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

A Shadowy Shortcut

Drusilia’s Journal

Starday, Flocktime 8, 592 CY

Even though we still don’t know if we were attacked by werewolves, I’ve cast Remove Disease on everyone. I’m not even sure that a cleric of my status would be able to rid us of such a disease, but there is no one else to do it. Other than Korin continuously “woofing” and chewing at Ghelt’s limbs, no one seems the worse for it.

We continued on throughout the day after the wolf attacks without incident, eventually coming to a trail and heading northward on it. As night fell, we came to a stone bridge and were considering it as a camp site when we heard the sounds of combat around the next bend in the path. Two tattered and diseased looking individuals (calling themselves dwarves) waylayed us, begging us to save their dwarven companions from a terrible ettin up ahead, and not letting us get closer to them due to “leprosy.” They did look diseased, and it sounded as though time was of the essence, so Jonathan, Ghelt, Fafnir and I went ahead to find the ettin while Korin stayed behind to entertain the two lepers.

There was a cave entrance right where the leprous individuals had indicated the ettin to be, so we went inside after I cast a light for Jonathan. The two-headed giant was nearly 13’ tall and the splotches of blood around the cave entrance didn’t seem to bode well for anyone else trapped inside. Jonathan and Ghelt engaged the creature immediately while Fafnir scrambled right up the cave wall for a better vantage point. Ghelt was nearly cut down by the creature in one attack, and Jonathan reeled back from it looking drained. I noticed that the taut skin on the ettin looked nearly mummified, and cast a spell meant to do damage to undead. It was fairly effective, as was the attack Fafnir made from the ceiling of the cave. Luckily, we were able to dispatch it without anymore damage to our party, though after treating Jonathan as best as I could I believe that the ettin was a wight— a terrible combination to be sure!

The next task at hand was to liberate his captives. Jonathan, looked on the Ettin for a keyring or something to help us rescue the dwarves we were here to rescue. He didn’t find any keys, but did find a sack of gold and a bronze disk that radiates magic. We’re not yet sure what that does. As we searched the cave, two filthy creatures with scaly grey skin clambered out of a crevasse at the back of the cave, offering us a substantial reward for allowing them to leave unharmed. I cast Detect Evil, wondering if they had been in cahoots with the ettin, as they certainly weren’t dwarves! Just as my spell showed them to be evil, Korin came racing into the cave yelling “They’re trying to kill me!” and shot two arrows right into one of the creatures. The other immediately attacked Ghelt, and knowing she was still quite injured from the fight with the ettin, I felt there was no recourse but to slay the two vile creatures and so fought back. We were able to dispatch them without further injury to ourselves.

Korin explained that the two “dwarves” we’d met near the bridge were grimlocks that had transformed into similar creatures as soon as he was alone with them. Ironically, even though he didn’t kill that pair, they chose to flee from his attacks. While the pair of grimlocks in the cave hadn’t attacked us first, it’s quite likely they would have done so had we not been strong enough to fight the ettin.

Fafnir was still on the ceiling, and he “crawled” into the chamber behind the grimlocks’ crevasse (which was strewn with humanoid bones), finding some more treasure for our trouble: an enchanted shortspear, and a small iron box. Korin and Ghelt were able to open the (thankfully untrapped) box, which revealed 8 bars of jade. The cave itself provided us with a good camping place for the night.

The next day’s journey was also fairly uneventful. We eventually came to a place where we had to choose a direction— right up to a stone fortress or continue left up the road we’d been following north. The fortress was clearly the ancestral home of the dwarves: Barraktor. Though we hadn’t originally planned to go there first, Ghelt was suspicious that whatever did haunt Barraktor would likely follow us to Arun-tosa, so it was best to “get it over with” and explore the fortress.

Getting through the stone doors was simple enough. I was worried that we didn’t all have enchanted weapons, which may be necessary against some undead. While discussing with Ghelt and Korin the best way for Korin to safely use the Sword of Pelor, Jonathan and Fafnir apparently went on ahead of us through the first corridor. We were alerted to this fact after a quiet twang reverberated through the hall followed by a hail of crossbow bolts— Jonathan had found a tripwire.

After a bit of first aid, we wandered through the once great Great Hall, still a magnificent sight with balconies on either side and huge double doors at each end. In fact, Barraktor has a lot of doors. After finding many, many doors in the next hallway, we opted to start at one end and go door to door.

The first room was disastrous. Filled with shadows that could melt through walls (and armor!), I was able to destroy three when turning undead, but one eluded me, and I had to settle for just scaring it off. Jonathan was so weak from one that touched him that we actually had to drag him back outside, and Korin and Ghelt were looking a bit weakened as well. I patched people up as best as I could, and Korin went back inside to destroy what we hoped was the last shadow— the Sword of Pelor seems to provide him with some inner strength, even if he’s not aware of it. Unfortunately, he encountered even more shadows and had to flee back to the relative safety of our camp.

It was a harrowing night— the shadows eventually braved the doors of Barraktor and surrounded our camp. Ghelt opted to use the spear we’d just found, and Korin was delighted to wield his sword again. We eventually destroyed the shadows that followed us and managed to pass the rest of the night unmolested. Now we must decided whether to rest another day, go back inside Barraktor, or continue on to Arun-tosa.

It worries me. If we are no match for the undead in the ancient Dwarven home, how will we stand against them in the City of the Dead?

Posted by Kristin on March 31, 2003, 15:23 | Drusilia’s Journal