The Flame of Time

To What Length Part II

A Witch's Teat, Devils Suckle There.

The party, after a long while of musing over the statue’s riddle gain entry into the ancient subterranean temple. They walk into a large wide and vaulted room with columns. Embedded into the walls were glass encasements containing centuries old specimens of ghastly and antiquated arcane experiments.
“Ahh…welcome.” A voice said from a room directly infront of the party from which a gray light was emitting. Then out stepped a small old woman not wearing much clothes and with wooden legs.
“What do we have here? The little girls who’s parents spent more time pursuing time magic than their own daughters? Did that leave you two damaged at all? Had to grow up faster than you wanted to, one stands in the light and hides her pain the other skulks in the shadows to hide hers.” The witch paced.
“And scoundrel of Al’handra…don’t bring fleas into my temple. You are far from the moon, pup. It is suiting, your parents left you in the wilderness like a diseased mutt, why do you think your father left you?” She laughed.
“The elf who’s mother has more love for someone she’s never met than for her own daughter…and now with an added demon to haunt her. You are almost as fiery as your mother.” The witch stepped towards them.
“And the miner…I hope your new stone body helps you carry the weight of the lives of those 14 dwarves that you carry on your shoulders. Been back home lately?” The witch said this.
“Who are you?! And how do you know who we are?” Screamed Leomourn.
“I am Malifustal, and I know you all because when you enter my land you relinquish your dreams unto me. I rode on each one of your backs during the witching hour and eat your dreams…some of them were more delicious than others.” She said with a smirk.
“Look lady, we were told to come here to get a locket, that you supposedly have, now just kindly hand that over and we’ll leave.” Delgen said.
“Hah, are you working for that little Mind Flayer? He asks you to get a necklace and you just go on a whim? I don’t know why everyone is so afraid of him anyway, he writhes in his sleep like a child. He is haunted more than many I have ridden. His dreams are filled with one called Langston Cavendish.”
“Langston C—” Delgen started.
“—I find it hard to give you anything after you lot trespass into my temple and murder most of my servants, now a trade would be more likely.” The witch said.
“Look we just want the locket.” Said Amarella.
“Give me that shiny little orb of yours and I will give you this locket and all the lockets in the world.” The witch said with a smirk and a laugh.
“Fine!” Leomourn screamed. “Give her the orb.”
“So eager, just like your father. I remember it just like it was yesterday making a deal with your father.”
“Where is my father?” Leomourn asked.
“He is with my sister, at the bottom of the Lake above.”
“You bitch!” Leomourn screamed.
“Leomourn! We can’t let her have the orb!” Amarella said.
“Give it to her and we can get it from her dead body.” Leomourn whispered.
Leomourn grabbed the Godeye and tossed it high in the air towards the hag. He then loosed many arrows in the direction of the hag. There was a battle as the witch loosed evil magic bolts, but eventually the party took the witch down to her knees. During the battle Delgen had stepped back to play a tune on a small flute he carried around his neck, shortly after the ground behind the witch started to rumble and move. Then Molly, Delgen’s bulette burrowed from under the ground and bit the witch’s head and shoulders off. Molly curled into the corner of the room and started chewing on her new dinner.
“Good girl.” Delgen said as he walked over to the body of the witch. He searched her body. He found the locket on her body. As Delgen was searching the body the others looked around the room. Of to one side was a portal, which now within the room they could tell was the source of the grey light. Within a stone arch was a milky portal to a black and white realm. Amalyn pushed on the wall in a certain area, and a door opened.
“This portal must lead to The Gray Wastes.” Delgen said after peering into the portal and rubbing his beard.
“What gave it away? The Gray?” Leomourn asked.
“You wouldn’t understand, a lot of clerical observations and calculations go into correctly identifying one of the nine realms of Hell. I could try to explain but your heathen mind would not handle it if if could even keep up.” Delgen said.
“It was all the gray.” Leomourn said.
“We found something.” Said Darella, whose voice came from down the hidden hall the elf had found with her mystical senses.
“It seems that this is an ancient temple devoted to Anthraxus—” Amalyn said as the two men walked into the hall.
“I knew that.” Delgen said. Amalyn rolled her eyes and continued.
“It seems Kval was a powerful wizard who studied the planes, as you can tell from his desk and books here. His notes tell of his endless obsession with the planes. It also mentions his wife’s suicide. He worked furiously to finish his portal and opened it to The Gray Wastes, the realm of suicides. He went into the portal to go get his wife, and it seems never returned.”
“This seems like his last note, it explains that he was going into the portal to get his wife. It also says that if you are reading it, it means he never came back. It goes on to explain that the portal he constructed will open every seven years for seven days, he says if he could not for one survive let alone find his wife and persuade her to return within the seven days he had, he doubted he would return at all. He asks his friends to pray for his soul and Liurella’s soul. There is a bit about sealing the portal forever and he says there is a scroll that has the spell to do in his chest by his desk.” Darella said.
“I guess he never came back and when the other wizards left this temple it just fell into ruin. I guess this hag found the portal on the other side and has been using it since.” Delgen said.
“Now that we have the locket, we need to find my father. She said he was at the bottom of the lake. We need to find him.” Leomourn said.
“If he is still alive.” Delgen said.
After Darella walked through the portal and came back eyes wide and mouth closed, Amalyn cast the spell to permanently seal the portal and they all walked back out of the temple to the surface.
“How will we go down there.” Leomourn asked.
“Let me.” Delgen asked Amalyn to cast light on a coin, he took it from her hand and walked into the lake. He swam to the center of the lake waved and turned to stone and sunk out of sight.

After a few minutes Delgen walked out of the lake without Haradon and with out the coin. He walked to the rest of the group and said nothing.
“What happened?” Asked Leomourn.
“What is that on your chest!?” Asked Amalyn. Pointing at a large bronze nail that was protruding from Delgen’s chest above his heart. A glowing sigil was carved into the head of the nail.
“There is a second hag down there. Her beast entangled me and pulled me down to the center of the lake. I dropped the coin and when it fell down below me, I saw that there is a whole drowned city down at the bottom of the lake. The beast pulled me in front of one hut, this hut was fenced in by petrified men and elves and animals of all sizes. Within that hut I saw the eyes of men peering from the windows of the hut. There must have been anywhere from twenty to fifty of them, they stared at my longingly full of fear. They were white and rotten from the time underwater. Then the hag swam infront of me and hammered this nail into my chest. She said that it is an ancient magic cast on the nail and that if I remove it I will die, she said if I revert into my flesh form it will burst my heart. She said she would remove the nail and give me your father.” Delgen said without looking up at all.
“Yeah, so where is he?” Leomourn said?
“I have to give her what she wants first.” Delgen said.
“And what is that?” Darella asked.
“She wants me to bring Kayriz, in exchange.” Delgen said.
“Who is Kayriz?” Leomourn said.
“The groom-to-be, he was to marry that elf maiden within the week.” Said Amalyn, looking in the direction of the tent in which they saw the elf walk earlier the other day.
After much debate the group decided to steal away the elf under the oath that they would free him later and the others in the hut. Amalyn cast a silence spell over the elf’s tent, grabbed the boy and took him to the lad to the water, the hag appeared at the surface of the water, she pulled the man down with her after kissing him.
“Come with me if you want what is yours.” The water hag said to Delgen.
Delgen walked into the lake. At the bottom of the lake she pulled the nail from his chest not without pain. She then swam to one of the petrified men in her yard. She kissed the statue of a man, which lifted the stone curse and the man immediately started to drown at the bottom of this drowned city.

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