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Issue 46

The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46

A SemiSemi-Regular Magazine for Fantasy and Science Fiction Gaming and Fiction

Contents:
Editorial
The Tyrrany of Evil Men
Artifacts of the Ages
They Shall be Paid in the Coin of the Realm
Vengeance off the Necromancer
Temple of the Deep

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The Sorcerers
cerers Scrolls Issue #46 is Copyright 2010 by Nicholas Bergquist, all rights reserved. All contents are
copyrighted and owned by the individual authors or illustrators.
Editor: Nicholas Torbin Bergquist; Published by Zodiac Gods Publishing
Authors: Tori Bergquist, Jarrod Camiré and Dan Lambert
Markk Hughey, used with
Artists: Tori Bergquist, various royalty free pieces. Some artwork copyright ©2008 Mar
permission. Some artwork by Paul slinger. Cover and some interior art by Sade. Additional royalty
royalty-free artwork by
Michael Koal and the team of Sphere Pr
Productions. Some are from the AGP Studio Companion. Cover by Dave Ross.
The Sorcerer’s Scrolls is now paying for contributions! Payment is a percentage of royalties from revenue
generated through RPGnow.com and affiliated sites and is based on contribution size. Please send all submissions,
inquiries and feedback to toribergquist@gmail.com and thanks for reading!

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The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46

Editorial
By Tori Bergquist

Well, the first issue of the new year is here….it’s March, however, so the year is no longer so
new. This issue features fiction, analysis, and game content to suit a diversity of tastes. Jarrod
Camiré offers a unique article on designing distinctive currency for your preferred campaign
setting, with plenty of visual aids to assist you. A new fantasy scenario written for use with
Runequest but easily adaptable to other RPGs can be found in “Vengeance of the
Necromancer.” I am offering up a piece of fiction in the form of “Temple of the Deep,” as well,
which will hopefully be enjoyed by fans of sword & sorcery fiction. Dan Lambert provides a
fascinating analysis of the ethics behind Pulp Fiction in “The Tyrrany fo Evil Men.” Last but not
can be found two new artifacts for use with D&D 4th edition.
As always, TSS is eager for submissions and offers a royalty-percentage payment based on size
of contribution to content, so if you would like to get published with minimal fuss and get a
little money on the side, we’re here for you. We’re especially interested in fiction right now, as
well as off-beat articles and content for Pathfinder, D&D 4E, Traveller, Runequest and other
current, popular games.
So, without any more delay, enjoy!
--Tori Bergquist
March 8th, 2010

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But you must choose to do so. As the film progresses. after Vincent accidentally shoots a man in the face. Critics of Pulp Fiction argue that the main characters possess no sense of morality. it is right" (36). What do they hope to gain? Are they out for material wealth. Jules believes that his boss. morally questionable. but because Vincent has thoughtlessly put the two hit men at risk of being discovered by the police. "shoulda fuckin' known better" (16). These critics argue that unlike Winston Groom's tale of a Southern simpleton who inspires hope in others. In a very real sense. The critics who fail to find a message in Pulp Fiction miss the point. nothing more or less. on the other hand. the characters' decisions to leave the world of ethical relativism are precipitated by random events. Professional killers Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winfield (Samuel L. Jules' random event begins when a young man fires five close-range shots from a Magnum revolver at he and 3 . the rules of conventional morality have been turned on their heads. Another common criticism of Pulp Fiction is that the film leaves its audience without an allencompassing "message. One of Tarantino’s most famous films in 1994’s Pulp Fiction. Once you understand that you are a denizen of this violent world. the two hit men discuss this issue while preparing to murder a group of young men who have stolen from their boss. Interestingly. These critics complain that the film is devoid of redeeming characters. it is important to remember that the exploitation genre is about more than just mindless violence. morally acceptable in this world. Later in the film. you have the key with which you can leave it. To react violently to a foot massage or to put your co-worker at risk of being arrested is unacceptable. When designing and running an adventure for Exploitation!. Granted. "overreacted. To kill three men because your boss has instructed you to is. Jules becomes enraged not because a human life has been taken. feels that the offending masseuse. Such is the subculture of Pulp Fiction: in this world of professional killers and organized crime. The fact that these two characters are able to successfully escape this world at all is the essential message of Pulp Fiction. Philosopher Robert B. Marsellus Wallace. Its characters function in a world of moral ambiguity and ethical relativism. Vincent and Jules clearly view their murderous profession as just that: a profession. the judgment made by its members is correct. Both Jules and Butch make this fundamental moral choice. under the proper circumstances." The film is often compared unfavorably with the obvious "message film" Forrest Gump (also from 1994). but it is there nonetheless. the film's message is obscured amid the layers of violence and tough talk that make up Tarantino's street-smart milieu. The film demonstrates that the amoral miasma of organized crime that its characters inhabit is not a keyless prison. at least in Jules' opinion. two key characters manage to claw their way out of this world of ethical relativism: the professional killer Jules and the washed-up boxer Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis). to Vincent and Jules. Jackson) are denizens of such a community. Tarantino's story of hit men and mob bosses offers nothing in the way of morals or morality. Ashmore defines ethical relativism as the belief that "in each culture. Tony Rocky Horror.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 The Tyranny of Evil Men: Ethical Relativism in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction by Dan Lambert One of my main influences when writing the Exploitation! roleplaying game was film director Quentin Tarantino. morally justified. To throw a man from a balcony for massaging a woman's feet is. revenge. or something even more personal? This article seeks to shed light on character motivation by taking a closer look at the characters of Pulp Fiction. To kill a defenseless human being is. if the community thinks something is right. Think about what motivates the characters (PCs as well as NPCs). Vincent and Jules heatedly discuss the morality of their boss' decision to throw a man over a balcony for allegedly massaging his wife's feet. the film is about morality. In both Jules and Butch's case. that is." Vincent.

I can't go back to sleep" (146). Jules' decision to leave Marsellus' ethically relativistic underworld culture opens up a world of possibility to him. . Blessed is he who. the young man who made the fatal mistake of crossing Marsellus Wallace. Like Marsellus. Vincent is frightened by this world. but only now does he understand it. Butch makes an agreement with the crime boss Marsellus (Ving Rhames) to intentionally lose a boxing match. Both men have a vested interest in the fight's 4 . Jules tells Vincent that his days as a hit man are through: "My eyes are wide fuckin' open. the audience is given an opportunity to see a demonstration of Jules' new moral stance. Jules can only eliminate the world's evil by first eliminating the evil in himself. Jules' decision goes far beyond a mere career change. Jules punctuates the verse not by pulling the trigger on his pistol but by analyzing the words that he has just spoken." (158).a fuckin' bum! (147) Vincent views Jules' escape from the world of ethical relativism not as a moral success. The character of Butch undergoes a metamorphosis not unlike that of Jules. during Jules' conversation with Pumpkin. but I don't think what happened this morning qualifies" (145). Vincent's death is a reminder that the prison of ethical relativism is a dangerous place." This leads him to re-think the morality of his chosen profession. And I'm sorry Jules. Jules tells us that he has repeated this verse countless times. in a spiritual sense. . When Jules tells him that he intends to walk the earth "until God puts me where he wants me to be. He believes that his decision to remain locked away in the prison of ethical relativism ensures his survival. Our introduction to Butch makes it clear that he is a representative denizen of Tarantino's amoral subculture. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. . that's what you're gonna be -. . They walk around like a bunch of fuckin' zombies. He explains his decision to Pumpkin: "Normally both of your asses would be dead as fuckin' fried chicken. But I'm tryin'. Pumpkin (Tim Roth) and Honey Bunny (Amanda Plummer). Jules undergoes a fundamental change in moral perspective. But you happened to pull this shit while I'm in a transitional period" (155). you can consider my ass retired" (115-16). they're called bums. From here on in. Vincent is disgusted: . Ezekiel 25:17 tells Jules that his chosen profession is morally bankrupt: "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. but a "freak occurrence. He is unable to see beyond his own materialistic goals to comprehend Jules' spiritual goal. telling Vincent ". residence. they sleep in garbage bins. A young couple. a "miracle" is "when God makes the impossible possible. but chooses to spare their lives instead. Jules explains his new realization. Jules repeats this verse (Ezekiel 25:17) to Pumpkin. shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness. Jules has an opportunity to kill the couple. but he has no intention of doing so. When Jules announces that he intends to reject the life of a professional killer to "walk the earth" (146). It is in the film's final scene. Jules realizes that he cannot rely on others to "shepherd the weak through the valley of darkness" (157). And without a job. He likens his decision to an awakening. Almost immediately after he makes his decision. . Vincent does not even share Jules' interpretation of the event that precipitated his transformation. he recites an Old Testament verse to his victim. . they eat what I throw away. The audience is already aware that Vincent's decision is a foolish one: an earlier scene foreshadows his death while on assignment for Marsellus.You're gonna be like those pieces of shit out there who beg for change. Before Jules murders Brett. Butch is motivated by greed. to Pumpkin: "The truth is you're the weak. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd" (158). and its accompanying moral transition. In a pivotal piece of dialogue. or legal tender. Those who refuse to leave it are. already dead. in the name of charity and good will. They got a word for 'em. incomprehensively missing them both. that we see the true evidence of the hit man's metamorphosis. however. and he pays a heavy price for it in the end. Vincent views the event not as a miracle. This time. After the two killers dispatch their would-be executioner in a flurry of gunfire. but as a financial failure. decide to stage an armed robbery of the coffee shop in which Jules is eating breakfast. Vincent would rather murder people for a living than lose his means of financial support." Vincent asks "what if he never does" (147)? Vincent possesses a false sense of security.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 Vincent. Jules decides that this incredibly fortuitous episode was the result of a "miracle. Vincent fails to make the moral transformation that his partner has made. . .That's it for me. and dogs piss on 'em." To Vincent.

Tonight. Mr. Marsellus' reaction is expected: not only is he a denizen of Tarantino's morally relativistic criminal subculture. Marsellus pursues Butch into a pawn shop. (75) Following this exchange. we realize that Butch has joined Jules in escaping the culture of ethical relativism that ensnares nearly everyone in the film. a family must team up with the ruthless criminals who kidnapped them in order to defeat a horde of bloodthirsty vampires. Marsellus cares very little about the death of Butch's opponent. Right now. As Marsellus begins to bring the mantle of violence down on his former captors.That's what he gets for fuckin' up my sport. (The introduction of a greater threat to resolve a dispute is a plot device that Tarantino frequently uses. This is not Christ-like forgiveness. Enough about the poor unfortunate Mr. As a result of his rescue. . This shit's between me and you and the soon-to-belivin'-the-rest-of-his-short-ass-life-in-agonizing-pain. and consequently leave the ethically relativistic world that Marsellus inhabits.a year from now when you're kickin' it in the Caribbean you're gonna say. . Tarantino describes Butch's change of heart in detail: "Butch decides for the life of him. In a sense. Butch's explanation is also reminiscent of the cold pragmatism of Marsellus' earlier monologue. By rescuing Marsellus.'Cause I'm a boxer. Two: leave town. So he begins rooting around the pawnshop for a weapon to bash those hillbillies' heads in with" (105). but he is also an authority figure in it. Marsellus suspends the underworld code of behavior which demands that Butch must die for his earlier transgression. then he was dead before his ass ever stepped in the ring. In his script From Dusk To Dawn. but he also kills his unfortunate opponent. he creates a new set of rules to replace the old ones. You've lost your Los Angeles privileges. ready to pop a cap in his ass" (72). At this point. and it is in that split-second of screen time that he achieves redemption. Marsellus will forgive his debt and allow him to go free: I don't feel the least little bit bad. you've said pretty much all there is to say about me. And when you're gone. Not only does Butch win the fight. In a scene that was heavily edited from Tarantino's original screenplay. What he does care about is the fact that Butch betrayed his trust and cost him a great deal of money. stay gone.) In what is probably the most poignant scene in Pulp Fiction. although it is doubtful that the crime lord will reform his life because of it. . If he never laced up his gloves in the first place. . but it is the closest thing to it that we can expect from Marsellus: a character that is deeply-rooted in the culture of ethical relativism. Floyd Ray Willis. If Butch goes to Indo China. if he [Floyd] was a better fighter he'd be alive. Floyd. I just put the poor bastard outta his misery. or rescuing him. Butch makes an unspoken decision to do the latter. you'd a made it before now. If Butch agrees to these new rules. And if he never was a boxer -. You came close. Marsellus Wallace was right" (27). And after you've said that. but you never made it. Butch broke the rules of Marsellus's underworld morality. Now maybe that son-of-a-bitch tonight was once at one time a boxer. because they both intend to profit from it. where they both confront a greater threat: the psychotic. Butch's explanation of his lack of remorse for the man he killed reveals a "survival of the fittest" moral stance that is remarkably similar to Vincent and Jules' ethical relativism. in which he tells Butch why he should throw the fight: "Boxers don't have old timers day. Butch must quickly decide between leaving Marsellus in the clutches of the psychotic brothers. The final confrontation that results from Marsellus' desire to exact vengeance upon Butch . . which he never shoulda done. Butch demonstrates a jarring lack of remorse after learning of Floyd's death from a cab driver: gives the boxer an opportunity to redeem himself and escape the miasma of ethical relativism.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 outcome. Butch is happy to leave this world. Deal? (108) Marsellus is essentially asking Butch to leave his sphere of underworld influence. Butch" (76). Butch's phone conversation with his brother reveals a similar attitude: "Hey. .Two things I ask: don't tell nobody about this. Rapist here [Zed]. It ain't nobody else's business. let's talk about the rich and prosperous Mr. sadomasochistic brothers Zed and Maynard. the Zed and Maynard episode represents a form of redemption for Marsellus as well. And if you were gonna make it. 5 . and Marsellus is obliged to exact vengeance upon him because of it. Marsellus makes it clear to one of his lieutenants that he will stop at nothing to find Butch: "I'm prepared to scour the earth for this motherfucker. I want a nigger hidin' in a bowl of rice. he can't leave anybody in a situation like that. he'd be alive. he already has. If he was.

Although many characters fail to achieve the metamorphosis experienced by Jules and Butch. 6 . Pulp Fiction. but it is up to you to use it. Works Cited Ashmore. Building a Moral System. 1987. Robert B. 1994. New York: Miramax Books /Hyperion. Quentin. Tarantino. The key to redemption is there for the taking. NJ: Prentice-Hall. it is clear that each individual possesses the power to do so. had he made the appropriate choices. Pulp Fiction demonstrates that there is a means of escape from the prison of ethical relativism. Englewood Cliffs.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 The moral transformations experienced by Tarantino's characters help to refute his critics' assertion that Pulp Fiction is a film without a message or a didactic theme. Even Vincent could have escaped his fate.

at level 3it is +1. Power (Daily. read and understand elvish of the Paleic region Satisfied Concordance: Concordance: Owner gains a level Owner is an elf or eladrin Owner saves an elvish life Complete quest for the frost elves Owner slays a demon -Slays a demon of Winter Scourge Disobey a directive from frost elves Owner attacks an elf. Cold): Free Action. The target takes an extra 1d8 cold damage and is slowed until the end of your next turn. Satisfied (12-15): Gain the Frost Burst property and gain the resist cold 15 property. Pleased Concordance: Property (daily): Chilling Weakness Instant. Trigger: you strike an enemy outsider. level 13 +3. Elemental Frost Longsword+3. and level 28 +6. Another free action returns the damage to normal. this army of evil was never slain. level 18 +4. level 8 +2. but merely locked in the glacial ice. Goal of Frostbane: Frostbane is one of several blades specifically created to fight the Winter Scourge. Normal Concordance: Property: Frostbane looks and acts like a normal Frost weapon: Power (At-Will . Frostbane will be released from its duty if the Nine Cold Lords of the demon army are ever slain. This becomes 15 ongoing damage and vulnerability 15 at level 21.. level 23 +5. Cold): Free Action. All damage dealt by this weapon is cold damage. and any use of it toward that end is a boon. ever so slowly. Property: you can speak. Effect: that foe takes 10 ongoing cold damage (save ends) and now has vulnerability 10 to cold damage until the end of the encounter. along with many lesser kin like it. a horde of demons and monsters trapped in the deep north by the great ice-flows from the primordial rift devouring the edge of the world. Frostbane was the most powerful weapon. Trigger: you strike a foe. Though they are slowed considerably. eladrin or fey Gain/Loss +1D4 +2 +1 +2 +1 +2 -2 -2 Concordance Effects: Pleased (16-20): Gain the Chilling Weakness property. seeking escape. sometimes more. Use this power when you hit with the weapon. Effect: that foe and all foes in a burst radius 1 centered on the struck target are immobilized with ice (save ends). through the ice. the demons move. Frostbane is also built to help all elves and their kind (not merely the frost elves). Level 13 or 18: 2d8 cold damage. A few dozen escape every century. The sword has been handed down over the ages. Artifact of Pale Enhancement: attack and damage rolls Critical: +1d6 cold damage per plus Property: Frostbane levels up its modifier by wielder level. Frozen eons ago in the Apocalypse. wielded by the fey knight Syndaral to slay an especially powerful demon lord who was freed from the ice and threatened Pale with destruction. Level 23 or 28: 3d8 cold damage. to aid the frost elves in their vigilant defense of the north against the frozen evil. Frostbane Frostbane was forged centuries ago by the frost elves of distant Pale to combat the encroaching army of demons that was slowly moving its way across the vast untamed arctic northland. and it was the duty of the Order of Frost to seek out and slay these demons lest they learn of a way to free their brethren trapped in ice.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 Artifacts of the Ages Two New Artifact Weapons for D&D 4th Edition from the Realms of Chirak By Tori Bergquist Property: you develop resistance 15 to cold damage when holding the blade Property (daily): Frost Burst Instant. 7 .

necrotic): Free Action. Normal (5-11): You gain access to the standard powers of normal concordance (above). In time. Effect: expend one healing surge. or if it senses an even greater undead master nearby. All damage dealt by the blade is necrotic damage. it will spawn a +6 Vampiric blade in its place. do Concordance Effects: Pleased (16-20): Gain the harvest of blood property. chained. It radiates an eerie purple light when this is active that illuminates a burst 5 region centered on the wielder. Unsatisfied (1-4): You lose access to the frost weapon power properties. one of the most potent vampires ever spawned in history. where his undead body convulses.. and brought to life when the vampire Kadarthas drew it forth from his own nightmares. then the sword would be freed of its bond to the dead god. Satisfied (12-15): Gain the vampiric blade property. Malib’s undead form is said to be trapped beneath the watery deep of the Sea of Chirak in an eternal prison. Concordance: Gain/Loss Owner gains a level +1D6 Owner is undead +2 Owner reduces a foe to 0 hit points with one of the blade’s powers +1 Owner slays a servant of Akquinarios +1 Owner slays a rival undead encroaching on his territory +2 Owner lets a targeted prey live -2 Owner refuses to feed the blade when the opportunity strikes -1 Longsword +5 Enhancement: attack and damage rolls Critical: +5d8 necrotic damage Property: The Blade of Malib is a +5 weapon Normal Concordance: Property: Blade of Malib grants the following powers: Power (At-Will . Use this power when you hit with the weapon. Satisfied Concordance: Property (daily): Vampiric Blade Instant. Blade of Malib Malib was a god of death and darkness. Angered (0 or less): You at -2 to hit and damage with the weapon and all diplomacy/bluff checks. bluff and sense motive when dealing with undead. Another free action returns the damage to normal. desiring escape and revenge. the sword consumed it’s master’s dark soul. diplomacy. and the weapon becomes +6. Effect: expend two healing surges. If the wielder of the weapon were to free Malib. you deal that amount of damage (equal to your bloodied value) to the target and heal the same amount. Trigger: you strike a living foe. Level 23 or 28: 3d8 cold damage. Goals of the Blade of Malib: Malib was a god of death and one of the most malign of the Betrayer Gods. and the ability to understand elvish. Moving On: When the sword has slain at least one of the Cold Lords or its owner dies it will find its way to a new elf or eladrin. In Malib’s dark dreams it is said the sword was first forged. The dark energy of this being empowers the blade to reap a great harvest. Property: You gain a +5 bonus to intimidation. slain it is said during the Apocalypse and trapped forever beneath the waters of the Sea of Chirak. Unsatisfied (1-4): You lose access to the base powers of the weapon. Level 13 or 18: 2d8 cold damage.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 Normal (5-11): You gain access to the Frost weapon power properties. that amount of damage to your target as necrotic damage and heal yourself for the same amount. 8 . developing a cold sentience and a desire to find villainous agents worthy of the task of finding the undead god’s body and freeing him one day. Trigger: you strike a foe. He personally crafted this weapon and imbued it with the soul of Kadarthas. The target takes an extra 1d8 necrotic damage and is weakened until the end of your next turn. If it leaves satisfied. Angered (0 or less): You grant combat advantage whenever wielding the weapon (though not to outsiders or cold-typed monsters). Pleased Concordance: Property (daily): Harvest of Blood Free Action. necrotic): Free Action. Power (Daily. Moving On: When and if the sword is used in aid to free Malib from his watery prison.

or mint the coin) 1.Bronze 13.Half-elf 5. or anything else you need.Dwarf 18.Steel 6. which translates into more versatility. Need a name for a lady? Check the Table 5. and astronomy (amongst many others) are briefly addressed. fashion. Table 1: Origin (Roll 1d20 to know which race has minted the coin) 1. it could be interesting to bring a new dimension to this aspect of the game. the numerous symbols that enhance the various sections can provide visual aspects in any game session.Djinn 14. Need a random object discarded somewhere in your dungeon? Use the Table 5. TO CREATE A RANDOM COIN OR CURRENCY USE TABLE 1 THROUGH 5.Brass 12. gold. many of the tables and sub-tables proposed below can also have a different purpose altogether. Moreover.Halfling 7.Cyclops 13.Half-orc 6.Drow 16.Gold 17. but on the other hand.Ceramic 14.Platinum 3.Nickel 2.Electrum 16.Human 9.Orc 10. platinum pieces and astral diamonds form the core of this system and GMs and PCs alike probably don’t mind at all most of the time. While many aspects of this article are based upon the Dungeons & Dragons 4E game the tables nonetheless offer a very large array of choices and can serve with previous editions and many other role-playing lines besides. an entity that was perhaps a sorcererking once.Zinc 9.White gold 10.Tiefling Table 2: Material (Roll 1d20 to know which substance(s) have been used to cast.Rose gold 4. an ensemble of esoteric symbols can be a secret formula to create an alchemical artefact.Giant 3.Wood 9 .Adamantine 11.Mithral 20.Tin 8. To help in this endeavour a series of tables are proposed below. alchemy. astrology. silver. a planetary alignment that announces the opening of a dimensional door.Eladrin 20.Copper 15.Gnome 4. Section 5-5: Dwarf Planets and Asteroids. Section 5-9: Objects and Weapons. just examine the tables or else roll the dices to discover what this treasure-trove hides for you.Hobgoblin 8.Silver 5.Elf 2. Moreover.Azer 11.Duergar 17.Lead 19.Efreet 19. subjects like In short.Centaur 12.Stone 7. For the GMs who want their campaigns to be as realistic as possible this set of tables can be used to create specific currencies for the nations that compose their home world(s) or else just to throw in a treasure pile a one-of-a-kind coin that will perhaps launch the PCs towards an all new adventure.Iron 18. a peculiar sign might turn out to be the personal seal of the characters’ arch-nemesis.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 THEY SHALL BE PAID IN COIN OF THE REALM By Jarrod Camiré The current monetary system of the Dungeons & Dragons game is rather basic: copper.Dragonborn 15.

Pentagonal trapezohedron (d10) 20.Square 10.Dodecahedron (d12) 7.Tetrahedron (d4) 3-13) Tridecagon (or triskaidecagon) 3-14) Tetragon (or tetrakaidecagon) 3-2) Round (Roll 1d4) 3-15) Pentadecagon (or quindecagon or 1.Circle or Disc pentakaidecagon) 2.Quarter of a circle 3-17) Heptadecagon (or heptakaidecagon) 4.Isosceles Trapezoid 4.Parallelepiped 3-11) Hendecagon 18.Mint 5.Cone 6.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 Table 3: Forms and Shapes (Roll 1d20 to determine a sub sub-table table and then the coin’s form or shape) 4.Half-circle 3-16) Haxadecagon (or hexakaidecagon) 3.Octahedron (d8) 3-10) Decagon 17.Scalene Triangle 1.Astroid 3-4) Quadrilateral (Roll 1d8) 3.Clover-shaped 2.Isosceles Triangle Table 4: Condition of the coin (Roll 1d10) 1.Acute Triangle nonadecagon) 2.Almond-shaped 6.Kite 5.Cylinder 5.Deltoid 6.Gouged 4.Leaf-shaped 3-9) Enneagon (or nonagon) 16.Oxidized or Rusted 678910- Partially bent Scratched Slightly worn Tarnished Worn Table 5: Distinctive Signs or Symbols (Roll 1d12 to determine a sub-table table to know if the coin is adorned with a specific design) 5-1) 1- 2- Alchemical Symbols (Roll 1d6) The Three Primes or Tria Prima (Roll 1d3) 1- Sulphur 2- Mercury 32- Salt The Four Basic Elements (Roll 1d4) 1- Air Earth 10 3- Fire 4- Water 3- Seven Planetary Metals (Roll 1d8) 1- Gold/Sol 2- Silver/Luna ☼( ( ) ) 3- Copper/Venus ☼ (also: 4- Iron/Mars ☼ ( ) ) .Equilateral Triangle 3-20) Icosagon 3.Sphere 3-18) Octadecagon (or octakaidecagon) 3-3) Triangle (Roll 1d6) 3-19) Enneadecagon (or enneakaidecagon or 1.Bell-shaped 1.Hourglass-shaped 3-7) Heptagon 14.Chipped 2.Trapezoid 11.Rectangle 8.Icosahedron (d20) 3-8) Octagon 15.Heart-shaped 3-6) Hexagon 13.Obtuse Triangle 3-1) Unusual (Roll 1d20) 5.Dirty 3.Trapezium 8.Pear-shaped 3-12) Dodecagon 19.Cube (d6) 4.Egg-shaped or Ovoid 3-5) Pentagon 12.Parallelogram 7.Rhombus 9.Right Triangle 2.Crescent-shaped 3.

Ant 4.Archon 5.Angel 2.Behir 11 Boar Bulette Camel Carrion Crawler Chimera Centaur Centipede Cockatrice Couatl Crocodile Cyclops Darkmantle Demon Devil Djinn Dragon Dragonborn Drake Drider Drow Dryad Duergar Dwarf Efreet Eidolon Eladrin Elephant Elf Ettercap Ettin Fomorian Gargoyle Giant Gnoll Gnome Goblin Hobgoblin Gorgon Griffon Halfling Harpy Hawk Hippogriff Horse Hound Human Hydra Hyena Kobold Krenshar Lamia Larva Mage Lich Lizard Lizardfolk Manticore Medusa Minotaur Mummy Naga Nightmare Ogre Orc Owlbear Panther .Union through Solution (Cancer ) 11.Bear 9. Spirit of Wine S.Azer 6.Ankheg 3.Separation through Filtration (Scorpio Scorpio 10. Amalgama 6786- Cinnabar (Mercury sulphide) Vitriol Roll again The Twelve Core Alchemical Processes (Roll 1d12) 1- Decomposition through Oxidation (Aries Aries 23- Decomposition through Digestion (Leo Leo ) Decomposition through Fermentation Fermentation/Putrefaction 4- (Capricorn ) Modification through Congelation/Coagulation Coagulation 5- Modification through Fixation (Gemini Gemini 6- Modification through Ceration (Sagittarius Sagittarius 78- Separation through Distillation (Virgo Virgo Separation through Sublimation (Libra Libra ( ( ) )   (Taurus ) ) 9.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 ( 5- Tin/Jupiter 6- Mercury/Mercury 78- Lead/Saturn Roll again 4- The Mundane Elements (Roll 1d12) 12- Antimony Arsenic 345678- Bismuth Boron Magnesium ⊛ Phosphorus Platinum Potassium 9- Stone 101112- Sulphur Zinc Roll again 512345- The Alchemical Compounds (Roll 1d8) Sal ammoniac * Aqua Fortis A.Basilisk 7.Bat 8. and Monsters (Roll 1d100) 1.F.R.Union through Projection (Pisces ) Animals. Beasts.Union through Multiplication (Aquarius Aquarius 5-2) 1011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738394041424344454647484950515253545556575859606162636465666768697071727374- ) ) ) ) ) ) ) 12. Aqua Regia A.V.

Wolf 99.Pisces/Fish 4- Venus 5- Earth 6- Mars 7- Ceres 8- 4- Astrological Symbols (Miscellaneous) (Roll1d20) 1- Ascendant 2- Midheaven 3- Ascending Node 4- Descending Node Jupiter 5- Conjunction 9- Saturn 6- Semisextile 10- Uranus 7- Semi-square 11.Shark 87.Rakshasa 76.Chiron (Comet) 2.Sahuagin 82.Skeleton 88.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 5-3) 75.Sphinx 90.Troll 97.Satyr 84.Rat 77.Salamander 83.Wyvern 101Astrological Glyphs or Symbols (Roll 1d4) 1.Unicorn 98.Vesta (Asteroid) 12 .Sea Horse 86.Tiger 94.Rhinoceros 79.Aquarius/Waterbearer 3- Mercury 12.Rust Monster 81.Pallas (Asteroid) 4.Roc 80.Neptune 8- Sextile 12- 9- Quintile 10- Square 11- Trine 12- Sesquiquadrate 13- Biquintile 14- Quincunx Pluto The Three Most Used Asteroids and Comet (Roll 1d4) 1.The Celestial Bodies (Roll 1d12) 2- 3- The Signs of the Zodiac (Roll 1d12) 1- Aries/Ram 2- Taurus/Bull 3- Gemini/Twins 4- Cancer/Crabs 5- Leo/Lion 6- Virgo/Virgin 7- Libra/Scale 8- Scorpio/Scorpion 9- Sagittarius/Archer 1- Sun 2- Moon 10.Worg 100.Remorhaz 78.Spider 91.Troglodyte 96.Juno (Asteroid) 3.Tiefling 93.Skull Lord 89.Scorpion 85.Capricorn/Sea-goat 11.Stirge 92.Treant 95.

Pig 5-5) Astronomical Symbols (Roll 1d3) 1- 2- Planets (Roll 1d8) 1- Mercury 19- Chiron 2- Venus 20- Asteroid 3- Earth 4- Mars 5- Jupiter 6- Saturn 7- Uranus 8- Neptune or 3- or Dwarf Planets and Asteroids (Roll 1d20) Moon.Ox 3.Rat 2.Rooster 11.Rabbit 5.Horse 8.Dog 12.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 15- Opposition 4- Juno 16- Retrograde motion 5- Vesta 17- Comet 6- Astraea 18- 2 Pallas (Asteroid) 78- Hebe Iris 9- Flora 10- Metis 11- Hygeia 12- Parthenope 1314- Victoria Irene (No symbol) 15- Eunomia 16- Bellona 17- Leukothea 18- Fides Vesta (Asteroid) 19- 20- 5-4) 3 Juno (Asteroid) 4 2060 Chiron (Planetoid) Lot of fortune Eris Eye of Providence Hand of Eris Astrological Symbols (Animal Signs) (Roll 1d12) 1. and Other Symbols (Roll 1d8) 1- Moon 2- Sun 3- Comet 4- Ascending Node 5- Descending Node 6- Conjunction 1- Ceres 7- Opposition 2- Pluto 8- Quadrature 3- Pallas 13 or .Ram 9.Snake 7.Tiger 4.Dragon 6. Sun.Monkey 10.

Common 2. Enki.Rellanic 5.Poem 8. and Zeus) 7.Goblin 9. or Words).Giant 8. and Ogma) 10. 1.Saint Symbology 5-8) Objects and Weapons (Roll 1d100) 1. Gofannon.Insignia 3.Initial 6. Jörð. Hel.Death (Anubis.War (Ares.Anvil 5.Destruction (Erra. or symbol (Roll 1d20 to determine a type of deity. and Ukko) 11. portrait. and Vesta) 8.Sky (Anu. Nanshe.Arrow  14 Axe Bastard sword Battleaxe Blank escutcheon Broadsword Book Bow Candle Cartwheel Castle Club Chain Chess piece (Roll 1d6) Bishop King Knight Pawn Queen Rook Chest Craghammer Crossbow Crossbow bolts Crown Cup Dagger Double Axe Double flail Double sword Execution axe Eye Falchion Feather Flail Flower Fullblade Gauntlet Glaive Greataxe Greatbow Greatclub Greatspear Greatsword Greatship Halberd Heart Helm Hammer Hand Hand crossbow Hand axe Heavy flail Javelin Katar Khopesh Kukri Lantern Light war pick Longbow Longship Longspear Longsword Mace Maul Mordenkrad . and Sól) 17.Weather (The Anemoi. and Nergal) 19. Laverna. Some examples from many different pantheons follow) 1.Maxim 7. and Praxidike) 9.Davek 3.Lightning (Perun. Demeter. and The Morrigan) 4.Justice (Lady Justice.Knowledge and Wisdom (Fabulinus.Iokharic 4.National Emblem 4.Single letter (or single number) 10. Hera. and Yam) 5. Thor.Ankh 4. and Mars) 20. Proverbs. Athena.Single word 7891011121314151617181912345620212223242526272829303132333435363738394041424344454647484950515253545556575859606162636465- (Roll 1d10 to know the language used or Roll 1d4 to know the script used).Craft (Hephaestus.Proverb 9.Ocean and Water (Ægir. and Nyx) 14. and Gefjon) 2. and Venus) 12. and Stribog) 5-7) Emblems (Roll 1d4) 1.Deep Speech 3. Poems.Airship 2. Inanna. Ra.Coat of Arms 2. Odin.Trickster (Apate. (Roll 1d10 to know what is written on the coin). and Terra) 6.Abyssal 1.Dwarven 6. Numbers. and Isis) 13.Formula 3. and Ninegal) 3.Apple 6.Citation 2.Draconic 4.Elven 7.Anchor 3. Maxims. Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. and Loki) 18.Sun (Helios. and Poseidon) 15.Group of letters (or numbers) 4.Group of words 5.Underworld (Hades.Supernal Deities: The Deities can be either represented by an aspect.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 5-6) A Thousand Words and Numbers (Citations.Agriculture (Ceres.Father (Jupiter.Barazhad 2. Horus.Household and Hearth (Frigg. Grim Reaper. and Nut) 16. Mimir.Love (Aphrodite. Njord. Letters.Earth (Gaia.Primordial 10. 1.Mother (Earth Mother. Formulae. Nótt. Hestia.Night and Shadow (Erebus.

Harp 4. Examples (hundreds of symbols exist): 15 Shuriken Sickle Skeleton Skull Spade Spear Spiked chain Staff Sunrod Teardrop Throne Torch Tower Tratnyr Trident Triple-headed flail Urgrosh Wand War pick Waraxe Warhammer . Example (Ugaritic alphabet): 4- Egyptian hieroglyphs.Drum 2. Example (hieroglyphic seal): 2- Byblos syllabary.Flute 3.Lute 6.GM’s choice Orb Parrying dagger Quarterstaff Rapier Rod Scimitar Scourge Scythe Shield Short sword Shortbow 8081828384858687888990919293949596979899100- Runes and Ancient Alphabets (Roll 1d12) 1- Anatolian hieroglyphs. Examples (more than one hundred symbols exist): 3- Cuneiform script.Lyre 7.Woodwind 8.Horn 5.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 666768- 69707172737475767778795-9) Morningstar Mug Musical instrument (Roll 1d8) 1.

The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 5- Phoenician (not that the “letters” are not in order): 6- Canaanite alphabet (note that the “letters” are not in order): Proto-Canaanite 7- Runic alphabet (Variations exist): 16 .

Examples : 17 . Examples: 12.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 8- Old Hungarian Script: 9- Ogham alphabet: 10.Old Turkic script: 11- Oracle bone script.Tangut script.

Countess 7.Archduke 2.Bowen knot 3. finger.Bard 3.Austrian knot 2.Princess 18.King 14.Queen 19.Archduchess 3. 5-10) 12345678- 9- Visual arts.Pope (or other religious figure in command) 16.Ranger 8.Duchess 9. such as the Grim Reaper) Decorative knots (Roll 1d20) 1.Grand Duchess 13.Paladin 7.Prince 17. and toe).Pharaoh 15.Emperor 10.Viceroy 20.Celtic knot 24252627- 18 .Baron 4. motifs and other design (Roll 1d100) Acanthus Arabesque Archimedean spiral Armillary sphere Bird(s) (heraldry) Balance (Justice) Bat(s) (heraldry) Battle standard 910111217- Sorcerer Warlock Warlord Wizard Circle of stars 181920- Compass rose Concentric form Conch shell Black rose 10- Black panther(s) (heraldry) 11- Blazon 1213- Caduceus Cedar tree 141516- Celtic cross Cherry blossom Class (figure) (Roll 1d12) 1.Cleric 4.Barbarian 2.Baroness 5.Rogue 21- Crescent 22- Cross 23- Crowned figure (Roll 1d20) 1.Duke 8.Fighter 6.Druid 5.Grand Duke 12.Carrick mat 4.Count 6.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 (Man.Vicereine Cupid Dance Macabre Death (representation.Empress 11.

Savory knot 16.Endless knot 10.Manrope knot 14.Stafford knot 19.Hungerford knot 13.Matthew Walker’s knot 15.Dacre knot 7.Turk’s head knot 20.Druid’s bend 9.Diamond knot 8.Chinese knotting 6.Hinckaert knot 12.Heraldic knot 11.Wake knot Dolphin(s) (heraldry) Dragon(s) (heraldry) Eagle(s) (heraldry) Enneagram (or nonagram) 32- Eye of God 33- Eye of Horus 34353637- Eye of Providence Father Time Fish(es) (heraldry) Flag 3839404142434445464748- Fleur-de-lis Flower of Life Geometric form Gladiator Golden spirale Gorgoneion (representation of the Gorgon’s head) Golden Rectangle Grape Griffin(s) (heraldry) Green Man Hat and wand 4950515253545556- Hand of God Heart Horseshoe Infinity Knight Laurel wreath Leaf Lighthouse 19 5758596061- Lightning bolt Lion(s) (heraldry) Jolly Roger Mandala Mille-fleur 62- Mon (crest) 6364- Monogram Omega 6566676869707172- Ouroboros Owl Palmette Peasant Pennon or pennant Pentacle Pentagram Quincunx 73- Red Rose of Lancaster 7475- Rod of Asclepius Rose 767778- Rosette Serpent(s) and snake(s) Snowflake(s) .Shakespeare knot 17.Solomon’s knot 18.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 28293031- 5.

Solar symbol 80- Stag(s) (heraldry) 8182- Star Starburst or sunburst 8384- Tanit (Moon goddess) Tarot (any card) 858687- 88- 91- Triquetra 929394- Tudor Rose Turtle or turtle shell Unicorn(s) (heraldry) 95- Valknut 9697- Vesica piscis Water waves Tetractys Tool(s) Tree of Life Trefoil 89- Triple Goddess 90- Triple spiral 9899- White Rose of York Wild boar (heraldry) 100Wild Man 20 .The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 79.

He knows of a blighted grove which was not there six months ago. The castle prefers not to send aid. Background: Castle Nezamir is a small frontier city along the eastern edge of the Drujam Hills. but his instincts tell him it’s important. The woodsman Tenidor explains that he often came here to hunt and just six months ago it was a living. Both men will offer to take the PCs back to the town as guides and show them the blighted grove along the way. A The Blighted Grove About three miles from the town is this region of death. He’ll equip them with leather armor if they don’t have it. Nonetheless. who is one of the nobles that answers to the rule of the Three (and Cartus Vindaros) in Vanholm. and there is a broken silver dagger rusting in the earth near that. careful observation will reveal a tattered bit of a dress on a nearby branch. two men from Melkarth have arrived. vibrant spot. He doesn’t know why a blighted grove of death would anger the necromancer. Now it is a dead region about two hundred yards across. Tenidor thinks something else happened. The PCs are welcome to stay for the night A hunting party of trollkin (1D8) are in the region and observing the party A griffon is roosting nearby and gets defensive of its nesting grounds A brown bear is in the region. the Necromancer of Nimwood. there is evidence that ruins once stood here. for it is believed that the town may have angered Galrond. and he can take the PCs to see it.000 silver) for this task. but in private he seeks out a handful of willing souls who will go to Melkarth and investigate. and to right whatever wrong has incurred the necromancer’s wrath.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 Vengeance of the Necromancer A Realms of Chirak Scenario for use with Runequest II and other Fantasy RPGs By Tori Bergquist clueless as to why the town is being attacked. as several beastmen and troll tribes lurk in the region. Searching the grove carefully will reveal that near the center of the grove is some evidence of a conflict or struggle. Lord Araska turns them down formally. which happened a month ago (and after which the attacks began). Travel through the hills (about 100 miles) will take 2-3 days depending upon the savvy of the travelers. Recently the town of Melkarth along the eastern hills has been besieged by monsters. 1-3 it is protecting cubs and dangerous or 4-6 a hunting male A raiding party of broo (1D4+4) spot the party and converge A small war band of Ithirian elves (4) surprise the party and seek to investigate their intent here A pack of woves (2D6) begin stalking the party A wyrm is out hunting in the night region are occasional blocks of worked stone jutting from the earth. though they have their suspicions. but they are also a hostile territory. Lozan thinks that someone in town did not participate in the annual Hallow’s Offering ceremony. The two men from the village are the merchant Lozan and the woodsman Tenidor. It is the home of Baron Halas Araska. For each day roll once for the day and once for the evening for encounters: D20 Encounter (add 5 to roll if at night) 1-10 11-12 13-14 15 16-17 18-19 20-22 23-24 25 no event A mining camp (well armed). pleading for aid. Throughout the 21 . Araska will offer the adventurers 100 gold each (1. They are largely Travel through the Drujam Hills The Drujam Hills are actively mined for precious and useful metals. in which all foliage has died and all trees have warped and twisted with what seems like necrotic energy. and swords and bows from his armory. long ago. The idea is to see if they can find out why the attacks are happening. and there are none in the region who would dare oppose this entity.

she will rise the following night as a vampire. for his visions showed them hacking her apart. but the wizard neglected to mention this part. her body or otherwise take anything from the grave out of the blighted grove will result in the trees attacking as if with clubs (1D6 damage. satisfied that the necromancer had been given word. His vision also suggested a darker presence nearby. Evidence on the body includes: • She is unnaturally well-kept. knowing that over time exposure to the cannibal ghouls would change the child in to one of them. slaughtered by the vampires of Vanholm two centuries ago. Once she was his. The two nomads were quickly tried and hung. and under compulsion by the town wizard Arathos they admitted to being involved in her death. and when he learned that the necromancer was having a secret affair (information provided to him by the girl’s own father. • The tip of the broken silver dagger is lodged under her ribs in her heart. and left her body to be found in the dungeon of the keep by the necromancer. a witchghoul nursemaid named Gasha. and the two nomads under the vampire lord’s employ were found. though zombie minions and skeletons overran the castle in the process and the girl’s body was extracted forthright. she has been dismembered (head. arms and legs severed) and is wearing the remains of a tattered dress. What Happened: The girl Krissa was having an affair with the necromancer Galrond. however. The cairn contains the body of a woman. Akartos in his endless amusement kept the child alive. she was well on her way toward such. The death rune can be attuned to if someone desires to do so. the rune will manifest as a mark upon his skin if done. first removing her child prematurely. which once belonged to an order of militant templars who were 22 . who disappeared about three months ago.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 cairn has been built up in the center of the grove. and the nobleman Akartos Dinsur of Vanholm was one of them. a man named Umash who had long been paid to keep an eye on the necromancer’s dealings) he decided to act. and for whom two vagrant nomads were hung in accusation of having slain her. and converted her to a vampire. • A very thorough examination of her body will reveal that she was given a cesarean section. This crude vampire had long hated Galrond for an old rivalry that led to the necromancer’s expulsion from the city decades ago. unnaturally intact though quite deathly in appearance. When the girl was kidnapped the town searched for her at length. There he set about in his mad scheme. They were suspicious acting. though it should be. 50% attack). It did. Akartos had the girl kidnapped by his two henchmen (the same two who were hung later for her murder) and brought to an abandoned keep in the hills called Benediction Keep. Galrond has many enemies. whom she had fallen in love with. with the aid of one of his minions. waited patiently to see if his trap would lure the man out. Though she had not yet become one of the undead. after sending his agents to give Galrond the message. She is preserved enough that she can be identified as a village girl named Krissa. after which he bit her. • A holy symbol of the lost gods (Akquinarios in this case) has been placed on her torso. If PCs remove the metal bit and the holy symbol and then rebury her. Any attempt to remove the rune. and a single basalt stone has been engraved with a powerful Death Rune upon it. he then slew her as only a vampire can die. The vampire lord. her flesh is pale but not rotting.

no bandits or monsters have ever threatened the town. He can also describe that the event seemed to occur within old castle walls. If Umash is left to his own devices. though. He committed her remains to the ground. or wait out the siege. he will head up to the keep at night to tell the vampire lord of any interrogation (leaving out any admissions of his own). and that about seven months ago she had confided to the local priest that she was now pregnant. Threat of death may get him to admit that he was feeding information to the vampire lord. the PCs must first deal with a raid of undead. Clever PCs could follow him up to see where he goes. Interrogation could get him to reveal that he knew she was sneaking off to visit the necromancer. and seems unmoved by his daughter’s death. the errant nobleman Akartos has remained within the ruined keep to see how events would play out. two dozen zombies and skeletons are marauding through town. The PCs will have to deal with the undead. Throughout this time. a locked coffer with 150 gold pieces suggests strongly that he was being well-paid for such. as the vampire lord desired it. The Wizard Arathos: This is the local hedge wizard who divined that the two criminals who slew the girl had dismembered her. explaining that she was a whore and a tramp. let alone a vampire spawn of his rival. of which stood long ago to the ancient death god Malib in the time before the Apocalypse. after which they can investigate several avenues of inquiry. though exactly where he does not know. and that he is very powerful. he has used several wards to insure the necromancer does not detect him. driven by the psychic sense of grief from their creator to lash Priest Hamaran: A priest of the Fallen Gods. There are 14 skeletons and 10 zombies total. for the Nimwood is patrolled by the necromancer’s undead minions. Some of the locals will have even journeyed up to the old ruined keep to take refuge. The citizens are mostly hiding while the undead prowl about.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 Evidence that had been planted seemed to implicate the villagers. or have fled. This reference would tip off the woodsman Tenidor. out and destroy. Though Galrond wished for her love. The townsfolk have offered him tribute every year. under the impression he had failed. The necromancer then left her remains there. The Township of Melkarth: On arriving in Melkarth. Galrond then took the girl’s remains to the site of an ancient temple. Arathos can also tell the PCs a bit about the necromancer. Hamaran maintains a temple to the Apocalyptic gods 23 . but will return with a story of terror about ghouls and wolves attacking them. The Raid: On first arrival. who knows of the old Benediction keep. and beseeched the death god to restore her. Krissa’s Father: Umash is stubborn and vile. Umash. He does not yet know that the ground has become saturated with necrotic energy. which his zombie minions haul away. In exchange. he could not bear her to become another corrupted being of death. including where to find him (a cave located deep in the uninhabited region of the Nimwood). He knows the necromancer was exiled from Vanholm almost fifty years ago. during which time 1D4 homes will be torched by the undead before they wander back to the Nimwood. he remembers rose-colored stained glass. Sufficient warning or interrogation may get him to admit that he sensed a darker presence lurking behind her death. the town has benefited indirectly.

and that she was about seven months pregnant and having trouble hiding it. The cave entrance is twenty miles from town. He does not like the necromancer. as many ancient battles had happened in the wood. He manages three mines locally and is obedient to the rule of Baron Araska in Nezamir. reducing them to 10% chance per hour. He learned the Masirian secret of long life many years ago in his youth. though to what god he knows not. save that he personally went to speak with the necromancer after the first wave of undead attacked and was rebuffed. and the trees of the land were suffused with the exsanguinated fluids of eras past. Galrond returned to his homeland. Hamaran is a classic zealot and more than a little mad. only her slender frame and bulky dresses. but it was also too dangerous to those same vampires to seek to destroy him directly. He also knows Krissa was pregnant. He knows the necromancer. and there are no safe paths. and were probably highlanders by accent and attitude. the cave will seem oddlyinviting and unprotected. Investigating the Necromancer’s Cave The Necromancer Galrond is a sad soul. He also discovered a cavern that connected to the deep realms of the Lower Dark beneath Pelegar. This ultimately led to his expulsion from the city. for he was considered too dangerous to the real hidden powers of the city. Among other things he learned how to create wards and artifacts that could allow him dominion over or the power to destroy the vampires of Vanholm. though ancient. but it has a strong defensive foundation and several levels of catacombs beneath. or try to exhume the bodies. Hamaran knows a few interesting bits. then attacked by 24 . and will talk freely if anyone tithes even a couple coins. and eventually learned much of its dark secrets after he uncovered the Codex Immortus of the dead god Malib.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 as well as a shrine to the Dreaming Lord Molabal. Thorne is also a reliable guide to reach the cave of the necromancer. undead. He assumes the necromancer has gone mad at last. If they talk him in to doing such. then the chance of undead encounters on the way there is reduced to 10% per hour (see later). If the PCs check out the cemetery. Within his native city of Vanholm he began probing these arts despite the edicts against such study and soon grew to understand why necromancy was banned. and eventually even a passage to the true depths of the subterranean temple of Malib. although unlike the highlanders they did speak the local dialect. He knows little about the matter. but says that he is a favored servant of the Dreaming One so he must not be harmed. They were unrepentant right up to the end. His keep is modest. Galrond found his new home in the deeps of the Nimwood. where he found plenty of ancient remains to play with. they will find the two missing! Both men were ghouls in the service of the vampire lord. He is of indeterminate age. Darikos will be gracious to the PCs in private and if informed of the subtle nature of their mission he will avoid publically acknowledging them. he grew even more determined to master the dark arts. As the hidden undead elite of the city became evident to him. PCs entering the Nimwood have a 50% chance per hour of being accosted by 1D8 skeletons or 1D6 zombies. where he continued his fascination with the sorcery behind life and death. as well as the seeming disinterest of her father prevented it from being commonly known. The two bodies were cut down a day after hanging and buried in graves marked “woman killers” in the commons cemetery. is quite alive and his power over the undead (and abuse of such) was what got him exiled. Moving stealthily and possibly with wards against the undead (or attunement to a death rune) will avoid such confrontations. It was once also used by the Benediction Templars. He knows that the area of the Blighted Grove rests on top of a much older ruined temple. He can tell the PCs they were not from around here. He’ll offer to show them where the two were buried. with a 30% chance per minute that 1D2 of each will rise up as reinforcements. but also hardened to the ways of Pelegar. Assuming the PCs make it without being assaulted (or surviving the assaults). Earl Ran Darikos: The Earl of Melkarth is a reasonable man and a good protector. appearing to be in his forties and in very good health. In Constable Thorne: Thorne tried and convicted the men who were hung. with the necromancer’s child. and after a tryst with a Masirian princess managed to steal the secret elixir and take it for himself. Approaching the necromancer is no easy task.

PCs who face Akartos without the use of the sword Bloodbane may be in for some bitter defeat. and will offer them a sword with an enchantment fatal to vampires to seek him out and slay Akartos. The necromancer will greet the PCs in his private domain. but it is possible. but if the PCs are on the losing end and Akartos is about the wipe the floor with them a curious thing happens: the tower is filled with what seems to be sunlight. holds up to 20 POW) The Orb of Divination (Fate 4 Spell. as well as possibly saving the infant child of the necromancer. displaying a death rune mark. or if they offer up some evidence of their friendly intentions (possibilities include: a vampire’s head. to be divided) Benediction Keep: For this encounter. After the spirits attack. and will proceed to perform rituals to purge the ghoulish taint from him due to his premature 25 . The PCs Do not Know Who or What Killed Krissa: The necromancer will tell them that they must find the true perpetrators of her death…for he knows she was rendered undead….and bring that person(s) to justice before he will stop sieging the town. reduces cost to 1 MP) The Staff of the Necromancer (power battery. then they gain the following rewards from Galrond: Bloodbane (if the PC desires to keep it) The Grimorie of Malagrath (containing 10 sorcery spells) The Wand of Darkness (imbued with the Darkwall 4 spell. Any PC that makes a POW check is able to permanently evict the spirit. If the PCs still survive this. If she does escape. and if the PCs try to steal him away she will flee to the catacombs to try and make it to an entrance to the lower dark. He feels that there is someone. for though Vanholm is officially ruled by mortal men it is an ill-kept secret that there is a hidden aristocracy of immortal undead behind the rule of the Three. PCs will have to be quick on their feet to catch her before she is gone. Killing Akartos will generate enmity among his kin back in Vanholm.000 silver pieces (total. he has not figured out that it is a vampire from the city. Rewards: If the PCs save the day. a vampire perhaps. if the PC is reduced to 0 Con he rises as a vampire). though the PCs may not immediately know it. speaking in old Inadasir and will use spells against the PCs. Penetrating the keep and living maybe a difficult task. a delve in to The PCs Have learned of the Vampire Lord and Informed Him: He will realize he has been played by an old rival. lurking within its walls and he wants it flushed out. but Akartos and Gasha as full NPCs. by revealing Akartos and possibly slaying him. The source of this timely light will come from an Ithirian elf woman named Ysiri. and they can keep doing so even when possessed. 8 skeletons will rise from the ground to attack. The PCs Return Triumphant with the Infant: The necromancer will be overjoyed to know that his son lived. requires 1 Con point to empower the sword as a free action with the attack. he will react differently: exposure and removal from the womb before his time. Depending upon what the PCs present to him. and they may have spotted her following them on occasion. if desired. the sword takes the Con whether the PC wants it or not. so to speak. Ysiri can also help the PCs out at other times. A regional lore check will suggest as much. Akartos lurks here with a dozen wolves and six loyal ghouls as well as Gasha the ghoul witch. which was hewn from the rock of the caves by his zombie laborers many years ago. Each spirit will attempt to attack the PCs and take possession of them (contested POW againt POW 15).The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 fact. with a Sanguine Ward enchantment that does +1D10 damage against vampires or +1D6 damage against undead. or calling out a relevant fact about Krissa) then the fighting will cease and the rear of the cave will open to reveal a worked stone stair passage winding downward. The child is kept in the hands of Gasha. treat the 12 wolves and 6 ghouls as henchmen. These shadow spirits will induce temporary madness. which causes Akartos to flee in to the catacombs beneath. The ghoul woman has taken a liking to the child. The sword: Bloodbane (a war sword. the most dangerous portion of the journey is only just to begin. only 1 MP to cast) If the vampire is killed and the son is also returned: 2. Shadowy entities of the netherworld are waiting inside the main cavern. She has been watching the PCs for some time now since the Ithirian elves in the hills first spotted them and she knows of the darkness within the keep.

Baron Araska will pay them.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 the caverns beneath the realm will be required to recover the child. plus a 25 SP bonus for a job well done if they rescued the child as well. He will indicate that he liked their approach and ability to operate covertly. He will offer them the opportunity for more such work in the future… Suggested Improvement Point Awards: 1 IP – finishing the adventure 26 . Gasha can be found dwelling among a tribe of beastkin who lurk in the darkness warring against the Death Gouger clan of orcs. 1 IP – dealing with 1 or more encounters while traveling through the Drujan Hills 1 IP – investigating the blightwood grove 1 IP – investigating the grave (+1 IP to the one who deduces she was a vampire when killed) 1 IP – investigating in the town 1 IP – figuring out the vampire is hiding in Benediction Keep 1 IP – meeting the necromancer (0 IP if the encounter ends in hostility/no agreement) 2 IP – slaying the vampire (+1 IP to the one who slays him if done without Bloodbane) 2 IP – rescuing the child intact and delivering him to the necromancer Conclusion: Ideally after returning to the necromancer the PCs journey back to Nezamir with a tale of success.

Calvin was a full two hands shorter than his companion. should one brave the hostile grasslands in between and survive long enough to arrive at the base of their majestic slopes. it seemed. A fit of coughing overcame the man as a cloud of dust swirled up from below. A pity their reserves had run out two weeks ago. nudged him from his musings as he looked out. there were nearly five hundred laborers recruited from local tribes and imported from Selindar for this operation. where once there was a stubby obsidian block of stone shaped roughly like a pyramid.” He nodded toward the vast pit in the encampment. but instead a capstone. at an angle that suggested an immense object beneath the earth. was to dig as deeply as they could until they at last breached hell. It didn’t help that rumors spoke of how the stockade and pit were sitting on top of sacred land. and no caravan or coastal galley had happened by in the weeks since to replenish the diminished stock of the garrison. Calvin had gotten used to looking up when talking to anyone in this land. Aside from the hundred men who had been hired to protect the site. There were many rumors. but he had already been told by some of the local men of the watch that the resident Chirikatha tribesmen were well known for stealing in to foreign encampments at night and slitting as many throats as they could get away with. From here the mountains looked scant and tiny. shorter kin of Zarsaven. grave robbing was only one. If the Chirikatha thought foreigners were defiling sacred lands.” Calvin muttered. Apparently no one realized that Waladar was already close enough to hell that they need only have looked out over the barren. after all. Calvin’s immense ebony cohort on watch. Calvin Darabek grimaced as he stood watch along the wood-and-mud stretch of wall to the stockade. It is said that even the Inhuridan feared the madness of these sorcerers. Calvin mused. Calvin didn’t put much stock in to this.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 The Temple of the Deep A Tale of Calvin Darabek in the World of Enzada by Tori Bergquist The pit was wide and deep. The distant storm clouds were tantalizing. perhaps fifty meters across and nearly as much deep. “By the Red Hand. Below.” 1 The dusty plains of Waladar stretched for a hundred leagues in every direction. he thought. they show more. At the horizon. “In my tribe we heard tales of the strange and terrible things the sorcerers of old would do. lingering beneath deep storm fronts that threatened to roll over distant peaks. and took up much of the staging ground of the stockade. maybe it wasn’t the ancestors buried here that mattered. but he knew they would never spill over the great stretch of mountains. what devils would be mad enough to build such a thing out here. and though his skin was burned by the sun he was still clearly of the fairer-skinned. It seemed a waste to Calvin to put so much effort in to fortification. Their only job. The smooth. dark walls of stone stretched down and away from the top of the pyramid. But then. where inside the stockade walls was a great pit. Calvin now saw that the workers digging away from it had revealed that this was not a solitary object. though their ranges would prove immense. It couldn’t be that important to them if they were willing to let nearly a thousand foreign devils park on their soil and proceed to unearth the bones of their ancestors’ ancestors. glassy-eyed upon the endless desert. “Look. hot plains to find what they sought. surely they would have struck by now. Twice they had been forced to dig up and expand the walls of the stockade until at last the commander of the garrison had argued bitterly with the Selindari nobleman who was their employer that they had no more wood and precious little water with which to expand the protective walls of the encampment. a thin stretch of purple mountains jutted up. “and then bury the damn thing?” Yonoth shrugged. not enough to bring any rain to this godforsaken stretch of land. He had been stationed for six weeks in the Aytaris stockade. Yonoth. one which grew ever greater from day to day. gesturing out upon the desert beyond. and it was enough to drive any man to drink. 27 . about just what it was they were doing out here.

albeit of civilized countenance from the coastal port of Tharn. older even than the ancient Inhuridan. Calvin doubted he knew more than his grandmother’s tales on the matter. “Damn it to hell. with a pitcher of distilled water from the nearby well. Calvin nodded. the man who paid all bills. For it to have been covered so completely. Rain was coming. A chill wind gusted through the stockade then. a rare and sumptuous treat afforded only by those of great wealth. The water was barely palatable. and at the base they were certain to find the capstone which sealed the entrance. Yonoth joined him. casting one more worried glance back at the pyramid. Quaelios raised his hand to stop his guard. and had not taken the news well when the tap ran dry. “It’s going to rain tonight. It was likely a deep passage carved in to the side of the monument. Calvin glanced out once more to the eastern mountains and noticed that the thunderclouds had grown noticeably larger. “He has a The burning heat was gradually replaced by a sharp. hauling their dirt out on lengthy corded trolleys to which buckets were attached. had arrived. Against the last rays of the bloody red sunset he could tell that for the first time in weeks the clouds had bridged the great wall of the mountains.” Calvin scowled and spit. Over drinks.” Indeed. Calvin thought. It was madness. when are we going to get a drink around here? I’ve worked for better slave masters than this!” It was Adanos. the only women in the encampment. 28 . One bottle of such would cost as much as a year’s worth of Adanos’s preferred swill. What was interesting to Calvin was not Adanos’s fury.” Yonoth nodded and turned back to his watch. the two men said little. Of course no one would be mad enough to have dug a hole in to which this pyramid was laid and then buried.” Calvin moved down and away from the wall. but to invoke the legendary god-kings called the Inhuridan. kicking up dust and just a hint of moisture in the air. the structure would have to be incalculably old. and suggest that even they found the builders of these interred monuments terrifying and mysterious was a bold suggestion. with a thick. Calvin hurried away. he realized. as he pondered the activity of the workers below. There was no ancient mound here to encapsulate whatever lay below.” the large man commented. It would have been built like all great monuments out in the open. No. older than the Chirikatha. He was accompanied by several large bodyguards and his two mysterious scribes. the harnish mercenary who had signed on at the same time Calvin did. where the day laborers had been replaced by a larger crew to take advantage of the cool night weather. “Our patron is just a grave robber with too much time and money. One of the patron’s bodyguards stepped forward to stop Adanos. playing a round of dice while both tried not to notice the increasingly turbulent weather. skirting the rim of the great pit. grainy mineral taste to it. As the two guardsmen were relieved of duty. “It never rains here. strapped on a short sword and then exited to find food. I imagine. but that he had chosen to do so when Quaelios. Calvin saw then what had inspired Adanos’s ire: one of the servants had produced a bottle of vintage Selindari ale. “Your grandmother was a brilliant tale teller. for all to see. and soon. “That is what I am afraid of. my friend. The site was located in a vast. The moment was shattered when a loud voice burst out. the top of what appeared to be a deep cleft in the eastern wall of the pyramid was just surfacing as the diggers revealed it. older than man himself.” The guard replacing him snorted. hand on the pommel of his blade. prompting him to stop and stare down in to the whole for several minutes. A serving wench brought them both bread and stew. I think it more likely that the Inhuridan themselves built this thing. “We’ll know soon enough.” Calvin turned away. or perhaps some pretender later on. At the barracks tent Calvin doffed his arms and armor.” A chilling thought crossed Calvin’s mind at that moment. and in the last day as the pyramid had taken shape it became evident that the structure was immense. “Only a few cling so desperately to their secrets that we need worry about them. remote desert plain. Older than Waladar. The man was a famous drunk. cool night. Their patron was a madman. suddenly wanting to be as far away from the damnable structure as was possible. Fear not the dead. Someone had to have intentionally built this pyramid in a hole. their patron.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 Yonoth was a native Waladari. “Something does not feel right. and then filled it in. Why did he push so hard to unearth this monument which someone so clearly wanted buried? They had dug nearly forty five meters before they even touched upon the capstone.

“Let them all drink of the ambrosia so rarely offered to them. not good at all. Quaelios stayed in the commons but a short time before retiring to his private tent. and indeed were ones he had bought and paid for in silver and gold. “It is yours. You drive the laborers day and night. Calvin mused. Quaelios was nonetheless well-traveled. and he was certain that the Chirikatha were going to try and stop him tonight. He bore a simple silver headband which Calvin knew held the marks of one who was an elder initiate in the Sun cult. His hands traced the thick. No doubt more than that. gilded script across the disembodied front cover. the scribes and servants of Quaelios. She was looking at him. “You do not want to drink?” Calvin shook his head no. who wore the traditional white and yellow robes of the Selindari upper-class. “Ah. He grabbed Yonoth by the arm as the big man moved away. then you are free to leave. If you do not like the arrangements. and pulled from it an oilskin folio. the canopy rocked under the growing eastern winds.” his voice was soft yet sharp. Varith. “Drink deeply. A tome written by the Nadavasian sorcerer Hul’kamaath. It had taken him seven years to translate the book. lean. my friend. Quaelios handed him the rest of the bottle.” her voice was haunting. He had poisoned his tutor when the translation was complete. a thin smile upon his lips as he watched the big harnishman chug down the delicacy. a language considered old when the ancient Inhuridans were new to the world of Enzada. Well. I see. even if they did not necessarily realize it. Quaelios was a tall. As Calvin watched Yonoth and the others go forth to help themselves to this rare treat. covered in faded yet once glorious script using all manner of colorful inks. breaking them open as the men of the garrison lined up to fill their mugs full of the rare treat. Calvin made no move as Yonoth stood up to get his fill. This rabble was no different than those of any other land.” Adanos was not about to take that for an answer. my friend.” The words rang with cosmic significance to his ears. “You have been well paid. but he was certain that tonight was the night that hell came to Aytaris. This was not good. For a moment. “Bring the men wine. perhaps I can be accommodating. with an intensity that left him suddenly very uncomfortable. Quaelios looked upon the man with a mixture of pity and disgust. either. when mankind wallowed in fear and terror of the mythical Sky Builders and for whom even the elements were 29 . ancient sheaves of parchment. A stately man from far northern Selindar. “Eshari kath Netarim Hunal. “Gods it is good!” tension fled Adanos’ body as the wine soothed his yearning spirit.” he said.” Quaelios himself poured a glass for Adanos and handed it to him. The writing was indecipherable to most men. he could have sworn he heard her whisper to him. and even call upon the soldiers to dig for you. Perhaps this will assuage their fears that I am some sort of cruel taskmaster.” He looked to his servants. Inside he pulled out a set of loose. The Book of the Forgotten Ones. He left the servants to clean up. which meant he was close to achieving that which had eluded him for so long. 2 It was past midnight when the wine was finished and the men staggered away to sleep off their drunken stupors. Elsewhere. “You said we would be well stocked. Their lives were his. “You shouldn’t.” He leaned back. followed by his two retainers. her eyes a silver-blue. and I will let him know you have chosen a new course. drinking a sip of his own. He opened up a large trunk. He was not a man to be trifled with.” But Yonoth just laughed and shrugged his grip off. we would have all the supplies needed. Speak to your commander.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 right to speak. A storm was brewing. though she was too far away for such. quiet. ages before the three lands of the world had merged.” The servant nodded. All I want is a drink!” he licked his lips with nervous anticipation as he studied the bottle Quaelios’s servant held. Quaelios studied the sober harnishman with curious disdain. He knew not how. bald man with burnt umber skin. and had long ago adjusted to dealing with men of all classes and creeds. his eyes fell upon one of the veiled women. a man who knew even in whispers how to command. He could not shake that feeling in his gut that all was not well. “You want this?” he looked to the bottle. but the stores run dry and the caravan is past due. after pouring himself a small glass of his own. “Be ready. he did not want anyone else alive who could read it. Calvin got up and excused himself. the patron’s servants brought four more cases from his private stores. Inside his tent. You will taste nothing else like it.

” Etarna shuddered for a moment. She had traveled with him for years. eons ago. Had the pyramid at last sunk in to the swamps. voice of Quaelios. Hul’kamaath was obsessed with the ancient tombs of this pre-human culture. We shall see. Quaelios nodded at the now unconscious woman. “You push yourself too hard woman. The dig continued unabated. he mused. to supervise their activities as they focused on the deep cleft in the pyramid. unaware of the covetious woman nearby. heard their strange whispering in his dreams. “Yes. Etarna.” And she faded away. Not so close. snoring soldiers and once more made his way to the site of the dig. but granted its users an alarming sense of prescience. helped her up on some cushions even as the other seer approach to help. Ah. It was his assistants. he mused. When he was god of men. He moved over to her. It felt like the forgotten dead were at last awakening. tantalizing glimpses of a lost civilization that had learned to transcend its own mortality. Tell me. resting upon a lush swampy plain. Etarna. She will be the oracle of all mankind. resting upon the surface of the land. You seek the dark tonight. Men could smell it in the air. he would at last fulfill his destiny. the workers had apparently focused on digging down in that spot. Do not pass out on me now. drawing his robes once more around himself to brace against the gusting winds outside. I will pay twice the coin to workers from the dayshift to bend their backs to the task before us. As he exited. The storm clouds rolled in after midnight. the other seer Livia studied Quaelios as he tended to her. forming a deep hole. The spirits tell him it is time. as roaring winds flecked with rain drops drowned out the noise of the dig. of pure obsidian. aggravated at this disturbance. woman. He watched as men held ropes that stretched down in to that hole. heady odor that filled the soul with delight and dread. the god of men. He picked up a parchment. The drug left its users in a state of dreamlike semi-wakefulness. Tell him we double our efforts tonight.” He kissed her forehead then. A slight grin crossed his face. “I care not. he wondered? Or had it somehow been buried by an as yet unknown cataclysm? Such was one of the many unresolved mysteries he had encountered in his quest for the pyramid. he called to one of his bodyguards. He turned about. Perhaps when dawn comes you will be surprised at what you see. “He sees the storm and moves. and how Quaelios and two large bodyguards stepped forth and were then lowered down. You will be the god of men. Soon. rolling clouds sparked thunderously. Etarna rocked on the heels of her feet before collapsing. and you will release us once more to make the world in our image. but Calvin soon realized that as soon as the cleft was identified for what it was. Down you must go. as Quaelios himself had joined the night workers down below. as they sensed the unearthing of their lost graves. flickering torchlight he watched as the workers dug like madmen before the shouts of Quaelios. he could almost taste triumph upon his lips. He had felt the calling of the Forgotten Ones since he was a child. Quaelios shook his head. “Rest now. Quaelios strode toward the pit. Across the room sitting quietly on a prayer rug. Were they mad? Soon the region would be flooded with torrential rainwater and they were descending ever deeper in to this structure that surely had existed since before mankind itself… 30 . Quaelios stood up. a thick. Behind Quaelios came quiet footsteps. she wondered. That they had uncovered as much as they did was impressive. In his day the tombs were still visible. “Get the chief foreman. Below.” she said. Do you see the entrance to the pyramid? Are we close?” he glanced back at the folio. they told him. in the furious. he will make Etarna his queen. dreamy eyes. You will find us. From above it was hard to tell amidst the dancing shadows of the wind-wracked firelight. You are the herald. All in her order partook of the essence of the Aghariva bark of their native Selindar. Why does he not dote upon me like so. Calvin had not slept that night. but he could swear that they had uncovered some sort of deep. and did much to learn of it. gaping hole within the cavernous depth of the structure’s cleft.” She looked in to his eyes. as if feeling the spirits upon her. upon which was depicted in elaborate detail a vast monolithic pyramid. “The old shaman watches you tonight. He took a cloth from a nearby water basin and dabbed her forehead. and Etarna had only joined the expedition at his request just weeks before they left Selindar.” From the sky. and sometime after midnight as the winds picked up he left his tent with its drunken. The woman pulled back her cowl and studied him with half-lidded. blotting out the moon and stars above.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 cause for fear. The time was nigh.

He reached over and touched the man’s shoulder. He scrambled for traction. He found it. Somewhere a man toppled from on high. cursing his own lack of armor. knocking the horn from his hands and in to the pit. Calvin scrambled up. up and ready with horn in one hand and drawn sword in the other. ghost-like from the already deep pool of water which served as a catch basin for the pack animals and diggers. He approached. At the bottom he kept rolling. but with dark red and white painted oils zig-zagging across his body. He stumbled back and away from the pit then. The wild man grinned with a crazed intensity and uttered savage words foreign to Calvin’s lips. though he clung to his sword. and barreled the man over. trying to keep his footing under the rain-slick wood. He had likely died without even realizing it. The horn left his grip. to the walls of the stockade. and again as Calvin was suddenly on the defensive. like a sharp crack. he cursed with pain. They thrashed about in the mud and rain. Instead. but the damnable thing was clogged with mud and water. past the corpse. and Calvin’s attention was drawn away. wide sightless eyes greeting him. He hit the ground in a roll then turned. There was a snapping noise. He dared a quick glance over the wall. A spear suddenly thrust in front of him. Along the wood and mud ramparts he just could just make out one of the night watch through the downpour. Instead he approached slowly. he cast himself forward. “Esahari kath natar asenamba!” In a flash the spear struck again. Calvin charged. the thought crossed his mind that the pit was very close. Calvin threw himself from the ramparts. hoping against hope that not all of the watchmen had been compromised. unable to bring up the horn to sound the alarm. Calvin then ran to the next stretch of the wall. looking out upon the desert night. The second tribesman was nowhere to be seen. Mere feet away another savage rose up. his instincts screaming danger. and if he plunged in to it he would be dead. he hit the down-slope of the mud bank running up against the stockade wall and slid. casting about wildly for evidence of his second attacker. As he fell. he saw that another tribesman had just slipped over the walls. but not before its serrated end gouged his right hand. In seconds it went from a sporadic sprinkle to a sudden. and at last stopped just short of the gaping darkness. Behind him was a dark figure out of some primal nightmare. who seemed to stare intently outward in to the desert. though it seemed one man was missing and the other was kneeling. His hands clamped down on the ivory horn to sound the alarm. Calvin let go of the spear. a thick black spear shaft kept the body propped up where it had driven sharply between the logs of the wall and deep in to the man’s heart. The damned Chirikatha had been waiting all this time for the cover of rainfall to strike! With a sudden burst of adrenalin Calvin rummaged about on the body of the man in front of him. Several workers below studied him curiously before the full impact of his message was realized. the sudden rain had turned powdered earth in to slick mud. Elsewhere. nearly slipping on the wet wood. As he ran. Something did not seem right. “Attack! We are under attack!” he shouted out. in to the darkness below. The man held a long spear of black wood and iron which had just shattered the floor of the rampart where Calvin was a second ago. bedlam descended upon the raindrenched stockade. At first there was no response. Calvin dropped low then. intense downpour. flanking him. The tribesman held on. searching for the horn. With lighting quick reflexes he grabbed the spear and put all his effort in to wresting it from his foe. and saw a dark shape lying crumbled on the ground some eight meters below. and then searched about for the other guard. taking the ladder steps two at a time. until seconds 31 . giving him a macabre countenance not unlike a bloody skeleton. Once atop the ramparts Calvin stifled out an urge to call out to the guardsman. This was what they were waiting for. trying to gain footing as the rain-slick embankment carried him down to level ground. He grabbed the sword from the man’s belt. then the head rolled over. He parried one blow of the spear with his sword. This was it.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 As if summoned by his thoughts the first thick droplets of rain began to pelt down on his head and shoulders. a gurgling scream resonating over the beat of the rain. waving his arms wildly and looking down in to the pit. a warning horn trumpeted from across the compound near the tent barracks. a local tribesman he imagined. cursing. He had no choice. sliding back along the wall. but that was the wrong move as the man lost footing and plunged to his death in the pit. The pit was only a short distance away. then narrowly avoided a second strike. With a quick glance behind. when he felt something looming up.

he said. ready to impale him. Calvin helped the man out of the collapsed tent. and the first woman moved to help her. “The gods take me before these savages roast us for dinner.” He waved at the bloodied half- 32 . though one man in the corner thrashed about with his attacker. and for a brief second Calvin thought about throwing it all away and rushing them in one last blaze of glory and madness. You did not have to hurt her.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 later one lay dead.” Calvin muttered.” She began to sob. his long mane of hair matted and snarled. one from the forehead and two beneath the jaw. toward the great pit. The Voice of the Walkers has said it is so. collapsing the structure as he did. Calvin found escape impossible. in the now ankle-deep flood waters. A second group of men arrived.” The rain pelted his face. Aban de. “Damn but I knew this job would be my death. “Etara unak. “Esahari kath natar asenamba. dropping the second woman down next to the first. “You bastards!” she cried out. then saw Yonoth go down under a halfdozen more men. He carried a staff. Calvin grinned. There was nothing left for them here. As they reached the gates Yonoth and Calvin were confronted by a half dozen Chirikatha who had raised the portcullis to let more raiders inside. toward the dark hole that had been dug down the cleft in the pyramid.” Yonoth grimaced. almost like tusks. She was unconscious. mi atamo eshari. and one moved forth to disarm both of them. that strange and unknown language. in the hope of saving some of his comrades from an untimely blade to the throat.” Spear tips closed in. When they reached the edge of the pit and the maze of scaffolding that led downward. “What lies down there?” he gestured. atop of which rested a strange skull of alien shape. You put the forgotten dead to rest. In a crude variant of the Waladari dialect. Yana. writhing form in their grasp. it was Yonoth. He backed against the wall as four tribesmen pressed in with spears. pulling her face from the floodwater that poured in to the pit so she did not drown. the shaman halted. dazed and wildeyed. he looked at the shaman and the translator. blood streaming in to the murky pool. Pain edged his voice as he felt about on his tender. Many died in the bulldances. He found the corpse of his assailant on the ground. The savages assented to his commands. conscious Yonoth. He made his way then toward the barracks. Calvin decided. You stop the man you call Quaelios from waking the forgotten dead. and grabbed up the savage’s dagger. The man turned. then. determined to win their freedom. It was one of the women who served as seer and scribe to Quaelios. and how they would pile up on top of one of the maddened beasts during the height of its mania. which the guide then translated.” Calvin watched as they pulled Yonoth up to his feet. mi atamo eshari. he realized. Etara unak. They dumped her before Calvin and Yonoth in to the mud. then hurled the painted foe through the tent wall. “You go in to pit. From behind. “We offered no resistance. Tattoos. however. which damaged her already torn gown. It was not Calvin.” Calvin said. “But I think they want our help with that pyramid. a shorter savage joined the lot. just as happened here. seeing motions in the dark as furtive shapes dashed by. The two men then looked about. This was the same woman that Calvin had seen earlier. cracked skull. eshari kath natar asenamba. but his tribal markings did not run. The two men charged. “You come with us. Calvin downed two before he felt a sharp stab in his right leg. and then turned to Calvin. with Yonoth smashing skull and snapping neck until at last one of the tribesman brought a heavy knobbed club down upon the Waladari’s skull with a sickening crunch. his brilliant white and red markings more striking and exotic than the rest. The two men jogged for the crude wooden gates of the stockade. blades slashing at the spears and daggers of their assailants. hearing the sporadic shouts and screams. to smother it in bodies.” Already they were being forced forward. The image reminded him for some strange reason of the bull-dancers back in his homeland. He reached the commons tent of his barracks and found himself too late for most. The battle was lost before it had even begun. “Thought I’d find your drunken throat slit. Then you go down. Three horns projected from it. Chaos reigned everywhere. and from the tent of the nobleman came four more tribesmen with a fierce. “What did he seek?” The shaman shrugged and looked up to the sky. Nearby came a muffled shriek. he moved forward to aid the large man as spears prodded him in the back. Instead. Yonoth grimaced and said nothing. Surrounded now. The shaman seemed unperturbed. He spoke again. He had lived too long in this trade for such foolish heroics. certainly not human.

It was the one who was only semi-conscious and beaten. He fished about and found the rope lines that dropped below. No wonder Quaelios was so quick to descend. though there was nothing he could do about it at the moment save to set the bone. They would be useless down below. it seemed. but breathing. Her right arm was clearly broken. though he could tell by the echo of the water that it was a wide. I think so.” The translator seemed visibly shaken at imagining this possibility. His feet landed amidst a shower of water from above. who set down smoothly. The girl was out again. The third one to appear as Yonoth. as water poured in from all corners. He pulled his blade from its scabbard.” up on his own hirelings to dash madly in to the unknown depths for whatever prize he sought? He estimated that he was about twenty meters down when he felt the rope thrash about. elevated but a few feet above the lower level of the dig. “And you will need me. He reached bottom after another twenty meters. “The woman should stay here. then reeled as pain wracked his skull. then prepared to begin descent. He pulled her away. That torch over there. and Calvin looked to Yonoth. You stop forgotten dead from awakening. the shaman nodded and the translator took his sword from one of the tribesmen.” With that. as he found himself dangling in empty space for the last ten meters of the descent.” he said. and realized that the diggers must have found an actual pit entrance in to the pyramid. Without gloves. “I would be quick if I were you.” Calvin nodded. “I am not hysterical.” He tightened the rope around his waist. and you are who has been chosen. “If you leave before dawn. Perhaps your instincts were right. Calvin mused. “They gave me a sword. Do they expect us to kill the boss?” He tossed the second torch to Calvin. and as Calvin reached the hole in to which Quaelios had descended earlier. The light was otherwise too faint to penetrate the full chamber. “One is unconscious and the other hysterical. and lit it off of the first.” he said. smooth stone under his fingers. “No man deserves eternity with what lies below. Did he know that the attack was imminent? Had he given 33 . Seconds later there was a splash and a sharp cry of pain as a woman hit the ground. then doffed his shirt and ripped it in to crude bandages to bind the scabbard to her arm as a crude splint. Calvin began his descent. smooth stone under the flood water beneath his sandals. and let the line out as fast as he dared. no longer translating for the shaman. the friction of the rope burned his hands. She had apparently let go of the rope and fallen with no control. Not even that demon that leads you.” Her companion was coming to. The pit was already waste deep with water.” The one woman glared at him. “The Voice of the Walkers has decreed that there must be four. Yonoth looked about.” The translator shook his head. A faint light could be seen. Walkers guide you. He says you have until dawn before the gods claim this forsaken place and you join them forever. no sword can set things right. Perhaps this place was buried for a reason. Yonoth. and checked for signs of life. looking at the shaman. “Aye. Where you go. They held the rope line secure.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 “You go down. and realized that they were already sending down a second person. water was already cascading down. Even in her delirium she let out a cry of agony as he snapped it back in place.” Yonoth made his way over to the torch and looked about. “Suit yourself. with darkness beyond. but Yonoth shook his head. his large but athletic frame accustomed to climbing. “It is very dark. “Fools! The rope won’t support all our weight!” at that he picked up the pace.” he turned. but it was some distance away. you have redeemed yourself before the spirits.” 3 The descent in to the pit was treacherous.” he offered. He felt hard. how had they dug so deeply in one day? In short order he felt cold. mute sobs escaping her bruised lips. “The stones are black within as without. Calvin looked once more to the translator. but it barely penetrates down here. he realized. handing it over. the rope had just reached. By now three dozen savages surrounded them. but he moved as fast as he dared. he estimated. running down the planks of the scaffolding. revealing what appeared to be a short flight of steps toward a gilded archway. it burns bright. “You first. down below. “One last thing.” Calvin grimaced. or perhaps these forgotten dead. He found a second. deep area. “Let me have my sword. foreigner. The obsidian soaks the light. The pit was deeper than Calvin imagined possible.” After a brief exchange.

but was too weak. Yonoth shook his head. He scrambled in one of the oddly shaped corners of the otherwise sterile chamber and huddled there. though I know you favor it. Each chamber was connected by multiple hallways to other chambers. but be careful. She will lead our way. Her soothing voice and calm movements had their effect. perhaps only a few meters from hell itself. shrugged. I should lead. Calvin stepped up beside Etarna. “I hear whispers in the darkness. beneath the earth itself. Abruptly. and I know swordplay. then saw a man.” he said matter-of-factly. the kind worn by foppish nobles seeking to impress. I hear whispers. “Isitra melan. crash in to the chamber and drop to his knees. even as he admired the wet sheen of her thighs as she descended down the rope. “Can you calm him down?” She nodded and approached the man carefully. bejeweled weapon. and saw that she was in a trance-like state. “Call me Etarna. “Oh. arched chambers filled with abstract architectural designs that seemed random or pointless to the human eye. you’re choice of direction is as good as ours. She touched down. I can try to reach out. too much so for Calvin’s liking. Isitra has removed your pain. who had been perched at the base of the arch atop the stairs. “We are not alone.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 At last the other woman arrived. She tried to sit up using her broken arm. Take this. Suddenly. friend. He heard no whispers. and stared about as if wakened from a bad dream.” The Wakeful One.” Calvin and Yonoth looked at one another. toward the steps and the archway. “By the demons of Gath. and began to recite a quite prayer. but you must be careful. At first the two men tried to lead. fear and madness in his eyes. and was not at all in pain from her injury. hypnotic quality. how does one navigate such a necropolis as this?” Calvin spat in to the flickering shadows. “You are both of the Sisters of Aghariva. But I fear it is in my mind. a welcome change from the obsidian black of the entry chamber. and she descended with a graceful agility that left Calvin impressed. Calvin looked to the Etarna. shuddering. Calvin watched her for a bit. Yonoth moved to stand beside Livia.” He pointed down the hall. Etarna helped her up. but Adanos suddenly scrambled away. She then placed her hands on the temples of Livia’s brow. listening.” She quickly moved to her companion. and seek the guidance of the goddess. Isitra melan…” it bore a strange. as they quickly learned. Immense halls lead to dramatic. “Let us hope so. Livia. “What do you hear?” he noticed that the stone beyond the gilded archway was laced with azure plates. torch in hand. as she had called herself. Calvin moved to stand by Yonoth. and within a few seconds she offered him more of the sacred green bark she carried with her. Etarna moved up.” They moved slowly. “Quaelios wanted you here for your visions. I had such a vivid dream!” she was faint and flushed. “What does a woman know of sword play?” he studied the blade.” She studied him carefully. Livia…” she did as best she could to secure the shattered arm. almost ready to sprint. from an oval hallway to the right came a flash of motion and fury. Calvin raised his sword in defense. and soon seemed to be moving purposefully through the maze of chambers and corridors. I am one of the Wakeful Ones in my order. Calvin picked up the pace behind her.” Calvin moved forward. Livia awoke with a gasp.” She pressed a dagger in to Livia’s left palm. “Do not use your right arm. It was an ornate. “No! Do not take me! No!” Adanos was hysterical. and follow carefully. proceeded forward.” he said. After several chambers she suddenly stopped. placing them in Livia’s mouth. “Something knows we are here. “If one of you will help Livia. “Fair enough. It is required. “You must rest. “You ripped your gown. and ripped more material from the hem of her gown. “What know you of the Sisters?” she reached in to a pouch on her belt and took two strips of dried green bark.” The full dimensions of this ancient catacomb were vast. “Etarna. 34 . then. and Calvin was sure they were now deep beneath the pyramid. who looked as if she were moving through a waking dream. Better in your head then wandering this hell. but in a matter of minutes it was evident they were hopelessly lost as to what direction to take. I was the harnishman Adanos! “By the Red Hand! What the devil are you doing here?” Calvin reached down to help the man up. She bore a sword clipped to her belt. panting and exhausted. her eyes rolled back in her head. but seemed not in the least bit injured. She did not seem to feel the pain.” He looked at her. ragged and covered in mud. Calvin moved to assist.

It seems the old shaman was wrong. lurking over the cots of my bunk mates.” Yonoth laughed. already being swallowed by the darkness of the tunnel. I sore felt the need to relieve myself.” Adanos told a story that was confused and muddled both by his addled mind and the strange circumstances under which he came to be here. as if he questioned his own sanity. it seems like an eternity.” Calvin nodded impatiently. “I’m afraid we’re all in this for the long haul. then so be it. As the passage descended at strange angles deeper and deeper in to the earth. “I can‘t remember what drove me mad. “When I awoke. bits of torn red flesh and cloth seemed to have been scraped off along the wall in an odd pattern. I’d have probably married her if she had not perished during that winter. after Adanos. Blood ran freely across the floor. and took one of the offered pieces of green bark.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 Soon Adanos was looking more a fool than a madman. welcome to our crew. and at other times veering sharply off from the ceiling or the floor. “I could use all the help I can get. in this maze. I sweetheart from the homeland who had fallen ill the year before. lost in half-remembered terrors suppressed by the sacred bark. who herself took one of her last pieces to chew upon. There were savages everywhere.” Shame seemed to cross his face. I came out of the tent. That’s why I joined the company. and soon enough I was here. sometimes at level angles. Adanos nodded. “Hah! Pray that whatever monsters lurk in the darkness here can appreciate a man who is beyond fear. who moved slowly in to the darkened corridor from which he had previously plunged. I wandered. We have until dawn to solve this matter. and after another six meters Calvin found a shattered 35 . “So I thought perhaps that fine wine had well and truly dulled my senses. We should all be gone from here. “What are you doing here!” he exclaimed. “I do not like this place. I heard a horn sound. my friend. It was another ten minutes of travel down the tunnel when they encountered a gory spectacle.” Calvin nudged him. which was when I saw the savages. Now. you see. The passage had a curious design.” she said. “Speed it up. It will help us deal with whatever set the madness upon Adanos’s mind. “We should all chew this. “Pray for Calvin that his mind is guarded by stronger powers. “Can you find your way back there?” again. “Adanos. the group passed several branches that intersected at neat angles with the tunnel. man. I….” Calvin studied the root like it was some sort of leprous beggar seeking coin. like some sort of voice calling to me. and nary a soul moved. “I take nothing.” He retrieved Livia as they followed Adanos and Calvin.” The big man continued. as if he was half remembering what had driven him mad. my sweetheart. The oval passage eventually plunged downward at an odd angle. and then somehow before I knew it I was sprinting down the scaffolding and in to the pit. with rippling patterns along the wall that could have been mystical designs. “Isitra gave us the aghariva tree to protect us from the spirits that lurk in the spaces between.” he trailed off then. “…I heard her voice.” Etarna touched Calvin’s shoulder. I came to a wide. calling out to her. like shadows from death itself sent to collect their souls. a confused look on his face. there are five of us for this task.” He proceeded forth. I turned and ran. I…” he paused. “Was Quaelios there?” Adanos nodded. Adanos. and I ran. get yourself up. No one felt like the passage had been used by humans until now. but the man seemed resolute. and in time it was evident that they were passing deep in to the earth. Calvin questioned how Adanos could know for certain that he was on the right path. as he grinned at the woman and then at Calvin. Yonoth stepped up. The next thing I knew I was rappelling in to the pit. If my mind cannot stand against whatever foulness lurks beyond. Calvin lent him a hand up. She called to me. or perhaps the curiously symmetric handiwork of whatever beings had seen fit to carve out this passage so long ago. “I made my way down in to this pit in a panic.” he smiled at Etarna. I wandered back to the tents. At first it was unclear just what they were looking at. Her voice was so close. they had all been slain in their sleep.” Calvin shook his head. I don’t know what I was thinking…” he got a far-away look then. and set about to my business when I heard noise from the pit. and tell us what you know. Passage across these odd descending paths was made easier by the rippled patterns of the walls. The torchlight revealed a glint of metal further on. dark chamber that I all at once realized was a cavern. It sounded just like a woman I used to know. Take us there. “I killed two with my bare hands before I settled on where to go.

Maybe even bores through them.” Yonoth looked meaningfully at Calvin. In front of the brazier cavorted a madman.” “What could have done this?” Etarna looked at the mess. nestled within the earth. Close your eyes. “Yes…yes. we need you. but he quickly realized that this was a trick of the strange. he wondered? Were the old shaman’s words resonant with truth.” she intoned in to Livia’s ear.” He moved forward once more. “Don’t look back. would they indeed all be consigned to this stygian hell forever? He had no intention of finding out. “I gave you much of the green bark. “Our patron. finding slight comfort in the fact.” Adanos looked like a new madness was about to overcome the calming effect of the aghariva root. His patience drawn thin. who Calvin quickly identified as Quaelios. “What happened here?” Yonoth looked at the scene. as they rounded the next corner of the tunnel. Calvin pried the breastplate free from the ripples against which it had been smashed. fists clenched. but as Calvin reached the low slope and the ground leveled out. Calvin reached out. Yonoth and Livia arrived next. From behind. Tell me you are not wandering aimlessly in your madness!” Adanos stopped and turned. Just go. his eyes hollow with a strange emptiness. “It can bleed. and studied Calvin. as she rasped out a barely audible noise of fright. just remember that.” 36 . Etarna grasped her. Livia looked on with dreamy eyes. “I…this was…I think I was here. sickly yellow ichor. holding the woman tightly. and if they did not find the man Quaelios before dawn.” He gestured then to the strange statue beyond. it will show you things you should not see. at once amused and angered. but suddenly her face contorted in to a look of terror and she threw her hand to her mouth.” Adanos seemed to calm a bit. demonic head.” He motioned to the broken sword and the trail of ichors. “Stop this madness. something that moves smoothly through these tunnels. “They Time seemed to flow strangely as the small group wandered through the strange tunnels. “Something big. If we are but gnats to the gods. like a vast hollowed egg. The weapon was covered in a strange. only to topple over the edge of the opening and slide down the curved surface of the ovoid chamber like a drunken man taking a spill. He stepped down carefully. “Don’t lose it man. dancing along the walls of a vast cavern. the blade snapped off halfway up the length. grasping the ridges of the chamber walls (also curiously patterned. “I grow impatient.” Calvin shook his head. red light flickering from the brazier at the base of the chamber casting dancing shadows upon the immense and disturbing effigy. and we are running out of time. grasping Adanos by the shoulder to slow the man. I saw this…” Calvin grabbed him by the shoulders and forced him to look away. How much time had passed since they had been dropped in to the darkness. Along the far wall of the strangely shaped chamber was something that Calvin’s own eyes couldn’t quite understand. Quaelios’s eyes seemed to shine in the flickering light of the brazier like a cat’s. We should pick up the pace. my friend. A few feet beyond was an ornate sword. Your men have been slaughtered and you dabble in dark arts. “We won’t stand a chance. “By the Great Tree itself…” Yonoth seemed awed and terrified at the spectacle. immortal. They are timeless. in to the darkness behind. with the emblem of the bodyguards of Quaelios upon it.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 breastplate. “You cannot stop them. following a man that Calvin began to suspect was leading them to a subterranean funeral. Etarna gasped.” Calvin said. The strange substance stretched along the tunnel for several more meters. “We are here. At first it reminded him of a great. Stop this now!” Quaelios seemed at first not to hear him. then so too are the gods like insects among them.” Calvin was through with this nonsense.” he muttered. Flickering red light reached their eyes. Adanos staggered forth and shoved his way between the two. Calvin pushed him aside and moved forward. “What if this thing comes for us?” he glanced back. the dancing man stopped and turned. like the tunnels) and began his descent in to the chamber. “Quaelios!” he called out as he climbed. “Don’t think. afraid of the answer. Etarna stepped up beside him. “Close your eyes. trying to piece it together. The armor looked as if it had been smashed flat against the rippled wall by an elephant. “This was one of Quaelios’s bodyguards. which moved with an eerie undulation. surrounded by writhing tentacles.” “This ends now. Yonoth nodded.

wrestling with the possessed bodyguard. He dislodged his assailant’s grip and snapped the man’s arm with a blow from the pommel of his sword. Like its tiny kin. why do you do this? You never told me what you sought within those books. a massive tubular being that defied nature. 37 . once they bring forth their dark majesty and remake the world in their image. for but a second. I shall be the herald of their awakening. he shouted to his companions. Mist poured forth from the mouth. knocking the wind out of him. it seemed that some sort of primordial jungle lay beyond. “Milord. “Kill him!” Calvin shouted. creating a dark passage in to a strange void beyond. filled with ancient ferns and a dark green canopy. who had lain hidden within the shadows of the chamber. The beast swiveled to face him. As he did. Above. gripping his sword and slashing wildly at the descending worm. narrowly escaping being pulped by the monster. Out of nowhere he was intercepted by a dark shape. Second after the two descended. for two great worm-like entities. slamming in to the poor woman and sending her across the chamber to land in a crumpled. If you live through this. As Calvin wrestled with the man. You were truly invaluable. You will be honored as no others shall. Its body terminated in a great open maw. to bring forth their majesty. who seemed possessed of superhuman strength. for the maw of the sculpture drew wide. It was mother. to close the distance between herself and Quaelios. “Stop him! Damn you all stop him!” He grasped the bodyguard by the head as the man wrapped his thickly muscled hands around Calvin’s neck. now only feet from the open maw. Calvin surged forward then. looked up at the great worm overhead. that you thought yourself some prophet. lifeless heap. As the darkness fled.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 rest within the maw of this portal. the worm brought down its great weight upon the side of the tunnel. and managed to free his blade. made by the servitors of the earth in their honor. It was almost enough to divert their attention from the terrifying worm that lurked directly above their descent. each glinting as if made of steel and glistening with slime. “He controls the worm!” The bodyguard. Elsewhere Etarna and Yonoth. Yonoth and Etarna survived by letting go and tumbling the rest of the way. the gigantic worm’s maw was filled with immense incisors. seemed unfazed by his mangled arm and struggled to retain a hold on Calvin. somewhere in the back of his mind. As Calvin reached to choke his assailant in turn he was greeted with a shocking site. Calvin wrestled with his attacker on the ground. The great mass moved rhythmically. my dear!” Quaelios laughed then. I go now. as something huge and dark surged forth from the tunnel they had emerged from. Quaelios. but the warrior had gained the advantage. each protruding from the sockets of the bodyguard hissed at him and bit him with strangely-shaped maws full of triangular incisors. such as they had seen in the tunnel earlier. Calvin realized. I beseech thee! Smite these fools who would dare prevent your great masters from awakening. when I next return I shall offer you a place at my side as the messenger of the Forgotten Ones. It was the other bodyguard. Etarna meanwhile stood up but let out a sharp cry as she realized in the plunge she had twisted her ankle. beyond the canopy of greenery. which spouted gouts of blood and more of that strange greenish fluid. Livia let out a sudden sharp cry overhead. the dark void within the mouth began to cast dull gray light. some vessel of these forgotten gods! Why would you bring such terror upon us all?” Her attempts at reason fell on empty ears. worms now filtering from every orifice of his body. and in the distance.” Quaelios turned then. which was ridged with steel teeth. Calvin gasped. I am your prophet! Come to my aid!” Behind him. She stood up and hobbled over. as its stone-shattered teeth began to ripple and extrude from its mouth in anticipation of the morsel before it. a mixture of madness and joy. as it was so long ago. to move toward the grotesque depiction along the wall. “Etarna my dear. much like the tiny infants popping forth from the body of the man Calvin wrestled with. Eerie noises made by no animals ever heard by human ears began to echo from the strange portal. Yonoth recovered quickly. “Servitor of the earth. Etarna and Yonoth both thought they saw something akin to a mountain moving in the distance. He stumbled back then hacked fiercely with his sword in to the man’s neck. realizing the sudden danger both crawled as quickly down the sloping wall from the tunnel entry as fast as they could. to tackle Quaelios before he could do any harm. Calvin gasped and drew his hands away before his fingers were sliced off. he realized. We will be powerful beyond all means. to awaken. I needed you and your sister to guide me through your visions or we would never have found the location of this temple.

” she sighed and then died.” Out of nowhere another form rose up. “Livia traveled with Quaelios for years before I joined them on this journey. She dropped Livia and staggered back. but could only watch through the wall of flames as Quaelios stepped up and prepared to enter the strange portal. Dark gloom overcame all as only a few stray embers of light from dwindling torches continued to offer light. filling the air between himself and Calvin. She was stunned. can’t you see?” Livia’s body was almost lifeless. mercenary. but she shook her head vigorously. his eyes glinting with madness. Yonoth retrieved one of the torches. when clearly…” he looked to the closed maw beyond which Adanos now rested. Calvin shouted to Etarna.” She turned then and grasped Calvin. shaken. “No…!” Abruptly the worm was slain as Calvin stepped on it. and with a gesture the eldritch fire erupted from the brazier. As he finished off the bodyguard. “…we needed only one. When I return. its metal teeth letting lose great sparks as they grated against one another. you shall all see the glory I have awakened. Calvin realized. across the room. his voices cracking under the strain of madness. When at last the tail disappeared. then let out a terrible squealing shriek that shook the very chamber. engulfing the burning brazier and the writhing priest within its maw. protected by the fire. “You are not possessed of these foul creatures. the great mouth of the carven image suddenly collapsed. “Milord! You are accosted!” Quaelios turned then. what his true purposes were.” Calvin cursed as Quaelios turned once again. moving away in disgust as even the corpse’s wounds now shed worms escaping the dead husk. Silence suddenly descended upon the chamber. “You are witness to a great event. “I do not understand what happened here. it was Adanos.” He studied Etarna carefully. The worm and all before it smashed in to the open maw. Calvin pushed Etarna aside and ran to his friend’s aid. preparing to ascend the curved wall to the tunnel exit. rushing quickly to where Etarna lay. I hope. at last breaking down. the two tried to distract the worm. sobbing in to his chest. my dear. “Your wine was not that good. Calvin cursed and back up. and then stood up. With a grunt the harnishman grabbed the surprised Quaelios in a firm grip. and strode over to study the lifeless body of Livia. Behind Quaelios. He turned. “Now let us be about escaping this foul tomb before that bloody shaman sees fit to seal us in!” ~Fin~ 38 . and a resolute Adanos just beyond. and then hefted the writhing man up in the air. until its entire thirty-meter mass disappeared through the portal to unknown realms. “I will return. Let us see if the man also sheds worms in death. As he did. I go now to awaken the Forgotten Ones. “I have seen much. Calvin and Yonoth looked at one another from where they had fallen when the enraged worm plunged to its doom. The reaction of the worm was instantaneous. and smiled to her. but otherwise alive. almost as if it were trying desperately to force the burning priest through the portal. It then shot forth. “Sister.The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 46 Calvin had had enough. to enter the strange portal beyond. which erupted with dancing flecks of purple and red light as fire engulfed the now shrieking body. “What I want to know is why the damnable shaman said there must be four of us. why did you do this? He is mad. Its body kept undulating forth in to the statue’s maw. “Never try to understand the ways of magicians and gods. Calvin shrugged. The harnishman strode forth and plunged the priest in to the brazier of flames.” Etarna limped to Livia’s side. dodged and tumbled as the worm tried to devour him. he mused.” he helped Etarna up. waving arms and swords to keep it confused as to which to strike at. How the devil was he going to get out of this one alive? As Calvin joined Yonoth. as it reared up and away from Yonoth and Calvin. who was somehow trapped on the other side of the fire. He said he needed two of the sisters for their sight.” Calvin turned. “Do something! Anything!” Etarna sobbed.” he shook his head. he turned and rushed at Quaelios. “The portal is complete. the crumpled form of Livia suddenly sat up. singed from the flames.” Adanos bellowed. Etarna recoiled in horror as a long worm slid from her open mouth. but he lied about what lay here. “A little help!” Yonoth.