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December 2, 2002

Strange Day

Trap's Journal

We started out all right, went down the trap door (after taking it off its hinges). At the bottom, there was a lot of crypts. The walls were lined with them. After searching a bit, we discovered that the newest one was dated 161 years ago. Talk about old. We followed a hall of them for a while, then came to a room with two different sets of stairs leading down. We took the one to the right because it stank really badly. (Group decision, not mine). We were then attacked by zombies. I noticed that all the crypts were open (yes a lot of them, lost count in the 300s). There were only 2 human zombies, and some rat zombies. After we dispatched them and looked around, we found 2 things of interest. 1: there was a cave in that the dwarf said looked intentional. 2: a still sealed tomb with a sun symbol that looks like it belongs to Pelor. I was all for breaking the seal, but was out voted. We then went back to the other room, and down the other stairs, and that’s when things got interesting.

We found a bronze door with Nerull’s symbol on it. After searching the door, I noticed a strange mechanism. I tried to disable it, but was unsuccessful. I fell into a pit trap much to the obvious delight of my companions (it was kind of funny though). There was a dead duergar dwarf stuck on some spikes so I searched his body for good stuff. I found a shiny axe (I was told it was made of mithral) a sling and bullets, and 11 gold coins. Not bad. Istus decided I was not to disarm the trap, so we improvised on our way across it.

We found an altar, and a statue of Nerull in this room, and when we got too close, we were attacked by skeletons. I’m not sure what happened then, I was fighting one then the next thing I know I’m handed an axe, and I hit Nerull’s statue. I promptly dropped the axe, and backed away. My companions finished that skeleton for me. They checked the rooms the undead came out of, and found nothing. We went down one of the 2 doors left. We found a torture chamber, more undead locked in cells, a bed room, and a ghoul in a secret room, I burned him to death, but lost my lantern. We then found 2 gold candlesticks, a femur bone with runes on it, a chest with 100 gold, 100 silver coins, and 3 gems. Here the spell casters needed rest, so we’re holding up for now. We have a couple of loose ends to finish up, I just hope I didn’t lose my job, I forgot to tell my boss I was going to be gone for a couple of days.

Posted by Fred at 13:58 | Trap’s Journal

December 4, 2002

Combing the Catacombs

Drusilia's Journal

Starday, Planting 8, 592 CY

Luckily, our night passed uneventfully. There was some bumping around outside of the room we holed up in— apparently the melted-looking creatures wandering around. After a quick breakfast of trail rations, we opened the trap door we’d rested beside, and with Ghelt leading, climbed down a full 100 feet to catacombs that stretched out as far as we could see. The halls were filled with niches holding remains of the Everstons. Trap was able to make out the nameplate on one: Marcus Everston 348-402 CY. The last date we found was still 161 years old, and we lost count of the sepulchers after about 100. Halls full of burial vaults branched off from the main one and we just wandered through them until we came to a pair of staircases, both leading down. There were footprints going back and forth between the two in the thick dust, and, noticing a horrible stench emanating from the one on our left, we chose to check it out first. As soon as we reached the bottom of the stairs, we were hit full force by the smell of death and decay. Dozens of burial vaults lined the walls, each having been smashed open. Two undead humanoid creatures turned at the far end of this area started shambling towards us. I turned them so that they would not attack our party, and while Ghelt started to hack at one with her axe, Fafnir lit arrows for Trap to shoot at the other. Though Ghelt clearly had the upper hand, she was suddenly attacked by small, zombified rats, so I took greater effort to invoke Pelor’s blessings. The zombies were destroyed. We were fortunate not to encounter any more undead in this area of the crypts. We did come to a door, sealed with Pelor’s fiery sun emblem, and though Trap really wanted to see what lay within, the rest of us were concerned that the seal had been placed there to keep some great evil away. Breaking the seal may have caused unknown damage, so unless we learn more about it, we will leave it be.

We eventually went back to the level above and took the other staircase. This one had a bronze door with the symbol of Nerull, god of death set upon it. Trap was sure the door was trapped. And he was right! He made several attempts to disarm the trap, resulting in a spiked pit trap opening in front of the door each time he opened it. One time he even fell in, but was fortunate enough to land between the spikes. He found the body of a duergar in the pit, and after looting the long dead corpse, found some gold, a sling with bullets, and best of all, a mithral axe (which Ghelt is putting to good use!). Knowing now where the pit was, the rest of us were able to jump across using Ghelt’s rope to prevent more mishaps.

We now found ourselves in a large room containing a sacrificial altar and a statue of Nerull. After I checked for magic, I found a line of runes partway through the room, no doubt some form of protection or alarm. Armed with this knowledge, we stepped across the line, weapons ready, only to have eight armed skeletons appear and attack us from doorways surrounding the altar. I had to turn them twice, as they seemed to find strength from being so close to the hateful statue. Though I couldn’t attack the skeletons and maintain Pelor’s holy force against them at the same time, my comrades were up to the task and dispatched seven quickly, allowing me to finish off the last one.

We quickly searched the area of the altar and the doors, and found that two of the doors lead to hallways. Taking the left hallway first, we encountered five cell doors similar to the ones where we spent the past night. One contained a zombie that badly wounded Ghelt, and another held a four-armed skeleton. Further on, we found a torture chamber, and a bedroom beyond that. The bedroom appeared to have been unused for many years— layers of dust coated everything. As the others were examining the desk and bed, I noticed a door cleverly concealed in one wall. It was hard for me to point it out to Trap, but once I did, he was able to open it. What awaited us was a horrible sight. In a little closet-sized space, we found an altar unlit candles on it. Before it knelt a figure in a tattered black robe. My entire party reacted as one as the grey-skinned ghoul turned to face us—Fafnir zapped it with a spell, I called upon Pelor, and Ghelt hit it with her mithral axe. And Trap, ever resourceful, threw his lantern at it. The dry husk of a creature simply blazed up and was destroyed as quickly as we found it.

This left us with the foul creature’s altar to destroy. We removed the gold candlesticks, and I picked up the little altar to simply smash it. As I did so, we discovered a locked box under it. Trap was able to open the box. We found 100s of coins, gems and a femur bone with necromantic runes etched into it (which we will need to destroy properly). Fafnir then found the key to the already unlocked box on the remains of the ghoul. We have yet to destroy the statue and sacrificial altar in the main room of this complex, but are already in need of rest, so it will have to wait until tomorrow. Ghelt has spoken of taking up the clerical arts herself, and I’m sure we’ll need that for the rest of these catacombs.

Posted by Kristin at 14:08 | Drusilia’s Journal

December 6, 2002

Fafnir's Journal Entry 2

Fafnir's Journal

So, there we were. Having survived the night, our party of intrepid looters... uh, I mean “adventurers,” decided to continue exploring. After Ghelt lifted the trap door we had discovered the night before, we all climbed down a long ladder in what seemed to be a burial chamber... nothing in the first part but a bunch of old corpses. Continuing onward, we found two descending staircases...

Deciding to check out the foul smelling staircase first, (Drusilia REALLY likes smelly dead things, it seems), we proceeded down. Once we were down there, Ghelt and Drusilia dispatched some zombies (both human and rat). Not much of interest really... just a bunch of broken caskets, and a room sealed with the symbol of Pelor. After much discussion, we convinced Trap not to open it, and went back to explore the second staircase.

Upon descending the second staircase, we found a large door with the symbol of Nerull on it... what’s with these people? Nerull in one corridor, Pelor in the other!? Trap found that the door was trapped, and the trap had captured a victim already... a Duergar at the bottom of a pit, impaled on spikes. I tried to convince the party to lower someone on a rope, to search the body (after all, he didn’t need the stuff anymore), but no one was interested.

After closing the door (and the pit), Trap proceeded to ‘disarm’ the trap. From my vantage point, this seemed to involve jamming hinge pins into a hole in the wall. To demonstrate his prowess, he then immediately ‘tested’ his fix, and dropped himself into the pit! Ouch! At least he searched the Duegar while he was down there. (Finding a sling, some gold, and a Mithril(!) axe.)

Giving up on disabling the trap, we all proceeded to climb over the pit on a rope.

Entering the next room, we found an evil looking alter and statue. Drusilia used her clerical abilities to sense that there was a magic ‘line’ on the floor. After pointing this out to Trap, he proceeded to step over the line, to see what it would do.

What it did was release a group of skeletons! Drusilia immediately called upon Pelor and scared the bejesus out of them! After that, Ghelt and I were able to destroy most of them. (Mostly Ghelt, of course!)... while this was happening, Trap decided to try and knock one out with his backpack.... it didn’t work, and we had to kill that one too.

At this point I was getting really sick of unDead things, but there was more to come! proceeding down a hallway we discovered some more cells, where a four-armed zombie nearly killed Ghelt! Then, when we looked for a place to rest, Drusilia found a secret door that led us to the worst thing possible.... more UNDEAD!!!

I am not sure how to describe this one, other than to say he was CREEPY! Black robes, green skin, and he was praying at another black altar! I tried to stun him with a dazzling display of light, but it had no effect! Drusilia tried to scare him off, but again.... NO EFFECT!!!! Luckily Ghelt waded in, axe swinging, to give the guy something to think about! Then Trap, in a rare moment of brilliance (or desperation), threw his lantern on the guy, and set him on fire! The thing burst into flames, and soon was nothing more than a pile of ashes.

We destroyed the evil thing’s altar, and found some gold in the process! (yay!). We also found a wand which looks very evil, and we will need to find some way to destroy it.

Even though it has been only several hours since we last rested, we are all ready to call it a day, and try to recover some of our energy (and spells!). Ghelt needs healing, Drusilia needs to pray, and we all need some rest. There’s more exploring to be done, and we will need to be in top shape before we continue on.


Posted by Dave at 23:40 | Fafnir’s Journal

December 8, 2002

Day #2

Ghelt's Journal

Dearest Grun,

Well, we had a short but eventful round of adventuring, today! It’s still early afternoon, if that, but we’re all so worn down that we’re actually resting the day out in a former temple to an evil god. I hope it’s now former..

After descending through the trapdoor and a very long ladder, we found more of the family crypt. I’m still trying to figure out how they got the bodies down this far - and why? We found another door, and a landing with two sets of stairs, both heading down. Even I am getting a little tired of always descending; although the house was on a hill, we have quite a trip back up if we find no other exit!

The stairway to the left had a terrible stench, so of course we followed it. We found a ransacked, fouled family crypt with undead humans and rats attacking us. It was ugly - although Drusilia raised her arms and caused the undead to flee, we agreed that they must all be put to rest. Everything had been desecrated there, except for a large door with Drusilia’s holy symbol on it. Trap aside, we agreed to leave that alone. The hall at the end was collapsed by someone - we left well enough alone there, too.

The stairwell to the right had no crypts at all, but a large bronze door, decorated with the skull and knife of a death god. This we had no compunctions about opening, except that Trap noticed an odd-looking latch and decided we should leave while he figured out the trap. He figured it out by opening the door and setting it off - thank the gods he has good reflexes, as a stake-filled pit trap opened beneath him!

Trap was able to close the trapdoor (finally, I threw him across the pit so he could grab the door handle and be pulled to close it), and then convinced us that he had figured out how to disarm the trap so we could cross in safety. I actually stood at the door so he could stand on my shoulders and work on the trigger at the top! Of course, being practical, I tied myself to the door handle while he worked, which really bothered him for some reason when he was done disarming the trap. “I stand by my work!” he announced, folding his arms and glaring at me while standing next to me on the trapdoor. “Open the door!” .. he was all but stamping on it when I told him I had plenty of extra rope to tie him with, too. Finally, I opened the door, some broken pieces of arrow dropped down, and the halfling fell to the bottom of the pit.

I’m afraid I laughed, Grun, I couldn’t help it, once I saw he’d missed the stakes, but after all the storm and fury, there he was, stuck with a mummified Duergar in a pit!

I stepped into the other room, untied myself, and lowered the rope to pull him up. He actually spent time searching the body (ugh!), and came up with a few pouches and weapons. I was laughing and chiding him as he dusted himself off.. and then he handed me a mithril waraxe.


Pardon me, I was just admiring it for a moment again.


I was so shocked, I even let him take the rope and close the door again to try the trap one more time. Apparently, he got Drusilia to stand at the door, because the next time it swung open, the elf was hanging from the handle. Trap jumped across the pit, to see the other side of the door, I think; Fafnir wisely followed and the door was shut, as Trap was ready to try to fix the trap one more time! I think he’ll be dreaming about that one for a while.

Of course, he almost immediately set off the next one - impatiently, he stepped across a line of warding runes that only Drusilia could see. This caused many skeletons to appear and try to kill us. We managed to reduce them to dust, except for poor Trap’s, who just couldn’t do much (read: any) damage to his chosen one with a halfling-sized backpack as a “club.” We dispatched it for him, but not before he’d smacked a large obsidian statue with the mithril axe I handed him, and scared himself half to death. Everything in here is evil - statue, altar, runes.

Fafnir started exploring, and found a torture chamber, and more cells. I got to kill a zombie and a four-armed skeleton, but I was starting to feel I’d had enough for one day. We were all getting fairly injured after all the battling. Of course, the next room we found had the ghoul in it. I really thought that was it, Grun, we were in no shape to even try, and we had no choice!

Together, we hacked and burnt it down. What a moment! Drusilia and Fafnir made sure to destroy (and ransack) the ghoul’s altar and search its rooms, and found both treasure and a map that I think we must follow. It leads near the Barrier Peaks - we may have to visit!

So, now, we have started quite a treasure hoard, and have a bone wand that must be destroyed, and we’re recuperating in the former temple. I think we can say former, since the ghoul is gone. Maybe we’ve actually destroyed the evil in this place!

Saying that, Grun, I felt such a sense of purpose and grace, as I can hardly describe..

I think perhaps Moradin has smiled upon me! Your cousin is now a cleric of her people. I’m awed, Grun, and must end this long letter for now.

Yours in prayer,

Posted by Kate at 11:51 | Ghelt’s Journal

December 9, 2002

The Heart of Nerull?

Drusilia's Journal

Sunday, Planting 9, 592 CY

The rest we so desperately needed was delayed. Ghelt realized that in order to turn undead, she would need a holy symbol to Moradin, but didn’t have one with her. So, she went back to the ghoul’s “bedroom” and hacked apart a bedpost, with the idea that she would make a disk from it to draw Moradin’s hammer and anvil upon. I’m not sure if the noise from that attracted the undead, or if they were just wandering about mindlessly, but we were soon visited by several zombies, some human and some obviously duergar. My three companions jumped into combat, but I knew they were all quite tired, so I attempted to turn the zombies. The undead shambled back the way they had come, and I followed a discreet distance behind, planning to turn them again if they renewed their attack. I found them in a room down a hall with quite a few reinforcements, so I turned them and yelled for Ghelt to come help cut them down. Most of them fled and we fought those that remained. As we finished them off, Fafnir and Trap called for us— I ran back down the hall to find them being harassed by another ghoul similar to the one Trap had burnt to a crisp earlier. This time though, he was without a lantern. Ghelt and I dispatched that ghoul with our blades as well. Discovering that the ghoul had come from a side door in the hallway we’d followed the zombies through, we did a quick search of a room filled with moldering cots and neglected footlockers. As we turned to leave, I spotted a leather-bound book sticking out from under an old mattress. I grabbed it and we headed out to the main chamber again.

Not wanting the undead to come back before we rested, we took Nerull’s obsidian altar and shoved it up against the door. We had to push the altar down several steps, which caused it to break. Ghelt and I felt quite queasy immediately. In fact, neither of us has felt quite right since moving the altar, though our companions feel fine— I fear that we’ve picked up some sort of unholy curse. Destroying the altar was the proper thing to do however, and we will have this curse lifted when we can get to a good temple.

I used the rest of the night while the others rested to read what I could of the faded ink on the leather book’s pages. I’ve been able to make out the contents of several passages, apparently written by an acolyte. The journal mentions growing dissatisfaction with the high priest of Nerull, who was working with a duergar named Durll in an obsessive search for the Heart of Nerull. (I neglected to mention in my last entry, but we found a map in the first ghoul’s room, and I suspect now that creature may have been the high priest spoken of in the diary). Perhaps the map we found is a clue to the whereabouts of the Heart? The journal also mentioned that it was likely Durll was working for someone else too. The diary goes on to mentioned that assaults on this temple by duergar had forced them to collapse the catacombs to lower levels. Apparently, these catacombs go much, much deeper! The last entries I could make out were dated 25 years ago, and mentioned an illness spreading through the temple, possibly a curse, for which magical healing had no effect. The victims became desiccated husks. While I don’t believe that Ghelt or I picked up that curse, it would explain the decided lack of live members in this temple to Nerull.

Posted by Kristin at 18:41 | Drusilia’s Journal

December 10, 2002

More Undead Madness

Trap's Journal

Well, the rest we needed so badly was delayed by Ghelt deciding to take her priestly duties one step further—she decided to start making a holy symbol for herself out of some of the coins she had and shape them with her metalworking tools on the altar floor (hammering very loudly too!!). Crazy dwarf! I was afraid that she’d alert more of the undead creatures that might be lurking about! Fortunately, when the coin smashing on the altar floor didn’t work, Ghelt decided to try going back to the ghouls bedroom and hack off a piece of the bedpost to whittle into a holy symbol. I then gave Ghelt my inkpot and quill so she could draw Moradin’s crest on her new holy symbol—hopefully it will work for her when we need it!!

I’m not sure whether the hammering of the coins or her slicing the bedpost apart woke the creatures, but we soon had more undead coming our way—very slimy disgusting ones I might add—looked like zombies! The new intruders broke through a door we forgot to wedge shut. Stupid me! I’m supposed to be a professional and I still forgot to make sure all the doors were secure. After Fafnir and I threw our daggers at the first zombie who came through the door, Drusilia tried turning the foul creatures while Ghelt charged and slashed at the lead undead. Who knows which attack killed the nasty beast, but it fell to the ground dead, leaving only two more of these putrid creatures for us to dispatch. Apparently Drusilia was able to turn the remaining zombies, because they both turned tail and began to shamble back down the passage behind them.

After I pulled the daggers from the lead zombies corpse, I followed my companions down the passage to chase after the remaining creatures. As I near a turn to the left of the passage, I hear what sounds like Drusilia screaming for Ghelt!!! Oh gods! What now? I forget about exploring some doors that are along the corridor to my right and decide to stand behind Fafnir who is near the corner. I peek around the corner and see Drusilia and Ghelt entering a room filled with more zombies! Yikes! Can this get much worse, there’s at least seven or eight more in the room!! Fafnir says that we should stay back here and “hold the line”. I’m with him!

Somewhat paralyzed with fear, I stand behind the gnome and try to watch for anyone sneaking up behind us. Unfortunately, when I turned back to say something to Fafnir, both him and I hear one of the doors in the corridor opening behind us. Nuts! We don’t need this! I start to turn around and feel a stabbing pain in my side as a human ghoul with sharp claws attacks me. He is dressed in elegant but tattered robes and is fixing me with an evil grin, while yellowish drool runs down his chin! I don’t like this at all! I barely remember to grab my sword from its scabbard and brace for an attack, when I am suddenly pushed out of the way by Drusilia. My hero! She whacks at this new threat and with the help of Ghelt (who has moved up to our position by this point) dispatches this undead monstrosity.

We then proceeded as a group into the room that the ghoul came out of. We don’t find very much other that some rotting clothes and broken furniture. Drusilia does find one interesting thing in the room, however. She discovered a leather bound book between the mattress and the bed frame. It appears to be some sort of journal. Hopefully it will mention what the heck happened here.

Our group then heads back to the altar room to hopefully get some sleep. We decide to push the altar in front of the door that these undead came through. I helped Ghelt and Drusilia push the altar—with much effort and a smashing thud—down the stairs and in front of the door. Unfortunately, I think we set off some sort of magic trap when we moved the altar because now I feel a little bit queasy. Drusilia and Ghelt are really looking a bit on the sickish side! I wonder what happened? We then settle down for the night while Drusilia reads from that journal. Maybe it has some useful info in it. Anyways, she’ll fill us in tomorrow if it’s important. I’m gonna bed down now. Hopefully, we won’t get any more unexpected guests barging in on us!

Posted by x-gamer at 21:53 | Trap’s Journal

December 12, 2002

Excerpts From the Journal of Abd al-Azrad

Adventures, DM's Notes & Maps

First day of Patchwall 567 CY

The duergar have attacked the temple from the lower levels. I should have seen this coming after Durll stormed out of here. I don’t know for certain what the disagreement was about but I suspect it had something to do with Akazar’s quest for the Heart of Nerull. We have forced them back and are now raising reinforcements from the catacombs. If the duergar return they will witness the glory of Nerull firsthand.

Third day of Patchwall 567 CY

The duergar raids continue against us still. Our defenses are weakening; today the duergar almost made it into the chapel proper. We have even raised the duergar fallen to aid in our defense. However, we are losing ground and I fear the next assault will be our last.

Fifth day of Patchwall 567 CY

I have taken over the duties in the chapel for Neezer today, as he was feeling queasy. There has been no sign of the duergar since Akazar used the Rod of Undeath to raise those who were interred in the catacombs and sent them into the lower levels. We have collapsed the passage down to avert further raids. Why Durll would turn against Akazar now is a mystery. It couldn’t be because of his winning personality. I suspect Durll must have received a better offer for the Heart of Nerull. Akazar’s obsession could very well have been the undoing of us all.

Ninth day of Patchwall 567 CY

Today Gathras and Delnor have both come down with the same sickness as Neezer. No form of healing, magical or otherwise, has been effective. I hope that a cure can be found before it spreads further. Perhaps we should give Akazar to Nerull in exchange for a cure.

Twelfth day of Patchwall 567 CY

Yesterday Neezer died from his ailment and today I saw his desiccated corpse rise again. Unfortunately, we had to destroy him. His shell was intent on destroying all he saw. Akazar said he was going to pray for guidance but I suspect he is cowering in fear. I do not relish having to destroy any of the others if a cure can’t be found.

Fourteenth day of Patchwall 567 CY

This accursed sickness that has spread through the temple has now taken hold of everyone including myself. I find myself almost too weak to write but write I must. I blame Akazar and his obsession for this curse and if only I had the strength, I would send him to Nerull myself. He has locked himself away in his private sanctum and hasn’t been seen in days. Now all I can do is wait and pray to Nerull to take me.

Posted by Hugh at 21:11 | Adventures, DM’s Notes & Maps

December 14, 2002

Fafnir's Journal Entry 3

Fafnir's Journal

Well, I am writing this entry sooner than I expected.... Having just finished my previous entry, I began to study my spellbook. Before I knew it, Ghelt was doing all sorts of pounding and smashing. Then, it looked like she decided we hadn’t “roughed up” the place enough, because she went back to the bedroom we had found and began destroying the bed! After getting her to pause for a moment, I discovered she was attempting to fashion a holy symbol to help with her new studies of religion. Once I found this out, I was able to use my carpentry skills to help her make a wooden disc, which she then decorated with a holy symbol.

Unfortunately, all this racked had drawn the attention of some more undead that were wandering about. Drusilia and Ghelt both called upon their gods to banish the foul things, which sent them a-runnin. This must have bolstered my confidence, cause I took off after the beasties, waving my club! (I think I need my head checked!!!) Trap was right on my heels.

This adventure didn’t last long as I ran right into a whole room full of undead! Luckily Ghelt and Drusilia where there to pull my bacon out of the fire. While the were handling the new ‘problem,’ Trap and I guarded the rear. (or at least attempted to...).

Next thing I know, there’s another d&#@! ghoul attacking us from behind! Trap and I attempted to defend ourselves (ok, there were lots of cries for help too!), but thankfully Drusilia was able to come back and defeat the evil thing!

The undead problem handled for the moment, we proceed to search the room the ghoul had been hiding in. Drusilia found a book, which we took back with us for further study.

Once back in the main chamber, Ghelt, Drusilia, and Trap moved the large obsidian alter in front of the door, thereby preventing any further intrusions from that direction, at least! Unfortunately, Drusilia and Ghelt seem to have been weakened in the process. Hopefully this is only temporary, but Drusilia seems to think they may have been cursed. We can only pray that we find some way of lifting it.

That taken care of, we finally managed to get some rest. During the rest period, Drusilia was able to read the book we had found. It turns out that this temple of Nerull has been abandoned for some time, after the High priest became obsessed with an artifact of some type. Furthermore, it looks like they were attaced by Dark Dwarves, and had to collapse a passageway to prevent further attacks. (this explaines the passage we found in the catacombs earlier today!). This book, along with the map we found earlier, is starting to make me think we will have a quest on our hands! After all, I am sure there is a lot of loot... uh, I mean ADVENTURE, to be found wherever this “Heart of Nerull” is.

But for now, there are still undead to fight, and passageways to explore.... we need to get moving, as we will soon need to head back to Smallville for more supplies.

~ Fafnir Flamebrewer ~
592 CY

Posted by Dave at 22:48 | Fafnir’s Journal

December 15, 2002

Day #2.5

Ghelt's Journal


well, Grun, I guess I can just add to the bottom of this note.

We didn’t get a chance to sleep or rest much, after all.

I decided to make myself a holy symbol - pounding a coin flatter and trying to etch it didn’t work, but chopping up a bedpost from the ghoul’s room went better. It turned into another group effort (I’m having that lesson emphasized a lot lately!), with Fafnir’s carpentry, Trap’s inks, and Drusilia holding the post steady so I could chop a neat piece off.

The noise must have attracted attention, however - the door we planned to search through tomorrow opened, and several undead duergar entered! I immediately tried to turn them, but it didn’t work. Need more practice, expect I’ll get plenty! Meanwhile, chopping them up while Drusilia turned them worked quite well.

Fafnir followed the fleeing undead, which prompted the rest of us to follow him. We went down a hall and around a corner, into a room full of undead! Drusilia turned most of them out another door, while I killed the rest, but the screams of Trap from behind us distracted us from the hunt.

We killed another ghoul, and searched the room it had come from; some sort of barracks which were falling to bits, but the elf found a journal from one of the priests of this awful place. We decided to go back to the main room and read it, while trying to rest yet again.

This time, we wanted to block the door! Drusilia, Trap, and I shoved the main altar over and immediately got queasy. We did get the door blocked, but I fear we’ve been cursed by this evil place. I didn’t think after all this time that the magic would still be strong enough, but both Drusilia and I are weakened. It must be the evil god’s hatred of our good gods - Trap is fine.

Determined to make the best of things, we sat down to decipher the book. It’s very damaged, but Drusilia made out that it was written by a duergar priest, who was helping the high priest but angry that his superior had become obsessed with finding an artifact called the “Heart of N’Rul” or something. Meanwhile, other duergar had started to attack the temple, and it’s these priests who collapsed that tunnel to protect themselves from the threat. What’s worrying is the end, which mentions a new disease or curse that was turning temple members into dessicated husks, which magic healing did not cure. I hope we’re OK...

So, we’re trying to rest again, before going on tomorrow. I’m a little worried, as we didn’t bring much food or water, and we have to decide whether to turn around here and return with better provisions (not to mention maybe getting uncursed??), or go on and hope for the best.

With love - again!

Posted by Kate at 16:08 | Ghelt’s Journal

December 18, 2002

Valon's Bio

Valon's Journal ~PC Bios~

Character images copyright 1999-2002 Claudio Pozas. Used with permission.

Excerpt from the Journal of Merolen Amakiir, Father of Valon

… I feel almost lost, Though I am sure that Valon has felt that way for the past 35 years. It is a long time to hold a memory so close, but I fear he may never forgive himself. 35 years… amazing. It has been that long since I lost my eldest son. It seems like just yesterday. I suppose it must seem sooner for Valon. He knew what he had done, but he had no control.

The hunting party had come across a Drow in the woods. He had been raising the dead from the last major battle inside the Dreadwood, and at that point had a sizable force for our small hunting party to combat. We fought mercilessly and without hesitation. I know both my sons fought well, as together they had destroyed at least a dozen of the walking dead by themselves. But that damnable Wizard had other tricks up his sleeve.

Before anyone could stop him, he took control of Valon and forced him to kill his brother. We subdued Valon quickly, but the wizard managed to escape before we could deal with him.

When Valon came to he realized what he had done. Though we were not upset with him, he was furious that he had fallen under the spell. Valon said that he fought with all his might against the wizard’s spell, but could not control himself.

Valon has lived with that failure for 35 years now. This morning I received a poem in his handwriting:

With heavy heart I leave this place,
No longer able to feel at peace.
I hope one day I may earn my grace,
And my mind’s memory of the day will cease.
How long I am gone I do not know,
I may never again see this wood,
And as I turn my back to go,
I do not think I ever should.
With me I take my curse and sword.
And begin with my disheartened pace.
I ask a small request of my lord,
Never once to me give chase.

Now I fear I have lost both my sons. I hope that the Gods favor Valon…

…A messenger from the Temple of Ehlonna came to me today. Someone has stolen The Cursed Sword. I don’t understand. Could Valon have taken it? He went missing as well. I hope for his sake he didn’t take it. The Sword is more trouble than it is worth. It does make a person powerful for a little while, but eventually they are driven insane by it. It is so strange that he should disappear along with a cursed sword…

Character sheet: Valon [Elven Bard]

Posted by Tim at 14:51 | Valon’s Journal | ~PC Bios~

The Sword of Illiven

Adventures, DM's Notes & Maps Valon's Journal

The Sword of Illiven

Long ago this sword was wielded by Illiven, a great defender of the Elves. At the time the sword was mundane, but Illiven refused stubbornly to use a more powerful weapon. As Illiven continued to grow in power, Corellon Larethian took notice to Illiven and blessed him, giving the sword extraordinary powers. With the help of the sword, Illiven’s power grew even more.

Many tried to take the sword, believing that they could control its amazing power if they could wrest it from Illiven’s hands. However they found that the sword was cursed as well as blessed. Those who tried to use it found that it was no better than a weaker magic sword. After Illiven’s death, the sword was eventually lost in battle and the secrets of its true power lost to all but the gods.

The sword was found again, ironically by gray elves. It was passed down over time, and many discoveries were made about it, though its origins were still unknown. The gray elves found that if a warrior was powerful enough, he could put some of his own soul into the sword and the sword would become more powerful. However, problems were also found with the sword. Anyone who used the sword had strange things happen to him. A tattoo of an elf using the sword would appear on their skin. The wielder’s hair would change color and length. Often the wielder would become possessive of the item, refusing to even sleep without it. It was also very common for an owner to refuse to use any type of weapon other than the sword. It was not uncommon for a user to be weakened by the sword instead of strengthened. More powerful warriors who used the sword were driven insane.

Unfortunately, none had any idea as to how powerful the sword really was. After encountering the curses placed upon it to discourage use, the elves resolved to only use the sword in emergencies. The sword was to be kept in a shrine to Ehlonna unless it was needed.

When Valon first took up the sword, it was a +1 longsword. To others, it looks like a stick with a few leaves on it.

When Valon reached 5th level, the sword’s magic provided “sure striking.” To others, the leafy stick appeared to blossom, and often attracted a bee or two.

When Valon reached 7th level, the longsword became +2 (with sure striking). To others, it now bears fruit in addition to leaves and blossoms, which attracts more bees. Sure to be an annoyance, the sword now hums Flight of the Bumblebee so that only Valon can hear it.

When Valon reached 11th level, the longsword added the “chaotic” special ability. This of course angers the bees, some of which now are really big bees (not to be confused with Bigby).

December 19, 2002

A Walking Pincushion

Drusilia's Journal

Moonday, Planting 10, 592 CY

We decided our rest was over when a zombie that had been clawing at the door behind the altar finally smashed its way through to us. Thankfully, we were well rested (though hungry!) and were able to dispatch it without mishap. We followed the hallway from which the zombie had emerged and found some doors leading to small rooms. One room, outside of which Trap set off some sort of poisoned dart mechanism which shot him in the back, we found some sacks of moldy grain. Further down the hall we came to an old dining area and kitchen. I used my divine gifts to create water and purify the grain we’d found. My friends built a fire in the kitchen and we sat down to a meal consisting 100% of oatmeal, but after three days of stretching out our meager trail rations, it was a feast.

We knew the other zombies we’d chased away yesterday were still in the vicinity, and we found them in a small cavern after descending yet another staircase. I was able to destroy four, but I fear the curse Ghelt and I have fallen to is impeding our abilities in melee— I feel so clumsy when I wield my sword! Still, we finished off the last of the undead under the Everston Estate.

After our battle with the few remaining undead, we surveyed the area we’d fought in. There was a lake, probably fed by a tributary of the Realstream, that covered most the cavern. On the shore was a sturdy raft and two poles. I found a rope in the sand and, assuming it was attached to the raft, pulled it. Instead, it was attached to a small box. Trap was able to open it and we found three bloodstones, some gold and two vials within. Fafnir’s keen sense of smell and knowledge of alchemy helped him determine that the vials contained healing potions. Those will come in handy!

We poled the raft across the underground lake, eventually finding another shore to jump out on. Trap, ever cautious, stepped on a pressure plate we arrived on shore and was nearly impaled on a spear. We walked a distance, in what must have once been more branches of an underground stream, until we noticed something slinking along the ceiling above us. A giant centipede! Luckily we fight well as a group and were able to kill it. Two more dead centipedes later, we found ourselves at a fork in the tunnels. We chose the one that went up, and walked a good mile or so before coming out in a forest. Realizing the closest forest to Smallville would be Dim Forest, we decided it wouldn’t hurt to backtrack to the other tunnel. This turned out to be a bad idea. The tunnel went downward, eventually coming out in a room filled with stalactites hanging down from the dark ceiling and sides of the cavern. Luckily, the centipedes we’d encountered earlier had us warily looking upward— and it appeared that the ceiling was moving! Just as we decided we’d best go back to the tunnels again, a huge cone-shaped object fell from the ceiling and buried itself in Trap’s shoulder. The four of us ran as fast as we could out of the cavern as more objects fell from above. Once we were in the relative safety of the tunnels, we helped Trap get the thing out of his shoulder. It was a slug-like creature with a hard conical shell and pseudopods for feet— a Piercer, which spends its whole existence hanging from a cave ceiling listening for prey to drop on. Trap was delighted. He’s named it “Spike” and tucked it under his arm to take home as a pet.

Not wishing to go all the way back through the catacombs under the Estate, we elected to attempt our trip home through the Dim Forest. It was quiet enough, with only the sounds of Trap trying to feed worms to Spike reaching our ears. But then, just a mile or two short of our destination, we heard moaning in the underbrush off of our path. Weapons drawn, we came to a small clearing where a human lay bleeding from a horrible wound in his side. While I rushed over to heal him with Fafnir, Ghelt and Trap quickly checked the surrounding area for signs of ambush.

The human I healed is called Gildean, and is a cleric of Heironeous. He and his own party had been attacked by humanoid spider things. Although I was able to stabilize him, he has been poisoned, which is beyond my or Ghelt’s ability to treat. He was left for dead apparently, but his comrades, which included a half-elf sorceress, human fighter and elven paladin, were carried away— probably to be eaten. Although we wanted to take him back to the safety of the town, Gildean feels that his friends may still be alive and in need of rescue. So, leaving him with one of what we hope is a healing potion, and my silver dagger (for he is too weak to lift anything else right now), we will attempt to bring his party back to him, or at least avenge them.

Posted by Kristin at 17:46 | Drusilia’s Journal

December 22, 2002

Fafnir's Journal Entry 4

Fafnir's Journal

I don’t have a lot of time to write just now, but I thought I better write it now anyway, in case we don’t make it through this next bit of adventure...

After finally getting some rest, we were again rudely interrupted by a zombie! He didn’t last long though, and our next order of business was food. Luckily we had Drusilia along, as she was able to purify some nasty old wheat we found in one of the store rooms. She then created some water to go with it. Once cooked, it wasn’t half bad!

Moving on, we found ourselves on an underground beach, where we needed to finish off the zombies we had rousted yesterday. With all four of us hacking away at them they weren’t too much trouble, and after finishing them, we noticed there was a raft that would let us cross the underwater lake. While we were discussing whether or not this would be a good idea, I noticed a rope sticking up from the sand. When we pulled on the rope, we found a sack which contained a small box with 2 vials inside. Using my knowledge of potions, I have tentatively identified them as healing potions. Trap and I each took one, in case we get wounded and aren’t near one of our healers.

Having decided to cross the lake, we were soon moving through what appeared to be natural caverns. Trap mentioned something about setting off a trap, and getting a dart in the back, but I am not sure of the specifics... Trap often sets these traps off while trying to study them! (sometimes I am not sure what to think of his antics). Several hours and 3 dead giant centipedes later, we found ourselves on the surface! Yay!

I was all ready to head back to Smallville, but the remaining members of the party wanted to go back and explore another passageway we had found. Going along, we soon found ourselves in a large cavern and saw what looked to be cave entrances at the far end.

No sooner had we started to cross the cavern, then stalactites began to fall from the ceiling on us! One buried itself in Trap’s shoulder, and we realized with horror that these weren’t stalactites, they were Piercers! Having had enough of this underground adventure, we all made a run for it! After having the piercer removed from his shoulder, Trap decided to keep it as a pet. This sounds like a bad idea to me, but that is indeed what he did.

So, with our halfing lugging what amounts to a 20 pound carnivorous snail around behind him, we again made our way to the exit into Dim Forest, and began our trek home.

We were following along a deer trail towards Smallville, when we heard a rustling noise in the bushes. Upon further examination, we found a nearly dead human cleric by the name of Gildean.

After some healing, he was able to relay his story to us:
It seems that his party was heading south to offer their services in the fight against evil in those lands. While travelling through Dim Forest they were ambushed by a party of what he calls “man-spiders.” Gildean was left behind for unknown reasons, but the rest of his party was dragged off by the “man-spiders.” (I suspect these things may be ‘spider goblins’ and that the people they carried off will be used a a food source — Blech!).

At Gildean’s request, we have left him behind, and are now tracking the man-spiders, in hope of rescuing his companions. Hopefully we will catch them by surprise — If not, our party may meet the same fate as Gildean’s.... but we have to make the attempt.... we can’t just leave them to be eaten!

~= Fafnir Flamebrewer =~
Planting 10, 592 CY

Posted by Dave at 14:01 | Fafnir’s Journal

December 23, 2002

A Double-Edged Stick

Drusilia's Journal

Moonday, Planting 10, 592 CY, continued

We quickly followed the “drag marks” that were left by Gildean’s attackers as they hauled off his friends. Apparently, the woods were full of spiders and hapless adventurers, because we quickly came upon a gray elf attempting to beat a huge spider with a stick. By the time we got to him, he was under the spider, but thankfully Ghelt was able to hack down the spider and we rolled it off its intended victim. The elf with the big stick goes by the name of Valon and hails from Dreadwood. He is a bard, and believes that his big stick is in fact a magical longsword. Fafnir was able to determine that the stick had magical properties, and Valon demonstrated its keen edge by cleaving the dead spider in half. But, it really looks like he’s just waving a big stick around. Nevertheless, he seems a decent sort and provided us with an additional weapon for taking on the spiders we were searching for.

While Fafnir and I argued with Valon about the nature of his stick/sword, Ghelt and Trap had continued on a bit ahead of us. We heard the sounds of struggle and arrived in a clearing in time to see them grappling with two huge spiders and four of those goblin-spider monstrosities. I still can barely hit anything thanks to this curse from Nerull’s Shrine, but Valon began to sing, which bolstered us all enough to dispatch the evil creatures. It is good that he was with us, as I’m sure that Ghelt and Trap would have been carried off to meet the same fate as the party we searched for. As it was, Trap’s already lost his Piercer “pet”— apparently, he used Spike as a missile weapon during his skirmish. To make matters worse, I was bitten and poisoned, so am now barely able to keep up with my comrades.

Following the drag marks further, we came to a fissure in a rock face that was obviously the lair of the creatures we sought. Ghelt and the others had no trouble climbing down the rope she had along, but I’ve felt so weak and klutzy that I was sure I’d plummet right past the rope. Valon allowed me to hang on to him so I could descend in relative safety. We arrived safely at the bottom and walked down a narrow tunnel for a bit, eventually coming to an area that had four passages leading away from it. The cavernous ceilings above us were festooned with spider webs, and soon three of the hairy vermin were descending on us. We have been using fire to clear out the webs as we find them, but are going more cautiously now— it wouldn’t do to burn the victims we are looking for. Though everyone helps to defeat these creatures, it’s Ghelt’s axe that does the job best— I can see that some of our comrades will be asking her for tips on combat practices in the near future.

No sooner had we rid ourselves of the spiders than we were being attacked from the side corridors by a half-dozen goblin-spiders. Seeing that I was too weak to fight them off, Valon leaped in front of me and took a blow so bad I thought he was dead. But, he continued the bardic melody that he had begun in the last battle, so I ducked back in the corridor and dragged him to relative safety. I was able to heal him enough that he could sit up, and I nocked arrows for him in my shortbow so he could finish off the creatures I had dragged him away from. Ghelt and Trap must have killed the ones in the opposing corridor, for they came out a moment later. Both the corridors we fought in led to dead ends.

Fafnir was ready to see what lie in the final unchecked corridor, so we cautiously approached. A bit of movement caught our collective attention— in an alcove above us, we saw a hideous creature with a spider’s body and humanoid arms— and a glimmer of intelligence in its evil eyes. We attacked in earnest, though I eventually handed my bow and arrows to Valon— I was still too weak (and cursed) to shoot effectively. He, Ghelt and Trap pummeled the creature with arrows as it cast spells at us. Fafnir noticed another small passage and edged towards it, getting a magic missile in the back for his troubles. I followed him in time to see him discover a small chamber with three cocoons in it. The battle finished behind us with our party the victors. Valon used his stick/sword to slice open the cocoons— Gildean’s party was alive, though weak. Closer examination of the chamber lead to an even smaller alcove with the rescued party’s equipment in it, and a small iron box. While Trap hit himself with a poison needled twice while opening the box, I noticed that the belongings of the half-elven sorceress Kendra had two potions in it labeled “Remove Curse.” Thankfully, she weakly gestured that Ghelt and I could have them— what a relief! While Trap shared the contents of the box with Fafnir (contents being some silver and gold coins, a small vial, a scrollcase containing two spell scrolls, an 18” ash stick, an amethyst and a folded up cloak), Ghelt sternly pointed out that we needed to get back and find Gildean himself before he needed rescued again.

Posted by Kristin at 15:14 | Drusilia’s Journal

December 26, 2002

Long Day, Heavy Pen

Trap's Journal

This was a very long day. Were taking a couple of minutes to pack up our new friends’ stuff, so I’m going to write this now. At least as long as I can lift this pen.

We finished off the mansion, and found ourselves in a cavern occupied by a bunch of Zombies(probably the ones turned earlier). We finished them off easily enough, and Drusilia found a rope. It was tied to a box with 2 vials of something. Fafnir said they were magical, but didn’t know what they did.

Then we got on a raft (Ghelt didn’t like that much.) and, after fighting some cross currents, made it to the other side in one piece. On the other sore, was a natural (or so I was told) rift in the opposite wall. We followed that for what seemed like hours, and came to a split in the path. We went left, and I was almost impaled by a spear that came out of the wall. We went on more carefully. The path eventually led us directly into Dim Forest. We decided to go back and try the other path just in case (and much to my relief). We followed it down to a dark cavern. While inspecting it, these living spikes started to fall on us. I kept one as a pet. He was fun. We did have to run for our lives, and went back to the forest to go home.

A little way down the trail, we encountered an almost dead human. He told of how his party was attacked by humanoid spider things. So we healed him gave him a dagger, and went after his friends. A little ways into the woods, we saw a guy swinging a stick at a very big spider, bigger than me. I was going to throw spike at it, but Ghelt killed it first. Then everyone started arguing about the guy’s weapon. Personally, he can continue to believe his stick is a sword if he wants to, we had things to do. So Ghelt and I left.

Ghelt got all tangled up in some webs a little later. I was fighting a spider when I lost consciousness. When I came to, it was over, and Spike was dead. I did find a cocoon, but it was only filled with little spiders. Continuing to follow the drag marks, we came to a ravine. The trail ended here, so we went in. A few feet down, we were attacked. We killed several spiders, and humanoid spider things. But the people we were looking for weren’t there. So we kept looking. Finally we found the humanoid spider thing in charge. I say this because it used magic on us. We all damaged it, but it was my shot that finally killed it.

Down a side passage way we found a room with cocoons and bones everywhere. The people we were looking for were in there. We also found their stuff, and a iron chest. I checked it, but didn’t find that damned needle trap. I was hit twice with it, and now have almost no strength. So I’m writing now while everyone else gets ready to go. This pen is almost to heavy for me to hold, so I’ll say bye for now I’ll write again later.

Posted by Fred at 18:40 | Trap’s Journal

December 28, 2002

Sunday, 9 Planting

Valon's Journal

I’ve been traveling for days since the last town, hopefully i’ll find another soon...I need to stop to make some money for food....The travel has not been very hard thus far I hope it continues to be this easy. I do miss home, but at the same time I am glad I left it behind. I felt it was time for me to leave the place, and the farther away I get, the better I feel. I know I cannot continue to wander forever. I must find a way to make up for my brother’s death, as foolish as it sounds. Maybe someday I’ll be able to go home and look into my father’s eyes and know that I have been forgiven...

Posted by Tim at 15:46 | Valon’s Journal

Moonday, 10 Planting

Valon's Journal

Well, my quiet adventure has changed...I’m not sure if it is for better or for worse...

I was traveling down the path today and a huge spider dropped on top of me before I could react. I surely would’ve been the spider’s lunch, but fortunatly an axe-wielding dwarf appeared from nowhere and killed the spider before it could do to much damage to me. I think the spider bit me, but I still felt ok, other than he nagging pain of the bite wound. Along with the dwarf (introduced to me as Ghelt) were 3 others, a strange Halfling they called Trap (I think it was because of his ability to be caught in them) a gnome named Fafnir and an elf named Drusilia.

Fafnir and Drusilia immediatly asked my about my sword, calling it a stick. I don’t understand why, it looks like a sword to me, and it always has before. They even went as far as to make me slash into the spider corpse to prove to them my weapon could cut.

As we argued the other two party members wandered off and were attacked by more spiders and humanoidish creatures. They looked like a mix between goblins and spiders. Ghelt and Trap both looked to be in pretty bad shape when we got to them, Trap on the ground and Ghelt was tring to fight off two of the goblin-spider creatures and a spider. Fafnir tried to put the creatures attacking trap to sleep, but only managed to get one and Trap. I began singing an Elvish warsong I had learned at home and tried to aid Trap. I killed one of the spiders that was attacking Trap, and saw that the dwarf had been caught up in webbing and was being dragged off by one of the goblin-spiders. I caught up to the creature and killed it before it could get away with Ghelt.

After we dispatched the rest of the creatures, I lit the webs that filled the trees overhead on fire, removing the homes of the creatures we had just dispatched from the forest.

The group then followed marks on the ground to a small ravine, which we climbed down. Fafnir, Trap and Ghelt made it down with little trouble, though Ghelt had a scary moment or two, Dursilia needed help getting down, and I made it down into the ravine with little trouble.

Once we were into the ravine it continued into a small area of caves which were filled with our spiderish friends. Into battle we jumped once again. I know I got hit pretty hard by something and Drusilia had to drag me away from the battle. She cast a healing spell of some sort on me and I felt a little better.
She seems to be a capable fighter, but she seemed to be unable to do anything today. I heard her mention something about a curse...I’ll have to ask her about it.

Anyway, we must have fought through more than a half dozen more creatures before we came to a large open area. There was a hole in the wall high above us and we could see a spiderlike creature unlike any of the others we had fought. It used magic to protect itself and attacked us from its hole. We were forced to fight it at range, but one of Trap’s arrows manged to slay it. We found three elf or man-sized coccons and cut them open. Aparently this is what we were looking for, as everyone seemed very relieved. We also found a chest that Trap unlocked and opened (getting stabbed by a poisoned needle TWICE).

Ghelt seemed insitant that we leave to help someone else we had found in the woods. I really would like to rest, but she said he was not in good shape so we needed to get back to him as soon as possible....

Posted by Tim at 17:18 | Valon’s Journal

Day #3

Ghelt's Journal

Dear Grun,

I’m writing this quickly while the party sorts itself out.. I’m a little impatient with them right now!

We did finally get some rest in the temple. Of course, as we were finishing our prayers and getting ready to go, some zombies came to the door again. They started bashing through the door and climbing over the altar in front of it.

Trap, who was on watch, promptly shot an arrow and hit the statue by mistake, again. Drusilia went charging into combat with her sword and started chopping limbs off - kudos to the elf! Trap shot another arrow into the melee and somehow hit the statue once more. He seems to have a thing for doing that.. we did kill all the zombies in that lot, however.

There was a short discussion about which way to go; I was for heading back before we were too weakened by the lack of food and water, but was overruled, and we headed off into the unknown yet again. This time, we checked the rooms off the hallway as we walked, finding more sleeping rooms and one locked door. Trap opened it and got hit by a dart. I tried to heal him - and it worked! I am very pleased to have gained this manifestation of our god’s favor - especially for Trap’s sake!

The new room had been a storeroom - we found empty barrels and moldy grain, which Drusilia was able to purify and make edible. She also made water to drink, so I felt better about continuing. Trap, who had wandered off, suddenly came in and said he’d found a kitchen, so we were able to make a sort of oatmeal to eat. The kitchen chimney was too narrow to climb and showed no light, and so wasn’t an option to get out by.

We headed through the next door and descended a flight of steps, which widened out to a big, natural cavern and lake. And zombies, as Fafnir pointed out seven for us. I hewed one down and was heading for the next when Drusilia suddenly reduced four of them to dust. I must learn how to do that! We were left with two zombies, and I hope it’s a measure of the party’s confidence in me that the other three took on one and left me the other. Trap is now using a sword instead of his pack, Fafnir peppered it with magic missiles, while both Drusilia and I struggled with our curses, missing and tripping up. Fafnir killed theirs with a thrown dagger, even so!

Once I’d killed the last zombie, we explored the beach. Drusilia noticed a rope, and Fafnir found and opened the bag attached to it. We found some treasure, and two vials of a bluish liquid that might be a healing potion of some sort. We also found a raft, which the others took for granted we we would use. I didn’t like that at all, especially when it turned out I had to stand on one side and help pole it across the lake and current. I may be able to swim, but what dwarf wants to be on water that’s deeper than she is tall? Some of the party wilfully refuse to understand..

After a quiet crossing, thank Moradin!, we decided to follow a path through a crevice in the rock wall. Trap immediately set one off and is lucky to be a halfling, the spear being aimed for the chest of a human-sized creature. At a split in the road, we went left, and were attacked by huge centipedes but otherwise not bothered, and after a long walk we found ourselves coming up into the light of day - right in the middle of the Dimwood, which made it a mixed blessing.

I think you might be proud of how we’re turning into a regular troop of adventurers, Grun - we decided to go back in and check out the other turning in the passageway, just in case we missed anything! This one sloped downward sharply enough that I tied a rope to Trap, who wasn’t happy but left it on. Wouldn’t do to lose the lead man to any sudden dropoffs. This path led to a large cavern, full of stalactites and stalagmites. As we crossed to check out some fissures in the wall, small rocklike things hit Trap and me - and started to chew on Trap! We abandoned the cave to the piercers (except Trap’s, which he decided to keep and try to tame for some reason), and returned to the surface.

Once there, we started to make the trek back to town along a deer path. We actually had walked under the whole town from the mansion to here! As we walked, we heard a moan from the underbrush - which revealed an injured human cleric crawling through the bushes! While Trap and I followed back along the trail he’d left, finding signs of a fight and several bodies being dragged away, the cleric told Drusilia that his party had been attacked by spidery “things.” He was most concerned about a sorceress named Hendra. After some talk, we left Gildean with a dagger and some food and a blue potion, and headed off after the kidnappers (he was just too weak to come with us).

As we headed along the trail, we came upon another stranger - an elf being attacked by a giant spider. These woods were full of unlucky travellers today! I killed the spider, and some of the party began to argue with the elf about whether the stick he was clutching was a sword. I don’t know why - time was short, so Trap and I continued following the trail. We followed it right into a trap, of course; this time both of us were attacked by a group of spiders and humanoid-spiders. Trap rolled free, but I got tangled up in webs and bitten. They started dragging me away while the rest of the party arrived and joined the battle. The new elf can wield that stick pretty well. And he can sing, quite inspiringly! He got me free from the webs in time to see Trap being dragged up a tree; while he managed to wriggle free, I shot the creature with my crossbow.

Trap gave in and drank the other blue vial, as he was pretty badly hurt and poisoned. It did heal him, thank the gods! His new pet, Spike, was dead, however, which upset him.. strange little guy. The party reassembled, including the new elf bard, Valon, and finally tracked the rest of the spiders to their lair, a hole in the ground. We climbed to the bottom and got into a massive fight with the spiders and things, finishing with a large, intelligent, magic-using spider. We did finish it off - in fact, Trap landed the final blow!

So, after all that, we found three cocooned, unconscious, poisoned people. They are woozy but alive. Unfortunately, we also found another treasure chest. Instead of getting these folks back to the surface, and getting back to their weakened comrade in the woods, Trap wanted to open and inventory everything in it! Now, while everyone discusses how to get these three very sick people out of here, I’m catching you up on events. Hoping all’s well in the homelands!

With love,

P.S. One good piece of news: the sorceress Kendra gave us two potions to remove our curses! Praise Moradin!

Posted by Kate at 22:51 | Ghelt’s Journal

December 29, 2002

Fafnir's Journal Entry 5

Fafnir's Journal

Well, we didn’t die yet... but it was close! After setting off through the woods in search of Gildean’s companions, we soon came across a strange sight... An elf trying to beat up a giant spider with a stick! (yes, you read that correctly — a stick.) After the spider had been taken care of, we learned that his name is Valon and he is a bard. He claims that the stick he carries around is actually a sword and try as we might, we could not convince him otherwise. He proceeded to ‘show’ us that it was a sword by cutting through the spider, but he didn’t fool me.... after all, I AM an Illusionist! I did ‘detect magic’ on Valon, and the stick is actually magical... but regardless of that, it is still a stick!

While we were arguing (or “discussing” as some like to call it) the nature of the stick, Ghelt and Trap had continued on in search of the missing adventurers. We (Drusilia and myself) decided to let Valon continue with his crazy beliefs, and with Valon joining us, followed behind Trap and Ghelt.

As we were just starting to catch up, we heard the sounds of a struggle! The two of them had been attacked by a gang of spiders and goblin-spider-thingies. (hereafter, I will refer to these as spider-goblins... although I do not know their true name).

I used a color spray to disorient several of them as we charged into battle! Even as we were dispatching the creatures, they continued to wrap Ghelt and Trap in spider silk and drag them away! Things were looking grim. Next thing I know, Valon began to sing. Something about his song bolstered our spirits, and we were soon able to slay the remaining foes, freeing our companions. Valon then attempted to set the forest aflame by lighting the spider’s webs on fire! Luckily the flames extinguished quickly!

To be honest, at this point I was starting to wonder about the wisdom of continuing... we were all in not-so-great shape, and both Drusilia and Ghelt had no healing abilities left for the day. In the end, we decided we must continue on, as Gildean’s companions were certainly worse off than us. (Oh yeah, Trap’s pet rock ‘spike’ also died in this encounter — apparently the strategy of “throw it at the enemy” was not such a good idea on Trap’s part.)

We soon found ourselves at a large crevasse. The tracks seemed to lead downward, rather than across to the other side. We lowered a rope and continued on.

Coming to a crossroads in the caverns, we were attacked by even more spiders and spider-goblins! They came at us from two directions at once! For the longest while, I was nothing more than an observer, as Ghelt, Drusilia, Trap, and Valon (with his stick!) fought the creatures. We were making some progress, when Valon took a hit that knocked him to the ground! While Drusilia pulled him to safety, I made an attempt at fighting off the advancing creatures with my club.

I was certainly receiving more damage than I was dealing out, when Ghelt came to my rescue after having finished off the creatures she had been fighting in the other corridor. [This is starting to become a habit.... I think I need to acquire a crossbow of some sort, so that I can help in the fighting, while keeping myself at a distance where ‘rescuing’ is not required! Maybe when we get back to town...]

With the spiders dead, we searched the corridors they had come from.... nothing but spider-web filled rooms. Some of my companions wanted to set these on fire as well, but luckily they came to their senses, and decided to wait until after we had found the people we were searching for!

This left one corridor remaining to be searched. Proceeding cautiously, we followed the corridor into a room. No sooner had we entered than a humanoid spider appeared from a hole near the ceiling. Even though we had been fighting similar things for the past hour, this one seemed different — there was the glint of evil intelligence in its eyes!

We began attacking it with our missile weapons. We got a couple hits in, but then the thing cast some kind of shielding spell that rebuffed most of our attacks! Seeing that only those that had weapons stronger than I could be of use here, I attempted to sneak down a corridor I had noticed on the other side of the room. (I hope this doesn’t seem cowardly, but I was not being of ANY use, and I was fervently hoping to find the captives we were searching for.)

In any case, I had no sooner entered the passageway, when I received a Magic Missile in the back! Luckily I made it around the corner and into a chamber with three man-sized coccoons in it, before more missiles could follow!

Momentarily, the rest of the party joined me, having somehow defeated the big spider. Cutting the coccoons open, we found that they did indeed contain the missing adventurers. And they are still alive! (although they do appear to be suffering from the same poison as Gildean.) We also found, stashed in the back of the room, all of their equipment, and a locked box, which did not seem to be part of their gear.

After speaking to one of the weakened adventurer’s, Ghelt and Drusilia drank some potions to remove the evil curse they have been suffering with. Meanwhile Trap examined the lockbox...

Trap managed to get the locked box open.... and he only set off the needle trap twice! (The name ‘trap’ is making more sense to me every day I know him.) Inside we found, amongst other things, a couple of scrolls, a wand, and some sort of cloak. When we have the time, we will need to investigate these items further, as they look as if they may be magical!

Meanwhile, as Ghelt has pointed out, our first order of business is to get these people out of this pit, and also to get back to Gildean before he is dragged off by a pack of wolves or something. We will be doing that as soon as we bind our wounds and think of a way to pull the wounded up the crevasse. I suspect that will involve a lot of strenuous lifting for the stronger members of our party. (I thought of suggesting a chicken-powered pulley system before remembering that we have no chickens.... we could always go with weasel power, but Fingers doesn’t seem up to the task.... oh well.)

In any case, it looks like everyone is ready to get moving, so I will end this entry here.

~= Fafnir Flamebrewer =~
Planting 10, 592 CY

Posted by Dave at 02:37 | Fafnir’s Journal

December 30, 2002

Trap Gets Caught Up

Trap's Journal

Well, I know it’s been a few days (9 I know) but I just wanted to let you know that we’re going out again. So to get you up to date, we got out of the ravine just fine. Had a little scare for a moment, but nothing major. We returned to the path with the 3 people we found, and the one we left there was happy to see us all alive, and really nothing a little rest couldn’t cure.

We arrived back in Smallville early in the evening, and went right to the inn/tavern. I sent someone to get the local druids to help heal the injured travelers and us. After some catching up and stuff, one of the widowed ladies came in and wanted us to rid her house of some evil spirits. No rest for the weary.

It turned out that her house wasn’t haunted, it was infested with stirges. We killed them eventually, cleaned up the house and lied to the old lady telling her the evil was gone.

The next day, we divvied up the treasure. A good amount at that. I got all kinds of stuff, and convinced Ghelt to teach me how to fight better. I could use the lessons. Now we’re going after what we believe the people at that old mansion thought The Heart of Nerull is. I’m not quite sure what that is, but it sounds interesting. In my other book is about 5 or 6 pages, front and back, of diagrams of all my new traps I found. I hope to fill it this trip.

Posted by Fred at 13:19 | Trap’s Journal