Cornelius Journal 1
I’m not one for words, writing this stuff down just doesn’t work for me, but you wanted an account of what happened, so I’ll give it to you. You already know how I got the map, that bastard got off light considering what we saw down in that cairn. I almost wonder sometimes whether or not he was the lucky one to hand that map over to me. Xan identified the map, Lib ensured we weren’t bothered by the rivals and Mom, well Mom came along for the fun.
We got to the office and set up, our trek had been quiet enough, headed to the unknown will do that to you. I’ve acquainted with these folks for a good while but I only know Liberty. She’s a spit-fire to be sure, but I wonder what I was thinking bringing her into this. If she gets hurt Constance will have my head for sure, and I would deserve it. The kid keeps getting herself into the thick of it and it’s gonna be the end of me. Couldn’t leave her out though, not after asking her to go and lie to that pack of dogs that want this haul for themselves.
We headed up and I’d swear Xan kept eyeing me. He was skittish about the prospect of an unexplored cairn at first, the dangers it presents and all that; but I swear I could hear the sound of gold coins clinkin’ in his head the closer we got to the entrance. I hoped he was up for this, none of us were experienced so to speak, and if we wanted to get out of this with riches intact, we needed to keep our wits. I wasn’t going to die foolishly if I could help it, and I wasn’t going to let Lib do the same.
Mom, well, I’ve fought Mom, fought alongside Mom, drank with Mom, been dragged out of fights by Mom and been patched up by Mom. Nothin’ much to say about him other than he’s a good sort. I didn’t know him from anyone else other than the fact that he’s good in a pinch and keeps quiet, which I liked. So there we were, about to throw our lives to fate, and we took that step into the dark.
Xan kept his eyes peeled as we moved forward into the darkness, we lit our way and kept on, pushing past graffiti and cobwebs. Not much to see early on, just some blankets and some rubble. Lib, excitedly decided to keep up front with myself and Xan, which proved to be a mistake considering that hungry wolves will jump on the first morsel they can find. Damn things caught us off guard and bit a raggedy hole in Lib’s arm taking her to the ground, same for Xan. I didn’t want to fall to these animals, so fire in the hole and I lit them aflame. I took to the bigger one next and beat it senseless with my hands, while Mom cared for the others.
We found some mirror shards, air element my learning told me, owned by whoever controlled this place once, and carried on. Next up was the room sporting the murals. Xan found a lantern that looked similar to the lanterns in the murals and we looked overlong at this piece of art. Mom and I stepped back uninterested after a while but Xan and Lib were overly excited and lingered. Eventually we headed our way further in to find ourselves in the room depicted by the mural. Colored hallways and lanterns all around us (sans red). Xan checked out the tomb in the middle and realized we could rotate it, so I did. The dais turned with little difficulty, and once I pointed it toward a green-lit hall a rumble shook.
We scrambled to see what caused it and found the hole in the hall had opened nearly swallowing us in, then came the scurrying and we dove back. Xan took action and threw his lamp down, and I knew it was time for more fire. Insects erupted from the opening, swarming out and we set fire to them, bombs and oil-fire torched the critters to ash leaving acid burns behind. Then the real horror, something unidentifiable crawled up and out, an eye on legs, and decided to pick another fight. We closed in and pummeled the thing while Lib stayed back for support. A few swings in and it crumpled, beat. I eyed it as the others explored, this thing wasn’t natural, not of this realm, not right. Then I heard the others talking about the sarcophagus lid and wanting to open it.
I went to the sarcophagus and Xan professed its safety and that we hadn’t checked it out yet. I felt unease at this and looked down at the stone lid I was about to force open for lack of a better method. Everyone seemed secure in Xan’s idea of security so I heaved, shoved the thing open, and caught a face-full of crackling heat. Fire erupted and I pulled away in time to just lose the eyebrows and looked to Xan with a frown. “Safe huh?”