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Triumph and Tragedy

Deitricha’s Journal

Knowing the drow would soon return, we did not search the entire library. We did check out the tablets that the Red Wizard had been perusing, however! His assistant had been making a rubbing of an ancient stone map of the North. The Anauroch Desert, even, was shown as a fertile land! The map also showed where to find the burial tombs of ancient mages of the Netheril Empire. I asked if we had the materials to make a rubbing of our own, which got my belt rubbed by Tassar. While I was laughing, Rosorc pulled out some parchment and he and Theona set about copying the map.

While they worked, we read some of the tablets nearby. Apparently, the map is especially for finding the burial tomb of the Archmage Trelzun. I tried to explain what I remembered of Netheril’s history, and its powerful magic. I think it may be worthwhile to find out more about these burial tombs, especially if the Red Wizards are interested, too! I was a little distracted by Tassar gutting the beholder in the background, I’m afraid. Or maybe it was the sight of him waving eyestalks around and making them “talk”.

As soon as the map was done, we began to argue about which way to go! We knew we wanted away from both the drow and the orcs, and, of course, the elves just wanted outside already, but no one knew which way that was. Both Theona and Areon wanted to see what lay beyond the doors at the other end of the hallway we’d entered by the portal. The ones that Tassar had led us away from by his curiosity. Growing a little exasperated, I pointed out to Tassar that they wouldn’t be happy until we knew what was on the other side of those doors - and he was off! Thankfully, everyone else decided to follow. At least we were on the move before anything else showed up!

We made it back to the original hallway, and readied ourselves for trouble around the unopened doors. Theona checked for traps, and gently pushed the doors open to reveal an empty chamber beyond. We could see ominous-looking slits in the ceiling, and another set of doors across the way. Tassar poked an eyestalk into the room and got no reaction (from the room, at least). He then snuck inside, keeping by the walls, and heading for the doors on the opposite side. We watched quietly as he reached them and flung them wide - to blinding sunlight! Thank Tymora! We followed him around the edge of the room and saw our first open sky in what seemed like ages.

We found ourselves on a rocky ledge, with an ancient roadbed winding off to the right. I studied the mountain ranges and forests below, and made an educated guess - I think this road will take us to the Moonwood! At least we’ll be closer to home, but we’ll have to be extra careful, as the Wood is full of evil lycanthropes. Still, we’ll worry about that when we get there. Areon quickly scouted ahead as we moved out - glad to be doing his own thing again, I’m sure! He wasn’t looking very healthy, I fear; as I looked at my friends in the bright light, I realized that Tassar didn’t look much better, and William was barely on his feet. I felt badly that I couldn’t heal them, but at that point it seemed more important to keep moving. In the Spine of the World, resting for a day on an open road isn’t a good idea!

Unfortunately, fate took any options out of our hands. Areon came rushing back up the road to tell us that there was a good-sized party of orcs coming toward us! We scattered, hoping to hide behind boulders as we’d done in Hell. Unfortunately, Rosorc had the same trouble as before, and no potion of invisibility. William, too, was unable to hide well. A crowd of orcs and two dire boars marched up the road, took one look around, and headed right for us! Rosorc was first into battle - I was glad that he was the healthiest of us all! William cast a spell over our heads and killed one of the orcs outright; the other nineteen kept coming. Rosorc charged into the midst of them as elves’ arrows flew overhead and I used my sling. Soon, everyone was surrounded.

I managed to kill an orc, myself, and saw William kill several with a burst of fire before turning to run. He didn’t make it far - out of nowhere, one of the dire boars loomed large. It smashed him to death! It didn’t have a chance to sink in before two more orcs attacked me. I saw Theona’s ray of enfeeblement going off, swung my staff, then caught sight of Tassar going down under the other dire boar! Forgetting my own attackers, I ran for him! The orcs hit me a couple of times before I remembered Tymora’s blessings and cast fly upon myself. I snatched Tassar’s motionless body from the boar, getting hit as I flew past, and managed to stabilize him while hiding him away from the battle.

Flying above the battle, I saw that we were actually starting to come out ahead, except for William. The elves were down to two attackers, and Rosorc to one, but the boars and two more orcs were heading into the fight. Theona backed up to nock an arrow, and I flew overhead with my sling and managed to kill the two orcs that Areon had been hacking into. Rosorc charged one of the boars, ending up in battle with both an orc and the beast. He killed it and turned to the orc as Areon killed an orc for himself, and went down to the last boar. Theona went berserk, screaming and shooting arrows into the thing. I wondered what effect a little arrow would have on a creature that size, when it collapsed! She’d found a good use for the drow poison! She ran up to cut its throat and I turned to see how Rosorc was doing.

He and the last orc were staggering around each other, both looking haggard. I shot sling bullets at the orc but missed badly, even hitting Rosorc once. Thankfully, he was able to kill it despite my help. He then found the healing potion I’d given him, and used it on Tassar! Bless him! We piled the bodies, and the others searched out what loot they could find. I made my way to William’s body and sadly buried him under a cairn. I’ve prayed to Tymora to guide his spirit! With my last healing, we’re all on our feet, but barely. Areon is going to have to find us a good hiding place away from here. We simply can’t go any further.

May Tymora watch over us!

Posted by Kate on May 26, 2004, 00:37 | Deitricha’s Journal