The Hermit -RoQIV

Having recuperated for a month at the castle’s inn after an extensive exploration of the dungeons below, the party was again ready to descend through the labyrinth, but this time the party would traverse to the final level of the Time Lord’s Lair. Gnarshm had come a long way from his meager beginnings as a young and quite naive peasant, and was now just as battle ready and as armed to the teeth as his kobold warrior companion, Iscreem.

Ruby and Twiggy had their spells memorized after extensive hours of studying the runes of their spellbooks, while Crumm and Sammy spent their time sharpening their blades whilst fixing and fitting their armor.

Elvira was growing impatient with all of this studying and preparation, and was ready to take on the final time lord all by herself by the time the rest of the party was again ready to descend the dungeons dark depths. She stopped and peered at the old gnome with sudden interest when she found him chanting and uttering strange words and incantations of a language thought to have been long forgotten in this time and age.

“What are you doing?” she asked the gnome.

“Please be quiet. I must have full concentration for this.” Greenhat muttered in response to the rogue elf’s inquiry.

The gnome continued his spell and spoke in strange tongues while reading runes from an ancient looking manuscript. The party gathered around the gnome as his voice began to alter and distort in ways that seemed incomprehensible and otherworldly. The gnome’s face began to strain painfully as he grew visibly weak . Before long a loud noise began to rumble and echo through the halls, then the dungeon walls began to shake. A fiery red force emblazed a circle in front of the old gnome as the wall in front of him began to melt and drizzle to the dirty stone floor below. Before the party now shone a waving mystical portal to a location unknown. It’s power was great and energy emanated from the circle of its gate. “Step through the portal.” the old gnome said.

Elvira hesitated. A sense of fear overwhelmed her as did the rest of the party.

“Do not fear. Step through the portal. Do it NOW!” I cannot keep the gate open for long!” Greenhat warned as his body began to shake as he grew weaker from the spell’s powerful effect.

One by one the party stepped through the gate with the old gnome making the final step through the portal’s passage. On the other side, the party arrived at a dark blackened corridor and the gate quickly evaporated into nothingness as if it had never been there at all.

“What was that? Where are we?” Gnarshm asked inquisitively.

“I opened a gate to bring us directly to the Time Lord’s tenth level. We are now at the deepest and darkest part of the dungeon. This is where we must face the last of the Time Lords.” Greenhat stated as his voice trembled. The gnome had trouble standing and nearly collapsed but Crumm grabbed him and held him up with the support of his brutish muscled arms.

“Am I dreaming? Is this for real? How come you didn’t think of doing this before?” Elvira asked.

“Foolish elf! Do you think I can just summon us a gate and teleport us here and there willy nilly anytime I so choose? It took me years just to decipher the ancient language the spell was written in, all of my strength and determination to cast the spell, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t think I could do it again.” Greenhat said wearily.

Iscreem began to hear footsteps encroaching towards the party from the corridor’s southern end. “Someone is coming.” the kobold whispered to the group as he unsheathed the sword given to him by the lady in the water.  The rest of the party assembled into battle formation in the darkened passage aside the kobold warrior, when suddenly a spark of light flared and a torch was lit by a strange looking fellow that approached the party.

“Who are you? What are you doing here?” the fellow demanded. His face was weathered and aged and he sported a long greyish white beard. “You are not monsters. You shouldn’t be here. Its not safe for you to be here.” the old fellow continued.

“We are here to kill the last of the Time Lords. Could you tell us where we can finds him. The blade of my sword has got his name written all over it.”  the kobold announced.

The fellow looked at the party in surprise. “Well you are a brave lot aren’t you? But not very bright I think. If you knew what’s good for you, you’d stay clear of the Time Lord and head right back up to the surface. Yes indeed.”

“Please sir, we have traveled many passages and so many levels of this wretched place. We need to find the last Time Lord and put an end to his evil once and for all. Any assistance you can give us would be greatly appreciated.” Ruby said hopefully.

“Well do what you will, but I would highly advise you to not seek him out. Even if you do find him, I doubt that you will survive, but if you absolutely must find him…..” the fellow trailed off.

“We must.” Gnarshm stated confidently.

“Very well then. You will need a dark black key to enter his lair. Before you do anything, take this tome and read it. Then seriously reconsider what you are about to do. Time ripens all things, no man is born wise. That is all I have to say to you. Goodbye, and if you absolutely must, then good luck also.” And with that the fellow departed, leaving the tome for the party to read.

hermit

“I can’t reads this thing. Its written in strange runes. Give it to the gnome to read.” Iscreem passed the tome to Greenhat.

The old gnome read the tome to himself. A worried look swept over him. “Maybe that old hermit was right. Maybe we should leave while we still can. If we do end up finding the last Time Lord, it is very possible that some of us, or even all of us may not survive. Are we ready for this? Is everyone here ready? Decide now because there will be no turning back.” the old gnome warned.

After a few moments to think it over, it was settled. The party would face the final Time Lord in a fight to the death.

 

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