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June 15, 2003

Fafnir's Journal Entry 24 - Ramblings

Fafnir's Journal

Once again, I have come to the conclusion that I really, really hate undead. Especially Vampires... they are just too much work to kill. In fact, this whole “city of the dead” is really getting on my nerves. I must continue to study that “teleport” spell, so that I can get myself (and maybe some of the other party members), the heck out of here. Of course, we need to destroy the damned Heart of Nerullfirst, but after that, I sure don’t think I want to stick around any longer than I have to.

Pockets is becoming a problem. Every time I try to hide — err, I mean “strategically position myself” at the back of the party, he is already there. I will have to have a little conversation with him. Maybe we can work out some kind of time-sharing agreement. Standing near the front is likely to get me killed! Just today, one of those !$%&! vampires grabbed a hold of me and tried to drain my life away! Luckily, Fate intervened and I am OK.

On a good note, we seem to have made a new friend. He tells us his name is Aramis, and he is a celestial being of some sort. He was being held prisoner in the large tower in the center of Aruntosa... apparently for a very long time. (Possibly since the fall of Barraktor). When we found him he was chained by four magical chains that he told us could only be cut by someone ‘Pure of Heart’. At that point, I figured the guy was out of luck with us, but amazingly Ghelt was able to cut them after all.

After freeing him, he was kind enough to heal us... (But not until he was sure that our goal was indeed to destroy the Heart of Nerul. He even seems to believe that Pockets has good intentions. Hmmm.) Apparently he has quite a twisted a sense of humor, though, as he also brought Aramil back to life...

It didn’t seem like a nice thing to do, since the poor guy will probably just get himself killed again anyway... Magic and Metal don’t mix, as my grandpa used to say. Maybe I will have a talk with the fellow, and try to set him straight. Fingers doesn’t think this will work, but I might just give it a try anyway. Fingers did say that he would rather have a “chat” with Jacob instead, but I wouldn’t let him.... I heard that touching toads could give you warts. Besides, the last time fingers ate a frog, he got sick inside my backpack. No more of that, thank you very much.

In any case, it doesn’t seem like there will be much time for that now, as Aramis has told us what we need to do to retrieve the heart. We must travel into the catacombs beneath Aruntosa and Kill the vampire Kartharsis, to get the key to the heart’s chamber. Another &#!&# vampire. (well actually the same one)... At least Aramis has agreed to help us, although what help he intends to offer has yet to be seen... he claims he will be too weak to do much until we have the heart... Maybe that time-share at the back of the party will need to be split among three rather than just two?

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

Posted by Dave at 01:09 | Fafnir’s Journal

Earthday, 13 Flocktime

Valon's Journal

We entered another room, this time with a taller ceiling. Inside were two stitched together monstrosities. We (meaning Ghelt) dealt with them as quickly as possible, though we found that they seemed to be immune to magic, and had an extreme strength. After healing ourselves (it is still unnerving watching Drusilia stab people to heal them), headed up the stairs yet again, only to be attacked by a pair of wraiths. Drusilia destroyed them both, and we continued up to an extremely tall room.

It must have been 80 or 90 feet tall. There were creatures shooting bolts and hurling rocks at us from above, from a balcony that ran around the top ten or so feet in the room. I headed straight for the stairs, followed by most of the group. When we reached the top, we found that our attackers were nowhere in sight. We could see a ladder that led up to a trap door, though. I prodded the door with Ghelt’s greatsword, and found a large amont of resistance to the prodding. Fafnir turned the door invisible, and we could see a bar across the door. Climbed the ladder, and it fell away from the wall and towards the long fall from the balcony. Ghelt managed to catch him, and Pockets scrambled up the ladder and back onto the balcony. Pockets opened the door, and we began to argue who should go up. Two spawn of the master started to come down to attack us, but Drusilia managed to destroy both of them. Fafnir sent an illusion of Ghelt up, then Pockets pulled a cat (!?!?) from his person and sent it up. Neither had any effect. Ghelt jumped through the trap door (using Fafnir’s ring of jumping) and Drusilia followed up the ladder as quickly as possible. Drusilia got quite a suprise when she got up the ladder, as Ghelt began to attack her! She dropped back through the small trapdoor, and Aramil scrambled up the ladder, shouting something about creating a diversion. He did, and we heard his two halves hit the floor a couple seconds later.

Pockets tossed up a small bag filled with marbles and a couple flasks of alchemist’s fire, though they seemed to have no effect either. Pockets then tossed a small object up through the hole, and the trapdoor was covered by a mass of tangling strands. Drusilia and I cut through them, and I tried to stop Ghelt from attacking us by fascinating her. It failed miserably, and the Vampire grabbed me before I could drop back down. Corellon Larethian and Pelor seem to have had other plans as Drusilia was able to get the Vampire to retreat from us, and Ghelt shook off the vampire’s control.

We freed a celestial named Aramis from the room we managed to clear, and he helped to heal the party and revive Aramil. He also told us a great deal about the Heart and how we need to destroy it. It ends up that we will have to fight that damnable vampire again. I pray that we can destroy him this time.

No person should take the will of others away completely, and those who do should not be allowed to live, or unlive as the case may be.

We rested a short bit in the tower, but we were urged to leave as soon as possible from the tower by Aramis. He told us to look for a creature named Urkel in the catacombs that are in the north part of town. The party had a short discussion about our disorganization, and decided that having a party leader of sorts would not be a bad idea. I suggested that Ghelt be the leader of the party, though she did not seem to be interested in the task. Dursilia then suggested that I be the leader of the party. No one else seemed to have a problem with the arrangement, so I agreed.

We headed down to the first floor of the tower, and began digging through the bone littered floor in search of….well, anything. We managed to find a trapped trap door in the floor and Pockets easily disarmed the trap and opened the door. Fafnir headed down first, followed by the rest of the party…odd that Fafnir went first…he never wanted to before. We found ourselves in a long stone corridor that headed north and south. Since we were told to head north, we tried to follow the corridor to the north as best as we could. We were attacked by 5 wraiths, which Drusilia had no trouble turning 3 of them, then Fafnir and Ghelt each killed one. I know that we did not win the quick battle with out injury though, as I had been touched and weakened by one of them and I believe Drusilia had been as well, as she did not look as healty as a few minutes before. A few voiced concerns about our ability to continue traveling in the catacombs, but I still felt that we should try to continue on. We did, but were then ambushed by 2 wights and 4 more wraiths we escaped that encounter, but I felt that it was not such a good idea to travel all the way to the north through the catacombs. We headed back to the ladder where we entered, getting ambushed once more by yet more wraiths. We survived and made it back to where we started, with Aramis.

Aramis offered a little more information on Urkel. He said that Arkon had once controlled Urkel, but Urkel had broken from Arkon’s control. We were also told that Urkel was once a humanoid like us, but he no longer is. I remember hearing stories about how our gods are not able to interfere directly with the happenings of the world. I wonder if the angel is not able to interfere, either. It would explain why he couldn’t give us better information. A fter a few minutes, Aramil began to feel like we were being watched, and urged us to leave.

We headed to the north above ground, and found an ancient magic shop. Fafnir found an old iron box, which was filled with a few gems, some coins and a mysterious earring. Fafnir put it on but could not determine what the earring did. I took a look at it and found an inscription of the word cirsus. After putting it on and saying cirsus, I found that the earring was actually a miniature set of thieves’ tools. I gave the earring to Pockets as he was obviously the person who would benefit the most from it.

We continued north, and Drusilia spotted a house that had a sun carved crudely over it. The house was empty, but there was a hole in the back room that dropped fifty or sixty feet to a stone passageway. Fafnir seemed eager to return to the Catacombs, and as much as I would like to, I fell that the party as a whole needs to rest. I do not know if Fafnir realizes this, or if he just has a death wish. Drusilia has been turning the dead away from us all day, she must be exhausted.

We traveled further north and came upon a small weapons shop. I used a detect magic spell on the house and detected something magical, but we were attacked by skeletal bats. Ghjelt was paralyzed by one, but otherwise we managed to make it through relatively unscathed. I returned to the counter and found 3 magical crossbow bolts, which all had a lightning motif carved into them. I believe that they are Bolts of Lightning. I gave the bolts to Fafnir, since I did take the earring that he had found. We are going to continue towards the edge of town, though it is getting towards night fall, and it looks as if the weather is not going to be very friendly…

Posted by Tim at 01:46 | Valon’s Journal

Easy Money...

Pockets' Journal

As I think back to the beginning of this adventure, “easy money” was what I was thinking. But of course I didn’t have all the information. As is becoming the story of the day. Maybe, and I say maybe, if the story included undead I would have been better prepared. But then of course I had all those brave fighters between us and the undead.

Back to reality. We entered the second floor and found two larger things and had to kill them. I think I will need to pay more attention to what they are calling these things. Anyway, this was an unorganized battle if I ever saw one. Mind you I am not a warrior, but shouldn’t the party fight together with some plan instead of rushing in. Me and Aramil tried working with some barbarians once, I feel that is happening again.

As we proceed up the tower the group decides I should check doors for traps, like some sacrificial lamb. Well for the good of the group I play along. We get to another level which is empty. Kinda like the feeling in some of my pockets. So I take the hinges apart to fill a pocket.

Up we go to the next level, I have found a nice place to travel behind two others, yet near enough to Aramil to watch his back. At this door, which I opened with cunning skill. Hmm... Ahh, why lie to myself, it wasn’t too hard. The dwarf goes first, as the pattern returns. They all run in to get shot at and have things thrown at them. At least the mage has some common sense.

Again I have to ask Aramil to use spells, as if he forgets on a regular basis anymore. Fafnir makes duplicates of himself, this is a cool trick. And to my convenience, I hide behind the pack of mages. What sane person would attack a thief when there is so many mages to kill.

We get to the top of a walkway and are faced with a trap door. Again, they stop and argue. I try to add my info, but they don’t want it. Well, let’s say they just want to keep arguing. Then to my amazement, Fafnir sends his familiar (which looks like a tasty treat by the way) up the ladder to the trap door. And the door becomes invisible. I complement Fafnir, and lock that idea away. If I could get a wand that does that,... pardon the drool on the parchment.

So I go up to check out the trap door and to my surprise it is a trap ladder. Olidammara is having fun again, as I and the ladder tip over the edge of the 80 ft drop. But as to his grace the ladder was grabbed by the party. Now as I dangle off the ladder, holding on with all I have, I can’t help but be amused by the trick. I do well to control my smile, can’t let them think me mad, but they don’t understand the technicality of that trap. It was obviously set to some weight so as to get a person, not a small animal. That gave me a false sense of security.

Well after climbing back up the ladder to safety, I put the ladder back up and secure it with the hinge pieces that I had just procured. Now the trap door is still invisible giving me a good look at the lock. A bar, this shouldn’t be to hard. First I test the hinges, I even get Ghelt to help. They are too strong. As my ears get filled with the party conversation, a total lack of plan is a better way to put it, I use one of my trade secrets to move the bar out of the way.

What happened next can only be described as a cluster-f*ck. Two creatures come down and are easily destroyed by the clerics. Then Ghelt goes up first, pattern reappearing. As Drusilia attempts to follow she is smacked hard by Ghelt who is now under the influence of something up there. Then I am a little confused, lets see... there was arguing, bad plans, my unsuccessful help, Aramil losing his mind, and more arguing, some swords swinging and then they said it was ok to go up.

There is some large creature chained up by some magnificent metal. I was not convinced right away that the creature was ok, but eventually they won me over. Ghelt, now back on our side, gave the creature the big silver sword she was carrying. Obviously she has no idea how much that thing would be worth.

The creature cut through his chains and freed himself. He then said he could help us. I asked for some of the chain, again controlling the drool. He agrees to raise Aramil from the dead. This is indeed a wonderful creature. But back to the chain. This big creature must be hard of hearing, I politely asked for some of the chain several times before he cut some for me. Aramil is laughing at me. I guess I didn’t control the drool as good as I thought.

Now the creature tells us we have to go into the underground and fight to get the key. He acts like it is just business as usual. Maybe he thinks there is a large trading post on the way where we can get supplied.

At least Aramil is ok, and the frog too. Not that I actually like the frog, but I ain’t telling him that.

Posted by Jim at 12:31 | Pockets’ Journal


Ghelt's Journal

Dearest Grun,

For once I am writing in relative peace. We’re still in a great deal of danger but it’s hard to be as terrified when there’s an angel in the room with you.

We rested briefly, then started up the stairs from the room of bones. “Pockets” checked the doors at the top, and opened them.. to two large stitched-together “things.” Awful! I attacked immediately.. and got smashed hard. Then the rest of the party came in and evened the odds nicely.

The new members still refused to use the healing sword. “Pockets” spent the time removing the door from the hinges. He saved the hinges, too. He’s unlike any elf I’ve ever heard about before, that’s for sure!

We moved on to the next set of stairs, and “Pockets” once again got them open. This time, I looked in to see a very high-ceilinged room, and several figures on a balcony above. I warned the others, and moved into the room, dodging arrows and rocks as we went. The figures left the balcony as we entered, so we ran for the steps, yet again. Wraiths came through the walls - surprise, surprise - and Drusilia made them leave. We reached the balcony (multiple Fafnirs in tow), and found a trapdoor in the ceiling. Valon borrowed my greatsword and tapped at it but it didnt budge. Fafnir then cast something to make the door invisible - amazing! “Pockets” climbed the ladder and did something - I don’t know what - and the bars holding the door shut from above slid away.

(This was not before we nearly lost him; the ladder was trapped to swing loose over eighty feet of space! I managed to catch the ladder and the crazy elf redeemed his hinges oddity - by using the stolen ones to reattach the ladder to the wall. Guess I can’t judge him!).

I climbed the ladder, pushed the door open, and climbed into the next room. Briefly. I caught a glimpse of two creatures attacking me, a third standing back to watch, and something across the room that was chained to the floor. I let go of the ladder at that point, shocked beyond belief at what seemed to be a huge, winged, green-skinned, blackened-feathered being that was covered with cuts. I didn’t even realize at first that I’d been weakened in the attack. I was followed by the first two creatures, which Drusilia dusted. Bless her, she’s saved us so many times that way! I managed to tell the others what I’d seen above, and we argued for a while about how to get into the room above.

“Pockets” tried to look through the door with a mirror, until Drusilia pointed out the thing above was probably a vampire and wouldn’t show.. Fafnir sent up illusions, and “Pockets” pulled a cat out of a bag and sent it up the ladder. I said I wouldn’t judge him.. I just don’t know what to expect next! Finally, I borrowed Fafnir’s ring of jumping and leapt through the doorway, hoping to surprise and distract the creature so the others could come through safely. Unfortunately, the creature looked at me once and ..

When Drusilia came through the trapdoor, I tried to kill her. It was awful, Grun! She fell back down the ladder, and I thought I might well have succeeded. The others were trying to figure out what to do.. something flew through the door and shattered into flames, Valon tried to re-mesmerize me, and Aramel unexpectedly came through the door! I missed him, but the vampire struck him down. He was killed, instantly. Someone threw a handful of tangling vines through the door, which I dodged, and I was forced to stand and listen to more arguing from below.

After a great battle, the others managed to chase off the vampire without killing me, and freed me from the spell. What a relief! I don’t know how to apologize to them, Grun.. And then, we spoke to an angel.

He was sent ages ago to destroy the evil that had been let loose on the land, here, after the wars. But the evil Arkon, the creature in the tower who killed Korin, managed to capture him. He was trapped and being used to feed the creature’s magic with his own energy. We did find out that the Heart of Nerull is behind the doors in the first tower, and the key is on the vampire, Catharsis, that just escaped. Sorry, Korin, it’s not a candle, after all.

It turns out that the greatsword I’ve been using belongs to the angel, Aramis! He told us that it was the only thing that could break his chains and free him, if wielded by one pure of heart. Of course, everything I have ever done that wasn’t very nice came to mind, the most recent events especially! I prayed to Moradin, and broke the chains. What a blessed relief! The angel’s cuts began to heal almost immediately, and he went to Aramel’s body - and raised him! He cured me of my weakened state, and gave “Pockets” a length of the chain that had bound him.

Aramis can’t help us much more - he’s still very weak, for an angel! But we now know where to go and what to do, so I have more hope than before. We may succeed in this, yet!

With love and blessings,

Posted by Kate at 15:52 | Ghelt’s Journal