Ashton Entry 5
We found ourselves on the beach, looking around I saw familiar sights, things that I recognized from not too long ago. In the distance a shoreline city… Sasserine! I shouted my excitement at seeing home and began my trek toward it. The others began to ask questions about how I knew this place, what was it called, Karamus asked what “sass-irene” was. I tried to explain that it was home as I continued to walk in the direction of the familiar city.
My dreams had been plagued by nightmares of this beach, watching Evane ripped from my hands over and over again. The heart had spoken to me in my sleep. I had to see her. We entered the city at the cost of some of my mother’s heritage, but I immediately informed my companions that there was a place to stay. I began toward my family home, excited at the familiarity and saddened at having to face the past once again.
We finally found our way to my family’s estate. Everyone looked on in amazement and astonishment at the massive house quiet and empty. The servants had been gone for years since there was no one left to serve after I left. I opened the doors and ushered everyone in. Karamus instantly began poking around, but I cared not. Kort was asking about ale and beds, I told them all that the scullery and pantry would be bare, but there were plenty of bedrooms about. I told everyone to make themselves comfortable, and as I began to make my way toward the basement I heard a crash. I turned and noticed that Bransen had knocked a vase to the floor and it had shattered. He apologized profusely and made it whole again and placed it upon the pedestal. I thanked him and turned back.
Kort asked about a bathing room and where he could lock away his weapons for safe keeping. I told him that the basement was safe and then informed him how to get to the bathing room. I then told them that I would be in the basement if needed and left them to their devices.
Below the cold earth, in the basement where my father had once worked his nightmare magic, I walked. I could hear his voice instructing me on the the nature of the life cycle. I could remember him touching lifeless flesh, and it twitching under his command. I could feel his anger as he reprimanded me for waving my hand incorrectly during a somatic gesture. All the way down these halls I could hear the moans of walking corpses, the clatter of skeletons, the screech of the unknown. Then I would turn and look over my shoulder to see them, and there would be nothing there. I felt him though, his presence never left this place, or maybe he has yet to leave me.
I went to his laboratory and closed my eyes, I felt the room, I placed my hands on stone surgery slabs. I felt the arrogance and hunger that permeated the room, I felt my own hate and fear here as well… and to my shame I also felt my curiosity and hunger for power. I guess I am my father’s son somewhere in my soul. I shook my head and remembered that I will never be as evil as him. I made my way up and out of that place only to find everyone had gone. It was time to visit Evane.
I headed for her family’s house and slowed upon its approach. I knocked and the door was answered by her mother. She allowed me in and I headed directly to her room, reaching for the Phoenix Heart as I went. I knelt at my poor fiancee’s side and grasped her hand. Nothing. I listened closely for the voice in my dream but heard only silence. I then moved the Heart into her hand and clasped it between us and concentrated harder. Then it happened. Evane’s eye’s opened and her mouth moved. I began to well up with tears at her resurrection, before realizing that the voice that emerged was not hers.
The voice emitting from my wife to be was the one from my dream. It spoke and my tears of joy became tears of sorrow as it stated that it could not save her. Her soul was gone, to a different plane of existence, stolen away. My father, he took it, I know it. I asked where and the Heart replied that it knew not, but it could help if we retrieved the soul. It also informed me that if she were near it could tell me. The voice faded and the glow dimmed and I sat again holding my poor Evane’s hand quietly. I cursed and swore my quest once again before noticing her family behind me. I turned and apologized to them for my rudeness and stood. Her mother grabbed me and held me and blessed my name. She was adamant in her faith that I would bring Evane back to them. I told them that I would not rest until she was back with us all.
I stood and left vowing my oath once more and then headed for the marketplace to search out my companions. It wasn’t long before I came across Jarvyk and immediately told him that I had news and that the Heart had spoken to me. He informed me that it would be safer to talk outside. I agreed and we carried on outside with Karamus in tow. I explained that Evane’s soul was with my father and that he was not on this plane. I asked them to ask around to find out any clues of my father’s whereabouts and that I would search his lab. Jarvyk asked about how cold the trail was, and I sadly admitted that it was a good two years past now. He then said something I had dreaded and yet knew was correct. That currently we needed to concentrate on bigger matters such as getting back to Cauldron. We parted ways and I made my way to the spellcrafter’s shop.
I searched for a few scrolls in order to extend my repertoire and found a few useful spells. I made my way back home after gathering components and the spells, having spend a good amount of gold in order to gather what I needed to copy the spells to my book. I headed back to the mansion and into the basement where I began to search the area for memories of my father. I went into his lab and closed my eyes and let the memories flood back. I remember the nightmares that he kept in cages, the monstrous things he commanded and I remember him teaching me a conjuration that aided him in his studies. He never had a familiar, or any aide like that, no the conjuration brought him a skeleton that aided his rituals and heeded his commands.
I recalled the conjuration and decided that in order to find my father, part of me must further understand my father. I must be careful because this is a treacherous path, but I fear it is the quickest way to trace him. I went back upstairs, remembering my companions having mentioned something about meeting to determine our next course of action. We met in the parlor, and the others asked me about how pressing my search for my father was. I didn’t know exactly what to say. I was still fully occupied with how to find the monster. I replied that the need was great, but it would be long. Forgive me friends, for I know the peril we face, I hope you do not hate me for the possible course I may be forced to take.
We discussed returning to Cauldron as soon as we gathered what traveling supplies we need. I need to gather some more things, and Jarvyk needs to awaken his sword and clear his family name. He is obviously pressed to accomplish that. I asked Karamus of the folks he was dining with, if they were trustworthy or not, I am assuming we will find out soon enough. After the meeting which I was only partially present, considering that I was lost in thought on how to best my father, I retired back to the basement and tried to remember his teachings, tried to remember his monstrous rituals and powers.
I fear I may need to delve deeper. I felt his thirst for power as I heard his voice command the undead, I realize their potential, and in a moment of weakness that I justified with a need to understand him, I made my way out into the shadier part of town and found and purchased a text about raising the dead. I also gathered the tools needed to summon my skeletal companion and carried them home.
The next few days I spend my time studying the scrolls I bought and transferred them into my book, including, shamefully, the text on raising corpses. I felt my father looking over my shoulder as I scribbled the runes of power to raise the dead to my control, corrupting the once living and desecrating their souls. I felt his eyes on me as I completed adding this spell to my knowledge and cringed when I realized what I had done. The temptation is great, but maybe this will let me understand my horrid father better. I then decided it was time to conjure my minion, I hope my companions will not be so disturbed as to destroy it when it emerges with me from this place. I will be leaving my home a different man. Friends, please do not hate me for what I must do, but I will do anything to uphold my word and rescue my bride from his clutches.