The Tomb of Helia Damascus

With the door safely shut behind us, we found ourselves in a small passage, lit by a pair of everburning torches. Before us, steps descended into an unknown room, the likeness of which was concealed by the low ceiling. We spoke with Xerxes about our next move, and came to the conclusion that, since his odds of survival were best if he helped us along, we could unbind him. He would help us face whatever was in the next room. An overgrown plaque told us that ahead was the burial chamber of Helia Damascus, the last leader of the Samsarans.

We advanced, and found ourselves in a large antechamber brimming with riches and statues in the likeness of a beautiful Samsaran woman. The leader herself. There were signs reading that the holy chamber was only intended for Pure-blooded Samsarans, and the blood of the destroyers would be spilled on sight. At the far end of the chamber, sitting atop a fountain that seemed to be producing cool, clean water out of thin air, sat a glowing blue object. It had to be the key to Nirvana. Who would leave it unguarded like this?

Not the Samsarans, that's for certain. No sooner had we entered the chamber than we were greeted by a great crystal dragon named Grixis, swooping down from a roost high in the dark ceiling of the chamber. It asked us who we were, and I introduced myself by name. Big mistake.

The Ing'um family, to the Samsarans, were the destroyers, and the dragon's ire was wholly invoked. It made its threats as, to my left, Xerxes cursed me for being so stupid as to reveal my true name. We got ready to fight, but it was Lynn who made the first move. I caught a gleam of red in her eyes as she charged, and planted a foot on the arm of the great beast, fracturing its crystalline scales.

Then, we unleashed hell. I summoned a great Tiger by the name of Winthrop so Lynn wouldn't be venturing into the melee alone - though I doubt she truly needed the help. The dragon became entangled in a mass of claws, fists, elbows, legs, and broken crystal. My uncle lit them on fire, while I hurled spells from afar, and Xerxes cast his evil curses on the thing. We felled the beast before it had time to realize its peril.

Confused and betrayed by the Samsaran in front of it, the last Samsaran in Aetheria, the dragon let out a final cry of defiance, and was slain by our combined might. Lynn's eyes returned to normal, and she slumped over unconscious with a fever. My uncle tended to her with the medicine, and we explored the area in more detail.

There was quite a treasure trove; a cache of magical objects and gold. We filled our pockets, and when Lynn came to, we let her grab the key to Nirvana. (Being a pure-blooded Samsaran and all, we figured it best.) I teleported us up to the surface through a small gap in the ceiling, and we argued with Xerxes over where he would go now.

I played a parlor trick and convinced the evil Cleric that I would be scrying on him, and so long as he made no action against us, we would leave him be. He accepted our offer, and led us to our mounts.

We stabled the horses we borrowed, and entered the Divination tower. Trelawney congratulated us on a job well done, and handed me a crystal ball. This would signify the school's approval, as the dagger of Weston would signify the Necromancy school's approval.

Trelawney told me she was placing her trust in me, but I walked the razor's edge. I would either save this land, or plunge it into a worse hell than she had ever seen. Encouraging.

Our pirate crew took us to the coast nearest our next destination: Abados, home of the Conjuration school of Wizardry, led by Master Arabore, the most strict and unforgiving professor I had ever known. This wasn't going to be easy.

We said our goodbyes to the crew, and headed to Abados on foot. It was about a day's journey, and it was good to get on the road again, quiet and open as it was. When we arrived, we lied our way into the gates, and found an Inn for the night. Lynn was contemplative, and my uncle was somewhat distant.

As I write this I'm missing out - this is an upscale Inn, and the barmaid, Ellen, tells me they serve Phoenix here. What's more, there's a bath house just down the road. Gods, I haven't had a bath in so long…

—Matau Ing'um

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