Memoirs of Father Shiron
Part 8 - Bone of
continued on down the passage, ever sloping downwards, ever the same
height and width. They followed it for perhaps a mile, delving
deeper into the earth. At last the monotony of the tunnel was
replaced as the walls on each side suddenly gave way to reveal a large
chamber. Only when the entire party was inside and clear of the
passage did their torches barely light up the whole space. Even so, the ceiling could not be seen, so high
Keeping each other
in sight, the party spread out to search the chamber, which echoed eerily
with the clinking of their armour and weapons. The chamber was
roughly square and the walls on were bare, devoid of
any mark or sign, naked, nude or however you prefer to describe it.
They didn't even have any wallpaper on them. The floor was dusty but
scratch marks and footprints could be seen disturbing it.
There was something visible
under the dust, markings on the floor just visible.
The party kicked away some of the dust. It looked like some sort of
mosaic. They cleared the area to see all of it. It looked to
all present rather like a horoscope chart; circular in shape with twelve
symbols arranged around it's edge in a regular pattern. However none
of the symbols resembled any of the known zodiac.
"These look like magical
glyphs to me," stated Feanar studying them.
The pattern in the
middle of the mosaic had been destroyed. What looked like a large scorch mark
covered it and trails of ash emanated out from it in
all directions. Paying more attention now they noticed that all the
walls had dark discolourations at their centres and any previous markings
or patterns had been erased.
"Over here," called
Presto leaning over something in the far corner of the chamber. It
was a skeleton slumped with it's back against the wall, fully armoured
with a rusty sword and cracked shield at it's side. It was burnt and
blackened. It looked like the person had been burnt alive.
"There's three more over there,"
observed Shiron as the party examined the charred remains.
"Looks to me like a
fireball has gone off in here," said Feanar. "And that
means a reasonably competent mage, at least 5th level.
"It seems to radiate from
the centre of the mosaic," added Falamir helpfully.
think?" asked Erendil sarcastically.
Falamir stuck his tongue out at
him and Erendil smirked. "Could be a coincidence but I doubt
it," he added.
"The mosaic itself could be the
source, triggered by something," said Feanar thinking out
loud. "Either that or whoever cast it centered it on the mosaic to
make it look that way, for added effect."
"That wouldn't surprise
me," said Dick. "We all know MUs are a load of posers
don't we." The two exchanged hard Paddington stares.
"May I suggest we get out
of here pronto in case we set it off ourselves?" suggested
Presto helpfully who was himself already heading for the far side of the
chamber quite swiftly.
As if the thought just occurred
to them as one, they all beat a hasty retreat and followed him as quickly as possible,
carefully avoiding the centre of the floor design. On the far side
the chamber was sealed by a large wooden door on three heavy metal
hinges. The door was scorched as well but not badly.
Without further ado Dick lowered his right shoulder and barged at it.
There was a resounding 'BOOM!'
and everybody dived to the floor covering their heads. After a few
moments they looked out from behind their shields to discover with relief
that they hadn't been burnt to a crisp.
"What on earth's the
matter with you lot?" asked Dick in an annoyed manner looking
down at them curled up at his feet. "It was the door banging
against the wall, it must open inwards.
"Oh, that's Ok then,"
answered Presto in a nervous, relieved sort of way. They all got up
and looked a bit sheepish. Dick got hold of the big metal ring handle
and gave it a good tug. The heavy door swung open, screaming loudly
on its rusty hinges and again they all dived for cover.
"Oh for pity's sake, pull
yourselves together the lot of you!" scorned Dick, rolling his eyes.
They all got up again and a
couple of them laughed nervously in a very forced and unconvincing way.
open door led them out into another passage that turned sharp left and
down again. This passage was a bit smaller than the previous one,
only allowing them to walk comfortably two abreast. Dick led
together with Erendil, behind them were Shiron and Feanar with Presto and Falamir
bringing up the rear. In cramped quarters this is how they preferred
to walk; fighters guarding front and back with the more
vulnerable party members, cleric and mage, in the middle.
They soon passed through this
passage into a slightly wider one but which made them slightly feel
uneasy. The walls were glowing. A faint amber light seemed to
be emanating from the very stone itself. The glow gave a false sense
of warmth and homeliness which was slightly unsettling in these
"Weird." said Falamir.
"Groovy." said Feanar.
The party put out their torches
to save them and continued on using the natural light of the
passage. Unlike the previous passages it was not straight but
wandered around, bending like a river meandering across a plain. With
their view ahead drastically reduced, Dick and Erendil had to be
continually alert to see what was ahead. As they rounded a
bend and approached what looked like the entrance to another chamber they
heard a rattling noise, rather like a bunch of dry wooden sticks clacking
Dick and Erendil reached the
opening and came to an immediate halt.
"Oh dear," said
Shiron and Feanar had not
really been paying attention and they bumped into the front
"Be quiet," whispered
Shiron peered between Dick and
Erendil. "Ah. This looks like a job for me,"
he said with some confidence.
Falamir jostled for a view so
he could see what was going on. "Holy bones Batman," he
said in a scared jokey sort of way.
Standing before them some
twenty or so yards away were three skeletons. These skeletons were
not charred like the others, neither were they propped up or supported in
any way. They were standing up all by themselves and even more
disquietingly each one was carrying a short sword at the ready. They
were just standing there watching them, blank expressions on their skulls,
lifeless empty eye sockets trained on them.
The skeletons each took a step
forward and produced the rattling sound again as their bones clacked
exclaimed Falamir with wide eyes. "It's just like in Jason and
answered Erendil over his shoulder without taking his eyes off the
skeletons. "Undead. They are animated by an evil power
who they in turn serve without question."
"But unlike Jason, our
party has a cleric," answered Shiron who squeezed to the front
between Dick and Erendil and took a step forward. The three
skeletons also took a hesitant step forward, then another. The middle
skeleton turned it's head to the side and it's bone lower jaw moved as if
speaking. It turned back to face Shiron and there was more rattling
from further away in the gloom. Several more skeletons appeared and
formed up behind the first three.
"Oh no. How many of
them are there now?" asked Falamir obviously now getting fairly
"I count nine,"
Shiron took another couple of
steady paces forward from the party. The nine skeletons were swaying
slightly as they stood facing him, swords raised.
"What's he doing? Aren't we going to help
him?" asked Falamir.
"Not yet." answered Feanar
quietly from beside him. "This will be a test for him,
to see whether he's got what it takes. We'll see if he's
got it in him to use his powers and prove his worth to the party. if
he gets into trouble then we will help."
"But......." Falamir spluttered.
Feanar put his hand on Falamir's shoulder. "Just watch."
The tense scene was bathed in
the strange amber glow from the walls which made it seem all the more surreal. The lead skeletons took another two rattling paces forward,
their swords raised menacingly. Shiron, standing tall, gaze fixed
forward, stood his ground. He dipped his head and closed his eyes
for a moment as if gathering his thoughts. Then, raising his head
again he opened his eyes and a changed, determined expression was on his
face. His eyes bore into the skeletons facing him. He raised
his right arm slowly in front of him so it was outstretched to the front
and turned his hand upwards so the palm faced the skeletons, fingers
together. All was silent except for the clacking of the skeletons'
bony limbs as they swayed closer.
Falamir jumped as Shiron's
sharp command resounded through the chamber. Falamir's blood was
pumping in his ears. What was his friend doing? Was he mad?
The skeletons halted their
"I command you to be
gone!" boomed Shiron who's voice was amplified by the
confines of the chamber. "Creatures of the underworld.
Abominations of the living. Go! Go back to your dark places
and leave us in peace."
The middle skeleton gave Shiron
what could only be described as a defiant expression. It mouthed a
silent command and all nine advanced a step and looked as if they were
about to charge. They were now only about 10 yards away.
"They're not taking any
notice of him Feanar. They'll be on him any moment," Falamir
said with a shaky voice.
"Just wait. He
hasn't played his trump card yet," Feanar replied with a knowing
Just then Shiron breathed in
deep, thrust out his chest and drew himself up to his full
height. He seemed to grow before Falamir's eyes, the
eerie light adding to the effect.
"Foul beasts," he
roared. "By the power invested in me by my Almighty God, I
command you to Go! Now!" Shiron bellowed the words 'Go Now' and
they reverberated around the chamber with such power that they even made
the watching party members wince. As the echo died, Shiron turned
his head to the right so the holy symbol dangling from his left ear became
visible to the skeletons. The eerie glow caught it's shiny surface
and made it flash and sparkle as if it had a life of it's own. Beams
of reflected light shot out from the crucifix and showered across the
bleached bones of the skeletons like lasers.
a room far, far way, polyhedral dice rolled across a table top and came to
one, all nine skeletons let out an unholy shriek that even Dick had to put
his hands over his ears to block out. They all dropped their weapons
with a clang and clattered off into the darkness beyond as fast as their
bony legs would carry them.
Shiron visibly relaxed.
He had done it. He had proved not only to the rest of the party but
to himself as well that he had what it took. He had tapped the holy
powers within him and knew that he could call upon them again whenever
there was need. He allowed himself a self satisfied contented smile
and turned to face the others. "We won't be seeing them again
any time soon," he said.
Erendil stepped forward and
slapped him on the back in congratulation. "Well done
lad," he said in respectful acknowledgement.
"Hear hear," agreed
Dick who cheerfully slapped him even harder.
enthused Feanar. "Much impressed." The entire party
congratulated him on his handiwork as he beamed with pride.
"I suppose you could say I
just lost my virginity," joked Shiron.
AD&D," said Erendil. "You may now truly call yourself
"How did you do that?"
asked Falamir almost with breathless hero worship.
"Just a trick of the
trade." answered Shiron modestly but a knowing grin spread
rapidly across his face.
"Wow!" was all Falamir
push on shall we?" said Erendil "Relight your torches and
stay on your guard. The orange glow ends just up ahead and there's
no telling what else is lurking down here."
he?" whinged Presto, not the bravest of elves.
resumed their trek but before they had gone more than a few paces Presto
said, "Hang on lads, how about a search before we leave. I feel
"Good idea," replied
Dick. "Skellies are usually set to guard something. Let's
see if there's anything worth grabbing. Spread out everyone."
A search yielded 350
silver pieces and 200 gold pieces piled underneath old rags and
debris. Also a number of short swords and shields,
most in quite reasonable condition. Shiron and Falamir both took a
shield each and Presto, Erendil and Falamir each took the best sword they
could find. They divided the cash as best they could and agreed to
share out any spoils equally at the end of the adventure.
left the glowing cavern into another dark tunnel, again with rough hewn
walls and a smooth concreted floor. This one was wide and so they
walked in a loose group in no particular order. They were in good
spirits and so they talked and joked as they went. Shiron 'turning'
the skeletons and the racket they made running off meant there was no
point in being stealthy for the moment. The adventure was going well,
they were enjoying it.
Here endeth Part
Don't miss the next episode 'First Blood'
It's here now. Click on Next.