After resting that night, Mokferuso woke up and felt a bit odd. Slightly confused and slightly dizzy, and now the world was slightly reddish as well. “Probably just a bit uneasy after spending some time here at this wild place”, he thought. He got to his feet, exercised a bit, and went to see the others. He was a bit shocked when everyone looked like zombies, and he felt an urge to kill. Kill someone. Kill everyone. He managed to control himself, and joined the other in their heated discussion.

Ottamata didn’t say much, but everyone understood that his red rash on his hand somehow upset him. Arazaka didn’t have any, and nor did Arthemis, but both Romana and Mokferuso had the same symptoms. “A bit disturbing”, Ottamata said quietly. The ancient plague had once more entered the world, and we were the cause of it. A “remove curse” or “cure disease” spell would temporarily halt the symptoms at ease, and although a miracle spell, which we presently don’t have, would cure the persons infected, -but not remove the parasite from spreading, a demand for a permanent cure will be necessary. In that case, the innocent whale demigod has to be transformed into an antidote.  Not an easy decision.

Mokferuso took the hint. The evil dagger demolished in Dreamlands was the cause of his situation; -the evil spirit had finally entered his body. Mokferuso did what he had to do, and performed an exorcism ritual. The evil spirit screamed in vain as he was towed outside Mokferuso’s body, and utterly annihilated.

Mokferuso felt quite normal again and casted a “Hero’s feast” spell. The party gathered in this feast and got clenched from the ancient plague for one day.

Knarg came and joined us in the feast. He told us what he and Anthrax had experienced during the last night. He told a story about stupidity and bravery, of crocodiles and a vicious monster with tentacles, how he almost died and how Anthrax’ skills in medicine had saved his life. After wiping away drops and bits of the excellent wine and the chicken breasts, we followed him through a system of tunnels and a newly prepared hole in a floor, to a huge library. 72 gold golems with wings and spears somehow guarded the site, but didn’t move. “Just a matter of time”, Arazaka though. Anthrax was reading in a huge tome, and didn’t even replay when we greeted him. How rude! Knarg showed us around. The library contained 2048 different vaults. Each shelve was 80 x 5 x 10 meters, and each short side contained ends of 8 boxes, with 5 levers and a button. “A lot of combinations!”, Arthemis concluded. Although we all were excited of all the potential magical stuff found in these vaults, we felt a bit uneasy. “What if we pushed the wrong button”? Knarg was mostly concerned about the fact that there wasn’t an entrance to the room. We ignored him, and studied the levers instead.

5 levers with 2 positions gives 25 = 32 different combinations, exact the number of vaults on each row. We decided to try one combination, and Arthemis pushed the button. Suddenly a timer and a message appeared, and it turned out that we had exactly 5 minutes to solve a riddle. The first one took us by surprise, and we didn’t know the answer. We tried to push the button once more, but nothing happened. Conclusion; “If you fuck up and don’t answer correctly, you will not get a second chance.”

We chose a row which didn’t hold any interesting magic, and tried another combination. To our surprise, nothing happened. Nothing at all! “Strange”, Arthemis mumbled. We tried another, but nothing happened. A new combination was somehow correct, and a new timer and text appeared. But again we managed to screw things up by not knowing the correct answer. “Riddles, I hate riddles”, Arthemis uttered.
We tried one more, and the next riddle we actually managed to solve. One door opened; success!! This inspired us to continue, but the next riddle was hopelessly difficult. After that we had another failure, and then 3 strikes in a row. But still we hadn’t a solution how the levers worked. We tried some more, and when Arthemis finally managed one riddle, we understood how the combinations needed to enter each vault. Finally a success!!! But we still need to answer the riddles in order to enter the vaults, and here lies probably our biggest challenge. Maybe we can find some hints outside this room.

Knarg still whined about the missing entrance, and we went to help him. We started at the pedestal, and searched it one by one. Romana found some buttons under the tome, and we stood in a row to examine it further. We tried to remember coat-of-arms and symbols from outside, but none came to our minds. And we didn’t want to try some, in case we pushed the wrong ones. We discussed it for a while, and Arthemis used some magic to get hints from the past. The only thing he managed was to throw a “wall of fire” around the pedestal, and immediately the golems spread their wings and flew directly in his direction…

Mokferuso, Arazaka and Ottamata
The Hero Party

 

 

-Anthrax, reader of books

 

The library

The library

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