Just when I thought all was lost and my husband was trapped with some unknown evil on the other side of a sealed door, I remember my new robe’s power. I pull it tightly around me and close my eyes. In a woosh, I teleport through the wall and into the room.
I find my husband and friends in an encounter with what appears to be some sort of vampire lord. About the only thing going well for us is the fact that he apparently can’t move beyond these two fire pots in the front of the room.
I see a wave of magic go over Robinn and he turns to us with bloodlust in his eyes. There’s no way I’m going to let a charmed party member get in the way of things. I quickly fire off a sleep spell and Robinn crumples to the ground unconscious.
Meanwhile, our ninja is at the back of the chamber trying to detach a gold plate from the back wall. The vampire lord walks back to his chair and taunts us. “Go on and slaughter yourselves, then.”
The unfortunate thing about vampire lords is that they’re very intelligent creatures. The fortunate thing is that he wants to get out of here more than he wants to eat us.
Ruairan asks him if we can be of some assistance.
“You think you can help me?” the vampire sneers.
“It seems like you’re trapped, we’re not!”
The vampires smile fades. “You put out the fires and I’ll let you live and walk out.”
“What guarantee do I have that you’ll stick to your word?”
His shoulders barely register a shrug. “You don’t.”
I negotiate for the release of Robinn. With a cursory wave of his hand, the magic leaves the eladrin’s body. I kick Robinn in the behind to wake him up from my sleep spell.
“What the – ?”
We fill him in on everything he missed when he was asleep.
“Do we really wanna let this bloodsucker out?”
We remind him of the part of the inscription that said “through the fires you must travel.”
I suggest we jump in. We argue over the nature of the fire and what exactly “through the fire” should entail. The vampire lord is tapping his toes and looking irritated.
Ruairan sticks a torch near the magic fire and it disappears. Jumping in the fires is definitely out. He reads at the base of the fires “no undead can squelch these fires”.
Our choices seem to be to try to kill the vampire (who is really strong, despite being emaciated), or put out the fires and see what happens if the vampire is released.
Just when I forgot he was part of the group, we hear a clatter of metal as the ninja pops the amulet off the wall. The vampire lord looks at him and shakes his head, disappointed.
“I’m getting impatient.”
“What is this?” the new guy asks.
“A piece of gold, for all I care,” the vampire lord sighs. The ninja throws a vial of oil into one fire and it disappears. He throws a vial of water in and the fire goes out.
The vampire lord looks at it with lust in his eyes and clutches the arm of his chair. We’re afraid to douse the second fire and let him loose, but we’re out of options.
Ruairan goes to get more water and douses the second fire. The vampire lord is quivering in his chair. As the second fire dies, the doors open. The vampire lord vaporizes into a mist and whizzes past us and out the open doors.
We run after him as he heads down the hallway. As we turn the corner, we feel a cold burst of air and are pretty sure he went through the EXIT door into the snowy mountains. The ninja tells us that through the door is probably the Spine of the World, wherever that is… somewhere up north.
Far away from here, at least.
We head back to the front room and wonder where the other corridor leads… I mean, we just went to the edge of the world and released a vampire lord. Do we really want to go down the other way?
But leaving no stone unturned, we decide it must be explored. We arrive at a door. The boys open it, letting the light in. The room is coated in spiderwebs. The ninja, in his infinite wisdom, touches his torch to the web. The fire spreads quickly and we hear jaws gnashing.
Jaws of spiders, of course, who are none too happy that we have incinerated their home. Did I mention they are deathjump spiders? They jump over the fire and towards us.
Ruairan runs up and shoots arrows at the spiders. The fire starts to climb the walls, burning off all the webs. I walk into the door and cast grasping shadows in the center of a group of three spiders and laugh as two of them fall on their backs and die. So glad I took the time to learn that spell – it’s fabulously fun.
We kill off the last of the spiders and search the room, but don’t find much of anything. The ninja whips out a knife and starts dissecting spiders to harvest poison sacs.
The last room we find houses a broken well with some green lights somewhere in its depths. There’s a faint magical aura, but after the day we’ve had, nobody feels like jumping inside to check it out.
We leave the crypt and head back to town to rest. Which reminds me, I really should be sleeping instead of writing this…