Friday, October 20, 2017

Play Report from Jeff Rient's Vaults of Vyzor

"Laurantha to the Sorcerer of the Azure Mask--A Missive

O! puissant one, I, Laurantha the Unbeautiful, have returned from an expedition into the Azure Vaults, armed with new information about Elexus Starchild, and with one of the servants of the dreaded Elf-King in hand. This is my account:

In company of four faithful allies--namely, Sneakerly Trull, Snaphean Gratchit, and Sigismond Flegelschneckel, as well as my sometime companion Jimmy Neckbeard--we descended into the vaults beneath the Azure Tower. Through my perusal of the maps of previous expeditions, I expected to find stairs down to the second level of the vault through certain eastern doors on the first level, in a large chamber with two of the Elf-King's agonizer cages. And thus we did; but entering the large agonizer chamber, we beheld two beholders, emaciated and miserable-seeming in the larger cage (the other was empty).

Sneakerly took the initiative to negotiate with these erstwhile fearsome beasts; they, being half-starved, readily agreed to call out to us in warning if any danger came a-stalking up behind us, and in return, we would feed them the remains of certain carrion crawlers rotting in a nearby chamber. Though not exactly enthused about the nature of this dish, they nevertheless agreed--much to our aid further on!

The stairs were as I recalled them to be from the previous maps; at their foot opened an ancient library, all a-mess and haunted by a ghostly librarian. When I approached the desk and rang the bell, this spiritual custodian obligingly appeared, and led me by my request to the special history section. There, I perused many works, and was able to glean two things concerning our foe: firstly, that the ancient Elf-Druid war was started when the Druids (they being non-human at the time) first taught magic to men, and that the Elves, led by the Elf-King, opposed this folly as madness (as it was, alas); secondly, that the Elf-King's most puissant servant and champion is known as the Purple Mist, which may be a single identity, or perhaps several (the writer seemed uncertain which in his use of number).

Meanwhile, as I researched, Sigismond sought out works on trichology, hoping for a remedy for his hairlessness. It was just as Sigismond finished copying an alchemical recipe, and I my notes on the Elf-King's history, that we heard a great shout and alarum from up the stairs behind us: 'Beware the shadows!'

Thanks to this timely alarum by the beholders above, we were able to escape quickly into the corridors beyond the library and slip away down a side corridor. There, we heard a deep rumbling snore; Sneakerly declared that sleeping giants generally meant nearby treasure, and the party agreed in hope; but when Sneakerly sought out the source of the noise, he discovered no sleeping giant, but a great brown dragon, coiled in sleep and chained to the wall in a wide upward-sloping chamber. When he returned and mouthed the warning, 'Dragon!' to us, that dolt Jimmy Neckbeard nearly wakened the thing by trudging up to gawk at it, but we dragged him back, and decided better to turn aside rather than possibly face a dragon on our way out of the vaults.

There followed a series of explorations of the rooms of the second level of the Azure Vaults. We discovered a great arena, where orcs and morloi battle horrid monstrosities; we discovered the laboratory where those horrid monstrosities are stitched together and stored in stasis, most likely by the Elf-King or his servants; and we also discovered a conference room, complete with a set of decanters bearing golden liquor which we appropriated (and sold above); and lastly, a room with a great pool entering onto a vast underground river. All of this was mapped by myself, and when I have copied it well, I will share it with yourself, o! puissant one, and with my comrades-in-arms.

Lastly, while returning from the room with the great pool, we heard a noise behind one of the many doors of the hallway; Laurantha knocked, thinking that perhaps an Elf might be mistaken for a servant of the Elf-King--but no answer. So Sigismond threw open the door, and alas, what was on the other side was indeed an Elf, but with a fireball at the ready in his gloved hands, which he cast into our midst. The fireball damaged us all, but none of our own were slain by it; and the Elf himself was also injured. He panicked and attempted to flee, but was not only seized on the buttocks by the jaws of Mozarella, Sneakerly's faithful hound, but Gary Oldman Badger also seized him in his great claws.

This Elf--a pathetic creature barely deserving that lofty appellation--wept openly as if the demons of Hell had him in their grasp, and only wept more horribly as Sneakerly suggested a great plan involving his employment as a native dissident intent on the assassination of the Elf-King and the overthrow of his oppressive regime--and wouldn't this Elf (by name of Thesarius) like to be a hero? He very much did not want to do so; in fact, what he wanted and had been intending to do was to quit the Elf-King and escape out of the dungeon, which thing we happily aided him in doing, by tying him up with slightly paralyzing carrion-crawler tentacles and hauling him out of the dungeon with us.

Now Thesarius is with us, and hopefully we can glean further information about the Elf-King from him.

Your lieutenant in the War Against the Elf-King,
Laurantha Akala”

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