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May 10, 2003

Still No Frogs

Korin's Journal

A bit confusing, won’t let me have it, drop me first me thinks.

It still want to kill him me thinks.

Dru heals me now, no longer try to kill me. Me glad Korin didn’t listen to my friends and kill her.

Think human smell funny, might just be me though.

They all yell at Korin.

Korin see evil things in mist, why don’t they, Korin must protect them.


Jon fight good with Precious, still think it kill him.

I drawl symbol of Yondalla on axe, maybe she help Korin with dead things.

Korin must save party, they not want to even know about dead people now, they are so confused.

Wonder what Ghelts’ favorite color is.

Three coming Korin, Korin must kill them, stench ohh so bad..

Running to party, must warn them again.. Yondalla is talking to me, strange, nice, no no.... aahhh, She is right.

She said some have to go to the heart of evil to know what to do. She says I now can help, now that I see. She is angry. It all a bit fuzzy, long story she try to tell me, Korin not remember it all.

Think Dru is ..... no that’s not her...

Hi Faf.

Posted by Jim at 06:47 | Korin’s Journal

May 11, 2003

Eyes Wide Open

Ghelt's Journal

Dearest Grun,

We’ve made it to the City of the Dead.

Quite an accomplishment in itself, but I wonder if you’ll ever get the chance to read this? We’re in danger and still not back to working as a group — in some ways, further than ever from it!

The morning began with some healing magic. Drusilia talked Jonathan into trying out the magic sword’s “healing” properties, and it actually worked — so well, in fact, that I gave it a try, too. We must have been quite a sight (judging by Fafnir’s muttering); two fighters being hacked at by an elven cleric, but it did heal us very well! Korin spent the time talking to his invisible friends in a corner, adamantly refusing to have anything to do with the sword.

Healed, we traveled down the cavern. Gradually, it formed into worked tunnels and cross-passages, and the floor became smooth — with regular holes in it. I decided they used to have tracks, although why the tracks were pulled up I couldn’t guess. Of course, a little further on we ran into a rust monster and the mystery was solved! Instead of helping defend the party, Korin continued talking to his friends — to the point of making vaguely threatening statements about us even as we tried to get his attention. I am NOT amused by this development.

In fact, Grun, I’m trying to talk to Korin as little as possible right now. I told him flat out that as long as he is going to talk more to people no one else can see than to his own flesh and blood party members, much less threatening said flesh and blood party members, I see no reason to try to talk to him. He blew me off, but maybe he knows where I stand. He’s got to choose, one of these days.

Jon threw his other javelin of lightning bolts at the creature to spare our metal armor and weapons, and chased it away. I knew that one rust monster guaranteed an infestation, and urged the party to keep moving instead of chasing just one down. As we hurried along, we heard more coming up behind and to the sides. We were forced to stop and defend ourselves once more, and lost Korin’s magical armor to the creatures. At least it slowed them down long enough for us to get away.

Finally we reached a large cavern and saw metal tracks reappearing in the middle — and several torn-apart rust monsters. I don’t know what killed them. It was quiet at the moment, with five exits to choose from. I picked the central tunnel, hoping to lead us outside. Instead, we found a huge chasm across the passage. It must be one of the unholy rifts torn open by our ancestors in the wars; it was filled with a red mist and smelled of sulfur. Korin, naturally, just had to climb down instead of leaving well enough alone. Jon, bless him, helped me go after the foolhardy halfling, and got his axe grabbed for his trouble! They wrestled for it at the edge, and as soon as Jon got it back he called to us that something was coming from below!

We killed the giant humanoid centipedes without too much trouble, for once, crossed the chasm (Fafnir’s potions to the rescue, again), and continued up the tunnel. The rift had one more surprise for us, however — two ugly spheres with hands and feet, from what I could see, were following us. Fafnir dispatched them both with a lightning bolt, although he gave poor Drusilia a good shock, too. She happened to be standing on the rails. Finally, after much walking, we reached a large set of doors smashed outwards, and saw a cavern beyond them, full of sunlight! Even I was pleased to see the light of day once more!

We found ourselves at the top of a cliff face, looking over a valley with a ruined city; presumably the City of the Dead. It was already sunset, so we spent a quiet night at the top of the path. In the morning, we decided to head for one of the less ruined structures, a tower in the center of the city. Korin went tearing off ahead of us, yelling about Trap being “back,” disappearing into the city.. and then yelling about dead people. Crying “wolf,” we presumed, until he came racing back at a speed I didn’t know halflings could attain, with shuffling creatures in pursuit. We attacked them while he puked.

We killed the things, but one had paralyzed Korin in the process. Drusilia set to healing him (ignoring Fafnir’s urging to use the sword on him, since he hates the sword).. and a horrible thing happened! Instead of healing, Korin turned into a rotting corpse before our eyes! Even Jon felt badly, I was anguished after all the cold shoulder I’d been trying to give him, and poor Drusilia — she didn’t know how her god could have turned against her so thoroughly.

I knelt to pray over Korin’s remains, and shockingly, he sprang back to life!

Unfortunately for Fafnir, I somehow realized it was one of his illusions. Remember the dragon “attacking” the kobolds? He has the worst timing for his little jokes! Exasperated, I backhanded him as he doubled over laughing, which confused Jon, and when I explained, Jon smacked him one, too! It wasn’t very nice, as we both don’t always know our own strength when we’re mad, and Fafnir retaliated by lightning bolting us both and flying away! Luckily, it was also an illusion, but still a shock, and I’m glad he got off the ground and out of reach; all we could do was holler at him until we calmed down.

We decided to take a break and get ourselves sorted out before heading any further into the city. Drusilia especially needed a breather, but she’s looking a little less pale at this point. I think Fafnir even realized he pushed her too far. Korin, too, seems to have settled down somewhat, so maybe this will get us all onto the same page. I only hope it’s enough to keep ourselves alive in this place!

Walking with Moradin,
With love,

Posted by Kate at 00:37 | Ghelt’s Journal

May 13, 2003

Markus' Bio


Born to a family of spellcasters, Markus took to the arcane arts almost immediately. He learned all he could from his father, and his mother showed him how to hone and focus his natural talents. Visiting the Church of Boccob often, he became a regular, giving offering whenever he could. Not much for conversation, he keeps some of his talents a secret— always with another spell up his sleeve or tucked away in the back of his head. He doesn’t mind helping another spell caster with a spell or getting components, but will eventually ask for something in return. After all, one good favor deserves another.

Petting Fry, I’m reminded of how I met him. Some friends of mine (who I haven’t seen in a while) and I decided we didn’t approve of the way a wizard was treating his familliar and some creatures he summoned from Boccob knows where. We put a stop to him. In the process, we set free several creatures from different planes: a couple of small elementals, a few shocker lizards and several other creatures— I’ve no idea what they were. Fry decided to stay, and was my friend for a while before he became my familiar. The others we released were allowed to go home, and were thankful. I only wished there was more I could do for them. I need to make a trip one of these days to see how everyone is doing. Maybe next summer....

Cause of death: cast lightning bolt at lich, and received fireball in return.

Posted by Fred at 12:49 | XPCs

Death Among the Undead

Drusilia's Journal

Waterday, Flocktime 12, 592 CY

While we seem to be getting better at working as a team, we lost a team member in the process.

As planned, we explored the temple in the southwestern quadrant of Arun-tosa, and as expected, the bronze doors were emblazoned with the skull and scythe symbol of Nerull. Walking in, we saw vaulted ceilings and a balcony, as well as an altar on a raised dais. A wispy humanoid form rose from the altar, and both Korin and I became fascinated by a hypnotic murmuring that came from the undead creature. Jonathan ran forward to attack the thing with his waraxe, while Fafnir stayed back to cast ranged spells, and Ghelt (thankfully) ran to me to snap me out of my trance. Unfortunately, the creature touched Jon before we could finish it off, which the Sword of Pelor did— my turning attempt didn’t seem to do much more than upset it. After Korin came out of his own trance, he told me that even though he was still upset by it, he’d like to carry the sword again, which pleases me greatly. We stabbed each other with it a few times, and he seemed delighted that it healed (as we knew it would!) and later after making some rather prolonged eye-contact with me, turned to Ghelt and told her, “Not blue— violet!”

In addition to an altar (which Jon knocked over in his fervor to hit the ghostly creature), we found two doors— one went to a small cloakroom with stairs leading to the balcony, and the other also led to the balcony, and to a lower level. Before we could stop him, Jon went down the steps, so we followed. The room below had a huge seal with Nerull’s symbol on the floor, and a set of doors with glowing runes beyond it, which looked as though a circular key was needed to pass through them. I’m now sure that the undead thing in the altar did something to Jon’s wisdom, for he immediately stomped right across the seal, which obviously drained some life out of him. Ghelt called for him to come back, which he did— right across the seal again, which drained him a bit more.

Before we could deal with the seal however, we heard Korin upstairs fighting something, and the something apparently had caught him on fire (and also melted the candle he was toting around). While Fafnir puzzled over the seal a moment longer, the rest of us dashed up the steps, just in time to be wreathed in flames by the attack of a winged skeleton. Jonathan was immediately knocked out. I cast Create Water on Ghelt (who fought the creature), Jonathan and myself while yelling to Korin to roll around to put the fire out on himself. We managed to kill one creature— the other took off. Thankfully we have the sword to heal us, for even with three clerics in the party (I see that Korin has decided to heed the wisdom of Yondalla), we would be out of healing spells very quickly in this place.

We decided to head to the barracks-like building in the southeast quadrant of the city, seeing that most, if not all, of the buildings between the temple and there were in ruins. As we walked, the evil surrounding us was almost palpable, and I cautiously suggested that we stand back to back (though Korin decided to face the wrong way so he could moon any would-be assailants). We were soon surrounded by 13 ghouls, which thankfully, are not a match for a cleric-filled party!

We quickly finished our trek to the barracks. It stands about 40’ tall, with much higher towers— Korin climbed the outside of one of the towers to gain entry while the rest of us investigated a door at the back. I was hoping we could gain entrance without alerting anything inside to our arrival, but the wisdom-damaged Jonathan began to hack at the wooden door with his waraxe. He soon broke through, and had his hand shaken by a wight. We slew that wight and three more following it, then followed Jonathan into the barracks.

We immediately found ourselves about to enter a chamber with five demonic creatures in it— four were pathetic blubbery things (dretches) that seemed unable to attack us effectively, and one mass of tentacles with a slug-like head that lashed out at us, immediately pulling Jonathan and Ghelt to it. Jonathan was crushed instantly. Ghelt was able to get herself free of its tentacled grasp while Fafnir and I hurled spells at it (and Korin came running down from the tower as quickly as he could). We were able to kill it— Fafnir used every spell in his arsenal and the last magical missile brought the creature down. We made short work of the dretches.

Ghelt seemed a little, well, stupid after the encounter— she didn’t seem to know who she was, how to speak, or who we were, or even what to do with her weapons and equipment! A restoration spell brought back her ability to speak, albeit monosyllabically. We had to rest for the night so I could cast enough to get her back to herself again. Thankfully, the night passed quietly.

Now, we have to decide how to put Jonathan to rest, not only because it’s the proper thing to do, but in the City of the Dead, improper death rites may result in him coming back to us as an undead creature— a fate he certainly does not deserve. Fafnir and Korin are already trying to figure out how to carry all the equipment our larger companion carried for us. He was only with us for one short week, but he will be missed.

Posted by Kristin at 18:44 | Drusilia’s Journal

May 17, 2003

Fafnir's Journal Entry 21 - Another Day, Another Death

Fafnir's Journal

Most of us have lasted another day in the city of the dead. Sadly, Jonathan died attempting to protect the party against a demonic horror. The rest of us survived (barely), and are preparing to rest for the night.

Ghelt seems to have lost some intelligence in her confrontation with the beast as now she is only talking in slurred one-syllable words and is being even more unfriendly than usual. Drusilia says that she will be able to fix that in the morning, so for now I am just keeping my distance. (In case it is contagious!)

Earlier in the day, we discovered an interesting sealed door in the temple of Nerull. It was covered with glowing runes and had a carved indentation in it that looked like it would be for a key-item of some sort. (Could this lead to the heart of Nerull?)

Unfortunately it was also protected by a seal of Nerull that seems to drain the life of anyone who passes over it. We decided that we would deal with that later, as we currently don’t have the necessary item to open the door anyway.

Nothing else in the temple seemed to be of use, and we moved on to explore what appeared to be a barracks. That is where Jonathan met his unfortunate fate, and where we are resting now.

In other news, Korin has now decided to become a cleric. I am starting to feel really outnumbered by these “divine” spellcasters, and I hope that Drusilia is right about Valon catching up with us soon. I mean, sure, he is a bard, but at least he knows how to use real magic. Plus I am sure he will appreciate my illusions more than the others have — after all, bards always enjoy a good performance.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~
Flocktime 11, 592 CY

Posted by Dave at 12:37 | Fafnir’s Journal

We Are All Out of Humans....

Korin's Journal


She is right. Yea I can do that.... Cool....

Korin asks Dru if he can have the sword back, I tell her that She said it is supposed to be alright this time.

She is right, no more scary pictures in my head. Something still wrong, Korin still want the Precious, I mean the axe, but I don’t know why. Jon lookin more ugly.

The group wants to go check out buildings “together,” like what’s up with that?

Old church, Trap says this is wrong. I try to tell the party, only to get yelled at again. We walk in and I tell the party that I think this is all wrong. The party goes and kills a thing near the altar, at least they tell me they did, I didn’t see it. Jon looking worse. Imagine your most worn sandal, catch it on fire, and slowly beat it out on sharp rocks. That would look nice compared to Jon.

Ghelt finds a set of steps, Jon wonders where they go, Ghelt says “down.” We go down. Party stops to look at a door. Korin tell them again this is not right. Korin go check behind us, so we don’t get trapped. You know a few flowers and this place would look.... ouch. Korin fight wing thing, and hears party coming to rescue me.

Korin kill skelly thing and start over to the party to save them, after all who will save me from the wingy thing if I don’t save them from the other one. They chase it off before I get there. He he, Jon look worse.

Party says we go check out the next building, I use to think I knew who was in charge, now they seem to follow the first one to speak up (except Korin). I vote for Faf, he has tried to kill me the least.

On the way to the next building, while I think of where to plant some taters, something is moving near the party. They say let’s form up in a circle, back to back. This is a command often called for, never works, but often called for. Monsters not coming out, Korin challenges them, even shows them the sideways Halfling smile. Monsters come, we kill them. Jon looks even... well let’s just say the undead look better. Ghelt make Korin cry.

.......Not blue....

We get to next building, again me and Trap agree that this is all wrong. Trap suggest we go in through the top. I tell party, they tell me to go ahead. I climb up quietly, surprise is on my side, ‘cause the human is louder than a couple mad cows running through a carnival. I get inside, something is coming at me, I swing the sword. Bad idea. It runs, I chase and kill it. Korin loves boots. Room is a mess, Ghelt looks hurt. They say Jon is dead, don’t need to look, it was a long time coming. I stay with Ghelt keep her safe until morning. I forgive her. She needs lots of help, Faf gives me some bracers, I like Faf.

At times like this I can only wonder... where does the white go when the snow melts?

Posted by Jim at 19:31 | Korin’s Journal

May 18, 2003

Godsday, 11 Flocktime

Valon's Journal

The last 2 weeks have been quite filled for me. I returned Four Feather’s body to the druids in Smallville, who ensured that she would have a proper burial. I spent the night in Smallville giving a small musical show to the regulars at the tavern.

I left town the next day, and made good time across the plains near the mountains. I managed to get a into the mountains before I had to stop and camp.

I had a strange dream that night in which I was standing before an altar. There was a strange... thing... standing behind it, chanting a prayer to some dark deity, who I have yet to identify. He spotted me watching, and reached for me, as if trying to call me closer. From the floor stood 4 skeletons, an elf, a dwarf, a gnome, and a Halfling. They began to shamble towards me, and I drew the Cursed Sword. I took up a defensive stance waiting for one of those skeletons to attack. As they attacked, I easily dodged their blows, and landed hit of my own, but as the skeleton’s fell, instead of crumbling to dust, it took on a form of the companions I had a just few days before.

Terrified that the dream could be a terrible omen, I postponed my journey to meet them, and traveled instead to the Dwarven fortress, hoping that I would eventually receive word from Drusilia and the others. It seems that I cannot stay out of trouble, though, and was greeted by a gruff Dwarf at the gates. I’ve been told of a Dwarf’s tendency to be distrustful, but this Dwarf most certainly took the award for suspicious. Granted, I suppose the situation he was in attributed to his unwelcoming demeanor.

I immediately realized something was wrong when his first words to me were, “Can you use that weapon?” as he eyed the sword I carried. I found out later that the fortress was under siege from below - Dark Dwarves called Duergar. A little over a week I spent helping the dwarves fight. I can see that as the Elves, the Dwarves have an evil breed that will stop at nothing to destroy their brethren.

I received a message from Drusilia early one morning:

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.

I sent her back a message as quickly as I could:

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

I spent another day fighting that day, though it seemed to be getting to a lull. I asked around about Arun-tosa and Barraktor, but got nothing but discouragement. The Dwarves say that the places are cursed, though they gave me directions, calling me a fool for wishing to travel there. They appreciate my loyalty to my friends, though, and I hope that I will be able to catch them in time.

That night my strange dreams returned. This time however, it was my sword that was on an altar, and it was being blessed by Corellon Larethian. He blessed it and motioned for me to pick it up. When I did, it felt as though my sword was ripping part of my being from me. I woke up almost immediately, and found I was holding my sword, and it felt more powerful than it did before.

I met a human while I was spending my time with the Dwarves. He calls himself Markus. He says he is a wandering sorcerer, and he seems to know some about magical arts.

I have told him a little about what the party is doing and he seems interested in tagging along. I am sure that they will appreciate the help.

I received another message from Drusilia before we set out this morning:

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 returned a message as quickly as I could, and we set off towards Arun-tosa.

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.

I have learned much from the Dwarves during my short stay with them. I hope it goes to good use...

And I hope that I don’t reach the party too late...

Posted by Tim at 02:20 | Valon’s Journal

Missing Home Today...

Ghelt's Journal

Dearest Grun,

What an awful day. I don’t know how else to describe it. This morning I’ll try to put it in words.

Yesterday, we waited for Korin’s paralyzation to wear off so we could continue as a group. He’s now fixating on Drusilia; started right off asking her for “special” healing before we moved on. Fiinally, we headed for the tower, again.

His new fixation didn’t stop him from being obsessed with Jonathan (and the axe), and poor Jon had a hard time of it between being nervous about the total silence, and being protected by Korin. That is, when Korin wasn’t talking to invisible people, or to his goddess, or painting her symbol on MY axe with mud...!

When we reached the tower, we found a temple to Nerull, and we entered a large hall with throne and altar. The altar began to murmur, causing Drusilia and Korin to stop to listen to it, even as a shadow creature rose from the altar and attacked Jon in front of it! I shook Drusilia out of her trance and ran for the altar. I don’t know what she did to get its attention, but even as Jon and I got a few shots in, it flew over us and went for her across the room. We chased after, Fafnir hit it with his magic missiles, and Korin watched it all, bemused. Drusilia dispatched it with her sword, but not before it had weakened poor Jon with its magic.

Jon was angry about being hurt by the creature - he knocked over its altar in search of treasure, then smashed open one of the doors in the walls and explored the room by knocking about, leaving me to wonder what had happened to the rest of his common sense? We finished exploring the upstairs, then took a set of stairs to the basement. We found a room with a seal of Nerull on the floor, and a set of doors with glowing runes beyond it! Jon promptly walked across the seal to check out the doors, and we saw him practically wilt right in front of us! I called to him to come back against the wall, and not to touch the seal again, but he tripped. He looked so terrible at this point, I didn’t know what to do! Korin kept muttering and poking at Drusilia while she tried to help Jon, then wandered back up the stairs while I peered at the doors. Just as I noticed an indentation in the center, Fafnir stated that “it sounds like the halfling is on fire, again.” We went tearing up the stairs. How many times have I written that???

As I reached the top of the stairs, I saw Korin being attacked by a burning skeleton across the room, and another popped up before us and set most of the rest of the party on fire. Jon dropped, and I was hurting too until Drusilia doused us all with water from somewhere... the creature fled when Korin killed its partner. We then stabbed each other with that sword for a while (I can just picture you shaking your head at this, Grun), and Korin finally decided to keep the sword again. I hope it helps his state of mind without making him as snarly as last time! He immediately showed some improvement; when I described the dent in the door, he suggested that the key may be in one of the other buildings that are still whole. A good idea, and I’ll just ignore the fact that he also thinks the candle stubs from the temple may well be the key, too.

As we walked through the town, we heard movement, and caught sight of several things coming at us. We set ourselves back-to-back with Fafnir in the middle, although Korin decided to moon the creatures from his position, and waited for the ghoulish firgures to attack. Drusilia dusted half of them, while we attacked the rest. Jon was paralyzed, but as things started to look a little ugly, Drusilia dusted them all. On a side note, Korin was trying to turn the things, and seems to think he was the one to do it. Drusilia did the job from behind him, and motioned for me to be quiet about it! I think that halfling is trying to become a cleric, and Drusilia’s helping! I hope she knows what she’s doing. Trying to talk to him about it resulted in him weeping with frustration and me carrying him along.. but I guess it’s better for him to be talking to his goddess than some of the other things he seems to see.

We reached the barracks, and Korin insisted on climbing the outside while we went around to the back door. Jon got a little frustrated and chopped it to bits, then reached in to pull the bar to open the door.. and something clawed his hand. I didn’t think he could look much worse, but he did after that! He kicked the door in in a rage, and Fafnir lightning bolted most of the hallway full of undead. Jon dropped the last one and walked in.. right into a room full of writhing tentacles and undead minions. We attacked.. and of course they grabbed Jon first. I got grabbed by a tentacle even as the first squeezed Jon to death in a horrible manner! It was a terrible way to go, yet gave me the strength to free myself and crawl away. Poor Jonathan. We don’t even know who to send news of him to.. if we survive..

I reached a corner and braced myself for an attack.. four tentacles hit me.. and everything stopped making sense.

It’s really hard to describe. It was awful! I kind of recognized friends, and I remember Korin was really nice to me, but it was like I spent the night in a mental fog. Now I understand Drusilia’s “special healing” better, and am determined to keep a few on hand myself! If she hadn’t been able to restore my brains, I’d still be rocking in that damned corner trying to understand what was happening!

Apparently we spent the night in this room, waiting for me to be fixed up. This morning we have to figure out where to bury poor Jon, and then, I suppose, get back to our mission. This is getting so hard, Grun. I miss you and my family in the village a lot.

Walk with Moradin;
With love,

Posted by Kate at 12:37 | Ghelt’s Journal

May 21, 2003

Aramil's Bio

Aramil's Journal XPCs

Aramil Nightstar never did really fit in. Being the brunt of most jokes, he tried to keep to himself, and study his magic. He was curious about his Elven heriatage, but being in human lands there was only so much he could do. One day he got the nerve to ask a neighbor to help him learn to use weapons and armor, being as the family he grew up with were farmers. Being as Aramil was willing to pay, or work for it, the neighbor agreed. About 3 months later, some of the local teens were mocking him. Needless to say, there was a fight, and Aramil was suprised that he didn’t need magic to defend himself. Bruised and tired though he was, he was the victor. Now, Aramil is trying to find a way to blend the 2 together. Casting spells in armor is difficult at best, but with practice, he believes it can be done. This town doesn’t have much to offer, so he figures if he travels a bit, practises, maybe soon he’ll figure out how to do this.

Cause of death: fighting a demon unarmed or armored.

Posted by Fred at 14:28 | Aramil’s Journal | XPCs

May 22, 2003

Pockets' Bio

Pockets' Journal XPCs

Calen ‘Pockets’ Tolais is the youngest of 7, from a proud and honored family. When he was very young his family discovered that Calen was not like the other children, he was a packrat of incredible proportion. Not only did he hoard his belongings, he wanted to carry them all with him. Calen’s parents were very patient, hoping he would ‘grow out of this stage.’ Alas, by his 50th year, Calen was beginning to collect things that may not have been his. This was unacceptable to the Tolais family. The harder his father (Rathail) tried to clamp down on his son’s habit, the worse it got. And, Calen got better at creating stories about how or where he got his items, a careful weaving of truth and lie.

By the age of 75, he was well known in the community as Pockets, a fact that infuriated his father to no end. There was a day of reckoning. Rathail decided to take his son out hunting one day, Calen new the meaning of this for his father had never taken him hunting before. Once the two were far beyond the eyes of any ...umm... witnesses, Rathail began beating Calen. His intentions were to teach his son a lesson about honor and respect, the lesson his wife (Lythara) would never let him do.

As mentioned, he began to teach him a lesson. Maybe this lesson was long overdue, but at this point that didn’t matter. Rathail bludgeoned Calen to the point of near death. Confused and scared by what he had done, Rathail thought Calen dead. The father stripped the boy of all identification and tried to bury the boy. Still scared and confused, Rathail returned home to tell his family of his son’s death at the hands of highway bandits. He had torn and ripped his clothes to match his story. The community rallied around his story and raised up a hunting party to go find the boy. Rathail led the party to find his son’s body. Somehow, they never found it.

Meanwhile in a shallow grave, barley covered with earth, Calen regained consciousness. The pain and swelling of the event were the least of his thoughts. How could he be so betrayed by his father? This will never happen again. Never will he allow someone control his life. Calen climbed out of his would-be grave and walked toward a road he had seen a few miles back; when he got there he collapsed from blood loss.

This could have been his death if not for a traveling carnival group that was passing by. They found him and did their best to heal him. Calen traveled with them for a while, listening and learning. He had now begun to only answer to the name of Pockets. After 5 years he parted company with the travelers and began his life on his own. He was very thankful for all the help they had given, but he sensed his path led elsewhere.

For many years he traveled from town to town, city to city. He joined any and every thieves’ guild he could find. He may not have been a natural, but he was determined to learn. On occasions he would make good friends, but this always scared him more than comforted him. ‘Never would he have a family’ was the oath he told himself.

Despite the road he had traveled in life, Pockets was not a particularly mean person. In fact he gave freely of his possessions to those in need. And while he didn’t care much for the law, he did care about evil. He had grown quite a hatred of it in fact. One day while liberating some funds from a ‘wealthy bastard,’ as he called them, he came to the conclusion that he will have to start standing up more for what he believed in. So by his 124th year, he began to join adventuring parties to use his skills for some good.

And this brings you up to the current, with his journeys and his heart. Maybe he breaks a few rules here and there, but no one ever gets hurt.

Cause of death: sneaking in a bad area.

Posted by Jim at 19:17 | Pockets’ Journal | XPCs

Death From Above

Drusilia's Journal

Waterday, Flocktime 12, 592 CY, continued

More deaths, and in such a short time!

While Ghelt and I tended to Jonathan’s remains as best we could, Korin and Fafnir were apparently rummaging around in the rest of the barracks— through the kitchen, captain’s office and so on. They did find several magical arrows before Ghelt and I caught up with them. We then went into the basement of the barracks and found a long hallway lined with cell doors with little “windows” in them. Being the tallest of our remaining group, I ventured into the narrow corridor, planning on peeking in one of these windows. As soon as I stepped into the hallway however, all the doors opened and ten grotesquely misshapen figures emerged. I was able to turn a few to dust, but not all, and my comrades took to slicing into them with weapons. Upon “death” the creatures would explode in a noxious black vapor. Ghelt dragged me outside after one exploded so I could get some relatively fresh air, and then she went in again to explore further while I watched two distant objects approaching the ground from well above the city. I thought my ears picked up an “....aaaaaaaahhh...” sound, but couldn’t be sure. While I was determining what to do about the plummeting objects (which I now assumed were of a non-flighted nature, since they were doing nothing to remain aloft), Ghelt and the others found a magical greatsword in one of the cells below. By the time they came up from the basement, I had pretty much guessed that the falling creatures were humanoid, and finally decided, when they began to gently descend like feathers to the earth a few hundred yards beyond us, that they were Valon and a companion.

Fafnir quickly put an illusion of a “We are here!” sign above us in the sky so they would know where we were, and we hoped that they would get to us before the wandering bands of undead found them. Luckily they saw Fafnir’s sign and hurried to us.

Our greeting had to be brief, but we managed to learn that Valon’s companion was Markus, a human wizard that had traveled with him via teleport from the dwarves in Midrock, and that they had the diamond dust I needed to cure Ghelt (and Jonathan, who of course no longer needed it). Valon had to use his bardic ability to fascinate Korin to prevent a rather unwarranted attack against Markus (Markus had been “chasing” Valon). As we hastened toward the rather large tower in this quadrant of the city, we were attacked by wave after wave of the same plague zombies that attacked in the basement of the barracks.

When at last we arrived at the tower, Fafnir polymorphed himself into a bronze dragon to fly 40’ to the top, for the only door in bore arcane runes of warding on it, which none of us could read, but were obviously there to keep us out. Fafnir came back almost immediately— he had pulled a curtain back on an upper balcony of the tower and had seen something “lichy.”

Of course, we all looked up, to see a lich staring down at us! I tried to turn him, but of course that only amused him— he is obviously a creature of great power and age. Markus, sadly, cast a lightning bolt at the lich, which prompted it to hit us with a fireball— killing Markus instantly and putting the rest of us into a panic— except for Korin. Korin scrambled right up the side of the tower and threw a sack over the lich’s head, allowing the rest of us a few crucial seconds to get away. While we didn’t actually see Korin die, I have no doubt that the lich will not be returning him to us, and the brave but quirky little halfling will be missed.

Posted by Kristin at 21:05 | Drusilia’s Journal

May 23, 2003

Fafnir's Journal Entry 22 - Of Half-Wit Humans and Heroic Halflings

Fafnir's Journal

Well, Valon is back. For a brief while we also had another companion - Markus. Markus was a half-witted human sorceror that fell from the sky with Valon. It would seem that Valon and Markus were teleported to us by some friendly dwarves. Unfortunately the dwarves weren’t quite so good with the teleport spell, and both of them materialized very, very high above Arun-tosa.

As they were falling to the ground, our group noticed them plummeting. Luckily Valon knew Feather Fall and was able to cushion his landing. Once they had landed (on the other side of the city), I created a Silent Image of a large wooden “We Are Here” sign above the rooftops. I was pretty sure that the undead would not be able to see the illusion, so we patiently waited, and soon Valon came jogging into sight, being chased by a human sorceror. It turns out I may have been wrong about the undead seeing the illusion, as soon a large group of them appeared as well. (Of course, they may have been chasing Valon... it’s hard to say.)

As we began to attack the pursuer, Valon stopped us and told us that Markus was a friend. I don’t think Valon meant to lie about that, but as it turns out, Markus was more of a curse.

Continuing with our plan to examine the few surviving buildings in Arun-tosa, we proceded back towards where Valon had landed. Along the way we fought many tough zombies, but eventually we arrived at a small tower.

After determining that the door to the tower was magically sealed, I used my Polymorph spell to transform myself into a small bronze dragon and flew to the top of the tower to look for another way in. I found a small balcony with a curtained archway. Pulling back the curtain, I nearly fell off the tower as I saw what appeared to be a lich staring back at me!! I immediately flew back down to the party and suggested we run...Fast...Now.

I was too late. The lich had come out onto the balcony and was staring down at the party. Drusilia tried to turn the creature but he just laughed at her. At this point I considered running, but decided to wait and see what the lich was going to say. (He had already had plenty of time to attack us — it seemed to me that he was getting ready to speak.)

Unfortunately, before that could happen, the human sorceror that Valon had brought decided to take a more foolish action. He let loose with a lightning bolt at the lich! The lightning bolt of course did absolutely nothing to the lich, and the rest of us could do nothing but stare in stunned horror as the lich returned the attack with a very large Fireball!

In a bit of poetic justice, the fireball killed Markus instantly. Unfortunately the rest of us were also severely wounded. Korin, in a last ditch effort to save us all, managed to distract the lich long enough for the rest of us to run to safety. He was successful, but unfortunately the heroic action resulted in his own death. I never thought he had it in him. I am surprised to realize that I’ll actually miss the little fellow’s strange antics.

Luckily, the lich did not give chase, and the rest of the party has managed to regroup amongst the ruins. Hopefully Drusilia will be able to provide us some healing, as most of us are in dire need.

While I pretty am sure Markus didn’t intend for his actions to cause such damage, It doesn’t change the simple fact - One party member’s mistake can hurt us all. This tragedy should serve as a warning to us — we shouldn’t just allow any stranger we meet in our travels to join our group. Sometimes their actions can lead to disaster.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

Posted by Dave at 16:45 | Fafnir’s Journal

May 25, 2003

Waterday, 12 Flocktime

Valon's Journal

Nothing like a gigantic fall to wake one up....

The Dwarves were nice enough to offer free teleportation to Arun-tosa, though now I see why. We teleported far, far above the city. Fortunately I managed to keep my wits about me and did cast Feather Fall on Markus and myself. I suppose that will make an amusing tavern story....hmmm....The Tale of the Featherweight Elf...

Unfortunately, we were quite alone when we landed, other than the undead, who had quite a “welcoming party” for us. Markus and I ran for safety...which seemed to be a large “WE ARE HERE” sign in the sky. We met up with the party, who immediately thought Markus was chasing me. They all were ready to attack Markus, though I assured them he would be a help. A halfling fighter, Korin, who joined the party just before I left before didn’t back down, however, and I was forced to stop him using my musical ability. While it is quite potent, I do not care to use it in the fashion that I did. I know all too well what it is like to not be in control of my own body, and I do not have any intention of forcing that on others, unless there is a dire need.

We all decided it would be best to travel back toward the spot where Markus and I landed. Our “welcoming party” had caught up with us however, and we were forced to fight back through them. Thank goodness that Drusilia could destroy many of the creatures with her show of faith alone, which left few for us to fight.

We finally arrived at a tower with doors that were barred by magical runes. Fafnir, who had polymorphed into a small dragon, flew to the top of the tower and returned very quickly, saying that a lich was coming out onto the balcony. Indeed, it was a lich. Drusilia tried to force the creature away by channeling her deity’s power, but the lich seemed quite unimpressed. Markus decided that a lightning bolt would be the best way to force the lich away, but he was gravely mistaken. The lich cast a fireball into the center of the party, killing Markus outright and severely injuring several of the party. Almost the whole party scattered, realizing there was nothing we could do to fight this evil creature. Korin, however, ran up the wall and leaped on the lich. I was unable to see what happened next, but whatever did the brave halfling gave all of us time to escape...

Posted by Tim at 00:13 | Valon’s Journal

Now What?

Ghelt's Journal

Dearest Grun,

I’m writing this under about the worst possible circumstances. Every time I think we can’t get much lower, and things should start looking up...

We said our prayers over Jon’s body, sorted out any of his things that might be useful to our survival, and checked out the rest of the barracks. Korin was back to yelling out Trap’s ideas... so I decided to switch tactics and started pinning and tickling him to distract him from his invisible people. He wasn’t quite sure how to take that... which was the idea!

We were attacked in the cellar by more undead, and killed them all, but there’s a new twist: these creatures are now exploding in puffs of black, noxious gas when they are destroyed. I’m trying to hold my breath as I fight, lately, as we have no idea what that’s about! Drusilia and I walked outside for a moment, waiting for the gas to clear, and she glanced up and saw two figures descending from the sky and landing across the city. She even thought one looked like Valon!

We went back in to tell the others and found the gas had cleared from the cellar, so I walked to the last unopened door and smashed the hinges off (there’s been no one to pick locks for a while, now). We found a beautiful greatsword in an empty room, so I brought it up. Fafnir created an illusion of a sign pointing out our location for Valon to find us (so that does come in useful, sometimes!), and while we were waiting I noticed that Korin was happily playing with his precious - Jon’s axe - and the healing sword was nowhere to be found!

This resulted in me stomping back downstairs one more time to get the damned sword back to Drusilia.

Finally, we saw Valon and his friend running toward us, probably with some of the undead population not far behind. Korin mistook the new human for an attacker, somehow, and took off - fast! - leaving me to shout a warning! Valon managed to fascinate Korin by singing to him, and we eventually got sorted out. Drusilia got some diamond dust to do a major healing with, and I had to tickle Korin again to distract him from thinking that Valon wanted to take his axe.

We were attacked by more undead - still of the noxious black gas variety - and Markus, the human, turned out to be some type of magic user. Valon’s stick is as sharp as ever, and now has flowers on it (Korin tried to pick one and got cut). Finally, we all headed for the next building, fighting our way through whatever got in the way. Markus has a penchant for spells that shock things - more lightning bolts than Fafnir, who suddenly turned into a tiny dragon and flew along!

Finally we reached the next 40-foot tower and stood at the bottom, looking up at a balcony near the top. Fafnir flew up for a look - and came tearing back down with the news of a lich-like creature inside! Korin promptly began to climb the wall.. but before I could react to anything, Markus let loose with a lightning bolt straight up. Apparently the lich had come to the balcony and looked over, and panicked the newest member of the party.

Next thing I know, a fireball the likes of which I’ve never seen exploded in the middle of our group. It killed poor Markus outright, and sent the rest of us running for our lives, badly hurt! As we reached some ruins that blocked us from the lich’s line of sight, I heard a yelp. I turned to look and saw that Korin had climbed the building, popped a bag over the thing’s head, and prevented it from seeing us to kill us. But he got himself killed in the process. I saw him go limp in its grasp; I have no hope that he survived long after it took him inside the building.

By our ancestors, Grun, I never thought he’d go like that. It breaks my heart.

Now we have to decide how to go on - and what to do. This is so sad, and I’m so discouraged, but we have to do something! Wish us luck.

With love,

Posted by Kate at 12:03 | Ghelt’s Journal