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January 15, 2003

The Bear Went Over the Mountain

Drusilia's Journal

Moonday, Planting 24, 592 CY

We were being followed! Soon after we came out of the cave entrance we encountered Four Feather, an elven ranger that lives on the outskirts of Smallville. This was fortuitous, as we can use a competent tracker and especially one that knows us (though until now, she’s pretty much kept to herself or the company of Smallville’s druids). She seemed to have a need to know which one of us was the party leader— well, it really depends on the situation! I quickly nominated Ghelt for this particular quest, as it is quite appropriate for a dwarf to be leading the party through the Barrier Peaks. It seemed to puzzle Four Feather that we all get along so well, but I feel that our diversity is an asset most of the time!

And speaking of diversity, Ghelt is teaching me the dwarven language. I have learned however, the most untimely way of distracting a dwarf is for a slender elven cleric to yell “By Pelor’s Beard!” as she charges into combat. As soon as we came to a place to rest the first night out past the goblin cave, we spent much of the predawn fighting off giant spiders. Once, when Trap was looking to pick up a thrown dagger from our latest arachnid encounter, I heard a shriek from the woods— and dove towards the sound, hoping to take out the spider before poor Trap was poisoned for the umpteenth time. My “war cry” got Trap out of my way in time, but apparently startled Ghelt so that I ended up crashing into her instead of the spider (which by the way, didn’t seem to have any “kickable” areas on it). Thankfully she doesn’t take my exuberance personally.

The next day was uneventful, and we eventually found ourselves making camp again. Ghelt and I attempted to take turns washing up in the stream running near the camp, when we saw a little bear cub visiting the edge of the water. Not wanting to attract the bear’s mother, we hastily got back to camp. Moments later, we heard a larger bear growl and soon Four Feather was sprinting for all she was worth in front of the irritated ursus. I didn’t see it, but suspect she was poking it for some reason. We also found giant prints (as in from a giant!) that we elected not to follow.

Early yesterday we had to make a decision when our trail forked— west towards Ghelt’s clan’s home or north, which would likely get us to the Heart of Nerull more quickly. So north it was! The night was mostly uneventful as well, but this time we could hear wolves in the distance.

Today we find ourselves staring at a bestial totem pole, with the symbol of Gruumsh carved in it. The wooded valley below us contains a lake and smoke wafts up cooking fires between huts of what appears to be an orc encampment. I fear our path takes us very close to chaos.

Posted by Kristin at 00:46 | Drusilia’s Journal