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Continued deeper into the vaults. Xavian picked a lock on a door, led to a large circular chamber. Floating balls of light lit the room. A wall of light on the far side had to be a portal.
Painting on the floor of three wizards, one carrying an orb, a wand and a sword. Rose from the floor, attacking us. Guardians of the portal and very strong, hurt us badly. Kal lost his physical body for awhile. The Eli remembered the password we'd been given, shouted out "Yeltonin". The wizards sank back into the floor and gave us no more trouble.
Stepped through the portal. Landed on a giant winding scroll of paper. Nothingness to the sides and above. The surface we stood on was scattered with spurting ink blots, flaming letters and crumbled heaps of paper. Xavian said the letters came from the abyssal alphabet.
Three freshly flayed zombies closed on us; they had been men from the village. Ripped into me, afraid of my radiant scimitar which struck them hard. We pushed one over the side; he fell into the emptiness. Moments later he dropped from above back onto the paper floor with us.
Finished off the zombies and crept up the strange scroll. Heavy book floated at the end, the Codex of the Damned. Shar-thom stood there reading from it. Said he'd flay us too, add our skins to the codex to escape from the vault.
Used his magic on Xavian, attacking his face. We struck back, Xavian, Kal and myself pinning him against the edge of the scroll. Unable to shoot magic at us, Shar-thom jumped over the edge. Before he fell back onto its surface, I shouted to quickly grab the floating codex, the source of this power. We ran back down the scroll, passing it to Eli. Shar-thom returned to see our warlock summon a giant fiery hand and throw the book back through the portal.
He was enraged, but weakened a little. We traded blows, wore each other down. My healing powers were exhausted. We used our healing bells and potions, and the vitality potion Xavian found. Xavian was still knocked down and nearly killed. Eli landed the final blow, not a moment too soon!
Returned through the portal. Performed the ritual on the codex, wrote a prayer from the book we found using the magical liquid and quill. Vaults fell quiet, background whispering of ghosts and zombies stopped. Slept another night in the safe room with our rescued guard to recover our strength before heading out.