12 - Seven Months

Chapter 11: Seven Months

After a short respite we headed into the tunnels below the great mountain and were almost immediately attacked by a group of frog-like creatures. We killed their leader and were promptly hailed as champions and masters by the rest.

Among those bowing to us was the shaman of the tribe, one Zikomo. The fellow insisted we drink his Vision Juice which proved an intoxicating experience during which I apparently communicated directly with Asmodeus.

Zikomo knew our names and told us of the cave with blue slime and that it was key to our success in the mountain. At the time I thought him merely a besotted drunk and, while that impressions was factual, he turned out to have some power and direct communication with his God, Dagon

The aftereffects of the Vision Juice left us passed out in the caves for some time and it was Zikomo who eventually aroused us. We then headed outside and found that the tree creature had apparently left leaving the path up the stairs to the main temple open to us.

The entire place was badly ransacked and in disrepair with apparently no creatures alive anywhere. There were a few strange sites but it wasn’t until we nearly reached the apex that an Unlife creature calling himself Ezra Thrice-Damned contacted us.

Ezra explained that it was he who slew the first Knot that approached and learned of our interest in finding the Tears of Achlys which involved releasing Vetra-Kali.

Ezra was most congenial although clearly a fanatical devotee of Vetra-Kali. I knew instantly that he was untrustworthy but there nothing to be done but accept him as a guide. He led us to the final floor where a pair of guardians Hexor and Vexor allowed us past. The two demons were erudite, witty, educated, and homicidally violent. An interesting combination and over the next few months I learned to appreciate their unusual sense of humor.

Ezra explained the ceremony necessary to free Vetra-Kali. I cannot deny that I was dismayed that it would take more than seven months to complete. My only hope was that we could somehow keep our presence in the Horn of Abbadon a secret thus not attract the attention of Aroden worshippers to our plan. As I’ve said before, hope is a cruel mistress.

Ezra also suggested that we find the Three Eyes of Vetra-Kali to offer the demon upon his release so as to get the Tears of Achlys and have Him spare our lives as well. Ezra had one of the three but did not know the location of the other two although strongly suspected they were still within the confines of the Horn.

Our next plan was to find the Eyes and also the text for the three ceremonies would we need to perform for two-hundred and twenty-two consecutive days. Then there was the minor complications of the sacrifices.

12 - Seven Months

Way of the Wicked tomlib