Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with the next instalment of this wonderful story from Andartianna. It is entitled
Harvest of the Shattered Moon
Background music by Smartsound
Chapter 6, “Books, Braziers, and Blight”
Zazeriz headed past the bank and waved at Blackmoor as she passed by the guild register building. Up in the top floor of the combat training building, Parker was usually standing over a book. Today his book was Library Fragments XI. Parker was always dressed in refined armor with gold medallions across his chest. He was a good half a head taller than Zazeriz is. Zazeriz sat on a bench nearby him, and as he finished talking to another person, he turned to Zazeriz, who was sitting patiently waiting for him.
“Good afternoon, Dr. Zazeriz. It has been quite some time since you have last visited with me. I hope all is well with you.” Parker said.
“I am personally doing well, however one of my close friends has been taken to the Tower of the Shuttered Eye. I was hoping that you might have some insights into the undead entities that lurk there.” Zazeriz said.
“That is indeed a foul place. Many an adventurer has gone and not returned. From what I have heard, the spirit that lurks there is called Saul the Damned. I believe he is what is left of a failed necromantic experiment. If you are planning on invading the inner sanctum of this demon, I would suggest you bring several companions with you. I have heard rumor that you can weaken Saul the Damned by using either Douse or Soothing Rain on the various braziers of fire that are linked to his power.” Parker said.
“That is a very good insight. I will certainly attempt to Douse the braziers within the Tower of the Shuttered Eye. Are there any other spells you would recommend using while facing the fell beings within the tower?” Zazeriz asked.
“Banish Undead is always an excellent spell to use. Fire will also burn the bones of the undead. I have something else that may assist you in your goal.” Parker reached into his pocket and pulled out a large diamond. “Diamonds can be used to augment your gear and enhance your life attunement. You may take this one. Perhaps your guild has a way to add others.” Parker said.
“I thank you for your help. You have always been a good friend and a gifted master trainer of life. I hope to speak with you again soon. Take care.” Zazeriz said.
Parker nodded and Zazeriz headed back down into the city of Ardoris. Zazeriz moved to the center of the city where a giant statue of a woman had been erected. Gathered nearby were many members of Organized Chaos. Blight Mister stepped forward and said, “We have all gathered and are ready to assist you. Shall we head out of Ardoris immediately?”
“Yes. I have completed talking with Parker. He gave me some insights into the Tower of the Shuttered Eye. We must target the fire braziers throughout the tower to weaken the malevolent spirit who dwells there.” Zazeriz said.
“Alright. Everyone form up and let’s head out.” Blight Master said.
Chapter 7, “Path, Party, and Pointed.”
The path from Ardoris to the Tower of the Shuttered Eye was not very far. You could follow the shore line due east and end up at the gates to the tower within a few short hours. Swampland covers most of the terrain, so you have to carefully make your way around it to reach the tower. The Tower of the Shuttered Eye sticks out as a violent mass of stone on the very corner of the continent Novia. It has three distinct tiers or levels and slightly leans toward the left as if sinking into the swamps that surround it.
Zazeriz’ companions gathered around her as they neared the Tower of the Shuttered Eye. Swamps filled the area to the left, but an old beaten path wound directly to the right toward the entrance of the tower. Almost immediately, fell skeletons began attacking the party. Zazeriz waved her hands, calling for Soothing Rain to gather around her. The rain fell on her companions healing them as they jumped forward to meet the enemy. Blight Mister’s arrows soared across the sky shattering the bones of the first skeleton. Iron Marshal ran and Shield Bashed and a second archer fell into dust. As a third archer began hacking away at her companions, Zazeriz entered a Spellbinder Stance to quickly call for the healing powers of life to maintain her companion’s health. As the fight continued, Zazeriz raised her arms into the air to cast Banish Undead, slamming the skeletons with white light. They shuddered with the energy of the spell and collapsed into dust. Zazeriz and her companions quickly moved toward the entrance of the tower. Zombies began slinking toward them slowly. One by one they cleared the grounds of any evil undead. Finally the tower stood before them. Its massive banner of three snakes twirling in a circle. The serpentine figure colored green towered over a massive glyph like eye that rose above the door. The party pulled the door open walking within the first hall. The entrance hall to the Tower of the Shuttered Eye was like a crypt with spiderwebs covering the ceilings and the walls.
As the party opened the second door entering into the next chamber of the Tower of the Shuttered Eye, the room seemed mysteriously quiet for such an evil place. On the floor just inside the entrance was a dead body with a note. The note said,
“Must get out. Must get out. Horrible. Horrible.”
The poor man must have been tortured by the demons within the tower. Blue braziers flittervesd all around the first floor. On first inspection, Zazeriz could not imagine dousing all these flames, but she attempted to do so, slowly making her way around what appeared to be a giant long forgotten library. Various statues hung in the corners, one being of Anapa Lord of Death. The blue flames began to fade under Zazeris’ spell and the room dimmed, becoming darker. Zazeriz pointed to the rooms along the sides of the walls to have her companions begin searching for Boniface in the tower. While finding Boniface on the first floor was unlikely, they may encounter other prisoners of the tower. They would attempt to free as many as possible.
While her companions were searching the first floor, Zazeriz took the time to look through some of the books on the various shelf. One entitled “The Sorcerer’s Daughter” caught her eye. The author talked about bad dreams, faceless attackers, and dreams that seemed similar to the nightmares Zazeriz was experiencing. As Zazeriz neared one of the five-sided spike braziers, her left pouch began getting extremely hot. She took the pouch at her side and opened it up and found the piece of skin she had cut off glowing bright blue, almost burning her hand through her gloves. Before Zazeriz doused the flame in the brazier, she felt compelled to destroy the piece of skin so she threw it into the brazier. A flash of light lit up the entire room and all the braziers went out. Now in extreme darkness, Zazeriz cast Light on all of her companions. The side chambers were all empty except for some sleeping skeletons which jumped up to attack her companions. They easily dispatched the skeletons. Zazeriz walked across the main hall and felt the urge to sit in the gothic chair near the stairwell. She had the feeling that one could wait at the evil entity’s pleasure to enter the tower, but Zazeriz would wait no longer.
Chapter 8, “Iron Marshall, Illumination, and Iron Maiden”
Iron Marshall moved toward the stairwell and Zazeriz followed closely behind him and cast the spells Enlightenment, Strength of Earth, and Air’s Embrace, to enhance his attributes. Iron Marshall surged forward in a defensive stance as a slime began sliding down the stairs toward the party. The rest of the party attacked with their full strength to kill the slime before it could overpower Iron Marshall’s strength. Within moments, bubbles appeared on the slime and it stopped moving.
The rest of Zazeriz’s party grouped around her and they all walked slowly up the stairwell to the next landing. As they walked through the room, skeleton bodies littered the floor. Within moments of the party crossing the scattered skeletons, the necromantic energies surged around them and the party was attacked on both sides. Zazeriz cast Elysian Illumination, which healed the party around her and damaged the skeletons. Blight Mister launched Multi-shot into the nearest skeleton, shattering the bones into dust. A second skeleton lunged at Iron Maiden, who was standing behind Zazeriz. She turned quickly and cast the Spell of Gust, which knocked the skeleton away. This gave Iron Marshall enough time to Shield Bash the skeleton into a nearby wall.
Once the landing was clear, Zazeriz looked over her companions to make sure no one was badly hurt. She then reapplied her spell enhancements to all party members, and they moved forward up the next flight of stairs. Now that they knew the skeletons on the floor would rise, the party was more wary at each pile of bones. The strength and courage of Zazeriz’ companions was unmatched and soon they cleared floor after floor and made their way higher into the tower. Each landing where they were rooms they check them carefully for any living souls trapped within the towers, but none had survived so far. Finally, as they reached the top of the tower, the amount of fell creatures increased exponentially, and soon waves of skeletons were slamming into Zazeriz’ party’s defenses.
Blight Mister let out a battle cry, and began shooting everything around him. Iron Maiden began reinforcing the party with extra heals and slamming Searing Rays of sun onto the enemies around her. Pennyvise went into a dive next to Iron Maiden, catching a sword about to hit her. He then surged forward parrying the skeleton’s attacks. Another skeleton went after Iron Maiden and she blasted it with a gust of wind, stunning it until Pennyvise Taunted the skeleton to attack him. As the skeleton’s back was turned, Zazeriz cast Banish Undead and the skeleton fell into Pennyvise’s Shield Bash and the rays of light struck it from behind shattering it into dust.