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Alunys’ Journal

Nymm 8, 998 YK
Mossmantle in the Eldeen Reaches

After declaring ourselves more or less rested, we decided to watch the bandit cave for a while to learn more about their comings and goings. We were quickly rewarded by seeing four bandits, apparently coming back from patrolling, enter the cave. Defender was quite sure that there would be a replacement patrol emerging soon….

Three hours later, the cave entrance was completely undisturbed by comings and goings. We needed to get those farmers out of there! Recalling the other doors from the great cavern inside, Alayi circled around to where she thought those might lead if they led to the outside; soon she came back with news of a crevasse fifteen or twenty minutes’ walk away.

The crevasse led 45’ down at a sharp angle, into water. Defender, who did not need to worry about drowning, went in and discovered that it was only a short “walk” under the water till he emerged in a cave with a small beach with buckets lining the edge. The bandits knew about the cave, but perhaps not about the opening to the outside, as there were no guards. While the shifter and I were willing to let Defender lead us the fifteen or so feet under water to the cave, Tomas said there was no way he was going in that way. Alayi didn’t think her wolf would do well underwater either, so the human and the wolf went around to the front entrance, planning to provide some sort of distraction for us, though of course it would take a while for them to get back to that entrance.

The remaining three of us went through the watery entrance and soon found ourselves going through a cavern lined with lanterns, crates and boxes, all no doubt stolen from the local caravans. We went a little ways down a tunnel and came to a door— a door apparently bolted from the inside, and Defender could not open it. Alayi and I peeked under with a torch and saw… boots. Before we could react to that though, Tomas found the perfect distraction to provide.

The shrieking mushrooms were announcing his arrival beyond the bandits’ main cavern. Defender and I ran towards the sound and found that we were at the opposite end— bandits were grabbing weapons and running towards the shrieking, past the imprisoned farmers, so I started firing arrows into them as they went to attack Tomas. Defender waded in beside me and started to cleave a swath through them, and I was glad he did, for they seemed to have a particular dislike for me!

I was wounded so severely in the first few seconds of the fight that I had to retreat a bit to heal myself. I could hear Alayi fighting someone behind me. I kept my back to her, as it sounded as though she had the upper hand, and continued to shoot arrows into the bandits. Finally all that could be heard was the shrieking mushrooms— I ran out to check on the farmers while Defender and Alayi went to find Tomas and Fang. Moments later, the four of them returned, the mushrooms having been silenced by Tomas.

Tomas went to the room Alayi indicated to search what we assumed was the jailor (Darvin) for keys. He returned and let the farmers out, then went back to search Darvin’s room more thoroughly. He found a good bit of gold, a nice longsword (which I now carry), some potions, and a tabard of the Emerald Claw. I am sorry to see the Order’s influence beyond the Five Nations. Or anywhere.

The farmers, it turns out, are Mevin, his wife, and two sons— not lost in the fire as we feared. Mevin believes that Darvin was planning on selling the family into slavery. He wants to rebuild where his barn and home stood, and though his neighbors will pitch in to help, we gave them a good portion of the gold we found, hoping it will pay for anything else that needs replaced.

Now came the matter of returning Mevin’s family to their land, and getting all the stolen goods back to Mossmantle. We figured Alayi could make it back faster on her own than with us in tow, so she took off on foot while we waited in the caves. The night was uneventful, and she returned a few hours after sunrise with half the village and as many wagons as they could provide.

After our return, the people of Mossmantle held a feast in our honor! We spent a few days just healing and recuperating from our time fighting the bandits, but soon everyone was restless again. My companions were considering heading to Varnar, or helping Mevin rebuild, but I told them about the reason I’d come to Mossmantle in the first place; I was reluctant to leave again now that there were not such urgent matters of evil to attend to elsewhere.

When the “Evil falls from the stars at the mantle of moss” arrived, it was not subtle. A large galley ship with with a ring of fire driving it— a Lyrandar airship— came into view just east of the hamlet. I don’t believe Alayi or Tomas had ever seen one. I’ve seen plenty, but never this far from the normal travel routes. And, this one was clearly in distress as it passed over us; it shuddered, smoke pouring from it, and with a lurch and the sound of some explosions, began an alarming descent to the west. It was going to crash….

Posted by Kristin on February 16, 2007, 23:56 | Alunys’ Journal