Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with the final instalment of this wonderful story from Andartianna. It is entitled
Harvest of the Shattered Moon
Background music by Smartsound
Chapter 9, “Promise, Prison, and Pennyvise”
Iron Marshall and Blight Mister finished off the rest of the skeletons and the party cleared the way to the top floor of the tower. The top floor was filled with all sorts of torture devices, chains, and other horrors. Zazeriz saw Boniface slumped over, hung from chains, in one of the corners. Zazeriz raced over to Boniface and was struck with a Death Ray. She quickly repaired the damage with Healing Touch, but stopped where she stood. A deep booming voice rang throughout the hall. “Servant, have you brought the bonesteel dagger you promised me?”
“Demonic spirit of Saul the Damned, I will do nothing for you. I have burned your mark and extinguished your fell blue flames. You will free Boniface and leave me and my companions in peace or step forward and be destroyed by our hands.” Zazeriz said.
“Small words from an insignificant being. I, however, sense that you have brought the bonesteel dagger with you. I will relieve you of the dagger and your bodies of their flesh and put your skeletons into a prison for all eternity as my slaves.” Saul the Damned said.
The blue light near Boniface began to intensify and an undead mage appeared. He immediately began resurrecting the skeletons that lay around him; each of their creaking brittle bones reforming into hideous abominations. Saul the Damned’s army of skeletons began attacking Zazeriz and her companions. As Zazeriz cast healing spells over her companions, she noticed that each of the skeletons that fell were quickly revived by Saul the Damned.
Zazeriz began searching for a way to prevent the skeletons from reviving. When a close one fell next to her, she quickly dug through its bones searching for whatever items kept it under the control of Saul the Damned. After Zazeriz removed all the items from the skeleton, the bones no longer revived. Zazeriz called out to her companions, “Quickly! Loot every corpse that falls. Take all their items. This prevents them from resurrecting.”
Iron Maiden dashed forward as another skeleton fell and grabbed all the items on its body. The rest of Zazeriz’ party quickly followed suit and within a short time Saul the Damned was all alone. Now the entire party focused all their attacks onto Saul the Damned, which quickly crushed his health. Pennyvise surged forward to crush Saul the Damned’s last health point, but the skeleton mage exploded into blue flames before Pennyvise could hit him. Saul the Damned’s ominous voice rang throughout the hall. “You have defeated me this time, but I will have my revenge should you ever be foolish enough to enter the Artifice.”
Chapter 10, “Saul, Scroll, and Surprise. “
Saul the Damned’s fire vanished from the room and Zazeriz rushed over to Boniface. She reached into her pouch and took out a health potion then slowly dropped it into Boniface’s mouth. Boniface shook with terror for a moment then opened her eyes and saw Zazeriz standing in front of her.
“Ugg those health potions are so sweet. I don’t know how people can drink them.” Boniface said with a half smile.
Zazeriz stifled a laugh then quickly broke the chains that held Boniface to the wall and carefully helped Boniface cross the room. Iron Marshall stepped forward and lifted Boniface into his arms and helped carry her out of the Shuttered Eye Tower.
After about a week of recovering in Ardoris, Boniface was ready to travel back to Ecteter. She was able to stand long enough to use a recall scroll to teleport back to Ecteter. Zazeriz stayed in with Boniface for a few days making sure that she was cared for. Snip-snip visited frequently, and after a short while, Boniface seemed to be almost back to normal. She sat at the long table in the main floor of the Bilge and Barnacle Tavern and stared at Zazeriz. “What is going to happen now?”
“I believe that Organized Chaos, myself included, have decided to enter the Artifice and track down the person responsible for the Blood River Massacre. It seems that their breach has now interfered with both of our lives. I also want to know what the Bonesteel dagger has to do with the Tower of the Shuttered Eye, and the only way I’m going to get answers is to enter the Artifice. I have a surprise for you if you will allow me to give it to you.” Zazeriz said.
“Oh? What sort of surprise?” Boniface asked.
“Follow me and I will show you.” Zazeriz said.
“All right. Lead on.” Boniface said.
Zazeriz led Boniface out into the outskirts of the city of Ecteter where they had been celebrating the harvest festival before Boniface was captured. Waiting on the hillside above the city beside a giant burning bonfire were all the members of Organized Chaos. They all cheered as Boniface walked next to the bonfire.
“Boniface, we know that you were a little occupied with recovering after your ordeal, so we took the liberty of entering your beer into this year’s best in Novia competition of beers.” Blight Mister said, lifting a giant golden stein trophy. “We are happy to say that you won the competition for all of Novia, and here is your trophy.”
Boniface gave an exasperated cry of joy and took the giant golden stein trophy into her arms, hugging it closely to her chest. All of Organized Chaos cheered her on and enjoyed many barrels of beer. As the moon crossed overhead, Zazeriz pondered the future, wondering where hellish fury would find her next and how she would defeat it.
The End for now……