Planescape: Center of All

Book 1; Chapter 12: Ferez Hunter

Ferez had been having some success acting as a guide in Gatherhold. The lands surrounding the city were largely untamed and dangerous, and with lots of indigenous halfling tribes living in the area there were many opportunities for misunderstandings to make travel a deadly affair, so Ferez was doing well.

His reputation was such that when a trio of well-to-do explorers arrived in the area, they asked for him. A wizard, his wife—a sorceress—and their warforged bodyguard had arrived from Sharn, and were looking for someone to get them to and from the Crypt of Crimson Stars, where they hoped to recover the Crimson Shard.

The money was good, so after supplying up the four of them were headed toward a bluff along the coast of Lake Cyre. On the way to their destination, the volatile nature of at least one of their number became apparent when a starving pack of wild dogs decided to try their luck on the explorers. The warforged proved to be the warrior they claimed it was, and the wizard proved resourceful, but the sorceress turned out to be something of a reckless sadist, setting the dogs ablaze in the middle of the dry fields, nearly starting a massive regional fire.

Eventually the party located the mound on their map, and immediately spotted a complication. A halfling tribe was camped on top of the bluff, and they had to avoid a party of mounted scouts to get close. Eventually they were able to locate the entrance to the crypt, and sneak in.

Inside the crypt, Ferez spotted several grick hiding in the shadows. The warforged began to take care of the creatures, but the noise of the fight drew the attention of the Manticore lairing in the crypt—the reason the grick were hiding in the first place.

Once the beasts were slain, the party pushed further into the mound until they finally came to a chamber roofed with what looked to be red glowing star-like formations on the ceiling. The decorations turned out to be traps, a discovery made only when the party was well into the room.

Crimson Shades formed from the points of light, and attacked the party. The warforged was slain in the battle, and the wizard was able to teleport away with his unconscious wife, but Ferez was trapped on the other side of the chamber and forced to go deeper in to save his life.

Eventually he came to a dead end, occupied with a sarcophagus. Opening the tomb, he was able to discover a secret passage which eventually lead to the infinite staircase. Such a place being inherently disturbing in nature, he took the first door on a landing that he came across, and met Jeremiah.

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Mortuis

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