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August 9, 2013

Strange memories shrouded by a fog of confusion and memory loss

We have been sailing north for a week with Salhadin finally descending to the desert sands, on the 3rd of Nuwmont, somewhere in the Emirate of Alasya. A massive sand storm driven by strong winds blew before us revealing some long buried ruins, as if the idol were pushing the winds and sands before us. As the last gusts of wind whipped by the idol turned to ruby dust in Salhadin’s hands and floated away on the breeze to scatter across the ruins. This was what the idol had driven Salhadin to find, but what exactly had we found? As we approached the collapsed entrance we found the wind had uncovered shards of a shattered mirror. We considered mending the mirror with magis so we collected the shards only to find one piece missing. Storing the mirror shards in a bag we approached the ruin’s collapsed entrance.

A dimension door spell got us past the collapsed entrance into an entrance chamber with walls covered in bright red and gold colors and pictures of men, heads of jackals, wolves, birds and bearded men. A closer examination showed the walls held an ancient text in an unknown hieroglyphic similar to what we found on the pages of Salhadin’s legacy. Using magic I translated what I could from the text. It referenced a passage of the dead, the worship of Thanatos, references to Pflarr, looking at immortals and a human king who is undead, building an undead empire, and portals to realms of fire and ash.

On one section of wall a very ancient form of Thyatian text was scrawled over the hieroglyphs. The writing was haphazard and in a strange broken sentence structure as if the writer were on the brink of some madness. I pieced together the following:

  • Taken refuge…storm has passed…much has been forgotten…I sense much family history has been lost…someone was here on a quest to recover an heirloom…mind torn…something massive has swept across the desert…cannot remember who he faced…where he is…but they have gone into the mirror…

The message was dated at around 500 BC and the authors name appeared to start with a Cata or Sata but the rest of the name was smudged beyond recognition. Perhaps one of Salhadin’s ancestors was here before us seeking the same heirloom we now sought. Perhaps it was the cleric mentioned in the old documents. I doubt we’ll ever know the truth.

Further examination of the chamber revealed it to have no exits. The passage out was sealed by collapsed walls. The passage deeper into the ruin was sealed by a barrier of stone. Salhadin and I used potions of etherealness to pass through the stone barrier. We hoped to find some way to open them on the other side. This was in vain, there was no mechanism. This barrier was placed here not as a door but a permanent seal. Someone wanted this ruin to remain sealed permanently. Returning to our normal forms we investigated further into the ruin. We found a room with a large chest in the middle and a wooden statue along the wall. Salhadin approached the chest to see what it held only to have it animate and attempt to swallow him whole. As Salhadin battled to free himself from the mimic the wooded statute animated and began slowing plodding towards us. The situation was deteriorating and got progressively worse as a female mummy arrive through a doorway which led deeper into the ruins. Salhadin was able to win free from the mimic and we made our escape using a wall of ice to slow down our pursuers. We were alive but had sustained a great deal of damage. We chose to erect a magic shelter for the night and rest, allowing me to regain the spells needed to remove the barrier separating us from the rest of our party.

The next day, after using a stone shape spell to remove the stone barrier, our party decided to leave the ruins and attempt to restore the shattered mirror. Salhadin had found the missing shard inside the mimic as he fought to free himself. With all the mirror shards laid out I restored the broken mirror with a mending spell. The mirror made whole seemed less a mirror and more a window into another plane or realm from which a black skinned red haired being stepped out of. As he appeared on our plane we all felt the wave of some effect wash over us. What this effect was I do not know. The being wore strange garb, a gold necklace and carried a bronze crooked scepter in his hand. He spoke in a language unknown to us, until I used my magic to comprehend his words. He called us slaves and demanded to know where he was and the year. Elias did not take his slave reference very well and rushed to the attack only to be frozen in place by the beings magic.

A fierce battle ensued. The being was powerful in the arcane arts and necromancy which he used to raise a number of undead from the depths of the desert sands. His use of a prismatic spray spell was especially effective against our party resulting in multiple injuries and the gating of Elias to another plane. Eventually the being and his undead fell to our blades and magic but not before I passed out from my wounds.

I awoke to find the beings body had vanished and Salhadin and Hakim had failed to stop Rayd Varion, who it seems was concealed in the sand, from taking the sceptre and escaping. I cannot fault them as Rayd had planned his trick well and was prepared to deal with my knights.

As we sat licking our wounds and wondering where Elias had gated to, a bearded Ylaruam dervish named Hakim arrived seeking our party. He had been meditating on the escarpments and received a great vision from the Immortals of our party and their need of our services. The dervish was instructed to give us a gift, given to him from the Immortals, consisting of four sacks of 1,000 unmarked gold coins. He instructed us to fly to Tel Alkebir where we would receive 4,000 more gold coins just to hear the quest the Immortals wanted us to fulfill. Not knowing what else we should do we agreed, boarding our airship for the three day trip to Tel Alkebir. While we traveled the dervish healed our wounds. When we landed on the 6th of Nuwmont in Tel Alkebir something strange happened. It is as if we forgot something. Mind mind swam with images that seemed to slowly fade into nothingness…the desert, lost ruins, a scepter, a necromancer from a mirror…all faded away and lost to my waking thoughts. The others recall Rayd had appeared in the desert and that he took something from us. We also recalled that Elias was lost to us gated to another plane against his will. The dervish who promised us…what?…left us without another word disappearing into the desert.

Was this real? did this happen? if only I could remember…△

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Karameikos onsilius Thaljun