Choose Your Own Adventure 123: To The Rescue
Your choice from last time was to first attempt to rescue Thedane Lehhev, your old friend.
You calmly ignore the uproar, quietly pretending that it’s not your problem. You’re just going about your business. The guard you just spoke to even leaves you to it.
You stride confidently through corridor after corridor, occasionally acknowledging a passer-by with a nod. You choose your pace deliberately. Just fast enough to indicate that you have business here and should not be stopped, slow enough to avoid appearing afraid or nervous.
The interior is much as your remember it. The areas more likely to be trafficked by people of importance — not guards — still have the historical tapestries and the ornamental lanterns and heavy rugs. In the servants’ passages, everything is far more functional. Your boots make gentle tapping noises on stone worn smooth by many people who walked here before you.
Conveniently, the passage leading down to the small palace dungeon is less heavily guarded than usual. You don’t know the latest password here, but approaching the lone man, and then quietly knocking him out, is trivial. Hauling him and his armor down the flight of stairs to the first convenient closet takes a bit more effort.
The dungeon is dim and cool, but dry. Any other guards who might have been here seem to have left, but you can’t count on being left alone long. Eventually, someone will wonder what happened to the guard currently sleeping off the spell you cast on him. And when he wakes, he will wonder what happened to his keys.
Keys which you currently hold still, to avoid making any excess noise. The dungeon, such as it is, is quite small. It is generally used for political prisoners, or the rare person the Emperor wishes to be able to view personally. It has only a few cells, but they are all relatively comfortable. The main difference between a cell and a richly furnished room is the ability of the occupant to open the door.
Even better for you, only one of the four cells is occupied. A glance through the door’s lone slit makes that much clear. With some effort, you disentangle the warning spell that is supposed to be triggered when the door is opened, and unlock it. The key also unlocks the spell that limits the prisoner’s ability to work magic…
You push the door in. Thedane Lehhev stares at you, wide-eyed. “Is it that time already?” he asks, a note of pleading in his voice. He stands as though you interrupted him while he as pacing, hands stuffed into his pockets. The bed in one corner of the room does not appear to have been used.
“Don’t celebrate yet. We still have to get you out of here.”
He stares at you for a moment. “Severel?”
He murmurs on oath. “We’ve got to get both of us out of here.”
“Yes. Can you make yourself invisible enough to avoid detection at the gates?”
“Maybe,” he says. “But before I do that, I’ve got to tell you something.” He gets himself together, and follows you out of the cell. “Good riddance,” he mutters. “Look, they took the book you gave me when I was arrested. Oblivion. It’s a very appropriate name for the spell.”
“Can you undo it?”
“I’m not sure. I hadn’t had enough time to study it. But I have a better idea of how it works, and what it is likely to do.”
“It is definitely tied to the Oblivion canyon on the frontier. Nasty place. The spell requires two targets, who end up being essentially interchangeable. At least one of them must be someone who has betrayed the other. This traitor, when consumed by the mists in the Oblivion canyon, completes the spell.”
“I got that much. What happens when the spell is finished?”
Lehhev swallows. “I’m not entirely sure, but at a guess… the mists cease to exist, and the canyon no longer destroys anyone who enters it. But those effects are in place to keep something else trapped there. Whatever that is, it either joins with or falls under the control of the surviving target. And the trapped something else is… I doubt it’s actually an ancient god of evil and chaos, but that’s what the book says.”
Option 126: Flee the palace with Lehhev. It’s obviously a bad idea to stick around.
Option 127: Get Lehhev out, but then come back to confront the Emperor directly.
Option 128: Take Lehhev with you, and confront the Emperor together.
Option 129: With Lehhev’s assistance, attempt to rally the guards to your side. Perhaps they can be persuaded that the Emperor is acting against the Empire.