Back in the Abyss...
You are currently well fed and awake. You are on the first level of the Abyss at some distance of the entrance. It is the first day of your imprisonment and you guess that it is currently evening.
Carrying a lit torch, you're now moving your first steps in the hellish dungeon with the fuzzy feeling you've already done that before.
Soon you come across a backpack and some bones near the front of another locked sturdy door. The bones appear to be one of a fighter. Since you didn't see any creature in this area yet, you wonder a moment about what happened here and what enemy or disease brought that person to death and despite your respect for the fighter's possessions, you become excited and open the backpack. Inside it, you find some interesting goods: a rune bag, a few rune stones, an old red tarnished key and a ragged scroll.
You try the key that hopefully unlocks that sturdy door nearby and thinking that things could be worse, you're feeling a bit better now. But before you open the door, you store the rune stones in their bag and you look again at the scroll... You're feeling a little sick about reading it but after a few minutes you consider that perhaps that scroll could hold information that may save your live.
You open the scroll, which looks like a letter. Sure that no one can hear you, you begin to read: "My dearest Alfred: Go into the Abyss knowing that I will not forget thee. As bitter the baron justice dost seem, tis better than a hangman's noose. No matter the passing of years, I will await thy return. Yours forever, Sandra".
As soon as you ended, a soft, nostalgic and worried voice of a female startles you in fright: "Alfred! Is that you?" the voice said. Surprised but ready for anything, you turn back drawing the only dagger you found later at the entrance.
The blue glowing ghost of a young and beautiful woman is quietly heading your way! As she approaches, her face filled with hope quickly turns to sadness and regrets. This leads you to the conclusion that she's pacific. Thoughtfully, you put down your weapon.
GHOST: "I'm really sorry! I did not mean to surprise you! This is the first time I hear someone reading that letter since I'm trapped here..."
AVATAR: "I suppose you are trapped like me, but I can't see why since you look like a ghost and ghosts are known to walk across anything!"
GHOST: "A ghost? Ah, yes... with all those years I do sometimes forget I am one. As far as I can remember, this is even the first time I can talk to someone, at least, a human... Can you see me? I mean, until now, I was unable to show myself... er, my spirit to anyone except other ghostly forms like me or in the visions of some weird mage, can't remember his name either..."
AVATAR: "Yes, I can see approximatively where you are. Let's say about four or five steps in front of me..."
GHOST: "This is great! I guess I'll never feel alone again... Are you still upset about my intrusion in your path?"
AVATAR: "Forgive it. I was alone, surround by darkness and you came from nowhere worrying about my first impression... I really did not expect this and to tell you the truth, I feared I'll never feel how good it is to find a friend in those circumstances..."
GHOST: "Thank you stranger! You give me some warmth... It is so seldom in my cold universe, you know... By the way, is it the first time you talk to a ghost?"
AVATAR: "No, I've encountered many ghosts in my adventures, some were good others were badly evil. It took a few years but I learned to communicate with ghost all by myself, don't know how I've got that strange ability, maybe I'm born with it.
GHOST: "This is wonderful! Let me introduce myself: My name is Sandra and I'm... er... I was Alfred's girlfriend before that crazy Baron thrown him in this pit."
AVATAR: "I am known as the Avatar. The Baron Almric « sent » me here to rescue his daughter, Arial."
SANDRA: "It's been so long since we wait for the arrival of the Avatar... but I know you're telling the truth, I can feel it. You're not like those Outcasts who are complaining about crimes they did not commit all the time. Too bad I can't confront them..."
AVATAR: "The Outcasts?"
SANDRA: "This is the name given to the human outsiders that have come here after Cabirus death or so I heard. That name remain and is still in use these days..."
AVATAR: "Interesting... You told me earlier that you are trap like me... Is there anything preventing you for getting pass those heavy doors?"
SANDRA: "Yes, an old and powerful spell is sealing these doors permanently... Me and my ghostly friends tried everything to get pass those doors but all our efforts were in vain... I know nothing about that spell, neither my friends..."
AVATAR: "But did you see a Troll carrying a massive sac on his shoulders recently?"
SANDRA: "Not really, I was « sleeping » in an another dimension near the entrance until you woke me up and brought me back to that sickning reality..."
AVATAR: "How so?"
SANDRA: "The mage I was talking about earlier told me in his session of spiritism how to set a rune of Warding on the letter you've just red..."
AVATAR: "Did someone else read that letter before I did?"
SANDRA: "Well... Not exactly... To tell you the truth, a few people touched my letter... I came to them as I did to you... They did sense my presence but they couldn't see or hear me at all... They simply thought they were cursed 'cause they opened the backpack or else they feared the place was haunted... So, they all acted like crazy and ran away..."
AVATAR: "I see... but you did not tell me yet how you came here?"
SANDRA: "My story is a sad one... I told you that Almric has thrown my beloved Alfred here but I did not mention why... Well, a few years ago, Aldred was Almric's Captain of the guards. In those days, Almric was a good man and I still think he is but a stranger came from the north of the island to enroll himself as a guard... Soon, he proves to Almric he was worthy of his rank but somehow I knew he was looking for much more... One day, he took so much influence at the court that he gain total control of the island... Almric was still Almric but from this very moment, he never took another important decision without asking that man..."
AVATAR: "Do you still remember his name?"
SANDRA: "Oooh no! Why are you asking? I wish I never learned that name! Well, his name was... Corwin!"
AVATAR: "Ha! The same man who locked those heavy doors behind me!"
SANDRA: "Whaaat!? He's still the Captain of the guards? Curse be his name!!"
AVATAR: "Yes, he's still the Captain of the guards but when he brought me before Almric, he did not show any influence at all."
SANDRA: "That's what you think! That's because the decision was already taken before Corwin dragged you to Almric... The rest is just like a comedy show!"
AVATAR: "Yes, this could be a possibility. I'm beginning to think that your guess is right."
SANDRA: "A guess? You don't know Corwin as much as I do!"
AVATAR: "Talking of guesses, I'm doing one on the continuation of your story: Corwin planned to take Alfred's place and in order to to this, he convinced Almric that Alfred was a kind of traitor, right?"
SANDRA: "That's it! In the night before Alfred received his punishment, Corwin did not let me see him for a last time. So, I barely passed the guards and managed to put some valuable things in the backpack Corwin would give to my dearest Alfred including that letter..."
AVATAR: "You said in the letter that you shall wait for him no matter the passing of years but you changed your mind, did you?"
SANDRA: "I... I was completely out of my mind when I wrote that! A few days later, I've got the terrible feeling that I could never accept the way I've let my love go like this... So, I've fake to play in Corwin's playground... this was enough to be accused of treason myself!"
AVATAR: "And you finally got what you've wanted so much: Live the rest of your life with Alfred no matter the cost even if both of you never see the sun again!"
SANDRA: "I know but, come to think of it, I still believe that True Love deserve some sacrifices, even this one!"
AVATAR: "I supposed you're right but things were not as you expected..."
SANDRA: "I'd never thought the Abyss was so deadly... there are so many nasty creatures around... I can still remember the worst scene I could imagine... A huge spider was threatening a poor fighter at this very place... I've yelled at the beast and faced it! The battle was terrible but I've finally succeed in defeating it... Yes, you can say I was fortunate in slaying it, but that was too late for the fighter..."
AVATAR: "And then?"
SANDRA: "OOOOOOhh! Alfred, I would like so much to tell you how I miss you!!!"
SANDRA: "And then, since I could already feel the poison of the beast in my blood, I thought that by dying right now I could follow the spirit of my love, reach him and be happy with him forever... But for some reason I raised as a ghost instead... It's like a kind of punishment for letting myself die here... It's... It's so unfair!"
AVATAR: "And now, you can't leave this place... But, if you could do some honorable deed then... then perhaps you could leave this world..."
SANDRA: "You're speaking like that weird mage..."
AVATAR: "Where did you meet that mage?"
SANDRA: "There is a kind of settlement on the sixth floor originated from the city of Moonglow..."
AVATAR: "As I expected, you did some explorations and you look like you know this place quite well... this could be useful..."
SANDRA: "Are you asking me to help you in your quest?"
AVATAR: "Yes, and perhaps this way you could leave... Besides, the task is simple enough: save Arial and bring her back to her father. I must make haste and I think it would take me days to find a decent armor and weapon... How can I be sure she'll still be alive when I'll reach her?"
SANDRA: "Of this I can't tell you... but..."
AVATAR: "Eeeeeh! Where... where are you... going?!"
SANDRA: "They're still there! You'll find some leggings behind that wooden door at the corner. There's also a huge rat but it won't attack you unless you touch its hoard!"
AVATAR: "Good! I definitively think you can help me and..."
SANDRA: "You think... that if I help you in your quest... you really think that I could leave this pit!?"
AVATAR: "If this is not enough, I'll make you gain your paradise somehow..."
SANDRA: "Say no more! We have a deal then?"