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A Short and Savage Day

Ghelt’s Journal

Dearest Grun,

It’s been a short but eventful few hours! We’ve worn ourselves out already, and we’re resting for the rest of the afternoon and evening, so I have plenty of time to write to you.

Lighting various devices, we entered the staircase Fafnir had found. It spiraled down to a number of hallways, and the others explored while I checked out the darkness beneath the base of the steps. We’re learning, however slowly! “pockets” found a door with light flickering beyond, so we readied ourselves for trouble as he opened it and stepped back.

The torchlight in the large chamber beyond showed us a most astonishing sight! The place was full of motionless orc figures, which we quickly discovered were made of stone. Carefully, we walked inside. The faces of the orcs showed sheer terror - what could have done such a thing? And, since the firelight wasn’t magical, it must have happened recently; where was the cause now? While “pockets” turned or tipped over as many orcs as he could (and took the hinges off the door we’d entered by), we checked out the room itself. There was an ordinary wooden door and a steel one, covered with symbols. I called Fafnir, who said they were for warding. He wouldn’t touch the door, even to make part invisible to see through. The wooden door seemed the safest to try, so “pockets” listened at it, and swung it open. He promptly turned to stone!

Can you imagine our feelings, Grun?

Aramil screamed and began shooting arrows into the doorway, while Drusilia cast her flamestrike spell, Fafnir sent a fireball into it, and the thing entered the room we were in. I shot at it with my crossbow while hiding behind a stone column. As the others kept casting spells at it, Aramil and I shot arrows, all of us trying to keep from meeting the thing’s gaze. Watch ran right in and attacked it, bless her! Somehow, we killed it - Fafnir finished it off with another fireball, and Aramil chopped off its head. Somehow, none of the rest of us had been turned to stone. Poor “pockets”, to warn us in such a way!

Aramil was distressed for his friend, and also for his familiar. His spellbook wasn’t on “pockets”, but his toad had been! It had escaped being turned to stone, but was burned pretty badly by the subsequent battle. I healed the poor thing while we wondered if our friend was still alive somehow in the statue he’d become. I checked the medusa’s remains for an antidote to her power, and found her weapons and a scroll, but it had been burned in the battle. Fafnir read it and said that the spells he could still read were of no help. He’d been checking the room behind the wooden door and gave me a 70 pound lump of gold and platinum to carry in return. They’d really cooked the place!

Drusilia wondered out loud if the avatar we hadn’t called yet might help - and this seemed downright providential to me. We’d put off calling it for so many reasons, it made me think this was why! Yasmin arrived quickly, and Drusilia explained our new plight while ofering it the Sword of Pelor. It took both the sword and “pockets” away with it! It soon returned, however, with “pockets” alive and well. I was so glad, I hugged him! That was a lucky thing for Aramil, who happily showed him the severed medusa’s head, saying “We killed it!”, and nearly got beaten by “pockets” who’d seen more of her than he ever wanted to again.

Finally, we looked behind the steel door. Fafnir peered inside and told us it was just a stairway, so we decided to check the other doors on this floor first. The rest of the place was full of stone creatures, including an elf in a cell, which disturbed “pockets”, who unhinged the cell door just in case the elf ever reanimated. We returned to the steel door and headed down the steps. As we stepped into a large room at the bottom, between two huge stone minotaurs, an iron grate crashed down behind us - leaving Fafnir outside the room! And, of course, the statues began to move.

Lightning bolts, magic missiles, grease, my sword - we did knock one over, and it promptly reverted to being just a statue, but the other was barely hurt, and smashed Drusilia hard, and hurt my Watch badly, which I was starting to think impossible! Arrows did nothing, a stone elemental from Fafnir barely distracted it, and I got in a couple of hits before all went dark.

I woke up in the far corner with Drusilia bending over me. I could see Aramil using my sword against the minotaur, along with “pockets” and the elemental, and my poor dog lying in the corner. As I ran to get her, we shouted back and forth, deciding wisely that it was time to run. Fafnir had melted the iron bars away, and “pockets” threw hundreds of marbles on the floor. The minotaur crashed to the ground as we ran by and up the stairs!

We healed everyone up, but we’re pretty well out of spells - both for healing and for fighting! The rest of the day is for rest and figuring out how to handle this new problem. Wish us luck, Grun!

With love,

Posted by Kate on November 30, 2003, 14:54 | Ghelt’s Journal