After the fight on the Blue Albatross it became clear that Trejack was somehow gone. Kerick and Draiden went to work organizing the prisoners. The Swordmaster defending the ship’s captain was being led away by Kang and Osrack. Quorra and Hannah were helping the slaves off the boat. They were all a little shaky but were glad to be off the boat, and being lead into the camp. Kerick had quickly set up a well guarded staging area on the ground for the prisoners and was lining them up on their knees, binding each one. There were so many I wondered if we would have enough rope.
I did not have time to fret about any of that though, for we, the Unchained, were all hot to catch Trejack. Dremnin had wasted no time picking up his trail.
Apparently Trejack had used some sort of magic to slip our minds, then he jumped off the ship, hit the ground and ran into the temple. We were hot on his trail. As we got to the entrance to the temple, I called for Wheeler and Hakka to stand just outside and guard the entrance. Both I knew to be tough, hard fighters and among my best men. I wanted to make sure they stayed outside, for I had seen the horror possess Ned and I didn’t want to put them at any more risk than was necessary.
I grabbed them each by the collar and made them look at me. “We are going in there to get Trejack! He’s a slippery bastard so I need you to make sure he doesn’t come out. So be ready for anything, watch the entrance and call for help if you need anything.” I jerked my thumb back to our men at the camp. “Got it?”
“Yes lord!” They both responded at the same time. They had both been in the thick of the fighting on the Blue Albatross and were still keyed up from our victory, their swords were both bloodied.
I smiled at their enthusiasm. “Alright then. Stay right here until we get back. “
I saw them position themselves shoulder to shoulder in the doorway and then I and the Unchained plunged further into the temple. I thought it would be impossible for Trejack to sneak between the two of them in broad daylight. And I figured if something really bad came at them, they were shouting distance from our entire crew. Looking back, it still seems like the smart play, yet little did I know I was putting them both in great peril.
I had kept my promise to Grodnag, and he was coming with us to fulfill his wish for atonement. He had been tagging along with us. He and I had discussed him playing mostly a defensive and support roll, staying out of combat if possible. Hold a lantern high so we could see to fight, help patch up and defend the fallen, ect. I could tell a couple of my companions did not approve of his presence, but that was understandable. They had not had time to hear Grodnag’s full story, and they despised slavers as much or more than I did. But Grodnag had earned his shot at redemption by giving us Trejack and his ship on a silver platter, and I would keep my word and give it to him. It was a matter of honor. Now I could plainly see he was afraid and wanted to stay behind with Wheeler and Hakka. But he swallowed hard, gritted his teeth, hefted his spear, and followed us as we went inside.
For a non-adept, to go into such depths where a great horror was known to lurk, it was bravery that I’m sure made Thystonius smile somewhere.
We made our way through the temple interior, turning on our light crystals so we could see better. I passed into the cell chamber, and I saw with shock that the jail cell was open and Ned was gone. I had heard him scream one night, and thought we might find him dead. I did not expect to find the door open and him gone. There was no sign of him, and with nowhere to go he had to be in the depths below us.
I paused at the door and my companions looked at me expectantly. “The head jailor was locked up in here. He must be below in the lower level.”
I then motioned to stairs leading down into the inky black depths. Urgral led the way as we made our way down there, blades at the ready. When we got downstairs there were hallways going North and South, and a doorway in front of us going East. Dremnin thought Trejack had gone North, come back and gone South, and then had gone through the door in front of us. Dremnin then examined the door carefully, and began to try to unlock it. There was a clicking sound and Dremnin’s hand immediately recoiled. It turned out that Trejack and rigged the door with a poison trap and it had caught Dremnin’s hand. However, Dremnin was a crafty bastard too and had implanted a Horn Needle under his skin, a device which fights poison and after a few moments of panic among us all, he nodded to us and we went on. The Horn Needle neutralized the poison.
I thought to myself that I would have to make sure to get one of those for me as soon as I got the chance.
We moved through the door and heard a grating sound from the North and South hallways. I went North to investigate the noise, and Skram started down the South hallway. I then came face-to-face with a giant stone golem wielding a massive stone axe. It was huge, double my size at least. It swung the axe down at me, and I quickly parried the blow with my shield. The fight was on, and it was an epic one at that. Skram had run into one in the South hall, Dagmar had joined him there, and Urgral eventually joined me in the North. Behind us, the others encountered a few more of them, and were able to hold them off only with a help of a spell by Vridich which held them at bay.
The fight lasted for what seemed like hours, we were chipping away at them but they were made of solid stone, and it took many hard blows to injure them. They were slow, but when they did hit us, they hit extremely hard. Eventually though, we were able to take them out but we were all battered pretty good. Dagmar had been knocked out, and the rest of us were injured pretty good.
We had to take some time to heal up, bind wounds and rest. Dagmar volunteered to replace the door to the East where Trejack had gone, and we reinforced it to keep Trejack trapped deep in the bowels of the temple. We would let him languish there a while longer… for once, time seemed on our side.