Dalzion – Dwarven Cleric - John
Kuraileon – Eladrin Wizard – Me
As the rest of the party were no-shows, it was left to Dalzion and me to continue the quest. As our main objector to delivering the chest and leather case was not present, I suggested we could change our objectives and just take them back. We decided it was unfair though, so we stuck with the plan: find out what was in the chest. I’d already looked in the leather case and found a staff.
So, there we were, in the middle of a pile of bandit corpses amongst flaming tents and blood-soaked sand. We had with us several chests that I had acquired, along with the official quest chest and leather case. We also had with us five of the soldiers we had rescued, the unconscious form of Kimiriel, the battle-mage who had led the soldiers, and three other people who had been tortured past the breaking point, and were now vacant huddles off to one side. Seraphim had wandered off, perhaps to finish off the survivors.
We had to get everyone back safely, I decided, although Dalzion the cleric wanted to put the broken souls out of their misery. I reasoned that since the Crystal Palace was home to one of the largest schools of healing magic in the world, there might be someone there who could help. Before we set out, we spent some time looting bodies and gathering supplies. We found all sorts of weird and wonderful objects around the place, including a rather interesting Shadow Shield, which could prove very useful eventually.
Since everyone was caked in dirt and blood, I decided to be kind and use some Prestidigitation to clean everyone up. This was when the trouble started. It seemed that there had been an unstable magical field in the area that had been storing up excess magic throughout the previous battle. Now, with the liberal amounts of magic I was spewing out everywhere, it overloaded. In each of the four cardinal directions, a red glowing line appeared which then detonated. I would have been unconscious instantly had I not dived quickly to the side. The soldiers I was attempting to clean up were not so lucky. Two were engulfed in flames and the other two were thrown back by the heat. Dalzion hurried over to tend to their wounds, and managed to save one, but could not put out the fire on the other one, who died screaming in agony.
The soldiers stayed well away from me from then on. As soon as our backs were turned they ran for their lives, and we have not seen them again yet. I figured out with my magical senses that the field was partly caused by a very magical rock some distance beneath me. Curiosity overtook my sense of danger and I immediately looked for the most practical way to dig down. Naturally, a shovel was out of the question. Magic was the easiest solution. I had just gained the power called Wall of Fire, and Marius declared that I could use it down into the sand to bury down a distance. I gave all my magical items to Dalzion, including my armour, so that there would be no risk of them being damaged in my attempt. I cast Tenser’s Floating Disk so that I would have something safe to stand on and then, in my underwear in the desert night, cast the spell in as tightly controlled a manner as I could manage straight down.