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Week Seventeen

February 5th, 1998
Avg. Rating: 3.4

Suncarn, Manayar 9th, Year of the Shield, Night

As the episode opened the party was gathered at the Stone Hearth, enjoying one another's company and reminiscing about the people they had lost in the past months. The only one not present was Gregory, who had wandered down to Virgin's Square in search of some duelling.

At the Hearth, Kelly and Erik's drinking wager raged in full force- though it was a mighty battle, Erik finally succumbed to unconsciousness after a staggering 19 glasses of clarry. Kelly, after six glasses, was declared the winner; Talyth then helped both of them upstairs to their bedrooms.

Gregory, meanwhile, was enjoying a few duels at the Square, especially against an opponent named Kreikos. He earned a few silver coins then returned to his quarters at the Inn of Many Doors.

Mooncarn, Manayar 10th, Year of the Shield, Morning

Kelly and Erik both naturally had hangovers this morning, though Erik's was by far the worse of the two (Tristan even hypnotized him to help relieve the symptoms). Throughout the day and night the party mostly just conversed with one another.

Kelly went to Erik's room, to retrieve her "prize" from the drinking contest, and was surprised to see a deep white scar around Erik's neck when he removed his metal choker for her. After some cajoling he admitted that a Baron had hanged him and left him for dead for dallying with his daughter; it was only by the luckiest of breaks that he lived. Kelly agreed not to share this with anyone else, and left with Erik promising to rework the choker's fit for her (which he soon did).

Later Kelly spoke with Tristan about how he could make people fall asleep without magic. The conversation unsurprisingly turned towards Tristan's views of magic in general, at which time Kelly asked Willow to join in. Specifically, Kelly wondered if the person behind the Shieldbreakers could be someone "like Tristan, or like Willow".

Finally, much to Kelly's delight, Willow spent a few hours teaching Kelly the beginnings of a new spell.

Starcarn, Manayar 11th, Year of the Shield, Early Morning

Around 4 am this morning Gregory, asleep in a downstairs chair at the Hearth, was awoken by a young boy running up from the cellar entrance, shouting for Erik. It was Lead Fingers, Gino's friend; he said that he and Gino had been walking in the sewer when they were surprised to see Colinn Jax, the Shieldbreaker's second-in-command. They quickly hid and Jax hurried past, but Gino followed him down a side tunnel. Lead Fingers didn't hear anything after that, and when he finally mustered the courage to inch forward and look down the tunnel he found an empty dead end. Not knowing what else to do, he came to find Erik (whom Gino said had "always helped him").

Gregory let Lead Fingers wake Erik, and the rest of the party soon followed; Lead Fingers then led them all down into the sewers to the tunnel where he had last seen Gino. It was a dead end, so the party searched for any kind of hidden entrance. Tristan found a slightly raised stone beneath the water level, and once Willow magically receded the water Erik examined and activated the stone. A narrow door swung open in the wall in front of them, revealing a short tunnel ending at a locked door.

Kelly smashed the door's lock with Heartseeker. The chamber behind contained only a locked circular grate in the center of the floor- Kelly smashed that open as well, noting that the lock itself was much newer than the surrounding latch. Everyone jumped down except for Lead Fingers, and they found themselves in a much older section of the sewers. With no actual trail to follow Kelly just picked a direction and the party began exploring.

After a few minutes of walking they could hear someone coming, slowly, from one of the side tunnels. They positioned themselves on either side of the tunnel, waiting in ambush until someone walked out. But that someone wasn't alive- it was a walking corpse, just as Olaf had been at his own funeral. The party attacked.

Being hit from both sides and magically 'glued' in place, the zombie was quickly dispatched with no injuries to the party. It wore fairly nice clothing, perhaps that of a wealthy merchant or minor noble. The corridor it had emerged from led in the general direction of the City of the Dead.

Erik burned the zombie's corpse and Gregory said a few words over it, while Willow sent Felicity (her dove) to quickly explore down the corridor. Willow said that Felicity "told her" the corridor ended in a "shimmering doorway", and that's exactly what they found after walking down a few hundred yards.

The doorway was impenetrably dark, though the air in front of it rippled like heat. The party decided it was probably a magic gate of some sort, and the episode ended with them all standing in front of it...

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