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November 2, 2003

I Love This Place

Pockets' Journal

There is an excitement in this place unlike any other. I haven’t been so alive since, well the last time I was here. The food, ale, and women all can be found at any hour of day or night. I personally prefer the night.

The night brings out the real city, the city that most travelers never see. But to my situation, I have to travel with the party in the day and then work in the night. The days haven’t been a complete loss, three of us have taken to getting sloshed at the bars and insulting each other until there is a fight. As much as I hate to say it, that dwarf is getting good at the insults game. Almost like she has a good sense of humor. Yet, she is a dwarf, never would have thought one who dedicated their life to digging in the ground could be so much fun.

Today we all met at the library to... I don’t know. They (Fafnir and Drusilia) keep babbling about stuff to each other and sending us off to stay out of their way. As if the three of us are a bother to them. If it were not for the ale, we would be insulted.

Anyway they find a book that says we have to talk to someone or something, over at the Wizards’ Guild. I guess we didn’t have enough ale yet today so Ghelt and I decided to go with them. Oh, the look on their faces, it was worth missing a few drinks.

Well we find the place and are shown in to meet an old man. When to our surprise the lich starts talking through him. When I say our surprise, I mean the party, not me. I keep telling them we are being used by evil, now I am starting to wonder if the lich and “angel” are in on this together.

Being a man of opportunity I packed a couple items from the wizard’s office away for safe keeping while the lich controlled his body. All the good it did me, the party kept saying to search me for I might have taken something. And as much as I offered to let them search me, they wouldn’t. Not that it mattered, later when I looked, the items were not there. Fraggin wizards, I went to the trouble of stashing two promising-looking wands on a party member, just for the wizard to have recalled them.

Well at least I have proof that these fools have no respect for my trade unless it is their stinking idea. The fools never think of the fact that we need money to buy better equipment to continue on this quest, no, they got some mixed up morals. None of them would make it in the Thieves’ Guild I tell you.

Posted by Jim at 11:45 | Pockets’ Journal

The Wheel Turns...

Ghelt's Journal

Dearest Grun,

Great Moradin, how our circumstances can change in a day!

We began the morning with “Pockets” deciding he was bored with whatever entertainments he’d enojyed so far. He was trying to talk me into a trip to one of the fighting arenas in town as we walked to the Library to see Fafnir and Drusilia. We never made it to the arena - the others had found an ancient text about the Void. After reading it, we knew we were in trouble. The Void will continue to grow if unchecked, and where it’s been, nothing remains. The whole world could be destroyed if someone or something doesn’t stop it! Fafnir said his magic-users’ guild might be able to help, so we made our way across the city.

Fafnir and Drusilia were planning to go alone, which I found a little rude, and Aramil had already disappeared to study more spells, so “Pockets” and I tagged along, just to bug them. Guess I’m bored with big city life, Grun! Everything fun costs money - even fighting!

At the guild, Fafnir asked to speak to an expert on the Astral Planes. Eventually we were left in a room with a blind old man, who listened to Drusilia’s story and promptly began to channel the damned lich. It actually yelled at us for screwing things up! After some arguing, it finally told us some more of its history, which might have made a difference before, but it’s a little too late now. The angel Aramis is insane - mad and full of hate. The gods decided to imprison him, and since angels live forever the lich implied it had to become what it is to continue to watch over him. Obviously, this story, too, is full of lies, but... the angel is connected to the Heart in order to keep it trapped. We “need” to capture Aramis, get him to the Void, send him into it so he reconnects with the Heart and becomes powerless again, and then destroy the Void. Simple, eh? And all this, presuming the angel is evil! (“Pockets” can’t say I-told-you-so enough, by the way. He always mistrusted Aramis. This didn’t stop him from asking the lich for wildly improbable weapons to “help” with the quest at random moments).

The lich claimed the Void is destroyable with weapons and magic, and, for that matter, only our party is capable of such a thing, since we killed the three Guardians. I hope some of what it said is true; it was pretty coy about why it was planning to attack the dwarves, and as for what it did to poor Korin? Erggh. Finally, it left and the poor old man fell down in exhaustion! Drusilia did her magic and he woke up very confused, indeed! We had to start the story all over again - with added details! Luckily, the old man was pretty resilient, and thought of an artifact that could help us with the angel; an iron flask, coverd with runes, that could command Aramis long enough to trap him. It would cost a fortune, but when Fafnir explained the Void’s powers and showed him the old letter, he passed out from fear, then told us to wait while he consulted his colleagues in Divination magic for help.

Several hours later, we were fetched from the waiting room and returned to the old man and a young lady named Alicia the Seeress. They’ve “found” one of the flasks we need, under the ruins of Redcastle in the Bone March. Not a very nice place, apparently, but at least a start! I paid them for their efforts, while “Pockets” hit on the Seeress. I think he’s lucky her specialty is Divination!

At this point we’re working on learning more about the Bone March, so Fafnir can teleport us there. After we gain the iron flask, we’ll come back to town to find out where Aramis is. Then, we’ll have to come back to find out where the Void is! Drusilia’s off to commune with her god about the truth of the lich’s story, and “Pockets” wants to cut Aramil open to make sure the angel didn’t make him evil when he ressurrected him in the tower. Me, I want a drink. “Pockets” still wants me to fight in the arena - I think he’s still mad about the “brothers” joke with Aramil, myself. I don’t need to prove my fighting skills in such a way.

Drusilia’s back and frustrated. Her god’s not being very helpful. I don’t know if Moradin would be more so!

Wish us luck, Grun - we’re heading for an epic adventure, here, of our own making!


Posted by Kate at 12:14 | Ghelt’s Journal

Fafnir's Journal Entry 39 - The Good Lich of the East?

Fafnir's Journal

Well, I doesn’t look like I will have a chance to work on that spell. When I returned to the library the following day, The scribe had found a book referencing the void. It was an old, charred volume that told of another world that was destroyed by the Void. When I showed this book to my companions, their reactions were “mixed”.

Drusilia was horrified (as was I). Pockets was noncommital about the whole thing, while Ghelt and Aramil found it uproariously funny! I must say, I wasn’t prepared for this reaction, and I am having some serious doubts about how wise it is to continue travelling with them. But decisions like that will need to wait...

Thinking that the Wizards’ Guild would be the best place to seek assistance, we proceeded there and requested an audience. We were soon led in to meet “Master Vistal”. Well, it didn’t take us long to realize that Master Vistal was not himself. In fact, he was someone we recognized quite easily — Arkon!

Arkon proceeded to tell us that we had screwed up royally... as if we didn’t already know that! He also told us how we should “fix things”, should we choose to believe him. If his tale is true, it is actually Aramis who is the great threat to the world, not Arkon. Arkon told us that he was appointed by the Celestial Council to imprison Aramis, in order to prevent him from destroying the world. He claims that Aramis is “misguided” and thinks that the only way to cleanse the world of evil is to destroy it completely! In order to set things right, we must recapture Aramis, and cast him into the void. (The presence of both Aramis and the Heart of Nerul in the void will cause the magic-antimagic field that was described in the journal we found..). With this bit of information, Arkon left Vistal’s body, which collapsed into a heap on the floor.

After reviving Vistal, we now consulted the one whom we had come to see. Our question was “How can we capture a celestial”, and his answer was that we must find an “Iron Flask”. Not having the money to purchase such an item, we asked if he knew where we could find one cheap. This led us to another member of the guild... a seeress who told us that there was a flask buried beneath the ruins of RedCastle, far to the east. With that bit of information we left the guildhall to make further plans.

Before we head off on another wild goose chase at the advice of a Lich, I beseeched Drusilia to commune with Pelor to find out if we were on the right path. Normally I don’t go for that kind of stuff, but having been burnt a couple times already on this “adventure”, I want to play it safe this time.

While she is at her temple, I am trying to find out whatever I can about RedCastle... I think we will need to teleport there, and It would be best if I knew as much as possible about our “target”.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

Posted by Dave at 14:26 | Fafnir’s Journal

November 5, 2003

Chaos Theory

Drusilia's Journal

Godsday, Wealsun 4, 592 CY, continued

I have failed my comrades, and perhaps, indirectly, failed Pelor.

It took a while, but I have come to the realization that, while my friends respect Pelor and are willing to fight for a good cause, they do not necessarily share my fervent devotion to him; they do, after all, worship different deities, which colors how they see our world and relate to the creatures in it.

I had questions to ask about our anticipated journey to Redcastle, about Arkon’s story, the location of Valon, Aramis, Durll and the Void, and I feared communing with Pelor would not allow the full explanations of these questions that I wanted to share with my comrades. So instead, I asked them all to come to the temple with me while I requested the presence of a celestial being. I told them the being might request a service and that we could say “no,” though of course the being would then depart without answering our questions.

A tall, luminous guardinal with wings for arms, feathery hair and golden eyes appeared. The beautiful avoral (whose name I didn’t think to ask for) was quite willing to answer all of our questions for a price— he requested the Short Sword of Pelor, saying that it was urgently needed elsewhere. Ghelt and I, both of a similar belief structure, agreed immediately, Fafnir was very undecided, and Aramil and Pockets thought the sword more useful than any information a celestial creature would provide to us (Pockets also pointed out that since I wouldn’t let him sell it, that it must be too valuable to give away). The avoral was patient, and though he had to eventually leave without answering our questions, he did warn that the sword was not without limits, for it pulled its healing not from the Positive Material Plane (as I had assumed it must), but directly from Pelor himself. I mentally pictured my deity being weakened by Pockets’ and Aramil’s ministrations after one of their regular “spats” and shuddered.

Fafnir did finally decide we should give the avoral the sword, mere moments after the creature departed. Ghelt was extremely upset, as was I at the time, and Aramil and Pockets pointed out that I said we could say “no” (which, in essence, meant a group vote). Of course I had, never realizing that our moral views, while all basically good, could result in such a difference of opinions! I feel especially bad about that, because, while I promote Pelor’s causes over others, I rejoice that my comrades worship other good deities at all— it is these differences that have helped us get as far as we have.

Pockets, for all he’s willing to do for our party, does in fact worship Olidammara, the god of Trickery. I will therefore need to swallow my pride, and “trick” him into giving back the Short Sword of Pelor the next time it is asked of us. I may also have to point out that Nerull is considered a god of trickery as well, and the lich has had many lifetimes to perfect his craft. Nevertheless, I think this explains why Pockets is slow to develop trust— Ghelt and I must be constant sources of confusion for him!

While Ghelt and I were praying for a solution in Pelor’s temple, a bloodied paladin came stumbling in. I healed him quickly, and he told us a chilling story. The paladin, called Harconis, has been teleported from the Grand Duchy of Geoff, where they are having a plague of death coming down from the mountain. The plague infects the living, killing them, and healing magics have no effect. This all started about two days ago, while we were in the Temple of the Void. This of course, brings a few worries to mind: did throwing the Heart into the Void cause “Death” to somehow gain a better hold? Did the loss of the Temple’s Guardians unleash something? We knew there has been constant warfare raging in Geoff, for we long ago met up with a band of adventurers heading towards it through Dimwood. I am very fuzzy on the geography of the area, but I’ve just now remembered that Durll had agents in Hochoch, the temporary capitol of Geoff. I can only imagine how much worse the situation would be there had he been able to steal the Heart from us!

Soon after Harconis’ arrival, Pockets ran into the temple with a very savagely murdered human in his arms, hoping I, or someone there, could restore life to the body. Sadly, the only cleric of more skill than me is the mad Cornelius, and I was not prepared for the task, suggesting he try Heironeous’ Temple— being much bigger, there was a greater chance someone there could do the job. I could tell by his expression as he turned to leave that my lack of ability to do this for him was perceived as choosing not to help a “thief,” as it turned out that the dead man was a cleric of Olidammara.

While it’s flattering on some level that Pockets thinks I have the same abilities to resurrect someone as a divine creature does, I was not blessed with that ability at the time of his need— it is something I must pray for. I’ve only seen it done once and that was by Aramis. If he comes back tomorrow, I will try, though after what I’ve seen happen to Cornelius, I’m wondering if there isn’t something “intercepting” the prayers made here.

Ghelt eventually left either for the inn my friends were staying at, or Moradin’s temple. I was left alone with Cornelius, and I determined to try and figure out what his mental situation was by simply talking to him. This proved absolutely disastrous.

He started by telling me that “Rutsah” was “wisest of the wise” and could provide “clarity of sight”— I assume that this is the being that touched the mind of Cornelius instead of Pelor. I asked him, stupidly, if he knew how to call a celestial being to him, as I wondered if his divine magic had been effected as well. I did not ask him to call a creature, but I realized as I saw the mad glint in his eyes that it was exactly what he was going to do. Worse too, as the planar ally he called forth was not of Pelor, but some beast of a Chaotic bent.

I yelled for the temple guards and any clerics in the area to run and find my comrades as the amorphous mound in front of me began to ooze forward, ropey tendrils outstretched. Three guards came to assist me fighting it, in spite of my pleas for them to stay back. One guard was raked by a tendril and began to immediately melt into a formless, screaming blob of flesh. Cornelius stood behind it, cackling and capering the whole while. I finally killed the chaos beast, and yelled at the remaining guards to catch Cornelius, who was obviously too dangerous to leave unattended. While they pondered which of us to listen to, Cornelius ran out a back door and was gone. They did follow at that point. I turned to see that the fallen guard was now just a formless mass, and yelled again for a cleric to help— this time to see if they could restore him to his former self. A cleric named Tomas ran in to help, but as he did, we both realized that there was no help for the guard “Lenny,” as he was now a chaos beast himself. The creature tried to grapple with Tomas, leaving me sufficient time to dispatch it as well. Thankfully, Tomas did not turn into a spawn of the creature too!

The guards returned shortly to tell me that they’d lost Cornelius somewhere in the city. I then had to explain to the guards and Tomas that I was not in charge in the temple, and asked Tomas to take over Cornelius’ duties until things could be straightened out. He suggested that the actions of Cornelius pretty much made it clear that we needed a Sacred Exorcist, and Tomas thinks I am a candidate for that task— that is about the closet to a church blessing I’ll get on the subject right now! Moments later, Fafnir showed up, either on his own or from my frantic summons, I didn’t ask. He found me with the confused guards and clerics, looking at two big dark greasy blobs on the otherwise unmarred floor of the temple.

We went and found Aramil and Ghelt ourselves, and have yet to catch up with Pockets. No one has seen Valon. Too many terrible things are happening at once, and we need to figure out where Durll is, and if he is behind all of these horrible events.

Posted by Kristin at 16:51 | Drusilia’s Journal

November 7, 2003

Ray of Enfeeblement

Aramil's Journal

Well another day another spell. Today started out with an interruption by my companions, and they brought me up to speed on everything and I thought we should have gone right away. Dru decided to commune with her deity about it first and I thought it seemed like a good idea. She said it would ask for something, but we could refuse if we wanted to. Well, it asked for the Sword of Pelor and Fafnir, Pockets, and I refused. Ghelt got upset and Dru seemed confused. Now they are both angry at us for doing so. I got so tired of the arguing I said they can do what they want to the sword and I went back to my studies. I was able to get ray of enfeeblement done before the sun set.

Posted by Fred at 14:21 | Aramil’s Journal

November 9, 2003


Ghelt's Journal

Dearest Grun,

Today has been... frustrating. I am worried about where we are going - and why. Yet, when we tried to communicate with a being other than the lich, our party divisions doomed the project.

The day started with me offering to help Fafnir buy a teleport-without-error spell, which made sense, since he hasn’t been to the Bone March before, and we all remember Valon’s adventure with teleporting to a point several miles above his destination by mistake! He eventually decided to just research some more. I hope that works out OK.

Before that, however, Drusilia asked us to come to her temple with her while she summoned a planar creature of her deity about our “mission” and the truth of the lich’s words. This seemed like a very good idea; we went to her church, she cast her spell, and wow! This big humanoid with wings instead of arms arrived! Drusilia began to talk to it, while I clapped my hand over “pockets”’ mouth to keep him from asking this being for lots of weapons too. He tickled me. Hrmph. Next thing I know, the being asked for the healing sword!

We had a quick discussion, and only Drusilia and I were willing to give it back. I asked the being why it wanted it, and it said the Sword of Pelor was needed elsewhere. Well, Grun, this made sense to me: it’s Pelor’s sword, it’s meant to be used to fight undead, not heal us up whenever we get into a fight. We’ve been spoiled. How spoiled I didn’t know until then - even though the being’s words convinced Fafnir, too, to give the sword up, “pockets” and Aramil just couldn’t see letting their instant healing out of their hands. And guess who had the sword?

Finally, Drusilia gave up, apologized to the being, and told it we wouldn’t be needing its services after all. She and I were both so angry! The argument continued, and I told those two just what I thought - that I would not go to the Bone March under these circumstances, that they had better pray that sword keeps working (which is under no means certain); since they’ve decided it’s more important than our goodwill, or at least mine, they may well find themselves in trouble and out of luck and right now, I don’t care! I refuse to help them make things worse when we don’t have any confirmation this is the right thing to do.

At this point there was a commotion at the doors, and a blood-covered paladin of Pelor collapsed inside the temple. Drusilia ran to him and healed him enough that he woke up and asked for the head of the Order.. who is currently mad. They brought him anyway, and Drusilia tried to heal him, too, but it didn’t work. The paladin told us all that he was from the Kingdom of Geoff, just to the south, and that they’d been under attack from orcs and giants, but two days ago, there came a plague of undead from the mountains, and they’re infecting the people, now, too. Poor Drusilia turned pale - the Heart of Nerull came from around there. She fears we’ve released something there, too. I immediately volunteered to go help fight; it seems less a fool’s errand than following the lich’s directions. I pointed out to the others that this was exactly what the Sword of Pelor was made to fight, and suggested that Drusilia’s god was trying to give us a hint, but it made no difference to “pockets”.

I pointed out that his god might not think much of this behavior, and he ran off, saying he’d ask. He was back even faster, to show us his high priest - or what was left; a skinned, eviscerated body that he demanded Drusilia resurrect! Poor Drusilia tried to explain that she can only speak to the dead, not return them to life, but this wasn’t good enough; he left in a rage, thinking that she was being vindictive. That’s not Drusilia. He should know better.

Things had settled down for the time being at Drusilia’s temple, and “pockets” was off with his dead body to parts unknown. Fafnir and Aramil left to research a trip to the Bone March, and I decided to pray at my own temple. Drusilia was trying to make sense of her mad cleric’s words, and I came here to pour out my woes to you and to Moradin. Watch even came with me, and has been a real comfort.

A few hours later, and Drusilia’s come here. She wants to try to speak to an avatar at her temple again tomorrow. She thinks we’ll have to go to Redcastle anyway, but she’s hoping this one doesn’t ask for something we can’t give in return for that information. Bless her for trying!

Wish me luck, Grun, I’m having trouble keeping my temper these days.

With love,

Posted by Kate at 11:47 | Ghelt’s Journal

Fafnir's Journal Entry 40 - Wasting Time

Fafnir's Journal

Well, another day gone, and we are no closer to our goal. Drusilia decided that rather than seek guidance from Pelor, she would rather summon a planar creature, and talk to it. Before doing so, she warned us that it might request something from us, but that we could refuse if we so desired.

Agreeing to this, the party gathered together, and Drusilia cast her spell. A winged creature appeared before us, and Drusilia explained what we were requesting. The creature said it wanted us to give it the Sword of Pelor. Drusilia and Ghelt thought this was a great deal, but it didn’t seem like such a good idea to me, Pockets, and Aramil.

The sword had come in very useful during our travels, and turning it over to some creature who might not even know the answer to our questions just didn’t seem like a good idea. Pockets and Aramil also wanted to keep the sword, but I am not sure of their reasons... It may be because they view it as a valuable asset to the party, or it may be just that they like being able to beat the crap out of each other and “stab” themselves back to health. In any case, it seemed that a decision had been made.

Seeing that we weren’t interested in giving it the sword, the creature then made the additional comment that the sword would not work forever, as it was draining power directly from Pelor, and that his power would be needed elsewhere. Drusilia seemed to believe this to be true, so I changed my mind, and told her that if she felt we should turn over the sword, to go ahead and do so. Pockets and Aramil were still not convinced however, so the creature disappeared before we could come to an agreement.

Ghelt and Drusilia were very angry. Ghelt insisted that she would not do anything to help stop the void, so long as Pockets kept the sword. This seems kind of stupid to me, but she is a dwarf, and they rarely seem to make much sense.

I wanted to head off to Redcastle, with or without Ghelt, but Drusilia was more interested in staying at the temple and “helping out”.... I realise she is a cleric, but I would think that stopping a force such as the void would take precedence over feeding the needy. After all, if we don’t stop it, their won’t be any needy to feed! Also, Drusilia would be able to pray for spells in Redcastle as easily as in Greyhawk, so we might as well be on our way. (If it turned out to be the “wrong” way, we could turn back... it’s not like sitting around Greyhawk is getting us closer to our goal.)

Anyway, while we were talking about this, a bloodied Paladin arrived at the temple telling of a horrible plague in the land of Geoff. Much to my surprise, Ghelt wanted to run right off to help them... had she forgotten about the Void?!

Luckily, Drusilia talked her out of it, and sent her off to the temple of Moradin to pray for guidance. Hopefully she will be a little more reasonable when she returns.

At this point, I returned to the library to do some more research, and then went back to our inn. Pockets did stop by to question me on bizarre ways a person could die, but I did not try to find out why he wanted to know. It just seemed safer that way.

Towards the end of the day, Drusilia sent a runner to find the party and bring us to the temple. I was the only one he could find. Thinking that maybe Drusilia had succeeded in “talking” with Pelor, I followed him back to the temple.

It turns out that Drusilia had been fighting with some other planar creature, and had thought maybe we could help. The battle was long over however, so I instead ended up talking to Drusilia about the situation our group was in.

Agreeing that we needed to get everyone “back on track” we gathered up Ghelt and Aramil, and are proceeding to look for Pockets. She is going to try and commune again, and hopefully it will go better this time.

If not, I am going to talk to Pockets, and see if he can help come up with a scheme to get this group out of Greyhawk. After all, he is pretty good at playing tricks, and I think if we can manage to get moving along again, things will work out in the end. HeHeHe.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

Posted by Dave at 14:36 | Fafnir’s Journal

Uhh Oh....

Pockets' Journal

We start out as normal, arguing. Someone, Drusilia I think, summoned one of them ‘angels’ and asked it for information. Drusilia said we can say no to the creature’s request, when we did, the clerics went nuts. They think we should trust anything with wings?

Then the real problem started. I went out to talk to the cleric I met the other day, just to find him dead. Not just dead, no, gutted and skinned. I took him back to Drusilia to get help, begging for her skills. SHE SAID NO!

So out I go looking for another cleric, unable to find one willing to help I returned to the guild to get help to bury the man. There I found that the assasins guild has declared a bloody war on the thieves guild. I ask for the name of one of the killers and head off to find him. And, one more thing, the cut-throats are led by Durll. This is not going to be a safe town for anyone.

Posted by Jim at 15:14 | Pockets’ Journal

November 11, 2003

Faulty Towers

Drusilia's Journal

Waterday, Wealsun 5, 592 CY

At Ghelt’s insistence, we stopped at the Silver Dragon Inn and had dinner. Even though I don’t really need to eat anymore, it’s a nice diversion and it gave us a moment to catch our collective breath. Better still, Pockets eventually found us. Ghelt leaned over and whispered a startling, yet very simple suggestion that took care of my problem of having to get the Sword of Pelor back to return to Pelor next time it is asked of us. I tried the new “Please may I have it?” approach. Pockets gave me a big grin and handed it right over.

I assured him that I would stick with him and make sure he didn’t regret not having “instant healing” on our travels. It is hard to “stick” to someone who can hide so easily and move so quietly! Of course, I am assuming the next celestial we contact will ask for it as well, or I am in an awkward position, for I really have no other way of “returning” the sword! (Until then, it will only be used as a last resort.)

I also offered to try to raise his cleric friend in the morning, but he said the fellow had already been buried, and that we had to leave Greyhawk right away. Apparently, Durll is the leader of the local Assassins’ Guild and had taken up a war with the local Thieves’ Guild (which I’m guessing Pockets is a member of) and very likely is here to thwart our activities. We agreed to go, with the planned destination of Redcastle (I can contact a celestial for assistance there when we are ready for it)— my only request was that we leave from Pelor’s temple instead of the Inn, as I felt I needed to let Tomas know I wouldn’t be available and that there were other chaotic influences in town besides Cornelius.

It was only a few hundred yards down the darkening streets to reach the temple. Pockets lingered behind us, obviously worried for our safety, when he suddenly yelled, “Run!” Of course, we don’t all react to “run!” the same way. Aramil and Fafnir were already further ahead and did run towards the temple. Ghelt and I looked back and saw a shadowy figure between us and Pockets, which then ducked down an alley. I went to cast a “light”— Ghelt shoved me towards the temple as well, but my light spell lit up the area. Unfortunately, only enough light to see Pockets— who went down by a poisoned crossbow bolt seconds later. Ghelt gave me a look that promised she’d take care of Pockets and another shove in the direction of the temple, so I went and waited at the door. I heard her tell Watch to “attack!” at which Watch darted into the alley with a yelp. Ghelt healed Pockets as well as she could quickly, and slung his nearly-unconscious body over her shoulder and headed towards us. By the time she reached us and lowered Pockets to the floor for me to heal (thank Pelor my light didn’t cause his death!), Watch was scampering up the steps of the temple, and there was not a single scratch on her! I finished restoring Pockets to health while Ghelt gave the happy puppy a tummy rub.

I got up to tell Tomas of our plans to leave as he strode into the main hall, with my apologies that I would have to leave while they were searching for Cornelius. He told me that Cornelius had already returned, but then admitted that Cornelius was now at large in the catacombs below the temple. I almost hesitated about going to Redcastle, but he assured me that they could handle that situation.

We immediately teleported to Redcastle, and Fafnir must have had very good directions, for we arrived right beside it. Ghelt, practical again, suggested that we find a place to rest for the night (for it was even darker here than it the City of Greyhawk). She and Fafnir decided the crumbling ruins of the gatehouse would be best, and he cast a spell giving us a rather comfortable furnished room to spend the night in. Thankfully, the night was uneventful.

We awoke and I provided a Heroes’ Feast, after which Fafnir dismissed the shelter. Pockets asked me to look for magic in the ruins of Redcastle’s foundation. As we stepped out of the gatehouse, we could see the ruins more clearly— there were skeletons hanging from the remaining ramparts (which Pockets will want to cut down for a proper burial, but we want to wait to do that so no one passing by notices a difference and comes investigating). Most of the eastern side of Redcastle looked completely ruined, while the northwest tower looked fairly intact and the southwest one was only partially ruined.

As Ghelt, Aramil and I were “sweeping” the courtyard and foundation of the ruined manor house for possible signs of an iron flask, Fafnir and Pockets decided to check the northwest tower. We turned back to look for them when we heard a scuffle and some mumbling from Fafnir about “phase chickens.” We found them being attacked by three spiders that were phasing in and out of the skirmish. Aramil and I shot arrows into one, and I saw Pockets skewer one with his rapier. Fafnir’s fireball took out the last one, and hit a few other things in the tower. Pockets then found eight cocoons in the tower, which turned out to be dead orcs, each with 8 silver pieces on them. Fafnir figured they must have been caught on “pay day.” I saw that Aramil had somehow ignited, apparently too distracted to notice it himself, and I cast “Create Water” to douse him.

Pockets saw some daylight at the top of the tower and decided to climb up the rickety stairs. Since we obviously didn’t know what would be up there, I elected (to his dismay, I think) to follow him up the wall using my new “Slippers of Spider Climbing.” They work! Unfortunately, Pockets must have hit a loose or rotting board and began to fall. I am not sure if he would have regained his own balance, but since my hands were free thanks to the slippers, I reached out to catch him. I did, but I wasn’t really strong enough to do more than fall with him. We repeated a similar stunt at each level until we landed with a thud at the bottom. While I feel that he was safer for having me with him, I think he feels that I’m impeding his progress somewhat. I did promise to look out for him though, so I will have to try and determine a way to do that while allowing him room to “work.”

While we were dusting ourselves off from our quick trip back down the tower, Fafnir was calling us all over to investigate what may be the way in to the cellars or dungeon below Redcastle. Hopefully there won’t be anything too difficult about finding this flask, but somehow, I doubt this will be the case!

Posted by Kristin at 19:54 | Drusilia’s Journal

November 12, 2003

Does she want me dead?

Pockets' Journal

After quietly finding my way through town to find my comrades, I alerted them of the fact ‘we have to go NOW!!’ In which the party took to its normal course of action, yup, arguing. After I told them for the twentieth time that odds are there are assassins out to kill us as we speak, the group finally decided to move. Although, at some level it is obvious they decided to move on for other reasons, our continued breathing not being one of them.

Drusilia asked me for the sword of Pelor, again in hopes of giving it to the next thing with feathers she finds. After seeing the change in party opinion on the sword I quickly handed it over. Although I remember something about telling her she would have to pay me for the sword as she had once promised. It is in that moment she decided to kill me. All I did was tried to seek a little profit in this cruel world, and now it may kill me.

As the party left the bar on way to the temple of Pelor, to attempt the teleport from a safe location, I let the party go ahead of me. I have learned the painful way, not to tell them to let me sneak around for they see that as a call to follow me close. So, as we walk through the evening air I see a cloaked figure dart out from an alley between me and the group. “RUN” I shout, because when an assassin is about to stab your friends in the back, what else is there to yell? Well, this confused them. I truly believe Fafnir was the only one with the brains to listen.

As I lean to the left to avoid a poisoned arrow from my new friend in a dark cloak, I yelled again for them to run. It is at this time I see the look in the eyes of a couple of them, the look that says, ‘I know nothing of fighting in shadows or of dealing with a skilled night stalker, but what the *^@# I will try to stay and fight instead of listening to the only person who has a clue what we are up against.’ Let me tell you that is a scary look to see. I have seen it before, just to see close friends slaughtered without a chance.

I concluded the only chance they had is for me to keep in the open and be the killer’s biggest threat. So I continued to yell for them to leave and started launching arrows at the assassin who had now taken partial cover behind some boxes. Do you remember what I had said about Drusilia wanting me dead? Well as I continued to try to save my friends, she decides to cast a light spell. Besides affecting my vision for a second, all this spell did was cast me in a bright light for the assassin to sink a poisoned arrow deep into my chest.

Ghelt pushed Drusilia away and told her and Aramil (who was watching the show) to run for it and then she tried to join me as the prowler and I continued to exchange arrows. Suddenly I was hit again, not for much damage, but the poison found a vein and knocked me to the dirty street gasping for air.

I think Ghelt sent the dog into the alley to get the killer, I don’t recall the next few moments well, but I do remember regaining consciousness while Ghelt carried me to the temple. To tell you the truth she saved my life, not for a grand cause or for her own deeds, I think she actually would have died with me instead of letting me die alone. I can never forget this, in all my life only Aramil had shown that kind of friendship.

Anyway, Drusilia and Ghelt had to team up to get my health back to where I could travel. To tell you another truth, I think the arrows I took (not the poison) did less damage to me than the ride on Ghelt’s shoulders. I think my left side will carry a scar from her armor.

Off we go, Fafnir again takes us exactly where we needed to be. That little fellow is getting to be real handy. After camping for the night in a secured shelter, we started to explore the ruins of Redcastle. To my dismay the party won’t let me cut down the bodies of the prior owners, who are still hanging above the castle walls as a reminder to all of the orcs’ power in this area. In one tower we find the strangest things, I had heard stories of them for years, but never would I have imagined running into a phase spider.

After a short but violent battle I decided to check out the tower the spiders came from, no need to get attacked from behind two days in a row. Suddenly Drusilia is right behind me. How can I be expected to check for dangers with a cleric following my every footstep? Then I remembered, she wants me dead. Ok, as we explore the tower we run into a stair case that is near collapse, certainly she wont follow me up those, so I climb the stairs to see the next level. To my dismay, she has purchased slippers that let her climb the walls right next to me. As I try to find a limit to how far she will follow me, I forget what I am concentrating on, put my foot in a bad spot and begin to fall. No problem, I am trained in how to do this, right? Nope, it is then that my new angel of death tries to grab me to catch me. Now she is by no means a frail woman, but I weigh nearly twice what she does. Now I and she begin to fall, not with skill or grace mind you, but with the reckless abandon one would expect an ogre to eat a finely prepared meal.

As we hit the floor, I hear the floor giving way, I grab for a strong spot and hold on, this is when she decides to grab me again, not a secure spot, but me. I manage to easily hold onto the board with both of our weights, but the board was not so strong, and we fell again, hit another floor and fall through it. It seems that even though I have a nice piece of the floor above still in my hands, our fall continues. Head first into the stone floor I go. A bit dazed, the party pulls us out of the rubble. We will need the help of the entire pantheon, now that we have made enough noise to attract every orc for 10 miles. This may not end well.

It seems that Aramil and I may not get the chance to get revenge on the fool that sent us to the town of the dead. It will take all my skills to convince them to go north if we survive this encounter.

Posted by Jim at 11:46 | Pockets’ Journal

November 14, 2003

Fafnir's Journal Entry 41 - RedCastle

Fafnir's Journal

Well, we made it to Redcastle. I hope the party doesn’t realize what a risky trip it was. I would have explained to them that it was only a 50/50 shot of getting here safely, but I feared it would have resulted in us spending yet another couple days in Greyhawk arguing.... Which is something we could not afford. Even as we were preparing to leave, we were attacked by an assassin. Luckily Pockets was able to warn us in time.

In any case, we are here now. After arriving in the middle of the night, we chose to rest until morning. When morning came, Pockets and I began to explore. We found an empty tower, with no sign of a way “beneath Redcastle.”

The next tower we opened also did not have a way underground. What it did have was a nest of Phase Spiders. Yikes! And I thought that those phase chickens were troublesome! Luckily we were able to anticipate their actions and soon had dispatched them.

Once the spiders were cleared from the tower, Pockets and Drusilia decided to explore it. (I should say that Pockets tried to explore it, while Drusilia followed... much to his dismay.)

Soon both of them came crashing down through several floors. Apparently, not all elves are graceful (though I am not sure which of them was the “ungraceful” one, as they both kept pointing at the other).

Having had enough of that particular dead-end, I began to explore the ruins that had once been the castle. In one corner, I found a set of stairs leading into what appeared to be the castle’s basement or dungeon. There are many footprints leading in and out. I called the party over, and we are preparing to explore it further, after a brief rest.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

P.S. Drusilia was also going to make another attempt to contact her deity once we arrived here. When I reminded her of this, she said that “it could wait” until we are done exploring the dungeon. I don’t think I will ever understand clerics.

Posted by Dave at 08:43 | Fafnir’s Journal

November 18, 2003

Finally RedCastle

Aramil's Journal

We finally get to go to RedCastle, but not before we are almost assassinated. We got to the temple in town after running a while, Pockets was injured when he got there and was fairly upset with Drusilia but we didn’t have time to go into why. Once Fafnir cast his teleport spell it was all down hill. In RedCastle we found a fairly concealed part of the ruins for a tiny hut to be cast and we spent the night in that. The next day we went in search of the flask. Pockets and Fafnir were attacked by spiders that kept fading in and out of existence. The rest of us heard and ran to the tower they were in to help. It was an interesting battle, but it was what happened after that left me in rolling with laughter. Apparently Dru was trying to convince Pockets that he didn’t have to fear with a cleric around. When they decided to look upstairs I decided to join them and watch the fun. Pockets was intentionally not being careful and when the stairs to the 3rd floor gave Dru tried to catch him, she missed, and the second floor gave. They both fell through, luckily I was on the stairs at the time. When they hit I asked if they were all right. Pockets said something smart and I just started laughing. I laughed so hard my side hurt. This is going to be interesting.

Posted by Fred at 02:10 | Aramil’s Journal

November 23, 2003

The Usual Routine

Ghelt's Journal

Dearest Grun,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With love,

Posted by Kate at 14:12 | Ghelt’s Journal

November 27, 2003

The Persistence of Pockets

Drusilia's Journal

Waterday, Wealsun 5, 592 CY, continued

Ironically, the fact that Pockets gave me the Sword of Pelor to carry facilitated his survival today.

We went down the steps that Fafnir found into the first of several connected underground rooms. Pockets elected to sneak ahead without me, insisting that he didn’t need his own “personal cleric” to survive. Aramil must have been worried, as he had Pockets carry Jacob so he could send back “toad signals” if he needed us to find him quickly. A few short hallways later we caught up to him in a room filled with stone statues of orcs in various poses, a torch burning in each corner, with a table holding the remains of a very old meal. The fact that the orc statues looked so lifelike, coupled with the expressions on their carved faces, led us to believe that they had started out as real orcs and were somehow turned to stone. Pockets started around the room laying them down, in case they came back to life, he didn’t want them attacking us immediately.

The room also had two doors. While Ghelt and Fafnir studied one that had what must have been protective wards written on it, Pockets opened another door, with Aramil looking over his shoulder. Pockets promptly turned to stone, providing the necessary clue as to what had happened to the previous occupants. Aramil shouted to us— thankfully I didn’t catch the eye of the snake-bodied Medusa as she shot us with arrows, though I felt a chill when her gaze passed over me. A few well-placed hits with a ranged attack (including a fireball from Fafnir and a flame strike from me) and she fell over dead. Aramil was trying to figure out how to get his poor toad out of Pockets’ now-stone pocket, and Fafnir lamented the lost of the treasure in the room beyond the medusa’s corpse. He managed to salvage one large melted gob of gold and platinum coins, in addition to the weapons and one scroll found on the snaky corpse.

As for Pockets, well, I think Aramil was going to try and fit him into a bag of holding until we could find a way to turn him back to flesh and fix the damage he sustained from the fireball, but I realized we had an opportunity to give back the Sword of Pelor and save Pockets at the same time. With the unanimous agreement of the rest of the party (sans Pockets, who obviously couldn’t vote), I summoned the avoral Yasmin to us, presented him with the sword, and explained our situation. He picked up Pockets and disappeared, returning momentarily with a slightly-dazed Pockets, fixed as good as new. Yasmin then took the sword and departed.

Pockets seemed none the worse for wear; in fact, he didn’t seem to recall much, including how Yasmin had saved him. I wanted to discuss it with him in detail, but we still had a lot of searching to do.

We finished up on the first floor, finding another group of stone orcs in their bunk room (and 6 trunks full of really stinky clothing), a storage room filled with useless goods, and sadly, a stone elf in a dungeon cell. We really fretted over how to deal with that, but we are not really equipped to carry him or change him back to flesh.

We went down a staircase we’d found beyond a warded door in the medusa’s room, and found ourselves in a very large chamber guarded by two stone minotaurs. Pockets was checking the room for traps, but of course, his ability to hide in plain sight makes it impossible to follow him. Aramil gave up looking for him and decided to cross the cavernous room alone. He made it halfway across before we heard a “click” where he’d stepped. A gate came down, cutting Fafnir off from us, as he had not yet left the stairwell we’d walked down. Almost instantly, the stone minotaurs began to move forward to attack! One seemed very easy to hit (and as it turned out, this one actually wasn’t moving— it just had an illusion cast on it), but the other resisted all of our attacks. Magic had very little effect on it, and arrows and weapons bounced right off of it. Ghelt waded in to attack it with her frost sword, but it hit her so hard she actually fell. I dragged her to relative safety while Aramil tried hitting it with Ghelt’s dropped sword, with no better success. We tried to scramble to the stairs, as Fafnir had disintegrated the gate. Pockets saved the day by dropping several bags of marbles on the floor— we were able to get passed them, but the golem actually lost its footing and fell, leaving us enough time to get past, up the steps, and to close the warded door again. Everyone is quite bruised and battered— after healing the party, we’ll need to rest a while before trying that room again.

Posted by Kristin at 13:33 | Drusilia’s Journal

November 30, 2003

Deeper into the ruins we go

Pockets' Journal

We gathered at a small opening that Fafnir had found. I am truly fascinated by his ability to find small openings and smell out places to check. As we all agree this is the way to go I begin again to convince my friends to let me travel into the underground halls ahead of them. For once they seem to understand as a group that I can’t do what they want me to do with them clanking along behind me.

As a precaution I agree to take Jacob with me, and keep him as a system of warning if something goes wrong. This was Aramil’s idea, and actually one of his best ever. Tis a shame that it will never happen again, for in the following minutes Aramil would have to decide between saving Jacob and saving me. At least I got to see which choice he preferred.

As we slowly moved on in the lower level of the castle, we came upon a strange sight. I found a room filled with Orcs, not your everyday Orc mind you. No, these were all turned to stone. Even though this should have been a moment of great warning, we turned it into the idea for a few good jokes. At least the humor felt good, it seemed to ease the tensions of the party.

I decided to lay a couple on the ground, if they come back to life, it will give us a couple of seconds to prepare. Ok, I am not perfect, I dropped one. The noise was so great that I thought Ghelt was going to kick me for it. Never being one to pass an opportunity I grabbed up the left arm of the Orc, as it had become a funny looking stone club laying three feet from its original owner.

Two doors, one wood, one metal, hmm. Even though the metal one already seemed worse, Fafnir discovered that there was magical symbols of warning on it. Yet, it was still the way he wanted to go. That nose of his for finding things should have been enough for me, but alas I insisted on the wooden door first. I slowly checked for traps and the usual, only to be convinced this is just a harmless pantry of some kind, so I opened the door. As I flung the door open our eyes met, and I tried to warn them. ‘Oh SSSHHHIIIII….” was all I seemed to get out.

From there it got a bit fuzzy for a while, as I am later told I was turned to stone by the half-snake creature I had met. The next thing I could see, I wish I hadn’t, for I was taken by one of those “angel” things to get fixed. I am told that Drusilia took great pleasure in the ability to call in this creature and give it the sword. And once more, she seemed to be happy I was turned to stone, although not to be dead but to have a chance to provide a service so great as for me not to mind her giving away the sword. It will take many ales to figure that elf out.

I will not talk openly against these “angels” again, for what I saw would most assuredly break Drusilia’s entire belief in them, and maybe her god. The place I was taken was no heaven, strangely I could see and hear in this place, yet I was still stone at the moment. The winged creature took me to what I can only call a war-room. A room filled with maps and soldiers of an amazing kind. I would not say that these new creatures were of any good alignment I have ever known, nor would I say them evil. But I would definitely say they were very powerful. The creature that brought me must have been owed a favor by one of the creatures gathered here. If you can see fear in the eyes of one of these “angels” then I have seen it. It did not want to be here, in fact is seemed down right terrified.

As the creatures talked in a language that would have made Valon go mad, I stared at the group. Some had two heads, one head of beauty and one of a vulgar nature. Some reminded me of the lich, they seemed cold and without life. One that looked almost dwarf-like tried to take a bite out of me, and I was still stone. What could cause an allegiance among these creatures and the “angels” will haunt me for the rest of my days. One thing for sure, I will never, ever, trust an “angel”. Before we left that place to return to the party, the head-freak, a four armed creature that stood at least 15 feet tall pulled a black feather from his mouth and drove it deep into the creature that brought me. I thought it was going to die, it twisted in torment on the floor for a long time. When it finally stopped, the “angel” rose up to its full height and grabbed me, then in a flash we were back.

While I do not share the belief in Pelor that Drusilia does, I do believe in him. But now my faith has been shaken to the bone. Before the creature took its leave of us, I notice that its eyes were now a deep red color, and it had tears running down its face. It left so quick, I do not think my friends even had a chance to see the creature, let alone its eyes. I will keep this to myself, never shall I tell them of the horror I have seen. I only hope I will be able to close my eyes without seeing the faces of those abominations.

After trying to lock that all into my head, we resumed our searching. To my surprise we found a cell with an elf of stone. We fixed the cell door for him to be able to get out should he suddenly return to his previous form. Speaking from experience, I wish him luck.

Finally we had no choice but to try the door that had the warnings on it. The door opened easily without any problem. In hindsight, this should have been an alarm all its own. Through the doors were steps which led down to a large room. The room was well lit and had two large stone guardians. I walked into the room, testing for a trigger for the stone minotaurs, I found none and proceeded into the room when my friends following behind came into the room. At first this was no problem, until one of them must have stepped on a trigger-stone, I am not sure where it was, but the battle begins.

Posted by Jim at 11:46 | Pockets’ Journal

A Short and Savage Day

Ghelt's Journal

Dearest Grun,

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

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

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

Can you imagine our feelings, Grun?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With love,

Posted by Kate at 14:54 | Ghelt’s Journal

Fafnir's Journal Entry 42 - Stoned

Fafnir's Journal

Down into the dungeons below Redcastle we went. Pockets went ahead, checking the doors for traps. We found none, but soon came to a large room with some very detailed “statues” of Orcs.

They looked as if they were in the process of fighting something, but had been turned to stone. Thinking this was rather ominous (having heard tales of medusa, basilisks, and other such creatures), some of us thought to proceed carefully. Pockets on the other hand, decided to knock over a bunch of the statues, making quite a racket.

Once we had him settled down, we continued examining the room. one door had protective wards on it, so we had Pockets check out the other door. He had no sooner opened it, than he too was turned to stone! We weren’t too surprised when out came a medusa!

Luckily the rest of us were able to kill her before we too were turned to stone. (in the process, we also managed to reduce her treasure horde to a pile of melted gold.) After the battle, Drusilia summoned her “angel” friend again, and gave him the sword of Pelor in exchange for returning Pockets to his former state.... so, the angel got the sword in the end, and we still didn’t get our answers! It figures.

Searching the rest of this level, we found only some more orc “statues”, and one “statue” of an elf... in a prison cell. Having no way at present to restore the elf, we left him where he was, and proceeded back to the warded door.

Opening the door, we found a set of stairs leading down to a large room which contained two large statues and several exits. It looked suspicous to me, but the rest of the party proceeded into the room as Aramil managed to set of the trap!

A large metal grate fell into the doorway trapping the rest of the party in the room, while I managed to duck back into the hallway. With horror I watched as the two large statues came to life!

As we began fighting them, I noticed something odd... Only one of the statues was really moving... the other was an illusion! Unfortunately for us, one statue was more than a match for our group. As the statue was immune to magic, we only had our brute force to rely on. Eventually we were forced to retreat... I disintegrated the iron gate, and we all ran back up the steps and closed the warded door. We are now resting and recovering as we attempt to think of a way to get past the stone guardian.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

Posted by Dave at 15:48 | Fafnir’s Journal