The Red Hand of Doom

Chapter 8

Excerpted from, "Tales of Auntie Grub", circ. 892.

“And it was then that the brave heroes were cast into the air by the brightest light they had ever seen. Strange enough were the circumestances; and stranger still were the strangers strangely confronting them!”

“And it was in that mysterious time-out-of-time that they all met themseles. Each to its own spoke of personal, selfish glory and single-minded goals; but every one of those conjurations spoke of the same thing: the destruction of evil Tiamat and the salvation of Elsir Vale – the salvation of all of Avalon.”

“Valashinda was the first to see his subconscious; and he was told to become a god by killing Tiamat.” “Diaz thus spake that he would live as a legend; striking down all those who stood in his his way, be it the Red Hand or anyone else.” “Big Oliver Shakespeare was finally sitting down in the afterlife, preparing to eat away his sins.” “Siddartha’s mind told him to turn his back on the world of the living to escape the Devil’s Due, to cross and save the Vale.” “The brave elven warrior had spoken; he was to exact revenge on the Red Hand and Tiamat’s minions.” “And Boots…. well, nobody knows what went through Boots’s mind.”

And when the brave young warriors woke up, guess where they were? Why, little did they know it, but they had arrived at my fair abode!

Oh, and we spoke at length, we did; we traded shinies and stories; but that itself is a tale for another time. But most important, even more important than learning of Old Maid Tiamat, they learned of the tiny, simple crystal they held in their hand; no rare gem, no fancy bauble, but the very soul of a Lich; why, the Ghostlord of Fugue, even!”

“And it was then that the party, beaten and bruised, would go to the south, to return and bargain with the terrible Ghostlord. Only Siddartha dissented, who wished to keep the phylactery for himself; not out of anger or spite, but out of a misguided sense of wonder at holding the terrible trinket. The weight of a lich’s soul is a terrible one, and a lesson he had yet to learn.”

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