Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (31)


   We were all finally back in town together.  Miyara, myself, Ashu, and Goru had taken a boat from the town downstream and been brought up to date on the interrogation of Selina (INSERT HERE FROM 30).  It had taken us three days to get here, and since it was evening we decided to rest for the night.  (NOTE: official name of the dwarf we were tailing is "Stapmi", although everyone calls him "Stumpi")
    Selina admitted being hired by Martin to be the muscle, and to faking the vampire attack.  No-one ever came to the camp from town, she said.  She never saw Stapmi or Gehrig.  She had a magic sword and magic dagger, according to Hosei.
    The doctor had returned to town too, and was completely unaware of anything other than the missing manbane antidote.  We suspected, of course, that the doctor's workshop was at the mansion.
    We still needed to find Martin.  For some reason, the barbarians thought that he would be likely to be at the mansion too.  From what I have heard about the Master Og's experiences there, if Martin was headed there he would now be dead and his body would never be found.
    So we all headed out towards the mansion.  Sun remained behind.  There were by now no guests at the inn, and the previous owners were leaving town on the boat.  Carmeri and Rabena, along with Pireseri and Jeison, had apparently been forbidden from entering those woods.  The plan was to reach the edge of the woods, whereupon Ashu would go ahead and ask the druidess for permission.
    Before we reached the woods, however, we came across the point where Britt Stultenburg died.  Here we remembered the footprints of the large being in boots.  Perhaps this had been the doctor's construct?  We decided to try to pick up the boot trail again.  I could not pick up the trail, especially as it was raining.  Ashu told us to stay here while he went on as originally planned.
    Meanwhile, Hosei took a miniature paper umbrella and placed it in his hat.  He stayed perfectly dry despite the rain.  Miyara made him several umbrellas while we were waiting.
    Ashu returned.  He motioned for us all to follow, and said something.  Miyara told me that he said that we were not to do anything that might start a fire.
    The rain was getting worse.  It was now clear that a storm was approaching.
    Ashu could not pick up the boot track either, so we continued towards the mansion.  We reached the road leading there, and made rapid progress.
    The storm was getting worse.  Lightning slammed into a tree nearby, splitting it in two.  Rain pummelled us as we walked in silence.
    The mansion clearly burned down years ago, and there was little left now but rubble and vegetation.  Stapled to one of the taller fragments was a tall metal rod, which we saw being struck by lightning as we watched.  We could hear a door slamming in the wind.
    Before we went inside, Hosei handed out some small glowing rocks to those who could not see in the dark.
    I suggested I lead since I could see.  Miyara agreed, and I was grateful for her confidence in me.  I hoped I would not betray it this time.
    The door was slamming back and forth in the wind.  Once it was the top door of stairs down.  The stone stairs into the ground were still there.
    I led them down.  Behind me followed Ashu and Miyara, then Hosei.  Carimera took out the sogin roku and concentrated on it for a while.  Her eyes started to glow, and little lights danced around her head.  After Hosei came Pireseri, Rabena and Carimera, Goru, and Jeison.  The first three of us proceded quietly, but Hosei was as expected more noisy and the head of his staff glowed.
    At the bottom of the stairs was a door.  I motioned to Pireseri to come forward to look through the door.  He reported that there was a hallway perpendicular to the stairs, about fifteen feet long.  At the end to the right was a room; across the hall slightly to the left was another room; at the other end of the hall were the pieces of two other rooms.  Oil lamps burned in the hallway.
    The room to the right was not lit.  It looked like this was once some sort of prison or torture chamber, probably two hundred years ago when the mansion was whole.  The room across the hall was the remains of a wine cellar.  To the left the rooms were hard to see, but Pireseri could see the remains of furniture, shelving, and so on, so rotted it was hard to tell what it was.
    Pireseri jiggled the door handle.  It was locked, apparently, and was a recent addition.  He said there was no lock for him to open, and he seemed mystified why it would not be open.  Hosei said it was magically locked.  Miyara told me with disgust that Hosei the mage could not open magical locks.  Goru pressed forward enthusiastically, wanting to break down the door.  Miyara and I discussed whether the barbarians should shout before or after breaking it down.
    We let Goru through to break his way through.  He hauled back his maul, and smashed it into the wooden door.  The first hit punched a large hole; the second smashed the door; a couple more cleared away the debris.
    I stepped through, as Pireseri pointed out that it might be set up to keep things in rather than out.  I turned left in the hallway towards the two rooms with the remains of furniture.  There were four doors here, no doubt concealing the rooms Pireseri had described.  Ashu said this was the way the doctor went.
    At the end of the hallway, only one opened directly into this hallway, while the other lead on from it.  The first of those rooms was at the end of the hall.  I walked up to the door and signalled that it was locked.  Pireseri came forward and examined the door and the room.
    The room ahead, according to Pireseri, was full of many pieces of furniture.  Somehow a large mound of it had been slid in front of the door, that would pour out on us if we opened it.  The room off to the right of it was clearly a working but disorganized laboratory of some sort, including electrical, magical, and chemical equipment with sparking all around.  There were three people there.  The first was the doctor, dressed in a white lab coat, waving his arms and speaking.  The second was a leather clad hunchback.  On a large table was a large man, clad only in filthy rags, seven feet tall looking like some mockery of a man, stitched together, and rising to his feet.
    Pireseri could read lips, Miyara told me, but the doctor was speaking neither common nor elvish.  Goru spoke out and said excitedly that he had a vision of a large monster sitting up from a slab.
    The only way into the room was this door.  Pireseri could pick the lock, and then Goru could control the flow of the wreckage so it did not hurt anyone.  That is what we planned.  I prepared to vault across the junk as soon as it was possible.
    Pireseri opened the lock.  Suddenly Goru had a vision of a ghostly face, screaming at him, but stayed at his task.  He asked something to us, and then jumped back, releasing the door.
    Jeison suddenly made a noise, and turned around to see a ghostly face.  He immediately fell to the ground in a seizure, clattering into a heap.
    I vaulted over the junk into the room beyond.  This time I headed directly for the mage, the doctor.  I would not allow myself to be shamed again.  I ignored the commotion in the hallway.
    The spectre is Hans-Dietrich Reichenbach, the father who died 200 years ago  Carimera fell to the ground clutching the sogin roku.  Hosei turned around next, and stood there stunned briefly.  Rabena examined Jeison -- he was in seizure, and she tried to help him.
To get to the doctor, I had to get through the next door.  Assuming it would be locked, I tried to break it down.  The first kick was not effective.  Baka.  At least I did not hurt myself -- my technique was pure.
    Miyara, noting that no-one else seemed to be doing anything, tried to Dispel Demon on this apparition.  It does nothing.
    Goru came in behind me and hit the door with his maul, smashing a hole in it.  At least I had weakened it first, and now Goru was first in line for the mage's spells.  Nevertheless, I started to alternate with him and slammed the door again, enlarging the hole.  I quickly stepped back for Goru's next blow, but not in time to avoid a bolt of lightning.  It bounced off me and struck Goru too.  Fortunately Ashu, Miyara, and Pireseri were not struck; they were now lined up behind us.
    Rabena grabbed the dagger from the fallen Carimera.  Looking around, she could not see the spectre anywhere.
    Goru swung at the door again, smashing it open.  The monster stood in front of the door, ready to attack anyone who passed through.  We had to attack the creature before anything else could happen.  As I dived through acrobatically, Miyara called for the rest of them to fall back to draw the monster through.  Suddenly I felt myself being slammed between the door and the monster.  It crushed all the breath out of me.
    Meanwhile, Ashu threw an axe at the monster, lodging it in the chest.  The creature staggered under the blow and started into the room, looking from one to the other.  Then Goru struck heavily at the creature as Miyara tried to find a way past.  The footing in that room was very uncertain, contributing to the difficulties of the fight.  Miyara tried to find a way by, but tripped on something and stumbled slightly.  Ashu took the next of his four axes, and threw it at the creature too -- we had wondered why he carried four of them rather than just two to fight with.  The monster then struck heavily at Goru, but it was only a glancing blow.
    Rabena walked over to the door to the room where the fighting was going on, and looked in.
    I wanted to attack the doctor, but now the hunchback was in the way.  I had to fight my way through him first.  I struck him hard.  I dodged his return blow.  Behind me the fighting continued unabated.  The hunchback then sneaked a blow through -- I had left an opening in my weakened state -- but I returned the attack with a blow to a pressure point.
    Hosei tried to maneuver around the fighting in the room to get a view into the room where I was fighting.  He then started casting a spell.  Miyara kept trying to move past, but fell down in the mess of the room.  Rabena stepped into the room a little to hand the dagger to Pireseri. Ashu joined the fight, also striking the monster heavily.
    Again I struck at the hunchback, and again I struck home.  He fell to the ground, clearly dead.  Suddenly I too dropped to the ground, gibbering like a mindless maniac.
    (OUT FOR 60 ROUNDS, after ten rounds.  1 for me is round 11: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-
11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20- -30-
    Meanwhile the fight continued without me, the combatants in the other room pummelling the creature mercilessly.  Pireseri tried to sneak in to stick Carimera's dagger through the beast's boot to contact the undead bone inside.  Miyara struggled to get to her feet.  Finally she dashed into the room and went for the doctor, attacking rapidly but not distracting him from his spell casting.  But she killed him before he can get the spell off, and promptly sliced his head off.  Hosei rushed to the room and seeing no-one left alive, dropped his held spell.  Suddenly Miyara felt a cold chill through her whole body, and witnessed the materialization of a ghostly spectre in front of her.  She collapsed into a coma which she would stay in for four hours.  Hosei noticed it too, having recovered, and started casting a spell on it.  Goru was next on the spectre's target list, and while physically traumatized (hard of hearing, and no sense of smell or taste), survived.  Ashu started running around screaming, while Pireseri was stunned for a short while.  Rabena started looking for a rune.  It simply stared at the group while no-one was attacking it, so Hosei held his spell while asking Rabena what to do.  As he spoke, the spectre attacked, so Hosei released his spell, launching a fireball into it.  Hosei then dived for the dagger, avoiding the spectre's attack.  Grabbing the dagger, again the spectre missed him.  Hosei thrust the dagger into the apparition, while it missed him.  Then the spectre touched him, and he fainted for one minute.  Rabena kept frantically searching her book.  Ashu recovered, and ignoring the spectre recovered his axes from the body of the monster and started hacking at it.  Ashu then fetched the dagger from the unconscious Hosei, while Jeison recovered in the corridor outside;.  Ashu looked around but could not find it to attack.  Jeison came in and discussed carrying everyone out.  Ashu dragged Pireseri, while Jeison grabbed the Miyaras, and Rabena came too.  They were not attacked again on the way up.  Goru had some problem understanding, but carried Carimera.

    I recovered on the way up the stairs, but fell unconscious too from my wounds.  Jeison carried Miyara, and we all continued out and returned to the inn in town.  It was still raining outside when Rabena had worked on me enough to regain consciousness.