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March 22, 2003

Days 12-14

Ghelt's Journal

Dear Grun,

I hope all is well at home. This letter-journal has grown much longer than my first!

We spent the night resting up, and next morning chatting with the stone giants about our map and quest, plus doing a little trading. Fafnir bought a new scroll, I got some new rope, and Korin got himself a large giant’s silver ring. He can barely drag it around, most of the time..

The map to the Heart of Nerull provided me with an interesting twist; according to the giants, it leads us to the City of the Dead, where war caused the Sundering of the Clans ages ago! Now I know where all the old dwarven stories come from. I guess we’ll learn more about the great evil that was released than I ever expected..

Before we left, the giants mentioned that there was someone who could use some healing, and we were glad to oblige! They led us to a large stone bed with a human lying on it. Korin clambered up and bandaged his legs, but I pried him off and handed him to Cunnae (a stone giant) to keep him out of trouble - the human needed a little more help than Korin could offer!

Drusilia healed him up while I inspected his armor. It was all right, though someone had hand-painted (indifferently) a symbol of a sword against a sunrise on it. Jonathan, when he woke, explained that he was lost and looking for adventure. He wasn’t very clear about how he ended up with the stone giants, but claimed he was able to hold his own in a fight. I guess we’ll find out - he’s joined our party.

Korin, continuing his obsession with Trap, decided to be the party scout. I gave him some pointers (don’t disappear for days, do come back and tell us if you see anything interesting, etc.), and he promptly ran off, forgetting to untie his rope tether, so his first trip ended with a yank! The poor guy curled up in a ball and hollered until I got to him and explained the problem. We untied his rope and he was off again! (Did I mention his giant ring? He had to give it to me for safekeeping just so he could move at any speed!).

We walked all day, through rocks and trees, reached the treeline (and caught Trap as he fell from a branch), and continued into the mountains. As late afternoon approached, we drew near a mountain with a cave mouth about sixty feet up one side. We discussed whether or not to check it out, or just quietly walk by, and Korin decided to climb up for a look. Off he went, with the rest of us waiting at the bottom (and hoping he didn’t wake anything up!).

He reached the top and waved, took out his bow and arrows.. dropped them and walked right in. Then we heard haunting music.. and Fafnir suddenly used one of his spells and ran right up the side of the mountain, too! I was surprised and worried and decided that I had to find out what was going on, but I just could not seem to get up that mountainside. Luckily, Jonathan was able to climb up and drop a rope, which helped Drusilia and me get to the top. I knocked myself up pretty well beforehand, though! Stupid mountain.

We found two harpies at the rear of the cave.. peeling strips of skin off Korin and Fafnir and eating it. Ugh! Drusilia blasted the one that was singing, but the other began to sing as well, and Jonathan went blank and began to walk toward them even as they grabbed bone clubs and attacked. I chucked a stone at Jonathan and hollered at him, to no avail. Luckily, Drusilia and I were able to kill the harpies ourselves, which woke the menfolk up, and then we healed the whole party! Drusilia found herself a new sword, and thinks it’s magical. Korin immediately adopted her old sword, though it’s taller than he is. He also found out that one of the harpies was barely alive the hard way - he took one last hit while preparing to disembowel her body. For some reason, he seems to think all creatures keep treasure in their guts.

We spent a quiet night at the mouth of the cave, climbed down in the morning and travelled on. I got some time to talk to Jonathan, who was pretty curious about our mixed group. Talking about Korin got me worried about him again - is he really talking to a ghost, or gone insane? I just cannot figure out how to find out.

We set up for the night in a patch of rocky ground, but didn’t get settled in before the howling of wolves got too close for comfort. Drusilia tried to speak to them and got laughed at - in Common! - for her efforts. This was not encouraging! We got up on a pile of rocks for a little bit of advantage, and got ready for trouble. Korin “hid” out in the dark with his silver ring, giggling.

The “wolves” circled us, taunting, while Fafnir made lights to spot them with, and images of cowardly wolves to taunt in return. I tried to shoot at them, Drusilia blasted at any coming within range, and Korin continued to wait out in the rocks.. and finally the wolves came in for an attack. Drusilia’s new sword does plenty of damage (I hope it doesn’t turn ot to be cursed!), and Jonathan can fight just fine. One of the wolves bit Fafnir, and I heard a scream from Korin. I hit the wolf attacking Fafnir pretty hard, and Drusilia dropped it, even as another came out of the dark and bit Jonathan. Yet another hit Drusilia, so I took a good shot at it.

Korin somehow managed to get the giant’s ring into the mouth of his wolf attacker and used it as a bit, riding the wolf through the night. I could only hope it didn’t take him too far from us! Even as we fought off some wolves, others arrived. We’d start to hurt one, it would run away, and another would take its place. Luckily, we seemed to be giving them more of a fight than they expected, for they all suddenly ran off into the night. I saw Korin get thrown, and ran to bring him up onto the rocks with us. We healed ourselves and readied for an attack that never came, spending the night listening to howling in the distance. We split watches and got a little sleep, at least.

In the morning, Jonathan discovered one of the downed wolves was still alive by being bitten when he kicked it. *sigh* I guess he didn’t learn from Korin’s experience in the harpy cave. At the moment, we’re packing up and getting ready to go. I am hoping we can get out of these unnatural wolves’ territory before nightfall!

Walk with Moradin,

Posted by Kate at 23:29 | Ghelt’s Journal