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The Usual Routine

Ghelt’s Journal

Dearest Grun,

Well, things are looking up again. We never quite make it to the point of breaking off with each other entirely!

It was dusk of the second day in GreyHawk by the time Drusilia and I got back to the inn. We found that both Aramil and Fafnir were there, so we sat down for dinner and hoped that night time would bring “pockets” back from his wanderings. He soon arrived, looking worried, and told us he’d found out that Durll was in town, too, and running the assassins’ guild. He wanted out of town fast - before Durll had us all killed.

We felt tolerably safe in the inn, so we talked over our options despite an increasingly agitated elf. Drusilia still wished to talk to another avatar, which suited me just fine, but she had to wait for the morning. (At this point we turned to the Sword of Pelor discussion again. I leaned over to Drusilia and whispered a thought that had just occurred to me; namely, we’d never asked nicely for the sword back. She turned to “pockets” and tried it out - and it worked! He did get a promise that she’d pay for it later, and didn’t specify a sum, but at least the Sword is back in the right hands. Moradin must have whispered in my ear!) Teleporting to Red Castle now and talking in the morning seemed like a good idea; things might be dangerous there, but “pockets” did his best to convince us that the unknown would still be better than here! Drusilia mentioned that her temple now considered her to be the head of the place, so she ought to let them know she was leaving town. I understood, but “pockets” seemed to think us suicidal.

We set out for Drusilia’s temple - just a 500 foot walk, but in the near-darkness. “pockets”, paranoid, stayed way back from the mian group. Turned out he was right - we didn’t make it far before he shouted at us to run! I could just see a shadowy figure in the street, going for him and then ducking down an alley. Hoping it was over now that it had been seen, I called for “pockets” to catch up, but he yelled at us to keep going and came up opposite the alley to aim his bow down the length. Fafnir ran. Aramil stared - shouldn’t he know his friend’s abilities? Drusilia cast a light. Deciding that “pockets” knew the most about this kind of fighting, I gave her a shove to get running (Sorry, Drusilia), then grabbed Aramil and started up the street.

Of course, as we all finally got moving, I looked back - and, being a dwarf, could see what the others could not. “pockets” was down in the street, and I didn’t want to think of what would happen if that figure took him to Durll. So, I turned and ran back. Watch, thankfully, was with me - and I prayed that she’d listen as I pointed down the alley and told her to “get him”! I heard her yip and prayed her healing abilities were working, as I slapped my best healing spell on “pockets” and hauled him over my shoulder. I took off running for the temple, shouted over my shoulder for Watch to come back, and got to the steps while Fafnir was still banging on the door for admittance. Aramil had his new bow out, covering the street over our heads, while Drusilia and I healed our teammate and the priests finally unlocked the door. We piled inside, finished healing “pockets”, and let Drusilia give her message while I gave my Watch lots of treats and a belly rub and told her what a good girl she was!

We found out that they were still searching for the former head of the temple - still mad, he’s now in the catacombs below. This worried “pockets”, surprisingly, but we hoped the temple guards and paladin would be all right and prepared to teleport. This involved much nocking of arrows. Hope Pelor didn’t mind! Fafnir set his spell, and... we arrived outside the ruins of an old castle, still in the middle of the night. One wall was crashed in, and skeletons were hung from the ramparts. “pockets” was all for immediately taking them down, but we convinced him to wait - no need to let everyone in the countryside know someone was here right away. We could see two intact towers beyond the gatehouse, and decided that we must be in the right place. The gatehouse itself was in tolerable condition, so Fafnir cast a magical shelter inside and we rested.

I woke up in the morning to the sight of “pockets” painting Aramil’s face in his sleep. I had to laugh; I guess everyone’s reurning to normal. After praying and studying, we spoke about calling the avatar, and decided to wait until we found this urn so we could ask about it. We’re pretty sure we can find it without help; I hope we’re right! Drusilia cast “detect magic” and began to wander around inside the castle, so I walked with her to guard, and so did Aramil. Watch played about, and the other two started opening any intact doors they could find. They didn’t get far before they were attacked by giant spiders in one of the towers - what is it with us and spiders? As we ran over to help, the spiders disappeared into thin air. What a freaky place! Fafnir called them “phase spiders” and got really nervous, saying they were still around, and be ready to fight. Sure enough, the spiders reappeared long enough to bite, and were gone again. Argh! I readied my sword, Drusilia cast spells on people’s arrows, Fafnir concentrated on a spell, and “pockets” swung wildly at the air until the spiders reappeared and we all took a shot. Finally, the spiders were dead, the cobwebs inside the tower were burnt up, and Aramil set himself on fire. Drusilia put him (and the rest of the tower) out with a well-placed “create water”, and I waited in the doorway to watch over the place while the others explored the ruins.

Someone called for me to look at the ceiling and say if it looked sturdy enough to walk on - I told them it was OK for one person, and listened to careful footsteps. I’m not sure what they did next, but I heard voices, then “pockets” hollering about having a personal healer. Were they talking about payment for the Sword? I’ll have to ask later, because the voices got high up, and then the staircase came crumbling down. Next thing I knew, I heard shouting and several crashes, and the whole ceiling fell into the room behind me, with Drusilia, “pockets”, and a couple of other floors’ worth of stonework mixed in. Aramil and I laughed a lot, Grun, and then dug everyone out. Drusilia was giggling, too, which set “pockets” to cursing to make up for it. Fafnir decided it was safer to explore the rest of the place on his own, and came back to tell us that he’d found a used-looking staircase, heading down. Well, the urn is below the ruins, so I guess that’s our next destination! I pray the orcs aren’t too tough. Perhaps, Aramil’s still-painted face will help disconcert them.

At least we’re having fun again, Grun. I pray all ends well!

With love,

Posted by Kate on November 23, 2003, 14:12 | Ghelt’s Journal