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Confounded Halflings

Bryrgar’s Journal

Things are a bit foggy, something is definitely wrong and I donít know what. There is this pounding in the back of my head and a ringing in my ears. I feel that I am alive, and awake, yet I donít have the energy to open my eyes. Slowly the aches and pains are registering. Oh yes, I was in a battle, but ... we lost.

Pushing through the cobwebs in my head I begin to do as I was taught as a pup; I began taking a physical inventory. Heart, lungs, eyes, ears, fingers and toes was the saying. The heart was easy; the pounding in my chest is still strong. I did my best to take a deep breath, only to have it cut short choking on the blood draining down the back of my throat. I think my nose has been broken. Canít seem to breathe through it either. Those were the big two.

Eyes, drawing my all of my strength I manage to get them open a bit. I see shapes moving around, all is fuzzy though. Definitely broke my nose. No matter— the dizziness should end and my vision return. Ears, oh they seem to be working the best. I can hear that durn fool halfling. There is something moving also, but I canít tell as to what. Fingers and toes, well that is odd. I can feel the pain in them but Ö crap! I am chained to a wall.

As my energy is returning I do my best to conserve it; I need to think. Finally the lich lifts my head up and informs me that he knows I am awake. I look around and find the entire party is chained to a wall. At least they are alive.

The lich goes on and tells us he has a job for us; I then go on to tell him where he can go. But for some odd reason the rest of the group is agreeing with him. I put it in simple terms that I will not go performing tasks for no lich. That is when the friggín halfling and human begin discussing how they can tie me up and take me with them. I was in rage then, oh if I wasnít chained to this wall I would teach them a thing or two about tying up dwarves.

Oh Great Silverbeard, now they are all in on it. Next thing I know I am tied and partially gagged, and to make matters worse the durn lich is laughing about it. He has put some spell on them to perform a task, and they figured out that once on the way, I wonít let them go alone. While doing my best to describe the pot of oil I am going to boil the halfling in, the three of them take me to town, then a boat! Oh Clangeddin, no dwarf deserves this!

The halfling, in an attempt to keep me from killing him, had mentioned that if we travel by boat, we can get farther quicker, and they can let me loose sooner. This will not be saving him from no woopiní though. Soon we were off and I was off to letting loose my feelings about this entire situation. That is when my littlest friend came to my aid, Widget. The little feller snuck behind me and began chewing the ropes that had me bound. In mere moments he had me loose, although I held the ropes together with my hands. Widget went back to his backpack/home. I may be angry, but I am not stupid, I will wait till we are closer to shore, less water that way you know.

Finally the party reached a spot where they thought they could go ashore, and durned me for acting a little too quick. But, I let the ropes loose and went for Roscoe. It took longer to get loose and to him then I had thought and he jumped in the water to get away. I turned to Nosila for help getting the ship to shore and she jumped out as well. Come to think of it, I was a bit over the top with the threats while I was tied up. No, they deserved every threat, tying a dwarf up and putting him on a boat were things unspoken, things that you just donít do.

At least Sprocket was clear headed, or just listening to Widget, but she guided us to shore— where I immediately went to chasing the wet Roscoe with my axe. Now I wasnít going to kill him, just a few well placed brain-dusters. He went up a tree and stayed, well I couldnít hit him, but this will have to do, so I sat at the bottom of the tree and began sharpening my axe.

I took the first watch once night fell— we shall need to keep a sharp eye out for we are very close to the town where demon thing is supposed to be. During second watch everyone was awoken by a spell of alarm that Sprocket had set. I was up and looking, Sprocket was up and looking, Nosila was up and on watch and looking, and Roscoe was up up, and looking. None of us saw anything.

Then it struck. From below Nosilaís feet came the mandibles of a ankheg, grabbing Nosila and heading back into its hole. These monsters my people know well, and unless we act quick we shall never see our friend again.

As the last of Nosila disappeared into the hole I ran and dove, luck was with us on this night as my dive landed me right on her side. Quickly I wrapped my left arm around her and tried to keep hold— these ankhegs can go quick. Then I alternated attacks on the beast and casting healing on her. After a good bit of fighting I decided to maybe slow the beast down a little so the others could catch up. With a smile on my face I summoned some help. Behind the ankheg a celestial badger answered my call. Oh, I wish my father was here to see the look on that beastís face when the badger bit into its back end.

The battle raged on for what I began to think was too long, then suddenly a great purple worm appeared behind us. As was to our luck Nosila had just broken free of the ankheg when the worm attacked. I told Nosila to get to the side and I would try to hold it off, she was in fact looking very worse-for-wear. I got one or two swings in before leaping to the side to avoid its bite. For some reason this beast seemed more interested in chasing the ankheg than the easy meal of Nosila and I; it just passed us by.

As the last of the worm passed I saw something strange, it had a banner on its rear. Damned her, while she may have chased off the ankheg, Sprocketís illusion almost made my heart stop. I was too tired and sore to do much about it. I gave her a few what-fors and accepted going back up to our camp.

Once back on the surface we decided to stay off of the ground. There was mention of climbing the trees and of getting back in the boat. I decided to combine the two— we hauled the boat onto land and tied it up like a fine hammock. We all climbed in and slept for the night, except for Sprocket who stayed up on watch, after telling us gnomes invented hammocks and boats.

Posted by Jim on January 28, 2005, 21:42 | Bryrgar’s Journal