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What’s Old is What’s New

Rosorc’s Journal

Such is a dwarf’s life... My head is pounding and there is that damned noise again. Where... What the heck is making all of that ruckus? A drink would surely help the situation. Hey, that’s a voice.... a loud and shrill voice.

“Stop that damn noise you’re hurting my head,” I yelled. Suddenly a halfling appeared above me. “What is your name?”, he asked, standing above my prone form. Not knowing my status I quickly belted out, “Who the blazes are you?!”. Several more painful minutes passed of his shrill halfling voice assaulting my pounding head. Nothing really making sense to me. When he finally stopped I noticed we were no longer alone.

A ramshackle party surrounded me. As I looked them over you could tell they were a group of adventurers. They looked as bad as the group of friends I had lost not so long ago. They pulled the rubble off of me that had me pinned to the ground. Several greetings were made. Being a little cloudy in the head I just kind of nodded along. Being free I slowly picked up my AXE!!!! Oh how great it is to have it back in my hands. They didn’t seem very threatening so I tried to converse with some of them. Small talk was made and then I asked....

“Does anyone have any ale for a dry dwarf?” A melodious voice of an angel said, “I have an extra flask you could have.” If she wouldn’t have been an elf I would have placed a large smacker right on her I was so happy. How long had it been... “Oh, thats the stuff!”, I thought, as I pulled a long draught. Quickly, though, my bliss was displaced by suprise as a large discharge of electricity pulsed on the far side of the room.

The halfling had a little smoke drifting off him and people were diving out of the way. Followed by a bunch of people all hollering at him.. you could get the feel this was a regular situation, as they weren’t being very considerate of his charred condition. Through the verbal berating I got the gist that his name was Tassar. Several other names rang out too, but I am sure not even a halfling family would name their offspring any of them..

Pulling another quick draught I was getting my head about me. Surveying the situation, it seemed Tassar had set off some sort of a magical trap. Seems statues were on each side of the door and had discharged the magic. Asking the glorious elf maiden (“Wonder if she likes ale too?” I thought), to move I approached the statues and surveyed them. I pulled out my hammer from my pack and smashed the one’s hand with it. A finger snapped off but nothing else happened. The best I could guess they were now harmless.

At this point a mage of sorts started to talk to me. I was put back a minute as I had never seen such eyes before. He said his name was William and that there were many such traps in the area. Then I noticed the door was open. Tassar and a human cleric were walking down the hall. He was calling her Deitricha as he told her to stay behind him. After they traveled about 12 feet there was a terrible clang. A heavy barred gate had dropped down on each side of them. They were caught in the middle as two secret doors popped open. A large animated suit of armour charged out of each at them, followed by a group of shambling skeltons. Sensing what I guess would be new comrades in danger, I pulled my crossbow and fired a bolt at the closest armor. It clanked off and fell to the floor.

Then there was a commotion of arrows and bolts from our outer position. The battle raged on within, though. Tassar seemed to be faring much better than Deitricha, landing several blows and dodging most tossed at him. She was taking quite a pounding when she put her holy symbol into the air. At the same time I was convincing the mage William that I would smash some oil flasks at and on the skeletons if he could light them. It was a coin toss of what went off first, our combined firey cocktail or her turning but it had great results. All the skeletons dropped to the floor. The elf they had called Areon hit the closest armour with an arrow.

Just as it seemed the situation was getting better another batch of skeletons appeared on each side of them. William and I blasted our oily cocktail of fire at them again on our side. Followed by another blast from Deitricha’s holy symbol, they all collapsed. Followed by Deitricha collapsing to the floor. Soon Tassar dropped, also succumbing to his wounds. Being the smart one, the elf they had called Theona, giver of the ale, found a release switch for the gates behind one of the statues. Flipping it, the gates retreated. At that point Areon dropped the closer armour with his arrow. So I charged with my spike shield before me and slammed the last armour to the ground. It didn’t rise again.

Quickly Theona poured a healing potion into the cleric’s mouth. She revived and gained her bearing. Being the giver of care, Detricha quickly turned to Tassar and healed him with a prayer. As they composed themselves and Theona made sure they were all right, William and I checked out the halls from where the minions had come. Both were empty, small, and went no where. Several of them then checked them for hidden doors and there just weren’t any to be found.

After securing arrows, bolts, and two usable light shields we headed for the visible door at the end of the hall. It quickly was opened. I stepped in first. Inside was a scorched room. A large altar was in the middle with a dissected gnome laying on it. Soon the others were in there with me. Feeling a sense of sadness, I asked Tassar for his cloak to cover the gnome up. He gave it to me and as I went to place it on the body, that is when the gnome’s head turned and yelled at William for him to leave. Dropping the cloak, I quickly split the gnome’s head with my axe, fearing further mischief.

I couldn’t believe how fast William took off. Like a shot. As Deitricha took off after William, Theona, goddess of ale, put out a yelp of pain on the far side of the room. Seems she had found a secret door as something else had found her. Theona yelled to “Watch out! My arm is limp, it seems to have a poison attack!”. So we all took care; as we went to rush to her aid as we saw an imp-like creature materialize, then disappear as it attacked Areon.

I felt the urge to sing as the battle began. Bolts flew, arrows richocheted, and the imp attacked on. Deep within my breast the first note broke out. “Crossbow and axe. Crossbow and axe. Clangeddin soul will stop their tracks. Fiends and minions will all bow down, to the power of the Crossbow and Axe. ” Seeing our missile weapons were’t doing any good we gathered in a huddle with our hand weapons. The imp was fast and had invisibility as an advantage. Soon we were frustrated and several of us were wounded.

Deitricha pulled a limp William up out in the hall and joined the fray from a distance. Growing angry I pulled out a 10 foot chain out of my pouch and hollered I was going to try and bind it like as with a whip. Hoping to draw it towards me I belted back into song, I have found almost anyone or anything in the Realms wishes to shut up a bad singing dwarf.

“Rock and stone yields the gold. Silver and Gold clears the soul. Clangeddin strength makes us bold.” Damn the first attempt missed. “I deserve two flasks after this one”, I thought. “Fiend or Foe has no hold. As Clangeddin’s strength makes us bold.” I shouted as the second attempt caught the vile beast and drug him to the floor. Upon landing, Areon cut it in half and I hollered for Tassar to cut off and save its tail. I figured it may buy a draft or three later if sold to the right guild.

Theona found a secret stash after the battle. Seems loot is a good thing. I had already started counting the kegs in my head as we bagged it up. Seeing we were all battered and tired we decided to barricade the doors to the room and get a day’s rest. Deitrcha was very busy in this time healing our wounds. During which we ate and got to know a little about each other.

At the end of the day we decided as beat as we were we should rest another day. I tried to teach Tassar some dwarven songs; being another fighter I felt he may draw strength from them but his high voice just couldn’t carry the notes. Besides, there were death stares coming from everyone else in the room.

Waking in the morning we opened the next door before us. Inside was a large circle of some kind drawn on the floor. More importantly, there was a large chest in the corner. It was locked, but Tassar and I fixed that. Within moments we experienced another pile of loot. I think I really like these guys. Thick and frothy... How many kegs is that. Oh yeah, back to where I was.

As we bagged the rest of the goodies, Theona had rolled a copper into the circle. To my suprise it had disappeared. During all of this Tassar and William had a loud conversation about portals.. One way.. Both ways.. or something like that. Then the halfling went running into circle painted on the floor and was gone.

We all stared in disbelief. Waited a while and nothing happened. William said,”I told him it might go both ways - I wasn’t sure.” Then Deitricha walked in and winked out, too. Slowly, we all decided to follow the halfling to wherever he may have went. As I stepped in I yelled, “Clange...

...ddin!” I finished as I was standing on blood red plains, under a blood red sky. Definitely not having any good thoughts about halflings, at the moment. There was a sinking feeling in my stomach telling me this was really bad. By the looks on all of the others’ faces I knew my gut was right. A bad time to start to develop some of that worldly thought thing I have been lacking!

Pulling out my ale, I noticed it was a little low. Not figuring I would get any more for a while, I filled it up with water and asked the others what we should do. There was some Tassar ripping, followed by a few shrugs. We noticed a large train of beings shambling to a large ominous keep to the south. They looked like demons, twisted and deformed; that dark, sinister keep was definitely out of the question. Tassar piped up, “There is a mountain to the north. Sounds like a better idea than that keep.” Without really discussing it we all started trudging our way north with heavy hearts and deep thoughts.

As we trudged I ran my favorite songs through my head but none seemed to chase the damper off my spirit. Then realized the watery ale in my flask wouldn’t work either. Maybe Theona, goddess of ale, has another.........

Posted by Erik on March 21, 2004, 00:59 | Rosorc’s Journal