Korday, Marantus 11, 1018 A.G. – In Acererak’s Original Tomb of Horrors, Arantus
29 DAYS TO MoNR
Just as we received new powers last night, so did Kuiperia, who, feeling more healthy and powerful, raced thru the chamber, jumping into the Chariot at the last second, just as we teleported to Acererak’s Tomb of Horrors. Ungus was riding the winged horse. It took a while for us to arrive, I don’t know why. We kept spinning as if in a vortex, seeing eerie, bizarre images. We saw some of our past allies who were killed, we saw the face of Gabbe come and go, we saw green-faced devils and an image of a particularly intimidating Balor – staring and grinning at us as drool ran down his chin. Morthwyl, putting his hand over his mouth so as to not be sick, recognized him as Tarnhem the sire to both Lord Vhennyk and Acererak. Also when we saw Gabbe, we telepathically heard her ask if we needed to come to Argent for the night. But she faded away, our connection lost because we are so deep in the tomb and hard to reach.
Despite the spinning and the images, we managed to rest for a few minutes. We arrived in two separate circles. Ungus and the winged horse hovering 10 feet above one circle while the rest of remained in the chariot floating 5 feet above a circle. We are in a large chamber with a set of steep, slippery stairs in one corner. At the top is a platform where a small jeweled skull is hovering. Immediately we recognize it as the same skull which inhabited the God Gollum we destroyed – in other words it is Acererak himself. Surrounding each of our arrival circles are three armored skeletons. On another wall are two sets of metal double doors. The battle starts as Kuiperia jumps out of the chariot onto the stairs using her new ability to ignore difficult terrain. She then moves up and attacks Acererak while noticing that one of his two eye sockets has a jewel but the other is a bloody/goopy real eye as if it had been ripped out of someone’s face. When she conveys that message, I remember seeing a sketch as a child – it is the Eye of Vecna! Vecna is the extremely evil God of Secrets and Acererak once served as his apprentice. After Kuiperia causes major damage to him, she drinks a Potion of Spectral Form and goes insubstantial. Groa then casts a spell on the skeletons, provoking an attack on her but Morthwyl switches places with her, taking the damage. Her deadly spell kills four of the six skeletons, missing only one – the 6th one being out of range. As each of the skeletons die, they burst into ectoplasmic splatters dazing Kuiperia, Groa and me. Another one also burst hurting Morthwyl, Ungus, Kuiperia and me, dazing us again. Ungus shrugs off his daziness, flying the horse back to the chariot and reconnects the harness. Acererak very quietly but eerily says: “More fodder for my soul gems” as the gems light up, sending out a burst hitting all of us, causing lots of damage and stunning us. Then his jeweled skull turns to look at me with his Azure Eye, slowing me with ongoing psychic damage. Then he does the same to Groa followed up by hitting me with his Necrotic Ray. I’m laughing, due to nervousness but also because I know we will overcome him in the long run. Then he flies toward the double doors which fling open. But he stops just short of the doors, in the alcove. The two surviving skeletons move in to attack Ungus. I undaze myself but am still stunned and slowed and taking ongoing damage and getting bloodied from it. Morthwyl charged and killed the last two skeletons.
So, rather than give you a blow by blow account of what happened next, suffice it to say that it was a long, drawn-out battle with me almost dying at one point. One point to make was that Acererak moved further away, out of our sight into another large chamber but then he strangely came back into our view. In that other room were 3 floating skulls which began assisting him. Ungus keeps healing us and we all keep attacking him. At last, weakened by our combined attacks, Acererak is felled by Groa’s lightning, his skull shattering to pieces as the goopy eye falls to the ground. In addition, her attack kills one of the lesser skulls and pushes another. I then destroy another skull while Morthwyl destroyed the final one, ending the battle. I hear a faint cry from my haversack. Uncle Crogan says “Well done lads and lasses!”
After a short rest, we start our search for treasure. We found treasures beyond our wildest dreams! We are filthy rich! And we obtained both a powerful magical item and a potion. Of course we also recovered the Eye of Vecna and celebrated that the Moment of No Return is OVER and we have saved the world! Or have we????