6th Samonios…

How many days have I been here? They’ve blurred together. The fat man says it’s the sixth day of Samonios, so a month has passed and nobody has come looking for me. Maybe this land is far enough…

Today I met a friendly face. He shares my brand, though I don’t know his face. Something in his eyes makes me trust him. He has clearly shared my past. Perhaps there is a better future ahead of us. He says there’s gold to be made if we scout an old burial ground. Gold…

He reminds me of Aske.

Later…

Spiders, spirits and the living dead. That’s what waited for us in that damned tomb. I should ask more questions before I run off in search of danger.

I knew we were in trouble from the moment we saw that corpse at the entrance. Poison. Nasty way to end. Aske would be proud that I didn’t run, but in truth, I felt safer with my new companions than on the road back to town, despite the danger. I was wrong. Praise Amen that I made it out of there. If it wasn’t for Erix, we’d be dead for sure. I’ve never seen power like that. A few words and the undead were blasted apart.

As we ventured in, I hung back. Killia and I guarded the rear, while I scribed the map we were sent out to make. The first choice was an easy one. Left into darkness, or right into darkness and webs. We went left.

The first room we came to looked like a tomb. Bones were stacked high to the ceiling. Wiwu pointed out an “aura of necromancy”, which I took to mean something to do with death, which made sense. This is a tomb after all. He knocked some of them down, and we moved on. We should have smashed them all before we went. Those who say to respect the dead have clearly never come across them after they’ve crossed over.

The next room was a riddle of some kind, but I hung at the back as the others discussed what to do. Someone said not to touch anything, which I took to mean that I should give them more space. My attention was on the room when I felt something brush against my leg. Suddenly there were bones wrapping themselves around my throat. Bones! What curse had we brought upon ourselves? I threw the hand off before it could crush my throat, and ducked out of the way. Killia rushed in to protect me and suffered a gash of his own, but magic bore down on the bones and it was ground to dust. We had only a moment to collect ourselves before no less than four walking skeletons charged from the corridor. The next few moments were a blur, but Teyrn kept them at bay as magic and Amen’s blessings beat them down.

As if that wasn’t enough, what happened next was incredible. We lit a fire in the big brass brazier - don’t ask me why - and suddenly Teyrn stepped through the wall. The wall! I wasn’t as hasty as the others, but it was becoming hard to breathe, and I didn’t want to be left alone with the living dead, so I braved it. It was a strange experience, walking through stone. I reminded me of my cell back in Conwe. I’ll be happy if I never have to do it again.

Beyond the strange door, was a room, much bigger than the ones from before. Drier, too. One of the walls was covered in forest scenes with mythical beasts and creatures I recognise from Erlend’s stories. I didn’t spend long looking at the wall though. The others were concerned about traps, so, my eyes fell to the floor. The air grew cold and fear washed over me. I relived the years of cold and pain, as a dark shadow took form in the middle of the room. That was the last straw. I dropped my pack, accursed gold be damned, and ran. Before I made it out, I saw the thing attack. I’ll never forget their cries as the monster drained their life with a touch… I’m not ashamed that I fled.

I made it back through the stone with Killia, and into a wall of smoke. It was really hard to breathe, and I was about to give up on the others and my gold, when they burst through the wall themselves. There was no disagreement this time. We were leaving. We made it back to the entrance hall at a snail’s pace. The talkative magician looked ready to collapse, but he refused to put down any of his gear. And the cleric… she hid it well, but I’m sure she was equally drained. Erland could move faster than they could, and the clanking armour would have woken the dead if it hadn’t already tried to kill us.

The end was in sight, not more than fifty feet away, when a dark form emerged from the webbed corridor. I didn’t wait to find out any more. I was nearly at the tree line when the others emerged from the tomb. The bounty hunter had been drenched in a sticky mess of spider blood and web, but otherwise, everyone looked in no worse shape than they had been since I’d left. The gods must like us.

Nobody said much on the journey back. I was glad. I wasn’t much in the mood for talking. We had enough of a map for me to fill in the blanks and I made a copy. Good enough to fool that mayor in his tower. He seemed alright for a toff, and he certainly paid well, but I’ll gladly keep my nose out of his business. I doubt he’d take kindly to my past.

Killia reminds me more and more of my brother by the hour. I’m glad we met. I’m not sure about the large bounty hunter, though. I don’t trust him. He retrieved my pack and returned it with the blood money unpilfered, but I know he’s been rummaging. I’ll have to watch my words around him. Who knows who’s looking for me.

We plan to rest until the others regain their strength. I just want peace, but Aske and Aric are still out there somewhere. They wouldn’t abandon me, either. Maybe Killia knows of them. Must remember to ask.