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A Fascicle of Fafnirs

Drusilia’s Journal

Freeday, Planting 21, 592 CY

We have had 10 fairly restful days. Ghelt spent some time instructing Trap on some of the finer points of combat (but not necessarily getting him to know when to enter combatů), Fafnir’s house had smoke and the sounds of nervous chickens wafting from it (but he apparently produced some handy potions during his stay) and Valon has been wowing the locals with his bardic lore and songs. I’ve handled what few clerical duties were needed of me— mostly helping the locals with bumps and bruises, and answering one somewhat urgent sounding request for an “exorcism” which, once I found out the request led me to Fafnir’s house, I realized wasn’t necessary. We’ve met a few times at the Rat’s Egg Tavern to look over our cryptic map, and have a good idea at least of which direction to head in.

The morning of the 20th arrived and we were ready to depart. As we discussed how much our supplies would weigh, we realized a pack animal of some sort was needed. We acquired a mule (or “The Mule” as Fafnir calls it) and enough food for a several-week journey. Our map looks to be taking us 100 miles, mostly through the Barrier Peaks.

The journey to the foothills near the peaks was uneventful, and as the sun was near to setting we came to a small farmhouse and barn. Thinking to ask to use the barn to pass the night in, we walked to the front door of the farmhouse to get the owner’s permission. The door was ajar, and we could see the furniture in disarray inside, as well as patches of sticky redness on the floors. A quick search of the house and barn turned up no one alive. Not knowing much of the local flora and fauna prompted us to vote on looking for the owner immediately or when the sun rose. We ended up spending the night under a tree about 100 yards from the barn.

The night went quietly, and soon after dawn we had a quick meal of rations and then found a very obvious trail through the trampled plant-life heading in a westerly direction. We had Trap scout ahead of us, all the while keeping a lookout for what made the trail. The footprints were of two sizes: really, really big and slightly smaller than our own. Clearly something (or someone) had been dragged along the trail, and the creatures who left the prints were either too confident or too stupid to cover them.

After a long hike, we eventually came to a cave entrance. Sneaking in, we walked single-file, quietly, until -thud!- Trap tripped over a tripwire, sending something clanging in the distant tunnels. We quickly hauled ourselves back out into the sunlight, and waited. After what seemed like an eternity we were rewarded with the appearance of a goblin archer, which we quickly dispatched. We entered the cave again, more carefully this time, and made it to a large intersection in the tunnels, where we met up with half a dozen goblins and an ogre! Valon attempted to tumble past the ogre so Ghelt and the rest of us could get into the open area to fight, and was knocked down. Lying there, clearly stunned, he started to sing a rousing battle song. I blessed the party as Ghelt waded into combat, and was eventually able to get a shot in at the ogre with my bow. As luck would have it, the ogre had the help of a goblin cleric and began to get up again. So Fafnir finished off the goblin cleric with a nice fiery spell, and then fried the ogre. Things seemed to be getting better, when we noticed that Valon had ceased his song. By now, he was being dragged back through the ranks of goblins. How would I get to him in time? Luckily, Ghelt’s tutoring of Trap paid off well, and he was able to pick off most of the goblins so I could pass and get to Valon before he disappeared down a tunnel. Since I had my new bow out rather than my sword, I had to act fast, so I kicked the goblin dragging him. I kicked him hard. I kicked him in such a fashion that he (for it was now apparently that he was a he) doubled over, squeaked, and passed out. Some quick healing to Valon brought our fighting ability back up to full, and off we chased after Ghelt and Fafnir, while Trap picked off the remaining goblins.

As we came around the corner things got confusing. In addition to a large group of goblins, there was an equal number of Fafnirs, all standing around looking identical. I tried to heal a few more of my comrades while they took out the remaining goblins, and poor Valon shot an arrow through the combat, attempting to hit a goblin. He hit a Fafnir. And of all the Fafnirs in the room, he managed to hit the real one. In the same spot the poor gnome had been hit by Trap just 10 days ago. Luckily, Fafnir doesn’t seem to hold grudges.

After the dust settled and all the goblins were dead, we explored the rest of the (rather stinky) chambers of the cave. One had a pit full of very dead and decayed things (in which I fear the farmer we’d looked for the night before had ended up), a filthy bedchamber, and a small storage room filled with somewhat cleaner “treasure.” As Trap opened the door to this room of treasure, a hail of needles shot out of a trap at him. Not to be dissuaded, he ignored them and looked around in the room. We found an iron box. Trap attempted to open it, but his lock pick broke in the lock. I used a minor spell to mend his pick and he tried again, but the lock was jammed. I attempted to shatter the lock, but with no success. So, he pried the hinges off the back of the box. Success! However, he hadn’t accounted for the poison gas trap on the box, and since the rest of us always run when he “disarms” a trap, he got the full dose of the poison. As usual, the halfling cheerfully shook of the nausea and riffled through the box, finding various gold and gems, and (oops!) a shattered vial.

We are gathering up The Mule and some odds and ends and continuing on our quest. I can’t help but feel someone is watching us... though with all the commotion we cause, that would hardly be surprising.

Posted by Kristin on January 8, 2003, 10:58 | Drusilia’s Journal