The morning starts quietly in this bard town. Nothing happening is a nice change of pace. Demons here, alliances there, stupid personal vendettas and quests there, it can all get overwhelming and moot after a while. I feel slightly betrayed that my supposed allies do a minute worth of work a day and demand a break until the next morn. The world does not stop.
Regardless, I make my way to this Crestfallen character who resides in the main library of this own. The library reeks of age but in a good way. He seems rather busy and merely nods at my presence. Perhaps I’ll try again tomorrow when my allies are here and more purpose is given to my visit.
Tonight I work on the ritual. Peedles has brought me most of the materials needed to complete it and we are going to follow this cryptic message best we can. By that I mean we are going to skip steps in order to finish it early. I cannot let this chance at becoming whole escape my hands. This Box of Death holds a single fragment of Franz. Perhaps if it can be released we can become whole again.
Dawn breaks again and while out on my morning walk I find my allies. With the threat of eminent war they move quickly for once. I inform them that I have secured our stay at the Sparkling Lion Inn for the evening. We make our way to Crestfallen and make an appointment for tomorrow afternoon to officially speak to him. Sydell seems distracted about some personal issue the entire afternoon and evening.
I attempt to be social during the evening but my mind is elsewhere. This ritual to open the box needs to happen. Sydell makes friends with a local bard who seems to have an interest in Kip. Penelope and Marcel attend to themselves per the usual and Dee relaxes. I’ll be attempting the ritual early and with pieces missing but all I wish to do is peek inside.
When the moon is high I sneak out of my room and into the basement of the Sparkling Lion. Peedles is already downstairs awaiting my arrival like an obedient guard. More than likely she is here to guard me and not the other way around.
Troll’s blood, some feathers, cloth scraps, blood, and the box are all in order. I chant ancient words and the box opens! Success!
Wait. No. Something is wrong. Terribly wrong. My essence is being dragged into the open box. I sense my Dwarven side inside but also something sinister. This sinister essence is more powerful than I imagined and is definitely not the squirrel soul that should be inside.
We are unable to resist being pulled inside completely. That sinister essence leaves somehow and the box shuts. Everything is black and time ceases to exist. As the essence speaks words seem to take months to pronounce but sentences take mere seconds. I think the essence is talking to someone. I can sense a familiar set of presences somehow. My allies! How did they know I was down here? And why did they arrive so quickly?
“You have released me from my prison and for that I should thank you. I’ll give you one minute to stay goodbye to your pitiful mortal souls before I devour them,” states the essence. He must have materialized outside the box somehow. This will probably not end well. He continues to speak.
“I see you’re trying to figure out what I am and why I exist. I’ll give you a hint: I ate your friends’ essence. I am unnamed. I am destruction. I am death incarnate. I serve only to destroy but were banished years ago and my entire being remained inside that horrid box. Your Dwarf friend served as an excellent catalyst for power but I tore as his soul a little too hard and he split apart. Parts of him escaped and parts remained here. Luckily for me, the Dwarf forget why he escaped in the first place and his fragments returned searching for completion. This gave me enough strength to escape on my own and to make use some of his power and memories.”
“What magnificent power this is. One of your friends knew how to channel negative energy. Another had deadly close combat attacks. And this last one had some sort of magical power. Don’t worry; I’ll make the most of it to destroy you.”
“The blood of my enemies flows through me and gives me life. The gift of the Gods lets me feast on their suffering. You mortals move slowly and make excellent prey. I will not be defeated and will not be sent away.”
Something is amiss and I am not completely trapped here. In fact, a flow of lost souls rushes past me. I have to take this opportunity and contact the outside world. Screaming does nothing but telepathy may work. Excellent! They can hear me.
What I am about to do may lead to my own death but sacrifice is necessary to handle this demon creature. If what it speaks is true, my allies will not survive.
With what remaining strength left, I sacrifice a part of my very being to aid my allies. As time is skewed inside this horrid box I cannot tell how long my aid will last so cycling through them as fast as possible is the best option.
Damage immunity. Ignoring a creature’s defense. High damage potential.
Over and over again. This is all I can supply to the outside world.
“I refuse to die to your mortal hands!” screams the demon.
Finally! I can only hope what little aid I gave somehow assisted them. A very dark warm power flows over me. Light breaches the darkness and I fall forward against my will.
Fresh air fills my lungs and I finally feel as whole as a sword forged on a Dwarven anvil. My memories have returned! A wee more than expected but I’m back!
I stand up for a good stretch and notice my feet are hairy. Way more hairy than usual and small. Small feet?! Wait, more isn’t right here. Why do I have tiny Halfling boobs? I reach for my beard forgetting I sold it to Peirce and come across a female face. By the Gods! Is this Peedles’ body?
Ack! Sydell lies dead before me! As I reach down to heal him none of my magic is present. What is this? Arcane magic? Devin! By the Gods this is not right. My body and magic is gone! Rather, it appears to have been mixed with my soul fragments rather than everyone coming together and forming my past self.
Aunt Froddle definitely won’t like a Halfling attending her annual “Meet and Meat and Greet” fest. I wonder if Peedles could hold her drink? I’d rather die than have a Halfling’s alcohol tolerance. I even smell pretty. Yuck.
I barely recognize myself and manage to scope out the room. Looks like a Dwarven party in here. Rubble all over, people covered in spew, someone near dead on the floor, and the box. The Box of Death is cracked! I scoop up the box faster than an Orc scooping a Gnome at the semi-annual “Scoop your own Gnome and cook it” event. I tried Gnome once. It was bad. It was also an evil Gnome so maybe that had something to do with it.
Anyway, with the cracked box back in my possession I realize that Penelope, Marcel, Kip, Dee, Kessler, and Sydell don’t even notice me moving about yet. Perfect. I can’t let them see me like this. Hell, I’m not sure I can stand seeing myself like this. Although, my eyesight is really, really good even for a Dwarf. Damn Devin must’ve done something to my body. Or Peedles’ body. Or his body. I’m not sure.
Peedles’ memories kick in faster than mule on a summer day and it begins to make sense. Devin, that fool, misused magic and now here we are. Oddly enough, I know how to fix this. I know how to help the war efforts. Time to test out this teleport spell Devin knows and get to work.
With that being said, I quit the game. Good luck and have fun.