» Greyhawk Calendar / Campaign Timeline     » Amassed Loot     » Monster Roster     » Current Party Stats    

Day 11

Ghelt’s Journal

Dearest Grun,

I’m finally writing you from a safe haven - the home of a group of stone giants. We’re relieved and comfortable for a moment, but also sad. One of our original party members has passed on - after going through so much together, I’ll miss Trap’s fun and silliness very much.

At the same time, it’s hard not to be angry at him! After all we’ve been through, I wish he had learned to be more careful in dangerous situations. I guess he had gotten used to being rescued at the last moment, and we’d gotten used to being able to save him!

The morning started off quietly, with most of us getting up and packed, saying morning prayers, eating breakfast.. and the halflings getting bored, as with their usual frenetic energy they’d done everything doubletime. They heard voices over the next waterfall and went to look while we talked over our route compared to the map, and came back with reports of orange-skinned creatures, nets over the river, and a giant - garbled enough that Drusilia went for a look while Korin hopped back into a barrel and tried to rock himself back into the water for another trip. Fafnir nailed the lid on for him, but I held the barrel so he didn’t go anywhere (many complaints from the barrel but at least we knew where he was).

Next thing I knew, Trap was back and telling me Drusilia would like me to look at the creatures. By the time I got there, the hill giant and hobgoblins were coming right for us! As we ran back to camp, we saw Korin’s barrel floating by thanks to Trap (I hollered that we could use his help and was answered with “Wheeeee!”). The rest of us regrouped the best we could in a hail of javelins, and I went for the giant. Yes, I was too sure of myself. I learned my folly fast - the best I can say for myself is that it wasn’t hurting anyone else for a moment. Fafnir shot off a well-placed lightning bolt (those are nice when used appropriately!), Drusilia and Trap fired arrows into the melee, and I fought as well as I could. At one point Drusilia even ran up and stabbed the giant in the back with her sword! As the giant finally fell and Fafnir killed another hobgoblin, one broke away and started running for the hills. I was too weak to chase him, so regretfully I healed myself a little and turned to help Trap with his last attackers.

Trap was having trouble with his new sword, which surprised me. As I slew one of his attackers, I saw him slash the other, and instead of doing the damage it had before - it healed the creature! I dispatched it and turned to Trap, shocked, wondering if he’d noticed that the sword had NOT been helping him, and in fact had likely nearly gotten him killed. He had noticed, and to show off the healing powers, slashed his own hand very badly. It did NOT heal up. This convinced me - whatever the sword’s properties, it must be cursed to turn on Trap like that. I took it from him and threw it into the lake!

The next thing I knew, the halfling leapt into the water after his prize, in full armor. The undertow immmediately pulled him toward the other waterfall, while I stood there amazed at the lengths the sword had driven him to. As if to drive home the point, Drusilia grabbed rope, tied it around herself, and also jumped in! I didn’t know if she was trying to save Trap or the sword, since it’s marked with her god’s symbol, but seeing him go over the falls decided my action: I ran down the path, hoping he’d be caught in the net and still alive to be healed.

In the net near the falls were a lifeless-looking halfling and a barrel. I used the net to pull myself out to Trap, and gave him the best heal that I could pray for! Then I pulled him to shore, healed him some more, and held him upside down to drain the water from his lungs. Poor guy was alive but unconscious, and I heard Korin tapping and hollering as his barrel began to settle lower in the water. Apparently Fafnir’s carpentry skills were a match for him. I pulled myself out again and dragged the barrel to shore. At this point I was a little stressed - we could have used his help in that fight, and there was a hobgoblin loose that probably was going for friends. I set the barrel upright, yelled “Duck!,” and hewed the top off like I was taking down a tree for firewood! Then I had to scruff Korin out - he was a little unnerved by the whole experience and swore he’d never deal with barrel-riding again. I picked up Trap, and we walked back to the remains of the camp.

Turns out the bloody elf nearly killed herself getting that sword back. It certainly does gain a hold over some people’s minds! She told me about how the sword is supposed to heal, as that hurts undead even more, and that’s what it was made for, not hobgoblins. I asked about Trap’s hand and she looked a little uncomfortable and said maybe it was because he wasn’t attacking, exactly. I’m not entirely sure, but will let it go; it’s Drusilia’s god, and Trap promised not to use it on anything but undead from now on! Korin’s also watching to make sure the sword isn’t having some strange effect on them, overall.

While this was going on, Korin searched the hill giant’s body and called us over to collect some stuff. He then ran off with the revived Trap to check out the net again (each now with a tusk from the hill giant’s collection), while Drusilia, Fafnir and I decided that crossing the river was probably the direction we needed to take to follow the map. We met the halflings returning on the path, now wearing each others’ stuff, and scalps, and eating unidentifiable dried jerky. While trying not to imagine how they ended up in each others’ gear, I pointed out that the scalp-wearing and jerky were bad things. I don’t think they understood.

Unfortunately, as we headed for the river, we caught sight of a new hill giant and more hobgoblins at the top of the cliff, shouting and throwing rocks and javelins. More trouble! I told the party to start across the net, and stood on the near shore, propared the cut the end loose and swing across to the other shore before the enemy arrived. Fafnir leaped across the river with his ring (utterly confounding the giant and allies for a moment), and did his best to continue distracting them while the rest of us used the net. As the hobgoblins came running down the trail, and the halflings began arguing about getting their own armor back on (they had figured out quick how hard it was to get used to new equipment under such circumstances), and Fafnir shot off another lightning bolt, I cut the rope and swung across to the other side. We ran into the woods, dragging the protesting halflings along (they were actually half out of their armor at this point!).

The river was deep enough to stop the hobgoblins, but not the giant. And, for all our efforts to keep moving, the halflings decided to stop running and draw arrows from their bundles of armor and gear, and take a stand behind some trees. The rest of us stopped, too, unable to go back but unwilling to just leave them to their fate.. Half-dressed, Trap actually stepped out and shot the giant as it neared him. It went right for him, and though I shot it too to try to distract it, it slammed into him with a tree-sized club and smashed him utterly into the ground. At least it was quick. Poor, deluded Trap!

Korin went berserk. He came up behind the giant and tried to attack and was smashed in his turn. As we fired off more arrows, a rock came flying in from another direction entirely. The giant decided to leave! And Drusilia, in a moment of heroism, ran down to Korin, regardless of what else was in the woods. Amazing. And it saved his life - she brought him back from the very brnk. I came up behind her with my crossbow at the ready, since it seemed pointless to keep running away.

To my very great relief, two stone giants came through the trees to speak to us. They even offered us help and shelter. I wrapped Trap’s remains up in his cloak, and we went with the giants to their home - this great hall in the mountains. They let me bury Trap with their dead, and I have said my prayers over him. Bless him! I hope he’s in a good place. He seems to have lived as fully a halfling’s life as possible!

I’m a little worried about Korin, however - is he suffering survivor’s guilt, or grieving in his own way? He is wearing a lot of Trap’s stuff and announced that he learned a lot about traps from Trap, so he’ll take over that job from now on. I guess I’ll keep an eye on him and let it run its course for now, or maybe talk to Drusilia about it. We’ve been given room to heal and rest, for now, and will move on soon. Hopefully, we can get some advice from the giants here about where we are and which way to go.

Thank Moradin for leading the stone giants our way!
With love,

Posted by Kate on March 15, 2003, 00:10 | Ghelt’s Journal