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Grasping at Straws

Grasping at Straws

As told by Pike Lynn Clover

15th of Elient

We’ve been running hard for hours, gasping for air.

‘Hang in there Ezra! We’re soon there!’ I kept saying that, but I’m not sure I believe in myself anymore.

How did we get here? It’s all nuts!
With nothing to do but breathing hard and making haste, I recollected to myself the previous hours we had spent in Vallaki. The night began at the Coffin Maker's Shop.

Trif used some pretty powerful magic. She managed to cover a whole area in ice and wind, hindering the many vampires that came for us out of the woodwork. If not for her we would’ve been dead back there, instead we were resting back at the inn. Ezra writhing in her sleep affected by a third bite, and we were as worried about the monsters outside as the potential monster inside, not knowing if Ezra would turn on us or not. We knew of no cure other than what could maybe be found at the church. We couldn’t wait and see if she turns, we had to head there without delay! It would be insane to wait for it to happen if there was any chance at all we could prevent it.

Reaching the church we were met by a gruesome sight of blood… and flesh… and… just everywhere. It covered the floor, the walls, at least a hundred people dead, toyed with, slaughtered. We had failed them, and this was worse than Azur in the Underdark, this was a completely new level of madness! Orzen walks in with cold fury and found Father Lucien's body spread out in front of the altar, looking like his body was lengthened by physical force, torn in the middle. Despite this the clock did not stop for Ezra, and among all the despair we found no answer to the vampirism overtaking her. Our last resort was the basement, where Father Lucien said he kept the relics of the church and maybe, just maybe, we hadn’t run out of hope for our companion. Outside the church a ghostly procession were silently walking by, raising even more questions about this place.

Heading down a narrow ladder we reached a platform surrounded by water in a room with evenly spread pillars supporting the ceiling. We found it odd, but the floors in the church were tiles, but above us then there were wooden boards. A quiet voice suddenly appeared from the pitch black darkness.

‘Don’t stand in the water, he’s out there’ ‘Who are you? Who’s out there?’ I asked the darkness, without answer.

The clock is ticking.

Whatever that was, it was nothing that would help Ezra, and being driven by desperation we were leaving when suddenly we hear a crashing in the water behind us.

‘Nooooo…’ the voice screams out.

Something took the voice in the darkness and we charged after, barely seeing a creature at the end of our vision holding on to a small boy. The creature disappeared through a wall that magically closed behind it, and water started falling from the ceiling like a downpour.

We lost him.
Tick, tick, tick. The clock is ticking.
Time is running out.

The water level was raising as it continued to pour down from the ceiling like if we were outside on a rainy day, and our way out had been blocked by a crate, that to our surprise revealed to be filled with acid as we broke our way through it. Despite all the horrors all around us, someone had taken the time and effort to trap us in here.

Breaking out of there still without a cure for Ezra, who looked worse and worse by the hour, we went to retrieve the bones from the smoking ruin of the Coffin Makers house. Later back at the inn we turned to our hosts for help, to Danika's previously demonstrated powers of healing. But we were turned down as they considered Ezras previous act of need and desperation, breaking in and taking one of their healing potions, as theft and abuse of their hospitality.

Tick... Tick…

Grasping at straws we make a run for Krezk and the Abbey situated there. We run for hours, this being our last chance, Ezras last chance!

The sudden sight of Krezk brings me back to the present. I don’t know what we will find there, or what can be done for her anymore. It feels like we’ve run out of options.

I’m sorry. Ezra, forgive us.