Gin’s Journal, Day 41, Page 100
Currently, we are on the move and I do not have time to write about the details of our first encounter within Vod’s Spire. To say the least, we were victorious in battle but at a cost. The skeletal hound proved to be a difficult foe along with the strange ghouls that fought alongside it. Theren was crippled in fear from the undead hound and was not as effective in his martial abilities. Balor was severely injured and Tamar nearly died in the fight. We expected to face the undead, but we never anticipated such powerful abominations. These things were different than the undead we were used to back home.
The chamber we hid ourselves in was dark and I feared sinister things could emerge from that dark. We rested for an hour, bandaging our wounds and egos. I collected the bones of the skeleton hound and placed them in the strange sack Theren found in the giant hovel. The bones were black and sleek to the touch. Tamar had nearly passed through the door of death once more and used her divine powers to heal herself, but her scars remained as reminders of how close she was to seeing her god. Balor dressed his own injuries and gathered his throwing implement, Sever. The gruff dwarf looked tired and worn. Theren, I could tell, seemed frustrated and angry with himself for succumbing to his fear of the skeletal hound. I wondered if he had ever experienced such fear before.
As we rested, Theren tapped into his senses and extended his awareness, a skill I had seen other solus peregriner perform in my days with my people. He sensed the undead and I saw goose bumps form on his skin. He told us there were dozens upon dozens of abominations, if not more, all around us. He described an army. I saw a faint tinge of apprehension in his eyes.
It made sense. The elves of Domtoch Kreeg had untold generations of their sick folk abducted by Vod and taken to the spire to be twisted and malformed into the abominable undead that we face now. I expected we would face such a force, but I failed communicate this to my companions. I could tell their morale was low and their resolve was waning. I read from their faces that they questioned why they followed me to this damnable place.
This place was wrong and I, too, began to doubt.
I knew why I came – to find the truth of the world’s calamity; to set things right and bring back life and beauty into the world; to exact resolute vengeance upon those who had done this to my home and my family – to all the innocent families; and most of all, to uncover the shroud of the Umbra, which I know had a hand in the world’s blight, and to expose it to the light, and to destroy it once and for all! But what of my companions? Tamar? Why did she follow me? Did she have a sense of unknown divine duty? What duty and for whom? Or was she truly as crazy as a loon following delusional omens and teachings? Balor? Did his grief and guilt drive him away from his home? Was this his pathetic attempt to run away from the reality of his wife’s death? And what of Theren? He claims he joined us to explore the world, but to me, that is a shallow explanation. Theren was a solus peregriner, and I knew that all such lone wanderers hunted for a path, be it well-traveled or less so; a destination they sought with an end in sight, and nothing would stop them to achieve that end. But what was his destination? Of the three, Theren was the most enigmatic to me in his reasons and the one that could hinder my desires.
We were in a dangerous place; perhaps too dangerous. But our resolve was set and our fate predetermined by unknown forces. A weak man would have turned and ran away, perhaps to live another day, but would have gained no knowledge, truth, or power. Only the bold take risks to achieve their desire, and we were truly bold.
Once we had finished resting, we moved forward, into the dark labyrinthine chambers of Vod’s spire.