1pm – Salithius Caves
We found ourselves looking into the anti-magic room through the latticed gate. Two stone golems stood sentinel at the portcullis at the side of the room, blocking our path. I had a thought. If Jon could send a magically lit coin through the gate between the golems I would be able to tell if the anti-magic ends and catch a glimpse of the hallway beyond in order to teleport the group.
Jon and Rouse entered the anti-magic room slowly after I triggered the latch to slide the gate up it’s vertical grooves. They made their way to the center of the room and faced the motionless golems. Jon bowled the unlit coin towards the other portcullis and it seemed to be rolling true until one of the golems deftly stomped on it while the other rushed towards what it perceived to be two intruders. Jon managed to tumble towards Abby and myself but Rouse was not so fortunate. He took a walloping from the golems and was hurtled backwards, only to land cat-like back on his feet. He quickly made his way back to the stairway while I made sure that the gate stayed open.
Abby rushed into the room to provide a distraction as Jon took out his second magically lit coin and made for the gated exit. This time he managed to roll the coin past the gate’s threshold and, as expected, it lit up the hallway beyond with magical light. Abby, meanwhile, had her hands full with the two golems and absorbed some blows from their stone swords. I called everyone back into the stairway. Jon managed to get back in but not before he suffered some minor damage of his own. I started to back up heading up the stairs, in case the golems decided to leave the anti-magic room – which would have been foolish instructions left by their maker.
Once everyone was past the gate, Rouse triggered the lever and the gate dropped leaving us staring at the two guards just on the other side. Rage and frustration welled inside Abby and she lunged at one of them through the bars with her sword, only to somehow drop the sword on the other side of the gate. What an odd and emotional move I thought to myself. One of the golems tried to stomp on the fallen sword but seemed to hurt it’s foot in the process. Both golems then walked back to their posts at the other metal gate.
Everyone was hurt but not so badly that we could not continue. We raised the gate once more so I could get a good look at the now magically lit hallway past the two golems. Everyone touched and I teleported them into the hallway beyond. One problem averted.
We searched our landing carefully and I found a secret door that lead to a narrower passage which we took, Jon and Rouse leading the way – Abby bringing up the rear, closing the secret door behind her. The narrow hall turned left and ended with another secret door. We opened it and I immediately sensed a magical Alarm had gone off. A Glyph of Warding filled the room beyond, which seemed like some sort of laboratory. A globe of the world sat proudly in the middle of the room. I quickly teleported everyone back to Willard’s kitchen assuming that nothing good could come from the magical Alarm we just set off.
Mabel was there and immediately started fussing over Abby’s wounds. Rouse left the kitchen to get cleaned up while Jon and I chatted about tactics. He smartly suggested that we should not teleport back each time we set off an alarm because that would remove our element of surprise. If we set off an alarm, then leave, then come back to the same place minutes later, we would probably be expected. I agreed with this assessment realizing that our next move would be tricky indeed.
When everyone returned to the kitchen we teleported back to the larger hall close to the two stone sentinels. We immediately noticed that the secret door that we closed was now open and a single set of leather booted tracks lead out of the narrow hall and immediately back in. We also noticed that the hallway beyond was emanating a dim light, whether magical or natural, we could not tell. Abby’s sword was glowing faintly red, indicating the presence of evil. I turned invisible and flew through the open door and down the narrow hallway towards the source of light. I peered around the corner looking for the source of the light and signs of magic but what I did not expect to see was a small table at the laboratory entrance. On it was a pitcher of water and four glasses. An oil lamp was also lit and hanging above the lab entrance. We were expected. The Glyph of Warding that filled the lab minutes ago was no longer there – nor was the alarm spell that caused our retreat to Willard’s kitchen. I signalled for Jon to join me and see this welcoming display for himself. He joined me, had a quick look, and the two of us backed up down the hall to rejoin Rouse and Abby, closing the silent door behind us.
We were discussing our plan of action when Abby’s sword started glowing brighter and brighter indicating evil approaching. We got ready to battle and I backed up ten feet from the door and cast an Anti-Magic field around myself, expecting the worst. Immediately the secret door swung open and, through it, flew a handsome young wizard greeting us like we were late for a social engagement. Upon entering my Anti-Magic field he quickly dropped to the floor, managing to land safely on his feet.
I wondered about that remark. Has that become my title in the wizarding world? “Grab him,” I yelled as I rushed towards him.
Abby managed to grab a hold of our host as he was backing up into the narrower hall. We all jumped on him as he cried protests to our rudeness, exclaiming that all he wanted to do was have a chat. He told us his name was Reginald, before we managed to beat him unconscious, or so we thought. He was good at masking pain and we quickly realized that he was only pretending to be knocked out. We removed his robe to find him completely naked underneath. I removed no less than five rings from his fingers and tucked them into my robe pocket for future inspection. Jon knocked him out, for real this time, with his trusty sap, and then bound his hands and feet with rope.
When satisfied that Reginald was finally out, I dropped the Anti-Magic field. Abby’s sword resumed it’s bright glow, confirming Reginald’s evil intentions. I dragged his limp body around the corner, closer to the entrance to the lab.
Rouse and I immediately wanted to kill him and continue our search for Salithius’ bed. It could not have been far since we seemed to have found the beginnings of his working quarters. Abby did not seem to understand the dangers our bound captive would pose if he was to regain consciousness outside my Anti-Magic field, nor did she care that her sword was still glowing red. She kept whining something about not killing Reginald.
I suggested, in a not so eloquent manner, that she might have been entranced by her womanly flows. I also suspected that she was somehow charmed, maybe not by Reginald, if that indeed was his true name, but by someone else hiding in the lab or beyond. Anti-Magic was new to me and I was unsure if I did something wrong. Was Reginald alone? Killing this man would give us a definite answer as to whether more evil lurked nearby. Abby’s sword would surely tell us.
After more odd debate Abby seemed to mentally shut down. Rouse dexterously slit Reginald’s throat and blood poured onto the stone floor, as Abby’s sword slowly stopped glowing much to my relief. My fears that Reginald was a decoy flittered away. I checked Reginald’s robe, which was lying on the floor around the corner for magic but found nothing.
We continued into the lab where I immediately became entranced by the globe of the world and started studying it. I spun it around and found Atlin and Pern. I found Lehoo and realized where we were for those few months of vacation. I spotted other lands and made a mental note to explore them one day. The others drew me away from the globe. I sent a quick message to Willard asking him who Reginald was. He replied that he was Reginald The Sadistic, Salithius’ apprentice, and that he should be brought back alive. Too late, but Willard would understand. I know he would not have wanted me to put his dear Abby at risk.
There was a set of two secret doors that lead us out of the lab and into the kitchen. A lateral hallway took us to two sets of double doors, one of which alluded to Salithius’ penchant for pirate role-playing. It was adorned with a decoratively designed “Sal The Pirate” wood carving. This oddity reminded me of Willard and the childish games he likes to play. We went through the doors and found ourselves in a lavish bedroom, bath in one corner, bed in another. We started moving towards the bed when I heard some strange sounds and Abby grunted with pain. I whirled around and I could see it. It was another Shadesteel Golem, the kind that was guarding Willard when he was trapped in the maric ruby. I tried to Arcane mark it missed. Then I reached for Willard’s gift-box in my bag and placed it onto one of the pillows on the bed. The others were trying to fight off a creature they could barely see, if it all, and I called them towards me.
We teleported back to the hallway where Reginald The Sadistic’s body lay bleeding. The Shadesteel Golem was there also but I was unsure how – It must also have the power of teleportation. I stepped on Reginald’s body and teleported all five of us again. The golem must have messed up my concentration so I teleported us to some Northern locale, knee deep in snow, freezing air. I teleport us again, this time directly to my room at Willard’s mansion in Bastion, relieved.