Among the Dead

The journey back was not as easy as the journey to the hidden vault. Milo was being belligerent again and refused to leave. Aleera ended up using Calm Emotions again but it took them longer to get back since Aqua didn’t part the waters that time. They were submerged for a while, and although they had water breathing potions or abilities, Milo freaked out when the spell ran out while they were still under the sea. 

He was understandably upset with the team for using magic to get him under water but they had had no choice. Milo almost huffed off after they reached the mainland but remembered that there were a few other locations they needed to check out. The vault they had found was not the one they were looking for, the one with the million dragons inside. The Hand of Destiny made their way towards the City of the Dead to check out the next possible location for a vault. The City of the Dead was the home to the cemetery for the city. It was also the only bit of green within the city walls. People could often be found walking along the paths enjoying the sunshine or having picnics in the open areas. 

They came up to the purported location and found themselves face to face with an intimidating statue of the founder of the city, the dragon Ahghairon in human form. It was holding a staff in its hand but something was clearly missing. A depression at the top of the staff looked like it could hold a decent sized gem or item. They were searching the statue for more clues on how to open the vault when there was a commotion to the side of them. A blur raced past and headed into the mausoleum portion of the City of the Dead. The party gave chase as well and, unlike the other pursuers, they were able to track the fleeing blur to a small mausoleum at the edge of the City of the Dead. 

The party stepped inside and began to search. Kaladrax was fumbling around in the dark when his foot hit something metallic and clanked, sending a resounding noise into the still air of the cemetery. The group all looked at him at once but only those with darkvision were able to make out the silhouette of the metal man that lay at their feet. It looked like Nim but more crude in build. Nim had borrowed old or defective parts to build his companion and it showed. The nimblewright was also badly damaged. Aleera could see a huge gash across the torso, revealing the gears beneath. The nimblewright was dying. 

They thought it might already be dead but some of the gears were still working so they couldn’t be sure. It wasn’t until the body moved that they knew it wasn’t dead yet. The hand jerked back and forth for a bit before managing to rise to the torso. It pushed a button that had somehow avoided the gashing and around it sprung a small box. Inside was a simple blue stone that looked like a small, oblong egg. The hand jerked in the air some more before managing to grasp the stone and held it out to the group. Somehow, the nimblewright had gotten a hold of something that others were willing to kill for. 

Aleera tried to communicate with the nimblewright but language seemed impossible for it. Then she tried to ask if there was anything they could do to save him but no one on the team had the skill to fix something so delicate and complex. It kept holding out the stone and finally, Aleera picked it up out of its hand. Something like a sigh escaped the face and the body visibly shut down. They had to watch as life left this beautiful creature, created by one like itself for company. How it had gotten into this mess was something they might never find out. Aleera thought it might have something to do with the creature wanting to be useful and make a life for itself. How terrible, then to have met an end like this. 

The Hand of Destiny had to leave quickly as noise reached them of people moving in their general direction. Unfortunately, they also had to leave the body behind. They had the important object it had taken and getting caught with it would be an insult to the nimblewright’s sacrifice. They used short range teleportation spells to get back to their bar as quickly as possible. Ensconcing themselves upstairs, the group waited while Kaladrax focused and tried to identify the item they had acquired. After a few minutes his face paled and he whispered that they had found the Stone of Golorr. 

Photo by Darrel Und on Pexels.com

It was the stone they needed to find the answer as to how to enter the great vault. The problem was that it was also a transformed aboleth whom the stone was named after. The aboleth was rumored to be cunning and always looking for more power. It was dangerous to ask questions but questions needed to be answered so they set it aside for now and ate some lunch. Kariss had spoken to Laeral about Mirt’s change and possible danger from his new inhabitant. The lady had explained that it was difficult to levy charges against a Masked Lord, which Mirt was. Most of them kept their anonymity but not Mirt, he was open about his role in government and so an easy target for enemies. 

Still proving his role in any violence or illegal activities was going to be difficult. Kariss assured Laeral that she could find Mirt, even if he was concealed, which he would be. All Masked Lords wore their robes to formal gatherings of the council. The robes afforded them a great deal of protection and she warned Karris that it would be difficult. Still Kariss insisted and so the meeting was arranged. 

Kaladrax had a meeting himself, with his old mentor Joldrass at the Yawning Portal. Aleera had also agreed to join him as backup. So they were already booked for the night. Kariss would have to attend the meeting with Hepolita and Milo for backup. They all agreed that this would be acceptable and parted ways for the evening, promising to share their experiences once they were together again.

Published by dndwife

My husband and I run a dungeons and dragons table together and I write about our crazy adventures both in and out of the story. My husband DM's and I am the table artist. I paint minis for everyone at the table and provide crafted gifts like dice boxes, bags, and artwork.

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