The rest of them have gone back to town. I’m still here, in the chapel. Now that it’s finally dawn, it’s not quite as creepy, but with the sun coming in the windows I can see how crumbled and overgrown everything is. And of course there’s all the bodies and bits and the icky black stains.
We brought Keldril’s body out of the cave and to Fallcrest, the nearest town. The guards asked us a few questions (which I guess is understandable since we were all messed up and carrying a dead drow) but were nice enough; they gave us an overview of the town and directions to a temple where a priest of Pelor could probably help us. The temple looked all decrepit and sad, but the priest (a dwarf named Grundelmar) was nice, and eventually agreed to try to bring Keldril back if we would help him fix up the building. We also met this drow lady in plate armor, don’t know how to spell her name, who was a friend of Keldril’s and she came along with us.
So he started the ritual and it kept going and going and going. Eventually he said that something was messed up and asked if we had had any necromantic artifacts with us (I think, the others were doing most of the talking). So we told him about the skull and he said it might be messing things up and that we should ask for the help of another goddess: the Raven Queen. So we agreed to meet him at her temple and went to run some errands.
First we went to a general store where they had a townful of halflings running around. They were cute but I was a bit worried about my money pouch. Traded fine there, then went to a magical goods store to sell the axe. We should have known something was wrong when the tiefling kept going to his “back room” for all kinds of stuff. The town guard came and their leader (Faren Markelhay) claimed that the axe had been stolen from his family. We told him what happened in the caves and he sent some scouts to confirm our story (good luck with the dragon, guys). Then he told us not to leave town, which we weren’t going to do anyway because we had this resurrection business to attend to, and left us alone.
After a slog through the forest, we found the temple. Before setting up the ritual, the dwarf told us that one of us would have to dedicate themselves to the Raven Queen in return for her help – as in become her servant after death. So I volunteered. And this raven flew out of nowhere and bit my cheek. It wasn’t a big wound, doesn’t seem infected. Stopped bleeding ages ago, but still twinges now and then. Will definitely leave a scar. I guess she is marking me as her own.
I’m not sure why I agreed to do it so quickly. No one was pressuring me, I know. But I felt obligated to Keldril, I mean yes when you go adventuring you know that you could die at any time, whether cos no one could help it or because your party did something wrong or you were betrayed, but still, we were – are, with the rest of the group and now with Keldril again – a good, functional group, and we take care of each other. And maybe this is sort of a make-up for not having this opportunity when Alister died. Maybe I should have been hers when that happened, and I am getting another chance to serve her now. And it kind of makes sense to serve the Raven Queen, whatever that means. I mean, not like I’m lazing around under an apple tree waiting to die, but we are all going to die anyway, and I kill an awful lot of things and even people (though just the evil ones), and…I should probably finish writing the rest of this down before thinking about this stuff, which is I guess just the sort of stuff you think about on vigils.
Anyway, this temple was even more decrepit than Grundelmar’s place – which was unfortunate, because Grundelmar said that the ritual would not only take a long time, but also probably rile up the undead. So while he set up, we barricaded the place as best we could. Too bad he didn’t tell us beforehand, or we could have gotten some supplies at the general store and done an even better job. Oh and we figured out a puzzle with a bunch of statues with moving parts that opened a secret cubbyhole with healing potions and holy water in it, which was handy.
I don’t remember much about the rest of the night. It went by pretty quickly I guess, but things got pretty hectic after the dwarf started his ritual and the undead began to attack. The dwarf chanting and the candles flickering and the shadows moving and the screaming and moaning outside and then suddenly monsters busting in through the barricades. I think we fought off about three waves of them: zombies and horrible undead-looking dogs and more zombies and other zombie-type things that I’m not sure what they were (Ed. note – gravehounds and corruption corpses).
Finally the dwarf finished his ritual and smashed the skull. Keldril woke up and recognized us and remembered the cave and stuff, but he didn’t remember anything before that – or his friend. And he was, is definitely alive, breathing and with a heartbeat and stuff, but he also looks kinda off: his eyes changed color and he’s sort of scaly in bits. I think the dwarf said he was a remenant? But like I said at least he’s definitely alive, and doesn’t seem evil or possessed or anything. Pelly-what’s her name and he had a talk afterwards. Oh, and we found some treasure: more potions of healing, an amber gem, and some magical plate armor for me. Yay! So now I’m even more like a proper knight, I guess. Which reminds me. Back to the vigil thing.