Trip to the Crypts

Trip to the Crypts

A Chapter by Eddie Davis
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The King and his group prepare to fight back against the Necromancer's Guild

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52.

Trip to the Crypts

 

 

 

It took them an hour and a half to ready themselves for the adventure.   Aurei and Zeatt both spent most of the time trying to figure out armor for the excursion.   Aurei’s plate armor had been ruined by the sphere of annihilation, which left the Drow plate armor, however she now lacked the Drow chainmail undersuit as it too had been damaged by the hole caused by the sphere.  

 

It was Eleazar who solved the problem by substituting one of the shirts of Elven chainmail for the Drow chain tunic.   To her relief, the shirt fit, though as usual it was a bit snug in the bosom area.   Aurei made sure she removed the Drow armor’s wedge shaped heels and was very pleased to have her feet fall flat on the floor.   Zeatt also donned a chainmail shirt and experienced the same problem with snugness.

“It runs in the family”, she told her niece as the two tried to stretch the mail unsuccessfully, while Rori rummaged through assorted magic items that Eleazar and the crew of the Autumn Maid recovered from the debris of the Imperial Airship.

“Anything you can use?”  Eioldth asked the young Sorceress as she read the script engraved on the staves and wands.

“I’m not sure, Your Majesty.   I really didn’t have much experience with magic items, and even those I was allowed to use were usually given to me at the last moment with only the barest of instructions.”

 

“Let me see them; if Siris and I are not permitted to join this adventure due to our pregnancies, perhaps we will find a way to help in another way.”

 

The Queen read the scripts on several staves and wands.

“Well, there are several I know of, but the enchantments on most of them are expended bit by bit during each use, so they may lose their magic at any time as we don’t know the rate of draining per use.”

 

She held up a wand, “This wand is one of Magic Missiles.  The other one is a Wand of Illumination, which I know is particularly useful against undead.   I’d suggest, Rori, that you take both of them.”

The Sorceress agreed and happily tucked the wands into her sash.

 

 

 

Captain Vinth, Haroldris and Zeatt were also examining the staves as well as an enchanted rod.   Zeatt squinted to read a small word on the handle of the rod, which she then spoke aloud, holding the rod away from everyone in case some sort of magic was generated.   There was a flash of dull light and suddenly the rod became a twin headed flail.  

 

“A Rod of Flailing!”  The Drow lady exclaimed with a grin, “I’ve heard of these!  I’ll claim this one for myself, if it is acceptable to everyone?”

All present agreed and the Archbishop went over to a side of the room to practice swinging the enchanted weapon.

The King did not find anything in the gathered treasures, but Vinth selected from a small pile, a large round shield for his use.

Sir Alvis selected Helke, the one remaining Swords of the Opposites that had survived.  Thorm was elated to find that the Emperor’s hoard of enchanted weapons included a rare Dwarven Great Axe.   “’Twill return to the hand if ye throw it, like a boomerang!” The Dwarf explained; then hurried outside to the drill yard to try it out.

 

Eleazar, Pectros and Neal were all gathered around several sets of gauntlets and large leather belts.  

“Aurei, come here for a minute.”  Eleazar called to her and she went over to them.

“Do you know what these are?”  He asked excitedly.

“Belts and armored gauntlets?”

“Yes, but these are much more than that.   These increase the strength of the wearer to that of Ogres or Giants.”

“How do you know?”

“These are highly sought after by warriors the world over.”  Eleazar nodded at Neal, who had tried on a pair of the Gauntlets, “Neal, show the Duchess.”

With a mischievous grin, Neal bowed to her and put one arm around her waist and hoisted her up over his head as if she were a kitten.

“Put me down!” She yelled, to the men’s humor, and Neal gently sat her back on the floor.

“I need a pair of those.”  She said.

“Well, we can’t wear them while we wear plate armor, but these Girdles are even better.”  He held up a pair of thick brown belts.

“Girdles?   They are belts!”

“They’re called Girdles in some places.”

“They’re belts.”

“Well, try one on.” He handed her one of the belts and wrapped the other one around his waist and buckled it.

She copied his action and waited for him to give her further instructions.

“Okay”, he finally said, “It’s your turn; see if you can pick up Neal.”

She went over to the guard who suggested she try lifting him by his sword belt.   She took a deep breath, expecting him to be heavy, grabbed his belt and pulled with all her might.  

 

Neal screamed as he was flung high in the air like a child thrown in play by his father.   The ease with which he went into the air so stunned her that she did not react at all as he fell, but luckily Eleazar also had one of the belts on, and easily caught him and set him down.

"Good grief, Duchess, easy, next time!”  He said, looking a bit rattled.  

 

Pectros seemed impressed by the display of the magic belt and picked out for himself, the remaining one.

“Wow, that is really neat.” Aurei smiled, “But all this stuff belongs to King Haroldris, right?”

The King heard her and replied, “Feel free to keep it; I have much of what you have found in my own treasury.   Besides, I want all of you well armed before we find those Vampires.”

“Now we just need weapons that will destroy vampires.”   Aurei said.

“I may have found something.”  Siris stated, as she looked through a damaged crate that they had taken from the debris.

 

Aurei and Eleazar went over to her and found the Orc lady kneeling by the crate as Lute pulled what appeared to be a false bottom free.

“Look!”  She pointed to the glint of a sword pommel which was partially showing trough the wrappings of an oily cloth.  

 

Eleazar knelt next to her and reached in, pulling the bundle free.

“There are two swords wrapped together.”   He said as he untied the cloth, “One is a very lightweight Great Sword, the other is a Longsword.”

“Made just for us.”  Aurei kidded as he unwrapped the cloth from around the swords. A piece of old parchment fluttered down from where it had been hidden between the swords.   Aurei bent down and picked it up.

“It says, ‘The Swords of Peris the Holy, bane of the Undead.   The Great Sword is ‘Valere’; he that uses it will destroy the dead ones that walk, with the sword or with just a word from his lips.   The Longsword is ‘Egregie’, the light of God that burns those who are reanimated from the grave.   He that uses it will bring forth light like the sun.’”

Eleazar looked around the room, “Has anyone heard of Peris?”

 

Alvis nodded, “He was a Paladin in the years between the time of the Great Gathering and the coming of Yesh.   It is said that his quest was to destroy all the undead and those who brought them forth, from the face of the earth.”

“Unsheathe them.” The King suggested, coming over to see the swords.

Eleazar handed the longsword to Aurei and they both pulled them free from the scabbards at the same time.   Immediately blinding light flashed from Aurei’s sword, filling the room.   Alvis screamed in pain, “Put it back!”.   As soon as the tip entered the scabbard, the light faded.  

“What happened?” She asked, concerned.

“It was burning me, like fire.”  Alvis said, “Apparently I’m undead enough for the sword to work.”

“What about the other one; ‘Valare’?” Aurei asked.

Eleazar was looking at the blade, which, like the smaller sword, was not at all ornate, but seemed very basic in design; strong, durable, but plain.

“The parchment said the wielder could destroy undead by speaking, so I don’t think I’d better try that with Sir Alvis close by.”

“I’d say it turns undead like a Priest of Yesh.”   Zeatt suggested.

 

“Then I’d suggest that Aurei and Eleazar keep them and use them in our upcoming adventure.”  The King added and they agreed.   Those assembled in the room then turned to protecting themselves from any Vampire attack.   A few minutes later they were outfitted with Holy Water flasks that Zeatt had sanctified and given to them, as well as cross necklaces, and mirrors that they carried in their pockets.  

 

 

 

They had wanted to take necklaces of garlic, but the town was devoid of the stuff, as all the residents now wore them upon learning of vampires nearby.   They each took several sharp stakes and small wooden hammers which they put in their backpacks.  

It was nearly noon before they bid the Queen and Siris goodbye and boarded the Autumn Maid.   The two ladies watched them go with a mixture of anxiousness and sadness, but they assured them that they had no intention of being gone for more than several hours and were fully armed and prepared for their task.

As the Airship slowly lifted off, Aurei watched the town grow smaller and smaller.   She prayed that they would all return, with Alis and Aeric safe, long before nightfall.

 

***

 

It didn’t take long for the quick moving airship to reach Flatloaf Mountain, but as soon as they neared, they knew they were facing more than just a small number of Vampires.   There was a large black sphere of darkness that blanketed the entire mountain.   It wasn’t solid; instead it looked as if the blackness of the middle of night existed in a radius around the mountain.

“That’s an Orb of Night doing that.”  Alvis told them as they discussed the supernatural darkness.

“What is an Orb of Night?”  Aurei asked.

“There are four of them, allegedly.   Soric and his three Liches each have one.   Their sole purpose is to generate a sphere of night around them during daylight hours.”

“But the area of effect is several miles long!”

“Yes, and no light spell will be able to dispel it either.   It means only one thing.   One of Soric’s Liches is here, and that would also mean the Lich took one of their heavy airships.   They are massive crafts, each powered by twin Fire Elementals.   As you can imagine, they are manned by both Necromancers and a horrible assortment of undead.   There will be vampires and probably even Death Knights aboard the craft.”

“I see the airship!”  Captain Tarron said as he peered out the bridge window into the darkness sphere below them.  “It is indeed huge!   They are preparing to launch, I’d say.   Look it’s starting to rise!”

“Probably picking up the Vampires and Alis and Aeric as well.”  Alvis theorized.

“Will we be able to catch them if they take off?”   Haroldris asked.

“I don’t know, Your Highness.   We’d have better luck stopping them now before they can rise to the height of their flight path.”

The King looked at everyone, “Friends, I am very, very tired of my Kingdom being victimized by the Necromancer’s Guild.   Now they have some of our dear friends.   I do not want to pursue them; I want to attack and destroy everyone evil on board that vessel, including the Lich.   We will end this… today.”

A surprising roar of approval echoed from the room.

“But how will we get on board before they take off?”  Zeatt asked.

“We could ram them!” Thorm suggested.

“I’ve got a better idea.” Aurei said, and she wiggled her ring finger at Eleazar’s quizzical look.  

“It might work, but the weight of more than three would probably counter the feather fall effect.”   Eleazar replied.

Aurei looked around, “Eleazar and I are going to drop down on the Airship.   We’ll carry a mooring line and lash the ships together.   The rest of you can pull the Autumn Maid closer and board and join us.”

The room looked at her as if she were insane.

“We can take one more person with us.   Who wants to join the fun?”

It was no surprise when the King nodded, “I’m going with you.   I’ll tie the mooring line around my waist.  Once we secure it to the vessel, the rest of you join us.”

“Three of you against all of them?”   Thorm stammered, “Are ye crazy?   ‘Tis madness, Your Highness!   You’ll get killed!”

“But if we don’t, Aeric and Alis will certainly die, and this ship will return and inflict more death upon my Kingdom.   We have no time to debate it further!   Sir Alvis, due to your condition, I would suggest you stay aboard the Autumn Maid and assist here anyway you can.”

The Knight nodded, looking frustrated at the suggestion, but knowing it was best.

“Your Highness, surely there is another way!”  Zeatt begged, chasing after the three Paladins as they rushed out on deck.

“I don’t know of one, Matron Zeatt, but we are counting on your assistance as soon as we secure this ship to their craft.”   Quickly Eleazar tied a thick mooring rope around the King’s waist.  

“Aurei-“   Zeatt said to her niece, fear in her voice.

“Don’t worry, Aunt Zeatt; fear is the fuel of evil.”  Aurei quoted a saying of Yesh and her God’s words offered her little comfort at that moment.  

“You’ll be terribly outnumbered!”  She pleaded.

“Not with Yesh on our side.”   Aurei smiled, and then turned to Haroldris and Eleazar, “Grab hold of me, guys, and hang on tight.”

Both men nodded and came in close to her, each man grabbing her Belt of Giant Strength.   She gripped both of their enchanted belts in return and they peered over the edge as the others joined them on the windy deck.  

“At least let me cast a protection spell on you!”  Zeatt yelled to them, but they shook their heads and at that moment the Autumn Maid passed over the slowly rising Airship.

“Payback time.”   The King said, and then to his fellow Paladins, “Ready?   Jump!”

As one, the three leapt over the railing of the Autumn Maid, their jump aided by their girdles of Giant Strength.

Quickly they disappeared into the dark globe surrounding the huge airship.

“Yesh preserve them!”   Zeatt cried out to her God as she watched them descend.

 



© 2014 Eddie Davis


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Added on December 18, 2013
Last Updated on May 12, 2014
Tags: Drow, Elves, Death Knight, Fantasy, Adventure, Necromancers, Undead, Vampires, Airship, Magic, Good versus Evil

The Chronicles of Aurei Book 2: The Knights of Northmarch


Author

Eddie Davis
Eddie Davis

Springfield, MO



About
I'm a fantasy and science-fiction writer that enjoys sharing my tales with everyone. Three trilogies are offered here, all taking place in the same fantasy world of Synomenia. Other books and stor.. more..

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