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Library :: The Journals of Randal

By Randal

The 13th Day of the Month of the Chilled Souls, Year 295

I'm exhausted both physically and mentally as I sit here on my bed writing this, but I must write down the story of my day, for it was the day of my first real adventure.

I have spent the last week or so getting used to Turien, and learning about all the locations within it. Yesterday, while exploring the city, I came across a strange door at the very southern end of Crest View Road, and I couldn't help but go through it to see what was on the other side. Upon opening the door, a huge gust of putrid air greeted me and almost caused me to pass out, but I held my ground and entered the dark room that stood before me. It was awfully hard to see what was in the room, and the smell was overwhelming, but I saw a rather large hole in the ground which led to what appeared to be the city's sewer system. I walked up to the hole and peeked inside of it to see what was below me, but it was too dark to see anything. However, I heard strange noises coming from inside, such as low rumblings and tiny splashes in the water, that almost sounded like creatures walking around in the murky water. I decided it was best if I stayed away from that disgusting place, since I haven't had any combat training yet. Someday, though, I'll be sure to go back, when I'm confident enough with my skills. Hopefully I'll be able to survive whatever lurks down there...

Anyway, I must describe today's events before I fall asleep. Now that I feel comfortable enough with Turien, I decided it was best that I get my first taste of adventure in this new land, so I decided to see what lies down the road that runs west of the city. Before I left, I went to see my guild master (whom I had never met before this point), to see if he had anything to teach me to prepare me for my outing. He told me that I am not yet experienced enough to learn any powerful battle maneuvers or spells, but he was able to teach me how to land a powerful kick on my opponents. He taught me that kicking my opponent in the solar-plexus is the best way to knock the wind out of him and give me the upper hand in battle. It only took me a short while to perfect my kick, so I bid him farewell and left to head out for what lies beyond Turien's west gate.

Unfortunately, my adventure didn't get off to a terribly exciting start. For the first few hours, I simply walked down the path that runs west of Turien, and there was basically nothing around me except for a huge grassland. The only thing that broke the monotony of the sea of grass was a range of huge mountains off to the north and far off to the west. The weather wasn't the best today, either... The sky was colored a dark gray by stormclouds, and it was intensely cold out. I didn't even see many animals running around in the grassland... I suppose they were all in hibernation for this time of year.

After walking down that path for quite some time, wondering if I'd ever come across anything that looked exciting, I noticed that to the south of me was a small path which was overgrown with vegetation, making it rather difficult to see. Naturally, this piqued my interested, so I pulled out my sword and chopped down some of the vines and such so that I could see what was down the path. I'm not sure if it was just my imagination, but the further I walked down that tiny path, the darker and colder it seemed to get. Also, the further I walked, I got more and more of this unsettling feeling in my gut... almost as if something were about to go wrong.

After just a few minutes walking, I caught a glimpse of a tiny stone building not to far down the path. A battered wooden door flapped on its hinges in the cold wind, making an eerie creaking sound. I realized that exploring what lies inside that building would be an excellent chance for me to get my first taste of adventure, so I approached it with caution, gripping my longsword firmly in my right hand. The closer I walked to the shack, the more intense the feeling in my gut became... I could sense that evil was near. I also caught a faint whiff of the smell of death in the air. However, I was not about to let that make me turn back and head home... this was my chance.

I cautiously stepped into the shack, and realized that there was nothing in it except for a weathered stairway which led down into total darkness. I pulled a fresh torch out of my pack, lit it, and slowly walked down the stairway. By this point, the stench of death was lingering heavily in the air, and now the sense of evil was getting even more intense than ever before.

When I made it down the stairs, I noticed that I was in a huge underground crypt of some sort. Tunnels led in all directions around me, but it was far too dark to see what was down each of them. I heard rustling sounds and faint moaning coming from all sides, which prompted me to grip my blade even tighter out of fear. It was bitterly cold inside of this stone dungeon, not to mention utterly disgusting... the black stone walls were covered by swarms of insects, and patches of dried blood littered the dirt floor.

I heard the sound of something shuffling toward me from the west, but due to the dim light of my torch, I wasn't able to see what it was. I took up my battle stance, bracing myself for whatever it could be, and muttered a small prayer to the Goddess Celestial. All of a sudden, a group of four men came into view, shuffling straight for me, with intense evil in their eyes! These were no ordinary men, however... their skin was white as a ghost and peeling off their bodies, and some of them were even missing various appendages. They were also covered in the same insects that covered the walls of this crypt, making for a truly horrifying sight. I paniced at the sight of them fled as fast as I could down the opposite direction from which they were coming.

As I ran through those evil hallways, I passed even more of the disgusting creatures, but finally came upon a room which seemed to be empty. I quickly dashed into the room, hoping that none of the creatures saw me, and stopped to gather my wits. I realized that in my retreat, I ran very far away from the entrance to that vile place, and I was unsure of how to find my way out again. After cursing myself for a moment, I heard a faint whisper off to the other side of the room. I put it out of my mind, since this room was obviously empty of any living beings (besides those cursed bugs who lined the walls), and went back to plotting my escape. All of a sudden, I felt an intense pain on my neck, which caused me to scream, sending my voice echoing down the neverending stone halls. I paniced once again and ran to the other side of the room... "What bit me?!" I wondered to myself, but as I turned around to face where I was previously standing, it became clear to me. A dark shadowy form faded into view, with my blood dripping from what appeared to be its mouth. After letting out another faint whisper, it began floating towards me with its clawed hands stretched out before it. With adrenaline rushing through my veins, I quickly circled this ghostly-thing and swung my blade at his back, causing a mist of black ooze to fly out of the wound. The creature let out another whisper, which was probably a scream, and circled around to face me and flew at me full speed. I wasn't fast enough to be able to dodge his onslaught... before I knew it, he was right before me, slashing at my torso with cruelly-clawed hands. My breastplate was able to deflect most of the blows, but he put a few deep gashes in my left shoulder. Realizing that if I didn't do something quickly I was going to meet an untimely death, I smashed the hilt of my sword into his shadowy skull, which seemed to stun him for a moment. This gave me time to muster up all my strength and run my entire blade through his chest, instantly killing him. I pulled my ooze-covered blade out of his dead body and let out a sigh of relief... Thank the Gods, I had survived that first encounter.

I didn't have any time to relax, because the sounds of my battle alerted all the hideous beings in that dungeon to my location. I could hear the sounds of moaning and shuffling from down the hallway outside the room, and they were rapidly growing nearer. Before I had any time to decide what to do, a living skeleton had entered the room and began shuffling right at me! Knowing that if I took too long to dispatch of this creature the room would be plagued with a swarm of vile undead, I quickly rushed it and slashed at it a few times with my sword, sending various bones flying across the room. Even after losing an arm, the skeleton wasn't about to stop trying to kill me. I took a step back from him and prepared to use my new skill my guild master had taught me... With all of my strength, I planted my boot in the skeleton's chest, which caused it to shatter, and the skeleton just crumbled into a large pile of bones on the floor.

I realized that I had to find my way out of this crypt as soon as possible, or I would never return to Turien alive. I darted outside the room, back into the hallway, and saw huge groups of walking dead men and more skeletons surrounding me from both directions. I realized my only hope was to charge down the direction from which I came in hopes of finding the stairwell again, so I yelled out a battlecry, raised my sword in the air, and charged at the group of undead that were coming at me from the south.

Luckily, the walking dead were very slow-moving... As I charged into the group of them, I was able to quickly slice one of their decayed heads off before it had the time to strike. However, there were still at least 5 more surrounding me. I charged into one with my shoulder, knocking it to the ground, but the whole gang of them jumped on me at this point, which sent my torch falling to the ground out of my reach. I was pinned to the ground by at least three of those things, and they were relentlessly clawing and biting at all parts of my body. I yelled out and used all my strength to push them off me, and quickly scrambled to my feet and began hacking at them with my blade, leaving nothing but a pile of blood and dismembered body parts.

Off in the distance, even more of them were making their way towards me, so I grabbed my fallen torch and continued running down the hallway, dodging their attacks. After what seemed like an eternity of running through those musty hallways, I saw a faint ray of light off in the distance, which could only have been my exit from that place. I ran towards it at full speed, but once I came within view of the stairwell, I noticed that there was a huge skeleton clad in rusty armor and wielding a wicked handaxe blocking the exit.

That skeletal warrior was extremely intimidating, and caused me to stop in my tracks. I could hear the moaning of another huge group of undead behind me, so I knew there was no turning back... I had to deal with this skeleton before me if I was going to survive. I yelled out another battle cry and charged forward at him, my blade held high in the air, ready to strike. As I came within striking distance of him, I swung my blade in an arc, trying to connect with his bony head, but with amazing speed, he parried my blow with his axe, then punched me with incredible force in my stomach, knocking the wind out of me. He followed that up with a powerful slice with his handaxe to my chest, which was luckily deflected by my armor, but still caused me to fall to the ground. Reacting out of pure terror, I kicked at his ankle while I lied on my back, trying to knock him off his feet, but it didn't work... the kick barely even moved him. I could've sworn he had a smile on his skeletal face as he saw me lying there, defenseless, on the ground. He held his axe high above his head and then brought it down as hard as he could at my head, but I was able to roll of of the way, causing his axe to become lodged in the hard dirt floor. I jumped up to my feet and began slashing at him with reckless abandon, but my attacks didn't seem to be doing him any harm...

While he didn't seem to be hurt by my attacks, he was still stunned for a moment, so I took that time to make a mad dash for the stairwell. In an utter sense of panic, I charged up those stairs at full speed and let out a joyous yell when I was greeted by the daylight. As I ran away at full speed down the overgrown path, I could hear an evil yell coming from behind me, from the depths of that vile crypt. I made it out alive...

That was too much excitement for me for one day... I headed back to Turien, through that neverending grassland once again, wincing from the pain of the various wounds all over my body. The strange thing is, the pain felt kind of good in a way... it made me feel an overwhelming sense of pride... I had survived my first adventure in this new land. I was truly on my way to becoming a real adventurer.

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