The following is a character Diary written by Walter M. Morton, in the persona of Dan'Chir, a Dark Elven warrior of the Torellan Sia (The Hand-Killers), forced into the company of hated surface dwellers in the race to unravell an ancient Dark Elven prophecy and prevent the Umbral Spectre Damodred from gaining control of the Heart of Darkness. At the same time they must find the means to give him that control, to prevent the mad Dark Elf Tiafan of House Kilos Yisais using the stone to try and release Raven himself!

Dan'Chir's Story. Part 1

All party members come from a small village, where they had already gone through some small adventures. The party and an old blacksmith were recently captured by Dark Elves and taken into the Underdark. They were told, that according to a prophecy they were of utmost importance. Only they together with these Dark Elves of the House Torellan Sia were able to save the world. Doom was at hand, because another Drow house, Kilos Yissais, wanted to free the ancient god of chaos, Raven, who had been imprisoned inside the world. By destroying the world the Kilos Yissais would free Raven, who would then show his immense gratitude to House Kilos Yissais. Now it was important to find the Temple of Light and Darkness, where more would be unveiled.

Journeying through the Underdark two Ffolk, a Scout and a Thief, tried to leave us by pretending to examine a tunnel branching off to the side. I was then ordered by Eridanai, the leader of us Drow accompaning the Ffolk party, to return the two escapees to our group. I set off after them. Just when I was about to catch up with them, the ceiling of the cave I was in collapsed. Blocks of rock were lying on top of me and I could not move. Then suddenly the Scout and the Thief appeared and help me struggle free. We could have returned the easy way, but the Scout called me an incapable pathfinder. This led to my banging him against a wall until he fell unconscious. The Thief dared to attack me with a shaft of light and, when I defended myself, she stabbed me with her magical dagger giving me a grievious wound. I was furious, especially since I was not allowed to kill her. So I resented to breaking her right arm and taking her magical dagger. Then I bound them and draged them back.

Meanwhile the others had heard voices from ahead and had started to investigate. They found about 30 cloaked and hooded humanoids. Some had fiddles and played some hair-raising tunes, and the others were chanting "Damodredd, Damodredd, Damodredd,...". They were marching down the tunnel towards my companions, who withdrew before the eerie procession. Unfortunatly past the branching point, where I had left the main tunnel. The procession followed them, so when I returned with the Scout and the Thief, the hooded figures were between us and the rest of the group. We tried to break through to our companions, but did not succeed. We did however get to see the faces of the creatures. Skeletons!

Suddenly the Wolfmaster, a creature the group had met earlier, appeared behind us, and as if in torment cried out "I must kill you! Quick, run past me! I must kill you! Run, run as long as you can! Kill, kill! ! Hurry, run for your life!" So the Scout, the Thief and I ran past this crazy Wolfmaster and his partially immaterial hounds. We hurried through several twisted tunnels and suddenly bumped into the rest of our group, who had managed to leave the undead procession behind.

We continued our journey, which now led us upwards, until we emerged at the bottom of a deep crevice with the intimidating sight of the open night sky above us. After resting at the exit from the Underdark the Ffolk continued further during daylight.

They discovered that we had emerged high up in some mountain range. Eventually after passing through a magical darkness they arrived at the Temple of Light and Darkness, its portal only open during daylight. So they entered and discovered the altars of Light, Darkness, and Shadow. On the Altar of Shadow runes were inscribed, but none of the Ffolk could read them. Also they found two small, evil looking figures, which they took back to us Dark Elves. Our leader Eridanai immediatly identified them as the famed Shabol figures of the Gods of Darkness, which when held, gave Dark Elves the ability to walk above ground in sunlight without much discomfort.

Eridanay and I each took a figure and the next day we bravely ventured out into the cursed sunlight and finally reached the relieving gloom of the Temple. There Eridanai was able to translate the runes and read the Prophecy to us:

"Damodredd, ruler of the Underdark, who suffered the Gem to be brought to him and evil as he was, was brouht low... ...and they took his (Damodredd's) heart and hid it form him... ...and only by destroying it (Damodredd's heart), would I ever retrieve it (Damodredd's heart) again and shall regain my strength again to rule all under the Darkness, which I had ruled before... ...and they forged a sword to destroy it (my heart)... ...but it was hidden... ...and they shall find it (The Sword), ... , one of the Guild, two of Light, and two of Darkness... ...and though shall seek and destroy them, you (Damodredd) shall punish the House that helps them and shall reward the House on your side. ..."

Suddenly a small area of light appeared at one side of the temple as if an unseen window had been opened. It then started to grow threatingly towards us but from the other side an intense darkness seemed to seep towards us as well. This was obviously a sign of the Gods and so Eridanai and I moved into the darkness to reverently prostrate ourselves and listen for any divine hints. Meanwhile the Monk Johann knelt down in the lightned area to pray to his Gods of Light and the others remained in the middle not knowing, what to do.

The communication with the Gods was hsort and intense. They reminded us to do our best to find the Sword of Damodredd and to stop Tiofan and the House Kilos Yissais from using the Black Gem, Damodredd's Heart, to destroy the world by freeing Raven.

Thus inspired we left the Temple and headed northwards. Soon the valleys north of the mountain range lay before us and we made our way to the next town. We entered the town, Eridanai and I disguising ourselves as monks with hoods drawn deep into our faces. The surface agents of the Kelos Yissais had not been idle themselves and we found posters describing vaguely our group and charging us of being in league with the evil Chaos Cult. Now we not only had to fear the Kilos Yissais, but also the Order of Light and the Inquisition of the surface empire we were travelling in.

Fortunatly no troubles occured in the town, but we were uneased a bit, when we discovered, that the legendary Barbarian Hrun had taken a room in the same inn as we. A hasty departure seemed appropriate and so we left secretely just before dawn. At this time the town gates were still closed. So Eridanai and I, not belonging to the most patient beings of this world, stealthly assassinated the guards and opened the gates for our companions.

We continued our journey northwards, meeting on our way a pack of wargs and later a strange Black Knight holding a bridge and challenging anyone who wanted to cross to a duel, even our group of peace loving monks. The duel was carried out on a chess board.

Finally we arrived at the village, where most of our Follk companions came from. The Order of Light had already been here and what they had said about us, prompted the villagers to greet us in a rather cool fashion. We did in the end find a place to stay, at the secluded home of the old teacher of our Healer.

The next day Hrun the Barbarian entered the village. He had followed us with the intention of assisting us in our quest. The reason he gave us, that a mutual friend had asked him to keep an eye on us, was slightly mysterious, but who were we to argue with a huge, lengendary Barbarian with a magical great axe. (Dan'Chir it seems - Damon)

After a few more weeks of rest we decided to move on. On our journey northwards Hrun and had a short argument, which ended with him cutting off my left hand with a horrific display of speed with his great axe. I swallowed my anger and vowed to repay in triple after the mission was completed.

So we arrived at the next town. Some of the Follk entered to by supplies, riding beetles and a bronce hook, which I fitted with leather straps to the stump of my left arm.

We journeyed on and soon found out that the Inquisition and the Order of Light were already looking for us in the region we were travelling through. Disguised as monks with armed escort we got accomodation in a small village. We were allowed to sleep in the village chapel, but it turned out differently. A villager obviously identified us correctly and tried to warn the others. Kay our Thief tried to stop him but in the end had to take refuge in the inn and barricade the door. To rescue her and to give us the chance of a quick escape Eridanai and I set a few houses on fire which diverted not only the attention of the villagers but also of a group of Knights of the Order, who were near enough to see the smoke rising over the village.

But the Gods were on our side and in the ensueing chaos we managed to escape into the comforting darkness of night.

The next day we ran into another group of riders, who quickly turned out to be Chaos Cultists. Even though one of them was powerful enough to summon fire and ash elementals they could not withstand the onslaught of two experienced fighters of the Torellan Sia, aided by some surface Follk. We were able to take the leader, the Elemental summoning mage, alive. When questioned he told us that although the Cult was intensively looking for us, his group had stumbled on us just by chance, but soon his comrads would be aided by a group of Kilos Yisais Dark Elves, who would soon arrive on the surface in this region. He did not give any more useful information, so Eridanai took the frantically struggling surface dweller and restored her strength by sacrificing him to our Gods.

There was a forest near our camp site, which Eridanai believed would be inhabited by Goblins, who might know the nearest entrance to the Underdark. She was indeed able to contact Goblins in the forest, who turned out to be under the sway of the Kilos Yisais. But they were simple minded enough to be fooled by Eridanai, who declared herself as Kilos Yisais. She managed to convince the Goblins, that enemies disguised as Kilos Yisais would soon arrive and that the Goblins should wellcome these imposters by slaying them in the name of the Kilos Yisais.

We left soon afterwards and in the following night we were pleased to see the fires of battle raging in the distant forest. A few days later we reached the city of Saltwater, where we intended to take a ship to continue our journey. The plan was actually to mislead our enemies. They should believe that we wanted to travel all the way to the northern mountains by boat. Instead we would only stay on the ship for four days, then send it on northwards, while travelled on land.

The ship we arranged to leave with would not be ready for the next three days, so we took rooms in an inn keeping our disguise as travelling monks. Lexi the Healer visited the Temple of the Light Gods and was immediatly recognised to have diverted from the "Path of Light" and to atone she was kept immobile in a beam of light from which Thorn the Scout had to rescue her the next day. That was after Thorn and Kay the Thief had tried to reach Thorn's former family abode on a small island just off the coast. The new owner had taken extensive precautions and after being spotted on their way to the island, they had to be rescued by the local thieves' guild, whose leader had by some mysterious way been contacted by Kay's master and was willing to help us with our quest as far as he could.

That same night Eridanai and I ventured into the slum area of the harbour to find some game which we could sacrifice to replenish our strength. Since there was plenty of prey, which would not be missed by anyone, we soon had regained our original strength. Unfortunatly this made us feel too bold and disguised I challenged the contestant in an ongoing illegal pit-fight. The lesson we learnt was to always be aware of pit-fighters. My opponent was experienced enough in combat to emerge victorious, being only slightly wounded, whereas I was left in a critical condition. Enraged by the outcome Eridanai challenged the pit-fighter herself and finally killed him. This provoked the pit-fighter's brother to enter the arena and Eridanai soon found herself slowly being wasted by yet another experienced pit-fighter. But the Gods looked kindly upon us and although seriously wounded she managed to knock out her only slightly wounded opponent with a well placed critical blow. Wasting no time we hastily retreated.

The next afternoon a guest in the inn we stayed was found dead. His food had been poisoned and being the guests, who took a room last, we found ourselves immediately under suspicion. When a detail of city guards arrived, we decided it to be futile to argue with them and were able to leave without being noticed. We took rooms at another inn at a safe distance to the first one. The next morning, when checking on our riding beetles in the stables, Thorn our Scout was attacked by a Dark Elf of the House of Thieves, the Oruberos Fa. Badly wounded Thorn managed to escape, leaving the Oruberos Fa in the stables slaughtering our beasts and writing Dark Elven greetings all over the stable walls. He was long gone, when the rest of us came looking for him in the stables.

During the day we noticed increasingly more guards on the streets near the inn. Nonetheless some of us insisted on going to the city library. Not to be divided into groups we decided to leave together. Only a short distance from our inn we were stopped by guards. Hrun, Kay, Eridanai and I were able to blend into the shadows before the guards noticed us, but the others were quickly surrounded and questioned. Suddenly we noticed Goblins moving about in the shadows of the houses. Some guards noticed them too, and our companions were quickly ushered away by some of the guards, while others began searching for the Goblins. In the meantime these had not been idle and soon we saw flames and smoke emerging from some buildings. Unfortunatly they also chose our inn as a target and simply blew it up with a thunderous noise. Cariss had left her spell book in our room, but she was able to retrieve it only to be confronted with a Kilos Yisais on an ice-dragon, who seemed to emerge from under the ruins of the inn. In a combined effort we were able to defeat the rider and his beast, but Hrun was badly injured. Luckily he seemed to have an enormous supply of healing potions and soon he was back on his feet.

Part Two
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