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April 4, 2003


Jonathan's Journal

The day started out good enough. We traveled cross country for a while, and found an overgrown cobblestone road. After some debate, we turned right, which headed roughly north. We traveled for most of the day and when we saw a bridge in the distance I suggested we camp on this side for the night. My companions marched on, and so I went with. About half way across the bridge we heard sounds of combat in the distance. When we reached the battle we saw 2 dwarves, one had leprosy. They told us they were on a quest, and were attacked by an Ettin which took some of their companions. We followed its trail to a cave, and fought it.

Ghelt and I almost died and I felt a little weaker after the battle. Then I noticed Korin wasn’t with us. While searching the cave, 2 creatures came out of a crevice in the cave wall. The told us they’d give us 1000 gp each if we let them live. But before we could really talk to them Korin ran in and shot them. He told us that the dwarves changed into those creatures, and attacked him. Then he came to warn us. That was nice of him.

We camped at the mouth of the cave for the night. The next day we traveled the road again, and came to where it split. We took the left path and found an old dwarven fortress. We entered and while searching, were attacked by shadowy figures. I was hit and felt so weak, I couldn’t carry my equipment. We finally escaped, and Drusilia was able to restore some of my strength. Enough so that I could at least shoot some of the figures that attacked us during the night. I’m still weak and I hope we rest long enough to restore all of my strength.

Posted by Fred at 14:23 | Jonathan’s Journal

April 5, 2003

Fafnir's Journal Entry 16 - Fighters Shouldn't Play With Dead Things

Fafnir's Journal

The past couple days have been pretty eventful. Shortly after finding an old road which seemed to lead in the direction we were headed, we came across two decrepit looking dwarves who claimed that they had just been attacked by an Ettin! Always willing to help, our party immediately took off after the Ettin, with hopes of saving the dwarves’ companions.

When we arrived at the Ettin’s cave, we soon discovered that we didn’t have all of the information.... the whole thing was a trap!!! And furthermore, this was no ordinary Ettin, it was some sort of undead monstrosity!

With Ghelt and Jonathan taking the lead, we did manage to dispatch the creature, but not before they both took a lot of damage. Jonathan particularly looked ‘drained,’ and Drusilia fears that the damage will be permanent. As if he didn’t have enough strikes against him.

At least he found a magical amulet of some sort for his trouble... maybe it will make up for the energy drain. Magic is always fun!

While searching the Ettin’s lair, two pathetic creatures came stumbling out from the rear of the cave, and offered us a large reward if we would allow them to leave peacefully. I was all for this, having seen enough fighting for one day, but the rest of the party seemed thirsty for blood, and wanted to attack.

We didn’t have time to really discuss it though, as Korin, who had been waiting outside (I had noticed that it was unusually quiet up until then...), rushed in and began shooting arrows into them! This ended all posibility of a peaceful resolution, and the two creatures attacked us in desperation. We were able to defend ourselves, but I felt that it wasn’t necessarily the best way that the situation could have been handled.

The next day’s travel brought us to what could only be the dwarven stronghold of Barraktor. Deciding that our best choice would be to cleanse any evil from Barraktor before moving on to Arun-tosa, we cautiously entered.

Our explorations didn’t last long before we had to make a hasty retreat. Apparently Barraktor is infested by Shadows that can drain every last ounce of strength from you. Poor Jonathan found this out the hard way, and was so weak he couldn’t even stand! We had to literally drag him back outside to safety! (Or at least relative safety - we were attacked again in the night, even though we were a good distance from the stronghold. Luckily we managed to fight the Shadows off.)

At this point, I am not sure what our best option is. Instinct tells me that if we cannot hold our own against whatever is infesting Barraktor, we won’t stand a chance in the true ‘City of the Dead,’ so our only real choices are: Go back and face the peril, or turn-tail and run for home.... Which I guess leaves us no option at all.... I am sure we will be going back in. The stakes are too high not to.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~
Starday, Flocktime 8

P.S. - We still do not have a rogue. We have been discovering traps by having Jonathan trip over them, setting them off.... this method probably won’t work for long, as one of these times the trap that goes off will just kill all of us.... Unfortunately, once again, no solution seems to be available to us, so I guess we will just have to risk it.


Posted by Dave at 23:53 | Fafnir’s Journal

April 6, 2003

Big Dwarven Place

Korin's Journal

Eeewww, them are some ugly dwarves. Stop giggling Trap.

Wow, Fafnir can float.

Wow, big Dwarven place, I will hide here, just to be safe.

Dru is going to let me have that cursed sword, me, Trap and Ghelt can get rid of it then.

Why am I always alone when they turn into monsters?

Strange, this sword seems different when it is in my hands. I wish to talk to Trap about this, but he refused to enter this Dwarven city. He said it is too evil, and he fears for his life. While I hold this sword, I seem to see things.

I sense a trap, something does not feel right. I yell for Ghelt and the party, to help fight the evil I sense. But as we gain access to the room, Jon decides to pretend he is the door. The shadows are getting the fool, I am forced to throw him out of the way for his own sake. Dru scares or kills them off, the party has decided to back out of here for now. I think I may be the only one who can kill these creatures of evil.

After the party is outside, I talk to Trap, I tell him to watch over them while I go look around inside. Soon as I re-enter the keep, one of the shadows comes at me. This sword seems to almost lead itself as I cut down the shadow. I go looking farther, there may be an arms room with some helpful items. I go through several small rooms before the shadows come again. Three from one side of the hall, and one from the other. I head for the one. As I put the final blow into that one, the others attack me. I am forced to flee the keep.

That night the dark forms came at our camp outside the keep. I did my best to take them all on, some got past me. All the creatures are slain, but the damage is done, at least Ghelt is finally using the spear against them.

The next morning the party has decided to go back in. Strange, I feel that I would go back in even if the party wanted to go another direction. Trap says I am acting different, I remind him that he is dead, and everything probably looks different.

Posted by Jim at 10:48 | Korin’s Journal

April 7, 2003

Still Here

Jonathan's Journal

Well, we went back into the fortress again today. Ghelt wanted to go down immediately to check the armory, I suggested we go up and clear out the area first. We found steps going up, so we went up. After some searching I got the impression that clearing an area only works for solid enemies. I also noticed an interesting thing about one area of the top floor. The outside of the fortress is squarish in shape, but we seemed to be missing a 10’ by 60’ room. When I pointed this out to Ghelt, she eventually found a secret door. We found some stairs going down. Korin went first, the Ghelt, then me, Drusilia and Fafnir got the rear.

We passed the first floor landing, and went down for what seemed like an eternity. Finally we reached the bottom, and at the end of a short corridor we found the Dwarven Hall of Heroes. There were 960 dwarves remembered in this room. I think Ghelt was crying a little. As we reached the other end of the room we found a large door. When Ghelt got near it her helmet began to glow, and the doors opened. So we traveled on. A short distance in, Korin stumbled a little, and the ceiling began to fall. Ghelt fell, so Korin and I half carried her to safety, Drusilia and Fafnir seemed okay, so we traveled on. Not that we had much of a choice at this point, the way back was blocked permanently, and staying put would only get us killed.

After a short walk, we found another staircase going down, so we went down. We came to an open room, a hall on either side, and a chasm in front of us with a broken bridge. We found some magic items, and searched the other rooms. There is a permanent reenactment of how the fortress fell with the ghosts on the other end of the chasm. It was sad really. While trying to find a way across, these strange heads with wings attacked us. Suddenly I couldn’t move. Then I felt very cold.

When I came to the things were gone, and Ghelt thought she was going to turn into one. We tried to comfort her, but no luck. We rested for the night, and Drusilia tried to heal us, but I still seem to have this cough that set in during the night. Korin is now wearing Dwarven Plate mail, and boots, all magical. I’m now wearing that amulet, it seems to be some sort of protection. Now were moving on. Wish us luck, because if things keep up like this, we won’t be here for long.

Posted by Fred at 13:01 | Jonathan’s Journal

April 9, 2003


Drusilia's Journal

Sunday, Flocktime 9, 592 CY

It turns out we are a match for the undead here, when we work as a team. Korin seems to have found an inner strength, perhaps from the Sword of Pelor. In fact, if Pelor’s symbol wasn’t on the sword, I’d be seriously worried that it had somehow taken over Korin’s personality. But, he was a strong fighter before we found him in the orc slave mines, and he may have just needed some focus to come to terms with that.

We ventured back into Barraktor in the morning, and went to the uppermost level first. After a night with no fire, we looked at a lot of the old weapons and furnishings as potential kindling. The rooms didn’t contain the secrets to defeating the undead (as I think we all hoped, somehow), but we did defeat four more shadows. A daylight spell proved useful to keep them from slipping away from us, but it still took a group effort to destroy them. Sometimes my attempts to destroy undead only turn them temporarily, and I don’t wish them to sneak around behind us, so I’m limiting my use of turning unless there are more than we can handle. Ghelt is intrigued by the way I was imbuing Jonathan’s sword with divine magic and has used it on her own war axe.

We continued through a group of little 10’ by 10’ rooms, finding little of interest. At one point though, when Ghelt was in a room on the opposite side of a long hall of little rooms, I heard her call for help and I went pelting down the corridor, to find her battling for her life against a really nasty wraith. It left when the rest of us got to the room (which was good, since there was no room to fight!) but left her looking very unhealthy. After that, we decided that looking room by room in a place where the inhabitants could float through ceilings and walls was fruitless. Ghelt and Jonathan found a hidden stairwell going down, so down we went.

After descending for a very long time, we came to a door and emerged from the stairs in a much lower level of Barraktor. We were in a hall with several sets of alcoves on either side, and a door ahead of us. The frame around it said “Hall of Heroes” in dwarvish script (which I can read, thanks to Ghelt’s tutelage). We continued in. The hall was big. Really big! The hall had tiers of statues paying homage to dwarves of eons past. Ghelt was clearly awestruck— I just warned the others not to touch anything (I could already picture them “scavenging” for magical weapons and armor). We finally came to a set of double doors covered in artwork— artwork very similar to that on Ghelt’s magical helm. And sure enough, when our other attempts to open the door failed, Ghelt’s helm began to glow and the doors creaked open!

We continued on for a bit, when our normally agile halfling stumbled on something. Suddenly, the ceiling began to crumble and large pieces of rock fell. The footing was harrowing while trying to dodge the debris, resulting in Ghelt and Fafnir tripping as well. Thankfully Korin and Jonathan were able to scoop up Ghelt while I grabbed Fafnir, and we raced forward. When the avalanche stopped, the way behind us was blocked.

We walked on and down another set of stairs, and eventually came to a chasm with the remnants of a bridge jutting out into the center of it. On the opposite side of the chasm, a ghostly reenactment of a battle between dwarves, shadows, and some otherworldly bat-like things played over and over. I’m not sure what was causing it— and they certainly were not aware of us. The floor on either side of the chasm was littered with the bones and equipment of the dead fighters— we found two javelins of lightning and some crossbow bolts that were magical— and I detected magical treasure on the other side of the chasm as well.

But how to cross? The open distance was at least 40’— too far for any of us not using magical means. As we searched for a way across, I absentmindedly kicked some dirt out on the bridge—perhaps hoping that, like the battle raging silently across from us, its absence was also illusory. Sadly, the dirt just fell through the opening, and I continued my search for anything that might help us, when I heard... flapping, coming up from the depths of the chasm. I turned to warn the others just in time for us to be set upon by six vargouilles—nasty creatures from the infernal planes that look like (and in fact are) a head with batwings protruding from where the ears should be. The sight was too much for Jonathan and Ghelt, so Fafnir, Korin and I were left to battle them alone, while they froze in fear.

As if the fiendish flapping heads weren’t enough, I sensed something behind the frozen form of Jonathan, and turned in time to see that the wraith had followed us, and was in contact with the fighter. I was able to turn it with such divine power as to destroy it, but not until after it had drained quite a bit of health from Jonathan. Like he can afford it! Fortunately, we were able to kill five of the vargouilles quickly, though the remaining one had kissed Ghelt while she was frozen in fear. I sliced it in two in midair, but the damage was done. Ghelt spent several harrowing hours waiting to turn into one herself, but thankfully her already-drained constitution was able to fight off the effects of the deadly kiss.

While I prayed for more spells to help Ghelt and the others, Fafnir cast a spiderclimb spell on Korin and he crossed the chasm to see what magical items awaited us— hoping to help Ghelt, whom he seems to have sworn to protect. A closer look at the ghostly battle shows that the winged things flapping about were likely vargouilles fighting in conjunction with the undead. Thankfully no more appeared to fight us!

Korin came back to us toting dwarven half-plate (which magically shrank to fit the halfling) and magical boots (which also shrank to fit him), a magical dwarven urgrosh for Ghelt and a ring of protection, plus an enchanted heavy crossbow. Jonathan and Fafnir split the stuff we’d found on this side. My comrades always offer the treasure to the person that most needs it or is most qualified to use it, so it’s likely things will pass around the party again. I myself prefer light and quick equipment, and am not likely to find much of that in a dwarven stronghold, but perhaps our further journeys will introduce me to something embued with divine magic to fight the increasing number of undead.

Posted by Kristin at 17:25 | Drusilia’s Journal

April 12, 2003

Fafnir's Journal Entry 17 - No Way Out

Fafnir's Journal

Well, we have done it now. Our lack of a true Rogue has left us buried alive deep beneath the dwarven fortress of Barraktor. It all started when we were searching the upper rooms of the fortress, when once more we encountered some Shadows. Most of them we were able to dispatch handily, but there was this one BIG shadow (which turned out to be a Wraith!), that we weren’t doing so well against. Luckily (we thought), he didn’t want to stay and fight, so he buggered off, and we were safe for the moment.

After that, the rest of the party decided “to hell with searching up here,” and decided to go as deep into the dungeons below the fortress as they could! At one point, I tried to explore the ground level, but I was soon abandoned by everyone. This didn’t bother me until I spied the wraith lurking nearby. Fearing that I would be attacked, I immediately caught up with the party, and warned them that the wraith was stalking us. No one believed me. Instead, they accused me of just being paranoid, and moved on. I made sure that I travelled in the middle of the party after that, rather than at the back...

Continuing on, through a mouldy old dwarven hall filled with statues, we came to some big doors. Jonathan couldn’t get them open, but once Ghelt was done blubbering over all the statues, she came over to the doors, and her helmet (that she received from the evil Kobolds) began to glow! Next thing we knew, the doors opened onto a corridor.

Continuing into the corridor without checking for traps or anything silly like that, one of us stepped in the wrong place, and set off a trap that collapsed the entire hallway, leaving us with no where to go but forward.

Going forward has brought us to the site of an ancient battle. It is a large room seperated in the center by a 40’ chasm. There was once a bridge over the chasm, but it has been destroyed. I know that this was the sight of an old battle, because not only are there ancient bodies lying around, on the other side of the chasm, there is a very nice illusion recreating the battle over and over for us to see. (At least, I assume its an illusion.... I didn’t examine it that closely yet.)

As we were talking about how to cross, Drusilia absent-mindedly kicked some stones over the edge of the cliff. We soon heard flapping, and were beset by a group of what could best be described as flying-heads! They began screaching, and Ghelt and Jonathan were paralyzed with fear.

As Drusilia, Korin, and I fought them off, two bad things happened.
1. The wraith that had been following us (I TOLD THEM!!!!) caught up and attacked poor Jonathan who had been standing in the doorway. Drusilia managed to call on Pelor to destroy it, but not before it had done its damage.

2. One of the flying heads KISSED Ghelt. I don’t mean just a peck on the cheek either. It was one of those DEEP kisses. A deep kiss from a flying head. Yuck.

After we finished killing the flying heads, Drusilia informed me that they were called vargouilles, and that when they “kissed” Ghelt, they may have infected her. Apparently “infection” means that you will turn into a vargouille yourself within a day!!!

Ghelt, upon hearing this wanted to immediately commit suicide. She didn’t want to wait to find out if she was not infected, or to see if she could be healed. She wanted to kill herself IMMEDIATELY. It was all the party could do to tie her up, to protect her from herself. Crazy Dwarf.

As it turned out, she was NOT infected, so it’s a good thing we were able to catch her before she went plummeting over the cliff. I would have thought she would have been a little less impulsive about this. After all, she is a Cleric, and she knows how important our mission is.

As we rested for a day while making sure Ghelt was OK, I was able to transcribe the scroll containing Feather Fall into my spellbook. That could come in handy. Also, I cast spider climb on Korin, and he retrieved the magic items from across the chasm.

We don’t know what they do exactly, but Ghelt got a new weapon and a ring of protection, and Korin got some armor and boots. Jonathan acquired two Javelins, which I believe are Javelins of Lightning. Myself, I got some magical bolts for my crossbow, which could come in handy if I run out of spells.

As we prepare to move on, it is apparent to me that we aren’t in the best of shape. Ghelt, Korin, and Jonathan were all weakened by the Wraith, and I don’t think Drusilia will be able to help them. Also, there is the problem that our only way out of Barraktor, is now to travel quite a long way underground, with no clue as to what lies ahead, and no rogue to help us find these damned dwarven traps that the place seems to be filled with.

Despite all this, I don’t think we’re quite ready to give up yet, so there is still some hope.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~
Deep Beneath Barraktor

Posted by Dave at 11:49 | Fafnir’s Journal

April 13, 2003

Closer to the Evil

Korin's Journal

We have now traveled back up to the fortress. Once inside we decided to search the second floor for any arms left in the armory. Unfortunately the armory was found to be empty.

We did find a few more of the shadows in a dining hall; they shall never bother anyone again. The problem is that the clumsiness and unorganized fighting skills of the party is starting to cause us to incur injuries that are unneeded.

I believe now that the party may be doomed. If we cannot convince some of the party to use magic weapons against these foes, our attempts to protect them may create too many openings for the evil to get us.

Great luck, Jonathan has discovered a secret stairwell, I shall take the lead, I feel with me taking the lead, we are better prepared to face the evil. On the way down the stairs, of course, some of the absent minded party members decided to wonder off on their own. When will they learn!! Dru made it back safely but apparently Fafnir had a run in with the one stronger creature that fled our attacks earlier.

Finally at the bottom, we found a great hall filled with statues of many great Dwarven heroes. It seems Ghelt has turned into a babbling fool in here. We have to drag her to the other end of the hall, where her helmet begins to glow and the set of large doors open. The wall here has similar murals as on her helmet.
Strange luck that the helmet had fallen into our hands.

As we forge into the new hallway, after the great doors, the ceiling began to fall. The party began to run for the end of the hall, having to help each other due to the debris. The hall ended in a cavern divided by an abyss, and what was a bridge long ago. The floor is covered on both sides by the remains of many corpses. Obviously a great battle had raged here. I see many ghosts here, they seem to be happy to see Ghelt, they say they haven’t seen a living Dwarf in so long, they feared that they were all dead. I let Ghelt know the pleasure the dead are feeling having seen her, strangely this disturbs her.

Before I can say anymore, an image of many armed Dwarves appears across the cavern from us, then a great evil charges into their ranks. One by one the mighty Dwarven forces are slain. This seen brings a lump into all of our throats, and strengthens by resolve to slay the evil.

Then to everyone’s surprise, Dru went over to the ledge of the abyss to look down, and knocked some debris over the ledge. Whatever fell, awoke a party of evil that has roamed these halls for a long time. Some sort of winged heads came up from the ledge, screaming an unholy noise. This noise apparently froze several members of the party. And to add insult to injury, the creature that went after Fafnir earlier attacked a frozen Jonathan.

The party fought well and dispatched the forces of evil, even Fafnir’s buddy. I was hit several times by the creatures to no effect, but Ghelt was struck badly. Dru explained we had to watch Ghelt and pray, or she may turn into one of those flying heads. After a while resting all was well, although Ghelt seems a little unhinged by it all.

The party begins to argue over the course of what to do next, and did their best to deny all the logical ideas I set out. Why do the tall ones never listen to the little people. Finally Faf cast a spell on me to let me go gather up the magic items on the other side. Together with the ones from this side, we have increased our strength well. Strangely Ghelt turns down a nice magical set of armor, I think she may be facing long lasting damage from the bite. I take the armor and the boots, nobody seems to mind. I feel almost like a paladin now, all I need is a shield and a mount.

Posted by Jim at 10:30 | Korin’s Journal

Oh... Who Cares What Day It Is?

Ghelt's Journal

Dearest Grun,

This may be the last time I get to write to you, my cousin! While I knew I had quite a long letter to write in order to catch up on what’s been happening, I didn’t dream I’d be writing it while waiting to perhaps turn into a monster. I’d write out a proper will, but I expect that the party will divide up my belongings amongst themselves as soon as they’ve killed me. My mother’s holy symbol, I pray, will be taken home to Father, at least.

To start where I left off..

We got started without any more sight or sound of wolves, and no lasting effects from their bites except Korin’s new propensity to chew on my arm and growl threateningly. I’m pretty sure it was just a new idea working its way through his brain in its usual wayward manner, as Drusilia had cast a spell to remove any diseases on us all. We walked half a day, turning onto an old road that seemed to lead toward our destination. As the sun began to set, we came to a bridge, and despite Korin trying to pretend to be a troll under it (?!), we heard the sounds of fighting up ahead. We came around a turn to find two leprous dwarves whose party, they said, had been attacked by an ettin and taken away. We followed the trail to a cave entrance and got into quite a fight with the ettin, discovering it was also undead. It hit both me and Jonathan very hard, but Drusilia’s holy magic and Fafnir’s lightning bolt weakened it to the point that we could take it out. While Fafnir climbed onto the ceiling (an odd sight), I went searching for the other dwarves.

Instead of dwarves, I was accosted by two very ugly, grey things, one of which tried to bribe me with promises of gold if we would just let them leave in peace. As I tried to question them, Drusilia shouted not to trust them, and Korin came charging into the cave shouting about it being a trap (or Trap?), and fired off two arrows into the things. They immediately attacked me, and we had to kill them before finding out anything more. Korin then explained that the two dwarves we’d met on the road had turned into “scaly badness,” then made smoke and left, so he’d figured out the rest of the situation was a trap, too. Good for Korin — I’d only seen they were dwarves, and not questioned the rest. A lesson for me, about how to treat strangers in the wilds! Fafnir found a box and weapons in the back of the cave on a ledge, and Korin happily pushed them all over onto the floor, then fell himself while holding a javelin, although I managed to catch him (yikes!). We counted out the treasure and spent the rest of the night at the mouth of the cave.

The next morning we continued on toward the City of the Dead, carrying Korin’s various weapons while he scouted on ahead. We came to a Y in the road with his spear pointed toward the direction of an ancient fortress of dwarven make, up on a plateau. Drusilia thought we were very close to the City, along the other turning. I didn’t want to wonder what might come out of the fortress behind us if we went to the city first, so we followed Korin’s lead and headed up the road. Atfer pushing the doors open, setting off some crossbolt traps, and finding a beautiful but abandoned hall, we ended up in a battle with several terrible shadows, which drained Jon’s life to the point where he couldn’t even stand up in his own armor! They drained me, too, and we were all relieved to get out of there when Drusilia either destroyed or turned them away for a little while. As it was nearly night, we camped outside the fortress, hoping the things were not inclined to leave it. Korin decided to try out the sword of Pelor, since this is what Drusilia said it was meant to be used for, and headed back in alone. None of us were in a physical or mental state to stop him, but he soon returned, saying the sword worked quite well! I’m glad for him, but I hope it doesn’t inspire the madness it did in Trap and Drusilia. Would I be able to tell?

Of course, we were wrong about the shadows, which attacked during the night. Luckily, Korin’s sword and a magical spear someone handed me could destroy them, as could Drusilia’s and Fafnir’s magics. Finally, we did get some sleep!

Pardon me, Grun, I must tell you it’s helping me keep my mind off everything to write to you like this, just like everything’s going on as usual. I hate to think my adventuring could end like this! I always imagined either a hero’s death or living to a ripe old age, full of stories. Not being killed by my own party after turning into a .. thing. I’ve made it through the first few hours all right, but I have to wait nearly a day before I know I’m safe, or until Drusilia can pray for a spell to heal me first! The worry has made me totally unfit for company; I hope the others can forgive me for hollering at them and writing to you instead.

The next morning, we decided to return to the stronghold. I had seen the effects of a spell Drusilia was casting on Jon’s sword that made it harm the shadows badly, and learned how to do it to my axe, which I was looking forward to trying out. Korin wanted to find the armory, and Jon wanted to check out the upstairs, and I figured the upstairs would be over with quickly so we went that way first. Sure enough, there wasn’t much to be found but old and useless equipment, and we were attacked again by shadows, both in the mess hall and the barracks. Korin was weakened to the point that he took off his armor, saying it was too heavy, and I was hit hard, too. I feel less healthy than I am used to, and you know dwarves are known for their strong constitutions! Jonathan became convinced the proportions of the walls were off, so we began to search, and sure enough I found a secret door with stairs leading downwards. We all descended.

At the bottom, Grun, we found a wonderful thing! A dwarven Hall of Heroes like I haven’t seen before! There were hundreds of statues and names, and I wish I had the talent for storytelling, to give my companions some idea of the history that was represented there. As it were, they walked through it far too quickly, and were ready to try the set of doors at the other end long before I was done musing. As I approached the doors, to my surprise, the helmet from the kobolds began to glow, and the doors to open! This was a relief, as they, too, were covered with artwork, and I would rather the party hadn’t tried to force them. Unfortunately, as we walked the hallway, Korin set off a trap, and the ceiling fell in. We ran for the opposite end, and now we’re trapped underground with no way to go but forward.

Moving forward, we found another huge chamber, this one with a 40 foot chasm broken through the center and the bones of many dwarves fallen in battle. I said a prayer for them. A broken bridge had reached across the gap, and across the way we could see a ghostly re-enactment of these brave dwarves’ last battle against the shadows and some sort of flying creatures. As we talked over how to get across, Drusilia kicked a little dirt over the edge, and suddenly could hear flapping from below! We prepared for a fight.. and a dreadful thing happened. Flying, screaming, horrible heads with wings came out of the chasm, and I was frozen with fear. (So was Jon, but I didn’t know that until later.) The others attacked, but one of the things proceeded to chew on me until Drusilia hacked it in two!

I was sick in a corner for a while. Ugh. ugh, nasty thing!

And then Drusilia admitted the truth — that I’d probably been infected by its “kiss,” and would become one within a day! She can heal me, but it will take her nearly a day, too, to build up the magical power! And I’m already weakened by the fights with the shadows..

Jonathan grabbed me just before I jumped. I’m sorry, Grun, at that moment I lost all hope, and couldn’t think of a better thing to do than spare us all that horror.

The others realized that there was nothing to do but wait, and set about exploring the area for the rest of the day. Korin climbed across the chasm, using one of Fafnir’s potions, and set about collecting anything that the others said looked magical. He also kept up a running patter about what parts of my gear he wanted to have. I was not amused, but he didn’t get it, and wondered why I kept throwing rocks at him. They found some javelins, and I took one to wedge into a crack into the floor so I could impale myself if I had to. Korin found a suit of plate mail and they offered it to me, but I was in such a bad mood I yelled at them about it — why give me more protection if they have to kill me? So Korin is now wearing it (he did need it, after all, and it shrank to fit him). They insisted I take a nice dwarven urgrosh, which I accepted — I won’t be able to use it if I become a flying head with wings, anyway.

So, here I am, in the corner, writing to you, checking to see if my hair is falling out, and generally snarling at anyone else who comes near. I hope you, at least, will be able to see why I can’t see the point of giving me stuff when I’m waiting to grow wings! I’m also doing a lot of praying. May Moradin give me strength!

There, it’s taken me most of the night to catch up with you — I couldn’t have slept, anyway. And I’m still here and myself! I hope Drusilia is able to heal me, soon, and I can get back to my normal life, such as it is!

With much love and hope,

P.S. — Drusilia healed me this morning, and says I’ll be OK. Fafnir, even, gave me a ring of protection of some sort, which was nice of him, and I hope it keeps anything like this from ever happening again!

Posted by Kate at 15:53 | Ghelt’s Journal

April 14, 2003


Drusilia's Journal

Sunday, Flocktime 9, 592 CY, continued

I think this is still the 9th of Flocktime, though it is hard to tell. I miss the sun! Today was just one harrowing experience after another. The first thing we had to do was cross the chasm, and, thinking this to be a simple enough task, sent Korin scrambling across the chasm using a spider climb spell courtesy of Fafnir. Korin took ropes across so that each end could be secured and we could each climb across with a spare rope in case we got in trouble. For reasons we could not see, the ropes kept coming untied as soon as one of us was halfway across, and it seemed as if someone or something was purposely doing it! But, we never saw our invisible antagonist and continued on our way, slightly bumped and bruised, once the last of us made it across.

We walked a short distance, through traps that had already been long-ago sprung, and stumbled into over a dozen dwarven zombies. I took out most of them with a divine turning, and I hate to say that Jonathan used one of the priceless javelins of lightning to chip away at another. Thankfully the rest of the undead were dispatched quickly and easily.

We passed through many deserted rooms— one contained a beautiful mural and a dry fountain, another had wooden bunks (again, we looked upon them as so much potential firewood). Once again, Jonathan showed us just how a trap was meant to work by falling into it and counting the spikes from the inside. The rest of us were able to jump the 10’ pit except poor Ghelt. Dwarves are not aerodynamic. She was injured by two spikes but was able to clamber out, more flustered than hurt.

We spent the bulk of our time and energy in a rather large chamber with 6 columns and 6 doors and a lot of shadows. Jonathan and Korin were running ahead of us and were well into the room before the shadows made their presence known. Luckily Ghelt came in next and did an amazing turning of her own— destroying all 15 of the shadows at once! As we were congratulating her though, the room suddenly went dark as two more menacing shadows detached themselves from the ceiling. Even my daylight spell was only enough to cast a dim glow for us to see by. Hoping these shadowy forms would turn as easily as their lesser brethren, I cast a turn undead myself— and nothing happened. These shadows were not of the undead variety! Suddenly, Korin dropped the Sword of Pelor and ran screaming from the room (and luckily made it past the pit trap) as one of the demonic shadows flew right into Jonathan’s body. Not good! I left Fafnir at the doorway to cast magic missiles at the one shadowy form still on the ceiling while Ghelt tried to knock Jonathan out without killing him. The possessed Jonathan, of course, had no such inhibitions towards Ghelt and was hitting her pretty hard. Just as I got to Jonathan myself to help subdue him, I felt a sharp pain between my shoulder blades. Looking back, I saw that Fafnir was no longer fighting the shadowy demon (for the ceiling was now empty!) and was lobbing his returning dagger at me repeatedly! Not knowing what else to do to help Ghelt (Jonathan’s bastard sword was doing much more damage to her than the dagger would to me) I cast a blessing on my allies (which, at this point, was only Ghelt and myself!), and cast heat metal on Jon’s blade, hoping it would become too hot and he’d drop it. I then went to heal Ghelt until the heat took effect. Apparently whatever possessed Jon didn’t mind if he was in pain though, as he didn’t let go. Finally, I was getting desperate and knocked him out with searing light, which thankfully forced the shadow out of him. Ghelt and I slashed at the shadowy form a few times and must have weakened it, for it disappeared into the floor. I quickly went to heal the unconscious Jonathan while Ghelt went to subdue Fafnir, who was still lobbing his dagger at us. After Jonathan had enough energy to stand, I went to help Ghelt subdue our wizard. Korin, no longer fearful, shot back into the room and was soon in a heap with Fafnir. Unfortunately for Korin though, half of the attempts to subdue Fafnir landed on him, knocking him out too. Fafnir too finally succumbed, and the demonic shadow left him— and also drifted into the floor before we could finish it off.

All of this took less than an hour, I think, and we still have a long way to go. Korin now refuses to touch the Sword of Pelor, and I fear he will fall back into his incomprehensible ways. We aren’t even sure we are headed in the proper direction anymore, or how long our light will last.

Posted by Kristin at 18:36 | Drusilia’s Journal

April 18, 2003

Multiclass Characters

~PC Creation & House Rules~

Players can take additional base (PC) classes without applying the penalty for non-favored classes. For example, a 5th level halfling fighter who chooses to add a level of cleric would not incur the 20% experience point penalty for multiclassing.

Restrictions for multiclassing classes such as Paladin or Monk still apply.

Posted by Hugh at 23:34 | ~PC Creation & House Rules~


Jonathan's Journal

Well, Ghelt didn’t become a flying head, and so I’m sure we’re all going to be okay, if they can forgive me anyway. We were able to get across the chasm by making a rope bridge with 2 ropes, and a safety catch with the third. After that, we picked a passage and traveled for a while. We bumped into a bunch of undead that was scarily easy to dispatch. Korin said the spirits told him we needed to go right, so we went right. After a short walk, and a pit trap, we found a large room. Most of my companions stayed at the main door; I went in with Korin. Suddenly we were surrounded by shadows, who just vanished when Ghelt turned them. Next it went fuzzy. Korin ran, and I think a shadow or something possessed me. I turned and started attacking my companions. I tried to stop myself, but was unable to. Ghelt and Drusilia knocked me out and I was in control of myself again. We knocked out Fafnir who was also possessed, and we fought the thing that came out of him. it left and we were exhausted. Personally I would feel better if we moved on, and my companions agreed with me, so tired and shaken we move on.

On a side note, I can’t seem to shake this cough.

Posted by Fred at 23:58 | Jonathan’s Journal

April 19, 2003

Fafnir's Journal Entry 18 - I Am Starting to Worry

Fafnir's Journal

Not much time to write just now, so I am only jotting a quick entry before we travel onward. We only broke camp a couple hours ago, but we are already in trouble.

After crossing the chasm we had camped next to, we moved further into Barraktor. Our first challenge was to dispatch a group of skeletons. Destroying them easily, we moved on, following Korin’s lead. (I am not sure why our party is following him... he claims to be talking to ‘spirits,’ but I just think he is insane.) We soon came to a large room with 6 exits leading out of it. This seems to be a central hall of some sort.

No sooner had Jonathan tried to open one of the doors than we were attacked by a swarm of shadows! Ghelt managed to turn most of them, but two of the meanest remained.

Apparently, these were not ordinary shadows, as both Jonathan and I were possessed by them! While possessed, I had no control over my body, and had to watch myself repeatedly attack my own allies! It was awful. Luckily Ghelt, Drusilia, and Korin (who was a little too eager to help) were able to knock me unconscious, and chase the shadow away! I was really worried for one brief moment, when Ghelt looked like she was going to use the business end of her axe on me, instead of the flat! I guess I am going to have to keep an eye on both her and Korin...

So, here I am... barely able to walk, and with a splitting headache to boot! We all agree that moving away from this hall is the best choice, but it would have certainly been nicer if one of the clerics would have been able to heal me first! As it stands, we need to wait almost an entire day before they will be able to do so. I only hope we can survive that long in this monster-infested place!

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

Posted by Dave at 03:10 | Fafnir’s Journal

April 20, 2003

Moving On...

Ghelt's Journal

Dearest Grun,

Well, we’re about to be on the move again. It’s been an eventful couple of hours, so I’ll catch you up while we’re catching our breath!

We worked our way across the chasm this morning, which would have been much more difficult if not for Fafnir and his potion of spiderclimb. We had a nice setup with a couple of ropes to walk on and to grip, but the top rope kept coming loose and nearly pitched a couple of members headlong into the deep (insert much arguing about rope-tying skills, here). Finally, as I watched, I discovered that some malevolent force was untying the top rope’s knot! Of course, no one else saw it, but Korin announced that a dwarf ghost was laughing a lot next to me. How that squares with the ghosts “being happy to see me” before, I don’t know! Still, between Fafnir bringing the rope back over a few times, and Jonathan using a third rope as a safety line, we did all make it across in the end.

Korin sounds a lot more stressed since he started using the sword. At first he was thrilled with it, but now he keeps hollering at us and accusing us of not listening to him. The problem is that he shouts his ideas very fast, and gets impatient when we try to ask him to repeat it. When I tried to explain this, he stomped off ahead of us. He also punctuates his demands for us to follow him with statements like, “I’m not giving you my sword back!” Sound worrisome to you, yet? Poor Drusilia, I really do respect her god, but that sword... hrmm.

Korin also told me he wished to be a dwarven paladin. I wonder if it has anything to do with all the dwarves’ souls he feels he’s liberating — does he think someone’s giving him guidance ala Trap?

We walked up the passageway, finding a (sprung) meat tenderizer trap, many undead dwarves and Jon’s tendency to use new magic items “just to see what happens,” in this case a javelin that turned into a lightning bolt. Startling, to be sure; lucky for him it missed me! The new urgrosh isn’t a bad weapon at all, although I do love my mithril waraxe best.

Jon later found a pit trap, which we all either had to jump over (or be thrown across, in Korin’s case). I jumped IN, argh. Not my best moment. On the other hand, when the next room we entered came alive with shadows, and I destroyed them all, that was a very good moment! Unfortunately, two more showed up, and possessed Fafnir and Jon, and caused Korin to drop his sword (!) and run screaming away. Drusilia and I were immediately attacked by the rest of our own party! I tried using the damned sword, Grun, thinking it might drive the shadow out of Jon, but it didn’t work. Hope it didn’t do anything odd to me. Eventually we figured out that if we knocked them out, the shadows would leave their bodies, and we managed to fight them off. Lucky for us that the shadows couldn’t make use of Fafnir’s spells while possessing him! Jon nearly killed me, as it was! Korin returned in the middle of the fight, trying to help hold Fafnir, but got in the way enough to get knocked out, himself. Now he’s refused to take the sword back. I think I’m relieved...

We found that this room has several doors, leading to rooms and passageways. I think I know which one leads towards the City of the Dead, and since we need to keep moving, we might as well pick a goal. I know we don’t have much firepower left at this point, but when these things can pass through walls there seems to be little point in barricading ourselves into a room and resting here.

Wish us luck, Grun!

Posted by Kate at 11:42 | Ghelt’s Journal

April 21, 2003

Not So All Right

Korin's Journal

I become awake with the memory of the party beating the snot out of me, and I thought I was helping. Since the monster made me drop that sword and run (I still am trying to figure out how it did that to me), I have felt a little less like chasing after the shadows. Strange, since that sword is finally free of me, I feel its call. Yet, I feel more myself without it. I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is cursed.

Well, we are all awake and ready to travel, except for the fact we are almost as dead as the skeletons we fight. I have begun to wonder if the party was truly trying to kill Faf and me. Strange, where is my prybar? Why am I thinking of a prybar?

As we travel, I take the lead, I have to protect Ghelt. Suddenly Ghelt yells about a trap. If she saw it so clearly, why did she wait until I was in it? And, then.....

Here I am waking up again, some of the voices have been warning me of the party’s intentions .... but they are just mad, right. We have to rest, for the clerics.

Stairs, perfect, he he he...

They’re staring at me, they want me dead...

Only I can control the PRECIOUS, they say he will die if he keeps it.

..................................I haven’t seen a frog for days...........

They are trying to kill Faf again, I can’t allow that, no.

......This place is beautiful....

We are weak, yes.....They leave me with the slime, yes....I can save him....

Why won’t they heal us?...easier to kill us, yes..

....Precious will save us.....

the fools...give Precious and cursed weapon to silly human....

........we wait....human will get what is coming....

Posted by Jim at 16:07 | Korin’s Journal

April 22, 2003

The Sword in the Gnome

Drusilia's Journal

Moonday, Flocktime 10, 592 CY

Some of us, possibly all of us, have gone a bit peculiar.

After poking around in a few rooms and tunnels surrounding the room we’d fought the shadows in (and seeing one of the shadows disappear just as we caught up with it again), we came across a tunnel in which the darkness was somehow darker than “regular” darkness. For perhaps the only time since this particular band has traveled together, it was unanimously agreed that it would be foolish to enter it. There’s plenty of other things to threaten our lives with in this place while still having some visibility, at least.

We came next to a hallway that looked safe enough, and Korin immediately began to scout ahead. Lucky for him that Ghelt keeps him on some sort of leash and could quickly pull him back, as she spotted a dwarven “meat grinder” trap in ceiling, not yet sprung. Jonathan offered his shoulders for her to stand on to examine the trap, and she flipped a lever inside, apparently allowing us safe passage, for we each went pelting down the corridor as fast as we could, never springing the trap.

A set of double doors was available to us at the other end of the hall, and upon opening them, we found ourselves in a throne room littered with a half dozen skeletal remains of dwarves laying about, and one sitting on the throne. Of course, these immediately sprang up to fight us when we were all in the room. While Fafnir and Fingers examined some tapestries, I turned the first 6 skeletons to dust. Ghelt’s urgrosh was able to hack down the one remaining skeleton who only cowered from my turning. I admit, I was nearly overwhelmed by the powerful wrongness of that last skeleton, and was glad she had the strength to take it out. Most of the remains had nothing but rusty weapons, but this last one had a well-balanced dwarven waraxe that radiated magic. Ghelt didn’t want it, though Jonathan and Korin both needed a more potent weapon (and Korin doesn’t seem inclined to use the Sword of Pelor again). Jonathan took the magic weapon, while Ghelt offered her Mithril axe to the halfling.

I confess that I still was a bit shaken from the encounter with that last undead dwarf when Fafnir ran over to me to tell me that our three companions where knocked out and possibly dying in a trap in the next room! I ran to the doorway he indicated to see our friends laying in the middle of a small room with four statues, the air around them crackling with lightning. Jonathan, as usual, looked the worst off, and was closest to me, so I hauled his 300+ pounds of body and gear out of the room and used one of my remaining healing spells to revive him. I knew I wouldn’t be able to grab the other two on my own, so he agreed to run in, grab them simultaneously and toss them through the doorway to safety. And he was true to his word, though he was zapped by the statues again. Luckily he fell back towards me after throwing them into the room, so I hauled him back to the relative safety, healing them all just enough to stabilize them. I was able to get Ghelt conscious at least, and Korin eventually woke up. While trying to decide if I should use the Sword of Pelor on our comrades in the hope that it would do more healing then harm, I asked for a volunteer to scratch me with it so I could determine if it could be used that way. Fafnir grabbed the sword, and then threw it through the door of the room with the lightning trap!

At this point, I realized that one of us was a bit unstable. I’m pretty sure it’s Fafnir— though I’m sure his tossing of a holy relic into the next room was his way of “helping” me from becoming “cursed” by the sword. While he is a magic user by trade, he is suspicious of divine magic—and if he can’t understand it, it must be cursed. I must confess, if my faith wasn’t strong, I’d be concerned with the amount of mishaps that have occurred while the sword was in use, but those incidents are surely because we didn’t know how the sword was originally intended to be used.

In any event, I was a bit miffed by his actions and was worried that Pelor would no longer allow me to heal him. Ironically, Pelor had his own way of dealing with that. But I am getting ahead of myself!

As we took turns watching the room and the unconscious Jonathan while resting from our ordeals, some unusual sounds emanated from the room with the electricity trap. An ochre jelly was oozing through the trap room, unconcerned by the bombardment of lightning it was receiving. Thinking quickly, Ghelt ran and shut the door to the room, while I tried to haul Jonathan further away (which I was only able to do when Ghelt was back and doing most of the lifting!). The jelly oozed under the door, and Korin grabbed a piece of tapestry from the wall and lit it, hoping to burn the jelly, while Fafnir cast magic missiles at it. The jelly split in two and the first was quickly dispatched. I yelled to Fafnir to use his wand of acid—thankfully that took out the second jelly.

When we felt we had rested enough, I made Fafnir promise to get the sword he’d thrown into the next room, figuring with his flying spells he could get through the room quickly and without mishap. He did make it through the room, and then there was a yelp. We looked through the lightning room, and there stood Fafnir safely through the door at the other end, with the Sword of Pelor sticking out of his side. Luckily, the healing powers of the sword do work if the recipient of the healing is not the wielder—as Fafnir pulled the sword out his side healed up, and he looked a bit more healthy as well. I’m sure that he’s still of the belief that the sword is somehow playing with us.

Before I knew it, Jon jumped through the lightning room after him, followed by Korin. Of course, they were a bit singed upon their arrival on the other side. I jumped through after them—and somehow managed to dodge all the lightning bolts. I dreaded Ghelt having to go through—dwarfs are hearty, but not necessarily agile, but... nothing. Ghelt went through completely unharmed—apparently the trap was made to be “dwarf-friendly”—the only reason she’d been zapped before was from bolts likely meant for our other comrades.

Not wishing to go back through a field of lightning, we found ourselves at the top of very ancient and very dilapidated stairs winding down into the darkness. The steps were crumbling in many spots, and missing for gaps of 10’ in others. With Fafnir’s spells and Jonathan’s strength, we were able to get safely to the bottom with only a few mishaps. Once we heard the dreaded flapping of leathery wings—thankfully, they were only bats, but there were dozens of them disrupted and streaming past us as we descended. The other problem was more—puzzling. Korin keeps calling the dwarven waraxe we just found his “precious” and insists that Jonathan give it to him—and for a few tense moments, Korin was holding Jon at arrow point! And more puzzling, when Ghelt suggested that Jonathan trade with Korin to keep the peace, the normally easy-going Jonathan refused to give up the axe, saying he preferred to keep it. Neither is particularly interested in the Sword of Pelor—Jon has it in his pack now, and Korin is sulking over the axe.

They aren’t coming to blows thankfully, at least not yet! We managed to descend about 200’ to the bottom of a cave complex—we can hear water flowing in two passageways, but will be taking a third, quieter one that we are hoping leads north to Arun-tosa. I feel that Pelor has granted me more divine abilities today—I can cast a very useful spell now and used it to request aid from the one party member we left on the surface—I hope Valon can make haste returning to us! I need some rather specific components to return Ghelt and Jonathan to their former health, and would appreciate more light to keep the shadows at bay (or at least visible). I’m composing a short “Sending” to Valon now and if he replies I will include his answer when next I write.

Comrades below Barraktor, trying to reach Arun-tosa. Need diamond dust. Need ruby or everburning torch. Beware shadows. Circumvent Barraktor if possible. Meet us please! Drusilia.

Perhaps when he is back with us, he can allay our fears about some of the magical items we’ve picked up.

Posted by Kristin at 18:40 | Drusilia’s Journal

April 25, 2003

Korin is Scary

Jonathan's Journal

Well, we started walking down one hallway, and we came to an impenetrable darkness. Well, we decided not to enter the darkness, and walked back to the large room. We then went down another hallway. We walked for a while, had a small encounter, and after trying a few doors we came to a large room. There we fought a few skeletons, and Fafnir found a room behind some tapestry. I picked up a dwarven waraxe from the one skeleton. It’s the best weapon I’ve ever seen, so Ghelt said she’d teach me to use it. Ghelt, Korin and I entered the hidden room, and were promptly electrocuted.

When I was revived, I had to go back in for the other two. I got them out, but was zapped again. When I came to, they decided we’d stay there for the night.

The next day we decided to make a run for it, and most of us got into the corridor in one piece. That’s when Korin scared me. I used the axe to cut down the door at the other end of this corridor, and he called the axe “My Precious.” I don’t know why, but later he pointed an arrow at me.

You see, on the other side of this door was a 3-foot wide stairwell, and we were going down, when we heard flapping, after what happened a couple of days ago, we needed to get to a better vantage point. Korin was last in line, and said he wasn’t going to let us up till I handed him “My Precious,” talking about the axe. I said “no.” I took out a rope and lowered my other companions down to the stairwell, below us, Fafnir gave me a potion of spider climb so I could get down. I offered to lower Korin down, but he pointed an arrow at me and demanded the axe. I said “no,” and spider climbed down.

It turned out to be bats. Lots and lots of bats. I spider climbed to the bottom, and came back up to carry Drusilia down. Fafnir cast flying on himself, and gave Ghelt spider climb as well. Korin apparently climbed down, and I made it clear if he ever did that again, I’ll defend myself. We then continued on....

Posted by Fred at 20:39 | Jonathan’s Journal

April 26, 2003

Fafnir's Journal Entry 19 - Has He Finally Snapped?

Fafnir's Journal

We have survived another day. Our first attempt to continue on didn’t get far. After about 60 feet, we were faced with impenetrable darkness, that even the clerics didn’t want to face.

Doing an about-face, we decided to head the other way instead.

The first obstacle we encounter was a dwarven ‘meat grinder’ trap, similar to one we had seen yesterday. Ghelt was pretty sure that she could disable it, but we proceeded at top speed past it, just to be safe.

As soon as we were past, we found a large hall, which appeared to be a throne room... there was a throne on a raised platform, and all the walls were covered with tapestries. Unfortunately there was also an undead king and his undead minions.

Drusilia is getting good at this ‘turning undead’ stuff. She was able to take care of the minions, leaving only the king himself for Ghelt and Jonathan to finish off. (I helped with a few magic missiles, but I did so from a safe distance.)

After the fight, I discovered a passageway behind one of the tapestries, and Korin, Ghelt, and Jonathan proceeded through. (This was after Jonathan had scooped up an axe from the Undead King that was glowing with magic... he seems to REALLY like it.)

The room, it turned out, was trapped. Once all three of them had entered the room, lighting sparked through the air and all three were unconscious!! Luckily Drusilia was able to pull Jonathan out, and after reviving him with the last of her healing, he was able to rescue Korin and Ghelt.

So there we were, two of us unconscious, and the rest of us badly in need of healing. This is when Drusilia pulled out the sword! She insisted it would “heal” Ghelt and Korin, but she wanted someone to stab her with it first.

This seemed crazy to me, particularly since the late, great Trap had tried the same thing, and nearly cut his hand off! Thinking it would be better to remove the tempation until she had time to ‘sleep’ on the matter, I lobbed the sword throught the ‘lightning room,’ which I figured would keep it out of her grasp until morning.

Drusilia was quite upset, but eventually she settled down, and we were able to rest... for a while at least. During the night, we had to fight off two ochre jellies, using mostly magic missiles and acid arrows, but other than that, things were quiet.

In the ‘morning,’ we all managed to run quickly through the lighting trap without taking damage. Well, almost anyway. I had forgotten about the sword I had thrown the night before, and managed to land right on it! OUCH! or not OUCH, actually. It turns out Drusilia was right... rather than wounding me, it healed me instead. Oops. Oh well, it’s good to keep the clerics on their toes.

After this we continued into a large pit with a stairway around the edge. As we proceeded down the steps, Korin was muttering something about his ‘precious,’ but I ignored him as usual... it’s the only way to remain sane.

It wasn’t long before we heard flapping, and we wanted to head back up the steps. Unfortunately Korin was playing another one of his ‘games,’ and held us all at arrowpoint... refusing to let us back up the steps unless we gave him ‘the precious’... whatever in the Nine Hells that is! Realizing we didn’t have time to play his games, I cast Spider Climb on Jonathan, and Fly on myself, and we all held on as a swarm of bats flew past us. Luckily everyone was able to hold on.

After this, I immediately flew to the bottom of the pit, and Jonathan helped Ghelt and Drusilia get down safely. Korin climbed down on his own, still feeling wacky, I guess.

Now, wading through guano, we are continuing down a natural passage that we hope leads outside, and closer to our goal. I must admit I am a little concerned about Korin’s recent behavior, as he seems to be a little more ‘off’ than usual, and may be leaning towards violence. I don’t think we should let him stand watch alone.... I must be sure to tell the others, in case they haven’t noticed.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

Posted by Dave at 23:43 | Fafnir’s Journal

April 27, 2003

Back to "Normal"

Ghelt's Journal

Dearest Grun,

I’d have to actually say that, no pun intended, things have gone seriously downhill in our adventure. I’m really worried about Korin, and I have to wonder with what degree the rest of the party are now regarding each other with suspicion. Yet, we’re still alive, still moving, and maybe we’ll get out of here, yet!

We started off down the hallway I’d chosen, and almost immediately came to a wall of darkness. Even I could not see through it or into it. We glimpsed a shadow coming through a nearby wall, too, which made us decide to check out the other passageways before attempting this one.

The next hallway we tried was the one leading in the opposite direction. It sloped down, which made me think of the meat tenderizer... so I looked up. Thank Moradin that I did! And, thankfully, I had taken the precaution of tying Korin to a rope again before he roamed ahead. I hollered and he stopped, having NOT set off the trap that was right above my head!

Korin came back — carefully! — and I found a lever in the wall that I hoped would deactivate the trap. We were none of us too confident that this was so, so after Fafnir flew down the hall (literally), and Jon walked with great confidence, the rest of us ran down it as quickly as we could just in case it went off. Korin and I raced the last.

There was a T junction at the end of the hall, with passages in one direction and great double doors to the other. The doors were what we checked first, opening into a big throne room with tapestries and dwarven skeletons.. which came to life and attacked us. Korin, for some reason, decided to try to turn the things.. to no effect.

Drusilia turned them, except for the “king” skeleton, and we did kill it in the end. It had a magical axe, which Jonathan decided to take and try to learn to use. We looked around the room, discovering an archway into another room with four dwarven statures in the corners. Jon, Korin and I walked toward the arch at the other end, but made it halfway into the room and Wham!

I woke up back in the other room. Drusilia had bravely reached into the room and dragged Jon out, he being closest to the door. And Jon had actually volunteered to go back into the room, knowing he’d be hit by lightning bolts, to rescue Korin and myself before we bled to death. We were all very weakened by it, however, and decided to rest and sort ourselves out before going any further.

One of the things I did was let Korin borrow my mithril waraxe. He won’t touch the magic sword now, and had lost any other hand-to-hand combat weapons. It was hard to give up... but he needs something to fight with! Drusilia wanted to try out the healing properties of said sword, which unnerved Fafnir to the point that he actually flung it across the lightning bolt room to end the argument and get some rest. Fafnir’s gotten short-tempered, too...

Partway through the night, we were attacked by oozes from the lightning room. They came right under the door I had slammed shut, and we were reduced to dragging Jon away while Fafnir and Korin fought. One ooze nearly got Korin, but Drusilia rescued him. Finally, we dispatched the creatures, and got some rest.

Waking up the next morning, we got the chance to pray and heal our party. We attempted the lightning room with several theories, ranging from throwing tapestries over the statues to trying to pull one over with a rope. My rope is now shorter than before... Finally, everyone began simply racing across the room for dear life. Fafnir even got the sword stuck in him for a while (which he ignored for some time - made a strange picture)! Once Fafnir and Jon were across, they immediately headed down a hallway and attmpted the door at the other end. Korin went berserk — shouted about his “precious,” raced through the lightning bolts and tried to steal Jon’s new waraxe! I guess that’s his new weapon of choice...

I was the last to try the room.. and nothing happened when I walked in. When alone, the statues seem to leave me, the dwarf, at peace! If I’d only known!

The hallway opened onto a pit with a winding, crumbling staircase downward. We decided to descend, reached a gap in the stairs, which I tried to leap and failed. Just not much for jumping, eh, Grun? Luckily, I still had the other end of the rope tied around me, and Jon’s quick reflexes saved me from a bad fall. As Jon pulled me back up, though, we heard flapping in the distance. Oh, no...

So, we turned around to go back up, and found a crazed Korin at the top of the stairs waving a loaded crossbow at us all. He demanded Jon’s waraxe, again! This is really going too far. Instead of caving in, I got Jon to lower me (in a controlled fashion) to the next level of steps, while Fafnir passed out potions to help everyone else climb down safely. We left the halfling to think over his actions while we tried to get out of the way of whatever was flapping toward us, which luckily was just a huge flock of bats... no flying heads this time.

At the bottom of the pit is a huge cavern, and it seems we’re going to explore it. While Korin climbed down the wall, I talked to Jon about letting him take the axe for a while. It’s just Korin’s usual habits — he gets obsessed with a weapon (remember Modge?), then tires of it and goes on to another. Jon was not willing to let it go, though, which considering Korin’s recent behavior makes a lot of sense. At this point he’s keeping as far from Korin as he can. So, I tried to talk to Korin, and got nowhere. He keeps changing the subject rather than think seriously about the consequences of his actions! It really makes me sad, because he’s going to get in trouble and who’s going to bail him out when he’ll just be threatening us again later?

Well, we’re all ready to go again. Off to see where these caverns lead!

With love,

Posted by Kate at 07:44 | Ghelt’s Journal

Monster Roster

Adventures, DM's Notes & Maps

Everston Estate:
2 small monstrous spiders
4 goblins
2 lemures (mostly avoided)
15 zombies
6 zombie rats
8 skeletons
2 ghouls
3 monstrous centipedes
colony of piercers (mostly avoided)

Dim Forest:
1 piercer (“Spike,” collateral damage)
6 small monstrous spiders
10 spider goblins
1 aranea

6 stirges

Goblin Caves:
12 goblins
1 ogre

Camp (aka wandering damage):
bear and bear cub (avoided)
4 monstrous spiders
pack of wolves (avoided)

Orc Slave Mines:
21 orcs
Four Feather

Witch Lord’s Tower:
75 orc zombies
2 elven wights
1 mentally-challenged “lich” (7th level sorceror/bone creature template)

Kobold Caves:
4 kobolds (collateral damage)
The Mule

Hill Giant Area:
6 hobgoblins
1 hill giant
1 hill giant (mostly avoided)
3 hobgoblins (mostly avoided)

Harpy Lair:
2 harpies

Camp (aka wandering damage):
5 worgs

Ettin Lair:
1 ettin-wight
4 grimlocks

27 shadows
1 wraith
6 vargouilles
1 poltergeist (we couldn’t find it)
16 zombies
2 shadow demons
7 skeletons
1 bisected ochre jelly
swarm of bats (avoided)
4 rust monsters
5 abyssal centipedes
4 abyssal maws

16 ghouls
1 allip
2 skullduggers
4 wights
4 dretches
1 shoggti
36 plague zombies
1 lich, Arkon (ran away from!)
2 vampires
4 wraiths

Arun-tosa, central tower:
5 necrophidia
2 flesh golums
2 wraiths
2 vampire spawn
1 vampire, Kartharsis (fled)

Arun-tosa, catacombs:
9 wraiths
2 wights
8 shadows

6 bonebats
3 allips

Arun-tosa, catacombs:
1 ghoul, Urkel (by his request)
8 vampire spawn
40 dire rats
10 wraiths
1 vampire, Kartharsis

Arun-tosa, Chamber of the Heart of Nerull:
4 mummies, spellstitched
4 vampire spawn
1 half-golem, Korin
1 ghost, Jonathan
1 lich, Arkon

Under Smallville:
The Smallville subterranean terror (ousted!)
1 bisected black pudding
1 death pike
3 large monstrous spiders
1 drider, Kalanaar

1 huge red dragon (ran from)
1 magma ooze
1 lich, Arkon (parlayed)
1 roper
1 patch of shriekers (avoided)
12 duergar
1 mind flayer/illithid metropolis (ran from)
1 gelatinous cube
1 beholder
1 beholder, Xorn
1 umber hulk
2 illithids

Temple of the Void
4 ancient warrior statues
3 human monks
1 clay golem
1 flesh golem (ignored)
1 stone golem (ignored)
1 Void Monster (got away)

City of Greyhawk
2 chaos beasts
1 assassin

3 phase spiders
1 greater medusa
1 stone minotaur golem
1 dark tentacles
1 huge water elemental
1 greater basalisk
1 large fire elemental
1 large earth elemental
1 large water elemental
1 large air elemental
1 mirror Pockets
1 mirror Aramil
1 mirror Drusilia
4 human assassins
Durll, balor (left our plane)

        Creature Types:
        • aberration
        • animal and beast
        • construct
        • dragon
        • elemental
        • fey
        • giant
        • humanoid
        • magical beast
        • monstrous humanoid
        • ooze
        • outsider
        • plant
        • undead
        • vermin

We Are in Trouble

Jonathan's Journal

Well, we headed down the corridor for awhile, and when I noticed holes in the floor the first thing I thought about was, “it’s a trap.” Ghelt said it was only for a track, so I figured it was okay. Then we encountered a rust monster. Great. I hit it with a javelin of lighting, and my companions helped me to scare it off. We continued on.

After a little while, two of these monsters came at us from behind, and one ate Korin’s armor. We killed one, and left the other preoccupied. One more came at us from the front, but we dispatched it quickly.

We walked faster, and came to a large cavern. Here were a bunch of freshly slain rust monsters. The rails that were originally on the track started again in the middle of this room, and the thing refused to follow us into here. There were 5 other paths not counting the one we left, so we went straight ahead. We traveled for awhile, and came to a rift in the floor. Korin tried to go in, but I stopped him. He then went for my axe; this guy is obsessed by it. I took it back from him, and backed up as something came out of the crevice. I couldn’t leave the little guy to do it himself, so I went back up, and helped him fight. We killed them all, and Korin climbed over himself. Fafnir cast spider climb on me, and I carried everyone else over. After awhile of walking, we heard slapping behind us, and we turned to see a large mouth with several feet attached, it seemed to roll at us. Fafnir cast lightning bolt at it, and fried them all, then the lightning followed the rail back at us, just not a strong. it did no damage to me anyway.

Eventually, we came to a set of stone doors that were broken out. Who or what ever did that didn’t even take the time to remove the lock. We then entered a large cave and I SAW DAYLIGHT. There was a cave opening, and it overlooked Arun-tosa.

We slept there for the night, and in the morning went to the city. Korin ran on ahead and was lost from view. We decided to go to the temple, and at that point Korin yelled about seeing dead people again, and we ignored him. Then he came yelling at us, and I thought that he was going to attack me till he doubled over and puked. I then saw three figures coming after him, so I went to protect him. I felled the first in one blow, but the others were more difficult. My companions helped, and we dealt with them.

Korin was apparently paralyzed, so Drusilia tried to heal him and he crumpled in front of us. I was horrified not knowing what to do. Fafnir talked Ghelt into healing him, and Korin came back to life. Then Ghelt backhanded Fafnir. She told me it was an illusion, and Fafnir said something about a joke while laughing, so I slapped him too. He then sent a lightning bolt at us, and ran away laughing about it also being an illusion. I want to kill him, but that would be bad since it was only a joke. A very bad one at that. Something like that could really destroy what little bonds we do have, and I think we will be in a lot to trouble if we don’t start to work together.

Posted by Fred at 21:11 | Jonathan’s Journal

April 28, 2003

Fafnir's Journal Entry 20 - When Jokes go Wrong

Fafnir's Journal

Here we sit in the middle of Arun-tosa, and everyone is upset with me again. We just yesterday managed to escape the ruins of Barraktor, to find ourselves at our destination - the city of the dead. Entering town, Korin immediately ran off on his own, talking about seeing dead people. As the rest of us continued towards one of several buildings that appeared to be intact amongst the ruins of Arun-tosa, Korin came screaming back towards the party with three ghouls in chase! (And I should mention, he was running really fast - faster than anyone else in the party could have, I think. I wonder if it’s those boots?)

Anyway, we had soon dispatched the Ghouls (strangely, Drusilia didn’t try to turn them). The only one of us who was really injured was Korin, who had been clawed, bitten, and paralyzed. I suggested Drusilia use the Healing Sword to heal his wounds, since we were going to have to wait for him to be un-paralyzed anyway, and she could save her healing spells for any emergencies later. (After all it was only early morning, and we ARE in the City of the Dead!). She disagreed, and said she had ‘spells to burn’ and went to heal Korin. This is where the trouble started.

For some reason, I immediately got what I thought was a GREAT idea for a practical joke. I could barely keep from tittering when, just as Drusilia finished casting her healing spell, I cast Major Image right in front of Korin, and made the spell appear to have the opposite effect — Korin decaying into a corpse right there on the spot. The result was more than I had expected. (After considering this further, a corpse was a bit too drastic — maybe if I had just had him turn into a newt or something...)

Drusilia immediately went to examine Korin further, and I could tell that she didn’t realize it had been an illusion. (This was quite a surprise actually, as in the past she has always seen right through them.) At this point I suggested to Ghelt, that she should maybe try to see if Korin could still be helped, meaning to drop the illusion after having shown Korin be miraculously ‘healed’. No such luck.

Drusilia had already begun to drag what she thought was Korin’s body back the way we had come. When Ghelt tried to check on Korin, she saw right away that it was an illusion, and turned around and slugged me. (Dwarves apparently have NO sense of humor.) I dropped the illusion right then. And there was Drusilia, holding a now completely healed (but still paralyzed) Korin, by the head, and dragging him along behind her. It was a pretty funny sight, and even though Ghelt had just smacked me a good one, I couldn’t help but laugh.

Then, when Jonathan came over and attacked me, it stopped being funny. The blow caught me so off-guard, that at first, I thought he had hit me with his axe. Thinking this was overkill, I almost let loose with a lightning bolt, but I came to my senses, and used an illusionary one instead. Once more, Ghelt and Jonathan didn’t think this was funny, and this time they were coming after me with murder in their eyes.

Deciding this had better end now, I managed to outrun them for long enough to explain that it was just another illusion, and eventually they stopped chasing me.

That settled, I went to see if Drusilia had gotten the joke. (That had been the original point, after all… to have her spell ‘fizzle’ with disastrous results.) She didn’t think it was funny. In fact, she was very upset.

I tried to explain to her that it was all just meant to be a joke, but she got even more upset. Then she explained that for a cleric’s spell to fail that badly, with such a horrific effect, her God must have turned his back on her, deeming her unworthy to be a cleric. That was what she thought that had happened. Nothing could be worse.

Now I feel really bad. When the idea came to me, I thought it would funny to make her spell *seem* to fizzle. After all, I have had lots of spells that didn’t go off as planned, and once I realized no one was hurt, it was always pretty funny. (Like the time I accidentally made all of my and Fingers’ hair fall out… even Fingers thought that was funny — well, after his fur grew back, anyway.)

I guess it’s different for clerics. Now that I look back on it from her point of view, it does seem really mean, even though I didn’t intend for it to be. I will need to be more careful in the future if I decide to play a practical joke on someone.

I apologized to Drusilia, and she says that she will probably be able to forgive me. Ghelt and Jonathan don’t seem so sure, as they are still staring daggers at me. Korin just seems oblivious to it all. At least Fingers isn’t mad at me — although he is giving me a rather berating look, and I think he tried to bite my ear.

I guess we are ready to continue on into the city now, as Korin is mobile again, and no one is attacking me at the present time. Better to find some more real enemies to fight, and try to put all this behind us.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

P.S. — Reading back over this, I am not sure what possessed me to pick this particular time to do play a joke on Dru. It was probably a combination of her sudden refusal to use the Healing Sword, and the opportunity provided by Korin being paralyzed (and quiet!) for a change. At least I hope that was the reason... After all, Korin has also been acting weirder lately.

Posted by Dave at 01:43 | Fafnir’s Journal

Remains and Responses

Drusilia's Journal

Godsday, Flocktime 11, 592 CY

Valon, in typical bard fashion, sent his reply to me in a rhyme:

Been fighting Dwarves of the deep.
Fortunate Elves need little sleep.
Unsure I can get all that dust.
Reply. Will do what I must.

Of course, I had to wait for 24 hours to pass to send him more information— it is a wonderful spell, but also a powerful one that I can only use once per day. And what a day it was!

I was finally able to convince Ghelt and Jonathan that the Sword of Pelor could be used to heal them (Korin simply would not be convinced, so I promised him I would use “regular” spells on him if the time came and he needed healing). I’m sure it would have looked alarming to anyone, seeing a cleric of a healing deity stabbing her comrades! Thankfully, it healed them up nicely, and we were able to move on. Korin, in a conspiratorial tone said, “The axe is going to kill him!” I can only assume he means Jonathan, though I’m not sure if he meant the axe Jonathan himself is carrying or the one Korin borrowed from Ghelt.

We walked a ways up the tunnel we’d chosen and came to two lines of holes equidistant apart and evenly spaced. Ghelt said they must have been where the tracks to the old dwarven mines were— but why were they pulled up? Our answer came scuttling along soon enough— a tentacled rust monster! As we attempted to fight it without using any metal weapons (metal being its favorite food), two more scurried up to us, one touching Korin’s magical half-plate with a tentacle. The armor fell off of him in a pile of rust— and was consumed by two of the creatures. Fafnir was able to kill one with a spell, but we only injured the other two, before deciding a hasty departure would be in our best interest. Korin yelled, “Stop doing that, we’re not running from rodents!” to no one in particular as we ran.

I’m sorry to confess that I got rather cross with Korin talking to his “invisible” friends instead of us. I honestly cannot tell if he is mad or just really, really in tune with a different plane. I suspect the former, but will try to keep an open mind.

We kept running, taking branches in the tunnels that looked like they were in the general direction we wanted to head and kept running from the rust monsters that scurried along behind us, until we came to an area where the metal tracks started up again. There were rust monsters in the area, but they had not yet eaten the metal, and in fact were all dead— torn apart recently by some unknown horror. We kept moving as fast as we could.

Soon we came to a 40’ rift in the middle of a cavern. Looking down over the rock face, Korin said he could make out swirling “red” below us, and it was all we could do to keep him from climbing in for a better look. In fact, as Jonathan was trying to pull him back from the edge, huge red centipedes came skittering up the sides, attacking them both.

Apparently, this would be one of the “rifts to ungodly planes” made by the sorcerers of Arun-tosa, according to dwarven legend.

Luckily, only five of these vermin came at us— we were able to defeat them with a combined attack using magic and steel. Korin was hurt though— luckily he trusted me enough to heal him— he usually holds out for Ghelt to do it. He responded to this momentous occasion by saying, “No, she helped me!” to no one I could see. Fafnir cast spider climb on Jonathan, who then helped us all across the rift. Well, actually, Korin just climbed across, as if hanging at odd angles from rock is a natural thing for him.

We followed the mine tracks for a bit more, and then heard a “slapping” sound behind us. Turning around, we saw big spheres of arms, legs and mouth rolling at us— abyssal maws! Fafnir cast a lightning spell at them and all four creatures just— died. I wish I would have had a bit more warning, since I was standing on the metal tracks at the time, but I was really only singed. Korin said, “Don’t be rude, she’s probably never seen one before.” I have no idea....

We turned back to the tracks we were following and saw— daylight! The cavern ahead of us had a pair of stone doors, broken outward (they had been bolted with a large stone bar across them), revealing a valley beyond. Now, I’m not sure I want to know what was big enough and strong enough to do that (and was perhaps responsible for the freshly killed rust monsters behind us), but I truly missed the light of the sun and was anxious to be in it again.

The sun was setting over a valley full of crumbling architecture— no doubt Arun-tosa. We thought it best to stay in the cave near the entrance for the night, not wanting to leave the fresh air, but not sure which place would be safer. Fortunately, the night passed without incident for a change.

Dawn gave us a better view of the City of the Dead. There were hundreds of little buildings littering the city, most of which were damaged beyond repair. Five larger and better-maintained buildings survived, with one 60’ to 80’ tall stone tower, appearing to be at least 40’ in diameter, standing in the center. We made plans to investigate a large building in the southeast quadrant of the city first, as it looked to be a temple. But where was Korin? I had missed it, but he had yelled something about “seeing dead people” and rushed down into the valley, and it was assumed that he was just talking about the “friends” the rest of us couldn’t see.

A few minutes later as we had just started down to the buildings ourselves, he came hurtling back towards us, three ghouls scrambling along behind him. Korin stopped to vomit once he got close enough to us. I honestly assumed that we could easily defeat the ghouls, and we did, but no thanks to me. I attempted to wield the Sword of Pelor, but just didn’t manage to land a blow. Luckily my comrades were in better form and took the ghouls out quickly, but not before poor Korin was paralyzed by a ghoul’s touch. He was wounded too, and I felt this was my fault since I hadn’t turned the undead.

Not wishing to upset the halfling further, I chose to cast a small healing spell on his wounds rather than use the sword. I must confess, though my faith is strong, I am uncomfortable using the sword to heal someone that cannot give me permission to do so. But, something horrible happened. Just as I completed my spell, Korin’s body began to decompose before my eyes! I looked and saw that Ghelt could see it too. I thought I must have really, really offended Pelor by not using the sword if my healing spells (for his domain is healing) could do this. To make matters worse, as I went to cradle Korin’s desiccated body, his head fell off and rolled away.

I was beside myself with guilt and, grisly though it was, in my shock I could only think to grab his head and try to put it back on his body. Fafnir suggested that Ghelt could help Korin through her own diety. I just wanted to take Korin out of this horrible valley and grabbed what I could of him, carting him back to the cave we’d camped in. As I was climbing the hill, I heard commotion behind me, and saw Ghelt backhanding Fafnir, who was giggling! Jonathan was walking towards Fafnir menacingly and hit him as well. I turned back and noticed two things next— Fafnir was shooting a lightning bolt at Ghelt and Jonathan, but it wasn’t a real bolt, and there was a halfling hanging from the head I had tucked under my arm! I continued towards the cave though, hugging the now alive (but still paralyzed) halfling to me, while my remaining comrades beat each other up.

Apparently, Fafnir thought it would be very funny if he cast an image of a dead Korin over the one I was healing, just at the moment I was casting. I will do my best to forgive him— he does enjoy casting illusions, and they have little effect on undead (which I suspect will be the bulk of the population here), so I think he is frustrated about that. Mostly though, I am just relieved that I didn’t kill Korin with a healing spell! I didn’t realize just how protective I am towards my comrades, but this also means that I must make sure they all are still on speaking terms with one another, so I will do my best to put this incident behind me.

One way to occupy my own mind for a few minutes was to compose a new Sending spell to Valon, since we made it to the City of the Dead well before we thought we would:

Forget dust; just bring you!
Arun-tosa map proved true.
Arrived via southern mine.
Checking big structures first a shrine.
Comrades’ brains already mush...
Please rush!

I got a very speedy reply:

Asked for advice.
Got nothing nice.
Dwarves say Arun-tosa is BAD.
Traveling to, purely mad.
The journey is hard.
But traveling there, this Elven bard.

Now that Korin can move again, perhaps we’ll head down to the building we originally planned to check out first.

Posted by Kristin at 20:40 | Drusilia’s Journal

April 29, 2003

Map of Arun-tosa, City of the Dead

Adventures, DM's Notes & Maps

Copyright 2003 by Hugh and Kristin Johnson

View of Arun-tosa, City of the Dead, courtesy of Drusilia Silverwood.