The Record of Examination – Survivor’s Log, Royal Sorcerer Kinsley
(Sir Kinsley was found rambling and tearing out his hair, naked, by a patrol on routine anti-undead rounds. From our estimation, it had been two days since his escape from Durvasan’s Tower. He had been slowly making his way towards the Griffon Tower.)
Interviewer – Sir Kinsley, let us begin from the start of it. I know this is difficult, but many lives can be saved if we learn everything possible.
Kinsley – I know, I know, don’t you think I know? Please just get me more water, it’s too hot, everything is too dry, I need more water.
I – You can have some more after we move forward, you are going to hurt yourself if you drink much more Kinsley.
K – Fine, fine, so you know about the moat. Of course you do, everyone can see the fucking damned moat. We had a horse spook, we were all spooked of course… Can I have a glass of water?
I – No Kinsley, please continue.
K – The horse, went into the drink. And we saw them, still at a distance, I think. If I remember right. Definitely animated dead, water lizards of some breed.
I – How large were they?
K – It wasn’t natural, I’ll tell you that. Damn thing, I don’t know how it fit in the water. Must have been sixty feet long. Swallowed the horse whole before it hit the surface.
I – But you still crossed the moat?
K- Of course, we couldn’t turn back because of some wingless rotting wannabe dragons could we? Kekeke, no of course we didn’t turn back. We made him lower the bridge for us.
I – So the doors opened?
K – Of course they did, must have been beautiful once. The energy there though… The aura was so dark, so evil. The whole place must have some kind of desecration on it. Unhallowed perhaps. It made my skin want to crawl off and run away without me.
I – So the foyer?
K – Empty.
I – No monsters to greet you?
K – No, it was totally empty. And so quiet.
I – So what did you see?
K – There were three doors ahead, one on the ground level, we found out that led to the reception hall.
I – And the other two?
K – They were up stairs, one was destroyed and crumbled, the other was locked.
I – So you went into the reception hall?
K – Yea, the reception hall. He was waiting for us there. The Marshall of the Forsaken King. Sir Raime. He introduced himself.
I – He could speak?
K – Yes, he was quite well spoken.
I – What did he say?
K – He made his case for the curse being good for our people, and gave us the opportunity to leave peacefully.
I – You refused?
K – Of course. We had to save him. We had to bring back the Ivory Crown. We didn’t have any other choice. He attacked, suddenly there were skeletons, dripping with blood, everywhere. We weren’t sure where they came from. The main doors slammed shut, we heard that at least.
I – You were trapped.
K – Yes. But we proved our mettle. We cut down the horrific animated corpses like the rabble they were.
I – And Sir Raime?
K – He disappeared.
I – Disappeared?
K – In a blast of smoke and debris. When it cleared he was gone.
I – How?
K – Jaison suspected a hidden passage, I didn’t sense any magical transmission at least, but we never found it… Oh poor Jaison.. Oh gods, oh gods, they… they… please, PLEASE! I need some water. Give me some water.
I – Yes, of course, a glass.
K – No! You don’t understand! I need more, give me more!
I – You need to go on Kinsley, please.
K – Don’t you see! Can’t you smell it? Oh gods, please, please, please, please, please, please, please.
I – That’s enough for today, we will resume tomorrow.
(He continued pleading for six hours until passing into unconsciousness.)
I – How are you today Kinsley?
K – I’m dying! You fucking evil bastard. Please, give me more!
I – Kinsley, please, calm down. We are doing everything we can.
K – Then give me more water, you monsters. You’re all monsters. Monsters. Monsters.
I – You’re hurting yourself Kinsley, now please, let’s pick up where we were… Sir Raime escaped, where did you go next?
K – Fine… We went through a passage to the left of the throne, there was a passage on the right as well. And there was a second floor. That was where the other doors from the foyer led. I forgot to mention the archers yesterday.
I – Archers?
K – During the fight, undead archers attacked from the balcony. I protected us from their arrows, levitated up, and blasted dozens of them.
I – So you went through the left passage?
K – Yes, it led to a ball room, well, it was once a ballroom. Gods, it must have been magnificent at one point. It had been converted into a mess hall for the soldiers during the siege. There were doors, and rumblings behind them.
I – Did you investigate?
K – No, we saw the stairwell up, straight ahead, leading to the third floor.
I – Not the second?
K – No, we could see some of the second though, from the balcony. The balcony came in from the reception hall, and wrapped around the entire area. There were two elegant rises from the ballroom, one on each side, that went up to the balcony. Bedrooms there we figured. So we decided to take the stairwell to the third floor.
I – What was on the third floor?
K – Please… Please… Please…
I – Kinsley, stay focused. Remember your code, Sir Knight.
K – I’m sorry, I’m sorry, the third floor would have been a library… was a library, it must have been public access during peace times. We took a moment, Sir Poliunt healed our wounds, loyal Poliunt…
I – What was there?
K – Magic, and curses, so many curses. I knew better, I warned them. Obligan… he didn’t listen.
I – What happened?
K – He died, what the fuck do you think? In an instant. He picked up a tome that caught his eye, and it… such dark magics… I told the others not to touch a damn thing, not a single. damn. thing. We found a stairwell up.
I – To the fourth floor?
K – There was a voice, laughing. So much laughter. I can still hear it, in my bones. I could feel it in my soul, it echoed through the whole floor. The fourth floor would have been a study, Durvasan’s private study I would wager. There were three rooms, one we came up into, and we found the stairwell up. Up… we never made it up… we never made it up… we never made it up…
I – What happened? Please, stay with me Kinsley.
K – We never made it up… we never made it up… we never made it up…
(This continued, session ended for the day.)
(Sir Kinsley managed to blind both of his eyes before his caretakers could stop him, using the spoon given with his morning’s porridge. He has since been placed under more stringent watch.)
I – Kinsley, we need to continue.
K – I can’t. I can’t. I can’t…
I – Kinsley, if we don’t, their lives will have been lost for nothing.
K – … We saw him. We saw it. A red robed Jester.
I – A jester?
K – They made it, somehow, I suspect it was a prisoner, a rebel knight of note perhaps, tortured and twisted into a monster for his sick pleasure. Maybe it was vengeance, retribution for the Forsaken King.
I – What happened?
K – I’m not sure… people panicked, it was… so evil… so wrong… It wouldn’t stop laughing. People broke, two charged it, it was so fast…
I – What happened then?
K – A trap went off, no one noticed it, too distracted by The Jester.. Three dead in an instant.
I – How? Magic?
K – A symbol of death. It ran out of energy just before it hit where I stood. Jaison and I were the only ones left standing. We fled. Another symbol, triggered as we tried to leave the room. I… I think I’m insane…
I – Stay with me Kinsley, what happened next?
K – It didn’t chase us… at first… I think it… I think it ate them… But, it’s dead, it couldn’t digest them, they are just rotting in its bloated belly. Rotting. Rotting. Rotting. Rotting.
I – Kinsley!
K – Water… water…
I – A single glass, here, please Kinsley, stay with me.
K – We went back towards the stairwell we had come up, but I noticed it in time. More symbols, triggered if we went down, you couldn’t have noticed them coming up. They were there the whole time, just behind us, who knows how many we missed. We didn’t know where to go, but we found a secret entrance, to the servant’s passage.
I – Servant’s passage?
K – Yes… It was there the whole time, wrapping around the outside, spiralling around the entire tower. Who knows how many ins and outs we missed. They could have been watching from the walls the entire time…
I – They?
K – Yes, there were more undead, inside the halls. We struggled our way down, down and down, spiralling slowly. We made it all the way to the basement, I think, I lost count. We just ran.
I – You and Jaison?
K – Yes… we made it out. We found the pumps, harried the whole way, I cast invisibility on the two of us.
I – You used magic?
K – Yes, invisibility and silence, I had a wand… I wonder what happened to it…
I – So you were in the basement?
K – I think so, there were terrible, terrible monstrous beasts there, and chains, so many chains. I think they kept prisoners there… maybe not at first, but during the siege… and… after… We found a pool, somewhere, I was so lost, we were just running… It was how they fed them, grew them, got them so big, it led to the moat…
I – You swam out?
K – Yes… We could barely squeeze through, but with two castings of Reduce Person, we made it into the passage to the moat. But… They could smell us, the silence, the invisibility, it didn’t matter. Jaison, he had taken a wound. They could smell the blood. They could smell the blood. They could… They could smell the blood. They could smell the blood.
I – Oh gods… Sir Kinsley… I’m… I’m sorry. Please… Please continue, what else can you remember?
K – They could smell the blood. They could smell the blood. They could smell the blood.
(Sir Kinsley began to forcibly bash his skull against the chair, flailing against the restraints. He persisted in this state for three days, until he successfully chewed his tongue, bleeding to death before a healer could arrive. May the gods have mercy on his soul.)