growl that sounded like a warning.

Before they could react, a strong blast of wind surprised them and when they refocused on their surroundings, they saw up ahead five figures wearing black cloaks stepping from the shadows holding an orb that suspiciously looked like the one they retrieved from the Undead Wyrm.

Fifi checked his robes and his other pockets. The Orb of Levileur was gone.

Aurelia stood still as a statue when she saw the newcomers, feeling dread and disbelief as she stared at the faces of her old comrades… comrades who were supposed to be long dead.

Before anyone could react in defense, a dark portal opened in their midst and transported them to a place that Aurelia had once escaped from—-the kingdom of Lorenthal Tirith.

 

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