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March 1, 2004

I Hate Wolves

William's Journal

Theona was at her home when I got there, but I think the loss of her friend weighed on her heavily. She seemed to accept my condolences, but when I offered her my services she asked me to do some strange things. At one point she even hid behind a tree to see what I’d do. I just stood there a bit confused. Then she told me to follow her to the inn.

Deitricha, and Areon were waiting there and after introductions, Theona asked where Tassar was. Two elves and a human cleric, I’ve been on caravans with a lot less. I can tell we’re off to a great start already. Deitricha and I went to get their two horses and, strangely enough, a riding dog. I picked up Comet, my warhorse, and off we went to the west gate to wait for the others. Soon Theona and Areon showed up with Tassar and thatís when I realized the purpose of the riding dog. Say what you will about halflings, I like this Tassar fellow. Nicer than some people I’ve traveled with.

With all of us riding we made it to a small hamlet before sunset. We decided to stop for the night, eat, drink, then go out in the morning. Being a bit short on cash I took a spot in the common room. It was okay; I wasnít the only one there. I got up early and after a quick breakfast we set out again.

It was easy traveling and it wasn’t long till we saw the tower and my spirits fell. Close to the tower was a lone wolf. I hate wolves. No one believed me that it was a bad thing till out of nowhere the rest of the pack attacked us. I can still hear my fatherís words echoing through time, “Wolves never hunt alone. If you see one, expect twenty.” and I did.

The next thing I knew I had a wolf on my ankles. I tried to hit it with a spell, then run but neither worked, and I was down. As it tried to drag me away I took one final swing with my mace. If I’m going down, I’m going to take as many as I can with me. Then everything went dark.

In the darkness of oblivion I returned back to a time almost thirteen years ago. I was eight or nine and riding with my father. Looking off to the one side, I saw the biggest dog I’d ever seen up till then. “Look dad!” I yelled, and as he turned I watched his face pale. “Get in the back, get down and stay there!” He practically threw me in the back of the wagon as he said it. Then the horses started to run as fast as they could. There was no attack that day, but my father explained to me later what could have happened.

Then the darkness recedes and I’m looking up into a face that appears to be outlined in pure light. The face smiles apparently relieved and pulls away from view leaving me staring at the sun. Deitricha had healed my wounds and was off to see if anyone else needed healing. Tassar, at this point, mentions eating some wolf meat. I said it sounded good, and as he cooked I looked at our surroundings. In this tower there was one stairwell. It went up about six feet or so, and down into darkness.

After lunch we tried to allow Theona to go first but I fell along with Tassar and Otto, Tassarís dog. I only took a few seconds to look around. As I watched Tassar set fire to cobwebs in one room I heard Deitricha yell from another. Peering out I saw the strangest insect on her back. I hit it with magic missile then stepped back for Tassar to get closer. Soon I was able to see more, so I missiled them also. Weíre just standing around right now, so I’ll wait till theyíre ready to move on.

Posted by Fred at 07:30 | William’s Journal

To the Tower!

Deitricha's Journal

I spent half the morning hanging out at the tavern. At least I didn’t hear of anything bad happening to anyone I knew! After a while, I was distracted by a funny sight out of the window; Theona, walking over from her treehouse ahead of a humanoid creature. She was also sneaking around him, and hiding from him, while he stood out in the street and cast odd looks after her! Finally they entered the tavern and I was introduced to “William, a nonhuman mage” (think silver eyes), who was looking for work and offered to join us after our loss. I had no objections, nor did Areon from his quiet corner of the bar, so he and Theona headed out to get Tassar. William and I headed out of town with the party’s mounts. I met Comet the Warhorse, who probably outweighs our packhorses and Otto altogether!

We all met outside the West Gate in the rain. Tassar was looking a lot better, and in a better mood, which made me so glad I hugged him. He lit right into William, showing him his back and pointing out that it’s not a good idea to stab party members there. He also demanded that William buy him ale, and pretended to be miffed that he hadn’t the means to do so right there! William, thankfully, took it in good part. He mentioned there were quite some rumors going around about our crew; I imagine we’d be hard-put to top whatever stories the gossip mill has invented for us! Since two of the party were already riding, and it was still raining, Theona, Areon, and I decided to try riding the packhorses for the day. It wasn’t terribly comfortable, but the trip did go faster!

We re-reached the Frosty Mug by nightfall, and had a short debate about whether to press on to the tower right then. We agreed that the animals could use a rest, but I admit, I didn’t act very heroic; I announced that I was cold, wet, and tired, and I wanted to go to bed! I then paid over a gold piece and got a room to myself and turned in. I must have been quite a sight; Tassar elected to stay down in the common room with everyone else. In truth, if the bad things around here all happen at night, it would be wiser to check things out in the daylight. This night, at least, passed quietly at the inn; we ate breakfast, paid to stable the horses for a few days while we checked the tower, and headed out on foot (and one Otto). Oh, yes, and two extra waterskins full of ale; one for Tassar, and one for Theona of all folk!

It was still raining, but the way was clear. We made it past the former troll’s tracks without another incident, and soon could see the low remains of the tower on top of a hill. We all heard a howl, and saw a wolf at the crest, watching us. William was not at all comfortable with the sight, telling us there would be more, but we didn’t have many options, and decided to walk on up. Sure enough, by the time we reached the tower, there were quite a few wolves coming out of the brush! Tassar shouted for us to get our backs to the tower, but the wolves took that opportunity to charge into battle. Theona and Areon made it to the tower, and began shooting arrows into our attackers, but the rest of us were not so light on our feet. Poor William was soon knocked right off of his feet and dragged away. Tassar was dragged off of Otto but the two of them kept right on fighting beside each other, and I was at their backs, cracking wolves over the head with my quarterstaff. It was mass confusion for a while, but I saw Areon go charging by to help William, and then come back to us - next thing I knew, the remaining wolves were running away and Tassar was informing me that I looked like hell. Sheesh!

We killed quite a few wolves; I hope it keeps the others away for a while. Tassar, of course, had to cook one, and William was happy to help him dispose of it. I was able to heal him up but his one boot is now well-chewed! While we sat just inside the doorway, and I healed myself and the others, Theona noted that the wolves had never followed her into the enclosure during the fight. Interesting! Despite this sign of unusual things, William wandered off to check the place out, earning himself a scolding from Theona. She’s a little protective of our mage, now, methinks! He did find a spiral staircase into the ground below the tower, and there wasn’t really anything left aboveground, so we carefully headed inside. Of course, it was still raining and slippery, so several of the party took the fast trip down! Luckily, it wasn’t too deep; we all found ourselves in a hallway, and set to exploring the rooms.

I was standing in the hallway and watching the others when I heard Theona’s strangled cry for help. Running to her, I found a strange buglike creature attached to the back of her neck and smashed it off with my staff. Several more flew out of the room and attacked us all! Unfortunately, Theona and I were closest, and took the most damage. The things were sucking our blood, and our health with it! We managed to kill them all, eventually (in fact, I saw Tassar kill two at once - one attached to Otto, and one to me!), and I’m covered with blood from the last - magic missiles make them explode! I guess we’ll soon be moving on from here to see what else may by lurking. If we’re lucky, those awful creatures were the cause of the animal deaths on the district. But how much luck have we had, so far?

Posted by Kate at 18:27 | Deitricha’s Journal