To Catch a Summoner Part 2

Duncan and I had been moving slowly through the warehouse, ignoring the alarm, when he suddenly split off and moved towards the back of the place, squeezing through a darkened gap between a couple of stacks of crates. I took the wider passage on the other side of the same stack, and saw the stairs going up along the wall opposite the door. I also noticed a particularly fine set of scribblings on the floor near the stairs.

“Whoa! Stop! Stop moving,” I called ahead. I cleared the back of the crates to see Duncan now frozen, one foot held in the air, neatly hovering over the lines. I pointed out the pattern with a swipe of my sword, and asked “What is that?”

Duncan frowned at me, and edged back carefully. “Don’t you know about how this stuff works?” He muttered, eyeballing the scribbling.

“The power of the gods is to be worshiped, not studied,” I returned.

He grimaced and stood up. “I don’t know what it is, but I suspect it has something to do with that altar with the colored flames.”

What I had mistaken at a distance for a desk with candles, did indeed appear to be some sort of altar- and no friendly one at that. Dark stone, ruttled with barely seen inscription, purple and black flamed candles sputtered at each corner, but no wax dripped from those aberrant lights. The things that should have really tipped me off, really, were the double fist-full of corpses laying about it.

Joe always says I miss the little things.

“I think I have a solution,” he said with a scimitar grin, his finger suddenly pointing, and surrounded with a nimbus of icy mists. “Let’s see what happens.”

What happened was that a blast of frigid cold lanced from his hand to the table, sweeping across the surface, giving it a momentary patina of frost- which neatly put out the flames. I could feel the air… clear somehow. As if some unnoticed pressure had lessened, leaving us free to breathe. I could see that Duncan felt it too.

Speaking of those little things, “I see something glittering in each of their mouths; onyx, I believe.”

“Undead,” Duncan grunted. “Let’s see what happens when we cross the line- ready?”

I limbered up my sword arm, nodded, and crossed the line. As soon as I did, I could feel something magical snap into place, and, if the sensation wasn’t enough, some of the dead began to stir. I immediately began laying waste to the two nearest me who were beginning to animate, getting a good shot in while one of them was still trying to get up.

Duncan rushed towards the stairs, brutally destroying one of the zombies that stood at the base, then moved upwards.

“Great. Just me and the moving corpses.” I muttered, getting a couple quick stabs in, before one of them punched me like a battering ram in the side. I’d moved myself between them, and was weaving out of way of their slow, heavy blows, and cutting them as I could. I took an opening to cut the one in front of me deeply, but my sword got wedged on a bone, and I knew the one behind me was going to strike with that incredible undead strength before I could turn.

Instead, I heard a welcome voice.

“Hallo again, want a hand?” Haven had the thing’s skull in a controlling grip, though the zombie thrashed and writhed to get out of. Her vicious smile turned frustrated at its attempts, and the acidic gems in her fists sparkled bright on either side of the thing’s face, while she methodically broke its back with a tremendous kick.

Things were looking up.

To Catch a Summoner Part 3

To Catch a Summoner Part 2

Eberron Noir ldferal