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January 26, 2004

I Hate the Cold

Antonio's Journal

We gathered together and left town early in the morning. The day was cold and uneventful traveling, all we saw was fog and some town guards patrolling the area. Come nightfall we pulled over to the side of the road and that’s when the storm hit, after a bit we decided to get some shelter. Someone found a cave and we got all the wagons and horses to it, we searched the area and found a smaller cave inside, while Tassar searched that I had Theona look around the rest of the cave with me. She said something under her breath sounded like “about time” or something like that. I have no clue what she was talking about, but she said the rest of the cave was clear of anything unusual. We tethered the horses securely in the smaller cave and arranged the wagons in the larger one to provide us with some cover in case anyone else decides they need out of the weather and want us out of this cave. I soon fell asleep.

My sleep was cut short by Otto, Tassar’s dog, barking, things were a little blurry for a moment then I realized the horses were agitated. I was up and over there as fast as I could, and what I saw astonished me for a minute. Undead orcs had entered the smaller cave by a concealed door and they were attacking the horses. Everyone was fighting and I was able to set 3 on fire before Deitricha sent them running. I got my lantern and followed Tassar and Areon down the tunnel and was attacked by living orcs. It was a battle and when all was said and done Areon was down. Tassar gave him a healing potion and I took him back to Deitricha for healing. All of us then returned to where Tassar was waiting and we followed the passage down to its end finding smoldering corpses along the way. I just smiled and followed at the back of the group. The passage led to a large room filled with undead. Tassar and Areon made the front line as Deitricha attempted to turn them and Theona shot at them. I cast some spells, then made 2 Molotov cocktails with my belt pouches and set several on fire. That’s when Areon fell Deitricha picked him up and carried him away, the Tassar fell, and Theona got him, I cast burning hands then ran myself then it gets a bit crazy. Tassar revived and wanted to fight some more and the only thing between him and the zombies was me so I turned back, cast burning hands again, and broke my lantern over one. At this point it looked as if everything was alive in flame. Areon came to after Tassar was knocked unconscious again, but he was convinced to run. We got back to the cave and Theona made the door stay closed as I went to get some sleep.

I was roused from my slumber again too soon and I asked if we were leaving or not. I was told it’s too bad to go so I slept some more. I woke in early afternoon to find my companions had followed my example and made 5 of those cocktails. They did a good job too, I smiled proudly and we got ready to open the door while Deitricha was preaching that we shouldn’t do this. One undead orc came through and I hit it with one of the cocktails the party made. It exploded nicely and I promptly went unconscious. Deitricha healed me and I saw that there was only one zombie dead at our feet so we continued looking for the others as Deitricha continued to preach behind me. I had to smile seeing all the smoldering corpses lying around. That’s what you call residual damage; I did that. We returned to the large room we found all the zombies in and there was a tapestry on the wall of a very evil orc pantheon. After some begging the party allowed me to burn it. I took great pleasure in doing that. After a bit Tassar came up to us and said he found more orcs and they were talking, so much to Deitricha displeasure, we are off to kill them all.

Posted by Fred at 12:34 | Antonio’s Journal

Oh, For Tymora's Sake..

Deitricha's Journal

Well, I gave Tassar my note. He took it and rode off on his dog, Otto, and hasn’t said a word about it since. I guess that means things are OK.

We met with the caravan and its master, Mr. Drake. There are two wagons (ours makes it three), and each wagon has a driver and a crossbow-wielding passenger, so we’re not the only defenders. I think Mr. Drake was relieved by that fact - some of my friends don’t think before they speak, at all! There are even extra horses for us to ride; I’m glad I have had some practice. We set off into the fog, with Theona watching the mountains, me watching the river, Tassar pacing the length of the caravan, Antonio driving, and Areon ranging ahead. It seemed to work out well.

A couple of hours into our journey, we met a patrol heading back into town and were pleased to hear that the road was clear ahead. The rest of the day passed quietly, although unusually foggy, cold, and windy. Toward evening, as we set up camp, it turned to snow. Antonio lit a fire but the blizzardlike conditions made it a poor one! The wagons were rocking in the wind, so Areon and Tassar went searching for better shelter and soon returned with word of a cave that we could get the wagons to. It wasn’t easy, but we had incentive!

When we got to the cave, Areon and I waited with the caravan while the others searched for signs of life. Antonio soon called out that the place was clear, so we led everyone in and settled down. It was a tight fit, but once some old ogre bones were piled into a corner and a fire lit (again) it wasn’t uncomfortable. There was a side cave to tether the horses in, and it didn’t take long for us to set watches and relax for the night.

I had a nap, and then second watch. Theona was up with me, and pretty nosy, too! I told her that it wasn’t polite to tell tales, but her curiosity about Tassar is kind of funny. I wonder just how curious she’ll get? I wonder what he would think? In the middle of asking me something quite rude, however, she suddenly cocked her head and whispered, “What’s that?”, while looking off to the horses’ cave. I got up to look, and so did Areon, but the horses’ agitation quickly turned to panic, and suddenly several bolted as one of their mates screamed in pain!

I could see an orc in the far corner, seemingly come from out of nowhere, attacking the horse closest to it. Areon charged in and killed the orc, which showed us that there was a secret door in the wall and several figures moving within. I hollered to the others (no doubt they were awake by now), telling them what was in the cave, and the next orc that shambled through the opening was rapidly met by Tassar and shot by Theona. Even as the other orcs tried to get through the doorway, we realized they were all undead; I raised my holy symbol and shouted, and they all retreated! Tassar killed the closest as it fled, and we were left with an open door.

I wondered out loud whether it would be better to simply block the door. The mountains are riddled with such foul creations, and we have a responsibility to stay with and protect the caravan. I don’t think anyone listened; Antonio flung something down the tunnel and set them all on fire, and he, Areon, and Tassar dashed through the doorway while Theona and I turned to check on the caravan. Poor Theona was terribly upset with herself for missing that secret door and gave the rest of the place another search, while I peered into the snowstorm in hopes that the caravaners would return with the escaped horses.

Even as the guards came back with the horses, including one poor beast that I had to heal, Tassar and Antonio arrived from the other direction (with Areon over his shoulder) and tales of live orcs as well as undead to fight. Areon used a wand of healing on himself while I healed Tassar, and we all walked down to make sure that nothing else would disturb us. I waited at a T junction of two tunnels to make sure nothing snuck up as the others searched in one direction, and then we set off together in the other. We found smoldering bodies from Antonio’s fires, which pleased him to no end. We also found a temple to an evil god, full of undead orcs!

We were rapidly engaged in battle - Tassar and Areon fightng hand-to-hand, Theona shooting arrows, Antonio flinging flaming flasks of oil into the crowd, and I, turning every one possible. It wasn’t enough. Both Tassar and Areon went down, so we pulled them out of danger and went running back up the tunnel. Tassar was only stunned; I was praying I’d be able to heal him, but next thing I knew, he was very much alive and kicking, wanting to be set down so he could go back and fight! We stopped to argue over this, letting the orcs catch up, which I found out when Antonio stopped next to us and suddenly cast some firey spell fifteen feet down the hallway into the ranks of our pursuers!

I saw Theona use Areon’s wand on him, but he still wasn’t moving, so I let Tassar go and began to drag the unconscious elf up the hallway instead. I didn’t get far before I saw Tassar go down again - whatever he took must not have healed him much. Leaving Areon to Theona, I dashed back down to grab him, earning myself a blow from one of the orcs even as Antonio got ahold of his friend and headed up the tunnel. I quickly turned and ran, and we all finally got away from our pursuers. We ran, in fact, all the way back to the cave, where I begged Theona to block the secret doorway so that we could rest in some sort of peace! Theona did so, and despite a muffled thumping from the other side, we left the elves watching, and napped the rest of the night away.

I woke the next morning to the sight of Mr. Drake scowling at the cave entrance; the weather had not let up all night. We talked it over, and decided to stay another day. Everyone was glad to rest up, pray, and memorize spells. Unfortunately, it also made for time to get bored. Areon and Tassar, especially, wanted to go fight undead! I tried my best to talk them out of it. I pointed out that we were being paid to guard the caravan, and not be distracted. If they go running off after every undead we find in the frozen North, we’ll never get anywhere! They were too busy making firebombs out of oil flasks and rags to listen. Soon, they cracked open the door, and the orc that had been thumping all night hacked its way into the room.

I swear, Tymora was trying to tell them something! My turning failed. Areon shot Antonio by mistake. Antonio set the thing on fire, but also got shot by Theona, and slumped to the floor. Areon finally killed the thing, only to find an empty tunnel behind. I made the mistake of waking Antonio up - the whole crazy lot of them immediately ran off down the tunnel! We made it to the temple without incident; it, too, was now empty. Disappointed, Antonio set a tapestry on fire, while Tassar wandered up yet another passage, and came dashing back to tell us he could hear live voices ahead. Itching for a fight we don’t need, I watched my cohorts disappear into the darkness. I’ll have to follow; I don’t want anyone to get killed. I just pray that the caravan is still safe when we return!

Posted by Kate at 22:27 | Deitricha’s Journal