19 Desnus 4709 – Afternoon
We continue following the signs that have been left behind for those who need to find the way the secret hide-out. I want to put as much distance as I can between myself and the dead Hell Knights. When those bodies are found somebody is going to be more than a little angry and I do not want to be around when that happens.
After some time we encounter a round cove on our left. At the rear end, there is a metal grid fence. Behind it we can see the sea and the island with the nobles. The sun seems to be setting but it still light outside. If we linger to long in these sewers however, we will be trapped here for the night. From our view and the way the corridor runs, I determine that we are travelling south.
We continue quickly as we do not have the power to remove the metal grid fence. We keep on erasing the arrows. Everything seems to be going smoothly until we are surprised by two walking skeletons carrying scimitars. They just appear from around a corner. I have heard and read stories about how some wizards or clerics have the power to raise the dead but never in my wildest dreams had I expected to encounter these walking corpses for real.
Elaith charges but his attack misses hopelessly. In a reflex, I try to shoot them. My arrows have no effect though. There is so little surface I can hit. Had there been flesh, one of my arrows would have pierced that person’s belly but now it just flies through empty air. Fortunately, Siras and Elaith quickly dispatch of these walking corpses and hopefully they will stay motionless for all eternity now.
I am less upset than our encounter with the Hell Knights. These things were dead to begin with, but the question is why they were here. Animated skeletons with scimitars are not just left behind. Close to where we encountered took place we find a small room with cleaning appliances. The gear is still quite new but someone made a mess of everything afterwards.
Except for the messy room, we find some small creatures called Torbles. I have seen images of them in a book and know they can be found in the sewers of Westcrown. Torbles are a kind of gelatinous cubes with legs and antennae. They are approximately eight inch in diameter. I have read about them and remember they are afraid of light and have no intelligence. They can be controlled by wizards but the ones in the sewers tend to move around freely.
We cannot discover however where the skeletons came from or why they are here so we move on. We make some good progress. At one point we encounter a barrier made up of large material that got stuck in the sewers. Among the items in the barrier are two carts and I wonder how they got down here. Siras and I pull the barrier apart far enough so that we can pass it.
Not far beyond the barrier we get another surprise. As we approach another crossing, Siras can hear some moaning coming from one of the side corridors. Before we can decide on what to do, two people appear around the corner. Well, at first I thought they were people, but quickly it becomes clear they are not. There movements are weird and so are their looks. The bodies are decomposing, which can only mean that they must be some kind of zombies. They wear the clothing of regular workmen in Westcrown which most likely means that they were raised in a local graveyard.
I am abhorred by them. Not only by their looks, but also by the fact that some evil person raised these people from their last resting place. As these zombies move to attack us, I do not have much time to linger on these thoughts. My allies are already attacking these new enemies when I raise my bow and start shooting. My first shot hits. The arrow goes through the head. I see some pieces of brain and hair attached to the arrow as it continues its flight. I almost have to throw up at the sight but the zombie seems to be unaffected.
Subsequently Elaith stabs his rapier straight through the zombie’s head. When he pushes his blade up the whole heads comes clean of. The remaining zombie rushes towards me. Up close it looks much than at a safe shooting distance, and the smell is horrible as well. As my bow is useless, I use my free right hand to hit the oncoming zombie as hard as I can. My aim is true and the head comes of almost completely. It is only attached to the body with a few muscles or something like that. All my instincts tell me to split and run. I stand frozen to the ground as the hands of the nearly decapitated zombie reach for me. They miss and Siras kills it. I thank him as the zombie falls into the sewage canal and stays there motionless.
I do not know how they do it, but my allies start doing some research on the zombies. They discover that the zombies have arrows in their back which is what most likely killed them. In addition to that they have burn marks on their ankles, their boots have been burned through and their Achilles tendons have been removed. These things have most likely been performed when these men were already dead. Nobody can think of a reason why. All the time I stood at a safe distance.
We continue following the signs again. When Siras sees another of the signs, he suddenly recognises it, it is the resembles symbol of Iomedae. This most likely means that those who left them behind have some kind of connection to this goddess. Iomedae stands for Honor, Justice, Rulership and Valor, and that places this illegal organisation of Janiven into a slightly different light.
As the sun must already have set above the surface, we continue following the symbols of Iomedae. In one of the side corridors we see another blockade behind which we can hear the sea but we do not have the strength to pull this one apart.
Just beyond that crossing, Korvus is shot in the back and falls to the ground heavily wounded. He is still moving though. Behind us there are two goblins. A combat begins. Elaith and Siras charge the goblins and I start shooting with the bow I borrowed from Janiven. During the combat, two more goblins appears from blockade. When the fight starts turning into our advantage, I manage to kill one of the goblins with an arrow. As I start to run low on ammunition, I put down my bow and continue the fight with my bare hands. These little green creatures are hard to hit for me, but Elaith and Siras finish them off. Siras kills the last one with his flail by smashing the goblin’s head against the wall which causes it to split open.
I look away at once but my allies are untroubled. Siras just wipes his flail clean. Maybe, when I have seen many more battles, I can be just be as casual about this, but I pray to Shelyn that that day will never arrive. That the gods have a different fate in store for me.