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Deitricha’s Journal

We found two pits, both inhabited. One held a troll, who looked up at us and muttered something in an unknown tongue. None of us could come up with a language in common with the creature, and moved on to the other pit. This one held two of the looted caravan’s guards, looking much worse for wear! Neither was moving, so Areon let himself down into the pit and we helped pull them up.

After a lot of healing, they woke up, understandably confused. They then accused Beowulf of causing all the trouble by getting in their way! Poor Beowulf thought he was helping… after what apologies we could make, we found out that one of the guards spoke troll. He translated for the one in the pit. It turned out that these trolls have been working for some giants who want the silver tiger statue; this troll disagreed with working for others and was imprisoned.

Areon, I think, is pleased to know that we’re on the right path; the statue was taken from the caravan and moved north to the giants within the past few days. We’re getting closer! Next, we found out that the troll is willing to lead us to the giants. Unfortunately, the guard was totally unwilling to go with us as a translator. We couldn’t offer him enough money to come on what he’s sure is a suicide mission!

We let the troll up, and settled in to rest for the evening. In the morning, I prayed for spells to let me understand or speak to the troll, and hoped that being able to communicate a few times a day would be enough. Theona spent her time practicing with her new crystal wand. She managed to cause a wall to collapse! Rosorc, on awakening, decided to go back with the guards. I think he feels responsible for their safety. I’ll miss him, though, and putting flowers in his beard when he sleeps!

Finally, Beowulf settled into bird form to watch over us, and we set out north over the Evermoors. It was a quiet day, to my surprise! I guess nothing wanted to mess with Gral all that much. I tried to exchange a few words with him, so we could learn each other’s language, but I didn’t get far. So, when he stopped late in the day, I had to cast a spell to ask what was wrong. Giants! We quickly followed Gral’s lead and found places to hide.

I found out that my spell let me understand the giants, too, as they passed us. I found out that the giants, too, don’t like to be working for another species! The giants’ leader, “Crank”, is following orders from hobgoblins, and the hobgoblins’ leader, “Grom”, is an utter ass. The giants are tired of collecting items for him. I wonder what part the silver tiger statue plays in all this? I passed on what I’d heard to the others as we set up camp for the night.

The second day passed quietly, although I figured out that poor Gral just isn’t very smart. On the second evening, I even found him trying to eat rocks. I offered him a hunk of meat instead (all the while praying that Rosorc never finds out what use I put his gifts to!). That night Theona woke me, having been warned by Beowulf of humanoids coming our way. Sure enough, almost twenty orcs and a dire boar charged into the middle of our party, howling!

Areon threw an everburning torch onto the ground, and we fought for our lives by its light. Tyan started us off well with a powerful spell that brought their numbers down to ten… while the dire boar attacked Gral, who responded by nearly tearing the thing in half. We were able to get the upper hand pretty quickly, thank Tymora, but we were left with many pieces of Gral by the time the boar was finished off! It was a tense few moments for us to find all the parts and make sure he grew back together, rather than each part into a new troll. One is enough!

At least Gral got a good meal out of the dire boar. We then moved to a new campsite for the rest of the evening. The next morning, we headed north again. This day, we finally reached our destination; looking over a ridge into a river valley, Gral explained that the crumbling fortress below was the giants’ stronghold. The fortress was built on both sides of the river, with a bridge connecting it. It used to have a second story but that had crumbled; there were no windows. The gates were closed, and there was no sign of life.

We discussed our next move, finally deciding to wait for dark and explore the ruins then. Beowulf volunteered to go over the place as a bat, and we settled in to wait. We didn’t wait long! He was soon back, in bird form, and with a tale of being attacked by a goblin and struck by a javelin. He barely got away. The fortress may look quiet, but it’s full of bad guys! We decided to wait the next day out, and sneak down as a group the next evening. I explained our plan to Gral, and gave him another hunk of meat.

Partway through the day, the elves got bored and went “foraging”. I don’t know what they got into, but they came back asking if we’d seen the white dragon! I hope that was some obscure joke on their part… eventually, night fell, and we all worked our way down to the remains of a collapsed tower, hoping it would lead us inside. Areon checked the top of the wall and waved us up, but as soon as we all reached the top, something looked around the corner of the hall and ran off! Areon threw alchemist’s fire into the doorway and we followed up with a charge.

Unfortunately, a pit trap opened up in front of us, and Theona fell in. Hobgoblins came through the flames and threw something into the pit with her, while poor Gral fled the flames… so much for him being useful in a fight. We quickly killed the first wave, and Beowulf was pulling Theona out of the trap, when more hobgoblins started throwing javelins at us! Worse yet, a horn began to blow, so we knew reinforcements were on the way.

Tyan finished off the second wave with a spell, and I healed Theona while Areon charged over the pit and fire and into a room full of hobgoblins. Theona managed to close the pit trap, and Tyan cast a spell at Areon which caused him to double in size. That was quite a sight! Beowulf ran across the pit to back him up, but ran into the reinforcements; ogres! Including one with blue skin that started to cast a spell, even as Areon shouted at us to get back.

We did so, but it wasn’t enough; the blue skinned ogre cast a spell of cold that knocked Areon down and killed Beowulf and his wolf outright. It was an awful moment! Theona and I managed to get Areon back on his feet and fighting, but the ogre cast another spell that made him stop for some reason. Thank Tymora, he went back to attacking when Theona went down! I was healing, shooting crossbow bolts, and ducking the spells that Tyan cast over our heads, when the blue skinned ogre disappeared through a doorway and we turned as one to escape.

We tumbled over the top of the wall, carrying our comrades’ bodies, while Tyan stayed a moment to defend our retreat. He waited until he saw movement, and cast a lightning bolt down the hall. He saw a hill giant in the flash, and did not wait for more. We fled from the ruins and into the night.

Posted by Kate on June 21, 2005, 00:48 | Deitricha’s Journal