The name's Aly Wenkohlde, but you can just call me Aly. I'm a level 75 Mithranwarrior with a taste for reckless adventure and fine cooking. A writer for the Tribune convinced me to share my diary with everyone, so sit back and enjoy my wild escapades!
Today Ema invited me to explore the Attohwa Chasm. Not feeling comfortable with just the two of us, we decided to bring Dagg along and set out as a trio. The last time we visited the chasm, spelunking through the Maze of Shakhrami, it was just Ema and I. We trudged up towards the northeastern corner but ended up getting completely lost. After wandering around in circles in the confusing terrain and being unable to even retrace our steps to the entrance, Ema eventually teleported us out. It's times like that I'm glad Ema is a white mage--though she's such a tomboy most of the time, I almost forget what her real job is.
To our surprise and delight, Dagg had a map of the Attohwa Chasm!
He was enthusiastic about his job as map-reader before we left, but as soon as we entered the chasm, Dagg suddenly decided that "Real men don't need maps!" Apparently, the scale of the map was too large to make much sense. In any case, we had our knight in shining armor take the lead.
Attohwa Chasm is split into a west block and an east block by a deep ravine running north to south through the center of the area. Ema and I had lost our way in the east block the last time we were exploring. There is a massive rock formation known as "Parradamo Tor" on the eastern side of the chasm that people come to climb, but the monsters on that side are fairly weak.
Since the creatures on the western side were rumored to be formidable, we decided to spend the day rambling through the western half.
After walking for a time without incident, Dagg was suddenly fending off the mandibles of an ebon-shelled antlion! It had erupted from beneath the ground without the slightest warning. "Whoa! Help me," shouted Dagg, even as he taunted the creature with Provoke. "I'll teach you to ambush me, you overgrown dung beetle!"
We quickly joined the fight, wondering if the enraged Dagg really needed any help. Our many adventures together had honed our skillchains to the point where we no longer needed to signal each other to begin an attack. Even Ema chimed in with her own weapon skill, causing me to once again question her choice of profession.
We dispatched the antlion with little trouble and, encouraged by the pretty red rock and rare beetle shell we obtained, continued to lure more of the giant insects out of their underground lairs.
The sun slowly dipped below the horizon, largely unnoticed by the three of us as we concentrated on our hunt for antlions. When we finally stopped to rest, my gaze wandered skyward and I was dazzled by a breathtaking vista of stars. When I glanced at my companions, I saw that they, too, were mesmerized by the jeweled glory of the night.
This moment of awe lasted no more than a twinkle, however.
We were rudely jolted out of our silent reverie by the sudden appearance of a black-robed skeletal horror!
I had heard of these ancient terrors from the chieftainness: undead beings draped in velvet robes and amber-laden bracelets. They were known as "corses." There was even a bestiary in the Optistery that contained sketches of the creature standing before us.
The corse immediately intoned a spell that put us all into a slumber. A blow from the corse woke Dagg, who quickly used his own healing magic to rouse Ema and myself from the monster's spell. We moved a short distance to avoid the other undead creatures shambling around, and began the battle in earnest. Ema stayed well back this time to avoid another dose of somnolence.
The cures she cast were not directed at us, however. When fighting undead, Ema delighted in searing her unholy foes with curative spells. With our white mage on the offensive, Dagg and I did our best to avoid any crippling injuries as we whittled away at the corse's defenses.
The battle was going smoothly. We were taking minimal damage from our enemy's attacks and managed to interrupt its deadly spells. But as the words "This guy's not so tough" left my lips, I fell victim to the corse's Danse Macabre. "Careful, I've been charrrmed!" I shouted, my voice the only part of me still under my control. Keeping calm, Ema cast Sleep on me, but was foiled by my remaining Utsusemi. I cried out in helpless frustration as I watched myself cut Ema down. Turning next to Dagg, whose spells had not been fast enough to save our friend, I continued my relentless assault. "Aly, you have to fight it!" Dagg implored, backing up his plea with a numbing Shield Bash. The force of the blow had me stunned for a moment, but the charm prevented me from feeling any pain. "It's no good!" I shouted. "You have to take me down!" Under the combined attacks of friend and foe, the mighty Daggwi soon bled from many wounds. Even the paladin's Invincible could not save him from the corse's spells, and he eventually sank to the ground, defeated.
Still under the thrall of our undead enemy, I followed the corse as it floated away from my fallen companions. Feeling a mixture of fear and humiliation, I was taken around the side of a hill to come face-to-face with a gigantic dragon!
Its massive body was covered in sunset scales and eclipsed the hill beside us. This beast was none other than the legendary Tiamat, Wyrm of Chaos. As I felt the charm lose its hold on my body, one of Tiamat's talons slammed into the top of my head, spinning me away into blackness. It was over in the blink of an eye.
Dawn broke over the arid land and the corses disappeared, seeking shelter in their musty crypts. Tiamat still prowled her territory but was no longer close to where I lay. Once again praising the abilities of white mages, I was eventually rescued by Ema, who had been wise enough to cast Reraise on herself at the beginning of our journey. We swore to take revenge on the corses in the near future, and ended our adventuring for the day.
I privately wished for another meeting with Tiamat, but that would have to wait until I could gather another dozen friends. I had been crushed like a bug, but my encounter with a dragon of legend had definitely been a day to remember!