"The Lair of the Cold King"
The Further Traveling Journals of the Band of the Blessed Fountain
By Molliam Merryweather
[Wherein the Band explores the caverns beyond the mines, comes into possession of a bound lich and takes steps to be rid of it]
November 13, 315
After months of little more than breaking up squabbles and issuing such orders as “the chamber pots in the west house need emptying”, I have managed at last to persuade the boys to check out the back end of the mine. Perhaps I am paranoid, but as a thief I have learned always to secure the back door. Mainly due to the back door being my personal favorite point of ingress, natch.
Having an unexplored cavern (or, gods forbid, a series of caverns) leading through a mine straight to our back gate has given me many nights of worry and fret.
It seems we may have to wait a day or two before we can properly begin our exploration. Elders from Marikest have visited us today and seek permission for members of their community to come and drink from the Blessed Fountain. In particular, they have with them a captive lycanthrope that they hope to cure. Apparently it’s his birthday tomorrow, if you can believe it.
Ham has agreed, naturally. We’ve put the man up in a spare room in the west house, with the door barred securely for the night and we‘ll be staying on to ensure nothing ill comes of it before morning. Ham and Griffon are presently in meeting with the Marikest elders to arrange for future visits by others in such need.
Really, I rather expected this. It is, of course, how Littleton came to such grand success. Folks would come from all over on their birthdays to be healed of this or that ailment and would expend their wealth in the taverns and shops of the town before moving on. Many of them had seen the potential of the location and stayed on to found their own businesses and enterprises. And so Littleton prospered.
It seems the elder of Marikest have finally caught on to this particularly good aspect of our residence here. I find the idea of humans and other large folk tramping about the keep with their big feet more than a little disagreeable, though.
November 14, 315
Despite a great deal of noise and yammering, the werewolf was kept secure last night. He did manage to slip his bonds before morning, however, and it took a bit of doing to get him bound yet again. The boys, along with most of the guard, were able to subdue him without getting scratched and they practically dragged him to the fountain. Watching the lot of them roping and netting the howling wolf-man up and down the hall was quite exciting, though#.
Getting him to drink proved nearly as difficult but Ham managed it. The effect was interesting to see. The very face of the man practically changed as the curse was flushed from his body. Years of evil and rage were wiped away and left, in the end, just a poor lost dirt farmer like any other.
We endured his tearfully thanks and pawing adoration for a bit before Ham politely escorted him back to the elders (and off our plateau).
Ham and Griffon have assured me that the guard will be charged with overseeing the Blessed Fountain in order to prevent mischief. I am most concerned with my Fountain being cluttered with tourists or trampled by hooligans .
November 16, 315
We spent the morning looking about the underground lake. Our foreman told us he can pull some men off the mines for a couple of days and replace the dock, if we like, so we’ve set them to doing that. In the meantime we let Nickel fly over the lake with a torch to get a quick peek. Ham was positively beside himself with worry, the poor dear.
Nickel tells us the lake is quite a bit larger even than we had thought and that the tunnel continues on again high up the opposite side of the cavern. Further, and more interesting, there seems to be an “unnaturally large” stalactite hanging down directly over the center of the lake. She has discovered the source of the odd roaring sound we heard when last we were here. It comes from within the hanging formation, it seems. From somewhere inside it.
She noticed an opening a little less than mid-way up the column, though, and possible another a little lower on the opposite side. Really, this positively demands a closer peek.
November 17, 315
Ham has pulled the laborers off the dock construction and cleared the mines. He figures if we’re going to go stir up trouble, it would be best if the lay folk stayed within the keep.
For now we’ll set about and see if we can come up with some way of getting across the lake and up that column all in one piece.
We’ve wracked our minds and come up with nothing that isn’t overly foolish even for our band. In the end we’ve sent the drover off the Marikest to secure a boat for four Halflings. Which means we have to wait for it to arrive, of course.
Orc droppings, I hate waiting. Especially with a proper adventure so close at hand.
November 18, 315
Two rather wealthy men from Cauldron have come escorting their brother, a younger man afflicted with some wasting illness or other, to seek the Blessed Fountain. In their wake - an entire retinue of servants, family members and assorted hangers-on. The guards have escorted them all to and from the Fountain without incident but I fear this confirms the inevitable. Soon, once word has properly spread, the comings and goings of hordes of the ill and infirm will be a regular occurrence about our little keep.
Good heavens, what was I thinking?
November 20, 315
Well, our boat has arrived. I can’t say I look forward to boating across a lake underground but there’s nothing else for it.
We’ve had some of our far-too-well paid humans carry the boat down the tunnel to the lake for us and toss it in. Getting into the thing was a bit of a challenge, but we’ve done it. We’ve been paddling for several minutes and Nickel says we should reach the stalactite any moment. For now, I have my hands full trying to keep Perry out of the water. He loves to swim that one, but who knows what foulness might be down there?
Nickel has prepared two separate flying spells and brought along two scrolls of the same, one for each of us. We’ve already decided we’d have to lay about up there and let her recover her lightning bolts once we get there. We figure anything dangerous has probably been there a long time and can wait a bit. Besides, we simply can’t do without Nickel’s bolts.
Griffon has already gone up and Nickel is instructing Ham. In a moment I will be as ash on the updraft of a summer campfire.
I can’t wait for that to be over.
Halflings should not fly. This I can say with absolute certainty. True, I can see the advantages of being able to move about vertically and high-about. But, really, I’ll stick to climbing and sneaking from here on out.
And Perry didn’t care for the experience at all.
The platform where we are now lain is smooth and well made. And inhabited, in a sense. A frozen corpse is laying just off a few yards off from here. Griffon won’t let me get a look at it. He figures there’s likely danger nearby. I suppose the poor fellow had to die of something, after all. Me, I can’t see anything that looks like a trap from here and I certainly can’t get a better look without moving.
We are waiting for Nickel, then.
I find this place is quite cold. Frost covers everything and the mild draft coming from inside the place is quite freezing. We’ve already pulled out our extra clothing to try and bundle up a bit but I wonder if we may have to return for proper winter clothes before going on with our exploration. Poor Perry has crawled down into my backpack to huddle up, the poor dear.
The roaring sound that was barely evident from the shore of the lake is much more noticeable here. It’s not nearly as loud as it seemed from below. At the edge of our torchlight I can make out what is likely a pool with water running from above in the room beyond. There are two odd-looking statues of some sort flanking the entrance to that room also#.
November 21, 315
Our first bit of excitement and quite a dangerous one it was. Nickel gave us the nod and we crept forward a bit. I checked the entryway for dangers and found nothing obvious, so I went to have a better look at the corpse. Indeed it was fairly well preserved, it being so cold here and all. I managed to identify it as either an elf or half-bred elf before Griffon yelled out to me.
There seemed to have been two strange creatures guarding this place. Vaguely man-shaped constructs of pure ice from what I can tell. The two statues I noted earlier. They set after me, both of them, at a ground shaking lumbered pace as soon as I approached the dead man.
Ham and Griffon laid into them both with the blade, and Nickel and I with magic missiles. I think we fared better than the boys, though, really. One of the massive things managed to clip Ham a good blow and nearly knocked him down. Truly a tough fight it was and neither Nickel nor I had any fire-based magics to bring to bear, as would most likely have been more productive.
Nonetheless, we managed to shatter them both and Ham healed himself and Griffon up properly. I fear if this is the measure of danger we will face before we best this place, we might well end up making this an all-week long affair.
The dead elf, however, provided a most welcome surprise. He was positively loaded down with gold and silver. Even a few gems. Not thousands of coins, mind you, but at least a few hundred in gold altogether. And that’s not counting the gems. By my reckoning this fellow likely found his way in here, scratched out a respectable bit of loot from the place and was making his way back out when those two ice things bludgeoned him to bits. I do wonder, though, how he gained entrance to the place if not from here.
I didn’t find much of interest on the corpse otherwise. The standard tools of the trade and some rather poor gear. I did find a book, though. A journal of sorts by the looks of it. It was so old and has been frozen so long that there wasn’t much that I could make out within it, though. I can see a few large symbols writ large here and there, and some diagrams I can’t make sense of. I’ll keep it until I can take a proper look.
In the room beyond the entryway we found a circular room with four deep alcoves set into the walls. Stairs filled those to the north and south. The others, however, were somewhat disturbing. Each short walk-in alcove ended in a small window overlooking the lake below. And each was decorated with the upright frozen corpse of some poor soul. Both were human and were frozen solid with a look of utter horror on their faces. Clearly some villain held this place last, considering the taste in décor.
In the middle of the round room was a large pool with a low lip of extravagantly carved pink granite. Water fell swiftly into the pool from the center of the ceiling above. The floor, too, was quite expensive looking and tiled with bluish-grey granite slabs. The walls of the place were painted with pale colors and frescoed with images of winter wilderness. Highly decorative and fancy everything was, really. And all covered in coldest frost.
Whomever occupied this place before was either a wizard or had one on retainer. Indeed, the moment we entered the room the mouth of one of the faces decorating the pool advised us to hang our coats in the entryway. Griffon nearly wet himself.
After some debate we took the stairs up to the next level. There we found another room nearly identical to the one we had just left. This one, though, had five more rooms spread out from the central room down short halls like spokes. The one to the northwest we found was a shrine dedicated to Vecna. I may have been a bit disgusted, but not at all surprised. I hardly expected the owner of this place to be a follower of some more even-tempered deity.
I didn’t expect to find anything of interest in this room at all, but I was wrong. I searched the place thoroughly, as I always endeavor to do, but I almost missed it anyway#. Among the thousands of little colored tiles that formed the image of Vecna on the wall, I found one loose one among those forming the severed eye. Behind that, a small cache. No more than an inch or two wide and deep. I saw nothing within and nearly left it be. But as luck would have it I poke around it a bit with a stick, more out of habit than anything else#. I heard a slight, but most definite, rattle.
In the end it seems I had found something small and invisible. What it is exactly I can’t say. A small metal box, wrapped in thin bands of metal, no larger than the end of my thumb. I showed it (so to speak) to Nickel and she can’t make heads or tails of it, either. Still, if it was important enough to hide so well, and invisible on top of it all, it was obviously of some importance. I’ve secured it for now.
We found the kitchen next and some kind of nasty undead thing within as well. It leapt upon poor Griffon the moment he entered the room, but Ham waved his symbol of Kord at it and pronounced something religious sounding. It promptly shrieked and turned to dust. Quite a sight to see really.
Nothing in the kitchen at all, beyond rusted knives and such. We poked around a bit, but nothing presented itself so we moved on.
The next room around was much more interesting. A bedroom of sorts that turned out to be the master bedroom, I’m fairly sure. The furnishings were rotted nearly to rumble but we found ourselves confronted by something altogether odd. A woman-like…thing. Perhaps more specifically a woman-shaped lump of badly stitched together flesh. Admittedly, if I had walked into any other room I would likely have assumed it to be a living breathing human. Only a quick second glance, though, and it was revealed to be something far more ill.
Nickel, after a good deal of inspection, proclaimed it some manner of flesh golem. Like those “statues” that greeted us at the entrance, only fashioned from the remains of who knows how many unlucky young ladies. It seemed quite functional, from what little we could tell, but at all our attempts to provoke a response it only sat there staring at the south wall. I hesitate to speculate on the purpose of the evil thing. But judging from it’s attire, or lack thereof, I think it both obvious and utterly horrid#.
To ease my utter disgust, though, I found a chest in a hidey-hole beneath the remains of the bed. That, with a bit of picking, produced a small cache of jewelry which we divvied up and pack away.
We debated destroying the nasty golem thing, but in the end decided it best left alone.
The room to the southwest we found locked, but I picked it with little difficulty. Beyond, though, we found what was once a throne room by all appearances. All the floor, though, was littered with refuse as if it been used for a midden all these past years.
Large rats, too, we found among all the trash. At least ten of them, almost large as dogs. Olidammara knows what they fed on. We killed them all with merely a few scratches on our side. It wasn’t much of a fight, but there were just so many that we were a bit winded when it was done.
I didn’t care for taking a closer peek within the nest and rat droppings. Griffon insisted, though, and I found a meager number of copper and silver coins (dropped change, most likely) and a simple glass bottle with a cork. Not much of a show for a proper throne room, really, and hardly worth scratching about in dung. Icky.
Checking on the final room turned out to be quite a dangerous endeavor. Someone had planted an exploding rune on the wall just inside and Ham just happened to peek it out as we passed. Knocked us off right off our feet, it did. And banged us all up good, too.
The last room, once we reached it, turned out to be a fancy hallway leading to a larger set of stairs going upwards. Interestingly, the stairs themselves were absolutely choked with an odd fog filled with thick strands of something unidentifiable. Griffon again forbad me to peek it out and sent Nickel instead. She couldn’t make heads or tails of it at first, but after a while figured it maybe for the effects of both a magical fog and web. Whatever possessed someone to plant both of those spells on a stairwell I couldn’t say, except maybe to slow someone down. But that they were still quite solidly in effect after who knows how many years defied any explanation.
Griffon sent me ahead to scout and I set about doing just that, pushing as best I could through the fog and webbing. And as quickly struggling back out again, choking near to bits. Seems whoever planted those spells dropped a stinking cloud in there as well#. It is days like this that make me reconsider scouting as a career.
Still and all, it was the only way we saw to go up. So, we held our breaths and struggled through. And when we emerged choking and purple-faced we were set upon by a gang of gibbering dead, just like the one we found in the kitchen below.
The fight was a tough one at first, with the lot of us being incapacitated still from the noxious cloud. But presently Ham caught his breath and turned the wrath of Kord on them. He destroy nearly all of them. The two that fled we chased down and cut to bits as quickly as we could.
The pool in this room is identical to the two below with a pool, a column of falling water and lots of expensive granite workings. This one, though, had been decorated with gyrating little balls of colored lights as a result of a simple spell, most likely made permanent just as those on the stairwell were.
And soft, soothing music plays here as well. Quite fancy, really.
Besides the stairwell where we had fared so poorly, we found seven bedrooms. Each was locked, filled with rotten furnishings and several undead. With Ham along we did little real fighting and hardly suffered a scratch. Still, there was little loot to be found and we made short work of the entire level.
It would seem this is the highest level in the place. I dread braving that stinky stairwell again.
Once we took a moment to collect ourselves, we pushed through the stairwell again. And again we choked and sputtered upon emerging, but at least we weren’t ambushed by ghouls and such this time. We proceeded from there back down to the landing where we had entered and down the next stairwell into the level below.
There we nearly came to a most unfortunate end.
Just as the levels above, this one held a pool and waterfall. Off this main room we could see three chambers to the east. At first glance the middle one was obviously a library of sorts, while the two to the northeast and southeast were filled with all manner of odd implements and glass containers.
We had only just enough time to enter the room and take a look around before a series of solid metal doors slid quickly shut, blocking off the stairwells and the entryways to the other three rooms#. I wouldn’t be much of a scout if I hadn’t realized instantly that we were trapped and that trouble was likely coming. I immediately sprang for the door to the stairwell to set about looking for a way to bypass whatever mechanism held it shut.
The others took my cue and ran for separate doors, trying to see what they could see. It was Griffon that pointed out the small dial in the wall next to the door. Octagonal and engraved with a symbol that seemed quite familiar to me. With only a moment of inspection I discovered that the dial turned, turning the symbol as well. I guessed (correctly, as it turned out) that this was likely a combination lock of some kind.
Naturally, I was horrified. I had heard of this particular kind of lock, but had never encountered one before. Honestly, it is far too complicated a mechanism for most folks, dreadfully difficult to maintain and horridly expensive to install compared to any other kind of lock.
Picking one, however, was nearly an exercise in futility. My father had told me long ago that it required a wholly different approach to circumventing. One in which I had no training at all. “If you ain’t skilled in puttin’ the jimmy to them things, best just to get a dwarf and bang his head up against it”, my father had told me, “Yah ain’t gonna accomplish a whole lot no other way.”
By the time I fully realized just how formidable an obstacle I faced with these locks, we heard a clang from somewhere beneath the pool…and the pool itself began to rapidly overflow.
The water rose so quickly that I found myself knee-deep before I’d had a chance even to fully inspect the area around the lock. From what I could see, I’d have to tear out half the wall just to get to the mechanism driving it. Which is what my father likely meant by “banging a dwarf’s head up against it”.
Picking it was an option, of course, but without an idea how to do that I would be reduced to little more than trying random combinations. And considering the dial had eight sides that makes for eight multiplied by who knows how many turns over again…well, my math isn’t so good, but that’s a hell of a lot of combinations. And who knew how many times the dial must be turned? And in what directions?
And, of course, all of that assumed the dial even controlled the doors. Which we really had no way of knowing.
In the end, though, the familiarity of the symbol on the dial continued to bother me. Until I realized where I had seen it before. In the book I took from that dead elf upstairs. By the time the water was at my elbows, I had the book out and was flipping the pages frantically trying to find it. And, praise Olidammara, there it was. Laid out as pretty as you please, writ four times in succession and in four different orientations. I would not have been able to make it out, if I had not seen the symbol on the dial and knew what I was looking at. Better than a proper key, it was, and I was grateful for it.
In short order I had one of the door-dials spun properly and the doors all whooshed away. We had to flail about a bit to keep from being washed away down the stairs, but we managed well enough.
Perry, however, had crawled up atop my head to escape the frigid waters and was washed downstairs. I could sense he was unharmed, though a bit shook up, and he flittered right back to me quick as a flash.
Nickel inspected the rooms to the east but found little of interest to her. She had hoped to find a spell book, I think, and was quite disappointed that none could be found. We did find a wand, a couple of sealed bottles (potions, we hope) and quite a small pile of odds and ends fashioned from gold and silver. Some gems as well, embedded in various fancy objects. We found quite a few scrolls, but most were ruined from the water and the untold years of laying about in open air. Three of them were still useful, so Nickel stashed them away carefully in a scroll case in her pack.
Naturally, we were beginning to feel this little exploration was proving most profitable. Risky, sure. But less so that our past endeavors, considering the respectable haul of salvage we had managed to collect so far.
It would prove soon enough to be quite hard-earned, as it happens.
Down the last set of stairs we found yet another circular room with a pool and waterfall. This one, however, had no other set of stairs leading down from it. Obviously we had reached the base of the stalactite.
Surrounding the pool were four more “statues”, frozen men like those above and facing out from the pool with the prerequisite expressions of horror. Across from us we spied some form of sliding panel covering the entire east quarter of the room’s circumference. Likely the other entrance that Nickel had noted on her initial scouting pass.
Most interesting of all were all the dead bodies. Seven of them, by my count. Each frozen, blasted, burned or simply hewn to bits in quite a nasty display of wrath on someone‘s part. Each had been struck dead in a more horrific manner than the last, it seemed. From the clutter surrounding them it was clear that someone had looted the remains years ago and strewn their less valuable belongings carelessly about in the process.
We checked the corpses anyway and found nothing salvageable. Even the weapons and armor had long since corroded from the thin layers of ice and frost that covered everything. One particularly well-armored corpse did produce another book, nearly identical to the one I had claimed from the dead elf upstairs except for differing symbols on the cover.
Taking that and perusing it we found it to be a journal of sorts. The writing was in rather elegant Common, though almost all of it ruined. What little we could make out seemed to comprise mostly random notes by, I assume, the armored fellow. If we interpreted them correctly it seemed this group of men and elves had come here seeking to do justice to some evil wizard or other named “Abelgast“. What had occurred here it did not say, of course, as the lot of them were obviously too busy being slaughtered to bother jotting down notes on the subject.
Continuing our exploration of the room I discovered something shiny in the pool#, wedged in between two small outcroppings of natural rock just below the point where the fancy granite ended. I pointed it out Griffon and we set about trying to figure a way to get to it. It was a good five feet below the surface of the water, down into the pool where the water flowed rather swiftly down a conical hole at the bottom.
In the end I managed to persuade him to tie a rope about be and let me dive for it. Perhaps it was a bit foolish but the way I reckon it, the more loot we gather now the sooner we can all retire to the days of leisure, wine and scantily clad personal servants.
It was a tough go, but I managed to wriggle the thing loose from where it was trapped without getting myself washed away. The surface of the object was a bit slick, which didn’t make it any easier at all. But I managed to hold onto it, and my breath, until Griffon and Ham could pull me back out.
What I found in my hands when I finally got a chance to inspect it properly was likely the most horrific thing any of us had ever laid eyes to before. Even Nickel was struck dumb, right in the middle of castigating me for being foolhardy and reckless. It was a jar, roughly the size of a Halfling helmet, bound in gold trim and containing nothing less than a tiny little skull with glowing red eyes floating atop a small cloud of mist.
The thing was alive and well too, whatever it was, and it properly raged and slammed fitfully against the walls of it’s little prison. I was nearly startled enough to drop it and quickly handed the awful thing over to Griffon. We all stared in amazement at it while it worked it’s tiny self up into quite a frenzy. Despite all it’s rage it didn’t seem able to so much as scratch the jar, thankfully.
Nickel looked it over for a while but was unable to make even a guess as to what the jar was or what it contained. I, however, had heard of binding spells before. I couldn’t claim to know a great deal about them, but if I were forced to guess I would say that’s what this was. What the angry little horror was that it contained, though, none of us could say.
It seemed clear, though, that the band of dead folk around us had gone to a great deal of trouble to put whatever it was in that jar. And most likely they were attempting to toss it into the pool and down to the bottom of the lake beyond when they all got themselves killed.
November 22, 315
We are camped on the balcony on this same level, just beyond the sliding door. The area seems safe enough for now, so we will be waiting for Nickel to fashion a flying spell for me. It seems I have the dubious honor of planting pitons and ropes along the outside surface and fetching the boat. Nickel, apparently, didn’t think about getting back home when she prepared those two flying scrolls for our little expedition and we’re going to have to climb down.
Still, it shouldn’t be too hard for the others if I can manage to do it. I really haven’t the first notion how to plant a spike and fly at the same time, though.
Griffon and I are in the boat waiting for Ham to climb down. Nickel is floating just above us watching him fretfully. Her spell will probably expend itself and dump her on my head if she doesn’t get down here.
I can hear the occasional mild “thump” from Griffon’s pack now and again. Our little prisoner banging his hard head against the glass again. What we are going to do with the thing I have no idea.
We have arrived at the keep and stored our gear away. Ham and Nickel have retired to her study to see if they can find anything about this apparent binding spell amongst her meager collection of books. Griffon is checking on the keep and tending to what concerns have passed in our absence.
I have been charged with guarding the freaky little skull-in-a-jar. At the moment it is engaged in a rather amusing shrieking contest with Perry, whose taken up position atop it.
It is late but there is a bit more to do before we retire. Nickel and Ham returned from their studies with news on the matter. It seems I was right and that it is indeed a binding spell of some sort. Rather a powerful spell. What exactly it is binding was a bit of a mystery still until Griffon arrived with news on the subject. It seems he spoke with one of the old folk among the family of our guard commander. He in turn related some old tales about an evil wizard that once inhabited a cave somewhere in this very mountain. Legend has it that the wizard turned his fool self into a lich and came to be known as the Cold King (of all things). The legends further say that a band of brave and noble heroes went in there after him and never returned, though the Cold King was never heard from again.
Taking all that into account it would seem we have found ourselves in the possession of a bound lich.
November 23, 315
We all slept together last night in Nickel’s room, taking turns guarding the captive lich. We feared the creature might yet be able to manifest some manner of magic from within its prison so thought it best to keep an eye open. This morning we found nothing out of sorts, thankfully.
Nickel noted last night, though I neglected to mention it, that lichs always have something called a phylactery. This is rather central to the whole process of becoming a lich, it seems, as it houses the very soul of the evil wizard in the first place. It turns out that if one does not properly dispose of the thing (that is, to destroy it), that no matter what you do to the lich it will just come back weeks or months later. Even if you chop it to bits or grind it to dust. You’ll simply never be done with the thing.
There weren’t very many references to such things in Nickel’s book so we didn’t really have much to go on. But before we were faced with the prospect of going back to that lich’s lair and looking around again, Ham fully smacked himself on the forehead and exclaimed, “Gah! That invisible thing you found in there!”
Sure enough, it had completely slipped my mind. We set about digging it up and had quite a moment of panic when it couldn’t be promptly located. The damnable thing was less than half an inch small and invisible, for goodness sake. Eventually Nickel found a lump in the bottom of my pack and the phylactery was produced (so to speak). We are all the more confident that it is, indeed, the lich’s phylactery by it’s reaction when it realized what the invisible thing we were all handling was.
He quite literally went mad.
We’ve all gone down to the mining compound with the jar in tow. We’ve gathered quite a crowd in the process, with everyone wanting to gawk at the tiny, shrieking lich-skull in a jar. The supervisor of the mine is confident he can crush the phylactery, assuming it hasn’t any particularly good magical protections on it. In a moment we shall see.
Indeed, it was difficult discovering a manner in which to crush the little thing without losing sight of it (so to speak) in the process. But we needn’t have worried, it seems. The little box was indeed rather tough and took a bit of pounding, but the moment it finally cracked the invisibility that lay upon it was broken and it could be clearly seen. Two more hits with the huge iron hammer and it was nothing more that little bits of metal and paper.
I suppose we all expected the lich would die or disappear or something, but Nickel say no, this keeps the thing from coming back once it’s destroyed at last. Which leaves us with the problems of what in the world to do with a lich in a jar.
November 24, 315
Well, we’ve taken our cue from the dead band of lich-hunters who bound the evil thing in the first place. We truly did rack our brains for another solution but, barring opening the jar and destroying the lich ourselves (which we simply aren’t nearly capable of doing) we’ve settled on another solution.
Ham made a great show of taking a jar, wrapped in black velvet and weighted down within an iron box, down the mines and onto the lake. There, with a throng of guards, miners and assorted family members thereof looking on, he dropped it full in the middle of the lake to fall to rest at the bottom#.
Meanwhile Griffon and I have taken the real jar and buried it at the bottom of the old dried up well inside the courtyard. Griffon has given instructions that the remaining rubble that was cleared from the keep last month be tossed in the well and the top sealed over with stone and mortar. Hams says he was going to get around to having a shrine erected there anyway so this works just fine. The way we figure it, sooner or later we’ll figure a way to destroy it. Then, if needs be, we can just dig the thing back up.
Until then the freaky little thing can sit down there and shriek at the worms going by.
And so I end this journal of the expedition into the lair of the Cold King. May no over-eager burrowers happen by betwixt hither and yon.
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