I’m not sure if it was the fireweed ale, the lure of phenomenal cosmic power or the fact Alley said she would protect and pick me up out of the dirt, but plans were made to visit the Pillar of Dust, kick him in the naughty bits and make off with his book. I’m not sure what Dravropos wants with this book, and I hope my turning it over to him doesn’t open some sort of portal that will make me regret my decision making paradigm. But if Alley was going to keep me safe, then off to antagonize a Lich we shall go.

The first task is of course the Crag Foothills. Then we traveled down into the mine. No surprise, Thugs were there to meet us. But alas, they weren’t bearing a festive meat and cheese tray as I had hoped. I tried to explain we weren’t there for the gold, but they insisted on trying to stab us. This was not received well and we reserved the right to cut them off at the knees. Which we did.

As Dravropos instructed, we moved down further into the depths and soon found the swirling cauldron of death that was home to Lich. I offered that perhaps we should just head back to the pub and make up a few stories about how we showed up, but the Lich wasn’t home, therefore no smiting, and therefore no book.

Alley disagreed with my plan. I disagreed with her disagreeing with me, but ultimately lost the debate.

I found you simply can’t spring upon the Lich and take him by surprise. First, he has a confederate skulking about in there with him. Second, there is some sort of ghostly vapor that blocks entry. After searching around, we found some notes that indicated this was indeed a desperate place, death loomed in the shadows, these miners missed their families and I was most likely going to ruin yet another pair of leggings. That last part wasn’t specifically written in the notes we found, but if you read between the lines, it was implied.

After we gathered up these final messages of gloom, the chamber mysteriously opened so we rushed headlong to destiny. It proved a great deal more difficult than we originally planned. While the events remain blurry, I believe we defeated one of the Lich, but as we concentrated our efforts on the other, he reappeared as though no harm had been done. I found that to be in rather poor sportsmanship, but there is no arguing with a Lich.

We were defeated in the first round, and we might not have been victorious in the second, but our third volley was full of fury on Alley’s part and wild flailing on mine. The Lich sought refuge in one of the side chambers, but that merely isolated him from his companion, and we went in to strike the death knell.

He may have been on his own, but he remained a stalwart combatant. I nearly lost my head on a couple of occasions, but we kept at it, wearing him down slowly, striking true, and unleashing a fierce barrage of attacks.

Our combined efforts were ultimately victorious and as Dravropos predicted, Nyrond left behind some magical tome I was at a complete loss to comprehend. But it was not for me to understand, so with great haste I collected the book and bade a hasty retreat.

By the time we made it back to the camp of Dravropos, I had achieved enough mastery in Death Magic to take on learning this final skill. While he was surprised to see me, not only so soon, but still alive, we were once again offered the warmth of his fire. At least he didn’t cackle when he took the book from me and in short order I achieved enlightenment. With my teacher standing by in case something went awry, I mixed my reagents, focused my powers and summoned a powerful Lich into existence.

I then ran and hid in bushes. Normally when a Lich appears, bad things happen and my instinct is to seek shelter under the danger goes away. But Dravropos encouraged me to come out of hiding and said there was nothing to fear. This was my creation and the Lich merely stood by waiting to unleash his powers on those who seek to shiv me in the kidney.

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So you’re saying we have to go into the creepy room shrouded in some sort of ghostly mist and do battle with whatever dwells within? You sure a trip to the pub wouldn’t be more fun?

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All I wanted was a book. You could have just handed it over, I could have made a copy and we could both be on our way. Why do you evil-doers always have to make these things so difficult?

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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