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December 19, 2002

A Walking Pincushion

Drusilia's Journal

Moonday, Planting 10, 592 CY

We decided our rest was over when a zombie that had been clawing at the door behind the altar finally smashed its way through to us. Thankfully, we were well rested (though hungry!) and were able to dispatch it without mishap. We followed the hallway from which the zombie had emerged and found some doors leading to small rooms. One room, outside of which Trap set off some sort of poisoned dart mechanism which shot him in the back, we found some sacks of moldy grain. Further down the hall we came to an old dining area and kitchen. I used my divine gifts to create water and purify the grain we’d found. My friends built a fire in the kitchen and we sat down to a meal consisting 100% of oatmeal, but after three days of stretching out our meager trail rations, it was a feast.

We knew the other zombies we’d chased away yesterday were still in the vicinity, and we found them in a small cavern after descending yet another staircase. I was able to destroy four, but I fear the curse Ghelt and I have fallen to is impeding our abilities in melee— I feel so clumsy when I wield my sword! Still, we finished off the last of the undead under the Everston Estate.

After our battle with the few remaining undead, we surveyed the area we’d fought in. There was a lake, probably fed by a tributary of the Realstream, that covered most the cavern. On the shore was a sturdy raft and two poles. I found a rope in the sand and, assuming it was attached to the raft, pulled it. Instead, it was attached to a small box. Trap was able to open it and we found three bloodstones, some gold and two vials within. Fafnir’s keen sense of smell and knowledge of alchemy helped him determine that the vials contained healing potions. Those will come in handy!

We poled the raft across the underground lake, eventually finding another shore to jump out on. Trap, ever cautious, stepped on a pressure plate we arrived on shore and was nearly impaled on a spear. We walked a distance, in what must have once been more branches of an underground stream, until we noticed something slinking along the ceiling above us. A giant centipede! Luckily we fight well as a group and were able to kill it. Two more dead centipedes later, we found ourselves at a fork in the tunnels. We chose the one that went up, and walked a good mile or so before coming out in a forest. Realizing the closest forest to Smallville would be Dim Forest, we decided it wouldn’t hurt to backtrack to the other tunnel. This turned out to be a bad idea. The tunnel went downward, eventually coming out in a room filled with stalactites hanging down from the dark ceiling and sides of the cavern. Luckily, the centipedes we’d encountered earlier had us warily looking upward— and it appeared that the ceiling was moving! Just as we decided we’d best go back to the tunnels again, a huge cone-shaped object fell from the ceiling and buried itself in Trap’s shoulder. The four of us ran as fast as we could out of the cavern as more objects fell from above. Once we were in the relative safety of the tunnels, we helped Trap get the thing out of his shoulder. It was a slug-like creature with a hard conical shell and pseudopods for feet— a Piercer, which spends its whole existence hanging from a cave ceiling listening for prey to drop on. Trap was delighted. He’s named it “Spike” and tucked it under his arm to take home as a pet.

Not wishing to go all the way back through the catacombs under the Estate, we elected to attempt our trip home through the Dim Forest. It was quiet enough, with only the sounds of Trap trying to feed worms to Spike reaching our ears. But then, just a mile or two short of our destination, we heard moaning in the underbrush off of our path. Weapons drawn, we came to a small clearing where a human lay bleeding from a horrible wound in his side. While I rushed over to heal him with Fafnir, Ghelt and Trap quickly checked the surrounding area for signs of ambush.

The human I healed is called Gildean, and is a cleric of Heironeous. He and his own party had been attacked by humanoid spider things. Although I was able to stabilize him, he has been poisoned, which is beyond my or Ghelt’s ability to treat. He was left for dead apparently, but his comrades, which included a half-elf sorceress, human fighter and elven paladin, were carried away— probably to be eaten. Although we wanted to take him back to the safety of the town, Gildean feels that his friends may still be alive and in need of rescue. So, leaving him with one of what we hope is a healing potion, and my silver dagger (for he is too weak to lift anything else right now), we will attempt to bring his party back to him, or at least avenge them.

Posted by Kristin at 17:46 | Drusilia’s Journal