Rissis and Santhil draw their weapons as they creep along the tiled floor of the kitchen. Dead plants sit in the windows, and dusty bird carvings adorn the walls. Piles of broken ceramics sit on the counters. As they make their way to the top of the steps, they exchange one last final glance. Rissis pushes open the door. It’s hinges break the silence with a loud creak. Cold air greets them and causes a sudden moment of surprise. Arrow notched, Rissis stares into the darkness, looking for movement. Santhil slowly descends, his half-elf ears listening for the slightest sound. The stairs are crooked and loud. Each step breaks the silence. Thunder booms outside, but its roar is muffled as they descend underground. Pale yellow bricks line the cellar. At the bottom of the steps, Rissis lights a single candle. Dim light reveals the room. Something stirs in the corner.
Rissis and Santhil wheel around, terrified of what they might find. Nothing. Only a scroll of parchment has been disturbed. Weapons in hand, they move to investigate. Santhil kneels down and reaches out to touch it. His hand is instantly frozen as an icy cold, darkness reaches out from a shadow. Searing pain shoots up his arm. Utter cold freezes his movement. The darkness materializes before him. Rissis looses and arrow hitting it square in the core, but the arrow sails through it, clattering on the yellow brick. Rissis grabs the collar of Santhil and drags him backwards. Santhil’s hand is numb as he fumbles for his mace. The darkness elongates itself and stands upright. A slight breeze from a grate in the floor blows wisps of inky shadow from it. Rissis looses another arrow, again, it shatters on the wall opposite. Santhil crawls around the being and makes for the stairs. The door at the top slams shut and as the darkness moves in front of the candle, it burns out.
Heavy breathing is all that can be heard as Santhil and Rissis panic in the completely darkened room. Suddenly lightning cracks outside and for several seconds, Rissis can see the outline of the creature drifting towards him, wisps outstretched. Santhil rips the grate from the floor and plunges in. Darkness again as the lightning subsides. Rissis can feel a coldness approaching and backs away. Once again, CRACK! Thunder booms outside and the room is lit again for a moment. The dark shape is inches away from Rissis as he ducks and rolls past, deftly maneuvering towards the grate. He looks back into the darkness once more before jumping down.
He lands with a splash into a large, slowly moving underground waterway. The rushing of water can be heard in every direction as storm drains overflow from the rain. After struggling to stand up, Rissis lights a torch. He is happy to see Santhil is alright, if a little shaken.
The pair stands in a large underground waterway. It’s rounded walls and ceiling are covered with years of moist decay. Small ducts lead off on either side, water rushing in. They stand nearly waist deep in the murky water. Fearing that they are still in danger, they decide to keep moving.
They begin to move north. Quietly they pass under the city of Darromar. Rissis and Santhil both occasionally glance over their shoulder, expecting to see the night terror closing in. But they are only greeted with the torchlight reflecting off the ripples they make as they walk. After several minutes of walking in the water, Santhil throws up his hand. A struggle of some sort can be heard up ahead. Before they can focus their attention on that though, a strange noise comes from behind. Growing louder and louder, shrill screeches and growling can be heard. They draw their weapons and prepare for the worst.
A large mob of small apelike creatures claws over itself and erupts into the waterway. The unruly mob assaults Rissis and Santhil. Using their hand weapons, they slay many, however the horde does not seem to let up. It instead grows thicker and thicker. They continue to defend themselves as they keep moving towards the sound of the original struggle.
Suddenly loud screaming is heard, followed by a splash. They are flanked on both sides and prepare to make a final stand.
The silhouette of the man appears at the end of the alley way. The creatures writhe at his feet, covered in Gespar’s blood.
Vronsky grips is greatsword tightly, preparing to hold his ground one last time. The ghouls slink forward, keeping low to the ground. The evil figure loads his giant crossbow once more and fires a bolt. Vronsky parries it into the wall, but a ghoul seizes the moment and leaps. It lashes out and claws at his face. Vronsky pulls his dagger and slashes its ribs open spilling black blood everywhere. The other ghouls move in for the kill. Vronsky rolls on the ground, a large metal plate digging into his back. He defends the ghouls and kicks the metal plate over. Using his last strength he rolls himself into the void, hoping for something better than his current situation.
A landing in water is better than it could have been. But the loud chatter of many creatures and fighting causes the sense of relief to fade. But he is renewed with energy when he hears the voices of his comrades, Santhil and Rissis amongst the fray.
Slowly fighting their way over to the splash, Santhil and Rissis realize that the guest is none other than Vronsky himself. Amongst the fight for their lives, a brief smile passes over all. But the odds have quickly become one-sided. Santhil and Rissis tell Vronsky that they will have to make a run for it. The trio slay the closest beasts and turn and run. They splash through the water, occasionally diving below.
They come to a large waterfall. Left with no option the trio swims over the edge. They fall for several seconds before crashing into the turbulent water at the bottom. Rissis’s torch goes out and they surface in darkness. They swim away from the roar, unsure of where they are going. They are in a small square chamber with no moving current. They can hear the roar of the creatures getting louder. Rissis shouts for everyone to dive as it is their only option.
The trio swims to the bottom of the pool and feeling in the darkness, they discover a small opening in the bottom serving as a drain. Rissis swims in blindly followed by Santhil and Vronsky. For several minutes they navigate the lightless tunnels under water. Finally emerging into a large open space, Rissis and the others swim as fast as they can towards what they hope will be a room with air in it.
Gasping as they break the surface, the trio emerge into a small rectangular room. Rissis swims to a nearby ledge and crawls out. He lights a torch and the others swim towards him. The party is completely winded and out of energy. Panting hardly, Santhil and Vronsky examine their surroundings. They are in a small, narrow room. At one end is the pool they emerged from. At the other sits a single brass door. Aside from their own heavy breathing, the room is utterly silent. They get the feeling they are still underground. Desperate for rest, the party wrings their clothes out and sleeps on the stone floor.
The stone is keenly cut and the structure does not resemble anything they saw in Darromar. They snack on what little food they have left and fall asleep. With not natural light, they have no idea what time it is…