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April 16, 2004

We've Found Something...

William's Journal

We dispatched those zombies a little too easily and I soon found out why. The party split up and I followed Rosorc figuring he’d be the safest bet. He checked a room while I waited in the hall. Shortly after he vanished from view I heard a noise off to the one side and Rosorc holler for help in another direction. He was closer so I went to see what was happening only to find him fighting what looked like a shadowy thing. I attempted to help, and then Theona appeared cast some light then ran off to get everyone else. I didn’t know it at the time, but they had problems of their own they were dealing with. Eventually Deitricha came and somehow made Rosorc’s waraxe a magical weapon. He was able to finish off the shadowy things and that’s when I saw a light off in the distance. Tassar was fighting something but I couldn’t make out what it was. The three of us immediately went to help. It was more zombies and some other undead with a bit more intelligence in their eyes. It was an interesting but short battle ending with Rosorc telling us that the black rose was glowing. As Rosorc was attempting to find which way the portal was it opened right before us in swirling colors. Something cold touched me at that point and I felt very weak, so I quickly jumped through the portal…

and into a hall. Everyone else slowly appeared as if out of nowhere. Rosorc mentioned the dwarven architecture ad so I asked if he knew where we were. He didn’t and so Areon and Tassar both scouted. We ended up following Tassar down to a small room with writing on the wall. Rosorc read aloud the history of this place. The story ended up being spread across 4 rooms. I know we’re in our home world now, but not to sure exactly where. It was mentioned about resting here and so we did. A good night’s sleep did help to clear my head a little and with the healing Deitricha had given me I have most of my strength now. In the morning we explored a bit. Rosorc was beaming with pride when we found a large room with banners of different dwarven families hanging on the walls. We looked down a side door and started searching the smaller rooms. Tassar ran ahead as he often does and when I saw him toss his torch back I knew he found something. Now we’re going to see what.

Posted by Fred at 03:16 | William’s Journal

Once Lost, Once Found

Rosorc's Journal

Walking around the first corner into the next room, we met the onslaught of another pile of undead beings. Quickly, I manuvered myself to cover Theona’s back while still charging the closest zombie available. Two quick swings and I was on to the next. Nothing like a good fight to displace all of the thoughts rolling through my head.

Realizing Theona, William, and Areon were doing little damage to the zombies, I whirled as I dropped the next one. Lowering my visor I heard the song of battle rage in my head. A song, no, a good song, one that this dwarf is used to. Swinging my axe with cold and methodical precision, I helped my friends in need.

As a new batch of undead charged out of the catacombs, Deitricha hollered to her god and turned a large part of them. After they crumbled to dust, all that was left were a few friends Tassar was playing with at the far end of the chamber. Still charged with the lust for battle, I helped put his wanna-be comrades to rest for good.

Room clear of any acting foes, I pulled my visor up, glancing for my Lady Theona. Somehow, through all of the commotion, she wound up next to Areon. Now I am not the brightest dwarf but I have to think that something is up. Ever since Theona and my wonderful night of dinner, it seems like the only one getting closer to her is Areon.

Brushing off any such thoughts I started listening to the others. Every one was scrambling about looking for loot. Concerned about finding the portal in time, I pulled out the rose and waved it around the room. Definitely no portals, here. Placing it back safely behind my shield, I started to explore the catacombs myself.

I wandered down a short hall, hearing the voices of my friends still echoing here and there. Not having a torch didn’t bother me. Being a dwarf, it was a non-issue, or so I thought. Not seeing anything of the portal in this room, I wandered into the next. My friends’ voices were moving the other way. Seems Tassar was in some sort of trouble. Their voices seemed to be coming from both ways, in front of and behind me. So, I chose to run forward to help. I figured I could search for the portal along the way.

As I ran forward to help Tassar I ran into two very cold and shadowy forms. They immediately closed to attack. Dropping my visor, I swung my axe. The only reward for my effort was a clean pass right through the nearest being. Then they were on me.

I must have screamed as they both touched me the first time. A chilling burst of energy sapped the strength right out of my chest. Their damned hands passed right through my armour. My legs buckled momentarily. Then I stepped back and swung my axe again. The same nonsense. My axe passed right through, not even fazing my foe.

Now I knew I was in trouble. I backed to the wall and fished an oil flask out of my pouch. At this point, I heard William’s and Theona’s voices coming up the hall. I threw the oil flask in the shadowy figures’ general direction and shattered it on the floor. Remembering the ploy William and I had used once before, I called for him to use his burning hands spell. He let loose but it didn’t seem to affect either creature. On top of which, it missed the oil.

A low light came from the hallway. Then Theona was there with a small globe of light in her hand. Her beauty shone even in the low light. Not wanting her to know I was in trouble, and fearing for my very existence, I quickly mumbled something about Tassar needing her and tossed her a scroll I told her I had found in the catacombs. Now this was no ordinary scroll. It was a well penned letter from myself to her with all that I felt for her......

My Dearest Lady Theona,

Your every whim holds me bound in rapture. I am struck beyond return. From your dimples, to your wry upturned smile, your beautiful long flowing hair, your wit and intellect that seems to have no bounds, I am mesmerized and transfixed. Truly I don’t now what I can do. My waking moments are consumed with seeing you happy and just being there in your life.

My inner being cries for me to share the beauty and joy gifted to me by the mountains. To hold your hand, to stroke your cheek, to sing the sweet joys of life, to grow old in your arms. The well of this dwarf’s heart runs deep indeed. Strong and pure, undaunted and open, for all to see.

I have prayed long and hard to Clangeddin as to what I should do. He has sent me signs that the mountains do not lie. My heart is bound to you. It may not be probable that your feelings will ever change, but it is written in the great halls that I must and will be there, if or when they do.

Caring and living from a distance, I will not hide my feelings. Nor shall I push too hard. I shall be there; your rock of security in life’s darkest storms.
My Lady, I ask you this one boon. I bid you always wear your chain as I shall always wear mine. Bound in destiny under the mountains, somewhere is written our love truly belongs.

Always Yours,

Believing I was indeed in trouble, I truly wanted her to know how I felt if I succumbed to these foes I seemingly couldn’t hurt. Within in a moment she had turned and was gone. Relieved and stressed at the same time, I braced myself for the beings’ next round of attacks.

That is when I heard Deitricha yell. As she did, one of the figures dropped right into the floor. The other one put what could be its hand right into my chest again, and I dropped to a knee. My breath labored in my chest, and my armour seemed to weigh a ton. I tried to raise my axe but it hung limply in my hands.

Then Deitricha started to mumble, then yell. A wave of strength washed through my body. The cold spots in my chest disappeared. Then my axe began to glow. Not a bright light but a low almost throbbing light. Knowing in some way I should, I swung my axe for all I was worth.

A smile slowly crept across my face as I felt it slowly pass though the creature. Rising up off my knee, for the first time I knew I had struck home. It shuddered and then touched me again. My strength momentarily lapsed. Then Deitricha stepped behind me and started to yell. I don’t know what she was doing but she forced the weakness out of my body as I fought the shadowy figure.

Finally with a great chop I dispersed the being for good. Turning to Deitricha with a greatful smile, I thanked her. Then I turned to run ahead towards where Tassar’s voice was coming from. Seems even from here, I could hear the grunts of battle and the clatter of weapons.

William ran at my side. Both of us encountered the whirling battle at the same time. As I entered the fray I took a quick gouge wound. Somehow the ghoul had found an open spot in one of the joints of my armour. A quick queasy feeling came over me, though my body pushed it off. Axe still glowing with Deitricha’s magic, I quickly put it to work. I dropped one quickly before I heard another yell.

All of the undead dropped to the floor in piles of dust. I knew that Deitricha was the only one in the group with such power, so I looked at her and gave her a quick salute with my axe. She then turned quickly and started inspecting Tassar. Seems he had taken lots of damage in his battles so far. She laid hands upon him and called for the aid of her Goddess, healing up what she could for him. Areon and Theona came down the hall at this point... looking no worse for wear.

I had dropped the black rose at my feet in my last swing. As I bent to pick it up, a large glimmering door appeared in the wall several feet from me. I knew right away that this was what we were looking for. I quickly hollered for everyone to hurry through and that I would buy the first round....Clangeddin be praised I could use a couple of thick and frothies at this point... when we got to an Inn or tavern.

As my companions started to leap through the portal, the shadowy figure Deitricha had driven away returned and charged me. Weapon still glowing I charged right at it. Tassar, quick to seek a fight, was right at my side. As I drew close I hollered for him to go to the portal, that his weapons would be no good on this foe... besides, this one was personal.

I swung once, a mighty blow. Nearly running lengthwise through its corporeal body. After a quick dodge I cleaved it out of existence with my second swing. As I turned in triumph I noticed I was alone. Everyone else was gone. Portal glowing in front of me, I dropped into thought....

In retrospect, I wondered what I was doing here, new companions aside. The old Rosorc would have pushed off all of these trying situations and caught a good buzz at the local Inn. Now, I’m not thinking that I would go dry or anything as ludicrous as that. I realized that some things in life are worth working for. Heck worth working hard for....I really know I just didn’t say that!

My brain buzzing with so many thoughts, I raised the black rose and took a long whiff of its heady fragrance. I thought of my beautiful Theona’s face in that low candle light not so long ago and stepped blindly into the portal.

Opening my eyes, I was almost knocked off my feet. As far as I could see was the most amazing stonework I had ever seen. A thirty foot wide corridor. No visible support pillars. Every part of the walls and ceiling intricately etched. This was a dwarves’ Nirvana. I was so engrossed by my new surroundings, I hadn’t noticed Tassar take off down the hall. Or Theona and Areon take off the other way.

Hearing Tassar yell for me I turned and walked in awe. Reaching the large door he had entered, I followed. A large sitting chamber with a rock garden was inside. This was obviously a holy site. The rocks in the room almost hummed with dwarven power and might. No one else was present in the room, but the rocks obviously remembered times past.

Taking several minutes, I translated a story along the wall. From it I gathered we were in the lost Hold of the Delzoun Dwarves. They had been lost from history over 3,000 years prior. A place that no other dwarf in a long time had tread. I took a quick nip from my flask and then offered thanks to Clangeddin for his favor. I was witnessing what dwarven scholars only dreamed of. I walked through all ten chambers, devouring every story written on every wall. Dwarven heroes’ names and deeds that were only faint myths at home, were commonplace here.

Worn out, we decided to rest. As I was still looking about this glorious place, I said I would take first watch. The time passed uneventfully. I reread some of what was on the walls. After my watch ended I passed out from exhaustion.

Sleep took me but I didn’t rest. I had a dream.. Well what I think was a dream. It was so real. When I awoke I was covered in sweat and shivering to the bone. I quickly jotted down all that I remembered. I will write this out in full, I thought. There is a message here. Not wanting to alarm the others, I kept this to myself.

Already shaken, I rose to see Theona and Areon huddled together. They were whipering back and forth. I saw her hand him my letter. Then, she slowly removed my chain and attached it to a fine silver drinking flask.

I couldn’t believe it. She was ready to show her true feelings. Now she had taken our courtship to the next level. I wonder how she knew dwarven culture so well. That she knew she would have to return the chain to me with a gift to acknowledge us as life partners under the mountain. What was I worrying about? I hope Areon didn’t take it too hard. This Lady Theona is such a wonderful being. How was I blessed to find her.....

Happy as the brewmaster on taste test day, I got myself around. Ate some hard tack and washed it down with some ale. I then sat down and changed the braid in my beard. It was an intricate braid. It was to let all know that this dwarf was spoken for.

After the others rose I didn’t let on to what I had seen. I would wait for the surprise from my lady. Tassar was up, grumbling about food and badgering Deitricha about more privacy. William was talking to Areon about being somewhere around the “spine mountains”.

As I listened, I noticed Tassar must have gotten bored again. He was wandering down the hall with Deitricha in tow. I turned to follow. Shooting Theona a wink and smile, I realized that this would be a great day.

After traveling down a large corridor we came to what had to be the Great Hall. It was huge, making Citadel Adbar seem small by comparison. War banners hung as if they were just placed there yesterday. Tapestries hung with family names and crests. This was getting weird. Just like in my dream... I stopped cold in my tracks. There was a family banner that I knew very well. It hung in my father’s smithy. It was ours. The Ironfeld Crest. What strange tie did I have to this long dead place?

Tassar was asking if I would “mind if we took some of the tapestries for sale later”. Taken out of my suprised stupor I quickly snapped, “No.” That is when we saw them. Orc tracks in the dust. Fresh orc tracks at that.

One thing we all agree on, it is the hatred of orcs. Tassar was almost possessed as he hurried about, running from one room to the next. Knowing his intentions, I tried to keep up. As he ripped open the fifth door I heard him shout with glee. Tearing down the hall, I was quick to follow.

Down the hall was a room filled with orcs. Stinky, smelly, ugly orcs. Defiling, now what I can only assume, what was at one time my forefathers’ home. I was so angered, I stopped feeling the ground beneath me as I charged down the hall....

Posted by Erik at 14:00 | Rosorc’s Journal